Planning A Dream Road Trip: Spotlight On Boston

Planning A Dream Road Trip: Spotlight On Boston


If you are just finding out about this trip series, you’ll find the beginning and all the cities we will hit up here.


Ok, so after watching the sunset over cape cod we will drive to Boston and just check into the hotel and settle in for the night.  I assume our son will be tired by then, after all we are in NYC this morning, then Cape Cod, and finally Boston all on the same day.  But I did find out that on Friday nights (I think that’s when we’ll get there), they often have stargazing on top of the Museum of Science roof top with telescopes and museum workers who educate you on what you’re seeing.  That might be fun to do the evening we get there.  They do it from 830pm-10pm as long as it’s a clear night.  I’ve never stargazed on top of a roof before and I’m always looking for new experiences that the whole family can enjoy.

By the way, ya’ll, you know how I was trying to find ways to cut down on our rental car expenses for the trip?  I think I found a great solution:  The Megabus.  Ever hear of it?  It has routes throughout the US and Canada (and Europe) with fares that are so so cheap!   I’m talking getting from NYC to Boston for $5 cheap.  From Rochester, NY to Toronto Canada $15 cheap.  Talk about a great find!  I think we may cut out a week’s worth of rental car fees by using the Megabus at the beginning and end of our trip.   If you find yourselves road tripping and wanting a cheaper way- look into Megabus.  I think Jax would have so much fun riding in it, plus my husband will be glad he won’t have to drive and can relax a little, lol.

Ok so the first full day in Boston I think we will maybe start at the Planetarium at the Museum of Science. From there they have a pick up stop for the iconic Boston Duck tours.  You know, a narrated tour of Boston on a bus- but then the bus goes splashing into the water and becomes a boat! Ok, so it’s touristy- but my son will love it.  (One perk of having kids is to be able to use them as the excuse you do these things.  Who am I kidding- I totally want to do this! lol)

Riding around in a regular-ish bus and then….

…BAM, you’re in the water!

After that, I hear a good place to check out is Quincy Market and all of their food vendors for lunch.  Supposedly it’s cheap, tons of different kinds of foods from hot dogs, to clam chowder, lobster rolls, and pizza.  You eat outside at a table and they are known to have magicians, clowns, jugglers, and acrobats to entertain people in the summer months.

After lunch, we may check out the Freedom Trail walk in the afternoon to see some of the famous historical places that Boston has to offer.  It’s a 2.5 mile walk with 16 stops on it if you do the entire thing.  Some of the stops include the Paul Revere House, Bunker Hill Monument, and the USS Constitution.

The next day we might start the morning off at Kane’s donuts.  Have you heard of this place?  It sounds amazing.  All homemade fresh local ingredients.  You guys, they have a maple bacon donut.  Thick maple frosting with chunks of bacon on top of an airy donut?  I can’t leave without trying it.  They also make a Boston Creme donut….when in Rome….

I hear they have an amazing aquarium here, but its rather expensive.  I’m sure we’ll hit up an aquarium in other cities on our trip, so I don’t know that we’ll shell out the money here, but they have a free seal and sea lion exhibit outside of the aquarium everyday that might be cute to check out.

Today might be a good day to go explore Cambridge and the Harvard area.  There’s a Curious George bookstore in Cambridge for the kids along with other cute shops and, well…Harvard.

If you’re there and looking for tickets and discounts, sign up for Goldstar before you leave.  They have a lot of attractions at half price.

On our way out of Boston, I think we’ll make a stop in Salem.  I’ve always wanted to go, especially at Halloween time.  We won’t be there for Halloween this time, but I really can’t be so close and not see it.  So we’ll stop there and probably see the Salem Witch Museum and check out the different shops in town on our way to Portland, Maine!

Whenever we’re going to spend a couple days in a certain city, I always check to see if they have discount attraction cards and if it would work out to be less money on the things that we want to see and do.  The Go Boston is one card that I think we will definitely get, especially if we take the Megabus into Boston and not have a car there.   Many attractions in Boston are expensive and with the card it gives you access to most of them for one price.  You pick the number of days you want to the card for.  We would probably get the 3 day pass, since that’s how long we’re there and I can see using it everyday.    3 day prices are $109/ adult $79/child ages 3-12.  The duck tours alone are $37 for adults.  The card also includes the aquarium which is normally $27, the science center $23, hop on and off trolley, cruises to Cape Cod, Nantucket, and Martha’s Vineyard, bike rentals in Boston and Cape Cod, Salem Witch Museum, Sam Adams brewery tour, and much more.  Totally worth it in my book.  If this is the route we’d go, we’d probably take the Megabus straight from NYC to Boston, then use the Go Boston card for a ferry to either Martha’s Vineyard or Cape Cod on one of the days we’re there for a day trip instead.

Have you been to Boston?  Am I missing something really cool to check out?  Let me know in the comments!  Be sure to check back next Monday when we look at Portland, Maine!




Earlier posts in the series:

Planning A Dream Road Trip
Spotlight On New York City
Spotlight on Cape Cod

RocksBox Review- It’s Like Stitch Fix For Jewelry

Have you guys tried RocksBox yet?  It’s like Stitch Fix- but for jewelry!  You fill out a questionnaire about the kind of jewelry you  like (gold vs silver, delicate vs statement pieces, you don’t wear earrings, etc) and look through some of their items to add to your “wishlist” so they stylist can get to know your preferences better.

Then, your stylist will mail you out three pieces of jewelry (one usually being from your wishlist) and you get to keep them on loan for as long as you want!  Then you just mail them back in the postage paid envelope when you want your stylist to send you three new items!

You can choose to buy the items you received, or just send them back for new ones when you’re ready.  This is such a great idea for people who don’t like to wear the same jewelry all the time.

  It’s costs $19/month to “rent” the jewelry, no matter how many times you switch out your pieces.  Then you can choose to buy everything in your set, or just one or two pieces, or nothing at all.

It comes in a cute little box with a bow tie, a card from your stylist, and your pieces in individual jewelry bags.

I received a necklace from my wish list, a bracelet, and a ring.  I asked not to receive earrings since I don’t have my ears pierced.

Perry Street Allison Necklace 

I like this necklace a lot.  I’ve been looking for one that had tassels.  I feel it really adds a “pop” of something to any outfit.  That’s what I need, because I tend to be pretty basic in my clothes and rely on accessories to add a little interest.  I will probably be buying this piece.  
Moon & Lola Rose Hill Bangle in Gold/Clear

This bracelet was nice.  I liked the “diamond” stones on it, and it had a coil band.  It was also adjustable which is nice because I have very small wrists and most bracelets fall right off of me.  This one fit well.  I like it, but I don’t love it enough to buy it.  This is what I love about Rocksbox.  I can keep it as long as I like and wear it, but since I don’t love it enough to buy it, when I’m done wearing it, I can just send it back and get something new!
Sophie Harper Pave Double Bar Ring

The ring is pretty, but isn’t really my style.  Also, it only fit my pinky finger.  You have the ability to give them your ring sizes, which I did….but maybe my fingers got fatter?  I already have big fingers to begin with, lol.  Either way, it was a nice ring, but made my fingers look like sausages.  So it’s a no for this one, but I’m excited to try something new again!

Rocksbox also gives you $10 to spend each month as a discount on your set.  They also give you $25 dollars credit for each friend that you refer- limit of 3 per month.  So if anyone wants to try RocksBox– you can use my referral code (kellybff544) when signing up to get a FREE TRIAL MONTH and $25 credit for yourself.  This code will work for the first 3 people to use it in November!


Have you tried Rocksbox yet?  What do you think?

October 2015  RocksBox Review

*During the transfer of website name from Pieces of Me to Live Simple, Travel Well, many of your comments did not transfer over.  Unfortunately, this problem cannot be fixed, however all future comments will show up fine.  Know that I have read each and every one of the comments you left and appreciate them!  Thank you!*

Must Have Budget Travel Items

    Have you ever been getting ready to go on vacation, packing your bags, and find yourself having to sit on your suitcase to be able to close it?  How about when you’re staying at a hotel and they want to charge you daily or hourly fees to use their internet?  How abut having to stop strangers on the street to take your picture next to that cool landmark?

