Archives for category: TRAVEL

CONFESSION TIME ~*ALERT*~  I returned from a trip to Portugal 3.5 weeks ago, and have yet to do a full on, detailed post about how amazing the country, people, food, weather, architecture etc. etc, is. I know it’s terrible considering how much joy that trip brought me and how much I chewed everyone’s ear off back home about it. BUT, I had a lot to catch up on at work and some personal freelance projects that are taking up nearly every minute of my “spare” time… Check out some picture below!

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I traveled with 3 other lovely ladies who I was reunited with after having originally met while studying abroad in college. In short I can say that it was a trip for the books. We laughed and talked a lot, ate A CHEESEBOARD IN EVERY ESTABLISHMENT, no joke. We drank port and wine and sipped lots of espressos and devoured Portuguese custard pastries, called Pastéis de Nata, which I will be recreating in the kitchen come winter. We spent 5 days in the south of the country visiting the Algarve, which is lovely because it’s all beaches, cliffs and winding roads through the countryside. Then we trekked back up North to Lisbon, where we spent the remaining 4 days.

Lisbon is easily one of my favorite cities in the world, that I have seen thus far. The concentration of bars is one of the highest in the world, which made for memorable nights running bar hoping in the trendy Barrio Alto neighborhood. The city is a mix of old and new and feels quintessentially shabby chic European. We sat outside as the sun went down, over a table full of wine, cheese and bread and watched the orangey red roofs of the city glow and fade out with the last light of day. I have plenty more pictures to share for my Part 2, so stay tuned!

Thanks for reading, as always.

Lauren

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snow

Sometimes , you just need to hit the reset button. This past weekend spent up in Vermont, was just the thing I needed after a couple of very wintry & stressful weeks in NJ. During our travels throughout Vermont, we hit up the towns of Waterbury, Burlington, Essex, Stowe & Greensboro. Yes, I know. A ton of driving. We logged about 18 hrs of it in total. Although, looking out the window at the surrounding farmland, old stone barns, the ice topped beauty of Lake Champlain & rolling green and blue mountains – it’s hard to complain. It was 3 days spent trying out the fare at local restaurants, like lunch at The Prohibition Pig, brunch at the Gables Inn, dinner at Farmhouse Tap and Grill, drinks at the Hourglass bar at Stowe Mountain Lodge and brunch at Sneakers Bistro (i’m still dreaming about the divine Veggie Hash & Eggs I ordered!) We sampled local cheese at the Cabot Creamery and beer at the Hill Farmstead Brewery (tastiest beer in the world!) We popped into general stores to sneak away with bags of sweets weighed in antique iron scales and marveled at toys with old fashioned retro packaging. We slept on our friend’s couch in Burlington, in true college-days fashion & loved every minute spent trekking around this gorgeous state. Oh yeah, AND our car got stuck in the snow going uphill. But fear not! Friendly passers-by equipped with man power & bags of sand, helped us break free. Or rather, roll backwards, free.

Stowe VT

Stowe mountainGazing skyward at the skiers on the Stowe Mountain trails

Stowe church

photo 5Stowe Mountain Lodge at the mountain’s base.

photo 5-4Bear ice sculpture!

trees covered

ridley's spring toy

photo 4-3Love the fun retro packaging of Ridley’s toys

photo 5-3Beautiful vintage French inspired bathroom goodies by Barr-Co.

Black cap coffee cafeI love the red houses + white trim theme, all throughout the state of VT/upstate NY.

photo 1-7Rose de Gambrinus beer from Cantillon Brewery in Belgium, flavored with raspberries!

apple sausage cheese omeletteThe apple + sharp cheddar + maple sausage omelette from the Gables Inn. holy yum.

Overall, the scenery and relaxed atmosphere of the town &  people was refreshing and surprisingly, the extra snow we got while we were up there, didn’t bother me one. little. bit. Probably because I didn’t have to shovel it!

Until next time! =)

This weekend the boyfriend and I made our 2nd annual trek up to Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in Pocantico Hills, NY. The place is so beautiful and an essential on my Autumn to-do list. I adore walking around the trails that weave throughout the 80 acre farm, pastures and woodland. My favorite part might be the simple fresh fare from the Blue Hill Cafe and stopping into the charming farm store.

colors of Fall

farm store

inside the Farm storefresh flowers

fresh cut flower bouqets
herbs

inside farm store

a wall full of jams and preservesflatbread

goat cheese, corn and onion flat breadplate of farm goodies

From top left – Flatbread, egg/potato frittata, wheat berry salad and Kale & cheddar scone.

After having the Kale and Cheddar scone from the cafe (see picture above),  I was compelled to make a version in my own kitchen, using fresh Kale from my boyfriend’s garden. I followed this recipe and introduced very finely chopped fresh broccoli to bolster the veggie goodness. I paired these savory scones with fresh vegetable soup for yesterday’s dinner, and it was divine!

sauteeVeggies are sautéed to soften before being folded into the batter

mix in

Veggies flour and cheese prepare for Buttermilk!
kale sconesThe finished product, ta dah!!!!

