Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Window Shopping

As you might imagine from my lack of posts lately, I have been feeling rather grounded. As I study, I think about how nice it would be to have two consecutive weekends off. As I work, I think about how badly I want to go see the places I am spending my time working on water and sanitation access for. In between, I am dreaming of being on vacation somewhere, anywhere. In anticipation of a little, hope-I-don't-jinx-it, free time this summer, I am thinking of finally using my going-away present from my last job. I am trying to work in the following parameters:
  1. Needs to be within reasonable distance, so it doesn't take half of our week getting there.
  2. Preferably inexpensive, still have to pay tuition in the fall.
  3. New to us, of course.
  4. Have internet capabilities, just in case we could stay longer than a week and I could work remotely, this would be ideal but would cut out some places.
  5. Be able to use frequent flier miles to complete trip, harder than it seems, especially for two tickets.
That's my list for now. So far, I have looked into Vancouver, B.C., Costa Rica (although I have been but Brian hasn't), Alaska, Japan (might be a stretch on #1), London and Iceland. I love how, in addition to easily shop for clothes, toiletries and books, the internet makes it easy to shop for trip ideas too. I suggested to Brian that we do a choose-your-own-adventure trip, allowing you lovely readers to vote on options for the trip but he wasn't thrilled with the idea, what do you think? [I think he was worried we would get voted to stay on a boat or something, which I would love!] Thanks for checking in and I hope you are well!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Warming Up Winter

In my last post I blogged about places that are nice to eat at in the winter if you're in Kansas City. Another place that I love, and mentioned back in October, is Room 39. Brian took me there on Friday night for a belated Valentines' dinner. The atmosphere and the food are comfortable and elegant, along with a lime daiquiri, the combination is perfect.

They have a four-course prix fixe option with generous portions. I had a salad, calamari, seared tuna and the chocolate lava cake. Everything was superb.
After dinner, we headed to Southmoreland on The Plaza where we spent the night. Brian's parents had given us a gift certificate to any Bed and Breakfast in Missouri (awesome gift idea here) that we hadn't had a chance to use yet. Since I didn't have class this weekend, it was the perfect time to get away for a night. The Southmoreland is lovely. The owners were very friendly, the decor was comfortably modern, the bedding was luxurious and the breakfast was delicious enough to merit its own collage.

A romantic breakfast with my Valentine.
The location was right off the Plaza, so we spent Saturday morning/afternoon walking around and enjoying the day. Thanks for checking in!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Cozying Up

On the eve of what is rumored to be our first snowstorm of the winter, I was thinking of all the places I like to be when it's cold outside. I am hoping for a work from home day with Brian tomorrow, especially good because he'll spoil me with a really good hazelnut latte. I also love a cozy spot to eat a delicious meal. Here are a few of my favorites:

A few weeks ago we discovered Julian, a cute American bistro in Brookside. I had the seared trout on fluffy acorn squash and the chocolate ganache with stout caramel. They were both delicious but the best part of my meal was definitely my drink, Horchata Nut. If you're in the neighborhood, it's totally worth it just for one of those.
Another cozy place that I love is Pot Pie in Westport. It's great for a romantic meal (in case you are still looking for a place to celebrate Valentine's Day in the near future) and sometimes you can even catch some live music with a delicious meal. Known for it's Pot Pie (shocking, I know), they also have many other wonderful dishes on their ever changing, blackboard menu.

Although I'll admit that I like the Parkville location best, Piropos is wonderful either way. From the Argentinean food and wine to the fireplace and the live piano music, this is a great place to have a winter special occasion. Their attention to detail on everything down to the importing of Argentinean butter, leaves you feeling like you may have just left the country, which in my world is a wonderful thing. Thanks for checking in and I hope you stay warm!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Fun in Freeport

Being home for a long weekend gives me about enough time to see some people I need to, rest a little and get out to see one favorite place. This trip my parents and I went up to Freeport for some fresh air and some window shopping. Freeport, the home of L.L.Bean and many good outlet stores (ie. not like the outlet malls off of highways), has also added many new restaurants and local shops that I hadn't seen. A couple of my new and old favorites were:

I hadn't heard of this bakery before, but we visited one of Wicked Whoopies cafes and had a whoopie pie, which, as you may know from my last trip to Maine, is a must. Also, you can order them online and have them delivered - maybe even for Valentine's Day if you're looking for a treat!
Tempting as it was, I did not eat the giant whoopie pie I was holding above. I went for the smaller, mint one pictured here.
This shop, sea bags, sells different styles of bags made out of recycled boat sails. The result is beautiful and durable bags ranging from yoga mat bags to laptop cases. They were out of iPad2 cases but I sent them an email to see if I could snag one.
Finally, no trip to Freeport is ever complete without a pint at Gritty McDuff's. I started out liking it because of the name, but the beer won me over. Yum!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Back in Maine

Maine in the winter, to many people, may sound like a bad time to visit. Snow on the ground, cold air blowing, streets frozen, etc. However, if winter is going to be cold, you might as well be in a place that understands how to cope with the shorter days of the year. I came up for a variety of reasons this weekend and on my first day experienced a few:

Our first stop after the airport was for lunch at Anjon's (next to a marsh, which was frozen over). Two lobster rolls for $10, what a deal! And as you might remember from this post, these are the correct version of lobster rolls, as well.

My mom and I visited Soakology a couple of years ago and I have wanted to go back ever since. This trip, we made appointments for my first day of the trip in order to help me relax for the weekend. We had the "Maine Woodsman Remedy" which was a foot soak with reflexology. I'm not sure what it had to do with men in the woods, but it was wicked nice.

Right around the corner from Soakology is Foley's Irish bakery where Brian and I had gotten our wedding cake, 10+ years ago. I was so excited when I saw it, because it had closed and re-opened just recently. I wanted to buy the top of a wedding cake to recreate the one that we'd had to eat only two weeks after our wedding (instead of the requisite one-year anniversary) due to our cross-country move to California following the wedding. I'm not sure I could fit it in my bag though, so I ate a brownie instead.