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ADVENTURE

5 Things to do in Boston Before Fall

Are you planning a trip to Boston? Are you a local looking for something to do? Summer is one of the busiest times of the year in Boston and if you’re like me as soon as summer hit in New England you wanted to spend every second outside until dare I say, winter came again. Here are my favorite things to do in Boston in the summertime:

Catch a Red Sox Game at Fenway

Fenway Park is one of the most historical ballparks in the MLB and from the day I moved to Boston, I was converted. There’s nothing like spending an afternoon walking around Lansdowne Street and grabbing a drink before the game and being surrounded by Red Sox Fans. Fenway first opened in 1912 and has been an iconic Boston landmark ever since. You’ll see history of stolen bases, home runs, and although Boston’s fanbase has grown, the original park still stands. They have done expansions to make the park larger which brought about the “green monstah” and “pesky pole” but still, no matter where you sit – there’s not a bad seat in the house. 

Enjoy the Weather & Sit Outside

There are so many great places to grab a cocktail and enjoy the weather! There’s nothing better than feeling the sun hit your skin with a cool cocktail in hand. Sometimes it’s hard to pick but some of my favorites are the patio at Eataly, Lookout Rooftop at the Envoy Hotel, and of course the pop ups around town, City Winery on the Greenway and Cisco’s pop up in Seaport. This spread is from Eataly!

Have a Picnic on the Charles River Esplanade

This might be one of my favorite summertime activities because it’s so relaxing, throughout the year. Grab some friends, some snacks, and some drinks with a blanket and it’s the perfect spot for a great view of either Boston or Cambridge. 

Eat a Lobster Roll & Clam Chowder

New England is famous for their seafood, especially lobster rolls and clam chowder. You’ll feel like a true New Englander while indulging in it’s most iconic foods. There are so many great places that serve lobster rolls, be sure to check out my blog about craving lobstah rolls. The one pictured here is from Saltie Girl which is one of my favorite seafood restaurants in Boston because it’s full of mermaids so it fits me perfectly! 

Stroll Around Beacon Hill

Beacon Hill will always be one of my favorite spots in Boston. Before I lived in Boston, this is what I imagined all the neighborhoods to look like – classic stairs leading up to apartments covered in beautiful brick. Acorn Street is one of the most photographed streets in Boston, and for good reason! 

Now tell me! What do you love to do in the summer in Boston? I’m always looking for new ideas! 

~ XOXO, the Bostonian in me that loves summer

ADVENTURE

The Perfect Southern Maine Roadtrip

Southern Maine may be one of my favorite parts of New England. I visited Ogunquit, Maine before I moved to Boston and it may or may not have influenced my decision.  I fell in love with it’s small town coastal charm. But how could you not? I had a friend visit recently and we wanted to get out of the city – so I took her on a mini road trip up the coast of Maine so she too, could fall in love. Here’s a recap of our trip & why I think you should take a day trip too.

First Stop: Kennebunkport, Maine 

Kennebunk is one of the quaintest towns and the Bush family agree so much that they have a “compound” just around the corner. Kennebunk has ice cream shops on every corner and you can’t go wrong with any seafood spot. There’s beautiful hotels and everyone is so friendly. I recommend stopping at The Clam Shack and/or Allison’s to get lunch! 

As you’re leaving Kennebunkport, make sure you stop at “Maine Diner” for some of the best seafood soup you’ll ever get. It’s like clam chowder but with lobster claws. 

Second Stop: Ogunquit, Maine 

Ogunquit will always have my heart. I found it to be the cutest little town and one day when I grow up (haha!) my goal is to buy a house along Marginal Walkway! It’s a short walk along the coast that is a must to do on your southern Maine road trip. You also have to stop in Perkin’s Cove and walk around to grab a souvenir, can you say you’ve been to Maine if you don’t come back with something lobster and some blueberry jam? There are such cute boutiques and stores all around.

A great place to stop here is the “Front Door” which is a piano bar and is SO FUN if you’re here in the evening time. 

Third Stop: York, Maine

Just down the road from Ogunquit is York, where Nubble lighthouse is at. If you didn’t get ice cream in Kennebunk, then make sure to get some here! There’s also a huge salt water taffy place where you can watch it get made. York is a great place to walk around, sit on the beach, and just enjoy Maine.

