Family Vacation in Cape Cod.

My parents rented a house in Harwich, Massachusetts for a few weeks this Summer and Kraig and I were lucky enough to visit them for a few days. It was so wonderful to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, work, and the concrete jungle of Somerville.  We had an unbelievable view in the back yard that I could just stare at for hours.

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It was so much fun getting to spend time with family because I have not had vacation time with my siblings in a few years. I love playing beach tennis (or whatever it’s called) with my nephew and water games in the pool with my niece.  I was in Auntie heaven.

Where we beached – Red River Beach.  If you have water shoes, bring them to this beach because there are some shells and crabs. It will make you more confident when you’re walking into the water.

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Where we ate – Depot Dogs, Land Ho, Cooke’s Seafood, Bistro on Main Chatham,  Kream ‘N KonePerks Coffee Shop, Marion’s Pie Shop.  Depot Dogs is located in the parking lot at Red River Beach. It’s so nice and convenient to have a place that sells food there so you don’t have to worry about packing a lunch. Kraig and I split a hot dog and cheeseburger from here. It was so yummy and I would definitely recommend going there if you’re at this beach.  I got an amazing lobster plate for dinner at Land Ho.  Cooke’s Seafood is a great family friendly place to go for seafood on the Cape if you have children with you.  I went to lunch one rainy day at Bistro on Main Chatham. I ordered the lobster salad on a real salad which was very fresh. Kraig got some poke special that was so fresh and had beautiful presentation.  We had take out from Kream ‘N Kone and I loved it. My chowder, calamari, and lobster roll were delicious. We also sampled breakfast pastries from Perks Coffee Shop and Marion’s Pie Shop during our visit.

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Teddy Bear the Yorkshire Terrier below is very sweet and affectionate towards the whole family.

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Despite the terrible Winters in Massachusetts, it can be a pretty great place to be in the Summer, Fall, and occasionally Spring. I highly suggest vacationing in the Cape, Martha’s Vineyard, or Nantucket during the Summertime here!  One thing you have to keep in mind is the unpredictable New England weather. So you could rent a house for a week and have rain the whole time. Just something to keep in mind if you want to roll the dice on it.

A Summer Wedding in Colorado.

I spent the past weekend in Denver, Colorado for my friend’s wedding weekend. Kraig and I flew into Denver very late on Thursday night, so we went straight to our AirBnB rental to unpack and sleep.

We woke up on Friday PUMPED for breakfast at Jelly with friends. We were introduced to Jelly on our last trip to Denver and couldn’t wait to go back on this trip. My favorite things here are the jelly doughnut holes, Tres Leches Pancakes, and their amazing iced coffee.

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After breakfast, some of us checked out what a dispensary was like since it’s such a foreign concept to us Massholes. That was an interesting and surprisingly fun experience for an adult. I was also able to get my hands on some Deschutes beers to enjoy on the porch of our rental.

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After relaxing for a bit, we went to a wedding get together at Cheesman Park. Dinner that night was at Dos Santos which was SOO GOOD. The tacos were great and the bill was very affordable for a large party of 8 consuming cocktails, appetizers, and tacos. I highly recommend going here if you’re a foodie that loves Tacos.

Saturday was our day in the mountains. The plan was to do Bear Lake Trailhead in Rocky Mountain National Park with a group of wedding guests. Unfortunately, the park was turning around cars when we got there because the trail was too full. It may have been for the best because a lot of people in our group could feel the altitude sickness. We ended up just driving around the park to take in some views. We drove up Fall River Road and made a stop at The Alpine Visitor Center before heading out of the park out through the Estes area, through Boulder, with a pit stop at Avery Brewing Company. The food looked so good here, but we were on a timeline to get our Zipcar back, so we just sampled some beers.

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This was a long day in the car, so we quickly freshened up before meeting friends at Torchy’s for dinner.  This place was really good and popular, but I liked Dos Santos more.

On Sunday morning, we grabbed brunch at Vert. This place was sooo good. Kraig and I shared the frittata,  L’ENTRECÔTE (Arugula, Skirt Steak, Walnut Mustard) sandwich, and a salted caramel cookie. The sandwich was out of this world and the salad accompanying the frittata was fresh and tasty.

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We got ready for the rehearsal dinner, then met up with some friends at Crooked Stave Brewery.  This place is a sour beer lover’s heaven. I loved this brewery. We visited the Great Divide Brewery afterwards (not pictured below), but I didn’t really like the beers I tried there.  After the breweries, we attended the rehearsal dinner.

