This past week, H and I were in Aruba for a last-minute getaway. We have so many family weddings, obligations, as well as our own wedding stuff going on in the next several months, that we decided we needed one more getaway for relaxation and some fun.
We decided on Aruba since H had never been and because the weather is nearly perfect all year round. The weather in Baltimore has not gotten the “Spring memo” quite yet, so we jetted off to find some sunshine and warmth.
We stayed at the Marriott Stellaris Resort which was wonderful. They had a lot of amenities, good food and a beautiful beach. We did the Tradewinds Club, which I highly recommend, that provided us with full access to drinks, snacks along with a top-floor, ocean-front room. We had a fantastic view of the Caribbean, perfect for seeing the spectacular sunsets each night and the gorgeous blue water during the day.
The first day we arrived in the evening and went to Elements for dinner, which was a great beach front restaurant in the low rise area of the island. They had excellent food and the ambiance was perfection.
The next day we had a full beach day, but took a break for lunch on the beach at Hadicurari.
This evening we went to Pinchos for pre-dinner drinks, followed by dinner at Barefoot, which was another fantastic upscale, but beachy restaurant located right on the sand. All of the fish and seafood dishes were so fresh and delicious. We loved both spots.
The next day, we woke up and wanted to check out downtown. They had some good shopping so we strolled around for a bit before returning to the resort where we had lunch at the Waves Beach Bar on property. Downtown had the largest Zara I have ever been in. It was like a mall.
The rest of the day was spent lounging under a palapa, reading and swimming. This evening we went to Madame Jannette’s for dinner, which was spectacular. The restaurant is a little off of the beaten path, but so worth it once you are there. It was a random Tuesday night and there was not ONE open table, a true testament to the food and ambiance. Diners are seated in an outdoor courtyard space, while live music plays among twinkling lights. It is one of my favorite restaurants.
The next day we did more lounging (go figure), but went to the cutest spot called Pelican Pier for lunch. It is a pier bar located right off of the beach that goes out into the Caribbean. We sat, had a few drinks and a delicious lunch, literally IN the Caribbean. It also makes one of my top spots because it was one of the only places on the island that had, or knew of, my favorite rosé, Whispering Angel.
On our last night, we wanted to stay close to our hotel, so we walked next door to the Ritz-Carlton and ate at the Italian spot Casa Nonna (we were a little bit fished-out which is quite hard for me to be). It was a gorgeous spot on the beach with fire pits and live music. It was a wonderful way to end our dinner and the trip.
Last Friday H surprised me with a helicopter ride around the city and over to the Eastern Shore, where we flew over, and landed in St. Michaels, Maryland at The Inn at Perry Cabin, the location of our wedding! It was such a surprise and the views were incredible. We were celebrating (almost) all of our wedding items’ completion. After the helicopter dropped us off, we walked around the grounds of the Inn and toasted to “our spot.”
This fantastic excursion was booked through Charm City Helicopters. They are amazing! Freddie and Caitlin are the best duo and ensure that nothing is overlooked. Freddie is the pilot and Caitlin is the planner extraordinaire. They were such a pleasure to be with, and H said, they were such a pleasure leading up to the booking. They provided an incredible experience that I would recommend to anyone looking for a romantic date night or cool anniversary / birthday gift idea!
It was a wonderful, romantic and special Friday night and I am so grateful to H for the surprise!
Last weekend I was in New York for the Orioles vs. Yankees game at Yankee Stadium. I have never been there, so it was a really cool experience. Before the game, we went to Billy’s for some drinks and lunch, and ended up there after the game for a bit. It was a really fun, energetic bar! Even though the Orioles lost, we still had a fun day.
Later that evening, we went had dinner in Little Italy at Umberto’s Clam House, which was delicious, and then out in the East Village for a friend’s birthday celebration.
Sunday, H and I walked around a bit, got some delicious NY bagels and had afternoon tea at The Plaza, which I have always wanted to do. The experience of afternoon tea in their Pam Court room is so special and beautiful. It was a really fun, NYC weekend!
Yesterday was Opening Day in Baltimore and it was a beautiful 70 degree day! I skipped out of work in the early afternoon (shhh), after receiving a text from my friend that she had two tickets to the game. It’s such a fun tradition and is like no other. I know there were many opening days in baseball yesterday, but there is something so special about the Orioles and Baltimore sports (Orioles Magic!)
There was even a surprise big screen appearance from Cal Ripken himself, which of course, received a standing OOOOOvation (see what I did there?) Gives me chills, and the Blue Angels fly-over. Always awesome. It was such a fun, last-minute-day, and I am so glad I went.
Last week, H and I went to Miami for a little warm getaway. The weather is NOT warming up in Baltimore, and we were feeling the need for some sun and sand. We stayed at the Eden Roc Hotel, which was wonderful, in a top floor room overlooking the property.
The first day we just lounged at the beach and by the pool. So happy to be in 80 degree weather.
This evening we went to the most fantastic restaurant in the middle of Miami Beach called Casa Tua. We ate outside in a courtyard, filled with trees adorned with lights. I truly felt like we were in Italy. The cuisine was Northern Italian-inspired and was absolutely amazing. The chef is Sergio Sigala, and he is going for his second Michelin Star with this restaurant. I have no doubt he will get it.
The next day we lounged at the beach, had a surprise visit from a friend, who had a long layover in the Miami Airport. The three of us went to the Fontainebleau Miami for lunch at their outdoor restaurant, La Cote.
This evening we went to The Standard Hotel for sunset drinks at Lido, followed by a walk around Miami Beach Marina , then drinks at Monty’s before heading to Macchialina for dinner. Macchialina was another fantastic and authentic Italian restaurant in the heart of South Beach. Chef Pirolo had his culinary training in Italy, followed by a few restaurants in New York, is a James Beard Semi Finalist and now has this delicious restaurant in Miami Beach. We loved the experience. The decor is dark, cozy and chic all at once. They have indoor and outdoor dining, but sitting inside, you would never think you are in South Beach. It truly had a genuine Italian flare.
Monday morning we woke up and did a little shopping. We went to the Bal Harbour Shops. I was on a mission for a very particular Gucci wallet and bag. This Gucci store was one of the most fun and colorful locations I have been in. I did snag one of the items on my list (will post soon). After we headed to one of the most famous Cuban restaurants in South Beach called Puerto Sagua. It is a family-run, Zagat-rated restaurant that has been a Miami Beach staple for years. It is located in the shopping district of Miami Beach and very unassuming, but the food is fantastic. They have a large menu in the window because the lines are usually out the door. I have eaten here once before when I was in Miami, but really wanted to take H, as he is Cuban, and I knew he would love it. He gave it two thumbs up! We got way too much food, so slept it off on the beach for the rest of the afternoon.
This evening, we went to Smith and Wollensky for pre-dinner drinks. They have a really great outdoor bar space that overlooks the water where you can see across to Fisher Island. We had a drink before heading to the famous Joe’s Stone Crab for dinner. We got lots of stone crab and other house favorites. The restaurant was packed. They do not take reservations, so everyone waits at the bar and they call your name overhead. It’s very old-school and I loved it. We had one celebrity sighting the entire Miami trip and it was here. Ivana Trump was dining with her friends and she walked by our table on her way out.
We finished the night off stopping at The Clevelander, followed by the Fontainebleau Bleau Bar (as we did most nights as it was right next to Eden Roc) before heading back to the room.
On our last day we spent all day at the beach. We wanted to soak it all in before heading back to 40 degree weather in Maryland. We also spent time in the many pools at the Eden Roc hotel. They have four pools and two hot tubs in total. However, the ocean was so calm this final day (isn’t that how it always is?), that we spent most of our time there.
This night we went on a tour of all of the best waterfront spots in Miami, starting at the Rusty Pelican, which has the best skyline views of downtown Miami at night. Secondly, we went to Seaspice, followed by Kiki on the River. All of these spots had the most gorgeous views of the city from the water. We finished at Monty’s Sunset for a casual dinner, walk around the marina, and feeding gigantic Tarpon fish. Side story, H and I were walking around the marina and a group of men were unloading Mahi Mahi off of their boat that they had caught that day. We started talking to them and they asked if we wanted to feed the fish that were circling the boat. When I say fish, I mean gigantic Tarpon that were almost my size and weighed 250 pounds! After speaking with the men for 15 minutes or so, we realized we were speaking to Pedro Martinez, and that was his boat. It was pretty cool to meet one of the best, hall-of-fame, baseball pitchers of all time. He was super nice and down to earth. It was a relaxed and cool way to end Miami.
