{Gallivant} The Zillertal & Salzburg, Austria

For Father's Day this year I put together a book of photos for my Dad from a family trip to Austria that we took a few years ago. While making the book it was so sweet to go through the photos and look back on our trip, and I decided to put together a post highlighting some of our favorite parts!

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We flew into Munich, Germany, from which we headed to Mayrhofen, Austria, an adorable village in the Tyrol region, right in the middle of the Zillertal valley. It's cobbled streets are lined with cozy restaurants and alpine shops, and there is a lift right outside of town to take you up the mountain. 

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Future Mr. and Mrs. Richey :-) We got engaged 3 months later.

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Fun fact: This was the first time that John and I skied together! John is an avid skier, and when we started dating it was a major criteria for him that I knew how to ski...thankfully I did, although it took me two years to prove it to him. 

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We spent our days in Mayrhofen on the slopes, taking in the views of the Alps and enjoying runs longer than any you can ski in the US. Since you can ski between mountains and resorts, you can sometimes go for almost an hour before hitting up a lift! 

Aside from the long runs, one of my favorite parts of skiing in Europe are the mountain restaurants that stud the Alps. You will be skiing way up there, surrounded by peaks as far as the eye can see, and then round a corner and find a cheery wooden hut built into the side of the mountain with outside lounge chairs, local dishes of pasta and schnitzel, soups and salads, local beers, cappuccinos, and the richest hot chocolate. Definitely beats our American ski lodge fare if you ask me, and the views cannot be beat...

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I think we would all agree that the best skiing we did was on the glacier across the valley from Mayrhofen. We would jump on a bus and head up there in the early morning and spend the whole day tearing down treeless slopes, before reuniting at the bottom for a celebratory end of the day bier. After a round and some snacks we would load up all of our gear and head home on the bus, with legs that felt like jello and grins plastered on our still pink faces. 

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We stayed at the Alpendomozil Neuhaus Hote while in Mayrhofen, which we loved. (I particularly adored the elaborate included breakfast spread most of all: made to order eggs, local charcuterie and cheeses, fresh yoghurt and fruit, smoked salmon, all sorts of bread and toast options...) Our rooms were in the newer wing, and were simple (think Scandinavian--all white and blonde wood, sparse furnishings) but very comfortable. In particular, our bathroom always smelled so alpine and I am immediately brought back to that room when I distill eucalyptus in our shower at home. 

We didn't spent too much time in our rooms, though, as when we got back to the mountain we all usually headed down to the spa and sauna, where there were a series of showers, plunge pools, steam rooms, and saunas to help relax and unwind after a long day on the slopes. It. was. heaven, and...nude! I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that, in the spirit of fair warning, but this is Europe after all....There were separate male and female sides, although there were some crossover areas where we utilized our towels and strategic timing, but it really wasn't a big deal. Wild, right?!

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After celebrating Christmas in Mayrhofen, we headed to the city of Salzburg for the rest of our trip!

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Salzburg, even in the dead of winter, was stunning. All the lovely pastel colors of Eastern Europe, cobblestone streets, a medieval fortress, and all sorts of holiday activity. We spent a day doing a Sound Of Music themed tour, where we drove all around the city and then out to some surrounding towns to see where the Von Trapps lived as well as where the movie was filmed, including the church where Maria and Captain Von Trapp were married. My mom, a huge fan of TSOM, was in heaven. We also ate our weight in Mozart chocolates, and loved strolling through the old part of the city as well as along the river. 

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We ate some amazing meals in Salzburg, including our multi-course New Years dinner. My favorite part of our time in the city, though, has to have been the concert we attended after that dinner, in the castle that crowns the city. An orchestra played some of Mozart's classics, and then afterwards we all went out onto the balcony overlooking the whole city and sipped champagne as fireworks went off both above us and below. From where we stood we could see countless smaller displays going on in every direction, of all shapes and sizes and colors. It was like watching confetti pop all over the city, and it was the most magical way to end our trip. I'll never forget it.

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In Salzburg we stayed at the Hotel Elefant, which, although it didn't have the same caliber of breakfast spread that we had enjoyed in Mayrhofen, was comfortable and in a fantastic location. Definitely worth looking into if you are looking for a place to stay in the city. 

Thank you to my mom and dad for including us on this lovely trip! It has been so fun to reminisce on it, and is giving me some serious wanderlust! Luckily, we have some exciting plans in the works for later this summer, so stay tuned...

xoxo,

Emily

PS. Looking for trip inspiration? Check out some of our other gallivants: Paris, St. Lucia, Martha's Vineyard, VermontCornwall New Orleans.

PSS. Like what you are reading? Go ahead and subscribe by entering your email address into the form on the left-hand side of this page so that you never miss a post! Or, you can follow me on Bloglovin. Also, follow along with The Gallivant on  pinterest, instagram,  and Twitter!

{Gallivant} A Weekend in New Orleans

New Orleans Travel Guide

Remember when I spontaneously went to New Orleans with my girlfriends last March? Well, I couldn't get enough, John still hadn't been, and my parents were dying to go, so earlier this spring we all met in the Big Easy for the most incredible weekend! 

John and I drove over from Pensacola in the morning (it's such an easy drive from Pensy, just under three hours) so that we could meet up with our friend Katie for the afternoon. Katie goes to Tulane so she was an expert on the surrounding areas. We picked her up, took a quick tour of campus (SUCH a beautiful school!) and then headed to Dat Dog for a late lunch. 

Dat Dog New Orleans | New Orleans Travel Guide

If you haven't been to Dat Dog than you have to stop into one of their locations next time you are in NOLA. Specializing in gourmet hot dogs, the menu features items such as apple smoked sage dog, the turducken dog, the crawfish sausage--even alligator sausage! We kept it simple and went for brats and cheese fries, all washed down with ice-cold Mexican cokes. Yum. 

Audubon Park | New Orleans Travel Guide

My parent's weren't arriving until the evening, so we spent the afternoon in Auduban Park, strolling through the verdant avenues shaded by grandiose live oaks, and counting the turtles we saw floating down the river. Sadly, we didn't make it all the way to the Zoo, but opted instead to walk back a different route and admire all the old historic homes that abut the park. The architecture was amazing, each house complete with a lovely lantern-lit porch,  and I couldn't help but peak into the hidden yards, many of which held beautiful gardens or a shaded swimming pool.

New Orleans Travel Guide | The Gallivant
New Orleans Travel Guide
Audubon Park | New Orleans Travel Guide
New Orleans Travel Guide

On a captivating note: During our visit the whole city seemed to be dripping with fragrant jasmine, the aroma of which was only intensified by the heat. It made me dream of having an arbor of jasmine one day at our dream house...

New Orleans Travel Guide

One of the things NOLA is known for is it's culinary scene, and to say we ate and drank well during our visit is such an understatement. Our first night, after picking up my parents at the airport and freshening up quickly, we headed down to the Marais for pre-dinner drinks at the hip Cane & Table. We sat at the marble-topped bar, toasted to the weekend and being together, and sipped our various potions while catching up. Mom and I also did our fair share of oogling over the smoky industrial chic ambiance of Cane & Table, complete with exposed brick walls, arched windows, and sparkly chandeliers. Between the quality mixology and the atmosphere--this was definitely one of my favorite stops of the weekend. 

In terms of dinners we were completely spoiled. Our first night we headed uptown to Clancy's, an off-the-beaten-path local secret. Located on the corner in a residential area, Clancy's truly is a neighborhood restaurant, but when we walked in we were greeted by the vested waiters and white tablecloths reminiscent of an older and more elegant tradition of dining not often seen today. Between the four of us we tried all of the classics on the menu, including shrimp remoulade, crab salad, crawfish etouffee, and (my personal favorite) smoked pork loin with green peppercorn and mustard sauce...mouth watering. 

The Gallivant
New Orleans Travel Guide | The Gallivant

Clancy's was fantastic, but John Besh and Alon Shaya's Domenica, located in the gorgeous Roosevelt hotel, was my priority for the weekend. (Yes, I do in fact go to sleep dreaming of my next meal and plan entire trips around dream restaurants. Sue me.) The Italian themed menu is inventive and far beyond the type of heavy Italian most Americans are used too--think house-made charcuterie, fried kale, oxtail ragu, and campanelle with morels and bone marrow, all complimented by a fabulous  wine list. While we went for dinner (and I could have died happy) Domenica's happy hour deals are awesome, (1/2 priced pizzas? No brainer.) It would be a great place to spend an afternoon noshing and sipping a glass of wine. 

The French Quarter | New Orleans Travel Guide
Jackson Square | New Orleans Travel Guide

We only had one full day to explore all together so we opted to do a carriage tour of the French Quarter and graveyards. While I cringe just a teeny bit thinking about how ultra-touristy this sounds, it really was a great way to see the entire quarter and learn a ton of the history in just a few hours. Our tour guide was super knowledgeable and full of fun facts, and being a native himself, could answer all of the questions that inevitably came up along the ride pertaining to the rich history of New Orleans, as well as Creole and Voodoo culture. Since the carriages all line up in Jackson Square, it was also super easy to find an open one, no prior booking necessary. 

