#TBT: Throwback Thursday – Travel Edition

As you probably know by now, B and I love to travel. We’ve gone to some great places – international and in the U.S. – together and had a great time trying out new meals, meeting new people and getting in as much of the local scene as we can.

We have two more trips planned this year – what we’re calling an “East Coast Foliage Tour” (which will include stops in Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Boston and New York) and a trip to Asia (Hong Kong and Vietnam for now). So as I started to get excited about what’s to come, I began to also think about all the great trips we’ve had over the past few years. Here are some old photos from past trips, 2010 through last year:

2010 – New York City to see my brother play at Carnegie Hall

NYC 2010 Carnegie Hall

2010 – Road trip to Pittsburgh – checking out the city for the first time and of course their Hofbrauhaus

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Not sure if this counts as travel … but we go to upstate New York quite often to see my parents. These pictures are from our engagement shots in 2010 🙂 (thus the cheesiness)

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2011 – trip to Chicago!  We tasted our way through local beers and deep dish pizza, and did a walking tour, tried the architectural boat tour and got in great views.

Chicago + 391 Chicago + 408 Hemmingway Lou Malnottis

2012 Cape Cod – we ate lobster, went whale watching, tried tandem biking and even walked on the beach (even with my boot :()

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Also in 2012 we went to Ireland and England! More hiking, local food and drinks, and siteseeing.

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And we ended the year in Montreal and Toronto. In a snowy winter wonderland! We still managed to walk around, check out some amazing food (crepes, poutine, Chinatown) and had a great time.

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2013 started with a winter surprise vacation in Miami – which meant sunshine, running along the beach, fresh seafood and fruity drinks!

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Also, that year we spent a week checking out another midwestern city – Milwaukee!

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And 2013 ended with a great trip to the West Coast, with stops in San Francisco, NapaSeattle, the Redwoods, Los Angeles and more.

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This year, you probably remember we started off with some travel to Costa Rica. And I can’t wait to see what the rest of 2014 holds for us for travel!

Some questions for you:

  • Do you like to travel or do you prefer to stay home?
  • What’s the coolest place you’ve been – I need more places to add to my travel bucket list!
  • Ever been to Hong Kong or Vietnam? Recommendations?
  • Ever been to Portland, Maine? What do you recommend we do?
  • What’s on your travel bucket list?

 

 

 

Birthday Wrap Up and Thank You!

Last week was my birthday. It was on a Wednesday, a day I happened to be in Toledo for work … so it should have been a normal, ordinary day/week/etc. not worth mentioning. But I have so many awesome friends, family members, and so on, that I have to blog about it.

I have to start by saying I don’t think I’ve ever been one of those people who declares a “birthday month” or “birthday week.” A birthday celebration, to me, always happens on your birthday – or the weekend around it. So, having my birthday on a Wednesday shouldn’t have meant much … but boy, what a birthday!

It started out with dinner at L’Albatros and tickets to see Joshua Bell perform with the Cleveland Orchestra. Joshua Bell. Yes, he really is as amazing as they say in real life (this was my first time seeing him perform) and he really does look 25 years old. AND L’Albatros was amazing as always. B and I started with a cheese plate (you MUST try the epoisses cheese!! My new fave) and fois gras (B’s favorite). For dinner, I enjoyed the vegetarian cassoulet  – I’d definitely recommend it if you like beans … and goat cheese!

Cleveland Orchestra and Post Fridays @ 7 Joshua Bell Performance

joshua bell post joshua bell fridays at 7 cleveland orchestra

I also was treated to quite a few more birthday dinners from friends and coworkers. I enjoyed a fabulous meal at one of the most underrated restaurants in Cleveland (and one of my favorite restaurants) Pura Vida, where I had a lentil pot pie and goat cheese & beet salad (I’m still drooling over them!) and another great meal at Bonefish with drinks, bang bang shrimp, awesome seafood and a surprise dessert. I can’t resist a birthday meal … or two! 🙂

That wasn’t all though. A few of you have been asking about my “Birthday Surprise.”  Well, life has been insane lately. I thought things would get less busy in the New Year, but with work and my other “extracurriculars,” they haven’t … and B has been witness to much of the stress I’ve been under. He convinced me to take the Fri after my birthday off for a Birthday Surprise. Now, in my head, I imagined sleeping in, working out, going shopping, seeing a movie, maybe getting a mani/pedi and then some froyo. OR even driving to Grandpa’s Cheesebarn. Those would have all been a welcome surprise for my day off. So naturally, what followed, was not only SUPER surprising, but pretty awesome.

just your normal January weather

just your normal January weather

B woke me up at 4:30 on my Friday off. Yes, 4:30 in the morning, his alarm went off. Let’s just say I wasn’t thrilled about waking up so early – but definitely intrigued. He told me to shower, put on jeans and sneakers, and we were leaving in 30 minutes. We got in the car around 5 a.m. and he gave me his winter hat to put over my eyes so “I wouldn’t see where we were going.” (Yes, this sounded like an episode of CSI to me!) When the car stopped a little while later, I heard the trunk open (cueing CSI music) and he told me to remove my makeshift blindfold. We were at the airport. I was speechless, not sure where we were going, why were at the airport, or what to do next. “Leave your coat in the car, you won’t need that where we’re going,” was all B said as he led me to security. FINALLY in line for security, he gave me my ticket – CLE to MIA. We were going to Miami. For my birthday.  

no big deal, just standing on the beach in January!

fruity birthday drink!

fruity birthday drinks

more fruity birthday drinks … our hotel may have had a free happy hour

I don’t usually use this blog to gush about B, but seriously – he deserves major husband points. He had packed a bag with all the essentials for a beach vacation, booked us a room just off the beach in South Beach, and planned a complete beach weekend getaway behind my back, because I’d been complaining how cold it was, how I wanted to change my birthday to July, etc.  We had a great trip, stayed at an awesome hotel, and I came back from my birthday weekend with a slight tan.

mandatory selfie on the beach

mandatory selfie on the beach

SO thanks again to all of you who called (yes, real live phone calls and messages!), tweeted, Facebooked, took me out to dinner, sent me cards and gifts for my birthday.  I feel so special! And of course I now have high expectations for my 30th in a few years 🙂