Monday, March 9, 2015

oh disney

i think i had forgotten the "magic" of disney.

the last time i embarked on the magical land was shortly after graduating college. i remember being so anxious about "real" life during that last trip. i then had no job, no place to call my own && a nice, crisp white piece of paper declaring a college degree framed nicely with no where quite yet to hang it... the only plans i really had during this time in my life was a trip to disney, a tradition my family had for vacation nearly every year, yet i hadn't returned since.

now looking back, within these three and a half short years, i have moved to two new states, held two different teaching jobs && been married. during these years, there has been so much "life" that has occured, traveling and experiencing so many new and exciting events and places, yet i sadly seemed to have forgotten about the magical land i once loved so much until this past week.

(i actually must admit, i was even slightly embarrased to tell friends i was going on a disney vacation and cruise. i almost felt "too old") silly me- you are never too old for disney!

the trip this past week was a year in the making.
my sisters && significant others traveled to the "magical" land to celebrate my parents thirtieth anniversary.

it seemed fitting to celebrate my parents here considering disney was a place my parents took us since we were babies. a place that tends to shine as highlights throughout our growing up years. we loved it all: character breakfasts to rides like splash mountain to viewing the electrical light parade, not to mention our beloved resort, riverside at port orleans &&& don't even get me started on the mickey shaped waffles, the piano man && chocolate covered rice krispy ears.

so many treats, locations && memories come to mind when i think of all my experiences at disney && this trip was very nostalgic and reminiscent of them all.

i think i love disney because it's the kind of place that allows you to let your hair down, you forget about "real" life and enjoy the little delights that we far too often pass by. it seems okay to eat chicken tenders & fries for lunch when your in your twenties, wear goofy hats and ears, sing along to every familiar tune && actually believe it is a magical place, because it truly is for my family.

during this trip we embarked on some of our favorite traditions && tried new ones, like the cruise, something we have never done before. i must admit, it was wonderful to wake up to waves every morning & anticipate the day's activities. bahamas. disney's private island. day at sea. magical kingdom. animal kingdom. grand floridian character breakfast. polynesian luau. everyday (for the past seven days) was filled && marked by events that will be treasured and stored as new, favorite memories.

the trip was truly delightful. one that i don't think any of us will ever forget.
i am thankful i had the opportunity to come back to the place i loved growing up && was able to share it with my "grown up" summers family && husband.. or should i call him, goofy now.
thanks disney for another truly magical week. i promise i won't wait so long next time.

"it's kind of fun to do the impossible"- walt disney

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

city of love && bon apettite #2

so naturally my first choice of a weekend trip is nyc. however, this time, we were having too much fun in this city of love. 
i had been here once before to run the half marathon last fall while caleb was in houston. 
i was excited to share with him some of my findings from before but also to find new loves.
first, we went to some of the historical settings: liberty bell, independence hall && art museum. 
of course, running up the stairs as rockie would.
(no, we are totally proud to be called tourists. no shame.)
&& the perk with it being so cold, no lines. 

while researching places to eat, i found that bon appetite named the second best new restuarant in
... philly. 
i had to go. 
i called everyday for a week (i wish i was joking).
yet no reservations. 
however, thankfully, (i think my persistance won !!!) saturday at six, we were dining at high street :)

later that evening, a new favorite of ours is comedy clubs. 
there is something about going somewhere && just laughing. 
we love it. so we found the local comedy club, helium comedy  && laughed with the locals.

we also tried pats && ginos. 
i had no idea that you sat outside 
(which doesn't seem to make since considering philly's climate, but not my decision)

so caleb && i picniced in our car, trying the city's iconic cheesesteaks. 

caleb was persistant: "no, whiz!" && however, it was required (he had no idea)
our choice, hands down, pat's wins! 

finally, we tried the brewery, yards, and fell in love with their "love" beer. 
not one,but two bottles traveled home with us to go to celebrate the up & coming valentine's day. 
who knew, i would choose beer to celebrate love. 

philadelphia, you truly are a city of love. 
we will come back again. 
maybe you will choose to slow down your wind chill next time.

^^^ dinic's reading terminal. pork && brocolli rabe. 
recommended by many. however, our personal favorite in reading terminal was the chocolate molds && beiler's bakery

 ^^ second top restaurant according to bon appetite

 ^^ federal doughnuts. my second favorite to dough in brooklyn

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

bon appetite- rose's luxery

so i have come to terms. i may be obssessed with restauarnt reviews. 
yelp- my go to. 
bon appetite- yes, please! 
friend's recommendations- you may have recieved an email or two before (thank you)

choosing a restaurant may be the best && most difficult decision i make for any special occasion, saturday evening or vacation

naturally for my birthday, i wanted to visit the number one rated best new restauraunt

oh caleb, what a guy! 
we showed up at 5:30 when the restaurant opened- mind you, on a cold, rainy monday night after thanksgiving. 
a soggy wet line. 
a three hour wait. 
... oh that didn't stop us.
we were ready. 
&& boy was it worth every minute!

recommendations: "hot" chicken (if && only if you like spice, it was a little spicy for caleb), lychee salad, truffle pasta- i still dream of this dish, brown butter cocktail, pistachio icecream... 

^^ i can still smell && taste the truffles. divine

“I want a life that sizzles and pops and makes me laugh out loud. And I don't want to get to the end, or to tomorrow, even, and realize that my life is a collection of meetings and pop cans and errands and receipts and dirty dishes. I want to eat cold tangerines and sing out loud in the car with the windows open and wear pink shoes and stay up all night laughing and paint my walls the exact color of the sky right now. I want to sleep hard on clean white sheets and throw parties and eat ripe tomatoes and read books so good they make me jump up and down, and I want my everyday to make God belly laugh, glad that he gave life to someone who loves the gift.” - shauna neiquist

happy day!

good morning, baltimore!

my family was here for the holiday, so of course we dined, shopped && drank.
we headed to one of the best christmas light shows in the nation, 34th street in baltimore. 
&& what a sight it truly was. every inch was covered with... you guess it, lights!
we dined at a divine food market
there is truly nothing i love more than sitting around a table with my people- a little piece of heaven

followed by a stroll with mr. santa, himself!

^^^ my short ribs (onion ring on top- winning!

“Food matters because it's one of the things that forces us to live in this world -- this tactile, physical, messy, and beautiful world -- no matter how hard we try to escape into our minds and our ideals. Food is a reminder of our humanity, our fragility, our createdness.” - shauna neiquist

^^^ holiday market in baltimore
^^^ fishers farmers bakers. georgetown

give thanks.

“To those of us who believe that all of life is sacred every crumb of bread and sip of wine is a Eucharist, a remembrance, a call to awareness of holiness right where we are.
I want all of the holiness of the Eucharist to spill out beyond church walls, out of the hands of priests and into the regular streets and sidewalks, into the hands of regular, grubby people like you and me, onto our tables, in our kitchens and dining rooms and backyards.” - shauna neiquist 

 caleb && i were thrilled to host our first thanksgiving. i had bought every "thanksgiving" magazine on the shelves, cutting out recipes && finding the best gravy, the best mashed potatoes, the best cranberry sauce. caleb built a beautiful farm table. we were preparing for a feast. 

a storm almost haulted the plans and prayers went up. my family made it safely on wednesday night. thursday was filled with love and laughter. little hiccups, here & there. lumps in mashed potatoes, lemon juice on creme chairs, upside down cooked turkey (who would have known there is a- wrong way to turn your turkey); however, it was the most beautiful day i could ever imagine. 

a very, very thankful heart.