A Quick Night in Providence, RI


As mentioned in Friday’s Happy Weekend post, we were celebrating Christa’s boyfriend Curtis’s 30th birthday with a big surprise on Friday night! That surprise was getting 8 other good friends together for a night at The Dean Hotel in Providence, RI. We dined at the Providence Flatbread (we’re making the rounds to get to as many New England Flatbread’s as possible), hung out in our penthouse suite (we rented the whole top floor, which had 4 connected rooms with 2 living rooms!) and spend the remainder of the evening down in the karaoke bar before venturing out for 1am french fries 🙂 It was perfect! Check out some pictures from our brief trip to Providence…


// The Dean Hotel

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{photo 6 provided by Lauren Kodiak, photos 8 & 9 by Brittany Gauthier}


// Flatbread Providence

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^ The birthday boy himself 🙂


// North Bakery

This is one of our friend Lauren’s favorite spots in Providence. We got breakfast sammies and so many treats between us all – including the miso & brown butter cookie, the meringue with dark chocolate chips, a cinnamon roll and a regular chocolate chip cookie.

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We had a lovely lovely time and can’t wait to visit again. It was a super easy trip for Reg coming in from Boston on the commuter line, and it’s a quick 1.5 hours from Hartford. We also noticed that Providence is a foodie town and we plan on coming back soon to eat our way through 🙂

Have you been to Providence? What is your favorite place to go when you visit?


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Travel Diary // Portland, Maine

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Oh Maine, you’re so good to our bellies and souls. Such a pretty little city with such amazing food and sites. My group of close gal-pals in Boston have some big changes coming up (with one of them moving back to England next month, nooo!), so we decided to take a mini girl’s weekend vaca to have something memorable in the books.


We drove in Saturday morning and arrived just in time to grab an AMAZING lunch at Even Tide Oyster Co. Have you guys ever had a Bubbly Mary? Being that it’s prosecco and Bloody Mary mix, it sounds a little funky, but as their menu described, don’t knock it till you try it, because it was a killer pairing with my insanely delicious lobster roll. The lobster roll was less traditional than I’m used to, in that it came on an Asian-style bun, but ended up being one of the best I’ve ever had (which is quite a few!).


We then putzed around town just to see the sites and bop into the local shops. This peacock chair was HUUUUGE and I wanted it.

The above photo was taken in a store dedicated to Scandinavian design and food, which was total eye candy.

^ Just a straight up silverware collection, but I thought it was pretty 🙂



After lots of walking, we swung into Central Provisions to grab a pre-dinner bottle of wine and some snacks. We ended up sitting at the bar right as the early-dinner crowd came in and it was glorious. All of the food looked so beautiful, with a lot of care and detail that goes into it. We split a small flatbread, but wish we had more! We felt silly knowing that we had our full dinner coming up elsewhere in just a few hours!


We grabbed a more casual dinner at David’s where I got the shrimp and scallop screwers. Perfectly charred with a delicious tomato puree underneath. It hit the spot for sure.


The next morning I woke up super early (because we had PASSED OUT from being tired from all of the walking the day before) and I took a walk around town and grabbed some coffee at Bard Coffee with my roommate. Really high quality coffee, nice and nutty with a bold kick.

Above: an AMAZING chai donut from the Holy Donut


Lastly before heading home we checked out the beautiful Portland Head Light. The weather was perfect for it, and we had a really fun time doing the cliff walk and exploring the nearby fort ruins in the area.

Have you guys been to Portland? Any other recommendations for the next time we stop by? xo


 

Travel Diary // Palm Springs & Joshua Tree, CA

So I shared my fantastic experience about Designer Vaca last week, but there was more to my trip than just lounging around in the pool and making amazing design friends – Curtis met me out in California for some time in the desert!

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Our 1st stop was the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, and woah was it cool! My mom had suggested we check it out, and when I started googling pictures I knew it was a must-see. The tramway starts at the bottom of Mount San Jacinto and climbs to almost 11,000 feet! It literally went from 100 degrees to about 60. And the views were breath taking (as you saw above.)  The gondola slowly spins so you get all of the views on your way up and down. Definitely worth the $25 to ride up!

