Category Archives: Travel

Best Pond Skating Spots in New England

January 12th, 2018

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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. 

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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. 

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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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Weekends in Vermont

January 7th, 2018

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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.

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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.

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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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Thanksgiving Travel Tips

November 17th, 2017

Thanksgiving Travel Tips-7345Elba Sweater (runs large, size down) || Black Pants || Leopard Shoes[bit.ly] || Purse (old, similar linked) || Sunglasses (on sale!) 

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. 

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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. Thanksgiving Travel Tips-7341

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+ 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.

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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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In-Flight Travel Essentials

November 14th, 2017

new-england-airport-style-the-coastal-confidence-4Packing 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. 

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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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Sunset Meadow Vineyards Wine Tasting

November 13th, 2017

Vineyard Vines Dress Vineyard Vines Dress c/o || Leopard Flats || 

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. 

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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. 

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 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 AubreySunset Meadow Vineyards Wine Tasting-6559

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Thorncrest Farm & Milk House Chocolates

November 7th, 2017

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Last week, I woke up to an unusually warm November day and called up my Mom to see if she wanted to hit the road to explore. She agreed and we took about an hour ride up to Goshen, CT. In the past, I had heard wonderful things about the little town of Goshen, but most importantly, I heard word of a farm and chocolate factory that I had to see with my own two eyes. 

So yes, I drove an hour for artistry chocolate and yes it was worth every drop of gas. At first, I was expecting a leaf peeping tourist trip. I assumed it would be a huge farm and factory, fully equipped with parking lots and gift shops to boot, but I was pleasantly surprised to find this farm was quaint and literally off a beaten path. The wooden barn and baby cows chopping on hay brought the idea of a quintessential New England country lifestyle to life. 

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Once we pulled up, I jumped out and instantly started capturing pictures of the wooden barn. I must say it was a tad windy, so I was happy to have on my cropped mock neck sweater. I’ve been searching high and low for a more fitted cropped sweaters to pair with skirts, and I was over the moon when I saw this cozy number in Vineyard Vine’s new arrivals. I wore this faux suede skirt with the sweater to complete the look and add a feminine touch. 

Once we walked into the barn we were greeted by Clint and Kimberly, who own and operate the farm. Boy, are these two a power couple if I ever did meet one. Clint seemed to be in charge of the farm side of things, he warmly introduced us to each cow. He then explained how the individual cows produce different tasting milk, which corresponds to the chocolate being handcrafted by his wife Kimberly. 

Clint showed my Mom and I, around the farm including meeting the cutest of farm guests a baby cow. Sadly the baby cow was camera shy otherwise I would’ve taken a whole camera roll of cute pictures. After seeing the baby, Clint introduced us to his longhorn population. 

Who would have thought that Connecticut was a place to breed longhorns, not me. I was pleasantly surprised to see these amazing creatures roaming the fields. They were truly beautiful and I had to snap a few pictures for all you Longhorn fans, or as Matt would say ‘Hook Em’

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After chatting with the Longhorns, my Mom and I made our final stop into the milk house for chocolates. We were warmly greeted by Kimberly the chocolate shop owner, creator, and as I said earlier Clint’s wife. We were instantly overwhelmed with a number of chocolate choices, from classic flavors like raspberry truffles to seasonal flavors like pumpkin; this tiny shop was overflowing with chocolate creativity. 

We had a hard time deciding what to pick, so Kimberly urgently requested us to taste test the sea salt caramels which after taking one bite, I’d confidently say, was the best sea salt caramel I’ve ever eaten. She went on to explain that basically no sugar is added to these rich caramels, but rather the sweetness is completely driven from the cows’ milk. 

