First Solo Trip | Lake Placid, NY

Back in August, I went on a trip with my friends without Nora. Yep – without my baby. And it was amazing.

I know what some of you may be thinking: How can she go on a trip by herself without her baby? And it’s funny, I thought the same thing too. But when my friend sent the invite via text, I remember exhaling with relief. People without kids still wanted to be my friend. They still saw me as me and not just a mom to Nora.

Before Nora, I was a traveler. (Before the pandemic, notably). My husband and I loved checking out new cities, and we even stamped a few countries on our passports. Before Nora, I was a performer. A writer. A gardener. A cyclist. I loved all those parts of me, and I was having trouble blending “before” Kass and “new mama” Kass. So, getting this text from a close friend really meant something to me.

What I also found so amazing about her text was that she said, “I know it might be a lot for you to leave Nora but wanted to extend the invitation!” I remember tearing up at this. It would be a lot for me to leave Nora. But, at that point, I was burnt out. I was a month and a half in from returning to work, I was inundated with work tasks and home tasks, and mom tasks. My cup was empty. If there’s anything I learned from postpartum is that I have to fill my cup in order to be the best mom to Nora.

So, I shared the text with my husband, who gave me a very enthusiastic, “YES! GO!” So off I went.

If you’re wondering how I did postpartum anxiety-wise, the night before was … rough. Like, picture me lying on my bed with my head in my hands as my husband rubs my back, rough. But, I tried to remind myself it was only for one night, two full days, and Nora would be JUST fine with my husband.

And she was! And I was fine too.

The drive up was about 4ish hours, but when you have two friends in the car and lots of jams, the time goes by fast. I brought my Baby Buddha portable pump and packed my entire bottle collection and a big cooler to put the bottles in. I pump every 3.5-4 hours, so I only had to pump once on the way up. During the trip, my friends were amazing, and we made plans around my pumping schedule so that my supply would stay up. We made sure to bring the cooler with us for bottles and had an Airbnb with a fridge to keep the bottles cold overnight.

But enough about the bottles; let’s talk about these views.

I am excited for more adventures to come – and even more excited to bring my daughter along.

A place to call home: The Orchard House | Concord, MA

For our six-year wedding anniversary, my husband and I packed up the car (and our sweet little babe) and made our way to Concord, MA, for a day trip. I have been wanting to visit this quintessential New England town for quite some time, so I was grinning ear to ear the entire ride up.

Our very first stop was The Orchard House — the home of Louisa May Alcott and her family. This was the place where she wrote Little Women, my favorite book … like ever ever ever.

Ever ever ever!!

It was surreal to stand in her bedroom and look at the desk where she wrote Little Women … while holding my little woman. * wipes tear *

The Alcotts were not a typical family during their time. They’d have conversations about women’s suffrage, abolitionism, and social reform around the dining room table. Bronson Alcott (LM’s father) was a transcendentalist, and would often gather with Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau to talk about social issues. He was a teacher, consistently losing his position because of his progressive ideals.

The main thing that struck me about the house was that it was … very odd. The house is actually two structures: the original structure and an old tenant house from the 1600s. Louisa May’s father received the tenant house for free, and he and his friends rolled (?) it down to the main house and they attached it to the original structure. The house was certainly a home, filled with oddities and eccentricities that fit with the family and their style. Bronson seemed to be a DIY-before-it-was-cool kind of guy. He innovated ways to boil water and dry clothes in the kitchen. He built Louisa May a desk so she can write, something that was frowned upon during her time. He let his youngest daughter May (Amy) sketch on her bedroom walls to improve her art. When Anna’s (Meg) husband died, he built a nursery in the house for her twin sons to live in. Every corner of the house was unique and had special touches that were well preserved. It was an amazing look into the life of one of my favorite authors and it made me feel closer to her.

It got me thinking about my home. My husband and I bought our home in June 2020, and we have made a lot of progress in adding our own personal touches. We put a big barn door in our bedroom going into our bathroom. We built our own pantry in the kitchen. We converted an awkward bedroom closet into a cozy reading nook. We are making a house a home.

I moved a lot growing up, and there were many times when I didn’t feel like I had a home or solid roots. Not anymore. For over ten years, I have been building a home with Ian, and it’s wonderful to own an actual home and make it warm and fun and create memories together. Our home has cats and fluffy pillows. It has bookshelves and candles and more coffee mugs than I’ll ever need. It has memories of laughter and holiday joy. It has gardens and trees that we’ve planted. It has baby gates and stuffed animals and toys. It is home, and it is ours.

Reflections: My experience as a “solo traveler”

My husband had just pulled away from the local bus station in Massachusetts when I felt an immediate sense of panic. I remember thinking: “How am I going to do this by myself?”

I walked through the sliding doors and purchased my one-way ticket to Logan Airport. I sat down in the plastic seats and began calling my family members for a sense of comfort.

I was traveling to London to meet a friend who was studying abroad. I was going to get on a plane by myself, get off the plane and go to my Airbnb by myself, travel to meet my friend by myself, and sleep by myself. I had never done that before, and the thought was both frightening and exhilarating.

The plane ride went fine. I watched Sherlock, attempted to sleep, and I stepped off the plane feeling confident. I went to the woman at the train station, asked how to get to Potter’s Bar, and confidently got on the wrong train. Panicking and tearing up while I looked at how to fix this mess, a super helpful couple helped me get to Victoria Station, which then led me to King’s Cross station, and I got off at Potter’s Bar on time to check in to my BnB.

Potter’s Bar—let me tell you. If you want to see a quintessential English sleepy town, you go to Potter’s Bar. The town’s epicenter is the train station. Other than that, it’s cottages with smoking chimneys and commuters making their way to the station. I walked out the doors, I immediately turned to my maps on my phone to get to my BnB.

I walked along the quiet streets filled with anxiety. “Where was everyone?” “Am I in danger?”

I wasn’t in danger. Potter’s Bar is a sweet, safe town. My anxiety was getting to me, but I had to tell myself a few times to breathe, relax, and pack less on my next trip because wheeling this suitcase up a hill in a cute English town was a little too much.

When I made it to the Airbnb, my host welcomed me graciously. I stayed in a refurbished shed in the back of her house, fully equipped with a kitchen, bathroom, comfortable bed, and Apple TV (which I took advantage of!). I was in love!

I got inside, sat down, and immediately felt loneliness sweep over me. I cried, I almost called my husband and said I wanted to go home. In fact, I did call my husband, but only to tell him I was safe. I’d never been alone like that—I knew what it was like to feel hollow and hopeless.

I wrapped myself up in blankets, sat on the couch, and took out my journal. I started writing down an entry filled with “I don’t think I can do this” and “This is WAY out of my comfort zone.” But then I stopped. I thought, “I can do this. I am so capable of doing this!”

That’s when I took this picture of myself:


This was taken exactly one year ago today. This is me: exhausted, unfiltered, messy-haired, scared, anxious, determined. I decided to shake off those scaries and get my butt to King’s Cross Station. I had to explore. I had memories to make. I thought, “I have growin’ to do.”

And that’s what I did. I conquered my fears; I tried something new. I learned how to navigate the metro, how to get back and forth to my Airbnb with little-to-no-fear (walking by myself at night was eerie at first). I calmed myself to sleep when I felt super vulnerable and alone, and I did it. I just did it.

I loved every second of it. I learned that I loved being by myself. It was a great way to unwind after a long day in the city. I learned self-reliance, determination, and my own strength. I learned what it was like to feel lonely, but that I was not alone in my own company. I am proud of that trip and proud of the person I became.

If you have the chance to be a solo traveler, try it. You’ll unlock strength that you didn’t know you had within you!

Mrs. Bridges Pantry | Woodstock, CT

This year, I’ve made it a goal of mine to discover quaint towns and travel to different places in my home state. Living in Connecticut, I have the unique opportunity to explore old New England towns and take in all of its charms. Today, I made my way over to Mrs. Bridges Pantry in South Woodstock in northeastern Connecticut with a close friend.


Mrs. Bridges Pantry is a British tea shop with the quintessential decor to match. The tea rooms take you right into a tea shop in England, filled with English country-style wallpaper, tea plates and spoons covering the beams, frames with the bust of Queen Elizabeth II, old books, flags adorned with British flags, patterns, and corgis (!!), and more. The tables are appropriately set with doilies and old-fashioned tea trinkets, like the most adorable sugar cube bowls!


The menu consists of traditional British fare like meat pies, spaghetti on toast, an assortment of English tea sandwiches, soups, salads—tons of options. I went for the Farmhouse Tea where you get an individual pot of tea, a choice of tea sandwich, and your choice of a scone with jam and butter. Mrs. Bridges has a long list of tea selections: black, green, herbal, white, and rooibos tea. I chose a ginger peach green tea, served in an adorable and unique tea and saucer set, egg salad tea sandwiches, and a “very berry” scone.



It was such a relaxing, enjoyable experience. The tea is delightful, the food is delicious, and the atmosphere just takes you away from your troubles and you leave feeling like royalty. Connecticut residents: If you want an authentic British afternoon tea experience in your own backyard, visit Mrs. Bridges Pantry!


UPDATE: This place is now closed as of winter 2019.