Puerto Rico

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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 dream of Puerto Rico around once a week since our trip to Luquillo and San Juan. Island time agreed with me, and the trip felt like truly getting away, which is really rare with me.

When planning, I asked around to friends who had traveled to Puerto Rico, and my friend Megan sent me the most amazing roundup of places to visit. La Estacion was one of the restaurants on the list, and once we read about it, we knew we had to make it part of our itinerary. On our outdoor adventure day, between our sailing trip to Icacos and our boat trip to the bioluminescent bay, we made sure we had time to visit La Estacion, which was conveniently close to both. It turned out to be the perfect plan , giving us just a little time after sailing to drive around and some time after dinner to grab a beer and walk  on the beach.

la estacion

As the name alludes to, La Estacion is on the site of an old gas station, which definitely gives for an interesting atmosphere. The cool space is sought-after. Definitely get a reservation if you can!

la estacion fajardo

They’re big on local ingredients, beautiful outdoor space, strong and yummy cocktails and a good time.

la estacion. fajardo

la estacion, fajardo

It was hot when we arrived for dinner, and while frozen drinks aren’t my normal choice, I enjoyed a piña colada or two while in Puerto Rico! Sipping on this slushy treat while smelling the smoky air and feeling the heat was just amazing. I love being hot.

 

 piña colada

In addition to putting a lot of time and care into food and beverage, La Estacion also has nice little touches throughout, including lots of beautiful flowers and accents, and great service.

flowers Since I was on vacation, I decided to go with the special grilled stuffed whole lobster, sweet potato fries, and coleslaw. How good does that look?!

I ate most of it and wanted to roll out of the restaurant. Buttery lobster with tropical flavors of the salsa made it just out of this world.

lobster

My husband went for the BBQ side of things with ribs and chicken and mac and cheese, also amazing. I am always glad that we love to share; here it allowed us to taste a little bit of both the seafood and BBQ food La Estacions is known for.

ribs

If you are headed to the Fajardo/Luquillo area in Puerto Rico, La Estacion is really a must-visit. From warm welcomes to delicious, satisfying cuisine, they have it all. It’s really quite the experience! We’re hoping to visit again next winter.

Until then, we’ll hope for summer weather in New England and dream of Puerto Rico sunsets. . . .

 

Puerto Rico beaches

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Tags: BBQ, Boston blogger, cocktails, Dining out, fajardo, Food, food blogger, lobster, Puerto Rico

Our magical time in Puerto Rico seems like it happened years ago. . . I am craving warmth and sunshine in a big way, and Boston is not delivering! The trip was full of relaxation, beach time, and lots of local food, which we tried in all sorts of places, including at Los Kioskos, the kiosks in Luquillo, a must-visit for anyone traveling to the area.

The kiosks are a long stretch of roadside food stands, some small storefronts and others more upscale restaurants, all facing a beautiful beach. The kiosks give you access to about 60 different eating and drinking options with some shops and even a piercing and tattoo studio mixed in!

Luquillo Luquillo Kiosks

If you’re visiting Luquillo, you’ll want to visit the kiosks more than once to sample the variety of food there. We loved fresh, tangy ceviche at the Ceviche Hut, along with their peek out at the ocean. This was always a packed spot; you can tell it’s popular and that the seafood flies out of there!

ceviche

los kioskos luquillo

After our hike at El Yunque National Forest, the burgers at the El Jefe kiosk were calling our names, as were their delicious rum cocktails! I loved my Caribbean BBQ Burger with avocado, red onion, and pickles and hand cut fries as much as I loved my rum punch. This would definitely be a spot I would visit again; the menu offered burgers stuffed with chorizo and short ribs, which both sounded decadent and delicious, perfect for a slightly cooler day.

burgers for lunch We also loved that many of the places had happy hours. Tattoo Tavern was great for this as well as for live music later in the evening. I almost got my nose pierced again, but the tattoo/piercing part of the business was closed when we went back. Next time!

drinks in Puerto Rico

One of our favorite kiosks for a more sit down dinner was Terruno, where we found incredible local music, dancing, and dinner, along with really friendly and welcoming service. We didn’t stop smiling the entire time, as we chowed down on fried cheese with guava and shrimp mofongo with a garlic sauce.

fried cheese Seriously, this shrimp was pure heaven. Sharing an appetizer and a main course was enough to fill us up and to get us ready for a night of moving to the music. Such warmth and local flavor to be found by visiting the kiosks!

mofongo empanadas On another night, we did a couple of appetizers at Mata de Platano where again we went with seafood; crab empanadas and salmon skewers, again delicious and served with true Puerto Rican hospitality.

fish skewers

Our final stop at the kiosks was Edelweiss, known for their extensive beer selection and, you guessed it, friendly staff. Edelweiss is the perfect post-beach spot to start your wandering of the kioskos; most places allow you to take your beer to go as a refresher while you browse the other kiosks.

edelweiss kiosk

We really only visited a small handful of the kiosks but spent a lot of time wandering up and down the stretch, seeing families enjoying meals, friends out dancing, people on dates, and lots of people just relaxing after work. It’s a great spot to see how the locals enjoy life, one another, and good food.

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Tags: adventure, Dining out, Food, Puerto Rico, Restaurants, Travel

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