Frozen North

A couple of friends and I hiked Mount Major yesterday, where the trails were so icy as to be dangerous. At the pub after the hike, we heard skiers complain about the terrible conditions on the slopes. They recalled a warm day last week and lamented the rain that lacquered the snow when it froze. We also saw ice fishing shelters on Lake Winnipesaukee, clustered together with the hardy souls who assembled them, their trucks, and a few seaplanes. It’s a typical New England weekend and there are those of us who love it.

When the Butcher Hosts the Party

My husband and I visited a friend in Tuscany last spring and were entertained, along with a passel of college friends, by Dario Cecchini, butcher and regional phenomenon. Since our host didn’t tell us exactly where we were going, we were happily surprised when thrust into the neighborhood party that Cecchini hosts every night on the side street by his restaurant in Panzano, Chianti. Samples of meat, stories of famous chefs, and loud rock music got us into the Tuscan Saturday night spirit pretty quickly. Sometimes it’s better not to be the trip leader.