A Weekend With Family in NY

This past weekend I got to travel – by myself – to New York! My brother was in town from Berlin and somewhat last minute I decided to get on a plane to see him and my parents.

It was such a good decision – I hadn’t been home since Christmas and it was great to see my family and also get in some quality time.

The weekend started with a quick stop in the City to see  Jane. We were able to grab a quick lunch and catch up before I caught the train up to Albany with my brother.

Friday started off with a run around my old neighborhood. I saw cows and even caught my brother who was out for a bike ride!

That afternoon, we went to the Hyde, a nearby museum and old house. It was a GORGEOUS fall day in the area, but chilly.

And the museum was really cool – they had a Picasso exhibit going on, but you also get to see the interior of the house, which is preserved since the family lived there in the early 1900s.

Friday night, we went out to dinner in Saratoga Springs. I had an AMAZING grilled octopus dish.

Saturday, we decided to escape town and go for a hike in the Catskills. My brother, mom and I got in the car and after a kinda long car ride, got to the bottom of the trail at the mountain. After hiking up, we saw some amazing views.

The trees were all yellow and orange.

Then, we climbed up even further — you can see the house down below right where I took the picture above.

That night, we had tickets to the Albany Symphony Orchestra! It was a great performance at the beautiful Palace Theater downtown.

Unfortunately, that was the end of an amazing weekend. I hadn’t spent time with just my parents and brother in several (8? 10?) years, and it was just what I needed.

Questions for you:

  • When was the last time you traveled by plane?
  • Do you live near your parents? Siblings?

FW’s First Trip To NY

This weekend,  B and I took FW on his first road trip- we went to visit my parents, brother,  extended family and friends in NY.

It was the baby’s first road trip!

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First,  I’ll admit that a normally 8 hour car ride is not my idea of fun. Add in a semi cranky 2-month-old baby? Not the greatest way to spend your Friday night. But once we got into town,  it was great! I loved being able to introduce everyone to the baby and also get some time to myself as he was passed around.

semi-cranky baby hehe

semi-cranky baby hehe

Some weekend highlights included:

Playing “pass the baby.” Not really- but FW got passed around from my mom, to my aunt to my uncles, etc.

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Going for a run around my old neighborhood while FW was watched by my parents. It’s a nice change of scenery from my usual downtown runs and much hillier than I’m used to!

seen on my run

seen on my run

Seeing my brother.  I hadn’t seen him in a few months and I was so glad that he and FW got to meet! This picture makes me so so so happy.

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Hanging out with Jane and Alisa,  two of my bffs from forever.  They were also excited to meet FW.

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And we snuck in some FaceTime with our bff Melgar of course.

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Taking FW on a run at a local park. B and I took turns with the jogging stroller, which is getting a little easier to use.

post-run pic at the park

post-run pic at the park

Getting through our first road trip with FW. I was lucky to get some advice from some mom friends ahead of time (including Reanna) and it went pretty smoothly. I spent about half the time in the front of the car, half in the back and brought a few toys, some pumped bottles and a car adapter for my pump.

Watching the first BC game of the season. FW hung out with B and cheered on the Eagles, who sadly lost their lead at the end of the 4th Quarter.

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We had to leave early Monday but still managed to make it home for our usual “Sunday” dinner – where FW continued to get showered with attention,  this time by his cousins.

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My heart is so full from showing FW my home and introducing him to so many of the most important people in my life. I know he won’t remember these days later in life, but I’m cherishing every one of these moments as he gets bigger and bigger each day!

I love the holidays

Welp, the holiday season has come and gone. I had such a great time spending time with family and friends, and it seems like ages ago I was back in New York.

I had a great trip home, as always. I had a week home with my parents, some time with my family for Christmas, and then B and I took a few days off and visited Newport, Rhode Island. All in all, a successful holiday break. If only I were ready for 2016!

family

Some highlights from my trip back to New York:

Decorating the tree with my family. When I was younger, we used to go out and cut it down ourselves – it was a great tradition.

tree

Going out to dinner in Saratoga. We went to one of my favorite places and had some delicious fries. It was a little chilly and we spent some time walking along the main street of the downtown area.

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Tons of baking for Christmas. Of course.

cookies

Taking walks with my family. One day it was 30 degrees, the next it was 60! SUCH seasonably warm weather! We had some 50+ degree days before and after Christmas. It was incredible!

selfie taking a walk

selfie taking a walk

one of the 50+ degree days. Doesn't look like December!

one of the 50+ degree days. Doesn’t look like December!

Running while home. B wore shorts and short sleeves on Christmas – I told you it was warm!

christmas eve run christmas day run

Going to the movies. A usual Christmas tradition is seeing a movie on Christmas – this year, a group went and saw Carol, while another group saw The Big Short. I saw The Big Short – it was really good! Christian Bale was so good.

Seeing two of my best friends, Jane and Alisa. Jane and I got to hang out several times, taking walks (in above said warm weather), eating cookies, watching holiday movies, grabbing lunch, etc. It was great!

jane and alisa selfie

Some (but not nearly enough) quality family time.

mother daughter stripes greg and me smaller

And tons of reading. I finished All the Light They Cannot See, Station Eleven and California. All of them were so good! Next up I’m reading 1Q84. What else should I add to my list?

 

And that was about it. A perfect relaxing holiday!

