Back to our regularly scheduled programming…

Wow…never really intended to take this long of a break from the blog. This summer has been so busy and now its almost September. How did that happen?

So for today, I wanted to give a little travel book update. I recently visited my best friends in Richmond and while out shopping discovered some new fun travel books. So thought I would update the list (the previous post can be found here).

1. I Never Knew That About London (Or England or Ireland or New York)
By Christopher Winn

I Never Knew That About London

2. Travel Listography: Exploring The World In Lists
By Lisa Nola
Travel Listography: Exploring the World in Lists

3. City Walks: London
By Christina Henry de Tessan
City Walks: London, Revised Edition: 50 Adventures on Foot

4. Cool New York
By TeNeues
Cool New York

And Finally, picked up this adorable Travel Journal by Rifle Paper Co. I am so excited to go on my next trip so I can break it in.
Bon Voyage Journal

When you are planning a trip, do you use any travel books? What are your favorites?

Beach Bum For Life

The title of this post sounds like one of those prints you see in the cheap beach stores that sell t-shirts with dolphins and airbrushing or the painted decorative old boards displayed in Beach Condos that were decorated in the 1980’s. But I really couldn’t think of a better description for what happened last week when I was in Fenwick.

Basically my week looked like this- wake up, eat, lay on the beach, read, eat, come back to the cottage, read more, eat more, bike ride, eat again, play cards, read, sleep…repeat. I lived in swimsuits and comfy pants all week and never wore a stitch of makeup or did my hair. It was glorious, until I had to come home and realized I can’t fit into any of my clothes cause of all the food I ate.

Side note #1: New favorite Fenwick food stop- Grab and Go Taco… I went there 3 times if that tells you anything.

Side Note #2: I completed 9 of the 11 books I brought so I’d say that was a successful trip.

But here are some snapshots from the week taken on my good old iPhone that is on its last life. (sorry the quality isn’t the best)

Our Beach Umbrella Sunset
 My Beach Bike Mom's Blueberry Pie
Fenwick 3 Our Beach Cottage
Fenwick 10

Beach Reads

If I am going to lay on the beach for 7 days, I have to have some good books. My family always laughs at me for bringing so many for just a week and for that fact that I tend to speed read, but I just can’t help. Anyway, I think this year maybe the best year yet. Here is the list of my vacation reads.

This stack of books may take up too much space in the suitcase.

This stack of books may take up too much space in the suitcase.

1. As I Lay Dying- William Faulkner
2. The Bell Jar- Sylvia Plath
3. The American Heiress- Daisy Goodwin
4. Still: Notes On A Mid-Faith Crisis- Lauren F. Winner
5. The Perfume Collector- Kathleen Tessaro
6. The Summer We Read Gatsby- Danielle Ganek
7. Bono: In Conversation With Michka Assayas -Michka Assayas
8. Before I Go To Sleep- S. J. Watson
9. Life After Life- Kate Atkinson
10. Someday, Someday, Maybe- Lauren Graham
11. Grace: A Memoir- Grace Coddington

What are your best beach books?

Home Cooking

When I go home, I normally am craving my mother’s classic summer recipes…fried squash, blueberry pie, chicken and dumplings, soft shell crabs…you know the usual. My Mom Mom (what us Delawarians call our grandmother) used to make these crab melts for lunch sometimes with crab meat on an English muffin toasted with cheese…its was so good. Oh, and Strawberry pie…she made the best strawberry pie. But I also start craving my favorite food stops the minute I hit the beach.

Here are the go to places that are always on the list.

The beautiful Catch 54

Local Fenwick Stops…

Ocean Side Sub Shop- Best Italian Sub hands down…so so deliciously good. Its normally the first place I eat at when I am in Fenwick.
Harpoon Hannah’s- Really great high end Seafood restaurant. Fabulous coconut muffins they give you before you get your meal. Turns more into a really loud bar and club late into the evenings.
Catch 54- Beautifully minimalistic Fish house right on the bay side. Great for a romantic meal out.
Fenwick Crabhouse- can never go wrong with a really good all you can eat crab feast. It s a necessity on the Eastern Shore.
Nantucket’s- On the higher end of the seafood restaurants but so worth it.
Fisher’s Popcorn – Carmel corn that is still a little warm and gooey. Its the most glorious. They also ship all over the US and are carried in select retail stores on the east coast.
Warren’s Station- My one and only summer as a waitress was at this family owned establishment. ( I was a horrible waitress) But the food is definitely not horrible. Serving Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. You can even go up to the carry out window and get a really good crab cake sandwich to take back out on the beach.
Candy Kitchen- A quintessential beach favorite, with locations in Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. Get any kind of candy, fudge, or salt water taffy you can think of, and if that isn’t sweet enough top it off with some delicious ice cream. It’s a real hit with the kids.

Thrasher’s French Fries

Just a town over…

Nick’s Original House of Ribs- At certain points of the evening, when the breeze hits it just right you can smell the ribs being cooked, and I swear its one of the most amazing smells in the world especially when mixed with the salty ocean air…its perfection. Oh, and the ribs taste pretty good too.
Thrasher’s French Fries- If you head farther into Ocean City, MD you can head to the inlet and the first stop should be Thrasher’s. your next stop after that? The Alaska Stand, but we will get to that in a minute.  French fries, doused with vinegar and old bay. Or just plain on their own with Ketchup. Either way this place is an institution and the best!
Alaska Stand- After you have gotten the fries, go a little farther down the boardwalk for a really good cheeseburger. You can’t get much more american than that!
Grotto Pizza- Best pizza ever! With locations all over the Eastern Shore. Its something about their sauce and the crust…oh my word. You can even take home a frozen pizza to cook later. So so good you guys.
Fractured Prune- This little donut chain has been featured on Food Network and the Today Show. Choose from a large list of specialty donuts or you can even make up your own creation if you want to. But be prepared to pay in cash, they don’t except credit cards.

Just be prepared for your waistline to expand if you hit any of these places, us Delaware folk don’t really believe in the whole diet thing!

A little secret..

Happy Monday!!!!

I’m about to let you all in on a secret place, that is my favorite on the east coast. I am a little hesitant to share this destination with you as I am a little afraid that all 15 of my followers will descend upon it, and it will lose some of its small town magic and charm, but I am willing to risk it.

This week we are going to Delaware…yes you read that right, DELAWARE. Specifically the small, quaint beach town of Fenwick Island. Its where my family grew up. My grandparents owned a hotel there for many years,  my mom grew up here, and I have spent pretty much every summer of my life soaking up the rays and ocean air on its sandy shores. It wasn’t until after moving to Charlotte, that I realized how much I missed this place and every summer our family rents a friend’s beach house and we enjoy a week (sometimes three) of just peaceful beach relaxation.

So I hope you enjoy hearing about a place that is very close to my heart. Let’s dive in…

There are a few small hotels in Fenwick…or if you want to stay in a really nice hotel you can cross the state line into Ocean City, MD but that would be a mistake for several reasons. Unless you are a college frat boy or sorority girl and don’t mind over crowded bars and restaurants with drunk tourists…than go for it.  If you are going to stay in Fenwick renting a house is the way to go. Even better if you can gather some of your friends to go in with you.

Here are four places that would be fun to hang out in for a week…

Option #1

Option #2

Option #3

Option #4

So have you ever been to my beloved homeland? Would love to hear your experiences!

Crab Cakes and our Founding Fathers

I take great pride in being a native of the Mid Atlantic, and one reason is seafood.  Its glorious and fresh and just screams summer to me. And in D.C. its one of the things you need to eat while you are there. Specifically Crab Cakes or just straight up Maryland Chesapeake Blue Crabs. But D.C. has a lot more to offer than just Seafood so let’s get to it…

Hank's Oyster Bar

Hank’s Oyster Bar

Seafood
Maine Avenue Fish Market
Surfside
Hank’s Oyster Bar
Johnny’s Half Shell

Mexican
Las Placitas

Bakeries
Georgetown Cupcakes
Hello Cupcakes

Deli/Sandwich/Burger
C.F. Folks
Sundevich
Black & Orange

Bar
The Black Squirrel

French
Cafe St. Ex

Ben’s Chili Bowl

All American
Ben’s Chili Bowl
Restaurant Nora
Founding Farmers

Fancy
Tabard Inn

Coffee
Filter
Qualia Coffee

Feeling Patriotic

Lincoln Memorial

Hello and Happy Monday…wait is it Monday? No I mean, Tuesday! Whatever you all know what I mean.

So My friend, Erin is going to D. C. next week so what better city to imagine ourselves going to….let’s all live vicariously through Erin ok? Ok.

So there are several accommodation options for DC, but here are my picks.

Dupont Circle/DC Metro
The Dupont Circle Hotel
Palomar Washington DC
The Liaison Capitol Hill

Georgetown
The Georgetown Inn
The Graham Georgetown

Any other suggestions for DC? Send me an email or leave a comment below!

What would Ina eat?

Every time I watch, “The Barefoot Contessa” on TV, or crack open one of Ina Garten’s cookbooks, I  immediately imagine a world where I own a  beautiful beach cottage and have all the time (and money) to cook fabulous meals for my fabulous friends. I feel like Ina and I would be friends, and she would take me on a tour of the Hamptons and introduce me to all the best foods they have to offer…well that hasn’t happened (yet), but I tried to find the next best thing….here is a list of some of what the locals say are the best places to grab a bite.

Candy Kitchen -Ina says this is the plase to grab breakfast in Bridgehampton. They also serve Lunch and Dinner.
Eli Zabar- Located at the Amagansett Farmers Market a great place to grab a cup of coffee while you are buying some fresh fruits and veggies.
The Seafood Shop- located in Wainscott, this is where Ina gets her seafood so you know its the best.
1770 House – This place is legendary for their meatloaf. That’s right I said meatloaf. Its been in the heart of East Hampton for 250 years. Yes, its on the pricey side but treat yourself to a good meal out once while on vacation, okay? I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
Jim Pike’s Roadside Stand -The Hamptons in the summer also means lots of pop up road side produce stands, but according to Ina this one is her go to.  Located off  Sagg Main Street just outside of Bridgehampton.
Mary’s Marvelous- Bakery and Cafe serving some of the best cookies and cakes, located in East Hampton and Amagansett.
Clam Bar- If you’re going to be on the coast, you have to get some really good seafood.
Topping Rose House- Topping Rose House is also a very nice inn, but their restaurant is also one of the best. It is on the high end of the price range, but for a romantic meal out, this is the place.
Bostwick’s Chowder House- Located in East Hampton this is one of the best places to get some really good Lobster Rolls…one of my favorite things to eat on the Northeast coast.
The Canal Cafe- Located in a marina on Hampton Bay, the owners of the Canal Cafe were once employees at the Barefoot Contessa store..so you know they they learned from the best.
Bliss Kitchen- Quaint, cute coffee and sandwich shop located in Montauk.
Navy Beach- Located right on the beach in Montauk. A perfect lunch or dinner spot after you have been soaking in the sun.
The Dock House- Located on the water in Sag Harbor. (see what I did there) ;) Great fresh, local seafood.
Vine Street Cafe- Located on Shelter Island, this cafe and market uses the best of local and seasonal ingredients from around the region.
The Blue Duck Bakery and Cafe- great place to stop for a coffee and a pastry in Southhampton.

I have missed anything? Any locals out there want to add to the list? Send me your suggestions!

Stay.

There are a lot of places you can stay while visiting the Hamptons, but if you aren’t rolling in dough like Martha Stewart can you still find a reasonable place to lay your head at night? I say, Yes you can!

Martha Stewart’s East Hampton Home

Here is a list of hotels that hopefully cover a variety of budgets.

A Butler’s Manor
Ruschmeyer’s
Montauk Yacht Club
White Sands Resort
Sole East

If resorts or hotels aren’t your thing…you can rent a sweet little cottage like this one.
And, if money is no object or you can find 10 couples to go in with you…you can rent this mansion for a cool $5000…a night.