Fourth Stop: Portland, Maine

Portland is a beer and foodie paradise. Most of these places are good to spend a day in (at the very least) but Portland you could spend a full weekend in. I don’t particularly (or at all) like beer but there are SO many breweries. Their lighthouse is also one of my favorite in Maine! 

Like every town in Maine – Portland is known for their lobster rolls. I had one at Portland lobster company, and I think I made a mistake …if I were to do the day over again, I would get one at Highroller. Not that Portland Lobster Co was bad, I just think it could have been better.  You also have to get fries from Duck Fat, which are some of the best fries I’ve ever had. Stop in one of their most popular breweries Bissell Brothers, Allagash, Austin Street, Shipyard Brewing Company, & Rising Tide Brewing Company (just to name a few). On your way out, don’t forget to stop by The Holy Donut for the ride home. 

Is there someplace I missed that I need to try in Southern Maine? Let me know!

~ XOXO, the Maine obsessed, Amanda

ADVENTURE

My Nantucket Travel Guide

Nantucket has been on my radar since I moved to Boston, and it was only a matter of time until I crossed it off my bucket list. If you haven’t traveled to the quaint little island yet, it’s time you book a trip. You’ll find delicious food and drinks, shingled cottages, fine sanded beaches, and cobblestone streets.

Here is my Nantucket travel guide with where to stay, what to do, what to eat, & insider traveler tips! And we only spent 3 days on this quaint island so I’ll give you everywhere we went to and places we wanted to but didn’t make it to.

Grey Lady

Also known as “The Grey Lady” because it’s like the grey lady of the ocean because the island gets covered with a thick fog. People also refer the island as “ACK” because that’s the airport code for the airport. I will say it’s not a budget friendly island, especially in peak season. The island’s population in the offseason is 2,000 which can grow up to 55,000 in the summer months even though it’s less than 48 square miles. One of my favorite things about Nantucket is one side you have the beach and the other side of the harbor.

How to get on the Island

You can fly into “ACK” from nearly airport but I wouldn’t say that’s the easiest nor do you get the full experience. 

There’s a ferry from Hyannis with two companies operating out to the island – HyLine & Steamship Authority which both take about an hour. I’d recommend flying into Boston and then driving the hour to Hyannis and hopping on the ferry! You’ll get the full experience pulling right up into the beautiful Nantucket Boat Basin which will give you your first taste!

Where to Stay in Nantucket

We stayed at an AirB&B but i’ve long admired The Cottages at Boat Basin or The White Elephant. Both looked very cute and would give you the ideal “Nantucket” experience. We enjoyed our AirB&B a lot though and there were sooo many to choose from. I would recommend bringing some cash as some places are cash only so it’s nice not to run into any problems finding an ATM.

What to Eat in Nantucket

Breakfast/Brunch

Island Kitchen – We sat outside at Island Kitchen and they have a lot of seating and can accomodate large groups. They did move on island time, so if you’re in a hurry this may not be the spot for you. I got the tofu scramble, but you can’t go wrong with the avocado toast, eggs benedict, breakfast burrito, or the animal (pictured) which is panko crusted eggs, bacon, sausage, with hollandaise on a brioche bun.

Lemon Press – While we didn’t eat there we did have their lavender lemonade which everytime I see on a menu I have to get. And we stopped in for drinks. I’ve heard this place though, if a great spot for breakfast.

Downyflake – These donuts are the perfect size and they weren’t too dry. They’re cash only ($1) and come in cinnamon sugar, chocolate frosted, coconut, and plain. We got a chocolate and coconut and they were both amazing.

The Handlebar Cafe – I thought this was the best iced coffee we had on the island. They have a cute little water bowl out in front for the pups and you have to walk around to their secret garden to drink your coffee.

Keepers Restaurant – We loved our breakfast here. 3 out of 4 of us got some version of the eggs benedict (fish cake bene & lil’ buddy bene) and both were delish! We got tried “the keeper” because how could you not?

Where we didn’t get to: Black Eyed Susan’s for the pancakes, ‘Sconset Market for the (specifically) blueberry muffins, Brant Point Grill for a bougie brunch with a legendary lobster bloody mary, or 45 Surfside which is known for their pastries.

