When we are not traveling for Admissions, we certainly take advantage of the summer to go on adventures of our own with family and friends.  Here is a glimpse of where we’re going!

Dan: We just returned from a visit to Ecuador.  I was a Peace Corps volunteer there years ago, so it was a homecoming of sorts for me, and an overdue introduction for my wife to the country in which I spent so much time.  We spent a few days with my host family in my old site, and also did a Galapagos tour.  Having virtually no natural predators in a protected environment, the animals there aren’t at all alarmed by people.  In fact, some of them are quite pushy; these publicity-hungry sea lions insisted on having their picture taken with me.

Dan and sea lion

Jessica: My summer has included a combination of one one-week vacation, several mini-vacations (two or three days), and a sprinkling of micro-vacations (12 hours).  One of the micro-vacations was to a place I had only heard of recently:  Cuttyhunk Island.  Hanging off the edge of Massachusetts, Cuttyhunk is one of the Elizabeth Islands, most of which are privately owned.  To reach Cuttyhunk, there’s a ferry from New Bedford that runs through the spring, summer, and fall, but it’s best to plan a visit for May/June or September, when some of the very few commercial enterprises are open but the crowds aren’t overwhelming.  Food options are very limited on the island, even in the summer, but they’re virtually non-existent in the winter.

We took bicycles over on the ferry, but I’m not sure I would make that choice again.  There aren’t many paved roads, and the island is small enough that you can cover a lot of the interesting territory on foot.  We took in the views, watched the seabirds, and enjoyed the scent of beach roses and honeysuckle.  We saw one deer, several rabbits, and many swans, including one sitting with her cygnets, making it clear that she didn’t want us to come any closer.  Chatting with the proprietor of the island’s fish market, I learned that there can be as few as ten people on the island in the winter, but hundreds in the summer when boaters like to dock there.  It was barely busy for our visit – enough visitors for the coffee place to open up, but few enough that we were able to be alone with the seagulls.  A lovely mini-vacation.


Liz: What I love about New England, and Boston in particular, is how you can do so much within just a few hours’ drive from the city.  I recently got to spend some time in Newport, RI for a wedding and had a great time in this quaint New England beach town.  Newport is less than two hours from Fletcher and truly has something for everyone.  There are lots of places to shop and some amazing restaurants.  I enjoy the Newport beaches, and you can tour some of the old Newport Mansions, many of which are on the famed Cliff Walk.  There is a local vineyard in nearby Middleton, where you can head for a wine tasting, and if you’re a tennis buff, you may want to check out the Tennis Hall of Fame.  I had an amazing time and think it’s a great town to check out for a day trip in New England!

Another one of my favorite places is Southern New Hampshire.  My parents live in the Monadnock region — which is just under two hours north of the city!  There are things to do and see in NH year round – skiing and snowboarding in the winter; hiking, boating, and camping in the summer.  New Hampshire has it all!  I try and get to NH most weekends throughout the summer and recently enjoyed a long weekend there.  I spent my time swimming, grilling yummy food, and reading on the shores of a lake.  Another favorite weekend activity is picking lots of fresh fruit, including strawberries.  My mom likes to make jam, and she had quite the haul this year (check it out below)!  NH has lots of farm stands and places where you can pick your own fruits and veggies.

These are just some of my favorite summer activities.  The Boston area is great because there really is something to do, no matter what you prefer!  Leave a comment below about some of your favorite weekend activities.

Liz's four photos

Laurie: I am in the process of planning a big vacation to either Hawaii or Costa Rica in December.  Therefore, my time off this summer will be low key.  I plan to spend a week at Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire with my husband’s family.  We have been going there for years and I always look forward to going back.  Fletcher students who are lake people should definitely try to sneak in a weekend or day trip to Lake Winnipesaukee.

Kristen: Lots of local!  Beach in Connecticut, camping in New Hampshire, and fun Boston weekends.

Christine: I was lucky enough to have spent a whole week on Cape Cod in Orleans with my fiancé’s family.  We had absolutely perfect weather and spent our days relaxing on the beach, mini golfing (I unfortunately came in last), eating ice cream, and playing tons of games.  My fiancé and I ventured over to Nantucket for the day, which was absolutely wonderful! It is like a walk back in time on the cobblestone streets and adorable old houses now filled with (overpriced) gift shops and restaurants.

I have some local weekend trips coming up, but am saving up my excitement for my first trips to Colorado and the Bahamas this fall!

Christine's Cape photos

Katherine: This summer I’m hopping up and down the East Coast, with trips to New York, Delaware, Washington, DC, and Florida (and many states in between).  It’s nothing particularly exotic — especially compared with Fletcherites’ travels abroad — but I’m going to argue that you can’t beat quality time spent with good friends!  I’m looking forward to seeing a few of my favorite bands in concert, celebrating at some weddings, and catching up with my DC family.


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