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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O.

Old Montreal

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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K.

Kennebunkport, Maine: A Look Into My First B&B Stay Ever!

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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