One of the best things about working with my best friend Cheryl (aside from seeing her smiley face every day) is getting to go on business trips together! About a month ago we attended the PMA Fresh Summit in New Orleans. It was the first time either of us had visited the Big Easy, so we were pretty much freaking out the week beforehand!Read more
Some of my favorite photos from our trip were the quick moments I snapped with my iPhone. I knew I would have to compile the best ones in one "outtakes" post so they weren't lost memories! Our first night, we had a delicious dinner at a cozy, romantic spot in DC - Cafe Saint-Ex.
We crashed on the couch at the house of a friend of Brent's, and this is how I found Brent the next morning...
I enjoyed walking around by myself that morning, people watching and sipping a vanilla latte at a local Starbucks.
Here we are, about to take our first (ever!) subway ride...
Brent committing to a good shot...
We met Courtnay in Georgetown for dinner at Filomenas, which had the best tasting Italian food I've had since Papa's (although, still wasn't quite as good)! Oh, and it's a pretty serious crime that I didn't get a picture with Courtnay... dropped the ball on that one.
Here we are, giving ourselves stomachaches at Serendipity (totally worth it). Seriously, that was the single serving size... I cannot even imagine how big the "split" size is!
Mother Nature blessed us with an absolutely gorgeous day while we were strolling around the National Mall. I did not edit this photo... the sky really was that blue!
On the train to NYC... (we've decided that's our preferred mode of travel from now on).
I think Brent was over the incessant picture taking...
We were in New York for exactly 90 seconds before Brent HAD to stop for a slice of pizza.
I was patient and enjoyed a civilized meal in the cafe of our hotel after we checked in. Just me and my friend Stella Artois (Brent was sleeping off his pizza disappointment).
Keeping our plans for the trip open to encourage spontaneity ended up leading us to a really great night at an underground comedy club in Greenwich Village. The comedians had me laughing until my stomach was sore, and the two drink minimum left us both very giggly all the way back to the hotel.
Lastly, a beautiful sunset in NYC...
My apologies in advance for a picture-heavy post, but our day in Central Park was just so beautiful that I took well over 100 pictures there. Brent and I rented bikes so we could cover more ground and see as much of Central Park as possible. All was good until I realized we rented from a bike shop that was 3 blocks away from the park and we had to ride our bikes in NYC traffic. Minor heart attack aside, I had a wonderful time pedaling through this gorgeous park. It was almost downright magical at times; there was even someone softly playing the flute off in the distance, and I half expected to see a centaur come trotting through the trees...
I didn't take nearly as many pictures in New York as I did in DC because we spent our time more like residents there instead of nerdy tourists. It felt really great to just relax and enjoy life in the city, leaving our days open for spontaneous plans, doing whatever we felt like doing in each moment. While this method didn't get us to see the major things like the Empire State Building or Statue of Liberty, I still wouldn't have done it any differently.
Our first night in the city, we set out for the walk/bike path just across the street from our hotel to take a long walk along the Hudson River and watch the sunset.
We took bikes (courtesy of the Jane Hotel) on that same path the next day, but headed north instead.
I finally fulfilled my dream of eating a big breakfast at one of those metal-sided diners, and it was just as wonderful as I imagined it would be.
We spent a little time in Times Square (emphasis on little); neither of us were very impressed.
Not pictured but definitely noteworthy was the show Brent took me to see called Sleep No More at the McKittrick Hotel. It was... ummmmm... interesting. I think I'm still digesting it. I can say I was amazed by the incredible 5-floor interactive set, the costumes, and the music. But now that a month has gone by I'm starting to think maybe I'm just not sophisticated or artsy enough to get their strange interpretation of Shakespeare. However, if you want a bit of an adventure and want to feel transported to another place and time for the evening, I would recommend it! ...as long as you're comfortable wearing a mask and not speaking throughout the whole thing... and walking around 5 floors of a strange building lit only by candlelight... and nudity... and (fake) blood... and simulated orgies while wearing animal heads. I think that's it. If you're good with all that, then you'll love it.
Up next is our long ride through Central Park, but I'll save that for a separate post since there are so many pretty pictures to share!
Last shot... just because I love this one :)
When we started planning for our trip to NYC everyone recommended we stay in the West Village area, since it's a nice neighborhood with a lot to do/see within walking distance. After an extensive search on the internet, I listed the Jane Hotel along with 4 other options in an email to Brent, and being the fantastic and smart boyfriend he is, he quickly replied (probably without even looking at the options): "Which one do you actually want?". He really is the best. The Jane Hotel was exactly as I imagined it would be... so charming in all of its historic splendor! My camera was buried in my backpack when we arrived, so I only snapped pictures of the lobby with my phone. The bellhops were all dressed in appropriate vintage attire, and the front desk was just perfect, with the little mailbox dividers for each room. It was like a time travel dream!
The decor was all so lush and ornate; even the walls were upholstered!
Our room was small, but it really felt like home (living in 300 square feet for 2 years will do that to you). I was imagining we were living in a small flat in the West Village, even though in real life we still probably couldn't afford even that small of a space in the city. A little unrealistic play-pretend-time never hurt anybody, I suppose.
I am now on a personal mission to find a bed and headboard like this one.
The personal touch of storing old books in the nightstands added to the home-y feel of the room.
I have never, in my entire life, wished harder for a magical Marry Poppins carpet bag than in the moment when I saw this armoire...
I didn't waste any time... I was soaking in this fabulous tub on the first night.
