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.
Last week, H and I were in Sonoma and Napa Valley for a wedding and then tacked on a few days for vacay. It was so nice to be in the California sunshine with no humidity, celebrating one of our favorites couples and having lots of wine!
We stopped in the cute little town of Tiburon on our way from the airport to Sonoma for lunch at Sam’s Anchor Cafe, which did not disappoint. We sat out on the deck overlooking the San Francisco Bay and over at Angel Island. It was the perfect half-way point to Sonoma.
Saturday morning before the wedding we had to sneak in a winery tour. We chose to go to Gundlach Bundschu, because it is a family friend’s wine account. We have heard so many amazing things, and have had the wine on several occasions. We did the wine tour through their famous caves followed by some cheese and wine at their picnic tables.
Later that evening was the wedding at The General’s Daughter which was so romantic and beautiful. It was so special seeing people we love get married in their favorite place!
Sunday we headed to Napa where our first stop was to Domaine Carneros and had some sparkling wine flights and snacks on their outdoor patio. The winery itself is such an ionic building in Napa and the views are spectacular from the balcony.
We stayed at the Westin, which was fantastic. It had a beautiful pool and outdoor space where we enjoyed wine by the fire pits. Our room was gigantic. We had our own kitchen and living room with a balcony, it was really like a mini apartment.
This evening we went for drinks at Mercantile Social, the outdoor bar at the Andaz hotel downtown, followed by Oenotri for dinner. This is the best Italian spot in downtown Napa. We had pizza and pastas and were much too full after.
Monday was a wine tasting, vineyard-visiting day all day and I was so excited to go to some of our favorites! We started the day with some cheese parings and wine at Beringer. The buildings on property were so iconic. I have to say I could live on cheese and wine, so I was such a happy girl to be feasting on wine, cheeses and dips all week (who needs breakfast or lunch, right?!)
We left Beringer and headed to my FAVORITE, Cakebread Cellars. Their chardonnay is my absolute favorite wine of all time. We did a tour there and had the best tour guide, Greg. He informed us that Cakebread is the 29th oldest winery in Napa and there are now over 600! We also tried some reds produced at their vineyard that I would not have necessarily ever tried (a lot are not in distribution), and they were goooooood!
We left Cakebread and went to Opus One. Opus One’s vineyard is a very iconic, modern structure engulfed by the greenest grass. It was beautiful and much different from the other wineries.
I loved each and every experience we had in Napa. I tasted wines I would not have necessarily ever tried and also had some spectacular favorites (the Opus One 2013 Cab – amazing!) It was such an amazing experience and one that I am glad we did as it was different from our usual beach summer getaways.
Our last evening in Napa, we went to the Auberge du Soliel resort where we ate dinner at their restaurant on property. We walked around and saw the property. The pool area was beautiful and you could not beat the romantic ambiance of the restaurant. It was the perfect way to end our last dinner in Napa with the most incredible views.
On Tuesday, before heading to the airport we had to eat at Gott’s Roadside. Haley had been wanting to eat there all week. It’s a renowned roadside restaurant where the menu boasts al kind of burgers, chicken sandwiches and they are known for their onion rings (sign me up!) We ate burgers and milk shakes (and rosé, me) before heading to the airport. We kept joking that we ended Napa on a bang because we were so full!
It was such an amazing week and wonderful experience. Can’t wait to go back!
Last Saturday we had a little afternoon boat day with our friends. We cruised around the Chesapeake Bay and stopped in Annapolis for some drinks and an early dinner. It was such a hot day that we even jumped in the Bay to cool off. We love being out on the water and hopefully more days like this to come!
Last week I stayed at my friend’s house in Dewey Beach, Delaware. It was great weather and so nice to spend time together. On Saturday, Haley joined me and we went to Ocean City for the weekend to celebrate the 4th of July and relax. We hung out on the beach (it was H O T) and ate dinners at our favorite spots. I love the Patriotism that exudes throughout the 4th of July every year, and wish it was that way all year long. The sunsets were beautiful at the beach and the sky was lit a gorgeous red color every night. The water was warm (I even got in), and we just had a nice, relaxing weekend celebrating my favorite holiday.
Hope everyone had a happy and safe 4th of July and gave thanks to this great country and that we are so blessed to live HERE.
This week I was in The City of Angels for work. The weather was absolutely perfect. I was leaving behind 95 degree weather in Baltimore (it’s been so H O T), for the perfect SoCal 75 degree sunny weather. I managed to sneak in some fun – lunch and shopping with a friend in Santa Monica and some dinner at my favorite – Sugarfish. It was a whirlwind week, but a great one! Now I am happy to be back in Baltimore for a fun weekend and Father’s Day!
As of this last weekend, Haley and I have been dating for 5 years so he surprised me and brought me to my absolute favorite place – The Inn at Perry Cabin for a weekend getaway. It was so relaxing and the weather was perfect! We were there to celebrate and to handle some “official” business, but had the best time. Stay tuned!