Wednesday, June 3, 2015

US Road Trip 2015 - Summer Holiday

Two weeks ago Mr. Beau and I went back to the States to visit family, friends and attend my sisters wedding. We decided to make it a little bit of an adventure and rent a car and make it a road trip. What a trip we had! Ready for photo overload? Here are some of my favorite photos taken via my fancy camera, the iPhone! 

The image of Central Park from my window when we were connecting from Newark to Boston. Isn't that an amazing photo! We got engaged at a restaurant overlooking Central Park so it always holds fun memories to me. Seeing it from my plane window made me a bit sentimental and excited to be back in the States after not being back for six months.

 My college besties and I have been talking about renting a house for a few days for a couple of years now. After five weddings, seven babies and living in four different states and one other country, we managed to do it. Narragansett was a sweet beach town in Rhode Island, pretty central to all of them. Mr. Beau and flew into Boston and then drove, however, recommendation, look at the times! We caught rush hour and what was suppose to be a 1 1/2 drive took 3 1/2 hours. Oh well, so worth it to see these pretty ladies. 
 Three days spent at the beach hanging out, BBQ's, a big back yard at our Home Away rental house, a late night of playing Cards Against Humanity, lots of kiddies running around, it truly was so fun to all be together and just hang out. Hoping to make it a yearly get together! 
 Yep, I miss a big cup of brewed American coffee. I love the amazing coffee I get in London, but lets be honest, a huge cup of french vanilla Dunkin Donuts makes this girl way happy! 

My 92 year old grandmother lives in Maine. She was unable to make it to our wedding so it was so nice to see her. She insisted we get lobster, then we did a little shopping and in the evening had pizza and some beer. Oh ya, she may be 92 but shes still with it. She even found herself a pretty awesome second hand J.Crew hot pink sweater when we were out.  We showed her our wedding video, went through our wedding album, it was such a nice visit. 
I lived in Portland when I was really little and it is always so nice to go back. It is such a great town full of neat little shops, restaurant and people and oh right, the beach and lobster;) I wish we had been able to stay longer! If you haven't been to Maine I recommend you visit. 
Back on the road! Things you MUST pack for a long road trip, healthy snacks! We made a nice long stop at Trader Joe's and stocked up on all sorts of goodies including these pea crisps, delicious! All of you American reading this post I know you love Trader Joe's, now for all of you Brits reading this, if you are on a road trip in the States, STOP at Trader Joe's, its such a fabulous grocery store, I promise! 

Yes, along the way I bought myself a few treats. Seriously can not beat shopping in the States! These bangles from Alex & Ani have been added to my collection. A K for my new last name and a pineapple that stands for Warmth, Welcome and Friendship. If you are not familiar with the brand, check them out for their beautiful bangles. 
After longing for a pair of Tieks for quite some time I finally purchased a pair and wish I would have years ago. These ballet flats are amazing to walk around London in day in and day out, the blue soles are not only quite but also so comfy! 

I had not been back to Syracuse in more then six years. It was so fun walking down memory lane, where I spent four amazing college years and getting to show Mr. Beau all of the sites. My sorority house, Marshall Street, walking around campus, yes we went to the Carousel Center mall and even stopped at the amazing Dinosaur BBQ! 
 If you ever find yourself in Syracuse you must stop at Dinosaur BBQ. There is one in NYC as well and a few other locations. The BBQ is amazing and I have such fun memories of going there during school and eating pulled pork BBQ and a cocktail with girlfriends. This time it was even more fun showing my hubby the fab spot I've been going to since my oldest sister went to school here, that was over 15 years ago. 

Mr. Beau's one request was to head to Niagra Falls on the way to my sisters wedding, so we did. Instead of staying in touristy downtown Niagra Falls, we found a B&B in Niagra on the Lake. I can not recommend this adorable town more! It was so relaxing, super quaint, and beautiful. I could have stayed a few more days riding bikes around town, touring wineries and maybe taking a boat ride on the gorgeous lake. 
 We had our first experience of staying at a lovely B&B together. The Darlington House comes HIGHLY recommended from us. The owners are super sweet and accommodating. The rooms are clean and newly decorated and the breakfast, omg, it was amazing!!!! Eggs benedict, fruit crisp, homemade shortbread, really lovely. In a perfect location in Niagra on the Lake I wish it was closer so we could head back soon.
We had a lovely dinner at Pellar wineries five minutes down the road from our B&B, it was such a nice evening. Ice Wine, good food and a beautiful setting. Take me back!

 The next day we drove to Niagra Falls to play tourist for a little while and laughed when we saw our "local" London bus for tours. Yep, bus 19! 
 Aren't the falls gorgeous! We didn't take a boat ride, but we could see them from all points and the sun was shining and it was quite beautiful. I am glad we decided to view them from the Canadian side, as when we crossed over to the US side, the sites didn't become so lovely. USA I love you, but the Niagra side in the States is full of casinos, touristy shops and lots of people waving you into their parking lots and tourist shops, not so nice.

 Stop Five - Cleveland Ohio

I couldn't have been more excited to see my sisters, my parents and my nephew! We had not been together as a family in more then a year and a half. My oldest sister was pregnant when I got married and was unable to get to London so it was SO important to me that we make it to Cleveland for her big day. A fast and furious weekend of wedding decorating and celebrating and playing with cutie #ninjamax216 ! Nothing made me smile more then this cute little boys face in the morning! 
 Candy sorting, flower arranging, backdrop assembling. I will share more from the wedding tomorrow but wanted to share an insight of what I've been up to! It was a trip to remember for sure! 
Recommendations for your road trip: splurge on GPS, we printed out maps and did pretty well, but wow, for $10 it would have been nice to see where we were. Bottled water, WAY less clothes packed because lets be honest we went shopping, magazines for the seven hour car trip stretch, Sirius Radio to listen to more then just music and a good travel companion! 

Looking back it was a lot of travelling, I need a holiday from my holiday, but listen it was a blast! 

Happy holidays! Wish I could go back! xoxo - Rebecca

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