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Road Trip: Our Son’s Apartment Before and After


A number of readers have asked me several times to explain the process I use in doing a room from start to finish, so today I want to do just that…take you shopping with us and explain my thinking on our choices. It literally took the entire road trip to furnish our son’s apartment. It is still not quite finished, but I can show you what we have done. It’s close.:)


When Jonathan informed us last winter that he had signed a lease on a 180 sq. ft. apartment a couple of blocks from law school, I had a hard time visualizing the space (especially since he did not take any photos of it!:( )  So I really did not know what to expect when we walked into that room on Chapel Street, but it actually had a number of good things going for it (if you could wrap your head around the diminutive space.) First, it was clean. Secondly, it had a decent sized closet with a bonus storage space built in above it and a sturdy large wooden step stool to reach it.  We jokingly called the extra storage his “attic.”:)

kitchen area before

It had beautiful wood floors (no nasty carpet!) It had interesting architectural trim, and the room had just been newly painted a nice neutral cream color.  I was dying to paint all that wonderful trim a contrasting glossy white though to make it stand out. (I didn’t.)

apartment floors

The previous tenant had left behind a bookshelf, (in the top photograph) an additional dorm refrigerator, and a metal floor lamp.  We had not packed a lot of things for the apartment.  Our little suv was filled mainly with books, (and more books!) kitchen supplies, a few lamps, two framed vintage fish prints (the only art of which he “approved”) all of our son’s clothing, a down comforter, and his camping gear.  (Doesn’t everyone take camping gear with them to law school?? 😉 )

apartment before

The first night there we simply unloaded everything, measured spaces and windows, and made shopping lists.  The next morning bright and early we did what every college family does….we headed to Ikea.  Thank goodness there was one a 15 minute drive from the apartment!

Ikea New Havensource

I took a couple of “extra” photos for you so that you could enjoy their model kitchens.:)

Ikea gray kitchen

Ikea black kitchen

Okay, the original plan had been to get a desk, a desk chair, a futon and a loft bed that the futon would sit under. The thinking on all of this was What would be the most functional items – yet still allow for comfort?  Unfortunately, the futon that was on sale was out of stock, so with budget in mind, Jonathan ended up choosing a more expensive one –  the Beddinge Lovas – and he did not get a loft bed.

When I am doing a room, I normally find something that gives me a direction.  It might be a fabric or some unique accessory or a favorite color.  At this point, we were starting totally from scratch with our son’s apartment, but because he/we chose the gray cover for the futon, our color scheme finally had a starting point from which we could build.


Our son did not think he had room for a table and a desk, so the desk won out on that purchase.  He chose the dark gray Alex desk with space to manage the cords.


Because he would be spending a lot of time working at his desk, (and eating there) and he has a shoulder that gives him trouble, he wanted to find a desk chair that was well built and provided good support.  After playing Goldilocks in every chair in the store, he settled on the  Markus swivel chair….in gray.

ikea desk

At this point I said that he needed an end table of some sort beside the futon so that he would have a place to sit snacks or a tv remote or books, and we both agreed that it did not need to be gray.  Because the knobs on the kitchen cabinets were red, I suggested red, and we began to search for a red end table or cabinet of some kind.  We were having no luck finding one in our price range when I remembered seeing a child’s play table set in red in the Atlanta Ikea, so we headed to the children’s play furniture and found one for $25.  Perfect!

Ikea red kritter

Because I was afraid that there would not be enough room in the car, I told my husband and son to just leave me at the store for more shopping and for them to take the large furniture items back to the apartment.  They did just that, and while they were gone, I searched for a rug, drapes, throw pillows, and a duvet cover in either gray or red. (All the fun stuff.:))  When they returned, we agreed upon this rug…


I showed our son this duvet cover for the comforter his grandmother had purchased for him,

ikea duvet

and he said, “No way. That looks like I’m at home.”
(So true!)
We did agree on this one:

ikea stripe duvet

I then told him that he had to add more red, so we picked up a red throw and a couple of red throw pillows.  As we were wandering around the store, we came upon this oversized floor lamp, and we both immediately LOVED it.  It was quite impressive.

ikea floor

It reminded me of this one at Restoration Hardware
(at a much better price!)

restoration hardware enrico

This was a splurge but soooo much better than the little metal one that had been left in his room.  We also found a table lamp and a desk lamp that were vast improvements over the ones we had brought from home, so we got them as well.  The lamps from home came back to the house with us. I am sure our daughter will use them when she moves to another apartment next year. (We also brought home the fish prints.  You’ll see why in a minute.)


Our son does not like drapes, but he really liked the Roman shades at Oakhurst Inn.  Unfortunately, you can’t exactly find custom made Roman shades at Ikea for a 40” x 72” window.:(So we decided to wait on that. We took all our purchases back to the apartment, got some lunch, and then made a run to Target for a vacuum cleaner and a zillion other utilitarian things.  The rest of the day was spent with my patient saint of a husband doing this….



He and our son had to assemble all of the furniture plus all of the lamps.  Not their favorite thing to do.  I unpacked all the kitchen items, got them into the few cabinets there, and set up the bathroom things.  Late that night, everything was finished and in its place. Functional, but not decorated.

The next day we left New Haven and headed to Maine to start the vacation part of the journey.  If you have been following along on our road trip this month, you are going to see how it helped to finish our son’s apartment.:) First stop?  L.L. Bean in Freeport, Maine.

I found this pillow in the L.L. Bean Home Store, and knowing how our son loves dogs, and the fact that it was red, I crossed my fingers that he would like it. He was over in the flagship store, so I called him to come take a look.  Hallelujah he liked it!  I then had a direction for accessories. Yes! 

bassett hound pillow(L.L.Bean does not sell it online, but you can order it here.)

After Freeport, we headed to Whitehall in Camden, Maine with a day spent driving through Bar Harbor and Acadia.  On the way to Acadia, do you remember we stopped at that fabulous Rooster Brother kitchen shop?  Their outlet room was where I found this cute jar for his kitchen (to put the cookies in that we mail him.:) )  I also decided that he needed to replace the hanging dish drain in that apartment with a metal shelf for more storage space… more on that later.

cookie jar

A day exploring the shops in Camden led me to these goodies at the wonderful Jo Ellen Designs.  They were going on that red end table.

After Camden, we traveled to Stowe, Vermont.  Remember Juniper…that precious paper and gift shop?  Our son bought postcards there…not “dog related,” but they had red in them.  Here is what I did with them for his apartment. (Sorry for the very blurry photo.)

art from Juniper

And after Stowe and Waterbury we returned to New Haven, and that brings us back to where we are in this post now…full circle.  I had been thinking about the lack of storage space for food in our son’s apartment while we were traveling.  So we made another run to Ikea that night for a piece of furniture to handle that and a metal shelf for the kitchen.  While there, I found another piece of art – perfect for the space. (Another fuzzy photo.:()
dog print

The next day we made another run to Target for picture frames and a few office type supplies. The Ikea storage piece was assembled, the artwork framed and hung, the shelf hung and put to work, and we called it a day.  Would you like to see the almost-finished-functional-but-not-decorated-tiny-apartment?:)

Apartment from the door

Behind the door is this kitchen cabinet.

kitchen shelf

Here is the entire kitchen. I really wish I had hung a piece of stainless steel above the stove for ease of cleaning.  (But who knows how much actual cleaning a student in law school really does?) Yes, the microwave is high, but there is no counter space for it, and his step stool is wide and works fine for it.

kitchen after

Our son put the bookshelf inside the closet to hold all of his books. The storage cabinet for food took its place in the room. If I could really decorate the space, I would hang art over that television. (All the red things are really red, not orange like the light plus camera makes it look here.)

ikea cabinet

Here is the desk area:

desk area after

apartment after

The small red end table…

end table with dog accessories

And now the only “decorated” wall in the apartment.  The striped pillows are actually our son’s bed pillows in the pillow cases that go with the duvet set.  You can see how the road trip provided the accessories for the space. As our son gets bogged down in school work, I hope his apartment will be a reminder of our fun vacation (and of more good times to come.:) )

room sources

If you have read all 1600+ words here you deserve an A+.:) I hope this written thought-process has helped to explain how I go from a color and an idea to a room.  Obviously, it helped to have a blank slate to begin with, but I have tweaked rooms in the same manner starting with colors and objects that are loved…think about the function of the room and go from there.

one room apartment after

Our son’s apartment still needs a window treatment.  As I mentioned, he really admired the Roman shades at both Oakhurst Inn and at Whitehall, so I am going to make some for him out of a gray print or stripe (although a red print might be good…still thinking on it.)  Hopefully, this will work for the space.  (The bathroom window is teeny-tiny!)

I have a couple more road trip posts that are really really house related.  You are definitely going to want to be here for this.  After we told our son good-bye in New Haven, my husband and I traveled here the next day:


This one will have to be a two-part post with the 500+ photos I took there. 😉

Until next time…


Andrea - September 29, 2015 - 10:19 pm

Wow, just wow…..I kept thinking how in the world is Kelley going to make this space look good….and wow…did you ever. I am sorry that I doubted you, ever! What a great space (now).
It actually looks better in person. I just couldn’t get the light right that late in the afternoon, and lamps do not give off good “natural” light. I also wish I had taken photos of the inside of the kitchen cabinets so that you all could see how little space there was. The one and only drawer had Saran wrap, zip lock bags, and etc. So his flatware had to stand up in glasses on that metal shelf. That shelf really came in handy!
Thank you for the compliments on the space. I believe it is functional for our son, and that was his goal all along.

Jackie Layton - September 29, 2015 - 10:21 pm

I loved this post. My son will soon be moving into his own apartment, and you’ve given me a lot of great ideas! Thanks!
Well I am so glad you could find some ideas here Jackie. I hope there is an Ikea near your son if he is on a budget. Many of their pieces work well for small spaces.
Thank you for reading and leaving a comment! :)

Arlene@Nanaland - September 29, 2015 - 10:41 pm

I just finished reading The Night Circus for the second time(Love it) and the colors used in the circus are black, white, gray and the people who were circus groupies wore red to identify themselves….so your decorating of your son’s apartment reminded me of the book!! I love a pop of red. It is my favorite color. In fact my sweet husband bought me a pretty cherry red purse at Coach at the Tanger Outlet at the beach!!
Hmm…I guess it was a circus to get this room done?! LOL You are one lucky lady to get a red Coach handbag!! My daughter and I would both LOVE that. :)

Robin - September 29, 2015 - 10:42 pm

It looks fantastic Kelly! You’re a great mom to help your son decorate. I bet he’s so grateful to have wonderful parents!

Can’t wait to see all your other pics from the next adventure!
Thank you so much for your sweet comment Robin. Our son did say that the apartment turned out great, but I think he was more appreciative that we stocked that red cabinet in it full of food before we left! LOL
The next adventure was one that everyone here should love. :)

Barb - September 29, 2015 - 10:58 pm

What a great space! I love it.
Thank you Barb! The best thing about it is that it is walkable to campus, and he does not have to have a car there. :)

Leslie Anne @ Fairhope Supply Co. - September 29, 2015 - 11:03 pm

I love that it was such a family affair to decorate his space and give it a touch of “home.” Good luck to your son at law school. We can always use more good honest leaders in the legal system, and everywhere else, for that matter!
It was a family affair alright! (As was the road trip. :) ) Thank you for the well wishes for our son. He had said from the start that he actually wanted to go into the academic side of law…teaching it, but he may of course change his mind through all of this. Lots of schoolwork ahead for him!

Vickie White - September 29, 2015 - 11:37 pm

You did a wonderful job on this tiny space! I am impressed, as usual. :)
You are too kind Vickie. I think we made the best use of the space we had (and the budget we had! :) )

Merri Jo - September 29, 2015 - 11:47 pm

The apartment looks great, Kelly! As soon as I saw the red cabinet knobs, I thought, oh, yay, Kelly’s signature red’! 😉 The pieces that you found on your trip & at IKEA came together perfectly with your loving touches &
your son’s approval–mission accomplished!
Mission most definitely accomplished. :) I really wish he could have gotten the loft bed as well so that he would have had room for overnight guests (other than the floor.) Thank you for your words of approval Merri Jo. I am very glad to have that project checked off our list. Now on to exterior painting here at the house. (So not a fun project.)

Renee Cook - September 29, 2015 - 11:57 pm

It looks great, Kelly! And, I love all the memories you made while doing it! Your son’s apartment will feel warm and welcoming this winter.
Thank you Renee. I really liked that the art all had a connection to parts of our trip. Hopefully this will make it a “home away from home” when he is stressed with school work.

Tricia - September 30, 2015 - 12:21 am

Wow, what a beautiful apartment. Really appreciate you showing us step-by-step, the process of creating a room. Very impressive.
You are too kind Tricia. I hoped everyone would not think I was crazy in the process of getting our son’s apartment done. LOL
Thank you for reading all the post and leaving your sweet comment.

Dawn@Petals.Paper.SimpleThymes - September 30, 2015 - 1:18 am

Just wonderful, Kelly! Thanks for sharing the entire process with us. Love the gray with pops of red! It’s so great that you worked together as a team, making happy vacation memories along the way! I know he will always feel the love of family all through his new apartment What a perfect start! Wishing your son an amazing year ahead! Love your posts, Kelly! ♡
Thank you so much for all your sweet compliments and well wishes here Dawn. :) I love gray with red too, so the color scheme worked really well.

Rosemary - September 30, 2015 - 3:09 am

Really great post Kelly! I’m sure it ll be a great help to others with family heading off to University or moving away from home into small apartments. I just love the dog cushion from LL Bean! From past experience the fact it was clean and recently decorated as well as having wooden flooring must have been a great relief!!! Perfect too that he’s only a short walk from campus. He chose well! I also think it’s wonderful that the three of you did it together and incorporated such an awesome holiday as well! Storing up happy memories for you all. I hope he’s settling in ok. Really looking forward to your next posts!
Wasn’t that the cutest pillow?! When I saw it, it was an Ah-Ha moment for sure! So glad our son liked it too. He most definitely did his research in choosing his apartment. The big selling points for him were not only that it was within walking distance, but that the landlord had an amazingly good reputation for years and years of renting to Yale law students. That is also reassuring to us as parents. I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. It has been very hard to get blogging done lately since we have had NO internet now for 11 days!!! I am using a hotspot from a phone at night. And starting today, we have had no phone service. Hope they can figure out how to solve their problem VERY soon.

Gabrielle - September 30, 2015 - 6:22 am

Wow Kelly. It looks fantastic. A great functional attractive space. I really believe, no matter how humble, everyone can have an welcoming home.
Thank you for your compliments Gabrielle. :) I agree with you that no matter how small, you can have a welcoming home. It all comes down to choosing what works for the space and thinking about how all your choices work together.

Nan, Odessa, DE - September 30, 2015 - 8:00 am

OH, Mom and Dad you are the best!
Read it all more than once.
I can see that to a young man this apt is decorated.
Interesting how your style (and red) shines here.
Please give us a tutorial shades when you make the roman shades. I have a sun porch that has 4 windows (too expensive to buy) that need these shades. Give me a lesson!
Wishing your son a great year and waiting for your next post!

PS Has the first batch of cookies been mailed?
Thank you thank you thank you Nan! When I do those shades, I will document it for you, but I have never made them before so it will be a trial-and-error thing for sure. Yes, the first batch was mailed (chocolate chip) along with some post cards we picked up in a state park on the trip home. The second batch was candy (not cookies) and copies of the two holiday magazines that feature our home. (I knew he wouldn’t go out and buy copies. :) )
Guess I will need to get another batch out next week!

Garden, Home and Party - September 30, 2015 - 8:58 am

This turned out great. I cracked up when your son said “no” to the check…:-) I love the check, but my sons would have said the same. The stripe has a masculine vibe and is so clean with the other accents. You did a great job and I think the apartment seems larger than its tiny square footage would have us believe.
Oh my, what is that beautiful house(?) image at the end of the post? Is that an inn? Can’t wait for the next installment.
I’m glad you like how the apartment turned out Karen. My overdose on checks has probably ruined ALL of our children from ever having them in their home in the future! 😉 The house is a house. With our internet out going on 11 days now, blogging has been a problem. I wanted the post out tomorrow – might have to be tomorrow evening at the rate I am going (and will have to use a phone’s hotspot like now – unless a miracle occurs with our provider.)
Thank you for reading the incredibly loooooong post.

DiAnne - September 30, 2015 - 9:47 am

I read your post more than once. I love the story the photos tell. Your son is never going to forget you taking him to school with such a wonderful trip wrapped around it. He is never going to forget shopping for the things you chose for his apartment and making it his home away from home. I only have a daughter but I think all of those things can be sentimental memories for boys too. The apartment is warm and functional. He is a lucky boy. There are a lot of things I like in his room but three of my favorite things are the red cabinet, the framed menu and the cookie jar. The futon is really nice too and the gray with red is a great combo.
Love iIkEA and one of my favorite things @ IKEA is the Raskog cart.
Great post!
Then you deserve an A++ (bonus points!) Thank you for all your very kind comments here DiAnne. I hope our son finds enjoyment in his space there – even it it is the size of our kitchen! Ha. I loved that red cabinet too. He really did need a “pantry” since there was absolutely no space left in the kitchen cabinets once you put in the dishes, the paper goods, the cookware, the blender, and the trashcan. I think the red cabinet worked out well for food storage and as a tv stand. Love that Raskog cart too, and we did look at it, but just could not find the right spot to use it there. My favorite thing at Ikea is the Fabrikor cabinet. It came in gray, but again we could not figure out a place to use it. So many cute things in that store!! (It can be dangerous. LOL)

Debra - September 30, 2015 - 9:52 am

Thanks for the morning giggle, after seeing your choice for the duvet cover. So “Kelly”. Ha! :) I too love that gray check, but that stripe was an excellent choice. You did a great job without getting too carried away. The room is simple and clean. Love Ikea. It came to be handy for us as well when my oldest daughter moved to Los Angeles in 2009. She had a small apartment. You can’t beat Ikea’s furniture at such a great price point. Job well done!
I thought all of you would find the rejection of the check duvet funny. :) (I knew he would say no when he saw it.) You are right that you can’t beat Ikea’s prices – especially when setting up a complete space. Thank you for reading that long post and taking the time to leave your kind compliments Debra. Hope you have a good Friday!

Jackie - September 30, 2015 - 10:40 am

I don’t know many people that can manage to visit all the wonderful places you went, move a son into an apartment, shop, assemble and decorate the apartment and still come away with fun memories. When we took our daughter to law school (Tulane), we felt lucky to drive her to New Orleans, move her into her apartment and see and enjoy what we could of the city before turning around to go back home. You better watch out, people are going to want to hire you out! Enjoyed seeing all your posts related to taking your son to law school. Best wishes to him as he begins law school.
There were just so many beautiful places up in New England to see that we had never visited before. I hated to miss an opportunity like that. You never know if you will be able to make that kind of a trip again, so we jumped on it. Plus moving a daughter in is often more work than a son…it normally takes a looooong time to get everything “just right” when we have moved our daughter in dorms…and it took several trips to finish her apartment (and she still needs art over her tv now.) Thank you for your comment here and your well wishes for our son at law school.

Nancy - September 30, 2015 - 10:42 am

Fantastic! My daughter has her first post-college apt. this year and she’s working with not one but two freebie sofas that don’t match each other … next year I’m going to push her even harder to go to Ikea to start off with stuff that’s cohesive. Do you think you came in with a total price much under a thousand dollars? I’m sure your son will really appreciate your efforts making his tiny place so beautiful when he has the very first young lady there who comments on how great it looks!
Our daughter’s apartment has a sofa from Ikea and a mismatched love seat that the girls covered with a mostly matching slipcover that helped to coordinate the two pieces. All of the furniture, duvet cover, and lighting things from Ikea for our son’s apartment totaled right at $1200. The art was probably around $70 more for the frames and such. Then you throw in the throw pillows, a throw, shower curtain, sheets, closet hanging bags, kitchen ware, extension cords, and cleaning things and you add another $250. So it would be more like $1550 (without the cost of the television.)
The landlord was the first to comment on how good it looked. :) He said that we were “hired” from now on. LOL

Cindy - September 30, 2015 - 11:54 am

Good job Kelly! It is functional and attractive. The red worked out so well plus, it has to make him feel like home. (without the checks) With the added bonus of memories from your trip.
I wish him well in law school.
You did an amazing job posting on your trip, what’s next!
Cindy, thank you for your sweet comment. I think we did a good job making it functional for him as he asked. (Yes, I was quite happy to add a bit of red to it. :) )And thank you for the well wishes for our son. He can use all the help he can get!
Next is a fun post on a gorgeous house. Hope to have it out tomorrow…if our internet gets restored. If not, I will have to wait until the weekend.

classic•casual•home - September 30, 2015 - 12:10 pm

I LOVE WHAT YOU DID! Such a cosy, happy spot for your boy!
Thank you so much Mary Ann! I am happy you like it. :) It turned out much better than I was afraid it would with the directive “functional not decorated.” Ha!

Dana - September 30, 2015 - 12:41 pm

Looks great! I am a dog lover too so am excited to see the dog themed accessories. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks Dana! There are soooo many good dog accessories out on the market right now. It was hard not to scoop up everything we saw. (There are some gorgeous dog things in Pottery Barn this fall!)

Julie @ Creating This Life - September 30, 2015 - 1:02 pm

Such a fun post. You guys did a great job. You’re right…that apartment had great bones.
So glad you enjoyed the super long post Julie. It helped tremendously that it had wood floors. That makes a MAJOR difference to me.

