Category Archives: boston

Boston Bacon and Beer Festival 2015

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I have been dying to go to this event for literally YEARS. Every time it came around it would sell out immediately and I was never able to attend until this year. In their 6th annual year, eatBoston’s Boston Bacon and Beer Festival moved venues to Fenway Park and so could accommodate more people. Even with space for additional attendees, the event was still a sell out.  I found out why!

While it was fun to suck down some cold pops and sample some new brews, the beer wasn’t the highlight of this event for me at all. The inventive chefs of 38 restaurants were what stole the show. The things they did with bacon were incredible. My personal favorites were…

The Bacon Doughnut by Blackbird Doughnuts

blackbird doughnuts

A Bacon Smore by jm Curley

JM Curley

Bacon Flavored Ice Cream by Lincoln Tavern

The “Beast in Show” winner of the event voted by Bacon & Beer attendees was Shojo Boston with their Togarashi Mantou Stuffed with Bacon & Cheddar. Unfortunately, I didn’t try this one out.

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Other bites I’m disappointed I never got around to trying were the Bacon Mac & Cheese and the Maple Bacon Cotton Candy by Sweet Cheeks BBQ. (apparently a favorite for several years)

The winner received the obvious recognition but even better $750 donation toward their charity of choice. That’s right, this delicious fun-filled event has a charitable aspect too! In fact, the entry fees to the event went to several charities including Lovin’ Spoonfuls – dedicated to rescuing and distributing healthy food that would otherwise be discarded to organizations where it’s most impactful. Community Servings – not-for-profit food and nutrition program that provides medically tailored meals to people with critical and chronic diseases in Massachusetts. And the Red Sox Foundation – raising monies for several programs focused on children and families in Massachusetts.


What I loved and what I didn’t love:

Fenway was an AMAZING venue. Perfect for this event. Better yet was getting access to the grandstands when the park was practically empty – what a treat!

Since this was my virgin Boston Bacon and Beer Festival I didn’t know exactly what to expect but one thing for sure, I thought I’d get a TON of plain ole bacon and those tasty strips were NO WHERE to be found. Also, carting around a map, beer and plate for the various tastings (as well as an iPhone for photo evidence) I wish there had been a few empty tables scattered about so that attendees could put down things and enjoy a bit more instead of juggling things in their hands. Other than that, I thought this event was truly fun and worth the ticket price! I’ll be back next year AND I hope it’s still held at Fenway. I know I have a few followers that now want to attend too.


Filed under boston, massachusetts, travel

15 Fabulous Airplane Shots

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I’ve loved to travel for most of my life and in the past few years I’ve made a bit of a job out of it. While it’s not always terribly lucrative, it has been fun. I DO really LOVE to TRAVEL. I like virtually everything about it. BUT I didn’t always love to fly. Now I’ve truly grown to love it. AND, to me, one of the best things are some of the amazing shots I’ve gotten from the window seat of an airplane. I hope you enjoy the view!

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Flying over Miami Beach. One of my favorite views.

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Up in the friendly Thai skies. Aren’t the clouds so gorgeous?

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Catching sunset over the Atlantic Ocean. What a sky!

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Descending over Londontown. Ello River Thames.


Leaving beautiful Bali. What stunning blue water!

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Sunset somewhere between Mongolia and China.

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The stunning south coast of Iceland.

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Brrr! Greenland below.

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Coming in for a landing. Welcome to Jamaica, mon.

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Sunrise goodbye to India.

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My pretty hometown of Boston!

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Last bit of land before the English Channel en route to Paris.

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Pink sand beaches of Harbor Island, Bahamas. Wow!

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Seeing the Midnight Sun in Iceland!

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Saying goodbye to the mighty Mississippi River in New Orleans.


Filed under airlines, bahamas, bali, boston, iceland, india, jamaica, london, miami, mongolia, new orleans, travel

Flying the Friendly Skies with Air Miles


There are many ways to rack up miles to use for plane tickets. I have a couple of credit cards I use to collect them. While there’s a lot of thoughts around how best to do this, the other challenge with the air miles game is how best to use them. Last summer I was on the other side of the globe needing to get home and had no plane ticket. BUT I did have a big stockpile of miles and some flexibility. This is where I Fly With Miles came to my rescue.


After I finished the EPIC Mongol Rally, I was over in beautiful Bali but wanted to get back to Boston by Labor Day weekend. While I would never say no to a business or first class ticket it is definitely not my mode of flying transport. I’d rather spend my money other ways. However, I Fly With Miles was able to get me business class flights from Bali to New York City for a minimal amount of miles used and small taxes and fees out of pocket. It really opened up my eyes to the opportunities of using miles and the benefit of having someone to help me navigate the mileage system.


I worked with Mike from I Fly With Miles who took into consideration minimum legs, working with partner airlines for luggage ease, least layover time and best use of mileage. For example, I flew from Bali on Singapore Airlines in business class to Singapore. It was awesome to go to the check in and not be in a long line to check my luggage. Also, my 3rd leg was going to be on Air India, both airlines are part of the Star Alliance, so my bags could be checked in Bali all the way through to New York. What a huge hassle relief. Finally, flying business class afforded me lounge access which was also nice for the layover parts of my long journey home.


Besides the spacious seating, wonderful customer service, delicious meals and electronic outlets that made me giddy, my favorite part of my journey home was being met in Delhi by a Singapore Airlines representative to insure my way through security and transferring to the Air India lounge without any issues. He was so friendly and helpful – I didn’t expect this level of care. What a wonderful way to travel.


