Sweet Sleeps



in scrolling order:
Carmel, California
Camden, Maine
Austin, Texas
Cappadocia, Turkey
Polignano a Mare, Italy
Reine, Norway
Durnstein, Austria








: March 2017

 Vagabond's House Inn

They had me at "c o p i o u s breakfast" and sealed the deal with the olde timey suitcase tower that greeted me upon arrival like a warm hug. 


The Vagabond's House Inn is a cocktail. 
1 part vintage + 1 part modern = you'll never want to leave.


Seriously though, the ridiculously inviting courtyard will lure you in, and keep you with wine & snacks between 4-6pm. It's a courtyard happy hour dotted with beautiful fresh flowers, warmed by a central fire pit; and just try not to relax with the soundtrack of the adorable waterfall. JUST. TRY.

This impeccably quaint little hideaway is street corner perched in straight-out-of-a-movie beautiful  Carmel-by-the-Sea,    C a l i f o r n i a. 














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: August 2016


 WHITEHALL


"T h e   w a y   l i f e   s h o u l d   b e" 

There's a reason this is Maine's tagline; and Whitehall is no exception.


Whitehall is a feast for the senses. 

Relax your mind. Recharge your soul. Fill your belly.

Perfectly situated in picture perfect Camden, Maine, Whitehall is a historic Inn that transports you back in time, while somehow keeping all the feels of the modern world. Whitehall manages to capture all of New England's essence and bottle it up in the form of one glorious Inn.



If you weren't a fan of poetry before, you may very well become one after staying here. You can't help but be inspired while standing in the exact room that Edna St. Vincent Millay was discovered in, whilst reciting one of her poems during a summer party.

"The world stands out on either side 
No wider than the heart is wide;
Above the world is stretched the sky, --
No higher than the soul is high."
-Edna St. Vincent Millay 
(excerpt from Renascence)


It's here I learned that Edna is my spirit animal.



Before anything, you're greeted by an expansive porch; one with rocking chairs, of course.


If you can get yourself past the porch...you'll find yourself wandering through the gorgeous common area of the Inn, propelled by the scent of fresh zucchini bread and coffee drawing you to the reception area. Check in is impossibly friendly and with the option to borrow an iPad during your stay to boot! Yes, please.

I stayed in a wildly delightful room where attention to detail became an art. They've literally thought of everything.




Let's take a moment to appreciate the sheets. No, really, though. They were at least 5 million thread count, and it was like sleeping in butter, (but not as gross). Quite possibly, dare I say, the softest sheets I've ever slept on.




If you need me, I'll be here, in this chair. It's like a really good a hug.




The decor is an eye candy + texture buffet. One that you're going to want to over indulge on. I promise.






Weary? No problem. Whitehall boasts seemingly endless quaint sitting areas. Each one prettier than the last. 









Sure, you're in a picturesque Maine seaside locale. But getting yourself to leave the property will prove more difficult than you think. There is so much to marvel at, in and around the Inn, that it will be nearly impossible to stop. And who says you have to? It's your vacation, isn't it?



Those sitting areas I mentioned? Yeah, they're outside too.



That's it, I'm moving in. 


It was here, with the early evening sunlight splicing through the trees that I had one of my all time favorite hotel moments. And it was all because of THIS SWING...





Take part in the resident shuffleboard or cornhole games, just wait for the sun to sleep, and the magic to rise... 






If you manage to coax yourself away from Whitehall- well done, well done. Worry not, there's activities aplenty to keep you occupied during your inevitable period of withdrawal.


L E A V E  T H E  W H E E L S.

You can walk to the ridiculously charming downtown of Camden and window shop really shop; let's be real. Stroll by the harbor and realize you're looking at a real life postcard. Just make sure you get yourself an ice cream from Camden Cone - after all, you deserve it. 




S I P.

Wine, that is. The Cellar Door Winery will knock your socks off. 






I N D U L G E.



Yep. I give you permission. The on-site restaurant, Pig + Poet is totally worth it. 


Ambiance + handcrafted cocktails + AMAZE food = the total trifecta.



