Archive for the ‘Getaway Guide’ Category

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.

FLORENCE

August 26, 2013

GildedGetawayGuideFlorence

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The past few months have been a travel blur, and as we finally unpack the last of our bags, we’re mentally savoring what has been an inspirational feast of summer getaways. High atop the list was a week in one of Europe’s sweetest gems, Firenze.

We’ve voyaged to this charming little city for the past several years, and like the patina on a Renaissance masterpiece, each cobblestone passage glows more beautiful with age. Over time, some of our favorite spots have come and gone, yet something magical about this place cloaked in history unveils itself with each new visit. Case in point? Stumbling upon an Eames’ exhibit nestled quietly in one of Florence’s 17th century piazzas.  Alas, a Getaway Guide full of old world heritage and modern style; a juxtaposition perfectly at home in the Tuscan countryside.

AUSTIN

June 18, 2013

GildedGetawayGuideAustin

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“I met a girl who sang the blues
And I asked her for some happy news
But she just smiled and turned away
I went down to the sacred store
Where I’d heard the music years before
But the man there said the music wouldn’t play”

don mclean, american pie, 1971

Having been hot on our travel radar, Austin is destined to move up the pop charts of US getaway destinations. Known as the ‘live music capital of the world‘, this city captures the notion that the universe has a way of playing out its own song. Sadly, a week before our departure, and a mere three days before Father’s Day, my father-in-law passed away. The irony in his passing, and the timing of our trip, resides in the song lyrics above; his claim to fame was that he actually was the owner of that sacred record store, where Don McLean had heard the music years before. In his honor, we knew it was only fitting that we stockpile our iTunes, pack our bags and spend some quality time in a city that embodies his lifelong passion for music.

Nestled deep in the heart of Texas, this capital city is not one to disappoint. Tunes aside, Austin is overflowing with a vivacious medley of darling eateries and shoppes, not to mention a food truck scene that would make New York take a seat backstage. Determined to make the best of our trip, we adopted Hotel Saint Cecilia, (aptly named after the patron saint of music and poetry), as our home away from home.  And while the coastal surf was far from our dwelling, we were won over by one of the most adorable oyster bars we’ve ever stepped foot in- proof that no matter the circumstance, or geographic coordinates on the map, one can always find solace in the comforts of home.

BROOKLYN

March 20, 2013

GildedGetawayGuideBrklyn

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Sometimes, the best getaways are right around the corner; proof that one need not venture far to fulfill his/her travel appetite. We recently jumped at the opportunity to spend a weekend in Brooklyn and expand our travel résumé to this hip up and coming borough. Just a stone’s throw across the river from its more well-known sibling, Brooklyn is chock full of some of the most noteworthy eateries, shoppes and tucked away gems we’ve uncovered in our journeys.

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