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I maintain a mental list of all of the things that I want to do during a Massachusetts summer, and I don’t think I could get to it all unless I had at least a month off. As I mentioned in last week’s post about day trips from Boston, we decided this summer to stick around, enjoy our new house and yard, and take day trips that brought us back home each night. We also took a few random Fridays off to ensure we had time to do this.

Last Friday, after a beautiful day in Westport, we finally got to one of the activities I have really been wanting to do, take in the Sunset Music Series at Westport Rivers Winery and Vineyards.

I’ve long been a fan of Westport Rivers wines, and I always try to include them on our Coastal Wine Trail travels. Their winery, paired with a visit to Travessia Urban Winery, makes for the perfect day of wine for me and always feels like a little vacation.

Westport Rivers Vineyards

The Sunset Music Series at Westport Rivers is an easy, laid back way to spend a Friday night. It’s $10 per carload, and you can bring in all the food you would like. Beer from Buzzards Bay Brewing and wine from Westport Rivers is for sale by the bottle or glass.

The concert is held out on the lawn in a stunning setting overlooking Westport Rivers’ vineyards. People had some serious setups with tables, chairs, candles etc. We opted for a simple sheet and some bug spray so that we could lay back and look at the sky while enjoying the music.

Westport Rivers Winery

Before we sat down, we wandered to the vines to check on the grapes. I love following the stages of grapes in various places. In Sonoma, veraison (change in skin color) has begun to take place and some grapes are already getting ready for harvest. Due to our climate we have a later harvest here usually. I love all of the little factors that go into winemaking, though I know it is very stressful for the vineyard owner!

Westport Rivers wine grapes

We arrived at Westport Rivers before setup and were able to go inside and taste their Farmers Fizz before buying a chilled bottle to bring outside. The Farmers Fizz is easily my new favorite sparkling wine. It’s made in the traditional Champagne method and is so full of yeasty brioche notes, great body, and features a beautiful golden color. This sparkling wine could, in my opinion, give certain high end Champagnes a run for their money. . . and it’s only $20 a bottle!

Westport Rivers Farmers Fizz

Since we had been out and about all day, we also opted to take advantage of all of the food offerings at the concert. Compton Clambakes were on site with lobster rolls, hot dogs, pulled pork, and stuffed quahogs, and Cuttyhunk Shellfish were shucking up littlenecks and some of the best oysters I have had. I polished off 10 on my own.

(Cuttyhunk Island is another day trip I want to get to. We need more time off in the summer or a longer warm season here! )

Cuttyhunk Shellfish Oysters

Westport Rivers is the perfect place for a concert. The lawn was full of happy families and friends, the wine and coastal food were flowing, and the music put smiles on everyone’s face. I would love to make this a weekly tradition, but since the concerts happen at 6:00 on Friday night, we’d be lucky to get there before they were over, with Boston traffic and all! It was nice to have a day off to be able to head down to experience this summery New England event.

Have you discovered any new to you summer events this year?

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Tags: events, Massachusetts, music, oysters, summer, Westport, Westport Rivers, wine, winery

Westport, Ireland, that is. When we are staying with our family in Galway, visiting Westport is one of my favorite day or overnight trips. Just about an hour away, Westport, home to the pub owned by Matt Molloy of The Chieftain’s fame, is a great place for traditional Irish music as well as a fun place for eating and going out on the town.

On yet another rainy, dark day, we left Galway for Westport, hoping for a change of scenery and maybe some better weather? We got the former at least. . .


Signposts like these can be found all over Ireland. It’s a well-marked country, and with a pretty simple road system, it’s easy to get places. Example, the Dublin Road. . . guess where it goes?

Our drive to Westport included a stop at Ross Errilly Friary, a structure said to be built around the year 1460. In the 1600’s Ross Errilly’s 140 Catholic monks fled just before Cromwellian forces arrived, ransacked the property, and even defiled graves.

Ross Errilly Friary

Ross Errilly Friary

Throughout the years, there was a coming and going of clergy, and one thing is clear: this place has not been inhabited in quite some time!

Ross Errilly Friary

The wind through the bare windows made a loud howling noise that actually had me running away from the friary while my husband explored. I wasn’t afraid of ghosts but more the fact that the structure, so old, could deposit a stone on my head at any moment. Upon leaving the friary, I received a tweet from my brother-in-law’s friend that they used to visit the friary in the middle of the night when they were younger. A dark, windy day was scary enough for me, thank you very much!

Ross Errilly Friary

After our stop at Ross Errilly, we headed straight for Westport. This girl needs to be fed pretty often, and I was hungry!

Westport Ireland

After a quick walk around Westport town, we made our way to the waterfront where we found Fishworks Café. Two pints of Guinness quenched our thirst.


And I satisfied my need for local seafood with some mussels in a cream sauce with lots of veggies in it. A few slices of brown bread for dunking, and I was all set, gobbling up this bowl fairly easily. I love mussels, but I feel like they never really fill me up!


We decided to take the coastal road home, through the mountains of Connemara, which ended up not being the best move! There are no street lights, very few houses, and lots of sheep in the narrow, winding roads. The wind whipped the car around the whole way home. It was scary, but it was so very quintessential rugged West of Ireland that it was kind of worth it. At least for the passenger.

I am gearing up for a flight home tomorrow. I am not taking any time off for Christmas or New Year’s, but I am lucky that I can work from NJ and hang out with my family when things slow down a bit.

Do you have any travel plans for the holiday season?

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Tags: Food, Guinness, Ireland, mussels, Travel, Westport

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