lifestyle, travel

Fondue Express at Ocean House RI

This weekend I had the most amazing experience at Ocean House RI! They recently launched their brand new Fondue Express, they converted an old ski gondola into the most adorable champagne and fondue pop-up restaurant. It was decked out with fur pillows, antler chandelier, and plenty of Veuve Clicquot!

Ocean House is such a special property, it opened in 1869! In 2003 the original Ocean House was closed, unfortunately unable to be repaired. A historical replicate was built in its place with all the modern amenities we love! Ocean House is filled with pieces from the original and has the most amazing private art collection I have ever seen. Beyond it’s beauty Ocean House provides 5 star service, 5 star food, and 5 star spa services. One of only thirteen triple 5 star hotels in the world! I love visiting New England gems like Ocean House. If you are looking for a romantic couples getaway, or a fun girls weekend, I highly recommend the Ocean House’s Fondue Express. This is a one of a kind experience that you will not get anywhere else in the world! We had an amazing time, thank you so much to Ocean House for hosting me, Lana, Kara, and Laura. And double thank you to Laura for being an amazing photographer! A fun girls weekend is the perfect way to brave the cold!

travel

Kennebunkport Christmas Prelude

New England knows how to do Christmas! The first two weeks of December mark the Kennebunkport Christmas Prelude, there are Christmas sales, tree lightings, parades, and lots of holiday cheer! This year we headed up to Kennebunkport Maine the first weekend of Prelude, the drive from Boston isn’t bad, just 1.5-2 hours. We left early Saturday morning, once we got up there we check out the shops and did a little shopping. Next we hopped on board a lobster boat and went for a ride around the harbor. 8C491A4C-2B34-4DE4-88DA-2D02AF9DA62BE4E03180-DB4D-467B-A348-BCAF333355DC6AD3EA85-58D2-4B93-ACA4-849DAA0A37CE2ED56EE9-3079-4218-9C84-80ADA4560D8CB3853127-0AB9-448A-8853-2B060567F04D0544253D-C15D-4A5E-9322-5A36767C37DB7AAB42EF-8413-4249-9E82-0282336BE374E44C6D31-2531-4578-9178-80A1FD29F726

After the boat ride we were super hungry so we headed to Pedro’s for margaritas and lunch. Pedro’s margaritas are incredible; I had the Margarita en Fuego, it was super spicy, just the way I like it! After a quick lunch we headed to grab a spot along the parade route for the annual Hat Parade. I was amazed how creative some people were, it was a little chilly for a parade but it was a ton of fun. We decided to grab some cocktails after the parade and then headed to the Franciscan Monastery for the annual Candlelight Caroling. That was definitely the highlight of the weekend for me.

We spent the night but Sunday was rainy and miserable so we headed home. I love visiting all the Christmas festivals that take place around New England. Kennebunkport and the Nantucket Stroll are my top two, but a bunch of towns have holiday strolls that are worth checking out. What is your favorite?

travel

Gatsbying at Gilded

This weekend Mike and I were in Newport for our friends wedding and we stayed at the adorable boutique hotel Gilded. Gilded is a fun unique hotel themed after the Gilded Age, a perfect fit for Newport! Side note: if it’s you’re first time in Newport you have to visit the Newport Mansions, the ultimate embodiment of the Gilded Age! I loved the design and all the decor of Gilded, I felt like I was staying at Gatsby’s House! We stayed in one of the deluxe king rooms, the bed was so comfy and I was obsessed with the bathroom! Be sure to check out the full room tour on my instagram highlights! If you are looking for a weekend getaway this summer I highly recommend Newport, there is so much to do, and tons or great bars and restaurants! Gilded is located just a short walk from down town so it’s the perfect place to stay! When you check in they provide you with an iPad that is filled with recommendations on where to eat and play!

Gilded is owned by Lark Hotels which I am a big fan of! They have hotels all over New England and each one is unique to its location, and I am all about embracing New England heritage! Gilded embraced Newport’s history and was a luxurious, fun place the stay!

The manager Heather was fabulous! She was able to arrange an early check-in for us so that we had plenty of time to get ready for the wedding. There is an adorable lounge in the main building and a billiards room in the second building. The breakfast Heather prepared was delicious! Definitely make sure you get up in time! There were also fresh cookies put out in the evening, which were a delicious treat when we got back from the wedding. The butterfly wall in the lobby was definitely my favorite part of Gilded, so beautiful!

