Category Archives: Wanderlust

Maybe not so Wicked, just Misunderstood – NYC Chronicles Finale

Sooo, the Couture Fashion Week show lasted about 45 minutes, which gave us ampleimg_1748 time, to run upstairs to our hotel room and change for… Broadway!!!

 

Which so happened to be a lovely 2 block walk from our hotel. Yeah I’m pretty awesome when it comes to planning. I admit I wanted to see Chicago, but my daughter runs the show and wanted to see Wicked. img_1749

So, naturally that’s what we saw. It was weird the last and only time we went to Broadway was when she was 8 and we saw the Little Mermaid!

Well, the famous Gershwin Theatre lived up to its name. img_1750

It was so awesome to be there. Little background to the show was the events that lead up to why the Wicked Witch of the East was the way she was in the Wizard of Oz.

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The 10pm show was hilariously entertaining, the actresses/actors were beyond talented and their voices were powerful and melodious.

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Obviously we’re not allowed to take pictures during the show, but the entire production, and costumes were perfection.

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Great seats! Orchestra Row Q Seat 34

Well, this the last post of our NYC Chronicles and although it was merely a night and a day, my daughter and I had a lot of fun.

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It was great having this bonding time before I have my 4th child later this summer, and she goes off to college in a year 😦

 

Naomi

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The Met, my Teen and I – Our NYC Chronicles Pt.2

So since I brought my 17 yr old daughter and the new edition ( I’m 15 weeks pregnant) to New York Fashion Week, I thought let me ask my teen if there was anything she wants to do while in NYC. And she said go to a museum and to Broadway. Gosh, we may not agree on alot but it warmed my heart that she and I share a love for culture! Maybe because her name is Monet, I named her after one of my favorite painters, Claude Monet.

Well the first full day started off, with not only an hr of her putting her face on it the bathroom not exactly following my typed itinerary, but also a hop, skip and cab ride up to the magnificent Metropolitan Museum of Art. Although I went to post-graduate school in New York, spending my last year doing clinical rotations in Manhattan, I had never been to the Met or any museum. Just was constantly studying…

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Anywho, after taking 20 pictures together in front of the beautiful building we actual decided to walk in.  The lobby is well, jaw-dropping. img_1508

There is a recommended admissions fee but they let you pay what you want, and I felt the admissions fee wasn’t asking for enough!

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I let my daughter decide where we’d go. We had limited time because we had a fashion show/brunch to attend at 1pm.

First stop, coat check, lol.img_1612

We picked up some items to give us a little direction… img_1833

Next stop, European Paintings…

Rare moment… you’re teen is snapchatting the paintings!!! Not doing selfies lol. img_1530

I got a bit distracted, because a mosaic caught my eye on the way to Ancient Egypt… I love mosaics by the way. Like love.

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Okay now to Ancient Egypt, we there were sacrophaguses, went on an old tomb walk through and actually saw some old Imhotep spells!!!

So afterwards we made a mad dash over to Ancient Asia…

Um, just so epic, larger than life…

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Then somehow, we entered Ancient India. And wow!

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Determined to get the shot!!!

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Architectural Ensemble from Jain Meeting Hall. 16th cent. India
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Well, unfortunately, our time was cut short, we never made it to Ancient Greece. But from what we saw this museum was so beautiful, curated so well, appropriate and intriguing for all ages and people from all walks of life, Even Baltimoreans 🙂

 

Naomi

Lady Liberty, Oh Yeah, Girl Power!

So it may appear that we try to go to New York every chance we get. And that is only partially maybe mostly true, lol.  This time we had good intentions. I mean you go gotta for the blog, right?

Well, we headed up to Long Island Tech conference but got a little lost and with traffic we got there with 30 minutes left.  But we forgot about the New York Minute which apparently is 7 seconds (according to Sex and the City). So needless to say, everyone had packed up and was leaving by the time we got there.

Well with the sun setting might as well have a quick photoshoot!