No detail went missing... they even had letterpressed coasters and a complimentary bottle of wine waiting for us.
Adjacent to the hotel lobby there was a little French cafe open all day that served delicious food & wine, and played old vinyl records over their sound system.
I made it a point to stop in for wine and cheese a few times...
...while Brent was doing this.
I've gone through most of the photos from our trip, so I'll be posting a little bit as a time instead of overwhelming one post with a ton of pictures. The first leg of our trip was spent in Washington, DC - neither Brent nor I had ever been so I was very happy to experience it for the first time together!
We stayed with one of Brent's friends on our first night there, so I got to explore a residential area of DC while Brent was sleeping the next morning. I loved all of the old houses and enjoyed the patriotism that was ever-present throughout the neighborhood.
I am really getting settled into the pattern of life in a long-distance relationship. Vegas feels more and more like a 2nd home each time I visit Brent. While I'm not always jazzed about the heat (that's my nice way of saying I'm an angry monster when I break a sweat), I am always very happy to see Brent. Even if we are on opposite sleep schedules. When he gets home at 5am after a long shift at the hospital, it's fun and exciting to wake up early and go to breakfast with him...
While he's sleeping during the day, I get plenty of online homework, blogging, and people watching done at the Starbucks by his house.
...or I'll take myself out for lunch, shopping, and a movie. I have got to recreate this curried chicken salad at home.
I'm still astonished that I managed to make it out of Anthropologie empty-handed. Even though these green ceramic farmer's market berry baskets were really tempting.
Brent usually wakes up in time to go right back in to work, but since he had Sunday night off and I didn't have to fly back until Monday morning, he took me for a fabulous night out on the town!
Swanky Vegas restaurants...
Plenty of laughter... (always)
...and we even had time to catch a show I've been dying to see for years.
All in all, I'm really enjoying this stage of our lives together (apart?). Although it can be an emotional roller coaster, there's nothing like that upswing when we get a long weekend visit and remember just how much fun we have together, and get even more excited to think of all we have to look forward to in the future.
It's on my summer bucket list to visit as many of the California Missions as possible and I'm a bit behind, but I did get to the Mission San Juan Bautista a few weeks ago with Cheryl. The Mission San Juan Bautista, translated: Saint John the Baptist (not that I have ANY clue who that is) was founded in 1797. It's definitely the oldest landmark I've ever been to, so the history of the place was just so amazing to me. Although, Brent quickly squelched my lovely vision of its history by telling me the Native Americans were enslaved and forced to build the mission, forced to farm the lands, and forced to worship there. Clearly I aced history class.
Bummer moment aside, we went to San Juan Bautista for the day. We started with a really fabulous lunch at La Casa Rosa... check Cheryl's blog post for the details.
We visited a few antique shops (of course), then moved on to the mission.
The building and grounds are really beautiful in an imperfect, primitive way...
Especially the gardens with the wild chickens!
I think my favorite parts of the mission were the doors and windows...
The little details like the rustic floorboards and old books on display really made me feel connected to the history of the mission and the people who once lived and worshiped there.
1. Beach treasures 2. Mission San Juan Bautista 3. Bitsy, a sweet pug that lives in an antique shop in San Juan Bautista 4. My new (old) rocking chair from Aggie's Porch 5. Lunch with Cheryl at La Casa Rosa... she'll be posting all of the details soon! 6, 7, & 8. The perfect lazy Sunday at home with the furry family
I suppose being in a long distance relationship isn't all bad... especially when you have a sweet boyfriend who turns a simple monthly visit into a weekend getaway at a historic little hotel just off the beaten path in Boulder City, NV. Built in 1933, the Boulder Dam Hotel had a very old fashioned, welcoming air about it. It reminded me of one of those beautiful estate homes in the south with the tall white pillars...
...and a warm, inviting sitting room.
Brent booked us a suite and the friendly receptionist was delighted to inform us we were lucky enough to get the Art Deco suite. I felt like I stepped into a little apartment in Chicago in the 1920s - the decor definitely had a theme, but it wasn't overdone or tacky. And I loved that we got a real key to the room!
The first floor of the hotel houses the Boulder City/Hoover Dam Museum, which detailed the history of the town, the people who flocked there in desperate need of employment during the Great Depression, and the building of the Hoover Dam.
After we toured the museum (admission is included with the room), I took the opportunity to check out all of the little boutiques and antique shops that lined the streets around the hotel. I stopped by the Boulder Dam Brewing Company to pick up dinner and a growler of Hefeweizen, went back to the hotel, took a bubble bath, and finished a good book. I fell in love with the little town and would love to go back... I can only imagine how cute the town and hotel are when they are all lit up for Christmas!
Picking Cheryl and Rob up from the Monterey airport a few weeks ago gave us a great excuse to swing by my favorite lunch spot just down the street... Tarpy's Roadhouse. It's in an old building just off the Monterey Salinas Highway named after an Irish immigrant that settled in the area back in 1851, Matt Tarpy. It's history is only part of the charm... check out the beautiful patio!
Oh yea, about the food. Let's just say they know how to plate a great meal. That's a burger under the giant pile of delicious goodies...
I snapped a few photos on a walk along the bluff of the East West Ranch in the sleepy little town of Cambria, CA when I was there a couple of weeks ago with my family. I love the view of the ocean, wildflowers, and benches made of gnarly driftwood lining the path. Just one of the many things I enjoy about visiting Cambria.