The weekend after my husband’s birthday in May, we made our way south to Asheville, NC for a fun weekend getaway. A friend had lent us her beautiful rental property on the outskirts of town. We had planned to enjoy the weekend with another couple, but between COVID, the gas shortage, and traveling with their infant son they ended up bagging it. I can’t say I blame them!

Greenville, SC Falls Park

Our first stop was actually in Greenville, SC, where we flew in and picked up our rental car. My sister-in-law lives there, and we had a quick visit with her and her…


Yep, 2020 was a TOTAL dumpster fire of a year, but I’m not letting it pass without at least an attempt to collect a dozen good memories from the year like I have the last two years.

January

I kicked off the year with the Hangover Classic 5 Miler in my hometown, running alongside these three fantastic women who I knew from a nonprofit we all work with. Through the tough stuff in 2020, we grew much closer and I am thankful that the year brought me this girl gang!

February


I know, I know, we’re in the 4th quarter of 2020, but I thought, given how tough the year has been, it was a good time to look back at 2019 and all the joy it brought. I also want to recommit to doing this for 2020 because, no matter how challenging the year was, there is always an opportunity to “hunt the good stuff!”

January

While we rang in 2019 with our closest friends in Charlottesville, they come later ;) and the highlight of January was the company I work for, Gray Matter Marketing, winning the Common Good Award for a micro company (1–9 employees). We have been recognized for this award before, but this year was the first where I was deeply and directly involved in our charitable giving which, since the company’s foundation in 2012, has raised and donated more than $1 Million to local and regional charities. Plus, it was a fun night at the Aldrich Mansion in Warwick to celebrate!

February


In November, I ran my second 26.2 at the Philadelphia Marathon! After my first, the Marine Corps Marathon in 2016, I was pretty sure I’d never take on another “full” again. I still much more enjoy 10-milers and half marathons, and I’m always up for a solid 5-miler or 5K, but for some reason, a year to the day after completing MCM, I felt the urge and signed up for Philly.

I then proceeded to ignore the fact that I had done this and put off training until the late Spring…

I panicked, hired a coach, considered stepping back to…


We just returned from a week-long family vacation in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. What a gorgeous place, with excellent skiing and loads of off-mountain activities! Here are some highlights:

First, Mount Werner. Steamboat is NOT a cheap place to ski, the ski tickets for adults are more than $100/day and multiple days add up quickly. Even with pre-purchasing and military discounts, it was still quite the investment. Even so — these views are worth every single penny.

We found Mount Werner well-groomed and it offered a nice variety of terrain given that our family has a large variance in skiing abilities…


It’s no surprise that for most weddings, food and drink are the largest expense. Food creates feelings and memories that guests will remember long after the nuptials. When deciding what, when and how to serve food, couples should consider how each food factor will convey the attitude of their event.

Read On….


(This post first appeared on my work-related blog in the Summer of 2016, but I wanted to re-post it in the same place as all of my other travel-related material)

August 2016: I picked the Flamengo neighborhood and the apartment in which I’m staying because of its proximity to the Marina da Gloria. Unfortunately, it’s about an hour outside the main Olympic village in Barra (pronounced Ba-ha) but there are dedicated Olympic busses that run from the Marina to Barra every hour.

The alternative is to take the Metro from Catete (Ca-Te-Chey) to Central and get on another dedicated Olympic…


(This post first appeared on my work-related blog in the Summer of 2016, but I wanted to re-post it in the same place as all of my other travel-related material)

August 2016: Let me start off by saying that I myself have not set foot into a Favela in Rio de Janeiro. There are a number of companies that offer ‘tours’ in busses of the Favelas but, to me, this sounds extremely wrong. People living in Favelas are not zoo animals to be ogled and I can’t wrap my mind around this idea.

Most people’s understanding of Favela’s comes from…


I’ve been fortunate enough to visit beautiful Iceland twice now — once in the late spring and once in the dead of winter. Though these certainly won’t be my last visits (and when I do return, I will add more recommendations), I wanted to consolidate everything into one easy-to-share post!

This blog didn’t exist during my first visit, but to see more in-depth information on certain parts, read here for Reykjavik, here for the Golden Circle, here for the South Coast, and here for specifics on seeing the Northern Lights

Points of Interest

Blue Lagoon — Yes, it’s touristy, but it’s worth the…


Newport-area restaurants are serving up big flavor on small plates for the holidays.

The most wonderful time of the year is often the most stressful, and with family and friends coming in to town to celebrate the holidays, satisfying different palates and dietary needs can quickly turn sour. When the group can’t agree, the solution is simple — have a little of everything.

As Newport-area restaurants embrace the communal dining traditions of Tapas, or small plates, opportunities abound to gather around food and enjoy one another’s company. With small bites that include vegetarian, meat, seafood and vegan options, Stoneacre Tapas co-owner David Crowell “recommends (trying) as many items as you possibly can. …

Lisa McCurdy

Writer, Runner, Traveler.

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