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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Ogunquit, Maine ♥

Sure, we all know about Bar Harbour, and Camden, and Kennebunkport,
but have any of you heard of Ogunquit, Maine?

I'll be honest: I hadn't until a blog follower of mine had written to me a few months back, attaching an article a friend had written about it, and asked if I would spread the word to all of you on the great lesser-known travel destination Ogunquit stands to be!

After reading this article, and peeking at a few pictures- in which I naturally became mesmerized- I couldn't resist but sharing with you what she had to say in the possibililty that it may intrigue you too to check it out someday! (It's already on my personal list of "places to see before I die"!)

"Whether you’re taking a daytrip or have an extended stay planned, Ogunquit offers a mix of experiences for every breed of vacationer. For the adventurous types, the natural beauty and outdoor-activity potential of Ogunquit are certain to get pulses racing. On the other hand, if you prefer a more relaxed vacation, the sightseer in you will have plenty to take in. You’ll rave about Ogunquit Beach and be stunned by the impossibly verdant landscapes that fill the town. To be certain, there’s much to see in Ogunquit, which was fittingly named by indigenous settlers: 'beautiful place by the sea.'"

"Because of Ogunquit’s waterways, the town was initially settled as a village in the mid-1600s. Shipbuilders created schooners, brigs and dories along the Ogunquit River, providing an important footnote in the town’s history. Today, the Ogunquit River, which once provided a livelihood to many people, is a popular attraction for visitors looking to experience the depth of history housed within the town’s limits."

"The town also features stunning views of the coastline along Marginal Way, which is a 1.25-mile trail that features cliffs for adventurers and connects to a downtown shopping area for those that prefer the thrill of buying local wares instead of heights. A plethora of benches along the route — as well as paved walkway — makes this an inviting stop for people of all ages to sit and observe the natural beauty of Ogunquit. Watch waves from the Atlantic Ocean crash into jutting rocks as you take in the many surrounding sights."

"If you’re looking to start planning your visit, you’ll be interested in a handful of other stops along Marginal Way. Perkins Cove, for example, has a long history within the town. Formerly the home of shipbuilders and fishermen, the body of water is now a favorite among sightseers and boating enthusiasts. Art galleries, shops and restaurants line the cove, and thus, provide plenty of entertainment for visitors."

"Perhaps one of the most noteworthy treasures in Ogunquit, however, is Ogunquit Beach. Being one of two municipally owned beaches in the state of Maine has its advantages, and it’s easy to see how this beach is a beneficiary. Entrance to the beach is limited, by design, in order to preserve its marvelous condition. Soft white sand covers every inch of the beach, giving it a feel similar to a resort island, but without the tropical climate. Extensive preservation efforts by the town have allowed the beach to maintain its picturesque appearance over the years. (Insider tip: Be aware that the sand all but disappears during high tide at the main beach area, so plan accordingly and walk slightly north to the Footbridge beach area for a bit more room and comfort.)"

"There’s no shortage of arts and culture in Ogunquit, either. To get a dose of American art, consider stopping by the Ogunquit Museum of American Art. Established in 1953 by Henry Strater, the museum now houses more than 1,600 pieces in its permanent collection. Many iconic American artists’ works are on display here, including those by renowned artist Jack Levine. Although the museum itself is small, it offers one of the few high-quality arts experience outside of a major metropolitan area."

"For a taste of theater, add a stop at the Ogunquit Playhouse to your itinerary. This Ogunquit mainstay features seasonal theater and is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Multiple, short-running performances are usually held from opening day until the theater closes for the season. Famous actors and actresses have all performed at the theater, providing plenty of credibility for the esteemed program."


"For the hungry traveler, there’s no shortage of fine dining in Ogunquit, either. Restaurants serving fresh seafood and steaks litter the town. Whether you prefer surf or turf, you’ll find something to suit your pallet in one of the town’s many restaurants. The ever-important sweet tooth isn’t overlooked, either, as you’ll find plenty of places carrying a variety of sweet treats. No foodie with high expectations will be disappointed with their visit to Ogunquit. As rich as it is in history and sights, the town is equally wealthy in dining options."

"Accommodations are also lavish and easy to come by, as there are a number of eager Ogunquit hotels and motels ready to provide you with hospitable service. The lodging options available to visitors that are planning an extended stay are quite diverse and allow for a more robust vacation that can include trips to nearby towns and cities such as Portland or Wells. That opens a number of possibilities including outlet shopping in Kittery, exquisite dining in Portland and a number of other true-to-Maine options. The variety of the experiences that await you in Ogunquit and surrounding areas is unmatched. Start planning your visit today for an unforgettable escape."

Gazebo Inn Ogunquit

 Dramatic coastlines, a rich history and pulsating culture, delectable New England fare, and an array of hospitable accomodations... Ogunquit, Maine is a hidden gem just waiting for you to find.

I don't know about you, but my bags are packed!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Happy Birthday to Me!

It was my birthday yesterday, and over the weekend I had only ONE birthday wish:
To go to the beach!
Despite the fact that I live by the ocean, ironically enough I hardly seem to find the chance to go. So, I was determined, at least for my birthday's sake, to do so this time. And I did! Jake and I loaded up the cooler (I made sure I had a pitcher full of my signature summer cocktail, Malibu Bay Breezes... recipe to follow), jumped in the car, and headed out to the beautiful Atlantic Ocean. Evidently, hundreds of others had the same idea in mind, because the beach was positively packed! It didn't both us though- we found ourselves a nice comfortable patch of "real estate", plopped down our things, spread out our blanket, and Ahhhhh... poured ourselves nice icy cups of Bay Breezes. 