Thanks for stopping by everyone! =)

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There’s only an hour left of September and I had to get at least one post in,
before saying goodbye to this month until next year.
I always think of September as a month of new beginnings and as a chance at a fresh start – it definitely has something to do with the ingrained school scheduling and the fact that I still pine for college life!
I got back from vacation halfway though the month and it’s taken me a while to get back into the swing of things. Visiting Istanbul, Santorini and Athens was insanely magical. There were 11 days of exploration, eating local fare, documenting, and wandering around unique cities. We savored meals that lingered long into the night and enjoyed sunsets the literally stopped us in our tracks. From the towering mosques covered in intricate tile of Istanbul, to the crisp white churches perched atop mountains of Greek volcanic islands – it was all a dream. Below are just a select few of the pictures I snapped – a full detailed post to follow!

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In just 5 short weeks, I’ll be on an outbound flight heading to Turkey & Greece. Although I know Istanbul will be incredible to see, I can’t quite contain my excitement to visit beautiful Santorini. It’s clear to me, after looking through traveler’s photos, that it’s certainly a place you have to see with your own eyes. The ocean looks deep bright blue and the crisp white buildings that ripple up from the sea along the cliff face, are simply stunning. I’ve never been more excited to travel and explore every inch of an island. I’ll try my hand at photography whilst i’m there but for now, I’ve collected some photos from various sites. I’ve put the links down below for credit!

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Greece-Santorini

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http://www.kavalari.com/

http://fyeahgreekislands.tumblr.com/page/3

http://www.santorinichromasuites.com/sea-view-suites-with-jacuzzi/

Here are some snapshots from life recently via my Instagram feed.

Although the standard filters of Instagram render a majority of what I come across, cliché, I love the simplicity of how we share moments from our daily lives. Each of us with our own perspective on the objects and people we cross paths with. Photos are shared, whether they are seriously considered compositions or the simple capturing of a particularly extraordinary vanilla spice latte shared with friends.

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Hey there Everyone! I hope that your Novembers (not a word) have been treating you well. The holiday spirit is definitely upon us and this past weekend, I spent it exploring the Finger Lakes Region of upstate NY. It left me feeling like I could tackle another week and was a nice way to relax and enjoy the outdoors and beautiful weather – and of course, the first of the holiday spirit tingles.

We hit up about 8 wineries, a distillery, a cidery and brewery. Lots of drinking. Lots of eating. Fluffy stuffed cheesy chive sourdoughs, roasted meat atop harvest salads and crisp clean glasses of cider and seasonal beer. Not too mention more wine sampling than was probably good for me!

During our stay we visited the William Smith Inn, a positively beautiful Bed and Breakfast built in 1873. “Designed by renowned architect Andrew Jackson Warner, this Italianate home features quarter-cut white oak floors with black walnut inlay, monstrous chestnut doors, floor-to-ceiling windows and incredibly detailed, ornate moulding.” Our host was lovely and a breakfast of fruit, granola, yogurt and baked french toast kept us full for the long car ride home through quaint farm land and winding rivers.

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Twinkle lights in the wine storage room at Americana Vineyards

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Chicken sausage, apple, walnut and aged cheddar salad.

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A festive barn tasting room

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Load of sourdough, cheese and chive that we ate in one sitting

The “night flight” beer sampler at the Ithaca Brewery

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The stunning William Smith Inn in Geneva NY, a house built in 1870 and renovated to become the areas #1 rated Bed and Breakfast

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The street view of the William Smith Inn

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electric red colored berries near the entrance way

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Reusable tote bags from the Ithaca Bakery, featuring one of my favorite fonts, Brothers!

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Joe walking in the vineyards

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baby pumpkins great you by the door of the Bellwether Hard Cidery

Here was a list of my favorites from the area if you’re ever traveling around the Finger Lakes!

Ithaca Bakery (they have a pretty sweet website too)

Bellwether Hard Cidery

Americana Vineyards & the Crystal Lake Cafe

Chateau Lafayette Reneau

William Smith Inn

Ithaca Beer Company

Thanks for stopping by everyone!

=)


So Jersey is seeing a ton of snow at the moment during this Nor’easter storm and so once again I’m stuck in the house because I am positively terrified of driving anywhere – I was gripping the steering wheel so hard on my way home from work that it took a few seconds to get feeling back in my finger tips. =/

Anyway a bit of idle time led me to my iPhoto library —–> 2 hours later. me pouring through a tons old photos reminiscing on past trips as a student studying abroad in 2009. I trekked across foreign land and cityscapes in my converse sneakers as a young and curious, but sorely naive, 19 year old and loved every minute of being there. I was based in the University of Westminster in London (and being a HUGE harry potter fan I practically barfed from excitement when I stepped onto solid ground) I traveled to Ireland, France, Denmark and Spain in my time there and traveled to a couple of beautiful countryside towns within the UK, like Stratford-Upon-Avon, Bath and Stonehenge.

Looking through the hold photographs made me feel such an insane desire to just get up and leave. See something like a sun setting on a unfamiliar place.

Under pack and get cold in an unforeseen freezing weather, walk around cities with holes in my shoes because I’m too broke to buy another pair and I would rather save my money to buy more beer and food.

Sleep in hostel rooms with 20 other young travelers and be woken up at all hours of the night as the party buses come back from clubs with truck loads of people.

As soon as my bank account hits an acceptable amount,  at which point I can deplete it once more with a new trip, i’m doing it. I’m gooooooing to see the world ya’ll!

“Wandering reestablishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe”

– Anatole France

Thanks for stopping by everyone!