After tasting the caramel we had to try some of this sweetened milk. I grabbed a bottle of vanilla bean milk, which included only the cow’s pasteurized milk and vanilla bean. After taking my first sip I was shocked how sweet the milk was and even purchased a few bottles to take home and use as a substitute for coffee creamer. Thorncrest Farm & Milk House Chocolates-5692

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Overall we ended up staying a whopping two hours on the farm, chit-chatting with Kimberly and learning her chocolate story. It was truly a wonderful experience and I’d highly recommend visiting and taking extra time out of your stay to learn about their amazing chocolate making process. 

We left with a full box of chocolates and a belly full of caramel. While at Thorncrest Farm & Milk House Chocolates, I tried to capture some video for you all, but sadly my vlogging camera died halfway through. After looking at the footage I was able to pull together a mini vlog! I hope you enjoy the video and make sure to subscribe to our Youtube Channel Here

I hope this inspires you to get in the car and explore the amazing New England towns awaiting you! Oh, and don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly New England travel newsletter! This week we are sharing the ins & outs of Goshen, so don’t forget to sign up here. xx Aubrey 

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Head of the Charles Regatta & Vlog

October 28th, 2017
 
 
Last Saturday my family and I headed up to Boston for the annual Head of The Charles Regatta! And I’m kind of ashamed to admit that this was my first time ever attending the event. I had never seen or attended the regatta before, but nothing could have prepared me for the excitement and comradery that was in the air.
 
For some reason, I made myself believe that the regatta was a SMALL race for just the Ivy league schools, so low and behold my surprise when I parked the car and saw several hundreds of colleges attending. Not only was there local schools attending, I was pleasantly surprised to see fellow students attending to cheer on their team. It was all very lucky for me because it meant I got to meet a few TCC readers from schools far and wide. You guys, I even got to meet students and rowers from my own alma mater, The University of San Diego, how crazy. 
 
Head of the Charles Regatta & Vlog
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Brooks Brothers' HOCR style
Brooks Brothers' HOCR style
 
If you’ve never attended the Head of the Charles Regatta, to put it simply, it’s basically like a preppy Bostonian fair. Picture hundreds of preppy dressed college kids, fair food (I’m talking about mac & cheese in a bread bowl) and let’s not forget about the enormous Brooks Brother’s tent. It was like I died and went to New England heaven. 
 
I went to the regatta in full on Red Fleece get-up and was blessed with a brisk 75 degree sunny fall day. Hey, I’m not complaining, it was so warm that I opted for this windowpane skirt and left the tights at home. I paired the wool skirt with a lightweight chambray shirt because frankly, a sweater would have been way too heavy, for such a warm fall day. Overall between the delicious food and getting to see my college race, the entire weekend just felt right. 
 
Not to mention that the weather was beautiful, the Brooks Brother’s team was as stylish as ever and the readers I did get to meet, were so welcoming and excited. I was only able to attend the event for a short period of time due to a family function, and I was crushed on missing out on meeting so many of you. Soooo Matt and I are considering doing a meet-up in December. Thoughts? 
 
Since this was our first year attending the regatta, we had to bring you along. So below hit play to see our first ever Head of the Charles Regatta vlog. As I said in previous posts, my sister Tessie is now officially part of our TCC Crew, as our videographer so don’t forget to subscribe to our Youtube channel to see new videos every Wednesday.

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With all that being said, I’m 100% attending the regatta again next year and hopefully, Matt will be along for the ride. Maybe we can even convince him to squeeze into one of those tight rowers uniforms, I kid, I kid, but I think we can manage to deck him out in Brooks Brother’s
 
 
All in all, it was a perfect weekend and I’m excited for the weekends to come. A lot of busy stuff is happening down here in Dallas and I can’t wait to bring you all along. Don’t forget to comment below if you are interested in a TCC meet-up and let us know if you’d like to meet in Boston or Connecticut. xx Aubrey 
 
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Brooks Brothers' HOCR style
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6 Apple Orchards to Visit During New England Fall

October 20th, 2017

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Vineyard Vines Sweater c/o || Leopard Shoes || Jeans || Vineyard Vines Tote 

Whether you’re there to get the most aesthetically pleasing fall Instagram or stocking up on apples for some upcoming baking antics, tis the season to grab your crew and head to the orchards. I honestly have the fondest memories of waking up early with my dad, come October, and driving down to Farmer Andy’s apple orchard to check out the trees ripeness; of course all on the way to Dunkin Donuts for some morning munchkins. 

