Ah, destination weddings. What used to be a coveted booze-filled weekend away with friends in your twenties, soon turns into something less glam when you’re 33, secretly nine weeks pregnant and suffering from the most horrific morning (read: all-day) sickness ever. However, I am pleased to report my nausea temporarily subsided as soon as I stepped foot on the rocky shores of Monhegan Island, Maine. Monhegan is a car-free, forested, artist haven located about 10 miles off the coast. The bride’s family has owned property on the island for decades and it was the perfect backdrop to a chic, relaxed, Northeastern summer wedding.
Jordan and I recently celebrated our first wedding anniversary. Our inaugural year together as a married couple has been nothing short of amazing. We’ve really found our groove and appreciate our relationship now more than ever. In order to celebrate we decided to take a weekend upstate in The Catskills, dog in tow.
Personally, I love a good hotel and usually really dislike staying in other people’s space. I feel like a vacation should be relaxing without having to worry about overstaying your welcome, or when the sheets were last laundered. However, hotel options upstate are lacking and after a major scrub of Airbnb (pastel carpeting and flowered comforters immediately excluded) the perfect mid-century modern oasis in the mountains was found. The Martin House was clean, welcoming and had the most amazing grounds, including a firepit surrounded by fire engine red adirondack chairs. The hosts even left us a chilled bottle of prosecco to celebrate. Cheers to the best first year and clean linens!
Recently my grandmother turned 85. To celebrate her birthday, she treated my entire extended family to a trip to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. There are about twenty of us, so coordinating everyone’s schedules was a bit difficult – but in the end, the miles-long back and forth e-mail chain was worth it. The time we spent together laughing, eating and lounging was extremely special; the perfect way to celebrate the family matriarch, our Nanny.
An early wake up call was a small price to pay for the beauty that is Ha Long Bay. We took a private car four hours from Hanoi to the northeastern shore of Vietnam to sail around the limestone islands for the day.
Most tourists opt to stay overnight on the water. But to be honest, after viewing our ‘luxury cruise’ options online, I decided even a luxury junk boat was not for me (read: Ghost Ship). Regardless, we were able to board one for the day and it was the perfect amount of time (and meals to have eaten at sea) before heading back to the comfort and stellar room service of The Metropole.
The second stop on our Southeast Asia trip was Hanoi, Vietnam. Hanoi is the capital city of Vietnam and was unexpectedly my favorite city on our trip. I loved the endless, twisting alleyways full of street food vendors and the excitement I felt when I stepped outside the familiarity of our hotel. The weather was mild in Hanoi, so it allowed us to spend the entire day exploring without having to take our usual 3pm shower break.
Jordan and I have long talked about going to Asia. Over the past two weeks we finally made that dream come true, traveling to Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. It was a celebration of sorts; me finishing my two months of grueling overnight work in the ICU and our six month wedding anniversary. We obviously told everyone on our trip it was our honeymoon, which unfortunately did not yield any freebies except several flower bouquets and one bottle of champagne. Uh, room upgrade please?
Packing has always been difficult for me, especially on a multi-week trip with varying climates and activities. I definitely come from the mindset of more is more. For example, for most warm trips I end up packing multiple sets of shorts even though I absolutely hate shorts and have never worn a pair past the age of 20. How about if I finally get over my distaste for shorts and become obsessed with them on this trip? I will obviously need to be prepared with several pairs.
Last weekend my husband and I traveled upstate for a wedding. We love getting out of the city, especially when driving is involved. The whole feeling of the two of us on the open road, shuffling through a 90’s playlist, snacking and having the freedom to pull over at random estate sales is just the best. This trip was especially fun because it brought me back to the Finger Lakes Region in Western New York, where I went to college and graduate school. We hiked, drank an A&W root beer float, and ate the best local donuts ever (no, really). The wedding was under a tent at a local winery and was beautiful. I even managed to convince Jordan to stop at Woodbury Commons on the way home for a quick shop before meeting my parents for dinner to celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary.