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This July, we took a break from the always-bustling Smudge Ink studio and went for a jaunt up to Ipswich for our annual summer outing. We decided to have a fun and relaxing day soaking up some history and picnicking on the beach.

Inspired by our slight preoccupation with Downton Abbey, we spent the morning on a tour of the impressive Crane Estate where we got to see some stately rooms and frolic on the lush green lawn. A few of us felt like we were stepping on to a beautiful movie set! After the tour, we headed straight to Crane Beach. Deb and Kate served a delicious and healthy spread of bean salad, tortilla chips, spinach, peaches and cookies. Even though the sun wasn’t very cooperative (and the water was freezing), we had a great time hanging out on our beach blankets and bonding. All in all, it was a pretty perfect summer day. Thanks Kate and Deb!

Side note: In this post, Alyssa failed to mention she was the only one who was brave enough to go in for a dip while the rest of us wimps stayed warm on shore!