Of course, as soon as my Dad saw that those apples were ripe, he packed up the entire family for an apple picking adventure. It’s kind of sad to admit but we’ve traveled long and far for some much-needed apple picking. Year after year, since starting this New England blog over four years ago, I get asked the same question…’where should I go apple picking while leaf peeping? So after getting several like emails over the past two weeks, I figured it was about time to share my favorite apple orchards with you all.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy these images of my most recent trip to Lyman Orchards. Below you’ll find a very detailed list of my six apple orchards you need to visit during New England Fall and DON’T FORGET to sign up for our Weekly New England travel Newsletter, to receive THREE ADDITIONAL orchard locations, I visit year after year.  kay let’s get right to it (the orchards listed below are in no particular order).

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6 Apple Orchards You NEED TO Visit During New England Fall:


 

1) Lyman Orchards / Middlefield, CT 

I love Lyman Orchards, for a few reasons, but mostly being that my high school was just 10 min down the road. After school, Matt and I would head here for an afterschool snack, when we were dating back in high school. They literally have a whole market filled with delicious fall treats. And secondly, I love Lyman Orchards because it’s set on a crisp 1,100 scenic acres in central Connecticut, making it a destination for fall food, apple picking, and fall foliage. 

Matt and I had many dates here in high school, so I might be biased but this apple orchard is by far my favorite. 

Do They Have Cider Donuts? / YES

How many types of apples do they have? / 12 varieties

When are the apples available to be picked? / mid-August to late October

Will there be apple cider? / Obviously!


2) Blue Jay Orchards /  Bethel, CT

With over 140 acres, enjoy a relaxing day of picking apples along with a 20-minute wagon ride through the orchards. Oh and make sure to leave yourself enough time to visit their farmer’s market; it’s filled with apples, bakery goods, pies, jam/jellies, apple cider, and fresh cider donuts.

Do They Have Cider Donuts? / YES!!!

How many types of apples do they have? / 34 varieties

When are the apples available to be picked? / mid-August to late October

Will there be apple cider? / Of Course, They Do!


3) HONEY POT HILL ORCHARDS / STOW, MA

This orchard is 180-acres of family farmland about 44 minutes west of Boston. This orchard is packed to the brim with fall activities. From hayrides to corn mazes, this family farm is booming with the essence of New England fall; and while I hear the apples are crisp and delicious apparently the true hero of Honey Pot Hill Orchards, is the cider donut.

But trust me when I say, waiting in the monstrous donut line is well worth every bite. 

Do They Have Cider Donuts? / YES, GET IN LINE EARLY

How many types of apples do they have? / 8ish varieties

When are the apples available to be picked? / mid-August to late October

Will there be apple cider? / Obviously


 

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6 Apple Orchards to Visit During New England in Fall-4550
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6 Apple Orchards to Visit During New England in Fall-4817

4) Bailey’s Orchard / Whitefield ME 

While I’m not exactly sure how large this farm is, I will say that Bailey’s Orchard’s aesthetic is on point. The old wood-shingled barn and cider mill, really do resemble the backbone of New England living, so whether you’re a blogger, photographer or family looking for a photo shoot location; I would highly recommend checking out this farm!

Do They Have Cider Donuts? / YES

How many types of apples do they have? / 50 varieties 

When are the apples available to be picked? / mid-August to mid-October

Will there be apple cider? / Yup, they even have their own cider mill at the farm where they press their own cider without any additives or preservatives


5) Mack’s Apples / Londonderry, N.H 

Mack’s Apples is NH’s oldest family run farm, the farm specializes in apples (over 100 acres), peaches, pears, pumpkins, as well as local maple syrup, pies, and honey. This farm, and store, is devoted to bringing you a local New England experience, which means filling its shelves with local products and New Hampshire hospitality. If you haven’t planned a leaf peeping trip yet, I’d highly recommend adding this stop to your itinerary. 

