our trip to new york city was nothing short of magical and for many reasons. first, we were in the most amazing, diverse and festive city during the holidays! second, the kids won gold stars for the week with how well they transitioned, adjusted to be in a different time zone, were on the go, etc…big win! bean is short of russian roulette sometimes and there was only one 10 minute breakdown over not having the same fork as carter. a complete win. third, this was our first trip just the four of us. we kept saying how “weird” it was to be with each other so much uninterrupted. and lastly, i didn’t work. for the first time really i can remember, minus a few emails here and there, i didn’t bring my laptop or do anything. a true vacation. it was the most freeing experience and i learned that it’s possible and we need to be doing more. the entire combination of the perfect positive storm (oxymoron?) is making me want to already plan our next adventure!
in a period of five nights we packed more into our calendar than i thought possible with littles. when we went over the itinerary prior, ryan kept saying he was already tired and needed a vacation. from dinning at some of my favorite spots, like serendipity and sarabeth’s, to walking the entire city one day (4 miles!), to seeing the rockettes and taking carter to a knicks game, to even jetting over to brooklyn for an afternoon, and to managing seeing two santas, we were on a roll! oh and how can i forget a full day in central park which included the zoo and ice skating….errr, an ice lap complete with an epic fall (see above!). not to be forgotten, in true ‘home alone in nyc’ fashion, the kiddos wore matching flannel pjs, ate pizza and ice cream, and of course over-flowed themselves on hot coco. i expected nothing less.
the best part of traveling with the littles was arranging a sitter for a few nights so we would go out. we had one of the best dinners at il mulino, and thanks to brazilian martinis before hand, we were going for some “artsy” photos. oh vey. the highlight was seeing billy joel in his city, well i feel our favorite city, and having him place literally every single one of my favorite songs. he opened with “miami 2017″ which i told ryan i wished he did. (look up the history, kind cool) i’ll spare you the unhealthy amount of videos i have that we both took throughout the concert, but if you’re lucky enough you may have caught the show on my snapchat. coffee the next morning was needed.
the magic, the allure, the vibe, the smells, the sounds, the romance, the novelty, the buzz, the diversity, the joy, the wonder, the lights, the food, the spirit….it all made the perfect week possible, and i’ll say it again, MAGICAL.
Thanks to some free hotel stays and grandparents jumping to watch the kids, we’ve been able to have two nights away this month to Downtown Los Angeles. Prior to kiddos and work getting so crazy, I used to love exploring and trying out all the latest and greatest spots featured throughout LA publications. Since then, I fall asleep at night flagging favorite spots from bloggers or magazines I follow, until I get the chance to venture out. We had 24 hours each time, but I must say got in a lot in that time. Please send me any and all of your favorite places so I can flag them for our next outing. Next up? Venice–Abbott Kinney. So many restaurants on my list!!
Below is a list of where we went and had the absolute best time.
Quite a thrill being a tourist in your own city….
Dinner and Drinks at Bar Mateo
Coffee at Alfred Coffee
Breakfast at Local in Silverlake
Lobster rolls at Knuckle & Claw in Silverlake
Ice Cream at Salt & Straw in Larchmont
We spent the night at Bar Mateo as we were there for a birthday party. What a fun and funky place with great cocktails and surprisingly REALLY good vegan food. Like really good. Get the burrito. You’re welcome. The next morning we ventured to Silverlake to cross a few places off my list, including Alfred Coffee and Local. The chilaquiles at Local were incredible and I crave them now way too often. The perfect balance of everything in a bowl! Ryan is slightly obsessed with lobster so Knuckle & Claw was a little heaven for him. He said they have just the right proportion of melted butter to the meat. I’ll take his word for it. I was more conceded about trying ice cream from Salt & Straw. Their salted carmel was ridiculous as was their cookie dough. True confession, I ate both of the cones in the picture. Their flavors are so unique and I am counting down until I can go back!
Lunch throughout Grand Central Market
—Golden Pond, random Asian house, McConnel’s ice cream, & random kabob house— (yes, we napped)
Drinks at The Ace Hotel, Perch & The Varnish
Dinner at Bestia
Breakfast at Eggslut & Shave Ice truck
Lobster rolls at Knuckle & Claw (I don’t eat but Ryan loved so much we made a stop!)
