outdoors

XC Skiing the Berkshires

BY CAILIN BURKE

As New Yorkers, we have a ton of snow most years and wanted to make the most of it! We love cross country skiing (after going a handful of times when we were younger) and had the random urge to go this month! Our friend Kbray is all about skiing these days too, so she joined in on the fun! We decided to head to the Berkshires (in Massachusetts) since it’s one of our favorite mountain areas! Usually, we go there in the summer for their chill lakes, locally owned coffee shops, and great music and museum options! (Hit us up for recommendations on any of these – seriously!) We actually had never been to the Berkshires during the winter months, but a cool guy named James Taylor once sang, “…The Berkshires seemed dreamlike on account of that frosting…,” and so going there for a snow-related activity just made sense. He was right, by the way – totally dreamlike.

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Coffee Hopping in SoCo

BY CAILIN BURKE

As Tara mentioned in one of our previous Texas posts, South Congress, otherwise known as SoCo was one of our favorite areas of Austin! On our first full day in Texas, we started off by grabbing coffee and breakfast burritos at Jo’s, an Austin staple. They’re famous for their Iced Turbo which is a delicious combo of hazelnut, chocolate, coffee and cream. We had to try it and as the contents elude to, it definitely didn’t need any sugar added.

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Canoeing and Cliff Jumping in the Berkshires

BY CAILIN BURKE

When looking up things to do near our cabin I saw that there was a 300 ft. deep quarry filled with water that was perfect  for cliff diving! We had to hike a bit to get there, but once we got to the quarry we had the place to ourselves! There were a few heights to dive from, the highest being 60 ft (!!!), but since it is an old quarry there are old wires and scrap metal at the bottom of it so we had to be careful and not jump from too high. We spent a few hours there and it was so cool to be jumping into this swimming hole basically in the middle of the forest.

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End of Summer Berkshires Weekend

BY TARA BURKE

Since college Cailin and I have been giving each other experience presents compared to actual gifts for our birthdays. This year I got Cailin a weekend at a cabin in the Berkshires! My parents pitched in to make it a full family getaway. Our check-in was at 3pm so on the way there we stopped at No Six Depot Roastery Cafe. It is a super cute cafe with a delicious drink and food menu. We planned a big dinner at the cabin, so we only got drinks. Together we got a iced latte, Mocha Latte, Mexican Hot Chocolate and lemonade. Everything was great and if you’re in the area while it’s still warm get the lemonade. It was the perfect combo of tart and sweet.

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A Day in Vermont

BY TARA BURKE

During the summer Cailin and I are always looking for outdoorsy adventures. We went on a day trip to Vermont and Cailin decided that our activity for the day would be hopping around looking for covered bridges. Before you laugh at this choice of activity, it’s actually pretty fun and you can treat it as a kind of treasure hunt. Covered bridges were created to keep the wooden truss protected from the weather and upon doing a little research into the history of the covered bridge (I’m a dork, haha) it seems people are very serious about seeing these historic bridges. There’s even a whole site dedicated to providing interactive maps for all the covered bridges in the U.S. and Canada. Turns out, Vermont is actually kind of famous for their covered bridges since the state built and still contains the most covered bridges in the U.S.

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Governors Island: Castle Williams

BY TARA BURKE

If you’ve been following us for awhile you’ll know Cailin and I love us some Governors Island. The island is filled with history, beautiful landscapes and architecture. We have been wanting to take our whole family there for awhile and finally got the chance this past weekend. When we go we usually bike around the island, but this time we went on the Castle Williams tour.

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The tour is 30 minutes long and takes you through three levels of the fort turned prison as well as the roof. Castle Williams was built in the early 19th century to protect the New York Harbor before the War of 1812. During the Civil War and into the early 20th century it served as a low security prison. It is really interesting to learn how the fort’s original purpose was reconstructed to fit each time period’s needs.

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We spent the rest of the day walking around the island and enjoying some perfect summer weather. Of course, we also spent some time relaxing at Hammock Grove before we headed back to Manhattan on the ferry.

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