Travel Guide: New Orleans, Louisiana

A few weeks back, I took my first MOM-cation. This is big guys. I left my sweet baby at home with Russ and hit the road with my bestie for a weekend in the Big Easy and I have been dying to tell you all about it. Mainly because I have never eaten so good in my life but also because I am a firm believer in maintaining your own mental health. Though I missed our sweet girl terribly, I cannot accurately express how relaxing it was to just rest and laugh and stroll the streets of New Orleans with my friends.

This particular Travel Guide is not going to be a wrap up of a Hangover infused trip to a town notorious for debauchery.  This trip was all about walking the picturesque streets, savoring the fine foods and spending our nights glued to whatever street musician was up next in the lineup for the French Quarter Festival. So, get ready, this Travel Guide is a collection of my Top 10 Musts during a short stay in NOLA!

1. Make sure you experience the debauchery a bit and hit Bourbon Street. Day One, we made our way down to the Plymouth Rock of sin.

Did I head to Pat O’Brien’s for a Hurricane? You bet I did. How was it? Ehhhh, not a fan. Did we get a little crazy? Yes. I actually fell. Twice. I’ll own up to it. I know we got a good laugh about it. I’m a lightweight these days and thankfully my only Bourbon Street Battle scars were a few scratches. Overall, a win in my books. Our favorite Hidden Gem: The 21st Amendment. It was hands down, the best bar. Great drinks, amazing live music and the crowd wasn’t wild though we did run into our fair share of bachelorette parties.

2. Eat at Deanie’s! We had a few drinks on Bourbon and decided that it was best that we get some food in our stomachs before we went out on the town. We ordered New Orleans BBQ Shrimp, Crawfish Etoufee and Fried Calamari. I honestly cannot tell you whether it was the french bread that we drowned in the BBQ sauce or the helpful locals dropping hints about where to head to next but this place will always be a NOLA staple for me.

3. The Carousel Bar at the Hotel Monteleone. We headed here before the night got wild and it was the perfect spot to get away from the drunkards on Bourbon and have an adult cocktail. The 25 seat Merry Go Round Bar is festive and classy in a way that hints at the nostalgia of being at a carnival or circus. We enjoyed the Pimm’s Cup, the Vieux Carre and the French 007.

4. Ahhh, the perfect breakfast. Cafe du Monde. God love the man (or woman?) who came up with the beignet! These powdered sugar covered fried treats paired with a classic chicory infused Cafe au Lait may or may not have magic powers. If they don’t cure your hangover, the sweet and crispy texture of the beignet will at least take your mind to a happy place! Words of advice: Don’t wear black, bring cash and try to hit this spot at an odd hour. Mornings are crazy so head there early or at the end of the night.

5. Immerse yourself in the culture that is New Orleans. We were spoiled because we happened to be visiting the Big Easy during the French Quarter Festival. Unlike Jazzfest, this particular festival is for the locals and NOLA goes all out for their own. Throughout the weekend, we were surrounded by a plethora of musicians, vendor booths for the all-star creole cuisine and too many local artists to count. We ventured into the crowd and made sure to experience a little bit of it all!

6. Head to Jackson’s Square and soak it all in. St. Louis Cathedral towers over this cultural  confluence and we got lucky and managed to catch the end of the Palm Sunday service. Besides attending a Mass, you could take gander at the local artists work outside the church, get your palms ready by the neighborhood clairvoyant or take a stroll towards the great Mississippi River for a glimpse pf the majestic riverboats!

7. Take a Witches Brew Tour. No lie, this was the #1 thing I wanted to do while in Louisiana and I am so happy that we did. I am a bit of a history nut so I was glad we got to squeeze in some time strolling the streets and learning a bit about the ghosts and voodoo queens! Our guide Doug was 1-dressed like William Wallace (FREEDOM!) and 2-was the best tour guide. He was funny, kind and made sure to leave room for plenty of drink stops and photo ops.

8. Two words. Chargrilled Oysters. My Gosh! How did I go my whole life without sampling these delicious morsels?! After much debate with the locals about Acme or Felix or Drago’s, we chose to head to Felix’s Oyster Bar. We may or may not have order 5 dozen different kinds. My personal favorite style was the Bienville (mushrooms and crawfish in some creamy sauce baked on top the oyster). TO DIE FOR. We also tried the alligator and all I can say is that the 30 minute wait was worth it.

9. This is my last restaurant recommendation and I am not lying when I say that this place is the #1 reason I will be heading back to New Orleans. Mr. B’s Bistro Sunday Jazz Brunch was the cherry on top of our trip to the Big Easy. We were celebrating our friend’s birthday and the service went above and beyond to make our meal extra special. The live music was endearing and I still haven’t stopped humming “La Vie en Rose”. The real winner though was the New Orleans Barbecue Shrimp served with fresh french bread. The waiter actually came out into the dining room and put a bib on me. It was messy but worth the struggle. I will be dreaming about this dish for awhile now.

10. Last but not least, please do yourself a favor and hop on the trolley and head to the Garden District. The trolley fee won’t break the bank at $1.50 and the views are simply stunning. Every home exuded southern charm with their black wrought iron fences, the vibrant lantana swaying in the breeze and the leftover Mardi Gras beads dangling from the cypress trees. We got a tip from our Witches Brew Tour Guide and managed to stumble across Anne Rice’s house and I fangirled a little bit.

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Well that concludes this Travel Guide and I hope this helps you plan your next big trip to the Magnolia state. Where would you like to see The Rustie Nail head to next? The beach, the mountains, an island, a cruise? Let me know in the comments!

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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Travel Guide: Fall Break in Broken Bow, Oklahoma

Hey guys! You guys are all probably thinking, “Hasn’t she already done a Travel Guide for Broken Bow?” Well yeah, I did, back in the spring, whenever everything was green and it was warm enough to lay out by the waters. Well, this go around is a little different.

We managed to make our way back to the Hochatown to see the Ouachita Mountains in all their fall glory. Everyone we had talked to said that the Talimena Scenic Byway, a road passing through the Ouachita Mountains into Arkansas, was a must-see for those wanting to soak in all the colors of October! For those of you planning Fall Break, this should be on your list. Or even stop by this summer, the lake is great.

