Tag Archives: travel

Exploring Plum Island With Maven

I received my Drive Maven experience as well as some of the food in this post free of charge, but opinions of my experiences are 100% my own.

Jeff and I had a great time during our recent trip to Blue Inn in Plum Island, MA. That was thanks in part to our mode of transportation, a red 2016 Cadillac ATS from Maven. Maven is a car-sharing service, similar to ZipCar, that is offered in Boston, LA , Chicago, and other large cities. But the biggest – and best – difference from ZipCar is that, for a limited time, Maven is free to join! Once I heard about that major benefit, I was completely on board when the company offered us a car to take on our weekend getaway.

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Maven has nine different vehicle pickup locations in Boston, and we picked the one closest to our Charlestown apartment, the Government Center parking garage. The Maven app actually serves as the keys to your car. Once next to our Cadillac, I was able to use my phone to unlock the vehicle. Jeff also downloaded the app onto his phone and, signed in under my account, had access to unlock and lock the car as well. Which worked out well, since I usually (always) ask him to drive.

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Getaway to Blue in Plum Island

Though I received my stay at Blue Inn free of charge, my opinions are 100% my own. In short, I’d pay to go back in a second!

I have never encountered a Lark Hotels location I didn’t love (I’ve stayed at Gilded in Newport, and dined at Whitehall in Camden), and last Sunday’s visit to Blue Inn, located in Plum Island, MA, was no exception. The Plum Island and Newburyport area have always been special to Jeff and me, because we took our first overnight trip there as a couple and also visited Plum Island on one of our first dates. Staying at Blue sounded great to us because we already know the area (well, Jeff does), so the trip felt like a staycation despite us being almost an hour away from Boston. Blue picked out a gorgeous ocean view king suite for us, which somehow managed to feel like a quaint beach house while also feeling fabulous and luxurious.

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I always appreciate a combo of beach and fall decor!

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Journey to Western Mass: Part 2

Did you miss part one of my recap? Click here to read! Also, for any of my readers who live in Boston and love fitness, I’m hosting an Instagram giveaway for two tickets to the Jimmy Fund Fit Fest taking place this Saturday on the Esplanade. Enter here!

When I last left off, my boyfriend Jeff and I were convening with our friends Matt and Dave in the lobby of the Hotel Northampton for dinner. One of the best parts about our trip was the fact that our hotel was located right in the center of town, and we could walk everywhere! We took a short stroll to Bistro Les Gras, a farm to table restaurant with menus that change daily. First we got a round of appetizers, including a fantastic steak tartare.

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Three out of four of us went with the burger as our entree, thanks to recommendations from many locals we’d talk to throughout the day. The burger lived up to its reputation, and its flavor made it obvious that it was ground in-house.

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Journey to Western Mass: Part 1

Back when I lived in Connecticut, I lived less than an hour from Western Massachusetts, yet never bothered to explore the area. After this past weekend, I’m definitely regretting that. The Hampshire County Tourism Board sent me, my boyfriend Jeff, and my friends/amazing couple Matt and Dave on a fantastic weekend trip to Western Mass, and I’m already wondering when I can return!

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Jeff and I hit the road Saturday morning and enjoyed an easy ride out west, where we met Matt and Dave. Our first stop was Mineral Hills Winery in Florence, MA. There we met with the owner, Larry Goddard. He showed us an absolutely incredible time that, as Jeff put it, “ruined wine tastings for him forever”. That’s a good thing – it means we really got the VIP treatment!

Larry greeted us with tastes of May Wine, which is a German beverage traditionally served on May Day.

Larry greeted us with tastes of May Wine, which is a German beverage traditionally served on May Day.

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A Florida Birthday

March 22nd was my 27th birthday and I truly felt like the celebrations lasted for days and days. Jeff took me out for a great birthday dinner in Boston the Friday before, and I also visited one of my favorite bars with a ton of friends for an epic night out on Saturday. But I spent my actual birthday in Orlando, Florida with my family and Jeff.

No Florida birthday is complete without Publix cake, or a heavy dose of Lilly Pulitzer. My brother and sister gifted me a Lilly wine tote and stemless wine glasses, and my family gifted me my favorite white cake with white icing.

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Weekend Getaway in Cape Cod

Back toward the end of last year, I spotted a Gilt City deal for the Ocean Edge Resort in Brewster, MA – on Cape Cod. I thought an off-season getaway with my boyfriend Jeff would be a great way to break up the long winter and booked a room using the deal for this past Saturday (February 20th). During booking, I wondered if we’d end up with a snowy and frigid weekend. Certainly the opposite happened – the weekend was sunny and the temperatures mild. We really lucked out!

Our favorite part of any hotel is a nice fuzzy bathrobe!

Unfortunately we did not luck out in the realm of resort patrons…and timing with February school break! The Ocean Edge was CRAWLING with kids. It didn’t seem we could escape them; visits to the restaurant on-site at both 5:30PM and 9PM proved that there was no ideal time to dine, as at both hours almost every table had a child sitting at it. I love my friends’ kids, but other than that I am not a kid person. So after a quick dinner, we ended up hiding in our room for most of the night, aside from a quick dip in the hot tub. But it’s OK – we had bathrobes, lots of channels to watch, and plenty of bubbles. Plus the room was really nice! I just don’t think I’ll be staying at the Ocean Edge again, or recommending it to anyone unless they have kids.

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Less Boozing, More Hair Drying

I’m coming off an awesome weekend in Charlotte visiting my sister Hannah! She moved there over the summer and I jumped on tickets for a super-cheap flight a few weeks ago so I could finally check out her new home. I met her friends, saw her beautiful apartment, shopped, got a couple of workouts in, and of course ate and drank all the things.

Turkey burger on rye from Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar, complete with rosemary ham, pesto, cheese, and an egg!

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On a Lark at Gilded

Long-time readers of this blog will know I have a love affair with Newport, RI and make a point of visiting at least twice a year. Last November I took my first ever off-season trip, and found it to be an ideal time to visit. Restaurants are less crowded, but still bustling enough. Hotels are WAY cheaper. And there’s something charming about a seaside town in the winter.

Like being able to use a hotel fireplace!

Like being able to use a hotel fireplace!

The November trip was my boyfriend Jeff’s first ever visit to Newport, and he loved it. So I thought returning to there during his birthday weekend was the perfect way to celebrate his special day. But instead of the usual big-chain hotel, we stayed in a more special place – Gilded Hotel, one of two Lark Hotels Newport locations.

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Where Have I Been?

Lately I have been hearing the same proclamation a seemingly endless amount of times: “You’ve been everywhere!” And I can’t say I’m surprised to hear that. Despite the fact that hearing this proclamation immediately triggers my brain to think, “You’ve been going out and drinking and eating too much and slacking on the gym!”, I’ve been practicing fighting that thought and feeling thankful for all I have been able to do so far this summer.

I’ve been to Knoxville, Tennessee to see my little sister graduate from college…

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Nantucket (with work) for the Wine Fest…

Connecticut for my dad’s birthday and a wedding…

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Giveaway Winner and Off I Go!

I’m popping in to say hi and quickly announce the winner of my giveaway five free product coupons from Dr. Praeger’s. Congrats to Alex! I will be emailing you about claiming your prize!

I’m on the road again, or shall I say the water? Likely when I hit publish on this pre-written post I am either about to leave on a drive to Hyannis, or on the ferry itself to Nantucket. I’ll be pouring wine for 90+ Cellars at one of tomorrow’s Nantucket Wine Festival Grand Tastings, and aside from that will be hanging out on that wonderful island, likely collecting material along the way for another event recap!

The remnants of last year's festival.

The remnants of last year’s festival.

It’s been a week of night out, night in, night out, night in. Monday I stopped by a Boston Bloggers event at Audubon – a last minute decision but an easy one once I found out my dear friend Emily was going. I kept things chill with a couple glasses of Rose, finally met Christina, got a chance to photobooth it up, and grabbed Whole Foods takeout (for the first time ever I was disappointed by it) on the way home. I felt reassured by my ability to go out and not GO all out.

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