Lunch/Dinner

Oath Pizza – this place has outdoor seating on the water with endless pizza options which makes for a very affordable meal with a view of the harbor.

Millie’s – is right on Madaket Beach so if you go for dinner make sure you walk down to the beach for sunset. But this place is off the beaten path so it was fun to see more of the island on our way. We got some apps and drinks and shared. We got the dip trio with guacamole, queso, & salsa and then a grilled shrimp quesadilla & a steak quesadilla which hit the spot. I also heard the mahi mahi tacos & salads were to die for. After grabbing a bite to eat make sure you head over to Millie’s Market for some hot sauce to take home because it was that good!

Provisions – I heard a lot of buzz around these sandwiches, so I did have high expectations that were 100% met. We all got different sandwiches so we could try them all because so many of them sounded delicious. My favorites were the thanksgiving sandwich (it’s exactly what it sounds like) and the turkey. This place is another place that is cash only.

Cru – This way by far our most expensive meal but we knew it would be. We all got the lobster rolls for dinner with oysters. We could all agree that the lobster rolls were 10/10. They have a chic/nautical interior & right on harbor so you can’t beat the views. We sat inside but they have an adorable little patio as well. We did call and make a reservation which I highly recommend.

Where we didn’t get to: Galley Beach which I was bummed about because who doesn’t love a restaurant/bar sitting right in the sand?! Lola 41 which is the only buzzy sushi spot on the island, and Club Car for the small italian bites and they have a cute little club car which turns into a piano bar at night.

Ice Cream

The Juice Bar – Notice how this is the only one listed? It’s because this ice cream shop is the best in the whole wide world. I’m not even kidding. I’d recommend going at an “off” time because there can get a line, even if there is one, it’s worth it.

Drinks & Cocktails

The Gazebo – This bar is in the middle of the little downtown strip & gets really popular at night. It’s a must for a mudslide & 888 vodka drink. We did see El Presidente there…heard he frequents the spot a lot.

Chicken Box – This bar has a stage with live music and can get a little rowdy. Your typical live music/bar scene for a fun night of drinks and dancing.

Straight Wharf – Right next to The Gazebo so it’s a great next spot to go get another drink and keep the night going.

What to do in Nantucket

Brandt Point lighthouse – This is the iconic lighthouse you see everywhere when you think of Nantucket. It was first built in 1746 and then automated in 1965. It’s a great photo op and if you take the ferry in, you’ll get some great views of it.

Cisco Brewery – Cisco is a fun place to spend the afternoon, we went to Cisco beach before we wanted to go because we thought that they were close..learn from us, it’s not within walking distance. But it’s a great place to grab a bite to eat, have a drink, & spend the afternoon. They do have other things than beer to drink, like cocktails and wine! There’s also food trucks to grab a bite and live music to enjoy the afternoon.

Whaling Museum –  This is a little museum in town to learn about the history of Nantucket. We didn’t get a chance to stop by but it

Rent Bikes or Mopeds – This is a fun way to get to a different part of the island and see more that you may not be staying around.

Explore the ‘Sconset Bluff Walk – This walk is beautiful walk with views of the ocean and beautiful big homes. You can walk past the cottages and it will lead you straight to Sankaty Head Lighthouse.

Go sailing or out on a boat. Why not be on the water every second you can get.

Head to the beach! We spend a day at both Surfside Beach & Cisco Beach and had a blast at both. Surfside was a little busier and had a restaurant and bathrooms. For majority of the time, we were the only ones at Cisco which was amazing.

Shop – Nantucket is FULL of shopping! If you want it you can get it there from your typical touristy shops and then other must – go to’s including For Now which is a pop-up so consumers can discover new brands and their motto is “find what you weren’t looking for” which I am obsessed with. There’s also a Beautycounter pop up so you can try all their products, if you do go – make sure if you buy anything to let them know you’re shopping with me! (Amanda Sobkowiak). There’s also Skinny Dip Nantucket and Levitate which both have good items to check out!

There’s no way you can cram everything into one trip, we sure didn’t. Trust me, you’ll be back. I know I will!

Until next time, Nantucket!

