A Day in Salem MA

It is my favorite time of year and I am truly thriving. Pumpkin flavored everything, leaves candles from Bath & Body Works, Hocus Pocus binges, and all the fall activities are everything that I wait for all year long. I am very lucky to live in New England during my favorite time of year. One of the perks is being so close to Salem MA. A quick hour and a half drive away, Salem is the perfect day trip to take in October.

Now I have to warn you. Once October comes the quiet cobblestone streets of Salem become a mad house – literally. There are monsters on the street ready to take your picture with, booths lining the streets of vendors selling everything from crystals to t shirts, and big crowds. I would definitely suggest getting there earlier in the day and eating before you get there because the wait times at every restaurant and pub are crazy.

Despite the crowds we had a great day, so here are some of the highlights.

Since my boyfriend Jeff had never been to Salem before we knew we were going to want to do it all, so it made sense to buy a Combination Ticket (save $8!) to the land of witches and pirates. This included access to the Witch Dungeon Museum, Witch History Museum, and New England Pirate Museum. This worked out wonderfully because we did not have to wait in line to buy tickets to each experience. If you can only do one of the three I recommend the Witch History Museum. They start off with a live reenactment of a witch trial and then afterwards bring you into an exact replica of what the cells looked like that people had to endure while awaiting trial.

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We both knew we wanted to do a walking ghost tour of Salem, and since we were only there for the day we were excited to find out that there was a Midday Ghost Tour. The stories were entertaining, but do not expect to be scared on this tour. Next time we go I definitely want to take the Haunted Footsteps Tour at night. The highlight of the tour for me was getting to see some of the places that Hocus Pocus was filmed. That white house was Allison’s house in the movie.

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Our favorite experience of the day was Gallows Hill. It is a theater production where they tell the legends of Salem with special effects and a few jump scares. It was definitely entertaining, and you can tell they put a lot of effort into the attraction. They also have a haunted attraction called The Lost Museum which we did not do.

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Two of the attractions that we did not get to do this time around were The Witch Museum and a tour of The Witch House. We will definitely have to add those to the list next year.

If you live in New England Salem is the perfect day trip to get into the Halloween spirit. They do a great job of balancing the line of being entertaining with teaching visitors about the awful things that happened there during the witch hysteria of 1692.

xx Casey

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Bayberry Beer Hall

This weekend, thanks to some good friends, we stumbled upon the coolest new Beer Hall in the West Side of Providence. However, it definitely doesn’t feel like you are in Providence. Think Brooklyn NY with the cool industrial vibe, communal tables, and antique light fixtures. The place drew me in immediately.

Bayberry is owned by Tom and Natalie Dennen who seem like the nicest couple (with the cutest kid!) – just check out the Bayberry Instagram and follow their journey from building to opening. Their passion for doing everything local from the lighting to the signage is what makes them unique- and inspiring.

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When you enter, take a seat at one of the communal tables and mull over the menus that are placed on each table or go right up to the counter and place your order. The bartenders will serve you your drink and give you a buzzer for your food. When your food is ready you go up to the beautiful open kitchen, grab your plate, and bring it back to your table.

Now let’s get to the good stuff… GUYS. They had a ROSÉ CIDER. Right now you can order it by the .355ML bottle, however the awesome bartenders let me know that soon they will have it on tap. WHAT! We also had a house-made pretzel with mustard butter(yum!) and roasted smashed red bliss potatoes with olive oil and garlic. Everything melded together so perfectly from the food, to the drinks, to the atmosphere, to the service.

This is the place I have been looking for. A gathering place for good conversation with great friends over some killer drinks. I already can not wait to go back and bring everyone I know. Cheers!

xx Casey

Weekend Recap: NJ Food Guide

I spent this past weekend with my family back home in Jersey to see my little sisters spring musical. It was The Little Mermaid and she was one of the eels. Despite being sick she killed it – awesome job Nina!

Besides going to see the play we had another thing on the agenda: hit up as many of my favorite North Jersey food stops in 24 hours as possible. It is safe to say I officially feel gross and I am ready to get back on track today – after I finish this bagel.

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When we arrived we started off having lunch at my all time favorite pizza place – Rose’s Pizza in Garfield. They have THE BEST Sicilian pie you will ever have. Also their Eggplant Parm is incredible and their sandwiches are so fresh and so big. If you are in the area you have to stop in. Order a Sicilian Pie – well done, sixteen slices. And don’t worry the leftovers are just as good.

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After the play we had to hit up White Castle. My boyfriend had never been so for his first time in North Jersey I skipped out on White Manna and went for some Murder Burgers. Fries, Onion Rings, Chicken Rings, Sliders, Chicken Breast Sliders, Mozzarella Sticks… OH. MY. GOD. Do I regret it? Maybe. Would I do it again? Probably.

The next morning we had to take a quick trip before breakfast to get a dozen bagels from Fairlawn Bagel to bring back to Jersey. I got a mix of Everything, Sesame, and a couple Cinnamon Raisin. Next time I am taking a page out of my cousins book and getting a dozen Everything Bagels.

After the bagel pit stop we had to hit up a Jersey Diner for Breakfast. We hit up the Cit Chat Diner in Lodi, and had some awesome breakfast food and even more laughs. I absolutely love when all of my cousins are together. After the diner we had to stop in at a Wawa and get some beverages for the road.

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The last stop on the way home was at Shake Shack for lunch. Now I have never had In and Out and I know there is a big debate between which one is better, but Shake Shack burgers are so incredibly flavorful. And the cheese fries are on point. Oh, and the shakes. My burger was a little too rare for my liking, but by the time I finished my fries I was so full I could not move.

We finished the journey home half dead in a food coma, and then immediately got into bed. I am very VERY ready for some lemon water and a nice salad for lunch today. How was your weekend?

xx Casey

Garden Grille

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The Garden Grille is a vegetarian & vegan based restaurant on East Ave in Pawtucket. Now I am not a vegetarian, but I am really interested in incorporating a partially vegetarian diet into my life. Did you know that eating less meat can reduce your carbon footprint by 63%? I think that is pretty incredible. If we can help the earth just by incorporating more plants into our diet, then that’s something I can get behind.

Anyway, this is not a lecture on vegetarianism – this is a post on one of my favorite lunch spots right now. They serve lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch, and have a small bar inside as well.

When I say that I dream about their roasted brussel sprout grilled cheese and tomato soup I am not kidding. I may have had it two days in a row.. On my last trip I had the avocado toast with pickled vegetables. The smoothness of the avocado paired with the tart pickled vegetables and the spice from the red chili flakes – it was everything you would want in an avocado toast. Paired with a blood orange hibiscus tea, I couldn’t be happier.

I have also been for brunch – their vegan biscuits and gravy were super filling, and their vegan pancakes were light and fluffy.

Whether you are a vegetarian/vegan or are just looking for some deliciously fresh veggie based foods, then this is the place for you.

 

xx Casey

Travel Guide: Providence – Wayland Square

I am lucky to call the big little city of Providence Rhode Island my home. Through the years Providence has become a destination for incredible food, shopping, art, and entertainment. I could probably write about the incredible places and things to see in Providence solely on this blog and have enough to say for years to come. There is always something new and exciting to see! What can I say, I am #blessed to live here. So I am going to break this city down for you in multiple Providence themed Travel Guides. First up on the list is Wayland Square, located in the East Side of Providence. This is one of my go-to weekend spots, so here are a couple of my favorites:

Wayland Square Diner

First up is my favorite little breakfast place on the east side. It is quick, cheap, and delicious diner food that makes me feel like I am back home in New Jersey. This is the place that I go if I want a really good bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich on a grilled everything bagel. Oh, and a side of home fries.

The Salted Slate

This is another really awesome choice for breakfast. This is where I go when I am in the mood for an awesome brunch. I recently brought my family here when they were visiting and we had an incredible time. Now I never go for something on the sweet side for breakfast. I want my eggs, toast, bacon… but the lemon ricotta pancakes with bay leaf maple syrup and fresh berries are so light and fluffy that I cannot resist. Also, you cannot leave without ordering the bag of warm donuts. We got ours to go and they were the perfect mid afternoon treat.

West Elm

West Elm has been one of my favorite online window shopping sites for ages. I love getting inspiration for home décor from their site. Well to my delight a shop has just opened up in Wayland Square! Now, West Elm is definitely a little pricey however the store definitely has some more affordable items as well – and no shipping charges to deal with. The thing I love most is that they have a display dedicated to local Rhode Island businesses.

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Paper Nautilus

Paper Nautilus is cleverly described on their window as: a bookshop located on Five South Angell Street in Providence Rhode Island, specializing in rare and recent books, art, ephemera, and assorted oddiments since 1996. This little shop is a book lover’s wonderland. Scour the shelves for books on poetry, history, war, and love. Then go downstairs, and look through their antiques for sale and maybe find something really special.

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Mc Brides Irish Pub

After some shopping stop into this local Irish pub for a beer outside on their terrace should the weather agree. Or sit inside and catch that 1pm football game (J E T S!) and order up a plate of nachos. Mc Brides offers up some solid bar food and live entertainment weekly.

Where would you like me to travel to next? Stay tuned for my next Travel Guide!

xx Casey

 

Borealis Coffee Company

On Saturday morning I headed over to the grand opening of Borealis Coffee Company on Bullocks Point Ave in Riverside RI. To say I was excited would be an understatement. There was a small batch coffee shop opening right in my back yard, and I no longer had to drive over the bridge for a good cup of coffee.

Borealis means “from the north” in Latin and is an homage to the founder Brian’s Alaskan roots. They are a small batch roastery and cafe which means they roast all of their coffee beans on site. They pride themselves in roasting to order, which means you are getting the best quality of coffee each and every time.

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I had a simple cold brew iced coffee paired with a caramelized onion and ham turnover. It was nothing short of perfect.

For me, a great coffee shop is all about the experience and the feeling you get while you are there. Borealis had everything you could ever want in a coffee shop – beautiful minimal decor, incredible coffee, a great selection of food items, and the friendliest staff I have ever encountered. Everyone who worked there was so kind and gladly offered up their recommendations on the menu.

If the coffee isn’t enough to keep you coming back, the staff definitely will. I think Borealis is in for a long and exciting ride.

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xx Casey

 

Anheuser-Busch Brewery Tour

I spent a quick 36 hours in New Hampshire this weekend, somewhere that is quickly turning into one of my favorite places to visit. After scoring some sweet tax free deals at the Merrimack Outlets I made my way to the Anheuser-Busch Brewery to see how a bottle of good ol’ American Bud Light is made.

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The Tour we went on cost $10 and included a tour of the facilities, a glass of hours old bud light poured straight from the ice cold barrel, a tour of the bottling facility, two samples, and a complimentary glass to take home. They also have complimentary tours and VIP Tours.

The facility was huge and we traveled through rooms with three degrees of temperatures.. 80 degrees where the mashing process takes place and “wort” is made, 56 degrees where the holding tanks are and the fermentation takes place, and 30 degrees where the beer is held before pasteurization and bottling.

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Did you know that Bud Light is the only beer to be made with rice? It gives the beer it’s light color and distinct flavor. Anheuser-Busch is also one of the only breweries to have it’s own hops farms, one in Germany and one in Idaho.

After the tour we made our way to the gift shop and biergarten. There they have $2 pints of beers and  German style food. Lastly, you can not end your trip without visiting the famous Anheuser-Busch Clydesdale’s.

Check out budweisertours.com for tour times at all of their brewery locations. Cheers!

xx Casey