In Category: ‘Wanderlusting’

December 28, 2013 A Snapshot of London


London was the very first city I visited outside of the United States.  I was 12 and my grandmother took me for a little vacation.  We stayed at the InterContinental, there was a middle of the night fire alarm.  Gaga was mortified to be forced downstairs in her rollers, until a woman with the most amazing head of hair commented that she adored them.  I was too young to realize it, but the gorgeous woman was Diana Ross.   I don’t remember much else about London icon smile A Snapshot of London

Chris has been dying to visit, and I used the beautiful city as a bargaining chip for my five weeks in Paris.  It worked and was the loveliest opening act for this amazing trip.

We stayed in Notting Hill, at a simple little hotel, 10 Pembridge Gardens.  We did the touristy sites and splurged on Christmas tea at Brown’s Hotel.  We popped into pubs and sampled lots of the local brews, one of my favorites in Soho, The Crown and Churchill Arms in Notting Hill.  We spent our last morning wandering through Notting Hills markets and antique shop, highly recommended!

Because we were there over Christmas and Boxing Day, getting around the city and visiting almost anything was pretty tough.  If you’re thinking about going, know that the tube & all buses are completely shutdown for Christmas Day.  You can walk, take a cab (which was so incredibly expensive) or rent a bike (there are stands throughout the city.)  We didn’t do it, but apparently Addison Lee is a minicab company, running about half the cost of a black cab (I imagine it’s similar to an Uber.)  Most restaurants were closed, so we stuck to hotels that would be open for their guests and headed for an Indian restaurant for dinner.  Even though it was tough, it was oh so lovely.  The city is decorated so beautifully for the holidays, and you can feel the Christmas spirit in the air.  Not a bad place to be icon smile A Snapshot of London

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France 0001 Our Next Adventure: France

My grandfather always wanted to drive a Winnebago across the country.  Apparently it was something that he talked about a lot, even though I can’t even begin to imagine my grandparents rolling up to Yosemite in a motorized living room. It was  something that he had planned on doing when he retired, when there was time to do that kind of thing.  But he had a stroke at 64 and lived the rest of his years in a nursing home, confined to a bed.  Not that my grandfather didn’t have a million adventures, but I always found it so sad that this one went unrealized.  It always seems like there’s going to be time to do these things, no?  We work hard now, reap the benefits later.  But, as morbid as it sounds, we’re not guaranteed later.  So I plan to live, all out, now.

If we’ve ever met, you probably know that I have a special affinity for France.  The food, and the wine, and the language, and the culture.  It’s my place and I try to get there as often as I can.  My dream is to live there, but just picking up and heading out isn’t really an option, at least not now.  So, we’re going to go test it out.  We’re going to leisurely walk the streets and only eat one dinner a night because we don’t have to squeeze twelve restaurants that I’m dying to try into seven nights.  We’re going to relax, with no projects and no renovations.  We’re going to walk through the Louvre, and maybe not just hit the major attractions, maybe stroll to see it all.  We’re going to sit at cafes and maybe spend an entire afternoon with a cafe au lait.  We’re going to reset from one of our busiest years yet.  And we’re going to live.  Maybe it will get the living abroad bug out of my system.  Or maybe it will become more clear that we should figure out how to do it for real.  But I never want to regret waiting, I want the adventure.
There will be lots of pictures I’m sure, and I’ll be back with some pretty images of my place.  Can’t wait to share it with you!

September 17, 2013 The Elusive Cronut


The Cronut.  Dominique Ansel Bakery took NYC by storm in May and has since had the entire country in a tizzy for it’s delicious combination of fried & flaky dough.  The beautiful marriage of a croissant and a doughnut.  It is a blissful thing my friends.

When I was in NYC for work last month I decided that if I was up early, and had a few hours to kill, I might try to score myself a Cronut.  In all actuality I thought “it’s been months!   The line can’t be so bad anymore.  And it’s a Monday!  I’ll be in and out of there!”  Lies.  All lies.   The Cronut is only getting more popular all these months later and the 2+ hour wait is no joke.

You walk up to an adorable little bakery, and it doesn’t look so packed.  Until you look to your right and see the line snaking around the corner and down the street.  The bakery opens at 8, but people have been waiting since 6ish.   I arrived at 7:30, I was number 121 in line.  They make 300 Cronuts a day, and customers are allowed to purchase a maximum of 2, so I was golden!

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Bring a book, watch people walk by, try not to feel ashamed when someone asks what you’re waiting for you and then they laugh when you tell them it’s pastry.   The wait isn’t all that bad when the line starts moving.   20ish customers are allowed into the store at a time, so the line moves, then stands, then moves again.

One thing I didn’t know, but wish I had known, Dominique Ansel only makes one flavor a month.  (If I’d diligently read the Cronut 101, I would know this, but I didn’t.)  There is no original.  There is no plain.  There is only the flavor of the month.  For August, that flavor was coconut.  I hate coconut.  But I’d already been in line for 30 minutes, so I decided to stick it out.  (For September, it’s Fig Mascarpone, and that sounds amazing!)

I got in, grabbed two Cronuts and a coffee and skipped out in utter glee!  There were about 20 Cronuts left when I headed out.  Kind of perfect timing.

They are pretty delicious.  Really soft on the inside, with a delicious coconut cream.  I know I said I hate coconut, but this was subtle enough to be amazing.  The icing on top is sweet, but with just a bit in each bite it’s perfect.  My only complaint is that they’re really hard.  The exterior is kind of tough and eating it was, well, less than graceful.

Am I happy to have done it?  Yes!  Would I do it again?  Absolutely not.  Two hours is a long time folks.

If you’re really dying for one, but not up for the challenge, you can always head over at about 8:10 am.  Someone will sell you theirs for $30.

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Last week I spent a lovely few days in New York City.   I had to go for work (a little of the lovely I shot is here & here), but was so lucky to pack in lots of food and lots of fun with my Aunt!   This year I’ll get to spend some time in the Big Apple on three separate occasions.  Three!  Such a lucky year for me :-)   On this trip, I felt for the first time that I could belong to this city. Beyond just a walking through the city and seeing it with the eyes of a tourist!  Instead of just following someone else through the subway system, I learned how to do it on my own.  I even got all the way to New Jersey… through all kinds of trains and systems.  (For those of you who know me in real life, you realize that this is INCREDIBLE!)  I’m going back to places that I love and discovering new ones that I know I’ll be visiting again.  Love love love.

So, below are a few Instagram images, and a few of my favorite recommendations from this trip.  Basically, eat, drink, run, repeat.  Enjoy!
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Buvette – In March we went for dinner, in May we went for brunch.  Both incredible!  Very French, VERY tiny, very adorable.  Literally, the smallest table I’ve ever had the pleasure of gobbling up such delicious food.  It’s real tight, but the food makes the squeeze more than worth it!

Locanda Verde – My Aunt frequents Locanda Verde on the regular.  Breakfast, brunch, dinner, all of it.  Fantastic Italian food in a gorgeous setting.  The Sheeps Milk Ricotta, I have dreams about it.

Rosemarys - It’s brand new, they don’t take reservations unless you’re a large group and it’s packed.  Get there early and snag a table.  Every single bottle of wine is $40 (and they’re delicious), the decor is perfect and the food is amazing.  Definitely more on the contemporary side of Italian.  Delicious.

To Do

Fundraisers – One of the best ways to feel like you’re part of a community!  Look online, see what you can see and buy tickets to a fundraiser.  New York is so full of events centered on food and wine, I’m jealous at the abundance!  We went to a wine tasting and silent auction for Wheeling Forward.  We had so much fun, bought a ridiculous amount of wine and benefited an amazing group that helps disabled people achieve amazing goals.

Motown The Musical – I’m feel like this can’t be true, but I can’t for the life of me remember ever seeing a Broadway show actually in New York.  One of my clients works on Motown The Musical and so generously snagged us seats.  It’s incredible!  So much fun, such great music… I laughed, I cried.  Was a lovely way to spend Sunday afternoon!

Running – I’ve become one of those people that makes running shoes for every trip.  I’m not sure when or how this happened, but I kind of enjoy it.  Gives me a whole new outlook on a new city.   And New York has some really great places to run.  This trip we did a bit of The Westside Highway and a good chunk of The Highline.  Both incredible places to run!

April 2, 2013 Travel Photography


Travelling, well, anywhere, is my jam.  It’s all I want to do with my time and I find myself on more than anywhere else these days.  As a photographer, it comes very naturally to shoot, well, everything, when I’m on vacation.  But I’ve never really shared it, other than on my blogs.   I barely even print it for myself!  So I was thrilled when I walked into Bobs Espresso Bar for the first time.  It’s a great new coffee shop in my neighborhood and I’m so happy to have a new place to grab a latte.  So, as we were chatting with Bob, he mentioned he’d be doing an artist of the month series.  And this kid, is April!   I’m so thrilled to see my travel work on a wall that’s not in my house!   If you’re in the NoHo area, stop by, take a look & settle in with a delicious coffee!

