Laurel Highlands Portrait Session | The Marmo Family|

Up next on the blog is another family from our Laurel Highlands Mini Sessions in Pennsylvania. This adorable family of three took time out of their holiday on Memorial Day to meet up for a quick shoot at Twin Lakes Park in Greensburg, PA. Meet the Marmo Family!

Could these guys be any cuter? Dad, Mike, is rocking that sleeve, Mama, Angel, has the biggest and brightest smile and their sweet baby girl, Penelope, is full of character. In fact, this little gal had the sniffles on the day of their shoot but still showed up smiling and making kissy faces at Mama and Daddy.

We met at Twin Lakes because I just love the variety of florals that are available there during the Spring. We ran across mountain laurels, rhododendrons and even hibiscus trees during our trek through the park. Spring sessions are all about capturing those sweet moments amongst the gorgeous flora that Pennsylvania has to offer and this session was just that. Angel and Mike took turns making funny faces at Penelope to try and make her laugh. They threw her in the air and gave her a ton of hugs and kisses.

After a short drive to the other side of the lake, Angel pulled out this sweet baby blanket with pretty botanicals on it and we gave Penelope her stuffed mouse toy so I could try to capture a few of just baby girl. I love how the stuffed mouse will forever be in these photos. It not only helps put a timestamp on Penelope’s age but it will forever be a memento of her favorite play toy. Because trust, she was not letting that mouse go once we handed it to her.

We ended the Marmo Session by just letting Mommy and Daddy love on their little girl. Daddy sang some pretty creative songs and Mama tried not to laugh at his version of the lyrics. Though she had a runny nose, Penelope gave us all the smiles she could and was such a trooper throughout the entire shoot. Mommy and Daddy tried their best to get little P to give us her signature “kissy face”. But, no such luck. At just over 30 minutes, baby girl was done and that was a ok with us. As you can tell, we had already captured a ton by then. But…

just to make sure we knew she was done, Penelope stood up in protest and let a few big fat alligator tears roll down her sweet cheeks. Though terribly pitiful and a little heartbreaking, these ended up being my favorites from their session. Why you might ask? Because just look at how cute she is. Even with a frown on her face, this kid just might be the cutest babe ever.

Huge thank you to the Marmo Family for trusting me to capture this sweet memory for you. I hope to see you all again soon. Play dates for Lucy and Penelope soon?

 

To book your unique family portrait session, email therustienailhead@gmail.com. My job is to document your moments, big or small and I aim to hit the nail on the head every time.

Laurel Highlands Newborn Session | Meet Eliza |

Meet the newest member of the Tetkoski Crew, Eliza! This gang is no stranger to the blog. You might remember them from their first daughter’s (Ellie) Newborn Session or their Family Session with their sweet cousins while they were visiting in Texas. I was so happy to hear that their brand new addition arrived shortly before my arrival in Pennsylvania and that we would get a chance to meet this brand spanking new Family of 4!

At Day 15, Eliza is adjusting well. Like any second child, she is adapting to her new surroundings and all the hugs from her big sister. I arrived at the Tetkoski home and Ellie made sure to introduce me to her new baby and to show me that they would indeed be wearing matching dresses for their first photo shoot as a Family of 4.

While Mama fed Eliza, Daddy, Ellie and I headed out to their big and bright backyard for a few shots of Daddy with his firstborn. They have the most incredible backyard and loads of beautiful landscaping so this location would be a breeze for a backdrop.

One thing I love about coming home for Spring Minis in the Laurel Highlands is just how green everything is and their gorgeous backyard was no exception. Daddy kept joking that we were shooting in front of the weeds but I told him to just trust me. And, I am glad he did because this green against Daddy’s blue shirt, Mama’s glow and her ginger hair mixed in with two adorable babes made for some magical images!

Like any firstborn, Ellie sure does love her baby sister but she might be having a little trouble adjusting to sharing Mama with her new bestie. As we ran around the yard, I made sure to capture a few of Mama with her baby girl to allow Ellie some one on one time with her #1 Mama. They picked dandelions and blew wishes into the wind. Ellie was over the moon!

