Boston and Cape Cod: Weekend Getaway Recap

img_7790For the past few years, I’ve gone on girls’ weekend trips which usually involves a running event, tons of good food and drinks, old friends and new ones too.  So far we have been to Aspen , San Francisco and Napa and now Boston/Cape Cod. Getting together with your girls is so important. It’s a way to catch up, relax, rejuvenate and inspire. To determine the destination, we look at a few key features:

Can we all travel there easily? Our trips are usually long weekends so easy locations are a must. This year we had travelers from Jacksonville, Denver, Boulder and San Francisco. We were all on different flights to take advantage of mileage points and maximize our time there, so location was key.   I flew Jetblue to Boston and Southwest back, both legs on points… FREE flights! <– Click here to get the Southwest card and earn 50K points!  I’d consider that an easy travel location!  To top it off, I flew in style with my Stella & Dot arm party! So glad my pyramid watch arrived just in time for the trip!

img_7794Second, is there a running event we can do while there? (Because what’s a girls trip without an excuse to wear tutus). We found the Zooma Cape Cod woman’s “fitness weekend” and booked out flights! Although this was supposed to be a half marathon which turned into an untimed race, turned into a group run with your friends, we still had a great time. I was disappointed that the race could not come together in time with permits and all that mess, but I still enjoyed out little mock run around the town, chair massages and beach yoga.  Plus, I was in no shape whatsoever to run a half marathon. 🙂

Will lodging and transportation work out for the group? Is a hotel or Airbnb going to be the best? We used Airbnb for both our night stay in Boston as well as 3 nights in Cape Cod. Our stay in Falmouth was so lovely. Bill’s Falmouth home had everything we needed and more. He was so accommodating to us, answering all questions we had and giving us tips along the way. I hope to make it out to Cape Cod again some day, and would definitely stay here again. It was perfect or our group and would be a great family vacation place too! 

img_7793Does the location have fancy foods and delicious drinks? “Give me lobsta and chowda.” New England is the Mecca of seafood in the continental US in my book now. Hands down.  I had everything including crab cake and salmon sandwiches, oysters, lobsters, shrimp, lobster rolls, clam chowder and even muscles. These people can cook!!  I also had cupcakes from shops on Falmouth and Martha’s Vineyard. The frosting was on point on all that I tried- peanut butter, mint and cream cheese. The carrot cake didn’t impress but hey they can’t be amazing at all things, right?

 

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Lastly we look for a location with fun things to do and see. Since I had never been to Boston I was super excited to learn about the history. Boston fills the pages of history books and now I got to see it! We did a hop on hop off trolley tour and harbor cruise, toured Fenway Park and got lost among the skyscrapers, underground tunnels and weird parking situations. When touring new cities, check Groupon for tours!  We did the Cityview Trolley Tour and it was awesome! Oh and then there was a cannoli. I mean the best-cannoli-I’ve-ever-had-in-my-life. That merits its own blog post, but I’ll keep it short- mainly because I want one right now and this is making me hungry.  Mike’s pastry, home of all the different types of cannolis you can dream of, is a cash only establishment in the heart of Boston’s Little Italy. Thank goodness I only carried a small bit of cash or I would have bought a ton! 

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In Cape Cod we explored the little town of South Falmouth, relaxed on the beach and checked out a few local restaurants.  I was so thankful out Airbnb was within walking distance to all of that! 

On our last full day of vacation, we hopped on the Island Queen ferry and took a short boat ride to Martha’s Vineyard, docking in Oak Bluff. We biked from Oak Bluff to Edgertown, stopping along the way for sightseeing pictures, ate incredible seafood right on the way, walked around a lighthouse then found a little brewery for a refreshing summer ale afternoon drink. Not going to lie, my butt was a little sore from the biking!!  Oh and, bike rentals were so cheap! I highly recommend this place. The staff are super helpful with directions and activity suggestions too!

img_7797I said before our girl time is so important. We talked about goals and what we want to accomplish before our next girls trip. I have too many but I’ll focus on two- travel to Colorado in the spring/summer and work less to enjoy life more.

So where’s the next destination? After throwing not around ideas, I think we’ve settled on the Oregon Coast! We hear great food, wine and nature fill that area of the country! 

What cities do you think are great for the until ate girls getaway?

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True life: I went to a Bachelor casting call


bachelor-casting-call-picHave you ever wondered how the super beautiful and (some) slightly crazy people make it on ABC’s The Bachelor? Why the guys who get picked are always please-keep-your-shirt-off HOT, and the girls have perfect hair all the time? Or how about how someone who loves onions and the Mesa Verde gets a chance to find love (and also a paintball gun – yikes!)? Well I still haven’t figured that one out but I do know how the show auditions people to cast the Bachelor and I’m hear to tell the story, my story. (Because my story is just amazing.) <– spoken like Kelsey from Chris the farmer’s season.
For years now I’ve been telling my friends (aka – my bachelor viewing party pose) that I want to apply for the show to find love. Now we all know that not everyone finds love on the show and statically the number of relationships that succeed are less than perfect. But the thought of putting myself out there seems exciting and scary all in one, especially for an introverted accountant such as myself.

So the story started a few weeks ago when I texted a fellow bachelor viewing party comrade asking if she wanted to take a trip to Charleston that weekend.  The thought of good food adventures lead to an easy “Yes” but little did she know my true MO. A day or so before the road trip, I spilled the beans that we would be taking a stop at the Bachelor Casting Call upon arrival.  The next few days contained multiple articles and blogs of what to expect, the pros and cons. From the readings, I expected to find the audition:

1- full of beautiful girls with lush curls, boobs and tan skin
2- nice girls, but they really don’t want to be your friend so most would seem fake
3- long lines and uncomfortable spaces
4- prying questions
5- rush then wait mentality

Wait why do I want to do this?  That sounds awful!!  Oh yeah, to find love!

Fortunately, my bachelor casting call was not exactly what I was expecting. It was anticlimactic, quick and eye opening. I think part of this is because Charleston might be a smaller venue than say LA or Atlanta and we got there early. So here’s my tips on what to expect at a bachelor casting call and how to best prepare.

bachelor-casting-infoStudy
You wouldn’t go to a job interview without studying and practicing questions you might be asked, would you?  I hope not.  So study up. Download the mail-in form online and pre fill it out. Take time to answer the questions. Some are obvious like why do you want to find love, while others are very bachelor appropriate – do you drink? What’s your favorite beverage? (Yes- red wine, Moscow mules, St Augustine vodka)
Some girls seems concerned about the questions, like weight: I overheard “what should I put for this one? I think I’m 115” <— girllll- you know how much you weigh. Don’t lie. And wait, why do they need to know weight?!?

Another girl asked me what does “list 3 characteristics that would surprise people about you” mean? Again- treat this like an interview- good luck thinking that one up my fellow applicant, we are basically all up for the same gig.
My friend and I had a 4 hour car ride to Charleston so she asked me the questions in the event I would get asked. This made the paperwork super easy and we had more time for blood orange mimosas (true bachelor fashion)

bachelor-casting-infoVendors
When I entered in the room, the first things I saw were two ladies with cameras, a tanning pop-up tent and a rack of bikinis. “Holy macaroni. What have I gotten myself into?!?  Grab a REAL bachelor pen and dash out of that place!” Luckily, I soon discovered this was just a vendor showcase and the ladies with the camera were there to take really awkward photos of you. The vendors were local shops for ladies- mostly health and wellness and places to make you prettier as well as the local abc news channel. Harmless, until I got back to the hotel and realized my goodie bag contained samples of fat pills and my friends contained libdo pills – got it Bachelor, got the note.

abc-bachelor-casting

Early bird get the worm
Or a spot on the local news clip.
We got there about 45 minutes early. Once the casting call  opened, we signed in, grabbed the official bachelor pen and looked for where to go next. You will write your name, age and phone number on a white board then take a mug shot like photo. Or three.  Plan ahead for this. Strike a pose? I’m not sure exactly but I’m sure my pictures turned out very accountant-like  📸 😳
Then I was directed to a small line to go back for the interview. I sat awkwardly with about 5 other girls. Some were more chatty than others and wanted to know things like “so what all do you ladies do? I mean we are all in this together, right?! hehe” no girl, we are all doing this but not together.  Until you make it to the mansion and its up the the actual Bachelor, the show is trying to cast the best of the best for the guy and I’m not interested in small talk.

