Mini Vacation with the Baby

We’re back from a weekend away and the baby’s first hotel stay! B and I got in a quick weekend away with FW in Columbus and enjoyed some good food, drinks and even family time.

The weekend started off with pizza (yup,  every Friday) from Pies and Pints.  We didn’t get in until late, so we ended up not going out. Instead,  I picked up the pizza and grabbed a drink at the bar while B put FW to bed.  #winningmom

20160917_094701

Saturday we had a while day of exploring to do! We started with breakfast and a walk in the Short North.

20160917_103550

And then we spent the day on our feet walking – we walked to the Columbus Topiary Garden, downtown and German Village.

20160917_152837 20160917_124010 20160917_123424

20160917_121023

In front of the statehouse where his great grandfather worked

We also had to stop by North Market.

20160917_150807

And then we were back again to grab drinks at the Short North.

img_20160917_162911

Saturday night,  we enjoyed dinner at a cute (and baby friendly!) restaurant- Hubbard.

20160917_183119

I had amazing food.  We started off with fried Brussels sprouts and then I enjoyed a cauliflower sandwich with arugula quinoa salad. Jeni’s ice cream not pictured.

20160917_180732 img_20160917_194545

Sunday morning, we got up early and went for a stroller run around the city. We made it to a trail with a nice view of downtown.

20160918_090802 20160918_090438

Then, it was time for brunch! We ended our trip with brunch at B’s cousins’ house and FW got to meet his great aunt and cousins.

img_20160918_124706 20160918_114343

20160918_112812

B, FW and cousin Pete – the Wolfpack! (I swear FW is howling at the moon, not crying)

And of course, we ended Sunday with dinner with B’s parents. We celebrated B and two of his brothers’ birthdays with B’s favorite – steak, mashed potatoes and chocolate chocolate cake!

20160918_184429 20160918_192008

Questions:

  • What is your favorite birthday cake? Ice cream cake!! Love me some Ben & Jerry’s ice cream cake- Heath bar (I know it’s not called that anymore) or Peanut Butter fudge.
  • Have you ever been to Columbus, Ohio?

And because it’s Monday, I’m linking up with ErinKatie and the weekly wraps.

Three Weekends In One

What a weekend.  It was fun, tiring and a whirlwind of activity.  I need a weekend to recover I think!

If I had to sum up my weekend, I’d say it was like 3 weekends in one. I feel like I had enough going on to fill three weekends – and it was great!

The weekend started Friday night, with a dinner date and comedy show. B and had tickets to a 9:30 show (late for 8 month pregnant me) to see one of our favorite comica, Sebastian Maniscalco. We started off with a late dinner at Cowell & Hubbard, splitting cheese and a few appetizers.

our Cowell & Hubbard assortment

our Cowell & Hubbard assortment

And then the show. We’ve seen Sebastian several times throughout the years at Hilarities, but he has gotten bigger now (he was even on Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee) and even though he was playing at a different, bigger venue, we almost didn’t get tickets in time!

Saturday morning started early with a 5 am alarm- B and I were headed to the airport to fly to Boston for the day to celebrate our anniversary! It was a great, but quick trip and we were able to get in a lot of walking (nearly 30,000 steps) and see many of our old favorite places (we met in Boston in college). From Beacon Hill to the Boston Common to the Public Gardens to Newbury Street to Faneuil Hall to Fenway to the Isabella Gardner Museum, I’d say we hit nearly everything.

20160430_103330-PANO copy 20160430_124542 20160430_123014 20160430_114141 20160430_131624

We even got in a celebrity sighting- we were told we couldn’t post photos on social media but I did share info to my Snapchat story (@koskim). Here’s a hint- he was promoting Walhburgers and his name rhymes with Bark 🙂

We ended the day with a great Italian meal in the North End, complete with cannoli, tiramisu and coffee of course.

20160430_181242 copy Snapchat-7928469452754181201

Sunday started early again- we had to fly back to Cleveland first thing, as I was emceeing a board event Sunday at lunch time. I’m the Vice President of the Phi Beta Kappa Association of Cleveland, and Sunday was our annual scholarship banquet. I had the pleasure of speaking and announcing the names of all the student award recipients. Brought me back to my days of high school awards events!

20160501_142951

We finally made it home Sunday evening and I am so grateful for B who could tell I was pooped and volunteered to make dinner. I was so worn out that even after 3 nights out, he could have convinced me to order pizza….shh don’t tell him I said that!

And that was my weekend. Not relaxing in the least, but fun.

Some questions for you:

  1. Do you tend to have good or bad flight karma?
  2. Do you have a favorite comedian?
  3. Have you ever been to Boston?

I’m linking up today with ErinKatie and the weekly wraps.

