Travel

In ONE week we’re surprising our kids with a trip to Disney World!!!  I can’t believe we’ve kept this a secret since last summer.  So many times I’ve wanted to scream from the roof tops “WE’RE GOING TO DISNEY!”  but I’ve  miraculously kept my lips sealed tight.  It’s been a LONG TIME, ok try almost THIRTY YEARS since I’ve been to Disney world.  My parents took my brother and I when I was in third grade.  I dug up a couple old photos to show with you.  Now all this time later, I’m taking my own kids and it’s so exciting!   For this post I thought I would share some tips that other avid Disney go’ers have been kind enough to pass on to this newbie, either on Instagram & IRL friends.   I’m also going to share how we plan to surprise them the morning of the trip as well. 

Me and Cinderella Circa 1990

Let’s start with the whole planning of this trip.  Clearly I haven’t been to the parks in so long, to say I’m a little clueless.  I can not take credit for of any of the planning.  I’m a planner to a certain extent but I get easily overwhelmed with things I’m unfamiliar with, like giant amusement parks.  For this trip I hired a friend that specializes in Disney Vacation planning, it was money well spent, trust me!   Keriann at Practically Perfect Vacations planned everything from our families itinerary, the meal reservations, kids experiences, to the fast pass selections and answered any and all questions I had through out the planning process.  I had no idea that so much had to be planned SO far in advance.  She compared it to planning a wedding and at times it really did feel like that.  Lots of decisions! 

I was so happy we spent the money to have her help us.   Another thing to note, we are so grateful to be renting my best friend’s family time share at Orange Lake Resort.  We’re so appreciative!!   If (when) we go back in the future we will definitely stay at one of the Disney resorts to have that immersive Disney experience as well.  But for the kids first time and to ease into the sticker shock of a Disney trip, we felt this was a great way to ease into it, and the kids won’t know the difference between staying on the property vs. off.

Tips for Disney World:

I would love to to say I’m a Disney Pro and I have it all figured but clearly based on the above I’m not.  But I do have a few peeps that have shared their wisdom with me.  I wanted to pass them on. Below I’m sharing some of the best money and time saving tips I’ve received so far:

Tips for Packing for Disney:

Other Great Tips from my INSTAGRAM Friends:

  • Pre-purcahse each kid a gift card at Target using your red card or BJ’s where they are discounted and each kid can have a specific amount of spending on “extras” at the park.  This way they have to really think about each item they want to get. 
  • At Magic Kingdom take the train from front of park to the back and start from the back most start at the front.
  • For the new Star wars ride as soon as you get into Hollywood Studios check app and get into the boarding groups -ASAP
  • Once you use your three fast passes go on the app and you can get another three!
  • If you are making any purchases in the park that you don’t want to carry, they will have them delivered to your hotel or to the front entrance to the park so you don’t have to carry them all day!
  • The Walmart outside of the park have tons of Disney gifts/toys/clothes for fraction of the price
  • For great non-crowded pictures in front of the Castle go to the back of the castle
My brother and I meeting a ninja Turtle circa 1990 (Look I match him lol)

THE SURPRISE:

I will definitely update this once we surprise them. I’ve been going back and forth with so many ideas. There are so many great ideas for surprising your kids. I looked all over Pinterest too to get inspired. The best ones you’ve shared on Instagram are:

  • “We’re Going to Disney” puzzle
  • Scavenger hunt
  • Setting up the suitcase for when they wake up and telling them as soon as they wake up
  • Serve a Mickey pancake breakfast when they wake up
  • Having Mickey and Minnie mail a letter inviting them to come down for a visit
  • A box with a balloon inside

Okay so I’m still figuring out the details. Our flight is taking off at 11 am so we don’t have to wake them up at an obscene hour, thankfully! We plan to act as if it is a normal morning and that they are going to school. I was thinking to pack their back packs with all their disney stuff instead of school stuff with Mickey and Minnie balloons that float up when they open their backpacks. I may have a letter from Mickey attached to Balloon or something that says “no school today we are going to Disney World”. I haven’t figured out the exact details. We thought about telling them the day before but then they won’t sleep and we want everyone rested!

