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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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