Unas Días en la Ciudad de México – A few days in Mexico City (Parte Dos)

This is part two from my first post about our recent Mexico City vacation. I know I suggested that this would be done Tuesday, but between getting home late from the airport and starting to catch up on work – it didn’t happen! AND as you know, there was just too much info to include in one blog post! Part one: here—aquí.

Other trip highlights:

Walking everywhere (and a run!)

B and I stayed in La Zona la Condesa, a really cute neighborhood just a few miles from the main downtown and historic areas. Our neighborhood had a lot of coffee shops, mezcalerias and restaurants for us to choose from. AND plenty of large parques and green spaces where people were walking, running and just relaxing with their families and dogs. B and I walked everywhere the first few days before we figured out how easy their subway system is and the first full day alone I got 34,000+ steps (that’s without a run). Also, there are rental bikes everywhere (like in most cities) where you can rent a bike from one destination and drop it off at another for really cheap. I don’t ride a bike, but they have bike lanes and we saw plenty of people riding along the city streets.

love the parks!

love the parks!

walking around downtown

walking around downtown

walking around the old part of town

walking around the old part of town

beautiful architecture

beautiful architecture

love the way these houses look

love the way these houses look

B and I finally got out for a run through our neighborhood and the park areas on my birthday. We had been in town for nearly a week but the high altitude was still killing me – I was burnt after nearly 3.5 miles! Still, I enjoyed it – running in short sleeves and sunshine in January isn’t something I get to do often 🙂

during our run - downtown in the distance

during our run – downtown in the distance

Lucha Libre

I’m not going to lie – I was a little skeptical at first about going to see the luchadores. I’ve never been a boxing or wrestling or fighting fan – but when in Rome Mexico … the event was so much fun! People (especially kids) get all dressed up in the máscaras de luchadores (masks of their favorite fighters) and watch fight after fight after fight in a crowded arena. I didn’t quite understand what was going on in each fight, but I do know that it was quite the experience I won’t soon forget. (if you’re going to Mexico, you can buy tickets when you get there pretty easily. Or, if you want to buy them in advance, ticketmaster sells international tickets and you can buy them from the U.S.)

before the fight, vendors sell masks, snacks, shirts, etc.

before the fight, vendors sell masks, snacks, shirts, etc.

some of one of the fights

some of one of the fights

B (in his mask) and me at the fights

B (in his mask) and me at the fights

The old pyramids of Teotihuacan

This was one of the favorite things we did on our entire trip. B had arranged for a private tour of Teotihuacan, an old city with pyramids from before the Mayans and Aztecs arrived in Mexico.

teo2

The ruins are amazing. During the tour, we were able to see the old huge pyramids, some old paintings and other areas of the old city. We even climbed the Moon and Sun Pyramids, which was a lot of fun. I was a little nervous about being out of breath climbing all the stairs in such high altitude, but we made it and in not that bad shape. I guess the running helps 🙂 (if you’re going to Mexico – we used this tour service: ToursByLocals.com).

on the steps

on the steps

in front of the sun pyramid - we climbed to the top!

in front of the sun pyramid – we climbed to the top!

All in all it was an amazing trip. Mexico City is a great tourist destination and I would definitely recommend you add it to your travel bucket list. Here’s why:

  • B and I felt pretty safe the entire time (it’s like any major city – I’m sure there are worse parts, but we stuck to areas we felt safe in), and it was easy to get around in – we walked a ton and even took the Metro (they also have Uber if you’re taxi or train-averse). Just be smart and aware.
  • Once we were there, things were very affordable (even our nicest dinner out for my birthday at a nice restaurant was more affordable than a nice dinner out in Cleveland … and museum admission was all under $10).
  • It was not a huge tourist (at least tourists outside Mexico) destination. Which means that things weren’t tooooo crowded (Teotihuacan during the week was nearly empty – you can see from our photos we had no lines!) and you didn’t feel like you were an outsider invading their space (as you often feel in touristy areas); instead, you felt like you were sharing it. It was great to practice our Spanish, see the sites and go somewhere that wasn’t too touristy but still had a ton to do.
  • All of the above! The food, the museums, the churches, the history – unless you’re only looking for a place with tropical beaches (sorry, Mexico City is too far inland), Mexico City really does have it all.

Some questions for you:

  • Have you been to Mexico? Where?
  • What type of things do you look for when planning a vacation?
  • What’s next on your travel bucket list? Have I convinced you to add Mexico City?

Unas Días en la Ciudad de México (A few days in Mexico City)

I know I’ve been somewhat incommunicado the past few days, but if you follow me on Instagram (@koskim), you probably noticed that B and I are on a fabulous vacation to Mexico City.  It had been a year since we’d been abroad (see: trip to Asia posts), and the vacation was definitely needed. It was (semi) warm (60-70 degrees as opposed to the Cleveland winter), and we got to enjoy some great food, culture, lots of walking and practicing our Spanish.

Have you ever been to Mexico City? It was our first time, and there was SO much to do. I’d definitely recommend the city if you’re looking for a fun getaway. I didn’t know what to expect, but overall the city had much MORE than I expected – more walking-friendly and safe areas, more clean streets, more parks, more fun restaurants and really just had more to offer.

Some highlights from our trip – I’ve put this in two blog posts because there’s just too much to include in one. Pardon the Spanglish – Here’s Parte Uno:

All of the food

I’ll do a whole What I Ate Wednesday post on the food from our trip, but overall everything was tan rico. Neither B nor I got sick from the food (yay! Let’s just say that B got sick twice in Asia so I was hoping for the best but prepared for the not-so-good) and we enjoyed some great tacos al pastor and other tacos, seafood, guacamole (even with grasshoppers!), roasted cactus, tons of meat and cheese and even some fruit.

enchiladas

enchiladas

tacos al pastor - featuring this amazing meat

tacos al pastor – featuring this amazing meat on a stick

said tacos al pastor

said al pastor meat

flan imposible

flan imposible

torta! (great sandwiches)

torta! (great sandwiches)

Cooking class

Speaking of food, B surprised me with a Mexican cooking class for my birthday. It was increíble! We started out with a local market tour (and of course we got some stuff to take home with us, along with some fresh fruit, ice cream, cheese and coffee to enjoy during the tour), and ended up with a multi-course cooking experience at the instructors homes. If you’re ever in Mexico City and have a day to spare, I highly recommend the course. The instructors, Jorge and Beto, were perfecto – friendly, knowledgeable and welcoming us in their home. They shared with us some family recipes as well as some tips on what to do during the rest of our time in their city.

beautiful setup for course

beautiful setup for course

learning how to roll our tamales

learning how to roll our tamales

B and me at the table

B and me at the table

And of course – la comida. Also great. We made chalupas, guacamole (with roasted grasshoppers), tamales, salsas, tacos al pastor de pescado (fish tacos al pastor style) and even enjoyed some wine and a local mescal tasting. (if you’re going to Mexico, I highly recommend you book this class – Casa Jacaranda)

Museums, art and churches

Mexico City and the surrounding areas are known for their great culture – both history and art scene. We didn’t have enough time to take it all in sadly, but we did enjoy our visits to the Anthropology Museum, Frida Kahlo home and museum, National Palace and a few other museums and cathedrals in the old part of downtown and beyond.

20160123_140651

Diego Rivera mural

loved the Frida Kahlo museum.

loved the Frida Kahlo museum.

20160119_121231

So many old churches!

So many old churches!

20160120_093223

Stay tuned for Parte Dos (hopefully tomorrow) AND have a great week! I’m linking up with Erin for my weekend snapshot post, Katie for MIMM and as usual, the weekly wraps.

A few days in Newport

B and I just got back from a few days in Newport! After Christmas, B had planned a short trip for us to spend some time on a trip to Newport, Rhode Island. It was a perfect few days to relax, site-see, get in some good food (hooray for fresh seafood!) and a ton of walking.

Newport is a really really cute seaside town with some cute shops, historic spots and a lot to do within walking distance. B and I arrived on the 26th, parked our car, and didn’t get back in it until we left a few days later – it was so great to walk everywhere!

Some of the things we did in Newport included:

 

Going for a run. Of course. We got in a 5.5 mile run around the downtown and surrounding areas the first day when it was 50 degrees. We took in the Cliff Walk and some of the historic houses along the way.

running selfie

Tasting all the seafood and chowders possible. Rhode Island clam chowder has a clear broth – which I prefer – but of course I had to sample that and some oyster chowder. And crab. And this seafood stew with garlic bread.

seafood stew crab and oyster chowder

Taking in the oldest pub in the U.S. – the White Horse Tavern! We stopped there for drinks and snacks one afternoon.

white horse tavern

Enjoying the nautical scenery. Our hotel room had a deck that overlooked the water.

boat

view from hotel balcony

view from hotel balcony

And we checked out the Cliff Walk, which had great views of the ocean.

ocean-viewfromhotel

Viewing some amazing old mansions. In one day, we visited Marble House, The Breakers and Rosecliff. They were all incredible – huge, and some preserved so that we could get a sense of what they looked like in the 1900s. AND since it was the holiday season, the houses were decorated with amazing holiday décor. Marble House had a different decorated Christmas tree in nearly every room (and there were a lot of rooms!)!

breakers selfie marble house inside marble house melissa and breakers brian and the breakers rosecliff selfie

Walking around downtown, checking out local places to eat and of course grab coffee and tea.

walking around historic newport

It was a great trip – a wonderful way to spend a few days after the holidays with B and me before back to reality. It’s hard to believe that last year at this time we were in Hong Kong, just starting our Asian vacation!

