A Weekend In Chicago with the Girls

I’m just getting back from a girls weekend. I was able to spend several days with some of my best friends. We have been friends for 20+ years and we try to go on trips together about once every year or other year. This year, we planned a trip to Chicago – just us. No kids, husbands, pets, etc.

What does a girls weekend entail when you’re 30-something and have 2 kids? Well, it was pretty perfect. It included:

Some drinks.

Some delicious dining. Including deep dish pizza (of course!), breakfast sandwiches, homemade bagels and lox and birthday treats.

Some relaxing by the hotel rooftop pool.

Some exercise. We did one run along the lake, and one gym day with circuit training. We also took a rainy walk along the 606.

Some site seeing.

I even was able to sneak in a short visit with my friend Cuoghi who moved from CLE to Chicago last year. I was so happy to get in a quick visit with her! We enjoyed some cupcakes in the park.

I’m feeling so lucky and grateful to have such amazing friends. Despite many miles keeping us apart and many life changes over the past 20+ years of our friendship, we are still able to pick up right where we left off every time.

Some questions for you:

  • Do you have friends that you’ve kept in touch with for many years?
  • Where should we go on our next trip?

A Semi Girls Weekend

Hooray for the weekend! After a semi-stressful week, we were all excited when Friday came around.

Friday night started off with some time outside– I am loving how late it is staying light now! Then, pizza for B. FW even had a few bites of a mushroom garlic slice!

No pizza for me, though, because I had other dinner plans. My bff for nearly 20 years, Jane was coming into town! After I picked her up from the airport, we headed out to dinner.

We ended up at Felice, a really cute restaurant nearby. It’s in an old house, so each room is unique and cozy. The food was really good – we split the Brussels s sprouts appetizer and then got the polenta and jackfruit tostones entrees.

Saturday also included some great food. We started the day with breakfast at Luna.

And then some shopping and pedis! We even ended up picking matching colors.

The day included some more girlyness – sheet masks in the evening. We look frightening.

While Jane and I hung out, B took FW to hang out his friend Celia and they went to an Easter egg hunt! I’m bummed I didn’t get to join him on his first hunt, but it looked like they had a good time.

Jane and I decided to stay in for dinner Saturday, and enjoyed it courtesy of B. We started with some Old Brooklyn Cheese Company deliciousness.

And B made us some homemade pasta with homemade pesto, potatoes and green beans. It was really good.

We hung in Saturday night and watched some Netflix before passing out. Yes, we’re pretty exciting like that 🙂

Sunday started with some DELICIOUS brunch. I’ve never been to Fire before, and it had been recommended by tons of people, so we decided to try it out. It did NOT disappoint! I got the vanilla French toast and it was so so so good.

After brunch and a short walk, we were all pretty pooped. Including FW, who fell asleep on me while Jane took a nap on the couch. I can’t remember the last time he fell asleep on me, so even though I was trapped for a good hour without my book, I was relatively content.

After nap time, it was pretty much time to take Jane to the airport. FW came along for the ride and enjoyed watching the planes fly before we headed over to B’s family’s house for dinner. No pictures from there, but we had some delicious lasagna and a Girl Scout cookies for dessert.

Some questions for you:

  • Do you typically go sweet or savory for brunch?
  • What’s your favorite Girl Scout cookie?

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps!

A Weekend With My BFF

One of my best friends, Jane, visited me in CLE this weekend for one last hoorah / girls weekend before the baby is born. It was pretty much the weekend that any pregnant gal could ask for – lots of relaxing, some walking, great weather, tons of food and ice cream.

The weekend was supposed to start with a cooking class – but unfortunately Jane’s flight had a 4 hour delay and she didn’t get in until close to 10 p.m. 😦 We did pick up some delicious Taza, however, and enjoyed catching up over some delicious Lebanese takeout.

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Saturday was gorgeous in the morning, we we decided to walk to Ohio City for brunch and tea. I have never been to the West Side Market Cafe for brunch before and it was great – we split a cornbread waffle and huevos rancheros. The perfect sweet/savory combo!

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Then we hit up the Market for a few goodies, and walked to Cleveland Tea Revival for some iced tea for our walk home.

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We spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing, gossiping about high school friends, watching Netflix, etc. You know – normal girls weekend activities. It was great! I even snuck in a short nap before dinner – Superior Pho.

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And of course, some ice cream for dessert. Tasters duo at Mitchell’s.

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We stayed up late chatting more and watching The Princess Bride before passing out on the couch.

Sunday morning was pretty lazy as well – we had some breakfast at my apartment before taking a short walk around downtown (again, beautiful blue skies!). Jane had to be at the airport around noon, so after B and I dropped her off, we went for another walk.

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We hit up the local Metroparks and got in a four mile route that we’d done before – usually for running – and of course stopped for a few pictures. I even got a few “Happy Mother’s Day!” comments from strangers. Guess it’s obvious I’m due soon? (kidding)

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I had to catch up on a little work, so we went to Blackbird Bakery, but sadly they were out of pastries (I guess that happens on Mother’s Day …) – I did enjoy a decaf cafe au lait while finishing up a few things from my to do list.

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B also made me a delicious I’m-almost-a-Mother’s Day dinner. It was such a nice day out, I was craving something summery and the ht the spot. And so colorful!

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Questions for you:

  • Have you seen Princess Bride?
  • Have you ever had purple cauliflower?

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

 

WIAW #42: One Friday, Two Cities

It’s time for another exciting episode of … What I Ate Wednesday! That’s right, it’s already Wednesday. And for me, it’s my pseudo Friday, because I’m off work tomorrow and Friday! Yippee!

This post features my eats from last Friday. It was a semi interesting day of eats, because it started with a somewhat normal work day, but since we were going away for the weekend, we had very few groceries. And then we were traveling and then we were in NYC Friday night! So, this post features 2 cities in one day.

The day started out with a non-typical breakfast. As I mentioned, we didn’t have many groceries, so I had some grapes and a few bites of B’s peanut butter toast. I wasn’t too hungry, so a few bites were all I needed.

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I was starving by my usual mid-morning snack time, and I opted for half a banana and some peppermint bark.

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I hadn’t brought a lunch, so I decided to walk over to Stone Oven. I got my FAVORITE salad, Jaina’s salad. It has chicken, feta, croutons, tabbouleh, couscous, roasted red pepper and their amazing bread. I ate the whole thing up.

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I left work a little before 5 to head home to finish packing, grab a snack, and head to the airport. My snack was a cookie or two from our holiday cookie exchange the day prior. Look at all those cookies!!

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At the airport, I grabbed some mentos, a lemonade and gum and then we headed to NY.

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I was so hungry by the time we got into the city and met up with my friend Jane.  It was after 9:30, and we grabbed some Mexican food at a local place near her and it was great.

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Chips, guac and three tacos later, I was stuffed. Not a bad start to a fun weekend in NY!

Some questions for you:

  • Do you have any upcoming trips planned? I’ll be back in NY again soon to spend the holidays with my family!
  • What’s your favorite holiday cookie or treat? I love peppermint bark! But love the simple shortbread cookies that my mom makes.
  • Do you have any go-to meals when you have no groceries?

 

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.

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amazing views

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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?

Girls Weekend in New Orleans

Last weekend I was lucky enough to spend some time with some of my best friends in the entire world – Jane, Melgar and Alisa. The four of us became friends in junior high, which means we’ve been friends now for 17+ years. It boggles my mind that I’ve known them for so long.

Friends for 17 years! This was approximately 12 years ago ...

Friends for 17 years! This was approximately 12 years ago …

The four of us haven’t been together since Melgar’s wedding 2 years ago, and it was SO GREAT to be together in such a fun city. We stayed together in a cute hotel in the French Quarter and had no set itinerary for our time there – just to have fun, eat good food, and celebrate our friendship.

Some highlights from our weekend included:

Eating tons of beignets at Café Du Monde. I may have gone there three times during our trip.

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cafe dumond

Checking out the Garden District and stalking doing an informal walking tour of the beautiful homes.

this house had a corn fence!

this house had a corn fence!

Going out on Bourbon Street and Frenchmen Street (yay for no open container laws!)

