Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Our Long Island Weekend

So here's a little recap of our weekend in Riverhead, NY. The drive was surprisingly quick and easy and our hotel was perfect. They had a huge hot breakfast spread every morning and that's pretty much my favorite thing ever, along with Pottery Barn and aquariums, all of which were included in this weekend. Big time score. Yes, I was so excited I had to take a picture of it:
This town has an insane amount of outlets and pretty much every store you could ever imagine. We walked the whole outlet area, got lots of exercise, and stopped in probably far too many stores. David let me try on too many clothes and look at an excessive amount of home decor, but we had a good time. Especially making fun of some of the ridiculousness we encountered, like this stump, which we believe is supposed to serve as an end table (maybe??) in the Restoration Hardware outlet, although I'd hardly call it an outlet.
Yes it's a real stump, and you probably can't read the tag but it really and truly is priced at a "marked down" $486, originally $695. We saw a similar stump in the West Elm outlet but someone was buying it and I didn't get a chance to catch a photo. David now thinks he's in the wrong business.

So in addition to the typical outlet stores, Riverhead also has the aforementioned Restoration Hardware and West Elm, plus Williams Sonoma, and of course, the amazing Pottery Barn outlet. Outlets are hit or miss, so we weren't really sure what we'd find in Pottery Barn, which was the main reason for this trip. We were a little disappointed not to find a winner in the selection of beds and sofas, but we did bring home a few little items annnnnnd this gorgeous patio table, if you can see it under that crazy display.
A while ago I posted briefly about snagging some Pottery Barn outdoor chairs on Craigslist, and it worked out perfectly that the only outdoor table at the outlet was the one that matched these chairs.
So we may still not have a nice new bed or new sofas, but we accomplished something important to us. My parents wanted to give us an outdoor dining set for our wedding gift, and we've now been married for a year and a half. That's what happens when I try to make a decision, because my parents told us to find the one we liked and they'd buy it. Me+Decisions=FOREVER. So my parents are relieved to finally be able to give us our gift, and we're relieved that our big purchase from the outlets is going to be essentially "gifted" back to us so we didn't put as big a dent in our wallets as we thought we would. At some point in the future we hope to redo our deck (which as you can tell from the above photo is in sad shape), and then our lovely patio set will match a little better, but for now it's still perfectly useable and still very very purdy. I just love me some Pottery Barn furniture.

I should also mention one of the coolest things that happened with this trip...on Friday afternoon before we left I stopped home for a few minutes to grab my bags and Oats and then headed to my in-law's house to meet David and drop off the pup. I happened to quickly check the mailbox while I was home, where I was shocked and ECSTATIC to find this perfectly-timed surprise.
Yes I have a PB credit card. No I don't need it. Oh well. But I NEVER get coupons from them. It was like they knew I was coming. So in addition to our patio table (which we used a separate promotion for), we picked up a few cute little household items from Pottery Barn with the coup (a classy seagrass trash basket for the bathroom, a mini clock, and a whale stapler, because everyone needs a couple whales in their home), plus a polar bear cookie jar from West Elm and of course some Yankee Candles (David's one girly guilty pleasure).
The other promotion I mentioned was the awesome holiday-weekend sale (you can't combine promos and coups at PB). We scoured the Pottery Barn outlet on Saturday for what we wanted and then went back Sunday to buy everything because they had a one-day 17% off everything sale in honor of St. Paddy's Day. Thanks St. Patrick for the $51 you saved us off the patio table...my parents appreciate it. West Elm and Yankee Candle also had amazing sales and I think it cost us only around $60 for all that fabulousness, which is amazing, considering how much Yankee Candles, PB and West Elm usually cost. Cha-ching.

But don't worry, we didn't shop allllll weekend. David bought us tickets to the Long Island Aquarium, so we spent a couple hours there on Saturday. It was a nice time of year to go because it's still chilly so it wasn't crowded. It was no Mystic Aquarium, which is the best of all time in the history of aquariums, but it was still really fun and they had some good exhibits.
Then although we failed at our quest to find a mom-and-pop restaurant for lunch, we did get a great tip from our T.G.I.Fridays waiter about a brewery just down the street. We like to try local beers, so we ordered theirs while at Fridays and loved it. I asked the waiter how local they were, and our good luck continued...he said there were right down the street and have tastings on Saturdays. Lucky ducks we are. We drove down and found the tiny little hole in the wall Long Ireland Brewery, which only opened in 2008 but is already making a name for itself in Long Island and beyond (cue Buzz Lightyear voice), and we can see why. The staff was fun and the beer was delicious. We met some nice people and tried a bunch of their beers and got to bring some home.
It was a great afternoon activity and a nice break from shopping, as well as the perfect thing to do on St. Patrick's Day weekend. So we didn't find a mom-and-pop lunch venue but we did get to show our support for this great little local brewery. If you're ever in Long Island and you're a beer-drinker, we highly recommend trying to locate this beer.

The trip was very relaxing and fun, was very successful (outdoor-furniture-wise), and had many of my favorite things: an amazing breakfast buffet, a king-sized bed, an aquarium, outlets, good local beer, and Pottery Barn. Oh right, and David of course. Oops, almost forgot the guy that planned it all.

When we got home Sunday we continued our St. Patrick's Day celebration with corned beef, colcannon and homemade Irish soda bread. If you're wondering, here's the recipe I use for colcannon: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/dianes-colcannon/ - thanks Diane! I did Instagram a picture because I was so excited. We should really eat this more than once a year.
And if you're wondering what I got David for St. Patrick's Day...well it certainly wasn't as awesome as a weekend getaway or the go-ahead to be a shopaholic, but he was excited.
The big box is the obligatory pack of Guinness, but the other is the beginning to a beer tap collection I'm starting for him, which can hopefully someday be a part of a basement bar (maybe in the forever house). More are coming :) Maybe it'll be a St. Paddy's tradition.

And even Oats got something for St. Patrick's Day....
I figured a green fish was appropriate. We named him Paddy, the Irish fish. He's green and they eat of lot of fish in Ireland, so it works right? We think she likes it...
So there's my recap of how we celebrated St. Patrick's Day this year. Hope you all had a great holiday and stuffed your faces with corned beef / lamb / fish / potatoes / cabbage / soda bread / beer. Erin Go Bragh!

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