Buttonwood Farm Ice Cream, Connecticut

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

In Connecticut there are countless wonderful ice cream shops, but Buttonwood Farms is certainly the most unique and generous. Buttonwood Farms grows acres of sunflowers and in late July, when they bloom you can purchase these sunflowers. The money from the sale of sunflowers is donated to Make a Wish Foundation.

Tip: Try the sunflower ice cream!


Rides for kids

10 acres of sunflowers!



New York City Highlights- Upper West Side and High Line Park

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Oh, New York City! My favorite city in the whole world. J and I decided to celebrate our upcoming move to Vilnius with a day trip to New York City. I wanted to take him to an old favorite restaurant near the American Museum of Natural History, the museum itself, and we both wanted to check out the High Line Park.

Upper West Side:

One of my favorite places to eat on the Upper West Side is Isabella's at Columbus Ave and 77th St. 








High Line Park

Eat: Terroir at the Porch

Visiting: I recently had my first visit to the High Line Park. Wow! I have been wanting to visit this park since I first heard they were making it. This park is incredible and the most creative city park I've visited. If you are in NYC this is a must see.







Have you visited the High Line Park?

Providence, Rhode Island

Monday, July 15, 2013

Providence is a fun city full of old brick buildings, universities, art districts, and shopping.

Eating


Try the Teriyaki House on Westminster St. is always crowded and has really great Korean food. I love the bimimbap, however make sure to get it in the stone pot otherwise the dish just isn't that special. The Teriyaki House also sells freshly made hot teas and bubble teas - yum!

What to do


Providence is a great place to visit if you are interested in the arts. The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) is in the center of Providence and offers short courses and has a great school store. While wandering the Westminster St. you will walk past several art galleries and shops with locally made goods.

Shopping


In addition to the huge Providence Place Mall, visit Westminster St in the Downcity Arts District for boutiques carrying locally made products. I particularly liked the stores Modern Love and Queen of Hearts which are connected inside. Modern Love focuses more on accessories and shoes, while Queen of Hearts carries clothes from smaller designers.

Tips


Try to schedule your trip during the WaterFire events that take place about once per month in May through November. During WaterFire numerous art and food vendors sell their local goods.

Westminster St.

Westminster St.

Kimchi Appetizer at the Teriyaki House

The beginning of WaterFire

Niantic, Connecticut

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Overview- Niantic is a small beachfront area of East Lyme, Connecticut. With a movie theater, multiple beaches, a boardwalk, restaurants, and shopping Niantic is a perfect place for a short beach vacation. Niantic is also close to many other popular tourist destinations in Connecticut, such as Stonington, Mystic, and Old Saybrook.

Shopping- There are two streets with businesses- Pennsylvania Avenue and Main Street. The highlight for shopping is Grace on Pennsylvania Avenue, which is an adorable boutique chock full of women's clothes, accessories, and beachy housewares.

Eating- La Belle Aurore on Pennsylvania Avenue next to Dairy Queen was a pleasant surprise for weekend brunch. The atmosphere is warm and the food is fresh and original. For more options for dining out visit New London or Waterford- both short drives away from Niantic.

Staying- Renting a house with beach access for those who like to spend a vacation as a beach bum.
Fruit stuffed french toast from La Belle Aurore


The beach


I'm linking up with the local adventurer linkup with Esther and Jacob.

Short North, Columbus, Ohio

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Short North is a district of Columbus, which is south of Ohio State University. The Short North is a trendy area with plenty of pubs, boutiques, and galleries. I've visited Columbus a few times, but most recently I visited on a Sunday and unfortunately almost everything was closed.


Shopping


Most of the stores in the short North on High Street were closed on Sunday. I've been to Columbus before though, and there are several nice boutiques such as Karavan Treasures from Turkey, Milk Bar (a clothes store), and Substance (I LOVE this store).

Eating Out


Sunday is apparently a bad day for eating out. We would have liked to eat dinner at the North Market (Spruce Street), but it closes early and we missed the opening hours. Luckily, we were able to eat there on Monday and had delicious Vietnamese noodles. We also purchased a fresh made rosemary and parmesan cheese pretzel. Wow- that was the best pretzel I have every had! For dinner on Sunday we were looking for something other than burgers and beer. We eventually found  Due Amici on Gay Street and I was pleasantly surprised by the sweet potato gnocchi . Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream is an ice cream parlor that is highly rated on Trip Advisor so we made sure to make ice cream our dessert. Jeni's had great options for flavors, however I wasn't wowed by the ice-cream.  Le Chocolique (on North High Street) is the highlight of the Short North. They have the most delicious chocolates- especially with honey or caramel and lavender.


Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream

Le Chocolique

Le Chocolique

Columbus

The North Market 

The North Market

Vietnamese Noodles

Chocolate at Le Chocolique

Le Chocolique

My Precious

Fleur de Sel

Buckwheat Honey



Historic Third Ward, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Thursday, July 4, 2013

The Historic Third Ward has old buildings, great food, and trendy people. There is plenty of street parking and parking garages so it is easy to spend the day. The huge festival park, where Summer Fest and Pride Fest are held is easy walking distance from the Third Ward.

What to do


The Historic 3rd Ward in Milwaukee is awesome. I actually wish that instead of living in Madison I lived in Milwaukee because the variety of activities available just seems so much greater (perhaps this is an issue of the grass is always greener...). Splash Studio in the Historic 3rd Ward is a wine bar where you sign up and spend the evening painting and learning from local artists. Doesn't that sound like so much fun?

The Milwaukee Art School has free exhibits which show off student art. As far as student art goes, some of it was pretty great and some of it was questionable. My favorite student project was the glasses frames made out of wood concept. See more at properwood.com.

This trip was timed perfectly as we were able to go to Summer Fest and see some local bands preforming. If you can make it to Milwaukee during one of their festivals (Summer or Pride Fest) it is totally worth it. The festivals and venues are awesome.

Shopping


3rd Ward Jewelry is a jewelry store that makes you feel like you know the artist. It provides information about each artist featured and the jewelry is gorgeous. To get your shoe fix visit Shoo, which is in the same building as Third Ward Jewelry. Shoo can also found on State Street in Madison, WI.

Food


Be prepared to loosen your belt in Milwaukee. There are so many delicious options for food in the Third Ward. Benelux (on North Broadway) has a huge local and import beer menu. The highlights from the menu are meatloaf wrapped in bacon, salad with a wonderful honey lavender vinaigrette and salted caramel cheesecake. Diagonally across the street from Benelux is the Milwaukee Public Market which is probably the best thing ever. They have cheap food and wonderful local products such as meat, veggies, ice-cream, and etc.

North Broadway


Milwaukee Public Market


Falafel lunch from the Public Market

Pulled pork sandwich in sweetbread from the Public Market-This was so AMAZING!


Street art

Bacon-warped meatloaf from Benelux

honey lavender vinaigrette made this salad worth writing about

Salted caramel cheese cake from Benelux

Have you ever been to Milwaukee? What are your favorite things to do there?