Guests in The Bay

Had a great time with the White family who came to stay with use for a few days last week.  I’ve known Briana for…20 years??  Loved the 2 days off as well, was as being a total tourist in my own town.  We were busy, saw SF, Sonoma and Marin!  We decided we need to be like the Whites and get in the car and do drives to national parks.  Rodney documents their trips on Whynotjustgo.  Give us a few years, first.

Thursday:  San Francisco
We ventured into SF for our big Alcatraz tour, then ended up with lots of stops along the way.  Philz Coffee in the morning, lunch with Briana’s cousin, Ghiradelli square for ice cream, Lombard Street and the Painted Ladies.

Alcatraz was great and I was pleasantly surprised by the audio tour.  Highly recommend that.

Friday: Benzinger Vineyard in Sonoma
This was a find.  It’s a biodynamic vineyard, was really quite, had a great little tour on a tractor and beautiful views.

We all went out for dinner to Gott’s and then frozen yogurt.  There were actually 2 stops for ice cream because 2 of the girls wanted the place with the candy and gummy worm toppings.

Saturday:   Marin and Sausalito

This was the day we all ventured out.  After a stop at Philz for coffee and pastries to bring back home.  Mandatory stop at In n Out (this was the 3rd burger for someone on the trip – and no, not me!), then to Sausalito for ice cream, and a stop in the Marin Headlands were we parted ways.  Lesson learned, when S wants the sprinkle cone, she is really not going to want to share yours.



DC for the Weekend

Fun times.  We went to DC to visit the Darden Girls this month.  Baby is a trooper, did great on the train and Metro.  Great weekend with the girls (lots of them, there are 5 ladies 3 and under!).  L was our fabulous host.  You know I have to post some desserts…we may have taken down 2 plates of these brownies, and a plate of M&M cookies.

Couples BBQ Baby Shower Fun

Last Saturday was friends, family and fun at what I would call a BBQ celebrating the upcoming birth of Baby Brooks.  Friends, family and kids.  Had my Darden Girls, my UVA ladies, the Lopez Family, and friends of friends.  There may have been the red velvet cake Mark requested and some spiked watermelon lemonade for the adults.  And just 1 Kim Kardashian over the shoulder pose.

Flushing, Finally: Biang!

Biang! Biang!  That’s the sound of the handmade noodles hitting the counter as the person stretches the noodle dough.  And it’s where we went Friday night for Kelly’s birthday.  Flushing, Queens.  The really “chinatown” of New York.  It’s my first time out there, and as I came up from the subway I wondered if I was in China.

For a group of 15, it was a great place to go.  Lots of skewers, and buns, and dumplings and noodles served family style.  The noodles must have been good because I had so many juice spots all over my dress from slurping the endless noodles.  It was a noodle that went on and on forever.  I’ll admit, you may need a stomach of steel to handle the extreme spice and variety of flavors.  But I’m tough like that.  Bring it on!   I’m determined to go back, and looking for a tour guide.

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TGIF. Arepas Cafe!

It’s the Friday before I jet off to California tomorrow.  Friends, family, reduced ironman training (I’m committing to 3 sessions only)…it will be nice.  Started the weekend with a trip to Arepas Cafe in Queens to meet up with Kelly and Michael.  The common connection is Team in Training, and Michael and I were co-captains of the Bloomberg team.  I’ve been here a few times with my work team.  Started with the cachapa, which has a sweeter corn outside, then moved on to my Mami of Venezuelan pork, avocado and white cheese.


White Sangria and the magic green sauce.  Kelly told me that the green sauce in the squirt bottle is well known in all Venezuelan places.  It’s delicious and I can put it on anything.  I first had it at Venezuelan Beach Food in Norwalk, CT.  That was the tag line under the actual name, but that’s what stuck.


And now I’m home, I’m packing, and I’m ready to fly west!

Red Velvet Cupcakery

It’s hard to resist an after dinner cupcake during a catch up girls weekend.  So we indulged at the Red Velvet Cupcakery.  A quick check of their website let me know they’ve been around since 2008 with a few shops in Virginia and Arizona.   We sampled a few and will admit that I loved the whip peanut butter frosting on the chocolate one and the almond cake part on another.   I was full from dinner, but I just couldn’t say no!