For us, Broken Bow plays the part of a retreat. We all know that Dallas Fort Worth can feel like a concrete jungle at times so we feel lucky that we found this oasis in the southeastern corner of the Sooner state. There is just so much to do.

You can go horseback riding, kayak down the Lower Mountain Fork, head to the Girls Gone Wine Boutique or the new, Beaver’s Bend Brewery or even try your hand at zip lining with Rugaru Adventures! We’ve hiked the trails at Beaver’s Bend State Park, toured their Historical Museum and even partaken in some Big Foot Hunting (totally joking though this is a thing). Whatever the rhyme or reason, I feel like you could custom design a trip to this part of the country to suite your needs. You have the option to rest and relax by the lake or take on a whole new kind of adventure. The options are endless.

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Where and What to Eat:

  1. PIZZA at The Grateful Head! This is seriously some of the best pizza I have ever had. My favorite is the Tree Hugger. Those whole olives, spinach and cherry tomatoes make this a must-eat in Hochatown!
  2. Anything from the Moon Tower Bar and Grill. CHOPPED winner, Tabb Singleton has opened a bar and grill near Broken Bow Lake and this menu is worth drooling over. I snagged the  MTBG Loaded Fries, braised beef short rib, herbed potato fries, Wisconsin cheese curds and brown gravy. Imagine Poutine Fries topped with hearty short ribs…mouth watering. Russ snagged the Mountain Fork Burger, an 8 oz American Waygu Beef burger, small batch bacon, beer braised onions, cheddar, lettuce, tomato, sunny side up egg, choice of mayo or mustard or both on a brioche bun. Both were out of this world.
  3. The Turkey Bacon Avocado sandwich from Adam & Eve’s Coffee Shop. This was the perfect lunch stop. We snagged 2 of these bad boys and headed down to Paddle Beaver’s Bend to grab our kayaks. Halfway down the Mountain Fork, we busted these guys our for the perfect lunch on the water.
  4. Hochatown BBQ!! Just go ahead and order one of everything. The pork and brisket were sooooo good. Add some potato salad and few jalapeños and you’ve got yourself an excellent dinner for a great price.

PHOTOGRAPHERS:

For you photographers out there, Beaver’s Bend State Park plays the part of your dream back drop. I managed to sneak in a Senior Portrait Session with these two lovely ladies while I was visiting the area. We rented canoes, blew off a few smoke bombs and even made smores by the Lower Mountain Fork River. To see the Tucker Twins Senior Portraits, head here.

GOLF:

Cedar Creek Golf Course at Beaver’s Bend was most definitely the highlight of the trip for Russ. I kept joking that I was gonna start offering Golf Mini Sessions for guys who want to work on their swing. This course is beautiful, but I will admit that it was find to hard the ball. The foundation of the Ouachita Mountains consists of a lot of white shale so looking for a white ball in a bed of white rocks can be a little daunting though the scenic views down each fairway were worth every penny. The views of the lake are phenomenal and we saw our fair share of wild life, including a 12 point buck!

Traveling in Oklahoma in the Fall is somewhat magical. Just a short 3 hour drive from Fort Worth, this trip is worth taking. We love the outdoors. Having grown up in the lush greenery of Pennsylvania, this trip is my opportunity to bask in the autumn leaves and get all nostalgic about how much I love nature. The ever-changing weather also provides the most magical sun rises and sunsets. Our view from the deck at Lakeview Lodge is the perfect place to chow down on the complimentary breakfast and watch the deer run around the lake. I always make sure to snag a few extra muffins and cereal to pack in our bag for hiking snacks.

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 HOW I GOT THE ITCH FOR TRAVEL JOURNALISM & WHERE ARE WE HEADED TO NEXT:

In the spring of 2016, I had the great pleasure of interviewing Carolyn Anderson, a landscape photographer based out of New Alexandria, Pennsylvania. After our chat, I made it a point to try my hand at capturing the highlights of our adventures. We traveled so much in 2016. Our East Coast Girl’s Trip was my first attempt at Travel Journalism and since then, we’ve traveled all around Colorado, through the southwestern corner of Pennsylvania and to Broken Bow, Oklahoma in the spring. This year, we have visited Reykjavik, Iceland and Edinburg, Scotland and recently, Yellowstone National Park, so keep your eyes out for the next Travel Guide!

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IS THERE SOMEWHERE YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE THE RUSTIE NAIL TRAVEL TO? LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS/SUGGESTIONS BELOW!

Travel Guide: Lake Murray & Turner Falls, Oklahoma

Hey guys! It’s been awhile since I put out a Travel Guide so I figured I would let you in on our mini sort-of staycation in Ardmore, OK. Just a little under 2 hours north of Dallas-Fort Worth, this spot would serve as our anniversary getaway (3 Years Y’all). Mr. Norris and I recently made our way into Okie country to check out the scene at Lake Murray and boy am I glad we did. With its’ Caribbean-like waters and newly-renovated cabins, we felt like we had escaped to our own private oasis.

After settling into our cabin, we made our way down to the docks to sign up for the sunset cruise that evening. For $12, this seemed like an easy excuse to get out on the water. After feeding a few carp and one koi fish from the docks, we made a point to walk around the resort property. Cozied up to the shoreline is the 28 million dollar recently renovated resort. It has clean lines, an industrial feel and the landscaping makes the property stand out in all the right ways. This would be a fantastic setting for a wedding or even a family shindig!

After heading to a swim beach (Marina Beach) to toss the football around and listen to a little Bluegrass on the Beats, we set up our camp for the night and headed out to grab a quick bite before the boat trip. Every search kept leading us back to Cafe Alley and what a treat. The service was perfect and the setting was in this restored warehouse full of rustic charm. The staff had great recommendations and the manager even stopped by our table to make sure we enjoyed our meals.

I had the Cook Shack Chicken with Mashed Potatoes and Iron Skillet Cornbread….ummm let’s just say that delicious is an understatement. Russ had the Mustard Crusted Pork Chop with Apple Onion Compote and the Mac n Cheese. We left with a piece of the famous Carrot Cake to have by the fire later that night. It was smothered in candied pecans and I am still thinking about it.  Here’s a look at their dinner menu.

