adventures in folly beach

Last weekend,  my husband and I went to Charleston, SC to visit my brother. He lives at Folly Beach which is a little beach town about 20 minutes outside of downtown Charleston. I love weekends in CHS because it’s the best of what I enjoy the most: beach and city. Where we ate  Xiao boa biscuit.  Asian soul food. It was our second visit and it didn’t disappoint. The Grocery   Farm to table with an emphasis on house made charcuterie and pickled vegetables.  Our first visit and we enjoyed it immensely. Where we drank The Belmont  A cocktail bar/lounge that’s got an old world feel. AC’s  Your classic dive bar. Besides eating and drinking in downtown CHS, we spent quality time in Folly.  We walked on the beach everyday.  We took a golf cart ride to the washout to check out the waves (my brother and his girlfriend are both surfers). We attended Follypalooza on Saturday which was highly entertaining. Per usual, our visit to Folly and CHS was a blast.  I can’t wait to return. Now back to reality.    ...
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a day in philly

Our weekend in Philly was fantastic.  On Friday afternoon, we took the train up. It was lovely. I’m a big fan of not driving especially since I was able to enjoy double vodka and soda on the train.  It’d been one of those days and that’s the joy in taking the train: you can drink!  (priorities, people. priorities)  The BYOB restaurant we went to on Friday night, Kanella, was excellent too. My favorite part of the trip is what we did on Saturday and for me, this is a perfect day in Philly. We started the day by walking to La Columbe coffee, the best coffee shop in Philly. Then we went to Reading Terminal and went nuts.  I was with a group of friends that were also attending the wedding and they had never been to Reading Terminal.  The excitement level was insane. Half made a beeline for the Dinic’s counter for their famous pork sandwiches.  I wanted a classic breakfast and headed to the Dutch Eating Place, an Amish breakfast counter.  The key is to get it to go and then eat at one of the communal tables in the market.  Otherwise you’ll wait forever for a seat at the counter. It was delicious. Once we conquered Reading Terminal, we went on a walking tour of Philly.  My cousins took us on a spin through Macy’s to show us the Spring flower show.  It was so pretty and the Macy’s building is majestic.  Then we headed to Egan Day, an incredible jewelry store. I wanted multiple items but settled for a pair of earrings.  Next we went to a funky eye glass shop called EYEsite.  If you want original eyewear, this is the place to visit.  I found a pair of frames that I loved but I just got new glasses. sigh. Our last stop was the high end shop Joan Shepp.  This store is for the serious fashionistas.  It had many designers that you don’t see everyday: Rick Owens, Dries Van Noten and Marni to name a few. After I wandered around Joan Shepp, I was done and ready for a nap. Philly..you were fun and I can’t wait to go back!...
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philly in da house

This weekend I’m going to a wedding in Philly.  We’re staying at the Sofitel in the City Center. I already know I’m making a pilgrimage to Reading Terminal Market.  I’m also visiting with cousins and I can’t wait.  They’re taking us to Kanella, their favorite BYOB restaurant, on Friday night.   While part of me feels guilty for going out of town again, the other part of me is thrilled.  It can’t be all work and no play or else I’m an unhappy girl. What are you doing this weekend?  ...
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a stroll through london

I got back from London late monday night and I’m still exhausted.  Jet lag is not fun. London and Manchester, on the other hand, were a ton of fun. It was a quick trip. My husband and I spent 3 days in London and 1 day in Manchester.  On our first day, we were exhausted.  I never sleep on overnight flights and this one was no different.  I arrived in London starving and sleepy but I was determined to push through. We checked into our hotel, the Arch in Marylebone. Our room was available within thirty minutes even though it was 9am which was lovely.  The Arch is a wonderful, boutique hotel.  It was close to a Tube station, Hyde Park was across the street and the bed was super comfy.  I would definitely stay there again.  Once we showered and ate breakfast, we decided to head to Borough Market, a huge food market in Southwark.  Since I’m a food geek, this was heaven. We wandered the stalls, bought some tea and I lamented I wasn’t hungry (poor planning on my part!)  My husband couldn’t resist a chorizo sandwich from the Brandisa stand.  Afterwards, we walked along the Thames, checked out the Globe Theatre and went to the Tate Modern. The next day, we shopped.  We went to Selfridges and Liberty then wandered the surrounding shops.  We had lunch at the Wolseley, which is a beautiful old school European restaurant.  Next we walked through Green Park, took a peek at Buckingham Palace then strolled over to Westminister Abbey.   On Saturday, we headed to Notting Hill and it was charming. The homes were fabulous and I gawked like the tourist I am.  We also went Portabello Market and poked around the antique stores.  Afterwards, we stopped for lunch at Granger & Co. While lunch was fantastic, the wait was not and we were done. The weather turned chilly and the thought of walking anywhere else held no appeal. We hopped a taxi and went to the Wallace Collection, which is a national museum in a historic town house.  It was unbelievable and I’m still thinking about the green flocked wallpaper in one of the rooms. On Sunday, we took the train to Manchester for the main event of the trip:  watching a Manchester United game at Old Trafford.  My husband is an ardent Manchester United fan and going to a game in...
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london calling

