Monday, April 29, 2013

Springy Stuff I Want to Buy

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Happy Monday, friends!

Here are a few springy items on my wish list. Sometimes you just need do a little fake shopping, no? I actually did buy the top - Real Simple declared it the best striped shirt, and when Martha speaks, I listen. And I spent this gorgeous weekend inside, working on my final paper for my children's literature class, so I felt like I needed a prize for that. Ha! Maybe the bag will be my prize when I get my final grade? I think I could potentially drag this out for a while...

P.S. You know you live in Boston when your spring wish list includes a jacket, scarf, and pants!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Charleston and Savannah Exteriors

I snapped so many pictures of the pretty houses, doors, and window boxes in Savannah and Charleston that I just had to do a separate, picture-heavy post to share them all! The flowers, the colors, wrought iron - I love it so. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Low Country Trip Notes

This is a completely frivolous post, in light of what's happening in our backyard this morning. But it was a nice distraction to put all my notes together from our recent vacation. Maybe this will serve as a nice distraction to you, too. Thanks to so many of you for calling and writing and texting - we are completely fine, but jittery, like everyone else in the area. XO!

After Nemo struck in February, I was desperate for a vacation. I scoured travel sites looking for an inexpensive flight somewhere - anywhere! - south. Austin, Nashville, and New Orleans were all on my short list, but then I found an incredibly cheap flight to Charleston. Sold!

We flew down to Charleston early Sunday morning, and decided to rent a car and see Savannah, too. We got to Savannah around noon, and met right up with Savannah Bike Tours. The tour was about three hours long, and we got such a great introduction to the city. Highly recommended. Seeing a city by bike is so pleasant and vacation-ish!

We had a quick drink at Moon River Brewing Co. (pretty patio with lights!), and then went to Cotton Exchange Tavern. We had a few fancier meals planned for Charleston, so we wanted something easy and fun. The peel and eat shrimp and fried oysters were fab - actually one of my favorite things we ate the whole trip! After dinner, we went to the Olde Pink House Tavern for a fun drink and listened to the live piano player. Next time we're in the town, I want to come here for a snacky dinner.

The next morning, we headed over to wait in line at a Savannah institution - Mrs. Wilkes. We arrived around 10:45 a.m. and were seated at about 12:30 p.m. - totally worth it! The fried chicken was wonderful, but what really stands out are all the sides. It's almost like Thanksgiving (if your family was able to make the most incredible sweet potatoes, squash casserole, potato salad, corn bread, etc.). We walked around a bit more - pretty squares and gardens around every corner! - then hopped back in the car and drove up to Charleston.

Charleston was love at first site for me. We walked down to the Charleston Waterfront Park, and it was so sunny and warm - after months of winter, it was heavenly. Then we headed to The Gin Joint. Do I need to tell you that this was a serious favorite?! Fantastic cocktails, a great happy hour deal ($5 drinks and a special $5 snack), and a lovely patio space underneath a kumquat (?) tree. LOVE.

Monday was Peter's 30th birthday, and I had made reservations at FIG about a month before. They were so wonderful to us! Every thing was delightful, from the first sip of prosecco to the last bite of sorghum cake (with a candle!). If you want a fancy dinner in Charleston, this is a great pick. After dinner we went to Blind Tiger to hear a bit of music.

The next morning, we grabbed coffee at Gaulart & Maliclet (French pressed coffee to go!), and did a self-guided walking tour through town, popping into churches and graveyards and shops along the way.

We popped over to Husk just to check it out, and were happily able to walk-in for lunch. The dining room is lovely and airy, and it was great to be able to try the amazing food here. Peter had a shrimp and grits dish, and I had a smoked meat sandwich (sort of a Southern-style Reuben) - yum.

Peter needed to earn his history teacher gold star with a trip out to Fort Sumter. The ferry ride is really fun - great views of the city from the water, and then you're on the island for about an hour before it goes back again. It was nicely done, and I learned a lot, but I might recommend something else if you aren't really into Civil War history ;) We had dinner in the window bar at Pearlz, and ended the night with a drink at the Rooftop Bar.

The next morning, Peter indulged my strange college visiting habit with a trek up to the College of Charleston. Such a beautiful campus! We walked down King Street, and then went back to the waterfront to visit the Edmondston-Alston House. The photo above is in the gorgeous courtyard. I loved this place - it was amazing to see inside one of the beautiful old homes after walking by so many.

For our last vacation meal, we popped into Magnolias - another beautiful spot. This is hardly a novel travel tip, but going to the best restaurants in town is far more doable for lunch instead of dinner! This time I got seafood and grits, and Peter had a fried green tomato BLT. I went to Charleston Cooks for a bag of grits to take home and stopped at River Street Sweets for a praline before we headed to the airport. 

Low country, I miss you already!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Loving Lately

Mad Men has happily been welcomed back in our lives, but if you're looking for an additional period drama in your rotation, I highly recomend The Hour. There are only two short seasons (it was tragically cancelled, with major cliffhangers!), but it's absolutely still worth a viewing. Inconventiently, it's not on Netflix instant, so I rented it out from the library.
In October, I could have bought an adorable pair of boat shoes just like these for $25. I am still kicking myself for passing them up! These are still reasonable - I might have to go for it.

I am in travel research-mode these days because next week, we're heading down to Savannah and Charleston! We're going to be celebrating Peter's 30th birthday on Monday at this fun looking spot, and have a few other restaurants on our to-try list. But the rest of the itinerary is pretty open, and I know a lot of you have travelled to these cute cities lately. If you have anything to recommend, I'd love to hear!

A few other tidbits:
Hope you all have a lovely week!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

A dark cloud

(Outside the Gardner, where we went to temporarily escape our funk)

A dark cloud is hanging over us. In the last month, we've lost two bids on houses - the second one just yesterday. It was a darling house, cuter than cute. We would have loved to live in it. Inventory is incredibly low in the Boston suburbs these days, and it's easy to find yourself wanting to bid way too much for a darling but small house that needs a lot in the way of updating. It can start to feel like your playing with Monopoly money.

Everyone who has a house always says these things happen for a reason - that the right house for you comes along at the right time. But it's so hard to be patient, and then have to swing into action incredibly quickly.

Enough about that, though. Tonight we're going to improv night at Peter's school (I love getting to spy on his students!), and this weekend we have a 30th birthday party to attend, and maybe some golf balls to hit. I also need to wrap up a paper on historical fiction, which I've come to be very critical of indeed! Remember when you're older brother came home from his first semester at college after he received a B- in Psych 101? And he was totally into explaining how psychologically flawed your whole family was? I'm at that annoying place, too - I've got just enough children's lit knowledge to be dangerous :) Ha!

Hope it is sufficiently April-like in your locale! (I was going to complain about our abyssmal weather here, but I stopped myself. You're welcome!!!)
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