Archive for the ‘Getaway Guide’ Category

OKLAHOMA CITY

March 1, 2015

GildedGetawayGuideOklahomaCity

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When Sara Kate Huff opened up shoppe in Oklahoma City, our travel intuition kicked straight into high gear; a destination on the map we suddenly had reason to explore. Given Sara Kate’s discerning eye and aesthetic prowess, a local brick and mortar spoke volumes to what one would imagine – a captive audience and urban development. (For more details on Sara Kate Studios, not to mention interior eye candy galore, swing by our recent post for the inside scoop.)

Smaller in size to some of our prior destinations, this capital city still delivered a handful of gems. With trustworthy copilot Letter From Brooklyn right by our side, off we went with maps marked and ears to the ground. Letterpress enthusiasts and longstanding paper peeps, we made a beeline for Chirps and Cheers (if ever there’s a stationery store, we are guaranteed to unearth it). Adorably petite and meticulously curated, we stocked up on goodies + snail mail galore, chatting like locals with owner Susan, (who, by the way, is sweet as sugar just like her shoppe).

Meeting over brunch with Sara Kate and Allison, (a local consultant who knows Oklahoma City like the back of her hand), we got the lowdown on local happenings, a host of budding businesses, and the intel behind a city with an appetite for more, much more. Our choice for the gathering, Kitchen No. 324, served as the ultimate setting to complement our discussion. Modern interior, artisanal coffee + sinful sweets (try the Bavarian Cream Doughnut, you’ll thank us later), blink twice and you might just think you were in midtown Manhattan.

In between meals and retail exploring, we squeezed in some time for artistic inspiration and neighborhood navigating, paths driven by an ongoing desire to peel back the layers and unveil what a community is truly about. OKC, rooted in longstanding industries that have served this nation for decades and decades, is finding its footing and hitting its stride. While it may not (yet) be touted on ‘top ten lists’ by travel publications, editors and bloggers alike, it certainly has blossoming character and American swagger.

TORONTO

December 14, 2014

GildedGetawayGuideToronto

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At a passing glance and from the recent trend of our posts, one might think we’ve been rolling from one gilded getaway to the next at Around the Pound. While our wanderlust heart leaps at the thought for such to be true, trust us, there’s been plenty going on to fill in the gaps between recent destinations. This Thanksgiving we elected to skip town country and squeeze in some R+R before end-of-year festivities made their début. Having the great fortune of being a Sagitarrius bébé, December is forever full of fête and merriment, i.e. having a pinch of down time to mentally prepare is the quintessential (and only) way to survive the season.

Heartily welcomed by our neighbors to the north, our getaway was divided into parts one and two. The latter, (more, much more on part one soon), nestled us in the heart of Toronto. Having previously visited the Ontario capital, hand-in-hand with a general knowledge of the lay of the land, we were able to roll up our cuffs and dive right in. Judging purely from the size our guide (not to mention the notch on our belts), this city is filled to the brim with golden goodies. And, since ’tis the season of giving, we thought it only fitting to fill your stockings with a super-sized serving of inspiration.

For those who follow along on our travels, you may recall this trip was particularly poignant, marked by an overlap with Small Business Saturday, and the perfect opportunity to visit some of our favorite purveyors in support of the #shopsmall movement. Two ladies in particular, Christine + Camille, rank high atop our creative charts for women fulfilling their dreams, each a renegade in her own right. Their shoppes, tucked away in differing ‘hoods of this sprawling city, are a crowning testament to pursuing one’s passion and cultivating a captive audience.

Last but not least, no getaway guide is complete without a mention of eats, EATS! Food soooo incredibly good that yes, your eyes aren’t playing tricks, we did include a butcher shop in the mix. Toronto leaves no stone unturned in the way of culinary treats; from baristas to bartenders, we’re fairly certain you’ll find all your holiday wishes come true.

PORTLAND |EAST|

October 16, 2014

GildedGetawayGuidePortlandME

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For the past several weeks, we traded ‘logging in’ for ‘checking out’ under the coastal skies of our recently adopted City-by-the-Sea. However, not uncommon to release our tether and head to other ports of call, we wrapped up summer with a gilded roadtrip to our nation’s Vacationland. Having spent our youth on the shores of New Hampshire, the great state of Maine was a stone’s throw from our beloved Seacoast, and a place still held near and dear. So when a seafood feast popped up on the cross-country tour of America’s beloved culinary bandwagon, it was the perfect excuse to pack up our Boat ‘N Totes, hug the coastline and head due North.

Prior to our golden getaway, we hadn’t spent much time in the city of Portland. In truth, our relationship was merely one of a passing glance as we rolled up I-95 en route to Bean’s L.L. Bean, a petite city tucked along the rocky shore, but never quite worth a signaled departure off the interstate. In recent years, editorial shout-outs for Portland ‘East’ have been fast and furious – a northern New England haven for hipsters, layered with savvy entrepreneurs, skilled artisans and a booming food scene worthy of ‘Top-Ten’ status on the charts of many a seasoned palate.

A native New Englander through and through, (slightly biased, yes, we know), this city tugged at our heartstrings and won over our appetites. The highlights, much like the accolades for this coastal city, were tasty and plentiful. Cocktails at Portland Hunt + Alpine Club, (recently lauded by Bon Appetit as one of America’s best new bars,) served by the reputable mixologist and owner himself. A friends + family opening of the impossibly adorable Tandem Coffee + Bakery, perfectly placed in a refurbished service station, trading pumps for picnic tables and serving up a mean cup ‘o joe. And last, but most definitely not least, an order-to-go, duck fat fries paired with the thickest of shakes. Because, well, it was after all a long drive home.

PHILADELPHIA

March 17, 2014

GildedGetawayGuidePhilly

 

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Fresh off the heels of our Providence jaunt, we migrated south to the birthplace of Betsy Ross, cheesesteaks and Brotherly Love. This Getaway Guide is our largest to date, a hearty blend of favorite standbys and new recruits. Why so abundant curious minds might inquire? Simply stated, Philadelphia was, and forever remains, a noteworthy chapter in this golden girl’s story.

Having spent our collegiate years in this national treasure, it’s a city marked by a personal journey (albeit cliché) of self-discovery and lifelong pursuits. A destination to transcend our New England roots, spread our creative wings and learn how to fly. Like a parched palate after a morning jog, we soaked up its offerings and yearned for more. Kelly Drive was our running path, a proverbial highway to the art at its end, where our mind danced in delight to the likes of Van Gogh, Dégas and Rodin. It was the nineties, Rendell was mayor, and ‘The Vet’ was still home to the city’s own athletic birds-of-a-feather.

Fast forward to a new era and we’re still going back. In the decade-plus since we formally packed up our bags and waved goodbye, the transformation of Philadelphia has been unabashedly awesome. New blood has moved in, walls were torn down, and things are a-changin’. And while many of our long-time loves have since shuttered their doors, the city’s historic genes are far from forgotten. Modern delights are tucked between row homes and cobble-stoned streets, the quintessential tête-à-tête between past and present. Trailing our selections is a ‘B’ list miles long, far from second-class, and equally notable to those we’ve highlighted. But because our guides are perfectly pint-sized servings of that which we treasure and hold most dear, we may have no choice but to offer our readers a second helping.

There will be those who balk at our nod to a nationwide retailer, but one step through the door and we’re sure you’ll agree – it’s okay to occasionally go for the wares, but always preferred to stand in awe of a building. In the mood for classic gems and glamorous baubles? Venture slightly off course from our favorite square, to discover a bona fide jewel box, where self-indulgence is not only recommended, but downright requisite. Looking for food to calm your cravings? Local restauranteurs have risen to the ranks of Jefferson and Franklin, their menus crafted in an act of culinary declaration.

While our guide may be biased by a local standard of sorts, it’s a sheer testament to the validity of tried-and-true. So go for the history, stay for the food and fall in love with the culture.

PROVIDENCE

February 22, 2014

GildedGetawayGuideProvidence

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A hop, skip and a jump from New York, and a mere stone’s throw from Boston, this capital city is oft overlooked as a destination in the Northeast Corridor. Blustery blizzard conditions aside (winter is still alive and kicking in our parts), we recently laced up our ‘Beans’ and set out in gilded pursuit of giving getaway credit where credit is due.

Small in scale, but large in character, not to mention home to Ivy League traditions and artistic hopefuls, Providence is quietly tip-toeing into the travel spotlight. Case in point, a boutique hotel, hip by Brooklyn standards, but refined enough for classic New England taste, recently opened its doors, bringing with it design excellence, a top-notch barista, and most importantly, what we hope to be a fresh and progressive attitude.

At a glance, this guide is weighted toward a seasoned palate, with a hearty catch of culinary gems to satisfy the most discerning of cravings. Our shoppe picks are few and far between (or neat and tidy for those partial to the glass half full), as we pride ourselves in including only those establishments we consider to be the gold standard in creative ingenuity. Since sparsity is not our style, we navigated the course for alternative inspiration, uncovering works of art from some of our favorite masters, a used bookstore for hours of browsing (and for those of you who like us, occasionally judge a book by its cover), and cobblestone streets weathered with historical secrets we can only imagine.

The Ocean State is near and dear to our heart, and while we’re most smitten with its coastal parts, this city is about unchartered waters and entrepreneurial pursuits. Be sure to check back at Around the Pound, when we delve deeper into a Providence makeover of epic proportions, where second and third chances are proof that with a little vision, and a pinch (okay, more like a dash) of manpower, even the unlikeliest of characters can have a golden debut.

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