Miami

The only times I’ve been to Miami are for work, but have managed to sneak in some fun along the way!  A few recommendations below –

Stay

Fontainebleau.  Massive hotel, amazing pool, easy beach access – what more can you really ask for?

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Eat & Drink

Wynwood Kitchen & Bar – delicious food and amazing art.  I’m a sucker for tapas and street art and this place combines them in a really amazing way.  The tapas menu is extensive and the drinks are really interesting and delicious.  In my opinion the best part of the place is the outdoor patio and the Shepard Fairey art lining the walls.

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The Rum Line – this tiki bar hidden in the Loews Hotel is not to be missed.  It’s a great way to escape the hustle of Collins Ave.  Palm print pillows, inventive rum drinks – The Rum Line can really make you feel like you’re on vacation!

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Hakkasan – if you’re staying at the Fontainebleau, eat at Hakkasan.  Enough said.

Do

Miami Design District – amazing art can be found all around Miami.  I loved being constantly surprised and inspired by murals and installations around every corner.  We went to the design district one night for dinner stumbled upon these sculptures.

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Wynwood Walls – the famed Wynwood Walls definitely lived up to the hype.  I’m planning to make a point to go back whenever I’m in Miami, as the art and artists are always switching it up.

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Peter Tunney Gallery – Wandering out of Wynwood Kitchen & Bar, I was so excited to come across the Peter Tunney gallery.  I have always loved seeing the City of Dreams billboard coming into NYC from JFK, but truthfully never knew who the artist was.  The collage and bold typography just speaks to me.  Seeing an entire gallery of Tunney’s work was such a treat.

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Boardwalk Run – if you’re staying on the beach, or even if you’re not, I highly recommend a walk or run along the boardwalk.  I mean, with sights like these it will make those miles so much more bearable.

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I hope you enjoy YOUR Miami adventure!

xoxo,

MJ

 

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Boston

Boston will always have a piece of my heart.  I spent my freshman year of college at Boston University and have been back to visit several times since.  If you can swing it, go on Marathon Monday – it’s unlike any other sporting event or celebration I’ve ever been to. It really is the BEST.  On Marathon Monday I would recommend starting in Kenmore Square and walking towards Brookline.  Cover as much of the race route as you can -it’s a super festive atmosphere and all the bars along the course are packed!

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City Guide below –

Must Do’s:

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Fenway Park.  Even if you can’t make it to a game, just go.  It’s magical.  There was a great article in the NY Times last month about furthering development in the area, link here)

Freedom Trail.  So. Much. History. And, if you take the ferry back from Charlestown the views of the city are amazeballs.

Duck Tour.  Cute, quirky way to see different parts of the city.

More Faves (by neighborhood):

boston-spots

1. South Boston – Loco, 2. North End – Regina Pizza, 3. Back Bay – Alibi (inside what’s now a hotel, but used to be the Boston jail), 4. Beacon Hill – Tatte Bakery, 5. South End – The Gallows

Beacon Hill/Back Bay:

Beacon Hill Pub – the divest of dive bars.  We went during the afternoon and there weren’t a ton of people around but you could imagine that it’s a hot spot on Friday nights.

Explore the shops in Beacon Hill – start on Charles St.

Flour – cute Boston area chain with great breakfast, lunch and coconut macaroons.

North End:

Mike’s Pastry – go to both Mike’s and Modern and then cast your vote for best cannoli!

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South End:

Myers + Chang (one of the owners is on this season of Top Chef!)

Coppa

Barcelona Wine Bar

The Butcher Shop – amazing cuts of meat, great sides and awesome neighborhood atmosphere.  If I lived in Boston, I definitely try to make the South End my home.  All the charming restaurants and row houses are fun to walk past.

South Boston:

Lincoln Tavern

L Street Tavern (the bar made famous in Good Will Hunting)

Shamrock Pub – doesn’t look like much from the outside, but seems like it was (and still is) a watering hole for local union workers.  An interesting spot that you wouldn’t find in a lot of other places.

Other:

Eagle’s Deli (take the T to Cleveland Circle)

Pinocchio’s (near Harvard Square)

Michael’s Deli (in Brookline)

 

Hope you enjoy!

xo,

MJ

Hood River

Last weekend we headed east to spend a couple of days in Hood River.  Only a little over an hour from Portland, it truly felt like a getaway.