I glanced at a few of the girls applications-ages  21, 22. Oh lord. Y’all don’t know what love is yet. But good luck to you 😉
Luckily I got out of answering that question but only because the local ABC channel 4 news station conveniently picked me to interview for a segment. A series of events lead me to that exact seat in front of the camera (and lights) where I was caught completely off guard. Sure- introverted accountant would love to tell Charleston what’s going on right now! Ha – said no one ever. But hey if I get casted, this is only the beginning so let’s prep now!  In the middle of the oh-my-gosh-hot hallway which smelled like greasy bacon (and I was starting to get hungry), I told America why I was there. Ok, so only a handful of people saw I’m sure, but I can say I’ve been on ABC for The Bachelor– let’s leave the details out 😉

The interview
The last step is the video interview. You will be escorted to talk one on one with a casting agents and answer a few questions. I got:
What do you do? CPA – I work in Corp accounting at a Fortune 500 company
Hobbies and interest? My dogs, home, being active, cooking and baking – lactation cookies. Yes, lactation cookies.
Kids? No, well yes, my dogs are definitely like my children
Why do you want to be on the show? Because ABC believes in the process and I think it can work. The amount of resources and time that goes into this, must be better than online dating.

Then the interviewer will have you stand up and take a video of you toe to head. (In that order) Another awkward moment…

And that’s it. Now you wait. And wait.

And wait.

casting-call-bachelorPost-casting call
What happens next I’ve learned from asking the interviewer and reading online— soon you will receive an email that you’ve either made it to the next step, or your search to find love ends there. If you’re one of the final few, you get to fill out more paperwork and then possibly get selected to go to “Hollywood Weekend” where the final 26ish are selected!

Even if I don’t make it to the next step, Charleston wasn’t waste by any means.  I had a blast eating and drinking my way through the town.  Check out this blog post on a few great places to try in Charleston.
#thebachelorforcassie

Charleston: cupcakes, biscuits, tea and roses

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Poogan’s Porch

 

When you find a good reason to take a road trip, you go.  The short 4-hour drive to Charleston, touring the Charleston Tea Plantation and meeting a sweet animal-lover-turned-Airbnb-host made for an awesome weekend getaway. I spent 2 days in Charleston with one of my favorite foodie friends and we had a blast.
A few notable moments and places to check out on your next trip:
Charleston Tea Plantaimagetion– I sampled some alot of pretty awesome tea and for FREE and then for $10 you can take a trolley tour of the plantation. The trolley tour was educational and fun.  Did you know black and green tea come from the same plant?! The tea process changes its chemistry.

Poogan’s Porch – chicken and waffles. Biscuits and gravy. Need I say more? Go. there. Now.

Seriously, that was the best chicken and waffles, biscuits and gravy deliciousness I’ve ever had.  I wish i had some right now…

Cupcakes! What’s a trip if I don’t taste test a local cupcake shop?  Check out Cupcakes DownSouth for some yummy sweet treats.  The best one I tried – Bourbon Pecan Pie <– 21 and older only please.

Stars Rooftop and Grill Room – Blood orange mimosas, brunch and Bachelor casting calls.  More on bachelor casting calls later, but the mimosas are on point and the rooftop is really cool… but hot if you go in the dog days of summer!  I didn’t have brunch but wish I did.  the brunch smelled amazing and many people raved about it.

imageEat biscuits from Callie’s Hot Little Biscuits.  Yes, that’s the name of this store.  Hot Little Biscuits.  Very appropriate as the biscuits are made fresh and served hot.  They are slightly smaller than a normal sized biscuit so the name is fitting.  The biscuits come in different varieties, sweet and savory, and all are quite tasty. 🙂

What are some of your Charleston favs?