We made it back just in time for our Sunset Cruise with Lake Murray Watersports. Larry, our driver and owner of the recreation facility near the resort, gave us an inside look at the lake that was created in the 1930s. His establishment, which is located a short walk from the resort, is open to any and everyone looking to get out on the water. You can rent kayaks, canoes, jet skis or sign up for a round of mini golf. For a small fee, the kiddos can go jump on trampolines or take a ride down the slide in the bay.

Larry took us out on the crystal clear water for about an hour and half . We had the opportunity to view Tucker Tower, a geological museum, and the Nature Center. We got a first hand look at Lake Murray’s famous “floating cabins” and Larry even took us for a short ride around the marina to check out some of the fun houseboats that are docked there. We ended our ride on the pontoon boat by watching the red sun set over the west end of the lake. After stoking the campfire and then shortly thereafter devouring the carrot cake, we decided to hit the hay!

Day Two, we woke up bright and early and started en route to nearby Davis, Oklahoma. Our plan was to spend the day at a natural attraction known as Turner Falls. Just a short 20 minute drive north of Ardmore, this leg of our journey was a piece of cake.

After winding through a plethora of roads into what can only be described as a canyon of sorts, we made it to our destination. After parking the car, we started our trek to Dr. Collings’ Rock Castle. Built in the heart of the Arbuckle Mountains during the Great Depression, this castle is believed to have been part of a bigger plan for a dude ranch  but due to the sign of the times, the building has remained an abandoned tourist attraction.

After snapping a few photos of the castle, we made our way down to the 77 foot waterfall that stems from Honey Creek! It was a sight to see from far away but as we made our way closer, I was in awe. How could I have not known about this place? I could only imagine how beautiful it must be in the fall when all the leaves are changing colors. We swam for a long while before deciding to find a spot to settle down for lunch. We had packed sandwiches and lemonade for a small picnic by a creek though there were lots of options for food to purchase on the property.

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After lunch, we jumped in the car and decided to take a ride around the campgrounds. We wanted to see the aerial view of the falls and maybe even hike a few trails. We headed out on Butterfly Road and we managed to get a birds eye view of the stream system that feeds into the waterfall and the aerial view of the water going over the edge of the rock face. There were caves and rocked paths that would make for the perfect engagement shoot. Just saying!

Before we headed back in the direction of Dallas-Fort Worth, we snuck in some time at the Blue Hole.  There were slides, diving boards and a huge swimming hole for everyone who was hanging in the park to enjoy! I am happy to sat that our $12 admission fee was well worth it!

Our last stop was on our way out of the canyon. We made it to the overlook to grab a few pictures before I realized that people were zip lining over the falls. How neat, right? Has to be expensive, right? Nope, for $12, I braved the ridiculous heights for an amazing view of this part of south-central Oklahoma. My stomach felt like it was in my throat but it was totally worth it. Kind of like a rollercoaster.

After hanging hundreds of feet in the air, we jumped in the car and began our trek back to Dallas-Fort Worth. We stopped at a QuikTrip on the way and grabbed ourselves a few Red Box movies to enjoy on the couch later that night.

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It really was the perfect getaway. We got to get out of town for a few days and make it back in time to throw our laundry in the washer, order some pizza and relax on the couch! Watching the sun set over the plains of Oklahoma during our drive back wasn’t half bad either! We are really looking forward to heading back here in the fall! Stay tuned!

Guess what guys? In just a few short days, Russell and I are headed out on another adventure. This time we are heading to Yellowstone National Park! If you have got recommendations or suggestions, please feel free to comment below! Don’t forget to check back for more Travel Updates!

Meet the Grasmick Family!

Hey guys! I know, I know. I have been blowing up your timelines with all the Portrait Sessions from my last trip home but seriously, they all turned out so cute! In fact, the family featured on the blog today scheduled their session one day prior to the actual shoot. Totally impromptu and completely adorable. Meet the Grasmick Family!

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I was introduced to Colby through our mutual friend, Kelly, and we immediately hit it off. Once she found out that I was a portrait photographer, she asked if I might be able to fit her family in the next day for a quick Mini Session. I told her to be there by 5:30 and we would make it work! I love having the chance to shoot an new client while in the Latrobe area.

Little did I know, Miss Colby just so happened to have recently become Mrs. Grasmick. She married a childhood friend of mine, Dave…aka “Doobie”. He had played football for my dad as a kid and in high school, his cabin was the place to be on a Friday night. I was so excited to see that Doob had settled down with such a lovely lady and even more excited to find out that they had recently had their first baby.

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To celebrate their little guy’s 1st Birthday, we headed to the Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve at Saint Vincent College. They have a small pond located on one of the walking trails and Mama Bear thought it would be cute to put Baby Dean in a fishing hat and give him a little pole. Seeing that Baby Dean isn’t the best walker yet, I was worried we may not be able to get a photo of him holding the rod but sure enough, this baby boy was over the moon once we put the pole in his tiny hands!

After throwing his hat in the water and hamming it up for the camera, we headed to the Lochry Block House to snap a few photos of this Mama and her boys. After surveying the grounds for that perfect light, I made sure to get individuals of both Miles and Dean with their sweet Mama.

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And, then it was Daddy’s turn for photos with boys! While Doobie lugged the baby around like a football, older brother, Miles, helped by tickling Baby Dean and making funny faces at him. The boys were perfect. Not too smiley, not too tough, just the right amount of boyish charm in each photo. I mean, look at those blue eyes!! Colby better watch out, her little guys are going to be a lady killers!

I can’t stress enough how beautiful this backdrop was. The flowers are so vibrant in the Laurel Highlands this time of year. I didn’t want to do anything too girly because of the boys but I did want Colby to have a few classic images in this collection so we headed into the adjacent garden. I told Colby to just love on her baby boy. Baby Dean was wiggling and dancing around in her arms the whole time. He was all smiles for his Mama.

I stood back for awhile and watched them all together as a family. Colby, the carefree boy mom, and Doobie, the first time Dad, are just about the best contrast. It may be that they have boys and Moms and Dads of boys tend to be a little more lax about getting dirty but I think it’s also just their personalities. Both Colb and Doob are loving parenthood. They have figured out how to give each child the right amount of attention and how not to sweat the small stuff.