We stayed in the haunted Hood River Hotel

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Stopped at Multnomah Falls on the way up…

Drank lots of good beer…

Double Mountain

Everybody’s Brewing

Pfriem

Stopped in a couple great boutiques – honestly better than I’ve found in Portland…

Plenty

Parts + Labour

And most importantly, spent a lot of quality time with good friends…

If you’re looking for a quick getaway that will feel like your 100s of miles away, Hood River is the spot.

xoxo

MJ

PS, a few more recos:

Ground

Egg River Cafe

Full Sail Brewing

Sixth Street Bistro

Bette’s Place

A lot of these are from the NY Times article, “36 Hours in Hood River,” that was published last year.  I didn’t find out about the article until about halfway through our trip but according to this list it looks like we chose well!

NYC Round 2

Last week’s trip to NYC—

SoHo Grand Hotel – fab hotel, fab food, great people watching

Apizz – delish food and a table next to Stifler

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The Blind Barber – cool speakeasy with a barber shop up front and bar behind a sliding door.  Kind of a PDX meets NYC crowd and Peroni on tap.  Pretty much a win-win.

Work –

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Egg Shop – SoHo spot with the cutest branded and fab avocado toast

Never enough time in NYC, hope to be back soon!

xoxo

MJ

NYC

Last week’s work trip to NYC provided ample time for exploring (the best kind of work trip).  A few highlights below…

Going back in Feb for 5 days and hoping for more adventures!

xoxo,

MJ

Fargo?

I can honestly say I never thought I’d go to Fargo, North Dakota.  But, this past September, that’s exactly what I did.  Watching my little bro play football took us to yet another STRANGE place.  When I searched Design Sponge to see if there was a Fargo city guide, by some small miracle there was!  Such a good surprise.  We didn’t have a ton of time in Fargo, but we definitely got to check out a few good restaurants while we were there.  Thanks again for the awesome recos Design Sponge!

JL Beers – great place with a really interesting concept.  Each of their restaurants only has 47 seats, no matter the location (it’s an ND, SD, MN mini-chain).  The place was packed when we got there, but totally worth the wait.  Delish burgers and fab beer selection (you’ll quickly notice that beer is a theme of my travels…) If you ever find yourself here, get the buffalo BLU chips with your burger, you will not be disappointed.

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Beermail - totally genius.  They have postcards at the bar that you can send to anyone, anywhere!

Beermail – totally genius. They have postcards at the bar that you can send to anyone, anywhere!

Wurst Bier Hall – this gem wasn’t in the city guide, but so glad we stumbled upon it.  Very cool, German style bier hall – complete with das boot.  This place wasn’t just cool for Fargo, it was cool for anywhere.  I’d definitely go on a regular basis if it was in Portland.

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locks of beer?

locks of beer?

Rhombus Guys Pizza – college-y atmosphere, really good pizza.  Very cool roof top deck that we weren’t able to take advantage of due to the weather.  Great selection of beers on tap.

A few more snaps from the trip…

For the Love of the South Part 2

And the trip continues…

Beaufort

Beaufort, SC is a CHARMING place. It was recently rated America’s Happiest Seaside Town by Coastal Living Magazine – and it’s easy to see why!  Similar to Savannah, we got a lot of recos from the Design Sponge city guide for Beaufort.

The cottage that was stayed in at Secession Golf Club was the cutest!  I literally took pictures of all the interior details so I can remember to incorporate them into our house someday.  Needless to say, we will definitely be back.

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We started off with lunch at the Lowcountry Produce Market & Cafe.  It was AMAZING.  The decor of the cafe was spot on – I’m a sucker for subway tile and the color green.  When I sat down to write this post, I went back to their website and saw that their homemade soups, just made Oprah Magazine’s favorite things list for Jan. 2015!  I think I literally could’ve eaten here every day we were in Beaufort.

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We finished up the day in Beaufort with a horse drawn carriage tour.  All of the homes in the historic area are amazing and Beaufort was actually the filming ground for a lot of movies – most notably The Big Chill.

sketchy through the trees picture of The Big Chill House

sketchy through the trees picture of The Big Chill House

The other awesome place we ate in Beaufort was Wren – amazing burgers.

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Our day trip to Hilton Head was definitely a highlight of the trip.  The water was SO warm compared what we’re used to in the Pacific Northwest.  It was amazing to just lie on the beach and read!

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We spent our last day in SC with a day trip to Charleston.  I was really excited about this trip, but it was so, freaking hot and humid that it was tough to really enjoy it.  Oh well, guess that’s a good excuse to go back someday!  A few highlights below…

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Another carriage tour!

Another carriage tour!

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Cru Cafe - one of the best meals of the trip, and a delish Rose'!

Cru Cafe – one of the best meals of the trip, and a delish Rose’! (Get the shrimp BLT)

King Street

King Street

Here’s to an amazing trip with even better friends!

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xoxo

MJ