Last week, Scott and I took a long weekend in Boston and Newport. My brother and sister-in-law had a baby last month - our first time as an aunt and uncle! – so we flew up to visit, and tacked on an overnight in Newport to celebrate our 6-year anniversary.
In Boston, we stayed in the most perfect Airbnb in Jamaica Plain, my brother and SIL’s neighborhood. It’s my favorite place to stay in Boston because it’s a little more neighborhood-like, with lots of parks and pretty streets for running, great restaurants, and gorgeous historic homes. If you don’t mind staying a short cab ride from downtown, here’s a link to the studio we stayed at.
Our nephew, Bruce Lincoln, is adorable! He’s just a month old, so he basically slept the whole time. I’m not much of a baby person, but I loved seeing my brother and SIL so happy as parents.
For dinner, we all went out to dinner to meet up with some of our friends in the city. We went to Area Four, this great spot for woodfired pizzas in South End. We all shared a bunch of apps – Moroccan-spiced wings, salt and pepper calamari, roasted sweet potato spears with brown butter aioli, and garlic knots. Then I had this awesome pizza topped with mushroom sauce, mushrooms pecorino, and gremolata - it was like a big 'ole umami bomb! .
The next day, Scott and I got up for an early breakfast at Ula Cafe with my Boston RD friends, Kara, Robyn, and Jessi. I know I’ve said it a million times, but I am so insanely grateful for this blogging/social media dietitian world and the connections I’ve made through it. The only way I can describe being around these ladies is soul nourishing. It was my first time meeting Jessi in person after being a long-time fan of her podcast, The Bodylove Project, and she is just as lovely and hilarious in person.
After breakfast, Scott and I went on a long run in Jamaica Plain, through Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum and around Jamaica Pond, which is lined with gorgeous historic homes. I’ve run all over Boston on my many trips to visit family, and this is one of my favorite runs.
My aunt got into town from New York that afternoon, and after she arrived and soaked up some baby Bruce snuggles, we all took a walk to El Oriental de Cuba. I had my first mofongo, a dish of mashed plantains and fried pork, and y’all – no words.
Then we enjoyed a long walk in the historic neighborhoods to Turtle Swamp Brewery, where we hung out for a beer.
For dinner, we went to JP Seafood Cafe. I fell in love with torched sushi when I was in Japan, so their torched fatty tuna nigiri with truffle salt was a must-order. Y’all, that salmon melted in my mouth - it was SO perfect. I also got a bowl of mandu-guk (?), a Korean soup with mandu (beef dumplings) and rice cakes. Chewy rice cakes are the best! If you're new to Korean food, just order whatever comes with rice cakes!
Scott and I enjoyed a blissful morning sleeping in – I’ve slept horribly lately so it was much needed. Then we met up with my brother at Exodus Bagel, a really popular new bagel shop in their neighborhood. As someone who grew up in New York, I’m a pretty big bagel snob, and these got my seal of approval.
From there, we hit the road for Newport, Rhode Island. Ahh, guys I’m obsessed with this town! It was an old resort community for the super wealthy in the late 1800s/early 1900s. Scott and I always say we just need enough to be comfortable and travel when we want....but now I also kinda want a 30,000 square foot beach “cottage.”
Our first tour was of The Breakers, a mansion owned by the Vanderbuilt heirs, and the biggest mansion in Newport.
We took a lunch break at Midtown Oyster Bar for local raw oysters, moules frites and oyster chowder. I couldn’t resist a bloody Mary with a lobster claw in it. So extra.
The second mansion we toured was The Marble House, also owned by Vanderbuilt heirs, and my personal favorite. It was the most opulent inside, but I also loved the history too. It was built for the first wife of a Vanderbuilt, Alva Vanderbuilt, who was really involved with the suffrage movement.
After that we stopped to check into our bed and breakfast at the Marshall Slocum Inn. Highly recommend - t’s an old historic home that's walking distance from the restaurants, and really affordable too. We stayed in the apartment, which we booked through Airbnb.
For dinner, we went to Brick Alley Pub. Even though it’s ranked #1 on Yelp, we weren’t expecting much because the menu had SO many different things on it – it was like a Cheesecake Factory! But our meal was actually really good. We had Portuguese clams for an appetizer, then went all lobster for our entrées. Scott got lobster mac and cheese with the best creamed spinach I’ve ever had, and I got a lobster salad roll. Both had big chunks of lobster - it was SO delicious!
The next morning, we woke up to snow! We hadn't seen snow all year in SC, but RI has been hit by nor'easter after nor'easter, so I think we were the only ones who were excited. We had planned to go running on the cliff walk, but given the snow, figured that wasn't the best idea and decided to sleep in, enjoy a leisurely omelette breakfast at the bed and breakfast, and then head out to see some more mansions.
We started at Rosecliff, comissioned by a silver heiress and modeled after one of the buildings at Versailles. It was where the 1960s Great Gatsby was filmed!
From there we went to The Elms, the mansion of a family who made their money in coal. This was one of my favorite mansions - in a weird way it felt kinda livable.
By the time we were out of there, the snow was starting to melt, so we took a drive on Ocean Drive, a 10-mile stretch around the southern tip of the island. It has gorgeous views of the rocky coastlines with more mansions dotting the way.
We didn't have a ton of time before we had to leave for the airport, but we wanted to at least do a little bit of the cliff walk, a walkway along the waterfront that's dotted with old mansions. We walked the stretch from The Breakers to Salve Regina University, a small college set in old guilded age mansions. We got a good laugh about the financial services office being in the second largest mansion in Newport. That just seems wrong.
From there, we had to hit the road back to Boston to catch our flight home! Would love to go back to Newport, and we're already thinking about doing a longer stay next year, so if you have any recommendations would love them!
More quick trips: