Category: Travel

New England Road Trip Pt. 2

12 States. 7 Days. And we only got mistaken for sisters twice. Continued.

Day Four// Maine. Kennebunkport and Lobster were the top two things that came to mind when I thought about Maine. My mom and I knew when we started the trip we wanted to spend the majority of our time in Maine. Partly, because we both had romantic views of riding horses along a breezy shore all day and then having a lobster dinner on blankets by an open fire with the Bush clan. Or at least that’s how I had always envisioned Maine. And partly because we felt that it would be the best place to ‘vacation within our vacation.’

However, our time in Maine was quite enjoyable even if we didn’t have a lobster dinner with George and Laura. The first day we were in Portland we walked around the area where we were staying and got a feel for the city. It was more rugged than I had pictured, which was a nice change from all of the cities we had visited the last few days.

We ate a late brunch at a local restaurant, with southern flare, interestingly enough, called Hot Suppa. We talked to the waiter who said the owners had lived in the South for a few years and loved our food so much they incorporated our flavors with traditional Maine dishes. Then we walked over to the wharf and watched the fishermen for a little while. And, of course, had to stop in a few local bookstores along the way. After a long day of walking and eating, we headed back to the hotel or another movie night.

Day Five// We woke up to a chilly, rainy, kind of gloomy day our second morning in Maine. Everyone at the hotel said we got here as soon as their weather was changing over to winter. Although it was rather yucky outside, we enjoyed walking around watching the last few fall leaves swirl around the brick sidewalks.

After a quick bite to eat we headed toward Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s house, one of the Fireside Poets from New England. Unfortunately, we found out his house had closed for the winter the day before we were there, but we walked around the outside and took pictures. The Wadsworth-Longfellow House was where Henry had been born and grew up. You may remember some of his most famous works including “Paul Revere’s Ride” and The Song of Hiawatha. Little known fact is that he was the first American to translate Dante’s Divine Comedy.

After wondering around Portland for the day, we decided to eat somewhere close to the water for our final supper in Maine. We found an amazing place, The Flatbread Company, right on Casco Bay, that had the most delicious pizza. All natural, wood-fired, clay oven pizza that makes me want to fly there tonight just thinking about it. After we were full we stopped in a few shops on our walk back to the hotel and enjoyed our last night getting room service for desert and watching a movie.

Day Six// We started our long drive home today. Vermont was the only state we hadn’t visited so we decided to take the scenic route for a couple of hours to add the last state to our list. After all we thought, “Vermont must be beautiful this time of year, with all that snow.” Although it wasn’t snowing yet, we were both glad we took the extra time to check out the The Green Mountain State. After a long morning and afternoon of driving , we stayed one more night on the road, which happened to be Hartford. It was great to finally to relax another night before our last leg of the journey home.

Day Seven// We were excited to get up early our last day to check out the Mark Twain House. I grew up reading Mark Twain and he his still one of our favorite authors of all time. The great thing about Mr. Twain is that he has a quote for every occasion. The weather? “Everyone seems to complain about it, but nobody seems to do anything about it. Fashion? “Clothes make the man. A naked man has little or no influence in society.”

His house was beautiful and we enjoyed walking the grounds. Then we hit the road again. After a long, long drive we finally arrived home. Our week-long exploration of New England came to an end, but the memories did not.

After the trip I checked one item off of my 101 goals in 1001 days list. If you have not read my post about my goal list, check it out here.

New England Road Trip Pt. 1

12 States. 7 Days. Endless cups of coffee. And we only got mistaken for sisters twice.

Last fall my mom and I traveled to every state in New England. We decided since we were driving to Maine we would take I-95 up the entire Eastern Seaboard. It was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime trip. We paid our weight in tolls up the coast and then took the scenic route back home. We left Virginia with our GPS set to Portland, ME.

Day One// The first day of our trip we woke up in Philadelphia after a late night arrival. We had never been there before so all we knew we wanted to do was eat a famous Philly cheesesteak, run up the “Rocky Steps,” and see where National Treasure was filmed. Oh yeah, and it just so happened that the Declaration of Independence was signed there too.

We did our homework beforehand and scheduled a tour of the city, which was phenomenal. We asked everyone we met where they got their cheesesteak. Everyone said a different place and we were so hungry so we just went to the place closest to us. After a late night visit to the “Rocky Steps,” we called it a day.

Day Two// We had planned on spending one night in Philadelphia; however, we found we liked the city so much we stayed a second night and get up super early the next day. After grabbing some coffee and filling up our tank, we got back on I-95 and drove the longest in a day we had driven. Destination: Providence, RI.

On the way we drove through New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and finally Rhode Island. Along the way we spent some time in New Haven and took a tour of Yale. Typical Rory and Lorelai walking around Branford with coffee in hand. Sad we never did see Logan or any of the Life and Death Brigade. However, we did drink really good coffee and took a tour of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

The campus of Yale University (I don’t know the guy on the left. Kinda looks like he’s stealing that bike)

We arrived at our hotel in Providence, right around the corner of Brown University, later that evening. We were exhausted after our long day and took a shuttle to an Italian restaurant highly recommended by locals. The food was good, but not a huge fan overall.

Day Three// After a great night’s sleep we walked over to a local coffee shop that the girls at the hotel said was superb and for good reason. After we were fully caffeinated, we hit the road again. Today the destination was Portland, ME. Along the way we stopped in Boston to see the Paul Revere House. We got into town as the entire city held a parade in our honor. Well, in reality, they had just won the World Series, but we didn’t know that yet, so just let us think it was for us.

