Get Out of Town: Maui

design

Jay and I were so fortunate to be able to spend a week in Maui celebrating two of our nearest and dearest.  Ryan stood beside us five and a half years ago on our wedding day.  So naturally I was a ball of mush, tears and sniffles watching Jay stand beside him as he married a girl we have both grown to know and love deeply. The first time I met Michelle was at 2 a.m. in a McDonald’s parking lot (classy I know), and since then we have to enjoyed doing life with her and Ryan. They have such an exceptional future ahead of them, and the world better get ready for their seriously fit offspring (or at least mine and Jay’s future pale, scrawny babies better)  Beyond the amazing couple, we also loved being able to get some uninterrupted, low-key quality time with some of our oldest friends.  We  celebrated new marriages, and pending upcoming adventures.  We grew acquaintanceship into full fledged, they are going to get so sick of us friendships (because we totally developed a couple crush on two amazing people who can eat as much as we do. That’s our demarcation of true friend-love right there).  Friends, sunshine and beaches. I seriously cannot think of a better wedding week or winter vacation.  Here are some of our ultimate highlights: Continue reading “Get Out of Town: Maui”

Get Out of Town: Our Fifth Wedding Anniversary in Victoria

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

It was our fifth wedding anniversary a few weeks ago, and we managed to wrangle a trip back to the island at the same time.  This meant Jay and I were able to steal a room at the Fairmont Empress, which was actually directly across the hall from where we spent our wedding night (swoon).  We love the Fairmont brand, and after working there for 8 years and now with Jay having a jet setting career we have managed to stay at over 22 of their properties.  So that being said the Empress is very near and dear to our hearts.  I couldn’t think of a more perfect place to celebrate our 5th anniversary. Continue reading “Get Out of Town: Our Fifth Wedding Anniversary in Victoria”

Playing Tourist: Bike Riding Through Central Park

20140313-131916.jpg

After 5 weeks volunteering in Africa, my mom and aunt ventured to Manhattan for an extended layover before heading home.  We could not have been happier to have them.  Jay and I are truly blessed to have such wonderful family who surround us, and I am extra lucky that I have a plethora of strong, confident, beautiful women who are always there to encourage, love and care for me.

20140313-131852.jpg

Throughout the course of week we ate a lot.  We walked a lot.  We lunched a lot. We talked a lot.  Making it the greatest week ever.  Whether we were nibbling biscotti at the Hungarian Pastry Shop or sipping locally roasted coffee at Irving Farm the time spent was perfect.  However, the event that tops our charts as the best thing we did has to be spending a beautiful sunning morning pedaling around the entirety of Central Park.  We nabbed some Citi bikes at Columbus circle and set off from there, taking breaks to check out the Boathouse, Strawberry Fields, the reservoir and the Plaza Hotel (where Jay and I got to reminisce about our first visit to NYC together and our stay there). I highly recommend this adventure if you have the time in your jam packed manhattan itinerary.

20140312-211208.jpg

Today we tucked them into a cab, shed a handful of tears saying our goodbyes and then they were off. We are so thankful that they took the time to come explore our city with us. They filled our hearts (and our cupboards).  Now we are excitingly waiting for Jay’s family to arrive at the start of next week.

But the real question to all of you is whose’s coming for a visit next?

Boston: A Love Story

20140208-104653.jpg

This Valentine’s day tale isn’t about a boy.  I have only ever loved one man, who I have been in love with since eighteen.  That is old news.  No, this love story is about falling madly, and recklessly in love with a city.  This is the account of how and why I fell for Boston.

I really didn’t expect such a grand, overwhelming response to Boston.  Jay had a business trip, that preceded the Valentine’s season, so we thought we would make a small, romantic getaway out of it.  Contrary to my normal disposition, little planning went into our venture.  We have dear friends who now inhabit the much warmer (and humane) climate of Newport Beach, but grew up in the Boston area.  So before we boarded the train, we picked their brains on what to do, see and experience.  The combination of their expertise and the beauty, this big-small town eludes, left us in love.  The well maintained, colonial architecture is stunning, the earth mindedness left it feeling like home and the excess bikers (even in below freezing temperatures) is reminiscent of the Pacific Northwest. Add to that that the people were exceptionally, over the top friendly and I never want to go home.

This is my kind of city (perhaps I will have to expand my September job search to include the greater Boston area).  I do love New York, but Boston is way more my speed.  Here is a summary of our highlights: Continue reading “Boston: A Love Story”

Eating our way through Chicago

Image

It seems that Jay and I really love to eat and our time spent in Chicago was no exception.  I knew Chicago had a few famous dishes, pizza and popcorn for example, but I wasn’t prepared for just the depth and variety of the foodie culture that would present in this midwest town.  I was eager to try some of the Chicago classics but in my preconceived notions of the USA I had not added Chicago to the ranks of San Fran, NYC or D.C. when it came to their panoply of offerings of culinary prowess. Here are a few of the highlights and surprises that left us salivating in Chicago:  Continue reading “Eating our way through Chicago”