Some questions for you:

  • Have you ever been to Newport?
  • How do you like your clam chowder – Manhattan style, New England or Rhode Island? (or do you not know the difference:))

Weekend in NY

Happy middle of December!  It hardly feels like that right now because it is so warm! This weekend B and I were in NYC to celebrate my dad’s birthday, and it was nearly 70 degrees. That’s right, 70 degrees on December 13! I can’t complain, though- it made for an even better weekend in the city.

B and I got in Friday night and met up with my BFF Jane who lives in Brooklyn. The plan was actually to surprise my dad with a birthday dinner Saturday night with family. He had no idea that we were coming in, and had no idea about the family dinner planned. I can’t believe we pulled off the surprise!

Jane and me and Mexican food and beers. Yum!

Jane and me and Mexican food and beers. Yum!

So, Saturday, Jane and I mostly hung out around the city and met up with some of her friends. It was also a warm day and we checked out some holiday markets downtown.

super crowded markets

super crowded markets

amazing cauliflower bahn mi for lunch

amazing cauliflower bahn mi for lunch

Saturday night, it was surprise time! We got to the restaurant 30 minutes before my parents and brother and waited… I was nervous! Surprises make me anxious. Luckily, all family and friends arrived on time and when my dad showed up he was so surprised!

Dad and me at dinner

Dad and me at dinner

My brother and cousins

My brother and cousins

B and me

B and me

Sunday, B and I had a late flight back to Cleveland, so we were luckily able to meet up with my family again. We met up for a tour of One World Trade Center, which is now an observatory above the city. There were great views of the city all around us! We then grabbed a late lunch before it was off to the airport.

20151213_120612

amazing views

20151213_113241 20151213_123623

The trip was great. Even though it was short (and we didn’t get in any runs), I got to see Jane AND my family. I hadn’t seen my family in months, and my extended family in nearly a year. And I can’t believe I’ll be seeing some of them again in a few weeks for the holidays! I feel so lucky I got to celebrate my dad’s birthday and am looking forward to seeing everyone again soon. Now, to survive a short week!

Linking up today with Erin for my weekend snapshot post, Katie for MIMM and the weekly wraps.

Some questions for you:

  • How often do you see your family?
  • Are you traveling for the holidays?

A Weekend in Dallas

B and I just got back from a quick weekend in Dallas. Our friend from B’s law school class, Jared, moved to Dallas several years ago and since B and I had never been, had planned to get in a quick trip before the winter. It was a weekend full of lots of food, some sightseeing, a little walking and some football.

Some of the highlights included:

Feasting on Mexican and Tex Mex. We started off our weekend Friday night with some delicious tacos and ended up getting Tex Mex for brunch at Pepe and Mitos on Sunday.

first meal in Dallas!

first meal in Dallas!

breakfast tacos. YUM.

breakfast tacos. YUM.

jared and brian and their mexican food

jared and brian and their mexican food

Seeing Dealey Plaza and taking a trip to the Sixth Floor Museum. I’m not always a museum fan, but I really enjoyed the Sixth Floor Museum. It was somewhat surreal to see the place where JFK was shot and actually stand from the window where the trigger was pulled.

20151107_121434

More food. We of course had to get some barbecue while in Dallas, and B and I got a pound of beef brisket that we split between the two of us. Let’s just say I’ve had enough beef and barbecue for a while. Lockhart Smokehouse was legit.

ready to eat!

ready to eat!

All of the meat.

All of the meat.

Walking around downtown and a few of Dallas’s neighboring areas. Did you know there’s a giant eye downtown? It’s not far from the original Nieman Marcus.

20151107_113916

if you know me, you know what i had to take this picture…

We even went for a run one morning.B and I got in 6 slow (still getting over my cold) miles to a nearby park and lake.

20151108_101432

We also got to go to a Cowboys game. Wow. I’ve been to NFL games before living in Cleveland, but the Cowboys games are quite the experience. The stadium is simply huge! We were able to tailgate before the game and then enjoy some Sunday night football.

pre-game tailgate

pre-game tailgate

The game! It went into overtime.

The game! It went into overtime.

And that pretty much wrapped up our quick weekend in Dallas.

Some questions for you:

  • Have you ever been to Dallas?
  • What’s your favorite Mexican dish?
  • How do you like your bbq – sweet or smoky?