A Celebratory Savannah Weekend

We are back in New York after a wonderful, long weekend down in Savannah. It felt wonderful to disconnect and spend time with our families during this last trip before we meet Baby Girl Diamond in June. In fact, this was my last flight and most likely last time leaving the city until after she arrives. This trip was perfectly planned as I truly feel it helped us transition into nesting mode.

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We took the last flight down to Savannah on Wednesday night, which meant we didn’t crawl into bed until 1 AM. Thursday morning we woke up to gorgeous weather, which I enjoyed during a power walk with my mother-in-law. The rest of the day was spent relaxing and enjoying lunch and dinner at two of my favorite, casual Savannah spots. My favorite lunch spot in Savannah is Starland Cafe. While their sandwiches and soups look delicious, the salads are what I always find myself ordering as they include a unique menu of ingredients and are always piled high with fresh, local, seasonal ingredients.  We finally tried their famous, homemade pimiento cheese and it was a delicious way to start the meal! IMG_2440IMG_2444

That evening we headed out to Tybee Island to enjoy one of my favororite, Southern indulgences – fried seafood.  My family loves enjoying lunch or dinner dockside at AJ’s Dockside restaurant as they have some of the best seafood in Savannah. Over the years a number of local places have come and gone but AJ’s has been a staple since 2003 and seems to get better with every visit.  Their menu includes all types of options but on Thursday night the only thing I had on my mind was their fried shrimp and oyster plate.

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Friday we balanced things out with a long walk on the beach and beachside salads at North Beach Grill. The weather was 80 degrees and sunny, warm enough for us to enjoy a few dips in the ocean during our walk!

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That night we headed to the first of two reunion events for our high school, Savannah Country Day School. I somehow forgot to take pictures, but it was wonderful to catch up with the staff and fellow alumni while also seeing campus for the first time in at least ten years.

Saturday, I had the joy of celebrating Baby Girl Diamond at a shower hosted by some of my mother-in-law’s dear friends. It was a lovely lunchtime shower that included a delicious shrimp casserole, strawberry and spinach salad as well as cookies from Two Smart Cookies. Their iced, cutout cookies are soft and chewy just the way I love my cookies!  It was so wonderful to spend the afternoon catching up with these wonderful women, many of whom have known Bo since he was a young boy. We laughed and reminisced as I opened gifts and listened closely to their tips and tricks for raising Baby Girl Diamond. I was so thankful that not only my mom and mother-in-law were able to attend but also my brother’s girlfriend and my aunt, who came down from Chapel Hill, NC for the occasion.

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Saturday evening we had our second reunion event, a party for our class at one of our classmates beautiful homes. It was a joy catching up with some people we hadn’t seen in 15 years. I was especially thankful for the words of advice I received from the numerous moms. I walked away with a few good books and blogs to read based on their recommendations.

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Sunday we spent the day relaxing and soaking in the last of our trip with both families. We went to church with Bo’s parents in the morning before relaxing on my parent’s back porch with our books for the afternoon. We pushed our stomachs to their limit with a delicious barbecue birthday celebration for my aunt which included Boston Butt that had been smoked for 15 hours, baby back ribs, squash casserole, pasta salad and birthday cake. 

It’s safe to say that Bo and I are both craving lots of healthy food and workouts this week after a relaxing and indulgent weekend at home in Savannah.  This week I have a number of posts planned including maternity workout gear, an exciting and fun giveaway and more!

Your turn – What’s your favorite meal or food when you’re home?

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24 Hours in Carmel

 

24 Hours in Carmel

It’s hard to believe that our Babymoon was already a month ago. What a wonderful adventure that quick, five day trip was for both of us. It was one of the first vacations during which we both disconnected from work, focused on us and just relaxed together. The entire trip was so amazing that when we discussed it, in preparation for the upcoming posts, there wasn’t one thing that either of us would change. 

As you review our ititinerary, keep a few things in mind:

  • We had limited vacation time since I am saving for maternity leave. If we could have made it a longer trip, we would have preferred to extend it by at least one or two nights.
  • However, since I’m pregnant and the Big Sur Highway was closed, we are hard pressed to think of places we would have stayed longer. Instead, if I wasn’t pregnant and Big Sur wasn’t closed, we would have done one night in Big Sur and a night in Sonoma.

A number of people have emailed me asking for specifics regarding the places we stayed, dined and explored during our trip. Today’s post is focused on the one for which I’ve received the most requests – Carmel or Carmel-By-The-Sea. 

Where We Stayed: We absolutely loved our choice to stay on the coast at Tickle Pink at Carmel Highlands. The inn is located just a quick, ten minute drive from downtown Carmel but it felt a world away with the gorgeous views, large room, ocean waves and service. While we looked at many of the inns located in Carmel, we wanted to enjoy the ocean setting since we knew we’d spend plenty of time exploring Carmel. There are 35 rooms at this small inn and when we booked, our only request was to have a view of the ocean and one of the rooms with a wood burning fireplace.  It was such a treat to sit on our balcony, listening to the waves crashing and watch the sunset, then walk a few steps into our room and enjoy a small cheeseplate and roaring fireplace.