Do They Have Cider Donuts? / YES

How many types of apples do they have? / 7 varieties 

When are the apples available to be picked? / mid-August to late-October

Will there be apple cider? / Of Course


6) Scott Farm Orchard / Dummerston, Vermont!

I feel like a quintessential New England fall isn’t complete without a trip to Vermont, am I right?! Last year, Matt and I made a pit stop at Scott Farm Orchard, and I’m eager to go back this year. Matt and I actually found this location on Instagram one day and decided to take a spontaneous road trip. 

Truth be told, I fell in love with this 571-acre farm as soon as we had the car in park. Oh, and the best part about this farm is that it has been active since 1791 and is actually registered as a Historic Place; which is right up my alley and TCC’s aesthetic. 

Do They Have Cider Donuts? / Yes

How many types of apples do they have? / 125 varieties (WOW)!

When are the apples available to be picked? / mid-August to late October

Will there be apple cider? / Yes

 

Now I haven’t had the joy of visiting EVERY apple orchard so if I missed one of your favorites, please leave a comment below so I can check it out. But first, DON’T FORGET to sign up for our Weekly New England travel Newsletter, to receive those FOUR ADDITIONAL orchard locations, in this Sunday’s newsletter. xx Aubrey 6 Apple Orchards to Visit During New England in Fall-4517

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6 Apple Orchards to Visit During New England in Fall-5208

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Fall in New England & HOCR Outfit

October 17th, 2017

New England in Fall & HOCR StyleBrooks Brother’s HOCR Sweater (LIMITED IN STOCK) c/0 || Cotton Chambray Shirt || Skirt 

After spending basically, a month traveling, I’m so happy to be back in New England. I always feel my best when I’m home in Connecticut, and I think it’s because there are just so many little nooks and crannies for me to explore. So many charming towns, so many colonial homes and not enough delicious lattes to sip on. So way back in July, I blocked two weeks off, in mid-October so I could make it back home just in time for the autumn hues to peak.

So many charming towns, so many colonial homes and not enough delicious lattes to sip on. So way back in July, I blocked two weeks off, in mid-October so I could make it back home just in time for the autumn hues to peak. Sadly, the autumn hues are running a tad late to the party this year, but I’m determined to hunt a few down for you all. 

Anyway, yesterday morning I woke up early to grab a warm latte and knock out some work before a jam-packed afternoon of video content planning with my sister Tessie. On that note, if you haven’t subscribed to our YouTube Channel make sure to do so here

I decided to wear this limited edition Brooks Brothers’ HOCR sweater, as the morning was quite chilly, but soon that chill was replaced with a perfectly warm fall afternoon. Apparently, the warmer fall weather is here to stay for the weekend, which is perfect timing, as I’ll be attending the HOCR race up in Boston on Saturday. I can’t wait to meet you all, so make sure to comment down below if you are going. New England in Fall & HOCR Style

New England in Fall & HOCR Style
New England in Fall & HOCR Style
New England in Fall & HOCR Style

 I’m actually traveling up to Boston to shoot some images with my TCC Crew. I often get a lot of questions about who takes my photos and I’d say 70% of the time it’s Matt, because we are always together, 25% of the time it’s my Mom and 5% is with a paid photographer. I love working with photographers but to be honest, I’m a really slow shooter.

I like to wander around and just drive until I find the perfect spot or town, so being on a time crunch doesn’t do me any good. I often like to shoot at multiple locations for one outfit, so having a friend or in my case, Mom, exploring with me for the day really makes my job 100% more fun. 