Their love story isn’t half bad either. They met on the street at the 4th of July parade in downtown Latrobe and a few months later, they headed back to the same spot to get hitched. Colby’s son, Miles, stood by and smiled as he gave his Mom away to his new step dad. Simple, sweet and absolutely perfect.

Yeah, so you could say that these two seem to have it all figured out. Or at least, they look good while trying to figure it out. Doob rough-houses the boys while Colby sits back and gingerly smiles at her new husband with their children. If I had to guess, I would say that their chance encounter in front of BC Kenly’s just might have been destiny playing its’ hand.

We worked our way from the garden to the big red barn located near the entrance. Miles climbed up on Doobie’s shoulders for the photos which I thought was such a great touch for the photo. From their simple wardrobes to the genuine smiles on their faces throughout the shoot, you can see that this session was a piece of cake. We were in and out of the park in less than 30 minutes; just a family of 4 taking a walk around the park. It was an absolute pleasure meeting and spending time with the Grasmick’s and I hope to have many more chances to photograph this family when I am in the area.

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To book your unique Portrait Session or to inquire Pricing, Packages and/or Travel Mini Dates, shoot me an email at therustienailhead@gmail.com. I would love to hear your vision and help bring it light!

Travel Guide: Kansas City

This past week, I had the opportunity to check a few more states off my list when I visited Kansas City! My brother and his favorite lady moved here about a year ago and it was past time that I check out what Kansas City is all about. Our first stop after flying into MCI was the National World War I Museum in downtown. From the top, you have an amazing view of the metropolis.

Our next stop was to walk around in a shopping and dining district dubbed Country Club Plaza. This area had so much to offer. Fine architecture, elaborate fountains around every corner and an assorted array of florals line the ornately decorated streets. We spent time walking near a canal and then proceeded on to lunch.

Where to Eat? Located on a corner lot in Country Club Plaza, Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue was our first choice. Every blog and website suggested that Kansas City BBQ should be on the top of our list so I trusted my brother’s judgement when he said that this place had the best Burnt Ends in town. And, he wasn’t lying. I had the Corn and Half Chicken. I recommend asking for the spicy BBQ sauce too. It was lip-smacking good, especially on the lamb ribs!

We spent that night ordering Pizza Hut and watching scary movies on the couch but the next day, we were determined to have an adventure. We headed to Black Hoof Park, a recreation area located adjacent to Lake Lenexa, a 35 acre, deep water lake. The dam and spillway at the park are an architectural feat. We spent time walking my brother’s pups around the lake and photographing the flora. We managed to see a few fishermen and even a kayak out on the water, something I will have to remember for the next time I visit.

After the park, we headed to a Mexican restaurant in Gardner, Kansas for lunch. Fronteras had a $2.50 Margarita Special and an appetizer plate that my bro and I scarfed down in a matter of minutes. We spent the afternoon sitting under the cabanas on the patio laughing about our crazy family and planning our next adventure.

That night, we headed into downtown Kansas City. Our first stop was Manifesto, a speakeasy with some premium bar drinks. My favorite was the Beautiful Red Bell, a gin martini that tasted exactly like a red bell pepper. It was delicious! Lit by nothing but candlelight, this place has a 1920s vibe and some classic drink choices.

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After drinks, we headed into the Kansas City Power and Light District. We strolled through the massive venue and then made our way to dinner at the Yardhouse up the street. After throwing back a few Boulevard Heifewiezens, I munched on the Ahi Tuna Poke Stack and a few of my brother’s girlfriend’s nachos! Everything was really yummy!

I was told over and over that the Kansas City sunsets were beautiful. And, I bet they were. I just kept napping on the back porch every night and missing it. But, I did get to catch the sunrise on the morning that I left. 4:45 came bright and early and with it, a gorgeous display of color and a gracious reminder of time. How fast it flys by and how lucky I am to have the opportunity to stop and enjoy it every now and then.

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We have got a lot more travel guides coming up in the next few months but I don’t want to ruin the surprise just yet. Where would you like to see The Rustie Nail head to next? The beach, a national park maybe or an amusement park you’ve been dying to check out! I love hearing suggestions on where to head to next. Leave you’re comments below!

Texas Tulips: A Girls Day in North Texas

A few weeks back, my bestie and full time petal pusher, Tiffany of Wanderlust Floral Designs, headed out to the U-Pick Tulip Farm in Pilot Point, Texas. Just north of Denton, you can find this traditional Dutch tulip farm. Truth be told, this was our 2nd go around at this particular farm. Last year, we headed there bright and early but were soon swarmed by Spring Breakers. To check out our last trip to the Tulip Farm, click on this link. I’d like to say we prepared better this year but I’d be wasting my breath. Though we managed to beat the crowds, we happened to go on a particularly dreary day.

Thank goodness we brought our coats because the sun chose to hide behind the clouds most of the morning. It was chilly!! Luckily for us, overcast makes for some pretty great floral photos.

The colors were so vibrant and the variety was insane. They must have had 50 variations of tulips in every shape, color and size. From fringed parrot heads to to willowed lush petals, we found an interesting array of Holland’s best known blooms.

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We strolled the rows and rows, picking one of each kind it seemed like. I was going to bright and lush. I love the way they float from a vase. Tiff was more interested in the pastels. Her arrangement felt a little earthier than mine which I am always envious of. Tiff has a way with picking the right bouquet. She knows which sizes and colors are going to coordinate well together. You really do need to check out her work, she has been up to some pretty exciting things this season. Follow along on her Instagram at @wanderlustflorals.

 

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Did I mention it was chilly? Ya, and muddy. Very, very muddy. We may have beat the crowds, but we didn’t get any better at planning. Case in point, check the shoes yo. Neither one of us dressed appropriately for our girls day. Word to the wise: Check the weather.  By the end of our romp around the farm, we were soaked and caked in mud. We got a good laugh out of it but ended up stopping at Ross to buy a new pair on the way home.

 

 We witnessed photographers out on shoots with little girls in their Easter hats. You could easily see the potential for an amazing backdrop. Seriously, could this place get any more adorable?

