{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!


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. 


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


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. 


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...


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. 


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?!


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. 


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.


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...



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!

{Marriage} 3.4

I love these monthly marriage updates not only because they are a great way for John and I to journal month to month, but also because they are a fun way to keep the Gallivant's amazing readers in the loop about whats going on with us--the nitty gritty version. Thanks for checking in!

Image via  @olive_ee_ah

Image via @olive_ee_ah

Year 3, Month 4 Update (Better late than never!)

Favorite Meals: Still Blue Apron...it’s so quick and easy. But our favorite quick and easy Sunday dinner has been grilled chicken (marinated in french dressing or whatever vinaigrette is on hand in the fridge,) with baked potatoes and roasted asparagus. I toss the asparagus in olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper, before putting under the broiler--flip once while cooking, and drizzle a little bit of balsamic on top right at the end. So easy, so yummy. Tim, my godmother's husband, made them once this way, and I haven't done them any other way since. 

Favorite Words: Game of Thrones, Porch, Squadron, Expeditionary, Lunch Date, Margarita, Birch, Battlefield.

Favorite Snacks: Not much time for snacking this month!

Favorite TV Shows: The Office, Game Of Thrones

Favorite Movie: Too busy for movies!

Currently Reading: Throne of Glass Series and The Rise Of Theodore Roosevelt

Gallivants: Woof! April was a busy month, but in the best way possible. We celebrated John's birthday early on, and then headed up to Gettysburg, PA, for a weekend, where my brother went to college. We stayed at a lovely farmhouse in the countryside outside of Gettysburg, and had the best time with Blair and his girlfriend (who we adore.) It was gloriously sunny while we were there so we spent Saturday exploring the battlefields before we headed to the Hauser Estate Winery and took in the views over lunch, ciders, and cold white wine...not a bad way to spend an afternoon. We also hung out on campus for a bit and had dinner in town, before heading back out to the farm for more wine and s’mores by the fire. All in all, it was such a fun yet restful weekend! Sitting outside on a country porch first thing in the morning with coffee and a book is so good for the soul...Full post on Gettysburg coming soon!

Meanwhile In Norfolk: Two of my best girlfriends from home came to visit us this month and we had a complete blast. We took them all over Norfolk, and hit up some of our favorite spots, including dinner at Luna Maya and drinks at The Birch. We also stumbled upon The Hermitage Museum and Gardens, which was such a sweet surprise! The grounds are gorgeous, and they had an American impressionism exhibit on display, which was lovely to look at. Who knew that there was such a big movement of impressionism in Pennsylvania? Not I!

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While Lindsey had to leave a little bit early on Sunday to get back to Boston in time to pack and head down to Tulum the next morning (Her instagram pics were giving me serious white sand envy,) Olivia didn’t leave until the evening on Sunday so we headed up to base to check out John’s squadron. I actually hadn’t been to see the squadron yet, so Oey and I were both enthralled! Sierras are so much bigger than the helos that John was flying before in Pensacola, and it was pretty awesome to see all of them lined up in the hangar. All in all, it was so special to get to share our new home with our dear friends, and we can’t wait for them to come back!


The other exciting news of the month is that our best friends welcomed their twins!! If you follow me on instagram then you may have already seen the picture of John and I meeting them for the first time...They are perfect, and John and I are in awe of what amazing parents our friends already are.

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It has been so special to start getting to know the little ones.

Heres hoping April was a wonderful month for you all! As always, thanks for reading. 



P.S. This post contains affiliate links. If you click and/or make a purchase through the links I may make a commission, but all opinions are my own :-)

P.S.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!

Weekend Links

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Memorial Day Weekend is almost here--woohoo! I am headed up to DC today for a girls weekend with my best friends from college, and we have all kinds of fun stuff planned. It's supposed to be hot in the city this weekend, so I am excited to spend some time outside, drink mimosas, explore some new places in DC, and soak up as much time as I can with some of my favorite ladies. We'll be snapping and 'gramming away I'm sure--you can follow along @evr_thegallivant and epv8432 (snapchat) if you would like!

The best part about a long weekend is that...it's long! Sunday I'm headed back down to Norfolk and I can't wait to have some downtime with John and Pensy on Monday. Pensy has been feeling slightly under the weather, so aside from a lie-in and late breakfast, there will be puppy snuggles galore. (Queue the heart eyes emoji.)

What are you all up to this weekend? Weekend Links are back, so if you are looking to do some perusing in your spare time here are a few things that have caught my eye recently. 

  • One of our joint goal this year is to host some kind of gathering in our home each month! I will for sure be employing these tips from here on out!
  • I tested out this packing method on a mini scale for my trip this weekend. 
  • This is perfect.
  • Blake Lively completely killed it style-wise at Cannes. Have you seen her outfits
  • After both my best friend and my brother's girlfriend (both of whom look great) raved about this program, I knew I had to try it out. Fast forward a month...I'm addicted! The program is easy to follow and the workouts are concise but tough. I am loving the burn!
  • My friend Melissa started this awesome blog a couple of months ago that gives the reader some really cool perspective into different careers. I'm always curious about the nitty gritty details of other peoples jobs, so I've found these interviews fascinating. Definitely a great read, especially if you are looking for a job or thinking about switching careers!
  • John and I just started using this app and it is completely streamlining our task lists. I love that we can share our lists with each other and actually check boxes to make sure we cover everything. No more forgotten eggs at the grocery store!

Have a lovely long weekend and don't forget to take some time and remember all those who have lost their lives serving our country. Happy Memorial Day!



{Gallivant Reads} The Circle Maker

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Reading is one of my most favorite things, but unfortunately my reading time decreased significantly in the second half of last year, and I sorely missed it. In my world there aren’t many things better or more restful than making a cup of tea and cozying up with a good book. Confession: I am the kind of nerdy reader who actually gets stressed when they look at their “to read” list on Goodreads. I love books so much that the thought of missing a good one totally stresses me out!

(Sidebar: Don’t have Goodreads? Get it! It’s a great way to keep track of books you would like to read, get reviews, and see what your friends are reading! Once you sign up let’s be friends! Search for Emily_Richey -- I’d love to see what you are reading!)

So this year I set a goal...to read 30 books. Between working full-time and having a social life outside of work, that number is intimidating, so to break it down I am aiming to read for 30 minutes everyday. So far I have been doing pretty well--my lunch break has definitely been my friend. 

I kicked off my challenge in January with a book that I have been meaning to read for forever--ever since one of my best friends raved about it in college.  As it turns out, I picked up The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson at exactly the right time, years later. This book radically invigorated and changed my prayer life at a time when it was, I’ll admit, a bit lacking. I was reminded me that our God is bigger than this universe He so lovingly created, and He wants us to pray big prayers, crazy prayers, visionary prayers, which is essentially the premise of the book. (If you'd like, you can read more about what I believe here.)

Here are a few of my favorite quotes:

"Every once in awhile, I need a no-agenda day with nothing to do, but those aren’t the days we’re going to celebrate at the end of our lives. We won't remember the things that came easy; we’ll remember the things that came hard. We’ll remember the miracles on the far side of “long and boring.”

