Vacation Here I Come!!!

Paul and I have lived in six states in the seven years we have been married for. Most of our ‘vacations’ are really just traveling back home to see family. It is a rare occasion we go anywhere that doesn’t involve a family event of some sorts. Las Vegas trip was for our family reunion, New Orleans trip was Easter holiday with my parents. Not that this is a bad thing and this trip is no different. Tomorrow we are heading back to the Philly area for my cousin’s wedding. This time Paul and I decided to make the most of it and turn it into a vacation filled with things we want to do. Since I am from the area and Paul and I lived there together for a few years we have both seen all the touristy stuff so this trip we are going to hit up some really awesome places we have never been before. This is what we have planned:

Wednesday: travel day. Nothing exciting here. Once we land in Philly, get the rental car, and make our way to my parents house I am pretty sure we will be ready for bed not too long after we get there.

Thursday: driving 1.5 hours north of Philly to Bethlehem, PA; home of Paul’s favorite cigar distributor. They have a super store up there so we decided to make the trek up there so he can buy some cigars for the wedding and of course to restock his humidor at home. Luckily for me there is a vegan bakery in Bethlehem so after Paul is finished in cigar heaven I get to go to vegan baked goods heaven. Seems like a fair trade-off right?

After Bethlehem we will be driving down to Atlantic City, NJ; where the wedding will be held. Once we get to AC I am hoping to meet up with @mendingjen (Listen.Learn.Love.Mend) for some coffee, check into the hotel, hit the gym, grab some dinner, and gamble. Most of my family will be arriving Thursday night so it will be great to see them.

Friday: I’m hoping to get an early morning workout in and then schedule a couple’s massage for the two of us at the hotel spa. We are meeting @THINspired (Skinny Jean Dreams) for lunch and then we have the wedding at 4P so I am trying not to make too many plans as I want to relax and enjoy myself as much as possible.

Saturday: You know I’m going to hit the gym bright and early (these will be the only days we have gym access while we are gone) before leaving AC and heading to pick up our friends Jaime and Ian. The four of us are heading to Milton, DE to go visit the Dogfish Head Brewery. Dogfish is mine and Paul’s favorite beer and we are beyond thrilled to finally have a chance to go check out the brewery. From Milton we will head over to Rehoboth Beach, DE where the Dogfish Head Brew Pub is. More beer! More brewing! So excited!

Sunday: Starting the day off with Jaime’s mom, BH, who has invited me to join her at her Weight Watchers meeting. I am so excited to attend a new meeting, spend some time with BH and get to hear more about her success on Weight Watchers.

The rest of the day is going to be spent with my parents. The four of us will be going to see “One for the Money”. Mom and I are excited to see it since we both read the Janet Evanovich series. There has also been talk about going to a vegan friendly Chinese food restaurant for dinner. I’m excited to try this place with my parents since they both love Chinese food and are trying to eat more plant based meals.

*On a side note, both parents are now on medical restrictions that have taken greens out of their diet. Mom is on blood thinners due to blood clots and apparently is not allowed to have dark greens. Dad, who has been battling with complications from his surgery/hospitalization in August, was just diagnosed with gastro paresis and cannot eat roughage. So they left Texas addicted to Kale salad and now neither one of them can eat it. Weird.

Monday: Galentine’s day! Paul and I will be picking up Jaime and heading into the city (Philly) for the day. Paul will be joining us while we go to IKEA to grab something for Jax and Modell’s to stock up on some new Philly sports gear (as we both need smaller sizes) and lunch but then after that he is on his own to wander the city while Jaime and I have some girl time. I am really looking forward to this day. I miss being able to spend time with my best friend who I have only seen twice since leaving Philly in 2009. Sad 😦

Then home to NJ to my parents and we will spend our final evening with them. Not sure what we’ll do but that doesn’t really matter. It will be nice to just sit and talk and be around them a little more.

Tuesday: we travel home to Texas. We’ll have to leave around 9a for the airport; our vacation is over 😦 We’ll be back in SA by dinner time and I will be back to work the next day. Paul. The lucky bastard has another week off once we get back so his vacation will only be half over. Damn him! JK 😉

I have some awesome guest posts scheduled for when I am out of town and will be sure to post Week 7 of the New You Challenge by Sunday. I’m so excited for this vacation! I can’t wait! I also can’t wait to share it all with you once I am back and settled. I have some cool things brewing for when I’m back like another giveaway and new challenge that will be starting after the New You challenge finishes in a few weeks so stay tuned!

Thanks for reading!

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February 7, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Life, Travel. 6 comments.

New Orleans- Day 4

Unfortunately, I don’t have many pictures from this days events. This is partly because the ones I took at night came out very blurry and I diddn’t have my camera with me to take some while we had Easter Brunch and watched the parade going down Bourbon St. The Easter parade we saw was supposedly the fun paprade- very wild and eclectic, which it was. We heard that there were other parades around the city but that this was supposed to be the best. This was our last day in New Orleans and there was still so much of the city we didn’t get to explore. I cannot wait to go back!

Breakfast at Cafe Du Monde- we finally made it!!!

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After breakfast we stopped off at Harrah’s to play some slots before heading back to our hotel. We won $30- woot! Lunch was Easter brunch at the Red Fish Grill and the Easter parade down Bourbon followed by a nap and some NHL playoffs.

We met up with my parents for dinner at Acme Oyster House. We had lots of oysters and crawfish as well as some gumbo and étouffée. It was fantastic!

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After dinner Paul and I went out for a bit back to Cafe Beignet for some coffee and live music. It was the perfect ending to our long weekend in New Orleans!