Out on Frenchmen Street

Out on Frenchmen Street

Bourbon Street before it gets crazy later

Bourbon Street before it gets crazy later

Hearing the famous Preservation Hall Jazz Band at the Preservation Hall

I didn’t take this video, but it gives you a good sense of what we saw and how amazing they are:

Going for a run with Alisa and catching part of the humongous Halloween parade

sweatie selfie!

Going out to eat and getting some Creole food at the Gumbo Shop… and non-Creole food at Shaya

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Just walking around and exploring the old streets and interesting scenery. Honestly, we could’ve done NOTHING and I would’ve been happy – I love these girls so much.

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cute hotel

What a great trip! It was so wonderful to see my friends and as always, we were able to pick up and start again without missing a beat. I’m so lucky to have these ladies in my life!

Some questions for you:

  • Do you still stay in touch with any of your high school or junior high friends?
  • Have you ever been to New Orleans? What did you think?
  • Where should the four of us go on our next trip?

Linking up today for a weekend update/marvelous monday recap with with Katie and Erin!

A Weekend With Friends in the CLE

Do you have a group of friends or a friend that you don’t see too often (perhaps because you live far apart) but each time you meet up it’s like things have never changed and you can pick up right where you left off? That’s my Jane and Melgar. We’ve been friends since 7th grade and even though we went to different colleges and now live in different cities, we stay in touch and see each other once a year.

Look what I found in my old yearbook! Five high school best friends before junior year prom. LOOK AT THOSE DRESSES.

Look what I found in my old yearbook! Five high school best friends before junior year prom. LOOK AT THOSE DRESSES.

This year, even with Melgar’s wedding, we managed to get together in my current home – Cleveland! It had been 5 or 6 years since they had been in town and it’s crazy to think about how much life has changed since then – not only how much Cleveland has changed but how much we have changed. New jobs, marriage, new significant others, new cities, grad school – seriously, so much has changed.

Obligatory picture of Jane and Melgar and I the last time they were in CLE - posing at Edgewater

Obligatory picture of Jane and Melgar and I the last time they were in CLE – posing at Edgewater. We don’t look that different do we?

Anyway, we had a GREAT weekend, if I do say so myself. We enjoyed time at some downtown bars (from Moriarty’s to Lincoln Tap House to Society Lounge) and restaurants (Greenhouse Tavern, Phuel and Taza), in Ohio City (West Side Market and Town Hall), and even Tremont (Press Wine Bar and Treehouse). Oh yeah, we also went for a run, got to watch some World Cup AND went to the beach. I’d say it was a successful weekend!

Some fabulous photos from the weekend (in no order):

Watching the soccer game at Moriarty's

Watching the soccer game at Moriarty’s

Then fancy cocktails at Society

Then fancy cocktails at Society

Easy run in the morning around downtown

Easy run in the morning around downtown

Catching some rays (and ice cream) on the beach

Catching some rays (and ice cream) on the beach

Walking to the West Side Market and brunch

Walking to the West Side Market and brunch (side note – a runner stopped mid-run and asked if we wanted our photo taken! How nice is that?)

Hanging out at the mini flea market in Ohio City

Hanging out at the mini flea market in Ohio City

brunch at Phuel

brunch at Phuel (pancake not pictured). Also realized I didn’t get a photo of our amazing meals at Greenhouse, Taza OR Town Hall!

patio drinks in Tremont

patio drinks in Tremont

Feeling American watching the World Cup drinking a Bud Light and eating a buffalo chicken salad

AND after they left, I drowned my sorrows in soccer. I felt pretty American watching the World Cup drinking a Bud Light and eating a buffalo chicken salad.

It was a great weekend and I can’t wait until I see these girls again soon. We always have such a great time catching up, relaxing and exploring whatever city we’re in. Where should we meet up next?

Some questions for you (answer in the comments if you can):

How was your weekend?

Did you watch the World Cup?

What’s your idea of “American” food? Beer, soda, wings, buffalo chicken and burgers!

Do you like fancy drinks? What’s your favorite cocktail?

Where is your favorite city to have a girl’s weekend? We need suggestions!

What’s your favorite brunch order? I’m typically a savory bruncher – eggs, sausage, bacon … etc. I got chili for brunch on Saturday and granola on Sunday.