New Orleans Travel Guide | The Gallivant Blog

Our gentle steed...

New Orleans Travel Guide | The Gallivant Blog

Many of the mules who kindly pulled the carriages were bedecked with colorful flower crowns. I thought hers was particularly enchanting..isn't she gorgeous?

New Orleans Travel Guide | The Gallivant
New Orleans Travel Guide | The Gallivant

These guys were my fave...

New Orleans Travel Guide | The Gallivant

Of course, we couldn't visit New Orleans and not listen to some jazz, right? After my trip last year, I knew to skip Bourbon and head straight to Frenchmen St. for the best jazz and nightlife. We are all huge music lovers so both nights after dinner we headed down and danced the night away. The scene was buzzing, and in classic NOLA style, the party carried into the street, with amazing musicians both inside and outside on the curb. It's infectious and so unique to New Orleans--you absolutely cannot miss it. Some of our favorite spots were the Spotted Cat, Three Muses, and the Blue Nile.  

New Orleans Travel Guide | The Gallivant Blog

I knew my parents would love the Garden District like I do, so we spent the better part of an afternoon exploring neighborhoods and wandering down Magazine St. We nipped into various adorable boutiques, and grabbed a quick happy hour snack and drinks at Slice. Pimm's Cup for me please!

On our final morning, before heading back to Pensacola, we returned to the Garden District for jazz brunch at Commander's Palace. I was a bit skeptical of all the hype surrounding Commander's (it's a classic) but was pleasantly surprised by how delicious everything was. Not to mention the physical palace itself...how fun and cheery is that blue?

Travel Guide to New Orleans | Commander's Palace | The Gallivant Blog

Eggs Benny with slow-roasted pork shoulder on biscuits, as seen on instagram...(@evr_gallivant) Now I just need to publish my best-selling novel and hire a chef to replicate this in my house on Sunday mornings..

Travel Guide to New Orleans | Commander's Palace | The Gallivant Blog

Pure decadence in the form of strawberry shortcake. 

Travel Guide to New Orleans | Commander's Palace | The Gallivant Blog
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John's birthday was a few weeks before so we took this opportunity to celebrate him, and the staff a Commander's happily obliged. Completely stuffed after brunch, we all agreed that it was the perfect way to round out an amazing weekend . Thanks Mom and Dad for letting us tag along!

Have you ever been to New Orleans? You can read about my first visit to this beautiful city here.  Some places I still want to see/visit are Butcher, SoBou, Folton Lanes, and the WWII Museum. Where are some of your favorite spots and/or things to do in the Big Easy? I would love to hear!

xoxo,

Emily

P.S. Like what you are reading? Go ahead and subscribe by entering your email address into the form on the left-hand side of this page so that you never miss a post! Or, you can follow me on Bloglovin. Also, follow along with The Gallivant on  pinterest, instagram,  and Twitter!

 

{Gallivant} Bolton Valley, Vermont

Bolton Valley, Vermont | The Gallivant

Right after Christmas John and I headed up to Boston to celebrate my best friend Lindsey's engagement party. A few days later we drove up to Vermont with my parents, my brother, and his girlfriend to Bolton Valley, right outside of Burlington. John and I were pumped about this trip because skiing is one of our mutually favorite activities. Having both grown up in New England, we spent countless weekends hitting the slopes at various mountains all over New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont, and now that we don't live that close we always jump at the excuse to get up there and ski. 

Bolton Valley, Vermont | The Gallivant

I hadn't been there in a while, and John had never been, but my family has been skiing at Bolton for the past few years and they love it. While it may not be the biggest or fanciest resort in the area, (head to Smuggs or Stowe if you want all the bells and whistles) it makes up for it with it's cozy atmosphere, lack of lift lines, and over all "mom & pop" feel. Not to mention cruising trails, glades, a nordic center, terrain park, and sports center--there is something for everyone! 

We stayed in a condo right at the resort, and each morning we would make breakfast, sip our coffee, and then throw on our gear and walk five minutes up to the lift. (There is nothing I hate more than lugging my ski gear around, so this quick commute felt like a little luxury) There wasn't a record breaking amount of snow while we were there so not all 71 trails were open, but the ones that were were fantastic. We got a nice 2-3 inches of fresh powder each morning, and that combined with a great snow making system and an exceptional grooming team made for some pretty fantastic runs. There were a few icy spots, but this is New England skiing after all...

Bolton Valley, Vermont | The Gallivant

I don't always look this good on the slopes, but I lost my ski parka in my move to Pensacola last year so I was lucky enough to be able to borrow my mom's retro ski suit for this trip. Pretty retro, right?

Bolton Valley, Vermont | The Gallivant

After skiing we would often head up to the tavern in the main ski lodge where we would sit at the bar, warmed by the big stone fireplace, and sip one of the eighteen beers on tap, most of which were local. Bolton has become known for it's craft beers over the past few years, and even hosted its first beer fest last summer, known as Hop Jam. A couple of the nights we ate in our condo, but one night we headed down the road to Waterbury, where we had dinner at The Prohibition Pig. Speakeasy-themed, as the name suggests, the Pig was packed and the cocktails were excellent. If you go, which you should if you are in the area, get there early and sip a Heady Topper while you wait for your table. It's a cult favorite, and once you sip you will know why. Hoppity hop. 

John and I celebrated our first anniversary while we were up there, so another night we headed in up the road in the other direction to Richmond, where we ate at The Kitchen Table Bistro. Located in a historic farm house, the Kitchen Table Bistro is characterized by seasonal Vermont fare, and a lovely candle-lit atmosphere.  We had heard amazing things about it but we were still completely wowed by our food as well as the attentive service. We sat right next to a big bay window where we could see the snow coming down,  clinked our glasses of bubbly ( thanks Uncle George!) and  reflected on our first year of marriage as we tucked into our beef long rib (mine) and steak (his.) Both were to die for.  A very special evening indeed, and one we won't soon forget. 

Bolton Valley, Vermont | The Gallivant

We ended our trip by celebrating New Years at the mountain. Bolton had a torch lit parade down the mountain which, when the torch reached the bottom, set off a gorgeous fire works show. After the show we headed inside to the bar, grabbed some drinks, and headed into the brick oven pizza restaurant (did I mention that? Yumm) and rocked to the live band. It was a blast, and the lodge was milling with people who came to ring in the New Year. 

As we drove down the snowy mountainside the next day. headed back home, I thought about what really makes a ski trip. To me, its a mountain with fun and varied trails, good people to chat with on the lift, and a warm and cozy place to sit at night and have a good drink and a hot dinner. Bolton Valley far exceeds that criteria, and I love that it is still a mountain that you could learn like the back of your hand, staffed by people you could get to know.  We can't wait to go back. 

xoxo,

Emily

Bolton Valley, 4302 Bolton Valley Access Rd, Bolton Valley, VT 05477

This post is not sponsored, and all opinions are my own. 

P.S. Like what you are reading? Go ahead and subscribe by entering your email address into the form on the left-hand side of this page so that you never miss a post! Or, you can follow me on Bloglovin. Also, follow along with The Gallivant on  pinterest, instagram,  and Twitter!

 

Jeremy Sewall's Tips for Holiday Cooking + The Perfect Christmas Gift For the Foodie In Your Life

#thenewenglandkitchen #HFTHBoston

 

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending Wayfair and Boston Bloggers Home For The Holidays event in Boston. The whole day was amazing, comprised of a key note session with Christiane Lemieux and Heather Armstrong (Dooce.com), as well as a banner session with my bestie Lindsey (who had a huge hand in plannning the whole event,) a crafting session with Kate (Domestikated Life,) and a holiday strategy session with Alison (Long Distance Loving.)All of the sessions were inspiring and practical, but the one that did the most to banish my mild holiday anxiety was the session on holiday cooking and entertaining, led by Chef Jeremy Sewell of Boston's Island Creek Oyseter Bar, Lineage, and the new Row 34.

If you know me than you know that I love to cook and entertain. This year we are hosting Thanksgiving for fifteen friends though, and I have been feeling just a hint of trepidation. I have always helped out at Thanksgiving, but never have I cooked a turkey alone or overseen the whole operation...and there is just a bit of pressure associated with the whole ordeal! As soon as Jeremy started speaking, though, I knew that he was the one to emulate as I prepared for our Thanksgiving feast--He was approachable and down to earth, and placed an emphasis on fresh and local ingrediants. (Not mention he is one of Boston's best chefs, and has overseen his fair share of holiday meals...) No sweat, just a plan. Any other holiday hosting newbies out there? Read on for my favorite tid bits of advice from Jeremy's session.

 Chef Jeremy Sewall's Tips for Holiday cooking:

  • Keep it simple: Don't do anything that stresses you out, like something you have never cooked before, or something that you know is tough.
  • Use the microwave to your advantage! The micro is a great place to warm up sauces and gravy, melt chocolate, or reheat that desperately needed cup of coffee ten minutes before your guests arrive.
  • Get as much done ahead as you can: Ie. Roast veggies for crudite. ("Who really eats raw celery anymore?", make sides and pies.
  • Find a place that does a couple things really well, like pies or fresh bread, and let them do those for you.
  • Practice: We have run out of time for Thanksgiving, but there is still time before Christmas! Why not try out a few dishes that look yummy so that you can have them totally down pact by the time the holiday rolls around?
  • Read your recipes thoroughly.
  • On timing: Cook Turkey early in the morning so that is it done an hour ahead (at least-- you can always throw it back in to warm it up.)
  • Be savvy with your appetizers: Throw together plates of amazing cheese, bread, jam, and other appetizers that you don't have to manage.

