Ogunquit

Another one off our East Coast bucket list! Ogunquit was one of the first New England towns we visited. It’s a great little beach town with beautiful beaches and lots of charm.

First stop, lunch!

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We nearly melted in the blazing sun while waiting in line to get in. The line moves quick though because the staff is so efficient.

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Chili and chowder. Why did we order hot soups in this weather? No idea.

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Lobster roll for my Mr. and a hot dog for me.

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Hey handsome.

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Okay, here’s something super New England-y. What is up with these hot dog buns?? They’re sliced the wrong way. When I first saw them, I thought they were slices of white bread that were folded in half.

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The staff here is super friendly and work fast. Prices are decent and the food is simple and homey.

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After lunch, we set off for a walk along Marginal Way. I love this path. An easy walk along the coast with lots of benches for resting and taking in the view. Once you get closer to the beach, you start to see lovely houses and cottages that look like they’ve stepped out of a painting. There are also lots of resorts that make me think of flowing white dresses and chicken salad. If you’re an Anne of Green Gables fan, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

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I love these rocky coasts. I picture old ships, pensive heroines, and BBC costume dramas.

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It was so sunny and warm that the icy water felt amazing. The first time we came here, we wondered what was up with the ocean. SO COLD! Painfully cold. Your toes sting and then quickly you lose all feeling. But today, it felt refreshing. And it’s so, so clean. One of the clearest waters I’ve ever seen. I’ve grown to love this freezing cold ocean. East coast, best coast.

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Giant soft serve ice cream is always a good idea. Even when it’s so hot out that it melts at an alarming rate and you have to snarf it down before it turns into a puddle in your hands.

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The clouds rolled in and everyone scrambled to pack up their blankets and umbrellas. We saw some pretty impressive lightning while we waited for the trolley to pick us up and drive us back to our car. Perfect timing.

I’d love to come back here some day and stay at one of the fancy resorts. I may even put on a flowing white dress and eat chicken salad.

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Ogunquit

Boston Commons and Public Gardens

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This was the first spot in Boston that I fell in love with. So much green space! In the summer it’s filled with cheerful flowers and in the fall, it’s an explosion of reds, yellows and oranges. In our first year, we would walk here nearly every weekend. We’ve found parks closer to us so we don’t come here as often anymore but I still love it.

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On summer weekend afternoons, it’s always buzzing with activity. It was a gorgeous day so both tourists and locals were out enjoying the park. College kids playing Quidditch (god, I love this city), kids flying kites, dogs walking with their humans, musicians, and wedding parties taking photos.

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I thought it would be fun to take a swan boat ride through the pond. It’s such a touristy, yet iconic, thing to do and we had never done it. Possibly because it looks so ridiculous. It’s a super cheap activity, just a couple of bucks per person. The ride is short but fun. You paddle by all the ducks and say hello to the real swans.

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It was the perfect summer day. I’m going to miss this park.

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Boston Commons and Public Gardens

Boston Comic Con

Boston Comic Con! It was my first time at Boston Comic Con so I was interested to see how it would compare to Anime Boston. It was pretty awesome! It’s held at the Seaport World Trade Center so there’s lots of space.

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Tons of vendors! Comic book shops from all over the country. I couldn’t believe how many there were. Everything from $2,000 comic books to bins of vintage toys for a couple of bucks each. The other half of the room was filled with artists. All levels, all styles, tons of beautiful, creative works of art. I got to meet Sara Richard! She’s created some of the most unique and beautiful covers for the My Little Pony comics. She has such a distinct, dreamy style. I had planned on bringing a comic with me and asking her to sign it but I forgot!! So bummed. She was really nice but I was still too shy to ask to take a photo with her. She had a tiny book of owl illustrations called Wee Owls that I completely fell in love with. I’m hoping she’ll make larger versions that I can frame and hang up!

I really need to get over this shyness thing. One day Stephen Amell or Hugh Jackson will walk by me and I’ll be too terrified to say anything and then I’ll hate myself for the rest of my life. Gentlemen, if you’re reading this, if ever you see a catatonic Asian girl in front of you, please have pity on her and say hello. She’s a big fan and most likely having a complete mental meltdown. Let’s extend that to Tom Hiddleston and Daniel Radcliffe as well, just to be safe. Okay, back to Comic Con.

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This blew me away. Volante Design, Inc. Gorgeous handmade streetwear inspired by comic books, video games, film and anime. You mean I can dress like an assassin EVERYDAY?? Please add this to my wishlist. I wouldn’t even try them on because I wasn’t sure if I would be able to take it off.

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There weren’t as many cosplayers at Boston Comic Con as there were at Anime Boston but we did see some amazing costumes.

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Panel with Frank Cho and Tom Sniegoski. I actually had no idea who they were but we wanted to rest for a bit so we picked a random panel to sit in on. I ended up really enjoying their panel and you can tell they have a lot of fun working together. They talked about their upcoming project, World of Payne, which sounded interesting. I’ll definitely be looking for it when it’s published. What the hell is a Destiny Toad?

