Showing posts with label Travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Travel. Show all posts

Monday, December 22, 2014

happenings

....and so the holidays have begun.  our new-to-us car has already seen some miles, and there are more to be clocked, but as long as there are smiles and laughter and good food and good company, we can claim a successful holiday season. 

in light of my absence on this space, and likely more to come, here's a recap of the holidays for us so far.  between thanksgiving, friendsgiving, a wedding, a friends chrismakuh, holiday parties, and birthdays, we've been busy.  but we can only be thankful to have each of you in our lives!!  so, thanks, friends and family, for being so awesome :)

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^^^this one is smiling on the outside (but thoroughly upset that that girl beside him was the ping pong champion of the night)

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^^^missing those two for christmas... but thankful that weird one in the back is driving to see us (and to deliver our newly-reupholstered danish modern chair!!)

read on for more.....

Monday, October 20, 2014

minimoon in the catskills

refreshed doesn't even begin to explain how hung and i felt after spending the weekend in the catskills on our minimoon.  living in the city, you don't realize how busy and how much stimulation you have when you're so used to being on-the-go nonstop.  normally when we decide we need a break and spend a weekend night at home, we're still cooking, we're still on our phones, we're playing video games, and we're watching gilmore girls marathons.  it's not a break.  we're still "connected" and feel like we're missing out if we spend too much time away from instagram that we miss something that someone posted.  i'm such a sucker for instagram, but our weekend away made me really realize that it's a time-passer for me.  spending the weekend with just my husband, with no tv, no video games, no cell phone service (for most of the time anyways) was a step away to truly relax.

after a friend told me about table on ten, i knew we had to go.  i've wanted to do a staycation in NYC for a long time, but we keep putting it off because of the high price of hotels.  i knew it was for us when i found out that we could stay in a likely-better-designed minimalist bed and breakfast for half the price in a place where we would be forced to live without distractions.  i booked the trip through airbnb and decided that we could piggy back the trip as being our october date, even though it was supposed to be our minimoon (hey, we still have a reception to pay for, we can't go too crazy with the vacations yet).

on the way to bloomville, we stopped at warwick valley winery.  expecting your average winery with lots of wine to taste and buy, we were pleasantly surprised to find out that this is the place that makes doc's apple cider! while my taste buds have grown more "mature" since my days of loving every cider on a bar's menu, i still enjoy doc's.  the cider was included on the tasting menu, giving us a quick taste of a cider that never makes it to the draft list at our local bars: pumpkin cider.  i know, i know, everything has a pumpkin flavor nowadays, but this one was really good.  they know what they're doing when they say it's "seasonal" and "when it's out, it's out".  so, we packed our car full of booze, and continued driving to our destination in the catskills.

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at table on ten, we were greeted by the smell of brick oven pizza and a friendly staff.  we were shown our rooms, and just laid on the bed in awe of our weekend ahead.  you know you married the right one when you're excited for a room with no shower (just a hand held shower head and a tub, freestanding in the middle of the suite) and no door on the toilet area, just a curtain. the attic above table on ten is romantic.  it's minimalist. and the SMELL.  gosh i couldn't get over the smell.  it was fresh, it was cozy, and it made the place feel like home.  we spent the night eating pizza from the café at table on ten (their friday and saturday night specials), had a hot bath with the rest of our wine from dinner, and were ready for bed by 9:30pm. 

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i can't tell you how long it's been since i woke up on a saturday at 6:15am feeling 100% awake and refreshed.  we actually had to waste time before breakfast started to be served.  although Inez recommended a nearby café for breakfast, the smell of coffee and all things breakfasty told us we needed to stay.  after breakfast we planned to go to plattekill mountain, which has ski slopes in the winter that double as mountain biking and hiking trails in the non-winter months.  i like hiking, but it's not really hung's thing.  so this was a happy medium.  we rode the chair lift to the top of the mountain, and hiked our way down.  the hard part was done FOR us, AND we got views of the mountains unachievable from any spot on the ground.  worth every penny of that $7 ticket to the top.