Our next stop was into Joshua Tree. We got an awesome Airbnb and explored both the town of Joshua Tree and the National Park. It was a whopping $20 for a 6 day pass into the park, which we took full advantage of – stopping in for a couple hours here and there, and returning for a sunset, a sunrise and a late night star gazing.


 

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We called these the Dr. Seuss trees – so crazy looking!


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Big Horned Sheep and a *tiny* big of water at Barker Dam, our favorite spot in the park. We hiked in 3 times!


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Skull Rock!


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Our 1st stop to Keys View – the far mountain in the distance is Mount San Jacinto – the mountain the tram is on. To the left you can see down into Palm Springs, the Coachella Valley and onto the Saltan Sea and Mexico on a clear day.


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Cap Rock


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Sunset at Keys View


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We got up at 5 to watch the sunrise on the last day. We found a large rock formation and hiked up around dawn (carefully – I was nervous of snakes & mountain lions!!) so that we had a higher vantage point to see the beautiful pink clouds.


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On our way out of the park we saw a coyote that wasn’t going to be distracted by us as he tried to get a critter out of it’s home! (*yes we were in the car!)

Heading back into LA to head home, we stopped at the Cabazon Dinosaurs!


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Being in the desert was such a unique experience and we loved exploring a part of the country SO different from our own! The little town was great – we seriously had one of the best breakfasts of our lives at the Crossroads Cafe (the Zydeco breakfast), and we had one of the most interesting pizzas we’ve had in awhile – the David Bowie, which was a white pizza with jalapeños, pineapple, caramelized onion, bacon & a fig drizzle. YUM!

We’re already talking about going back, but this time camping in the park! Can’t wait 🙂


 

 

Travel Diary // Vermont, Year 2

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Around this same time last year, Curtis and I went to visit my aunt and cousin in Vermont, and fell in love with it! We had our next visit planned for this year (2 weekends ago) and unfortunately due to some annoying car issues, Curtis couldn’t come. I did however go with my mom and grandparents which was equally as lovely. Once again we stayed at my aunt’s in-laws vacation house in town that was just perfect for us – a kitchen, a place to hang, and a gorgeous view! (Seriously though, isn’t that view great?!)

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We explored Middlebury for a bit, took lots of walks, and relaxed a bunch – aka perfect fall weekend!

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We also got a tour of my aunt’s garden (both vegetables and flowers), and it was gorgeous!

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And lastly we popped over to the Woodchuck Cider House again, and had an awesome time with the self guided tour and samplings. YUM!

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How’s your fall going? We’re always looking for cute New England day trips – what is your favorite spot to travel to this time of year?

Our Fave Southern New England Beaches

It’s heatin’ up this week and we’re dreaming of warm sand and partly sunny skies. While we’re sitting in air conditioning with wanderlust, we’ve compiled some of our favorite New England ocean getaways for you all in the area!

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Watch Hill Beach | Westerly, RI

Watch Hill was probably not on your radar until Tay Tay came around and bought a house there, and to be honest, it’s kind of messed things up for the normal Watch Hill goer. Christa spent her childhood going to Watch Hill – popping into the shops, getting peppermint ice cream at the St. Clair Annex Ice Cream Fountain, and riding the super old carousel. It has real waves, and the soft sandy beaches are perfection. While the parking costs have gone up (and you need to be there before, like, 9am), we still recommend giving Watch Hill a try. We’re thinkin’ maybe early September after the kids are back in school and the summer crowds have died down.

Distance:
From Boston: about an hour and a half, from Hartford: a little over an hour and 15 mins


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Old Lyme Beach | Old Lyme, CT

A few weekends from now we will be beachin it with our old friends from high school in Old Lyme (check our last year’s pictures). While it doesn’t have those RI waves we were talking about in Watch Hill, it has exactly what you need out of a beach – water, sun and sand. We don’t venture too far from the beach itself, but we’ve heard it has a couple rowdy beach bars and if you’re looking for some fresh produce on the way home, we love this little farm stand off the main road that has amazing pies and local berries!

Distance:
From Boston: about 2 hours, from Hartford: a little over 45 mins


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Hammonasset State Park | Madison, CT

This Connecticut State Beach has a lot of things going for it – a set parking price of $13 for instate residents (YES), 4 main beaches to choose from, and it has spots for grills, camping and parties. It does fill up fast on the weekends with an unbeatable parking price like that, so get there early.

