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2015 was a huge travel year for us, with a safari in Africa, three trips to Ireland, trips to Myrtle Beach, Chicago, and more. When 2016 rolled around, between being a bit tired and also getting a new boat, we wanted to spend more time staying local, and with the exception of a couple of trips, we did just that.

January – I got to travel to beautiful Hampshire County Massachusetts for work and to stay in Amherst, soaking up the quiet magic that is January in the region. It was cold, but we warmed up by the Lord Jeff fireplaces and with perfectly made craft cocktails. This was, as it is titled, a perfect Massachusetts getaway.

The Lord Jeffery Inn

 

February – A dreamy trip to Luquillo and San Juan, Puerto Rico was one of the highlights of the year, so much so that we might return again in 2017. 

Boats, beaches, seafood, rum, music, and lots of sunshine made this the perfect getaway, an easy and direct JetBlue flight from Boston.

Outdoor Adventures in Puerto Rico

Icacos sailing

 

AprilA much-needed getaway to Maine with friends included a stay at the beautiful Hartstone Inn, hiking to the top of Mount Battie in Camden, and shopping in Freeport. I heart L.L. Bean. Maine is just glorious, and our April 2017 trip to Camden is already booked!

16 Bayview Camden Maine

June – Sharing my June trip (and one of the best of 2016) is certainly bittersweet, as the amazing publicist who organized it recently passed away. Florence Tambone brought me along on the most wonderful day to the North Fork of Long Island on Cross Sound Ferry, along with other writers, and I just had the best time, visiting Long Island wineries, learning to shuck oysters, visiting a gorgeous farm, and laughing all day long.  Lavender by the Bay was perhaps the most breathtaking experience of my year. Thanks to Florence and Cross Sound Ferry, the North Fork is one of my favorite getaways, and I will always, always think of her when I visit.

lavender fields in Long Island

 

July – Another work trip to Hampshire County gave me time to stay at Hotel Northampton and visit a favorite, Black Birch Vineyard. I’m hoping that 2017 brings more opportunities to visit Western Massachusetts, both for work and fun!

Black Birch Vineyard

August – My cousin got married in Asheville, NC, so we got to visit this beautiful area for the first time. Outdoor time, beer tasting, and family time made it a perfect summer trip.

horses in asheville

September – We traveled just up to Ipswich, MA for the last weekend of summer and rented the most incredible little waterside cottage. We spent a ton of time on the screened in porch, went to the private beach in the Little Neck community we were in, explored Newburyport, Essex, and Ipswich, and ate a ton of seafood. This cottage is definitely in future plans. I love New England summer!

(I caught the sunrise on the first morning; magical.)

sunrise in Ipswich

October – We traveled to Chicago for the Chicago Marathon, which was a disappointing run for me but an amazing trip overall. We absolutely loved the Thompson Chicago, and WE MET EDDIE VEDDER. Maybe the highlight of my year.

image

 

November – Our annual trip to Ireland for Thanksgiving included time on Achill Island as well as plenty of time to wander around Galway, eating and drinking and being merry. We loved Tribeton for cocktails, and I have so many more Ireland posts to come!

wild atlantic way ireland

December – We rounded out the year with a trip to Maine to visit friends who just moved there. It’s great to have another excuse to visit Portland!

We had the most amazing dinner at Sur Lie in Portland, and despite bitter cold temperatures spent some time outside taking in the stunning coastal vistas and lighthouses. Vacationland for sure.

Portland Head Light

There were lots of weekends boating to the Boston Harbor Islands and other places in Massachusetts, along with other little New England trips here and there. Looking back on 2016, we actually traveled more than I realized.

In 2017, we’ll be going to Tuscany for a wedding in July, look forward to MANY more boating adventures, trips to Maine, and hopefully a warm weather getaway, possibly Puerto Rico again.

Cheers to a wanderlust-satisfying 2017 for all!

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Tags: Achill, blogger, boating, Boston blogger, Camden, Galway, Ireland, Long Island, Long Island wine, Luquillo, Maine, New England, North Fork, Puerto Rico, travel blog, travel blogger, travel planning, wine blog, wine country

I get cabin fever incredibly easily, and aside from a weekend day here or there where I really want to just hang around the house and cook, I often am itching on the weekends to hit the road (or the sea) for an adventure. We’ve spent enough time in Ireland that we’ve become of the mind that if you don’t go out in the rain, you’ll never go out at all. As such, we’ve started making sure we have all of the attire we need for bad weather. . . which for me means all the L.L. Bean!

It really does make a difference though, to have a good rain coat and boots and to be able to stay dry and warm.

A few weeks ago our New England wanderings took us down to Carver and Plymouth, Massachusetts, for some fun in the rain.

Carver, Massachusetts Our first stop was Carver for a quick walk amongst the evergreens. I crave nature, and the misty air and the smell of green just filled my soul with happiness, setting us up for a great afternoon.

Not long after, we made a visit to the lovely and historic Flax Pond Farms where we learned about the history of cranberry growing in the area and got to pretend we were workers back in the olden days, sorting out green and wrinkled cranberries on a conveyor belt.

Flax Pond Farms Flax Pond Farms Flax Pond Farms was a beautiful space surrounded by nature and reflecting its cranberry history, in addition to being full of delicious treats like a spicy cranberry spread and cranberry honey I got to go with some soft cheeses. One of my favorite parts about unplanned trips like this is the potential to come across little gems like Flax Pond Farms.

Flax Pond Farms After we left Carver, our rainy day travels took us to Plymouth, where we explored antiques and other secondhand items in some of the adorable downtown stores. There was plenty to see in town, but still wanting to be outdoors, we headed to the waterfront, where we discovered a charming little park with a beautiful stream running through it and foggy views of the sea beyond.

Plymouth, MA

I did some skipping and puddle jumping, because I simply can not resist jumping in puddles!

Plymouth, MA

Plymouth, MA

And of course, we spent plenty of time admiring boats in Plymouth Harbor.

Plymouth, MA  Ramble on Rose

This gorgeous sailboat brought together three loves: boats, the Grateful Dead, and San Francisco.

After some more walking around the waterfront and the town and a quick spin through the John Carver Inn, we made our way back to the waterfront to the Plymouth Yacht Club. With our own club membership in Boston, we’re usually welcomed into other clubs around the US, and Plymouth certainly made us feel at home.

Plymouth Yacht Club  Plymouth Yacht Club

A sprawling waterfront lawn and plenty of seating gave way to a grand building, which we soon explored, eventually making our way to the top floor members bar to soak up the coziness and a couple of Dark n Stormy cocktails as we chatted boating with some locals.

Plymouth Yacht Club It’s amazing what you can discover when you don’t have any plans! We had such a fun day together exploring a new-to-us place, and while I loved the harbor on a rainy fall day, I am even more looking forward to boating into it next summer.

Have you discovered any fun places by accident lately?

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Tags: blogger, boating, Boston, clubs, cocktails, fall, New England, outdoors, Plymouth, sailing, Travel, travel blog, travel blogger

You may have noticed that I tend to like boats and wine quite a bit. A few weeks ago, I got to spend the afternoon on a Stellar Yacht Charters yacht as a guest of Santa Maria La Palma wine.

Santa Maria La Palma is out of Sardinia, a dream travel destination of mine, and it was fun to combine their delicious wine, my wanderlust, and our beautiful Boston Harbor for a day of wine tasting and education with a fun group of people.

wine cruise

Front and center we have Igor, who was in Boston representing Santa Maria La Palma. He was charming and knowledgeable and so passionate about the wines.

wine and food pairing

  The boat itself was appointed with classic luxurious detail, and the crew was phenomenal. A huge spread of food for pairing with the wines was available to us, including lots of seafood like sushi, mussels, and shrimp, perfect with wines from Sardinia.

We were treated to quite the lineup of wines, mostly white and rosato, one red, all special and memorable and celebratory. The primary grapes making up the wines were Vermentino and Cannonau, which grow very well in Sardinia and reflect the island’s terroir in every sip. We all remarked that we wished we had these wines in front of us all summer long, but that they’re also perfect for sunshine and island dreaming throughout the winter.

What did we taste? You’ll see below the full lineup on the tasting sheet. I of course left my notes behind, but I most definitely had a few favorites.

wine tasting

 

Aragosta Vino Spumante  Brut NV– Sparkling wine from Sardinia is a treat and might be replacing some of the other sparkling wines that often grace our table. One of the things I love about being able to attend wine events like this is the spirit of discovery!

Aragosta Vermentino di Sardegna DOC 2015 – Vermentino is fun and flavorful. I got a nice bit of tartness off of this, lemons and Granny Smith apples and would love this wine with oysters. . . or even as part of a granita mignonette on top of oysters!

IMG_8921

Akenta Underwater Spumante Extra Dry – Just check out that bottle! This wine is aged under the sea in water that is part of a national park in Sardinia. Under the pressure of the sea and in the darkness, the bottle grows sea life on it! This was just another fascinating detail and part of the sense of place that these wines brought to the table.

wine bottle with barnacles 

aragostaAragosta  Rosé –  First of all. this wine has a lobster on the bottle and its contents are pink, which made me love it immediately. I know we shouldn’t judge a book bottle by its cover, but for th coastal living obsessed, it just makes a cute addition to a beach or boat party or a beach house themed home.

The wine is delicious, offering up beautiful, strawberry and watermelon note, fruity but not sweet. Summer in a glass and absolutely a new favorite rosé wine.

I also loved the not-pictured La Bombarde Cannonau di Sardegna DOC, a very light red wine with notes of cranberry and light cocoa, light enough for a humid boat day but warm and cozy enough for cooler weather. It would be a great Thanksgiving wine.

stellar yacht charters In addition to the wines being spectacular, the event itself was also really something special and well thought out. It was a small enough group that we all got to chat with each other, and the Captain had a pug named Junior! We had an overcast but warm fall day, lots of delicious food and wine and an opportunity to learn about the gem that Sardinia is for wine production and travel.

wine tasting on a boat

wine event

Boston skyline from a boat Life is good.

Thank you to Cantina Santa Maria La Palma and Wine & Co. for a great day!

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Tags: blogging, boating, Boston, events, luxury, luxury travel, Sardinia, wine, wine blog, wine blogger, wine tasting, yachts

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