Tag Archives: Travel

Beyond yachts and mansions: a to-do list for Newport, RI

By Kristy

If you’re stuck in preppy, affluent Newport, RI for say, a conference or a visit with an old friend, you may feel like your only option is to embrace the preppy affluence and just tour mansions in your khakis, and then board a yacht for some chardonnay at sunset.  There are a few things to do that are slightly more interesting than this in Newport, but all-in-all, the best way to see Newport is drink in hand, embracing the ridiculous boat-shoe-wearing, 8-hr-workweek life you’ll never live yourself.

1. Start the first day with lunch at the clam shack Flo’s, near Easton beach, then walk to the start of the Cliff Walk at the other end of the beach, following the full 3+ miles of coastline and mansions, past the 40 steps and Salve Regina (which has to be the most gorgeous college campus in the world). If beachside cocktails are more your style, head to the Atlantic Beach Club’s beach bar across from Flo’s. If you’re lucky, a beach volleyball game will be in process.
2. Drive Bellevue and Ocean Drive (pit stops at the Breakers or Rosecliff for tours), then, to imagine the lifestyle you’ve just glimpsed, head to Castle Hill Resort for cocktails on white adirondac chairs outdoors on a plush green lawn that slopes to the boat-filled ocean. Now its time to tick off Mansions from the mandatory Newport to-do list…
6. Browse all the Island named establishments: Island Books is great, as is Island Cinema…then head to the Wharves (Bowens, etc) for some nautical shopping or to pick up some fresh fish at the market on the dock (another great spot for a boat-side cocktail – keep ’em coming).
8. If you head back to Newport for something like the folk festival at Fort Adams (I highly recommend this, albeit a dry event…you can still float nearby in your boat), then be sure to avoid the accidental $8 crossing of the Pell bridge…google maps will trick you every time.
7. In the historic district you’ll find independent coffee shops, Schmear bagels, an art house cinema, many well maintained historic houses, and the oldest pub in the USA, The White Horse Tavern.  By far the most interesting part of Newport.
3. Dinner is a must at Talulah on Thames, or the newest farm-to-table spot TSK (Thames Street Kitchen), both of which serve fresh, seasonal, inventive and endlessly tasty cuisine. TSK is BYO, which can be a plus with all the nice wine stores in town.
4. For a more casual dinner, head to the hip block of Thames St to Firehouse, followed by cocktails and dessert at next door Asterisk (which bottles it’s own flavored vodkas). Then head down the road to ultra-mod cocktail house Christie’s, where you can imbibe outdoors or in a swing-chair.  Cold-fusion gelato is nearby, too, if you need it.
5. What NOT to do?  I was very excited that Newport had its own rhumerie (Tew), but when we arrived 10min before closing we were turned away rum-less.  Later, barkeeps told us the rum wasn’t worth a taste anyway.  So there.

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Posted by on July 20, 2011 in Kristy, Travel


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The ultimate packing list and travel-planning list for the travel nerd

Documents and Purse
Travel itineraries, confirmations for flight, hotel, car/transport, tickets/passes, conference info
Travel info: guidebooks, articles, directions/maps, language book
Phone and chargers (incl. car charger)
Laptop and chargers
Camera and chargers (and card reader and mini tripod and underwater cameras and extra battery)
Ipod, chargers, dock
Wallet, license, passport, money/cards
Notebook and pen
Medications, tissues, toiletry kit, lip gloss, moisturizer, mints/gum
Neck pillow
Foreign travel: money belt, currency, extra meds, adapters, vaccinations, check credit cards, health insurance, passport, etc.
Day bag/backpack; purse
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Advice from one beach tourist to another

by Lindsay

After a week-long trip to a resort in Mexico, I made a few observations about my fellow tourists, and learned some lessons that I think others should reflect on before hitting the beach or traveling.

1. If your girlfriend is passed out on the floor, don’t guzzle your wine while two other men attend to her.

2. Male belly button rings are never acceptable.

3. Buying cigars could result in a drug deal.

4. Breast feeding a child the same size as you while on the beach is not OK.

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Posted by on April 27, 2011 in Abroad, Guest Listers, Travel


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Axe-murderers, Bad Art, and Old Beer

by Kristy and Kristen

We make good travel partners because we both like to (lightly) research weird things to do and then commit to them 100%. Inspired by the oddities of New England, we recently planned and executed a day trip that began in Fall River and ended in Boston.  Here were our picks:

If the tour leaves you wanting more, book a room!

