Tuesday, November 8, 2011
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
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
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
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
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
|Beth (D&E alumna) and Mary (MT alumna) at Big Star|
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!|
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
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
|Brunching it up at Washington Place Bistro|
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!|
|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.|
|Love to see this place busy!|
|Chatting with Julia, we realized all four of us were dressed in stripes and Michael Kors watches.|
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
- Farmer’s market/food truck noshing
- E. 4th shopping at The Dredger’s Union
- Rock Hall for Women Who Rock exhibit (they have Lady Gaga’s meat dress!)
- Maybe rooftop dining at The Greenhouse Tavern
- West Side Market chowing and people watching
- Shopping at Room Service
- Maybe dinner at Bac
- Blowing my diet at Sweet Moses
- Shopping at Legacy Village and Brigade on Coventry
- Maybe dinner at Rockefeller’s (haven’t tried yet)
- Fam brunch at Washington Place Bistro
Sunday, July 17, 2011
|Jeni & Charity are BFFs!|
|Oregano for Chipotle!|
Friday, July 15, 2011
Thursday, May 26, 2011
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
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).
Good to see you, Vegas. Hope to be back soon for lucky trip #7.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Loved Vdara, and I'd stay there again. Also would love to stay at Cosmopolitan too!
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
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:
Cosmo lobby: http://twitpic.com/51sz1q
Julia's shoes: http://twitpic.com/51sv58
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
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
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
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
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
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Sunday, January 2, 2011
- 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)