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afterwards we ended up going to the café that inez referred us to for brunch.  it's called russell's, and it's the cutest little store in bovina.  it's a no frills place, where everyone seems to know everyone.  but as newcomers, we were treated with the same hospitality.  the place is filled with general store goods, bakery items, nostalgic candies, and, again, that delicious smell of bacon.  we ordered sammiches and devoured them.  end of story.  we were, again, referred to another local restaurant for dinner, and decided that these recommendations are a good thing (because they all actually ARE good recommendations).

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we spent the afternoon drinking ommegang beer at the taste of the catskills event in delhi before heading back to table on ten to relax before dinner.  i never would have thought that a place that seems so desolate would require reservations for dinner, but as we walked into brushland eating house, we realized why.  the well-designed space was dimly lit with just the right amount of cozy, not too many tables that makes you feel like you're packed in like sardines (ahem, like every restaurant in manhattan), but enough to fill the space with friendly conversations to make it feel lively.  when there's a place in town that serves food that's THAT good for reasonable prices, it gets packed.  fortunately for us, we are pretty low key and those bar stools at the ledge near the front windows that face the street are totally fine with us! we ordered the recommended roasted carrots, fell in love with turnips, and for once i think we each ordered entrees that was equally as awesome as the other (hung ALWAYS orders the better dish)

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another bubble bath and bottle of wine, and we were destined for another early night.  our final morning was reserved for a farm tour at a local animal farm called stone and thistle, where the owners served brunch at their home at a huge communal table after the farm tour.  after seeing a real family farm in action, it makes us appreciate meat that comes from these kinds of places.  although we have almost unintentionally reduced our meat intake to just a few servings a week, it makes use realize that maybe the "cheapest chicken breast we can find" might not be the most sustainable, the most ethical, or the most healthy.  although this mindset is in our faces everyday in the media, it wasn't until we actually visited a small family farm that we truly knew what it meant to choose ethically-raised, quality meat.

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although we only took a half day off of work on friday, being away from distractions for just the 2 nights made our weekend feel so long (in a good way), and it was such a nice treat for us newlyweds.  now i know why people take honeymoons ;)

we fell in love with the catskills, and we will certainly be back again.

cheers.
jenn

Monday, September 29, 2014

babies

nearly everyone around me knows how much i want to have kids of my own.  if you look at our fridge, you'll see many faces we are constantly saying that we don't see enough.  but sometimes even i get that feeling of "do i really want kids? when is the perfect time? we've got a good thing going, why mess it up? will we be able to afford them? who's going to take care of them when we work?"  as much as i love kids and as much as i say i can't wait to have kids, i have to admit that i get a bit of anxiety when i think about that pee stick telling me "there's no turning back now."

but then when we visit friends who just seem to have it together, i realize we've got nothing to be afraid of.  those rare times we get to be around babies and little kids just makes us so happy.  we visited friends in virginia to see their 7 week old baby, and we got to see family in the area too.  the second the new proud parents carried the tiny girl down the stairs the morning after we arrived, hung had her in his arms.  it's so cute to see him being so sweet with kids, whether they are newborns or rowdy pre-k bundles of energy.  hung's cousin and kids live nearby and are at that age where anything he does is funny, and their tiny giggles are so contagious.

a few photos from the weekend, reminding us that yeah, we want "that" one day.

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we started off the weekend at the neptune festival in virginia beach.

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snuggling his little bug into a burrito.

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i instagrammed this adorable photo of hung, and he posts THAT gem of myself.  thanks, babe.

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after visiting with our friends with the newborn, we ventured over to chesapeake for a quick stop with hung's cousin and her two adorable little ones before driving back to new jersey.

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seriously, do they get any cuter than that? especially that big one in the middle...

cheers.
jenn

p.s. do you want to hear the most adorable 3 year old say the pledge of allegiance? go to @beyondthestoop on instagram... you won't be disappointed ;)