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The time has come; this is my last post from our November trip to Ireland. Way to drag it out, right? I can’t help but share some of the many photos I took there, and for my wrap up I thought I would share a few photos from our wanders around Galway, including the food.

photo 1

{Prawns Marie Rose at Kettle of Fish in Galway} This was our first time to Kettle of Fish, and we loved that it was fast, fresh, and delicious. It’s a great alternative to fast food chip shops for a quick lunch or snack in between pints.


Ard Bia at Nimmo's

{Ard Bia at Nimmo’s} I love Ard Bia for a romantic date or lunch, but it’s equally as nice for an Irish coffee or glass of wine. I love that Galway has SO many cozy, casual little nooks for drinks and good conversation.


Barna Woods

{Barna Woods} You might not find Barna Woods in your guidebook, but not far from Galway City Center, you will find this magical space, with big beautiful trees, meandering streams, and mossy stones. It’s a great place for a long walk or run. Plenty of adorable dogs are an added bonus!

photo 4 {St. Nicholas Collegiate Church} Once my front yard, this stunning building is a must-visit in Galway for lovers of architecture and history. Its 400 year old baptismal font and 13th century graves are just part of the history of this place, where Christopher Columbus prayed in 1477.

Galway Bay sunset

{Watch the sun go down on Galway Bay} It’s so spectacular that there is a song about it. A Galway Bay sunset is one of this world’s greatest sites, and I try to plan our day around the sunsets so we can see as many as possible.

Spanish Arch Door

{Beautiful doors and stone work at the Spanish Arch} Part of Ard Bia, this door and all about the Spanish Arch is full of charm and beauty and mystery.


{Tigh Neactain} This is one of our favorite Galway pubs. There are teeny tiny snugs for sitting in, a warm fire, and often great music. They pour an excellent pint of Guinness as well. Garavans

{Garavan’s} What might be considered an old man bar now has a great selection of whiskey and offers whiskey flights you won’t want to miss.

Long Walk Galway

{The Long Walk} Also made famous by a song, the old long walk is a beautiful, colorful seaside spot in Galway. You’ve likely seen photos of it before; it’s iconic and worth a visit, especially at sunset.


Vindaloo at Kashmir Galway

{Vindaloo at Kashmir} Yummmmm Kashmir. This Galway favorite serves up the best Indian food I have ever had. Don’t miss it if you plan a trip to Galway.

Our next trip to Ireland is in August for a friend’s wedding and some mountain climbing. . . counting the days until we touch down on that beautiful green island once again!

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Tags: Food, Galway, Ireland, Travel, travel blog, Travel Tuesday

More snow and epically cold temperatures mean more wine. It’s just the way it is. And since here in New England we are unlikely to see the grass (or sidewalk, in many cases) for weeks, it’s time to stock up on good wine, good food, and entertainment that pairs well with both.

Cartograph Wines

On a particularly blue winter blues sort of evening recently, I decided to stop moping around went into the kitchen to work on something delicious. Less than an hour later I had a turkey meatloaf, speckled with spinach and garlic and parmesan cheese, served alongside a variety of roasted seasonal vegetables. It was the perfect cozy dinner, and it was even pretty healthy!

Of course we dug into our wine fridge for the perfect wine to go with it, and since Cartograph wines always bring us back to warmer days and vacation and wandering around Healdsburg, we went with the Cartograph 2012 Sangiovese.  It turned out to be a great choice for a cold night. It’s rustic, with notes of dried leaves and earth along with cooked berries, nice and dry, and great with food. This is Cartograph’s first Sangiovese  and comes from an extremely small lot that comes from the Redwood Valley’s Upton Vineyard.

We finally also sat down to watch the movie Somm, which I thought was really good but might have been even better as a several part reality series. The movie follows four sommeliers attempting to pass the Master Sommelier exam. As someone who has studied wine a little and found there to be a LOT of information to remember and process, I can’t even imagine getting to this level of expertise and the stress that candidates undergo both preparing and then going through the exam. I found some of the cast a little arrogant, but overall I liked the film and would recommend it to those interested in wine and wine education.

All in all, a great wine, hearty winter dinner, and great wine movie cheered up an otherwise dreary winter night.

We also watch The  Hundred Foot Journey recently; I love movies about food and wine. (We have watched Bottle Shock 100 times just to see Sonoma and Napa.)

Do you have any favorites?

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Tags: Cartograph, red wine, Sangiovese, Sonoma County, trave, wine, wine travel

There are so many more than 10 things I want to do in our beautiful Commonwealth, but I thought a list of 40 might be too much! This list is mostly Eastern Massachusetts based; I have a ton of love for the Western part of the state too, perhaps that’s a list all on its own? A few weeks ago we were trying to decide what to do for the weekend when I started thinking about all there is to do here. Since we’re soon going on a very big adventure, we’re sticking close to home and on budget the rest of the time. Below is a list of 10 things I want to experience sometime in the next couple of years. Have you done any of the below? Or do you have a list of things you want to do in the place you call home? I would love to hear them in the comments!

Mt Greylock

1) Visit the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum – I have lived in Boston since 2002. Wow. Typing that makes me feel old! I have sent journalists on FAM tours to the museum, but somehow I have never gotten there. This is one I hope to accomplish this winter.

2) Climb Mount Greylock again, but this time spend the night at the top at Bascom Lodge with friends and great food and wine.

3) Run a race on Spectacle Island – We’ve taken the boat to Spectacle so many times and have even spent the night. I would love to run the island sometime.

4) Tea at Bond at the Langham and the Four Seasons and the TajI love afternoon Champagne tea, and I would love to explore some of the elegant and luxurious teas in Boston.

5) Spend a lazy week on Martha’s Vineyard – We spent the day on the Vineyard a couple of summers ago, and we have been talking about going back ever since. I would love to swim, cook seafood, and explore on bikes and on foot. How relaxing does that sound?

6) Take dance lessons at the Boston Ballet – I was obsessed with ballet growing up, and though I am old and inflexible and out of shape, I would LOVE to take classes again.

7) Visit the Boston Public Library courtyard on a regular basis – I used to do this when I worked in the area. That space is so beautiful, and I would love to spend more time there.

8) Take classes at Harvard Extension – I took a PR writing class there years ago and it was great. It really helped to launch my career

9) Visit the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States SenateI love the JFK Library, and I will actually cross this item off my list when I attend a GBCVB event at the soon-to-be-opened addition next month.

10) Go out to an oyster farm and get fresh oysters, learn about the process, etc. – I learned about East Dennis Oyster Farm when I worked for an agency that had the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism as a client, and I have wanted to go out with them since.

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Tags: Boston, Food, hiking, lifestyle, Massachusetts, outdoors, oysters, tea, things to do, Travel, vacation

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