northeast mini-moon

Okay people, who has been to Italy? Oakley and I are leaving for our belated honeymoon in just one short week for our 14 day Italian adventure! I literally can’t even wait!

Oakley has done a great job of planning our trip so far. He’s got a knack for planning trips. After our wedding, we took a mini-moon, a short trip couples take immediately following their wedding BUT before their actual honeymoon (Yes, it’s a real term. And no, I had never heard of it either.), to the Northeast. Oakley planned the whole trip and we had a blast!

Take a walk down memory lane with me…

Our trip started in Boston. Neither of us had ever been to Boston and we were fresh off of our wedding-day-high, so we were incredibly excited when our plane landed. We didn’t have too much planned for Boston, so we did a lot of exploring, which we both love. We stayed at the Charlesmark Hotel in Back Bay. It was a charming hotel and the staff brought us a congratulatory bottle of champagne – we were pretty won over after that.

After dropping off our bags, we didn’t waste any time. We ate pizza for lunch at Dirty Water Dough Company, went to the Boston Public Library, Copley Square, Boston Common, and the Boston Public Garden (my personal favorite). It was November, so the trees were beautiful, especially compared to back home in Houston!

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[Look at how beautiful the trees are!]

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[Oakley enjoyed talking with the ducks…]

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[…while I enjoyed laying in the leaves.]

For dinner, we went to Bricco and were greeted by thick Boston accents (how fun!?). My old landlord told us about a place we needed to go to for dessert, Mike’s Pastry in North End. Oakley and I shared a chocolate chip cannoli – words don’t describe how delicious it was! My mouth is watering just thinking about it!! Mike’s Pastry was hands down the best decision we made while in Boston!

Needless to say, we both went to bed very, very full. The next day was a travel day – we grabbed coffees at Thinking Cup and made our way to pick up our rental car. We were Maine-bound!

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[Oakley couldn’t handle his excitement!]

Let me start by saying that Maine is BEAUTIFUL! We stayed in Kennebunk at a bed & breakfast called The Grand Hotel. It was absolutely adorable!! The ladies who work there are the sweetest and had some great stories to tell us about growing up in the area.

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[We can’t wait to stay at The Grand Hotel next time we’re in Maine!]

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[Selfie station showing off the view from our balcony!]

The ladies from The Grand Hotel recommended a restaurant called Alisson’s for lunch, so we headed over there. The great thing about Kennebunk and Kennebunkport is that everything is so close to each other. We were able to walk to a bunch of the places we went to, including Alisson’s. For lunch, I had my very first lobster roll. Holy smokes, it was good! I could eat one right now.

After lunch, we drove to Walker’s Point and saw the Bush Compound, walked on the beach and saw the Atlantic Ocean (we’re used to the Gulf of Mexico, so this was pretty fun for us), drove back to The Grand Hotel to park, and then walked around the little shops in Kennebunk and Kennebunkport.

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[The Bush Compound]

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[Here’s Oakley exploring on the rocks, channeling his inner geologist (but for real, he minored in geology).]

That night, we went to David’s KPT Bar for drinks and had a fantastic view of the water. We both had vodka martinis (our cocktail of choice) and talked with the bartender about everyone’s favorite Texas vodka, Titos! Our next stop was dinner at the White Barn Inn – this was a recommendation from my uncle and aunt. It was fantastic! The service and food were both top notch and the martinis weren’t half bad either.

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[I’m 99.9% sure I was tipsy in this picture.]

Not going to lie, I left the restaurant a little drunk and told Oakley that I wasn’t ready to go back to our room yet. So, we parked our car back at The Grand Hotel and walked to Old Vines Wine Bar…where we had ANOTHER martini.

I woke up with a bit of a headache the next morning, thanks to my night full of martinis. Luckily, we had planned to drive to Portland that day, so I had time to recover in the car. On our way, we stopped in Cape Porpoise and ate breakfast at The Wayfarer. This was a super cute restaurant and we ate a delicious breakfast. Once we were in Portland, it started to rain. We were freezing and getting wet, so we popped inside a little shop and bought gloves and a beanie for Oakley. We had lunch at Gilbert’s Chowder House – literally the best clam chowder I’ve ever had! We hopped on a ferry going to Peaks Island and walked around there for a little while. Oakley and I agreed that the next time we’re in Portland, we will most definitely make more time for Peaks Island. Unfortunately, the rain kept us from exploring like we had wanted.

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[This is one of my favorite pictures! It’s framed in our bedroom!]

Back in Kennebunk, we ate at Federal Jack’s for dinner (a meh decision) and had a movie night in our room. We wanted to get a good night’s sleep because the next morning we were driving back to Boston to catch a train to NYC.

New York City is one of my favorite cities ever! I love the hustle and bustle, the shopping, the food, the skyline – I pretty much love it all. I’ve been there many times; however, Oakley had not. We stayed at the Intercontinental at Times Square. While we didn’t have a great experience there, you can’t beat the location!

Once we dropped off our bags, we did the usual touristy things – ie: walk around Times Square, take selfies in Times Square, and eat hotdogs from the street food carts in Times Square.

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[Killing two birds with one stone – eating hotdogs in Times Square and taking a selfie in Times Square.]

We grabbed pre-dinner drinks at La Cava and had a dinner reservation at L’Artusi. I L-O-V-E-D L’Artusi!!! It was one of my favorite restaurants of our whole trip. I wish I could remember what I ordered, but it was one of the chef’s specials and came highly recommended by our waiter. Oakley liked my meal much better than his. The highlight of L’Artusi wasn’t our appetizer or even our entrees, it was the dessert! Three words for you: olive oil cake. It’s a life changer! I’m pretty sure Oakley would have traded his entree for another slice of this deliciousness (side note: once we got back to HTX, I became obsessed with baking olive oil cakes and made about 4 before the end of 2015).

The next morning we woke up and decided to run around Central Park. This run turned into an 8 mile running/walking adventure. After we oohed and aahed at the beauty of Central Park, we walked over to Sable’s Smoked Fish for an authentic New York bagel with cream cheese, smoked salmon, and capers. Yum, yum, yum – this low-key breakfast was one of my favorites!

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[I wish we could run in Central Park every single day!]

From there, we walked and saw the Empire State Building and the Flatiron Building (Oakley had just read a book about it and wanted to see it in person). We took the subway to One World Trade Center and did the tour that took us up to the 102nd floor observatory. This was such an amazing experience and I would recommend it to anyone! After that, we rode the subway to Hell’s Kitchen for a late lunch at Totto Raman (the BEST raman EVER).

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[The view from One World Trade Center]

We made our way back to our room to rest our feet and I may or may not have opted for a pre-dinner nap instead of pre-dinner drinks. We were exhausted from our busy day so we walked down the street to Shake Shack for some burgers and fries for dinner.

We woke up and couldn’t believe that it was the last day of our mini-moon! We had a brunch reservation at Asiate in the Mandarin Hotel and were lucky enough to have a table by the window. The restaurant has a breathtaking panoramic view of the city. We went back to the hotel to pack our bags, then headed out for some more time in Times Square. Before too long, we were hungry again and found our way to The Halal Guys‘ food stand – we each ordered a gyro and took them back to the hotel to eat. Y’all, this was seriously the best gyro I’ve ever tasted! Lucky for us, The Halal Guys just opened a restaurant in HTX!

While we sat at our gate waiting to board our flight back home, we talked about all of the fun we had, all of the food we ate, and how we couldn’t wait for our next trip to the Northeast! We were a little sad that our trip was over, but mostly excited to get back to Houston and start our lives together in our cozy, 1-bedroom, 1-bathroom apartment as husband and wife!

After recounting all of our mini-moon adventures, I’m feeling more excited than ever for our Italy honeymoon! It can’t get here fast enough!

Lots of love – ked

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