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Holy moly. Look at this Optimus Prime!! I can’t even… how?? The level of detail was astonishing. And he was enormous. He had to stand in one place.

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We went to Comic Con on Sunday because we wanted to enjoy it without the crazy crowds. Lucky for us, it was also the day of the big cosplay contest so the costumes that day were the best of the best. We had just seen Ant-Man so we were really excited to see this Yellowjacket. Again, words fail me.

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Hello War Machine! And the adorable Rapunzel (Tangled) in the background.

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It’s a giant Minion! There were actually two of them. This was the dad. His little daughter was dressed as the tiny minion with red braids. They were melting in their costumes. The dad would pop his arms in and stick his head out his arm hole to get some air. He kindly agreed to go back in to take a picture with me.

By the way, my shirt is by TeeTurtle. They make the cutest, most clever geek shirts! Lots of creative crossovers. Love my Pandavengers!

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It’s Elizabeth and Booker! I love BioShock Infinite cosplay. It’s such a gorgeous game. I felt bad for bothering them so I snapped the photo as fast as possible which explains the blurriness. They look awesome!

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I was so, so excited for this panel. Hayley Atwell! I loved her as Agent Carter in Captain America so I was thrilled that they decided to continue her story in a TV series. Her character is smart, brave, confident and a true role model for girls and women. Hayley Atwell is just as genuine, beautiful, and intelligent as her character and it’s wonderful to hear her speak. The panel was moderated by Brett Dalton from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. They were so funny together and so good to the fans. They talked about how everyone at Agent Carter and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are all wonderful people, got up and learned an Irish dance, talked about the Dubsmash war (She is competitive!), and being a woman in this business. They went the full hour and pretty much answered questions the entire time! I would have loved to ask her a question but I probably would have gotten up there and lost the ability to speak entirely. I am such a wimp. It was an awesome way to end my day at Boston Comic Con. I can’t wait for season 2 of Agent Carter!

Boston Comic Con

Taqueria El Amigo

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Best. Tacos. Ever. Taqueria El Amigo is a hidden, taco flavored gem. The outside looks like a little house so you may miss it. In fact, the inside looks like a house too. A handful of tables are squashed into what looks like someone’s small living room and the other half of the room is the kitchen! The space is divided by a drinks cooler and the cashier counter. It’s amazing what can come out of that tiny kitchen. Also, I’m in awe that they can work so quickly and wonderfully in that small space. I would be knocking things over left and right and setting fires.

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Their salsa is perfect. Fresh and vibrant, probably the best I’ve ever had. This time, it was a little heavy on the jalapeños so I was breathing fire but it was worth it.

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My favorite, chicken tacos! Their chicken is so, so delicious. It’s soft, juicy and loaded with flavor. They must slow cook it because I don’t know how else it could be that tender. It just melts in your mouth. I also love their rice and beans. I’m not sure why… it’s a pretty standard side but I just find theirs very comforting.

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My Mr. loves their al pastor, pork and chili, burrito but it’s not very photogenic so here’s another photo of my lovely chicken tacos. 🙂 Their prices are excellent. Each of these tacos were only $2 and their burritos are $5! If I’m really hungry, I usually get the amigo plate which is one tostada, one taco, one quesadilla and rice and beans. All for under $8! I like variety.

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One other thing I should mention is that the service is just as good as the food. A lot of time, these hole in the wall kinds of places come hole in the wall service. The staff here are so sweet and work hard. One of our friends always comments on how welcome she feels whenever she comes here. You’re always greeted with a warm smile and I swear it makes the food taste even better.

I know we’re moving to California, a place where the Mexican food is rumored to be second only to Mexico but I doubt any of them can beat Taqueria El Amigo. Maybe I can convince them to open a branch in Santa Barbara…

Tacqueria El Amigo
196 Willow St
Waltham, MA 02453

Taqueria El Amigo

Fabric Place Basement

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My crafty life changed when a friend told me about the Fabric Place Basement in Natick. Until I found this place, I got my fabric from Joann Fabric. Their prices and designs are pretty good but the quality can be iffy sometimes. Fabric Place Basement is a family owned business has awesome quality designer fabrics for prices that are sometimes even cheaper than Joann’s! And they carry every kind of fabric you could ever need. Please forgive the blurry photos, it’s in a basement after all!

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The first time I came down the stairs, I actually stopped in my tracks and had to catch my breath. Is this what fabric heaven looks like?

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They have a great selection of high quality yarn too. While I was there, a knitting/crochet group was settling in. It was really cute hearing them greet each other and introducing newcomers.

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Lace, sequins, glitter, so many fun fabrics! It makes me want to sew an Elsa costume. 🙂

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And here’s what makes my heart skip a beat.

