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?

Another Carnoski Thanksgiving in NY and Cleveland

I really love this time of year. I love the food, the holiday music, the traditions, etc. But really, I just love seeing my family. B and I swap Thanksgivings, spending pretty much every other holiday with my family, and this was one of the years we spent in New York so I got to see my family and friends.

A few highlights from my Thanksgiving:

A few homemade meals (I still love my mom’s cooking):

Chicken with mozzarella and spinach

Chicken with mozzarella and spinach

Quinoa with Apples and Pecans - i crashed the web

Quinoa with Apples and Pecans – recipe here!

A scenic train ride into New York City:

IMG_20141124_120225

Walking around the city with B and then dinner with one of my bffs, Jane:

IMG_20141124_221611

Sorry, no food pics (it didn't come out) but we enjoyed an awesome Mediterranean meal!

Sorry, no food pics (it didn’t come out) but we enjoyed an awesome Mediterranean meal!

Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge with B:

halfway up the bridge!

halfway across the bridge!

Our approach from Brooklyn

Our approach from Brooklyn

Sushi with my parents:

Does anyone know what the raw egg on top of the fish on the top left is ? It was amazing...

Does anyone know what the raw egg on top of the fish on the top left is? It was amazing…

A surprise day-before-Thanksgiving Noreaster – so pretty! (it had been 70 in the city the day before!)

20141127_110047

A Thanksgiving morning 5k and a too brief reunion with my other bff, Melgar:

<3 the two Melissas

❤ the two Melissas before the Turkey Trot (with matching headbands of course)

Melgar's husband, B and me post-run

Melgar’s husband, Jon, B and me post-run

Me and Melgar and her sister with our medals!

Me and Melgar and her sister with our medals!

Thanksgiving dinner with family

so many appetizers!

so many appetizers!

Family picture <3

Family picture ❤

Post-Thanksgiving Chinese (What does this fortune even mean?!)

I have no idea ...

I have no idea …

B’s family’s post-Thanksgiving celebration – annual bowling tournament

B - the bowling all star (he made it into the finals this year!)

B – the bowling all star (he made it into the finals this year!)

Cousins-in-law!

Cousins-in-law!

Final score of my best round - 81!

Final score of my best round – 81!

And made it back to Cleveland just in time to catch the end of Winterfest and the lighting of downtown!

Love the Christmas music, the tree and chandelier lighting and all the people!

Love the Christmas music, the tree and chandelier lighting and all the people!

fireworks and a tree lighting

fireworks and a tree lighting

Okay, off to listen to some Christmas tunes (finally!!!!!) and get into the holiday spirit. Only a few weeks until Christmas!

 

Some questions for you:

  • Did you do a Turkey Trot?
  • How do you spend Thanksgiving? What’s a fun tradition you have?
  • Do you wait until after Thanksgiving to listen to holiday tunes?

#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

2010-10-09_12-52-47_517

2010-10-09_20-34-27_490

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)

20100522_MG_8428

20100522_MG_8712

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 :()

IMG_1230 IMG_1194 IMG_1189 IMG_1186

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

IMG_0066 IMG_1319 IMG_1466

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.

20121227_125941 20121227_145659

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

20130125_124525

 

IMG_1587

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

20130704_095549 20130705_121011 20130704_154842

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

20130903_145304 20130905_150023

20130907_115725

 

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?

 

 

 

Another weekend in NY

Living in Ohio, sometimes it seems like my home, NY is just too far away. It’s too far for a weekend trip by car (it’s hard to rationalize 15 hours in the car for a day or two trip), and planes aren’t always the most affordable options. Luckily, for various reasons (some not-so-lucky), I’ve gotten a chance to go home and see my family quite a few times the past few months. And that includes this past weekend! A few people from my agency were being recognized, as well as a client I work on, and I was lucky enough to attend a formal event in New York City for the awards ceremony and celebration.

After the awards ceremony, I was lucky enough to spend some time in the city with my brother, and then some time upstate with my parents. It will be at least a month until I see them next – and probably the last time I visit my brother at his school before he graduates (I can’t believe my brother is graduating college this year!).

Some scenes from a great weekend:

Jennifer and I (our client was up for an award) at the program

Jennifer and I (our client was up for an award) at the program

Awards beginning!

hanging around Columbia the next day

hanging around Columbia the next day

SO impressed with how clean my brother's dorm was!

SO impressed with how clean my brother’s dorm was!

view from the top of his dorm

view from the top of his dorm

pre-dinner drinks at the top of the Standard Hotel with my brother

pre-dinner drinks at the top of the Standard Hotel with my brother

view from the top of the Standard

view from the top of the Standard

Dinner with Greg. We waited outside this Indian Restaurant for 30 minutes and then were allowed into a scene with TONS of holiday and pepper lights.

Dinner with Greg. We waited outside this Indian Restaurant for 30 minutes and then were allowed into a scene with TONS of holiday and pepper lights.

And free ice cream for your "birthday"

And free ice cream for your “birthday”

Also took the train up to Albany and got some great views

Also took the train up to Albany and got some great views

And of course, as most weekends at home do, there was also a little baking

And of course, as most weekends at home do, there was also a little baking

tomato mozz

and of course, some GREAT meals

It’s always so hard to leave – but after a great weekend with food and family, and one of my favorite cities, who can really complain? Here’s to a great week!

Weekends In My Second Home – New York (Part Two)

Friday night I had planned on staying with my brother in his dorm room. I did it last year, and post-dinner we had just hung out, chatted and gone to bed, which is kinda what I thought we were going to do this year. I was wrong! This year, Greg wanted to take me out with his friends. I’m clearly not in college anymore. His friends were meeting at 11 p.m. to go out … yes, 11, which is later than I typically go out now. We went to a bar only a few blocks away from campus, a bar that gave out free shots of anything (including tequila) if you friended them on Facebook. And then it started pouring out, and none of us had umbrellas. You can tell from those last two sentences how my night was. It was a good time – I enjoyed meeting my brothers’ friends, partying like a college student for one night and getting stuck in the rain.

this is what happens when Greg and I hangout... a photoshoot

this is what happens when Greg and I hang out

Saturday morning we woke up pretty early (sleeping on a dorm room floor isn’t easy, even if you have a blow up mattress), and Greg suggested we go for a quick, short run while he waited for his laundry. Another impromptu, unplanned run in New York? Score! After the run, we enjoyed breakfast and then it was time to say goodbye as my parents and B were on their way to pick me up to visit my grandma while my brother studied for finals.

Grandma, dad and me

Grandma, dad and me

My grandma lives in an assisted living home with a lot of other elderly people. It was SO nice to see her – it’d been a few months – but it’s always hard seeing her living there, as opposed to the apartment I saw her in when I was growing up. I hope that when I’m old and if I’m living in an assisted living home I take advantage of all the activities they have. Posted in the elevator I saw the schedule for the weekend included crafts, live music, a morning walk, and even some fresh-baked apple pie BEFORE dinner.

After visiting my grandma we headed back up to Albany and went out to a really delicious dinner at a Turkish restaurant. My parents went to Turkey last year to visit my brother who had an internship there over the summer (see how cool he is?) and I’m convinced that since then they enjoy Turkish food more. Anyway, I gobbled it all  up before taking any photos because I was so hungry after smelling the warm apple pie cooking all afternoon. I fell asleep on the couch at home (see, this time home means in Albany!) after a tiring but relaxing day.

Mother's Day Brunch

Mother’s Day Brunch

Sunday I woke up and my parents were getting ready to go for their usual hour and a half walk around the neighborhood. I decided to join them, but go on a run first and meet them halfway. For some reason (perhaps fueled by the amazing Turkish food?), I ran faster than I normally do – my MapMyRun app clocked me at running 4.75 miles in under 42 minutes! After my faster-than-usual run, I found my parents and enjoyed a leisurely walk home with them.

sunday run splits

Check out my splits for the run! I’m not typically this fast unless it’s a race.

After our walk/run, we went out to Mother’s Day brunch in downtown Albany. We had reservations at Justin’s on Lark Street, which had a great breakfast and live piano music. I enjoyed a latte, some cornbread and a great brunch of eggs over easy, french toast, bacon, potatoes and toast. I was starving (again!) and finished it all. Post-brunch, the weather looked nice, so we headed over to Washington Park where Tulip Fest was going on. The Tulip Festival happens every spring in Albany and features live music, food vendors, family-friendly activities during the day and other activities at night, and even the crowning of a Tulip Queen. We only had time to walk around for a little before it was time to head back home, pack and head to the airport.

mom dad me tulips

As always, it was sad to leave my parents and head back to Cleveland. But it was such a beautiful weekend and I had such a good time, which made leaving easier. I hope everyone had a great Mother’s Day weekend as well!