And, of course we had to get a few of Jesse with his sweet little love, Eliza. She seemed so very comfortable lying in Daddy’s arms. She kept smiling in her sleep and when she grabbed onto his finger, I was more than happy to capture such a sweet image of this baby doll and her Dad.

Because we had captured Ellie’s Newborn Portraits at their home as well, I made sure to recreate a few of the photos from that session. Above, that’s Carly’s Spring baby, Eliza, on the left and her Fall baby, Ellie, on the right. How sweet is that???

The humidity was getting the best of all of us and we decided so head indoors to Eliza could have the spotlight for a bit. At 15 days young, this sweet baby girl didn’t make a peep throughout her session. She just laid on her favorite blanket and gazed at the natural light streaming through their back door. It was the perfect spot to capture those blue eyes and keep little missy nice and warm! We captured her toes and her “guns” and even a few sweet moments with her big sister.

I have always said that my favorite part of this job is watching these little beans grow up and seeing this family expand brings my heart so much joy. Congratulations to the Tetkoski’s on their bundle of joy! I hope to see you guys for play dates soon!!

 

If you would like to book your unique Lifestyle Newborn Session or even a Fresh 48 contact Angelina at therustienailhead@gmail.com. I love capturing those first raw and real moments for families that reflect the miracle that is bringing a new baby home!

 

 

DFW Newborn Session: Meet Bridger Easton

Get ready to meet the most handsome baby boy! At just 30 days young, this tiny but mighty brute of a baby showed up with his Mama and Grandma for his Newborn Session and I can honestly say that I have never seen a one month old who was so active for his session. Ya’ll meet Mr. Personality, Bridger Easton!

You all might remember having seen his Mama’s Maternity Session at Grapevine Lake here on the blog. She was the goddess rocking the flower crown of delphiniums and flaunting her budding bump. If you missed it, check it out here. Seriously, one of my all time favorite Maternity Sessions. Amanda was poised and ready to meet her little man. Little did she know though, her baby boy would want to cook for a few more weeks!

Weighing in 7 pounds, 7 ounces, Bridger Easton made his way into the world during the wee hours of April 4th, 2019. He was born with a big and bold love for his Mama, the most handsome pout and a light dusting of brown hair.

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Grandma, Mom and Bridger arrived for little man’s Newborn Session on Day 30 and I can happily say, he rocked it. Donning a few simple outfits, we posed this little guy in a garden and in doors with a casual background. This session was all about focusing on Bridger’s perfect little details. I made sure to document everything from his toes to his nose and all the smirks in between.

As usual, these guys were a dream to work with. Mama made sure to come prepared and we had no hiccups with his session. Seeing that I love to capture the lifestyle inspired shots, or candid moments, I made sure to have Amanda jump in for a few photos with her little man. Thanks again to this sweet family. I look forward to seeing your little guy grow!

“Above all, love each other deeply.” Peter 4:8

If you would like to book your unique Newborn Portrait Session, inquire with Angelina at therustienailhead@gmail.com. I would love to chat about your bundle of joy and help capture those raw and reflective first moments as a family! Don’t forget that we also offer Fresh 48 Sessions here in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex!

Laurel Highlands Mommy + Me Session |Tiffany + Isaac|

Gosh, it has been a whirlwind couple of weeks at the Norris household. We just got back from our annual Memorial Day trip to Pennsylvania to visit with our northern family and friends and to say that our trip was a rollercoaster of events and emotion is an understatement! My shoot calendar was full of Spring Mini Sessions and I have been working hard to make sure you get a glimpse at them all! First up, the most adorable Mommy + Me Session! Meet Tiffany and her baby boy, Isaac!

Tiffany’s Mama, Anne, reached out to me a few weeks before Mother’s Day in hopes of gifting a Mommy and Me Session to her sweet daughter and I was happy to oblige. We got the details worked out just in time for my arrival in the Laurel Highlands. Anne had informed me that Tiffany and her husband had spent a long time praying for their sweet boy and had continued to pray over him after his arrival. Baby Isaac arrived nearly 8 weeks before his due date. Weighing in at just a little over 3 pounds, Isaac would spend his first few weeks of life in the NICU.

