Chi town and life updates!

Oh my goodness… It’s been so long since I’ve written anything but better late than never!  I have so much to share and I’m gonna try to fill everyone in as much as possible.  The biggest highlight of last year… I got ENGAGED! I’ll have a whole separate post about that but first I wanted to share some pictures from our Chicago trip a few months ago.  Chicago had been on both of our travel lists for a while because mainly we like to eat! And eating we did, the food did not disappoint!

My favorites included:

Lou Malnati’s– this is seriously the best deep dish pizza.  I loved it so much I insisted we come here multiple times.  If you go to Chicago you HAVE TO STOP HERE!

Portillo’s Hot Dogs– Because you have to have a hot dog in Chicago

Wildberry Pancake and cafe– We found this breakfast spot and yelp and it was soo delicious!  Those wildberry pancakes are such a sweet a delectable meal.  It was pretty busy, but worth the wait.

When we travel we love to walk everywhere and just absorb the people and places.  There’s so much to see in Chicago, I recommend staying downtown since everything is walking distance.  We did take their subway transportation one time…

You guessed it- we went to a Cubs game!  Even though we are Yankee fans, we couldn’t miss the opportunity to see the famous Wrigley Field.  This is a great stadium and a really fun area.  There are tons of bars and restaurants surrounding the stadium so you should get their early so you can eat and pre-party!

This was such a picturesque city… look at those tulips!  I couldn’t get enough of them.

While we were there we decided to do a segway tour.  I’ve always wanted to do one but once we got to the location I started to get super nervous and was wondering how people balance on them.  It took about 15 minutes to get the hang of it but once we did we had the time of our lives.  Segways are such a fun and unique way to explore cities and I really recommend it.

That photo on the right is not edited, Lake Michigan is so pretty and really is that blue!

Other highlights of the trip include:  The sears tower, seeing the bean at Millennium park, and the Chicago art institute.  I’m not scared of heights, but once we were actually up there in the glass tower it was scary for some reason.  Luckily, I overcame my fear long enough to take some pics 😉

Below are also some of my favorite paintings from the museum.  We were there while they were doing Van Gogh’s Bedroom exhibit.  He painted three different versions of his bedroom and they are displayed in different parts in of the world.  This exhibit brings all three together at one time!

We couldn’t leave Chicago without seeing the infamous Bean!

I think Chicago was one of my top two destination places.  If the amazing food isn’t enough to pull you in, this is a city that’s full of stuff to do.  We were non-stop for four days and I feel still like I could go back and see more.  Hopefully I’ll get the chance to go again one day soon.

A day in Princeton

How is everyone’s week going?  For those of you in the east coast you know that it’s been chilly!  We got a few warm days last week, and now it’s back to winter weather.  I’m definitely ready for summer!

A while ago, I made plans with my friend Lisa to visit the Princeton campus.  Both of us had never been before, and planned to check it out with our boyfriends.  I love to go on weekend trips, but there’s also so many things to do that are driving distance! It was raining pretty hard in the morning, but thankfully it stopped by the time we went.

I had previously heard that Princeton was a beautiful campus, but I was blown away not only by how nice the campus was, but the town in general.    Here are some pics of the chapel, the stained glass windows were breathtaking!

After stopping in the chapel, we really just walked around and explored with no particular destination in mind.

I must have taken a million pictures of just beautiful trees and plants.  It almost felt like we were at the botanical gardens.

Am I though only one who loves cherry blossoms?  They have to be one of my favorite trees.

The building were so cool and old looking.  Could you imagine living here in college?

image

I thought this tunnel of trees was really neat.  I could get used to this. 😉

More random pictures of the camps and trees of course!

image

I’m not sure what this “house” is used for, but I thought it was so cute and southern looking.