"Our minds are subconsciously primed by everything that is happening all the time. It’s a testament to the fact that our minds are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” It also testifies to the fact that we had better be good stewards of the things we allow into our visual and auditory cortices. Everything we see and hear is priming us in a positive or negative way. That’s one reason I believe in starting the day in God’s Word. It doesn’t just prime our minds; it also primes our hearts...When we read the words that the Holy Spirit inspired, it tunes us to His voice and primes us for His promptings."

"In case you missed the message the first time, if you keep trying, you are not failing. The only way you can fail is if you quit trying. If you’re still trying, even if you’re failing, you’re succeeding. God is honored when you don’t give up. God is honored when you keep trying. God is honored when you keep circling."

"Goal setting begins and ends with prayer. God-ordained goals are conceived in the context of prayer, and prayer is what brings them to full term."

I highly recommend The Circle Maker if you are looking for a good read, and you can find some other books I have enjoyed in the past here, here, here, here, here, and here

What about you? Have you been reading anything good recently? Although my "to read" list is long, I am definitely open to suggestions! Leave them in the comment box below. 



P.S. This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click a link a buy something I may make a small commission. But, as usual, all opinions are my own. 

P.S.S. Like what you are reading? 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, pinterest, instagram,  and/or Twitter!




{Marriage} 3.3

I have loved these monthly marriage updates and am excited to pick them back up! They have been a great way for John and I to journal the little details of our life, month to month. (Read about our very first month of marriage here.) Thanks for checking in!

Marriage 3.3 | The Gallivant

Richey 3.3 Update

Favorite Meals: Blue Apron! We started using the meal service last year and have loved it. The meals are fresh, easy, and relatively quick. I love that I don’t have to run to the grocery store after work when we haven’t planned dinner, but that I still get to go through the motions of cooking. We have tried so many new flavors and have even learned some new techniques! If you are interested in a free trial let me know! (gallivantblog@gmail.com)

Favorite Words: Sierra, Squadron, Carrier, Expeditionary, Condo, Cape Henry, Career, Friends, Myers Briggs

Favorite Snacks: Trader Joe’s Beet Hummus, hands down.

Favorite TV Shows: House of Cards, Pretty Little Liars (so guilty), The Office

Favorite Movie: The Big Short

Currently Reading: I’m Glad About You and The Rise Of Theodore Roosevelt

Gallivants: We have been trying to spend most of our free time exploring Norfolk, but we did shoot up to New York a few weekends ago for John’s Grandfather’s 90th birthday party. The party, which was a family art show, was so special, and Grumps was very surprised in the most wonderful way. It was a quick 24 hour trip for us, but so worth it--there were pick up street hockey games, home videos, snuggles with some of our favorite littles, lots of catching up, and one very epic family dance party.

Sidebar: John and I took the myers-briggs personality test during the drive up to New York and talked about it for the remaining 3 hours. We are obsessed! It’s so fascinating. John is an ESTJ, and I am an ENTP. Ours are pretty much dead on, with a few slight curve balls. Have you taken it? This version takes under 12 minutes.

We also spent a night camping with our close friends outside of Williamsburg, and that was a blast. We hadn’t camped since we went with these same friends in Georgia a few years back, (I wrote this guide to glamping after that trip) so it was so fun to reconvene the tradition, especially as they are expected twins in just a few weeks! (Yea...that is one badass mama, sleeping under the stars at 33 weeks. #motherhoodgoals) We seized the opportunity to camp before the babies come and found a sweet spot right on a little lake to pitch our tents.

Campfire | The Gallivant

Meanwhile In Norfolk: The weather is lovely here right now, and it has been so fun to witness our neighborhood bloom. We have been seizing every opportunity to bike, and are quickly cementing our favorite places to grab a quick bite, drink, or morning bun. (If I am being honest, we are on a first name basis with our local baker, if that tells you anything…) Over the past few weekends we have been setting up our porch, planting pots of herbs and getting furniture organized--the last thing on our list is to hang bistro lights. Our porch spans the whole front of our condo, and we have access off both the living room and our master, which is the bomb. With more light in the evenings and warmer weather, it is quickly becoming my favorite spot in the house to sit in the evening and unwind, and we can’t wait for an opportunity to entertain out there.

Overall, our week days have been busy, but the past few weekends have felt like mini-vacations and/or staycations, for which we have been very grateful. Next month we are expecting some fun guests, as well as heading out on a few weekend getaways--yay!



P.S. This post contains affiliate links. If you click and/or make a purchase through the links I may make a commission, but all opinions are my own. :-)

P.S.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!

This New Season.

This New Season | The Gallivant

Hello my friends! Thank you so much for checking back in over here. A lot has happened in the past few months, and as often happens…life was full and time was too precious. When things start to take precedence over this little blog, my hope has always been that they are the good and important things: investing in relationships old and new, exploring the world, carving out time to say goodbyes and honor places and people that have become dear to us, focusing on our marriage, trying new things, creating a new home. All those things have been part of the past few months, and I can’t wait to update you about them! I am learning that in order to be the kind of blogger I want to be, and to cultivate the kind of blog I want The Gallivant to be (worth your time in the sense that it is honest and rich and thoughtful) I have to show myself grace in the seasons where I don’t have time to create the kind of content I aspire to. So I am not apologizing for my absence, actually, just sharing my heart with you, and my excitement at being back!

And so, the updates:

John winged!

John got his wings back in late October. The entire winging weekend was such a blast, and we were so blessed to have our families with us to celebrate this amazing milestone in John’s career. I am so incredibly proud of him. The past two years of our life have been marked with much prayer and many different milestones that have led up to this occasion, and I have been honored to be by John’s side while he has worked so hard to become a Navy pilot.  It is a an amazing thing to see your partner achieve their dreams, and we are so excited for this next step in his career.

We moved!

After winging we had a pretty quick turn around (two weeks) before we left Pensacola and moved to Norfolk, VA. We have been feeling a pull to Norfolk for the past year, (a big shift as some of you know,) and we were thrilled to find out that John was selected to fly MH-60 Sierras on the East Coast. I will write more on it later, but our transition has felt relatively easy due to the peace we feel about being in VA. And we LOVE our new neighborhood!

We bought a house!

We did, we did! A 103 year old historic condo actually…crown molding, creaky floors, clawfoot tub, chipped paint and all! We have been slowly working room by room, caulking and painting, and putting our stamp on our new home. I actually wrote an article for Homes.com with some tips on turning your house into a home you love, which you can read here if you’d like. John and I frequently look at each other, usually covered in paint, and say, “Can you believe we own this place?!” Needless to say, we feel very blessed.

Now that the dust has settled, I am so looking forward to writing in this space more. Thanks, as always, for joining me on this adventure! I am preparing posts on aspects of our transition, so feel free to comment below with any specific questions or topics that you would like to hear about. I'm excited for what is to come!



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, or you can follow me on Bloglovin so you never miss a post! Also, follow along with The Gallivant on pinterest, instagram,  and Twitter!


#TBT: What I Learned During Our First Detachment

I mentioned this months back, but at the beginning of the year (in February) John went on detachment to New Mexico for a month. It feels like ages ago now, but it was the first time that we spent any time apart due to training, and in hindsight I learned a few things that seem worthwhile to share over here for my military readers.

A shot from Flynn's and my daily morning run during Det.

A shot from Flynn's and my daily morning run during Det.