Next week, I’m going to London for the first time!  Somehow I’ve neglected to visit this wonderful city and I can’t wait. It’s actually a birthday trip for my Mr.  The man is obsessed with English soccer and I’m taking him to see his favorite team play. This involves a trip to Manchester because he’s a Manchester United fan.  On Sunday, we’re heading to Old Trafford to watch Manchester United vs. Tottenham.  It promises to be an amazing game. While we have an itinerary, I’d love any recommendations.  What are your favorite London and Manchester activities?...
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argentina | adventures in buenos aires

Flying back to Buenos Aires was a series of mishaps.  Our flight was delayed twice, my husband was involved in pastry smooshing incident (Which was not his fault. The flight attendant was the culprit but that didn’t matter to his seat mates) and we almost got hit by another plane in an “air traffic controller miscommunication”.  There was fervent applause by our fellow passengers when we landed and that summed up my sentiments exactly. Once we got back to BA, we checked into the house we rented in Palermo Soho.  It was incredible and in a fantastic location.  While there were a few hiccups, renting a house was one of the best decisions we made.  It was 3 bedrooms/3 baths with a lovely court yard and a roof deck.  On New Year’s Day, my husband grilled pork and beef and we had a feast to celebrate 2015. Once we settled into the house, we wandered the city.  One day we went to the MALBA, the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano. We saw a fascinating exhibit by Antonio Berni, a famous Argentinian artist.   My favorite were his monsters that he constructed from found objects. Another day, we went to the Recoleta Cemetery and toured the crypts of the famous Argentinians.  It was creepy. We also took a 3 hour bicycle tour of the city and went to the San Telmo market.  We hunted all over BA for a choripan stand, the street food that everyone tells you to eat. We found the best stand at the San Telmo market. We had many amazing meals and everything in Argentina is affordable. Their currency was recently devalued and there’s a thriving “blue market” where you can exchange dollars for pesos at a 12/13 to 1 rate vs. the official rate of 8 to 1. We rarely spent over $50 for dinner for the both of us and we ate at some of the best restaurants in BA. BA was the best part of the trip for me.  Not only did I feel better, I loved the weather and the variety of things we were able to do.  We also laughed a ton. When I reflect upon this trip, that’s what I’ll remember the most. It was a marvelous way to begin 2015!  ...
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argentina | adventures in salta

If you hadn’t figured out from the radio silence on the blog, I went on vacation to Argentina on December 26th.  After a wonderful Christmas with my family in NC, my husband and I  hopped a plane and landed in sunny, warm Buenos Aires on the 27th.  We immediately jumped on another plane the 28th to begin the first part of the trip in Salta. Salta is in northern Argentina, in the foothills of the Andes mountains.  As you can see, it’s a small city surrounded by mountains and it’s gorgeous. For me, this part of the vacation blew because I caught a nasty cold/sinus infection right before we left.  In fact, my husband and I left abruptly on Christmas Day after I realized I needed antibiotics, stat. (I WAS NOT going to be sick after planning this vacation for an entire year, damnit).  I made an appointment at the emergency clinic in Cleveland Park and got a Z pack.  I felt like hell for the first couple days of the trip. Salta will forever be associated with how horrible I felt.  Salta is probably awesome but I couldn’t wait to get out of there. Meanwhile, we still did some cool stuff.  One of the best guides we found was the 36 hours in Salta article from the NY Times.  We saw the 1000 steps (I was waaay to sick to attempt this.  We were traveling with two friends and one climbed the steps and said it was amazing.  We did a drive by on the tour we took and after seeing it up close, I’m impressed she made it!), we went to the San Lorenzo cloud forest and ate lunch at La Table de House of Jasmine.  For me, this portion of the trip kicked ass. San Lorenzo was the highlight of our time in Salta. It was nature at its best. Then we had a super swanky lunch at the House of Jasmine.  This place was totally over the top but after climbing a bunch of trails, it was so nice to have delicious food and a big glass of wine. The other highlight of the Salta trip was the Patio de Empanadas.  It was about a mile from our hotel in downtown Salta but it was fun to walk the streets and check out the locals.  The patio is a tiny house with a big outdoor area and there...
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vacation | argentina