Not to mention it’s the best way to get out of the house. Oh, and the best part about shooting with my Mom is that she acts like a mini-photoshoot director. She’ll tell me where to look, when to throw leaves up in the air and when to just go full on candid; I love just slipping on an outfit and driving around town with her for an entire day. The whole post feels more candid from my end but spending a whole day shooting one post is very unrealistic of me, so I give myself two hours of shoot time per outfit. 

Anyway, if you are a new blogger and searching for a photographer or need help making content, don’t be afraid to ask a friend. Photography takes practice so as long as you’re both relaxed, your photo will continue to get better over timeNew England in Fall & HOCR Style

New England in Fall & HOCR Style
New England in Fall & HOCR Style
New England in Fall & HOCR Style

I digress, once I was done with work, my Mom and I traveled to Simsbury to stock up on some scenic images before picking Tessie up from high school. I will say some of my fondest memories with my mom come from these scenic car rides, we somehow ALWAYS end up finding a home decor store, which I’m not complaining about by any means. Oh, and we always find a coffee or an ice tea in our hands by the end of the journey. 

I think those little moments are why I love living in New England. The convenience of being able to get in the car and explore an entirely different state, via scenic routes. It’s why I love New England so much, though I’ll admit the local cider mills and the apple fritters are high up there on the list, of New England lifestyle perks. 

 

Anyway, I can’t wait to share these next two weeks with you. We are busy bees over here at TCC HQ and I’m so excited to add my sister, Tessie, to the TCC Crew as our official videographer.

Please welcome her to the crew, by leaving any video suggestions below! xx Aubrey. 

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Ireland Itinerary

September 10th, 2017

Ireland Itineary - The Coastal Confidence

Shirt || Skirt || Shoes || Necklace

The day has finally arrived. Today our crew is breaking down our entire Ireland itinerary, we’re chatting about what we liked, what we didn’t and how we explored The Wild Atlantic Way

Okay, so in honor of getting to the point, I’m going to break down how we spent each day along with linking the corresponding blog posts and vlogs. So let’s jump in. 

Sunday: Day 1: Kerry Airport 

  • Activity of the day – SLEEP

Our crew landed in Ireland on Sunday mid-day. We originally flew from Hartford CT to Dublin and after a six-hour layover boarded a very small plane to the south of Ireland. 
We landed in Kerry about 1:10 PM and the adventure started from there. We rented a small van, as six of us snuggled into the car with the fear of driving on the wrong side of the road. All and all my dad handled the driving and did a splendid job. 

Once we reached the hotel, about 45 min south of the airport we all went straight to the bar for some much-needed caffeine. We spent the night hanging around the resort, I’d be bold enough to say that Sheen Lodge Falls was probably our favorite hotel throughout our journey. 

The staff was wonderful, it’s just a 5 min drive to the bustling village of Kenmare and they had complimentary Nespresso machines in each hotel room, aka my heaven. 

I would highly recommend staying here if you’re looking for a relaxed and almost Vermont feel. The rainy days and cozy fires throughout the hotel made me want to slip off my rain boots, after a long and wet day of traveling.Ireland Itinerary-7302

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Monday (Day 2): Town of Cobh and The Blarney Stone

  • Activity of the day – Kiss the Blarney Stone

Breakfast was included at every hotel we stayed at, so come 9 AM all six of us met downstairs for breakfast. Within two hours we all piled into the van, and sped up the street towards Cobh. 
Altogether the drive from the hotel to Cobh was about an hour and a half, I know that’s kind of long, however, I thought we might as well see the town due to its proximity to The Blarney Stone. 

You can read more about our visit to Cobh and The Blarney Stone in this blog post, along with watching our travel vlog of the day here

The one thing we left out of both the vlog and blog post is where we ate. We decided to have a rather late lunch in Cobh at Jacobs Ladder, before heading to Blarney’s Castle. The food was great here, and the waterfront views made it even better. 