Firstly, what is detachment? Detachment, more often known as “Det,” is when a squadron relocates somewhere for training. In our case, an entire Primary training squadron leaves Pensacola and heads somewhere with better weather, typically New Mexico or Michigan, for a month to six weeks in order to take advantage of clear skies and push the pilots through the program a little faster than they would be able to in Pensacola. Pilots usually fly twice, if not three times a day, and are subsequently accelerated through training. Squadrons normally start leaving on Det when there has been a significant back up in training or if the weather has just been really bad in Florida.

Many of our friends went on Det towards the end of Primary, so it wasn’t a surprise when John got called up to go. While no one likes to wave goodbye to their husband for a month, John and I dated long distance and have spent a few months at a time apart, so I wasn’t really nervous about his absence. As my friend Haley says, you can do anything for a few weeks and in comparison to deployment Det sounded like a breeze.

Here is the gist: For us, Det wasn’t a huge deal, but it did give me some unexpected perspective. The reality is that, because of John’s career, there will be large periods of time in our marriage in which we are apart, and although one month is not comparable at all to a six to nine month deployment, I feel as though God used the time to teach me a few things in preparation for longer seasons of absence. I established a routine, got lots of exercise with Flynn, kept myself busy with girlfriends, and worked a ton. The most obvious thing that was impressed upon me, though,  was that it is ok to make the first move and ask my friends and family for support if I need it when John is gone. While John was away this time I had a family emergency that (thank God) ended up being ok, but looked pretty dicey for a few days. During that time I realized that there will be things that happen during John and my life together, whether to us or to the people we love, that are hard and scary and sad, and in those times John may not be with me, and I may be living in a place far away from my family. I am not someone who likes to ask for help (pride) but I am learning that in this lifestyle is it so important to be able to reach out to your people and say “Hey, I need some extra support right now, will you check in with me this week to ask me how I am?” Our friends want to be there for us but sometimes they don’t know how, and it is so ok to be specific. It is so much better to ask rather than end up resenting the people you love for not supporting you when they just really didn’t know how I am so thankful to the people who rallied around me for those few days, let me crumble at work, pick their nursing brains, or just shot me a text asking how things were going. It meant the world to know that even though John was miles away there were people who had my back.

Military life is challenging for sure, and it forces us to be so intentional about maintaining and establishing deep relationships across the board-- with friends, family, and spouses. Over the past few years in Pensacola, though, I have realized that those deepened relationships, both old and new, are one of this lifestyle's greatest joys, and that is a gift that I will continue cherish.

My fellow military readers--anything you have learned from time spent away from your partner? Any tips or perspective, whether for short term or long term absences? I would love to hear, feel free to comment below. 




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 or follow me on Bloglovin so you never miss a post! Also, follow along with The Gallivant on  pinterest, instagram,  and Twitter!

The Newest Richey!

Some of you have heard, but in July we said goodbye to our beloved Flynn as he headed to San Diego with his dad, our best friend Danny. (If you aren't familiar with how Flynn came to stay with us than catch up here.) If you are a dog-lover than you can imagine how, even though we knew the time would come, it was incredibly hard to let him go. We were comforted by knowing what a blast he would have in California with Danny, but his absence also made it very clear to both John and I that we didn't want to be dog-less for long. A month went by and one Saturday at the end of August I headed to the airport to pick up the newest member of our little family...

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Meet Pensy!  She is a wire-haired pointing griffon (like Flynn) and we are completely smitten. 

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We got her right as she turned two-months old, and have loved getting to know her over the past month. She is incredibly friendly, cuddly, sassy, goofy, and smart--everything we have grown to love about Griffs. She also loves to be outside, play, and adventure. Over the past month she has been to three different states, flown carry-on with us, and hiked part of the Appalachian trail. She fits right in with this gallivanting family!

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She also makes friends wherever she goes, and does not discriminate. 

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While P hasn't at all replaced Flynn (I am still missing him hugely) she is such a joy. We had been planning all along to get a second Griff this Fall, and it worked out perfectly that she came a little sooner. Expect to see her frequently around here on the blog! 

Curious about Griffs? Since having Flynn we have fallen completely in love with the breed and cannot say enough good things about them. Highlights? They are smart, friendly, athletic, incredibly people-oriented, hypo-allergenic, and wonderful with children. Not to mention so. freaking. cute.  Feel free to shoot me an email if you are thinking about getting a dog and/or would like to hear more! 



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 or follow me on Bloglovin so you never miss a post! Also, follow along with The Gallivant on  pinterest, instagram,  and Twitter!

{Gallivant} Martha's Vineyard in 72 Hours

We're back! It's been a wild few months, and I am looking forward to cultivating some much-needed margin in the next month as we get ready for our move. I've missed blogging frequently and can't wait to catch you all up! As always, thanks for checking in--I know you all have busy lives as well and it means so much that you take the time to check in with The Gallivant. 

Martha's Vineyard | The Gallivant

At the end of August I headed up north for one of my best friend's (Lindsey) weddings in Westport, MA. The weekend was lovely, and it filled my heart to watch our sweet friends become husband and wife. John made it up for the night, and we spent the evening dancing under the stars, next to the sea, with all of my family and closest friends from childhood. Pure magic. (Also, definitely stalk #joshandlusayido on instagram...gorgeous.)

John unfortunately had to head home bright and early the morning after the wedding, but I was lucky enough to get to tack on a few days of vacation. After taking a quick dip off the dock with the happy couple, my brother, Blair, and I hopped into the car and headed off to catch the afternoon ferry to Martha's Vineyard! 

Martha's Vineyard | The Gallivant
South Beach | Martha's Vineyard | The Gallivant

Growing up we spent many a week of family vacation on the Vineyard, and I also went to summer camp on the island all through high school. I worked at that camp, FOCUS, for entire summers in College, and met John during a middle-school week that we were both leading. (And the rest is history...) To say it's a special place to us is an understatement. 

The island is full of wonderful beaches, pastoral scenery, amazing restaurants, shops, and farm stands, and I wanted to be able to get a little taste of all my favorite spots over the three days I was there. If you are thinking about making a trip over to Martha's Vineyard know that there is enough to do and see to fill up weeks of time, but you can also get a good overview and be utterly enchanted by the Vineyard in just a few days. I get asked for recommendations all the time from people visiting the Island for the first time so I put together a little list of the places I would recommend to someone who only had a few days to explore.

1. Beach

Martha's Vineyard | The Gallivant

The beach is a no- brainer while on the Island. Depending on the time of year the beaches can be crowded, but there are plenty of options if you prefer a little more privacy. Some great ones open to the public are South Beach, Menemsha Public Beach, and Great Rock Bite (This one is for the adventurous but so worth it--the hidden beach is quiet and private, and if the tide is right you can swim out to the great rock and spend the afternoon jumping off.) 

If you are lucky enough to be either renting or staying with someone in West Tisbury or Chilmark then definitely head down to Lambert's Cove (West Tisbury) or Lucy Vincent Beach (Chilmark.) These private gems are only open to residents of their respective towns but are among the nicest beaches on the island. 