Distance:
From Boston: 2 hours and 15 minutes, from Hartford: a little less than an hour


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Wingaersheek Beach | Gloucester, MA

If you’re into taking mile-long strolls on crystal-blue sand bars, this beach is definitely for you. While not ideal for swimming, it’s great for a picnic, laying out, and taking a dip in the pockets of cool water. If you’re going with a family, be sure to bring some supplies for crabbing and digging up snails, because these flat rocks make the perfect little eco-systems for them! Turns out Gloucester has an adorable town center as well — we did some thrift shopping and also popped into a renowned seafood restaurant for lunch, Short & Main (if you’re an oyster fan, they do $1 oysters for the first hour of opening every Sunday!).

Distance:
From Boston: About 50 minutes, from Hartford: 2 hours 10 mins


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Crane Beach | Ipswich, MA

Grassy dunes and long boardwalks welcome you to this awesome stretch of beach. This beach is roomy, giving you lots of space to set up camp. But prepare yourself for that cold Atlantic water, because it is not forgiving! We went when there was a storm approaching, so it was hot & humid, but with waters that actually hurt to be in — I’m hoping that was just a fluke! On the bright side, we went on a busy Saturday, but didn’t have any problems parking in their giant lot at a reasonable price.

Distance:
From Boston: about an hour, from Hartford: 2 hours 20 mins


 

{images via: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5}

 

Travel Diary // NY, NY

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Happy Monday, all! Hope you all had lovely weekends and had a chance to enjoy some of that sunshine. This time of year our weekends tend to be filled with lots of local traveling, and recently mine included popping over to New York to hang with some ol’ pals. It’s funny, I grew up in New England, but have never actually been to NY in my adult years, (mainly because I loathe the bus) so this was a treat!

Stop No. 1 // After a lengthly 4 hour drive filled with Beyonce and No Doubt, my biffie Xiao and I were hungry. Our hostess Sarah and her boyfriend love Latin American cuisine and knew just where to take us – Coppelia. It is an amazing Cuban 24-hour diner that hit all the right notes. We had a spread of nachos, ceviche, and an amazing dish called lomo saltado which I highly recommend. We topped it all off with some caipirinhas and were basically rolling out of the place.

Stop No. 2 // Since we had pretty much eaten our weight in prime rib the night before, by the next morning we weren’t feeling our hottest. I picked up a tasty little peach parfait to hold me over in the morning, and then we swung into Joe Coffee for some iced caffeine. As previously mentioned, I haven’t spent a whole lot of time in NY, so I was pleased to do the touristy things like putz around Central Park — and that just what we did! Sarah only lives about 10 blocks from it, so we had a nice little afternoon checking out the musicians and entertainers.

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Xiao’s Instax polaroid film took the cutest photos!

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These pants are so comfy — you can grab a pair at Old Navy!

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3-cheers for Sarah’s sister Alla for snapping the only candid photo EVER of me to not involve snarled lips and a double chin…

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Kissing pigeons in the window!

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Stop No. 3 // After having lunch at Mario Batali’s Italian eatery Otto Pizzeria we continued to stroll around Soho and Little Italy for some window shopping and treats at M’o Il Gelato — so refreshing on a 90 degree day!

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Stop No. 4… 5, 6, 7 // After having dessert for lunch (hehe) we spent the night in Brookyln where we had some amazing Mediterranean tapas for dinner at Olea. We followed up with a little bar hopping — a fancy lavender cocktail at Dick & Jane’s Bar, some video games and beer at Barcade, and and all-night 90s dance party at The Bell House. Pretty much the most hipster Saturday night ever, and it was wonderful.

Stop No. 8 // Feeling a just a wee bit tired from our dance party the night before, I was ready for my first New York bagel… H & H Midtown Bagels East was loud, greasy, and had a nice long line… aka exactly what I wanted. The perfect bacon egg and cheese on a toasted everything to top off my weekend!