All in all, it was a very long day. We ended up back at the hotel around 9:00 PM and had a small bite to eat before heading to bed. Ireland Itinerary-7349

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Tuesday (Day 3): Ring of Kerry and Killarney National Park 

  • Activity of the day – Ring of Kerry 

One of the main reasons why I decided to stay at Sheen Lodge Falls was its proximity to Killarney National Park. It was really only a 15-20 min drive to the park which made it easy to explore and gave us some down time from driving. 

All and all, the park took us about four hours to see thoroughly. It’s basically one very long and windy road with several areas to pull-off, park and explore. How much time you spend in the park is completely dependent on how much time you spend exploring!

We got a little muddy from all the hiking we did while at the park, so before heading out to dinner we went back to the hotel to change. 

Finally, we headed out to the town of Kenmare and ate at, PF McCarthy’s Bar which was one of our most loved food destinations throughout our trip. You guys can read more about our visit to The Ring of Kerry in this blog post, along with watching our travel vlog of the day here

Wednesday (Day 4): Up the Wild Atlantic Way 

  • Activity of the day – Travel

On Wednesday we made our first move up the Wild Atlantic Way to the Burren National Park. Overall, Gregans Castle Hotel was our LEAST favorite. The rooms were very nice, but the real reason I would not recommend staying here is my experience with their customer service specifically my interaction with the manager Simon.  

Overall, I felt like the price of the hotel was TOO HIGH for the package we paid and that the manager’s style of customer service is HOSTILE, to say the least. 

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Thursday (Day 4): Cliffs of Moher

After a rather hectic Wednesday, we spent our Thursday exploring the cliffs of The Wild Atlantic Way. The Cliffs of Moher have been on my bucket list, so finally getting to see them was 100% worth the bad experience of the day prior. 

In honor of keeping this post on the shorter side, you can read more about our visit to The Cliffs of Moher, in this blog post, and watch our travel vlog for the day here. 

Friday (Day 5): Dingle 

  • Activity of the day – Traveling/Visiting Dingle 

This was one of our busiest days yet in Ireland. We started off the day driving to Dingle, which I was dying to explore. To be honest, I really wanted to see this town after watching the movie Leap Year, anyone else remember that movie?!

Overall, I wish I had skipped staying two days by The Cliffs of Moher and spent two days in Dingle. The town was everything you’d picture an Irish seaport town to be like. It very much had a New England vibe and not to mention I saw a sign saying it was Ireland’s food capital. 

The sign must have been right because the food was out of this world. We went to The Half Door for their famous lobster bisque and Murphy’s Ice Cream after for obvious reasons. 
All in all our time in Dingle was limited, aka just an hour and a half; but if I ever make it back to Ireland this is where I’d want to go. We spent the rest of the day, traveling up the coast of The Wild Atlantic Way, we stopped at Galway for some pizza at Dough Bro’s and kept driving until we made it to our last and final stop…Ashford Castle. Ireland Itinerary-7353

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Saturday (Day 6): Ashford Castle 

  • Activity of the day – Boat Ride, Falconry, and Clay Shooting

I know it might not seem like it, but I’m trying to keep this post concise, so if you’d like to read about our time at The Lodge at Ashford Castle and our experience with falconry check out this blog post!

Overall, I’d highly recommend the hotel and its activities, we captured our whole day on our last and final vlog, so don’t forget to watch that below, it’s by far my favorite vlog yet. 

Finally, we left Ashford Castle around 5 PM on Saturday and took our van on its last adventure, an hour and a half ride to DUBLIN! 


Sunday (Day 7): Dublin

We flew out of Dublin on Sunday, and within 7 hours we landed safe and sound in Connecticut. Overall, we didn’t see much of Dublin however the boys did do some nightlife exploring and reported back with two thumbs up. 

& that was that. 

Overall our trip was packed and filled to the brim with Ireland’s beautiful landscapes and terrains. It truly is a beautiful country, and this post marks the last of our Ireland content. 

I hope you enjoyed this past week of travel content and leave any suggestions of places you’d like us to explore next. xx Aubrey

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