2. 7a Foods

7a Foods | Martha's Vineyard | The Gallivant
Martha's Vineyard | The Gallivant

I love 7a for their breakfast sandwiches and selection of local coffees. My mom and I popped in one morning and got the home-made biscuit, bacon, egg and cheese with fresh greens and it was delicious--flavorful without being super greasy. Peruse their small local grocery and dry-goods section and pick up a pie for dessert made by the Pie Chicks. (We did, and we think it may be the best pie on the Island.) Also, pop into Alley's General Store next door, and peruse their whimsical selection of art supplies, home goods, stationary, food, toys, candles, and more. 

7a Foods, 1045 State Rd., Tisbury, MA 02575

3. Menemsha Harbor + Larsens Fish Market

Menemsha | Martha's Vineyard | The Gallivant
Menemsha Harbour | Martha's Vineyard | The Gallivant
Larsen's Fish Market | Martha's Vineyard | The Gallivant
Larsen's Fish Market | Martha's Vineyard | The Gallivant
Larsen's Fish Market | Martha's Vineyard | The Gallivant

Menemsha is "up-island" from a lot of the main action but well worth the drive. The working fishing village is quintessentially New England with it's coastal cottages and fishing vessels, surrounded by lush greenery and tall coastal marsh grasses leading down to the waterfront. Come mid-day and head to Larsen's Fish Market for a lunch of the freshest lobsters, oysters, or clams. The lobster comes straight out the steamer and onto your plate, and is served simply with drawn butter--exactly as it should be. On your way out grab a few containers of smoked blue fish paté, a Villa family favorite. We love it served on crackers as an appetizer, preferably sitting outside with a cold drink. 

Larsens's Fish Market, 56 Basin Rd, Chilmark, MA 02535

4. Morning Glory Farm

Morning Glory Farm | Martha's Vineyard | The Gallivant
Morning Glory Farm | Martha's Vineyard | The Gallivant

Morning Glory is a local produce paradise, and conveniently about 10 minutes from where we stay. Everything is grown in their fields all over the island, from the freshly cut flowers and herbs, to big red red tomatoes, to berries that fill pies and pastries. When my family stays on the Vineyard we embrace shopping in the euro-fashion, picking up fresh ingredients at Morning Glory each day for that night's supper. While there I also picked up a copy of this beautiful cookbook

Morning Glory Farm, 290 W. Tisbury Rd., Edgartown, MA

5. Juliska Outlet

Juliska | Martha's Vineyard | The Gallivant

I have a major crush on Juliska's tableware (and just on tableware in general) and love perusing their store in Vineyard Haven. The best part? They have an upstairs that is chock full of seconds (pieces with slight imperfections) that are hugely discounted, and many of them are barely noticeable at all. They have many of the classic french-inspired patterns, and I especially love their serving dishes and bakeware. This time around I made a Christmas wish-list because (hopefully) by Christmas we will be moved and have a new kitchen. (Wherever that may be...more on that soon.) 

Juliska lovers--the outlet ships, so if you have a favorite pattern or piece then give them a call and they can put you on a list for when it comes in stock! 

Juliska, 23 Main St., Vineyard Haven, MA 02568. (508) 562-4010

6. The Port Hunter

The Port Hunter | Martha's Vineyard | The Gallivant
Port Hunter | Martha's Vineyard | The Gallivant

The Port Hunter is my favorite place on the island for drinks and oysters, and hipster-prep ambiance. We love the big Gulf oysters down here in Pensacola, but there is just something about the smaller and brinier cold water New England Oysters that hit the spot on a mid-summer evening, especially accompanied by one of the Port Hunter's craft cocktails. On my last night my friend Jen and I headed to Edgartown to catch up over drinks, the lavender vodka concoction for her and smoky mezcal margarita for me, both fantastic. 

The Port Hunter, 55 Main St., Edgartown, MA 

If I had had one more day I would have loved to have stopped by Chilmark Chocolates (the best chocolate ever. End of story.) and have dinner at State Road (my favorite restaurant on the Island, and definitely one of my favorite in general) but there just wasn't time. Hopefully next summer! I am so grateful for the time I had on the Island--Even though it was quick there is just something about the Vineyard that works wonders on my heart. 

Now you know my favorites, but I'm curious about yours! Have you ever been to Martha's Vineyard? What were your favorite spots?



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 or follow me on Bloglovin so you never miss a post! Also, follow along with The Gallivant on  pinterest, instagram,  and Twitter!





12 Things We Wish We Had Registered For

After being married for a year and half, John and I have gotten some perspective on which of our wedding presents we have actually ended up using day in and day out, as well as a few things that we wish we had registered for! Last week I posted about our top 12 most useful gifts, and as promised today I am sharing the 12 gifts that, in hindsight, we wish we had included in our registry.

12 Gifts We Wish We Had Registered For

1. Table Linens: We sort of spaced on table linens when it came around to registering, and didn't realize how often we would miss them. We have some lovely sets of napkins and placemats that were engagement presents, but I wish that we had registered for a neutral matching set with a table cloth for our round table that we would use year round when hosting. 

2. A Juicer: A juicer is one of those things that at the time we thought about registering for but ultimately decided we didn't really need it. I wish we had gone with out first impulse though because we have definitely talked since about wishing we had one and will probably end up buying one in the future. (#cleaneating #aspirations)

3. Throws: We ended up buying a couple of throws pretty soon after our wedding for our new apartment to help cozy up certain corners.

4. Mason Jars: While mason jars are undeniably trendy, they are also infinitely useful and we have bought a bunch since being married and used them for all sorts of things: jam, to go containers for drinks, pickles, smoothies, just to name a few.  I would totally recommend registering for a flat. 

5. Tupperware: Another thing that slipped our minds....Tupperware definitely isn't sexy, but it is a necessity for committed home cooks, and would make a great engagement gift!

6. Ice Cream Maker: People always tell you that you won't end up using appliances like an ice cream maker as often as you think you will so we left it off the list. After realizing how much we enjoy cooking and making our favorite dishes at home, though, I am sure we would be an exception to that as ice cream is our favorite, and it would be so fun to experiment w homemade flavors. My mom kept telling us, "Now is the time!" when we were registering and she was so right...if you want it, register for it! 

7. Vacuum: Again, not sexy--but so necessary! We inherited a vacuum from family, which we are so grateful for, but it may not last us through our move. My friend Abbey once told me that her parents still use the vacuum they got as a wedding present 20-something years later, and now we completely see the wisdom in registering for one.

8. Duvet : This is another one of the items that we felt like we didn't really need, as we already had my duvet from college. John sleeps hot, though, and can't stand how warm the insert is. If we could do it again we would register for a summer weight insert and new cover. As long as you don't make a habit of eating in bed (Occasional bed picnics are totally fine, encouraged even) than a beautiful duvet will see the least wear of your bedding, last for years, and be a pretty addition to any bedroom. 

9. Power Tools: Just. So. Practical. Especially for those of us who are all about low-cost diy updates to our home, and husbands who love to help!

10. Waffle Maker: This one is purely for me, as John isn't a huge waffle guy. (But I swear, if we had a waffle maker I could convert him in 5 second flat!)

11. Guest Towels: Since we have been living in an apartment for the past year, and have a lot of moves in our future, we have been making a concerted effort to not accumulate too much stuff. One thing we have learned, though, is that you can never have too many towels! We bought a bunch of guest towels after living in Pensacola for a bit and having frequent visitors, and we would definitely suggest registering for extra towels. 

