Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Have sippy cup, will travel

Just booked our first fam vacay to visit friends in San Francisco in January! The Pickle is United's newest frequent flying tot...can't wait to get his official card in the mail.

Just saw this post yesterday from Travel Savvy Mom about visiting San Francisco with kids --
lots I did during my 2008 trip and definitely some new things to try.

Parents with kiddos who have flown across the coast with a tot: please send travel tips. :)

Friday, October 28, 2011

A new state!

Knocked off another state this week. I hadn't even realized that I've never been to Virginia before. To me, I guess it's just one of those states that feels like I have to have visited at some point.

I was in Richmond for work, and I was fortunate enough to visit during the city's Restaurant Week (Cleveland's is next week!) I tried The Hill Cafe in the Church Hill neighborhood on Wednesday night and got a great meal for its Restaurant Week special of $25.11, of which $2.11 is donated to the food bank.

When visiting someplace new, I like to try local cuisine as much as possible, so I sampled fried oysters, shrimp and grits with bacon, and pecan pie. Maybe I'm the only one who doesn't know this, but the pecan pie I had from two different places had a lot of syrupy chocolate. When I've had it in the past near home, I don't remember it being so chocolately.

Last night, we tried Comfort, which was just featured in GQ this week. Comfort is to Richmond as Melt is to Cleveland -- cult following, comfort food, funky staff and no rezzies accepted. Each dish comes with a choice of two to three Southern sides (of course I opted for three). I had the luscious meatloaf with sweet potatoes, squash casserole and fried okra. I also tried a Legend Brown, a yummy, local brew.

After dinner, I convinced our group to check out The Fan neighborhood since it sounded cool. We went to tiny Bacchus, but since there wasn't room at the bar, we moved on to The Fan House. Lots of cool drink selections here, and the mixologist didn't disappoint. I tried a proseco drink (#11) with sweet potato purée because it sounded so crazy, and it was goooood.

I was disappointed that places seemed to be pretty spread out in The Fan since we couldn't just walk from place to place. I wish I had some daylight hours to explore, particularly since I heard there are a ton of galleries in that area.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the charming old row houses from the 1800s in the city, particularly those by VCU, this year's March Madness Cindarella story. (Incidentally, I saw Davidson soon after its storybook March Madness a few years ago during a Charlotte trip.) I also liked the refurbed old tannery and tobacco buildings in the city...so much character.

I wouldn't be disappointed if I was able to visit Richmond again, particularly since it's 90 minutes from Virginia Beach. Hopefully I can get some daylight hours to properly explore the neighborhoods and galleries.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Doing Good with Foster the People

Yesterday was another mash-up of eating out, shopping and connecting with former Clevelanders, this time with a volunteer twist.

My friend Carli has been doing PR for the Do Good Bus, which has linked up with the band Foster the People during its U.S. tour. The Do Good Bus kidnaps Foster the People fans who are up for an afternoon of mystery volunteering in the city where the band is playing that night.

I made a donation to help get the bus on the road and my pic made the back of the bus (I'm below the flash to the left).

Before catching the Do Good Bus, I browsed some shops in Bucktown and Wicker Park (wait till Pickle sees his surprise). My faves were Psychobaby (custom baby clothes), The Red Balloon, P45 and Cynthia Rowley. I kid you not, but the only thing I bought for myself were some cult Cynthia Rowley Band-Aids. Trust me, I've spent enough on meals and wine this week.

The Do Good Bus took us to an organization called The Gaia Movement, which collects clothes, toys and books in bins throughout Chicago, farms a small garden to source food for a church's food pantry and teaches people about sustainability and the environment.

I sorted and cleaned books and helped box them up for Christmas deliveries for kids...ahhh, so heartwarming. I had a great time meeting new people and comparing our best book finds. Mine were a bunch of Harlequin novels clearly aimed at lusty single moms. See below.

When I was going through the piles of books, one of the garden team leaders came over and asked if I wanted to help out with the garden. I sheepishly told her I'm not an outdoor girl and that I was enjoying the cool, shaded warehouse environment. :)

Once we got back into the city, the band interrupted its sound check to come by and say hi. We got a picture snapped of Mark Foster, Carli and me to represent the Cleveland connection. (Note that I made Carli pose with the broom she was using the clean the bus.) Mark was nice enough to sign the postcard I was sending to Dylan.

