Posts tagged travel

newport weekend recap

this isn’t a very timely recap since i went to newport like three weeks ago… but just because i’ve been slacking doesn’t mean i should forget the trip entirely! so let’s see…

you might remember that i took a daytrip to newport, rhode island for my birthday at the end of march. it was a bit chilly, but such a great day - blue skies, restaurant week and fun with my mom. i was chatting with my friend whitney that day and she was saying she hadn’t been to newport in years and years and would LOVE to go.  right then, we planned a quick girls weekend for the first weekend in june and we counted down the hours.

only issue… june = wedding season. newport = wedding location. weekend = wedding time. ergo… june weekend in newport = nearly impossible to find a hotel. the big staples were all booked, some of the b&b’s looked quite creepy and the upscale boutique hotels required a minimum two-night stay at about $450-600 a night. (no thanks.) instead of driving 35 minutes and paying a hefty toll back and forth over the jamestown bridge, i found an affordable hotel right in middletown (about 3 miles from the center of town in newport) - easy peasy!

on our trip, we visited a couple of the mansions, indulged in cupcakes and froyo (on different days, don’t worry) and had some great seafood. it was a perfect quick trip and we really lucked out with the weather on the second day. of course i didn’t quite luck out with the car issues i had during our last couple of hours in town, but i’ll get to that later.

newport mansions

here’s a little known fact that can save you some money when you visit the newport mansions: when you buy a pass for one or two mansions, that ticket can be upgraded at a lower price at any point within the next year. example: my mom and i bought a two-mansion ticket on my birthday and whit and i wanted to check out two mansions. instead of buying a new two-mansion ticket for $24, we were able to upgrade my original tickets (which i held onto) to a 4+ mansion ticket ($31 value) for just an extra $7. make sense? i thought so! i’m so glad i hung onto the tickets because i ended up saving us $34! such a bargain.

this trip, whit and i visited marblehouse and the elms (i went to the breakers and rosecliff with my mom in march). the mansions are so beautiful and fun to tour without it feeling boring and museum-ish.

eats & treats

we visited cupcake charlie’s on our first day and split a few of the cupcakes (didn’t finish them all, though. womp womp). clockwise starting top left: red velvet, chocolate mint, chocolate chip cookie, peanut butter cup. we didn’t realize until we were inside that cupcake charlie’s had been featured on food network’scupcake wars! what a ringing endorsement :)

since we all know how obsessed i am with self-serve froyo, we had to run into orange leaf (new to me, but they’re all over the place!) on our second day after lunch. good thing we did so much walking to burn it off!

and yes, we did eat food OTHER than dessert while we were there. we had a quick lunch at yesterday’s when we first got to town (no pictures, but quesadilla for me and cranberry chicken sandwich for whit!)

that night, when we went downtown in our cutest outfits, we ended up at the black pearl tavern (which will always remind me of johnny depp and pirates of the caribbean). we split a brie appetizer and both got scallops for dinner. too dark inside for pictures, but here we are outside the restaurant in our cutest summer dresses:

lastly, in between a boatload of shopping (so many shops downtown - a mix of regular retail stores like j. crew, banana republic and gap with fun touristy and boutique-y shops, as well), we had brunch outside on the water at the landing (wraps for all!). and yes, i’m serious when i say this was our weather and our view:

car troubles

as we were heading out of town, my car started making some embarrassingly loud noises and i couldn’t figure out why. imagine whit and i in our cute sundresses, trying to politely crouch down to diagnose a car issue that we had no clue about. great visual.

a couple of very polite high school boys tried to help us out. here’s another visual: one of the boys put his bike down in front of my car and then crawled half under it off on the side of the road. EVERYONE that walked/drove by, stopped and gasped, staring angrily at me while they thought i RAN OVER THIS BOY. luckily that was not the case and he rigged up a temporary solution for me.

when i say temporary, i mean that it fell off four minutes later and i ended up having to call AAA. my oil pan cover or some-such-thing was dragging under my car and luckily he just ripped it off. you know, instead of my car being stranded in newport or me paying $3 a mile to get it towed 100 miles home…

i proceeded to drive 40mph home through torrential downpours until whit and i arrived in CT safe and sound. always and adventure…

overall, newport was an absolute blast and was a perfect way to kick off the summer. then again, i’ve visited during the holidays when the mansions were decorated for christmas and that was a blast, too. in short… newport is a great new england trip, no matter when you’ve got time to go!