(Shop the look!)

With a good 7 hours left in babysitting time, and being 3 hrs away from home, we decided to maximize our New York experience with something I haven’t done since 2 days before 9/11.  Take a little cruise around Manhattan!

Unlike Baltimore, in which everything is no more than 20 min away, from Long Island to downtown Manhattan at 5pm is about an hour. img_0647

Which means the cruise gotta be limited. Don’t worry its New York there’s something for everyone.

We googled Circle Line, the classic one, but it was too long so we went to handy dandy Viator and LonelyPlanet.com and found the NY taxi.  Yeah, I’m totally okay with a quick night Liberty cruise in 70 degree weather on a yacht for the same price as a Circle Line cruise!

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So we amazingly found a parking spot, Pier 16, South Seaport… this is totally meant to be!img_0654

We quickly bought our tickets…

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Shop the Look! 

…and although only 30 minutes before the cruise, Hubs is hungry. Never to fear, New York is known for fantastic food where you least expect it like, El Luchador.

Um, we highly highly recommend, truly great Mexican food with a “So-Cal flair.”

We took our food to go…img_0652

…and rushed back across the street to board the Zephr!img_0660 img_0657The travel guide was utterly hilarious, totally making history fun.

As we went under the amazing bridges like Brooklyn and Manhattan & traveled  down the East River, one couldn’t help but to be in amazement of how the skyline has changed and just all of the people that constructed these buildings we take for granted.

With the recent historic political change,

Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty architecture is not as significant as the meaning behind it.

Just think between 1892 and early 1920s, over 12 millions immigrants came to this country.  Immigrants built this country on their backs, to be apart of something greater. Nowadays the hope associated with immigration has turned into fear and uncertainty (Okay off my soapbox!)

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I’ve never seen the Statue of Liberty up close, at night.  At first, everyone was feverishly taking pics, then people from all walks of life on the cruise, sorta stopped and stared. Although her tablet is the date of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the bronze plaque next to her is Lazarus’ poem “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…” Just Awe-inspiring.  Liberty and Justice for all not some…all. (Okay I promise no more emotional talk 🙂

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As you can tell, this Cruise is not only a fantastic last minute or actually planned date option; it offers so much more!

 

Naomi

***Also, per our followers request, we are adding a LookBook feature called “The Look” to the blog which will give details on our outfits, discounts, and more!!!***

 

 

 

 

California Dreamin’: Cuisine Perfection!

So during our trip to California, we definitely ate, like a lot.  It was basically at random. Hubs would ask, “What do you want to eat?” My usual response would be “FOOD!”

So take the food journey with us…

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Day 1: Foxy’s in Glendale, California

After we arrived, checked out the Getty Villa, checked into our hotel, and visited with my brother, I was starving.  It was 10pm (or 1am our time) and McDonald’s just wouldn’t do! So, hopped on Yelp and found Foxy’s.  It is known for American cuisine but also Mexican Flare…img_1203In an effort to soak up the California weather, we ate outside, the atmosphere was wonderful…

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…Service was quite attentive

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We couldn’t get enough of the Bread!
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Hubs had the French Toast & I had the Seared Ahi Tuna

…and the food, well was right on time!

Day 2: The Yardhouse at LA Live

So it was midday, we strolling around downtown near the Staples Center, waiting to see our first 4DX movie (see Brent’s post here)!  Something about this restaurant was calling our name. img_1207

The Yardhouse has high-end American cuisine and is well-known for its beers. So despite our very relaxed attire, in a sea of suits, it was really a fun place to be.img_1208

We sat outside, despite the fact it was a cloudy day it was in the high 70s and unlike Baltimore, no humidity!

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Hubs had the BBQ Bacon Cheddar Burger and I had the Margherita Pizza!

Oh my Gosh, the food was amazing! We had such a good time, we didn’t want to leave!

Later Day 2: Silver Lake Ramen

After we saw Blair Witch (which was event more frightening in 4D), we rested up at the hotel and then we met up with my brother for dinner.  Apparently we just had to eat a Ramen spot on Sunset Blvd. After college, I swore never to eat Ramen again, but as the wonderful smell emanated from the restaurant, I thought, What’s one more time?

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It was quite a wait (only 20 minutes but when you’re hungry it feels like forever lol). I thought to myself these noodles must be amazing, in that there is line of people waiting patiently outside.  In the meantime, next door there was a store opening of a boutique Flirt Culture . So, of course, I had to get me an outfit. Anywho, I digress.  So, the restaurant definitely had that close knit feel.  So as I read the menu, it said “Our Ramen broth soup boiled for 16hrs for richness and taste.”  I thought, Wow! 16 hrs for little ol me?!?

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So, I have no idea what my husband and brother ate, because I was completely enthralled in my meal. I had the Pork Tonkotsu Soup, and it was truly life-changing.

Day 3: Sprinkles

So we had a fantastic day, hanging out in the Apple Store getting my new Iphone 7+ !!! And almost that almost feel second to where we went later… img_0025

A Cupcake ATM by Sprinkles, What da what!?!

Day 4:  Masa of Echo Park 

While in Santa Barbara (see my post here), where we briefly stopped at The Good Cup for a croissant and Lavender lemonade. Yum!

Later that evening, my baby brother (he’s 28, recently obtained his MFA in film directing/screenwriting but still my baby bro), invited me to dinner. So I left hubs in the hotel with football, and went to Echo Park.

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So, this is where you get the best Chicago Deep Dish in town; however my brother had a big interview the following morning, and it takes 45 minutes to make the specialty pizza… So we settled for their incredibly tasty thin crust pizza.  Not many things I’ll settle for but this was worth it!

And the dessert was to die for, we got the bread pudding, which was perfection!

Day 5: Final Day

Well, I’d say this was the day of redos.  We went back to La Live and saw Magnificent 7 in 4Dx.  I absolutely refused to fly home that night without eating again at Silver Lake Ramen, much to my hubs and brother’s chagrin.  But I won that battle, I had to get those Tonkotsu noodles again!  Our last stop before our 11pm flight was to catch a Dodger’s game, and there is nothing like baseball food.

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I feel the food on a vacation is pivotal to the success of the trip.  On this California journey, we were lucky to find so many great restaurants and cafes.  Everywhere I mentioned, we highly recommend!

 

Naomi

Day 2 of California Dreamin’ : Santa Barbara

Why Santa Barbara you may ask?  So twice in the last 2 years, we planned a roadtrip from San Francisco to Los Angeles. 2 years ago we had to cancel, the subzero temperatures of February attacked our water pipes, and we lost everything in our home from water damage. The 2nd time was this trip, Spirit cancelled our flight unbeknownst to us, no email, no phone call to inform us.  So, we did a last minute quick scramble to the west coast which was directly to LA and clearly had to change our itinerary, cancel our hotels.

Needless to say, on both San Francisco to LA itineraries, I had Santa Barbara as our last overnight stop before LA. So, during brunch, I randomly said lets drive to Santa Barbara. img_0038

Hubs was agreeable, after all we had a super reliable Fox Rental Car and it was only 1hr 30min away.  And although it was unplanned, the sunny blue skies, driving along the coast so close to the water, calmed this control freak.

So we left North East LA, drove through…

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Calabasas

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Camarillo

So we arrived in Santa Barbara a short time later, and I knew it was some places we were supposed to go, State Street, the Mission, the Wharf… img_0057So we wanted to maximize our trip before heading back in that crazy LA traffic we’ve heard so much about.