~ XOXO, Becky aka Amanda

Two girls at Disneyland in California
ADVENTURE

Tips for the Best Disneyland Experience

Let’s just start off by saying that Disneyland isn’t known as “Happiest Place on Earth” for no reason. I grew up with fantastic memories of Disneyland and while as I got older I didn’t go as much as I used to, it’s safe to say that every time I go I leave with a smile from ear to ear. Here’s how to make the most of your time at both Disneyland and California Adventure Park.

California Adventure & Disneyland

While Disneyland is known as the iconic park, I love them both equally. California Adventure park was my first upside down roller coaster and their rides are more geared towards adults. Disneyland has more rides and it covers a larger layout. Disneyland is comprised of Disneyland, California Adventure Park, Downtown Disney, and between the parks, they have 3 hotels. Between the two parks, there are 16 themed lands, over 90 rides, and over 90 places to dine. This goes without saying, but I would recommend spending more than one day here, especially for a first-time visit.

Balloons at Disneyland

Tips & Tricks for a Magical Trip to Disneyland

  • Buy Tickets in Advance. Whether that be online or at a third-party office, this way you’re not wasting the day at ticket booths and can jump straight into the park. I’d recommend getting a hopper pass this way you can jump between both parks and you don’t have to spend all day at a certain park.
  • Spend time at both parks. Disneyland which opened in 1955 is your typical Disney experience from It’s a Small World to Dumbo to Pirates of the Caribbean to every princess. While California Adventure is more related to the Disney-Pixar side of things like Frozen, Monsters Inc, Cars, Etc.
  • They don’t sell alcohol at Disneyland. I used to love going to Cove Bar and Ariel’s Grotto for drinks, watching the roller coaster, and having a few apps. They’ve now closed it and it’s now Lamplight Lounge ~ stay tuned on the verdict with that restaurant. 
  • Plan your Disney trip not during peak times. Disneyland is busy from locals to people visiting from every part of the world. It’s best to avoid going during “peak” times like summer, any spring breaks, or Christmas vacation to beat the crowds and long lines.
  • Don’t forget about the FastPass. You can get one free FastPass at a time. This way you can plan out the rides with the longest wait time and plan to go back later.
  • Stay at a Disneyland Hotel. This may seem over the top, but you can cut down on transportation time, have very easy access in and out of the parks, and can go drop off or rest (which you will want to do).
  • Use the Disneyland App. This will give you an interactive map of the park and let you better plan out your day. The app will give you estimated wait time for rides, let you know the estimated FastPass return time and where the characters that are out in the park are. I’d recommend bringing a portable charger for your phone, especially if you’re planning on using the app at all.
  • Make a plan. Since wait lines can get long, the park can get crowded, or who knows what else, make sure you have a plan on your “must-do’s” or “must-see’s” so those don’t get missed out on.
  • Don’t forget to buy your ears! This is a staple for everyone visiting the park, no matter the age. They will magically fit on everyone and make you feel like a little kid again.

Here’s you have it, the best time at both Disneyland & California Adventure! Now all you need is faith, trust, and a little bit of pixie dust.

~ XOXO, the Disney Lovin’, Amanda

A girl standing in front of a lighthouse in Newport, RI
ADVENTURE

Weekend Getaway in Newport, RI

It’s no secret, or it shouldn’t be, that I am obsessed with all the picturesque coastal towns that line New England. I spent a weekend in Newport, RI & I had been before for a day, and I couldn’t wait to get back. (Again, I can’t wait to go back.) When I booked this weekend, I thought it would be full of spring weather with bright and shiny skies, but it was full of snow. Here’s what to do, what to eat, & where to stay.

What to do in Newport, RI

Newport Vineyards

  • Tour the Newport Mansions, some of the largest homes in America & they were once used as “summer homes.” Most of the homes were built between the 1870s- 1920s. I toured the breakers which was the summer home of the Vanderbilts.
  • Take a walk on Cliff Walk. This is a walk along the ocean where you walk by a lot of the Newport Mansions and if you do the whole walk it’s 3.5 miles.
  • Newport Vineyards. We stopped on the way into the city, it was right off the road & the wines were all so good! It was snowing (yes, ugh!) so we didn’t walk the vines but they looked beautiful.
  • Shop along Thames Street & Bannister Wharf with so many cute little boutiques & tourist shops, you’ll find something to take home!

