There is a magical little New England town I talk about all the time on this blog. A town where colonial New England meets the modern day seamlessly. Preppy clothing stores, homemade fudge shops, and reusable bag boutiques live alongside each other in renovated historic buildings. Here you can grab a fresh coffee and explore a local bookshop or antique sellers. There is a music store that consists solely of records. As you cross the historic drawbridge in downtown with your fresh-churned ice cream and gaze upon ships docked in the colonial era seaport museum you realize there is nowhere on earth you’d rather be. Well, at least that’s how I feel every time I’m in Mystic.
On my last day trip I visited the family-owned store, Mystic Knotwork. From the moment I stepped inside I was greeted by all that worked there including the owner, Matt Beaudoin. He enthusiastically took me around their workshop showing me their latest projects and gave me a history lesson on the business and his family. As a wanna-be history buff I loved every minute of my time here. The store itself is located inside of a 100 year-old building that was once the spot in downtown Mystic to have your sail or rigging repaired. With their traditional knot techniques and modern nautical color schemes, Mystic Knotwork is an example of how the old and the new can blend perfectly.
In 1957, Alton Beaudoin (Matt’s grandfather) began Beaudoin’s Rope Locker out of his family home. After serving in WWII, Alton was able to translate his knot tying, which served as a type of therapy, into a thriving business. His work and passion were widely recognized and he even had pieces of his work donated to the Smithsonian. In 1996 he passed the business onto Matt, and in 2008, Matt left his corporate job to invest his time fully and carry on his grandfather’s legacy. Within eight years Matt grew the business through The Velvet Mill to their current spot in downtown and the named changed to Mystic Knotwork. On June 14th they opened their second location, a retail shop at 2-4 Holmes Street. It’s shaped like a lighthouse and I can’t wait to go back and see it!
Mystic Knotwork is no secret to the world outside of New England. At the American Made Summit 2014 they received honorable mention being one of four makers (out of six thousand) chosen by Queen Martha Stewart for their heritage arts. One of their sailor knot bracelets was even worn in my all-time favorite show, 30 Rock. Both of those things should cement them in history, but I have a feeling Matt and family have a lot more up their sleeves.
Please check them out the next time you visit Mystic!
When asked how he wanted to celebrate the big 3-0 and his upcoming graduation from his MBA program PK made a simple request. He just wanted to watch the Yankees play. As it turned out, the Yankees would be on the road playing the World Series champion Cubs. Luckily, for PK, I have some amazing family in Chicago.
Oh, hello. The month of May has been pretty good to me and I hope you’ve been enjoying the gorgeous weather as much as I have. I’ve spent time falling back in love with yoga and taking quiet walks in nature. Social media has barely been on my mind and it was a nice break, but… there is so much happening that I’m back and ready to share!
The worst thing that can happen at the beginning of your vacation is discovering a store like, Soulbury. My family knows me well enough that when they learn about fun, new shops they need to tell me right away. This was one I couldn’t bear to sit on too long once my aunt sent me their Facebook page, especially with gorgeous warm weather last week. My loyal adventure buddy, Coors was ready at a moments notice and we were on our way to Woodbury, Connecticut.
I have been absolutely exhausted since Easter. All I could do was envision my week long vacation and how I would do absolutely nothing but nap. Aside from our Chicago trip at the end of my time off I tried to keep my schedule wide open. Somehow, everyday began to fill with spontaneous day trips to some of my favorite places and I can’t really complain about that. Vacation didn’t have as many naps as I was counting on, but I am feeling totally renewed and ready for warm weather and to plan more trips.
Kinsmen Brewing in Milldale (part of Southington) finally opened over the weekend in a gorgeous old, brick building near where I grew up. Obviously, I had to stop in to see the progress and to taste test. The brewery is located along the Rails to Trails, one of my favorite walking paths, that I’ve posted about earlier. Obviously, I am a strong proponent for beer after physical activity, so their location is perfect. The walking path right outside their doors leads you into downtown Plantsville and Southington’s evolving restaurant row.
This past weekend friend, Coors, and I visited the Hill-Stead Museum for their Rooms in Bloom event. The entire property was decorated with floral arrangements from local designers while you walked through on a self-guided tour. In each room there were volunteers ready to discuss the Pope family, the original owners, and their amazing art collection. This was my first time visiting and I instantly fell in love with the house and surrounding landscape.