12. Seasonal Decor: My friend Haley says the seasonal decor that she and her husband received as wedding gifts were some of her favorite gifts, and after celebrating both Thanksgiving and Christmas (and decking our halls for both)  in Pensacola I can totally see why. It is so fun to curate a collection of seasonal decor that you know you will use for years to come, but it adds up quickly! Why not let your friends and family help you start a collection early on?

What about you? Do you have any favorite wedding gifts?  Is there anything that you wish someone had told you to register for? Comment below!

Have a great weekend lovelies!



P.S. Our Wedding

P.S.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!

Our Top 12 Most Useful Wedding Gifts

 Fridge covered in adorable save the dates, calendar quickly filling up, and many joy-filled and long awaited reunions in the near future...is this sounding familiar? It's wedding season!!  As invites come in I love looking at everybody's registries and getting a glimpse of each couple's style and an idea of what their future home together will look and feel like--it feels like a sneak peak! Registry perusing has also made me reflect  on our own registry and which things have  proven to be our most useful wedding gifts. We were beyond blessed by the generosity of our wedding gifts, and are so grateful for  each and every one of them, but it is definitely  interesting, (and in some cases surprising!) to see which we have ended up utilizing most in our day to day life a year and half later! Read on for the low-down.

Top 12 Most Useful Wedding Gifts:

1. Cast iron skillet: I was a little wary of the seasoning process that comes along with cast iron, but after a little bit of research I realized it is cinch. We use our cast iron all the time, for everything from sauteeing to baking. We even brought it camping last year!

2. Kitchen-aid mixer: This was a gift from my bridesmaids and a staple in our kitchen. Although it does take up space on our galley-sized counters, it sees enough use that we haven't been able to justify putting it away. 

3. Tea kettle: I am in love with anything Le Creuset as their pieces are as beautiful as they are long-lasting and functional. We use our kettle every day, usually multiple times, to fill our french press or make cups of herbal tea. 

4. Dining Room Table: While our table wasn't on our registry, it is one of our most beloved gifts. My dad and I found it at an antique store in Pensacola, and my parents gave it to us as our wedding gift. We had no idea at the time though that the table and accompanying chairs are almost exactly the same as the set that John's mom and dad had in their first apartment in New York, which John's mom shared with us during her toast at our rehearsal dinner. Tip: Round tables are perfect for smaller homes where space is at a premium, and they remain versatile in bigger spaces where they can serve as breakfast tables in a kitchen or even a foyer table. 

5. Nespresso Machine: Oh, how we love our Nespresso. We can't say enough good things about the quality of the brand and their pods--we even did a side by side taste test with shots of Nespresso espresso and espresso from a traditional machine and the Nespresso easily held it's own. While it certainly is a luxury appliance, it is such a treat to be able to whip up our own cappuccinos or iced lattes, and we have almost entirely cut out our Starbuck's habit, which has been great on our wallet!

6. Pots and Pans: If you have been following along with The Gallivant for a while then you may have picked up on the fact that we are big foodies and love to cook, especially moi. When compiling our registry we were encouraged by  older and wiser foodie friends to register for top of the line cookware (despite the price-tag) because ultimately it would produce better food, wear better, and last longer. Like decades longer. We went for a mix of All-Clad D5 and copper-core pots and pans, and we opted out of a set so that we could customize a bit. 

7. Lamps: Lighting isn't necessarily the first thing you think of with a registry, but we were gifted some beautiful lamps that we adore. The chinoiserie-style set in our bedroom on either side of our bed completely make the room, and we have a couple of others that really elevate our living space. Turns out, lamps are an easy way to make a space look chic, even if it is still in its stage of "first-home style/decor schizophrenia." 

8. Couch: This is another gift that wasn't actually on our registry, but which makes our home/entertaining/reading/netflix-binging life so much more comfortable. John's mom gave us a beautiful couch when we got married and we just love it. Although we didn't register for ours, I have seen large furniture items on registries before and think it is a great opportunity for family or friends (and maybe even the wedding party) to band together and pitch in on a bigger gift. 

9. Dutch Oven: Another Le Creuset fave. From chili to coc-au-vin to bread-- this classic staple is endlessly versatile. 

10. Breville Smart Oven: John was obsessed with registering for a good toaster oven and I just didn't get it until we started using this puppy. Not only does it toast beautifully, but it is an actual little oven so we have done everything from cook chicken to make cookies in there! It is a life-saver during meals that are composed of multiple dishes that require the oven, and the clean up is way easier. Win win!

11. Cookbooks: This one doesn't need much explanation but needless to say, cookbooks make great engagement/wedding gifts, and we use ours all the time. 

12. Extra Sheets: We registered for both extra sheets for our bed, and for our guest room twin beds. Having extra twin sheets is particularly useful because we have often had guests back to back while living in Pensacola, and being able to just throw on a clean set and not have to wait for the set in the washer/dryer is a god-send. 

A quick note on our registering process: While compiling our registry I had a lot of reservations. I didn't want to register for too much, I wanted to be considerate of my guests (ie. lots of different price points) and I had a hard time registering for things that we didn't really need, but would love in our new home. My mom kept repeating to me, "Now is the time." over and over again, and she was completely right.  If you are anything like me, it helps to remind yourself that giving newlyweds gifts to help them start their life together and furnish their home is a  time-honored tradition, and the people who make up your village will enjoy doing it. It is an opportunity for them to give you something that you love or really need, and as is the case with many bigger gifts, something you may not be in a position to afford for some time.  Plus, everyone will love to see how you use their gift in your new home when they visit!

Anyone else have any wedding gifts that they couldn't live without? I am so curious to hear--obviously many of ours are food-centric because that is a big part of our lifestyle, but I would love to hear which gifts you love and still use in your daily life. Comment below, and stay tuned for a post about a few things that in hindsight  we wish we had registered for! 

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!



P.S. Our Wedding.

P.S.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!

{Pensacola Eats + Drinks} George Artisan Bakery & Bistro

George Artisan Bakery & Bistro | George Artisan | Pensacola | The Gallivant

This just in, lovely people--I have a new favorite nosh spot in town, and I know you are going to love it. George Artisan Bakery & Bistro, from it's exposed brick and marble surfaces (I have yet to see that combo go wrong...) to its artisan bread and pastries, coffee, and "South meets South" themed fare is guaranteed to steal your heart the way it has mine. Keep reading if you would like to hear more...

George Artisan Bakery & Bistro | George Artisan | Pensacola | The Gallivant

For the past few summers the way to my heart has been pretty simple--a chilled glass of crisp rosé.  (I know, I know, #yeswayrosé) When I walked into George Artisan Bakery & Bistro a few weeks ago to do some research for an article I was writing, Luba Lazi, hostess extraordinaire and wife to Chef George himself, read my mind. After introducing herself in her slight Russian accent she headed behind the bar while exclaiming “Let’s start with rosé!” 

Don’t have to ask me twice.

Rosé Flight | George Artisan | Pensacola | The Gallivant

As I sat down at the lovely marble counter Luba, who curates the wine list at George, explained to me her summer special. a flight of three different rosés. I took sips of each one, all remarkably different, but, to my surprise, loved the fuller-bodied yet still nice and dry Mas Carlot Rosé the best. 

