Monday, December 9, 2013

Winter is Coming (and Allagash Brewery)

As the end of the semester draws to a close, Christopher and I have been busier than ever. Christmas decorations, fluffy scarves and the occasional snowfall are reminders that fall is ending and winter is almost upon us.

Despite the constant papers and projects we have been working on, there has been a little time for fun. We celebrated Christopher's birthday at Allagash Brewery in Portland. If you are beer lover like us, I would definitely recommend going.

Allagash Brewery was founded in 1995 by Rob Tod. It was one of the first American breweries to specialize in Belgian beers. The brewery became immensely successful and currently distributes in seventeen states.

The brewery tour was fun, informative and short. You also get four tastings at the end of the tour. Did I mention all of this is free?

It was a super fun way to celebrate Christopher's birthday and was definitely something I would experience again.

What has everyone else been up to?

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Although I never finished posting what my sister, my mom and I did during their visit in October, the beginning of December feels a little to late for a decidedly autumn post. Instead, I will just offer you a recap of the amazing things we did.

On their second day on the East Coast we paid tribute to Bunker Hill and drove around the North End. We then then drove up the coast to our home in Bangor and stopped in Portsmouth, NH along the way.

Throughout the week we sent on several hikes, did a little New England shopping and enjoyed the perfect autumn weather. I took them on hikes through Essex Woods and Pushaw Lake. We also paid a little visit to my favorite autumn spot, Treworgy Farms.

On their final day in New England we visited Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. It was the perfect ending to a wonderful trip. I am trying to convince them that a winter visit is necessary! (Don't mention the cold to them....)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Plymouth Again

I feel like I should preface this post by apologizing for my absence. This semester I am not only a full-time grad student, but I am a teaching assistant for a undergraduate class and I work part-time at Staples. I have very little free time. The only reason I was even able to sneak in this post this morning is because I am rather ill.

A few weeks ago my mom and little sister came to visit me. We had such a wonderful time together and I would love to share some of my favorite moments from that week.

My mom and sister flew into Logan International, so Christopher and I drove down to Boston to meet them and spend the weekend showing off Massachusetts.

Our first stop was one of my favorite places to visit: Plymouth. I was so excited to be able to share this experience with them. We explored the Mayflower II, the Gristmill, Plimouth Plantation and the graveyard where our ancestors are buried. We had a wonderful time just walking through  the beautiful town of Plymouth and enjoying the history around us.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


The Pennsylvania Memorial
Christopher and I had the amazing opportunity to visit Gettysburg. We opted for a self-guided tour with a CD for our car (about $20-$25) and drove around the historical park and town.

Gettysburg was an incredibly emotional experience. I can hardly write this post without tearing up. The American Civil War was the bloodiest war in United States history. Fathers fought sons, brothers battled one another, and friendships were torn apart by the crisis. The Battle of Gettysburg was the epitome of this horrible tragedy.

The Virginia Memorial
The weather on the day of our visit cannot be described in any other way but poetic. Our day began with heavy rainfall and fog. We could hear thunder and see mist rolling into the valley as we visited the first few memorials. When we reached Little Round Top, the turning point of the battle, the sun burst through the clouds and showered us with sunlight. It felt as if the sun was reminding us that Americans can never be daunted.

The Maine Memorial

Little Round Top

Devil's Den
Visit Gettysburg. Your heart will burst with terrible sadness, tragic beauty and immense pride in being American.

Thursday, October 3, 2013


Monticello was definitely one of the highlights of our last road trip. I am a student of eighteenth century history and Thomas Jefferson is emblematic of that period.

The tour inside the house was about an hour and a half long. My favorite parts of the tour were Jefferson's momentos in his hallway and his lovely library. I think Christopher's favorite part was discovering that Jefferson was a huge beer fan. After the peeking inside the home, visitors were given the choice of taking a tour of the gardens, the slave quarters or simply exploring the grounds and Jefferson graveyard on their own. We were a little short on time and opted to wander through the property by ourselves. The grounds were exquisite and an interesting little peek into colonial life.

If you are ever in Charlotesville, Virginia, you must tour Monticello. It is well-worth the visit. I have a feeling Monticello will be another spot that we revisit in the future.