Finally, Jeremy's Turkey tip: Brine, and then brush w/butter using a bundle of fresh thyme as a brush!

Jeremy just published his first cookbook, The New England Kitchen, and it is available for purchase now! I grabbed one for both myself and my parents, and we love it. All of the recipes are classic New England fare, elevated by Jeremy's signature style, with an emphasis on seasonal cooking. I already made the apple cider donuts and they were to die for...A New England Kitchen would make a perfect Christmas or Thanksgiving hostess gift for the foodie in your life, and I made it so easy for you...just click the picture at the beginning of this post and purchase today!

Cheers!

Emily

P.S. Like what you are reading? Go ahead and subscribe by entering your email address into the form on the left-hand side of this page so that you never miss a post! Or, you can follow me on Bloglovin. Also, follow along with The Gallivant on instagram and pinterest! And Twitter!
 

Anatomy of a Camping Trip

 Three Forks

Three Forks

A few weeks ago we went camping with some friends (and Flynny) in northern Georgia, at the Three Forks campground, right off the Appalachian Trail. Located in the midst of the Chattahoochee National Forest, the camp grounds were gorgeous and was just a quick walk away from the trail up Springer Mountain. Springer Mountain is not only the tallest peak in Georgia, but also part of the Appalachian Trail---almost the southernmost part, actually.

 Hmm..Navigating or checking scores?

Hmm..Navigating or checking scores?

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We stayed two nights in the mountains, and spent all day Saturday hiking the 10 miles up Springer Mountain from Three Forks. The hike was perfect--moderately challenging and scenic from start to finish. We made our way through the forest along trails covered in red and gold leaves until we arrived at the outlook at the summit, where we ate lunch as we looked out over the Blue Ridge Mountains. The view was stunning, the air crisp and clear, and our legs were tired in the best way. The night before we had eaten on the road and arrived super late and gone straight to bed, but that night, after finishing our hike, we sat around a huge fire and cooked dinner and smores (duh) while sipping our fave bevvies and having a hilarious time together. Both nights we fell asleep while listening to the sound of the river flowing right next to our campsite, and our second night we all woke up to a wild thunderstorm in the middle of the night! Luckily our tents rocked, and we managed to stay dry and cozy. 

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 View from the summit of Springer Mountain

View from the summit of Springer Mountain

John and I both consider ourselves outdoorsy, and have no problem roughing it, but this time around we knew we were not going to have to hike in our gear so we packed a bit more comfortably. Aka...we totally glamped, and it was awesome!  Here is our list of essentials to take your trip from camping to glamping in a cinch. 

1. Tent: We ordered this two person tent a week before our trip, and were so impressed with it. Talk about bang for your buck! It rained both nights of our trip, and this little guy never leaked. We highly recommend it-- just make sure you practice setting it up before you leave for your trip (spoiler alert: It's a piece of cake) in case you have to set up camp in the dark like we did!

2. Air Mattress: Did I mention we glamped? I laughed at John when he told me he wanted to get an air-mattress for our weekend, but boy were we glad we did! I mean, why not?! We brought this model in a queen and loved it, especially the rechargeable battery-powered pump. 

3. Cozy Blanket: Sleep with it, wrap up in it after taking a dip in the icy mountain stream, use it as picnic blanket--it's practical and snug. 

4. Flash Light: No brainer--no one wants to venture in the woods to pee in complete darkness. 

5. Camp Stove: We brought this little one burner (along with a couple extra propane bottles) and it was so easy to use-- perfect for pancakes in the morning as well as burgers at night. 

6. Backpack (Or slackpack, as John calls them): Essential for carrying water, snacks, lunch, dog treats, extra clothes, wine, you name it. 

7. Complete Pancake Mix: Its as easy as add water and pour. No eggs, no oil, no measuring. Pancake breakfast? Yes, please. 

8. Ground Coffee + French Press: This is sophisticated camping. No need to go without your daily fix. And besides, how lovely does waking up while taking in the sounds of a nearby stream and chirping birds while sipping a strong cup of Italian roast sound?

9. First Aid Kit: Unforseen injuries will ruin your otherwise perfect weekend. Come prepared. 

10. Cheese + Crackers:  Fireside appetizers? Yes, please. 

11. Bevvies of Choice: Wine for the ladies, dark aged rum for the men, or whatever floats your boat. 

12. Dry Firewood: Just in case it, you know, pours at some point and everything flammable is wet. 

13. Cooler: A big cooler is perfect for storing meat, cheese, milk for coffee, along with any other perishables, and it doubles as extra seating. 

What not to bring: Technology and a bad attitude. This is an adventure! Try to stay as unplugged as possible and embrace the wilderness and any curve-balls it may throw at you. 

One final note: I cannot recommend camping in the Fall enough, especially if you can get to the Blue Ridge Mountains. The weather was cool, but not cold, and the foliage was surprisingly good. (I am a tough critic, being from New England.) Also, we loved Three Forks, and will definitely go back at some point--it was remote but accessible, and the camp sites were nicely spaced (you never saw your neighbors) and very clean. 

For more information on camping and hiking in Georgia, check out Atlanta Trails and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. 

xoxo,

Emily

P.S. Like what you are reading? Go ahead and subscribe by entering your email address into the form on the left-hand side of this page so that you never miss a post! Or, you can follow me on Bloglovin. Also, follow along on instagram and pinterest!

 

 

{Gallivant} From California to Massachusetts

Map of Cross Country Road Trip From California to Boston

          A few weeks back I had the pleasure of driving cross-country from Carmel, California to Hamilton, Massachusetts with my Godmother, Libby. Before we left, we spent a few days in Carmel and Firebaugh exploring (I had never been to California before!) and getting ready to leave. You can read about our time here and here

 A lovely rose in Firebaugh, CA

A lovely rose in Firebaugh, CA

           Why drive cross-country? Well, air travel is wonderful for us humans, but not quite as convenient for our furry friends--and my Godmother has a few of those. Also, driving cross-country has always appealed to me for the adventure as well as the opportunity see parts of our country that I have never seen over the course of one big trip. From start to finish we hit thirteen different states, seven of which I had never been to before. (California, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts)

 Long Horn and Angus cows in Firebaugh, CA

Long Horn and Angus cows in Firebaugh, CA

Long Horn Cows in the San Joaquin Valley
 Pistachio Trees | Firebaugh, California

Pistachio Trees | Firebaugh, California

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^ My very first view of the Pacific.

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 My lovely Godmother

My lovely Godmother

          On the day of our departure we made sure we had everything we needed, lunch/snack were packed,  and that all of our furry friends were accounted for and ready to go. Sweet old yellow lab? Check. Funny little jack russell? Check. Hound? Check. Fluffy lion-esque chow? Check. Convention of cocker spaniels? Check, check, check, and check. 

Our first leg was from California to Salt Lake City, Utah. 

 Donner Pass, California

Donner Pass, California

          We drove along through forests of redwoods and mountain passes, most notably Donner Pass. (Named after the Donner family of cannibal fame...) Despite it's gruesome history, the pass and lake below were beautiful.

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          After a few hours of driving we entered Nevada and the desert, which was beautiful in an equally but very different sort of way. The colors (ochre, red, rust, sage, purple, beige, etc) are just so different from the landscape that I am used to seeing in the East. Libby insisted on doing most of the driving for this leg so that I could really take it all in without having to focus on the road. She's the best.

 Daisy and Rocket, two of our road buddies. 

Daisy and Rocket, two of our road buddies. 

          After a full day of driving we made it to Salt Lake, where we posted up for the night. In the morning we headed over a mountain and into Park City where we had a yummy breakfast with some good friends who just moved to Utah this year! It was so fun to catch a glimpse of their new life and see a bit of Park City--now I can't stop dreaming of coming back with John to ski... #shred

 The evening glow over the mountains in Wyoming.

The evening glow over the mountains in Wyoming.

         After breakfast, a quick doggy walk, and hugs good bye, we kept heading east on rt. 80 through Utah and into Wyoming. 

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         I visited Wyoming with my family when I was a kid and had the full ranch experience, as well as driving through Yellowstone. I have such fond memories of that trip, and have since considered Wyoming to be one of the most incredible states I had ever been to--driving through this time only reinforced those memories. We drove through plains studded with snow breaks and antelope, with rolling hills which gave way to the snow-capped Tetons in the distance. For most of the day there wasn't a human structure in sight. 

         Gas stations were few and far between, but every few hours we would see a sign for Little America, which Libby kept saying we had to stop at. Eventually we saw it a few miles down the road--a little oasis of for road-weary travelers. We turned off the exit and arrived at the nicest rest stop I have ever laid eyes on, complete with cute hotel and beautiful landscaping. After fueling up we headed inside and perused the aisles of fun Wyoming souvenirs including jig-saw puzzles, cowboy hats, and kitchy gizmos galore. We grabbed a few little presents for Johnboy, and then headed to the cafe area (like I said--nicest rest stop ever) to grab some soft-serve for the road, before getting back on Rt. 80 and driving a few more hours to our next stop: Denver. 

(If you are driving along rt. 80 through Wyoming you have to stop at Little America. I promise--you will be so pleasantly surprised.)

 Colorado Mountains near Denver

Colorado Mountains near Denver

 Road Buds. 

Road Buds. 

        We spent two wonderful nights in Denver at Libby's mom's house--my dear Aunt MA. It was so special to get to stop mid trip and spend time with her, as well as have some time to catch up with Lib's sister Elsie and brother John, both of whom rock and I don't get to see enough! I also hadn't been to Denver since I was a baby and loved getting a feel for the area (aka falling a little in love with it), and I can't wait to go back as I have a hunch there is tons more to see and do.  We checked out an awesome church on Sunday, had a yummy lunch, and later I got a chance to stretch my legs a bit on the Highline Canal Trail--actually one of the most scenic running routes I have ever taken. 

         Our time in Denver flew by, but was so, so sweet and full. Needless to say, we were a little sad to leave, but also excited to continue East. 

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Omaha, somewhere in middle America
Get right to the heart of matters
it’s the heart that matters more
— Counting Crows

Could not get that song out of my head pretty much the whole time we were in Nebraska....

(fyi--smart people listen to Counting Crows

 Crossing the Mississippi.

Crossing the Mississippi.

          The rest of our trip went by pretty quickly. I tried to tell someone at dinner the other night how pretty I thought Iowa was (all hills and little hamlets with streams running through them and trees turning colors here and there, with the occasional cow) and they looked at me like I was crazy... I am thinking that we may have hit the state at just the right time in the season. Thanks for turning out, IA. 

  The Corn Crib --our beacon of hope in Iowa! 

The Corn Crib--our beacon of hope in Iowa! 

           We spent a night in Clive, IA, before continuing on to Buffalo, NY for another (short) night. (Trying to make a flight out of Boston + traveling with a pack of canine friends = no rest for the weary)  From Buffalo we officially entered New England in all it's Autumnal glory. Halfway through the day, due to a variety of factors and while speeding down the Mass pike, we decided to bag my flight and reschedule it for the following morning. As we pulled off rt. 128 my heart settled into the peace of ur-home,  and the rest of the evening was spent visiting with my godson and his lovely mama, hugging and regaling my parents with stories of our trip (somewhat deliriously,)  having a yummy dinner at the local watering hole (where I was surprised by one of my best friends and my other Godmother,) and cozying up in my very own bed.  Such a little gift at the end of our trip. 

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 Lovely Fall Foliage

Lovely Fall Foliage

           Overall, it was such incredible roadtrip. The California Coast, Wild West, the Mississippi, the Rockies--it was unexpectedly moving to witness all of these landmarks which have played such big roles in American history. As we made our way across the country I felt a little more American each and every time we saw a part or place that I had never seen before. Driving through (vs. flying) helped me connect the dots and make sense of this patchwork of cultures that makes up our country. To “zoom out” in a sense and gain some perspective—see the bigger picture.

           This is why I travel, I think. As I continue to embrace the adventurous spirit created and kindled within me I have come to realize that it is fueled by a deep curiosity, a curiosity that goes beyond the desire to be an authentic patriot and world citizen. It is a curiosity to understand us—the motley “we” that makes up this world that we live in, and how we all fit together. 

            Thanks for reading and a huge thank you to my wonderful Godmother for having me along for the ride! Another huge thank you to my husband for being so gung-ho about me leaving our little home for 10 days with pretty short notice. 

xoxo,

Emily

P.S. Like what you are reading? Go ahead and subscribe by entering your email address into the form on the left-hand side of this page so that you never miss a post! Or, you can follow me on Bloglovin. Also, follow along on instagram and pinterest!



{Gallivant} Carmel, California: Rocky Point Restaurant

(Alternative title for this post: A Burger with a View)

Before we left Carmel to embark upon our epic cross-country road trip, we headed a few miles south down the coast to have lunch at Rocky Point Restaurant. Located between Carmel and Big Sur, Rocky Point boasts one of the most incredible views I have ever seen. Perched right at the edge of the cliff, the restaurant has an outdoor seating area with spectacular panoramic views of the rugged coastline and Pacific. 

While the views were spectacular, what we really came for was...the cheeseburger! For those of you who know my Godmother, Libby, it shouldn't come as much surprise that she has managed to root out the best burger in the area--she is a connoisseur. Needless to say, when she says order the burger, even in a place renowned for it's seafood, I order the burger. I wish that I had a pic to share with you all, but when our plates arrived we were too busy getting stuck in to even think about taking pics! A perfectly cooked grass-fed beef patty, smothered in onions, monterey jack, roasted garlic aioli, and fresh avocado slices---it was just as good as it sounds. We washed our burgers down with ice-cold Arnold Palmers and crispy fries-- I am getting a bit hungry just thinking about it!

Our meal, in combination with the view, sea breeze, and the company of two of my favorite people made for such a lovely afternoon that I will not soon forget. If you are in the Carmel/Monterey area, or planning on visiting, than you must add Rocky Point to your list of places to hit while you are there. Lunchtime was great, and not too busy--definitely try to sit outside if the weather is nice. I imagine that the night-time ambiance is also wonderful, especially during the evening when you could watch the sun set over the Pacific. Also, while I can only vouch for the burger, I wouldn't be surprised if the rest of their menu was just as delicious. If I were you, though, I would definitely go for the 'burger with a view'...just saying. 

Rocky Point Restaurant, 36700 Highway 1, Carmel, CA, (831)-624-2933

More about our road trip coming up tomorrow!

xoxo, 

Emily

P.S. Like what you are reading? Go ahead and subscribe by entering your email address into the form on the left-hand side of this page so that you never miss a post! Or, you can follow me on Bloglovin. Also, feel free to check out my instagram and pinterest.

{Gallivant} Cross-Country

 Carmel, CA | Photo: Author 2014

Carmel, CA | Photo: Author 2014

Happy October! I am currently writing this from California (surprise!) where I have been spending a couple of days with my Godmother and her husband before we drive back cross-country to Boston. Talk about a good adventure right?

Over the past two days we have been out to the San Joaquin Valley and visited my Godmother's husband's farming operation, as well as explored the lovely area of Carmel where they live. It was so cool (and fascinating) to explore the farm, where Tim grows a multitude of crops, including asparagus, almonds, pistachios, and pomegranates. The groves of nut trees were beautiful, but I couldn't get over the pomegranates! The trees (more like big bushes) were laden with the burgundy fruits, which looked like big jewels. They were such pretty pops of color against the greens and browns that are painted across the valley. 

The coast is also breathtaking, and I loved waking up and looking out over the Pacific this morning in Carmel. I even watched a few humpback whales swim by as I sipped my morning coffee. Amazing. We will spend one more day here, and then Libby (my Godmother) and I will embark upon our big road trip Friday morning! We will be making stops in Salt Lake City, Denver, Davenport (IA), and Buffalo. I will definitely blog about our stops/anything fun we discover and see once I get back to Pensy (to my man and the pup-I miss them!), but I would love it if you wanted to follow along on instagram @EVR_thegallivant for more frequent updates. 

xoxo, 

Emily

P.S. I know I promised our Month 9 post--it is coming soon! Stay tuned. 

{Gallivant} Seaside, Florida

A couple of weekends ago we took a day trip with a few of our friends down 30A to the beautiful town of Seaside. Seaside is about an hour and a half east of Pensacola, but trust me--the drive is so worth it.

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I had been dying to visit Seaside and it's neighboring towns for months, ever since hearing about how beautiful it was from from my friend, Laura (a Pensacola native) and then reading this fun blog post from Reddy or Knot. I practically skipped to the car when we were ready to leave that morning, looking forward to a day full of cruising around, beautiful scenery, and good food. 

When we got to Seaside we all rented bikes (and tricycles) from 30A bike rentals, and set off on our adventure!

Our first stop was the food trucks in Seaside's little town center. We were all starving, and headed off in different directions to the truck that struck our fancy. Options ranged from a grilled cheese truck, to fresh pressed juices, to frozen custard, to Asian fusion, to BBQ. 

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John was more than content with a yummy grilled cheese and cold beer, while I tried a Korean fish taco from the Song truck, which was fantastic. 

I did a quick little loop through the town center, and loved peeking into all the cute shops. I can't wait till next time when I have a little more time to peruse and check out the independent bookstore. ( I am such a sucker for a good bookstore, I just knew if I went in then I wouldn't have wanted to leave.)

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How cute is that little post office?!

After lunch we hopped back on our bikes and spent an hour just riding around and exploring. It was a beautiful day to be bike riding, and we loved pedaling down the streets and admiring all of the gorgeous houses. We rode all the way through Seaside and into neighboring Watercolor, which is just as beautiful. Both towns are beautifully manicured without seeming too "Stepford" and the neighborhoods have bike paths throughout them that lead to woodsy trails and an intercoastal waterway. 

