August 25, 2011

off to "the beach"...

We are heading out to Maine for my husband's annual family vacation in the morning. I am loving watching my daughter soak up, and become part of,  memories so cherished by her dad's family! 

Cannot wait!
{here's to sunshine, sand between my toes, good food, lots of smiles & only a small hurricane Irene}

August 19, 2011

Life & Liberty Hotel Review

Life has been so busy lately! On top of day-to-day responsibilities  - which includes constantly chasing a two year old track star - I have been:

1. trying to get my resume and cover letter ready for my big job hunt
2. searching for house listings in our budget
3. getting ready for vacation next week
4. working on a friend's kitchen reno
5. working on my sister & brother-in-law's house facade facelift
6. working on my bedroom at the cottage

Like I said, busy busy busy. But I always prefer busy over bored. I'm hoping to get some quiet time while we are on our family vacation in Maine next week to update the blog on some of my current projects but in the meantime, here's what we thought of The Liberty Hotel in Boston.

{old jail entry with new hotel tower in the background}

Alright. Overall we LOVED our quick stay at The Liberty Hotel. It was such a beautiful space, and I love when an old unused building gets a new job...prison turned hotel was quite genius. After spending some time at The Liberty, I realized how perfectly the hotel follows a carefully thought out design concept - my studio instructors at UCLA would have eaten this up! School is soooo about concept!

Some examples of concept:

1. take a look at the lobby. old-style atrium jail layout.

2. the restaurant upstairs is named Clink and is designed around actual jail cells, bars and all.

3. the bar on the lower level is called Alibi.

4. the Italian restaurant is named Scampo, which translates to "escape".

5. even the geometric patterned fabric on the guest room curtains looked like metal jail bars with a closer look.



I really enjoyed our time at The Liberty. They offer free yoga in the yard on Saturday mornings, and the free coffee in the lobby was some of the tastiest I've actually ever had. I highly recommend staying there. However, I have to also say that for more than $500 a night, I wasn't overly thrilled with our room. It was nice but had, what seemed like, really low ceilings (did help with the claustrophobic jail cell feeling!), a plastic shower floor insert (ick, not good with nice tiled surround), and only 19 of the more than 200 rooms where in the actual old hotel (wish I knew that when I booked). We were also greeted Saturday morning with construction in the room next door, but the hotel have us breakfast vouchers for Clink which saved us more than $60. 

{our room + our mess}

 {yoga in the yard}
{awesome hotel loaners}

Like I said, overall a great time. And if you like the bar scene, the Alibi patio seemed like THE place to be in Boston.

August 11, 2011

Our BAH-stan

We are back from Boston, and I have a new love.

We in arrived in Boston on friday night and ended up taking a loooooong walk after a good, not great, dinner at 75 Chestnut in Beacon Hill. It was rated the best restaurant by Best of Boston magazine so we expected more but overall it was fine. Our walk was really nice, the weather cooperated and the city was buzzing with people out enjoying summer. I think my love affair started early...

In the morning we planned to start the day with coffee at the hotel's restaurant Clink. We had a bit of a complaint for the hotel (which I will tell you more about in my review of it over the weekend) so they thoughtfully gave us vouchers for breakfast at our chosen location. Score! 

After nibbling on our breakfast we took the subway out to Fenway park. This was purely for the enjoyment of my husband. I'm not a big sports fan, and walking around a baseball stadium for kicks was not my thing. Nonetheless, we went. And it was crazy with fans gearing up HOURS early for the game versus the Yankees.

We ended up doing a ton of walking and found a great used bookstore and also stumbled on the Boston Public Library's book sale where I bought an old encyclopedia britannica from 1892 for $2. Didn't realize until later that it was the edition that contains old info and maps for California and Canada - a great memento from the trip and perfect for us Canadians/Ex-Californians!

We walked back towards the hotel and ate at Figs in Beacon Hill and our pizza was so delicious, I really can't rave enough. Their must-have choice was the fig & prosciutto and it was so good I am going to try and replicate it - rosemary crust with fig & balsamic jam, prosciutto, gorgonzola and green onion...mmm mmm! On our way out of the city we grabbed some cannoli at Mike's in the North End and rushed off to the Bon Iver concert...

...which was AMAZING!

From a tourist's perspective, Boston is very lovable - 
amazing old architecture (which I didn't take photos of due to impatient travel companion)
lots of green space
easily walkable
yummy food

It was a great weekend! 

ps. Check back to hear about our stay at the Liberty Hotel. 

August 4, 2011

Boston Blitz

Tomorrow morning, at an obscene hour, Geoff and I are leaving for a quick weekend trip to Boston! This is our VERY first getaway since having our daughter over two years ago, and as you can imagine, we are excited. There are also some nerves involved, as the thought of leaving the toddler behind is a bit scary too. 

While she will be in great hands, playing away at the cottage, we will be soaking in the luxuries of the Liberty Hotel and some tasty Boston food. When Stephanie first blogged about this hotel a few months ago I knew I had to check it out - it's an old prison turned hotel and just opened in 2010. 

Cannot wait to see this place in person...

...need a drink from the hotel bar...

...get a goodnights sleep in a pretty room...

...and tour the city on one of these!

{all images via Liberty Hotel}

The reason for our trip is actually to attend a concert. We cannot wait for Bon Iver too...

I'll let you know how it all goes! Have a good weekend!