Kennebunkport Festival

June 13, 2016

I must admit...I am currently experiencing withdrawls following the festivities this past weekend at the Kennebunkport Festival. To say that we had a good time would be an understatement...by far the best events we have been to in Maine to date and will now be on our agenda every year.

Boutique hotels, shopping, waterfront parties, amazing food, craft cocktails, dancing and meeting new people..talk about kicking the summer off in style!

We started our weekend checking into The Kennebunkport Inn which is just inside the center of Kennebunkport and walking distance to just about anything you could want to do. With classic nautical decor this boutique inn features both renovated modern rooms as well as traditional style with New England charm. We of course opted for the more modern of the two, but truly loved how they incorporated both aspects into the property. 

With fireside dining, live music at the bar, complimentary cocktail hour and coffee in the morning plus the large outdoor spaces with views of the back bay...this property is a must see and stay when in Kennebunkport. We enjoyed both an evening meal and breakfast here and were thrilled with both - fresh flavors, great service and lively atmopshere. 

The real reason for the visit though was the Kennebunkport Festival, something we have missed the past few years as we have been out of town, so I was super excited to finally be attending. We narrowed the festivites to two parties; the Hinkley Reception at Chicks Marina and the Spirit of Maine Party, both hosted by Maine Magazine. The cocktail reception was the perfect way to start the evening with live music, waterfront views, appetizers, tequila cocktails and great company. Although the weather was a bit windy, the rain I was fearing held off and we had sunny skies all evening which lead to a pretty amazing sunset.

Most of all I loved touring the Hinkley boats...talk about #summergoals.

Next up was the big party of the evening, held under a tent filled with live trees, uplighting, neon signs and a nightclub vibe. We arrived fashionably late, after an outfit change of course, and the place was packed! Food stations lined each side of the tent, the bars were filled with a variety of mixed drinks, fire pits were burning outside for marshmellow roasting, the DJ was spinning the perfect mix of 80's & 90's jams and people were already dancing. Did I mention there was also a photo booth inside an Air Stream camper?! 

Talk about hitting it out of the park.

We dined, met new friends and danced the night away. Such a fun night...I want to go back, tonight, or actually right now...

I have a feeling this is going to set the tone for a pretty epic summer. I can't wait!

Stay tuned for outfit snaps later this week.

 

xo - margaret

Florida Getaway

June 5, 2016

Perdido Key has been a vacation spot for my family since I was a little girl, in fact I have pictures of me in my little red one piece making sand castles on this very beach. Located on the pan handle and away from the typical flashy Florida beach scene Perdido Key has managed, for the most part, to stay a hidden oasis. You wont find fancy hotels, bars and swanky restaurants here - but you will find white sandy beaches, fresh seafood and friendly locals who make you feel right at home. It's a place I look forward to visiting each year, and one of the places that we truly relax and *gasp* unplug.

I'm sure you can see why it's a family fav - waking up to this every morning is pretty darn easy to get used to. 

A week is never long enough.

What's your favorite family vacay destination? 

xo - margaret

Austin Love

March 3, 2016

We just returned from an amazing trip to Austin, seriously such a great freaking city. They have so much to do, the best weather and it's the perfect size to be able to really explore it all without feeling overwhelmed. Plus, the surrounding areas are filled with fabulous day trips, the outdoors, fitness, delish food and lots of lakes, rivers and adventure. 

On this trip we stayed at the Hotel VanZandt, a new boutique property just on the edge of Rainey St. and the East Austin neighborhood (an up and coming spot in the city). The hotel was stunning, and what I like to call self sustaining, meaning that everything you need is right there in the hotel, so if there comes a time during your trip where you don't know what to do, where to eat or where to grab a drink the hotel is your spot! The Van Zandt has it all including; rooftop pool with a happening scene, delicious restaurant serving dinner and a jazz brunch on the weekends (make resos for both the place gets packed), a large fitness center, some of the best coffee I have ever had in their Cafe, free bikes for guests to explore the city with, a nightly margarita hour with complimentary cocktails in their uber chic lobby and the perfect location to easily access all that Austin has to offer. Kimpton hit it out of the park with this property, and having stayed at their locations all across the country I can easily say this one is in the top 5 for me. Plus, their staff there is spot on - all of them are ridiculously good looking & hip as well as being genuinely helpful and friendly. A rare combination!

Since the weather was so kind to us, sunny and upper 60's lower 70's the entire stay, we spent most of our time outside and exploring. Only venturing indoors for dinner and live music in the evenings when it got a little chilly.

Here are some of our Austin favorites:

Where to Stay (dog friendly of course)

Hotel Van Zandt - high end boutique hotel with all the amenities you could possibly need.

Hotel San Jose - great minimalist boutique hotel right in the heart of all that South Congress has to offer.

Shopping

2nd Street District - a great mix of home goods stores, fashion, beauty and cafes. I especially loved Luxe Apothetique, their prices were great, they carry clothing and beauty products and their staff is awesome.

SoCo (South Congress St.) - filled with eclectic shops, antiuques, street vendors, music, food trucks and some awesome restaurants & cafes. A few favorite shops for me are Sugar & Paris, Maya Star and Uncommon Objects.

Outdoor/Fitness

Bike Riding - seriously the best bike trails I have ever seen, and man are they packed! I swear no one works during the day in Austin, because even on a Thursday and Friday the trails are filled with people running, walking on bikes etc. 

SUP & Kayak - There are a ton of options to get rentals in Austin, so just pick a spot near you and head out for a day on the river.

Core  Power Yoga - Great studio, awesome & challenging classes in a heated studio with some great tunes.

Barton Springs Pool - Great place to spend an afternoon, but I will warn you that water is chilly! In the summer this place is an absolute zoo so get there early, or enjoy it in the off season. A must see/do while you are in Austin.

Zilker Park - There is something here for everyone; bike paths, beach volleyball, running trails, SUP, boat rentals, kayaking, bike rentals, picnic spots, pools, playgrounds, botanical garden and more! Bring a picnic lunch and some beverages and make it a day!

Dining

Breakfast

Cenote - Flavorful, simple, fresh & local. This place checks all the boxes for me! Plus they have the best coffee drinks I have ever had, their iced latte was a game changer for me, and no iced latte will ever taste the same. 

Jo's Coffee - They have a couple of locations

South Congress Cafe - Great little retro style diner serving the classics with an Austin Tex-Mex twist.

Lunch/Dinner

Geraldines - Fabulous dinner menu with some seriously creative & explosive (in a good way) flavors, impeccable service, views of the city & river, live music most nights and a delish jazz brunch on the weekends.

La Barbacue - Go early...they run out of everything!

Perlas - Patio dining at it's best, this place is always the perfect amount of busy, has a really unique menu, great food (for lunch & brunch in particular) and is definitely a place to be "seen."

Hop Daddy - If you like a good burger (like me) or if you are hungover...or even better, BOTH, then you MUST go to this place. They give Shake Shack a run for their money in the race for my favorite burger ever. Try to grab a seat at the bar if you can, you will get better service and can space out your burger/fries and the milkshake you will want to order. I forewarn you though, you will easily gain 3-5 pounds after eating here so be prepared for a food baby!

Second Bar & Kitchen - Great for weekday lunch, dinner or happy hour if you are downtown. It's a little quiet on the weekends to forewarn you. They also have a great patio to enjoy the hustle and bustle of the city.

Late Night

Rainey St. Bars & Food Trucks - you can't go wrong with this street, just pick a spot and head in, there's something for everyone from higher end to backyard patio feel, live music everywhere and some pretty darn awesome food trucks.

Little Lucy's Donuts - These mini donuts are like bits of pure heaven, so addictingly delicious. I have not enough words to describe how good they are. 

I could go on, and on about Austin, but really you just need to experience it for yourself. It's a great destination for couples, families, singles and groups - there is something for everyone in this city and with year round great weather there isn't a bad time to visit! If you make it there, I most certainly hope you enjoy and that these suggestions are helpful.

Happy Adventuring!

xo - margaret