This, I am certain of, is how Summer should feel like everyday.

I also learned something knew about my "other half" that afternoon- the beach undoubtedly brings out the child in him! Towards the end of the day, the tide began to creep in, so the family in front of us started building some kind of seawall to prevent the waves from crashing in on us all. I saw Jacob eying their venture, but I paid it no mind, until suddenly he jumped up and hastily began digging with them!

I was so amused by this, I couldn't help but take a couple of pictures (... and an Instagram video!) I looked to the mother of the boy who was lounging next to me at one point, and said to her, "I think I should have gotten him his own bucket and pail to play with!"
Something to remember for the next time we go, I guess!

I was so glad to have had the chance to get to the beach this summer, and I hope this won't be the last time. Wait a second, of course it won't be! Martha's Vineyard is calling my name in only, what?! Three weeks?!
No. Way.

Simple! ♥

Yesterday was my actual birthday (I'm a quarter of a century old now!), and Jacob took me out to one of my favorite restaurants on Long Island, the Mill Pond House. I've been going to this restaurant for years now, and it's never disappointed me. Yesterday evening was no exception-
it was spectacular.

We started off with the Lobster Macaroni and Cheese (and devoured it before I could take a picture!) which was positively delicious, bathed a creamy buttery sauce, with chunks of sweet, succulent lobster that seemed to melt away in your mouth. That alone could have been a wonderful meal, but no, there was more!

For our entrees, Jacob had the Blackened Montauk Swordfish Steak with a summer garden tomato, red onion, and cucumber salad on top. He said he never had such fresh fish before; the fish cut like butter and, just like the lobster, melted delectably in your mouth. He was more than pleased! As for me, I had the Pan-Seared Organic Salmon Fillet which was adorned with tomato ragu and toasted breadcrumbs. The salmon was delightfully flaky and perfectly complimented by the sweet stewed tomatoes. Oh, and if you thought that was all we had, you're wrong!

For dessert- we couldn't agree on one so we each got our own!- Jacob had the moist carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, and I had the decadent brownie a la mode on a bed of marshmallow fluff... Sinfully delicious, I know. But hey, it was my birthday!

So, needless to say, I had an amazing dinner (with an even more amazing companion, I might add!) and received incredibly thoughtful and touching gifts from my family and friends.

My 25th birthday was not one to forget ♥

Beautiful monogrammed gold necklace Jacob gave me ♥

A new Susan Branch pillow! Given to me by my aunt ♥
(also in view, a new nautical throw from my cousin!)

Wondering what that book is laying there on my bed?
It's a book on domestic life in New England from the mid-18th century to the Civil War, called:

Our Own Snug Fireside

It's extremely informative, extracting much of its information from diaries, letters, and other interesting primary sources, and visually enhancing with great illustrations and old photographs.
So, if you're interested in learning about the daily domestic life of the every day New Englander,
this book is a must to take out at your local library, or to add to your own personal collection!

Have a great week, everybody

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Vineyard Dining

Stuffed Phyllo from the Atlantic Fish & ChopHouse in Edgartown

So, I've been in Whacky-Erin-Vacation-Planning 
mode these past couple of days...

As many of you know who have been following my blog for a long time now, there is rarely a detail I leave out while planning for a trip, particularly the food I'll be consuming! You have to believe me, I used to be much worse. When I had gone to Cape Cod and Nantucket in 2010, I actually planned out and made reservations to the places we'd be having LUNCH in, on top of the dinner reservations. Eventually, I too found that to be a bit over the top (who makes reservations for lunch?!), so now I just stick to planning where we'll be dining in for DINNER every night. That isn't too anal... is it?

With all that being said, I thought I'd share with you the three restaurants Jacob and I will be having the pleasure of dining in during our stay. The way I've planned our three-night trip, each day we'll be focusing our attention predominantly on one specific town. To be more precise, our first day will be centered around Oak Bluffs, our second will be Vineyard Haven, and our third (I saved my favorite for last) the beautiful Edgartown. So, in a way, Jacob and I will be getting a little taste of the whole (or most of the) Vineyard, rather than just limiting our palettes to one section.
Hey, I like the sound of that!

Day One
Oak Bluffs

This place is a must because I just know my beer connoisseur boyfriend will love it! From the rows of exposed brew kettles to the peanut shells strewn all over the floor, there's no mistaking that this is a brewery! Martha's Vineyard's one and only, and a great one at that. I can't remember what I ate, but I can tell you what I drank! An Offshore IPA, and it hit the spot.

Day Two
Vineyard Haven

I've never eaten here before, but from the reviews on Trip Advisor (it's rated #2 of the Vineyard Haven restaurants, and received a Certificate of Excellence award this year) and the beautiful view they indisputably own,  I'm willing to take a chance and try it out! Plus, the menu looks so mouth-watering. Check out their website, and see for yourself!

Day Three

There aren't enough good things I can say about this place. It's DELICIOUS! And the view is probably the best of the island restaurants. If you like eating, literally, over the water, this restaurant is for you. For me, location is everything while I'm dining, so when I stepped outside on their beautiful dock, breathed in the salty air and took in the beauty of the water and sailboats docked around us, I was already won over. And then I tried their food. Delectable in every way, and so fresh. The Stuffed Phyllos with goat cheese and sauteed onions in red pepper sauce (pictured above) looks and sounds simple but was undoubtedly my favorite thing I ate during the entire trip. And their Lobster Mac and Cheese, embellished with sweet claw meat on top? Heaven.

All three of these restaurants are sure to be divine. How do I know for sure? Because not only have they made my stomach growl from over here, but I'm pretty sure they've made yours grumble too!

Ah... 12:30.
What's for lunch?
09 10