Before we left to Montreal, I did tons of research on places to go and things to do. On the top of my list? Old Montreal. What, with its old-world charm, I just knew that was going to be my crème de la crème. So I resisted going there until towards the end of my trip. And could I resist temptation? Of course not.

We started our day aboard a Grey Line hop-on-hop-off tour bus; these buses are one of my favorite ways to really get a glimpse of a city when you are short on time (plus, the local tour guide tells you so many tips, it’s all golden!). Our ticket was good for two consecutive days, so that left our car at bay and more time for us to play! We passed through many beautiful stops. Montréal is such a rich city when it comes to the diversity of their neighbourhoods- and so well maintained!

As we made our way past Old Montréal, we saw a peek and, I swear, I never shrieked so loudly in a double-decker bus before! I turned my to my husband, Massimo, and was like, “No, we NEED to hop off!” So we hopped off.

I realized that we slept in and didn’t have any breakfast, so the cutest little restaurant caught my eye (and my stomach’s rumbling), Jardin Nelson. If I died and went to flower-restaurant heaven, this may be the place. They have LIVE jazz, the best oxygen (I mean, with all those plants, right?) and delicious food. I ordered their summer vegetable omelette, sprinkled with goat cheese, and my fav, a mimosa. All super delicious and such a cute brunch spot!

After brunch, we proceeded to walk around Old Montreal, exploring every nook we could. The streets were filled with cobblestones and the amount of cute art galleries, souvenir shops and restaurants/cafés were just unreal. Street performers graced the rues with their music and the joie de vivre was all too-well alive as we walked down the streets. I was so obsessed with the European architecture that I had goosebumps at one point because I truly felt like I was transported back hundreds of years ago.

When I was packing for this trip (if you can you believe it), I didn’t pack a single pair of heels! Not any pumps, not any wedges! I knew that I was going to be walking around a lot and that most of my time was going to be in the streets, so I packed just a few pairs of flats to match back to my outfits. One of my favorites were these pink J. Crew ones that, to me, stand almost as a neutral! But my dress? That I had planned. I found it at Anthropologie a month or so back and I instantly fell in love with it due to its flowiness and its off-the-shoulder cut. While walking around Old Montréal, I felt so free and just happy! (One of the reasons why I love clothing: because you start to embody its expression into your life!)

One of the best snacks we had (that offered a good view of Old Montréal as well) was at the Hotel Nelligan. Up on their terrace you can order food, have a few drinks, and take in the wonderful sun. How can we go to Montreal and not have poutine? We’ll have one of those, please, waiter. And some crunchy fish tacos, too. Oh, and how can I forget (because I can’t), it also offered a peek-a-boo view of the Notre-Dame Basilica. Upon its completion back in 1830 it was the largest church in North America. It’s also where Celine Dion was married. You bet your bottom dollar I made sure to walk those same steps as Madame Dion did!!

 

After a full day of roaming around the streets of Old Montreal, we decided to head back to Le Quartier des Spectacles where our hotel was for some festivities. If you don’t already know, Montréal loves to celebrate and they hold quite the amount of festivals. Planning a trip? I suggest taking a peek to see what’s going on while you’re in town! For us, it was the celebration of Mode & Design, kind of like a Fashion’s Night Out where designers and brands hold events throughout the city, celebrating, well, fashion and design! It was so fitting for us to be there because I love fashion and to see how Canada celebrates it (and what’s trending over there) just wonderful. Hint for fall: faux fur!

xx,
Loren.

4130084324440_009_b3Anthropologie

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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,

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T.

The Best of Cold Spring, NY (Your Half-Day Guide)

Not all trips have to be full day trips; even going out for just a half day is worthwhile, in my book. There’s just something about disrupting what you’re doing for a little while and then perhaps coming back to it. It’s kind of like you’re at school and you sneak out for 5 minutes to go to the ‘bathroom’; that little pause is sometimes so worth it, right? Well, that’s what I feel about half-day trips. And for our latest one we ventured out to Cold Spring, NY.

After having breakfast at home early in the morning and relaxing a bit, we decided to break our day a little, called my cousin Jonathan in Brooklyn, scooped him up, and chatted our way on up to Cold Spring.

cold spring new york

It was about an hour and a half going up via car (Amtrak will get you there from Grand Central in about the same time) and we arrived a little hungry, so off to Hudson Hil’s Café & Market we went. It prides itself on using quality, fresh & local ingredients from the Hudson Valley and has been rated very highly. The place is a little small, so please note that there may be a bit of a wait. When we went we waited for about 25 minutes, so make sure you control that hangry ;). And yes, I enjoyed my mimosa before my food arrived #keepingitreal. All in all, very yummy :).

We thought we would walk off some of the food we had by popping into all of the cute shops that caught our eyes on Main Street. Cold Spring is just such a cute little town to take a stroll in (even if it was raining!). From antiques to camping gear and more in between, here were a few of our faves:

Antiques:
There are so many antique shops in this village, that we actually went into almost all of them! We really wanted to see if there was a difference, and I’m happy to say that they each specialize in their own crafts. Whether it be furniture, toys, lighting or art, I feel that you’re covered here and are sure to find a little something to bring back!

There was this one shop next to Bjiou that was operated by a husband and wife duo who have traveled the world and are both artists themselves. They have a great variety of things and actually love humor (as you can tell from the kitschy signs they have hanging around). I found a little glass tray that sits proudly in my bedroom!

Cold Spring General:
Upon entering, the sweet scent of a hand-poured candle burning in all its sensory-driving glory welcomed us. Books, mats, Rifle Paper Co. products, candles and more! Be sure to check out the back where they stash some beverages. The cute shop supports American-made products and sells locally-made goods!

Old Souls:
We try to go camping at least once a year and this store had the cutest little things around. I even found something for pulling ticks off of your skin. Listen, when you find one on the back of your husband’s neck one night in your tent, you get rid of that sucker!

Cold Spring Apothecary:
They make their own batches of candles, teas, skin care cleansers, hair treatments and more! They even make some fresh hot chocolate in their little café inside. The place is so aesthetically clean and pleasing. I heard so much about their candles and, after smelling them, had to bring one back home. I ended up getting a Bergamot & Basil scented one from their kitchen collection, which helps cut the smell of strong foods in the kitchen! :).

I’m sure all that poking your head around into the shops made you work up an appetite, right? Well, fear not! Head on down the little walkway and find yourself near Rincon Argentino, where empanadas, light sandwiches and delicious baked goods (caramel filled churros, anyone?) await! Alternatively, you could also go to the very popular MooMoo’s Creamery and get a scoop of one of their homemade, specially crafted flavors. My husband got their Nutella flavor; I just had to take a baby taste of it (lactose intolerant and all), and let me say, it was de-lish! We ended up doing both places as a snack; I mean, when in Rome, right? 😉

There’s a cute little promenade that looks over the Hudson River. Eat your empanadas and/or ice cream, enjoy the view and enjoy life!

Extending your stay into a full day:
– If you are looking to do some activities on the water, Hudson River Expeditions has you covered.
– If we stayed for dinner, Le Bouchon is where we would have gone for some authentic French food– you know me, the francophile! 😉
– The West Point Foundry allows you to hike, take in some beautiful scenery and even gives you the opportunity to take your own tour to learn more about how it played a major part in the American Industrial Revolution.

Happy Wandering!
xx,

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