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April 26, 2011. Tags: , , , , . Life, Travel. 4 comments.

New Orleans – some music from day 3

I forgot to include this video in the post from day three. It is just a minute long but hopefully you can tell how great these guys are. It is of the band that plays in front of the Foot Locker on Bourbon St. Enjoy!

April 24, 2011. Tags: , , , , . Life, Travel. Leave a comment.

New Orleans Day 3

I completely fell off the wagon yesterday; I ate too much, drank too much and skipped the gym. My only saving grace was walking all over the city and sweating my ass off- hopefully that counts for something. My cellphone ended up dying at the most inopportune time and so I do not have any cellphone pictures of the most upsetting and shocking part of this trip- my time in the lower 9th ward. I have pictures on my camera and once I am home I will dedicate a whole post to what I learned and what I saw down there. Let me just say that I cried the entire time. Yesterday, Paul and I headed out to the French market to hit up the famous cafe du monde. Little did we realize that the crescent city race was going on and the starting line of the race prevented us from crossing the street. We were starving so we stopped at a nearby restaurant for breakfast.

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20110424-020358.jpg After breakfast we walked back towards our hotel stopping along the way for some drinks and to admire the surroundings. There is such a crazy mix of formality and poverty, fancy hotels next to smutty stores but somehow it works.

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20110424-021014.jpg By the time we made it back to the area of the french quarter where we were staying we were starving and kind of drunk so we grabbed hot dogs from the street cart. Tasty and kind of shady- probably not our best decision.

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20110424-021218.jpg That afternoon we headed out on a three hour tour of the city- this is when my cellphone died but not before I got some photos of some beautiful homes and some mausoleums.

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20110424-021724.jpg After the tour we walked from the French market to a restaurant for dinner- not very good- and then over to the Balcony Music Club to listen to some free local, live music. Paul and I drank some Abita and relaxed to the beautiful sounds of the jazz ensemble. After a quick stop back at the hotel Paul and I headed out to grab some drinks and bar food. On a hunt for some Abita strawberry harvest, our journey ended back at our hotel to the Davenport Lounge where we finally found the beer we were searching for.

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20110424-022244.jpg Thanks for reading!

April 24, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . Life, Travel. 10 comments.

New Orleans- Day 2

Day 2 in New Orleans was amazing! I am in love with this place. I took 5 million pictures so I won’t share them all but here is my best editors cut of the day. We started off at Cafe Beignet and indulged in beignets (Paul and I split an order), coffee and chicory, and a veggie omelet for Paul.

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20110423-065740.jpg We walked around the area a bit before heading back to our hotel to freshen up.

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20110423-070030.jpg For lunch we headed to John Besh’s Restaurant August. The restaurant offers a $20.11 three course lunch fixed price lunch menu Monday-Friday which all of us ate from. Definitely the best meal I have had so far. Amuse bouche

20110423-070344.jpg Appetizers in French on the menu- my basic description is carrot soup, beet salad, and pig pate. Lol!

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20110423-070602.jpg Entrees: squid pasta filled with salted cod and veal with ricotta dumplings

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20110423-070815.jpg Dessert: panna cotta in strawberry sauce and chocolate peanut butter bars with popcorn ice cream

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20110423-070935.jpg After lunch we headed down to the Mississippi river to go on a steamboat ride. According to the captain, this is the last real steamboat operating on the Mississippi.

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20110423-071235.jpg For dinner we headed to Domilise’s for po’ boys. This is where Anthony Bourdain
ate on his show No Reservations so I had to check it out. I had the shrimp po’ boy and it did not disappoint. Pretty big sandwich- Paul kindly ate 1/3 of it for me.

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20110423-071524.jpg After dinner, and a nap, it was time to explore Bourbon St. The best music spot is in front of a Foot Locker store- these guys are awesome. The lowball glass is an absinthe drink- frappe at tujague’s- from the absinthe house. We have crossed off three of the ten ‘big easy libations’ off our list; the hurricane, the hand grenade, and the frappe at tujague’s, with hopes we will try all ten before we leave.

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20110423-072140.jpg Thanks for reading!

April 23, 2011. Tags: , , , , . Relaxation, Travel. 3 comments.

New Orleans- Day 1

Day 1 was primarily spent on the road. Paul and I headed out of San Antonio at 3:30am in order to avoid Houston rush hour traffic. Once we got through Houston we took our time and tried to have a fun, relaxing day. We even stopped at a casino in Lake Charles, LA and played some slots.

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During the drive we crossed the tenth longest bridge in the world at 18.2 miles which was pretty crazy. It was magnificent and scary at the same time.

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We made it into New Orleans and headed over to the airport to pick up my parents and the four of us headed to the hotel to check-in. We are very, very fortunate to be able to take advantage of the military discounted rates the Marriott company offers and so we are staying at the Ritz-Carlton which otherwise would be well outside of our price range- thank you Marriott! This hotel is amazeballs! I definitely could get used to this!

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After a quick shower, which was pure heaven, we headed out into the city. Mom wanted to go to Brennan’s for her birthday dinner- she loves bananas foster! Dinner was very, very good and the bananas foster did not disappoint.

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Dinner was followed by some walking around the French Quarter and then an early night for Paul and I- well at least for me. Paul went downstairs to the patio to enjoy a beer and cigar. Also out at the patio- some of the LA Lakers. Yeah, they are staying in our hotel. Crazy!!!

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Thanks for reading!

April 22, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . Relaxation, Travel. 6 comments.