It's so funny, but when Carli and I saw the band in Cleveland in June at the Grog Shop, they were parked on the street with one van that was hauling them around the country. Four months later, they have an entourage of four sweet buses (five couting the Do Good Bus) and will be on SNL Saturday (featuring a surprise guest!!).

Heading home today to see my boys, whom I miss like crazy. Can't wait to veg and eat salads for the next few days.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Michigan Avenue and Two Dinners

Yesterday was a lovely, relaxing day. I'm staying in Bucktown, so I found a gym to help me lessen the guilt of all the gorging I've been doing. However, I didn't even make it back home before stopping to eat a cheddar and figs grilled cheese sandwich at a wonderful cafe called Birchwood. The staff are so friendly and helpful, and I loved sitting on the patio. (Even DailyCandy wrote about it, so you know it's awesome.)

I spent the majority of my day on Michigan Avenue, and the blisters on my feet are living proof. Strangely, my wallet really isn't much emptier from that jaunt. I've been spending all my money on food and drink vs. goods. However, at Zara, I purchased mommy-and-me scarves (not matching though). They have BABY SCARVES. BABY SCARVES. The one I bought hopefully will go nicely with the Pickle's pea coat from Gap (I know I have a problem).

I hit up the new Topshop, which just opened a couple weeks ago, but their stuff never fits my linebacker shoulders. I had a moment of panic in the dressing room when I thought I wouldn't be able to get the cute star-pattered sheer top I was trying on back off. No rips!

Met up with friends for drinks and a sampling of the foursquare-raved-about garlic bread at Michael Jordan's new steakhouse in the Intercontinental Hotel. Crowd was older and the service was lackluster, but we were entertained by our server's throwback look to the Robert Palmer Addicted to Love video. And, the garlic bread was amazing. The chicken and waffles appetizer also was really good.

Finally got to go to Avec for a late dinner, and the dates are all that everyone have said they would be. Thankfully, we didn't have to wait too long for a table. My friend Mary and I both had our inaugural sampling of bone marrow, and neither of us were converted fans. However, I still want the antique bone marrow scoops that I saw at the Art Institute on Monday.

Hitting up some baby shops in Bucktown this morning and then meeting up with Carli on the Do Good Bus. Back home to the Cleve tomorrow to relieve Phil of our sick kiddo. He has the worst luck when I travel. :(

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Art and Indian food

So, no extreme relaxation brownie needed yesterday. A visit to the Art Institute of Chicago, some Cakebread chardonnary at The Wit and a delightful meal at Cumin did the trick.

I tried to live tweet my visit to the museum, but Twitter was S L O W yesterday so my tweets weren't quite in real time. Here's a link to them. My faves were the kimono and war posters exhibits and a little one-on-one time with my fave painting above.

My friend suggested that I try the restaurant in the new modern wing, Terzo Piano, and it was fantastic. I had the due piccole, which was a flatbread pizza topped with microgreens from The Chef's Garden in Ohio, goat cheese and beets. I'm so glad I asked my server what it was since it was listed in the salad section and it wasn't really clear what the presentation would be.

After my afternoon at the museum, I walked to Edelman's Chicago office. The building is impossible to miss because it was designed by the same architect as the World Trade Center towers. It's also right by Millenium Park. I walked on the bridge from the new modern wing to Millenium Park, which is something I didn't get to do the last time I was here.

At Cumin in Bucktown, I had my favorite Indian food staples: naan, samosas, paneer mahkani and saag (this time with lamb). Awesome!

After I finish up some work, I'm hoping for a wonderful, wandering afternoon outside in the sun.

Tomorrow, I'm doing an afternoon of volunteering on the Foster the People sponsored Do Good Bus with my friend Carli, who's coordinating publicity for the bus' efforts during the band's U.S. tour. The weather outlook looks great.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Kicking off birthday month in Chicago

Beth (D&E alumna) and Mary (MT alumna) at Big Star
Hello! I am alive. I am surviving the chaotic balancing act that is Christina the individual with Christina the wife and mama the mother. During hectic times, I tend to go social media dark. Here is a glimpse into the light.

I have been busting my ass the pass six weeks trying to prove that I can do it all. Sacrifices include my twitching right eye, hating myself when I put work first, and spending "quality time" with my hubs while I work on my laptop in bed with ESPN on in the background. Such is life, and I'm certainly not the only one.

I find myself in Chicago during the kickoff of my birthday month! and I have the fortune of meeting up with five friends over five days. Mwah! I'm here for a trade show this weekend + Monday and then attempting to take "vacation" the rest of the week. Try, try again, I will continue to attempt. :)

Tonight, I met up with agency alumna from my past two Cleveland jobs in Bucktown. Fun! We tacoed it up at Big Star (super strong and cathartic margaritas), pretentioused it up at Violet Hour (goat cheese=yum and brandy=yuck) and caloried it up at Hot Chocolate (love those lusty Mexican hot chocolates).

The last time I was here, Mingus was in my belly and I was keeping him a secret. Now, I'm trying to sync my schedule so that I can Skype with him and his daddy #firstworldproblems (yes, I just used a hashtag not on twitter...get over it XOXO).

At the NACS show for convenience store execs, here are my favorite new products:

Lazy Larry Extreme Relaxation brownies are da bomb!


Perky Jerky! Holla!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Making the most out of biz trip

This article in USA Today about how to make the most of a business trip by getting out of your hotel, reminded me of all the times I've been able to leverage a work trip for fun. It also reminded me of how frequently I used to travel to work and how that has changed. :(

My favorite travel experiences that were add-ons from business trips were my last Europe trip (my first blog post!), San Francisco and San Diego. All of those were from 2008. Damn. I need to figure out how to do some leveraging, STAT.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Little Italy, Coventry & Gordon Square

Brunching it up at Washington Place Bistro
Ugh. I feel disgusting from all the eating I've done this weekend. But, Jen raved on and on about Cleveland's restaurant scene, so all of the gorging was worth it! And, the Pickle was such a good little diner. 

We started at Washington Place Bistro for brunch in Little Italy. Yay for monkey bread and mimosas! 

From there, we spent a couple hours on Coventry in all of the shops. We hit Big Fun, Next, American Apparel, Winds of Change and City Buddha. (What happened to Brigade??? I didn't know it moved to Beachwood Place.) We would have stopped in Blush, but it was randomly closed.

I CANNOT WAIT to get him in these hilarious American Apparel 70s short with knee socks!
Jen's flight was tonight, so we persuaded Phil to join us at Luxe on the patio since he had never been and Gordon Square is sort of on the way to the airport. Dylan CRUSHED the short rib and potato gnocchi (why wouldn't he?...it's awesome). Then we went across the street to Sweet Moses for malts and sundaes. They had the cutest little table for minis, and Dylan made friends with a little girl and her giant lollipop.
Mmmm..Sweet Moses!
I can't believe we almost hit every place on our list. We only missed Tremont and some East side stuff, but Jen has been to those places before. I realized that I left out Chagrin Falls as a must-see neighborhood. I haven't been in a while, but need to hit up Jeni's soon. Who's in?

Downtown, E. 4th Street & Ohio City

Striping it up at The Greenhouse Tavern rooftop bar.
On Friday and Saturday, Jen practically became mayor of my parking garage since we jetted back and forth to downtown each day. On Friday, we started at the Downtown Farmers' Market where we filled up on food truck eats and bought out Ohio City Pasta. 

Dylan loved his pulled pork enchilada, but he ended up with mud butt the next morning. :(

From Public Square, we walked to the Rock Hall to see the awesome Women Who Rock exhibit. Loved our visit, but we almost missed Gaga's meat dress since its display was obscurely positioned in the exhibit (it's on the 6th floor in the display case on the other side of Rihanna's outfit).

We found the PERFECT souvenir for the Pickle: a Rock Hall maraca. Please note his Rock Hall attendance bracelet.
After the Rock Hall, we went home for Dylan's nap and got ready for our girls' night out. Since Jen interned with the agency I work for, we met up with Lisa, one of my co-workers, at The Greenhouse Tavern. We gorged on dinner (the pot de creme is AMAZEBALLS) and headed up to the rooftop for fresh air and great views of E. 4th Street. 