Right now this is what I have to put in their school backpacks:

  • wrist bands
  • autograph books
  • minnie ears
  • mickey hat
  • brother/Sister Mouse shirts
  • water bottles
  • suitcases with Mickie and Minnie Suitcase tags
  • Disney Gift Card

ALL THE THINGS FOR OUR DISNEY TRIP:

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Are you looking for a fun fall weekend getaway with your family?  Looking to get outdoors, peep some fall foliage and just enjoy nature?  Did you know that  Christmas Tree Shops and That! has everything to make your next camping or glamping experience a success? Keep reading to see my camping/glamping essentials that I purchased From CTS and my overall thoughts on the whole experience.

Thank you to Christmas Tree Shops and That! for sponsoring this post, as always all thoughts, opinions and ideas are my own. 

I’m so excited to be joining a group of amazing bloggers all sharing our fall style ideas. Please be sure to follow through to see all the other creative ways to use the great products from Christmas Tree Shops and that!

We recently went on a family “glamping” trip to Huttopia in the White Mountains and it was SO fun! Of course I had to decorate our grounds to make it feel homey and welcoming.  I mean it was glamping after all, so why not!  At this point nothing surprises Ben anymore and he got a good laugh at my decor for the camping trip.  I love shopping at Christmas Tree Shops and That! they always have the best prices on seasonal decor which keeps me going back season after season.  For Fall this year I wanted to do something different, outside our home.  Since we were already going on this weekend getaway I decided it would be fun to decorate our camping grounds for us to enjoy for the weekend and make it feel like a home away from home.  So while I was grabbing some essentials I also picked up some decorative items to make our spot a little cozier.

You can see in the photo below from when we arrived that the pre-constructed tent (yurt) is really cool. But the picnic table outside isn’t very attractive nor anything you’d really want to dine on or even play games on with out a table cloth. Keep reading to see how I transformed our area with some cute and affordable items from Christmas Tree Shops and That! fall selection out in stores now.

Here is a list of the items I found during my most recent trip to create a cozy fall welcome to our camp site:

  • Bug Spray
  • Citronella Candles
  • Paper Goods
  • Table Cloth
  • Cute Fall Pillow
  • Cozy Blankets 2 for kids 1 for grown up
  • Camper Style Mugs
  • S’more Sticks
  • Door mat
  • Travel Food Containers
  • Kids travel chairs
  • Door mat

Camping in Style

If your camping or glamping you want your area to look festive and home-y it will make the whole experience so much more enjoyable and of course much prettier! I purchased some fresh sunflowers at the grocery store and put them in a vase that I already owned and drove with them on my lap the whole ride. That’s how determined I was to make a beautiful setting for us to enjoy! I started by using the table cloth from Christmas tree Shops and That! (they have many beautiful prints and designs for fall) as the base. I then added a row of citronella candles in a coordinating color and these adorable ceramic acorn lanterns. It get’s really dark in the woods at night and it helps to have multiple light sources, of course flash lights are great too, but these little lights created such amazing ambience at night.

Luckily our Yurt/tent had a small kitchenette inside with basic plates, bowls, mugs and cutlery. But, I wanted to be prepared so I bought two adorable fall camper mugs from Christmas Tree Shops and That! and then a bunch of adorable paper plates and to go tins with lids for eating on our laps or storing left over food that we grilled on the fire. I really mixed in things I purchased and items from the Yurt like the glasses and cutlery, and my pot lid turned cheese/cracker plate.

I stuck with a traditional Harvest color scheme for our glamping adventure. I love that Christmas Tree Shops and That! has a variety of seasonal decor so there really is something to fit every home, style or yurt! Can you believe how gorgeous this view was outside our front door? To dress up the paper plates I just layered them over the white ceramic plates from the Yurt and this made our last dinner very special. Ben grilled steak tips and we grabbed a salad from the Air Streamer cafe on site. It’s really an awesome experience to glamp, you mix a little rustic with a little lux.

Cozy Camping

Camping in late summer or early fall means being prepared for cooler temps. The temps would drop quickly as the sun went down so lots of cozy blankets and warm fires were key. Luckily, Christmas Tree Shops and That had the coziest blankets! I got one for each kid to wrap themselves in when out by the fire and one for Ben and I to share that I knew would look great in the living room once we got home.

The cute little door mat and wood rosette pumpkins are the perfect pop of color and welcome to our Yurt. The kids loved the woodland animal theme. Christmas Tree Shops and That! also has an adorable section of woodland creature decor and I just couldn’t resist this mat. A lot of dirt gets brought into the tent, being in the woods all day will do that ūüėČ and this really helped keep the tracking in dirt down to a minimum. The plush blankets are insanely soft and warm, the kids loved them! For under $10 it’s a fall camping necessity. I loved moving this adorable pumpkin pillow all around our camp grounds to add another layer of cozy to our outdoor area.

