Winter Weekends in the Heights

In the Heights … yes, I’ve been listening to Lin Manuel-Miranda and have In The Heights in my head. The songs are so catchy and the movie trailer just looks great to me! And it makes me think of warmer days and being outside …

But I digress. It’s not warm here and we were not outside much. But we still had a good weekend in OUR Heights. It was equally productive, festive, active and fun, which makes for a pretty good weekend in my book. Some of the fun included: Continue reading

A Weekend Away With Friends: Hocking Hills

B and I just got back from a weekend away with the kids. It was our first trip since our summer getaway to Toronto and Ithaca, and it was our first trip ever with some other couples with kids. And it was a success! We all got (some) sleep, had good food and had fun on some hiking trails. We spent the weekend away in Hocking Hills, about a 3 1/2 hour drive from our house (longer if you’re traveling with 2 kids and one gets carsick about halfway through …).We got into town around 8 ish or so on Friday night. We had dinner with the kids and just hung out for a while talking after the kids went to bed late. We were beat – the car ride down had not been easy. LM cried for a good portion of the trip, FW needed to get out to go to the bathroom when we were in the middle of nowhere, and then LM got carsick twice. But we did have this pie waiting for us when we got there (made by my friend Anson).Saturday, we started off with breakfast. I had made a French toast casserole that we just had to heat up before the day began. Our activities began with a drive to Ash Cave and a hike to the cave. We hiked the Gorge and Rim Trail. Those trails were only about 1/2 mile or so, so we ended up walking a bit on the Grandma Gatewood Trail before turning around and making it back to our car for a picnic lunch.After lunch, we opted for another trail – this time to Old Man’s Cave! We hiked the lower falls and Gorge Trail, both of which were fun and not too hard to do with the kids – we had the little ones in backpacks and preschoolers with us at all times (basically FW was holding my hand as we walked up the tons and tons of stairs and anytime we were along the cliffs).Then, back to the cabin for nap time. We finished the afternoon with a cookout, complete with s’mores and the s’mores cookie bars I had brought.

These were pretty good 🙂

Sunday morning we had to pack it up and leave. But not before one last hike! This time we walked a little around the property. It was 80s and the kids were getting tired so it wasn’t too long of a walk – just enough to get out some energy before the car ride home.

All in all, it was a great weekend. Being around 5 children at a time could be a little overwhelming, but I would definitely do it again!

Questions for you:

  • Have you been to Hocking Hills?
  • Have you done a trip with other couples and their families?

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 Few Days in Ithaca

And just like that, the vacation that I have been looking forward to for several months is over. Earlier in the year, we had planned a short getaway with my parents and brother. We had decided to check out the Finger Lakes, finding an AirBNB in Ithaca that would host us for the few days. My brother flew in from Berlin, my parents drove in from Albany and we all stayed together.


The trip was great. It was so wonderful to be able to spend time with my family, and LM and FW loved all the “Nonna, Grandpa, Sweetie and Uncle Greg” time. We also had a good time checking out the city and some nearby sites. Some of the highlights included:

Grabbing dinner and ice cream around Ithaca Commons.

Hiking to and splashing around Taughannock Falls.

Lunching and wine tasting at Thirsty Owl Winery.

Exploring the area – I went running along their waterfront path one day and my family and I took walks as well.

It’s always hard to finish vacation, but this one is especially hard because of the great family time we had.  I don’t know when my parents, brother and I will be all together again!

Some questions for you:

  • Have you been to Ithaca?
  • Do you vacation with your family?

Girls’ Weekend – LCBS Retreat

This weekend, I spent a few nights away from the family. My Ladies Craft Beer Society got together for a mini-getaway to celebrate our fifth anniversary.

Friday night we all got in at different times and proceeded to eat, drink (beer and bubbly!) and catch up. It’d been while since any of us had been together without kids and it was nice to have two hands (for two drinks, obvs) but also to be able to sit back and just talk as our own selves. I personally stayed up too late – past midnight! – and then was up before 7 a.m. to pump the next morning.

The next morning started off with an amazing breakfast – our friend Marissa was in charge of food and made us an amazing French toast casserole.

After breakfast, I decided to head out for a run. It was chily but a beautiful day and I got to pass this gorgeous view – look at the lake!

And of course, because it was my ladies CRAFT beer society, we also did some crafting!

That night, we went out to dinner at a local winery, and then grabbed drinks at a local brewery.

Because of the time change, we didn’t end up staying out as late, but instead spent the night catching up.

