Sin City…

After a 10 day roadtrip - you would think a girl would opt for a little relaxation… but no. I was off to Las Vegas, to celebrate my very dear friend Erin’s birthday in the city of sin. I always love watching the changing landscape as you head west across the US. Once we reached the mountains, I was excited - I knew I was closer to home. 

Go Chargers!

This is an old post - but a few weeks ago Paul got tickets to see the Chargers! He surprised me and we drove down to San Diego on a VERY hot Sunday to watch them play (and actually BEAT) the Seahawks! It was a great afternoon, lots of fun :)

Boston - New York - Chicago: Part I

It all started with an idea. I decided - since I like to be efficient in life - that I would try to merge as many business trips as possible into one fell swoop. We figured - hey, if we have to go to the East Coast, why not go and have as many meetings as possible? Sounds good in theory right? 

It all started in Boston. Arriving mid afternoon at Logan was a bit surreal. We stayed at a Kimpton Hotel (which I’m slowly starting to become a huge fan of despite my Starwood allegiance) right near City Hall/Government Center. Being in Boston was weird. Surreal and weird. Boston literally felt/feels like it is trapped in time. It is 100% (at least to me) exactly the same. One may say this is a good thing - but I think its strange. I haven’t been to Boston in 5+ years, you would think something would feel different - but it didn’t. Same old Boston. 

One thing that was immediately palpable is the history (obviously) which was really cool. I realized multiple times that I actually never did a proper tour of Boston - like I never did the Freedom Trail - which we kept running into while walking around the city. The first night, we took it easy - we went to Union Oyster House (Fun Fact: The man who invented toothpicks got his start there; along with the 1st female waitress). Boston is clearly a city of firsts. We had some decent oysters (everyone knows I’m West Coast biased) but the ambiance was definitely the draw.

Day 2 in Boston was all about meetings. I’ve lost count of how many we had - maybe 2-3 - an easy start to the trip; followed by a very long happy hour - I think it started at 4:30pm and inevitably a night with colleagues on the town. 

The next day, we hopped the train to New York. When I say ‘we’ also - I ‘m referring to me and my boss- who fortunately I like enough to spend 10+ solid days with :) 

The train to New York was really nostalgic. I used to do that route ALL the time, so it was nice to stare out the window at New England as it flashed by. 

Ending up in Penn Station was as always - a massive juxtaposition. I always forget how New York hits all your senses at once. Oh - it smells like hot garbage and homeless people, and its loud, and there is someone in every direction within 5 inches of me, and there are at least 10,000,000 things to look at and digest in a nanosecond. 

I got to Penn Station and was ready to absorb the city. Yes, it’s overwhelming (which is why I go for like 5 days at a time max) but it’s still home. It has an energy - it’s alive - and naturally, I was up for the task of conquering NYC. 

Paul often (VERY often) says that I basically go 500 MPH when I go to New York. I can’t help it. (YOLO :P). I get there and I want to see and do and eat and drink as much as possible. Which is of course, both good and bad. 

Night one in New York was a Friday- yaay, which meant a brief reprieve from 18 hour stretches talking business. I met an old college best friend at the Gansevoort Meatpacking and caught the sunset outside. I think I brought some of the warm weather with me, because next thing I know - I’m fishing around in my suitcase for my sandals. 

From drinks, I went to meet my parents - at a spot I’ve always heard amazing things about; Buddhakan. I love me some Asian food and have always wanted to check it out. It was delicious, tasteful, classy, interesting and of course - trendy. My parents and I caught up over champagne and went to meet my sister for dessert - oysters and more champagne. It was an amazing night, always so much fun hanging out with my fam - soaking in the decadence of the city. 

Saturday morning, I was off to Brooklyn! Jason and his girlfriend live there and I had never been to place to see their adorable Bernadoodle (seen here). We had an awesome and long brunch and caught up- which unfortunately is rarer than we would like. 

I made my way back into the city to meet up with my two awesome sister’s in law and my sister for drinks followed by dinner. We had an awesome dinner in a little spot on the Lower East Side - one of my favorite areas of town. We realized that the 4 of us hadn’t really ever hung out! So it was super fun to catch-up the 4 of us, talking about traveling and food and life in general. I’m so fortunate to have such wonderful sisters :) 

We stopped by my parents place for a quick drink or two before Gina and Kristin headed back into NJ where they were staying. Karyn of course (with very little convincing) asked me to go out to meet up with her and some friends. We went to a few bars - with Karyn’s friends who I have known since they were in their early teens - which was nice. Makes me feel old though. 

Sunday - what did I do Sunday - Sunday I met up with Kristin and Gina at Eataly! They have a lovely rooftop bar/restaurant that I wanted to take them to and we were really blessed with the weather. We enjoyed the warmth and sunshine and last bits of late summer I guess - and stopped by a food festival/stalls on the way home (Gina enjoyed an ice cream sandwich). 

I made my way back to my hotel for a much needed nap; before going home for dinner. 

Family Hike in Malibu

One of me and Paul’s favorite hikes in LA has become a hike through Mandeville Canyon. Technically, there are several canyons in the Santa Monica mountains - and the most popular - Runyon Canyon or Temescal Canyons are great too. We really like Mandeville because it’s rarely crowded and is a pretty moderate hike. We did about 5 miles- but it was SO hot - like over 85 degrees and little Riley was getting tired, so we decided to call it a day. We got lots of sunshine and great views and were saved by our Camelbacks (thanks Mom + Dad) which kept us hydrated in the mid-day heat. 

Now our Sunday’s are spent watching football outside :)

Labor Day and Karyn’s LA Visit

My beautiful sister Karyn texted me about a month ago to tell me that she would be coming to visit - for the 2nd time this year (she is too good to me). Since Karyn has been to visit probably almost a dozen times at this point since we moved here in 2006, I wanted to make this trip a bit more memorable. We had a fair amount of pool/beach time, ventured to Manhattan Beach and Venice for drinks - and hung out with lots of fun friends. I think it was one of Karyn’s best visits yet and a restful and incredibly fun way to spend the long weekend!