Seaside Collage 1.jpg
Seaside Collage 1.jpg

After some exploring it started to get hot, so we decided to beat the heat by heading down to the beach for a dip. 

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The beach was surprisingly not very crowded for a Saturday, and we couldn't believe how blue the water was. The water in Pensacola is lovely, but is more of the greeny-turquoise color that people associate with the "Emerald Coast," while the water here was Caribbean blue and clear as can be. 

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We hung out in the water for a while, goofing around while we cooled off, and then we packed up and headed back to return our bikes, making a quick pit-stop for frozen custard on the way. After returning our bikes we all piled into our cars, tired yet blissed out on sun and fresh air. We agreed that even though it was only a day trip, it really felt like we had "gotten away," and we returned to Pensacola refreshed. There is truly nothing like shaking things up and going on a spontaneous adventure with friends to make you pause and feel grateful for where you are at and all that surrounds you. 

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This little adventure was one of our faves in Pensacola so far, and we can't wait to hopefully return for a weekend get away this Fall! 

xoxo,

Emily

P.S. Like what you are reading, want to keep up with our latest gallivants, or looking for fun things to do in the Pensacola area? Go ahead and subscribe by entering your email address into the form on the left-hand side of this page so that you never miss a post! Or, you can follow me on Bloglovin. Also, feel free to check out my instagram and pinterest.

{Gallivant} Londonderry Vermont: Taylor Farm

Last weekend, while we were in Vermont with John's family, we took a quick trip to Londonderry to visit Taylor Farm. Taylor Farm is a working farm that welcomes visitors and sells a variety of their fresh products in their shop. John's brother and sister-in-law go all the time when they are at Stratton, especially now that they have two adorable little boys, but this was our first time! 

 Little boy heaven. 

Little boy heaven. 

 Fam

Fam

Taylor Farm Londerry Vermont 2

The farm had a variety of different animals for us to see and pet, including cows, goats, chickens, pigs, horses, and an adorable donkey. This is definitely a fantastic place to visit with kids, but we loved wandering around just as much! (Might have something to do with our dream of having our own little smallholding one day...)

 Pretty little girls! | Photo cred: Annie Richey

Pretty little girls! | Photo cred: Annie Richey

 Oh my heart.

Oh my heart.

I particularly got a kick out of the pigs, who were so happily wallowing in the mud. I can't wait to come back another time when they have piglets! 

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I cannot resist a rambling farm house. 

Taylor Farm, Londonderry Vermont 6

Before leaving we stopped into the little farm shop, as our brother and sister-in-law swear by their raw milk. Raw milk?! I know, sounds weird, but they actually completely converted us over the weekend. As John's brother said, "It just completely elevates any normal milk experience." It's true! So yummy! Taylor Farm is also known for their fantastic cheese, made right on the farm. They are the only Gouda producer in Vermont, and their maple smoked gouda is to die for.  In the hopes of creating an epic cheese plate later that evening my sister-in-law grabbed a nice wedge of gouda, while I went for the alehouse cheddar and some rosemary crackers. I also tried their maple soda, which was surprisingly light and refreshing. Sort of what I would imagine an effervescent maple sap to taste like. 

If ever in the area, Taylor Farm is definitely worth a visit, kids or no kids. We cannot wait to go back, and I hope that next time we may be able to bring home some of their fresh eggs and meat--yum!

Taylor Farm, 825 Rt. 11, Londonderry, Vermont. (802) 824-5690

Happy Thursday you guys! Eat local!

xoxo,

Emily

 

TGIF

 Lamberts Cove, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts | photo: author

Lamberts Cove, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts | photo: author

Happy Friday people! What a week! The above picture makes me feel happy and sun-kissed just by looking at it. I took it a few summers ago on the Vineyard, and it completely brings me back to a sweet time. (This has nothing to do with the two people in that picture. Honestly, I have no idea who they are...ha!) Summer is flying by, but there is still plenty of time to enjoy it, preferably outside enjoying one or two lovely sunsets.

What is everyone up to this weekend? I am headed up to Virginia for my dear friend Trey's wedding. Unfortunately, I am flying solo because of John's crazy primary schedule, but I am still beyond excited to see all of my best friends from college. On top of celebrating Trey and his wonderful bride-to-be Christie on Saturday night, we are also hoping to hit up a winery and some polo in Charlottesville, as well as do a little adventuring in Leesburg.

This week has been so crazy that I only now starting to register the fact that I am going to be seeing some of my favorite people in the whole world in just two days! Such a treat, and one that I want to be completely present for. Because of that, I probably will not post on Monday but I promise to be back on Tuesday with some details of our gallivants! Check out my instagram @evr_thegallivant for some updates and hot off the press footage of #stankytreywed. 

What are YOU up to this weekend? Whatever it is--I hope it brings you joy. 

xoxo,

Emily

P.S. Cheers to Ts. ;-) #stankytreywed

{Gallivant} North Shore, Massachusetts

 View from The Studio

View from The Studio

Happy Monday everyone! I made it back safe and sound to Pensy yesterday afternoon and was so excited to see John, and ofcourse, Flynn. Other than missing those two terribly, I really did have the most wonderful time at home with my family and friends in Massachusetts. We spent the most wonderful three days in Newport, RI, and then were just home on the North Shore for the rest of the time. New England is beautiful this time of year, especially on the water, so it was such a treat to be able to spend some time at the beach, on boats, and harborside, as well as enjoying all the luscious greenery. I was so lucky to grow up in a place that is characterized as much by a coastal vibe as it is by woodlands and fields, and this time of year tends to be magnificent. Not many things make me happier than taking an outdoor shower at my parents house, after a day at the beach, and enjoying their beautiful view. Heaven. 

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On Thursday night my parents, brother Blair, and I headed up to Rocky Neck in Gloucester for dinner at the new Studio restaurant. My parents had been once and were so excited to take us for our last dinner all together before Blair headed to London for his summer course at LSE.

If you ever visit the North Shore or are just in Boston than the trip up to Rocky Neck is totally worth it. The small art community sits right on the harbour and is full of galleries, cute little houses, and some great restaurants. The Rudder has always been one of our favorites, but now I would definitely add The Studio to the top of the list. Our food was amazing--my mom and I both had the Bouillabaisse and thought it was fantastic. Also, the grilled corn appetizer is insane. I am now fully on board with the mexican street corn trend, and so excited to replicate this dish at home. The studio also has a cool cocktail menu (try the Mojo-- a fun fusion of mojito and grapefruit marg) and a great wine list. Finally, our service was fantastic--our waitress even lent me her sweatshirt when she saw that I was a little chilly.

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On Friday my mom and I headed up to Newburyport to check out a few shops up there. Neither of us had really explored the lovely little coastal city in years, and we were so pleasantly surprised by how fun it was! There were tons of cute shops and restaurants, but we were particularly impressed by the Tannery Marketplace, a renovated mill turned marketplace. We had headed there in search of Chococoa Baking Company, home of the most delicious mini whoopie pies known to man. We happily grabbed an assortment to try later, (the coconut turned out to be our favorite, although the salted caramel and raspberry were fantastic too) and were also wow-ed by their tomato and feta mini quiches. Now that I know about Chococoa I think I am going to have to make it a mandatory stop every time I am in the area. Made with only natural ingredients, their whoopies are just the most perfect little three bite delight--I would happily give up the cupcake trend for them. Such a treat.

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On our way to Chococoa we stumbled upon Wish Basket, and boy were we glad we did! The gorgeous home store is full of everything from antique furniture to Linnea's Lights and Lafco candles, small batch perfumes, french soap, beautiful lamps, linens, and assorted Cavallini wall calenders. 

 How great is that desk? Definitely belongs in my dream office. So pretty yet functional. 

How great is that desk? Definitely belongs in my dream office. So pretty yet functional. 

We could not get enough, and could have perused forever, all the while exclaiming over this and that. The whole store felt a bit Anthropologie-esque, but with more of a sophisticated edge and a boutique attitude.  

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Whether Christmas shopping or decorating a new home, Wish Basket, and their sister store right next door, Red Bird,  should be high on your list of places to check out on the North Shore. I cannot wait to come back in the fall to grab some stocking stuffers (and, if I am lucky, the Rosemary and Eucalyptus Lafco Candle) as well as absorb more design inspo!

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For the rest of the weekend we just kicked back a bit. I spent friday night with one of my best friends Cyrena, relaxing in Adirondack chairs in her back yard while we sipped rosé and caught up late into the night. Cys has been working all summer helping to manage one of our local farms and farmstands, and I loved hearing all about life in the fields and her passion for the slow food movement and eating locally, as well as the epic cross-country road trip that she and her boyfriend are planning for the Fall when the harvest is done. There really isn't anything quite like getting to catch up with one of your best friends, especially when you have the luxury of enough time to get to the bottoms of each others hearts and laugh till your ribs hurt. 