Be warned that you need to book tickets prior to the visit. I simply called the day-of and ordered them about two hours before our visit. Have fun!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Nasville and Britsol

I know I have said this in the last two to three posts, but life has truly been a whirlwind lately. That being said, it is time for me to get to the good stuff: Travel!

When my little brother, a Percy Jackson fan, heard I would be in Nashville, he absolutely begged me to visit the Parthenon. Part of the movie (specifically the scene where the security guards turn into a hydra) was filmed at this location.
"Persephone's Pearl" used in the movie
The Parthenon itself was pretty neat. Inside is you can find history about its construction, a replica of the actual Parthenon and a miniature art museum. The grounds around the Parthenon are lovely and are perfect for a picnic.

Later that day we found ourselves in Bristol, Tennessee. Both of our dads are huge racing fans, so we took a few pictures outside of the speedway.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


I loved Memphis. The BBQ….the buildings…the people. I am so glad Christopher and I decided to stop there for dinner. We didn’t have the chance (or pocketbook) to visit Graceland, but we thoroughly enjoyed Memphis BBQ and chatting with some of the locals at the BBQ Restaurant.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Petrified Forest National Park

I have taken a rather long break from blogging because Christopher and I just went on our third road trip. We visited a lot of amazing places so be prepared for quite a few posts about our latest adventure.

Christopher and I decided to explore a more southern route this time around. Our first night was spent in Holbrook, Arizona, right outside of the Petrified Forest National Park. Neither of us are desert people, but we enjoyed taking pictures of the “Painted Desert” and hiking through the petrified forests.

I would probably never go out of my way to visit the park, but it was an interesting stop.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

How To Plan a Road Trip-Part 1

In a little over two weeks Christopher and I will cram in my little car for our third road trip in one year. Since I have become somewhat knowledgeable in the art of planning and executing road trips, I thought it would be fun to do a three part series on how you can plot your own adventure. Here are a few steps to aid in your initial planning:

1. Determine your destination and your route. Note that from the Pacific and Atlantic and back will take about three weeks if you drive roughly six hours a day. Is there a certain place you really want to visit? Google Maps is an excellent resource to show you what destinations are achievable in your time-frame.
2. Set a budget. Will you be spending your nights in five-star hotels or roughing it in a tent? How much money does it take to fill up your tank with gas? Will you be packing sandwiches every day or running through drive-thrus or dining in only the very best restaurants? How much will you put aside for souvenirs? These are all incredibly important questions to consider before you starting booking.
3. Check out guide books and websites for interesting places to visit during your trip. Websites such as Yelp and AAA have been invaluable.  

I hope this will help you to begin the initial planning of your own road trip. Next time, we’ll discuss where Christopher and I stay.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Spring and Summer 2013 Movie Review

This type of post was pretty popular last time, so here is my Spring/Summer movie review. 
Image from yahoo/
The Great Gatsby: I honestly do not understand why so many critics disliked it. Christopher and I loved this movie, could not stop gushing about it and even re-read the book together on our last road trip. The casting was spot-on, the sets and costumes were fantastic and the movie very closely followed the plot and script of the book. One thing enjoyed in the movie was more explicitly witnessing a friendship develop between Nick and Gatsby. Some people complained that they did not like that Nick was speaking with a psychologist in the movie. I thought it was perfectly logical. If you had seen your best friend shot, would you not also seek psychiatric help? Do me a favor and rent or buy this movie. Even if you were never a Gatsby fan, you will at least love admiring all the 1920’s fashion.

Image from yahoo/

Star Trek: Into Darkness: This was an excellent, excellent movie. It was definitely more plot-driven than the first, but equally as wonderful. It was the perfect balance between action and emotion. Also Benedict Cumberbatch is just wonderful. I love him as Sherlock and I thought he was a fantastic *spoiler* Khan. Go to your local cheap theater right now and prepare to be entertained.

Image from
Monsters University: This movie was tad predictable, but adorable nevertheless. Fans of the original Monsters Inc. will appreciate the humor and nods to the original movie. My little brother both enjoyed the movie. I would recommend it as the perfect summer kid’s movie. 

There you have it ladies and gents. I am unlikely to see any others except maybe Despicable Me 2 (what can I say, I love minions). Until next time!