I’ve Moved Blogs

Hello all!

I’ve officially moved my blog over to Squarespace. Luckily, the URL is still the same so you can just continue heading over to Chatterboxnewyork.com for my posts. However, you may need to resubscribe – I don’t want to lose you!

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Oregon Part 1: Driving the Coast

SAMSUNG CSCI’ve decided to break up my photos from Oregon into three posts, since I have too many photos for one, and the trip was kind of broken into three sections. 🙂 I have cousins that live in Oregon and I hadn’t visited in 10 years so I figured it would be great to go see everyone again and see some places I hadn’t been to on the first trip, including Portland! I arrived in Portland very late on Saturday night (well 11pm, but it my internal clock was still set to East Coast time) and pretty much went to bed right away so we could all be well rested for the next day. That morning we went to breakfast at Pine State Biscuits. It was unreal. They had almost anything on a biscuit – from eggs and jam, to pulled pork, to fried chicken with pickles, and biscuits and gravy. At the ordering window I could watch the bakers roll out and cut fresh biscuits. I was drooling before we even ordered so I ended up getting a biscuit with an egg and fried chicken, and some honey butter. It was so delicious and I definitely recommend going if you’ll be in the area. After exploring Portland some more, we went to Blue Star Donuts, which was also yummy and had crazy flavors. I got an original and my cousin Natalie got a Lime Curd donut. We also bought some to go.

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After a morning in Portland we started on our road trip to Cannon Beach, which is on the northern part of the Oregon coast. The ride was beautiful, with curvy roads edged by tall pine trees. Cannon Beach was stunning. The beach was so big and I couldn’t believe how soft the sand was. East coast sand is definitely not the same. We walked towards Haystack rock, which is the big one right off shore that everyone was taking pictures of, and then just lounged around for a couple hours. Later that evening we continued driving down the coast, through Tillamook, which is “cow town” or Oregon and known for dairy production. We passed by a ton of cheese factories (!!) and I bought some Tillamook yogurt for to get a small sampling. Tillamook literally smelled like cows though, so I am glad we didn’t stay there too long.

SAMSUNG CSC SAMSUNG CSC SAMSUNG CSC SAMSUNG CSCSAMSUNG CSCThat evening we camped near Pacific City. Our “camp site” was pretty hilarious though and was basically a gravel parking lot right next to a road with some grass for tents. My cousins were furious about the mis-advertising, but it was okay for just one night at made for some funny photos. Also it was right next to a pretty farm that had great sunrise action in the morning. The next day we drove a few minutes to Cape Kiwanda, home of more giant cliffs and the tallest sand dune I’ve ever seen. We climbed the dune. I barely made it to the top and then had a moment of panic at the top when I looked down and realized how high up we were. It was not comforting to say the least! Even more embarrassing, many small children were racing up the dune with no apparent issue, and I even saw a man hike up with a newborn baby strapped to his back and then stand right at the tip of a cliff! I had to hike down an alternate, longer but less steep path on the way down, haha. While I was up there though, I did appreciate how majestic the coastline was. It is amazing that sand, cliffs, rocks, and green mountains all meet at the edge of the country! 

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On the last leg of our coast journey, we drove down to Newport, Oregon which is a small fishing town. There were docks full of massive sea lions (not seals, because apparently they are smaller) and they were SO loud and kept fighting and knocking each other off the docks. We found out that it was all males (of course LOL) barking disruptively because the females were further South watching the sea lion pups.

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Fourth of July Weekend

I hope everyone had a great Fourth of July! Even though I only had a three day weekend it felt so much longer and was some much needed time off. On Friday morning, Pat and I drove down to my friend’s beach house in Old Saybrook, CT. It was gorgeous! I couldn’t get enough of the beach-weathered exteriors and the beautiful hydrangeas. My friend is moving to Boston this weekend after living in Europe for a year, and even though we won’t be in the same city, it’s wonderful having her back. After making a couple more stops in Old Lyme and Niantic, we made our way to Rhode Island for some much needed beach time.