How we had never been to Grand Central Market before I just don’t know!? We ate our way through then took a nap. My requirement on a day away! We ventured to some bar hopping starting with The Ace Hotel. Quite the scene on a Saturday and while good cocktails, wasn’t really the vibe we were going for. Rather book a trip to Vegas so we snapped a scenic pic and moved on. We’ve been to Perch before and loved the views to go back. The Spicy Comcombre cocktail is a hidden surprise of spicy that’s so good, but not too pungent. Our favorite stop was The Varnish, hidden inside Cole’s in DTLA, which we had been before. You are taken back in time to a speakeasy bar in which you tell them what type of alcohol you like and voila they make something to your liking. Pretty amazing vibe and quite the adventure, but epic people watching in the staff. We were a little underwhelmed by our experience at Bestia. Don’t get me wrong, the food was good, but not as amazing as they hype going into it. I will say their tomato salad was absolutely delicious with the sweetest tomatoes ever! For me, the highlight was Eggslut. Maybe it’s because I had a massive hangover and needed something to soak it all up. Well, the wait of a hour, yes an hour, was completely worth it. The OJ is almost worth the wait. Just make sure to add avocado as one local frequenter told me. Best choice ever.
Ten years together. Six years married. Two children later. One business shared.
Let me just sit back for a second and try to take this all in. We’ve officially been together for a decade and it’s been the wildest journey. Never in a million years would I have guessed my husband would be the guy who did my knee surgery rehab. The one who made me a Prince playlist while I did endless wall slides in a corner. Oh, you didn’t know that story? That’s for another day.
This decade has been amazing. Hard to find the right words really. There have been so many ups and ups and more ups. Blessings too endless to count, fabulous memories, epic adventures, lots of laughs and an abundance of love for my best friend. There’s also been plenty of tears, trials, fights and moments where you just feel defeated either from work, family or each other. It’s never just sunshine, rainbows and unicorns ya know?
What I’ve learned, and there’s so much more I could say, is at the end of the day the old cliche is true, ‘Marriage takes work.’ As with any relationship, it is built, strengthened and survived by that commitment to work at it. That vow to stand strong together and always love one another. To work at it in the big ways and little ways daily, often just a simple ‘I love you.’
The first few years were “easy” in the scheme of things. Being young when we met I was still figuring me an my path out. Wait, I still am. Please tell me I’m not alone? But things were still so fresh and that honeymoon phase. Then we had a big wedding and dream honeymoon and I was starting to be an adult. I blogged on learning to cook, what outfits I wore and snapped photos of assembling flower arrangements. Being a wife, while working on my career, was my everything. Oh, and our two fur babies! Gosh, remember when I used to do 5 posts a week? Overachiever.
As we entered into our first and second wedding anniversary, life got busy. And let me tell you, really busy. But who isn’t “busy” nowadays? We started working together full-time, the business was growing, the highs and lows of getting pregnant, managing both families within miles and all the while still trying to figuring our time. Us. Me. Working to stay strong together. I mean, being an adult is so scary sometimes. Shit gets real. How do you remain in that honeymoon phase and completely in love with your partner? How do you stay in that moment of complete laughter and adventure? How do you enjoy that comfortable silence of watching a trashy reality show? How do you revel in the syncopated monotony of Chinese food delivery on a Friday night? Through work. Through connecting. Through checking in with each other. You make each other a priority. The foundation.
Then, enter in the absolute best two moments of our lives, the birth of Carter and Riley. I thought I loved but husband. I thought I couldn’t love him anymore. But the second he held my son, I melted. The times I stand and watch him brushing Riley’s hair from around the corner pang me with a sadness as I don’t want these moments to end. To watch your best friend turn into a better father for your children than you could’ve ever dreamed of is the most beautiful thing. Pretty dang sexy too. Being parents together adds another level of work and commitment to an ever-growing tower in your relationship. Thankfully on most things with our kids we are on the same page but when we’re not it’s hard. Like really hard. Grab a glass of wine hard.
I guess the point of my rambling is well, first I just miss rambling and writing, and second that our journey is long, beautiful, tiring and really just getting started. By no means are we perfect. We’ve had days we don’t talk because of something so petty. He deals with my obsessive planning, cleaning and unfriendly nature in the morning. I deal with him somehow not being able to figure how to get his clothes in the laundry bin and leaving every cabinet in the kitchen open before he leaves. Every. Single. One. However at the end of the day, after all the crazy and “busy”, he’s my best friend. He makes me laugh. He gives me comfort. He loves me to no end. He is the most selfless, hard-working and humble example of a man. He’s my favorite part to my week with weekly date night. He’s my person.
As our children grow I hope they see and know how much their parents love each other. How much they respect each other. How much they lean on each other. How much fun they have with one another.
Here’s to the next decade….