After exploring the campus, we decided to walk around the town and grab something to eat.  We ended up going to Triump Brewing company for food and drinks.  I was too hungry to take pictures, but this is a great place to go if you’re with friends.  I wanted to try all their beers, but just went with the saison which was tasty.  It kind of reminded me of a beer version of chai tea, is that weird?

image

After dinner we walked around and explored some of the little shops around there.  We decided to go to the Peacock Inn for one more drink.  Lisa and I saw it on  yelp, and just had to check it out.   It’s an old house that’s been converted to a hotel and restaurant.  The food there is pricey, which is why we only decided to grab a drink.  On the way there, we saw this beautiful little park with this line of trees.  The photos we took doesn’t even do it’s beauty justice.

image

After walking for about 10 minutes we finally made it to the Peacock Inn.

image

Unfortunately, we didn’t really get to explore the inside of it too much.  I’d love to check out the rooms!  I was pretty let down by the bar area, it was nice, but more modern than I was expecting.  I think they could have done more with it to go with the theme of the rest of the Inn.

We were exhausted after that and ended up calling it a night!

If you’re ever in the Princeton area, I recommend stopping and check it out.  Even if you only have a few minutes to explore, it’s worth it!

A weekend in Newport, RI

Another destination checked off the list!

Hi everyone!  I hope you all had a great weekend.  I’m really looking forward to Spring time and the warm weather that comes with it.   A few weeks ago, Brian and I planned to go away for the weekend for just one night.  I didn’t want to take anytime off work, so we decided to plan a night in Newport, Rhode Island since neither of us had been there before.

image

Crossing the last bridge.. almost there!

It’s about a 3 hour drive from us, so we got on the road a little after 7am.   The ride was pretty smooth with no traffic.  As we got into RI, we crossed a few steep bridges with views of the water!

We finally made it a little after 10:30 am and parked right on Thames street.  We decided to stay at the America’s Cup Inn, which is a cute little hotel right in the heart of Thames street.  We came during off season so parking was free.   They were so friendly there and let us check in early.

After setting our stuff down we decided to walk along Thames Street and explore the wharf area with all the boats.  Thames is their main street with tons of shops, restaurants, and bars.  It’s also right next to the water.

Here are some photos of the wharf area and the scenery… I love those brick sidewalks.   This is definitely a sailing town.  It was too cold to see any boats out on the water, but the boat theme was everywhere.  I’d love to go sailing one day!

After walking around for a bit, we decided to grab a late breakfast at Diego’s, which is a Mexican restaurant down on the wharf.   I ended up having the Diego’s huevos and Brian had the Wharf Hash.  We both agreed the food was tasty with the right amount of spice.  We didn’t end up drinking, but this would have been the perfect place for a boozy brunch.  They had all sorts of fresh cocktail ingredients out on the bar.

 

We walked around some more and took more pictures (of course!)

 

After breakfast we decided to burn some calories and walk to the Cliff Walk.  If you go to Newport, this is the one thing you HAVE to see.   It was about a 2 mile walk just to get there, but we decided to go for it.  We are big walkers!

We took Thames street to get there… I just can’t get over those brick sidewalks & streets.  It makes the city feel so rustic and old, which I love.

We saw some of the cutest houses on our way there.  Am I the only person who loves looking at cute houses and thinking about my future home?  One day… 😉

Certain parts of the walk made me feel like I was in Europe again!  It just had a really sophisticated look to the area.

Not to mention some huge houses!  Some of them have been converted to various museums.  We didn’t stop at any of them because we were limited on time.  I bet this area will be beautiful during fall when the leaves are changing.

We finally got to the Cliff Walk!  The view was phenomenal, not to mention really peaceful.  I’m not sure how far the Cliff Walk actually is, but it takes you all along the coast.  Most of it is a paved pathway, but there were areas where you actually had to walk on rocks and large boulders… good thing we were wearing sturdy shoes.

Look at those huge houses with a view of the beach!  I bet it’s so amazing sitting outside with that view every day.

After exploring the Cliff Walk for a while, we decided to head back to our hotel room.  On the way we stopped at Midtown Oyster Bar.  I previously saw this restaurant on Yelp, and knew we had to stop in.  While I don’t like seafood, Brian loves it!  I wanted him to be able to eat some yummy seafood.

He tried various oysters and clams there and said they were amazing!  I just had a light salad since I knew we were doing dinner later.   We also had a few beers, I was so surprised/happy that they had the Sam Adams Summer Ale there already.  That’s one of my favorite beers that I didn’t discover until the end of summer last year.   That means summer is right around the corner, right?

