Oh, the places you’ll go //Dr. Seuss

I want to introduce you all to some of my most favorite places in the world (so far)! Some of these are places I have been going to all my life, some are places I visit once a year, and a couple are places I may have only been to once, but I love them all for different reasons and I just want to share more about each of them and why they are special to me. Traveling is a very important part of my life and something I have always done. You learn a lot from traveling by figuring out how to make do with what you have with you and learning to adapt to new people, places and things along the way. Whether it’s down the street or half way around the globe, I am always seeking an adventure. For a trip to my local coffee shop on Sunday mornings I’ll take the long way, winding through the woods or the country with the windows down in order to get a view of the orchards or smell the blooming wildflower fields. When I am in another country I want go where the locals go, I want to eat at the little Mom and Pop restaurant in the alley or take the hidden path to a secret lookout view over the city. Going the extra mile and doing a little research before you leave will give you an experience like no other, so I always recommend browsing the internet or travel blog/books to find those spots that are going make your trip something to remember. Hitting the top 5 attractions on Trip Advisor is great, but I encourage you to dig a little deeper and you’ll be surprised at what you find. Happy travels!

Pleasure Beach// Waterford, CT
This is just THAT place for me. Everyone has one. That place where no matter what’s wrong in your life if you are there, you know everything is going to be okay.  My soul resides in Waterford, CT, and every time I am there I am truly happy and feel so at peace. My whole family history and childhood revolves around this special place, and I almost don’t want to share it because I don’t want anyone else to know about it or experience its magic. Granted, not everyone has the same connection to it as I do, but if you really get to know it, it’s one of a kind. The perfect little beach neighborhood on the quiet Connecticut shore… I can’t tell you how many days and nights I have spent down there laying on PB, swimming to the raft, digging for clams on the sandbar, stargazing in the field, eating Mike’s grinders, swimming and boating in the cove and so much more.  Pleasure Beach will ALWAYS have my heart, no matter where I am in the world. I know that I will be coming here my entire life and can't wait to bring my kids and grandkids and be able to show them the magic and what this place really means to me. 

Moosehead Lake// Rockwood, ME
My Grandparents bought a lakefront property in Rockwood, Maine in the 1970's and over the years it has transformed into a beautiful year round home (how they survive the winters I DO NOT KNOW) for them and a great vacation place for my family and I. It is truly a hidden gem and is one of the few untouched and unpopluated places left on the East Coast. Granted it's not the ocean, but there is still so much beauty in this lake as it is the biggest lake in Maine spanning over 40 miles. The property is so beautiful and my grandparents cabin is something out of the magazines. I am truly blessed to be able to visit as much and as often as I would like. From fires on the dock to swimming and boating, mountain hiking and white water rafting, this region makes for the perfect "camping" like getaway while not exactly having to rough it thanks to modern amenities. I have so many childhood vacation memories from visiting, and I was even christened at the little red church in town when I was a baby. There have been countless weddings, parties, reunions and such over the years and the people on 'Barrows Cove' have all become family to each other.

South Shore and Cape Cod// Massachusetts
I have been coming to this area pretty regularly since I was about 16 years old. My cousin lives in Marshfield, MA on the South Shore and it quickly became a second third home for me. All of her friends also became my friends and we had many a high school party and adventure all over 'Marshvegas'. The surrounding towns Scituate, Duxbury and Cohassett are equally as beautiful and I have so many memories cruising through each of these towns for dinner, Marylou's coffee, ice cream, and even just the casual sea side drive. When I was 18, I started working for an amazing wedding photographer in Marshfield who specializes in weddings on both the South Shore and Cape Cod. In the past 8 years I have done over 250 weddings with her (can't believe I have been to that many!) and have been so blessed to have been able to visit some of the top destinations and venues on Cape Cod. I love everything about the cape... the style, the history, the pristine beaches, the casual camaraderie and the SEAFOOD cannot be beat! Also, Provincetown is about the single best place in New England- if you have never been, I recommend you get it on your schedule asap, because you're missing out. In my "Dream" life/world I have always said I will be a photographer living half the year in Cape Cod and Half the year in Hawaii.... Hey, a girl can dream, right?

Oahu// Hawaii
Speaking of Hawaii, that brings me to my next favorite- Oahu! I visited Oahu in college for about three weeks and could not have loved it more. I am a summer girl, I am a beach girl, I am a warm weather girl... and Hawaii is all of these things combined for 365 days of the year. It is hardly ever below 70 degrees or above 90 degrees, and I could pretty much stare at palm trees all day long. When you first get there, they tell you to "embrace the beauty of Aloha", and it's really not a tourist gimmick. They truly do embrace 'ALOHA' and everything it stands for. The people are so friendly, and the lifestyle is so much more relaxed than our fast paced day to day over here on the east coast. They still have a bustling city in that of Waikiki, but once you venture on over to the North Shore you are truly transported to a new world. The surf culture is amazing and sitting on Sunset beach and feeling the sand vibrate beneath your bum because the waves are THAT big, it's pretty life changing. You live your life outdoors and there is so much to do and see and experience with nature in Hawaii... I can honestly say that I would be happy there living in a one room shack! I can't imagine the awesomeness of the childhoods of kids who get to grow up there. So jealous! (sidenote: I had a great childhood!!) This fall I will be heading back to Oahu for a few days and will then head over to Kauai for almost two weeks. To say I CANNOT WAIT is an understatement! I have never been to any of the other islands and am so excited to explore the 'Garden Island'. ALOHA.

Caribbean// United States and BVI
If you don't want to make the 14+ hour trek to Hawaii from the East Coast, the Caribbean is a great option! I have been to Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, Bahamas, and Turks & Caicos. Some of the bluest water and whitest sands I have ever seen have been in the Caribbean. It is a great place to go especially if you want to see more than one place, because a lot of the islands are close together and can be accessed by a short boat ride or small plane. There are so many fun bars and things to do on each of the islands- the options are endless. The rainforest in Puerto Rico is amazing and has beautiful waterfalls. I was in Puerto Rico for New Years when I was 16 and it was an absolute blast. I would love to go back at that time of year again now that I am older and can drink legally venture out more! A lot of the cruise ports can get really crowded from time to time but there are plenty of places and islands that are much more remote. I really want to go back to Turks & Caicos for a vacation, and would also love to check out Barbados, the Caymans, Martinique and Trinidad & Tobago to name a few. The best sunset I have ever seen was over the ocean leaving Grand Turk, we were all just speechless! I will have to post the picture to the blog one of these days for show and tell.

Outer Banks// North Carolina
Ahhh, the Outer Banks! This is such a unique place/set of islands and channels and beaches along the North Carolina coast. The houses you can rent are amazing- we rented one that was 4 floors and slept 25! It also came with its own pool and two hot tubs. I will never forget it- it was called 'Coach's Cove' if you're looking for a big place! The beaches go for miles and miles and are generally not too overcrowded. There are tons of good restaurants and seafood places, but overall it is just a really nice place to go and relax and sit your bum on the beach for a week. It is great for family vacations or low-key trips with friends while not completely breaking the bank. You are close to the ocean pretty much no matter where you stay, and its great to just walk along the beach at sunset or sunrise. You can also score some pretty sweet things, like fireworks, that they don't sell in New England. And they make obtaining alcohol SO convenient with the Brew-Thrus! I can't wait to get back soon as I haven't been since 2008. One of my dreams is to see wild horses, so I really hope next time I go I can get to see some. (Pic cred goes to Mrs. Howe)

Miami// Florida
As Will Smith once said... "Party in the city where the heat is on, all night on the beach til the break of dawn... Welcome to Miami". I have such fun memories of my trips to South Florida, I went 4 times over the course of college with different girlfriends and friend groups to both the Ft.Lauderdale and Miami areas. Surprisingly, only once during actual Spring Break! The weather is hot, the people are hot, and it's just an all around party zone. At least for me and my experiences, this is not really a place to go for R&R, unless by R&R you mean rage and recuperate. But I knew that going into it each time I went, and just had the best time going out to dinners and dancing and sleeping partying on the beaches with my gals. It's sad to think that my college days are over, and I am sure next time I go back it will be taken down about 5 notches, but I am okay with that! I would love to go back soon and do the Florida keys, as I have never been there before. Or, visit Sanibel island/Captiva on the West Coast again, which is where we used to vacation as a family when I was younger. The seashells there are some of the best in the world and it's just a gorgeous place.