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Saturday was spent at the beach, alternatively tanning, jumping into the freezing Atlantic, and hanging out with my cousin Alexandra and one of my other best friends Lindsey, who came out of Boston for the day. Linds and I braved the freezing water to swim to the raft, where we promptly solved the all the worlds problems before coming back in just in time to pack up and head home to shower before we all reconvened at my wonderful Godmother Hopie's house for dinner. After a wonderful dinner, someone popped in some old videos of us all as babies and toddlers and we all couldn't resist waxing nostalgic for a while. My favorite moment was watching my first birthday party and my parents blowing out my candles with me. My dad had come home from work early so that he wouldn't miss it. So sweet--I might have shed a little tear. 

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All in all, a lovely and refreshing visit. The only thing missing was my wonderful husband, and it truly was so nice to leave knowing that I was heading back to him and our life in Pensy. Although the place and people I grew up in and with are still a huge touchstone for me, and something I hope to return to often, the idea of "home" is has definitely changed as John and I cleave more and more to each other in our marriage. The places near and dear to our heart are special for a reason, and deserve to be missed at times, but at the end of the day I wouldn't trade our wild life together for anything.

Have a great week friends!

xoxo,

Emily

P.S. Like what you are reading, want to keep up with our latest gallivants, or looking for fun things to do in the Pensacola area? Go ahead and subscribe by entering your email address into the form on the lefthand side of this page so that you never miss a post! Or you can follow me on Bloglovin. Also, feel free to check out my instagram and pinterest.

{Gallivant} Native Habitat

Happy Monday! Although I miss John terribly, I have had such a great weekend back up in Massachusetts with my parents and friends. My first night home my mom threw a party for my brother and I, and it was so special to hang out with so many of our favorite people in my parent's gorgeous back yard. 

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 Yesterday we took a long walk on the beach and just chilled out, and this morning my cousin Alexandra and I had the best run around our big loop. It was in the 60s and sunny, perfect running weather, and we couldn't beat the scenery. Makes training to be the next Villa marathoners that much better!

 

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One beautiful cousin took the plunge!

"Dad's Chair"

My mom, Blair, and I headed down to Newport today to spend a few days with my godmother and her family. It is so wonderful to be here as this is a place and group of people so dear to my heart. I am excited to catch up with everyone, enjoy the gorgeous weather, and sleep with the sounds of the sea right outside my window.

Hope everyone, no matter what they are up to, is having a lovely week!  

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It is good to be home.

xoxo, 

Emily

p.s. Gallivant with me on instagram @evr_thegallivant

{Gallivant} Destin & Donuts

A few weeks ago John and I decided to take advantage of his last few days off before starting school again and go on a spontaneous adventure. We headed east down the coast to Destin, about an hours drive. Unfortunately the weather wasn't great, so we couldn't check out the plethora of beachy activities that Destin offers, but we were content to just drive around and see what we found. Eventually we passed through into Miramar and saw signs for the Emerald Coast Wine Cellars, and decided to check it out! 

The cute little winery has a fun section of gifts and home decor, as well as an area devoted to tasting their local wines. Most of their wines were of the muscadine variety, but they did have a Chardonnay that we really liked, so much that we grabbed a bottle. They also had some yummy nibbles to go along with the wine, which we couldn't resist. Over all it was a really fun little stop on our tour, and we would highly recommend it if you are looking for rainy day activities in Destin. 

While Destin is mega touristy, it does have some amazing shopping. After the winery we made a few stops at some cute local boutiques, and then at the bigger outdoor mall. We didn't make it to the outlets this trip, but I did make a mental note of them (J. Crew, Kate Spade, Saks? Hello.)  

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The real highlight of our trip (at least for me) was discovering The Donut Hole on our way out of town. Earlier, when we were driving in, I had noticed a line going way out the door and begged John if we could check it out on our way back. Upon entering, we were greeted by trays of freshly made donuts, in all sorts of delicious flavors. While some of their more popular flavors were already sold out, I did snag a classic glazed and a sour cream to nibble on on the way home. The glazed was pretty standard, but the cakey sour cream was to die for. The moist and sweet flavor was offset by the perfect amount of tang, with a sugary glazed outside. Yum. 

I would love to head back to Destin sometime and try The Donut Hole's breakfast as well as their best-selling red velvet donut, before doing a little shopping. Sounds like a great morning, right?

Pensacola locals often complain that Destin has gotten super built up over the past few years, which we couldn't disagree with. Despite that, though, we did have a great time mixing it up and adventuring out of town for a few hours together. We hear about Destin all the time, and have some friends who live down there, so we were so happy to finally get to check it out. We (ahem..me) were also delighted by the treats we got to consume while there, as evidenced by the picture below....

 Mrs. Sweet Tooth

Mrs. Sweet Tooth

Have you ever been to Destin? What are your favorite things to do there? Feel free to comment below!

Have a great day, honeys.

xoxo,

Emily

p.s. Like what you are reading, want to keep up with our latest gallivants, or looking for fun things to do in the Pensacola area? Go ahead and subscribe by entering your email address into the form on the lefthand side of this page so that you never miss a post! Or you can follow me on Bloglovin

{Gallivant} Carry-on Survival Essentials

one I two I three I four I five I six I seven I eight I nine I ten

If there is one thing I learned a few weeks ago, when I got stranded in Miami for two days without my bag, it is that one must pack their carry-on strategically. You just never know when you may get stranded, and a savvy traveler is always prepared. 

I am usually pretty prepared for the worst-scenario, but last week I forgot a few essentials like my toothbrush, deodorant, and a bathing suit. Why a bathing suit? Read on for the rationale, as well as the list of what I always try to take on the plane with me in my carry-on, just in case.

The Gallivant's Guide to Carry-On Essentials

1. 1 Pair of Clean Underwear

2. Tea Bags: I love my tea so I try to pack a couple bags of my favorite types when I travel. This time around I packed chamomile lavender and mint, both of which I used over our trip. I love chamomile lavender before bed, and it did wonders to calm me down in MIami when all I wanted to do was be home. The mint also ended up being a great choice because it helped in clearing my sinuses before I finally got on the plane. (Did I mention I had a nasty sinus infection?)

3. Bathing Suit: Man, do I wish I hadn't forgotten to pack a suit in my carry-on! Instead of lounding in my hotel room for two straight days I could have been lounging by the hotel pool, enjoying the Miami sun!

4. Work: If you are planning on taking work with you on your trip always pack it in your carry-on. God forbid you lost your bag, or were stranded without it and couldn't meet a deadline...

5. Jewelry/Valuables: My mom is a stickler for this one. You may never have lost a bag in your life when flying, but don't let the first time be the time you kept all your family heirlooms in there, never to be seen again.

6. Deodorant

7. Toothbrush/Toothpaste

8. Face Moisturizer: Hotels always have body lotion, but it really isn't the best for your face. Combat dry and flaky flight skin with face lotion you stowed away, you brilliant traveler, you.

9. Reading Material

10. Chargers

Bonus tip: If worse comes to worse and you are absolutely desperate for clean clothes,  you can do as I did and hand wash some items of clothing in the sink (ie. leggings, panties, shirts) and then use the hotel blow dryer to dry them!

Happy (responsible and prepared) gallivanting!

xoxo,

Emily

{Marriage} Months Four & Five

 Me, Hope, and JR. Fredericksburg 2014 | Photo: Lindsey Bachelder

Me, Hope, and JR. Fredericksburg 2014 | Photo: Lindsey Bachelder

Its May 28th, which means that John and I have been married for five whole months! Seeing as I skipped our four month update, I thought I would just combine our four and five month updates for the loyal few who actually care to read our silly news. Here is what has been going on in the past few months amidst our wedded bliss....

Firsts: I graduated from college and John went primal and took down two wild hogs.  

Favorite Meals: Mixed green salads w/ rotisserie chix, avocado, feta, red onion, and carrots ; Shakshura 

Favorite Words: certificate, primary, tomato (John has some huge heirlooms growing, they are his babies), phone muster, lemon tree (my baby), floods, graduation

Favorite Snacks: Nothing new here. See previous updates.

Favorite TV Shows: Game of Thrones, New Girl

Favorite Game: Settlers. Duh.

Currently Reading: Over the past couple months I re-read (devoured) the Green Rider series by Kristen Britain. I adore the series, and the newest book, Mirror Sight,  came out in the beginning of May. Different, but very good. If you have a weak spot for medieval fantasy like I do than you should definitely give this series a shot. I have loved it for years. John has been using his time off to study EPs (emergency procedures) but has also picked up Liar's Poker by Michael Lewis.

Gallivants: Since John has been in between phases of flight school, we have been lucky enough to do some wonderful gallivanting together in the past two months. We attended our first wedding as Mr. and Mrs. Richey, in Connecticut. We then headed up to Vermont for a lovely few days before heading down to Fredericksburg, Va for my graduation from the University of Mary Washington. Along the way we stopped in Kinderhook, NY to have lunch with John's favorite cousin's on his dad's side. We also made a pit stop in Peapack, NJ to spend a night with my Aunt and Uncle, which was so lovely.

