I see London, I see France…

This Thanksgiving we traded turkey, stuffing, and mashies for wine, cheese, bread and surprisingly good pub food. Bucking tradition to travel this year seemed to be a trend if my friend’s Insta and Facebook feeds are any indication. Lots of people headed north, south, east, and west to celebrate sans pumpkin pie or a doze in front of a football game. We opted to spend a few days in Paris and London before heading down to the middle of France, where we are fortunate enough to have lots of family to spend time with and a house to stay in. Our house doesn’t have wifi or a tv so an extra bonus is that the kids actually have to talk to us! Woohoo!  They pretend to be annoyed by it, but it seems to me like they might actually enjoy our company.  I know–weird, right? Anyway, here are some highlights and recommendations from our latest family adventure.

IMG_4303
First of all, fly Iceland Air. It’s usually the least expensive way to get to anywhere in Europe, they have nice new planes, and the Keflavik airport has cool Icelandic gear for sale, and really, really, really expensive but drinkable coffee. This was probably our 12th trip via Iceland, but all we’ve ever seen is the airport. We need to fix that because Iceland is pretty amazing (you can tell from the flyby and also the 20 infomercial “documentaries” available during your flight). Even the safety video is so beautiful it makes you want to stay.
IMG_4318
We flew into Paris and stayed overnight with my husband’s cousin. This is the entryway to her apartment. I took a picture of this because I love the floor, and the doors, and also I just love that it’s in Paris.
IMG_4319
But then you have to climb 4 flights of these stairs with all your bags because the elevator is only meant for really skinny French people with no luggage.
FullSizeRender
This is Martine- our welcome committee and the cutest dog in Paris. I am also convinced she can jump higher than any other dog anywhere. She’s like a circus dog. You can’t tell from this picture because she’s pretending to be calm, so you’ll just have to believe me.
IMG_4337
Friday mood.
FullSizeRender (34).jpg
Rue Montorgueil is my favorite street because there are lots of cafes and restaurants to choose from and if you’re wandering in the middle of the road half-dazed from lack of sleep you won’t get hit by a car because it’s pedestrians only.
IMG_4346
We decided to combat our jet lag by walking from Les Halles to the Eiffel Tower – not a short stroll even on your best day, but you get to see lots of Paris landmarks, like the Louvre.
IMG_4371
My kids were mortified that I took a picture of this statue because he’s naked but he looked about as tired as I was just then, so I felt like he was a kindred spirit.
IMG_4380
The Musée du Quai Branly has an exterior living wall so you can experience something cool as you walk by even if you don’t have time to visit the museum itself.
IMG_4377
You even get to see art, like this Olmec piece!
IMG_4382
Everyone loves Paris in the springtime, but Fall is pretty great too.
IMG_4429
The next morning we headed to the Garre Nord pretty early so we could catch our train to London. Yes, that is a bear with wings. The French are interesting.
IMG_4455
We dumped our bags and headed out to explore London town. Wild food and festive aromatherapy- what more could you ask for?
IMG_4465
So many pubs, so little time.
IMG_4466
Rokit is the best vintage store in London. My daughter loved rummaging through the old t-shirts, shoes, coats and other goodies. I spent most of the time alternating between feeling like I’d found old friends and feeling depressed because vintage now means all things from the 80s.  By default, I think that makes me vintage too. Sigh.
IMG_4459
There’s always something to celebrate in London! Girl power! Also, cheese!
Lowlander02
Lunch was in a pub. Isn’t this cute? Plus the pints were tasty. And the food was good. Yes, really.  We were the first ones there because we were on Paris time (or Boston time?) and we were hungry!
IMG_4489
Every time we visit a different city, or country, or really anywhere that’s not home there seems to be some sort of car show or exhibit happening. Even though my husband is a huge, huge fan of all things automotive he swears this is just a coincidence. But I’m not convinced because it happens every. single.time. Case in point- the Ferrari: Under The Skin exhibit opened at the Design Museum just days before we arrived. I wanted to go there anyway, and I did think this particular exhibit sounded pretty good, so win, win.
IMG_4498
This is how Ferrari’s look before they become actual cars.