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At $3/cover and $2.50/stem, this place can add up quick. But, we agree, it was totally worth it. We soaked up the aroma and beauty of this little piece of heaven in North Texas and we will be back again next year!  For more information on how to visit Texas Tulips, head here to www.texas-tulips.com.

My name is Angelina Norris. I am natural light photographer based in Dallas-Fort Worth, with roots in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania. I specialize in family and lifestyle portraiture with an emphasis on play. I believe that the best portraits are a combination of  genuine intimacy and playful experience. I live for the opportunity to test out the waters of new shoot locations and discover new places all around the globe. Photography Services start at $300. If you would like to book your unique portrait session, shoot me an email at therustienailhead@gmail.com.

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Travel Guide: 3 Days in Iceland

Hey guys! As most of you know, my husband and I just got back from an amazing vacation abroad. During our 8 day trip across the pond, we visited 2 countries, Iceland and Scotland. Today, I’m going to let you in on some of the fun we had while traveling near the North Pole! Our time in Iceland consisted of touring the Golden Circle, road tripping to the southern most point of the island and soaking in the geothermal pools of the Blue Lagoon. It was a once-in-a-lifetime trip for us and I am excited to share this guide and the fun we had on our adventure! If you’re thinking about heading far north, I have provided a bunch of tips and tricks to make the most of your time while exploring the last true frontier!

 DAY ONE:

We arrived bright and early, courtesy of Iceland’s up and coming airline, WOW air. Upon our arrival in Keflavik, we immediately headed to pick up our rental car. We chose to rent through SADcars. Days before our arrival, Reykjavik was hit with the biggest blizzard since 1952. We were worried about what the road conditions would be like considering that we had planned on driving during most of our stay. Though our Subaru Forester was a little rusty and the check engine light was on, I must admit, this little car got us where we needed to go.

Our first stop was The Blue Lagoon. This spa is located in Grindavik, Iceland, about 20 minutes away from Keflavik International. We arrived shortly before sunrise. After checking in, we jumped into our swimsuits and headed into the geothermal pool. Our favorite parts of the Lagoon included sipping on raspberry ICEES, heading into the steaming grotto and basking in the waters with our silica and algae masks. If you’re questioning on whether or not to splurge on this luxury, trust me, it’s worth it. This was a great way to relax as soon as we got off the plane and an even better way to explore the Reykjanes peninsula!

Located just south of Reykjavik on the Atlantic coast, Kalfatjarnarkirkja church boasts fantastic views of the Gerdistangi Lighthouse. Founded in 1891, Kalfatjarnarkirkja is the largest rural church in all of Iceland. If you are looking for a picturesque way to explore the coast on your way to Reykjavik, this is the perfect pitstop. We strolled behind the property to find a famous whale bone and admired the nearby golf course.

 

After our pitstop on the coast, we began our journey into downtown Reykjavik. I had booked us a room in Heida’s Home. It was a lovely hostel located just south of the main drag, Laugavegur. We were within walking distance of the bars, restaurants and all the major attractions in Reykjavik. To boot, Heida was the best. She gave us great advice on where to park to avoid crazy fees, where to check out the best street art and our room had a quaint balcony for us to enjoy our coffee in the morning.

By 3 pm that day, we were pooped but hell bent on staying awake so as to adjust to the time change. After checking in, we decided to walk around downtown and check out some of the attractions on our “Must See” List. Our first stop was Hallgrimskirkja Church. This establishment is the tallest building in Iceland and for around 8 bucks, you can take the elevator to the top floor and check out the views from the North, East, South and West! The massive organ, located just inside the entrance, consists of 5275 pipes and was designed by Johannes Klais of Bonn. Construction of the church began in 1945 and was not completed until 1986. This architectural feat and the statue of Leifur Erriksson, the first person to discover America, is a labor of love come to life.

After snapping a few photos from the tower above Hallgrimskirkja, we decided to head downtown and find a bite to eat. After getting a little lost, we managed to walk right into the famous hot dog stand, Baejarins Beztu Pylsur! Everyone raved about these so we made sure to snag a few to munch on while we walked around. I was told beforehand to order them the Icelandic way “ein meo ollu“, which means everything on it! After grabbing a Gull beer at a local bar, we made our way down to the harbor for some dinner at Saegriffin or “Seabaron” to try the humarsupa, lobster soup, with some fresh bread and butter. No joke, there was a whole half a lobster in my soup and it was just spicy enough to warm me up for the walk back to our hostel.

After dinner, we managed to walk past the Harpa, Reykjavik’s Opera House and then on down to the Viking Sculpture, Solfario, to watch the sunset. Dubbed the Sun Voyager, Jon Gunnar Arnason completed this sculpture in 1990! The mountains in the backdrop make this site a perfect photo opportunity.

DAY TWO:

Day Two was all about road tripping the Golden Circle Tour. Though there many companies offering bus tours of this particular part of the country, we decided to make the trek ourselves so we could make the most of our day. After stopping at Mokka Kaffi for a café Americano and their famous waffles and jam, we started out on our adventure. The first sight would be a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Thingvellir National Park. This park is special because it is said to have been the site of the first Alping, a parliamentary meeting place. Though covered in a fresh blanket of snow, the blue skies reflected beautifully off the Thingvallavatn Lake.

The next thing on our must-see list was the great geysir, Stokkur. Located in the Haukadalur valley, this famous geysir erupts about every 5-6 minutes and boy is it a site to see! I will warn you though, the temperature of the water is around 484 degrees so keep your distance and make sure to bring durable shoes. The geothermal activity will melt the bottom of your shoes if you don’t watch where you are stepping.

Located about 10-15 minutes away is the incomparable Gullfoss Falls. After viewing the immensity of the falls from the southern entrance, we climbed the stairs to the overlook. From there, you can see the mouth of the river flowing into the staircase of falls that form the colorful display in the Hvita canyon. There were literally too many rainbows to count though I kept my eye on the looney tune who dared to surpass the barriers and climb down onto the side of a massive cliff. One thing is for sure, there are no shortages of daredevils in this unknown land.

