Category Archives: Travel

Summer 2015 Recap

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Summer 2015 was a DOOZY. It all started Memorial Day weekend, when N and I got engaged! It feels both not real and like we’ve just always been engaged. From there we threw ourselves into summer like a coupla animals. N built us a firepit in the backyard, which we barely used (damn bugs) but are deeply fond of. He came to the beach with me MULTIPLE times, which is unheard of.

In June I got rear-ended and got to drive a sweet, sweet minivan for a month while my car was being fixed. Still miss that thing. Helefab herself came to New England TWICE this summer, much to my delight. I spent a great afternoon up in Portland with her.

Fourth of July happened in there somewhere, with multiple sets of fireworks and time spent with friends. There was a trip up to Ogunquit and swimming in the icy cold ocean. We sat in traffic for the worst FOUR HOURS of my life going down to Foxwoods for a night.

Concerts also happened! So many concerts, which is so unlike me. I saw Dashboard Confessional, the Ataris (a dream since high school), and had an absolutely amazing, drunken time at Nelly/TLC/New Kids on the Block with my squad.

In June I also found out I was losing my job. It’s been a roller coaster of emotions. However, it has given me tons of free time to spend with N adventuring.

IMG_8192The end of July brought the annual Cape Cod trip with PERFECT weather and beach lounging and kayaking.

August was jam packed with parties, including a surprise pool party for N’s 30th that was a huge success. I also surprised him with a day full of fun, including him getting to fly a plane and brew his own beer. I really outdid myself this year.

Around the house saw a lot of hallway-centric updates being made, and not much else. Without me working we’ve been super budget conscious. The hallway got painted and the mudroom got a huge facelift (more to come on that).

As usual the last weekend in August was St. Anthony’s feast in the North End, which involved much, much food and a peek inside Old North Church of Paul Revere fame. I’d actually never been inside! It was churchy.

Labor Day weekend was low key and involved a motorcycle ride down to Concord for lunch and a historical cemetery stroll. We finished the weekend up with another pool party at N’s parents and an unofficial end of summer sunset. Phew! I’m exhausted. This was a great summer and I am SO READY for fall. Bring on the crisp air and pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin!

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Winter Getaway

In lieu of gifts this year, N and I decided to take a little winter trip. He was on vacation the week before Christmas, and I was on vacation the week of Christmas, so I just extended my vacation a little bit and took Wednesday through Friday of the week before Christmas off, too. A week and a half vacation? Don’t mind if I do!

After much discussion and stress and Groupon-induced mental breakdowns, we ended up going to the Mount Washington Hotel in New Hampshire. It’s just outside of Jackson/North Conway, and it is absolutely GORGEOUS. We got a good deal on it, too. Right before school vacation and before high winter season started.

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I love packing. It’s one of my many odd quirks. But it turns out I haaaate packing for cold-weather trips. So many layers! Everything is so bulky! One night away turned out in me needing a huge bag. It’s ridiculous. Winter is completely outside of my comfort zone. Anyway, I did the best I could, and we left Wednesday morning.

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We drove up through the mountains and were greeted with a nice view of our hotel. I mean, come on. I wish I got a better picture. It’s nestled in the perfect spot. The hotel was built in 1902? I think? In the very early 1900s anyway. It’s never been updated, only restored, so basically it’s my dream hotel. I love old buildings, you guys. I love them. The second I walked in I knew I would love it.

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And just to add to my obsession, the place was decked out flawlessly for Christmas. Like, that is the lobby you guys. It looks like the Titanic or something. There was also a giant fireplace with a moose head over it that I failed to get a picture of. One night was not enough time for me to fully explore and take pictures. Plus N didn’t seem interested (because he’s some kind of tyrannical heathen, obviously). Clearly this means I must go back.

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We checked in (there was NO ONE there, the hotel was so quiet when we checked in) and an elevator man brought us up to our room. Because the elevator was super old school and the door had to be opened and closed by hand. No joke.  Oh, and our room got upgraded. So that was a sweet bonus.

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Our room looked right out on Mount Washington. My phone kept focusing on the window screen which was obnoxious. Actually, now that I think about it, I’m surprised the windows even had screens. I wouldn’t think they would open. I guess in 1902 no one worried about people leaping to their deaths from hotel windows?