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What We Did:

  • Seventeen Mile Drive – We loved leisurely driving the historic 17-mile drive which takes you through Pebble Beach and Pacific Grove while passing famous golf courses, stunning views and mansions. We stopped to have lunch and explore Pebble Beach Golf Club and would recommend having lunch outside at The Bench, their casual terrace restaurant.  
  • Carmel-By-The-Sea –  I would recommend exploring the downtown shops early, before the tourists arrive. We spent an hour meandering through small shops, sipping coffee and enjoying breakfast sandwiches. Check the website to see what time the shops open, depending on the day of the week, to ensure that you’re able to shop as well as meander. Don’t hesitate to make a few wrong turns, get lost and explore as I promise the small alleyways and courtyards are where the magic comes to life.
  • Enjoyed the Beach – We went on two wonderful adventures along the Carmel-By-the-Sea beachfront including an hour beach walk from 4-5pm before sunset and then a 5 mile run along the footpath.  The footpath provided the perfect way to take in the beach’s natural beauty as well as the incredible homes, including the famous Frank Lloyd Wright home, The Della Walker House.

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Where We Dined: Luckily, a few weeks before our trip, we took time to do some research and make reservations as it seems like the top restaurants book quickly. We opted to enjoy seafood while we were there versus one of the many French or European restaurants. Other than dinner, we didn’t worry about any other reservations and just stopped in the small restaurants and coffee shops while we explored.

  • Flying Fish Grill – This cozy, inventive restaurant serves a menu of Asian-Seafood infused dishes that have been delighting locals and toursits alike for years. Known as one of the institutions in Carmel-By-The-Sea, this spot books quickly and even a few weeks out we were only able to snag a late reservation. We loved the California Tower, artichokes and almond encursted sea bass. 
  • Carmel Valley Coffee Roasting Co – This spot opens early so is a perfect place to grab a to-go cup of coffee before exploring town and a bite to eat. Their miniature cinnamon rolls are amazing!
  • Salumeria Luca – This Italian bakery and sandiwch shop is also home to the Big Sur Bakery Pop Up until the bakery is able to reopen. Therefore, the lines were long while we were in town but well worth the wait and moved quickly.  There are plenty of benches, shady spots and parks in the downtown area, so I would recommend getting your order to go. We enjoyed two of their signature sandwiches as well as a Big Sur Bakery chocolate chip cookie.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me in the comments or send me an email as I’m happy to help!

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Vermont Weekend Recap

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This weekend we packed our things and headed up to Vermont for a relaxing weekend in Manchester, Vermont.

Long time readers, will know that this our home away from home. My family has a home in Manchester which we spend many weekends at during the Summer and Fall months. Since my family rents out the home for the entire winter, we have discovered a few different spots in Manchester over the years for winter weekend getaways.

Due to work meetings, we didn’t leave NYC until late Thursday evening. We stopped for dinner in Larangeville, a small town about an hour hour and half outside the city, just off the Taconic Parkway.  Thanks to the help of Yelp, we dicovered a small Bronx style pizza restaurant, Sonny’s Ristorante & Pizzeria. We enjoyed a delicious pizza and salad before hitting the road again.

Bronx Style pizza

Thursday night Bo and I stayed at the Equinox Resort, a full-service resort in the heart of Manchester.  The perfect way to begin a long weekend, we slept in and relaxed at the spa on Friday before meeting our friends at noon for lunch at Marsh Tavern. equinox

Following lunch the guys headed to ski while we relaxed with Eloise at the pool and then headed to our house for the weekend.  The small, mountain home provided the perfect home for a relaxing weekend.  Friday evening after the guys skiied, we enjoyed a double date at Ponce Bistro, a BYOB restaurant in town.  An eclectic restaurant which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, the cuisine is influenced by the owner’s Brooklyn and Puerto Rican roots. Since we all enjoy sharing and tasting as much of a menu as possible, we shared three appetizers and three entrees between the four of us. The rice and beans, thai scallops and beef stroganoff were our favorite dishes.

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Since both Elizabeth and I are pregnant, neither of us could ski this weekend. While the guys skiied at Stratton we shopped around town, entertaining her two year old daughter, Eloise, for hours by making snow angels, exploring town and reading books at the amazing Northshire Bookstore.

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Saturday afternoon a family friend watched Eloise while we relaxed with prenatal massages at the Equinox Spa and lunch at Cilantro’s.  A fresh, green, local Mexican fast food restaurant, their taco salads were incredible and packed with flavor.

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Saturday night we spent the evening playing games with Eloise and watching the Australian Open before cooking an Asian inspired dinner together and heading to bed early.

This morning we woke up and parted ways bright and early, as Bo and I headed back to the spa for a few more moments of rest and relaxation before driving back home.

It was a wonderful weekend in the mountains that has us planning and scheming our next Vermont weekend. I have a feeling Baby Girl Diamond will be enjoying a few Summer weekends up in Vermont, taking in the cooler weather and fresh air, during my maternity leave.

Your turn: What did you do this weekend? If you have children, did you travel for weekend trips while they were quite young? 

 

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