Shoreline// Rhode Island
RHODY RHODY RHODY! I spent my 4 years of college in the countries smallest state, Rhode Island. My Freshmen year I went to Roger Williams in Bristol- absolutely gorgeous- and then I finished up my last three years in Kingston at URI. I got to live in cute and cozy beach houses for three years, and am so lucky for that privilege and experience. I may never again get to say I live on the beach thanks to Sallie Mae so I am glad I got to do it for those four years. Rhode Island has so much to offer... Newport is AMAZING and is such a cool town. The whole South Kingstown area is so remote and filled with hidden gems like the Matunuck Oyster Bar and Reggae night at the O-Mist. And the Westerly area has great beaches like Watch Hill and Misquamicut that a lot of us CTers like to frequent in the summer. The Ocean House in Watch Hill is one of my favorite places to go to all dressed up and fancy to act like I am super rich and proper for the evening. Taylor Swift lives next door and the sunset view from the terrace is incredible. It's on my happy hour list for the summer so hopefully I will get there at some point! In this same category I want to give honorable mentions to Mystic and Stonington, CT which are very close by. My favorite restaurants in CT, among other things, are located in these two nautical seaside towns. Rhode Island as a whole is just a great place to be a beachbody/nautical lover.. it is, after all, the "Ocean State"!

San Sebastian// Spain
There is nothing quite like your first trip to Europe. I will always love San Sebastian for taking my European viriginty, but even more than that I love it because it is one of the most beautiful places you could ever imagine. I am SO SO SO glad I got to go here first, because to be honest, it was never on my "Eurpoean Travel List", and totally changed my outlook on Eurpoean travel in terms of places I want to go. I got to go on the trip of a lifetime with the photographer I work for as her son was doing a semester abroad there and she invited me to go along, all expenses paid. I really will never be able to repay them for the opportunities and experiences they gave me, it honestly makes me cry, and no amount of gratitude is enough. My point is that San Sebastian was not somewhere that I had ever though to visit, or even knew about, but it opened my eyes to such an awesome region of the world that I probably never would have gone to otherwise. All we hear about in the US are the commercialized locations like London, Paris, and Madrid to name a few... but it is these smaller uncommercialized places, like San Sebastian, that are actually some of the true gems of Europe. San Sebastian has the highest concentration of Michelin Stars (a restaurants top honor) in the world, even more than Paris, yet it is talked about probably 100 times less, if at all in the US. There are not even words to describe the food there, so I am not even going to try.... the beaches were beautiful, the architecture was unbeleiveable, the people/fashion was out of this world. I am really hoping that 2015 will be the year I return to Europe, and thanks to San-seb I have added places to my list such as Croatia, Positano, Grenanda, and Bruges that I likely would never have even considered a year ago. 

I think every little girl dreams about the day they will wake up in France. For me, one day this past November on my trip to San Sebastion, we took a day trip to France and I was able to wake up to this beautiful sunrise in the affluent seaside town of Biarritz on the Southwest coast of France. I literally smiled all day long. I could have walked the cobblestone streets eating croissants the rest of my trip and been perfectly content. We went to cute little farmers markets and got food for our Thanksgiving dinner, visited some gorgeous old cathedrals, walked along the ocean, ate lunch in a historic cafe (the 'well' champagne was Veuve Clique... die), and shopped at the Galleire Lafayette (Macy's on STEROIDS, serious damage could have been done). All in all it was a day I will never forget, and I hope to return to France sooner than later. Paris, anyone?


  1. Why isn't "favorites" left aligned?

    1. You think you're sooo funny!! You are.. :-)