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as promised, now i’ll tell you a bit about the friendly toast in kendall square/cambridge - the spot that jane and i grabbed lunch during our quick trip to boston. obviously after lunch here, we saved room for those kick*ss cupcakes, though!

i’ve been to this restaurant 2-3 other times and always opt for breakfast food, since that’s the best meal of the day! during my most recent visit, i ordered an egg white omelette with avocado and goat cheese. two of my favorite foods rolled into one dish? perfect. i got homemade cinnamon toast and potatoes as sides, but left the potatoes because they were a little spicy for my liking. the bread was deeelish, though!

jane was craving a grilled cheese, so she ordered from the lunch side of the menu. i’m telling you, this menu is filled with some very interesting combinations that i would never think to pair together (like the mr. haegar: “a messy melt of dill pickles, cheddar, plum tomatoes, dijon mustard and horseradish mayonnaise on grilled oatmeal bread”). everything that comes out of the kitchen always looks good, though, and they have lots of options for different appetites. there are gluten free items, vegetarian dishes, food for meat lovers and simpler things for picky palates. next time i think i’m going to go with the PUMPKIN PANCAKES!

anywho, as you can see in the pictures, the best part about this place is the decor! everything is straight out of the 50/60s and the walls are painted bright with tons to look at. sometimes it feels like sensory overload, but the advertisements, products and decor makes me feel like i’m in an episode of happy days. i love it!

the friendly toast | kendall square | 1 hampshire street | cambridge, ma | 02139

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today i took a quick trip to beantown with my friend jane and it was such a nice, spur of the moment, midweek treat! jane, you see, is incredibly smart and driven (not to mention thoughtful and fun!) and we’ve been friends since seventh grade. after dominating the midwest, she’s now back east for grad school at MIT (nerd pride, as she says) and had to run to the city to pick up keys for her summer sublet. we enjoyed lunch at the friendly toast (more on that later!), perused the bookstore and per my recommendation, stopped at kick*ss cupcakes, my favorite cupcake shop in the boston area!
these are no chocolate and vanilla, plain old cupcakes (although the chocolate and vanilla are so good, too!). see, i’m not usually a huge fan of frosting (too sweet sometimes), but this frosting is just the right amount and SO DELICIOUS. the flavors i picked out yesterday included ginger peach bellini (with a raspberry on top), the somerville special (espresso cupcake, marshmallow filling, nutella frosting), lemon meringue (lemon cupcake, lemon curd and real torched meringue on top), chocolate cupcake/vanilla frosting and vanilla cupcake/chocolate frosting, as well as the super chocolate (brownie cupcake with bittersweet chocolate and chocolate shavings).
they have so many other inventive flavors, too (i love me some s’mores cupcake!), but i didn’t want to have a lifetime supply of cupcakes on my counter, because that would require me to eat. them. all. and remember what they say - treat treats as treats! this was a special treat, for sure :)
if you ever find yourself in davis square, i couldn’t recommend it any more! check it out - you’ll thank me later :)
kick*ss cupcakes |  davis square | 378 highland street | somerville, ma | 02124

today i took a quick trip to beantown with my friend jane and it was such a nice, spur of the moment, midweek treat! jane, you see, is incredibly smart and driven (not to mention thoughtful and fun!) and we’ve been friends since seventh grade. after dominating the midwest, she’s now back east for grad school at MIT (nerd pride, as she says) and had to run to the city to pick up keys for her summer sublet. we enjoyed lunch at the friendly toast (more on that later!), perused the bookstore and per my recommendation, stopped at kick*ss cupcakes, my favorite cupcake shop in the boston area!

these are no chocolate and vanilla, plain old cupcakes (although the chocolate and vanilla are so good, too!). see, i’m not usually a huge fan of frosting (too sweet sometimes), but this frosting is just the right amount and SO DELICIOUS. the flavors i picked out yesterday included ginger peach bellini (with a raspberry on top), the somerville special (espresso cupcake, marshmallow filling, nutella frosting), lemon meringue (lemon cupcake, lemon curd and real torched meringue on top), chocolate cupcake/vanilla frosting and vanilla cupcake/chocolate frosting, as well as the super chocolate (brownie cupcake with bittersweet chocolate and chocolate shavings).

they have so many other inventive flavors, too (i love me some s’mores cupcake!), but i didn’t want to have a lifetime supply of cupcakes on my counter, because that would require me to eat. them. all. and remember what they say - treat treats as treats! this was a special treat, for sure :)

if you ever find yourself in davis square, i couldn’t recommend it any more! check it out - you’ll thank me later :)

kick*ss cupcakes |  davis square | 378 highland street | somerville, ma | 02124

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