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Winter getaways seem to be the topic of conversation more than ever this year. I don’t know about you, but I have become desperate to unplug from the world on weekends, and being near the ocean has been my saving grace.

A few weeks ago, we started discussing a possible winter trip to Martha’s Vineyard. We craved being on a boat, hiking, good food and wine, and quiet, and we knew that we could find all of that close to home on MV.

As fate might have it, just a couple of days after that discussion, I received an email from the owners of the Nobnocket Boutique Inn on Martha’s Vineyard, inviting us to come and stay for a Valentine’s getaway. The timing was absolutely perfect, and after swooning over the inn’s website photos, we were soon counting down the days until we left Woods Hole for Martha’s Vineyard.

One major perk of visiting Martha’s Vineyard off-season? We left mid-day on Friday and hit absolutely no traffic. The ferry was fairly empty, and the entire trip was a breeze. Once we drove off the ferry in Vineyard Haven, it was about two minutes to Nobnocket. Vineyard Haven’s adorable town center is easy walking distance from the inn, and you’ll likely encounter a few dozen turkeys along the way!

Photo via Nobnocket Boutique Inn website

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Upon our arrival, we were welcomed with offers of coffee, tea, water, wine, and we chose tea, which we enjoyed while chatting with inn owners Annabelle and Simon.

tea time

The common areas of the inn are welcoming and cozy, and, like the rest of the property, decorated with beautiful little details everywhere you turn.

Nobnocket Boutique Inn

Nobnocket Boutique Inn

The breakfast room is also an all-day oasis, with coffee and tea, cold drinks, filtered water, snacks, and a few nightcap options.

Nobnocket Boutique Inn

The surroundings are just as lovely as the inside of the inn. A fresh snow on the island made things just a bit more sparkly, and the trees, including massive holly trees, brought a nice touch of natural beauty right up to the doors of the inn. Another perk of winter? The trees aren’t grown in, and you can easily see the harbor in the distance.

Also, the turkeys! Who knew that Martha’s Vineyard had SO many turkeys?

Martha's Vineyard

 

lighting

 

Nobnocket Boutique Inn

Before settling into our room, we toured the other guest rooms, each delightfully appointed with its own unique details. The above room is as it was in the original home, with details like a brick fireplace and lots of beautiful dark wood that has been lovingly treated, giving it a more lodge-y, masculine look than the others.

Nobnocket Boutique Inn

Rooms upstairs are bright and sunny, each with its own color scheme that’s perfectly woven throughout. I appreciate an eye for detail like this immensely; I certainly don’t have it! Throughout the weekend we continuously pointed out little details that we hadn’t noticed earlier.

Nobnocket Boutique Inn

inns of Martha's Vineyard In our luxurious yellow-and-black room, even the beer opener was yellow!

Martha's Vineyard Nobnocket Boutique Inn has managed to perfectly blend chic design and clean lines with beachy coziness, making every space feel warm, welcoming, and relaxing. Our room was no exception, with a plush and comfy bed, lots of pillows, bathrobes, slippers, a fireplace, and a bathroom that was to-die-for.

luxury on Martha's Vineyard

How amazing is this tub? What I didn’t capture is the flat-screen TV on the wall behind it. I love a good, super hot soak more than anything, and I am surprised I left that space all weekend long.

Martha's Vineyard inns

luxury bathroom

Attention to detail extended beyond design and into every aspect of the day,  from turndown to turndown.

On our first night we were greeted with homemade lemon cookies (which I knew about from their Instagram post earlier in the day!) And yes, we turned in for the night by 8:08 on our first night.

cookies for turndown

Breakfasts were works of art. On our first day, yogurt parfaits, poached eggs, bacon, and toast started our day.

Nobnocket Boutique InnAfter a busy day of exploration, we relaxed by the fire with our wonderful hosts and another couple (Hi Matt and Dave!) before dinner. . .

Nobnocket Boutique Inn

And when we arrived back home were greeted by the most decadently delicious chocolate chip cookies and chocolate covered strawberries. To.die.for.

cookies at turn down

The next morning there was more breakfast art; a bento box of yogurt and fruit, flaky homemade sausage rolls, local baguette and scones, and the best ginger pear marmalade from New Lane Sundries.

Nobnocket Boutique Inn

We were thoroughly spoiled with treats, comfy spaces, and lots of laughs throughout the weekend, and it wasn’t easy to leave. If you’re craving a relaxing getaway, keep Nobnocket Boutique Inn at top of mind. Their specials and packages page is a great place to start!

More on Martha’s Vineyard in the winter to come. . .

Our stay was generously hosted by the inn. All opinions are my own. Thank you again to Annabelle and Simon for such a fantastic weekend!

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Tags: inns, luxury travel, Martha's Vineyard, New England, New England travel, travel blogger, travel. Travel Tuesday

In addition to being beautiful and filled with incredible art and music, Galway Ireland is a dining destination that just continues to add to its world class culinary scene. Restaurants in Galway take advantage of their island home, serving some of the best seafood around. A somewhat mild climate means year-round local vegetables, and all of that glorious Irish farmland results in the best milk, cheese, butter, and meat you can find.

People from around the globe have discovered this, and you can now find a huge variety of cuisines in Galway. On our last visit, we had a cozy evening at Il Vicolo in the Bridgemills before heading to Salthill for a Christy Moore concert. . . which was fabulous, by the way.

The Bridgemills location is important to note, as it means the restaurant is nestled along the banks of the River Corrib. We visited on a raw November day, but I had to step outside to soak up the views and cozy outdoor space, which would be glorious when the weather is nice. In the summertime, the sun sets super late in Galway, and I can picture us out there for a late dinner, 10:00 even, with beautiful evening light. Maybe in July!

Galway Bridge Mills

The building, which is over 430 years old, has been impeccably restored and is a must-visit on your trip to Galway. In addition to Il Vicolo, it houses a variety of shops and other businesses.

Il Vicolo Galway

Il Vicolo’s interior reflects the building’s history, and it is just incredibly cozy and romantic. It’s perfect both for a date night or for a group get together, where lots of red wine and pasta are consumed and chatting happens late into the evening.

Il Vicolo Galway Cannonau di Sardegna Speaking of red wine, I was in charge of choosing a bottle, and with two recent Sardinian wines on my mind, I went with a Cannonau from the island.  A little jammy, with notes of cocoa, this wine was like a big warm hug on  chilly, rainy night. We sipped it in the glowing candlelight while talking about one of our group’s upcoming wedding in Italy.

   mussels Il Vicolo is the perfect place to share plates, and while I only got photos of two dishes, we dove into several of their specialties, focusing on seafood. Mussels are  go-to in Galway, and I almost always order them. These were no exception, plump, juicy, tasting of the sea and of the martini and shallot broth.

Calamarata, pasta shaped like calamari, was dotted with fresh clams and squid and just a kiss of sauce. With pasta like this, you really barely need sauce!

seafood pasta

Not pictured: earthy and delicious wild mushroom bruschetta and homemade meatballs

It was hard to decide on what to order at Il Vicolo, but with the experience being so deliciously memorable, we know that it will be a regular stop on our visits to Galway.

If they could deliver a bowl of pasta and a glass of red right now, all would be well!

 

 

Eating in Galway

Kai Cafe

Galway cocktail bar, Tribeton

Aniar

Ard Bia at Nimmo’s

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Tags: Food, food blog, Galway, Ireland, Ireland blog posts, Travel, travel blog, travel blogger

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

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