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Quilting fabric! Arranged by color, theme, style. I love walking through these aisles. They also have tons of batiks if that’s your thing. Most fabrics go for about $6.99/yard which is a steal for designer fabrics! Looking for Kona cotton solids? They have tons! And they often have Living Social or Groupon deals and monthly email coupons that give you an even bigger discount.

If you need any kind of fabric, this is the place to go. I can’t imagine them not having what you need. Quilting, upholstery, apparel, home decor… so much beautiful fabric! The staff are pretty helpful as well. One time I needed several yards of gold sequin and they didn’t have enough on the floor so they went in back and was able to dig up a new bolt for me!

I’m going to miss this place so much. There are plenty of great fabric shops in California but none that can beat the quality and price of the Fabric Place Basement!

Fabric Place Basement
321 Speen St
Natick, MA 01760

Fabric Place Basement

Providence

Day trip to Providence with C + A! First stop, the Rhode Island School of Design Museum. This is a cool little museum right in RISD’s campus. We got lucky and were able to get in for free thanks to a special event. They passed out quizzes that tell you which exhibits fit best with your personality. My answers were all over the place.

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I’m not really into contemporary art but their eclectic collections featured some really cool designs.

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Looking at the guide, my Mr. saw a hippo that was featured as a collection highlight. As we made our way over to the exhibit, we all joked about how guide books often make a big fuss over an item and it raises your expectations only to find that the piece is itty bitty. We couldn’t find the hippo so we asked a staff member to point us in the right direction. He told us we had passed it?? We turn around and realized that we had missed it because it was TINY! We were picturing a large statue. This guy could fit in the palm of our hands! People were probably wondering why there were four Asians laughing hysterically at a little blue hippo.

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It was nice to get out of the heat and humidity for a bit. The RISD Museum is definitely worth checking out if you’re a design junky.

For dinner, we decided to check out Los Andes Restaurant. It has incredible reviews on Yelp and several people had recommended it to us, including C+A. Could it really be that good It’s a pretty unassuming looking place in a residential area but it’s much bigger than it looks from the outside!

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This is the beef heart appetizer, anticuchos. It smelled amazing. I’m not big on beef so I didn’t try it but apparently it’s a hidden gem on their menu. And that’s it! This is the only photo I took of the food. We were crazy hungry at this point and I completely forgot about my camera once the food started coming out. Their bread was so good (warm, soft inside, perfect crunch on the outside) and I liked that their olive oil had a little heat to it. In addition to the beef heart, we also had ceviche and I had a chicken empanada. I wasn’t thrilled with my empanada which bummed me out a bit. It was pretty dry but the flavors were good. I was so happy to see that their menu had so many chicken options! I had the pollada, “fresh boneless chicken thigh marinated in aji panca, pan seared, topped with medallions of purple potatoes and finished with crema de rocoto, served with white rice”. C+A recommended upgrading to cheesy rice which was totally worth it. I don’t even remember what everyone else got but we were all SO FULL at the end of it. The portions are enormous. Our friends can really eat but they said that the plates were big even by their standards so we did family style instead of ordering an entree per person. The food was heavy and rich but so delicious. Even though we were stuffed, we somehow got talked into ordering a passion fruit cheesecake. Why do we do this to ourselves?? It’s cheesecake! How good can it be? It was amazing. The cheesecake was smooth and creamy and was topped with a passion fruit whipped cream, the perfect balance of sweet and fruity tartness with just a hint of coconut. We were speechless.

Now for the main event, WaterFire.

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I couldn’t believe how crowded it was. We didn’t catch much of the lighting ceremony but we still enjoyed walking along the riverwalk, listening to the music. There’s not much to see but it was fun being in such a festive atmosphere.

And then, because we have no self control whatsoever, we had dessert. Again. C+A really liked this place when they visited Providence last summer. Pastiche is a cute little place filled with tiny cafe tables and chairs. It was almost 11:00PM but it was packed! And there’s a good reason why.

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Oh silky smooth chocolate mousse cake. You are so very rich and decadent.

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I know this doesn’t look like much but this was the star of the night. Blueberry cobbler! The blueberries were so summery fresh and perfectly sweetened. The pastry on top was like a shortcake/muffin top. I was obsessed. I kept taking little bites, trying to make it last and figure out what made it so dang good. Such a perfectly balanced dessert! I was tempted to ask if they sold just the biscuit. I wanted to take a big bag home with me and eat them with strawberries, blueberries, anything really.

So that ends our three dessert day. We went for the WaterFire but what we’ll remember most are the mind-blowing desserts. What are the chances of having three perfect desserts in one day? Since this trip, I’ve been googling blueberry cobbler recipes trying to find something that can replicate the Pastiche cobbler. If you have a good recipe, please share it in the comments!

Pastiche
92 Spruce St
Providence, RI 02903

Los Andes Restaurant
903 Chalkstone Ave
Providence, RI 02908

Providence