In all, it was 78,000 miles I had to put into partner airline programs to sort out my return. I had these points in my American Express Membership Rewards account and Mike with I Fly With Miles told me what frequent flyer accounts to create (if I didn’t already have them), how many miles to place where and if any needed to be transferred elsewhere. Baggage fees were included because of the class of service. All I had to pay for was a one-way ticket home from JFK New York and the taxes/fees associated with using the mileage for a ticket. Out of pocket, it cost me less than $200 to fly back from Bali to Boston.

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Check out I Fly With Miles and all that they can do for you and your stockpiles of miles. Who has time to figure that out? It’s a small consulting fee toward their frequent flyer booking service, that’s it. I’d rather just think about packing my bags and spending my hard-earned money on some yummy meals and a swank hotel. Don’t  you agree?!


Filed under airlines, bali, boston, singapore, travel

Best Traveled Dress

I travel a lot. And I’m often asked about travel essentials and how and what I choose to pack. There are few staples depending upon the climate but there is one standout dress that seems to accompany me almost everywhere for the last five years and is still going strong!

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The Calypso Classic Ro Dress. Calypso St. Barth is a favorite store of mine found in some lucky locales throughout the USA and, of course, the original in St. Barth. I’ve visited a few but the Boston store is where I do the most damage. Five years ago or so I bought my first Ro dress and knew instantly what a great staple dress this was but since have truly learned it’s value. (The classic Ro dress retails at $195)

I have worn it as going out nighttime dress, a touring day dress, a beach cover up or just something to quickly throw on. This is a dress that keeps you cool and comfortable. It’s a dress that consistently gets complimented. It is a dress that’s forgiving – I think it would look good on anyone. Best of all, you can machine wash it or, in times of necessity, hand wash it in a sink. It looks great with a casual denim jacket or cardigan. It can be worn with leggings and boots. Mine has gone on fancy dinner dates, out dancing at clubs or just chilling at beach bars. Plus, obviously, it travels well in your bag. It is my go-to everything dress!

This dress has literally traveled the globe with me. It’s been to Miami virtually every time I go. Hello cover up or a dress to throw on for lunch. Same idea for Hawaii and Palm Springs. And, seen here on the beach in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.


In St. Martin and St. Barth it’s been a going out dress. Also in London, Bali and seen here in Istanbul.


This dress traveled with me for my 10,000 mile drive from the United Kingdom to Mongolia. It is that diverse and essential. In Cambodia it was a touring dress of the Phnom Penh Night Market.


In Thailand it saw the grandeur of the Grand Palace in Bangkok.

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And as a day dress it met children in an orphanage in Bangalore India.

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Calypso St. Barth has grown from a modest resort-wear boutique to a luxury lifestyle brand with a passionate international following. Inspired by travel, culture & the arts, the brand reveals unique & feminine pieces that can be mixed and matched for effortless elegance, which women of every age have come to love.

Calypso St. Barth’s namesake collection is displayed alongside carefully curated pieces from international designers for an eclectic assortment with wide appeal. To me, entering Calypso St. Barth is like taking a mini-vacation to somewhere exotic. And each of my Calypso pieces are very unique and special to me.


Filed under boston, cabo san lucas, cambodia, caribbean, fashion, miami, mongol rally, phnom penh, st. barts, travel, turkey

Lessons Learned at Boston Dive Bars

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When I’m not on the road these days, I’m busy trying to discover some of the best things about my hometown, Boston. First of all, I know I sometimes act all prissy and I DO like to go to the latest HOT SPOTS, that’s no joke. BUT betcha didn’t know I have serious soft spot for dive bars. Always have. It’s just one of those things about me…I like things that are a little rough around the edges and, as I recently found out, there’s a lot I didn’t know and learned during an evening out at a few local dives.

You should come well prepared. By that I mean with cash because apparently the best sketchy dives don’t accept credit cards. Who knew? Many, however, do have ATMs inside.

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You can gamble in dives, well play Lotto, but isn’t this really the same thing?! YES, I had never played the game Keno before my evening out and apparently there are betting rules, even in dive bars. You cannot just get a ticket and fill it out and pay up to the barkeep. No, if it’s proper-like, you gotta go to the end of the bar where the betting is legal. The irony!

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Not only can you get cheap drinks at dives – hello PBR – another Lola favorite that you didn’t know (It’s not all dirty martinis all the time) 😛 Dives also have cheap drink specials. For instance, at one dive they had the “Kinkytini”. Of course, the name alone intrigued me. Come to find out Kinky Liqueur is super premium vodka distilled 5 times with succulent mango, blood orange liqueur, and passion fruit. Never knew of it before, oh, and its label is hotpink too…need I say more?

If it’s dive worth its weight, it’ll have a juke box. BUT many juke boxes have gone digital. So if you wanna get in on the action of picking your favorite songs you better get the TouchTunes app. Yep, another thing I discovered during my dive night out. If you are like me and don’t know what TouchTunes is, well it’s the largest in-venue interactive music platform, featured in over 60,000 bars and restaurants across North America. Pretty cool, huh?!

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Finally, just because you fit into the “dive bar” category, not all dives are created equal. I sampled 3, my evening out in Boston. The “Classic” Drinking Fountain, which you can really get a taste of all things divey. Pool tables, digital juke box, Keno. You get the picture. The “Institution” Wally’s, a tiny hole-in-the-wall where there’s live music every night! LOVE. And, finally “The Real Cheers” 21st Amendment. This dive establishment located in Beacon Hill is across the street from the Massachusetts State House and has been serving the state’s most colorful characters since 1899.

If you like cheap drinks, interesting people watching and other divey things, you should check these 3 spots out. You can find more dive bar hot spots (90) in “Boston’s Best Dive Bars: Drinking and Diving in Beantown“. Supposedly a dying culture that is a big part of Boston’s drinking history…go support a local dive near you soon. Tell em Lola sent you!


Filed under boston, massachusetts, travel