Some questions for you:

  • Did you see any movies?
  • What books are you reading now?

WIAW #43: Home for the Holidays

 

 

 

 

I’m home for the holidays! While it’s not quite yet Christmas, and I still haven’t finished all my gift wrapping (fingers crossed my last package from Fedex arrives today as planned!), I’m back home in New York and enjoying some rest, relaxation, lots of reading (finished two books, onto the next!) AND home-cooked meals. So for this week’s WIAW, instead of one day of eats, here is a glimpse at a few of the meals I’ve enjoyed since I’ve been home.

Breakfasts have been pretty standard while I’ve been home. Some cereal (my parents’ cereal collect rivals that of Seinfeld) and fruit. Pretty standard AND delicious. Oh, and I love my mom’s homemade granola.

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Granola! (no, not frozen yogurt)

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Lunches have varied somewhat, typically including some sort of bread with cheese, fruit and a type of soup.

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For dinner, I’ve eaten all meals home (and homemade by my mom!) but one. We went out to dinner one night in the beautiful Saratoga Springs and hit up Ravenous, a place known for their crepes and frites. They did not disappoint. Otherwise, we had some roasted turkey breast, pesto pasta and cornish hens. All hit the spot. So. Much.

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And desserts. How can I forget about these? I’ve been baking up a storm for the holidays and of course sampling some of the treats, including chocolate covered pretzels, lemon bars, chocolate fudge cookies and jam cookies. ‘Tis the season!

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Questions for you:

  • What have you been baking?
  • What’s your favorite home-cooked meal?

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?

The Most Wonderful Wonderful Wonderful Wonderful … Time of Year!

As we start to wrap up 2014 and the holiday season, I just wanted to share some highlights of my few days in New York celebrating the holidays with family and friends. ❤

This tree. I love the lights, the ornaments we put on together, and how at home I feel when I’m standing right here.

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Sushi with friends at my favorite sushi restaurant in New York. Nothing beats it!IMG_20141221_134726

Holiday baking with my mom. We don’t actually bake together, but rather discuss recipes and baking choices and then pretty much bake on our own. We enjoy finding new recipes, like this year’s raspberry almond thumbprint jam cookies.

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Seeing friends I haven’t seen in ages. My three best friends from high school this year lived in San Francisco, Brooklyn and Finland – a.k.a. waaay too far. I’m happy to share that this lovely lady is back from her Finnish stint and living in the U.S.A. again!

"Is this going on your blog?" was probably said a few times.

“Is this going on your blog?” was probably said a few times.

And seeing my cousins. We haven’t had a cousin photo in a while.

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Slightly change of running scenery pace. For example, one day I ran past cows. Grazing. On snow. A little different from my downtown Cleveland runs, huh?

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How have your holidays been so far? What’s your favorite part about this time of year?

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

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:

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

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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!)

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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?

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!

That Weekend One of your Best Friends Gets MARRIED

I had a FABULOUS weekend and I am just so excited to share it with you. That’s right – as you probably could tell by the headline (do you read headlines?) – one of my best friends in the whole world got MARRIED this weekend.

blast from the past! Some memories of me and Melgar

blast from the past! Some memories of me and Melgar

Let me tell you a little bit about Melgar. Melgar and I have been friends since 7th grade. Have I told you this before? During locker day, that day when all the soon-to-be seventh graders come to the junior high to try out their lockers and their class schedule, Melgar and I discovered we had lockers next to one another. AND that we had the same first name. Which is why I always called her Melgar – not Melissa. So it only made sense that two short seventh graders, with the same first name and in the same hall, and lockers next to one another, would become friends. Friends we became – and despite going to different colleges, and living oh so far apart, thanks to Skypes, Google Hangouts, and phone calls, we have remained friends to this day. And that’s why I feel so blessed and honored to have been part of her special day – and in my first wedding!

melgar getting ready

beautiful bride getting ready

jane and melissa fruity drinks

post-ceremony cocktail hour at the gorgeous Franklin Plaza

B and me with the newlyweds!

It was a beautiful wedding, a beautiful (and cold) day, and a wonderful weekend – seeing my family (my parents live about 20 minutes away from where the ceremony and reception took place so I stayed with them all weekend!), catching up with old friends (seeing Alisa, who flew in from Finland and Andy who lives in Florida), spending the day getting ready with two of my very best friends Jane and Melgar, and dancing the night away with B.

Celebrating with my favorite ladies after the wedding

Celebrating with my favorite ladies after the wedding

B and me- all dressed up!

B and me- all dressed up!

Hope you had just as glorious a weekend! What did you do?

Some questions:

Have you been in any weddings? What’s your favorite part? I loved all the pre-big day activities! Spending the day with some of my very best friends who I don’t see very often and just getting to to be with Melgar on her special day was so wonderful.

Did you stay on your running schedule this weekend? Whoops. Nope! I was due for a 14 miler on Saturday and 7 miles on Friday. With the wedding and the weather (and any other excuses I can come up with), I only was able to get in 18.8 miles – over the 4 days. BUT I did put in a run each day, so I don’t feel too bad (including 6 miles the day of the wedding and 4 miles early the morning after on very uhh tired feet). 

What are you looking forward to this week? It may sound boring, but sleeping in my own bed! Last week I was traveling for work 3 days and then back in NY for the wedding – and I haven’t slept in my own bed since Sunday. 

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.