IMG_4494
Ferraris really are beautiful…
IMG_4514
Vroom vrrooooom
IMG_4521
I love race car driver helmets. I don’t know why, but I do. I also love race car drivers. Have you seen Rush? No? You should, and then you’ll love race car drivers too.
IMG_4581
The rest of the museum is worth a look too. I mean, the building alone is an inspiration.
FullSizeRender
See?
IMG_4530
Designer, maker or user- which one are you?
IMG_4544
Ah- the design love triangle. Can’t have one without the others…
IMG_4552
Design is everywhere and influences everything. Think about that.
IMG_4550
Life in a nutshell.
THE UNION TAVERN, CLERKENWELL
How lucky are you when a really great place like the Union Tavern is right across the street from your hotel? Dinner spot!
IMG_4607
Haha- no! We didn’t stay at the Ritz but on our second day we met our friend Paul right outside because it was close to the tube station.
IMG_4609
We didn’t even mean to, but we got to see the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace- or more accurately we got to see the backs of heads of tons of people watching the changing of the guards.
IMG_4611
Eh, hello there Queen Elizabeth.
IMG_4622
We spent some time on the South Bank of the Thames. Insider tip: get the Fast Pass for the London Eye and plan to explore a bit while you wait for your timeslot.
IMG_4628.jpg
Blue sky and sunshine in London? Yes, it happens!
IMG_4639
My daughter would not be happy if she saw this picture, but she’ll never know so…heh heh.  Anyway, this was lunch at Wagamama. I have a hard and fast rule to never eat in a restaurant we can go to at home when we’re away, but everyone loves Wagamama, including me. Rules are meant to be broken anyway, right?
IMG_4642
But then when we left Wagamama we saw this place – the British think of everything! Lunch in an igloo? We could have done that! But yet, I wonder how steamy it gets in there with 5 people breathing and eating and etc?
IMG_4682
Watercolor view of Big Ben and Parliment. Big Ben was under scaffolding, but still pretty.
IMG_4645
I am in love with books. Like completely in love. So, it was really fantastic to discover Books Under the Bridge. A tiny piece of heaven.
IMG_4650
Browsing is so much fun…
IMG_4647
I also love old maps, and they had loads.
IMG_4640
Say hello to Liam Flanagan. He’s living my son’s dream.
IMG_4660
We were going to ride some city bikes, but we ran out of time. Good to know they’re here though.
IMG_4670
The Brand Academy is definitely worth a stop- chock full of products made by emerging artists and designers. Good stuff!
IMG_4663
All the colors.
IMG_4671
If I weren’t a procrastinator by nature (and if I’d brought a bigger suitcase) I would have picked up some Christmas gifts…
IMG_4676
Holiday market finds- love me some colorful lights.
IMG_4674
Here’s Paul! We hadn’t seen him in eons- so it was great to spend the day with him, and get yelled at together by ornery baristas at Nero Coffee.
FullSizeRender[1]
I actually hate Ferris Wheels and looking up at this extra, extra tall one felt really intimidating BUT…
IMG_4689
You can’t skip the London Eye, so up we went!
IMG_4734
And it’s so worth it! You get your own personal pod (well shared with like 10 other people) and you feel like you’re headed to outer space.  The views are unparalleled.
IMG_4694
Mid-flight selfie fail.
IMG_4739
The group below us was having a champagne party. Dang it, we were one pod too early…
IMG_4728
Here I am channeling Mary Tyler Moore.
IMG_4748
And this is that unparalleled view I was telling you about.
IMG_4751
That was fun!
IMG_4755
Just walking around is a feast for the eyes, especially when the sky cooperates and gives you this.
IMG_4763
You know there aren’t actually phones in these things anymore.
IMG_4764
Here’s my pretty little London pic.
IMG_4770
Buckingham Palace at sunset…
IMG_4797
Shop goals! When I was in the business of flower making I dreamed of having a shop like this…
IMG_4787
The kids wanted to know how many pubs we were going to visit. Answer: as many as we could fit in (which was 6 in two days).  When in London…
IMG_4783
Being in London near Christmas is extra great because this town takes it’s holidaying to the next level.
IMG_4784
It was only November 19 but there were lights and festive decorations everywhere.
IMG_4808
It made me feel a little anxious and inadequate actually because I know my own decorating won’t be done til approximately Dec 24th.
23363501
Dinner Sunday night was at The Wilmington. We opted for the traditional Roast. I can’t tell you how amazing the food was, you will just have to go and taste for yourself.  Yorkshire Pudding and all the rest.