What to eat in Newport, RI

Lobster roll at The Morring in Newport, RI

Iced coffee in front of coffee grinder

  • The Mooring – we had a famous lobster roll here & it was right on the water.
  • Get a coffee at Coffee Grinder
  • Breakfast at The Corner Cafe, their menu is huge and they will 100% have something for everyone. I got the breakfast scrambler and it was to die for. It’s also so cute inside, almost like Grandma’s house.
  • Grab a cup of the famous clam chowder from The Black Pearl

Where to stay in Newport, RI 

I stayed at Gurney’s Newport, but I also have heard great things about the Castle Hill Inn. I think there are so many hotels, air bnbs, and inn’s all with such charm that it’s hard to go wrong with anywhere!

Until Summer, Newport!!

~ XOXO, the New Englander, Amanda

Stowe, VT
ADVENTURE

Stowe, VT Travel Guide

I spent a weekend in mid-November in Stowe, VT. I had never been, but it’s been on my radar for some time because I see it all over the ‘gram! It’s safe to say, I loved it! Here’s my guide to seeing the town, eating, & what to do ~

Disclaimer: 1. I don’t like beer, and there are SO many breweries there. 2. I didn’t ski (so if you go in the winter, that’s an added given on what you have to do).

Beautiful scenery in Stowe, VT

Where to stay in Stowe 

I stayed at The Lodge at Spruce Peak. Did I love it? Yes. Guys, it had a fireplace in the room! I could have died a happy girl!! (I also don’t have one in our apartment in Boston, isn’t that WRONG?!) But the hotel was great! It was cute, everyone was friendly, the beds were comfy.

They have a heated pool and jacuzzi and the floors around it was heated, this SoCal girl had never even heard of that, so I thought it was pretty cool.

Where to eat in Stowe, VT

Stowe has SO many good food options! The Bench – I had lunch there and it was very delicious – dare I say BEST mac n cheese ever?! We also had a burger and a pizza which were very good as well. They have a wood fired oven which was the center of the kitchen so you know everything that came out of there was going to taste good.

We also stopped in The Alchemist for a few apps and drinks. We made friends with the bartender who made some of the best espresso martinis I think I’ve ever had! Their special was apple which wasn’t bad but you can’t top the espresso!

There was also live music at this spot called the Rusty Nail – which is also a mexican food place called Tres Amigos (It didn’t make sense to me either, but I went along with it!) Their margaritas were delish & the live band was fun. He was a local and his family was all there and he was JAMMING!

What to do in Stowe

I was in need of a relaxing weekend! And isn’t that what vacations were for? I got breakfast in bed, jacuzzied, walked around their cute little downtown, typical vacation things. I think their downtown is such a cute little mountain town. Live music at the place I mentioned before is a must!

Obviously there were people skiing, and if I had known that there would be so much snow already (I would have needed to as well!) The Country Store on Main & Stowe Wine & Cheese are both worth stopping into to bring home a little Stowe with you.

Overall, I was a big fan! I love small and quaint towns and would 100% recommend!

~ XOXO, the snow bunny Amanda

Girl sitting under a tree in Bermuda
ADVENTURE

Bermuda Travel Guide

I’ll start off by saying Bermuda is beautiful. They always say “have a bermudaful day” and it’s true! The water is some of the bluest I’ve ever seen. On the cab ride from the airport to the hotel, I kept saying “this water is so blue!” and the cab driver laughed. He saw it everyday, and I am jealous!!

Traveling to Bermuda

I’ll start off by saying, I’m used to going to Mexico – where it’s not that I haven’t felt safe or anything but there’s always the thought in your head and you hear lots of bad stories. While in Bermuda, that’s not the case. Everyone was sooo nice. I took a photo of the marina, thought Danny was standing behind me and said, “I like Bermuda” and a local was walking by answers me, and said “I’m glad you do, I do too.” Before we went we also heard it’s expensive, and sure I knew it wasn’t going to be “cheap” by any means – but it’s more than Boston prices 100% and that I wasn’t necessarily prepared for. But my motto is, you don’t go on vacation to be cheap and not to things, not try things. Otherwise it’s not the right time for vacation!