Rosé Flight | George Artisan | Pensacola | The Gallivant

After the flight Luba poured me one of her favorite concoctions, aptly named the “Luba’s Favorite”—champagne poured over fresh strawberries and ice and served with an iced tea spoon. “To eat the champagne soaked strawberries with at then end.” She explained, smiling.

The simply but elegant cocktail is popular in the South of France, a place which hugely inspired Chef George when creating the Provençal-style menu for George Artisan. In his own words, his style is all about “highlighting the freshest ingredients, not hiding them.”

Luba's Favorite | George Artisan | Pensacola | The Gallivant

Luba and George, who both worked in New York City before moving to Pensacola,  exude passion for what they do and their attention to detail is exceptional. Everything about George Artisan is hand-crafted—from the food to the space, and their “South meets South” theme is foodie genius. It’s all about the experience, and they take good service seriously.

“I consider it an honor anytime anyone walks into our restaurant.” Chef George humbly remarked. 

Luba's Favorite | George Artisan | Pensacola | The Gallivant

Luba insisted that I try the Buttermilk Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta, which proved to be divine. Not something I would normally think to order for myself (total choca-holic), the panna cotta is flavored with real vanilla bean, as evidenced by the slight grittiness of the flecks of vanilla. The custard is bathed in fresh grapefruit juice, which keeps it from being cloyingly sweet. I took a bite, and another, and then before I knew it I had cleaned the dish…that good. The perfect little “something sweet” to cleanse the palate. 

Panna Cotta| George Artisan | Pensacola | The Gallivant

After drinks (and dessert--woops) Chef George came out with a slew of his favorite summer dishes in tow, including homemade burrata, tuna niçoise, seafood salad, and beef carpaccio.

The burrata immediately captured my attention, with it’s thicker, pillowy outer layer, which enveloped a delightfully creamy and soft oozy center. Such a step above the typical mozzarella capresé. 

“Burrata is one of those things like iberico ham and foie-gras—a real specialty ingredient.” Chef George mentioned, after explaining how they make the burrata in-house. 

The dish, completed by a medley of heirloom tomatoes and greens, drizzled olive oil, aged balsamic and cracked pepper on top would make for a fantastic light summer lunch.  In fact, I felt like I had been transported to the Cinque Terre after my first bite. One can dream...

Burratta | George Artisan | Pensacola | The Gallivant

The beef carpaccio, a perpetual favorite of mine, was also delicious—topped with shavings of parmesan, tomatoes, peppery arugula, flakes of sea salt, and a drizzle of rich olive oil. 

Beef Carpaccio | George Artisan | Pensacola | The Gallivant
George Artisan Bakery & Bistro | George Artisan | Pensacola | The Gallivant

How cool is that wine display?!

George Artisan Bakery & Bistro | George Artisan | Pensacola | The Gallivant
George Artisan Bakery & Bistro | George Artisan | Pensacola | The Gallivant

Needless to say, I was one happy girl. As we finished chatting and nibbling Luba remarked, “Pensacola is interesting. There are a lot of people who are well educated and well traveled, who know good food. We have just given them a place to satisfy that.”

…This little foodie could not agree more. Next time you are downtown Pensacola make sure to stop by George Artisan Bakery & Bistro, whether for an expresso and almond croissant (which just made the #1 spot in InWeekly’s 100 Things to Eat + Drink This Summer issue), brunch, or a delicious lunch. It’s a great place for a day date, or to take friends from out of town whom you want to impress with all that Pensacola has to offer. Also, if you hustle over early in the morning on the weekends you just may be able to snag a freshly made baguette for dinner that night. Everyone set their alarms for tomorrow morning! 

George Artisan Bakery & Bistro, 1123 W. Garden St, Pensacola, FL (850) 912 4655

What is everyone up to this weekend? Hope it is a great one!



P.S. All opinions are, as usual, my own. 

P.S.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} 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
nola 14b.jpg

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!



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!


A Flight School Update + Thoughts on "The Next Thing"

Happy Friday people! The past few weeks were busy, and I have wanted to spent as much time as possible with John when we are both off because it has seemed like we have been on opposite schedules a bit, hence the lack of blogging. I am getting back in a groove though, and am so excited to share some recent adventures! First off, though, in accordance with one of my blogging goals for 2015, a general update and some thoughts about where we are in the flight school pipeline.

The past few months have flown by, and a couple of exciting things have happened in terms of our flight school journey: John finished Primary, selected Helicopters, started Advanced training for Helos, and promoted to LTJG! Luckily, Advanced for Helos is in Pensacola (Milton actually) so we didn’t have to move. We were so excited to get Helicopters because John has been pretty sure that is what he wanted to fly since day one of flight school.

While it seemed like API and Primary dragged on a bit a times due to cancelations,  since John started Advanced he has been flying through (see what I did there?) and we have started talking about potential winging dates. Crazy, right? We have been in Pensacola for almost a year and a half, and even though we have about four to five more months here it is starting to feel like our Pensy time is winding down. We have grown to love Pensacola so much and will miss it hugely, but with winging comes moving, (we won’t know where until John wings,) and recently it’s been hard not to obsess a little over what is next.

There are so many unknowns in the military, and flight school is just a little microcosm of that: Where will one go through API? What aircraft will one select? Where will one be stationed after they wing? There is a tendency to constantly be looking ahead, to the "next thing.” Before I go any further I want to say...it is ok to talk about the possibilities of what is next, and we often do, but the point is that it is tempting to talk about it all the time, and we have to balance that with the healthy perspective that we simply aren't there yet and our life doesn't begin then--it is happening now, right now, this very second, here.

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I have been trying, and at times wrestling, to be present through this. I have been frequently reminded of my last semester of college, when I was simultaneously preparing to graduate, nannying, planning a wedding, and wrapping up my time leading Younglife. I had never been so busy in my life, and it was a temptation to put my head down, chug through school, and just focus on the future:  our wedding and moving to Pensacola. Early on in the semester, though, I realized that God was doing so much in those last few months of school—in my friendships, my ministry, and even my relationship with John, and I needed to be present in order to experience that. In the midst of so much transition and a grueling schedule, I needed to seek Jesus in the morning and claim Him as my peace. I had to take in one day at a time. The future would work itself out, and if I had spent all of my time worrying and dwelling on it I would have missed the joy and growth and deepened friendships that were such a sweet part of that season.

I am feeling similarly now, in another season of huge growth. It is easy to make “the next thing” the topic of every conversation, with both our Navy and civilian friends and loved ones. It is so tempting for John and I to spend all of our (sometimes hard-won) time together weighing the pros and cons of each possible location and the available aircraft. (More on that in a later post, but in a nutshell: we have five different options for locations and three different possible types of helicopter.) Too often we find ourselves talking about moving dates, and possible job options. I even catch myself asking friends in the Navy community what their thoughts are, whether students pilots or significant others, because sometimes it seems like the easiest way to start conversation.

None of these things are inspiring presentness.