Sunday, we got up early and hit the road. For a weekend away from the kids, I ended up pretty tired! I can’t hang like I used to.

It was a great weekend, though, and I am so glad I got to catch up with my ladies!

Some questions for you:

  • When was the last time you had a getaway?
  • What kind of wine do you like?

Annapolis Eats: Fish+Ice Cream

Happy Wednesday! I’m back again for What I Ate Wednesday (WIAW). It’s been a while since I’ve shared some of my eats, and since I just got back from a trip to Annapolis, I thought it’d be fun to share some of the food we ate in Annapolis.

Before I show you some of the pictures, I’ll share with you my goals going into the trip:

  1. Taste the local beer.
  2. Eat plenty of local fish. Especially crab and oysters.
  3. Eat ice cream. Every day if possible.

Spoiler alert – I got to do ALL of the above! Successful vacation in my opinion. Here’s some of the goodness:

Ice cream.

Oysters.

Fish boil.

More ice cream.

More oysters.

GIANT crab cake.

Breakfast hash with CRAB.

Crab soup. Not pictured, sadly. But here’s a picture of one of the few non-crab or ice cream dishes I had- french toast!

Some questions for you:

  • Have you been to Annapolis?
  • What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?
  • Do you like crab?

Vacation Running

I have to admit that I slacked somewhat with my running last week. While I got in plenty of steps most days, I didn’t get in my usual 5+ workouts during the week. But I have no regrets – I was on vacation! And, when I’m on vacation with B and FW, it’s sometimes hard to fit in a run. After all, unless where somewhere that is easy to run with a stroller, one of us has to watch FW and it takes away from our family vacation time (which gives me big mom guilt). So, considering all of that, I’m pretty pleased with last week’s runs.

Some of the highlights:

ALL of the runs were done outdoors! And since I was on vacation, it was so nice to be running during daylight hours on more than 4-5 hours of sleep.

This was my view for some of those runs – greenery and a farm in upstate NY.

And beautiful water for two of my runs, which were done in Annapolis.

A post-running selfie in the hotel room. Representing CLE (in Annapolis) in my CLE marathon shirt!

some stroller miles with FW (2.84 to be exact, on Saturday):

Some questions for you:

  • Do you run on vacation?
  • What’s your ideal scenery for running? Water? Farmland? Forest/trees? Mountains? City?

Double the linkup love today! I’m linking up with the weekly wraps. AND … linking up with My No-Guilt Life, Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and MCM Mama Runs!

A Week in Atlanta

B, FW and I just got back from our first extended vacation as a family of 3! It’s still funny to say that … anyway,  we spent a few days in Atlanta taking in some sights, doing all the touristy things and eating as much southern food as possible.
20170208_180932I’ll first say,  don’t be fooled by all the smiling photos.  Traveling with a 7 month old is no easy feat.  They are not interested in museums,  breweries or nice restaurants.  They’re cranky of they don’t nap and go to bed early (or in our case remind you they want to go to bed early when you keep them out too late).  That being said, it was a great first family vacation.

Some of the highlights-
Checking out the Olympic Park. FW liked the fountains especially. 20170206_163328

Going for long walks and taking photos along the way.20170208_105739

While I didn’t run daily like I do at home, I did get in 2 runs, including one outside one day. It was 60 degrees and humid- so different from Cleveland in February!20170208_110729

Getting in some local beer tasting.20170208_171634

Going to the World of Coca-Cola. 20170208_130122 20170208_140740

The last room features a taste of 100+ flavors of Coke products from around the world! 20170208_142522

Visiting the Martin Luther King Jr home and memorial. 20170207_114116

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Seeing what the hype was about at The Varsity. We ate our weight in hot dogs, peach pie, chicken sandwiches and onion rings. 20170209_131738

A little hotel gym run.20170209_085057

The Civil Rights museum. Also checking out the human rights exhibition.20170209_123331

I love going to local markets wherever we go. Atlanta’s Municipal Market was a small market but I got some tasty tea, pralines and popcorn!20170209_164028

Though we weren’t out after dark too much (see previous statement about baby who likes to be in bed by 7), we did get in a few nighttime walks.img_20170208_185659_051

All in all it was a great trip. It had a little of everything I like in a vacation – some relaxing, good food, walking around, warm weather and of course some runs!

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

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

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

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

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In front of the statehouse where his great grandfather worked

We also had to stop by North Market.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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.

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Diego Rivera mural

loved the Frida Kahlo museum.

loved the Frida Kahlo museum.

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So many old churches!

So many old churches!

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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.