My friend from Boston (thanks G!) had written an itinerary for us and a restaurant list so we were ready for the day. After getting through the madness of the celebration we got back on the road and drove through Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and finally Maine. We hit the state just as the weather was changing into fall. Maine was beautiful and gloomy all at the same time. After a long three days of travel, we treated ourselves to room service and Netflix (National Treasure, of course).

When in Rome…

Stay tuned for part 2 of our whirlwind one week tour of New England. It was an amazing trip and we drank some really great coffee along the way. I found that I really do like New England and it’s people.

Have any of you been to New England. If so I’d love to hear about it. Drop me a line or comment below of your favorite restaurants or things to do. Until next time, don’t forget to call your grandma.


Destination: Denver

The best trips I have taken have been when someone casually mentions going on a trip and before you know it you have a flight booked and a bag packed. Denver was no exception. Enter Bailey and Sophie. We first met when I moved to Virginia and they were regulars at the coffee shop where I was a barista. During the holidays we were chatting about taking a trip one day and then the next day we decided to book the cheapest flight we could find over Christmas break.

You guessed it!

Denver, Colorado!

One of us booked the flights, one of us rented the car, and one of us researched and found us a sweet deal on a crib for the duration of our stay. We each took one carry-on and filled it with mostly sweaters and jeans. Fully packed and caffeinated, we drove to the airport ready for adventure.

Day One // Fly into Denver, Explore Downtown Denver

The flight took almost 4 hours and then once we landed in Denver, we hit the ground running. We picked up our rental, dropped our bags off, and headed downtown. We had a general itinerary that we had prepared before we left. However, we wanted to live-in-the-moment and enjoy all the new experiences we could. We knew coffee was important to us, so we had time each day to find a new coffee shop (or two) to try. After a quick bit at a local hole-in-the-wall restaurant we were off to find a coffee shop.

Our first stop was Little Owl Coffee Shop in Downtown Denver. This became one of my favorite coffee shop on our visit. I went 3 times and then bought two bags of coffee beans to bring home! Hot or iced, the barista Chris made our drinks with perfection. We tried the mocha, vanilla latte, and brewed coffee. They were never bitter or overly sweet. Therefore, they receive my barista seal of approval.

We made a stop at the REI flagship store where I bought my favorite winter coat that was in the clearance section. I wore it the rest of the trip and even went skiing in it. You can find the same coat here. It has been so cold here in Virginia since I’ve been home that I am still wearing it everyday.

I was the driver, Bailey the co-pilot, and Sophie the provider of snacks and water.

We went to the grocery store that evening and we each bought ingredients for our night to cook. We also bought a large pack of water to keep in the rental car to help keep us hydrated and to stave off altitude sickness. We went through the entire pack of water and stayed healthy (with many bathroom breaks).

Day 2 // Red Rocks, Skiing 

On our way to the Red Rocks on the second day we went back downtown to a restaurant we had noticed the night before that looked like a great breakfast spot. I could have ordered one of everything on the menu at Snooze an AM Eatery . I ordered the smashed avocado benny and it was pure bliss. If you need to know anything about me is that I live to eat breakfast food. I could eat breakfast food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In fact, sometimes I think I go to bed at night just because I know I can eat breakfast in the morning. After a breakfast that stuck to our ribs, we were ready for the day.

If you go to Colorado in January it is a rule that you have to ski. We decided before we left that we would go night skiing in order to save money. I have never skied, let alone night skied. But how bad could it be? We went to Echo Mountain, because it was the closest ski area to Denver, most affordable, and have ‘ambassadors’ that are always available to help a girl out. It really helped that I ice skate because of the similarities of how you stop and gain speed.

We joked that we are actually triplets. I was adopted at the hospital when we were born and their parents took me home with them.

Day Three // Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park

Due to the recent government shutdown the park was closed, but we could still drive around in the mountains and get out and walk some. Our first stop of the day was Boulder for breakfast and, you guessed it, coffee. We enjoyed exploring Boulder, shopping, eating, and walking around. My favorite coffee shop was in Downtown Boulder. Ozo Coffee has over 20 variations of mocha. I tried to the Valencia orange and believe I found true love.

Day Four // Free Day

Due to our busy schedules at home, we knew we wanted one day on the trip that we could do absolutely whatever we wanted. And if that meant doing nothing for a day then that is what we would do. However, there were several places we had seen over the last few days that we took a mental note of and then knew we would return on our free day.

Tattered Cover Books was one of the places we all agreed was a place we wanted to visit. It is a bookstore in the heart of Downtown Denver that had a lot of character and ambiance. I could have bought the entire store, but I refrained and just bought one book, Ayn Rand’s classic Atlas Shrugged, in the clearance section (are you noticing a theme?) that I had been wanting to read for a while.

Day Five // Final Day

We woke up the last day to snowstorm, which was exciting to me, because what is the point in going to Colorado and not have snow. We decided to get out and find our final coffee shop for the trip and do some shopping. We found Reunion Coffee House in Commerce City, a new coffee shop that was perfect for our last day. We had the breakfast burritos and excellent coffee. We enjoyed our last night in the city and we flew out early the next morning.

It is possible to go on a trip with a small budget, and a small window of time. Never let finances or time or energy stop you from saying yes to new adventures. We are already planning our next trip! Have you been Colorado? Comment below with your favs in Denver.