Food & Drink

We kept it simple with food and brought a cooler with juice boxes and some beer. I pre-made a mac and cheese that we warmed over the gas stove. It would be great if you pre-made a chili too. Of course we had to have some pumpkin beer and s’mores! I put all the s’mores ingredients on a metal tray but used a package of fall leaves from Christmas Tree Shops and That! as the base to give it that fall feel, it really dressed the tray up an made it looks so pretty. The resort we stayed at also had an air stream cafe on site which had a pizza oven, so we tried that one night too! We really never wanted to leave our beautiful lake view! However I promise we did more than eat the whole time. In between meals there was canoeing, fishing and an amazing salt water heated pool to enjoy too! We played lots of board and card games at the picnic table as well, which was so fun!

Thankfully it wasn’t very buggy because it was cooler. However, we didn’t want to chance it and came prepared with our bug spray and citronella candles all purchased at Christmas Tree Shops and That! I love that I grabbed everything I needed affordably at one of my favorite stores. There you have it! Our family glamping experience!

All in all we had an amazing experience in the White Mountains. We made so many memories. The kids enjoyed time in nature, Ben got his fill of the great outdoors; lighting fires and cooking on an open flame. I had a working bathroom + electricity and an actual bed in the Yurt. So basically we were all happy glampers! What made it a little extra festive was all the great products I found at Christmas Tree Shops and That! and I look forward to also finding ways to use these items through out our home this fall.

Are you a camper? Could you see yourself glamping? I would do it again next year for sure and I think it would be a blast with a group of friends or for a family reunion!

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you check out all the other beautiful homes on our fall tour!

Jordan

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Southern State of Mind    |   At Charlotte‚Äôs House   |  A Tufted Life   | 
  Jor Decor   |    Aratari at Home

 

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Since returning from Haven Conference 2019 I’ve been soaking in all the knowledge and just goodness from my weekend with some of the nicest and most creative women I’ve ever met. ¬†If you’re not sure, Haven conference is a conference for Home Decor Bloggers and DIY’ers that takes place in Atlanta.¬† I started blogging about two years ago however I’ve been a home decor blog reader for over a decade.¬† When I was an Art Teacher in between classes or when I had time, I’d read blogs like Young House Love, Bower Power and Making it Lovely, amongst others of course too (these are some of the OG’s of home blogging).¬† They gave me ideas and inspiration for home decor projects, as we were just getting ready to buy our first home.

I really can’t believe that now I’m on the other side, as a blogger!¬† I have my home decorating business that I’ve mainly built on Instagram.¬† However, I wanted to connect to a platform I have ownership of, because if Instagram ever tanked you guys know where to find me.¬† This year when they released tickets to Haven I knew I had to go! I’ve been working so hard and wanted to take another step towards investing in myself and learning the ropes of blogging.¬† Haven is where you do that.¬† Today I wanted to share 5 highlights of my Haven Experience.¬† If you are thinking about blogging and not sure where to start this is the place to go and learn.¬† ¬†Here are my highlights of the trip!

The Accommodations

Staying at a luxury Air B & B was for sure a highlight, yes being at the hotel would have been convenient, but for a girl that loves gorgeous design- staying at this beautiful Air B & B was such a treat.¬† Typically, attendees stay at the hotel where the conference is being held.¬† However, myself and a few other girls; Andrea from 31 Girl at Home, Merichelle from We’re the Joneses Brendt from She Gave it a Go, Kelly from The Tattered Pew and Jennie from The Little Bird , had the opportunity to stay here! ¬†We were hosted by owner Pam Sesssions and were less than a 10 minute drive to the conference. ¬†THIS is the listing¬†to the Air B & B we stayed in if you want to see more photos. ¬†Each room was jaw dropping-ly beautiful. ¬†Plus these ladies were some of the sweetest people I’ve ever met!¬† If you have a moment go check out all of their beautiful blogs.

The Classes

The workshops/classes range from  photography, to upholstery classes, SEO, Making a Blog, Instagram Growth, Working with Brands and SO much more.  Experts in the field lead the classes and offer a wealth of information and personal experience.  I did a little of everything and I have to say, one of my favorites was learning how to work with local news stations to increase your brand presence on TV.  As well as creating a cool display board with simple easy to use materials such as plywood, muslin, a staple gun and ribbon. 

The Brands

Some of the leading companies in the home category attend and sponsor Haven Conference.  Everything from cleaning, to carpentry, to sinks, to paint and cement!  Brands that attend go all out with their booth setups.  I was so impressed with the level of creativity and eye catching-ness.  I mean it is a conference for creatives after all.  The Home Depot is the big sponsor of the whole event and shared their new line of home decor products from bedding to towels, which they were personalizing on the spot!  Also, companies like Hoover, Rust-O-luem, Hunter Fan Co., Wagner and so many more were all in attendance to meet with us.  It was so great to chat with reps from these companies and get inspired by their products for my own home projects and idea, essentially you pitch yourself to them for collaborations. 

The Inspiration

Being at an event full of creative individuals is nothing short of inspiring and motivating.¬† It reminded me back to my art school days where everyone has a talent, and everyone is trying to hone in on that talent to share it with the world.¬† At Haven Conference it’s the gift of home decorating, building, photography, design and more… talent is overflowing and it would be easy to feel competitive but it’s not it is a community and everyone is there to help each other improve.¬†

The Connection

I saved the best for last because connecting with others is something that can’t be topped.¬† I’ve spent years building my Instagram account, not to intentionally become an “influencer” (I hate that word) but to share my love of decorating/crafting and to give people ideas on how to make their house a home and to make connections while I was home with two little babies.¬† I have made so many friends these last couple of years on Instagram with people from all around the country, sharing this same passion.¬† To meet these online friends in person and grow that connection… was the best feeling! ¬†To know I have a network of friends “colleagues” I can go to when I need advice or help is priceless.

 

Tips:

  • Pack a tote bag for carrying around all day and an extra duffle bag to bring home lots of swag
  • Prepare to be on the GO a lot wear Comfy shoes
  • Some dressy outfits for night and business casual for the day
  • Notebook and Folder for all the brand hand outs
  • Battery Pack charger for your phone
  • Business cards and business card holder

Shop Conference Essentials:

 

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While Paris is still fresh on my mind, even in this jet lagged/head cold fog I have going on.  I wanted to start typing up a recap to share with all of you.  I tried to share as much as I could in real time as it was happening on Instagram stories, because well I feel like you are all my friends now and I love sharing special moments with those who are special to me.

 

Now let’s chat. ¬†Why did we choose Paris?

Ben and I both agreed we wanted to do something special to celebrate 10 years. ¬†We really try to be grateful for eachother every day, but let’s face it, most of the time we are focused on trying to keep up with our own businesses, both of which we are the “bosses” of ūüėČ ¬†keep up with the kids schedules, our own health/interests, home and friends. ¬†We don’t always make our marriage a priority as I know we should. ¬†About 8 months ago we started discussing a special trip for this big milestone. ¬† Paris is a city we always thought would be a beautiful destination to visit, the food, architecture and style just scream romantic anniversary getaway, right?

We both love exploring new cultures, and since having kids have chosen to stay mostly travel with the kids on this side of the pond. ¬†Choosing destinations like California, Florida and Mexico but knew this time around we didn’t want to just sit on a beach all day. ¬†Instead experience another culture, together.

After realizing we still had some travel points saved up to use for the hotel, with our reward points (we stayed at the Renaissance Republiqe Paris Hotel) all we needed to find was a great deal on flights.  Over Labor day weekend the prices dropped and we booked with Norwegian airlines.  By September we had booked our dream anniversary trip.

Travel Tips

Some of you asked if we spoke the language. ¬†I wish we could say yes to that. ¬†However, neither of us speak french. ¬† Honestly it wasn’t a big deal. ¬†I was worried about this, we brushed up on the most basic phrases and greetings and that definitely got us through. ¬†I even downloaded an app to learn french called Duolingo (highly recommend) Luckily most French people speak a bit of English and if you are polite and pleasant to them they don’t mind helping you out. ¬†I always recommend starting with a “bonjour” and ending with a “merci” I mean at least it’s something ūüėČ

Like I said before, brush up on the greetings at least to get you in their good graces. ¬†I would definitely remember “parlez vous english?” which means “do you speak english?” this phrase helped us out greatly.

For dining out we sometimes couldn’t understand the menus, some restaurants offered english menus, while others didn’t. ¬†If we were really stuck we either googled some words on my phone (we paid for my phone to have wifi for the week to help us with navigation outside the hotel and for any emergencies). ¬†However, some really nice servers would help us translate certain things.