As you can see, Tiffany was blessed with a blue eyed, spirited baby boy and though he was officially a premie, this little man has really made up for that in the past year! He is a little chunker with an adorable personality to match. After seeing him interact with his Mama, I can adequately guess that he is, in fact, a Mama’s Boy.  He was constantly loving on her throughout the shoot.

We had a few hiccups with timing because of the impending thunderstorms that plague this particular part of the country. In fact, when they showed up, it was pouring down rain so I told them to jump in their car and wait it out. Luckily for us, the storm only lasted 5 minutes and we began shooting right after. I crossed my fingers for a rainbow but alas, we would just have to shoot in the most perfect light instead. I promised Tiffany that the overcast skies would be beautiful and the captured moments reflect that delivery!

I had so much fun meeting this couple and their sweet boy and I hope to see them again soon. It is these families and their blessings that create the joy in what I do as a photographer and I am so happy that they thought of me to capture such a beautiful milestone! Oh and last, but certainly not least, If you see Isaac this weekend, make sure to wish him a Happy 1st Birthday! Maybe give him a hug from me too!

 

To book your unique Mommy + Me Session, email therustienailhead@gmail.com! I would love to help document your miracles and the revolution of Mamas out there living that candid motherhood rising life!

DFW Family Portrait Session: The Eidson Boys and their Mama

With Mother’s Day coming up in just a few short days, I knew that this session would be the perfect one to share in celebration. Kristi and her sweet boys, Jack and Miles, have been coming back every April for photos with The Rustie Nail and this year was no exception. Just in time to celebrate Mother’s Day, these guys put on their best shirts and biggest smiles so their Mama could document a memory of just how little or big they are!

 

Each year, Kristi and I discuss a different vision and try to bring that to life. One year, we took the boys to play in the mud with their Tonka trucks by the Trinity River and last year, we waded in the shores of Grapevine Lake. This year, we would tackle the Fort Worth Stockyards and then a more laidback shoot at Doc’s Record Store in Fort Worth.

 

We met early in the morning on Good Friday. Lucky for us, we beat the Easter crowd and had a good portion of the Stockyards to ourselves! Kristi and the boys danced their way down the cobblestone paved corridors and boys took turns riding mechanical bulls, gazing through store windows at the barrels full of candy and hugging on their sweet Mama.

 

We made our way around the old cow pens and took some time to just let the kids run amuck. Thankfully, Kristi is a boy mom and by that I mean, she doesn’t sweat the small stuff. She let them run and play, not worrying about if they would wrinkle their shirts or fall and skin their knees. She could have cared less so long as they were both smiling and happy. She seriously is the coolest Mom y’all. When faced with a scheduling conflict because of my daughter, Kristi suggested I bring her along and her family loved on sweet Lucy throughout the entire shoot.

 

Towards the end of our shoot at the Stockyards, I made sure to snap a few pictures of both the boys with their mom individually. Jack is her big boy. Strong and tall, he made sure to wrap her up in a big hug and spin her around the room. I am still in awe of how grown up Jack is. Miles, on the other hand, is all too happy to play the part of Mama’s baby. He was so content in his mother’s arms and it was the sweetest moment. Case in point, I watch her Snapchats sometimes and Miles can be seen serenading his Mama with the cutest little songs.

 

We moved onto our second location, Doc’s Record Store in Fort Worth, Texas and Kristi’s sweet sister, Claire, made an appearance in this set! The sisters tried on fur coats and danced around in the vintage backdrop. I was in love with that pink wall and the records hanging up behind them. The Sade and Killers shirts were an all too cool look as well. The boys even jumped in on the fun. Jack was rocking a Bowie shirt and Miles his Rolling Stone tee. Paired with their vans, these guys looked every bit the part of Funkytown locals.

 

One of my favorite parts about this hidden gem near Montgomery Plaza is that Doc’s has an amazing back alley full of graffitied artwork. I had mentioned this to Kristi during the planning stage and with that, she was sold. We headed back there and the boys were in awe of the local talent.

 

Both Jack and Miles killed their individual shoot times. They were perfect gentleman, even offering to push Lucy around in her stroller since she made an appearance for this shoot, and made sure to bring their A -game when it came time to pose for images. I mean, how cool are they rocking those shades and the rock n roll tee shirts? As usual, I had a blast with this gang and I look forward to seeing them again!

