Last month (wow, was it just last month), we trekked to Maine for a long weekend. And, bonus, we got to meet up with my sister and brother-in-law and explore the town together.
Portland was such a unique city. Not really at all what I thought Maine would be like. It's not all stuffy vacationers. Everyone was super down to earth, and there was a plethora of good food and drink to be had.
So, let's dive in!
P.S. We also stayed in the coolest Airbnb with lots of history and nice remodeled amenities.
This was our first meal in the city, and boy did it start us off with a bang. This place was just the cutest inside and we really loved the curry mussels, fries, roasted beets and drinks!
We did not regret making this our big dinner out. Most everything was cooked on an open fire that you could see throughout the restaurant, which lent an amazingly smoky flavor to our squid, Arctic char, mussels and more. Also, their bread was great (though I was under impressed with our cocktails).
Speaking of bread, Fore Street got theirs from this delightful little bakery below it. We stopped in for some tasty cookies and a financier and were not disappointed.
Talk about a cute bakery. This one is in an old gas station and has about every delicious pastry you can imagine. Scones, orange cinnamon rolls, quiche, cookies, pies.
One big plus of living on the East Coast/in North Carolina, is that we’re only a 4-hour drive away from D.C.!
I have fond memories of going on a trip to the capitol with my family while in high school (we even stayed in the National Cathedral) and visiting with my sister during the Cherry Blossom Festival a few years ago. My husband and I have visited twice in the past three years of living in NC.
We always both fall in love with the weather (we usually luck out with 70-degree sunny skies), unique architecture and walking-friendly vibe of the city. Oh, and the food was also fabulous.
Here were some of our favorite hot spots:
This is the area that we stayed in and we really loved it! So easy to walk to restaurants and fun spots nearby (like Georgetown). I would definitely stay in Dupont Circle again!
We have now been to Le Diplomate twice, and it just keeps getting better. This restaurant is set up in an old French style with an offering of dishes that honor the French cooking tradition with a few nuances. The oysters are amazing, the main dishes and sides are rich and tasty (and creative) and the desserts (creme brulee) are to die for. Finish your meal off with an aperitif, and you’re good to go.
I’ve been to Asheville a few times and love love love the small-town hippy feel of the cute, buzzing city surrounded by gorgeous mountains.
Here are some of our favorite Asheville Finds (which I’ve updated over the past few years):
Have you ever been to a new city or place where you just kept thinking you are in a wonderful dream? Like the views, food and atmosphere is just too good to even be true?
There are just some places on the planet where you feel so relaxed and at peace, from the moment you arrive until the moment you leave.
Chenonceaux was just like that for me.
We had to take a few trains from Paris to get there (and while that was stressful), we both just took a big breath and had a huge smile on our faces when we got to this little town in the Loire Valley.
But, let me rewind a bit to tell you how we ended up there. Jason’s Grandmere (French grandmother) told us that she and her family used to visit Chenonceaux and the castle there when she was little, and that it was one of her favorite castles in France.
Once I realized that it was one of those hidden gem towns, I was so excited. So, I booked our hotel, mapped out the train ride and made reservations at what happened to be a 1 Michelin star restaurant in this tiny town. Amazing!
Happy France Week!
Today’s travel post is a little special, well it’s a lot special, actually.
It’s special in that it’s about a really magical part of France (well, what part isn’t magical?) and that it’s from a place that we only spent a few hours in.
That’s right! This is a post that you will enjoy whether you’re looking for excursions from Paris, you are a fan of Claude Monet, or you just like to look at beautiful places.
Welcome to Giverny!
This quaint, quiet French town is where Monet lived and created the beautiful pieces we know and love.
Giverny is a quick trip (under 2 hours) from the heart of Paris.
We went on a day excursion to Giverny and Versailles with ParisCityVision, and I would highly recommend the tour! I was worried that it would be too touristy, but it really was quite nice. We hopped in a comfy bus, enjoyed the views in the countryside, and we got to learn more about Monet and the history of Giverny from our tour leaders.
I’m super excited about this week on the blog because…
It’s France Week!
This week, all week, I’m taking over the normal recipe feed and whisking you away to the beloved country of France. My husband and I just recently got back from a fabulous 7-day trip there, and I’ve got lots to share about it.
So, grab a baguette and Nutella crepe because it’s going to be a fun and delicious ride!
First Stop: Paris
Although it was my husband’s first time in Paris, I have been a few times. I spent a few days there on my senior trip after high school with my mom and then again in college with some girlfriends while studying abroad.
But, this was my first time going to Paris with a disposable income. My husband and I have been wanting to take this trip for several years, so I planned it to the max…and I think it turned out pretty well.
WHERE WE STAYED
Hotel Muguet– 7th Arrondissement
I’m a fan of Airbnb and the like, but we decided to stay in a traditional hotel for this trip. First off, my mom knew of this great place and secondly, we didn’t want to risk the place not working out. It’s not as easy to bail on a plan when you’re in Europe and staying there for 6 nights.
The hotel was quite cozy but nice, and I thought the prices were reasonable (about 150 Euros per night). The best part about staying there was the location. We had beautiful views of the Eiffel Tower from our room, and we were super close to Invalides, Musee Rodin and a 10-minute walk from the Seine.
A few weeks ago, I got to take a fun, extended-weekend vacay to San Diego for my cousin’s wedding.
I love when great things like family weddings are combined with great cities to explore, eat and drink through. We found so many great place in SD and enjoyed the California vibe (California casual, as some would say).
About a month ago, after about two days hopping from various airplanes, I returned to the U.S. from a 2-week trip to Burma with my mom.
If you don’t know where Burma is, it’s in Southeast Asia and borders Thailand.
Here’s the back story on my trip.
For about the past year I have been the social media/website manager for my parent’s mission organization Firefall International. All of my life, my parents have been invested in spreading the gospel across the world, taking many trip to many different nations since I was very young. I think one of the reasons that I became a writer was because I learned to love listening to the stories my parents would bring back from across the world and the tales the missionaries that would visit us would tell.
So, I have always had a passion for seeing people in other nations come to know the Lord. And it has been so neat to use my passion for social media and writing to help further that cause.
And a month and a half ago I got to experience firsthand the wonderful harvest that is happening in Burma and the wonderful people who are a part of it. (You can read more about my trip here.)
Here’s post two from our honeymoon adventures in California.
For the second part of our trip, we drove to the lovely and absolutely gorgeous Napa Valley to stay for a few days and visit some wineries.
It was amazing there. Perfect weather in the 70s, delicious food everywhere, breathtaking vineyards and some tasty wine.