And since there are no food photos in this post, I’ll leave you with what B and I enjoyed for dinner after we got off the plane late Sunday evening for dinner – Vietnamese.

I <3 Vietnamese Food

I ❤ Vietnamese Food

Some questions:

  • Do you live in the same city as your parents/siblings? If not, do you visit them often? My family is all in New York, but I try to get out there a few times a year. I also love hosting them in Cleveland! 
  • What time is too late to go out at night? No time – but I think getting ready to go out at 11 p.m. is too late for me now. I guess I’m getting old!
  • Do your parents work out or have a work out routine that they stick to? Yes! They have for as long as I remembered. We would go to the YMCA as a family when I was young or go on long walks. Which is probably why I have always felt the need to stay active and get in a run or some other activity every day.
  • Do you enjoy brunch food? What’s your favorite? I typically enjoy the more savory brunch foods like eggs – I don’t really like pancakes, waffles, french toast, etc.

Weekends In My Second Home – New York (Part One)

I love New York. For those that don’t know, I was born in New York City and lived there until my parents moved up to Albany where I grew up before living in Boston, and eventually where I am now – Cleveland.

I always talk about “going home” when I go to back to New York. But when people ask me where “home” is, I say Cleveland. It sometimes seems like I don’t know where home is – but I’m fine with that. Having multiple homes makes it easy to feel at home at a few different places. And this weekend I had booked tickets to spend Mother’s Day with my mom at home – in New York City and Albany. Unlike my last impromptu trip home a few weeks ago, this time B was joining me!

Thursday night, B and I left Cleveland and flew into NYC. Right from the airport, we took a taxi to meet up with B’s friend Jared (who says he reads this blog … Hi Jared!) who was out with his coworkers and girlfriend, celebrating his last day of work. Jared has been working as a high-powered NYC lawyer pretty much since he finished law school, and his coworkers threw him a goodbye bash at a whiskey bar in Hell’s Kitchen, On The Rocks. The lawyers had been there for quite some time and were having a good time when we arrived, suitcases in hands. We stayed, had some drinks, and joined in the celebration before calling it a night and heading back uptown to Jared’s place.

On to Friday. B and I spent Friday sightseeing  It was great! Jared lives on Central Park West and I was able to start the day with a 3.7ish mile run (per my MapMyRun App as seen below) through Central Park, which was beautiful, as you can see. I knew that as soon as I laced up my sneakers and went outside that it was going to be a good day – days starting with runs are always better.

central park mapmyrun

Post-run, B and I walked downtown to Rockefeller Center to meet my best friend Jane for lunch. Jane is pretty awesome (obviously, she was my maid of honor) and after getting a degree in city planning/urban development, she moved to NYC to find a job – she’s now living in Brooklyn and temping downtown. We enjoyed some delicious sandwiches, walked around a bit, and then B and I left Jane to do some more exploring.

brian and me rockefeller

one of my bffs - jane!

one of my bffs who lives WAY too far away – jane!

From Rockefeller Center, we walked to one of my favorite places in NY, Eataly. We didn’t buy anything this time (too full from lunch), but I loved seeing all the people enjoying the gelato and smelling all the delicious food.

From there, we headed to One World Trade Center. I had been by there after 9/11 but before the memorial was being built so it was my first time seeing what had become of the area. We didn’t check out the memorial though – I don’t think I’m ready for that.

one world trade center

From there, we walked to South Street Seaport to get a view of the Brooklyn Bridge. It was a beautiful day and we sat for a little bit (my feet were tired!) and I bought a bag of candy to help enjoy the view (candy makes everything, even existing gorgeous views, better).

Pretty sure he doesn't like posing for photos but humors me :)

Pretty sure he doesn’t like posing for photos but humors me

Then, we headed to the Financial District so B could check out Wall Street. B had never been to Wall Street and enjoyed checking out where the original wall used to be (isn’t it crazy to think that NYC used to end all the way down there?!) and the Stock Exchange Building.

Look, it's a map of Ohio!