On our way back into Reykjavik, we decided to stop for lunch. Before traveling to Iceland, I had read about Fridheimar, a greenhouse where we could purchase tomato soup and bread. I know, it doesn’t sound like much but this was most definitely one of my favorite parts of the trip. Imagine walking into a huge greenhouse, tomato plants are everywhere, from floor to ceiling. While bumble bees fly above you pollinating the plants, you can start snipping the fresh basil from the plant that adorns the table. Add a little bit of the cucumber slaw or sour cream to your endless bowl of soup and throw in some bread that was baked in the geothermal ground and you’ve got the recipe for the perfect dish. Give the Bloody Mary a try too while you’re at it. You can thank me later.

Our last stop on our road trip was the Wall. For those of living under a rock, this WALL is the WALL, the Game of Thrones, “we are watchers on the wall”….wall. Or it’s at least where they’ve shot a few scenes. It was immense and beautiful and I turned into a total fangirl in search of Jon Snow while we were there.

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That night, we headed out on a Northern Lights tour with Reykjavik Excursions. I loaded up all my camera gear (TRIPOD is a MUST) and headed out with high hopes of capturing the aurora borealis. Our tour was heading just south of Selfoss, the 2nd largest town in Iceland. Shortly after we departed the capital, we noticed the green hue dancing across the sky out of the bus window. For an hour, we drove in unison with them. I even cried. It was beautiful but to my dismay, when the bus stopped so did the lights. So sorry to disappoint you guys but I don’t have any amazing Northern Lights pictures to show you. But, I will forever have that memory of watching them dance their way along the sky.

Iceland-Northern-Lights**This picture was taken from a Google Image Search!**

DAY THREE:

Day Three was all about driving down the Southern Coast. After indulging in a typical Icelandic breakfast of smoked salmon at Grai Kotturin, we set out on the ring road!

Our first stop was around sunrise to check out the Seljalandsfoss Waterfall. Even from far off in the distance, this waterfall would be hard to miss. This massive fall juts out and descends 166 feet from the cliff above. Another thing to mention is that when it isn’t layered with icicles, you can actually climb behind the fall for a really amazing photo. Unfortunately, the day we went would have required krampons. I was nowhere near brave enough to attempt the slippery slide behind the falls. I did manage to have a good laugh watching others attempt it though!

Just a few minutes down the road lies the Skogafoss Waterfall. We managed to beat the bus crowds which made for the perfect photo opportunity. The full rainbow glistening above us and the birds nesting in the sea caves as we trekked through the waters was something out of a movie. Check out the Secret Life of Walter Mitty to catch the Skogafoss cameo. I had to keep my distance in order to protect my camera otherwise we would have been soaked! Dropping 200 feet from the massive plateau above, this place is magical and a must-see if you are traveling along the southern rim.

Our next stop on our trip was to Seljavellalaug, a “Secret Swimming Pool” located near the Eyjafjoll Mountains. A 15 minute hike through an iced over rocky stream will lead you to this small geothermal pool built into the mountainside. The water is piped in by a hot spring so make sure to bring your swimsuit and don’t worry, there are changing rooms.

The next stop on our journey was Numero Uno on my list. Dyrholaey Lighthouse is a tough spot to get to if you don’t have a 4×4 vehicle. After climbing the side of something that slightly resembled a mountain, we arrived at the most magical of places. To the west, black sand beaches and glacial mountains adorn the coastline.

To the east,  Reynisdrangar, a set of exquisitely shaped basalt sea stacks, ornament the southern most point of Iceland. We spent the majority of our time here watching the birds nesting along the cliffs and the waves crashing below. I loved every single minute of this peaceful oasis. Word of advice, skip the bus tour and drive it yourself so you can soak up the sun and spend some quality time with the Atlantic Ocean.

Our last stop was Vik. Located at the southernmost point of Iceland, this quaint small town plays host to the black sand beaches and the feat that is Reynisdrangar. According to folklore, the stacks were once trolls who were dragging a treasure to shore but when the sun rose, they froze in their place. Though I highly doubt any of it happened, the stepping stone formation of the basalt stacks and the cave nearby add an enchanting element to the landscape. The beach was crowded and we were exhausted so we stuck around long enough to take a mental note of its beauty but then we hit the road to head back to Reykjavik. Watching the sun set during our 3 hour drive back to Reykjavik was the perfect ending to this amazing vacation.

Why Iceland? Literally, everyone has asked me this question and truth be told, I was not even sure until we got there. Forbes named Iceland one of the top 10 places to see in 2017 and as a photographer, I knew I would have an opportunity to see the Northern Lights if I traveled during the low season but I could not have imagined how much I would fall in love with this country.  After all, it is not very often that you can see glaciers and volcanoes in the same day.

 I have always said that I would never visit the same place twice but I am already ready to break that rule. Iceland gave me major Fernweh, Wanderlust, whatever you call it. I want to see more. I want to see the Highlands and the West Fjords and the Snaefellsness Peninsula and Kirkjufell. I want to see Jokulsarlon, a glacier that comprises 30% of the entire island. The list goes on and on and I hope I get to share more of our adventures in Iceland with you in the future.  Until then, stay tuned for Part II of our trip. We jetted out of Iceland and straight into the United Kingdom. Scotland is up on the Blog next week! Check back in!

HOW I GOT THE ITCH FOR TRAVEL JOURNALISM & WHERE ARE WE HEADED TO NEXT:

In the spring of 2016, I had the great pleasure of interviewing Carolyn Anderson, a landscape photographer based out of New Alexandria, Pennsylvania. After our chat, I made it a point to try my hand at capturing the highlights of our adventures. We traveled so much in 2016. Our East Coast Girl’s Trip was my first attempt at Travel Journalism and since then, we’ve traveled around and through the state of Colorado, through the southwestern corner of Pennsylvania and to Broken Bow, Oklahoma. Mr. Norris and I just got back from Reykjavik, Iceland and Edinburg, Scotland so keep an eye out for our Travel Guides for those trips in 2017!

IS THERE SOMEWHERE YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE THE RUSTIE NAIL TRAVEL TO? LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS/SUGGESTIONS BELOW!

If any of you out there have more questions about our trip, feel free to email me at therustienailhead@gmail.com.

Travel Guide to Broken Bow, Oklahoma

Hey y’all!! We are back with our 2nd Edition of our Travel Guides on the Blog! You all loved our Girl’s Guide to an East Coast Trip so much that we decided to add another Guide to the series. A little over a month ago now, Tiffany,  of Wanderlust Floral Designs, and I made our way north of DFW to Broken Bow Lake in Oklahoma. This quaint town, located at the foothills of the Ouachita Mountains, is the perfect place for family vacations, peaceful retreats and even a little adventure. We had a blast exploring McCurtain County and I just wanted to share some tips on where to stay, what to eat and how to get the most out of a small getaway like this.

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Where to Stay: Lakeview Lodge at Beaver’s Bend State Park 

This state-owned facility is exactly what your family is looking for. Each room has a gorgeous view of the lake from your very own balcony. Continental breakfast is included and we managed to snag a Groupon for our stay which made it Uber affordable, around $50/night. For more information on how to stay here, give the front desk a call at (580) 494 6179 or head to TravelOK.com. Word to the Wise: Beware of Spring Break!

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Where to Stay: Rent a Cabin for the Week

Though we did not opt for a cabin, we were lucky enough to meet some locals and check out their digs during our stay. Jerry Isbell of Mountain Vista Luxury Cabins was nice enough to offer up some information on how to rent a cabin/cabins in the Broken Bow area. We encourage you to download their app and check out their Blog for more information on this versatile area.

Jerry & Sherri Isbell
Mountain Vista Luxury Cabin
http://www.BeaversBendVacations.com
info@beaversbendvacations.com
Where to Eat: Grateful Head
I will head back to this place every time I am in the area. This hippie shack, located about a mile from Lakeview Lodge, is the ultimate hangout for friends and family. The walls are decorated with Jerry Garcia and Grateful Dead memorabilia, as well as a few bobcats hanging from the ceiling. An outdoor patio with thousands of twinkly lights and space heaters makes it the ultimate oasis for anyone looking for a good beer and some really fantastic wood-fired pizza. Bands play out on the deck and the gift shop offers the absolute softest t-shirts around if you are in need of a souvenir. We recommend the Psychedelic Supremo or the Tree Hugger paired with one of the Beaver’s Bend Brews.
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Where to Eat: The Blue Rooster
Located in the same parking lot as the Grateful Head, the Blue Rooster is chalk full of southern charm. The menu consists of everything southern fried; chicken, Gulf shrimp, catfish, green tomatoes. The service was great and the Bloody Mary’s were the ultimate way to start off our trip. Plan on spending your night out on their patio with one of the many Oklahoma craft brews that are available at the bar. We recommend the Fried Chicken dinner!
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Where to Eat: Abendigo’s
This place is definitely one of the fancier places to dine in Broken Bow. Tiffany and I rolled into this joint late one night to catch the end of the Rangers game and could not have been more pleased with our experience. Though most places shut down super early in this town, Abendigo’s proved to be the place to grab a late bite and a cold beer. Tiff had the Wood-Grilled Salmon and I had the Chicken Madeira. Both dishes were out-of-this world. We recommend both but highly suggest that you try the Fried Calamari with Dynamite Aioli and Pickled Jalapeno Relish!
What to Do: Beaver’s Bend State Park
This park has so much to offer. Whether you are away for a girl’s weekend, bachelor party or family vacation, this park has a mile-long list of activities to dive into. Head to visitmccurtaincounty.com for all the details.
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Kayaking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Carson’s Creek (great picnic area & marina)

 

 

What to Do: Beaver’s Bend River Floats

Near a swim beach in Beaver’s Bend, you can find this Rental Facility. For $12, Tiff and I had the pleasure of spending our day on the Lower Mountain Fork River. Though the kayak/canoe trip only takes about an hour, we managed to make it last all day. It was so much fun and the scenery can’t be beat. This was, hands down, our favorite part of the trip. To set it up, just give these guys a call at (580) 494 6070.

For a more adventurous ride, check out Wild Goose Canoe and Kayak. This company is located a little further out of town but worth the drive. They offer 2 trips, a 5 mile or 8 mile down the Mountain Fork River. One of the tours even has a Class 2 Rapids classification and a 3 foot waterfall, Presbyterian Falls.

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What to Do: Girls Gone Wine 

This boutique style wine and gift shop is located near Beaver’s Bend State Park. When planning our trip, I was lucky enough to get in contact with a young woman named Katie who worked here. She proved to be indispensable when it came time to find models for our styled shoot but also blew us away with her knowledge of the wines they had available. She explained to us that the owners, Michelle and Terry, have all the juices for the wine shipped to them and then they actually ferment their own wine! So, of course, we had to have a tasting.

Each variety and blend is innovative and a few of their wines have proceeds that help out local charities. The B’Ark is a kiwi pear Sauvignon Blanc which proceeds benefit Animal Rescue and their Friends 4 Life is a rose, white merlot infused with ripe strawberries, that was created with a friend’s memory in mind. The owner’s friend, Cynthia Shawnee Hutchings passed away in 2008 after battling breast cancer and these friends wanted to help raise awareness for Breast Cancer Research and be able to provide scholarships for their friend’s children. Now that those guys have graduated, the tradition continues. It varies each year but now the proceeds go towards scholarships for seniors at Broken Bow High School, where their friend has previously taught.

We could all learn a thing or two from the girls at Girls Gone Wine. We love that they have embraced their community with open hearts and the Pinot Noir Slushie had me at hello! Stop in here and make sure to tell these girls we said Hello!

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What to Do: Talimena Scenic Byway

This scenic drive panning over 54 miles of the Ouachita Mountains is the perfect opportunity to bust out that camera. For a lax day full of winding roads and sweeping views of the mountain vistas, head here during the fall. The changing colors of the fall foliage may force you to never leave.

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Next time:

So, we didn’t have the time or availability to do everything we wanted while we were in Broken Bow and that means we will be back. Next time, we are hoping to check out the Moon Tower, a restaurant located slightly north of Broken Bow. Owned and operated by Tabb Singleton, a winner of the CHOPPED series on the Food Network, the locals raved about the food.