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March 4, 2013 Entouriste


I have an obsession with travel, as you likely know by now.  It’s pretty much the only thing I want to do with my life.  So, when Ami from Elizabeth Anne Designs told me she was launching a new travel site I was so over-the-top excited!  For her, and for her new venture, of course.  But mostly for the beautiful eye candy that would be coming my way everyday!   Today, Entouriste launched and it’s more beautiful then I ever could have imagined!   I am so looking forward to all the goodness that I’m sure will be coming my way!

And to make it all the more amazing, one of her first posts is our Tuscan cooking class from last summer!   I am honored and thrilled Ami!  So, go over, drool over all the pretty images and just try to stop me from opening up a new tab and booking plane tickets to every single destination!

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November 2, 2012 A Little Bit of Paris

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49510004 The Macaron Taste Off: Laduree vs Pierre Herme

Macarons might be my favorite treat in the world.  So light & fluffy & creamy.  So colorful and so many flavors.   So decadent.  So heavenly.  My favorites in Los Angeles are Bottega Louie and I’ve amassed quite the collection of those beautiful pink boxes.  I’ve even tried my own hand at them before, and it was pretty delicious.

But when we were in France, I knew that we would get some of the best in the world!  My Aunt suggested a taste off and it was the most delicious way to spend an afternoon!  We picked up a half dozen from Laduree and a half dozen from Pierre Herme, then headed to a lovely little square to drown ourselves in the sugary deliciousness.

I was really surprised at how different they were.  I mean, it’s cookie and it’s cream… very simple!

Laduree is a little slice of girly heaven.  The cases are beautiful, the colors are bright and you feel so luxurious.  Pierre Herme is darker and much more modern.  The purchasing process doesn’t feel quite as exciting!  Laduree has a much prettier box and a more diverse selection of flavors.  They have less cream than the Pierre Herme, so I feel there’s a better balance between cookie & cream.  If you’re going to bring some home, definitely buy the Laduree.  Because they have less cream, they definitely keep better.   The Pierre Herme macarons got really soft after the first day.  Laduree has a much longer line though and they’re more expensive than Pierre Herme (2.48 vs 1.78).  If you really love the insides of a macaron though, Pierre Herme has a lot of cream and it’s much silkier than Laduree.  The display is also much easier to read through at Pierre Herme as each macaron is labeled.  Laduree just has a few large “maps”, so it’s really a guessing game.

At the end of the day, I think I’ll consider myself a Laduree girl.  Something about those beautiful and intricate little boxes just get me every single time!

September 27, 2012 Heading East


NYC 2 Heading East

I love NYC.  I mean, it’s energy, it’s culture, it’s grit.  I love it all and I love that I get to go at least once a year!   Every year my family convenes in this incredible city for a long weekend.  We eat, we shop, we eat some more and then we exercise.  It’s become a tradition to run the Tunnel to Towers race.  It follows the path Stephen Siller, and FDNY firefighter took on 9-11 from Brooklyn, through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel and up to the World Trade Center.  It’s incredibly emotional and a really powerful thing.   Fire fighters and police officers come from around the world to run, most of them in their full gear, just as Stephen Siller did.  There are flags, cheerleaders, bands and some amazing patriotism.

On our first run in 2010, Chris shot some amazing footage of the race and you can see the video here.  Still brings tears to my eyes.

If you’re going to be in the NYC area this Sunday, you should definitely come out!  It will definitely be one of the more amazing things you’ll ever do.

August 24, 2012 Wanderlusting: Madrid


Two days in hot Barcelona, and we headed to even hotter Madrid.  The architecture is so absolutely incredible in Madrid.  It’s so beautiful and I wish I could wander the streets and just shoot.  Except that it was 105 degrees and I mostly just wanted to die.  So, we wandered, we siesta’d, we drank cava and we took many cold showers!

Chris has always wanted to take a high speed train.  It’s on his bucket list!  So, even though it’s a lot more expensive, and even though it was kind of a pain to get the tickets, we took the train from Barcelona to Madrid.  But, I will say it was so much easier than flying!   You just walk on, sit, and then walk off!  So much less painful than flying!

Hands down, my favorite thing about Madrid was the markets.  There are so many of them, each one more fabulous than the last.   We actually went to Mercado de San Anton twice.  I loved El Brillante for the Bocadillo de Calamares… they were heavenly!  And, taking our cue from Hemingway, Cerveceria Alemana for the coldest beer in town.

I feel like I would really love Madrid had we been even the tiniest bit comfortable… maybe we go back soon? icon smile Wanderlusting: Madrid

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And thus ends our summer European adventure!  Next up, Fall in Paris to run my first half marathon!  I just started training and I’m pretty much dreading long-run-Thursdays!