I’m exciting to be heading to Cape Cod this weekend with my family for a real vacation – five days! Cape Cod is so special to me – I grew up spending most of my summers there so I’m looking forward to spending some time with my family. Now that we’re all doing our own thing it’s hard to get everyone together. I’ll be mainly offline (another thing I am looking forward to) but will be occasionally posting on Instagram. Have a great weekend!

Block Island

Last Friday I took my first vacation day of the summer (finally!) and Pat and I went to Rhode Island and took a day trip to Block Island. I have to say that we truly outdid ourselves and had a weekend of amazing food, starting with a spontaneous brunch at Noah’s in Stonington, CT. I went to college in New London, CT which is about fifteen minutes away from Stonington Borough, a tiny fishing town right on the coast with beautiful colonial houses and tiny streets. Noah’s brings back a ton of memories for me – from dinners and drinks with all my college friends and their families, and my graduation brunch. The buttermilk pancakes aren’t better anywhere else.

When we got to Charlestown, RI we hit the beach for a few hours which was much needed. I feel like the past couple times I’ve been to the beach this summer it’s rained, but it was so beautiful! After the beach we drove through Misquamicut looking for seafood. At the beach seafood is a must and some of the best places are the super casual, no frills places right on the water. We found Two Little Fish and had amazing lobster roles, fries and slaw. Pat and I both like hot lobster rolls with butter instead of the cold-mayo ones, so we’re always looking for places that serve those.

On Saturday we woke up early for the ferry to Block Island. I can’t believe I hadn’t been to Block Island until last weekend! It was so easy to get there and I loved how being on the island made me feel removed from the rest of the world. Everyone was biking or walking, and there weren’t too many cars. We set off straight to Mohegan Bluffs, which I had heard were sweeping cliffs with amazing views. What I read was right – the views were amazing. Pat and I walked down what felt like hundreds of stairs to get to the beach at the bottom of the cliffs. At the bottom the stairs ended and it was just a steep rocky path that was SO scary! It took me like 30 minutes to get down and Pat had to help me. So embarrassing. Also, all these tiny children were just running up and down the path like it was no big deal! After being at the beach we went back up the stairs and down another barely visible path that opened up right onto the edge of a cliff. It was so crazy! We sat at the edge of the cliff on a rock and ate lunch – probably one of the best views of the day. Block Island also has a bunch of farms so we stopped at one on the way back and it was full of the most random animals – like camels, tortoises, emus, a kangaroo, lemurs, and these donkeys that had zebra stripes on their legs. It was really odd.

We capped off the weekend on Sunday by going back to the Matunuck Oyster Bar and splitting a massive seafood sampler that had oysters, clams, and shrimp. Oh yeah, and I had a Bloody Mary that included an oyster. The past weekend made me realize that it’s important to explore what’s around me in New England! Even through I grew up in New England I feel like there’s so much I still haven’t seen.

Utrecht, Groningen, and Schiermonnikoog

Processed with VSCOcam with c3 presetAlthough my trip to the Netherlands was short (only ten days) one of the best parts of it was that we were able to see so many parts of the country. We spent a night at a B&B in Utrecht, which ended up being one of my favorite little towns. There is so much to do in this little canal town, including a bell tower climb, a beautiful garden, canal tours, and just strolling through the quaint streets. After Utrecht we went back to Amsterdam for a night and then we were off to Groningen, a city in the northern part of the country where my friend goes to school. The canals and buildings in Groningen were stunning and we also took a day trip to Schiermonnikoog, one of the Waddenzee Islands. Seeing the beach and tons of animals (I made friends with a sheep) was so refreshing from being in cities for most of the trip. Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e1 preset Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with se3 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with c2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with s2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with s1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with s1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with hb2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset

Belgium

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 presetOn my second trip to Belgium I was lucky enough to visit two cities: Antwerp and Bruges. Each city was so different but the architecture in both was simply stunning. I have to say – Antwerp was a little odd because we came on a Monday and everything was closed, but there was a certain solitude in wandering around the city with no one around. Bruges reminded me of a medieval fairy tale town and I couldn’t get enough of all the little chocolate shops. It was amazing being able to see so much, especially the countryside on the train rides to each city – it’s a place that I would love to come back to and explore more. Processed with VSCOcam with s2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f1 preset IMG_0280 Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f3 preset