We chose to go to Bermuda because the flight was just over an hour and a half! It was such an easy flight which made our decision so perfect. We left Friday morning and had half of Friday and came back Monday afternoon so we had most of Monday as well!

One notable thing about Bermuda is the city shuts down on Sunday’s. It was hard to find restaurants or shops open. We wanted to go to the Dockyard and do a snorkeling tour – but we found out fast that nothing happens on Sunday’s.

One thing I always try to do when visiting a place is to ask locals where to go – off the beaten path sort of finds! Here’s everything we found!

Where we stayed in Bermuda 

We stayed at the Princess Hamilton in Bermuda. We loved the location! It was right in the middle of downtown – walking distances to shops & restaurants. The room was upgraded and the grounds were beautiful. The hotel was pink and the way the palms hit it, I was obsessed.

There’s a private beach which they have a shuttle that takes you to, and remember when I was talking about the clear blue water? Talk about getting to lay on the beach all day and stare at it! Yes please.

Overall, we were happy with our hotel! And the pool situation couldn’t have been better! Give me sun and I’m a happy girl.

palm leaves against pink wall

Must-eats & drinks in Bermuda 

First of all the island signature drinks are a “Dark & Stormy” and a “Rum Swizzle” which are a must. We drank these at The Swizzle Inn & The Pickled Onion & pretty much everywhere we ordered a drink at. But those two places were “authentic”.

We ate at our hotel’s restaurant, 1609, and we got the ahi-tuna flatbread – which I would highly recommend. We also had “fine dining” at Harry’s but fine dining in Bermuda isn’t that much more $$ than any other meal you’d eat. Plot twist: Italian? In Bermuda? Who would have thought! But we did at Little Venice, and it was delicious.

For dinner one night, I was craving sushi – we were recommended Beluga, Peal, and Coconut Rock. We went to the Coconut Rock, and it didn’t disappoint – does sushi ever though? We also found a coffee shop/cafe, Buzz, which had delicious coffee and we also got breakfast sandwiches at.

What to do in Bermuda

We spent a lot of time at the pool and beaches. We never made it to the Dockyard where all the cruise ships come in – which is also where a lot of sailing/snorkeling charters take out from. That’s where most of the “fun” & “touristy” things happen. There’s also the botanical gardens which looked beautiful as well! Our front desk girl, who checked us in said it wasn’t mind blowing, so we listened to her.

Horseshoe Bay was a beautiful beach! White sand, blue water, what else do you honestly need in life? Thought about just building a little cottage and never coming out! Who’s with me?!

We did walk through the Crystal Caves which was amazing – and I would highly recommend. It’s crazy to think how the Earth works and a little sketchy walking down steps into a cave, which apparently two 14 year old boys discovered manyyyy years ago.

Overall, we loved Bermuda! And would recommend and who knows, maybe we’ll visit again!

Have any other questions? Or places next time we have to hit up? Let me know!!

~ XOXO, the mermaid, Amanda

sunset & wine on the marina
ADVENTURE

Weekend Guide In Kennebunkport, ME

Kennebunkport, ME

One of my favorite things about living in Boston and the East Coast in general is that there are so many places that are a driveable distance. In California, you can drive 16 hours and be in the same state! Danny and I took a weekend trip from Boston, MA to Kennebunkport, ME and had a blast! I love Southern Maine more and more every time I go, and Kennebunkport is no different. Here’s everything you need to know!

From Boston to Kennebunkport is a little over an hour and a half, which isn’t too bad for a weekend!

Where to stay:

We stayed at a cute little boutique hotel The Yachtsman Hotel & Marina and we loved it! The staff was so friendly, and every room (yes every single one) is right on the water! They had breakfast in the morning and the coffee was SO GOOD. I’m a fan of feeling like a valued guest at a hotel vs. just another guest & that was how they treated us.

Where to eat:

First off, the real question is..can you ever get enough lobster in Maine? The answer is no! You’ll get it in a second…

  • The Boathouse– We ate dinner here and it was so delish!! I got tuna poke and it was some of the best I ever had (and I swear I’m not just saying that because I was hungry.)
  • Alisson’s – We got a lobster pizza & of course your traditional lobster roll here and I must say, lobster pizza was not what I expected (not sure what I did expect) but was so good! Who knew that makes a good combo – but it does!
  • Salt & Honey – We had a light breakfast here, salmon on rye which is a cute little (it felt like local’s) hangout. The servers had locals who wanted “the usual.” It had a cute vibe to it!
  • The Clam Shack – I must admire (regrettably) that we didn’t go here. But it looked and smelled so good! We were between this and Alisson’s and our tour guide said to go to Alisson’s so we listened. So I’ve been thinking about making a trip up just for a lobster roll here..so stay tuned!