Oh, and if you're anything like me, you'll be obsessed with the bar. And the stick taps. And the lighting. And the rustic feel. And the fire pit...





Have you ever seen anything quite so beautiful?

A B S O R B.


Take in New England, Maine, Camden, and the incredulous...

sunrise

The harbor + solitude + island lighthouse = sunrise goals.



view

Hike or drive up to the top of Mt. Battie for seriously impressive views of the Penobscot Bay, and take a moment to revel in how small you feel. Channel your inner Edna St. Vincent Millay- this is where she wrote her most famous poem of all...Renascence, and it's easy to see why.


"So with my eyes I traced the line 
Of the horizon, thin and fine,
Back to where I’d started from
Straight around till I was come"
-Edna St. Vincent Millay 
(excerpt from Renascence)


*Check the dates- I went while the annual Lobster Festival was going on in nearby Rockland, and I'm sure glad I did! Find another event in the area, or don't...either way your stay will be fan-freakin-tastic.

*Explore other towns in the surrounding areas. Take a drive even a few miles up the road can land you in an intriguing antique shop and with two homemade baked goods in your hands- or maybe that's just me.

*Try the Eagle Tracks ice cream flavor at Camden Cone. SERIOUSLY JUST DO IT.







52 High Street, Camden, Maine
T:(207) 236-3391

Pig + Poet Restaurant

**Whitehall is part of the genius Lark Hotels selection of boutique stays around New England & California. Check out their other properties, you'll want to stay in each. and. every. last. one.
Lark Hotels

"Beauty is whatever gives joy"
-Edna St. Vincent Millay





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: May 2016

 Park Lane Guesthouse

Not everything is bigger in Texas...

Literally. Park Lane Guesthouse is, in fact, a quaintly small and eco-friendly B & B

Where I slumbered? That took the cake.
In a tiny house.
Built by the owner.
Out of bits and pieces of many, many other old houses.

The B & B is tucked away in a quaint little corner of South Austin, in a land where you can hear birds chirp, and chickens cluck. (We'll get to that later.) This piece of paradise is comprised of the main house, and the three wildly different solar powered cottages skirting the cutest little courtyard you ever did see.





I was greeted by the impossibly warm owner, Shakti, who shared stories of how Park Lane Guesthouse came to be twenty two years ago, while showing me around. Every nook and cranny seems to hold some sort of history, tale, and epic origin. 

Then she asked, "What time would you like your breakfast served? I'll bring it right to the porch."

...and in that shining moment, we became best friends.

I stayed in The Vicky House. Which, to my delight, was a real-life tiny house. Therefore inspiring me to affectionally call it the 'Little Vicky', of course. And it was every bit as adorable as you'd think. Small in stature, but with Texas sized charm.


The Little Vicky was born as a tiny masterpiece in 2007, thus making it a pioneer in the B & B world as the first of it's kind in Texas.


Welcome. Prepare to be delightedCue amazement.





Everything you could possibly need all in a tiny house. Seriously though, everything. 


For a tiny house there was a surprising amount of windows. Not just any windows either. Stained glass spilled colorful warmth into little Vicky that only brightened my mood more.



Let's get lofty. 
Because that's where the bed is, of course...up in the loft. 

Guess what? TINY HOUSE, BIG BED. Not just that, but a sleeping-on-a-cloud bed. Not too shabby, huh? It was sort of like sleeping in a really rad fort when you were a kid. Except an expert carpenter constructed it, and it's not made of blankets and couch cushions.


That tub though...









PLG (Park Lane Guesthouse) really knows how to put the breakfast in B & B. I stayed up all night in anticipation of what I knew would be a glorious breakfast. Just kidding, I slept like a baby. Breakfast was delivered right on time, as promised. To say I was impressed with the spread would not suffice. 
Shakti is some sort of breakfast genius.



Morning #1: An Omelet Masterpiece created with...

free range eggs from the on-site chickens + fresh asparagus + cherry tomatoes + manchengo cheese + pesto

Not to mention the sourdough garlic bread, grapefruit from the guesthouse trees, grass fed butter, and FRESH SQUEEZED OJ. 

