$362 – matchesfashion.com
$1995 – net-a-porter.com
$80 – zara.com
$80 – madewell.com
$1,730 – jades24.com
$95 – calypsostbarth.com
$745 – farfetch.com
$320 – barneys.com
$295 – oliverpeoples.com
Life lesson: When a man who has sailed trans-Atlantic several times subtly suggests that you reschedule your deep sea fishing trip due to weather conditions, you should probably listen.
“There are 5 to 7 foot waves out there, and 25 knot winds…sounds a little pukey,” said my father.
“We’ll be fine! Hannah and I never get sea sick!” I replied with a smile.
So the three of us set out for our afternoon adventure on the Atlantic. Hannah told the guides she wanted to catch something big and something for dinner. We succeeded on both counts, though felt admittedly “a little off” for about half the trip. (My father, of course, was completely fine.)
As you can see in the photo above, our “something big” turned out to be really big – we caught a brown shark. What a thrill!
Our “something for dinner” was this beautiful little Wahoo.
Our pelican greeting committee, below:
Hannah filled their hungry beaks with our leftover bait fish. It was pure comedy.
Tell me he does not remind you of Billy Idol.
We devoured the wahoo (one of the best tasting fish we’ve ever had), then fell into bed exhausted with the boat’s rocking motion still lingering in our minds.
A huge thank you to our guides Tripp and Eric for giving us everything we asked for and making it so fun.
all photos via the aesthete and the dilettante
I am ready to close the proverbial door on 2012. Anyone with me? It has been a year of great highs and lows both personally and globally, but glass half-full kind of girl that I am, I prefer to reflect on the moments worth celebrating.
One of the highlights of my year was launching this tiny little blog in January. Talk about a learning curve! Starting with the retelling of a crazy adventure that was too good to keep to myself, I dove head first into the blogosphere intending to share my, well, my love of life I suppose. I leave the year much more tech savvy than I entered it and with a clearer sense of where I want the blog to go. The new format (which I hope you have noticed today!) is part of that focus, and I look forward to bringing you more original images and content that take advantage of this clean, wide, streamlined layout.
Beautiful and unexpected weather visited Chicago in March, bringing runners and revelers to Lake Michigan months early.
A visit to The Museum of Science and Industry on the last Saturday in April taught our family a lesson about Perseverance.
In May I counted celebrating Mother’s Day with my mom as one of my greatest blessings.
I also leaked her closely guarded carrot cake recipe.
Ah, June. My first triathlon was a great high and horrible low all at once, and because of that I walked away with tremendous gratitude. And exhaustion. Thank goodness my little sister sharpied our favorite expression on my arm before the race because I almost sank and think it may have saved me!
A trip to Kiawah Island in July brought us close to creatures big and small. Witnessing the journey from shell to sea for a group of loggerhead turtles is something I will never forget.
September brought autumn’s arrival.
And October, a trip to the apple orchard in Wisconsin.
And my 40th. Yes I’m fussing with my candles.
Fashion blogger and photographer Scott Schuman of The Sartorialist came to Chicago for a book signing in November.
All images via the aesthete and the dilettante
Last night during my flight home from Florida, I witnessed a sunset unlike any I have ever seen. Ember-bright streaks of orange bled into a brilliant yellow swath of sky, creating the illusion of an ocean on fire. Magnifying the effect were clouds saturated in black and dark grey that read like an ominous, smoky shoreline. The resulting scene was so truly unbelievable I closed my eyes and opened them again to be sure it wasn’t my imagination.
I didn’t look away until the illusion vaporized into night, its fleeting magnificence leaving me full of emotion. Watching it was like hearing a movement of extraordinary beauty at the symphony or sharing an unforgettable kiss: the quiet vacancy felt afterward was almost as powerful as the experience itself.
I am traveling to New York soon for a great friend’s 40th birthday celebration, so I thought it would be fun to put together a virtual packing list for inspiration. This fantasy suitcase is filled with all things practical and fabulous. Not possible, you say? Read on.
I couldn’t help
dreaming thinking about my girlhood crush while vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard last week. Growing up, most girls were crazy over actors and rock stars, but it was John Kennedy Jr. who did it for me. President Kennedy was equally swoon worthy, and his manner of casual, timeless dress is still pure perfection. The men of today would be well served to adopt his off-duty style.
As we walked to the end of the creaky dock on Menemsha Harbor where Captain Tom Langman moors his no-frills Boston Whaler, I knew in my gut he was the man to take our family fishing. Weathered by years in the sun and covered with markings of boat grease and struggles with fish, I could see he’d spent a good portion of his life on the water. He greeted us warmly and held out his hand to help us aboard, and after quick introductions asked what we wanted from our afternoon. Our focus was definitely on a good catch, we said, but we also wanted a tour of the Vineyard and it’s surrounding waters from his perspective.
Sensing she was the most intrepid fisherman on the boat, he warmed to my daughter immediately. And what endeared me to him most was that he never – despite her slight stature and young age – questioned her capability. When the fishing rod belt was too big for her tiny waist, he didn’t balk at knotting it to fit her and letting her give it a go.
His instincts were dead on as she reeled in, with a bit of assistance, one of the biggest fish of the day.
Another thrill was my first catch of the day – a gorgeous, perfectly sized sea bass:
Maddeningly, a bluefish tore away its bottom half before I could get it in the boat! Needless to say, I didn’t feel guilty about this:
I hope he was the one who ruined my sea bass!
After reeling in more than we could possibly eat, Captain Tom cruised around the neighboring islands, docking on Cuttyhunk for a brief excursion.
He took us back by way of Buzzards Bay as we shared stories in the afternoon sun, dropping a line in the water from time to time.
Cruising into Menemsha Harbor, Tom suggested we offer our catch to one of the best restaurants up-island in exchange for dinner preparation for our family (we hauled in almost 30 pounds of fish, after all!).
In a truly unforgettable moment, we traipsed into the restaurant inn with windblown hair and salty sea skin, three giant fish in tow. Not only did the chef graciously agree, he seemed genuinely pleased and excited. Grinning from ear to ear, we returned to our cottage for long showers and a quick rest.
From the oysters with creme fraiche:
to our bluefish stuffed with lemon and fennel, grilled and served family style with out of this world sides:
we delighted in not only the best meal of our trip but also the knowledge that the diners around us were being served the fish we caught.
This post is dedicated to my grandfather, Bob Fletcher, who would have been 97 years old today. He taught me everything I know about fishing and much of what I value in life.
all photos via the aesthete and the dilettante