What to do:

  • As I’m sure if you follow me on Instagram – you saw, but New England Eco Adventures is a must! They have a navy rib boat (aka goes super fast) and we did the Boon Island Lighthouse & Nubble lighthouse tour. It was amazing to be so close to a lighthouse – and who knew there was a lighthouse off the coast!
  • Ride bikes! Our hotel had them to use, but we had so much fun riding along the coast. I am obsessed with Southern Maine for a reason.
  • Shop. There are so many cute little boutiques and of course the touristy shops along their downtown.
  • Get a shipyard beer. They have a tasting room right next to Federal Jacks’s which is a local bar.
ADVENTURE

The Snowbird’s Sarasota Travel Guide

So my first winter is Boston was a cold & snowy one..I had always heard the term “snowbird” but it never really meant anything to me. Until now. You go to someplace warm, to escape the cold, to break it up, and to make it a little more bearable. Us Bostonians really know how to enjoy the sun!

We did a snowbird trip to Sarasota for New Years (yes I know I’m behind on this post) but nevertheless, spending some warm days soaking up the sun is v necessary. Here’s the tips and tricks, places to eat, stuff to do, and your complete travel guide to Sarasota! And yes, I am already booking flights for the snowbird in me for next winter.

First things first..let me show off Sarasota by all the million pictures I took.

Since everyone knows I fly for food. Let’s start off with what we ate (+drank) all throughout Sarasota, FL!

What to eat:

Venezia

This place is a must. Their pizza is life changing, plus they have a patio where you can sit outside..in shorts in the winter! YES PLEASE!

I got a croque madame and I think it might be my favorite..of. all. time. I don’t think I have words to describe it because I ate it so fast, I’ll let the picture speak for itself.
 

Lido Key Tiki Bar

This place is perfect to grab a drink, or two. And watch the sunset on the beach!

Tommy Bahama

I know this is a chain, but I am such a fan! Their blood orange margarita paired with either their ahi tuna salad or fish tacos. I love the overall experience and the decor.

Kilwins

If you know me, you know I’m a sucker for ice cream. And Kilwin’s doesn’t disappoint! I think it’s so fun to grab a cone and walk around. It’s right in the middle of things at St. Armand’s circle so perfect for it!

Shore

Their thai curry mussels and tuna tartare have me hooked! We went there the first night we were there, and I could have gone and ate both of those for every single meal and been happy! It was very delicious, every time we walked by it was pretty packed so be sure to be mentally prepared for a wait!

Daiquiri Deck

So to be completely honest, don’t get food here. There’s way too many good places to waste any sort of hunger (or calories) on the food. But it’s a fun place to hangout and grab a drink!

What to do:

St. Armand’s Circle

This place has great food and shopping! It’s a great place to spend an afternoon, hangout, get some good souvenirs, and more!

Lido Key Beach/Siesta Key Beach

Some of the clearest water I’ve seen. Both are voted in the top beaches in the country. I could have obviously laid there all day and been perfectly happy with the trip!

Kayak Siesta Key/Mangroves

I’m a lover of everything adventurous, so of course I thought this was so fun! Another way to see more of the city IN the water! We did Siesta Key, and on the way back it got really windy, so we woke up the next morning and felt it in our arms!

Downtown Sarasota Farmer’s Market

I LOVE a good farmer’s market, and this one is pretty big! It gets pretty packed, so I’d recommend going earlier than later. My favorite was the hot sauce and bloody mary mix from Annalida’s Gourmet Foods

If you go for New Year’s like we did, they do a pineapple drop in downtown which is AMAZING! It’s beyond crowded, but as you all know I’m a lover of pineapple’s so this was a highlight! Poor Danny was still on crutches from his broken ankle so I think he hated me secretly for needing to be right in the middle of the crowds, but he was a good sport! Per the usual.