If you are having a hard time with a menu, I suggest to ask for whatever is the most popular item on the menu or what they are “known” for. ¬†This always worked, as we got to try some of the most delicious food I’ve ever had. ¬†Also, please remember that dining in Paris is different then here, they aren’t super friendly or attentive. ¬†When they come over they want to know exactly what you want and sometimes you have to wait a bit. ¬†It’s nothing against you its just how they roll over there.

For planning our day time activities I’m typically I’m a planner. ¬†I like to have everything figured out. ¬†However for this trip ¬†were somewhat flexible about certain things yet also had some things planned. ¬†We knew we wanted to do a couple museums, go to Versailles and have a beautiful dinner view of the Eiffle Tower.

I always recommend making friends with the concierge.  Everyday we would check in with them in regards to suggestions or how to navigate the metro.  The first day or two was VERY helpful to have them help us with the metro and give us a good understanding of the lay out of the city.

I found the concierge at our hotel to be extremely helpful and knowledgable.  Not sure if all hotels are the same but if they take their jobs seriously they should be.  We also googled things if we were stuck, and I also used the Local Milk Blog for a lot of AMAZING suggestions on traveling to Paris.

I suggest making reservations for meals especially on the weekends as early as you can and getting tickets to museums through the hotel or online to help skip some of the lines and avoid having no options left when it comes to dining.  A couple times we waited to the last minute and some restaurants we really wanted were booked.

Safety- we always felt safe, but we were also careful about our belongings and kept passports in our hotel safe. We always made sure to keep our bags wallets close by, the usual travel stuff.

 

 

Have a good wander… We loved not always having a set plan and just seeing where we ended up… like here we stopped in the beautiful¬†Tuileries Garden which took our breath away.

 

THE DAY of our ANNIVERSARY

I coordinated a photo shoot for us, I really wanted to remember this trip and didn’t want to come home with 100 selfies of us, which other than these is what would have happened. ¬† I didn’t want to ask strangers to take photos either. ¬†This may not be for everyone. ¬†It was an investment in something we will alway cherish. ¬† Ben is such a good sport. ¬†I mean he’s been married to me now for a decade, so he knows what to expect, haha! ¬†We used Federico, Iheartparis photography and these are a few of our photos which they sent early, as I wanted one to share on our anniversary night. ¬†They were so kind to help with that (husband and wife team).

 

(this dress is almost sold out but find a similar dress here)

After these photos we made our way for a cocktail and then to our ¬†dinner reservation overlooking the Eiffle Tower at Cafe De l’homme. ¬†I wanted to be sure we spent our anniversary night at a special spot. ¬†So I searched for one from early on, a few suggestions in my search were to eat inside the tower for a romantic setting but

a. I’m scared of heights

and

b. we wanted to see the tower all lit up, if we were inside it we wouldn’t see it.

So we ended up inside a museum in Trocadero Square. ¬†¬†You would never know there was a restaurant inside if you were walking by because it is actually in the back of a museum. ¬†The only thing that gave it away was this beautiful lit up balloon in the front entrance near a valet. ¬†This dining experience was one we’ll never forget. ¬†The epitome of a romantic dinner. ¬† We had the most beautiful view, we sat outside under a heat lamp it was cool but not cold. ¬†We were very comfortable. ¬† Our thoughtful Maid of Honor ordered a bottle of champagne sent to the table. ¬†Somehow she figured out where we were and sent us a bottle. ¬†It was so magical, I seriously almost cried. ¬†The food was delicious, I can’t remember every detail of the food other than it tasted so good, we were so busy enjoying the moment.

Notable Restaurants

Basically any Boulangerie/cafe have amazing fresh bread, pastries and cheese & charcuterie boards.

Frenchie Р(we ate at this tapa/wine bar the first night but wish we had made reservations across the street at the main restaurant)

Cafe De L’homme– Salmon was actually amazing!

Le Petite Celestin – Two words, Truffle Linguini

Chez JanouР All I can say is get the Chocolate Mousse for dessert

La Cave de Septime– a little whole in the wall tiny bar, serving natural wine ( SO GOOD) great little tapas to go with different types of wine.

Holy Belly РBrunch so amazingly good

Hardware Societe Paris– One of the best breakfast’s I’ve ever had.