Gina - September 30, 2015 - 2:59 pm

What a fabulous job on such a small space! I love the color scheme and feel of the apartment. How fun to pull everything together from all the different stores and places you traveled to. It even has that “collected” look designers strive for. :) I love the pops of Red, the dog accessories and how ingenious to buy the child’s table. When our daughter moved in her first apartment after college we shopped for several pieces at Ikea. They held up well, because she just sold several pieces of her’s and her husband’s stuff on Craig’s List before their big move to Charlottesville on Friday!! 😀 The house at the end of your post looks like a Southern Living show house. :) Can’t wait to see.
I’m happy to know your daughter’s pieces held up well to use. You always worry about that – especially with Ikea when you know their low price. Dog accessories seem to be everywhere – or maybe I am just noticing them more lately. :) Thank you for the compliment on the “collected look.” We certainly did “collect” everything on the road trip! And yes, you are right…the house is this year’s Southern Living Idea House that we toured on the way home. Good eye Gina!
Happy Weekend. :)

Sherry Myers - September 30, 2015 - 6:18 pm

Tiny apartment, yes, but decorated by a big-hearted mom and dad. Everything looks really good. I love the special touches. He will have great memories to last a lifetime. My son still remembers his first college apartment. I smile every time he has mentioned it. Back to your empty nest! Can’t wait for the next post.
I would give more credit to the patient dad for assembling soooo many Ikea pieces with their crazy “pictures only” assembly directions. Enough to make anyone crazy! Thank you for your super sweet comment Sherry. I hope our son has fond memories of this place (and that it keeps him warm through the winter there!)
Happy Weekend!

Dawn - September 30, 2015 - 6:25 pm


I really like how functional your son’s apartment is but it has such personal touches. My favorites are the cookies jar and the doggie pillow. I love dogs (especially boxers)! The idea of using the kids table an in table is genius. Thanks for sharing. Take care.
Thanks Dawn! Functional and decorated a little. :) A filled cookie jar is a good thing. (Now I sound like Martha- LOL) The futon was low enough that the kid’s table worked out perfectly in that location. Thank you for your always encouraging comments!!!

Mary Rosellini - September 30, 2015 - 7:04 pm

Just ONE question: Will you adopt me??? You are so amazing.
Oh you gave me a good giggle with that one Mary! :)
Happy Weekend girl! :)

Kathy - September 30, 2015 - 7:56 pm

Kelly, you did an amazing job! My favorite things are the dog accessories. I just finished helping my son with his very similar apartment. It was challenging but fun. My son has wood floors but not nearly in as good of condition as your son’s. I love Ikea. Unfortunately we don’t have an Ikea nearby. TJ Maxx was my source for help. Your son is going to love his space. And, as DiAnne (my dear friend) says….he will always remember the time and the love you put into this apartment. Great job, Kelly! (Who wouldn’t read every word of this post!)
Thanks Kathy! Another dog lover! Yay! TJMaxx is great help for decorating on a budget. I wish we had ventured to a Homegoods, but I don’t even know if one was close. I am glad your son had wood floors in his apartment – even if they weren’t in great shape. Dirty old carpet just really creeps me out! (I’ll take messed up wood over that any day. :) )
Happy Saturday!

Barbara P from Ma - September 30, 2015 - 9:05 pm

Great job Kelly! It looks fabulous- cozy and very functional! I’ve enjoyed all of your vacation posts. Loved this armchair travel through New England!
Thank you for all the compliments Barbara! I am glad you have enjoyed the virtual vacation with us. :)
More to come. :)

Susan - October 1, 2015 - 1:45 am

Beautifully done! I was curious, what is in the bottom of the window? an a/c or an air purifier? it wasn’t there at first but in the last pictures it is and it looks perfect for the size of the apartment.

Thanks for sharing this great adventure!

It is an air conditioner, Susan – a very much appreciated one! They don’t normally have real high temps there in Connecticut, but we happened to be there at a time when there were high temps with high humidity, and the window fan didn’t really help a lot. I asked the landlord if he “happened to have an a/c unit lying around somewhere” not thinking he really would, and he had us one in and running in 30 minutes! Now that is service! Great landlords for that building! (A big part of why our son chose it.) You really notice the details to catch the window unit! LOL

Pat in Georgia - October 1, 2015 - 9:18 am

Yes, I get an A+ for reading all the post. Your son’s apartment turned out beautifully. Thank you for this inspirational piece. Have you thought about a Roman shade in a red and gray stripe combined. Although, God did not bless me with a decorating eye and talent like you. You are wonderfully blessed. I have been away from the blog for a little while and have thoroughly enjoyed getting caught up.
Yes, you DO get an A+! :) And I think your suggestion of a red and gray stripe for his window treatment is an excellent one! I will be on the lookout for a fabric like that – especially since it would pull in the red along with the predominant gray. I’ve missed your comments around here. So glad to have you back. :)
Hope you are enjoying this weekend.

mari1017 - October 1, 2015 - 10:05 am

This is just such a wonderful post, Kelly! To share your thought process, each step and the finished result was just fabulous to read – and lots of photos and info :-) LOVE the framed menu 😉 and how you used not-made-for-framing items to frame and create artwork and a sense of your son’s tastes and experience in the room. The dog pillow is fabulous – still thinking about the one with the stars at L.L. Bean and on the site you shared. So great for so tiny a space – you really have an eye!!! I miss IKEA here as the closest one now is up in D.C. So glad to be along for your trip and decorating!!! What comes next??? Happy October and Happy Trails!
I’m so glad you liked the lengthy post Mari! A small space really forces you to look at how you are using all the pieces in it – sometimes having them do double duty. Our Ikea in Georgia is over an hour from here, so we do not get there very often (normally when I am in need of fabric.)
Happy Fall!

Susie in MO - October 1, 2015 - 10:57 am

Beautiful and inspiring! I may have to go home and clean my house and run to the NEW IKEA in St. Louis to see what goodies I can find. Are you enjoying retirement? Some day…
Thank you Susie! I hope you have been to the new Ikea to see what all they have. It can be overwhelming! (especially our Atlanta one.) Retirement is busy busy busy. I have no idea how I fit in a real job before! LOL

Charissa - October 1, 2015 - 5:05 pm

I bet your son is so thankful to have your decorating skills. I can’t think of another college place that looks so good. You did a good job letting him keep it manly but stil decorated. It looks great :)
I wouldn’t say our son is thankful for decorating skills….He more like “tolerates” it, but he did really like how the apartment turned out. So that was the important thing. I think it turned out about as well as it could with his “restrictions” on me. LOL

Anita - October 2, 2015 - 10:36 am

Your son’s room looks great! I love all the red accents too! Amazing job as usual! Looking forward to reading your next post and all the pictures that will accompany. Lots of greenery surrounding that house! (we are getting snow tomorrow)!!!
Did you get snow? When my husband was out west a couple of weeks ago backpacking with our other son, he visited Banff and some other places and they had to be mindful of snow. Seems crazy when our temps here are mid-eighties! Thank you for your sweet compliments on our son’s room. You can’t go wrong with red, right? :)

Julia - October 2, 2015 - 10:49 am

Wow! You did a great job of decorating your son’s apartment! My son did not go to law school but he did take his camping gear to college (must be a guy thing). Also, I love that that ‘vintage’ corded phone on the wall!
Thank you Julia! I am glad to know that our son is not the only one who takes camping gear to college. :) It MUST be a guy thing. :) That was a very old phone on the wall and used for buzzing in guests to the building.

Rebecca - October 2, 2015 - 1:08 pm

your son’s apartment is adorable (not that he would like to hear it described that way)! The grey and red is perfect “guy” colors.
You were lucky to have an Ikea close by, we have to go all the way to Atlanta if we want to visit one. I’ve helped my daughter and son decorate both their houses when they moved in, mostly from yard sales and things I’ve gotten on sale. They have formed a new appreciation for my “junk” as they were used to calling it,
especially since all their friends have told them how much they like what’s been done!
I’m glad you liked the apartment Rebecca. The gray and red worked out really well together. Ikea certainly came in handy! At home, we have to go all the way to Atlanta too for our store. “Junk” is often good when furnishing places. Mary Kay Andrews is the queen of putting great junk to use in her houses. Love what she does with it!