 Theres nothing like your best friends. | Photos: D. Whitty 

Theres nothing like your best friends. | Photos: D. Whitty 

 Obligatory Graduation Procession Selfie

Obligatory Graduation Procession Selfie

We had the most wonderful time in Fred, and it was so special to be with some of our best friends as well as family, and to celebrate the end of my undergrad career. One of the best parts? My godmother, Hope, and my best friend Lindsey (her daughter) surprised me in Fredericksburg! It meant the world to have them at my graduation, and also to introduce them to a place that is so close to my heart. 

From Fredericksburg we headed up to DC for our little Goddaughter Callie's baptism and first birthday party. We spent the most lovely day in Arlington celebrating Callie, and hanging with some of our favorite cousins and friends. Unfortunately, John had to head home to Pensy after that, but I headed to Front Royal, Virginia, to spend a few days on the Shenandoah River with my best friends from college.

 Front Royal, Shenandoah River Valley, VA 2014 | Photo: Author

Front Royal, Shenandoah River Valley, VA 2014 | Photo: Author

We had an absolute blast on the river, and it was a wonderful way to fully wrap up the last few years of our lives, as well as celebrate a new phase. On the way home I got stuck in Miami for two and a half days, which was a bummer, but over all, we both felt so blessed to have been able to take such a fun trip and squeeze in so many of our loved ones.

 Pecans, Albany GA 2014 | Photo: Author

Pecans, Albany GA 2014 | Photo: Author

Finally, we spent this past weekend with my other godmother, Libby, in Albany, GA. We had the best time eating some crazy good mexican, grilling out at the cabin by the lake, fishing, collecting fresh chicken eggs, walking through beautiful pecan groves, biking, watching Flynn own his stripes among Libby's doggies, spending a day on Lake Blackshear, and (for John) hog hunting. We also spent a lot of the day on Sunday at Sherwood Baptist church, where we got the opportunity to hear some amazing sermons, meet some incredible people, catch up with some Sherwood friends, and worship together. All in all, we drove away from the long weekend feeling so refreshed and spiritually nourished, so much so that we are heading back up on Friday! 

 Flynn and Buster, Albany, GA 2014 | Photos: Author

Flynn and Buster, Albany, GA 2014 | Photos: Author

Meanwhile in Pensacola: As I mentioned before, John has been in between phases of flight school for the majority of the past few months, which after the grind of API has been so wonderful. He has been able to relax and do some fun stuff around the house, including planting and tending the aforementioned tomato plants (his pride and joy), as well as have some serious bro-time with Flynn. Meanwhile, I started and finished an editing certificate program, in between working at Bluetique, which is the best. Also, my parents came to visit for Easter! It was so fun to see them and introduce them to our life here. After they left we had a peaceful few weeks until the wild floods. You can read that story here. We also checked out the Pensacola Bay Brewery, discovered Fort Pickens, went to a few Wahoos games, and celebrated John's birthday! 

 George Laurence Richey, Born May 26, 2014

George Laurence Richey, Born May 26, 2014

Finally, we welcomed our new niece, Sophie, and our new nephew, George, into the world! George was only born two days ago, and we already love him to the moon. 

It is crazy to think that this next month will be our sixth month of marriage (half a year!). It is truly flying by, and we are continuing to grow together each day. The adventure never ends, and John starts Primary next Monday, which marks the beginning of a new phase of flight school, and at the rate we are going, a new phase of Navy life. 

Lastly, thank you so much for stopping by the blog. I know you all have incredible and crazy lives, and it means the world that you take the time to see what is going on in this little corner of the universe called The Gallivant. 

Happy Gallivanting!

xoxo

Emily

P.S. Like what you are reading and want to keep up with all of our latest gallivants? Go ahead and subscribe by entering your email address into the form on the lefthand side of this page so that you never miss a post! Or you can follow me on Bloglovin

 Mr. and Mrs. Richey | Photo: Haley Keating

Mr. and Mrs. Richey | Photo: Haley Keating

{Gallivant} Dorset, Vermont + The Dorset Union Store

I am so excited to share a little bit about our time in Vermont a few weeks ago today! The Green Mountain State is special to both of us, because growing up John used to spend almost every weekend at his family ski house in Stratton, and I used to head north from Boston whenever I had the chance, whether to visit my Uncle during ski season (#shred) or summer trips to Burlington or Stowe with friends. 

As vacation is hard to come by during flight school, we truly cherished the few days we got to spend at the Richey house in Stratton, and even managed to fit in an afternoon of gallivanting all across the Vermont countryside! 

IMG_9900.jpg
IMG_9901.jpg

Our favorite stop was the lovely small town of Dorset. Dorset is a quintessential New England town, full of white houses with green shutters, and surrounded by the incredible landscape of Vermont. John and I loved to explore towns and ooo and aah over houses we love so we just drove around for about an hour, loving each old white house more than the next. We dream of one day living in a rambling old country house with some chickens and a huge garden in the back yard, and our afternoon explorations only fed our fantasy all the more. 

Before we left I made John stop at the Dorset Union Store, as I am a sucker for country stores and markets. Established in 1816, the beautiful old wooden floors creak as you walk down aisle after aisle of beautiful local food stuffs and bevvies. With an attached room dedicated to wine, both local and exotic, the store is a little bit of foodie heaven. Along with fresh baked goods, local cheese, coffee, and maple products, they also carry most staple grocery items, and have a sandwich counter in the back. While there I discovered Barnwell Farm cheese. This neat cheese company, based out of Pawlett, VT, names each of it's cheeses after a different town in the state. I grabbed the Dorset variety, a soft and pungent cows cheese, which later proved to be delicious. Before leaving the store I also picked up some beautifully scented pine soap, which I am excited to use as a fun little reminder of New England and the woods we grew up in. (Also who doesn't love a man who smells like pine trees? Total cat nip. Is that just me? Ok.)

Next time you are in the Bennington area of Vermont, or are just looking to make a fun little day or weekend trip, definitely consider Dorset. Aside from checking out the Dorset Union Store and picking up some yummies, there are some sweet places to stay in the area, and if you are outdoorsy or just looking for a little retreat there is plenty to do and see. 

Happy gallivanting!

xoxo

Emily

P.S. Like what you are reading and want to keep up with all of our latest gallivants? Go ahead and subscribe by entering your email address into the form on the lefthand side of this page so that you never miss a post! Or you can follow me on Bloglovin

{Gallivant} New England Road Trip

 The most gorgeous flowers from the wedding. Adore the blushing pink theme. 

The most gorgeous flowers from the wedding. Adore the blushing pink theme. 

Happy Cinco de Mayo Everyone! It is a seriously happy Monday for us, as we woke up this morning in Vermont--one of our most favorite places in the whole world. We will be up here for a few days staying at the Richey's ski house in Stratton doing a little hiking, vegging, visiting, and resting/recovering from having the time of our lives at the most wonderful wedding on Saturday night. Currently John is getting a leg up on me in that department, as he is still in bed and watching Game of Thrones. 

This is officially the second of four legs of our trip, spread out over 11 days. On Saturday morning we flew to Newark and rented a car to drive out to Greenwich, CT for #Campbellsondeck aka our friends Louisa and Alex's wedding. Before the wedding we met up with our brother and sister-in-law, Drake and Sarah, as well as their adorable son Draper. We were so grateful for the effort they made to come out of the city for the afternoon and see us, especially as Sarah is about to pop with their second baby. We love them so much, and always have the best time together.

The wedding itself was such a special time for a few different reasons. Firstly, Louisa and I have known each other for pretty much our entire lives, as our family's have been great friends forever. Over the years we have grown independently as believers and together as friends and sisters, and seeing her get married to her wonderful (now) husband Alex was such a treat. John has also known Louisa and her family since he was in middle school, from living near each other in CT and doing FOCUS together, which is a fun mutual connection. Another special element was that we got to tear it up on the dance floor with my mom and dad, as well as my Godmother and her husband, and spend the day together with them and the Bride's family on Sunday. 

 First Cherry Blossoms we have seen all Spring!

First Cherry Blossoms we have seen all Spring!

When you marry someone who comes from a different state and went to different schools it isn't often that you are at a social function or scenario where you both have friends from your separate worlds as well as mutual friends. This wedding though, for John and I, was one of those rare occasions. It was so so much fun meeting people from John's childhood as well as some of my parents' friends, seeing old camp friends that I hadn't seen in a million years, and getting to catch up with some of our dear mutual friends as we celebrated Alex and Louisa and witnessed together and shared in their joy. They are a beautiful couple, united in their love for Christ and each other. 

 The bride and groom having their first dance...

The bride and groom having their first dance...

 My Mama and I lovin' on the father of the Bride on Sunday afternoon.

My Mama and I lovin' on the father of the Bride on Sunday afternoon.

It was such a treat, to be with so many loved ones and old friends and catch up on everyone's life, meet new babies, dance the night away on dance floor with the Bride and Groom, go to church all together the next day, and spend a lovely afternoon basking in the glory that is New England spring (I have missed that), while rehashing the night before. It was the most lovely 24 hours, and we were so grateful to be included in the festivities of our dear friends. Louisa and Alex-Thank you! We cannot wait to hear all about your incredible honeymoon and get a date on the calendar for you to come down from ATL and hit the beach with us in Pensacola!!