YUP. THAT HAPPENED.

Morning #2: I was skeptical that the omelet could be topped... 

However,



Drool worthy  P A N C A K E S 

Besides love, they were a scrumptious concoction of...

ricotta + stone ground corn and whole wheat + fresh milk + grass fed butter + fresh eggs + cardamom + vanilla + cinnamon + ginger
+ organic berries for the win





Gang's all hereeeee
Perhaps not your typical "view." You can mingle with the chickens, each of which have their own personality. The real star of the show? A Russian chicken named Natasha, of course.

It was, obviously, thanks to the chicken gang for the freshest of fresh eggs that helped create my delicious breakfasts. They were some sort of celebrities.




That cozy courtyard I mentioned? A relaxing oasis. It had me at outdoor chandelier. It's centered around a ginormous, wise, and beauteous tree, a perfect centerpiece.



The pool is equally as inviting...







B I K E   I T.

Bikes are available for rent at Park Lane Guesthouse, and totally worth it. Explore Austin on two wheels, and burn all those taco calories as you do!




Whilst you roll, practice some Art Appreciation 101:

Baylor Street Graffiti Wall


Wall art is abundant.




F O O D   T R U C K   I T.

You're in food truck heaven. Take advantage! It's all delicious, and affordable. Only problem I see is not having enough room in the belly. 



Torchy's tacos 

B'fast taco


L I V E   M U S I C   I T.

Venue after venue, band after band. The live music options are plentiful and       F A N T A S T I C.

AND GIANT JENGA.
Sunday's Texas Radio Live at Guero's


S H O P   I T.

There are loads of eclectic, unique, vintage, and just all around awesome shops. 







R E L A X   I T.

PLG is supremely serene and you may not want to leave. So, don't. 

Juuuust r e l a x. 
Hang by the pool. 
Chill with the house dogs.
Sip a drink on the porch of a tiny house. 
Romp with the chickens.








*Ask Shakti. She is a wealth of information and can give you suggestions for off the beaten path spots where the locals frequent. You'll get the quintessential Austin experience with her direction.

*Use the outdoor shower. Because outdoor showers are cool.

*Bring bug spray if the mosquitos love you like they love me, you'll need a spritz or two for hanging out in the gorgeous courtyard. 

*Whatever you do? Just make sure you do this:






                                         


Park Lane Guesthouse: 221 Park Lane, Austin, Texas
e-mail: parklanebandb@earthlink.net
T: 512.447.7460
Shakti & Natasha





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: October 2015


 The  Serinn House

Sleeping in a cave like a boss. 

If slumbering in an actual cave during your stay in Cappadocia, Turkey isn't enough of an allure, well, it should be. 

With landscape that looks like something out of a movie starring you walking on the moon, Cappadocia has loads to offer. Hiking, exploring ancient underground cities, gazing with your jaw dropped to the ground, etc. If you're looking to have a once-in-a-lifetime-above-the-clouds-most-magical-amazing-time-slowing experiences of your life? Cappadocia can do that. 

This is the land of epic hot air ballooning.



Did I mention it's a cave hotel? Seriously though, with only five rooms caves, Serinn House is a cozy, intimate accommodation that feels like coming home; complete with a welcome treat.



Come for the view. 


Stay for the breakfast. 

One of MANY tasty options served at breakfast

The owner Eren will quickly become your new best friend, and the level of hospitality will blow your mind. 

The attention to detail. 
The access to exploring Cappadocia. 
The house dog.

Yep, there's a dog. And HE'S ADORABLE, obviously.


I dubbed him Mr. F on account that his actual name started with F, of course, and he was skilled in catching flies.
Mr. F: fly catcher extraordinaire.

I stayed in one of the cave rooms skirting the impeccable courtyard where the afternoon sun had the privilege of warming. The cave room? It was exactly what I had hoped for. There was a little outdoor area just outside, and plenty of room inside. It was the perfect marriage of preserved, authentic ancient times and a modern feel with amenities to match. Oh, and each one has it's own unique design.






I have to say though, I just fell in love with the courtyard. Other guests gathered here for an afternoon tea, sharing stories of adventures. Mr. F lounged lazily in the sun. The owner happily assisted guests with tailoring their trips to specific interests.







The Serinn House is perched upon a hill overlooking the gorgeous landscape of Cappadocia. The sunset? SUPERBLY IMPRESSIVE.


So grab a glass of wine and drink it all in. On both accounts.

Not to mention the wildly on point views from various other spots around Cappadocia...








S U N R I S E, S U N S E T.

Watch them in the same day. Cappadocia boasts some of the most fantastic sun shows in the world. Take advantage.





A D V E N T U R E.

*Hike Red Rose Valley. Just do it, seriously. 





*Hot Air Ballooning...if you're going to go in a hot air balloon, you'll be hard pressed to find a better place. ONCE IN A LIFETIME PEOPLE.




E X P L O R E.
*Rent a car. Driving around is an Explorer's adventure on it's own. Make your way to the fairy chimneys. Stop at an antique store. Pull over and take in the views. Wander through the small towns like Cavusin. Maybe even climb through some tunnels in an underground city? All possible.


E A T.
*Ziggy's. 
You have to eat here.


Ziggy's isn't just an authentic dining experience, but also a shop on street level with a beautiful selection of original hand crafted items.


For the most authentic experience, do the tasting menu. About a million or so dishes come out with delicious choice after delicious choice. DELICIOUS. There's something for everyone, literally.



Dessert is not forgotten...little tiny baby cinnamon sugar churros that were as tasty as they were adorable.

And ambiance? Look 'ambiance' up in the dictionary, I swear there will be a photo of this place. The inside is super cozy, but the outdoor terrace tables have got it goin on.




Arrange an airport transfer to Serinn House. It's relatively inexpensive and such a relief to have one less worry. The owner Eren is happy to set this up, as well as anything else you might need during your stay. 

My advice? Ask Eren for recommendations. She is a wealth of information and assisted me in planning, choosing, and finding "off the beaten path" activities. 



Serinn House: Esbelli Sokak #36, Urgup, Cappadocia, Turkey
e-mail: info@serinnhouse.com
T: +90 384 341 60 76

Just look for the B L U E   D O O R...







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October 2015


 B & B Antico Mondo

Small sleeps can quite often be the sweetest sweet sleeps; and this place is proof of just that. Antico Mondo is a ridiculously charming Bed and Breakfast nestled just inside the walls of the old town section of Polignano a Mare, in Puglia, Italy. Did I mention the included breakfast?

Meaning "built up," Polignano a Mare is perched above the bright turquoise sea. Strolling the narrow streets of Puglia is like stepping back in time. It may be a tiny ancient town, but it's still possible to get lost in the maze of poetic lanes. 



A dreamy B & B consisting of two separate buildings, both within the old city, and walkable to everything. The staff is incredibly kind, and breakfast fittingly feels like being welcomed into someone's Italian home; dining amongst a few of your new closest friends. 

I stayed in the quaint budget room that was the perfect size for me, including an adorable terrace. There was even a common kitchen complete with delightful dining area, and rooftop patio, shared with only one other room. I mean, who doesn't love a good rooftop space? 













The rooftop offered fantastic views of azure ocean, it's true. But the full picture was just a few moment's walk away. The contrast of blue sea against the white washed antique-y buildings is, in fact, striking.







Stroll. Relax. Eat. 
Not necessarily in that order, but you get the idea.


s t r o l l.

You can't go wrong weaving the streets of Polignano a Mare, looking for poetic inspiration, literally. Allow yourself to just wander...






Beautiful, even in the rain. 


It's possible that you'll end up with some new cat friends too. So, there's that.

r e l a x.

Head to the beach. Read a book. Or don't. Whatever. Just, reeeelaaax.
Convinced yet?
e a t.
This one's obvious. It's ITALY, so of course this is on the agenda.


Mint Restaurant: fresh as it gets

*This eatery is seriously fresh: http://www.mintcucinafresca.com/
Pretty sure gelato is an acceptable breakfast.
Meat & Cheese plate at Osteria dei Mulini...YES, PLEASE
**Osteria dei Mulini is directly across from the main B & B building, and not only is it ridiculously charming, but the food is great as well: www.osteriadeimulini.it

Great spot for a drink, a tiny bar bursting with character.
**This unnamed (as far as I could find!) little cafe/bar is perched on the corner of Via Anemone and Via Tritone and has outdoor seating as well. 

**Pizza, ahh pizza.. Grab a pie from Al Buco (across the street from the gate into the old town, and tear into it on the rooftop patio with some wine. It's super affordable and DELICIOUS!
https://www.facebook.com/AlBucoPreferitoTranquillage


Leftovers? The cats like spaghetti. Not kidding...



Classic photo op with the famous statue of Domenico Modugno.



Breathe in the sea air. Take a gander around. You're in an amazing place.


B & B Antico Mondo: Via Mulini 9, Piazza Garibaldi 3
e-mail: info@beanticomondo.com 





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: SEPTEMBER 2015


 ELIASSEN RORBUER


It's not that you can't, but you shouldn't go to the Lofoten Islands without staying in a Rorbuer, or traditional fisherman's cabin. It just brings the whole experience full circle.

This group of renovated cabins captured the Lofoten Islands experience for me. Simple, tasteful, and authentic. Oh, and it's here that you can experience for yourself what makes these the "magic islands."


A smattering of traditional fisherman's cabins of all different sizes, directly on the water, in Hamnoy, Norway. There's even boat rentals, and a restaurant (although the cabins do have kitchenettes)... It's like it's own little village, which in my mind makes it even better.



I stayed in a Superior 2 bedroom cabin that came with cozy blankets!






I chose this room specifically for that window. It overlooked the water and I had the perfect view to check to see if the Northern Lights would make an appearance each night...


See what I'm talking about? THIS WAS OUT MY WINDOW.





The options are endless. You can't move an inch without seeing something epically beautiful. 

I explored Norway mid September, and was extremely lucky to be able to do my #1 activity: NORTHERN LIGHTS WATCHING. Obviously. The thing about Hamnoy is it's very dark and there is virtually no light pollution...all the better for making pretty photos of the ever elusive Northern Lights.



Daytime fun?

Hiking, kayaking, exploring til your heart's content.

Ryten Mountain hike:


Kayaking with Reine Adventure: www.reineadventure.com


Ramburg Beach:



Watch out for sheep. Seriously, though.




Eliassen Rorbuer: http://rorbuer.no/en/
8390 Hamnoy, Norway
Phone: 45814845
Email: rorbuer@online.no


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: SEPTEMBER 2015

 HERITAGE DURNSTEIN

It's all relative, but where you stay makes a difference in your experience of a place. And this one nailed it. I loved the character, and warm, homey feel of this flat and frankly...didn't want to leave. Except to ride bikes along the wine trail, of course.

Not only was the flat impeccably put together, but the amenities were also top notch. Laundry, BBQ, wine cellar, (YES I said wine cellar)to name a few. Oh, and not to mention the barrel hot tub and sauna. I know, right?











A trio of apartments smack dab in the middle of fairy tale-esque Durnstein, bursting with the original Winehouse character. 



I siesta'd in Flat #2- (and fell in love with the rustic kitchen table)



see what I mean?

Positively perfect for a family stay, group of couples, or a girl's weekend getaway. 





You can't help but chill out on the terrace



What sunrise looks like in fairy tale land



Rent bikes and cruise the wine trail. 

Why? Wine, picturesque towns, and gorgeous views. AND WINE.








Visit Zottl Winery in Weissenkirchen. 



Oh, and order the meat and cheese plates. Both of 'em. You're welcome.




More info: http://www.weingut-zottl.at/



http://www.heritage.co.at/en/

Am Bergl 35, 3601 Dürnstein
+43 676 55 850 16

--Picture Perfect Durnstein--








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