Rebecca - October 2, 2015 - 1:41 pm

PS. just finished browsing thru you trip posts, I just did a post on the trip my sister and I took to Bar Harbor a year ago last May, (I’m a bit behind in my posting) and we stayed at the Bar Harbor Inn, it was fantastic! We had the best time there, so beautiful! We flew into Boston and traveled up to there stopping in so really fun places. It was always my dream trip to go to New England. We started in Hanover, New Hampshire, where her daughter went to Dartmouth. It’s one of my favorite places, the town looks like a village from a movie! If you get a chance to visit there, it’s worth it!
You stayed at a lovely place! I will have to add Hanover to our stops on our next trip to New England. Sounds like our kind of place!

cindy hattersley - October 2, 2015 - 8:18 pm

Oh my you trained your son well. My son’s apartment looked like the recycling bin met the dump when he was in college. He will make some lovely lady a great husband!! And she will love you for training him so well! Mind did come around by the way…just not so quickly…hats off to you!!
Oh..our son is not trained well. He would never ever make up a bed if allowed to live that way. His argument is you are going to have to un-make it to sleep in it at night, so why bother? I think being able to pick out his pieces with a color scheme in mind helped to make it all work. Glad to know your son “came around.” I think living in an organized and clean environment actually makes you accomplish more…makes it easier to find things more quickly. Maybe our son will come around to that line of thinking one day. :)

JenniferfromVA - October 3, 2015 - 12:51 pm

Well done Kelly!!! I have to admit, I am not sure I would have even known where to begin with the space. Making it function well FOR EVERYTHING was not easy I know. It looks SO AWESOME! I love the color choices…..and his comments about his place being functional NOT DECORATED cracks me up!!! Sounds like my son! But I know when he takes a look at his place he JUST HAS to thrilled his mama helped because it looks trendy and amazing! Hugs to you!
We had to start with “function” first because with a space that small, every single item really counts. We knew a desk and bed of some sort had to be the first items chosen. We started looking online for those items before we even left. I really wish I had had photos to see it before we got there…and window measurements. I could have made a window treatment for him, and we could have chosen furniture from colors in that. Oh well, it all worked out in the end. Thank you so very much for the compliments on the room! It was a lot of work, but well worth it. :)

Road Trip: The Campus at Yale and a Little Dining in New Haven

YaleThe main purpose of this road trip was to move our son into his apartment in New Haven, Connecticut as he began law school at Yale.  Along the way I have shared with you quaint old towns, wonderful inns, some fun shopping, delicious dining, and an assortment of not-to-be-missed scenery, but today’s post is just a bit different.  We left Vermont and drove back to New Haven to add the last few things to his apartment, and we toured the awe-inspiring campus at Yale, camera in hand. Today I want you to just soak in this amazing architecture.

Yale theatre

A large portion of the area near our son’s apartment is the campus at Yale.  It blends in with the city, or rather the city blends in with it.  It is often hard to tell where one starts and the other ends in this part of New Haven.

Yale 1With three children who have traveled across many states in determining where they want to attend school, we have seen our fair share of campuses, but it is safe to say that none are as impressive as Yale.  I thought Duke was close, (and it is beautiful) but after touring Yale, Duke comes in second.

Yale clock towerYale clock tower 2

As you can tell from these buildings, Yale is old – very old.  Its history began in the 1640s when colonial clergymen originated the idea for the school.  It was chartered in 1701 and named Yale College in 1718 after Elihu Yale, a Welsh merchant who donated money, books, and a portrait of King George I.  The Yale School of Medicine was chartered in 1810 and the Law School in 1824.

Yale 6The campus covers 310 acres, and its 260 buildings have architectural styles reflecting every major one that’s been designed in the last 300 years.  I know I should have been “hearing” some grand classical piece of music playing in my head as we strolled along looking at these buildings – something immensely academic, but what I was really hearing in my head was this…

Yes, the theme from Harry Potter.

Yale 2

Because to me, it looked straight out of Hogwarts (which technically, could be considered to be academic too.:))  If we had been there at night, I am sure the similarities would have been even stronger.

Yale campus

Yale 4Yale 5

Yale 7

Yale library

Just look at the frieze above this door into the law school.  While this one shows the students asleep and the professor engaged, at the other door into this building there is a matching one with the professor exhausted and the students engaged.:)

Yale doorwayWe went inside the Sterling Memorial library and stood in awe.  I can’t begin to imagine what it would take to recreate that kind of detail today.

Yale library interior

Yale interiorI even liked the bicycles outside it.:)

Yale bicycles

When you walk through Yale, you come out on the other side where there are shops bordering the campus. Across the street, you see this small park sandwiched between two busy roads.

New Haven parkOften times, a market with fresh produce is in the park area, and more places to shop are across that street.

Yale shopping

This is the view looking back from that side towards Yale.

New Haven Maison MathisThere is a wonderful restaurant there on the street level called Maison Mathis.

New Haven Maison Mathis exteriorOur son’s apartment and The Study Hotel (where we were staying) are on Chapel Street, so we spent most of our time on that side of the campus, but one day we happened to drive past Maison Mathis.  I loved the looks of it, did a little research, and on our last day in New Haven we had lunch there.

New Haven Maison Mathis interiorIt is owned by two Belgians, so it has a decidedly European vibe. Breakfast is served all day long, and they have some wonderful bakery items along with many other menu choices.

New Haven Maison Mathis menu

When we return, I want to try the Belgian waffle with chocolate.
New Haven Maison Mathis waffle menu

Here are a few of their salads and sandwiches.
New Haven Maison Mathis sandwiches

You take one of the water bottles there to your table self serve.

New Haven Maison Mathis water stationCute table and chairs!

New Haven Maison Mathis seatingAnd divine looking desserts!
(I should have ordered some to go.)

New Haven Maison Mathis dessertsHere is our son’s coffee and sandwich,

New Haven Maison Mathis sandwichand my ratatouille.  It had a good flavor, but I would have liked the veggies cooked a little less so that they were more firm.

New Haven Maison Mathis ratatouilleMy husband’s grilled salmon salad was very good.

New Haven Maison Mathis grilled salmon saladI mentioned that we stayed mostly on the Chapel Street side of the campus while we were in New Haven.  There are quite a few restaurant choices over there as well.  We tried out the vegetarian Claire’s Corner Copia one afternoon.  It has been in business serving vegan and organic foods since 1975.

New Haven Claires Corner

They serve great breakfasts, and Mexican dishes, pizzas, veggie burgers, and a number of other entrees.  I had the eggplant parmigiana, and it was quite tasty.  Here is a small portion of their menu.

part of Claires Corner Copia menu New

My favorite place to eat in New Haven was on Chapel Street – Shake Shack.  We ate there quite a few times – and at all hours of the night!  (It was about a 4 minute walk from our son’s apartment making it quite convenient.)

Shake Shack New

Take a look at all the goodies on the menu!

Shake Shack menu New Haven

I couldn’t resist those crinkle cut fries, milkshakes, and concretes.  It is a good thing there is not one in our area at home!

Shake Shack burger and

Are you hungry now?

I have one more place for you to see from New Haven in the next post – our son’s finished apartment. Remember..he wanted it “functional not decorated,” so do not expect a lot more than minimal.

I hope to see you back here soon.