 

DFW Newborn Session: Meet Eleanor

Y’all this little girl is about to steal all your hearts. Meet Eleanor Kate Hamilton! Born on March 15th, I had the great pleasure of meeting this sweet baby girl on Day 11 for her first photo shoot. I am beyond thrilled to share a first look at Brenna and Jeff’s little peanut!

This particular set of photos was my favorite because this family just rocked it. Brenna has the brightest smile on her face and Dad, Jeff, cannot take his eyes off of their first born beauty. They all just seem so relaxed, right at home with their new baby!

I had the great pleasure of meeting this little lady’s Mama a few years ago through a mutual friend and way back then, I photographed her sweet pup, who now is long gone but still very much in Brenna’s heart. In fact, in the years since that shoot, Brenna has added a new pup to the family, Piper and this big sister is just smitten with the Hamilton Family’s new addition!

Weighing in at a solid 8 pounds, this little chunk was born with a full head of hair and what appears to be the prettiest blue eyes. So far, Mom and Dad say that her favorite thing to do is eat! Oh, and sleep! What a life!

Brenna and Jeff (and the new Grandma who was there to help) totally trusted my vision and invited me into their home to capture this lifestyle inspired newborn session. We kept it sweet and simple. I made sure to include lots of Mama loving on her baby girl and a ton from the perspective of little Ella in Daddy’s hands, as well as a few of Piper checking out her new roommate.

We had gorgeous light throughout the entire session and I love that each room in their house flooded with natural light in the afternoon. We managed to time feedings and shoot time perfectly. Not one tear was shed though we didn’t really give her a chance. If Eleanor looked even the bit sad, either Mom, Grandma, Dad or I would pick her up and give her hugs before she had a chance to get upset.

We ended the session by letting Eleanor just chill in her crib in her new nursery. Layered in pink lace ruffles and white bow, Eleanor Kate proved that she is in fact “more precious than rubies” and for that, I am thankful. Not only that this job allows me the pleasure of meeting and documenting such sweet baby’s first days in the world but that I know the joy their presence brings each family, especially the Hamiltons!

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For information on how to book an in home newborn session or a Fresh 48 Session, message me, Angelina, at therustienailhead@gmail.com and we can discuss package details, due dates and dreamy baby poses.

DFW Graduation Portraits: Hannah

It is with the happiest of hearts that I can announce that my sweet friend, Hannah, is officially done with her Bachelors degree in Engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington! This Saturday, this gorgeous, semi-genius, kind, world-conscious and wanderlusty lady is going to walk across the stage and we could not be happier for her! Congratulations Hannah! We are so very proud of you. Check out our last session with this southern belle here.

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I could not be happier that our sweet baby has someone like Hannah in their life. Hannah is strong and smart and the kind of girl we need more of in the world. I mean it when I say that we are incredibly blessed to have such a strong role model for our sweet Lucy to look up to. Hannah exudes grace and humility while constantly aiming to shatter glass ceilings. So, remember girls, you run the world but don’t forget the little girls out there who are looking at you to change it.

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Congratulations to the UTA Graduating Class of 2019!!

Travel Guide: Yacht Week in Antigua

Hey guys! It’s been awhile since I put out a new Travel Guide and since our little bambina has restricted our travel this year, I figured I would share a little bit about a trip Russ and I took a few years back. It is Yacht Week in Antigua and I thought ya’ll might want a behind the signs look at all the fun!

Antigua, also known as Wadadli by the native population, is one of two islands in the West Indies. This Caribbean nation is an island oasis with plenty of historical and adventurous journeys to set off on. Russell and I planned a 7 day vacation full of sun and sand and we knew just the place to set up shop. We decided to stay at the all-inclusive and luxurious, Sandals Grand Antigua Luxury Resort in St. John’s.

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With over 11 restaurants to choose from and a plethora of frozen tropical drinks, Russell and I enjoyed the sunsets from a different cabana each night. The food was phenomenal at all the dining options. We enjoyed Eleanor’s and Mario’s Italian Cuisine for dinner most evenings. Barefoot by the Sea featured the comforts of home while Bella Napoli had some pretty great pizza for lunching by the pool. Our favorite meal took place at the Soy Sushi Bar. We had a little bit of everything and then lounged in one of the nearby hammocks. I highly recommend the coconut gelato!!

One day, we choose to take a Circumnavigation Tour around the island. We opted for the Antigua Adventure, a 360 Xtreme Circumnav Boat Tour and could not have been happier with the results. Our first stop was to the Devil’s Bridge, an interesting archaeological site on the eastern side of the island. This trip included a visit to Stingray City. Though Russ was brave and jumped in, I just took photos from the dock!

The next stop on the tour included a private lunch at Green Island. We munched on fresh seafood and rested on the beach for a good part of the afternoon before setting back out on the water again. Word to the Wise: Now is a good time to PUT ON MORE SUNSCREEN!

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Before heading to the infamous Nelson’s Dockyard, we made our way to the Pillars of Hercules for a guided snorkeling trip around the volcanic boulders beneath the surface. Again, I am a chicken so this was more of a Russ thing. I swam close to the boat.

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 Our next and last stop was Rendezvous Bay, an exclusive and extremely secluded beautiful part of this exotic country. We managed to spend 8 hours touring our way around the entire island. This boat ride was worth every penny guys!

Nelson’s Dockyard is the largest of Antigua’s National Parks. In the early part of the eighteenth century, this Dockyard was used by the Royal British Navy because this particular harbor provided a safe place to dock your boats during the hurricane season. What can you do here? Well, I recommend taking a tour of the Admiral’s house, grabbing a bite to eat or just taking a gander at the sailboats and yachts that find their way into this historical landmark.

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Half Moon Bay Beach is beautiful stretch of crystal pink sand beach. We chose to leave the resort for a day and head out to somewhere more secluded and this happened to be one of my favorite parts of the trip. The views were outrageous and it was nice to get away from the resort crowd for a little bit. Our driver dropped us off with a cooler of beers and we posted up in this quiet. After a few hours of swimming and lounging out, a rain storm hit and we ran for cover at a nearby restaurant, The Harmony Hall and managed to grab some appetizers and a few glasses of wine for lunch.

Ffryes Beach had some of the most beautiful waters we saw on the entire island. It was bright turquoise and the snorkeling opportunities were out of this world. We saw so many different types of marine life. We had a wonderful time exploring this crescent of the island. Where to eat: Dennis Beach Bar and Restaurant . Try the grilled lobster or if you are lucky, try to attend the pig roast. You won’t be disappointed.

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Though we stayed close to Dickenson Bay, a fairly popular area on the island,  Runaway Beach was idyllic. Located on the Northwest coast, we enjoyed the exploring the rocky Corbinson Point. If you are looking to make a day out of visiting this beach, make sure to grab some jerk chicken off the side of the road before you get there. We had no trouble finding a local vendor and I still dream about this chicken.

What most people don’t know about this island is that several celebrities have chosen to make this island getaway their own private getaway. The late Whitney Houston, Oprah Winfrey and even Eric Clapton have contributed greatly to the island community. In fact, Eric Clapton owns a crazy gorgeous property near Hercules Pillars and helped found the Crossroads Centre. The Crossroads Centre is a 12 Step Treatment Facility dedicated to drug and alcohol rehabilitation in a therapeutic and supportive environment. The locals had a lot of positive things to say about this centre and the impact Eric Clapton has made on the island.

We spent our last day in Antigua by venturing to Shirley Heights. This famed lookout point featured a Jamaican steel drum band, a Sunday BBQ and yummy rum punch. We had the pleasure to meet new friends to share the sunset with and after all these years, we still keep in touch. We watched the sun set over the harbor and said goodbye to our time in the sun.

We hope to travel back to this beautiful island one day and soak up more sunsets, rum punch and jerk chicken!  Until then, stay tuned for more Travel Guides in our #Travel Tuesday Series. Coming up soon…A Weekend in New Orleans, Fall Break in Idaho Springs, Colorado and Farallon, Panama.

DFW Maternity Session: The Clark Family

This session is just too sweet. Meet Stephen, Elizabeth and soon to be Baby Clark. This sweet couple met with me just weeks before their due date so we could document their last few moments as a twosome.

Having just celebrated their 1st wedding anniversary, these two are still basking in that newlywed glow. Adding a baby to the mix Has just made their smiles brighter.

We were supposed to meet at the Dallas Arboretum for a day of walking around the park but to our dismay, the park was closing early on the day we had chosen. So, we rallied and improvised. I met the Clark Family at the Filter Building on White Rock Lake directly across from the Arboretum.

Though we wouldn’t have as many florals, I promised these guys a variety of backdrops and I am happy to say that we managed to capture a lot of different settings for them. But who cares about the background when Ms Elizabeth was rocking that baby bump?!? Seriously? Could she be more beautiful. I have to admit I was a bit envious when I saw her rocking high heels at 36 weeks!

We worked our way down to the lake and managed to pass this gorgeous tree. I couldn’t not stop for a few photos in front of this massive piece of art. The light shone down on them and these two had no problem posing lovingly beneath its hearth.

They made little requests here and there but other than that, these guys were so easy to work with. I should have expected their laidback nature seeing that they have not found out their baby’s gender! Which I love so much! You only get so many surprises in life and these guys have embraced that mindset with an effortless grace. Though you can tell Elizabeth is getting a bit antsy about finding out whether a baby boy or girl is joining their tribe, this couple seems ready to welcome their bundle of joy.

Word on the street is that Baby Clark will be making his or her arrival any day, literally, any day, like today or tomorrow so join me in congratulating this happy duo soon-to-be trio as they navigate the most exhausting and exhilarating journey by bringing their sweet baby into the world. Best Wishes and Baby Bliss to the Clark Family! We will be praying for a healthy and happy delivery!

 

If you would like to book your unique Maternity Session in either Southwestern Pennsylvania or in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, shoot me (Angelina) an email at therustienailhead@gmail.com.

Travel Guide: The Perfect Layover in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor

Awhile back, Russ and I took a small trip to the North Pole. You may have read about our experience North in our Iceland Travel Guide. On our way there, we managed to stop in Baltimore for an afternoon on the East Coast! So many of us traveling from Texas across the pond have to make a stop somewhere along the coast and the Charm City is a heck of a place to start an epic journey.

With the Inner Harbor being only a short drive/train ride from BWI, you’ve got a few hours to kill. Take a walk into the beginnings of our great nation and let the harbor be your playground for the day. Our layover was about 9 hours, which at first, seemed daunting but we managed to pull off a full day of feasting on fresh seafood, sipping on Natty Bohs and exploring the cobblestone streets of one of America’s first ports.

Top 5 Things You Should Absolutely Do while Visiting Baltimore’s Inner Harbor

5. Head to the National Aquarium or Ripley’s. Both are out of this world and a super easy way to spend an afternoon killing time. I loved the jellyfish exhibit. Added bonus, options for lunch in every direction of the bay. You name it, they’ve got it. Head down to Fells Point and grab yourself a Crabcake!

4. Best Breakfast? Get fat. Go get doughnuts and Zeke’s coffee at Diablo Doughnuts. Go nuts, get the Unicorn Fart. You know you want to. The dude pictured below is pretty awesome, too. He’s the owner and the last time we were visiting Baltimore while on a Girls’ Trip, this fella hooked us up with stickers and sat and talked with us while we tried the box variety. Best surprises? Captain Chesapeake and Maple Bacon were some of the group favorites.

3. Make time to take a gander at the U.S.S. Constellation. Our country has built some pretty amazing ships and this one is impressive to say the least. This sail-only warship is the last of its’ kind built by the United States Navy. The price of admission is $5/adult and $25/family if you want to spend some time in the Museum.

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2. Head to the last place Edgar Allen Poe was seen alive, The Horse You Came In On Saloon. Legends tells it that ole Eddie died from consumption right on the street outside this infamous saloon. His picture still hangs above the bar alongside about a million Jack Daniels bottles. Grab a Natty Boh (local favorite beer, aka National Bohemian) and listen to the live music from the saddle you sit in.

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1. Go get a lobster roll at Thames Street Oyster House. I’m not kidding. This is the #1 thing you should do while visiting the Harbor. It was the best thing I have ever eaten. I dream about it sometimes. I know it’s $25. I don’t care. Spend that moolah and get yourself the best damn sandwich you are ever gonna have. Or get the crab cake, because it’s bomb too.

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