1. Lizzie Borden House, Fall River 
Fall River, Massachusetts, is a depressed factory town with a telling motto of “We’ll Try,” although it honestly doesn’t feel like anyone has in quite some time. It is most famous for the 1892 murders of Andrew and Abby Borden, of the kid-friendly jump rope rhyme, “Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one.” We took a tour of Lizzie’s home, led by what appeared to be a 16-year old girl with a heavy Boston accent and a to-go cup of soda she never put down. Don’t judge her! She is incredibly well informed on the history and mysteries surrounding the murders, and she is working on her mortician certification. So, we guess that answers the question of whether working at such a place leads one to odd life choices. During the tour we were encouraged to recreate the death scene in the living room, and to guess whether Lizzie really was the murderer.  If you haven’t had enough of the Borden saga, you can spend the night at the B&B, visit the cemetery where the Bordens are buried, or try to gain entrance to the historical society which contains many Borden-related relics.

Yes, this art is at the entrance to the loo.

2. Museum of Bad Art, Dedham and Somerville 
The Museum of Bad Art, or MOBA, asks tough questions such as “Are those ice creams or mountains?” and “What would Mary Todd Lincoln look like with poinsettias on her head?” We visited the Dedham location, which is next to the men’s bathroom in a local theater (the website claims, “the nearby flushing helps maintain a uniform humidity”). Whoever wrote the captions to the found and donated pieces in the collection deserves a Pulitzer.

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6 Provocative Museum Exhibits of 2011

By Kristy

Right now, around the world, museums are clamoring for patrons by hosting some of the most obscure, unusual and provocative exhibits.  Here is my round-up of the best related to science, on view right now.

1)      Health for Sale at Philadelphia Museum of Art

A great collection of medical posters as art.

2)      Sexual Nature at the Natural History Museum, London

Explores sexual behavior and the results for natural selection.

3)      High Society at the Wellcome Collection, London

This provocative exhibit on the  history and science of recreational drugs, has now ended.  But the Wellcome Collection never disappoints.  Dirty your mind while checking out the current Dirt exhibit, for example.

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Posted by on April 17, 2011 in Kristy, Pop Culture, Science, Travel


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The Best Way to Spend a Day in Boston (and grow tired of Paul Revere)

By Kristy

If its your first time in Boston, and you’re here just for the day, or just for the night, here are my top picks for seeing all the city has to offer:

1. I won’t tell you to start with this (but you really should), just squeeze it into the day when someone can give you a ride to this out-of-the-way spot: free tour (and 3 free beers!) at the Sam Adams Brewery

Sam Adams - have a beer, and forget why hes an important historical figure

2. Where you really should start your day is Boston Common. Get a coffee (at Dunkin’ Donuts, if you must), and lounge or wander until you’re awake.  Then, follow the brick-line away from Boston common along the Freedom Trail (you may need a map/guidebook to do this effectively without getting lost, and without missing the pertinent historical stops).  When you reach Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall, take a break.

Are you sick of hearing about Paul Revere yet?

3. Have lunch at the historic Union Oyster House.  Billing itself as America’s oldest restaurant, the Oyster House also features fantastic (albeit uninspired) seafood, and the booth frequented by JFK himself.  Around the corner from the Oyster House are other historic bars, The Bell in Hand and The Green Dragon.

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Posted by on April 14, 2011 in Boston, Kristy, Travel


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Best Unusual Bathrooms Around the World

by Kristy

Editor’s Note: Please email us at tyrannosauruslists at, or leave a comment below, if you have any bathrooms to add to this growing list!  Pictures are preferable, but not required.

This list will undoubtedly keep growing, as I travel more in search of bizarre bathrooms.  But for now, here are my top picks:

1. Drink a beer in a former public loo, under street level (London, England)

2. Enjoy a historic art deco (open-stall) loo for men (Berlin, Germany)

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