We were exhausted after that and went to our hotel room to rest/shower for dinner.   On dinner, we decided on Brick Alley. On our way there, we stopped and watched the sunset.  It was so beautiful and reminded me of the sunsets back home in CA.

Even though it was off season, the restaurant was packed!  After waiting 30 minutes we just decided to get burgers to go and relax back in our room.  The burgers themselves were just okay, nothing special.  We were both so tired from waking up early that we went to bed around 9pm!

image

Waiting at the restaurant…

The next morning we woke up and checked out around 9am.  We decided to go to the Corner Cafe for breakfast, because it was within walking distance and a friend recommended it.   Apparently, this place is super popular because there was a 25 min wait.  We decided to stick it out since it had good reviews.  Once we were sat I ordered coffee and the light breakfast burrito which came with egg whites and veggies inside.  It also came with a side of yogurt & granola.  Brian ordered an egg/shrimp special and a pancake on the side.   The home fries were amazing but the rest of the food was just average.  Plus, I had to ask them for more coffee 3 times.   I need my coffee in the morning!

 

Before we left we decided to take a drive on Ocean Drive, this is a 10 mile scenic street with views of the water and huge mansions!  The photo above does not even do the house justice.  It’s fun to look at houses and wonder who lives there.  After looking at the mansions we headed home!

Overall, Newport is a beautiful, beach vibe town and I’d recommend stopping there if you’ve never been before.   Hopefully we’ll get a chance to go back once the weather warms up a bit.

How was your weekend?!

 

Boston

 

My first real weekend trip since living in the east coast was Boston, and it was almost a year and a half after I moved here.

11885392_10156025960355038_9141797604880618743_n

And no, I’m not counting a quick trip to Atlantic City with the girls as really traveling.   Believe it or not, it’s difficult to find people to travel with!  You’d think something as simple as two nights in Boston, only a 3 hour drive, would be easier to plan among friends but it’s not.  Surprisingly, travel is not a priority for everyone.

In June 2015 I met my boyfriend, Brian, and immediately declared how much I wanted to travel.  Luckily, he had the travel bug as well and two months later he took me to Boston for my 28th birthday.   Let me just say Boston is BEAUTIFUL!  So different than New York, it was like NYC’s classier older brother.  It had a level of cleanliness and sophistication that really surprised me.

We began the drive early Friday and got to Boston in the afternoon.  We stayed at one of those weekend rentals in the middle of Copley square.  It was a prime location and we were able to walk pretty much everywhere!

We started exploring and ended up at the Boston Public Garden, which is absolutely beautiful.

 

We saw Acorn Street (how cool are those cobblestones though?) and the famous Cheers Bar…

 

I highly recommend going to the infamous Fenway Park.  Even if you don’t see a game, it’s a must to tour the park!

Of course, we had to explore and see the freedom trail!  It’s a total of a 3 mile walk but I think we only followed it for about a mile.

Downtown Boston is a really fun area and has a great night life.  There were street performers, tons of people walking around, restaurants, bars, shops, etc.   If you like seafood, stop by Ye Old Oyster House.  It’s the oldest restaurant in Boston!  After dinner, we stopped by Ghirardelli to share an ice cream sundae.

My boyfriend and I both love beer, so we knew we had to do at least one beer tour.  Sam Adams is the one that everyone knows about, but we decided to take a different route and go with Harpoon.  We were not let down!  This tour was fantastic.  It was only $5 and you not only get a tour of the facility, but you get several samples.  It’s vacation, time to let loose and have a brewski. 🙂  After the tour we sat at the bar and tried the UFO sampler, they really do have great beer.

We did so much in just two days!  On our last day, we needed to be super tourist-y and go on the Duck Tours.  This was fun, but it was more for little kids.  For those of you who don’t know, Duck tours are half land half water tours.  If you’ve traveled anywhere, you’ve probably have seen a duck tours “car” driving around with tourists quacking.

 

If you want to get a good feel of the city, just walk around and explore! I like planning some things, but walking around and finding spontaneous things to do is also a must.   Boston is an amazing city full of history and I’d definitely love to go back one day soon (hopefully for my next birthday!)