After London, we headed back to France. I think I’ll share some pics of that in a separate post because this one is getting kind of long, dontcha think? Stay tuned…

Escape to Vermont

If you want to get away from it all for a while, I’ve got the place for you. Head on up to Manchester, Vermont where you can breathe deep and disconnect from everything. I felt lucky that I had minimal cell phone service and no wifi when I was there because it really forced me to enjoy the weekend for what it was- calming, peaceful and oh so far away from the noise and craziness of today’s world.

IMG_7620
We started our Saturday with a quick run (well not quick exactly… so let’s just call it a run).
IMG_3816
There were lots of roads like this. Naturally, we had to stop a lot (to take pictures you know– not for any other reason like being winded or anything like that- though I will point out that it’s very hilly in Vermont).
IMG_7627
Hildene is worth a visit- we reserved some time mid-run to explore the grounds and drink in the breathtaking setting and amazing views.
IMG_3899
Views like this.
IMG_3825
this,
IMG_3830
and this.
IMG_3832
Seeing this made me want to learn how to be a dairy farmer and open up a cheese shop.
FullSizeRender
For certain I’m romanticizing farm life, but how could you not–standing in this spot?
FullSizeRender[1]
After the run we spent a lot of time drinking coffee and looking out at this. The golden glory of Fall.
IMG_3851
Later we headed out for a hike in these ridiculously picturesque woods to work off some of the jitters that were a side effect of a long, lingering morning of coffee drinking.
IMG_3876
I feel like a Thoreau quote would be appropriate here.
IMG_3853
Like maybe: “I took a walk in the woods, and came out taller than the trees“. I checked afterward, and I was still 5’2, so…maybe I did it wrong?
IMG_3852
One of my favorite Thoreau quotes is “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see“.  So don’t just think of these as trees, ok?
IMG_3869
We made it to the falls. They were a little less impressive than we’d imagined.
IMG_3871
But still, it’s always good to have a destination (and a turnaround point!)
IMG_7639
This weekend was actually a book group field trip that we spontaneously decided to do one night after reading a book that was completely unrelated to Vermont or nature in any way. We were missing a bunch of ladies, which was too bad because they’re all pretty awesome and unique and special. I love spending time with women who inspire me.
IMG_3877
After we made it out of the woods we stopped at this really fantastic bookstore (Northshire) because we felt it was appropriate for a book club trip and also we needed books. Well, maybe we didn’t need the books, but we wanted them. Anything goes in Vermont.
IMG_3886
Manchester has lots of buildings that look like they belong in Vermont.
IMG_3888
See what I mean?
IMG_3887
And shopping is very cute in Manchester.
IMG_3893
Drinking wine and watching the sun sink behind the mountains was alright, I guess.
IMG_3902
We went to Gringo Jacks for dinner and it was really good. Funny story: I’ve only been to Manchester one other time, maybe 13 or 14 years ago and I ate dinner here. There are other restaurants in Vermont, I think. But this one has tacos.
IMG_3905
Also, it’s cozy and they serve really good margaritas.
IMG_3930
On our way home Sunday we stopped at the Vermont Country Deli for the best dang sandwiches around.
IMG_3928
They also have lots of other stuff.
IMG_3933
Like maple syrup, for example.
IMG_3934
Maple wine (um, ok).
IMG_3936
Maple seltzer (I’m sensing a theme).
IMG_3941
Maple candy. It was only after I left that I remembered my daughter loves these. I didn’t buy any. Oops.
IMG_3946
Maple. Maple everything.
IMG_3810
So that, in a nutshell, was my weekend escape to Vermont. It was super relaxing. I highly recommend it. Disconnecting is good. Very good indeed.

 

48 (or so) hours on Long Island

IMG_8984Last weekend some friends and I headed down to Long Island wine country for a little mini-break. None of us had ever been there, but we’d heard good things. And even though we normally plan a bit better, this is such a busy time for all of us that we didn’t put too much thought into the trip. We booked a house but pretty much left the rest of the weekend open to hap and circumstance. I don’t know if it was because of or despite that, but we had an amazing weekend. It is an absolutely beautiful spot to spend time in, and the quality of the wine is very, very good.  And, if you’re not that into wine (um, what??) there are other things to do too–eating, shopping, antiquing, boating, swimming, bike riding, or just lounging– you name it, you can do it on the north fork of Long Island!