As for our big trip, we used the wedding as an excuse for John to take leave and for us to try and see as many of our special people and places in a week and a half as we could. We are, quite literally, gallivanting all over New England and the East Coast. Vermont has always been one of my favorite places, and for John it is his other home,  so we were thrilled to take a few days up here. On Wednesday we are heading to Hudson, NY to have lunch with John's cousins, and then driving down to Far Hills, New Jersey, to spend a night with my Aunt and Uncle in one of my dearest places and where my Dad grew up. From there we head to Fredericksburg for my graduation (!) and ensuing festivities with all of my best friends from college. Then, on Sunday, we head into DC for the baptism of our little God Daughter, Callie, and to spend some time with her parents, Katey and Erik, who we adore. John flies out Monday, but I am going to hang around VA for a few more days and head to the river with some friends. All in all, an epic trip with so many things to look forward to in the next few days. We feel so blessed to have been able to make it all happen, and I hope to have some updates on here along the way. 

  Taken right outside the church, immediately after the service--watching the Kentucky Derby in the parking lot! That is my mom in the green shawl...avid horsewoman she is...

Taken right outside the church, immediately after the service--watching the Kentucky Derby in the parking lot! That is my mom in the green shawl...avid horsewoman she is...

As always, thank you so much for checking in and reading. I know you all have wonderfully rich and busy lives, and I so appreciate you taking the time to come hang out in the little corner of the web that is The Gallivant. 

xoxo,

Emily

P.S. Happy Birthday to my littlest sister I never had, Gaylan! Love you cute girl!

P.S.S. P.S. Like what you are reading? Go ahead and subscribe by entering your email address into the form on the left-hand side of this page so that you never miss a post! Or, you can follow me on Bloglovin. Also, follow along with The Gallivant on instagram and pinterest! And Twitter!

{Gallivant} New Orleans

 Cat and Abbey outside Café Du Monde.

Cat and Abbey outside Café Du Monde.

Last week three of my best friends from college came to visit and we decided to take a spontaneous road trip to the Big Easy for a night. Since it was the week after Mardi Gras, we scored a sweet hotel deal, right on the corner of Bourbon and Canal St. 

I had never been to New Orleans, but since moving to Pensacola I have been dying to go since it is only a quick 3 hour drive. I have heard mixed things about the city, mostly that the european influence is cool and the food and jazz are incredible, but the late night scene can be pretty sketchy.  We did a ton of research and decided to just try and get local advice when we got there, and wing our itinerary accordingly. 

When we first arrived we went straight to the Garden District. I had read about the Garden District and was excited to check it out. It truly is beautiful. Although spring is not in full bloom yet here, we still got a sense of how beautiful the district must be when the trees and gardens are are in their prime. The old southern mansions were stunning, and the driving through the neighborhoods reminded me of a mixture of the Fan in Richmond, New Port RI, and Charleston SC. Lately I have been really inspired by Southern literature (To Kill a Mockingbird, The Sound and the Fury, The Helpand this area really evoked Kate Chopin's haunting novella The Awakening. I could imagine the dripping heat of summer and girls in white dresses sitting on the porches of the stately houses drinking iced tea, both smothered by heat and smothering their desires to rebel against society. 

After driving through the Garden District we parked on Magazine St, near the Whole Foods, and checked all the cute boutiques and shoppes. We grabbed a quick snack at Slice, which had delicious pizza and great happy hour deals. Definitely worth a visit for a good bang-for-your-buck bite to eat, as well as a fantastic bloody mary. 

 Dani and I at Slice

Dani and I at Slice

One thing we noticed early on in our visit was that the people are so nice in New Orleans. Both the shop girls and our server gave us some awesome recommendations for dinner that night and fun places to go out. They all resoundingly told us to skip Bourbon St, and hit up Frenchmen St. for the local experience and the best jazz. We did see a bit of Bourbon because our hotel was right on the corner, and although it was an experience, it is definitely a huge tourist trap. 

We stayed at the Royal Crown Plaza, right on the corner of Canal and Bourbon St. We happened to score a great deal, and would highly recommend the hotel to anyone because the location is primo. Tip: Don't use RCP parking, instead park in the garage on the backside of the block. It is $10 cheaper for the night. 

Fried Oyster and Grits at 3 Muses

We grabbed a cab and headed to 3 Muses on Frenchmen St. for dinner after a friend recommended it. (Thanks Katie!) The place was packed when we arrived around 8:00, and the music was already in full swing. We put our name in and decided to walk down the street and check out the scene. New Orleans is fun because you can drink in the street, so we popped into a bar down a few blocks to check out their band (which was awesome) and then took our drinks on the road. There was live jazz in every bar or restaurant that we passed, and some fun stuff happening in the streets two. Some of the best advice we got was that "the music is always worth the cover charge in NOLA." Our advice would be to hit up one or two places, and then pick one and stay put for a while. When we got back to the 3 Muses the place was hopping and the food was insane. Definitely worth the cover and one drink per set. 

After a couple sets it was getting late so we moved on to One Eyed Jack's, a club across the French Quarter. We decided to walk and check out the quarter along the way. There were definitely moments and blocks where, with the cobbled streets and shuttered windows, we could have been in France, except the townhouses and flats were all painted in fun pastels. We arrived at One Eyed Jacks to discover that it was 80's night, complete with a theatre screen playing 80's classics and dancers. It ended up being a fun surprise, even though they played such obscure 80's songs for the first half of the time we were there. (Disclaimer: I was not born in the 80s. I do not know what I am talking about.)

The next morning before we left we did some exploring and grabbed breakfast at Café Du MondeGotta do it once, right?

Overall, given that we had less than 24 hours, we felt like we got a great taste of New Orleans. Next time I would love to see some more of the parks and sights, but being able to just enjoy the jazz and food was a blast. Sometimes when traveling it's fun to just skip all the touristy stuff , relax, and take it all in. We totally fell in love with the city and would love to go back, and we din't feel like we missed out at all by skipping Bourbon St. Below is our blitz in a nutshell, incase any of you find yourselves taking a spontaneous trip to the Big Easy anytime soon!

New Orleans Blitz:

Areas to Hit up:

  • Garden District: Beautiful historic area, mostly residential, with lovely southern houses and gardens.
  • Magazine St: Fun street in the Garden District with great shoppes and cafés. Fun place to stop for lunch and window shopping. 
  • French Quarter: Another historic district, home to the famous Bourbon St. Known for its french architecture and food, nightlife, jazz scene, and historical significance.
  • Frenchmen St: Located off of the French Quarter, know for its authentic jazz and local scene. Great restaurants and night life. 

Places to Eat:

  • Slice: Small pizzeria with multiple locations. We ate at the one Magazine St. Great pizza, salads, and drinks, with awesome slice and drink deals. Very reasonable prices. 
  • 3 Muses: Fantastic restaurant and jazz bar. Food is small plates, service is quick and excellent. Mix of Southern, Creole, and French fusion. Highly recommend the Fried Oysters and Grits with Bloody Mary Sauce, as well as the Coconut Shrimp and Lamb Sliders. 
  • Café Du Monde: Probably one of the most famous places in New Orleans, located in the heart of the French Quarter. Totally touristy, but the Beignets really are great, and it's open 24 hours! Don't be afraid of the line--it moves fast. 

Late Night:

xoxo

Emily

P.S. Have any of you been to New Orleans? What were your favorite parts/spots? I would love to take notes for my next trip!

P.S.S. Like what you are reading and want to keep up with all of our latest gallivants? Go ahead and subscribe by entering your email address into the form on the lefthand side of this page so that you never miss a post! Or you can follow me on Bloglovin

 


Radio Silence


Hello Everyone! I am so sorry for the radio silence over the past week! I took a trip to Albany, GA last week to visit my Godmother, and did not realize I would be without internet. But I am back now and excited to share with you about some recent gallivanting! 

My Godmother is one of my most favorite people in the entire world, and I have been blessed in a million ways by her presence in my life and the Godly wisdom she has imparted to me over the years. I was so excited to be able to sneak up to visit her last week at her family's plantation and being with her truly felt like being home. I am beginning to love Pensacola, but it was still refreshing to be away for a bit. We were able to ride everyday, which was such a treat for me (if you know me you know what a big role horses and riding have played in my life) and just being outside all the time was good for my soul. Not to mention, Flynn was in heaven! 

I had the best time, but was also so happy to see my husband on friday when I got home. We spent saturday together and then he got back to the grind of studying while I prepared for the arrival of three of my best friends from college. SO exciting! Danielle, Abbey, and Cat arrived yesterday, and we have a fun week of Pensy-themed activities planned. The weather doesn't look great, but I am excited to share with you how we get creative with our time together. There truly is nothing like being reunited with some of your dearest friends, it is so grounding. I am so grateful for them. 

As always, thanks for checking in! Happy Gallivanting!

xoxo

Emily 

ps. A few of my favorite pics from Georgia below..I couldn't get over how beautiful the purple clover field was. Such a lovely sign of Spring.

 Please excuse the poor Iphone quality. This is one my favorite little horses there ever was. His name is Rusty.

Please excuse the poor Iphone quality. This is one my favorite little horses there ever was. His name is Rusty.