This weekend, the Saybrook Point Inn invited me to attend a dinner at their restaurant, Fresh Salt, showcasing their new Spring menu. Not only did PK and I get to experience their amazing food, we were also graciously offered a room for the night. Coming out of this long winter a weekend getaway on the Connecticut coast line in gorgeous Old Saybrook was just what we needed. When we arrived and got settled, our room was so cozy and had such picturesque views of the marina that it was hard to tear ourselves away.
The first weekend of Spring has been a quiet one. PK and I visited family and like always missed a turn or two, no GPS can accurately navigate New Jersey. Two margaritas and a beer later, I’m still in bed. Next weekend, however, that’s a different story. There is so much going on that I actually don’t know where I’ll end up!
Recent adventures have led to a few new finds….
We’ve been thinking spring thoughts over here. Don’t get me wrong, I love winter and I love snow, but like most New Englanders, I’m getting seasonal ADD. I’m ready for the next one. We had one glorious week of sixty degree weather at the end of February, but it was more a tease more than anything else.
I guess this is more midweek motivation at this point, but I’m going to need it. As usual, I’m in full hibernation mode for this time of year. My daily uniform is flannel pajamas and fuzzy socks while wrapped in a blanket with a space heater pointed directly at me. I’m so thankful I now work from home and don’t have to face the cold. That being said I do eventually have to be in office and tomorrow is one of those days. I am literally heartbroken at the idea of getting up early to shower and put on makeup.
Here in New England we’ve all but entered into complete hibernation mode. It’s the time of year between New Years and spring when we retreat to our bedrooms and nap away the short, cold days and prep for the ever unpredictable Nor’easters. Personally, I love this time of year. I love cuddling up in blankets with a cup of tea and good book with a record on. It’s safe to say that SAD (seasonal affective disorder) has never been a worry for me, but I can understand how my summer-loving friends get antsy to see the sun again. I’ve always struggled to find a way to convey my feelings about the restorative winter season, but the Dutch have taken care of that for me.
After ringing in the new year, instead of jumping on the “New Year, new me” train I took the first two weeks of 2017 “off.” I relaxed, I read, I took little day trips. Most importantly, I thought about what I wanted to accomplish this year. Yes, 2016 was a drag for the most part, but a lot of amazing things happened too. I could stay complacent with everything, but I’m ready for more. So, instead of a resolution list I grabbed a beer and started to brainstorm my 2017 goals. These goals aren’t a check sheet, they’re things that will constantly be developing and growing the more I work at them. So what exactly am I talking about?
Yesterday I was in the shower and experienced a minor existential crisis. I could not for the life of me remember if I was 26 or 27. I can’t even tell you what got me started down this dark path of indecision, but when I got out I realted my dilemma to my mother. She assured me I was 27, allowing me to move on with my night. This moment, however, sums up my holidays perfectly.
Almost every month I’ve found myself in Mystic recently and I’m not complaining. The holiday season makes this little town that much more magical. Coors and I met up for a stroll through the village for some last minute gifts then grabbed dinner at our favorite restaurant, The Daniel Packer Inne. I can’t believe that we are only a few days away from Christmas. I’m not anywhere near finished with shopping and I have a whole lot of baking and travel ahead of me in the next few days. While I love the holidays it always feels like a rush and that I never get to enjoy all the fun things going on. Getting a chance to stroll through the village and hang out with a good friend was a nice break.
I’ll be honest, we’ve still made zero progress with wedding planning. Whenever we’re asked any questions PK and I will answer, “Oh, ya know, it’s gonna be in 2018.” We keep saying 2018 as if it isn’t looming closer everyday. All we’ve really discussed and agreed upon at this time is the wedding will be somewhere in Connecticut and it will involve beer. That’s enough for now in my opinion.
It wasn’t too long ago that I was writing my Autumn Bucket List, but seeing at the leaves are gone and the snow is here, I’m ready to move on. I’ve had many winters where all I want to do/have done is stay cozy and read. This year, however, I’m feeling more adventurous.
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. It’s hard to believe it’s already over! I came back today and noticed a lot of referred traffic from Reddit. That’s absolutely terrifying. I really hope you’re here for pictures of my cats.
I pretend that everyday is going to be the last nice day of autumn. Doing this makes me appreciate every pink and golden sunset, the way the bright like fire foliage has turned rusty, and most importantly sweater weather. Regardless of my work schedule, I try to make as much time as possible to be outside.