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Happy Travel Tuesday! We leave for Ireland in a month, and have a trip to New Jersey to visit family in between then and now so I am feeling good about feeding the wanderlust these days. We’re also still reminiscing about an amazing Sonoma holiday over Labor Day weekend, so today I thought I would share some out and about photos, places I didn’t necessarily photograph in-depth and pretty pictures I caught along our travels. Enjoy!

Napa roads

{Napa County Road and the bluest sky}


Hog Island Oyster Company

{Hog Island Oyster Co. – get ready for some shucking!}

Sonoma Coast

{The Magnificent Sonoma Coast}

Girl and the Fig, Sonoma

{Chocolate and Fig Salted Caramel Trifle at The Girl and the Fig}

Passaggio Tasting Room, Sonoma {Passaggio Wines new tasting room in Sonoma – I love Passaggio Wine but was not bright enough to check the tasting room hours and showed up on a closed day. From what I could see, it is beautiful.}


Russian River Valley sunset

{Russian River Valley sunset from our Flipkey Sonoma home}

Truett Hurst

{Sun-baked Dry Creek Valley land in August – I LOVE the heat.}

Truett Hurst

{Cooling off at Truett Hurst, one of my favorite Dry Creek Valley wineries}

Truett Hurst

{Truett Hurst Sauvignon Blanc, riverside}

Dry Creek General Store

{Dry Creek General Store – a favorite for a cold beer, Dry Creek Valley views, great sandwiches, and people-watching}

Holdredge Pinot Noir

{Gorgeous Pinot Noir, Grateful Dead memorabilia, and rap music at Holdredge – Who says wine is snobby?}

Napa Valley Sunset

{Sunset as we left Napa Valley on our last evening}

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Tags: California, California wine country, Food, Napa, Napa Valley, Restaurants, Sonoma, Sonoma County, Travel, travel posts, Travel Tuesday, wine, wine blog, wine blogger, wine tasting, wine travel, winery

iFest Boston has come and gone, and overall, it was a nice contribution to Boston’s host of activities and events. It’s always nice when our city is chosen to host big events, and I think it brings people out and together in so many ways.

When I first heard about iFest, I was excited for a little taste of Ireland at a time when we weren’t sure when we would be going back. Booking tickets for this Thanksgiving changed that a little, but we were still excited to spend a day immersed in Irish culture.

I was a little disappointed when I saw blogger giveaways for iFest and a media event for Tourism Ireland and knew nothing about them as a blogger myself. I mean, I kind of blog obsessively about Ireland and spend a lot of time planning trips there. . .

All that aside, we went to iFest optimistic and excited that it was a MOST gorgeous day. We had a good time overall and would probably attend again. Below are a few hits and misses that stood out to us during the event.

Wild Atlantic Way

iFest Boston

iFest recycled fashion show



Location – The Seaport is such a great event location, and their elevated outdoor space was perfect for the beautiful day we were blessed with.

Chefs – I was most excited to see Darina Allen. Going to her Ballymaloe Cookery School in Ireland is a dream of mine, and she did not disappoint. There were so many technical difficulties with her demo, but she was an absolute riot and rolled with it. The scones and barmbrack she made actually got me excited for cold weather baking! We were sad we sat through her demo and didn’t get to try any of the food though. There were definitely some organization issues. Other chefs included the young and adorable Mark Moriarty and Boston’s own Barbara Lynch, along with Kevin Dundon.

Variety of drinks – Though everything was incredibly expensive, I loved the variety of beverage choices available, from Jameson cocktails to Moet to Guinness and the new Guinness Blonde. There was a whole Moet room! It was like two of my favorite worlds had collided.

The Guinness booth also had some amazing Guinness cocktails like one that mixed Guinness, whiskey, and Crème de Cacao, SO chocolate-y and rich and dessert-like.

Recycled fashion – A recycled fashion show done by college students from around Ireland was such a cool expression of the creativity and confidence of young Irish women.

Hurling – There’s nothing like watching a match on the big screen and then being able to do a little hurling yourself downstairs!

Music – We only stuck around for Heathers, but I did quite a bit of dancing in a short time.



Food and beverage – a Guinness (less than a pint!) was $10. A full pint at Legal Seafoods next door, in comparison, was $7.  Kerrygold was on hand supplying delicious cheese and bread and butter, but I think there could have been much more of an opportunity to do a free “Taste of Ireland” and feature tons of products. Food was as expensive as drinks. After seeing a $15 hot dog, we decided to go to Legal’s for a half dozen oysters for the same price.  The variety of food paled in comparison to drinks, which is usually not a good thing, especially on a hot day when people are likely to knock beverages back quickly without springing for food.

The schedule kept changing. I don’t think it was the same any of the times we looked at it, which ended up being a bummer. There were a couple of reasons we got tickets, and seeing Jack L. and Paddy Moloney at the times originally listed were two of them. Paddy Moloney seemed to disappear off of the Saturday schedule altogether. The All Ireland hurling match may have moved some things, but I was sad to miss out on the main things I wanted to see.

Lack of social media interaction – iFest had SUCH a huge opportunity to engage with supporters, and I saw absolutely nothing along those lines. If they come back next year, I know an Ireland-loving Social Media Manager they could hire. . . just saying. 

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Tags: Boston, events, iFest, Ireland, Travel

Summer is my favorite time of year. I don’t love or even like the other seasons nearly as much; I find early sunsets deplorable, and chilly weather makes my bones hurt. I am happiest when I can have bare legs and bare feet (or open toed shoes for work) and can sleep without blankets. I love being hot, I love beating sun, and most of all I love boats, beaches, fresh produce, and long days. This summer wasn’t the best, as far as heat went, but we still managed to have some pretty great times.

Some favorite moments included our anniversary dinner at Hamersley’s, our Red Fire Farm CSA and all the tomatoes, a concert at Westport Rivers, James Taylor at Tanglewood,  swimming at the Jersey shore, and my family’s visit, especially whale watching from Boston.

boating in Boston

We visited Venezia on a friend’s boat and spent a ton of time at our friends’ new pool, sipping cocktails and swimming, It was the life.

pool time

We also made some time for Chatham, one of my favorite places on Cape Cod. It was a chilly August day, but we still enjoyed the views from Chatham Bars Inn and celebrated their 10th anniversary with commemorative cocktails.

Chatham Bars Inn

CBI 100

We also spent some time on one of my favorite Cape Cod Beaches, Craigville Beach, where I spent childhood vacations and look forward to making more memories. How gorgeous is this?!

Craigville Beach

And then there was our Sonoma trip, where we fell in love with a house on a mountain overlooking vineyards. We tend to not leave New England during summer and to save trips outside for after the season ends. But there is really nothing like the Dry Creek Valley in the height of summer, with big purple grapes hanging from the vines and an exquisite dry heat that my body loves. I have about 10 blog posts about Sonoma left, and for that I apologize. But we helped with harvest and went to some fun events, met really nice people, and most of all relaxed and unlpugged. It’s hard to say goodbye to my favorite, season, but being the optimist I am, I know fall will also bring adventures, delicious food and wine, and great friends and family. And despite how much I love long, warm days, you really can’t beat all that.


What were your favorite summer moments?

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Tags: Cape Cod, Chatham, gardening, home, Massachusetts, New England, Sonoma, summer, sunshine, Travel

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