I definitely encourage everyone to check out the Gilded. It is such a unique hotel and it is perfectly Newport! Thank you to Lark for our complimentary stay, as always all opinions are my own.

lifestyle, travel

Skiing with Skedaddle & Mount Sunapee

Winter is rough, its cold, gray, it gets dark at 4 o’clock! If you’re new to New England winters this can be really depressing. But if you grew up going through these long winters you know how to make it fun. I am definitely guilty of being a homebody during the winter months, but nothing gets me outside the way skiing does! I started skiing when I was 7 years old, every Wednesday after school I would board the bus and head up to the mountain for ski lessons. In college and as an adult I have had a love hate relationship with skiing. Its expensive, its hard to get to the mountains if you don’t own a car etc. However ever time I go I’m reminded that I love it. If you didn’t grow up learning to ski the first couple times you go may feel like its impossible. But I promise you skiing is tons of fun once you get the hang of it!

Last weekend I partnered with Skedaddle and Mount Sunapee to go skiing with my friend Maddie. Skedaddle solves one of my biggest problems: how to get there! I live in Beacon Hill and I don’t own a car. In order to get to the mountains I either need to take an Amtrak Train, borrow a car, or convince a friend who has a car to come skiing with me. If you’re someone who loves to ski every weekend not having a car can seriously limit your season. Skedaddle is an app that plans routes from the city to fun events and activities outside the city! This winter Skedaddle is running a promotion with Mount Sunapee, $5 round trip from Boston to Mount Sunapee! Let me say that again FIVE DOLLARS. I was shocked how nice the bus was, big comfy seats that even had a usb port to charge your phone. Skedaddle got us to the mountain by 9:00AM and we were on the ski lift by 9:30. After the lifts closed we boarded the bus and napped while we were driven back to Boston. So easy, no stress, FIVE DOLLARS! Check out all the Skedaddle routes on their website and download the app!

I hadn’t skied at Mount Sunapee in a really long time and I was pleasantly surprised. Tons of great trails and the entire south peak is dedicated to those who are learning. It can definitely be intimidating to learn when you have people more experienced flying past you, so having a learning zone is great for first timers! If you are more experienced take the lift to the summit and choose from a variety of trails. A trip to Mount Sunapee isn’t complete without grabbing a waffle from the Waffle Cabin. Getting a Belgian waffle covered in chocolate is probably my favorite part of skiing.

When you’re done for the day grab a drink at the Goosefeathers Pub. Maddie and I had a great day, it was my first time skiing this season and I can’t wait for more fun trips! Where is your favorite place to ski?

Thank you Skedaddle and Mount Sunapee for hosting me and Maddie last weekend. As always all opinions are my own.

travel

Cambodia – Volunteering Abroad

The past two weeks I have been in Cambodia. We did a lot of sightseeing and also a project with Habitat for Humanity. It has been an incredible experience. Right before my departure I was experiencing a lot of anxiety about the trip but I honestly can’t remember the last time I had so much fun and laughed so hard. This is my second time volunteering abroad and I wanted to answer some of the most asked questions and share some of the photos from the job site.

What program do you do this through?

The first time I volunteered abroad in Jamaica was with my church in high school. This most recent trip to Cambodia was a part of the ‘Alternative Break’ Program at my university. A lot of schools have these programs so if you are interested on doing service during your break I highly recommend looking into it. Check with your advisor to see if your school offers any type of short term (or long term if you want) volunteer opportunities. If your university doesn’t offer anytime of opportunity check out Habitat for Humanity’s Global Village program.

Is it expensive?

This depends greatly on who you do the program with and where you go. Going to Asia was much more expensive than going to the Caribbean. My school did offer scholarships to help some students cover the cost of the program. And while the upfront cost was a bit high, at my school it included our flights and all our meals and accommodations. I think performing service abroad is a great opportunity and well worth the cost of traveling.

Are the projects hard?

Construction in developing nations is definitely more involved than what you might be familiar with in the US. Instead of having a truck to mix cement for us we hand mixed cement throughout the day. It is physically a lot of work, but they will not give you anything you can’t do. You are building a house that someone will live in after you leave so it needs to be done right so there are plenty of people to help you through, give direction, and make corrections as needed.

What if I don’t speak the language?

Habitat did provide translators and some of the local workers we were working with spoke english. It was great to interact with the local people and learn about their lives. I made some incredible friends who I will never forget! And thanks to social media you can continue to keep in touch!

Should I volunteer abroad?

Absolutely! I think this is a great way to push yourself outside your comfort zone and experience new things. I feel that I have grown so much as a person this past week.

Overall my trip to Cambodia has been amazing. I can’t wait to go back and explore even more of South East Asia!