We had such a good time, and are definitely planning to return on the next long weekend, because 1 1/2 days just ain’t enough! Thanks Sarah for the foodie tour! 🙂

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Travel Diary // Portsmouth, NH

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On Wednesday you got to see what I wore in Portsmouth, but today you get to see where we went – and oh, it was all delicious. I’ve been joking about “eating our way through Portsmouth”, but we ate at 3 places between the hours of 2pm-5pm and I wish we ate more!

Stop No. 1 // Vida Cantina

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Our first stop was Vida Cantina, and I actually found out about it after discovering the branding was done by a Portsmouth design firm that I follow on dribbble. I knew we needed to stop after I found out that they totally revamped an old Friendy’s with gaudy, bright Mexican decor (also, the yelp reviews were pretty damn good) – and boy did they NOT disappoint. We ordered the salsa flight to start, Curtis ordered the fish taco, the carnitas taco, rice and beans to share, and an orange soda. I ordered the fried avocado taco, the fried shrimp taco and a limeaid (basically a mojito without the booze), and oh my god it was amazing. The cherry on top was that it was a super fun place with great music and a killer atmosphere (even the bathrooms were cool)! I hope we make it back soon…

Stop No. 2 // Portsmouth Brewery

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So the shark mural technically wasn’t at the brewery, but it was pretty close by! We stumbled upon the mural on our exploring route, and after snapping a few pics we popped over to the Portsmouth Brewery. We were surprised to be seated immediately, and were even happier to find out that a flight of six 3oz. beers (anything on tap) was $6! The music was great, and the pretzel was even better – a caraway seed pretzel with spicy mustard, YUM.

Stop No. 3 // Old As Adam Antiques

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Old As Adam might have been the smallest (but coolest) antique store I’ve ever been into. It had the perfect mix of preppy New England and old English antiques us North Easterner’s love! I obviously tried on many hats and admired beautiful canvas bags I wish I could afford…

Stop No. 4 // Flatbread

The stop at Flatbread was probably the most exciting and personal place we spent time at in Portsmouth. Curtis and I met working at Flatbread, and Reg got me the job there! After almost 8 years of dating, neither of us had been to another Flatbread, and it was really cool stepping into such a familiar but unique place. We were SO jealous to see that they have a taco pizza on the menu at all times (#jelly), and ended up ordering some tried and true za’s – buffalo chicken and the punctuated equilibrium (goat cheese, kalamata olives, red onions & red pepper on a white pizza).

Other notable stops in Portsmouth: We quickly popped into the adorable Gus & Ruby Letterpress Shop, Bull Moose record store, and Diversions Puzzles & Games. We didn’t get a chance to grab any ice cream (le sad), but passed by the ĂĽber busy Annabelle’s Ice Cream and really wished we had time to stop in! 

Overall we had an amazing quick day in Portsmouth and can’t wait to stop by again! Do you have any favorite spots we should visit next time we’re there?


And make sure to check us out on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter!

Music Festival Packing List

Reg and I went to Bonnaroo a few times in college and boy did we wish we had some guidance that first year! Between the extreme Tennessee heat, the all-night galavanting, and the 16 hour road trip… music festivals can do a number on ya. That being said, having a well stocked bag can make all the difference!

01. Sun Protection

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You’re going to want to get some sun (and we don’t blame you — I could totally use some rays right about now), but that pesky heat wears you out. It’s inevitable that you’ll get a little color, but be prepared for HOURS in the sun. This gal above has it all right — layers, a hat & a water bottle.


Straw Sunhat // Sunglasses // Sweat-Proof SPF


02. Daily Gear

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You might be able to run back and forth to your tent or car, but you’re not going to want to — so pack a cute and useful bag. Don’t let it get too heavy, but make sure you have your essentials  – wallet, camera, phone, external battery charger, snacks & water bottle, and something to sit on to you’re not on itchy grass all day. Check out Lauren Conrad’s Festival Bag from last year.


Turkish Towel // Bag // Water Bottle // Phone Charger // Snacks // Camera


03. Beauty

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Pretty hippie hair and festivals sort of come hand-in-hand. But to be totally honest, you won’t be showering nearly as often as you’re used to. It helps to be prepared with handy toiletries to help you feel glow-y, not smelly. On the plus side, dirty hair usually makes cool braided styles much more easily!


Dry Shampoo (this brand comes in different hair colors!) // Head Bands // Mattifying Moisturizer // Water-Proof Mascara // Yes to Cucumbers Face Towels // Bobby Pins


04. Trendy Clothing

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These days music festivals are almost more about the fashion than the music! Standard outfit rules just don’t apply here, and it’s the only time where it feels totally appropriate to wear fringe, a flower crown, and those random metallic tattoos you bought on Etsy one night. Feel free to get a little weird!


Bathing Suit // Flouncy Skirt // Rain Boots //  Lacy Bralette // Strappy Sandals // Tunic Dress // Denim Shorts // Temporary Metallic Tattoos //



05. The Real Clothes

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You know what most people don’t tell you about when it comes to camping? It’s FREEZING at night! So here you are packed for your cute sunny outfits, and all of a sudden you’re scrambling for appropriate sleepwear. You can still look good while being comfy, ladies — we live at the perfect time where it’s acceptable to go out in joggers and slouchy graphic sweatshirts — so use that! You’re going to be tired, hung over, deydrated and wishing for anything but your shortest jorts pretty fast. It’s going to feel amazing to pull those leggings on. Before you leave, mentally put together some outfits revolving around your comfiest joggers, so you know exactly how to dress down.


 Cozy Sweatshirt // Joggers // All-Purpose Leggings // Slouchy Tee // Chunky socks // Breathable Sports Bra // More Undies Than You Think You Need // Lightweight Sneakers // Rain Boots // Rain Jacket


Honey Pot Hill Orchards

This past Saturday my galpals and I were full throttle New Englanders when we went apple picking at Honey Pot Hill Orchards. It was the last weekend that this farm would be open for picking, and basically a perfectly crisp and sunny fall day, so it was slight mayhem. So many children. So many squished apples under our feet. And so soo many times we were nearly hit by the hayrides (we apparently couldn’t tell the difference between walking paths and hayride paths).

I live with three other ladies, and we all love ourselves some apples, so we thought “yeah! Let’s get the big bag!” No. In retrospect, that was an overzealous decision on our end. We wound up having to swap who carried the bag every four minutes, with apples falling all over the ground, and eventually putting in the large Ann Taylor Loft shopping bag that we found in the car trunk. That bag is full, and now sitting on our kitchen floor because we have no where else to put it. Apparently I’m gonna have to make a lot more than the one muffin recipe I had planned out for this endeavor (I have this apple bacon brussels sprout guy in mind).

And then donuts happened. Oh my word did donuts happen. Probably the best donuts I’ve ever consumed. Pretty much just perfect in every way… warm, soft of the inside and crispy on the outside, with a cinnamon sugar coating. I shall dream of these donuts and tell stories of their wonderment.

 

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Travel Diary // Lincoln, Middlebury & Bristol, Vermont

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Curtis and I went up to Lincoln, Vermont to visit my Aunt Wendy and cousin Nesta this past weekend, and it was just what we needed! We woke up to a super rainy Saturday but that didn’t hold us back. We got a delicious breakfast from the Bristol Bakery & Cafe, poked around town (got my first henna by the super talented Bridgette – she freehanded our designs!) and drove all around Lincoln, Middlebury & Bristol making stops along the way.

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Our first stop was the newly built Woodchuck Cidery in Middlebury, which was so much fun! It had a small self guided tour, and then a quick and delicious tasting. You got to pick 4 samples off of their list, and we were pleasantly surprised how much we enjoyed all of them! To be honest, none of us had really explored Woodchuck ciders before, but we definitely will now! We mixed and matched with each other, sips here and there – and ended up getting a very broad taste of their menu. * My favorite was the Pink, it tasted a bit like rosĂ©!

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We then stopped at a Danforth store which specializes in pewter, and they were having a pewter demonstration. It turns out, the Danforth pewter lineage goes back to Connecticut in the 1730’s!

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This view was gorgeous! I bet it’s even better without the fog!

We got up early on Sunday, Nes made us delicious waffles and we started out on a hike! It didn’t quite go as planned, but we got to drive around a bit more checking out Sugar Bush & Warren, VT.

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I would definitely recommend any New Englanders to take a weekend trip up this way. It is peaceful, beautiful and you’ll be surrounded by gorgeous views and friendly people!

Have any of you guys been to Lincoln, Bristol or Middlebury? How did you like it?