These last few months have been a little crazy for Stan and I because we were in back-to-back weddings! I’ve shared a few peeks leading up to Jordan’s wedding (my bridesmaid dress, the wedding shower) which took place on August 31st and Stan was a groomsman in his friend Paul’s wedding on September 7th. Here are some snapshots from the two events:
Left to right: Fellow bridesmaids Beata, Brittany, and I.
Jordan’s beautiful dress!!
Jordan & Dan ♥
Isn’t the venue beautiful? It was held at Wood Acre Farms in Terryville, CT.
They took a horse-drawn carriage ride after the ceremony, awww.
Jordan, Beata, and I.
Jordan and her bridesmaids! Left to right: Sister and maid-of-honor Kelsey, Brittany, Jordan, Beata, me, Sadie.
We spent last weekend in New Hampshire for Paul and Regina’s wedding. On our way to lunch after the rehearsal, we were almost eaten by a giant blue crab!! (Oh and, that’s another eShakti dress. I love it!)
At the reception on Sunday, Anton (one of Stan’s fellow groomsmen) teamed up with the bride (Regi) to troll Stan. They asked the DJ to play a Nickelback song (he hates Nickelback), and Regi asked him to dance with her. You can’t say no to the bride!
Nick (another groomsman) and I got on the floor along with the groom and his mother-in-law to ease Stan’s pain. He was a good sport about it though. ♥
Left to right: Stan, Paul, Regi, and I. She looks just like a princess!
Both events were lots of fun, but we’re a little wedding’d out. We do clean up nice though, eh? ;)
Nestled in a shopping center behind Dottie’s Diner at 744 Main Street South in Woodbury, CT is the sweetest little vintage boutique I’ve ever stepped foot in: Maison St. Germain.
Owned by mother-daughter team Debra and Nicole, it’s filled with wonderful little treasures that make you think you’ve stepped right into an Audrey Hepburn film.
It’s only a few minutes from Timex, so my friend/co-worker/fellow thrifty shopper Ali and I popped in to check it out during lunch on Friday.
I have been to quite a few vintage shops, thrift stores, and flea markets, searching for the perfect backdrop or table to set up in my office for photos and I finally found it at Maison St. Germain! I took this adorable little English pub table home with me and immediately squeezed it into my already-crowded office. But it’s okay because next year I’m moving my office into what is currently our bedroom — a much bigger space for all my crafty supplies and madness! I so wish the cute green chairs came with it, but they were sold separately so I didn’t take them.
I was also in love with this big orange dresser. Beautiful! And unlike many of the antique shops in the area, Maison St. Germain’s prices were very reasonable. I hate when shop owners find a trashy piece of furniture in a junk yard somewhere for pennies, and try to sell it to you for hundreds of dollars. It’s clear that Debra and Nicole carefully curate every piece they bring into their shop and lovingly transform it into something unique, filled with personality. Debra even writes a blog about their adventures: Capers of the Vintage Vixens.
Oh, and if you’re looking for vintage teacups to turn into candles, you’ll find plenty here!
I love the way they merchandised everything. This table made me want to sit down and have a tea party.
I can’t even handle how perfect this pink vanity is!
…Or this sign I found in the dressing room. Ha! Amen, sisters!
Their back room was filled with unique vintage clothing, shoes, purses, and accessories. I wanted that cute pale pink ballerina skirt, but I picked up a slightly more sensible purple pencil skirt and a gold purse instead.
Even their cash wrap/checkout area was set on a beautiful vintage dresser or countertop. I had a wonderful time poking around during my lunch hour, and am so happy with the table I picked up. I’m sure you’ll start seeing it here on the blog all the time now! ;)
If you’re in the area, or looking for somewhere to pick up unique antique furniture or clothing, please stop by Maison St. Germain and say hello to Debra and Nicole! Please note that the address listed on their website is their previous address. Their current address is: 744 Main Street South, Woodbury, CT.
Lead photo courtesy of Maison St. Germain. All other photos by me.
After doing a little bit of shopping, I was drawn to the live music playing outside of King’s Palace Cafe.
So I enjoyed their BBQ Platter — ribs, pulled pork, and “Voodoo potatoes” — while I watched the live performance. By the time I worked my way through all that delicious food, it was getting dark and Beale Street was a little seedy for a solo roadtripper like me, so I headed back to my hotel and watched The Birdcage on TV before falling asleep.
In the morning, I swung by Graceland to pay my respects to Elvis Presley. I got there too early to do a tour, but I couldn’t have done one anyway as it takes 2.5-3 hours. So, I walked around the grounds for a bit, then got back in the car and drove toward Nashville.
In Nashville, I got gas and ate at the Loveless Cafe. Well, okay, there was a 2 hour wait, so I got my grits, biscuits, and ham egg and cheese to go and ate in my car (even the seats outside were all taken!) I am not normally a grits fan, but damn. Those grits were good.
I hit pockets of rain on my way to Virginia, but got to the Hotel Roanoke around 7pm.
It was built in 1882 so it has gorgeous old-world charm. Look at this lobby!
There was even a secret sitting room off my room. I may have enjoyed my room service in here… ;)
Friday, I woke up super early, threw on my best red, white, and blue and booked it back to Connecticut. At 4:30pm, Stan was giving me the best hug ever.
