If you are looking for chill vibes, look no further than the island of Jamaica. Alan and I went here three years ago and vowed to return. I made that same vow on this trip and am already planning my 40th birthday there in 3 years! We were looking to stay away from the hustle and bustle of the classic tourist cities of Montego Bay or Ocho Rios. I'm sure they are great too, but the lack of large cruise ships and party vibes make this a quiet and relaxing getaway, mon. Literally I was trying to think of the most relaxing day and I couldn't decide because they were ALL pure relaxation station!..Read more.
The great thing about Philadelphia is that it's close enough for a day trip from NYC, but there are plenty of spots to explore to fill a full weekend (and more)! Alan was out of town, so Sally and I did a quick girls trip with our friends Lizzy and Daniella.
We first did the regular spots of Independence Hall and peeked in at the Liberty Bell. Quite honestly, lower your expectations of the Liberty Bell. I had envisioned it being HUGE and displayed outside. Turns out it's small and inside a museum. I'm sure the historic aspect is impressive, but I went into sulky teenager mode when I saw it through the window and decided I didn't want to be bothered to wait in line to get a better look. The neighborhood of Society Hill (which is right near there) has the charming historic cobblestone streets to wander with plenty of pubs to head into for food.
The main activity we did was visit the Eastern State Penitentiary. This was very cool and it's right smack in the middle of the city. The ruins are hauntingly beautiful and you can wander around at your own pace with an audio tour narrated by Steve Buscemi (there are also guided tours available). In its heyday, this was a world renowned prison and its architecture has gone on to influence many prisons all over the globe. Al Capone was a short term resident there and his cell is preserved, which is quite fancier than your average inmate's. Just a heads up, if you go in the winter, it's COLD! I thought this was an inside thing, but it somehow felt colder in there than the regular outside air (poor prisoners!). There is a "recharging room" that is heated with couches if you need a little break. I'd definitely recommend this unique stop off in Philly and it's an easy walk from the Museum of Art, the sight of the famous Rocky Steps, which you can check off your sightseeing list. For my next trip to Philadelphia, I want to hit up the Mutter Museum, a old timey 19th century "cabinet museum" of medical history and mystery! Turns out, I'm really into these arrested decay vibes lately!
While this is perhaps not the ideal time of year to make a trip to Shelter Island, it was a surprisingly lovely last minute getaway in the winter. I hate sitting in traffic, so I'm a bit reluctant to head out to Long Island in the summer, but after this weekend's trip to Shelter Island I am going to have to brave it and head back in the warmer months when things are in full swing...Read more.
The holidays are upon us and we did a 2 for 1 family vacation this year! We go to Portland, Oregon every year to spend Christmas with my brother and his family. It's a perfect mix of Portland (love this city!) and a trip to Mt Hood for the snow...Read More.
What's the next best thing after owning your own dream cabin? Visiting your friends' dream cabin! Our friends Colter and John Jackson have the most wonderful cabin perched right along side a lake in the Poconos...Read More
Making sure we are taking advantage of the leaf peeping window, we packed up and did a long weekend in Vermont and New Hampshire. To break up the drive to the White Mountains in NH, we did a stop over at a charming hotel in Vermont, the North Shire Lodge. Each room had a sliding glass door that opened onto an expansive lawn. There was a classic bucolic vista with the red barn over the hill in the distance. The town of Manchester was only a 5 minute drive where you can get your outlet shopping on, if you are so inclined (the Pendleton outlet has a Starbucks in it in case you need the extra jolt of caffeine to help you to decide to buy ALL the blankets)... Read More
A crowd favorite, Storm King is a MUST for NYC families. A world renowned sculpture park, you have access to impressive and MASSIVE sculptures and landscape art. If you haven't been, go immediately, and if you have been, go back! You can enjoy art AND let your kid run around like a maniac at the same time! Where else can you do this?!..Read more.
We pulled up to our cottage at Creekside Cottages that I booked on airbnb. We had booked Cottage #2 and were delighted to find a screened in porch. It’s a cozy cottage (read: small) that has two bedrooms with a small living room and kitchen. The cottages have clearly been thoughtfully renovated and have a hip minimalist vibe...Read More
For years I've seen photos of the bluest lakes and snowcapped mountains, and almost most always, it's the Canadian Rockies! It's been on my bucket list for a while and when looking at where we would go for our big family trip this year, it perfectly fit the bill!..Read more
One of our top favorite places to stay is Rip Van Winkle Motor Lodge. This place is THE BEST! We came across it a couple of years ago when looking for a place to stay near Hudson, NY. This was far more affordable than the places in Hudson, and only about a 10 minute drive! Plus it has the cabin vibes that The Harrises love so much...Read More
Did you like Westworld? You’ll love Wild West City! It’s a historically accurate replica of 1880s Dodge City, Kansas. Not only do you go back in time to the 1880s, you get to go back in time to the 1960s! We are suckers for mid-century charm, so this place was right up our alley! This is a true family run park that has been around since 1957 with the Stabile Family running the park since 1966. While some might call it outdated, I couldn't be more enthralled with feeling like I stumbled upon across a family gem...Read More
When itching to get out of town, I sometimes look in a book that I have of historic hotels in America to see if there are any within a weekend trip away from home. I had never been to Providence before and was able to book a night at the Providence Biltmore Hotel in downtown. It's in a perfect location for exploring downtown and walking over to Rhode Island School of Design...Read more.
Another weekend of looking for places to stay in my historic hotels in America book led us to Skytop Lodge in the Poconos. It's one of those grand resorts that has TONS of activities (hiking, golf, a lake for swimming, tennis, indoor and outdoor pools, fishing, a spa, arcade games, and I'm sure the list continues)...Read more.
Tulum! Not just for beautiful hip people on yoga retreats. It's a perfect spot for a family vacation. Tulum really does have it all: The warm gentle sea, gorgeous boutique hotels, delicious food, and tons of activities. While beach vacations are often very alluring, I tend to get bored fairly quickly laying on the beach all day. Tulum is the perfect place to add in trips to ruins (multiple to choose from!) and cenote hopping...Read more.
You guys, Grounds for Sculpture is totally magical/bizarre/beautiful/inspiring/surreal/and just plain fun! I've never tried acid, but I feel like this would be a great place to go on acid, or at least, pot brownies. First off, it's huge so you will likely not see everything in one visit. I've gone twice and have seen different things both times. There are so many different nooks and crannies that you get all sorts of turned around and wind up coming across some peaceful scenes of sculptures having a picnic in the woods, a naked woman bathing in a spring, or an older couple looking out onto a lake.