After months and months of planning and day dreaming, my trip to Argentina is finally around the corner.  The plans are becoming a reality and I can’t wait. Traveling is one my favorite things and I’m already fizzing with ideas.  We’re spending a few days in Salta, then returning to Buenos Aires.  While in Buenos Aires, we’re taking a day trip to Uruguay. Any suggestions?? *This is where we’re staying in BA.  See what happens when you let a real estate agent make the housing arrangements???...
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wanderlust

I’m having a hard time getting back in the swing of things.  My mind is focused on where I want to be instead of where I am.  Right now, I want to be anywhere but DC.  There’s no particular reason.  Life is great but I feel restless.  I’m ready for my trip to Argentina but it’s months till it happens.  Meanwhile, I’m going to satisfy my wanderlust by traveling virtually.  Did you know there’s a town in Morocco named Chefchaouen where all the houses are painted blue?  It’s beautiful, isn’t it?  May it brighten the beginning of your...
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day dreamin’ | buenos aires

In April, I decided my big vacation for 2014 is a trip to Argentina.  I’m not going until December but I am having so.much.fun planning this trip.  Tickets are booked.  The itinerary is set.  I’m reserving our accommodations for the Buenos Aires today and I’m pumped.  If all goes according to plan, this is where we’re staying.  Pretty swanky,...
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one day in nyc

On Monday, I tagged along with a friend who had a fundraiser in NYC.  We were only in the city for one full day and two evenings but it was nice to be out of DC. We stayed at Gotham in Midtown, hit the major shopping spots, ate fantastic meals and visited the Highline. Visiting the Highline, a public park on the West side built on the remnants of an old, elevated freight rail line, was the highlight of my trip.  We went early Tuesday morning before the crowds/heat and strolled.  I’d forgotten how loud and smelly NYC can be in the summer so it was lovely to walk up the stairs and escape.  The park is about a mile long.  We stopped in Chelsea which was perfect for the next part of the day: lunch and shopping. On the corner of 10th Avenue and 20th St. is a delightful restaurant called Cookshop.  After walking from 46th St. to 20th St., then shopping at Muleh NYC and COMME des Garçons, I was ready for lunch and a glass of wine. We had a wonderful meal of fish tacos, trout and rosé.  Not a bad Tuesday!   Chelsea is lovely.  I could’ve wandered around the neighborhood for hours but more shopping was on the agenda so we went back to Midtown.  After a stop in Bergdoff’s and Chanel (I did a lot of window shopping), a siesta was in order.  That evening, my friend went to the Yankee’s game for her fundraiser and I met friends for at Mailiano.  Situated on the edge of Gramercy Park, it was a beautiful space and the food was outstanding. Did you know only the people that live on Gramercy Park have access to it?  It’s the only private park in NYC.  I wonder how much those places cost??? After a whirlwind day, I took the train back to DC on Wednesday.  While it was a fast trip, it was fun.  I can’t wait to return!    ...
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my beach weekend

I wish I was back at the beach.  I've only been home a couple of days and already, I'm looking forward to my next visit.  As you can tell from the photos, it's beautiful. This visit, the weather was absolutely perfect.  It was in the 70's and a tiny bit chilly.  I rode bikes, I read on the front and back porches, I played with the crazy dog and I drank beer on the beach.  I visited with my folks, ate delicious food, celebrated Mother's Day and relaxed.   It was fab. Only 45 days till my next...
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