Love to see this place busy!
We ran into other peeps we knew, including another co-worker, Julia, and Alexa.

Chatting with Julia, we realized all four of us were dressed in stripes and Michael Kors watches.
On Saturday, we headed to the West Side Market to pick up veggies, more pasta (I know) and cottage cheese pirogi (Phil's fave). There was a fun band playing at the Ohio City Open Market, so we stopped by and then visited Room Service and bought hilarious inappropriate Barbie greeting cards. 

Since Jen always shows me awesome Charlotte shops, I really wanted her to see The Dredger's Union, so we went back to E. 4th. 

For dinner, we cooked up beer can chicken, all our amazing Ohio City Pasta (rosemary and roasted red pepper pasta tossed with pesto and roasted red pepper sauce), and made a salad with veggies from our garden and the Market. Mmm!

Jen and I went to see Friends With Benefits (JT's character's name was Dylan!) when the Pickle went to bed. Loved it! Since I had only a few hours of sleep the night before, I passed out when we got home. 

Please see this amazing onesie Jen bought Dylan from wrybaby.com!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Operation Life Doesn't Suck After Baby commences this weekend

Last summer when I was super pregs and had limited traveling options, my favorite out-of-town gal pals came to visit me and my belly. Luckily, this summer, I’m getting a repeat performance.

My friend Jen from Charlotte is visiting this weekend, and Sarah and her minis are coming in next weekend for Dylan’s one-year birthday parties (Yes, parties…one for each side of the fam).

Sarah has been my mom role model ever since I visited her and three-week-old Ella and realized that you can be a mom and not be a hermit. I’m hoping that I have a similar effect on Jen as we eat, shop and stroll in the Cleve off and on with The Pickle.

Here’s the tentative itinerary for the weekend:


Ohio City/Tremont/Gordon Square:

East Side:

When friends come into town, what’s on your must-see list?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Road tripping in the super sexy veggie van

Yesterday was the annual Veggie U Food & Wine Celebration at the Culinary Vegetable Institute in Milan, Ohio. (Note: this Milan is pronounced “Mylan.” I guess I was trying to fancy it up by pronouncing it like the city in Italy. Whoops.) I attended for the first time and had a blast stuffing my face and sweating my ass off (OK, sweating wasn’t so fun, but at least everyone was).

I first heard about Veggie U from my friend Michelle at Cleveland Foodie a couple years ago. Veggie U is a program that educates fourth graders across the country on the importance of making wise food choices and understanding where their food comes from. As a new mom, I am all about that! I’m so proud that my Pickle loads up on the veggies. I love being a Veggie U donor and supporting their efforts.

Since the event was an hour away, a group of us hired a church van super sexy veggie van as deemed by Suzanne as our stylized method of transportation. It was hard to stay sexy since said van didn’t have air besides the lovely wind from the highway that ganstered up my hair. It also had a questionable tire. But, we had a blast with our hors d’oeuvres, Busch beer and seat dancing!

My fave foods from the event were Jeni’s Ice Creams, a goat cheese mousse salad, Washington Place Bistro’s pork and fried tomato dish and a mini champagne bottle with a straw. I waited in line three times for Jeni’s (What? It was hot!). The flavors I tried were goat cheese with cherries, pistachio and honey, lemon and blueberries and a taste of Allison’s sweet corn and black raspberries. I am seriously considering serving some at the Pickle’s one-year birthday party since Heinen’s sells pints.
Jeni & Charity are BFFs!
There was a fun panel discussion that featured The Greenhouse Tavern's Jonathan Sawyer (Noodlecat), Chipotle’s founder Steve Ells, former Gourmet editor Ruth Reichl and Veggie U Farmer Lee Jones. I asked the panel about their favorite veggies and will always think of Farmer Lee Jones whenever I eat asparagus since he said he lusts after them when they’re not in season.
Panel discussion
We noticed on the drive in that part of the farm had a big sign noting that the oregano being grown was for Chipotle. Yay! When Steve Ells said his favorite veggie is broccoli rabe, audience members shouted to make a new burrito with it. Yum!
Oregano for Chipotle!
Near the end of the event, the organizers gave away all of the beautiful fresh veggies on display and I got myself a hefty handful of carrots. I was so excited that the Pickle and I ate some for breakfast. Everyone was right: they are so sweet!