I know I’ve had my fair share of these things happening, so I put together a list of must have travel items that won’t break the bank, but will make life so much easier.

Let’s start with:

Space Saver Bags

I found these great ones on Amazon for a pack of 8 space saving bags.  They come in different sizes and are great for bigger or heavier items that would normally take up a lot of space in your suitcase.  Sweaters, jackets, pants, etc.  The best part is there is no vacuum sealing involved, just put the clothes in the bag and roll out the air!  These have helped me to still bring all of the clothes I want, without having to sit on my suitcase to try to cram everything in there!

                                                              

Headphone Splitter

These may be the best invention ever if you plan on taking a long flight with kids.  Most parents remember to bring the portable dvd player or laptop for the kids to watch movies on, but you either get looks from all of the other passengers not wanting to hear the Bubble Guppies theme song for the 100th time, or you bring headphones and only one kid can watch (and listen) at a time.  We all know how that will go over.  Here, Belkin makes a great headphone splitter…that way more than one person can watch and listen at the same time….and you might be able to relax too!  They come in a bunch of different colors too!

                                                       
                                                              

Portable Charger

How many times have you been out of town and had your phone or tablet die?  A portable charger is great to have whether you are traveling or not.  I found this mini one on Amazon that I love!

                                                                

This one has more power, an extra USB port (to charge more than one item at a time).

Your own WiFi hotspot

Some people may not consider this a “budget” option, but I think it depends on how much you travel.  If you’re used to traveling a couple times a year and may stay in hotels that charge for WiFi, I think this is totally worth it.  Besides getting free internet, if you’re traveling internationally this has the added benefit of free international calling over skype or another app such as that.  Apple makes one called the Apple Airport Express.

Selfie Stick

You guys, I just bought this right before I went on my cruise and it was totally worth it.  I thought I might look stupid walking around using a selfie stick- and maybe I did- but I’ll tell you what:  I didn’t have to stop one stranger to ask them to take our picture and our pictures actually turned out really well.  Not just those super close ups that never turn out good, but a selfie stick actually gets you a nice picture with the background that you want to capture.  One word of caution:  Before you buy one, make sure they work for your type of phone.  I bought this one below.

                                                               

What are your must have travel items??  Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to add to the list!

*Some links in this post are affiliate links, which means if you purchase something through the links on the page, the company may give me a small commission at no additional expense to you.  Thank you for supporting the blog in this way.

Planning A Dream Road Trip: Spotlight On Cape Cod

To follow along on Planning Our Dream Road Trip- start at the beginning here!

Update on our trip planning:  So if you’ve been following along, you came here this week expecting to see our plans for visiting Martha’s Vineyard.  Turns out Martha’s Vineyard is a little more difficult to get to than we had anticipated.  Apparently you have to take a ferry to get there, and the one that lets you bring your car with you (which is important for a road trip, I hear), is pretty expensive and it’s ideal to have reservations for it months in advance if you’re going during summer time.  For any of you in the know, correct me if I’m wrong, but that’s what I found in my early research on how to get there, sooooo…

We chose to stop in Cape Cod as a close second!  We haven’t been there before and it looks like a beautiful little town….and the first stop of many that I will finally be able to get my lobster roll!  The plan right now is to just spend the day here as it’s pretty close to our next stop, Boston.

I figure it will go a little something like this:

Leave New York City around 7am and drive about 5 hours to get to Cape Cod.  This means we should be getting there right around lunch time, which is perfect because…..

….this place looks like the perfect spot to officially start off our trip and to have my first ever New England Lobster Roll!  The Black Cat Harbor Shack is waterfront dining that is open mid May to mid October.  They are supposedly known for their huge lobster rolls and delicious clam chowder. That lobster roll is no joke.  I don’t even know how I’ll get my mouth around the thing, but you better believe I’ll make it happen.

After a big lunch it’ll probably be time to work some of that off by playing on the beach.  I hear that Kalmus beach is a good one to go to while in the Hyannis area of Cape Cod.  (There are many different parts of Cape Cod, and I really would like to see Provincetown, however that area seems to be the furthest out and too much to squeeze in to the one day that we have here.)  We are lucky enough to live on a beautiful beach in Hilton Head, SC, but it will feel amazing to get to a beach again after traveling and being in NYC for a few days!

Supposedly Race Point Beach in Provincetown is a great location to see whales and seals in the ocean, I wasn’t able to find any information on being able to see marine life like that on the beaches in Hyannis/ Barnestable.  Anyone know?  We see dolphins a lot where we live, but whales and seals will be new to us!  My son would love it!  Who am I kidding…I want to see them too!!

Another beach that seems beautiful in the area is Sandy Neck beach.  It’s more rocky here, but has a ton of great hiking trails and a lighthouse.

blog.homeexchange.com

Both beaches have bathrooms, a snack bar, and paid public parking.  I figure we’ll spend the rest of the day playing on the beach, in the water, and hopefully checking out some of the hiking trails.  We’ll orobably get a little snack from the snack bar and watch the sunset over the water.  It sounds like a great end to the day before we head back in the car to drive about an hour and a half to Boston!

 I love how it worked out that we started in a big city, then had a break with a nice beach day in a quaint little town, and then it’s back to a big city again!

Has anyone been to Cape Cod before?  What little gems am I missing?  Is a different beach close by better?  What about these elusive whales and seals?  Suggestion for dinner?  Anything that you’re stomping your feet about that I left off on a day trip to the area?  Let me know, I might add it in our day!!!

Make sure to check back next Monday when we focus on Boston!  Don’t want to miss a week?  Follow me on Facebook or sign up for my monthly newsletter!

You may have missed:

Planning A Dream Road Trip

Spotlight on New York City

*During the transfer of website name from Pieces of Me to Live Simple, Travel Well, many of your comments did not transfer over.  Unfortunately, this problem cannot be fixed, however all future comments will show up fine.  Know that I have read each and every one of the comments you left and appreciate them!  Thank you!*

How To Get Your Best Stitch Fix


When I signed up for Stitch Fix a year ago,  I couldn’t wait to get my first box in the mail!  I scoured their website and read pretty much every word. I also came across blogs online from other Stitch Fix users and started reading them for longer than I’d care to admit.  I loved seeing all the different clothes they would get and imagining what might be in mine.  Through all of my “research”, I’ve come across a few things that I think really helped me to receive fixes that met my personal style.

Ok, first things first.  Let’s get this one out of the way…


 You really do need a great stylist.

It’s true, some stylists you just won’t mesh with.  Maybe you didn’t like they way they (didn’t) personalize your note, or maybe you felt they didn’t listen to your style needs, and just plain didn’t get you.  It happens.  I felt that way too.  Did you know that you can request a different stylist if the one you got doesn’t mesh well with you?  Just ask for a new stylist in your feedback or when it comes time to write a new note for your next fix.  Also, did you have one stylist that gave you a great first fix, but then it changed and your next stylist didn’t hit the mark?  You can request to keep a specific stylist.  Just write that you’d like to request (so and so) again.  They write their names on the bottom of your note.  It took me 5 months until I really felt that a stylist totally “got me”.  Once I found her, I kept requesting that she does every fix for me….and I’ve gotten her every time.


Make a Stitch Fix Style Pinterest Board


Do this specifically for your Stitch Fix stylist.  You can put the link to your style board in your Stitch Fix profile, that way your stylist can see it.  Then, just start pinning clothing items of similar things that you’d like to see in your fix.  It gives your stylist a lot more to go off of to know what you really like.  It’s got to be difficult for them not knowing a whole lot about us.  This helps a lot, and they really do look at it!  Here is a link to my Stitch Fix Style board so you can get an idea of what it can look like.  Did you know that Stitch Fix in on Pinterest too??  You can pin actual Stitch Fix items that you’d like so your stylist has an even better idea of the types of things to send.  Now,keep in mind, this isn’t a shopping list that your stylist must abide by.  It’s to give them an idea of the items that you like.



Stitch Fix Pinterest Board With Pictures Of You Wearing The Clothes!


