Visiting Aurora, New York and the MacKenzie-Childs Headquarters.
Get ready for photo overload!
If you follow along on Instagram or snapchat, you know that a little over a week ago, I had the most amazing opportunity to go to Aurora, New York and visit the MacKenzie-Childs headquarters. It was such a dreamy trip.
It’s no secret that I really love my job and feel extremely fortunate to have found a passion for this early on. There have been a handful of trips that I’ve felt absolutely honored to go on (harry & david, carmel valley ranch, kendall Jackson, etc) and have left feeling energized, ridiculously lucky and inspired – and this now tops the list.
I have loved MacKenzie-Childs for possibly my entire life. It is possible, since they began a year before I was born. I mean, take one look at it. The bright colors, bold patterns, crazy pieces. Is it even a shock that I love this?!
But the main reason I have loved their décor is because my grandma was a huge fan. And she first found it in a store in Petosky, Michigan while we were visiting one year. Even this past August, before I knew about this trip and before I knew I’d get a chance to work with MacKenzie-Childs, I walked into a store that carried the brand and just felt… comforted. I know it sounds completely crazy but it’s one of those nostalgic things. It’s one of those places that we always went on a day of shopping with my mom and grandma, and it’s just kind of routine and a tradition to take a walk through. Since you know of my love and strong connection with that area, the mere fact that MacKenzie-Childs is a part of this memory is huuuuuge for me.
So when I was invited on this trip, I nearly died of excitement.
First, the town of Aurora! It’s straight out of a book. Or a movie. I was so excited to visit this part of New York because I had never been before. I wish this trip had happened a few weeks later so we could see the leaves changing, but it was still absolutely stunning. The town was incredibly charming and lovely. Completely adorable.
We stayed at the Aurora Inn and the room was to.die.for. So cute and full of character – and it just happened to have a door to a huge balcony that overlooked the water. I’m currently trying to decide if I should take my mom or Eddie back there first. Apparently there are a TON of wineries nearby that I need to try – as so many of you mentioned on instagram. I want to make plans to go back now!
(They bring coffee and muffins to your door EVERY morning. Um, hi, can I get this service at home?!)
Cutest ever, right?!
Our first night there, we ate at Fargo Bar & Grill (um, MacKenzie-Childs actually had its start in the BASEMENT of this place) where we were served this adorable MC cake. How awesome is this?! It is the 20th anniversary of the courtly check pattern (the black and white – I had no idea it was called that), hence the celebration.
The next day, we spent a big chunk of time at the headquarters. I.was.in.heaven. Whoa whoa whoa.
Every single piece is HAND PAINTED. I can’t even imagine. You know that I don’t have an artistic or crafty bone in my body. But! We got to paint our own plate. It was anxiety inducing, to say the least. They are sending it to us after it is glazed and I’ll be sure to include a pic.
The grounds are beautiful. This huge old farmhouse is decked out, head to toe (seriously, like even the wallpaper, doors and every piece of tile in the place) with everything MacKenzie-Childs. They give tours of the house everyday and we spent the whole time being all wide-eyed over each room. It’s crazy!
We finished off the trip with an amazing dinner back at the Aurora Inn, where we coincidentally also met the maker of the American Girl Dolls (you might have seen me snap this!) and I absolutely flipped out. Like, to the point here I was nearly crying. The minute I saw her I was like “I AM SAMANTHA YOU CHANGED MY LIFE!”
Those books are one of the reasons I was such an avid reader and loved to write my own stories. It was super inspiring to meet her.
No, really, I have to come back here now.
For dinner at the Aurora Inn, I had the fried chicken which was out of this world. It is never something I order but our server recommended it and wow, it was fantastic. We started with every app on the menu, and this one below is the caprese tart. I dieeee.
The Aurora Inn also makes their own ice cream and this was chocolate cherry. Can I drive up there every time I need an ice cream fix? Possibly.
I just can’t even say enough about how much I loved this trip. There is nothing that I love more than when people are wildly passionate about what they do. Getting to experience this first hand in such an inspiring brand was so, so cool.
Now that I want to go back here, you guys need to give me tips and travel ideas for the surrounding area! I’m already thinking book signing… yes!
(MacKenzie-Childs graciously covered the cost of this trip along with lodging. I’ll be working with them in 2017 to develop some recipes and I can’t wait to show you guys!)