Last week I was in Sanibel Island, Florida visiting my parents who were down for a few weeks. It was so nice to be in 80 degree weather. Hal, my brother, his fiancé and my sister joined as well. We did a lot of reading, had lazy days on the beach, rode bikes and went out to dinner. The sunsets on the island are so beautiful and fiery. One evening we went to the Mucky Duck down the road in Captiva to watch the sunset. We had dinner at a bunch of my parents’ favorites: Doc Ford’s, Traders, Matzaluna and The Lighthouse Cafe for breakfasts. It was a great week. We left 70 degree weather in Baltimore and returned to 30 degree weather, so it was nice to have one last warm-weather hoorah!
Even though Fall officially started a few weeks ago, It has remained hot in Baltimore (which I love). However, this past weekend, we really started to see the signs of Fall, physically and in the weather, which was very chilly. I met a friend for dinner on Thursday night and walked through all of the colorful leaves (in the rain mind you). This past weekend, Hal and I went to the Annapolis Power Boat Show, walked around and hopped boat to boat. It was very chilly as well, but fun to pop in and out of Pusser’s for a drink to warm up!
We went to The Chart House in Annapolis for dinner, which was amazing, and then Sunday I went to the Ravens game. It started very slow, with us losing, and then we went into OT and the Bears won in the last few minutes – SO sad! I feel like I lost a few years off my life from the stress of the game. It was fun nonetheless. A great weekend!
We just got back from… GREECE! It was absolutely amazing and more than I could have hoped for. We went to celebrate my 30th birthday! I could share a million pictures, but I will try to condense (which is very hard to do!) so I apologize in advance for this being a long one. Believe it or not, this is about 1/8 of the photos I have.
We arrived on Friday morning in Athens and took a quick trip over to see the Ancient Greek Parthenon. It was spectacular and so surreal to think that humans built this in 447 B.C. without any machinery or modern technology. It is huge and these photos do not do it justice. So incredible.
Afterward we had lunch at a cute little restaurant called DionysosZonars at the foothill of the Acropolis with amazing views.
Following lunch, we headed back to the Athens airport and boarded our flight to Mykonos! We stayed at the Mykonian Ambassador Hotel, which is part of the Relais and Chateaux hotel group. It was such a beautiful property with amazing views and near the town. I have to give a shoutout to the staff there, who were absolutely amazing. They were so accommodating, helped us with all of our reservations, car services to dinners, Jeep rental, advice on where to go and what to do… They just went above and beyond (shoutout to Thomas the bartender, who was the most fantastic ever!) I highly recommend staying here if you are in Mykonos. Plus, they are a part of the Mykonian Collection, so you can go to other properties under the group. We went to one of their other properties on the island called the Mykonian Imperial, which is part of the Leading Hotels of the World group. It was a totally different vibe from the Ambassador, but equally as stunning.
We landed in the evening, so we did a little hotel and beach exploring, then got ready for dinner at Hippie Fish, which was great! We had the best fresh fish and you are right on the sea.
The next day we rented a Jeep and drove around the island exploring. The island is pretty vast and there are pockets of awesome places to see. We went to the Mykonian Imperial for a couple of hours of laying out by their incredible pool, and then went to lunch at JackieO’ in Super Paradise Beach, which was one of my favorite places! It was a beach bar right on the sea, but also a luxurious, gorgeous restaurant with the most amazing views. We had a wonderful lunch taking in the sights. I highly recommend renting a Jeep if you plan on renting anything. The roads are s c a r y and very rocky. I don’t think we would have been able to get everywhere without it.
That night we went into town for dinner. We started with drinks at this adorable bar on the water in Little Venice called Caprice. It had indoor and outdoor areas with a DJ and views of the Aegean Sea. You are literally right on the water and the waves are splashing on the deck. So cool! Afterwards we went to Interni for dinner, which was beautiful. The entrance is a little unassuming door in the middle of town, but you walk in and downstairs into this gorgeous courtyard-like setting, which has beautiful foliage and is outdoors. The food was amazing. Afterwards we went to Paso Robles, a small party bar in town with an awesome DJ. It was so fun being out in a totally different culture and setting, but seeing everyone dancing and having fun just the same. I loved it!
The next day we decided to explore the town since we only had a preview the night before. We walked around and shopped before heading to the famous Kiki’s Tavern at Agios Sostis Beach for lunch. It is on the opposite side of the island, completely isolated, but sits on a cliff with amazing views. They have the most incredible octopus and calamari and the restaurant is family-owned. We went at the tail end of peak season and still had to wait in line!
We then went back to our beach and hung out for the rest of the day. This night we went for drinks at Scorpios, an incredible beach bar that is high up on a cliff. It is huge and has views of the island. It is definitely a party scene, with famous DJs spinning, lots of bars, but it also has a dining area as well. It was very cool and we were told a must-see. Afterwards we went to dinner at Nikolas Taverna. This adorable restaurant was truly authentic Greek food and family-owned. The grandson served us our dinner while his father and grandmother were cooking in the kitchen. We loved it! Definitely a hidden gem recommended by our awesome hotel staff.
The next day we took a ferry to Santorini for the day and night. We arrived and hopped on a Catamaran sunset cruise around the island where we saw the Volcano and red and white beaches. We cruised around, had delicious authentic Greek food, drinks and met new friends on the boat. We also snorkeled in the Mediterranean and swam in the hot springs, which were definitely highlights of the trip.
Santorini is essentially what remains after an enormous volcanic eruption that destroyed the earliest settlements on a formerly single island, and created the current geological caldera, the water surrounding the island. We learned so much!
It is the most beautiful island I have ever seen. Oia, where we stayed, has the most picturesque and iconic views.
When we got back we took in our hotel views, which were the most gorgeous I have ever seen in all of my travels. We stayed at the Kima Villa Suites. We had our own private hot tub off of our room, so hopped in to warm up and then get ready for dinner.
We had dinner this evening at the most gorgeous restaurant called Petra located at the Canavas Oia Resort, which was stunning. We walked around the town after, which is very quiet at night. Very opposite of Mykonos, but a nice change of pace. The following morning we walked around the town and shopped a little before hopping back on a ferry to return us to Mykonos. Not before Haley insisting we have gyros for breakfast by the port (they were delicious for the record!)
Our last full day in Mykonos we just hung at our beach all day and swam. It was so beautiful. We had lunch at one of the beach bars called Anios which is right on the sand. It was delicious and the ambiance was fantastic. This evening we went into the town one more time to eat at M-Eating Restaurant, one of the newest, best restaurants in town. It was farm-to-table, which was fantastic and very different than our farm-to-table here.
We walked around a little more soaking in our last hours in Mykonos! We woke up and were on our way back to the States!
We truly had the best time. The people are so friendly, fantastic, fun and full of life. It was our favorite vacation to date! Cannot wait to go back ❤
Wednesday I turned 29 again. Kidding, it was my big 3-0. I spent the big day and night at the Pendry Hotel, lounging by the pool for lunch and drinks and then we had dinner at the Rec Pier Chop House which is the restaurant on property and is so delicious. The decor is fantastic, and the food alike. The ambiance is a mix of a restaurant you would find in Charleston, SC and the East Village. It was a very special day and a perfect way to turn 30.
I have done a little reflecting back on my 20s and I have to say I am so excited for 30 and what is to come (this is a big year!). I feel so much more secure with myself, where I am in life and am just happy. If that’s what 30 is about, then sign me up!
The birthday celebrating continued all week. On Thursday, Haley made me salmon and angel hair pasta (my favorite) at home, which was so sweet. Friday we went to The Charleston for dinner. Which is amazing and such an experience.
Lastly Saturday, all of my friends and family surprised me when they were waiting at Loch Bar, where we were going for what I thought was pre-dinner drinks. It was so special, such a surprise and turned into a really fun night. Plus, it was beautiful out and we were at one of my favorite places in Baltimore. Lots of Whispering Angel was had, and I felt like such a lucky lucky lady, so much in part to Haley for his sneakiness and planning.
I also have another surprise! Haley and I are going somewhere awesome for my birthday celebration (yes, it continues!)… Here is a sneak peek and I cannot wait! More to come!
This past weekend, we were in Ocean City for the White Marlin Open fishing tournament, and to enjoy some of the last weekends of summer 😦 So sad! Does anyone else feel like this summer FLEW by?! I feel like summer always does, but this one was exceptionally fast. It is pretty neat that the largest fishing tournament in the world is right in our backyard. I have been going since I was little, and it’s getting bigger every year. We actually used to have a beach house right here on Harbor Island where the tournament takes place. as kids we called it the “Boat House,” which is quite true since it’s on a marina. We had this before moving to the ocean side, likely to make things easier on my parents who had to schlep 3 kids-worth of gear across Coastal Highway (no thanks!)
Saturday it rained, so we went to brunch at Barn 34, which is an adorable old barn converted into a restaurant on 34th street. They have amazing food. I always get the lox platter, and then we split a stack of pancakes!
The rest of the weekend we hung out, went out to dinners and just relaxed, soaking up summer.