I’m going to tell you our story through pictures because I have like 400 of them on my phone.  I may have been a bit snap-happy. But really, you’ll see why now:

IMG_8795
It’s a quick ferry ride from New London and if you go in April you won’t have touble finding a seat.
B356E44A-E698-407C-86B3-CB6412A7F9AA
Kontokosta Winery was on the way from the ferry to our rental so we didn’t see any reason not to stop.
IMG_8842
I love a beautiful barn, and if there’s wine to drink inside- well then, all the better!
IMG_8804
Girls are headed in…
IMG_8806
After you!
FullSizeRender (1)
The tasting room had us like…
IMG_8895
Time to shop!
IMG_2086
We met a friend who insisted we pose like this.  It works.
IMG_8808
Cabernet Franc is a good way to start off a wine tour- and this one was fantastic. Nice view too…
Fog rolling off the water gave us this view of the barn. Didn’t want to leave, but:
DE3A1C64-91F1-4CF7-B4E0-B7CA591441FE
Next stop: our rental. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this cottage.
IMG_8870
This place had everything we needed and more- plus was kinda like stepping into a West Elm catalog.
IMG_8876
Entry- kick those shoes off and stay awhile!
0ADE1A93-DAE3-4160-A0F6-0D408BB0A639
I like it when there’s a nice bathroom. Bathrooms are important.
621666D0-506F-4D2A-BCF1-BCB603F263DF
My bedroom.
6F1472E1-32EB-448E-98BA-BD2F3ECE4664
Waking up here was a pleasure (well except for the massive hangover).
IMG_8905
First order of business, relaxing on the patio!
FullSizeRender
Friday night we hit the town in our blazers. Didn’t mean to dress alike, but it is what it is: blazer brigade
IMG_8913
Cocktails at American Beech.  We felt like we were in Miami and Tina got attacked by a big palm frond.
IMG_1313
Might have overdone in Friday night, but couldn’t miss a beat. First stop Saturday was Croteaux, the rosé winery.  This place was seriously a little slice of heaven.
425AFEBA-453A-4D7C-B2D9-A15BB5619869
The wine here was as lovely to drink as it was to look at.
IMG_2486
All day.
IMG_2493
Cheers to sunny days and the best of friends.
IMG_9007
So good. I love rosé when the sun is shining and there’s a Citroen Hvan in the background.
IMG_1376
We wanted to sit here but the stools were too tall.
IMG_2476
More ambiance at Croteaux. Would have been nice to stay all day BUT…
IMG_9004
More wine to try! This is Lenz.
thumbnail_IMG_9086
The tasting barn at Lenz.
thumbnail_IMG_9052
Lenz has a great old vine 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon. Really tasty! Also, their merlot is very good. I don’t usually drink merlot, but this one was pretty inspired.
FullSizeRender
Lenz vineyard
IMG_1371
Lieb was next. I loved this place. It had a great low-key vibe: great staff, live music and more really good wine. Merlot again. Maybe I am a merlot drinker after all.
thumbnail_IMG_9008
Listening and tasting at Lieb
IMG_9012
It was too nice a day to stay inside so moved to the patio to soak up the sun and enjoy the view. Nice way to wind down the tour.
DA65284E-7531-43F5-BBC8-B253D51C5C37
This is Chris, our driver from North Fork Designated Driver. Best decision we made. He was super nice and we didn’t have to worry about being safe on the roads.
IMG_1401
We were probably really annoying.
IMG_9097
Saturday night we had dinner at American Beech (which was top notch) and checked out the local bar scene at Brix&Rye and Lucharitos. No pics of that (probably a good thing).  Happy to report we didn’t spend any time inside here.
IMG_9112
This is American Beech in the daylight. Great spot!
IMG_9103
I loved how the town was cute, with lots to do but not overdone or pretentious.
IMG_8865
Thanks for the memories Greenport! We’ll be back for sure.

