Rhode Island Adventures

Several years ago in November, my husband and I went up to Rhode Island on my work trip, and we ended up making a mini vacation out of it. The place really captivated my heart, and I was inspired by this New England state. Rhode Island has amazing views, seafood, parks, historic houses from the Gilded Age, and its very own famous art installation coined “WaterFire.”

Providence Rhode Island hosts WaterFire each year generally from May to November, which is understandable since it is an outside installation. Various bonfires are strung about the waterways of the downtown Providence area. This was one of the very first places we visited on our trip, and it was a very emotional experience for me. The night that we went, it was beautiful memorial to soldiers, and the music that played truly provoked our hearts.

Even before I traveled to Rhode Island, in my mind, I associated it with lighthouses. Honestly, this makes sense because the smallest state in the United States has extremely diverse coastlines spanning over four hundred miles. While there are sandy regions, the areas that we visited were very rocky in its landscape. One lighthouse that we were lucky enough to check out was the Castle Hill Lighthouse, which is located in the Narragansett Bay area. I was lucky enough to capture pictures of the lighthouse during sunset, and the colors from the sky played very well against the rocky cliffs and driftwood emerging from the ocean.

Another fun activity if you enjoy walking around and exploring cities is to check out downtown Providence. There are so many neat cafes and little shops, but we were most amazed at a mural we stumbled upon by artist Umberto Crenca. The Providence Bank facade changes images frequently, so if you visit make sure you take photos of the most recent ones. Mine are from November 2017 to give a time perspective on when these particular images were taken.

There is so much colonial history seeping from the streets of Rhode Island. We enjoyed spotting these treasures from the past that are woven into the current times. Providence also has the Oldest Baptist church in the United States, and that is a place to definitely check out as it was founded in 1638 by Rodger Williams. Talk about history!

One of the best parks (in my opinion) to visit in Rhode Island is the Fort Adams State Park. The fort is rich in Naval history, and currently there are a high prevalence of sail boats in the region. You can see that the people of Rhode Island really enjoy the Newport Harbor and the East Passage of the Narragansett Bay. If you have to opportunity to visit during the summertime, there are Jazz and Folk Festivals to really take in the surroundings. Fort Adams is very easy to navigate as a walker and is more of a relaxing hike with a coastal feel.

I think a great point to go from there would be Rhode Island’s delicious seafood! One of the craziest experiences I had in Rhode Island was going to a “Raw Bar.” What is a raw bar anyway? A raw bar is an area to enjoy freshly shucked oysters, clams, and sometimes other seafood items. The key word here is “raw and uncooked.” When we visited a local raw bar, it was directly by the ocean, and the boats actually brought in the seafood. You can not get fresher then that! I was very anxious before this event, but the evening prior, I tried a seafood soup with mussels and that was actually pretty good. I believe if there is a place to try raw seafood for the first time, Rhode Island is the place to go!

Anyway, when we walked into this little restaurant, there was a little area that sectioned off clams and oysters directly on ice. We decided to get a dozen to share, half oysters and half clams. Now, if you have not had this before, I recommend not looking at it for awhile before you eat it. Just trust me on that one! At the table, they gave us lemons and hot sauce to dress the seafood with. I tried both methods and they were equally good. It literally tastes like the ocean and had a fresh flavor. I highly recommend checking out the raw bars in Rhode Island.

You will notice in the Ocean State that as you go into the Northern Atlantic areas on the coast, it is quite easy to find a lot of mussels, clams, and sea life. The area is very clean, and to my surprise, even though it is a northern state, the water is very clear in many areas. Even as you drive the roads in Rhode Island, there is a very strict “No Litter” policy. You can see signs that notify the citizens that you can be fined sometimes for $1,000 for littering. I honestly wish more areas would adopt these policies and focus on the health of our environment and Earth. I do believe there is hope after seeing this in action, and you can see how the seafood there is so delicious!

Another place I highly recommend going to see is The Breakers, which is a historic Vanderbilt Mansion from the Gilded Age. They have audio tours that guide you room to room and give a historical perspective of those times and you get to feel the perspective of their daily lives. Rhode Island has a multitude of Gilded Age mansions and if you have the time, they are worth the stop. On our trip we went to The Breakers, Marble House, The Elms, and Rosecliff. The opulent style at the time almost visually overwhelmed me, and they truly are the castles of America. You can see the historical relevance of industry as well, and how the times changed from previous generations of American settlers.

Rhode Island is such a magnificent place, and I highly recommend it to any traveler. It’s history, architecture, coastal areas, parks, restaurants, and even the delightful pine trees everywhere make this place a must visit region. I have listed some resources for you to check out as well for more travel information! Also, remember to click that subscribe button!

https://www.visitrhodeisland.com/

https://fortadams.org/visit-fort-adams/

https://www.newportmansions.org/

http://waterfire.org

Unique British Restaurants To Visit In The Philadelphia Area

I have always enjoyed learning about British culture. Any place that was home to The Beatles, Jane Austen, and J.R.R. Tolkien is esteemed in my book. Honestly though, besides the historical contributions of England, they actually have pretty decent food! This is my personal review of two wonderful British restaurants that you can enjoy a nice meal at in the Philadelphia region. I think it is important to note that I am not affiliated with either of these restaurants, and this is just my personal opinion as well.

A couple months ago, I did an ancestry test that my mother in law gifted me for a holiday, and found out that I was partly British. Of course, these were very new revelations on my part, so I set forth on a journey to learn and become immersed within the culture. My husband was very sweet, and on a lovely quiet weekend, he surprised me with a trip to a local English tea room called A Taste of Britain located in Wayne Pennsylvania.

I was immediately enthralled by the gorgeous quaint cozy setup of the restaurant that somehow wrapped elegance and comfort into one space. Everyone was also very sweet and made us feel at home right away. It was a chilly day, so we ordered a Welsh Rarebit, The Old Fashioned Turkey sandwich, and a pot of pumpkin tea.

My husband and I have always been obsessed with tea, and we were ecstatic that A Taste of Britain had their very own tea list. This gorgeous list has black teas, flavored black teas, oolong, green and white teas, rooibos, herbal teas, and a decaffeinated selection as well. Besides what we ordered, the restaurant had a wide variety of entrees to choose from such as salads, sandwiches, English Favorites, and even Full Afternoon Tea which is an assortment of tea sandwiches and treats with delicious tea. I highly recommend A Taste of Britain if you are in the Wayne area by Philadelphia, and even if you are a bit further out, it is definitely worth the drive to this establishment.

My other recommendation is in Philadelphia directly, so if you are in the city, the travel should not be too difficult, and it is called The Dandelion. I have a little bit of a back story with this establishment, and we have been going there for years. About five years ago, our friends were traveling up to Philadelphia for a visit, and we were looking for a great place to relax, and also enjoy wonderful food. After a little bit of searching, we decided to stop at this British restaurant called The Dandelion. Even as you walk up to the building, you get this sense that you are going someplace special.

The staff was very lovely, and kind to us right from the moment we walked in, and the ambiance danced with English history and Victorian designs. The very first time we went there, I tried the fish and chips, and it was hands down, the best fish and chips I have ever had in my life. Later, I found out, this was one of the original staples of the menu, and it has even won awards!

Since our original visit, we have gone to this delightful establishment many times for birthday celebrations, get togethers, and even the High Afternoon Tea for a special anniversary. The Dandelion’s menu is very expansive and has brunch, afternoon tea, high tea, authentic British dinners, delicious deserts, and so much more. Location wise, it is very close to Rittenhouse Square. Often we take a walk around the Rittenhouse Square Park in Center City which is another fun activity if you are making a day trip.

I hope you enjoyed my review of these sweet British restaurants! I truly do recommend them, and I hope you will really enjoy their culinary charm and most agreeable atmosphere. Please comment below and also let me know if you have visited these places, and what you thought. Also, remember to click that subscribe button! I have listed some resources for you to check out up to date information on A Taste of Britain and The Dandelion for your next travels there.

https://thedandelionpub.com/

https://atobritain.com/

https://www.visitphilly.com/things-to-do/attractions/rittenhouse-square-park/

A Day Trip To Jim Thorpe Pennsylvania

Hello Everyone! I hope you all are having a wonderful day! I am so excited to go through some great day trip ideas if you are traveling to Jim Thorpe PA. This is such a gem in the Poconos, so if you are headed that way, it is a must stop region. Since my husband and I are in the Philadelphia area, the Poconos are regarded as a pivotal place for any vacation when you want a more authentic rural experience. This rings true to many locals, and from the mountains to the charm of the historic towns, you can see how this place is revered.

Jim Thorpe is sort of a sacred area for my family, and before my husband and I ever ventured there, our parents have enjoyed this place for many years. It made sense recently that for celebrations within our family, this place was a frontrunner to enjoy the day. I am sure that any time of the year Jim Thorpe is beautiful in its charm, but we especially enjoyed it in its Autumn glory.

I think it is important to give you a brief history of Jim Thorpe because this place is truly rich in historical notes. The town was originally known as Mauch Chunk (Bear Mountain), but it was renamed later in time for one of the most decorated athletes you know as Jim Thorpe. Another important note is that it was part of the first industrial railroad along the Lehigh Canal. The town has ridiculously gorgeous Victorian Age type buildings which seem to transport your mind to another time.

That will bring us to the first must see area when you are planning a trip, which is the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway. As the name specifies, you do travel by train to see the Lehigh Gorge in the State Park. Since we were leaving from the Philadelphia area the day of the trip, it took us a little over two hours to get to this railway from where we live. The commute was very nice, and when you get there, the railway has ample parking which is awesome. Also, everything was really well laid out, and there is a specific place to purchase your tickets for your train ride.

When we went in October, it was pretty busy, but I think they are used to dealing with large crowds, because it was very easy to coordinate things once we got there. On the train itself I would estimate generally that four people can fit in a booth. If you have small children, you could probably squeeze in about five people. The staff on the train were also very friendly and I can see this as a great place to go if you have kids as a trip they would enjoy too.

The train ride was truly amazing. You really get the vantage point of so many regions of the park, and I loved how the mountains soared against the river. My husband and our family all really enjoy the magnificence of the environment so this was such an amazing experience. Personally, as someone that has not gone on trains very much, I found it so exciting to actually go this ride! I felt like a kid in a candy shop!

After we took the train ride, we decided to wander for a bit around the town. The Victorian essence is very strong and so charming. As I mentioned, you literally feel as if you are walking back in time to another place and it is magical. There are so many little shops and restaurants that line the sidewalks.

We explored the area around the Asa Packer Mansion as well, and let me tell you, that is a house on a hill if I ever did see one! Asa Packer had major ties to the Lehigh Valley Railroad, and it is a Victorian National Historic Landmark. The mansion was closed at the time that we visited, but the building honestly speaks for itself just by walking around it. It is easy to see that Asa Packer had a very significant impact on the history of the town from the railroad to being a founder of the Lehigh University. You can see on the second picture below the viewpoint from the mansion to the town.

We found that these were the main things to do for a fun day trip, but if you are staying in Jim Thorpe for a little longer, you may also enjoy visiting the Old Jail Museum, the Mauch Chunk Cultural Center, and the walking the Lehigh Gorge State Park. Also, if you are in the Poconos, there are so many other places to see as well, and I will have to write you all more specific places on this blog sometime.

I believe, these historic Pennsylvania towns are a place to relax, learn, and enjoy. They are an amazing destination for any world traveler, and the community is very welcoming to all. I hope this guide has given you some ideas for your next trip to Jim Thorpe! Please comment below, and let me know if you have also enjoyed the area, and if you have any stories from your visit! Also, remember to click that subscribe button! I have listed resources for you to check out for up to date travel information as well as more educational facts.

https://www.visitpa.com/region/pocono-mountains/jim-thorpe

http://www.poconomountains.com/explore-our-area/jim-thorpe/

Local Living

Hello Everyone!

My name is Allie and I am from the Philadelphia area in the Northeast part of the United States. This blog has been in my mind for some time, and it is truly amazing to finally put my thoughts into words on here. On this blog, you can expect perspectives on life, wellness, encouragement, travel, and of course local living. My family has been in the Northeast for many generations, and I feel a connection to this area that heavily influences my writing and ideas. There are so many amazing shops, restaurants, festivals, activities and I wanted to share our community with the world.

I have traveled to other areas, but the Northeast is distinct in its nature. We have so many beautiful cultures, ideas, and traditions that are brought together to create this unique place. Philadelphia is known as the city of “Brotherly Love” and I can attest that this statement is true.

I am looking forward to taking this journey with you all and getting right into it! I hope you can find some inspiration from these stories and places. I think it is crucial to write about the places that we find our path on, and hopefully they can reflect positive experiences to all. A place to be a tapestry of dreams, ideas, and architecture that builds into our lives.