Another must see, the RUGARU Ziplines. They were not open yet in the beginning of May but we are eyeing them out for our next trip. And lastly, squatch sighting. Yes, we will be on the hunt for the infamous Big Foot, apparently a favorite pastime in this particular part of the country 🙂

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What we Loved: 

Tiff and I had been itching to get out of dodge, beat the concrete jungle that is DFW and set up a styled shoot. McCurtain County provided the perfect backdrop for our shoot and for a relaxing vacation. The drive from DFW was only 3 hours and the sides of the road were covered in Texas spring blooms, everything from blue bonnets to Indian paintbrushes. We jammed out to the likes of Trent Harmon, Chris Stapleton and Sublime as we chatted our way to Oklahoma. Overall, this trip was one for the books. We managed to work and play. It is a balance and war to find time to take care of yourself when building a brand and this trip proved to be exactly what we needed. We got a little break from the hustle, a little time to rest and more stars in the sky than we could have ever imagined.

So if you are in need of a getaway, check out this part of the country and we know you will end up leaving a fresh perspective on the world. For more information, head to TravelOk.com or follows these guys on IG: @hochatime (a lifestyle brand) or @mccurtainok (travel info) or @beaversbend (cabin rentals). Hope you all enjoyed this Guide and looking forward to sharing our next big trip with you guys.

Where would you like to see us head next?

Guide to an East Coast Girl’s Trip

At the beginning of February, a few friends and I decided to take a short getaway. Though we were itching to hit up some warm Florida sunshine, we instead opted to see a different part of the East Coast. Our first leg of the journey started at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore, Maryland and the next day, we headed into the District of Columbia to see our Nation’s Capitol, in an election year no less. We had a blast exploring these two very different cities and I just wanted to share some tips on where to stay, what to eat and how to get the most out of a small getaway like this.

Day One:

Despite  the horror stories that I have heard about Spirit Airlines, we snagged a great deal (the Bare Fare, bookbag included) and both flights were on time. Including insurance, we managed to get our round trip flight from DFW to BWI for under $100. To boot, we managed to get a promo code for friends and family of the Marriot Group. We stayed at the Renaissance Harborplace smack dab in the middle of the Inner Harbor. This was a clutch location overlooking the U.S.S. Constellation, the Baltimore Aquarium, Camden Yards and Ripley’s Believe It or Not. We were in walking distance of all the sites to see in the Harbor although we did Uber it down to Fells Point for around $10 round trip.

This particular area of Baltimore was the best part of trip for me. My brother lived in Baltimore for a short time when he got out of the Marine Corps so I trusted his judgement when it came to pointing out the safest locations for 3 girls to roam Charm City. The cobblestone streets overlooking the marina boasted some of the best bars and restaurants in the area. After checking out all the reviews, we headed to Thames Street Oyster House for dinner. This place promised the best Lobster Roll we would ever have and boy did they deliver. We had their signature Octopus appetizer, Shrimp Cocktail, Crabcake, Pecan Pie, multiple glasses of wine for around $55 per person, including tip. As I write this, I can smell the spices and herbs that filled the stairwell and brick walls of this picturesque second floor brownstone. Truth be told, those Lobster Rolls very well may be why I book my flight back to Baltimore. They are well worth it, like, the best meal ever.

After dinner, we made our way to Slainte, an Irish pub, for Baltimore’s signature drink, the Natty Boo. Reveled as the drink of choice in Charm City, a National Bohemian goes down smooth. I can see why Mr. Boh has such a following amongst Oriole Fans. From there, we headed to “The Horse You Came In On”. Established in 1775, this bar claims to be the oldest saloon in America. As a matter of fact, this place is shrouded in the mystery of Edgar Allen Poe’s death. It is said that Mr.Poe had his last drink here before walking outside and dying in the street of consumption. (Fun fact: His grave isn’t too far from here, near Camden Yards)  Mystery and gloom aside, this place has all the feels of an excellent dive bar, live music, friendly staff and Yuengling on tap. Peter James, a former contestant on the Voice, graced the stage with his guitar and we closed the bar by the crooning along to his eclectic song choices.

Day Two:

After many an Advil and copious cups of coffee, we Ubered it back down to Fells Point to chow down on Diablo Doughnut’s famous breakfast treats. Yes, we ordered a mixed dozen and yes, the Unicorn Farts are worth it. Don’t judge us. Group favorites included the Maple Bacon, Sin A Crunch and Cherry Cheesecake. Follow these cats on Instagram @diablo_doughnuts to check out all the crazy flavors. And, the best part about this place is that it doubles as a pizza joint at night. The slices are huge, delicious and available until 3 am.

We left Broadway and caught the Mark Train at Penn Station to Washington DC ($18 roundtrip, 40 min each way). Upon our arrival in the Capitol, I whipped out my Canon and immediately began snapping shots of the overwhelming architecture we were surrounded by. A little persuasion from a really good-looking police officer enticed us to take the tour of the Capitol. After our tour, we headed out to see all the sites in Washington DC. We stopped at the War Memorials, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial and even got a glimpse of the Jefferson Memorial before heading back to Union Station to catch our train to Baltimore. Truth be told, we could have used another day to explore all the sites. We did not have enough time to see The Smithsonian Newseum, a big one on our list. For $22.95, you can tour all the latest exhibits at this groundbreaking museum, from the famous “Letter to Santa” to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame exhibit, this attraction offers an experience for all ages.

We arrived back in Baltimore around 10 pm and immediately headed back to our favorite Doughnut Shop in Fells Point to grab a slice, term used very loosely, before hitting the hay. Overall, what a trip. Though short-lived and somewhat, haphazard, we made our way to the East Coast, got to eat some of the best food I’ve ever had, met some of the friendliest locals and managed to see two very different cities over the course of three days.

We loved it so much, we are working out a plan to head back soon. To see the Cherry Blossoms, visit Local Color Flowers (a floral design studio that sources local farms) and drink some Zeke’s coffee are on our list of To Dos for next time. So until then, stay in tune with our travels and we’ll fill you in on all the details of our adventures as we go. Anywhere in particular you would like to see The Rustie Nail head to next?!? Leave your comments below and we’ll keep you updated on our travel arrangements.