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Anyway, we settled in and I busted out our sweet beer koozies I got us at Target. THEY ARE SWEATERS. FOR BEER. I cannot even.

Then we napped and watched TV because we were on vacation and that’s what one is supposed to do.

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Once I reached the point of severe hanger we headed into Conway for dinner and drinks. We had a unplanned progressive dinner where we had drinks and apps at one place, dinner at another, and then headed back to the hotel for dessert and after dinner drinks. With a bit of shopping thrown in for good measure.

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We were told we could just sit in the lobby and someone would serve us. Well alright then! Someone was already in front of the fireplace, damn them, so we settled in on another sofa and had ourselves a brownie sundae.

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Thursday we woke up, checked out of the hotel (see, such a short stay!) and hunted down some breakfast. N is very familiar with the area because he is a snowboard freak, so he chose all our food locations. He did okay. I was underwhelmed with the pancakes. In his defense, he claimed he’d never tried them.

Bless his heart I love that boy to bits, but he could talk about mountains FOREVER and I’m like “yeah, another mountain, I saw one already today.” I suppose I can wax poetic about the beach for hours on end though, so I guess we’re squaresies.

After some scenic driving (including a drive through a covered bridge!) we headed over to do some cross country skiing. We headed into the ski rental place where this exchange happened:

Rental Lady: Okay, we have wider skis for beginners that will keep you from going too fast and be a bit easier to maneuver, or we have narrow skis for experienced skiers or athletic types. Have you been before?

Me: I’ve done this a bunch of times, but he’s never been.

N: Yeah, but I snowboard like, fifty times a season, so…

Rental Lady and I exchange a look.

Me: Okay, just give us the athletic ones, then.

She showed us how to put on the puts and snap into the skis and we headed out. I got in front (it was groomed trails, you literally just stick your skis in the groove and shuffle-slide along) and N is behind me. Within 30 seconds he is telling me I am “sprinting” and asking if I mean “to go that fast”. I wasn’t even trying. I am just THAT good. He fell twice. I fell zero. #winning

I finally found a winter activity I am better at! He was a good sport about it and didn’t throw any fits like I normally do.

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After that we headed towards home, and then went out for a lovely dinner to round out our trip. I’d rather have a one-night getaway than a material gift any day.

 

 

 

 

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Block Island | September 2013

Why yes, this post SHOULD have gone up at least a month ago. Oopsie. Anyway, N and I went down to visit his grandmother during the final days of my Funemployment. She lives in Narragansett, RI and her house is definitely one of my very favorite places. It reminds me a little bit of the house my grandparents used to have on Cape Cod, and that Cape Cod house was my mostest favorite place in the world.

N’s grandmother’s house is right behind the parking lot for Narragansett beach and you can see the ocean from her back deck. It’s beautiful.

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We got down there on a Thursday night and hung out with Nana, having cocktails and cheese and crackers and watching the moonrise.

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Please excuse the grainy zoomed-in iPhone photo.

Once Nana was done forcing drinks and snacks down our throats (seriously, you can’t say no to a grandmother, you just can’t), we headed out for snacks and drinks and to play a little Keno, typical of us. But since occasionally N can be super adorable, he played our birthdays and our anniversary, swoon.

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We didn’t win.

The next morning, N made us breakfast and  we decided to take the ferry out from Point Judith and go to Block Island. We’d been years ago, and I’ve wanted to go back ever since. It’s a beautiful island off the coast of Rhode Island with beaches and lighthouses and most importantly, scooters. All I wanted to do was rent a scooter and practice scooting. N thinks I should learn how to ride a motorcycle, but I am a chicken. So I thought riding a scooter on my own would be good practice. That’s probably a stretch, but, baby steps. We wanted to take his bike over with us, but the ferry wasn’t taking anymore motorcycles. N was not pleased.

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It was a beautiful fall day. We got off the ferry, rented a scooter (we would have each gotten one, but they are pretty dang expensive and like I said, I was Funemployed at the time and not too into spending frivolously), and headed off to explore the island. I decided to let N drive us around for a bit before I took my turn (I was scurred) so we went to find Mohegan Bluffs.