We ended the night watching fireworks under an umbrella at my Dad’s house and enjoying Suzi’s 4th of Jell-O cake! (See what I did there? ;)
Though I would have loved to share my trip with Stan or a few family members or friends, it was really liberating and empowering to do it on my own. It’s still incredible to me that I drove across the country and back on my own. I experienced pure natural beauty (Rocky Mountains, Arches National Park, Grand Canyon) and geeked out over Thelma & Louise, Buffyand Breaking Bad filming locations. I had amazing food and some not-so-great food, too. I listened to some great music and audiobooks (The Fault in Our Stars and okay, some Harry Potters) and an overrated one (sorry, Kerouac). I visited friends and family and it was amazing!!!
It feels really good to be home. I wanted to blog on Friday, but I was so tired the rest of the week. My body is still recovering! So here’s the fifth update from my road trip, covering Arizona and New Mexico (and a little Texas and Oklahoma).
After leaving my uncle’s house in Los Angeles, I drove about halfway to the Grand Canyon and stopped for a late lunch/early dinner at a Cracker Barrel. ‘Cause you have to stop at a Cracker Barrel at some point on a road trip!
I made it to the Grand Canyon just before the sun set.
As with the Rocky Mountains, it’s hard to take a photo of the Grand Canyon that really captures the magnitude of it. I hung around it for a little while to watch the sun set, then drove to my hotel in Flagstaff.
Day 10 / Monday, June 30th was thankfully a shorter driving day, but still 6.5 hours to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Just before heading into the city proper, I wanted to scope out To’Hajiilee, an Indian reservation about 30 miles outside of Albuquerque. Breaking Bad fans will know this as the place where it began and end. Walt and Jesse’s first cook spot and — without spoiling anything specific — where a few characters lost their lives.
This is the only place during my trip where I was a little nervous about being alone, because it meant driving through what has sadly become kind of a Native American ghetto, run by tribal — not American — law. You have to do a lot of off-roading to get to the key location from Breaking Bad, passing by a lot of run-down homes and private property. I braved the dirt paths (you couldn’t even call them roads) for a while, but they were not made for little sedans and as soon as I saw a decaying bull carcass, I decided that was enough and turned around to head back to the highway.
I caught a photo of this beautiful hand-painted sign before leaving (the front had graffiti on it).
My first stop in Albuquerque was The Candy Lady, located in the heart of the city, the historic “Old Town.” Owner Debby Ball was approached by Breaking Bad‘s prop department prior to filming the first season because they were in need of an edible prop to stand in as meth on the TV show. Ball made them a rock candy — first in white, then in the signature Heisenberg “baby blue,” and continued to manufacture it for the show, then later for fans. Fans can buy it in dime bags and have a photo taken of them in front of a prop Los Pollos Hermanos poster, with black fedora, sunglasses, and fake money. Pretty badass.
After checking into my hotel and attempting to eat at The Grove Cafe (which is closed on Mondays – nice planning, Sami!) then finally eating at a P.F. Chang’s, I hurried out to photograph a few more Breaking Bad locations before it got dark. Number 1 on my priority list was Walter White’s house, which is really owned by Fran Padilla. She came outside just after I took this photo, so I introduced myself and said “hello from Connecticut!” She was very nice, but I didn’t want to ask her a billion questions, knowing she gets this all the time. Even while I was saying my brief hello and thank you, another car drove by to snap a photo!
Just a mile away is Octopus Car Wash, used in filming Breaking Bad‘s A1A car wash. It was also closed, but I went back the next day to get Lola B’s very first car wash. Noticing I was from Connecticut, the attendant told me to “have an A1 day!” – it was pretty great.
It was getting dark quickly, so my last stop for the night was Jesse Pinkman’s house. It’s in a really beautiful neighborhood!
The next morning, I got up bright and early for breakfast at The Grove Cafe & Market. Breaking Bad fans will know this as the place where Walt and Lydia met, Tuesdays at 10am. (As it happens, I was there at about 8:30 am on Tuesday. Didn’t see either of them.) Another key scene happens here, as well…
… Let’s just say, I didn’t have any Stevia in my chai latte, but I did take a few packets to go. Apparently, this was Aaron Paul’s favorite place to eat during filming, too. I can’t blame him – the food was delicious!!
My last stop before setting off toward Oklahoma was Hank and Marie Schrader’s home. Tread lightly.
I passed through the little box on top of Texas on my way to Oklahoma City…
And I was pleasantly surprised to remember I had booked myself a whirlpool suite that night. I really needed a nice, long soak!
From Moab, I drove northwest through Salt Lake City and spent an uneventful night in Elko, Nevada.
On Thursday, June 26th — just before making it into California — a strong gust of wind blew a huge chunk of shredded tire (I suspect from a tractor trailer) into my front bumper. It actually tore off my front plate mount and left a nice big scuff and a crack down the middle of the bumper, but no major damage. I was upset, but recovered quickly. If that was the worst that would happen to my car during my two-week stint on the road, I was lucky! I made it to California a few hours later.
Friday was a very busy day. I woke up early and took a slightly roundabout route into San Francisco so that I could cross the Golden Gate Bridge. Apparently, I found myself in the middle of “June Gloom,” which is what locals like my uncle call the early summer fog phenomenon in California. Fog will roll in for a day or two and settle over the costal cities of California and just hang out, making it near impossible to take good photos of the Golden Gate Bridge. :(
I paid way too much for parking, then walked to Pier 39/Fisherman’s Wharf to eat and browse through the stores. It’s a nice area, but crowded. And the clam chowder is not nearly as good as Boston!
I didn’t have the time required for a proper Alcatraz tour, so I admired it from the Pier. See all that fog? Gah!
As a Brit + Co freelance writer and avid maker, I had to stop at the Brit + Co MakeShop, right next to their headquarters on Sutter Street.