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.

Two Days in Mendocino and a Drive Up North

(this is part two of a travel recap post – part one can be found here: A Day in Sonoma)

Last week, my family took a trip out to the West Coast to visit my brother. After spending time with family and a day in Sonoma, it was time for our next stop – Mendocino. The road to Mendocino was part of the trip in itself. Greg had helped planned us a route along highway one, with scenic views overlooking the Pacific coast. I’m so glad I was able to go – it was gorgeous, and we even got to stop for lunch in one of the small coastal towns along the way.

GREAT view along the ride.

GREAT views along the ride.

We arrived in Mendocino just before our B&B’s happy hour, which was great. We stayed at the Inn at Cobbler’s Walk, which is part of Glendeven, and I’d definitely recommend it. The property isn’t too big, is close to a bunch of walking/hiking trails and even has llamas and 100s of chickens on site.

llamas on the property!

llamas on the property!

After enjoying the local wine and great cheese at the Inn for the complimentary happy hour, it was time for dinner in downtown Mendocino. It’s a small downtown with shops and restaurants, we enjoyed another dinner on a patio before taking a walk around the downtown as the sun was setting.

family selfie at happy hour

family selfie at happy hour

The next morning, I woke up relatively early and went for a walk, including to the beach, on a path just a few minutes away from our room.

beach front walk in the morning

beach front walk in the morning

We had breakfast served to our room at 9 a.m., which included a three-course meal – yogurt and granola, eggs and a scone. Sooo good!

the amazing meal

the amazing meal

After breakfast, we checked out the rest of the grounds – the llamas and chickens and garden – and then headed to downtown Mendocino for a walk along the Headlands and lunch. It was such a gorgeous day!

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Our second night we stayed at a different place, this time with cabins and adjoining rooms so that we were all able to hang out and watch a movie – Beetlejuice – at night. This inn had goats this time.

Peanut Butter and Jelly, the goats!

Peanut Butter and Jelly, the goats!

We had a great dinner that night – we ended up wandering back downtown and hit up the MacCallum Inn. This week’s WIAW shares some of eats – wine, cheese, ratatouille and blackberry soufflé. SO good.

DESSERT.

DESSERT.

The next morning, we took a short walk around the new inn, and then hit the road for breakfast in Fort Bragg followed by a drive through the Avenue of the Giants. It is SO cool to ride among those SUPER tall trees! We also had time to stop for a hike along one of the trails. I love a good, easy nature hike!

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What a great trip – I hope we can do it again soon!

Some questions for you:

  • Have you ever been to the Redwoods?
  • Do you like hiking? Nature? I enjoy hiking, but i’m not a HUGE nature fan. I’m scared of bugs, snakes, animals, etc. 
  • Have you ever seen the movie Beetlejuice?

 

Friday 5: Family Vacation Favorites

I’m just getting back from a week of vacation spending time in New York and California with family. I’ve already written a few recap posts (NY, Sonoma), but before finishing up those posts, here’s a quick Friday Favorites dedicated to some of my favorite photos from our trip. Here you go – a few photos and one sentence as to why I like each photo.

1. Redwoods Selfie: Love that it shows all of us just hiking in the Redwoods, a place that is seriously so unbelievably beautiful, that it’s only better if you’re sharing it with family.

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2. Family in Jersey: Again, love that it captures me and my extended family – we’re hardly ever all in one place! family at katies birthday

3. Me and Greg @ Dinner: We actually look pretty related here, which doesn’t happen often. 20150726_202918

4. Greg and me and the vines: A traditional brother-sister selfie.

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4. Lavender fields at the vineyard: I can look at this picture and smell how beautiful it was!

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5. Parents on our walk along the Mendocino Headlands: They make me happy ❤20150728_140539

AND a bonus: Mom feeding the chickens: Because when else are we ever feeding chickens, or even around wildlife (and she looks like she’s having a great time!)?1438107515188

Happy Friday! I’m linking up today with Life in Leggings and Fitting it all In! 

A Day in Sonoma

After our weekend in NY, we were headed to California to visit my brother! We flew out early Sunday, and got to San Fran early enough so that we had nearly a whole day to spend. Our first day? A trip to Sonoma. We had a tour and tastings, visiting two wineries in the area.

winery #1

winery #1

Family at winery #2

Family at winery #2

Followed by dinner in downtown Sonoma. We were staying right near downtown and were able to walk to dinner at LaSalette, a great Portuguese place with outdoor dining. If you’re ever in Sonoma, I highly recommend staying near their downtown. There was a cute little square with a lot of shops and restaurants, as well as a biking/walking/running path not to far away.

downtown Mendocino

downtown Mendocino

Greg and me at dinner

Greg and me at dinner

Feijoada!

Feijoada!

The next morning, thanks to the time difference, I was able to wake up early enough to enjoy a run around town, even among wineries. A 5 mile run through fields of lavender and vines of grapes? My idea of pretty pretty perfect!

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After the run and hotel breakfast, we headed to our last winery, Matanza, which is known for its field of lavender. Oh my goodness- as we pulled up, we couldn’t help but smell the gorgeous aroma of lavender and see the purples everywhere! We were lucky enough to have an informal impromptu tour (we had missed the one formal tour of the day) and share a wine tasting as well. It was pretty perfect – it was my mom’s birthday AND she loves lavender, so it was a great way to start the day.