Initially, I had planned to go to Taste of Tremont today, but I think I’ve had my fill of heat and food this weekend. Have fun!

*Disclaimer: I was given a free ticket to the Veggie U Food & Wine Celebration during a blogger dinner at Washington Place Bistro in May.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Tulsa...so close

I have a personal goal of conquering all 50 states. To be considered a legit trip, I have to stay overnight. Since I haven't checked off any new states in a WHILE, I was excited at the chance for a biz trip to Tulsa this month. Well, it was a no go, so Oklahoma will remain lonely for me. 

Got a few visits brewing, but I haven't bought any flights yet. On the horizon: Vegas for Phil's 40th (lucky #7 trip for me!), maybe Boston for a conference for Phil, Chicago and San Francisco to visit a newly relocated friend. I'm also still aching to take the Pickle on an international trip. Stay tuned.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Aureole deliciousness

I'm an idiot and somehow I deleted my earlier post. So, I will try my best to duplicate it.

Tuesday night's dinner was one that ranks in my 10 top. We went to Charlie Palmer's Aureole in Mandalay Bay. The restaurant boasts a giant glass wine tower tended by "flying wine angels." We only saw one "fly" and he looked more stalker stocker than angel.
The rosso bruno tomato and artisanal burrata salad was one of the best that I ever had. Burrata is a cheese made from mozzarella and cream...AHMAZING! The tomatoes were heirloom and the pesto was really light and perfect. And, there was some sort of parmesany, yet sweet crisp that was awesome. I really liked my halibut too, which was in a ginger sauce with udon noodles. 

I struggled with making a dessert selection because there were a lot of great options. To our surprise, our server brought two additional desserts for our table from the chef, whom he said was pleased that several of us were members of the clean plate club (guilty as charged). We had SEVEN desserts on the table for five people. I liked the sorbet sampler best...so refreshing and a great presentation (see the triangle in the bottom right of the photo).

After dinner, we walked the Strip so Julia could see as many hotels/casinos as possible during her first visit. We toured Mandalay Bay, Luxor, New York New York, MGM Grand and The Bellagio.

At MGM Grand, we played roulette and Pai Gow poker. Amazingly, I walked away with extra money in my clutch (after my iPad win, could I get any luckier?). Julia, however, was not so lucky (her ticket below says $.08).

By the time we hit The Bellagio, my feet were walking by themselves. I had a combined total of sleep during my three nights in Vegas of less than 15 hours (totally worth it). But, the ceilings were too pretty to miss and thankfully The Bellagio connects to Vdara via a walkway.

This morning, I napped with the Pickle, so I think I'm back on track.

Good to see you, Vegas. Hope to be back soon for lucky trip #7.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


When Phil and I last came to Vegas in December 2009, City Center was just opening. The hotels looked gorgeous and the elite stores in Crystals were something to see. So, I was excited when I learned I'd be staying at Vdara during this trip.

The hotel is beautiful and LEED certified for sustainability. There's no casino, which was refreshing. (Aria next door has one.) As soon as you open the doors to the lobby, the most wonderful, clean scent greets you. I don't know what it was, but I always found myself smiling as soon as I smelled it.

The suites rock! They're huge: kitchenette, sitting area with couches and chairs and a flatscreen, bed and another flatscreen and a bathroom with a tub and shower. And, Aveda products!

I was able to watch the Bellagio's fountain show from my room and I had a nice view of the Strip.

Vdara connects to the Bellagio via a walkway, and there's a tram within City Center that connects the other hotels and Crystals. Cosmopolitan is right next door and within walking distance, although I will admit that we took a cab back from Marquee ;).

Loved Vdara, and I'd stay there again. Also would love to stay at Cosmopolitan too!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I like to disco

OK, so there was no disco last night, but we did have an AHMAZING time at the Marquee in Cosmopolitan. Frankly, I'm surprised that we made it out at all since we were at the trade show from 7 to 7 after a night of limited sleep. I consumed four cups of Starbucks coffee during the course of the day followed by a double shot of espresso at 8 p.m. just to keep me going. Since it's Julia's first visit, we've been checking things off her to-do list during our evening downtime. Visiting a nightclub was a first for me, so I was motivated to suck it up and stay out.