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So for starters, we took a stroll down State Street…

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A bit parched from our travels,

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The Good Cup

…we fell prey to the sign from a cafe stating that we have to try their lavender lemonade, so we did, and it was oh so good! img_0059

As we headed back to the car, there was some heavy thinking…

Due to time constraints, we had the tough choice between the Mission and Stearns Wharf…

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Yeah we chose Stearns Wharf… img_0080

The views were just stunning…

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The blue waters accentuate his handsomeness

It was a tad windy…

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But a warm breeze…

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So after perusing the shops, and of course buying candy from the Mother Stearns Candy Store, we began to head back to LA.

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Seacliff

Santa Barbara is beautiful, and just so relaxing. One can’t help but appreciate this city. Of course, we missed out on so much so maybe when I plan our next trip from San Francisco to LA, it’ll actually happen and we’ll be able to stay in Santa Barbara overnight *wink wink*

 

Naomi

Day 1 of California Dreamin’ : The Getty Villa

We left cold rainy Baltimore eastern standard time around 8am and arrived in sun-drenched Los Angeles around 11am pacific time.  Traveling back in time, you know?  img_1179So, after arriving to LA with hubs we took the shuttle to Fox Rental (coupons in link) at LAX, our normal go-to car rental place. Apparently this time, a lot more people were loving them too because the line was crazy long.

Anywho, so we of course got to pick whatever car we wanted, so as opposed to the typical mustang, we went for the one with good gas mileage with one thought in mind img_1185      …Road trip!!!

So, we were probably on the road 10 minutes, I oohh-ed and ahhh-ed at the palm trees… and well, I fell asleep.  Woke up near Malibu.  Never been to Malibu before.  I reached into the backseat to grab hubs camera because there was this fantastic place on a hill overlooking the water. Next thing I know, hubs is turning into the Getty Villa, according to the sign.  I honestly had no idea where we were going.  I love surprises but recognized that I’m rocking a purple tee, black leggings, was not super appropriate for Pacific Palisades… fullsizeoutput_f2bSo if you follow me on snapchat you’d know I constantly have to change from work clothes to a cocktail dress as I run from work to a fashion event in the car, so this time would be no different, lol.

Anywho, Getty Villa is stunning. Just stunning.

Like who doesn’t absolutely love the mixture of art, architecture, philanthropy, and education!!!

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img_0482It’s a museum with many exhibitions of ancient Greece and Rome.  No idea how my hubs, Brent, even came up with this idea.  It’s that brief moment when you realize your husband does actually listen to you, lol…

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Two works of art!

 

Completely unprepared how to maximize my experience here.  I used not the internet, but a paper map & guide!  img_0495

So, in the theater room, we learned a lot about the Getty Villa. img_1189

It was J. Paul Getty is a businessman turned millionaire due to the oil business in the ’50s.   So, he decided to build a museum that is on his ranch property in Malibu, that was a replica of Roman Villa dei Papiri in Herculaneum, Italy.

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Stroll along with us…

During Getty’s travels for oil and art, he obtained many treasures.

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Best kind of Step Class!

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I adore Mosaics!!!

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We were truly inspired as we headed out of Getty Villa. Just think all of this beauty came from the dream of one man, who actually never saw it come to fruition.  He wanted to share Greek and Roman culture to expose and perserve the richness of history.

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Quick stop to smell the roses as we left…

As we headed to the hotel, I thought if this is a glimpse of what hubs has in store for me during our week here, California is going to be even greater than I imagined!

 

Naomi

 

 

 

Our Fantastic Florida Vacation w/ an Unexpected Guest…

3 Kids, my husband, me, my mom, her husband, my little brother Tony from Cali, and a partridge in a pear tree… all went on a 8 day vacation to Central Florida. IMG_8840 Honestly, the longest vacation I’ve ever taken. I have this fear that if I take more than 4 days off of work, I wont wanna go back, lol. So until this trip, I never have.

We stayed in the Sheraton Vistana Resort in Lake Buena Vista, a place with a luxurious yet home-like feel, with a lot of space, a fully-stocked kitchen, 2 large bathrooms, washer/dryer, and living/dining room.

