Thursday, February 16, 2012

Finally! An airport mani at XpresSpa

When I heard about the concept of XpresSpa a few years ago -- an express nail/massage salon located in airports -- I couldn't wait to try it. Obvi, CLE doesn't have one (why?), but I remembered that Philly did.

An express mani was exactly what I needed today. I started my morning in NYC, took a train from Penn Station to to Wilmington and then took a car service for a flight home from the Philly airport, where my flight was delayed. Luckily, an XpresSpa was a stone's throw from my gate.

I liked my experience at the salon (massaging recliner/relaxing mani/quick service) but when I took a closer look at my polish while back at my gate, it looks horrible...bumpy, messy, etc. And, the price was not cheap: $25 for an express polish. At least I found a new color that I like: OPI Dulce de Leche.

I still love the concept and will try it again if I get the opportunity, but next time I'll take a closer look before zening out.

Anyone else try an ExpresSpa?

Celebrating 4 years of travel blogging at Nobu

Pic: courtesy

I'm celebrating my four-year blogging anniversary today!

Since I was in NYC again for work, I marked the occasion with a fantastic dinner at Nobu last night. If you remember (What? You don't remember where I ate during my trip four years ago?), I went to Nobu in London - the trip that sparked this whole blog. Like in London, I dined at Nobu in Tribeca alone, but this time by choice instead of being stood up by a reporter. :)

Since my dinner was fairly late and I wasn't that hungry, I noshed on small plates: rock shrimp, a veggie roll (no awesome sushi since I'm pregs) and life-changing veggie tempura. I tried avocado (OMG), sweet potato and pumpkin. (For a Cleveland veggie tempura experience, try the broccoli tempura app at XYZ Tavern in Gordon Square.)

I checked for rezzies earlier this week and since none were available for 29 days (!), I sat at the bar, which was actually a great spot since I got to watch all of the sushi roll prep.

So, after four years about writing about my travel adventures, what observations can I share? Here are my top 5:

  1. Even after two trips to Asia, I'm still clumsy with chopsticks
  2. When in a new city/country, if you're polite and make an effort to assimilate, locals will help you
  3. I'm so fortunate to be able to travel because of the jobs I've had, which make for low-risk and low-cost trips
  4. Having the means to travel, makes me appreciate being based in Cleveland, which is a wonderful place to live
  5. Since I've become a mom, it's important to me to instill a love of travel and culture curiosity in my kids
On that last note, it's funny -- after a trip we're planning for April, Dylan will have been in five states before he turns two. I still have more than half of all of the states to visit! And, I've still not been to Mexico. Once kid #2 comes along (Kabongo), travel will become more interesting (and expensive), but I'm optimistic!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Eating my way through TriBeCa

Per foursquare, the last time I was in NYC was in April, but I can't remember why I was here for the life of me. (Just checked the blog, and it was for a mini conference.) The purpose of this week's trip was to get to know colleagues based in NYC whom I'll be working with on one of my new clients (first biz trip for the new job!). I'm used to staying in midtown Manhattan during my trips, so it was nice to spend some time in TriBeCa this time.

I stayed at the TriBeCa Grand, a lovely boutique hotel, which sports Malin + Goetz products, which I just read about in this month's issue of Lucky (yes, this type of thing is important). Since I like to sleep with a white noise machine at night, I loved that my room could pipe in it automatically with the turn of a dial (shut up).

Yummy, yummy eats during my visit. First Shake Shack for lunch at its new Battery Park location. I had the fantastic 'shroom burger with a caramel shake. Then dinner at Locanda Verde, a new authentic Italian hot spot helmed by a chef from Cleveland (thank you Cleveland Foodie for the rec). It was packed!

My colleagues and I shared plates of burrata (love affair), beet salad, wild boar and brussel sprout papperadelle pasta and scallops. We did not share our desserts. :) I had a delightfully warm caramel apple crostata tart with goat cheese gelato.

For breakfast and lunch (unplanned) today, we went to Pecan for muffins, smoothies, soups and sandwiches. Cute and cozy.

Besides our meals, which were close to the office, I didn't get a chance to venture out much. We did score manis before dinner last night, so that was a treat.

As I get onboarded for my new job, I'll be making a few more visits over the next month or so. Looking forward to getting to know more of TriBeCa. (P.S. TriBeCa stands for triangle below Canal Street...I had to look it up.)