First, the Cosmopolitan is just beautiful. There are chandeliers everywhere. We picked Marquee because it's the only mega-club open while we're here (Tao and Tryst are fun, but only open Thursday thru Saturday) and because of the buzz. During dinner at Sushi Roku (yum) we signed up for the guest list online, which ended up being a great move since we got comped to get in after about an hour wait in line. There were all kinds of lines: guest list, locals, hotel guests, table rezzies, etc. Since we heard table rezzies require at least a $200 min, we knew we weren't going that route despite how fast that line moved.

After waiting forever (we were so tired we barely chatted), we went up in a party elevator to the 17th floor and walked into an awesome scene: tons of people, DJ on stage, lights, cool mist blowing, giant screen. Just fun. We weaved our way down into the DJ pit and danced, and then went outside for a little bit for the view. There were gaming tables outside ($50 min). I read that there were smaller rooms too, so we walked up a couple flights of stairs to the library. It's super intimate with its own bar, swanky decor, and a closed off balcony with a view of the main room.

Two seconds after we walked in - no joke - we were asked to join a table because a group had more liquor than they could drink...who turns that down? Our new friends said their table rez was for $1,000, but I can't imagine how that could possibly be right. Thankfully they were really nice and not creepy. The super cozy leather couches rocked and were a welcome break for Julia's badass heels.

We got back just before 3 a.m. (who am I????...I have not seen the other side of 2 a.m. in YEARS) and got up by 8 to start another busy day at the show.

Going to dinner tonight and then who knows. I fly back in the morning.

Can't hyperlink within the blog for some reason, so here are some links:

Marquee: http://www.vegas.com/nightclubs/marquee/

Cosmo lobby: http://twitpic.com/51sz1q

Julia's shoes: http://twitpic.com/51sv58

Mwah Monday

I am blowing kisses at yesterday's awesomeness:

Great meetings at the show
Won an iPad at the show's social media pavilion (YAY! I never win anything in Vegas)
Scored some fashion finds....stripes...on sale!
Yummy dinner at Sushi Roku (baked lobster roll was fantastic)
Fun night at Marquee in Cosmopolitan

More deets later...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Beso Las Vegas

It's 11:30 p.m. Vegas time, and I just got back to my hotel room after a yummy dinner, some window shopping and people watching.

At Beso, Eva Longoria's restaurant at Crystals in City Center, Julia and I recalibrated from the flight with some lovely pear and elderberry sangria. (We were tempted to try Eva's Cadillac margarita for $99 - what the eff is Persian lime juice anyway? - but we abstained.)

I really wanted to try the
chili rellenos with short rib and goat cheese, but they were all out. I settled for some guac and a salad with an interesting orange champagne vinegarette.

During our people watching as party goers headed to post-Billboard Awards gatherings, I lamented that the wardrobe I brought is not slutty enough. Actually, I own nothing slutty enough to compete with all of the skin and sparkles we saw. But I will make do.

It's time for bed, little mouse little mouse (kisses to Dylan)...

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sixth time's a charm?

Headed to Vegas on a work trip and hoping to score big with great meetings, weather, dining, shopping and winning. Not too much to ask, no?

Based on my calculations, this will be my sixth visit to the Strip. So what's different about this trip? I'm sans hubs, lover of all things Vegas, and I'm a mama away from her Pickle. (I directed Dylan to abstain from reaching any milestones while I'm gone. My days away arms Phil with several hours of drilling him to say Dada v. Mama...I'm doubting our Skype chats will be effective training sessions.:))

I'm also experimenting with traveling with antravel instead of a laptop. I'm a little leery of forgoing access to my work file network, so I emailed myself a bunch of docs I might need and have been downloading apps like Docs to Go to let me create and edit Word and PowerPoint files. I'm traveling with a colleague (a Vegas newbie!), and she has graciously agreed to let me comandeer her computer should I run into issues. I have to say, so far, I'm loving the feel of my lighter purse and not needing to take out a gadget while moving through airport security. I do miss not having a way to save photos so I can upload them to the blog. Unless anyone has better suggestions, I'm planning to link to my twit pics.