 

Sightseeing

In France culture is literally everywhere. ¬†We opted out of those touristy-bus situation and followed the locals by walking and using the metro. ¬†One day we clocked 11 miles on foot. ¬†Let’s just say that justified all the decedent food. ¬†On Wednesday we visited the Picasso Museum which we had already been to one in Spain 7 years ago, we realized once we were there, so we wish we had seen another artist work but its always is so spectacular to see these works in person. ¬†We also went to the Musee d’ Orsay to see the great impressionists work which was so fun for me since I used to teach my students all about some of these painters like Van Gogh and Matisse.

    

Our big day trip on Thusrsday was to

Palace of Versailles

I would recommend getting tickets the night before or in advance anyway, we got them through concierge and got the tip to get there at the opening hour of 9am. ¬†Then we decided to save money by taking the metro to the commuter rail vs. an organized tour bus. ¬†I’m not huge into the organized tour kind of things. ¬† Travel there took an hour and was under $20 each to get there and back. ¬†It was SO worth the trip. ¬†I love period pieces so going back to that time period and see the lavish detail of the interior just BLEW MY MIND. ¬†We just used their walking tour guide, for free that you put up to your ear. ¬†However I would have maybe liked to hire a real tour guide had their been a group of us.

 

We also bought tickets to go out into the Gardens.  Wow, there really are no words to describe how beautiful the landscape was.  They play baroque music in the background and it really just transports you to another time.  I wish it had been a sunnier and warmer day but it was fine.  When we left around 2pm the line was absolutely insane! So we did it right!!

On Friday night we knew we wanted to see some live music as we are both big live music fans.  We inquired with concierge about any local jazz happening and they gave us a few recommendations of which we  ended up choosing something in the Jazz distract.  The band had Caribbean influence and they were just so talented, they even sat with us and explained some of their music and how it evolved plus the meaning behind it.  Truly such an enriching experience!

WEEKEND MARKETS- I knew I wanted to find a market on the weekend to find french treasures. ¬†And boy oh boy did we! ¬†We were hunting around trying to find one and just like magic, we came up from the metro and saw tents lining the sidewalk. ¬†It was exactly what I hoped to find. ¬†I asked about it and the concierge said it’s a traveling market that pops up all over town. ¬†I wanted everything! I did walk away with this vintage LV wallet.

For anyone looking to hit up an antique market, I was told by an Instagram friend “JesseLauzon” that his favorites ¬†“Porte de Vanves”¬†which was just a little too out of the way for the short amount of time we had left. I recommend just asking around on Saturday and searching online when you are there.

The last morning we went to Montmartre, this was something we wish we had done in the evening or on a nicer sunnier day. ¬†We took the metro to¬†18th arrondissement and walked up the steep hill to see the¬†Basilica of the Sacr√©-CŇďur¬†it was stunning! ¬†The view from up there was incredible! ¬†Unfortunately it was really cold and overcast that day. ¬†I would totally recommend this on a clear morning or evening with the city all lit up. ¬† We were justhappy to have seen it, climbed the gigantic set of steps and had the most delicious brunch we’d ever had at the top at Hardware Societe Paris.

It would take me forever to write down every detail but I hope this is helpful for anyone traveling to Paris soon. ¬†We also loved just strolling along the Siene river, like probably one of my favorites was walking, hand in hand down old cobble stone streets. ¬†As cheesy as that sounds ūüėČ oh and the cheese, lord the cheese.

Did we love it?!

YES, it feels like we lived in a dream world for a week. ¬†We feel so enriched not only as a couple but also just seeing more of the world just makes us feel more alive. ¬†Soaking in all the richness of France, from the food, to the history to the arts… it really made us have an appreciation for so much. ¬†Especially of course for our own home and kids. ¬†Do I wish I could go back to my 20’s and live a couple years there? YUP! We’ll definitely be back to see more and probably with the kids next time. ¬† For now, I have to say we’re very happy to be home. ¬†I’m so grateful for this wonderful experience. ¬†Thank you all for joining along and all your kind comments over on Instagram. ¬†If you aren’t following me, I’d love for you to here!