Look, it’s a map of Ohio!

After that, we hit up Chinatown. I was tempted to buy a bag of strange dried stuff (ginger, scallops, plums, unnamed fish) from a shop we stopped in, but we were on our way to dinner and I had just bought a bag of candy. It was such a gorgeous day and walking around was exactly what we wanted to do.

Chinatown

By then, it was time to meet my brother in the West Village. We headed back up the island and getting to the area a little early, sat down for afternoon drinks at Bobo. My brother joined us, bringing with him flowers! He had brought me tulips. How sweet, huh? Anyway, I had a lovely ginger mojito and my brother had a lemon-rosemary gin beverage. It’s still weird having my brother order drinks in bars – he just turned 21 and I’m not used to it.

siblings!

siblings!

After drinks, we headed to dinner, and B headed back uptown to meet up with Jared again. Greg and I had a great meal at a BYOB French restaurant, Tartine, in the West Village where we ate outside. We shared two salads – one warm kale with butternut squash, the other fennel and asparagus with avocado and ricotta salata – and then the special entree – an almond encrusted halibut with a creamy polenta and asparagus. And of course, since it was BYOB, we enjoyed a bottle of a French wine that B and I had picked up along the way.

As we were leaving dinner, I had one of my first celebrity sightings – we saw Hugh Jackman! It was awesome. We actually were about to head to the train and ended up following Hugh for a few blocks. I was literally one foot behind him and could’ve touched him at one point. It was surreal! I wish I had taken a picture … but you would’ve just seen the back of a guy in a white polo shirt and a blonde woman and a small pug dog, so you’ll just have to trust me. And instead, enjoy this photo that I did NOT take:

I did not take this photo. 😦

To Be Continued …

And in the meantime, some thoughts to ponder:

  • Do you enjoy impromptu runs? Or do you prefer to plan a route ahead of time?
  • Have you ever had a celebrity sighting? What did you do? 
  • Where do you call home? Do you have two homes?
  • Have you tried any of the dried scallops or other fishes from Chinatown?

Weekend Recap – Planes, Trains, Automobiles and Food – Part 2

Sorry, folks, the other post was just getting to long and I (and you) probably needed a break. Anyways, after an awesome Thursday and Friday in the city, I was looking forward to seeing the rest of my family later in the weekend.

Saturday

I stayed overnight in my brother’s dorm room Friday night and we woke up early Saturday to pack up his stuff and help him move out of his dorm. We grabbed a quick breakfast at Westside Market (no, not the Cleveland landmark) before meeting up with my parents to pack up his stuff into their rented van. My brother had to work again, so my parents, B and I headed to the High Line to explore the green area on what was turning out to be a gorgeous, 70something degree day. The High Line was beautiful – for you non-NYers, the High Line is a park/walking route in on an old, abandoned above-ground and above the streets train tracks. The tracks are no longer in use, and instead of tearing them down, the city decided to turn the overgrown tracks into a park-like walking area, above the city. There are gorgeous plants, vendors selling food and cute artsy stuff, sprinklers for kids to run through, and more, all along the walkway.

We spent a few hours walking, grabbed a quick lunch at The Park in Chelsea (they have “Garden Seating,” a tree in the middle of the dining room, a ricotta salada and beet salad, and serve banana bread with the meal – need I say more?), walked a little more, and then headed to visit my Grandma and meet up with the rest of my family for an early Mother’s Day dinner at our Riverdale staple – Nonno Tony’s (and yes, Nonno Tony knows my Grandma and the rest of my family, they go there so often). After stuffing ourselves with pizza and salad, B and I got dropped off at Penn Station and took the train up to Albany.

Sunday

Sunday, I woke up in Albany and spent most of the day relaxing with my family. The four of us (my mom, dad, brother and I) hadn’t been together since Christmas and likely won’t be all together for another few months (my brother is spending his summer in Jordan, Istanbul, Edinborough, London and more) so it was great. In the morning, B,  my parents and I took a leisurely 5-6 mi walk around the area. Then, we enjoyed a Mother’s Day lunch at Risotto, a new restaurant in Albany before B and I returned to the airport for our flight back to Cleveland.

My chicken and risotto .. at Risotto

What a great Mother’s Day weekend! Were you able to spend it with your mom? Did you do anything special?