Monthly Archives: October 2010

Activity Time: Apple Picking

One of the most hyped and recommended New England Fall activities has to be apple picking! As someone originally from the Mid-West, I’m familiar with the concept though never really had the opportunity to participate in this tradition (that I can remember anyway)! So, once it started getting cold, I started plotting the perfect apple picking day!

Apple Orchard

I ended up visiting Shelburne Farm in Stow, Ma – about 20 miles outside of Boston. The farm not only had a great selection of apples to pick yourself but had pumpkin patches, cider, hayrides and tons of activities for kids. Let me tell you, at first, picking apples off of trees kinda sounded like a weird way to pass time in the Fall. But after doing it, I would definitely recommend it to anyone who lives here! It was seriously fun – and the apples are excellent! Apple picking tip: look for redder apples, and check for critters!

Another must when apple picking is chowing down on some apple cider donuts. Again, this was a food item that I had never heard of before moving here. The donuts made at Shelburne Farm were delicious; freshly made, warm, moist and loaded with cinnamon sugar goodness. The donut went perfectly with the piping hot mulled cider.

Look at all these apples!

The only downside to the day was a drizzle that persisted for about an hour. It did ease up eventually, and the fun commenced!

Want a humorous take on Apple Picking? Check out the Stuff White People Like blog post on “picking your own fruit.”

Now Entering: Cape Cod

A few weeks ago, I was able to take my first trip to the Cape! “The Cape” or Cape Cod is, according to Wikipedia, is an island and a cape in the easternmost portion of the state of Mass. Some locals have also explained this area to me as the “muscle” of Massachusetts, because it looks like the state is flexing its arm. Having lived in Mass for more than four months now, I’ve heard people talk about visiting the Cape for weekend vacations, especially in the summertime. I have to say though, I’m not sure what I was expecting the Cape to look or feel like. I’ve lived in beach areas and visited various coasts including California and Florida but the Cape looks like nothing I’ve ever seen before.

In true New England fashion, pristine old houses lined the waters – painted in grays and pastels with white trims. The beaches were a coarse tan sand, surrounded by dunes of willows and other greens. To me, the Cape looks just like it is pictured in post cards (which I didn’t realize was the Cape until after going).

The area has a ton of history, especially related to the Kennedys. While in Hyannis, I visited the JFK Museum which focuses on the family and late president’s time in the area. It was very interesting to see photos of the family on their vacations, especially if you think about how JFK lived in a time before the paparazzi! There’s no way you could get that close to a president, let alone his family on vacation, now a days.

According to the Duckmobile tour guides, tourists frequently ask to see the Kennedy compound but its not possible to get close to the buildings and if you did, you would only see a huge wall. It’s kind of a surreal feeling to think about how much history New England holds, especially such a small area like the Cape!

Another Kennedy family favorite in Hyannis is bar and restaurant called Baxters Boathouse. Walking in, you automatically feel like you are in a yacht club but without any pretentious stigmas. The patrons generally seemed to be having a great time, and the service was excellent. I ate my first lobster roll here, which is an infamous New England dish of lobster meat with mayo on a toasted hot dog bun. I’m not sure that I will be able to try a lobster roll anywhere else now because the one from Baxters was incredible! It had a huge helping of lobster meat – which was incredibly tender and flavorful. Keep in mind that this is also the end of lobster season!

There are plenty of other options for seafood while you’re there, as the Cape is known for its selection of seafood. An absolute must-have in the Cape is clam chowder (or chowda, if you say it with

the proper accent). The best chowder that I’ve had can be found at Captain Parker’s Pub! Now, I had a chance to sample this chowder in July during Boston’s annual Chowderfest. A small sample really isn’t enough though. I would definitely recommend ordering a bowl! So great – I really couldn’t get enough!!

Besides food, my first visit to the Cape was really amazing! It is such a great place to relax and escape the big city. At least in Hyannis, there is a small town feel and the residents are incredibly welcoming! I’m sure I’ll be going back again soon though I can’t wait to see what it’s like in the summer!!

Tales of the RMV: Part 1

Since moving to Massachusetts, I knew I would eventually have to register my car and change my driver’s license to reflect my new residency! Though, if you’ve ever dealt with the department of motor services, you will agree – it’s usually a huge pain. So I put off this process until I absolutely had to, which came much quicker than I expected. My car’s registration was due to expire at the end of September and the inspection in August. Changing a driver’s license in Massachusetts is relatively simple but registration and inspection is not as easy.

The first step is to review everything needed at the RMV or Registry of Motor Vehicles, which is the same as the department – it’s just a fancier name as far as I can tell. Mass requires you to insure your vehicles with the state immediately but you need to provide valid in-state plate information seven days after the policy begins – which you can only receive once you register. So, from the time you start to prepare your car for registration, you are under a pretty tight time crunch. Oh, and did I mention that you absolutely have to have insurance in the state before you can even register the car? Cause you do!

And to make matters worse, though my car had been insured in Texas under Progressive, I wasn’t allowed to transfer my policy because of very strict rules within the state. In order to keep my insurance company, who I like very much, I had to open a new policy and cancel my old one.

Step one: insured in Mass. DONE!

Once you have insurance, you have to have the company or agent provide a special stamp on your RMV documents to prove the insurance is valid. Since I insured under Progressive (which is an online service), I had to drive 30-minutes outside of the city to get my forms stamped. I actually wasn’t informed of this when I opened my policy initially and thank goodness I called to learn about this before heading to the RMV!!

In order to complete the full process, I actually took a half day off of work, so I could drive to Dedham then back to Watertown to visit the RMV. I headed to Dedham and received the stamp pretty painlessly, actually. It was just far away from where the RMV was located, which is maybe a mile away from where I work.

Step two: insurance validated. DONE!

Now to visit the RMV….to be continued!

How well do you know Boston?

I may have just moved here, but the question is, how well do you know this City? just posted a quiz on 101 things every Bostonian should know! I may have only scored a 53% but at least I could answer correctly about the Great Molasses Flood and Pesky’s Poll. I should get some street cred for that!

Take the quiz for yourself: