From New England to the hilltops of San Francisco, Victorian homes are plentiful, but no one seems to preserve and obsess over them as well as the San Francisco community. I mean, no offense but the Victorian homes in New England often give me the Alfred Hitchcock vibes and I usually steer away from them entirely come open houses. Yet there is something so charming and surprisingly warm about the way San Franciscans paint and renovate these quirky 19th-century homes. Which got me thinking, why are Victorian homes such a to do in San Francisco, as they literally line the streets as far as the eye can see.
So I dug out my laptop and started to do some research, for those of you whom might not know, Victorian architecture was named after Queen Victoria of England due to its popularity during her reign. Oh, and if you have no idea what I’m talking about the style is really easy to pick out, because of its ornate milling, asymmetrical porches, and high pitched roofs. Personally, I love a more subtle look, so most Victorians as a whole are just too ornate for my liking, but I really loved how San Franciscans used warmly toned paints to tone down the dramatic effect. They keep their Victorian homes painted with light pastels or even a sharp white, versus a lot of the darker or deep gray painted Victorians in New England. After digging deeper into the Victorian home history rabbit hole, I read that New Englanders often go with a deep gray due to its historical accuracy for the time. In fact, a lot of Victorians homes were originally painted gun gray, as painters were using war-surplus navy paint. Interesting right!?
It made sense to me that New Englanders would focus more heavily on maintaining and preserving the history of the homes, while San Franciscans would focus on making the homes standout by capturing city goers attention with bright colors and details. In 1978 the term Painted Ladies was actually created by an American architectural book, which referred to ‘Painted Ladies’ as any Victorian styled home painted in three or more colors that embellish or enhance their architectural details. This architectural book author noticed that multi-colored Victorians were a popular style for the colorful era of the seventies in San Francisco and created the famous term Painted Ladies to describe this ever growing trend. I mean leave it to the seventies to make multi-colored exterior painting a thing, but I feel like Victorian homes can pull it off. All and all, these beautiful homes are still a sight to see today, and really do add to the character of the city.
After visiting San Francisco and digging into its architectural history, I really do have a greater appreciation for Victorian Homes as a whole. I would love to hear from you guys; have any of you lived in one of these 18th-century beauties? I hear they are a lot of work to keep up with but well worth it. Anyway, I find myself looking at homes more and more these days as Matt and I prepare for our move back to New England. Whether we choose to rent or buy, I think we are done with apartment living and I can’t wait to see what this year brings our way.
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OUTFIT DETAILSEva Franco Skirt (sold out, similar listed) •Green Shirt •Pink Trolley Dress •Heels •Sunglasses
What a month guys. If this month has taught me anything it’s that sometimes you just need to be humble and ASK FOR HELP. I’m not always keen on asking others for help, because I reallllly hate imposing on others, but this month has slapped me in the face and taught me in the most transparent way possible, that when obstacles start to pile up it’s OKAY to reach out for help from a friend, coworker or family member. I learned that sharing my burdens with others, not only helped me process the hectic events happening around me but it also gave me perspective while bringing us closer as we maneuvered the ups and downs together, as a team. All and all this month really put me in my place and showed me that sharing your burdens with those around you can be just as important as celebrating the success. Oh, and it also taught me that when stuff starts to hit the fan these are the moments you’ll look back on and just die from laughter. Anway, let’s jump right into this month.
Let me quickly recap with you guys, some of these obstacles that Matt and I had to overcome in the past month. They include but are not limited too: a flooded apartment, a car accident, our luggage and camera equipment getting stolen during our first day in SF, my phone and computer dying on the same day (oy), and finally our San Francisco photographer’s hard drive breaking…resulting in us losing basically ALL the images from San Francisco entirely. I mean, it was a lonnggggg month. Let me start by saying I’m thankful that none of these issues are life threating and I’m so grateful that we can easily replace most of these objects, but it was still hard dealing with one incident after another after another.
To be transparent with you all, I had to step away from the blog and my social media for a bit and you may have noticed that last week. I always want my social media content to be uplifting, and I felt that the best thing for me to do at that moment, was to take a step back and breath. I was really crispy when I found out that all the images we worked SO HARD to shoot in San Francisco, seven blog posts to be exact, were completely gone. It basically felt like I couldn’t catch a break and I was exhausted; leaving me in a humbling situation that resulted in me having to reach out for help. I needed financial help from my parents to help maneuver some costs, I needed moral support from my friend Jennifer to help me continue on with my trip to SF when so much nonsense was clouding my mind, and finally, I needed help with TCC work which made me grateful for each member of my crew: Tessa, our videographer and photographer, Cecelia, our operations manager, and Matt! Without these people, I would have never been able to continue on and recover and reshoot an entire vlog in one day. I mean, not to brag but my TCC Crew is what dreams are made of right now, and I can’t wait to share more of their talents with you all in the future.
Okay, so now it’s time to hear from you! Have you struggled to the point where asking for help was the only option? What was it like stepping out of your comfort zone and asking for help? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this and I hope you guys enjoy our vlog! It’s been a long time coming but it’s finally here, so enjoy. xx.
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I always feel like Friday nights are meant to be spent downtown, does anyone else agree? When Matt and I first got notified that we’d be living in Dallas for two years, we knew the best part of living outside a city, would be having the chance to experience a youthful city nightlife. Both Matt and I love keeping ourselves busy so we felt this two-year adventure would leave us with lots of different neighborhoods to discover and coffee shops to explore.
I’ll admit Dallas wasn’t exactly what I pictured when I first visited. I thought the city would be more on the historical end, like a Boston or Charleston, filled with old homes and charming streets; but in all honestly, Dallas is a classic metropolitan city. Between massive highways and building cranes filling the skyline, you can tell this city is in the mists of a huge growth spurt, making Matt and I, very grateful that we get to experience a city that welcomes new businesses with open arms and land to build on. This growing metropolitan area has provided Matt and I, with an ever growing amount of restaurants, coffee shops and dessert joints to choose from, making our trips downtown that much more fun.
I guess the hardest part about living in such a growing city is keeping up with all the different districts and what they have to offer. If you’re new to Dallas or just visiting for the weekend you might feel overwhelmed, I know I did, so I wanted to share some of my favorite districts with you all and what they have to offer:
+ Downtown District: I visit Downtown not nearly enough, but when I do I like to take in the museum and events the city has to offer. I often find myself visiting The Sixth Floor Museum, which showcases the life, death, and legacy of President JFK, with family members visiting the city for the first time; or I’ll find myself at the American Airlines Center watching the Dallas Stars shred up the ice. Hockey has always been one of Matt and I’s, favorite sports to watch, so having an NHL team so close to where we live has truly been a blessing. Also located downtown is Neiman Marcus Headquarters and original store.
+ Deep Elm District: This district is by far my favorite place to visit if I’m headed out for the night or in need of some good old fashion comfort food. From Pecan Lodge’s BBQ to Tex-Mex, Deep Elm has you covered, but don’t rush out of this district after dinner, stay around an explore the insane nightlife and bars Deep Elm has to offer. I mean they even have a dueling piano bar and thriving street art; all and all this district is by far the hippest in town and reminds me of a mini-Austin.
+ Harwood District: By far one of my favorite districts to stroll around in, take photos in and finish off with a bite to eat. Dolce Riviera for Italian food, The Grove at Harwood for tacos and ice cones (last shown here), and Mercat Bistro for French pastries and coffee; I mean need I say more.
+ Bishop Arts District: I feel most at home here, to be frank, with over 60 independent boutiques, restaurants, bars and coffee shops, this district is the perfect place to stroll around with a latte in hand and just get outside. I often head to this district to visit Society, a local high-quality candle shop. They specifically have a collection dedicated to the scents of Texas, and I plan on stocking up on hundreds of candles before moving back to New England with Matt.
+ Uptown District: With high-end fashion stores, electric bars and a bumping restaurant scene; the Uptown District would be the place I’d most likely buy an apartment in if I wanted to live within the Dallas metropolitan city area. Being the country mouse that I am, Matt and I decided on an apartment just outside of Dallas but I could easily see myself moving to Uptown. I mean they have a Soul Cycle, guys!
It’s all a little overwhelming, isn’t it? I still can’t believe Matt and I have been in Dallas for almost two whole years, I don’t know where the time has gone and it makes me a little sad that I haven’t spent more time here. I still feel like we haven’t done or seen enough but each weekend Matt and I make it a point to revisit the districts and see what new businesses have opened and what has changed since our last visit.
Okay, so now I’d love to hear from you guys! Have you been to Dallas? If so which district is your favorite? Did I miss any I need to include? Let Matt and I know below, we are still taking suggestions even though we’ve lived here two years, oh well and happy Friday.
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2018 is our year of travel and I know I’ve probably already stated that about fifteen times, but Matt and I are sooooo excited to travel as much as possible this year and to bring you all along. As some of you might know, Matt was assigned to work as an account manager in a Dallas office for two years, and with only six months left, we are really trying to cram in as many experiences as possible, before settling down back in New England.
We kicked off our year of travel first with Central Connecticut, then Vermont and now Dallas. For the next two weeks, our crew will share posts pertaining to our favorite areas, neighborhoods, and restaurants that Dallas has to offer. Before we jump right into traveling guides and itineraries, I’m going to share one of my favorite travel tips with you all, how to feel a part of a city, while being a tourist.
I actually learned this trick through experience, when I was studying abroad in Florence. When you’re traveling it is so easy to feel lost or lonely, especially if you are traveling alone or for a long duration of time. I found that having a routine or a spot, that you can go to, to plan your day or finish off some emails each morning really made me feel more settled while traveling. To be honest, I’m by no means a world-traveler, in fact, I would much rather prefer to stay at home, but having this small morning ritual of; waking up, getting dressed, putting on my walking shoes and walking over to a local coffee shop or bakery; was a great way feel a part of whatever city I am in.
I kid you not, having a routine and getting outside of your hotel room in the morning and into a local spot, is the key to feeling a sense of belonging and community. First off it’s a great way to see what that culture treats themselves to for breakfast (yummm) and secondly, coffee shops are aesthetically set-up to bring people together in a collaborative environment. Whether you’re traveling alone and want to meet new friends or traveling with a friend and just want to hear the local gossip, coffee shops are a great way to feel out the local scene.
So the other morning Matt and I woke up and decided to explore a district of Dallas we had never visited prior. It was a beautiful day in Dallas, almost 70 degrees in January! And when we opened our car doors to the Knox-Henderson district, we could feel the energy and excitement this winter-heatwave had brought upon shoppers and locals. The streets were bustling and after passing about two coffee shops Matt and I decided on the Village Baking Co. Boulangerie. This shop was filled to the brim with a large variety of specialty baked goods and pastries to choose from, it was honestly hard to decide on what to purchase. So hard in fact that I ordered one breakfast croissant and two desserts, oops.
Matt and I spent almost an hour and a half in the coffee shop talking to the bakers behind the counter and hearing the lengths they take to create such beautiful baked goods. Of course, Matt had to interrogate them about their espresso machine after he asked for an iced coffee and watched them make an Americano, his mind was actually blown. After we were both caffeinated and on a sugar high we departed the Baking Co. and headed outside to enjoy the fresh air and shops the district had to offer. Again, I left the district feeling like I had a chance to feel it out. Maybe I’m odd, but I love figuring out what makes certain city districts unique and how they draw specific types of people in. Maybe that’s just the marketing major in me or maybe I spend too many hours reading books on Facebook Ad Targeting, but seeing how restaurants, coffee shops, and people can transform a small area into a ‘district’ with almost a life of its own, still amazes me to this day.
Overall the Knox-Henderson district was thriving with a bustling restaurant scene and some amazing storefronts, I was grateful Matt and I had taken the time to get to know a new part of Dallas, well at least a new part for us. We can’t wait to bring you along with us next week for a few more of our favorite districts of Dallas, and until then I’d love to hear how you guys embrace community as a tourist. Leave a comment below, with any tips or ticks and have a great weekend.
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I always find it odd that some of my first memories include winter activities, that to be honest, I’m really not that fond of. In fact, one of my very first memories is bundling up and walking with my dad and brother, to our local town pond to ice skate. To this day, I’m really not one to step onto a pond, lake or any body of water frozen solid; if I have to ice skate I much prefer a freshly zambonied rink, is that too much to ask for?
Now while I’m not a fan, Matt and many others count down the days till the ice is thick enough to drop a puck and start the pond hockey tournaments, and I must admit I do love watching New Englanders embrace the harsh temperatures with excitement and well-organized hockey games and ice fishing tournaments. Overall, I know the weather’s been crummy so I figured I’d share some winter inspiration with a list of the best pond skating spots in New England, to get you all excited for the weekend ahead of us.
Best Pond Skating Spots in New England:
(Before heading out or stepping on the ice, please call ahead to check that ice conditions are safe at these skating spots)
Boston Common Frog Pond- Boston, MA: Get the quintessential experience of pond skating in the heart of one of New England’s busiest cities. Take time out of your day and walk through Boston Common to see the ice skaters twirling around whilst enjoying the city view. Oh and if you forgot your skate, no worries, they have skates for rent at the ticket office!
Eastbury Pond- Glastonbury, CT: This pond is an old favorite of mine, just bring your skates and your mates for a spin around Eastbury Pond in central Connecticut. This pond was known for its spontaneous hockey throw downs and small hometown feel.
Puddle Duck Pond at Strawbery Bank- Portsmouth, NH: I reached out to you all on Instagram Stories, if you don’t already follow us on Instagram make sure to here, anyway when I asked you guys which ponds I should include in this list over three people referenced Puddle Duck Pond; which makes me think Matt and I are due for a trip to Portsmouth.
Lee Twombly Pond- Falmouth, ME: This lovely pond was actually ranked as one of the best places to ice skate outside and I can see why! The pond is in a picturesque location and offers both ice skating for just $5 and, Matt’s favorite adult pickup hockey each and every Saturday night.
Frog’s Pond- Trumbull, CT: This spot was recommended by TCC Reader, Patrick Donegan, who said this community pond is the town’s hotspot when freezing temperatures roll in. Patrick said that the local neighbors even provide fire pits and hot chocolate on busy days, to give ice skaters the needed break and warmth to skate the night away.
I must say, it did take some guts getting dressed up and heading to our local pond spot with these record low temperatures, but in the end, I was so happy I did. All and all you must say it’s pretty amazing how a local pond can turn into such a local watering hole for children, teens, and adults. This time of year truly brings New Englanders together, and nothing makes me happier.
On that note, I am so fortunate to have readers like yourselves who engage and reach out to share with us their local treasures. I was over the moon with the amount of TCC readers who reached out to share their local pond skating spots and traditions with our crew; as always, connecting with you all is by far our favorite part of The Coastal Confidence. If we somehow missed a pond spot that you feel needs to be on this list, please leave a comment below with any additional pond skating spots we should add. Thank you and have a great rest of your week.
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For the longest time I use to hate the winter months, in fact, that was a big part of why I decided to go to college in California, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve found a real admiration and beauty in this frostbitten dozy of a season. I use to view winter as an inconvenience, I honestly felt like I had too much on my mind to worry about delays, snowy roads and staying put. I just saw the whole season as a major inconvenience to my life, but as photography has become a bigger part of my life, so has the winter season.
I mean, these pictures basically sum it up. Winter is by far one of New England’s prettiest times of the year, I hate even admitting this but I would go as far to say that it’s now my second favorite season, just under autumn, to capture and share with you all. There is something so raw, exciting and exhilarating about shooting photos in this extreme weather. First off everything is beautifully white and glistening, secondary everything just looks that much cozier and finally I get to bundle up in some pretty cute sweaters with some pretty warm hot cocoa. All and all, our TCC Crew knew we had to start off 2018, our year of travel, with Vermont.
Last weekend our Tessa, our TCC photographer, my Dad, my brother and I headed up to Manchester, Vermont, for a spontaneous ski trip. The moment I opened the door to the fresh Vermont air, I knew I was in the right place. The freshly powdered sidewalks crunched underneath the weight of my snow boots as Tessa and I walked hand in hand through the streets of Manchester. We were able to capture some pretty humongous icicles and some of our favorite New England homes, all before noon. Oh, do make sure to follow us over on Instagram, as we’ll be sharing home images from Manchester all this week.
Anway, we grabbed some coffee and continued on to Stratton for some skiing. Tessa and I aren’t too avid about skiing so instead, we opted to take the gondola up to the top of Stratton to capture some scenic views. We were quite lucky to have a gondola all to ourselves, but we weren’t so lucky with the temperature we were greeted with at the top of the mountain. The temperature read -11 degrees, which was far too cold if you ask me, so we worked very quickly to capture the snowy trails and flocked trees.
I mean when all was said and done, Tessa and I needed a solid hour, and a few hand warmers, to defrost our fingers and toes before heading back out, but after looking at the images… I just fell head over heels for Weekends in Vermont. Living in Connecticut provides us with the luxury of jumping in the car and arriving in Vermont, in just a tad over two-hour, which I always took for granted. I guess I was always intimidated by the idea of having to drive and maneuver photoshoot with snow, but after scrolling through the images we’ve taken, I just have such a new appreciation and wonder for this time of year.
I hope to spend many more weekends up in Vermont, during these upcoming weeks, and hopefully, we’ve inspired you to do the same.
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I’m heading home for the holidays and I couldn’t be more excited! While Matt will be staying behind in Dallas, I’m spending this weekend packing and checking my list twice before heading home to CT for a little over two weeks. My sister Tessie and I have a few fun videos we’ll be shooting and we are giddy with excitement to share more details.
I’ve actually packed up ahead of time, but yesterday I was stumped by one thing and one thing only…what to wear on the airplane! I always find picking out my airplane clothes to be by far the hardest decision of the entire trip. I guess I have a fear of being on the plane in a scratchy sweater or tight jeans. Anyway, I figured I’d share my go-to travel outfit and a few Thanksgiving Travel Tips with you all.
This weekend and the upcoming Thanksgiving day week can be one of the busiest travel dates of the ENTIRE YEAR! While I’m constantly traveling from one airport to another, others find traveling a very anxious and or never racking experience. So today our TCC Crew put together a few tips to make your holiday travels a little more magical:
+ Bring, Wear or Carry on a Blanket Scarf – Without a doubt, I’m always cold on a plane and since I’m usually flying to colder destinations, an easy fix is just to carry on a blanket scarf! They are pretty inexpensive and most importantly make the coziest blankets come take off.
+ Bring Snacks – My bank account has left the impact of being hangry in the airport. Nothing is more expensive than a bag of chips or a water bottle at the airport, so I suggest you plan accordingly. I try and pack my favorite snacks like Ritz Toasted Chips, Beef Jerky and gum! By simply packing snacks and an empty water bottle in your carry-on, you’ll save some money and avoid wasteful spending.
+ Fly on Thanksgiving or Black Friday – While flying on a holiday isn’t always ideal, it will save you some serious cash. So if you’re on a strict budget consider either flying in on Thanksgiving or flying out on Black Friday.
+ Oversized Sweaters and Flats – Recently I’ve been obsessed with this Elba Sweater (runs large, size down) sweater. I love the oversized fit and tassel side details, simply pair it with Black Pants and Leopard Shoes to create a sophisticated yet comfy travel style.
+ Keep Your Documents Together – One trick I learned from my Dad, is to keep all your documents together. I recently purchased this passport holder, which holds not only my passport but also license, credit cards and plane ticket. By keeping all my documents in one place, helps relieve any anxiety I might have about losing them.
+ Noise Canceling Headphones, Your New Best Friend – Whether you’re trying to work, sleep or watch a movie; a good pair of Noise Canceling Headphones is essential to keep you happy, focused and in the zone. Recently my very expensive headphones broke, and I just found a more affordable pair online that I’ve been loving.
Anyway, I hope this post inspired you guys to prepare for your Thanksgiving Travel and get excited about the holiday to come! I can’t believe Thanksgiving Day is already next week, I’m honestly counting down the seconds and I’d love to hear where you guys are traveling to below. xx Aubrey
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Packing use to be something I honestly dreaded, but now it seems like a monthly chore. Since graduating college, almost two years ago, I’ve become quite the little traveler. I split my time between New England (for work) and Dallas (for Matt), which means a lot of late night flights and drives to the airport. I’ve actually been to the Dallas airport six times this month, so sometimes it feels like my second office.
Now that I’m traveling more and more I’ve put a packing system in place that has helped me stay organized and not leave anything essential behind and with the holiday season upon us, I figured I’d share my tips and tricks for packing in-flight travel essentials. I’ll be heading home to Connecticut for Thanksgiving this upcoming Monday, so I figured I’d break down what I’m carrying on.
I’m often traveling for pictures or to shoot content, so for me, outfit planning is the easy part. I’ll usually have my outfits decided upon and hung weeks before the trip; so I focus most of my packing time on last moment items and in-flight travel essentials. Now, my two carry-on bags are a completely different story.
I usually carry-on my camera backpack; which includes my camera, a scenic lens, portrait lens and camera cleaning kit; which gets placed below the seat in front of me, along with a large tote to be placed above.
Now, while my camera backpack is neat and tidy, keeping my in-flight travel essentials organized can be a completely different story. A few items you’ll automatically find in the tote bag are as followed: my laptop, charging cords, a bag of snacks and a scarf. Once all of the essentials are packed at the bottom of the tote, I’ll use small pouches to keep random items like pens, chapstick, keys, and headphones from getting lost.
I honestly don’t think I’d survive traveling so often if it wasn’t for keeping my items in organized pouches, it saves me time while relieving any anxiety I may have had of misplacing an item. By knowing each item I own, has a place, keeps my brain clear from fretting over thinking I’ve left an item behind.
Anyway, I hope this is getting you guys excited for one of the busiest travel times of the year! I’ve also thrown together a little video on how I keep my checked bag organized above. Make sure to check it out here and subscribe to our Youtube channel for new videos every Wednesday.
And just like that, we’ll be back at the airport. Let me know where you guys are headed this holiday week, and just maybe we’ll run into each other at an airport. xx Aubrey
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After visiting Thorncrest Farm & Milk House Chocolates my Mom and I drove over to Sunset Meadow Vineyards in Goshen, CT to see what it was all about. Since we had already fit in two hours of blog shooting prior, we spent our time at the vineyard relaxing before venturing inside for some wine tasting.
When we arrived at the tasting room, we were overwhelmed with a large group of people and some very expensive camera equipment. At first, my Mom and I thought nothing of it. Personally, I figured that the winery must be shooting some promotional videos and just had a large budget to shoot with. Since we were taking pictures at the location too, I had to ask what was going on. Partially because I figured maybe it was a New England based magazine that I could introduce myself too, but mostly because I’m just darn nosey.
So I walked up to the bartender and asked, ‘what are you guys shooting here’? Low and behold, and you guys might not believe me, it was actually the NETFLIX TEAM. I died right then and there.
Apparently, Netflix was shooting a crime movie for an upcoming Netflix original, just up the road! The bartender went on to tell me that Sunset Meadow Vineyards was a location the Netflix team just happened to stumble upon and wanted to capture a couple of scenes.
I failed as Sherlock Homes and left with basically no details about the exact movie Netflix was filming and I have yet to come across any news of the movie on the world wide web. So comment below if you know something I don’t!
To be honest, I was shocked at the way the Netflix team was producing and creating the film. The team seemed low maintenance, spontaneous and kind of running with the punches. Basically, I always pictured Netflix crews as a huge production but this team was using the natural light, a few cameras and way less equipment than I had pictured in my head.
Anyway, we had unusually warm weather that day so I was able to get away with wearing this Vineyard Vines Diamond Dress along with my Leopard Flats, no tights needed. My mom and I were plenty warm, relaxing on the wooden rocking chairs on the harvest decorated porch. The porch was the perfect place to sit down, catch up and watch the Netflix team’s every move.
Overall we spent about an hour rocking in our chairs on the porch and trying to enjoy the last warm moments of fall. Sunset Meadow Vineyards in Goshen, CT is really a winery you should all visit. We loved that it was located in the country giving both the wine tasters on the porch and patio scenic views of brilliant and lush fall foliage. There were plenty of tables and chairs for everyone both indoor and out, making the wine tasting experience enjoyable for all.
Once we were done shooting some pictures and tasting wine, my mom and I piled back into the car and drove a few minutes down the road to downtown Litchfield. The windy New England roads were stunning and the homes garnishing Main Street were just starting to prepare for the holidays with decorations.
I can’t wait to travel back up to Litchfield County sooner than later and hopefully bring Matt along for the ride, too. Oh and I’d love to hear of any good wineries you all love, leave a comment below with all the details. xx Aubrey
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