Silver Linings

map_maine_portlandA few days after the marathon we headed up to Portland, ME. We had been planning to make our annual trek to see Marc’s cousin and his family on Friday, but after everything that had happened on Monday we felt the need to flee. We just wanted to get away from everything- the news, the fb posts, the images that were playing over and over again inside our heads. We had never been to Portland and had always wanted to go. It seemed like a good time to embrace a “why put off til tomorrow what you can do today?” mentality. And it was on the way to Quebec.. well, sort of.

We didn’t make any plans for the two days we would spend there except to book the only hotel we could find in town that had an available room. Spur of the moment trips during a school vacation week leave you with limited options. Lucky for us, the Portland Harbor Hotel was great. My daughter was delighted- when she saw our room she said “this is the best hotel we’ve ever stayed in with walls”. Yes, we have been known to drag our kids to far flung places, often staying in lodging we like to describe as “adventurous”. The kids usually roll with it- never even noticing that there’s anything amiss. The wall-less hut we stayed in during last year’s trip to Mexico registered though, apparently. Don’t worry- it was a nice hut- very nice actually, plus the beach we were situated on was breathtaking and the food served family style was a culinary delight. It was a lovely trip, except that a giant tropical bug crawled in my son’s ear one night while he slept and had to be removed by an EN&T doctor when we got back to Boston, BUT that’s a different story.

AnYWay- back to Portland. We had no idea it was such a foodie hotspot. What a find! We all love to eat!! We soothed our spirits with meal after meal of some of the best Portland had to offer (try Gorgeous Gelato, David’s, Hot Suppa, and the Standard Baking Co if you ever find yourself in Portland) and we savored every moment of our time together. Literally all we did for two days was wander the streets, thinking about where our next meal would be. We held hands, we laughed with the kids, we talked, we listened. We just spent time together. The kids were great – especially considering that aside from a trip to the Children’s Museum we didn’t do much to entertain them. We just wanted to BE. And we were. Portland was good for the soul. Good for us. For the first time in a very long time our only focus was on each other.

It was a quiet, reflective few days. We missed all the madness happening in Boston- we didn’t tune in AT ALL. I didn’t even know the extent of what had happened Thursday night and Friday until we got up to Quebec and heard from Marc’s cousins. And even then, we didn’t talk much about it. It was all still too raw. We were still digesting the event and trying to come to terms with what had happened- to us and everyone else that was there. We were grieving for those that were lost, and those that were suffering so much- who faced such an uncertain future. And we were grieving for Boston. Boston is home. Boston is a huge part of who we are. The main streets and the back allys, the public figures and the neighborhood friends, the landmarks and the hole-in-the-wall eateries, the small celebrations and the big events- we know it all intimately and it belongs to us.

We didn’t do too much in Quebec either. If you’ve been reading for a while you’ll remember what happened last year when we visited. If not, you can read about it here. Well, luckily, nothing like that happened this time. Noone pooped or puked in anyone’s bed, and the weather wasn’t even that bad. Well, considering it was Quebec in April, I mean. The sun even peaked out a little bit. It’s been years since we’ve seen the sun in Quebec! We usually bring the worst kind of weather. But maybe God was smiling down on us.

It was nice to get away for a few days. It didn’t change what happened, and it didn’t make it better. But it made us better. Not totally better- I think that will only come with time- but at least it started us a path that will make us better. Better as indivuals, and better as a family. Maybe that’s the silver lining. You know there always has to be one.

And it only got better from there, folks…

If you read my post from Friday you’ll know that our weekend trip to Quebec didn’t get off to the best start. We resigned ourselves to trading the unseasonably warm, sunny Boston weather in favor of the cold damp April days Quebec offered because we were excited to see my husband’s cousins. It’s an annual trek we all look forward to, because for one, it’s an awesome city- beautiful and chock full of things to do. Plus, the kids love playing together and the adults never fail to have a good time.  During the day there’s always something to do that appeals to everyone, and at night the kids run around like banshees while the adults enjoy long lingering conversations over a dinner table abundant with out-of-this-world food and wine a- plenty. My French isn’t good enough to follow everything, and after a few hours I give up trying and just drink the wine, which is something I always regret doing when I wake up slightly hungover. I then vow not to repeat the next night, but of course I do. Because it’s vacation. And, because it’s fun. And FUN is just what we needed. We were both still beating ourselves up about not running Boston (yep, STILL talking about that- I know it’s starting to get old, but don’t worry once I run NJ in a few weeks I will be cured of the guilt and regret that compel me to mention it every chance I can get). But anyway, that’s exactly how night one progressed.

And you know how that turned out- with our son pooping in their daughter’s bed. It was awesome. Really a great way to start the day on Friday.

Later that morning – after everything had been cleaned and the kids were settled into a controlled state of chaos- my husband went for his long run, and I went for the kind of run you need to cure your sluggish body of the evil you caused it the night before.

It was f’n COLD. And windy. I ran down by the St. Lawrence and the wind was coming at me from three directions. It was raw and grey and just plain nasty. It felt like a punishment and once again I cursed mother nature and myself for not running and GETTING IT DONE on Monday. Oh well..I slogged my way through 7 or so miles which left me feeling better and ready for anything (or so I thought).

We bagged our plans to visit Gros Isle and instead headed to the Aquarium. It was pretty cool- worth checking out if you’re in town. The polar bears were impressive and the sea lions had lots of personality. And, there was a mini version of TreeGO (an obstacle course type adventure playground) which the kids couldn’t get enough of. Even in drenching rain it was fun. Make note: lots of the Aquarium is outside. If you’re with people who live in Quebec and don’t seem to notice inclement weather you won’t be deterred. If you’re like everyone else in the world you might want to wait for a nicer day.

Later that night.. more wine, more food, more conversation that I could only half follow.. yadda yadda. Put the kids to bed. All is well.

UNTIL………….

I know what you’re thinking- poop again? Well… that would have been awful wouldn’t it? But no, nope, not poop, not this time.  But what then?  What could have happened that would be even worse? Puke you ask? Could it be? Well, why not? At just around 2:00 am everyone in the house was awoken to the sound of my son crying and puking in bed. In the bed we had just cleaned. White sheets, new fluffy duvet.. the works. Yep. Night two was even more exciting and disruptive than night one.  How can this be? Who are these people who bring a pooping, puking maniac to soil the bedsheets at every opportunity?

That would be us.

He wasn’t sick. In fact he didn’t seemed phased at all. In the morning it was my husband and I who hung our heads in shame as another bag of drycleaning was loaded into the car.  Our son continued to race around the house, humming Star Wars songs and demanding snacks every 15 seconds or so (I guess he was pretty hungry after emptying his entire digestive tract onto his cousin’s bed).

That day, after braving the elements to see the waterfall on the north side of the city (luckily a short lived experience as the weather was truly horrendous) we went to the Civilization Museum- also a great place to go when it’s raining.  The exhibits are always interesting and there’s an entire area dedicated to kid stuff- a giant play area complete with costumes and things to climb.  As we walked back to the car the rain turned to sleet and then snow.  Did I ever tell you how much I hate to see snow in April? Well, I hate it.

Anyway.. I’ll fast forward.  We went to bed Saturday wondering if our son was going to produce a hat trick.  What would the late night hours bring us?  We prepared for the worst.  We made him sleep on the bare floor, with nothing to cover him but newspaper.

Ok, we weren’t that cruel, but we did make him sleep in our room with an air mattress and a sleeping bag.  And, sure enough around 3 or 4 am I was jolted awake by the dreaded “mommmmmyyyyy…..” I sprinted out of bed and ran over to him.  He said” I have to throw up!!! “ I grabbed him and ran as fast as I could to the bathroom, heart pounding, sweat breaking out over my brow.  I put him in front of the toilet and forced him to bend over it.  After a few seconds of nothing happening he said “oh, I think maybe I just have to pee”.   So he did, and I brought him back to bed.  That’s it. No accident. So ….that was ok.

On Sunday we left.  Our hosts might have been slightly less sad to see us go than they normally are, but they hid it well.  Maybe they’re devising a scheme to even things out when they come down our way in July.   It poured the entire way home which made for a long ride (the longest 6 hour ride ever, my daughter pointed out) but the kids were actually really good.  Despite what I may have led you to believe, my kids are really quite charrming and fun when they aren’t defecating on your furniture.  It was nice hearing their laughter drift up from the backseat.    And we had a great time telling  jokes and playing trivia.  Gavin progressed from calling the city we’d just visited “Appleback” to learning to say Quebec.  Each kid only asked how much longer about 700 times.

All in all, it was not a bad weekend.  But it sure is good to be home.  And no one woke up last night- for any reason.