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The wedding was on Monday night and beautifully located at The Barn at Evergreen Memorial Park.  The Bride and Groom had a ton of cute thoughtful details including home-brewed beer and Voodoo Doughnuts for dessert! They even provided free transportation to and from the wedding venue.

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In case anyone is curious, my purple maxi dress that I wore to the wedding is by Flynn Skye (available here and here).

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Tuesday morning we woke up early to catch our flight back to Boston. See you later Colorado. You’re always a good time!

A Day Trip to Portland, Maine.

Kraig and I recently took a day trip to Portland, Maine to check out some restaurants and breweries.  We decided to split our meals, so we would have the appetite to sample more restaurants in one day.

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We started with lunch at the Portland Lobster Company.  We ordered the lobster roll and clam chowder.  The lobster was fresh and they didn’t use globs of Mayo, but it wasn’t the best lobster roll I’ve ever had. The clam chowder seemed to be lacking in clams and seasoning.You have a nice view there and the food is fresh, so it’s worth the trip!

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Afterward, we walked around town for a bit.

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Then we went to a FREE beer tasting at Allagash Brewery.  Each person gets four free brewery selected samples and you can opt in or out for a tour of the brewery. I was quite impressed when we arrived at Allagash because it looked similar to arriving to a wine vineyard.  Allagash White is probably the first “fancy” beer I started to drink when I was in college.  I don’t typically order it nowadays, but it was a fun experience to check out the brewery and sample some of their other beers.

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Next up, was a casual tasting at The Rising Tide Brewery.  There were food trucks outside the brewery and an industrial feel to this location.

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After the breweries, we headed back into town. Round one of dinner was at Eventide Oyster Co. We shared delicious oysters hand selected by our waitress and their melt in your mouth, mouthwatering lobster roll.

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That drink below is a Cava Bloody Mary. It was a fun spin on the traditional Bloody Mary.

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Round two of dinner was at Duckfat. We of course got an order of their Belgian fries and the House Smoked Brisket Panini. This food was apparently too good to wait and take a picture of because I have no photos. 🙂 It was a really casual, cozy, atmosphere with wonderful comfort food meets hipster.  Not sure what the real word for that is in the foodie world.

We had a lot of fun checking out Portland.  Where are your favorite day trip locations in New England?

Naples over Easter Weekend ~ March, 2016

Kraig and I spent a long weekend visiting my parents in Naples, Florida in March.  It was so nice to visit with them and their Yorkshire Terrier Teddy. We were only able to get in one beach day, but that’s okay because I was able to get in a day at the Spa instead! I love visiting my parents and spending time with them.

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Places to eat ~ Le Bleu Provence, Islandy Gypsy, Quinns on the Beach.

Beach day at The Marriott on Marco Island.

Hopefully we get to visit again next year! 🙂

A weekend in San Francisco ~ February 2016

Kraig and I spent a weekend in San Francisco in February. This was more of a trip to catch up with family instead of sightseeing everywhere.  We were visiting with Kraig’s Dad and Aunt and had a great time.  It was so nice to spend time with Kraig’s Dad and Aunt because we don’t get to see them often throughout the year. Family trips are such a nice treasure and I’m so grateful we’re able to do them as adults.

Our first day in the city, we went to Brenda’s French Soul Food for the beignets and did some walking around the city.  I actually wasn’t feeling too well on this trip, so we spent some time at our airBnB relaxing and watching TV to rest up for dinner that night.

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We were coincidentally visiting the city at the same time as one of Kraig’s college friends, so we met up with them after dinner  at their hotel for a drink in the lobby.  It was great seeing them because I think the last time we saw them was at one of our weddings.

We spent the second day in Wine Country and did tastings at Caymus Vineyards and Duckhorn.

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Our last day of the trip, we went to an amazing breakfast at Kitchen Story followed with a walk along Baker Beach.  It’s definitely a dream home location on the part that isn’t overlooking the nudists section of the beach.

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That pretty much sums up our trip to SF. It was quick and I ended up getting the stomach flu on our last day there, so that is why I was feeling so rundown the whole time we were there.  San Francisco is always a fun city to visit because there is so much beautiful nature and activities within the area to check out.

Psst…if you want to read about my first time in San Francisco click here and here.

Happy 2016!

Happy New Year my friends! I have a feeling 2016 is going to be a good year. I hope you all enjoyed your holiday season and got some well deserved time for peace and self reflection.  IMG_4305I’m planning a trip to Florida to visit my parents in the spring and another to Colorado in the summertime for a wedding.  I still have Patagonia, New Zealand, Australia, Bali, and Thailand on my mind a lot, but have been unable to organize one of these trips.