Until next time…


Peggy - September 27, 2015 - 11:09 pm

Awesome architecture! It boggles my mind to think of the work and workmanship that went i
nto erecting theses beautiful structures. And, as usual, enjoy your road trip food blogging. Nothing is as much fun. What did we do before Yelp?

I agree. How in the world did anyone design those buildings way back when? Finding workers who could do that kind of craftsmanship today would be difficult I bet.
I do not know what I would do without Yelp, Tripadvisor, and Pinterest. We have had no internet service here for the last 10 days, and it has been HARD. I have had limited access in the evenings with the hotspot from a phone, so my computer use has been very limited the last couple of weeks. :(

Julie in Asheville - September 27, 2015 - 11:25 pm

Kelly, if you run out of things to do while newly retired, think about starting your own tour company. I particularly enjoy your emphasis on the food!
Too funny Julie! I don’t think I will EVER run out of things to do. I have been so busy, I wonder how in the world I had time to work before! I keep waiting for things to “slow down,” but it doesn’t seem like that is likely.

Donnamae - September 27, 2015 - 11:30 pm

Beautiful campus….love all that architecture! And yes…I am always hungry after these travel posts! 😉
Donnamae, you could spend an entire semester studying just the architecture at Yale. I’m sorry I am making you all hungry. There is only one more food post from the road trip. So maybe that won’t be too tempting for you! 😉

cindy hattersley - September 27, 2015 - 11:39 pm

I had forgotten how gorgeous that campus is. It has been quite a few years since we visited. Congrats to your son. Love that he wants his apartment “undecorated” translation “so it doesn’t look like mom did it!C!!
Cindy, it warrants another visit back for you. :) Your “interpretation” of our son’s message was right on target! Discussing hanging pictures on the wall even stressed him out. LOL

Sherry Myers - September 27, 2015 - 11:58 pm

You are right. I am from NC, and love the beautiful Duke campus, but I believe Yale has it beat. Oh, those ceilings. Loved the tour, and I think I need a midnight snack!
(Thank you for your response. Prayers for your request.)
When we first visited Duke with our son, I was so very impressed. I had never seen such amazing architecture in person. It is still worth a visit to that campus to view it, but Yale has even more and has so much more history.
Thank you for the prayers!

Rosemary - September 28, 2015 - 4:46 am

Hi Kelly! … My first time commenting! I m not sure how I found your blog but I feel very blessed that I did!! I feel it’s a cross between my favourite magazine and coffee with my best friends … It’s so friendly, welcoming and full of great information and advice. Well done, you must be so proud of what you’ve achieved.
I started following at a time when, due to ill health I was housebound and having just to chill and relax so I had time to go back and read from your first post … So each day instead of being bored and frustrated as well as in pain I had your blog as a cheerful distraction that transported me to parts of the US I hadn’t been to and to revisit parts I had … Yale, New Haven, Cape Cod. You gave me ideas on projects to do around the house, recipes and lots of information for future holidays! Thank you!! :)
Rosemary … in England
Rosemary, what a beautifully sweet comment. Thank YOU so much. :) I am happy that the blog was able to take you places and give you inspiration for things that were a distraction from your health problems. It sounds like you no longer have those issues, so I am glad for that (but please keep reading the posts! LOL) I have 3 or 4 more for the road trip and then we will be back in the land of decorating for fall around here. I hope you are having a great week!

Tricia - September 28, 2015 - 5:47 am

Thank you, Kelly, for showing us around Yale. Can only imagine being surrounded by such magnificent buildings while going to school. Just reading this makes me feel smarter! Enjoy reading about your food choices, too! Those burgers….yum!
You are quite welcome Tricia. I am happy to be your tour guide. :) When you are surrounded by that architecture, you can’t help but feel academic!

At Rivercrest Cottage - September 28, 2015 - 7:22 am

don’t know what’s more appealing, the food or the buildings. A lovely to look at post.
I am glad you found it appealing…all of it! (I’ll take the buildings in this case over the food. They were amazing.)

Karen - September 28, 2015 - 7:42 am

Beautiful tour of a beautiful campus, and my favorite part, your music selection, how fun!
Oh goodness…thank you Karen! The minute we set foot on that campus, Harry Potter was in my head (and our son agreed.) Glad you enjoyed the musical selection. :)

Jill - September 28, 2015 - 8:11 am

What a beautiful campus! Great architecture like that just makes me swoon. But I have to confess….while you’re thinking of Harry Potter, I’m thinking of Gilmore Girls. :)
Thanks for the tour!
Jill, that architecture is certainly swoon-worthy. :) Yes, Gilmore Girls would be another connection for Yale! I’ve read though that the filming of the Yale parts of it were on a special stage made of plaster in Burbank, California and at Pomona College (not sure where that is.)

Louvina - September 28, 2015 - 9:47 am

Mercy Me! What a GREAT post, Kelly!! I was so impressed with the buildings, shops and surroundings. It is hard to wrap my head around how long this school has been in existence. The one building reminded me of St. Patrick’s in NYC. Wonder have they done many restorations after all these years? Hope your son is settled into his studies and know he is ultra busy by now. Two things — never heard of “concretes” and doggy orders on a menu!! How delightful!! Thank you for all the effort and hard work put into your posts!:)
Louvina, thank you for your words of appreciation. :) It IS hard to wrap your head around how long Yale has been around…especially in our world of “here today..gone tomorrow.” It is nice to be around places of such permanence. I feel sure there have been many restorations over its long history. Concretes….yum yum!! And that was my first time seeing dog items on a menu too.
Have a good day!

Dawn - September 28, 2015 - 9:50 am


I was thinking Harry Potter too! I am the Literature teacher for fifth through eighth grade and my ring tone is Harry Potter (When Hedwig brings the mail)! I would have enjoyed looking at all of the architecture and eating those yummy foods! I would have had to try Claire’s for the simple reason that I was born in 1975! It looks delicious and fun! The Shake Shack looks so sweet! I love that it is open all hours of the night for those late night cravings! Yum and fun! Thanks for sharing! Take care.
Dawn, great minds think alike. :) I am going to have to check into having the Harry Potter ring tone. That is just great! Shake Shack came in very handy for us with our late suppers. It seemed that we did not want to take a break to eat until very late (and they were just so darn conveniently located to us.)

Mechelle - September 28, 2015 - 10:54 am

The music was a nice touch. Maybe it could be added more often?
And the Croques Madame….oh my.
Love adding music to the posts. It just requires a bit more time, but we shall see.
Yes, that Croques Madame sounded fabulous!

Garden, Home and Party - September 28, 2015 - 12:04 pm

Okay, that settles it, I am making a trip to New Haven a priority. I have seen parts of Yale years ago. It’s absolutely the most impressive U.S. college I’ve ever seen. Oxford, in England may rival it due to size and history, but not by much. I agree the Harry Potter theme is perfect…in fact (don’t judge) the opening notes of the fabulous John Williams tune is my mobile phone ringtone. :-)
I love the Maison Mathis menu and charm of the establishment. The word on Shake Shack (if its the same) is that they are expanding…I hope they bring one to California soon!
Great tour. I love all I’ve seen so far of New Haven.
It is so very impressive. The towers really make you feel small.
I love that the music is your ringtone!! That’s fun.
I have heard that Shake Shack is expanding.(Buy their stock!) But I do not know exactly where. It seems that they add local selections to their concrete mixes (like pecan pie in Georgia and blueberries in Maine.) If they go to California, I wonder what they would add in there?

Leslie Anne @ Fairhope Supply Co. - September 28, 2015 - 12:24 pm

I love how you eat your way around cities. We’d make good travel partners.
Oh yes, on both counts! Love eating my way through cities!! (especially the desserts. :) )

kathy - September 28, 2015 - 12:47 pm

Wow, Kelly! This post is fabulous! What a gorgeous campus Yale is! You know exactly what angle to use in photographing places and foods! I feel like I was there and almost like I got to eat that cheeseburger! You must be so, so proud of your son! OMGoodness, you were in BHG and your son is at Yale! That is HUGE! My daughter and her husband just bought a 1920s house and I pinned the photograph of the bakery with the three lights, subway tiles and open shelving for ideas for their kitchen. Thanks for more inspiration! I am excited to see your son’s apartment soon!
Gosh, thanks for all your compliments Kathy! We are very proud of our son. :) How fun for your daughter! Our first home as newlyweds (a rental) was built in the 1920’s. Those homes have such charm! I am glad you could find ideas for her. I hope she has fun decorating it! :)

Gina - September 28, 2015 - 1:51 pm

What a beautiful campus!! You just can’t beat the detailed architecture of the older colleges. I’m sure you enjoyed walking around getting a feel for the place your son will be spending his next few years. :) What woman doesn’t love reading about all the cute cafes and eateries too! Yum, I would have loved the Shake Shack too!! I had never heard of “concretes” though, haha I “googled it. :) And yes, I am hungry. Off to find some lunch. Wish I had something like that grilled salmon salad. 😉
It was quite beautiful! Although I think the feeling I came away with was “overwhelmed” by the campus.
Shake Shack was worthy of several meals. :) We used to have a restaurant here that made concretes, but they closed a number of years ago. It was good to enjoy the cold treat there in New Haven during their “heat wave.”

Vicki - September 28, 2015 - 1:54 pm

So enjoying these posts, Kelly. I think my favorite place is that magnificent library. It just exudes a reverence for books and learning. I think I’d feel smarter just standing in there. :)
It does exude a reverence for anything academic. I know exactly what you mean about feeling smarter just being in there! :) It also makes one feel very small in such a huge space.

Ellen - September 28, 2015 - 5:59 pm

I have been enjoying your tour of this part of the country. You take great delight in torturing me with all this food, I can tell, when I am trying so hard to be good! Ah well — your lucky son, going to Yale Law School — he will be a fine lawyer someday, and you can congratulate yourselves on getting him launched. There is a lot of satisfaction in seeing your children do well.
I’m sorry…I did not mean to torture you. :( I am glad you are trying to be good though. Our son is working hard at Yale, and it is challenging. Yes, there is definitely satisfaction in seeing our children succeed, but I will feel much better when I see him graduate (and he will too! LOL)

Arlene@Nanaland - September 28, 2015 - 6:20 pm

Oh my I think I gained five pounds just looking at all that food!! Yum. And I picked up a Cottage Home Christmas magazine today and while I was leafing through it there was your pretty house again!! I really liked the pictures in Cottage Home better than the ones in the other magazine…BHandG I believe? Any way…so glad to say I knew you before you were famous!! Congrats.
Oh dear! I hope we don’t gain weight by looking! (Because I look a lot!!)
I think you mean Southern Cottage magazine, right? The photographs in that article were done by Layla and Kevin Palmer from The Lettered Cottage about 4 years ago. I was so surprised to see this article come out this year! It was good to see an article that included the exterior for a change. The previous one they ran did not include some of the photos that they included this time. Kevin did a good job with the photography when they were here.

Julie @ Creating This Life - September 28, 2015 - 7:37 pm

Congratulations to your son! What a gorgeous place to go to school. Your pictures are beautiful. We spent the weekend in and around our son’s college campus in St. Louis. It’s such fun, isn’t it?
Thank you for your kind compliments Julie. College life is always exciting and fun for visitors (but a lot of work for the students!) I know you enjoyed visiting your son this weekend. :)

DiAnne - September 28, 2015 - 8:39 pm

I can’t wait to see what you have done with the son’s apartment.
The Yale campus is soooo beautiful! I wish your son the very best there and I know he must pinch himself to think he has such a wonderful opportunity in front of him.
The Shake Shack looks sooo good.
Remember our son’s apartment is only one room, so there is not a ton to show…and it’s a guy’s place at that. Yale’s architecture is amazing, isn’t it?! Thank you for the well wishes for our son. He is certainly being challenged there…100 hours of school and school work last week and not a lot of sleep (which is partly why he is coming down with a cold right now I think.) He could probably use something from Shake Shack to make him feel better. :)

Elaine - September 28, 2015 - 11:00 pm

Loved, loved. loved this post! Don’t know if you will think this good news or not :-) :-) BUT. . . there is a Shake Shack “near” you – it’s on Peachtree Road in Atlanta just south of the Paces Ferry intersection. Closer to your home than New Haven. You can thank me later! For now, I thank you for your blog – absolutely one of my favorites; I don’t miss an “edition”.
Thank you Elaine! I am happy that you loved loved loved it! :) Our son now at Yale graduated from Emory University, and he told me about there being a Shake Shack in Atlanta, but I was not sure of the exact location. Thank you for sharing that with me. (I think. LOL) The next time we go through Atlanta, I hope we can stop there. They are expanding locations, so perhaps we will all have one nearer to us soon.
Thank you for reading the blog!!!!

Debra - September 30, 2015 - 10:14 am

Those buildings are amazing. Quite the campus! Looks like it has a lot of wonderful eateries too. You had me drooling by the end of this post. Thanks for showing the menus Kelly, as I like to see what makes up the entries. Yum!! :)
It was an amazing campus. I love to read menus too, so I try to include them when I can. It helps to know what to expect when you go to a new restaurant. If you are near a Shake Shack, you should check them out. :)

Charissa - October 1, 2015 - 5:03 pm

Wow Yale is so pretty what great architecture!! and great photography skills. Your posts always make me so hungry;) lol I just try and think of ways to make the same thing at home YUM
Isn’t the architecture just unbelievable?! (But it really did make me think of Harry Potter. :) ) I am sorry I am making you hungry, but if you can make all the food at home that is great!

Road Trip: Stowe and Waterbury Vermont

Stowe Visitor Center Stowe VTHappy Weekend!  Today we are beginning our drive south towards home, but that does not mean we are through wandering.  Goodness no!  We are exploring two towns in the beautiful state of Vermont before we take the highways back to New Haven, Connecticut.  Our first adventure leads us here…

Smugglers Notch State Park VTto Smugglers Notch State Park outside of Stowe.  If you want a sense of how it feels to drive through parts of the park, take a look at this video by Vermontology.

As we come back towards town, we spy this…

ski lift Stowe VT

In case you didn’t know, Stowe is a major winter destination with dozens of activities in the snow…especially skiing.  Some of their winter ski lifts operate in the summer to offer visitors a ride to the top for amazing views.  We did not take advantage of this because of our budget, and this was my biggest regret of the whole trip.:( If you go, be sure to include this in your activities.

Driving on into the town of Stowe, you find streets with charming shops.

Shaws General Store Stowe Vtshopping in Stowe VTAnd of course we have to go in the coffee shop.:)

Black Cap Coffee Stowe VTBlack Cap Coffee Cafe Stowe VTRight next door is the Butler House.

landscaping at Butler House Stowe VT

Butler House Stowe

Even the realty company has a pretty building!:)

realty Stowe VT

My favorite shop is Juniper, and it has just recently opened there.

