Cannolis, Mansions & Beaches...

WARNING: This post contains photos not suitable for those weakened by sugary desserts, beautiful buildings, architecture, sand and salt water, because it's filled with images of ...

cannolis, mansions & beaches

Carlos Bakery NJAfter weeding through over 400 photos on my iPhone alone, I just had to share the highlights of our most recent family vacation.  

Our first stop - Carlos Bakery! We are huge Cake Boss and The Next Great Baker fans.  Each week we watch, salivate and crave cannolis.  So when we decided to visit NYC this summer, we scheduled our first stop to be in Holboken, NJ and were prepared to line up with the dozens of other families in anticipation of the yummy desserts and in the hopes of seeing one of Buddy's family members first hand.

IMG_7541As there were no family members in sight (we were there on a Sunday afternoon), there were cases of freshly baked sweets, photos of the family and lots of tourists waiting for their carefully selected order, to keep us entertained. 

carlos bakery

This photo doesn't do the desserts we chose justice (thankfully my daughter snapped a pic before we dove in!!)  We enjoyed sugary treats for breakfast (only on vacation) and snacks for two days and had enough cookies for my afternoon coffee for days afterwards.  

If you ever find yourself in Carlos Bakery, may I suggest the cannolis and lobster tails.  Hands down, the best desserts I've enjoyed - ever!!! Oh, and we were lucky, the entire experience took about an hour or so.  Normally the wait time is double that at least.


On to the heat wave in NYC.  Lucky for us, the sun was shining and the sky was clear.  Unlucky for us, the city was experiencing record breaking heat of over 100 degrees.  Lucky again for us, we enjoyed the air conditioning of FAO Schwartz, the Apple store, NYC public library and NBC studio tours - the highlights of our shopping and indoor experience in the city.


The weather was on our side once again and we were able to enjoy dinner and wine al fresco at the famous Shake Shack without the usual 2 hour wait. 


The double decker bus tour highlighted all the important sights and enabled me to enjoy a few more buildings that I hadn't discovered on my last 3 trips to this vast city.


A quick stop in Soho was a must on our last day where we enjoyed bacon chocolate bars (very yummy) and more beauty like this graffiti wall.


Our last stop in NYC before departing was this rapidly changing sunset off the pier which was a perfect sendoff before we moved on to our last stop, Newport, RI.IMG_7642Saying goodbye to NYC was easy knowing that more beautiful sunsets awaited us in Rhode Island.

IMG_7705If you've ever had the chance to visit Newport, RI, then you are very familiar with this incredibly beautiful bridge and the view that it offers.  Just the sight of it, makes me excited to visit the beach, watch the sailboats and enjoy days of lobster rolls and clam strips (yes we love food and eat whatever and where ever we can when we travel)!

R.I. Sunset numero uno...

IMG_7726but HELLOOOOOO!!!  Meet the Breakers!

IMG_7772Our first trip on the Mansion tour and I instantly fall in love with the history, the architecture, the beauty and the vastness of the grounds, scenery, and ocean.  Our first stop was the Breakers.  

IMG_7773There was so much beauty to experience that my eyes could not find a place to rest.  Each interior space was more grand, and beautiful than the last (we weren't able to snap photos inside unfortunately).

IMG_7776This shot better shows the perspective of how vast the grounds and the mansion really is.

IMG_7803Rosecliff was another stunner from every angle, 

IMG_7871and Marble House took the show with the view, the design, the marble but mostly of the stories, and grand parties that it hosted years, and years ago.  If only walls could speak...

IMG_7900During our last few hours in Newport, an impromptu stop in the hopes of catching a glimpse of our last sunset lead us to a very hidden, but public access to the shoreline through a narrow drive, down a steep hill and onto this treasure.

IMG_7903Easton Point was where we enjoyed our last sunset, skipping rocks in the ocean... 

IMG_7946and giving gratitude for another family vacation that left us with beautiful memories, inspiration and a few extra pounds heavier.

To see some of my sketches inspired by our vacation on the 30 day sketchbook challenge, click on the link and scroll down.

Until the next time we travel....

comment with a link to your last family vacation! I'd love to see where you've been, what you've experienced and what you recommend!