Love,

Jordan

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Since I’m spending the summer on beautiful Cape Cod I thought I would share some of my favorite spots with you! ¬†As much as I love decorating, DIY and crafting these warm summer days won’t last forever, so it’s best to enjoy them while they’re here. ¬† Right? ¬†Once a week I’ll try to highlight some of my favorite spots on Cape Cod. ¬†Places I go¬†back to year after year, as well as some new- to- me spots! ¬†First up this week is a new to me spot…

Cape Cod Winery

I’ve had on my bucket list for awhile to try some of the wineries on the Cape. ¬†I love wine! ¬†I especially love the atmosphere of a winery, so chill and relaxed, sipping the day away. ¬†I also love learning about wine; how it is made, the grapes etc… Ben and I traveled to Sonoma several years ago and it was amazing! ¬†Going into our visit I kept in mind not to compare the experience to our experience in CA because it would be like comparing apples to oranges. ¬†Grapes grow so differently here, the climate and acidity it all goes into play with how the wine is made. ¬†I’m by no means a Wine expert AT ALL. ¬†However I thought I would share my experience visiting my first winery on Cape Cod.

Here is a little bit about the owners of the  www.capecodwinery.com

“The Orlandella Family comes from¬†the small village of¬†San Sossio Baronia, Italy where it has long been known for its fertile soils, quality fruit production and where¬†the people are¬†known for their passion and craft¬†of winemaking. To continue the tradition locally, the Orlandella’s¬†purchased the¬†Cape¬†Cod¬†Winery¬†in 2013.

Our grapevines are planted on a splendid site with sandy gravel soil and gentle slops which are ideal for wine grape growing and parallel the great vineyards of southern France and Italy. The European wine grape varieties we have chosen are particularly suited to the special terroir of the¬†Cape. The extraordinary wines produced from these fruits reflect the very special character of the¬†Cape¬†Cod¬†sun, soil and climate that may be savored in each sip.”

 

We arrived at the Cape Cod Winery on a late Friday afternoon, it was a beautiful sunny day. ¬†It wasn’t too busy however there were several small groups sitting out at tables… As you pull in you see the quintessential weathered shingle house, yet as you drive past it you see something a bit out of place for the area, rows and rows of grape vines! ¬†Instantly you are transported, it feels like the Cape but at the same time it feels different. ¬† We pulled in and walked up to ¬†the greeting desk. ¬†We decided to do a tasting which was $10, you get a free glass with Cape Cod Winery etched on it and you get to taste 7-8 of their wines.

They seat you under this beautiful large tent held up by tree trunks, that over look the house and the grape vines.   Chill beach-y music plays as they bring over a bowl of oyster crackers and start you with your first taste of the wine.   I recommend bringing a little cooler with some of your own snacks too if you like a little more to nibble on while you taste.  A cooler with some hummus, carrots or cheese and crackers/ grapes would be delightful with this tasting.  They also bring you bottled water as well.

As we go through all the different varieties of their wines, the server explains how they are made. ¬† They start you off with the most dry and then you work up to the sweetest. ¬†I didn’t know how wines made on the Cape would taste but I sipped with an open mind and pallet ūüėČ

I have to say I had quite a few favorites! ¬†Unfortunately they were out of their Sauvignon Blanc (that is usually a favorite of mine) however I loved the Chardonnay because it wasn’t overly oak-y in finish. ¬†It was very smooth and subtle. ¬†LOVED! ¬† I also was a huge fan of their popular Rose, called Mermaid Water. ¬†We ended the tasting with a choice of their Blueberry wine or their Cranberry wine. ¬†Cape Cod is known for their cranberry bogs and there are many around our beach house. ¬†So I went for the Cranberry, it was tart as you can imagine but a bit sweet in its finish. ¬†I really enjoyed it!

Post wine tasting I knew I wanted to purchase a couple bottles so we went into their little store do some shopping! ¬†you we went into their little store to shop! ¬†If you purchase three bottles you get a discount and the more bottles you purchase the more of a discount you receive. Once we made our purchases it was approaching 5 o’clock and I didn’t want to leave! ¬†The live music was arriving plus the food trucks. ¬†Check on their website to find out more about their hours and the different music/ food vendors that frequent on Wednesday and Friday nights. ¬†Tastings are primarily in the day time hours and then in the evening. ¬† On a Friday night it’s by the glass only. ¬†I recommend doing a tasting first so you know what your favorites are! ¬†I hope to go back soon and experience the winery in an evening setting. ¬†It was such a treat!!!

Have you ever been to a winery on Cape Cod or anywhere? ¬† How did you feel about the experience? ¬†Did you find it just as relaxing as I did? ¬†I hope you get a chance to check out this cool spot if you’re ever visiting Cape Cod!

Jordan

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