Ah, Maine. Filled with its lobster rolls, trees, beautiful coastal beaches and breathtaking views, it has definitely found a place in my heart!  If you know me, then you know I am always on the hunt for some weekend travels out of NYC, and with a world so beautiful (and a country that I’ve come to learn offers so much, too), I just knew that this was the year I was finally going to make the trip up.

After a long 6.5-hour drive (note: never leave NYC on a Friday!  Thursdays are better!), we just couldn’t wait to get to our new home for the weekend and relax a little bit before grabbing our camera and experiencing all that Kennebunkport had to offer!

We stayed at the Captain Lord Mansion for the weekend and it was mansion alright! Built in 1814, it housed a family with 10 children, to which it was then renovated and, eventually, opened for guests. Friends, this was the first time I was at a B&B; in the past, I’ve shied away because I really didn’t know what to expect and didn’t really know how I’d feel. But, as my friend Lisa so wisely put it, “Staying at a B&B is the best way to experience New England, it’s quintessential!” And guess what? She was so right.

Having never stayed at a B&B before, I didn’t really know what to expect but the innkeepers, Bev and Rick, were very hospitable in answering all of my questions! On our first night the question we received was, “Will you be joining us for breakfast at 8:15am or 9:45am?” I didn’t know that was a thing! It was a nice, pleasant surprise as it really felt like I was immediately part of a family!

The inn felt very warm & welcoming and everyone there put their heart and soul into making sure that your stay is a wonderful one. Each room is uniquely different and decorated by Bev (she hand-made the draperies, bed skirts and almost all of the comforters and pillows!). No detail is missed: from a beside ring holder, to a black towel embroidered with “makeup” in the bathroom (I mean, smart!), down to two luggage racks in the closet (making sure both him and her get one), you can tell that love was put into their craft.

I just want to sidenote for a second and talk about the bed sheets and mattress- they were insanely heavenly! My husband couldn’t stop talking about how wonderful they felt. I thought he was overreacting until I slept in them myself: life. changing.

From family-style breakfasts (they are super good with dietary restrictions), to rooms upgraded with heated floors, jet-stream tubs, fireplaces and A/C control, you can only imagine the luxury we were experiencing! Speaking of luxury, they also have an on-site spa — guys, it can’t get any better than that!

The Captain Lord Mansion is nestled in the middle of a quaint little residential neighborhood (remember, it was an actual home before ;)) and had a garden that made me feel like I lived there all along. Beautiful fresh flowers adorned the brick walkway that had the names of guests who have been at the inn 10 times or more. And in the center? A fountain that commemorated a couple that stayed with the inn one-hundred times – ONE HUNDRED!

I have to say, it usually takes me about a night or two to get used to my surrounding area and bed, as it is different from back home; however, the level of comfort and peacefulness I experienced during our stay here was immediate. I remember turning to my husband and saying, “Wow, what a great job they have done here.” From dashing up and down the spiraling staircases, to chatting with Sue the chef, we felt like we really were part of a family. The staff were all aunts, uncles and cousins, just waiting to share some of their local restaurant picks, as well as educating us on what heat lightning was!

From mini golf, to patio chairs, swings, a hammock, a reading room, a gift shop, beautiful paintings in the hallways, bikes at your disposal and a location so beautifully quaint and tranquil, this definitely will be where we will stay again next time we are in Kennebunkport (we can see how families come and stay 10+ times!).  My husband and I were joking about who’s name would be first on our brick in the garden walkway- it would be mine, obviously ;).

You can get a bottle of wine from their cellar and enjoy it in the garden en plein air. That’s where we spent our first night, just talking about our plans for the weekend. The best part? The inn is so close to downtown. Everything is within walking distance, like the wonderful sailboat excursion we took, as well as some of the cutest nautical shops around and restaurants offering all the lobster dishes you could think of (more on that in my next post ;)). Thanks for following! Keep staying tuned!

Special thanks to The Captain Lord Mansion for partnering with me on this post.  All opinions are my own.

 

Outfit details:
Tote: BP. | Shoes: Nine West | Top: TWO by Vince Camuto | Bottom: Tinsel, similar | Sunnies: Urban Outfitters

xx,
Loren.

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Brooklyn native, Latina, and founder of Enlightened by Bravery, an adventure/travel and wellness blog that focuses on drawing inspiration from adventures around the world back into your life // iPhoneographer // Francophile

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B.

Beaufort: Small City, Big History, Lots of Beauty

I like pushing the envelope. It’s just what my curiosity does to me. It’s a curse, perhaps at times, but when it comes to travel, however, I find it as a true blessing. It was no surprise, then, when planning my trip to Georgia that I wanted to squeeze in a day-trip to South Carolina. Now, I knew my days were tight, so I made sure to make this destination worth it. Cue in Beaufort, SC, a little city that opened my heart and mind through its history.

As a NYC resident, I wanted to explore more of a southern coastal city (can you blame me?)  and so when I saw Beaufort featured in the New York Times (and then after I booked my trip saw it featured in Southern Living and Vogue,) well, you know I just had to check what this city was all about.With a population of about 13,000 (and it being the second-oldest city in South Carolina), I must say, I felt pretty close to everyone I encountered and felt the history instantaneously upon my arrival.

I partnered with the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce to plan my trip and when I asked:
“What’s the best way to see the city?”
“Via a walking tour,” is what they non-hesitantly replied.

So, my husband and I got in the car, waved ‘bye’ to Savannah for the day and headed up north about 1.5 hours.