Tomorrow will require lots of caffeine to keep my batteries running. We have late dinner rezzies tonight (Julia shares my love of restaurant hopping) and I expect to be a little jet lagged. Tomorrow, our 12-hour work day starts at 7 a.m. You know I'll be hitting the coffee shop at 6:45.

Can't wait to introduce Julia to Vegas' chiming, clanging background noise (and Pai Gow Poker)! And, the Billboard Music Awards are at the MGM Grand tonight, so maybe we'll rub shoulders with some celebs.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, April 22, 2011

Travel 2.0

I'm in the Big Apple for a last-minute, quick work trip. I was happy for the chance to go to NYC, but navigating my new responsibilities as a mom can be a pain. Here's what can be frustrating:

1) Coordinating schedules with Phil to make sure he can be home when I'm away
2) Waking up god-awful early to catch a flight since I need extra time to feed the baby
3) Lugging my pump everywhere...Marc Jacobs, please, please partner with Medela for a kick-ass bag
4) Pumping on the road...desperation yesterday led me to a bathroom in Five Guys in Greenwich Village. Not awesome. A shot of tequila about five minutes afterward did help, though.

With all that said, I know the most annoying things are temporary, and I'll figure out the rest. Certainly not worth forgoing adventure...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

March Madness in the Cleve!

Six years ago, my hubs got me into March Madness. All the double and triple OTs...how can a girl resist? 

Two years ago, we went to Dayton to see some of the first round of games and had a blast. This year, Cleveland is hosting games at the Q, and I'm pumped that we're going. We'll get to see Ohio State, hopefully twice. Yay!

Looks like Ohio State will host some games next year, so if you're interested in going, start planning! The lottery for tix usually starts right after the Final Four. I posted about our ticket-snagging strategy after we went to Dayton, so take a look, in case it's helpful.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

3-year blogversary!

Happy blogversary to me! 

I started this blog three years ago during a solo trip to Europe to share my adventures with my fam and friends. Since then, I've loved revisiting trips by scanning posts and sharing and getting tips about what to do and where to eat. 
In three years, I've written 161 posts (which isn't a lot, but I write to remember my trips vs. penning daily posts) and taken 27 trips to two continents, four countries and 15 states. 

Happy travels!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snowpocalypse 2011

I had a work trip to Indianapolis planned for yesterday and today, but Snowpocalypse 2011 changed my travel plans. A true travel nerd, I actually was excited for this trip because it meant I got to check another state off my travel list (this would have made 23, which as I write this is still a surprisingly low number...how have I not been to half of the states?). However, when I saw the travel warning by the National Weather Service that said "roads will likely become impassable due to heavy snow or icing" and travel would be "very hazardous or impossible," I was not so excited. Looking at the inch of ice on my driveway, I'm glad to be home.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year!

Hello, 2011! 
Yesterday, my brother and I were chatting about the Back to the Future Movies, and he said one was set in 2015...where are our flying cars, yo? We've got four years to bust them out. 
2010 was a milestone year for me. I welcomed a new travel companion into the world, and wow, is my life different...in a good way, of course. Before I had a baby, I had always hoped to be really mobile with my child, and The Pickle is a trouper. (He's actually helping me type this, which is why an early draft published before I was finished.)
Here's a recap of 2010:
  • I survived first-trimester nausea on a work trip to Chicago
  • I took a road trip to D.C. while still hiding my bump. I discovered my new prego bladder-emptying threshold (every 45 minutes)
  • Phil and I took an amazing babymoon to Key West
  • Dylan and I took our first trip together to Dallas (it was a blast, but I came home exhausted)
  • I took my first work trip to NYC and endured the pain in the ass of mobile pumping (airport bathrooms blow for this)
Here's what's coming up in 2011:
I'd love to take an international trip with Dylan...can you imagine how cute his passport will be?! There are two possibilities for this: a Morocco trip with Sarah or somewhere in the Caribbean for a friend’s destination wedding. Fun!
Most likely, I'll have multiple Vegas trips, both for work and fun (Phil and his best friends will be celebrating their 40th this year). Dolla dolla bills, y'all!
Happy travels to you all!