Thursday, May 31, 2018

For the Road

I have shared some recommendations for travel gear with you from time to time. I was thinking yesterday that it had been awhile since I had done that, and there are a few things that I have been loving that are still available, should you want to add to your collection.
I am such a huge Patagonia fan. I love what their company stands for as much as the products they make. This 45L Black Hole Duffel Bag ($119) is perfect for a three-day trip. I love the backpack handles or the duffel bag option - and it's bright orange (my fav!). It's also held up in a couple of rain storms, keeping my things nice and dry.
Oh my goodness, I love these Phaiser BHS-730 Bluetooth headphones ($35.99) so much!! The sound is awesome, you can adjust the volume on the side (as well as on your phone), they magnetize together around your neck if you want to wear them between flights without losing them, and when the person next to you goes to the bathroom frequently, you're not tangled up in a cord!
More and more airports and planes are getting better charging options, but there are still times when you are out exploring, away from an outlet, and you need a little juice. ThiBelkin MIXIT Power Pack 4000 mAh Battery Pack ($11.49 - on SALE!) hasn't let me down (although I did see in the reviews that a user had trouble charging their Fitbit with it). 
I've been using TripitPro ($49/year) for a long time. I love how I can email it all my itineraries, tickets, and reservations and it organizes everything chronologically and adds things to my calendar. I also like how I can look back and see how many places I've been, how many miles I've flown, and what's coming up next (and how long I have to wait until my next trip). It also keeps all my loyalty club and frequent flier details and balances in an easy to see panel.
I think I have finally found the perfect travel pillow! (I literally have six others that just didn't do it for me in a little tub under my bed.) The Trtl Pillow ($29.99) has an inner flexible plastic frame that is wrapped in soft fleece. You wrap the scarf around your neck and the tough Velcro holds your head in place. You can wear it in a variety of positions and it's made it possible for me to actually fall asleep on long flights, which I rarely have been able to do.

That's it for me! Let me know what you've been loving lately or if you have any of these!

Friday, May 25, 2018

Will Work for Food

Hi! I am not always very good at recapping my work trips on the blog. I am usually indoors or eating conference food, but this week I was in Chattanooga working with my boss and staying in an Airbnb and eating some photo-worthy foods, so here goes!

After I arrived, we headed to Matilda Midnight for a cocktail. I had this delicious drink called Tiptoe Through the Tulips -- Dulce Vida 100 Proof Reposado, orange, lime grapefruit, honey, house bitters, soda. 
The next morning we headed back to Solarium Cafe for breakfast. I just love the decor!
I had their super yummy oatmeal (which tasted like it had some Cream of Wheat in it too) with honey, berries and sunflower seeds and a half an avocado with sprouts.
The next day we went to Mean Mug Coffeehouse for breakfast and I had this quality avocado toast - you really can't have too much breakfast or avocado in your life, folks.
On my last night in town, we went for a fancy meal at St. John's.  I started with this amazing cocktail, the Garden Variety -- Letherbee gin, cocchi americano, pink peppercorn-thyme syrup, grapefruit, lemon. So refreshing!
We started the food off with these beauties - Dungeness Crab & Pimento Cheese Crackers.
Then we each had the Spring Onion & Yukon Gold Potato Soup with buttered Maine lobster. Heavenly! 
And I finished off with the Warm Roasted Beets -- blackberry farm sheep milk’s cheese, strawberries, asparagus & rhubarb. It came with a lid on and they unveiled the smoky concoction at our table.
Thanks for a wonderful trip, Lindsey!!

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Big Birthday in the City - Days 4 + 5

We started our last full day in the city with some friends - who we were too busy visiting with to take any pictures of - and breakfast at Foster Sundry. The selection of cheeses and baked goods were amazing.
I had this amazingly gooey/melty egg and cheese biscuit, an iced latte and part of the delectable cinnamon roll in the background.
After visiting with our friends, Brian and I went to check out STORY (my favorite store in the city; it changes themes like a magazine - this month it's "work" - and the curation of items is impeccable; some of you might remember the Nickelodeon theme awhile back when I played in the Double Dare games there). After that, we were starving, we've barely eaten a thing! ;) So, we headed to Tenth Avenue Cookshop for this beautiful spread (above). I had a paloma fresca, grapefruit brûlée with granola and creme fraiche, and another warm and flaky biscuit (why not?).
It was another beautiful day, so we headed to the rooftop bar, Gallow Green, at the McKittrick Hotel. There were way too many people with the same idea, but we managed to grab a couple of drinks and a little corner to enjoy them in. I loved all the flowers and fabric pennants hanging from the rafters.
After drinks, we took the freight elevator down to experience the immersive theater experience, Sleep No More. Described as "telling the story of Macbeth through a film noir lens," the whole thing was wild to experience. The scene above is from the bar that we started in before donning kinda creepy masks and heading into the very dark hotel to follow around mostly silent actors as we tried to figure out what was going on.

I had a moment of fright with another attendee who screamed when he saw me, so I screamed because he screamed. Needless to say, I took a cocktail break in the middle of the three-hour experience. If you are up for something totally unique, you should not miss this!
When we were done, I thought the sky looked really cool outside with the Empire State Building peeking over the other buildings and trees.
We went to Cooper's Craft and Kitchen for some appetizers - shishito peppers, sliders, cheese curds, and buttery soft pretzels...
...and then to Ample Hills Creamy for just the tiniest kiddie cone of Oatmeal Lace ice cream.
I swear we slept a full night before hitting Covina for a delicious brunch. These lemon ricotta pancakes really hit the spot, along with my fresh squeezed mimosa.

We had such a wonderful time and my fears before the trip about it being a little too "touristy" were unfounded. I loved seeing the city in a new way that I hadn't seen in a long time. I love going to the city to visit friends or for work, but it is pretty fun to stay in Times Square and navigate the subways like a champ. Thanks for following along with our adventure!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Big Birthday in the City - Day 3

We started off Friday with a live taping of The Today Show - well Brian's parents and I did. Brian slept in a little and joined us right before the full morning show cast joined us out in the rain for a quick segment. We didn't get there at 5:30am, so we weren't on television but we still had fun.
We then headed to Ess-a-bagel for some breakfast. Real NY-style bagels with any topping you could ever think of? Yes please! I had cucumber, tomato, and cheddar cream cheese on an onion bagel and Brian had herb cream cheese and lox on a plain bagel. I wish we'd brought some home!
To avoid the rain, and the feeling that we were just trying to keep busy between meals, we headed to St. Patrick's Cathedral. It's such a beautiful church - the pipe organ is particularly pretty.
We walked about an hour and a half to Ivan Ramen for lunch - both to kill time and burn off calories. We got a great table in the back and I ordered the vegetarian ramen, which wasn't quite as fancy as all the meat-eaters ramen, but it was good. (Also, this is another chef/restaurant featured in Netflix's Chef's Table series.)
Then it was time for the Tenement Museum, which Brian and I had done before but we picked a new tour this time, "Under One Roof." It was a more modern version of life in a tenement building in NYC. The building we were in (pictured above) was inhabited until 2013. The tour was good, but we really loved the first tour we did there six years ago, "Irish Outsiders."
After we stopped back by the hotel to change, we went to Sagaponack Bar & Grill for dinner. I had the 'Shroom Burger - cheesy-filled portobello mushroom with lettuce and tomato, pesto fries, and a tasty salad.
We ended our day with a play, The Seafarer, at the Irish Reparatory Theater. Brian and I had seen a play by the same playwright in college, so we thought it would be fun to see another, and Matthew Broderick was in it, so that was fun. The play was pretty dark but very good.