When we arrived to the visitor’s center in Beaufort, we were happily greeted and given recommendations of where to eat and what to check out. Never be shy about asking locals – they are the best source of information!

We started our day with lunch at Plums. Real talk: I have been having SO much delicious butter (and shrimp!) down south that I opted for a refreshing chicken salad – oh, and some oysters on the side, of course to change things up a little bit and give my body a bit of a break. As we entered the restaurant, we requested outdoor seating and were escorted to the back, right by the Waterfront Park, a wonderful spot for people-watching and seeing boats pass you by. Interestingly enough, every couple of minutes during our conversation, we’d have to stop talking because we had fighter jets fly over us; turns out, we were right near Parris Island, a Marine Corps Air Station. How cool, because you never see those jets flying around in NYC!

After lunch, we went on our walking tour of Beaufort where I walked amongst some of the most beautiful Antebellum houses I have ever seen, built on what used to be plantation fields and learned that they were used during the war. Today, many of the homes are residential and used for films! There were so many movie references while on the tour, I wish I was a big movie person to understand; but it was okay, I understood the history and, honestly, just walking along the streets filled with oak trees, Spanish moss, birds chirping, carriage steps and imaging myself back in the 1700s was just incredible.

Friends, look at the following photos and imagine yourself hearing horseshoes and standing in front of these beautiful homes while feeling the slight breeze on your cheek.  We walked around the city for about two to three hours. All worth it. So in love:

After our super informative tour, shopping was obviously next on the list. I sometimes wish I had a cute little beach home that I could decorate à la plage. But, who says that daydreaming is a bad thing?  Even if it’s to go inside and imagine the décor I’d put into my beach home, I have a wonderful time just strolling around, touching every piece of glass, opening up and flipping the pages of freshly printed coffee table books, and sniffing every candle my nose can handle.  At this point, my husband was outside sitting on a bench waiting for me as he turned to his phone and flipped through who-knows-what. Either way, I stayed inside the store and kept exploring. Scout Southern Market was such a great find! They have such wonderful things inside that are one-of-a-kind and I poo-poo on myself for not buying the beautiful blue & white porcelain dish I kept going back to!  Lucky for me, they deliver.  I’ll be adding that to my to-do list ;).

As we know, shopping works up an appetite (yes, yes it does, ladies ;)) and I was craving something sweet. I recalled the gelato sign we passed by earlier in the day and headed back to Common Ground Marketplace Café where I indulged in a wonderful lemon sorbet. As a lactose-intolerant soul, I highly appreciate when places that carry gelato also carry sorbet. It was the perfect treat after walking around for hours under the sun.

After our little snack, we sat by the Waterfront Park on its swings for a while and enjoyed the beautiful waterside view. We made our way through some more cute shops and pondered about how great our day was, how much we learned and which restaurant would be our last stop for dinner (we love to eat, don’t judge ;)).

We ended up crossing over a little bridge and (per a local’s strong recommendation- I mentioned I loved locals, ya?) headed on over to the Dockside Restaurant for dinner. I KNOW.  I know.  I said I wasn’t going to have any more shrimp. But… it was strongly recommended… and how could I not? ;).

As we finished up our dinner, we packed ourselves back into the car and headed back down to Georgia. Our day in Beaufort was as beautiful as its homes, its nature, its water, its friendly people and, most of all, its rooted history (for the history buffs, check more out here). In a city that I knew nothing about, I walked out knowing so much and banked the trip in my memory, so happy I fed my curious mind.

xx,
Loren.


Outfit

Dress: Revolve | Shoes: Nine West | Watch: Fossil | Sunglasses: Shein

2.

2018: Goodbye NYC, Hello New Zealand!

…and I don’t mean it just as a vacation. Family & friends, it is with great excitement and joy that we share with you all that we are leaving everything we know about NYC behind and heading off on an adventure abroad for the year!

We are moving to New Zealand!!

There have been so many factors that played into our decision: one of them was attending a Tony Robbins seminar (that post coming next!), another was experiencing the beautiful culture in Denmark last summer (gosh, I love that bicycle life), and another was that, frankly, I have been left feeling a little uninspired by NYC lately. Nothing against the concrete jungle, but maybe that’s my problem: too much concrete.

I don’t know if I ever shared this, but there were two times in my life that I literally sobbed on the plane as we took off: once was when I wheeled up from France after studying abroad there (oh, the tears!), and second was when we left Denmark (how could I live without all the pastries and that bike life?!). I started noticing a pattern and it drew up a concern for me: why was I crying so hard? And what was it about those countries that made me want to stay forever?

In my efforts to understand myself, it was clear that those other places (and travel in general), always filled a void of unpredictability, new adventures and new customs/cultures. When I landed, it was like a game of strategy in which you must survive, learn the rules and get excited about all the different things happening around you. I know NYC is a giant melting pot, but having been born and raised here, it all has just started to feel and become a little, well, predictable. I already know we are all celebrating the fourth of July no matter what state in the country I am in. And while I love traveling around the country (the USA is beautiful), I am seeking something more.

It occured to me that in order for me to continue to grow, continue to be inspired and continue to love deeper, I need to get out. NYC, USA, it’s not you, it’s me; we need a break. You will always be my home, but I feel that distance will make the heart grow fonder. You give such great opportunities that I have yet to be thankful for. The opportunities are endless and you can be whoever you want to be; yet, I’m not grabbing anything by the horns.

So why New Zealand? Well, why the heck not?!

xx,