The problem is that when we aren't present we miss it, we miss what is here, we miss time and the infinite things that could happen in that time. We miss people. We miss learning about our friends. In the hours we spend talking with them about “the next thing” we miss learning how our friends are now, what they have been up to, what is inspiring them, what they are learning, what keeps them up at night. I don’t want to miss that, and I don’t want the remainder of our time here to morph into a waiting game, because that doesn’t feel like it will honor the time we have spent in Pensacola and the way we have grown here, both individually and as a couple. I don’t want to miss what the Lord is doing in this place. I want to finish well here, and as gracefully as possible.

The truth is, though, sometimes the future is the thing that is keeping us up at night. I know I am not alone in that. And yet again, it seems as though so often my life is an exercise in giving up control, in recognizing that I am not actually the “captain of my ship,” but that the One who is in control, who does steer our fate, is immeasurably better at it than I am. Our job is to pray and wait, to be patient and present, focusing on what is right in front of us. “The next thing” will come, that is certain. And I do believe it will be good.

Obviously, I will post updates here as we get closer to the Fall and John’s winging date. I am also looking forward to sharing a little bit about what the second half of flight school has been like, as well as our favorite places and things to do in Pensacola. Also, we have a jam-packed summer ahead, full of exciting travels, weddings, and time spent exploring more of the Gulf before we head to our next destination, so stay tuned! 

Hope that everyone has a lovely weekend! If you would like to see what we are up to than follow along on instagram @evr_thegallivant ! As always, thank you so much for reading. 



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What Are You Getting Your Mom For Mother's Day? | Mother's Day Inspiration

Happy Monday! Mother's Day is just a week away, (next Sunday!) and I am sure that I am not the only one narrowing down my gift options today...I don't know about your mom, but both my mom and my mother-in-law can be hard to shop for because they have pretty much everything they need, and we all know that some gifts, no matter how thoughtful, can quickly turn into clutter. That being said, I love, love, love giving presents, so I came up with a little list of thoughtful (I hope) ideas for anyone who is still stumped about how to show their appreciation for their mamas!


1. A lovely vase---filled with beautiful fresh flowers, of course. 

2. Pretty, yet functional, gardening tools.

3. A stand-alone  milk frother for making easy lattés.

4. A candle that doubles as a sculptural objét for a coffee table.

5. Favorite new cookbook!

6. A recipe box for her most often requested recipes. 

7. A new whistling tea kettle (because so much of your childhood was spent around the kitchen island sipping tea and chatting with your mom and her best friends, who also serve as your "other mothers" and deserve a shout-out on Mother's day too)

8. Non-negotiable: A beautiful card

I just want to say--John and I have both been blessed with heroic moms, and they deserve to hear that every day, not just on Mother's Day. We love you guys! 

Also, The Gallivant is now on FB! I cannot tell you how much I appreciate all of you who have been reading this blog--it means the world. If you don't mind, would you consider liking and then sharing The Gallivant page on Facebook?  Facebook is an exciting new way for The Gallivant to grow, and I would love for you to be a part of it. 



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!

{Pensacola Do} Strawberry Picking At Blue Basket Farms.

Strawberry Picking in Pensacola, Florida

April is strawberry season in the Panhandle, and a few weeks ago my friend Jackie and I headed out to Blue Basket Farms to check out their new strawberry field. It was a beautiful day, and row after row of strawberry plants were full of plump fruit ready to be picked. We grabbed our buckets and headed out to pick and chat, as well as sample the sweet red strawberries right off the stem (and by sample you know I mean eat our weight...)

Strawberry Picking in Pensacola, Florida | The Gallivant
Strawberry Picking in Pensacola, Florida | The Gallivant

The berries were still warm from the sun and full of amazing bright flavor that put store-bought strawberries to shame. Juicy and sweet, they reminded me of high-summer at home and stopping at the local farm stand on the way back from the beach for an afternoon treat.

Strawberry Picking in Pensacola, Florida | The Gallivant
Strawberry Picking in Pensacola, Florida | The Gallivant

We visited Blue Basket Farms last year to pick blueberries and had a blast. You can read the post here.  I love that there is such a fantastic U-pick option so close to us in Pensacola, and I can't wait to come back and pick the ripe blueberries in the next few weeks! Not only is berry-picking a great way to get outside, it is also a wonderful (and cost-effective) way to support local farms and growers, and eat local.

Strawberry Picking in Pensacola, Florida | The Gallivant
Strawberry Picking in Pensacola, Florida | The Gallivant
Strawberry Picking in Pensacola, Florida | The Gallivant
Strawberry Picking in Pensacola, Florida | The Gallivant
Strawberry Picking in Pensacola, Florida | The Gallivant

For those of you in the area, the strawberry season is pretty much over but the blueberries are just beginning to ripen! Follow Blue Basket Farms on Facebook to get updates on their hours and when the blueberries are ready--trust me, you won't want to miss them! For those of you who aren't in the Pensacola area, you can check out this website to see where your nearest U-pick options are, as well as what is currently in season.

Blue Basket Farms, 8655 Highway 89, Milton, Florida, 32570 (850) 623 0652

What about you? What yummy fruits and veggies are you looking forward to this Summer?

As always, thank you so much for reading.



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{Pensacola Eats + Drinks} Constant Coffee & Tea

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My friend Kiley, a Pensacola native herself, is always up to date on hip new places in the area. She had mentioned Constant Coffee and Tea a few times, so recently, when we were trying to figure out a place to meet up, we headed East so I could finally check out what she had been raving about.  After the best cappuccino I have had in Pensacola so far, (it's all about the ratio, as you will learn below) and an entire morning spent catching up, laughing, and just generally sharing a brain, I knew I had to mention Constant here.

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Located off Scenic Hwy in East Pensacola Heights, Constant's space is lovely and airy inside, with gorgeous high ceilings and big windows. There is plenty of seating, perfect for an afternoon spent working on a laptop or catching up with a friend. The outdoor patio is great too, especially during those few, but precious, just-warm-enough Spring days we experience down here before Summer descends in full swing.

Phil, the man behind this sweet Coffee house, was kind enough to answer a few questions.

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What was the inspiration behind Constant Coffee & Tea, and what sets it apart?

I've been in the specialty coffee industry for about 15 years now. Every position from dishwasher to FOH manager. In this world if your not growing your dying. Stagnation is the worst thing in the world, and that is the inspiration behind Constant. I didn't feel that any shop in the area was actively growing. There was no Innovation and no opportunity to create innovative programs. So, I started my own shop. I recruited my brother Jason and we went to work. We started with the classics. Traditional cappuccinos, great lattes, awesome pour over coffees, and classic teas. After that came pharmacy sodas, house made syrups, house made milk alternatives, unique specialty coffee drinks, and a wonderful food service. Next up is house made sausage, cheese, cola, and on and on. I think what really sets us apart is that we are willing to do the research and spend the time to get things right. We only offer a 6 ounce cappuccino because anything larger throws the ratios off and ruins the drink. We went out and found phosphate because that's what pharmacists used to sour the original sodas. We tracked down pharmacy manuals from the early 1900's because we wanted lactarts, mazes, and shrubs.  In the end, this shop is for us. We just want to have fun. We just want to share our passion.

Where is your coffee and tea from?

Our coffee is from Counter Culture Coffee. Out of all the specialty coffee roasters in the U.S. they are hands down the best. They are the bright shining star in the coffee world right now. Our tea comes from Rishi Tea. No one even comes close to Rishi's quality and service.