JuniperDon’t you just love all the flowers?

Juniper entrance Stowe VTLocated down a little side street from Black Cap Coffee, Juniper carries cards, anything paper, and gifts.
I want you to come inside and see some of the goodies!

Juniper Stowe VT

Juniper shop Stowe VTJuniper paper goods Stowe VT

Juniper shop papergoods Stowe VTHere is a closer look at some of the cute items on that table there.:)

Juniper shop birthday itemsOur son purchases some postcards, and then it’s time to say goodbye to Juniper and to Stowe.
(But I want to be sure and visit it again when we return to Vermont for another trip.)

Juniper windowboxes Stowe VTWe get back in the car, and we are off to the next town, Waterbury.
But before we reach it, our son has us stop here.

Petes Greens Waterbury VTPete’s Greens is an organic farm, and this is one of their farmer’s markets.  It is near the Cabot Cheese Outlet, so you could do some serious eating in the area! (Our son is shopping for one of Pete’s t-shirts.)

Petes Greens interior Waterbury VTPetes Greens produce Waterbury VTPetes Greens truck Waterbury VTWe purchase a few items, and then continue on down the road to Waterbury.

Waterbury VT

brick buildings Waterbury VTWaterbury has a different feel to me, but maybe I’m just not seeing all of the town.  Stowe seems more family oriented, while Waterbury seems to be targeted to a younger crowd with a BIG emphasis on craft beer.

the Blue Stone Waterbury VTEven our lunch location is a brew pub.

Prohibition Pig Waterbury VTProhibition Pig

Prohibition Pig menu Waterbury VTHere is part of our lunch.
(Love that Coke in a bottle.:))

Prohibition Pig lunchAnd even though that part of town does not seem very family oriented, there is one part of Waterbury that most assuredly is

Ben and Jerrys Waterbury VTBen and Jerry’s.:)
Of course we have to make a stop there if we are in Waterbury!

Ben and Jerrys complex Waterbury VTBen and Jerrys menu Waterbury VTMy husband and I both have some kind of coffee flavor.  (They do not carry my favorite – Coffee Heath Bar Crunch.:()  My son has a chocolate something…??  Not sure about his.Ben and Jerrys ice creamIt is all delicious, and we torture our son by making him oblige the traditional tourist photo-op there.:)

Ben and Jerrys Ice Cream Waterbury VTAnd that is the sweet ending of the Vermont portion of the road trip.

The next leg of our adventure takes us back to the Study Hotel in New Haven, Connecticut. (Remember it?)  We’ll be looking around the city of New Haven and the campus of Yale in the next post (hopefully this weekend!)


And then you can finally see the before-and-after of our son’s apartment there early next week.:)
Stay tuned!

Until next time…


Sherry Myers - September 25, 2015 - 11:21 pm

Quaint Vermont..beautiful. Your return trip looks like it was as enjoyable as the beginning. And Coke in a bottle..true comfort food, not to mention the treat of Ben and Jerry’s. Believe it or not, one of my favorite photos was the last one..beautiful architecture..what would the cost of constucting that building be today? Looking forward to touring Yale. Thanks for inclulding the beautiful flowers along the way too.
Happy Weekend,

Gracia @ Gracious Offering - September 25, 2015 - 11:22 pm

Kelly, what a fun trip you all had! Quite a send off for your son and fun way to celebrate your retirement! I love stopping in little towns and checking our their shops and restaurants…and coffee shops, of course! Looking forward to the before and after of your son’s apartment. Warmly, Gracia

Tricia - September 26, 2015 - 12:19 am

Kelly, this is just too much fun. I love Vermont. Enjoying each stop you make and now I have to look up Juniper. Have been wondering if you would get to Ben and Jerry’s. Stopped there many times over the years, done the tour, and afterwards filled up on pints of ‘seconds’ ice cream in which one might discover far too many (?!) large pieces of a particular ingredient (Coffee Heath Bar is my favourite as well). Enjoy your weekend!

Vicki - September 26, 2015 - 12:56 am

What beautiful towns! Loved all of it!

Julie in Asheville - September 26, 2015 - 4:36 am

Love, love the posts this trip. The Northeast has always been a destination wish, especially Vermont. I just love the name. Also, ancient family members are from MA and Nantucket. Did you ever post pics of Nantucket, Kelly? Don’t think I’ll ever get there, but would love to hit Maine for some lobster at the end of July, festival time. Oh, well, if I’m not able to make it, your posts are the next best thing.

Cheri - September 26, 2015 - 8:28 am

I love the General Store, coffee shop and that red truck. Stowe looks like so quaint and I wish our town could look like that.

Lynne - September 26, 2015 - 8:53 am

Kelly, I have enjoyed these trips and pictures so much. This trip to New England is on my bucket list when my husband retires. Are these posts on your pinterest board? I need to remember these places when I get to go someday. Tks so much for sharing!

Garden, Home and Party - September 26, 2015 - 10:14 am

I was really impressed by the flowers. I would have guessed you visited in the spring from the look of all of the blooms. I can spend hours in little shops, especially a great card/stationary/gift shop.
I love coffee ice cream. I’ll have to look for that Ben & Jerry’s flavor…yummy.
This has been fun. Thank you.

mari1017 - September 26, 2015 - 12:12 pm

Kelly, this is just such a wonderful excursion for you all! My sister in NY is attempting to move up there as soon as she sells her house. Her youngest is a freshman at University of Vermont and loving it. They have been looking and praying for that opportunity to move to some land and a great house! From reading your post today I feel like was just up there with her :-)
Thanks for all the photos and suggestions – you do take such care with your posts and have a great eye for the details!

Gina - September 26, 2015 - 12:13 pm

What a fun road trip this has been! 😉 I love to stop in little towns like this and eat at local dives. The buildings are so cute and I would have loved Juniper too. I’m looking forward to the Yale tour. Love a college campus tour, especially older ones with so much history and great architecture. :)

Dawn - September 26, 2015 - 5:31 pm


This is quite a quaint road trip we are taking. I would have had to have bought at cute green and turquoise tea towel at Juniper. The best part of a road trip is usually the food. I would have loved the Ben and Jerry’s ice cream stop. My daughter loves Ben and Jerry’s! Thanks for sharing! Take care.

Arlene@Nanaland - September 26, 2015 - 7:11 pm

Kelly, I am loving your trip!! Vermont is one of my favorite places. My brother in law lived in Bennington and we got to visit him there about ten years ago. New England is on my Bucket List!!

Robin - September 26, 2015 - 11:26 pm

Hi Kelly!

I love this post! Thank you for sharing your trip to Vermont with all of us. I have always wanted to visit the state. Juniper looks like my kind of store as well.

Kathy - September 27, 2015 - 6:43 pm

That was fun! I can’t wait to see what is next!

Charissa - October 1, 2015 - 5:01 pm

Gorgeous I love that you include so many links in your blog and that youtube video of the drive was so great It really make you feel like you were there. I loved getting to see all the veggies that was so beautiful Thanks again for all your hard work.
I am glad that you are enjoying all the road trip posts! Thank you for all your kind comments Charissa!

christi in ma - October 6, 2015 - 11:28 am

I love going on your virtual road trips, Kelly.
Waterbury is a college town so it definitely has a different vibe from Stowe. It’s interesting that you picked that up in the summer when it probably is quieter than usual.
Oh, I forgot it was a college town. That certainly does make a difference in your target audience in a place when you want to draw in business. That makes more sense to me now. Thanks for pointing that out Christi!

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