BOOKING TRIPS FOR NEXT WINTER ALREADY!

~ XOXO, the sun obsessed, Amanda

 

ADVENTURE

The Windy City Travel Guide

One of my favorite things about living on the East Coast is that you can travel anywhere so fast. On the West, you can drive to AZ (Which I do love) in 5 hrs, but over here, in Boston in that time you can go to many different states!

So from Boston to Chicago, which hint hint, will be what I’m telling you about is about a 2 hour flight. SO EASY for a perfect weekend getaway. I had always wanted to go to Chicago, and once we were here it was only a matter of time before the windy city called our names.

I had no idea what to expect, I had heard GREAT, AMAZING, and UNBELIEVABLE things about Chicago, but on the other hand I heard “ehhh” so I had no idea what to think.  But I was pleasantly surprised. San Diego has amazing food and people were like wait til you get to Boston, and Boston has amazing food too, but Chicago. Wow it’s like a food tour is necessary. And I’m a firm believer that calories don’t count on vacation. 

We ate a lot, which I can’t complain. Eating in review you ask? Fine. I’ll divulge, but you have to promise not to judge. And there were even places on my list I wanted to go to and couldn’t. This picture describes all my eating: #eatwithoutregret

Lou Malnati’s: Deep dish. They’re pretty much everywhere, honestly when I look at deep dish, I don’t think it looks good. You can’t see the cheese, all you see is sauce, and who likes that part really of the pizza? Then you cut it and the cheesy goodness is exposed.

Garrett’s: Popcorn. It’s a classic, “Garrett Popcorn” and you get cheddar and caramel, gross right? NO!

Cupitol: For the coffee. Best. Pumpkin. Latte. We started everyday with a cup.

Eataly: Get some cheese, meats, and crackers for a little snack.

Public house: I got avocado toast, so you know now I’ll never be able to afford a house. (Sorry I’m trying to adult over here.)

M. Henry: BRUNCH! It was featured on a food network show- #1 best brunch in the U.S., so yes of course I had to try. (Look at that florentine shrimp and crab cake bennie on the left and cinnamon roll french toast right in the middle).

Old Town Pour House: They have every appetizer you could ever want. And I think our eyes were bigger than our bellies, but it was all so good. That was a reoccurring theme of the food though.

P.S. There are soooo many rooftop bars, with amazing views of the city that are a must.

We walked a lot (and took the L). Pro tip: we bought a 3 day pass for $25 which gave us unlimited rides. The most tourist spots? Okay, I’ll share. (Here’s a sneak peek of the pics version of them.)

   

Architecture Tour – I’ll be the first to admit, I thought this would be cheesy, but multiple people told me it was a must do. It’s crazy to go through the city and see all the buildings and learn about the history, and even what they have planned and how perfectly it all fits into each other. Did Chicago really burn down because of a cow?

Willis Tower –  1,453 feet tall with an observation area, called the SkyDeck, on the 103rd floor, 1,353 feet above the ground. I heard about it on the architecture tour and knew we had to go. D wasn’t thrilled at all, but me? Couldn’t wait.

Millennium Park/The bean – Your classic picture, it’s as big as you think it would be. They have concerts, a perfect picnic spot,

Navy Pier – Right on Lake Michigan, I found it so amazing that the lake is soooo blue. Like Caribbean waters. If it wasn’t cold and windy, this mermaid would have jumped right in. There’s a huge ferris wheel, and places to eat.

Michigan Avenue and the Magnificent Mile – all the shopping you could possibly want. Every store, big and small. Plus a huge mall!

Buckingham Fountain– If you know the Balboa Park fountain, then it reminds me a lot of that. It’s a huge fountain, with the city in the background.

SPORTS! Yes, we watched them, c’mon you think Danny would go and not? So the Kings (hockey) as always is intense, and it’s not far from the city! We got a box seat with unlimited food, which was most certainly a problem. And the Cubs, we watched a game from across the street on top of some apartments. Definitely different, and definitely fun. But Wrigley Field is one of the oldest baseball fields, and hey, they just won the world series!

Overall: LOVED CHICAGO! It’s one of the most photogenic cities, with the most amazing food, and of course, the most fun!

~ XOXO, the wanderlust struck, Amanda