What trends are you excited about in the coffee world?

I'm most excited about cold coffee right now. From nitrogen cold brew to espresso tonics. Cold brew and espresso as ingredients is going to be fun. We've already started experimenting.

East Pensacola Heights is becoming such a fun neighborhood--what do you love most about being there?

I love everything about EPH. The businesses are amazing. The view from scenic is beautiful every day of the year. The people are perfect. I think I love the people the most. They have fully embraced the neighborhoods growth. While downtown is starting to cater more to parties and tourists, EPH is going to be for locals.

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Thanks for sharing Phil! Your passion is evident, and we can't wait to come back!

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Constant Coffee & Tea, 615 Scenic Hwy, Pensacola, FL (850) 432 3991

Where is your favorite place to grab a quick cup of java? Are you a coffee or tea person? I would love to hear! I am both...more tea than coffee these days, but it switches weekly!



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Spring Wardrobe Essentials

The change in seasons always convicts me to re-organize my closet, get rid of/donate things I don't want or need anymore, and make room for a few fresh new pieces. Any one else with me? Here are a few staples of a fresh Spring wardrobe...

(Email subscribers: If the image does not show up above in your email than click the title of the post to be taken to the Gallivant website.)

1. A simple but striking gold bangle to go with everything.

2. Subtle yet classic baby pink nails.

3. Sparkly ear baubles.

4. A straw hat to wear by the pool or at the farmers market to ward off wrinkles.

5. Sunnies are a necessity down here on the Gulf, and I love this pair.

6. Once Easter rolls around (ok, maybe a few weeks before this year) I live in white jeans. So easy to wear during the day to work, and then transition for a night out by throwing on espadrilles and cute top. These AGs are the best not-too-skinny, yet still form-fitting, cut.

7. Bracelets are such an easy way to accessorize, and I love how this pink one adds a little bit of glamour.

8. Jack Rogers--the world's easiest shoe. The cork wedge version looks endlessly versatile.

9. An easy-breezy top to pair with the above white jeans, wedges, bangle, and earrings. The perfect Spring outfit!

Not pictured: A nude clutch and classic trench coat.

Like what you see and ready to do some Spring shopping of your own? Go ahead and click on each picture above to be taken directly to the site!

Come on Spring....you can do it!



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} Bantam Cider | Boston, Massachusetts


While John and I were in Massachusetts in January we headed into Somerville, (along with my brother and cousins) to check out my cousin Antonia's art, which is on display at Bantam Cider's taproom. We spent the afternoon tasting cider and admiring Antonia's work as well as the gorgeous space that it hangs in.

My brilliant Antonia next to one of her pieces.

My brilliant Antonia next to one of her pieces.

Antonia, who was a double math and art major in college, has been working on a series based on fractals. She begins with "carefully calculated mathematical processes that evolve into something chaotic and unpredictable. The images portray a physical representation of abstract mathematical concepts, including chaos theory and the fractal sets." (Read more on her website here.) Her work is different than anything I have ever seen, and so striking. I am so not a math person, so to be able to bridge my world (arts, literature, creativeness, etc) with the math world totally blows my mind and fascinates me. Her paintings completely elevate the (already lovely) Bantam space, and also serve as a unique conversation point for people who are tasting.


Given our passion for all things locally owned and sourced, we loved checking out Bantam and everything we tasted was delicious. My favorites were the "Wild One," made with wild yeast which lends it a sour taste with tons of funk, and the ginger beer, which was super spicy without being too sweet.  I followed up with Suzi, a former pastry-chef who is now a member of the Bantam team, to learn a little bit more about Bantam and cider in general. 

Where did the name "Bantam" come from?

The name Bantam means "small and mighty" and ultimately this embodies a couple of things about our company. First, we think it speaks to our home market of Boston - a small city that has the heart of a place five times the size. Also, we're a woman-owned and managed business navigating a heavily male dominated industry with big money brands. We take pride in the fact that we're forging full steam ahead.

Where do your apples come from?

We source our apples from orchards across Massachusetts. Beginning around Harvard and Stow and extending into Western Mass in towns like Colerain and Hawley.


What are your favorite cider/food pairings?

Wunderkind: ideal with oysters or any type of shellfish, cheese: double creams or a hearty cheddar:   Moses Sleeper from The Cellars at Jasper Hill VT

Rojo: duck, pork or other white meats, dark chocolate and berries, cheese: Kunik from Nettle Meadow Farm is delicious

Smoked Saison: any sort of barbeque or dark red meats/steaks, cheese: Reserve Gouda from Uniekass Holland


What is your favorite variety/flavor of Bantam?

It is hard to choose among all of the ciders because they are all good at different times and settings but the one not to miss out on would be the recently launched Smoked Saison.  The smoked-roasted apples blended with the Saison yeast has the perfect balance of smokiness and juicy apple character.  It is limited edition and available in stores for the next month or so.

Ciders really seem to be having a moment right now--what should drinkers be tasting for  in a good cider?

That's a tough question, because what it really gets down to is whether a person connects with a particular product or not. Some of our ciders are incredibly crisp and clean (Wunderkind) while others are deliberately not, and in fact are funky and sour (our Wild fermented varieties). Though for us, what we think speaks to a good cider is the balance and nuance of flavors. It's something that is difficult to describe, but you know it when you taste it.


Where are you distributed?

Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut - and soon to be Rhode Island and New York. To locate a bottle shop, customers can access a list of retail locations on our website.

Do you host events in your space?

Yes. Outside of our standard taproom hours (Thurs/Friday 4-7pm, Saturday 1-7pm) we allow for private events. We've hosted corporate and civic events as well as birthday parties, anniversaries, engagement parties, etc.


Thank you so much Suzi for chatting with us! We had such a fun afternoon and can't wait to stop by next time we are in town to see what is on tap. 

Bantam Cider Company, 40 Merriam St, Somerville, MA 02143, (617) 299 8600



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Anatomy Of An Easter Basket (For Grown-ups!)

Spring has sprung and Easter is only a few days away! I love most gifting traditions, (stockings, birthdays, etc--it's my love language...sue me.) and Easter baskets are no exception. While kid's Easter baskets are pretty easy, sometimes the Easter Bunny has a little bit of a harder time putting together baskets for his grown-up friends...Am I right? Just in case you are in a similar boat, I pulled together a little list of inspiration...

1. Weck Jars: These little jars are so cute, and infinitely useful. How cute would they be filled with an assortment of jelly beans, cadbury eggs, and chocolate? Re-purpose them after Easter by using them to hold chocolate sauce, jams, or even crafting supplies.

2. A Sweet and Spring-y garland to hang over your mantle.

3. A yummy candle.

4. A new journal.

5. Nail polish in a fresh hue.

6. A new bathing suit for him! My husband goes through a suit about once a season, so it's nice to restock just as the weather is starting to warm up again.

7. Another gift for him-A classic leather belt.

8. Egg cups in all sorts of bright color options. We love a soft boiled egg every once in a while...

9. An adorable Peter Rabbit tea towel to spruce up the kitchen.

Feeling inspired? Go ahead and click on each picture above to be taken directly to the site!

Does the Easter Bunny visit your house? What are your favorite Easter traditions? Leave your answers in the comments below--I would love to hear!

Happy Wednesday!



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!