 

Of course, this trip was initiated due to my daughter’s last and biggest club volleyball AAU 4-day tournament in Orlando.

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Orange County Convention Center

However, I successfully turned a mandatory event to a fun-filled family opportunity! Kudos to me, lol.

My daughter and I flew down 2 days before everyone, because she had to be rested and volleyball ready! The first day of the tournament started at 4pm, and 3 games later, we were done around 930pm.  IMG_9011.JPGSo, I knew she was tired and we decided to treat ourselves to Red Lobster, then rest for her next game was the next day at 8am.

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One the 2nd day of the tournament, the rest of the family flew in and once everyone was settled, we had a family/team dinner at Freddy’s Steakburgers.

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Tournament Day 2
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Tournament Day 3
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Tournament Day 3

After the tournament, which ended up being 12 games in 4 days,

I had major plans to take all of my family to Disneyworld, for one day.  However, Mother Nature had other plans. In that it rained with thunderstorms and lightning the entire rest of the trip in Orlando.  So, I decided to go to plan B.  Only issue is I actually did not have a plan B, yet.

Masterfully I thought, all else fails the kids always will enjoy the beach.  Plus, I promised the now 8 year-old that he could have birthday party on the beach.  So, before heading to the beach, my brother and I went to Walmart to get some presents, and cupcakes, to make his party on the beach even more perfect. IMG_9018

We all traveled a little over an hour to Daytona Beach.IMG_9050

Let me tell you, the sand was soft (hot) yet fine, the water was warm, blue and inviting.
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Surprisingly it wasn’t too crowded. Everyone had a good time…especially me. IMG_9035I was on some crazy level of relaxation, that I’ve never experienced before. Initially I was uncomfortable because I knew it was ephemeral but then I allowed it to overtake me. dsc_0018As, Elsa sang in the movie Frozen, Let it go, Let it go… And I did, and I’m so much better for it.

The next day was my lil bro’s last day before he had to head back to his screenwriting West Coast World.  The occasional thunder and lightning continued in Orlando, so I had to scope out one last potentially fun for the entire family event.  After reviewing the resort’s discounted tickets list, we decided on Gatorland !!

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It was awesome for everyone, but profoundly hot like suck the lifeforce out of you hot, fortunately they had a little water park area. DSC_0115 And kids and I were ready, after all you should never travel in Florida without a bathing suit on or ready.  We are a family full of geeks (and my mom’s a retired school teacher) so there’s nothing like mixing education with fun. DSC_0076

So, my little bro departed that night headed back to his life of screenwriting and west coast living.  Yeah, I was missing him pretty bad.  I think that’s why hubs decided to take me out on our last night there. IMG_9097

  We went to Kobe for Hibachi.

Then to get our sports fix, we went to Orlando Ale House, nothing like 5 large tv screens of sports highlights!!!

On the 8th day, we were all sad to leave yet ready to go back home.  A sign of a really great vacation!!!DSC_0082 We got back to Baltimore are 1am, just in time for hubs and I to be back at work at 8am, lol… You know how we do.

 

Naomi

 

 

For it’s 1, 2…

So last Thursday, Brent and I had big plans to head to NYC, for the 2nd half of a technology conference IMG_8197and maybe a fashion event near Times Square.  However, by the time we got there from Baltimore, we thought lets ditch content and chose bonding 🙂

When blogging with your husband there is a fine line between events Continue reading For it’s 1, 2…

Thank you Denver

Beauty of club volleyball, besides providing your child with fun experiences, and working yourself to death to afford all of this fun; is that IMG_7078it opens new doors for you. So, I can honestly say I’ve never been to Denver and probably would have never gone unless one of our kids forced us to leave Baltimore, MD!  Well, our younger kids were being
watched by my mother-in-law, so, Brent and I decided to make the most of it and he flew over too.  Funny, that it’s easier for us to date when we’re out of town, than home.

We lost a day adjusting to the altitude, Continue reading Thank you Denver