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Pink Pink Pink!


The baby shower this past weekend was all pink for the little girl on the way.  I traveled down to Washington DC to see the mom to be and the rest of our Darden girls group.  Saturday was shower, and visiting and dinner.  Lots of fund and reminds me that we don’t see each other enough.


A few shots of food (of course) and some baby games and activities.

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Sandy, Glad You are Gone

Oh, Sandy.  Sandy Sandy Sandy.  Only one post to sum up last week, it’s time to move on for us.  But not the poor folks still without power.

Sunday Morning at Trader Joes: Clearly, everyone is just going to eat Chocolate Chip Dunkers for days.

Worked from home on Monday, but we still needed coffee.  Stone Street was the only open place.  The owner and his cousin live upstairs.  Best find:  The back is a Speakeasy with a mixologist and cocktails behind the wall!  We’ll be back sometime for BathTub Gin.

Monday Morning: Stone Street on 9th Ave.

We started Monday night pre-storm popping open a bottle of champagne that’s been in our refrigerator 2 years (Amy’s wedding!).  We were only going to drink a glass, but ended up drinking the entire bottle.  Then the lights went out….

Monday Night: Thanks, Amy!
Tuesday Morning: Mark leading the way to the West Village, en route to Rachel’s for a shower (cold one!).
Tuesday Morning: The parking garage at the base of Rachel’s building. Oh no! Yup, that’s a car back there.
Tuesday at Rachel’s: Horatio and West Side Highway. The water was up to the grey line on the building.
Tuesday Morning: A new restaurant under construction unveiled early!
Tuesday Morning: Yes, we had to walk by here, too. 8th Ave and 14th Street was the new Times Square, there were so man people taking pictures!

And then it settled in…days without power or water.  A big thanks to N & C who provided a warm shower and TV multiple times.

The Line oF Empowerment: You can see where the line is. Left side is 31st Street. Right side is 30th Street. Living on the wrong side, that’s for sure.

Lessons learned:

1.  Wash the dishes after dinner when you think the lights are going to go out.

2.  Water does run, but not if you are above the 6th floor.  The pressure from the water coming from upstate doesn’t have THAT much pressure to reach the 6th floor.

3.  Flashlights.  Thank you, Daddy, for the ones you’ve given in my stocking!  They came in handy!

4.  Bed Head is perfectly acceptable in situations like this.  Distract with a brightly covered scarf when dressing for work.

5.  Have friends who live in different areas of the city to cover all bases.  And thank you to everyone who provided a towel!

6.  Power is precious.  It’s a huge stress to manage the power on your cell, when you need to make calls to check in, but don’t know when the next charge is.

7.  People are friendly. And they behave in New York City at night.

And my big lesson is that many people have it a whole lot harder than I do.  Wondering where you are going to bath, where the next meal is, where you can sleep, where do you go when it’s cold. It’s mentally exhausting.  Then to have children and think about all that.  I have a new respect and concern for people in these situations every day, all year.  Be thankful for what you have and give back.

OBX: Back!

I have to admit, vacation this year seemed endless.  I wish it was 2 or 3 weeks, but I feel like I got solid vacation time in.  Isn’t that what you want out of vacation?  Just a quick pic to sum up the week.  We may have had a few afternoon glasses of wine on the deck.

Maybe another post as we wrap up August. Then I’ll be back on it this fall.  Maybe I just need a break from the online world for just a few more days….


OBX. Coming.

Vacation is just around the corner.  And there is nothing better than felling everything is in order at work, files are prepped, people are aware.  And I have a dedicated back up so no checking email.

Here’s hoping to no hurricanes.  Just fun, sun (well, shade) and a little bit of wine.  It’s been a little quiet in August. You could say I’m taking a break from technology.  Magazines and books.  I’m going old school next week.

And if you want to be reminded how little vacation we have compared to other countries, here you go.  The one interesting thing they point out is that you get WEEKS of happiness just looking forward to vacation.  Yup!

Bloomberg TV Clip:  HERE!