Where are you planning to travel to in 2016? Leave a comment with your plans for the new year.

An Awesome Antiguan Thanksgiving ~ November 2015

Kraig and I spent our Thanksgiving in Antigua visiting his parents.  It was so nice to visit them.  We hadn’t seen them since the day after our wedding which was over a year ago. thumb_DSCN3247_1024We spent one day at Catherines Cafe Plage in English Harbour.

thumb_DSCN3247_1024thumb_DSCN3237_1024thumb_DSCN3245_1024thumb_DSCN3239_1024We spent another day at Curtain Bluff which ended up being the most beautiful day weather wise out of our trip.  Make sure to order a rum punch here. This stuff sneaks up on you, so be careful.thumb_DSCN3186_1024thumb_DSCN3194_1024thumb_DSCN3188_1024thumb_DSCN3200_1024thumb_DSCN3183_1024thumb_DSCN3203_1024thumb_DSCN3163_1024thumb_DSCN3170_1024thumb_DSCN3182_1024thumb_DSCN3181_1024Afterwards, we went to Sheer Rocks to watch the sunset from the bar area.

thumb_DSCN3172_1024thumb_DSCN3174_1024We spent Thanksgiving day at Coconut Grove beach because it was close to where we were staying and we wanted to be close to home for the holiday.beach.PNGWe actually had a proper Thanksgiving dinner while in Antigua which was very kind of Kraig’s parents to organize. The show stopper of the meal was a Coconut Pie that was made by a woman on island. I was a bit skeptical to eat Coconut flavored pie, but after one bite I became a coconut pie convert and lover.

Our last full day in Antigua was spent on a sail boat. I didn’t bring my camera  because I was afraid of it getting wet and breaking it. It was fun cruising around the island to see it from a different point of view.

We’ll definitely be venturing back to Antigua at some point.  Let me know what your favorite place in the Caribbean is!  🙂

Spending our one year wedding anniversary in New Orleans ~ October 2015

Kraig and I spent our one year wedding anniversary in New Orleans. We stayed at La Belle Esplanade which is walking distance to the French Quarter and City Park.

thumb_IMG_3714_1024thumb_IMG_3815_1024thumb_IMG_3739_1024We checked in late in the afternoon on Friday , so we decided to have dinner nearby at  Cafe Degas.  The walk along Esplanade Avenue is so beautiful with gas lit lamps illuminating the outside of houses along the street.thumb_IMG_3702_1024

thumb_IMG_3708_1024thumb_IMG_3699_1024thumb_IMG_3703_1024The next day we walked over to The French Quarter to do as most tourists do in New Orleans.

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IMG_3439DSCN3046thumb_IMG_3749_1024Dinner that night was at Lola’s.   This is another restaurant that’s walking distance to where we were staying.IMG_3444thumb_IMG_3759_1024DSCN3060The next day was our 1 year anniversary. We walked over to The Morning Call Coffee Stand to get beignets.We did not go to Cafe Du Monde because the line was out of control when we were walking by it.   Our bNb owners told us that The Morning Call Coffee Stand is just as good. It’s located in a park and there were a lot of local young families there enjoying their Sunday Morning.DSCN3065DSCN3075We went to Dat Dog for lunch and it was the best hot dog I’ve eaten in my life. I usually eat about one-two hot dogs a year around the 4th of July. If I lived in New Orleans, I would definitely be eating them more.thumb_IMG_3774_1024Just when we thought we couldn’t possibly eat another thing we coincidentally walked by District Donuts which was on my list of places to eat at while in New Orleans. So you know, this happened too. Drool. A strawberry lemonade donut. I liked this place a lot more than the donut shops around here in Massachusetts.  They even have donut sandwiches.thumb_IMG_3803_1024We had dinner at Atchafalaya for our anniversary.  It was so good and had great service. It was recommended to us by two different locals of the city.DSCN3102The day after we walked around the Garden District and saw some beautiful mansions in the city. It was the first day during our visit that the sun came out and the temperatures were very hot. Lunch was at the St. James Cheese Company followed by dessert at The Creole Creamery next door. We also grabbed a beer on the outdoor patio at The Bulldug Pub before we went back to the inn to freshen up for the evening.  DSCN3128DSCN3118DSCN3119