While we’re on the topic of Pinterest, have you ever thought it would be wonderful if your stylist could actually see what the clothes they sent, looked like on you?  Well, they can!  Just make a separate Pinterest board that features you wearing the clothes.  You can make this board private if you want, so that no one else can see your pictures and then invite your stylist to it, or send her the link in your SF profile.  This helps out tremendously so they can actually see your body type and not just a bunch of numbers and sizes that we filled out.  Here is a link to my board that I made wearing the clothes.


Be Honest When Giving Feedback


When it comes time to check out, be incredibly honest when giving feedback.  Say exactly why you didn’t like something.  Saying something  like “I wouldn’t be caught dead in that shirt” isn’t quite as helpful as ” The shirt fit great, however I really don’t care for neon colors and tassels”.  (Note: I’ve never received such a shirt from SF, but you get the idea.)  It’s helpful to say, the shirt was too tight in my shoulders, or the pants were about 2 inches too short, etc.  I liked the top, but I wish it had some pattern, etc.  Be specific.  Oh, and be honest with yourself too!  If your style profile says you “love glam looks” but really, you work in a casual office or from your home and will never wear such pieces….update it to reflect what you will actually wear day to day.  Same with your Pinterest board.  Take it from me. Early on, I had pinned all of these things that I thought were super cute, but looking back at them- even though I thought the clothes were cute, I knew the cuts were all wrong for me and I would never wear anything like it.  Lesson learned.

Ask For A Different Size


Did you know that if you get something in your fix that you absolutely love, but it doesn’t quite fit because the brand or item ran big or small, that you can ask Stitch Fix if that have it in a different size?  I know this now!  Stitch Fix customer service is some of the best on the planet.  Now, they do not do color exchanges or complete and total different item exchanges, however if you ask them if they could send it to you in a different size, they will check to see if they have it in stock, and if they do?  Boom, it’s yours.  Free shipping and all.  Just send back the one you don’t want and you get your new one super quick.  I wish I had known this back when I got the infamous green pants.  Another tip:  Don’t buy an item that you love, thinking that you’ll fit into it “one day”.  Dress the body you have,  not the one you want.  That is all.  Another lesson learned by me.

Need Something?  Request it.


Do you have a wedding or party coming up that you need something specific for?  Ask for it.  Tell your stylist what type of event you have coming up and what you have in mind for it and see what they can send.  You know you can request an “all dress” fix or something along those lines if you have an event and are really trying to get options to wear for something in particular?  Just give yourself some time after your fix is supposed to arrive in case you don’t like any of the options they send.  This way, you may not have to make a trip to the mall at all.  But always leave extra time in case.  Also, if you saw something on the Stitch Fix pinterest board or website that you really really love?  Find out the name of it and put it in your note to your stylist.  Let them know that you would love to receive that particular piece.  If they have it in your size, they very well may send it to you.

Have An Open Mind


You know how I just said that if you see something you really really want from SF, to find out the name and request it?  Also, don’t do that for all five items.  SF isn’t an online catalog that we order out of.  It is meant for a stylist to choose things that they think will look good on us and maybe push us out of our comfort zones.  It’s a surprise!  That’s what we signed up for.  Some of the best fixes can be if your note to your stylist just says “Surprise Me”.

One Last Tip


Did you know that you can see what you will be getting once you get your shipment confirmation email??  Ok, I know I just said that SF is a surprise, so if you’re one of those people who don’t believe in “early surprises”, then don’t read this last tip!  For the rest of you…..once you get that exciting little email that says your fix has shipped….head on over to the Stitch Fix website.  Right under your tracking number, it will say “Check Out”.  Click that.  Don’t worry, it won’t be messing anything up (just don’t literally check out and fill out the forms….)  You will see a list of the items that your stylist sent.  Now, there won’t be pictures, and you can’t tell what colors it will be, so that will still be a surprise.  But it will tell you the names of the items and the cost of each one.  Then, you can break out your Google skills and search for your items to see if you can figure out what they are!  I always search for “Stitch Fix….and then the brand name and item just as it says it in my check out list.  And click the links that come up.  Now that I’ve added to the obsession, I’m done, haha.


Hope you can start using some of these tips, if you haven’t been already!  Happy Stitch Fixing!

 

You may also like:

A Year Of Stitch Fix 

September 2015 Stitch Fix Review