Life has been really crazy since I last posted. My brother got married, I have had several work trips, big events, concerts, and this past weekend I had my bachelorette party in Key West! I am back now and reflecting on the awesome craziness and wanted to share. I will do another full post on Key West.
Last weekend, H and I went to Avalon and Stone harbor for the weekend to celebrate 6 years of being together! We wanted to visit a different beach than the ones we frequent in Maryland and Delaware and the north Jersey Shore to try a new beach town.
We stayed at the ICONA in Avalon, which was a very beautiful property located right on the beach. The color scheme and decor were beautiful and my favorite part of the hotel. Everything was white and blue. It reminded me of Greece! The hotel had a great pool and the rooms were beautiful. The lobby bar and beach bar were great spots as well, and the outdoor beach bar had live music every afternoon and evening.
We arrived Friday late afternoon and relaxed by the pool with some summery cocktails before heading to to The Reeds for drinks and dinner at their outdoor restaurant called the Water Star Grille. The Reeds hotel is one of the only bay-front properties in the town. They had a really great, expansive deck with a bar and seating for dinner. It was very crowded, so we knew we were in a good spot! It was also so nice to sit out on the water and watch the sunset.
On Saturday, the weather was not great in the morning so we decided we would explore the town and do a little shopping. In the afternoon, we checked out Springer’s for Ice Cream (recommended by a friend who stays in Stone Harbor) and it was absolutely delicious! We did make i tout to the beach for the late afternoon, which was so relaxing.
This evening we went to Quahog’s Seafood Shack for dinner, which an awesome BYOB, seafood place in the town of Stone Harbor. We sat in an outdoor covered patio that was so cozy and the food was delicious. After dinner, we went to Princeton Bar and Grill, which was a really fun night spot with three bars in one. Overall, we loved Avalon and Stone Harbor and will definitely venture back!
This year, we skipped the beach and stayed home. My dad’s birthday fell on the Saturday of Memorial Day, so we had a family cookout, which was fun. On Sunday we vent to Annapolis for a boat day out on the Chesapeake followed by drinks at The Chart House and Vin 909 for dinner.
On Monday, we drove to the World War II memorial that overlooks the Naval Academy. I have driven by this monument many times, but never stopped, and I am glad we finally did. There was a WWII veterans ceremony ending as we pulled up. Words really cannot describe the service and sacrifices of our soldiers. A simple “Thank You” never seems enough. We walked around, read the plaques and paid tribute to those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
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!