DSCN3136thumb_IMG_3800_1024Dinner that night started with a cocktail or two at Bar Tonique before our meal at SoBou. We went to The Spotted Cat Music Club after dinner to catch some tunes.DSCN3138DSCN3142DSCN3148On our last day in New Orleans we ventured out to the Bywater area to eat a BBQ lunch at The Joint. I really loved my meal here. I’ve never been to Austin, Texas to compare it.  However, it is WAY better than anything  BBQ in Massachusetts you will eat.thumb_IMG_3806_1024We also checked out one of the graveyards while we were in New Orleans, but I can’t remember which day this fell on.DSCN3082DSCN3132My favorite thing about New Orleans is the food. Boy is it good! I have to say that the all of these food places were great. We did not have one disappointing meal on our trip.  The people are friendly and there is a laid back atmosphere. I was surprised how many hipster looking people live there that look like they’re straight out of Somerville.

Another great thing about New Orleans is the music. I think we saw three parades during our visit and one of them was Treme Festival.

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I really loved the Bed and Breakfast we stayed at. The innkeepers were great hosts and they served a doughnut from a different bakery in New Orleans daily. I have to admit I’ve never been really big on this whole donut craze. Donuts are like the new cupcakes and I don’t like when a place gets too fancy and sell green tea flavored donuts. Give me chocolate that is not spicy or wrapped in jalapenos. I’m getting off track here, my point is that the donuts they served at breakfast every morning were delicious. The standouts to me were a french chocolate eclair one morning (it’s basically a donut in a different shape) and then the other was a more traditional flavored chocolate glazed donut, but not the standard shape. So all it took was a trip to New Orleans to become a donut lover in life again. I was not a fan of the plain beignets, but I can see the appeal it sparks for other people.

We had a blast visiting New Orleans and I would definitely go back.

 

Ladies weekend in Block Island ~ August 2015.

I spent a weekend in August with my High School friends on Block Island. Since Block Island is small and hotels book up so far in advance, we decided to rent an apartment for our weekend visit.

Friday was spent on the beach at Ballard’s.  This beach is very crowded, but you have access to restrooms, waiter service, a restaurant, and bar.  I rented a lounge chair and umbrella to snooze under for the day in the shade.

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On Saturday we decided to take a taxi tour of the island before spending the rest of the afternoon at a less crowded beach that was walking distance to our apartment.

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thumb_IMG_3473_1024Our apartment rental was located above Old Post Office Bagel Shop.  So we ended up getting breakfast and coffee from this place every morning. It’s probably the only dining experience I had on Block Island that I enjoyed. Keep in mind this place had long lines and slow service that can be forgetful. However, their yummy breakfast sandwiches make up for it.

We had a lot of fun catching up over the weekend and getting to spend time together.

I would say Block Island is okay, but I personally prefer visiting Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket in the summertime.

Burke Mountain Vermont ~ August 2015

I went back to Vermont a second time over the summer for my cousin’s wedding near Burke Mountain.  We spent Friday at Lake Willoughby.

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Afterwards, we went to a post rehearsal dinner get together for the guests. It had drinks, pizza, and games and was very lovely.  I wore my Flynn Skye Bali print maxi dress available here. I got it on sale from bikinibird.com, but it looks like they’re sold out now. This is currently my favorite dress in my closet and can easily be dressed up or down. It’s super comfortable, but I wouldn’t recommend it to busty ladies. I first spotted it on Katrina of ToneItUp on instagram and then found it on sale! I’ve come to love Flynn Skye and hope to add some more of their pieces to my wardrobe over time.  I paired it with a cardigan and my Rebecca Minkoff mini crossbody bag available here and here.

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On Saturday, we headed to Hill Farmstead Brewery. I would recommend going here if you or someone you’re with is a beer lover and enthusiast.  Make sure to get there early. We went on a Saturday right when it opened and the line was already long. There was a three hour wait for growlers within the first hour of opening. Do your homework beforehand and make a list of beers you’re interested in buying. Get there early and put in your order as soon as possible.  Then you can have some small beer samples while you wait for your order. I heard the employees suggesting to come on a weekday if you live nearby.

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After the brewery, we got ready for the wedding which was so beautiful and a lot of fun! The food and wedding cake were also very tasty.

Here’s a picture of me with my Dad and brother. After looking at this picture, I’m realizing I don’t like these shoes with my dress.  I tend to change into flip flops as soon as the reception starts, so I didn’t think too much of it.

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The bride and groom’s first dance.

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Me with the beautiful bride! Liz looked so gorgeous and her dress had a slight sparkle/shimmer to it that looked amazing when she was walking down the aisle with the sun shining.

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It was a fun weekend in Vermont with family and I’m so happy for my cousin and her husband!