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Then, we were off. Onto our next destination – Mendocino! (more to come)

Some questions for you:

  • Have you ever been to Sonoma before?
  • What’s your favorite kind of wine? Reds or whites?

WIAW #25: Vacation Eats in Mendocino

A very happy What I Ate Wednesday to you! I’m excited to share with you a great day of eats- different than my typical everyday eats – in fact, I’m vacationing with my family in California and we had a great day in Mendocino. A great day with a nice walk around the town, and wonderful eats.

Gorgeous Mendocino!

Gorgeous Mendocino!

The Inn that we were staying at delivered a great breakfast to us in the morning in a cute basket. The Inn boasts 100+ chickens, so of course there were some fresh eggs included with breakfast:

breakfast menu

breakfast menu

Greg carrying our breakfast basket

Greg carrying our breakfast basket

the amazing meal

the amazing meal

We took a great walk after breakfast around downtown Mendocino, all around the Headlands along the ocean. We got hungry along the way and snacked on some Malley’s Dark Chocolate Almonds.

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After our walk, we stopped for lunch at a cafe downtown. My mom and I split a lunch – we got a salad trio, with quinoa, kale and brussels sprouts salad. It was really good and tasted so fresh.

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Dinner was so good. We ended up eating at MacCallum House, an inn in town, and had an amazing meal. We enjoyed a bottle of local Pinot Noir, some fresh baked sour dough, and shared a cheese platter.

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My mom and I split the arugula, proscuitto and chèvre salad and ratatouille. I love splitting meals, and it was the perfect way to try a bunch of food without getting too stuffed.

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Dessert was so so so good. We had a fresh blackberry soufflé and split it four ways. Since it had been my mom’s birthday, they put a candle in a side of cream for her to blow out.

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That concluded our day in Mendocino. It was such a good day of eats – I really can’t complain! As always, click on the badge below to see what WIAW is all about.

Some questions for you:

  1. What’s the best thing you ate yesterday?
  2. Have you ever been to Mendocino?
  3. Splitting meals – yay or nay?

Easter Weekend in San Fran!

How was your weekend? I know it’s a little late for a weekend update, but I’m still getting over a really great weekend in San Francisco with my family.

My little (but taller than me of course) brother moved out to San Fran last year and it’s pretty hard to be a whole coast away. So, when my parents mentioned they were thinking of going out to visit him for Easter, I jumped at the chance to join them, and B came along too!

Me and Greg <3

Me and Greg ❤

We got in early Friday so had the whole day to catch up with my brother, see one of my bffs who lives just outside the city and also get some work done. Oh, and the weather was sunny and in the 60s, so I really couldn’t complain!

cute cafe for work on Fri.

cute cafe for work on Fri.

And they had a garden!

And they had a garden!

Friday started out with a little work, some coffee and getting post-work drinks with Melgar and my brother. My parents didn’t get in until late, so we enjoyed a late dinner before all of us passed out – jet lag!

Melgar!

Melgar!

Saturday was a long but great day. B and I started it out early-ish with a 7.3-something mile run throughout the Presidio and Crissy Field to the Golden Gate Bridge. Stopping to take photos on runs during my vacation is just what I needed. Note to self – there are a lot of hills in San Fran so don’t be discouraged if your “race-pace” run turns into more of interval running.

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We also went for a great hike with my parents. We started through the beautiful Golden Gate Park and then ended with a route through Lands End. My brother had planned the hike for us and it was a great way to see the outskirts of the city, the beach, and great views of the water and the bridge.

Golden Gate Park

Golden Gate Park

Oh, and we got Umami Burger. I am in LOVE with their food now – their veggie burger and ahi tuna burger (my mom and I got both and split it) were so good, as were their sweet potato fries. And beet salad. #Stuffed

ahi tuna burger

ahi tuna burger

Sunday was a rest day, but rest we did not. After Easter Mass, we enjoyed some breakfast and then another walk throughout downtown! We started off where my brother lives in the Presidio and then walked to downtown until we got to the Ferry Building. We were meeting up with some of my extended family – my dad’s cousin and his wife – for dinner. Our Vietnamese family style 3-course meal at the Slanted Door was amazing – definitely not what I typically eat for Easter but SO SO good!

salad and spring rolls

salad and spring rolls

Some of my entrees

Some of my entrees

dessert!

dessert!

extended family

extended family

After dinner, we walked around downtown until it was time to meet up with my brother’s friend Phyllis for drinks. We grabbed lounge seats in a really cool place, The Original Joe’s, and enjoyed cocktails and wine. I loved my dark and stormy 🙂

drinks!

drinks!

Monday was a road trip day! After a 5 mile run and breakfast, we were on a mini road trip.

scenes from our Monday morning run

scenes from our Monday morning run

breakfast at a cute coffee shop

breakfast at a cute coffee shop

We took a car and headed to Pescadero and then Capatola. We enjoyed lunch (fresh fish and pie!) and a short walk while taking in the sights and beautiful water and beaches.

Love the scenery!

Love the scenery!

Brian and Melissa in Capitola

Capitola – colorful in the background!

 

It was a great end to our trip – we got in some walks, some beaches, a lot of great food and quality family time. Even with taking a long weekend, it went by waaay too fast! I can’t wait to do it again.

Some questions for you:

  • How was your weekend?
  • Have you been to SF? Any favorite places?