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We climbed down all the stairs (we counted them, but I can’t remember how many there are, only that N won the guess bet) to the beach below. It was very rocky and people had built little castles and towers out of the rocks. Seriously, so pretty. Then we got back to scootin’.

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We stopped to get some snacks and a beer and scooted off to find a little nature trail so we could wander around and relax for a bit. We pulled the scooter over into what looked like a secluded little area, only to have an older couple immediately pull up behind us on bicycles and start to follow us. Hello! Can we get a little privacy? There are 80 bajillion other little trails to walk and they had to pick this one? Ugh. Anyway, we walked to the end of the trail which basically just ended at a little inlet and we opened our beer like the classy folks we are and hung out for a bit. The other couple finally took the hint and turned back.

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Then, since N drank most of the beer, it was my turn to helm the scooter. And I did it! N said he was so proud of me, even though I legit didn’t go over 20mph, haha.

Behold! Evidence!

 

Watching these it is clear how comically slow I was going. Whatever, next stop, motorcycle (maybe).

Once our time on the scooter was up, we headed back into town for an early dinner and to catch the ferry back to Point Judith. We then spent Friday night having drinks with Nana and watching Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy. Solid Friday, right there. We got a late start home (we didn’t want to miss Jeopardy) and I was snuggled in my bed by 10:30. It was a glorious getaway and exactly what I needed with all that stressful Funemployment crap going on. Until next time, Block Island!

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Let’s Go Camping

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Yes, the rumors are true. I’m going camping. For THREE WHOLE NIGHTS. My death is likely imminent. Just add a very healthy amount of dirt and bug spray to all of the above and that is pretty much how my trip is going to look. I’ll be back next weekend with stories galore, I’m sure, as well as a recap of my July. (HInt: it was rad.)

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Newport, RI: Spring 2013

The first weekend in April, Mom and I took a weekend trip down to Newport, RI for a little R&R. She got the trip off Rue La La and it was two night in an adorable boutique hotel complete with massages. Perfect. We also figured we would tour some of the Newport Mansions while we were there.

We got there Friday afternoon and spent the day exploring the mansions before we even checked into the hotel.

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And I thought Mom over-decorated.

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This isn’t weird or creepy to have in a house at all.

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Can’t you just picture Lady Mary sitting here having tea?

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Just pretending I am a rich bitch from the 1800s, don’t mind me,

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I loved this kitchen. Upgrade the appliances and I’d take this in a heartbeat. The red painted floors!

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In front of the Marble House.

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Mom, out-posing me, no surprise there.

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If you press this, Bates shows up.

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They were self guided audio tours. But this is a pretty accurate representation of what I looked like circa 1994. Discman in my pocket.

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The view from the roof of The Elms.

We’ve been through most of the mansions before, and I do recommend touring a few of them. Two or three will do it, otherwise it just gets to be overkill and the grand houses stop being so awe-inspiring and suddenly you’re calling all the 16th century china “tacky”. The Breakers has always been my favorite, but we skipped it this time because I’ve done it about a million times.

The best thing we did this time was the servant’s tour of The Elms. So fascinating! It was JUST like Downton Abbey! The servants all lived in rooms at the top of the house and it was a long hallway with rooms off it just like in Downton. The servants quarters were also nicer than my apartment, so there’s that.

We had dinner downtown and then finally checked into the hotel, where we were greeted with champagne and chocolates and we immediately put on the hotel robes and hopped into bed. Because that is what one does in these situations, always.

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This is how my life should always look.

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This is actually how her life DOES always look, because she has a habit of snacking in bed.

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The next morning we had breakfast at the hotel and did another mansion tour (we bought the five tour package, which was too many, we ended up only doing four).

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After that we wandered around shopping and eating. I got a new Alex & Ani bracelet (a gold phoenix, I love him) and we both bought Newport sweatshirts because it was absolutely frigid. We had our massages that night which were blissful and lovely and then we spent the rest of the evening just relaxing.

The, the next morning, I had the most amazing bananas foster french toast that has ever existed:

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After that we went home. And now I really want that french toast.

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