Travel Diary // NY, NY

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Happy Monday, all! Hope you all had lovely weekends and had a chance to enjoy some of that sunshine. This time of year our weekends tend to be filled with lots of local traveling, and recently mine included popping over to New York to hang with some ol’ pals. It’s funny, I grew up in New England, but have never actually been to NY in my adult years, (mainly because I loathe the bus) so this was a treat!

Stop No. 1 // After a lengthly 4 hour drive filled with Beyonce and No Doubt, my biffie Xiao and I were hungry. Our hostess Sarah and her boyfriend love Latin American cuisine and knew just where to take us – Coppelia. It is an amazing Cuban 24-hour diner that hit all the right notes. We had a spread of nachos, ceviche, and an amazing dish called lomo saltado which I highly recommend. We topped it all off with some caipirinhas and were basically rolling out of the place.

Stop No. 2 // Since we had pretty much eaten our weight in prime rib the night before, by the next morning we weren’t feeling our hottest. I picked up a tasty little peach parfait to hold me over in the morning, and then we swung into Joe Coffee for some iced caffeine. As previously mentioned, I haven’t spent a whole lot of time in NY, so I was pleased to do the touristy things like putz around Central Park — and that just what we did! Sarah only lives about 10 blocks from it, so we had a nice little afternoon checking out the musicians and entertainers.

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Xiao’s Instax polaroid film took the cutest photos!

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These pants are so comfy — you can grab a pair at Old Navy!

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3-cheers for Sarah’s sister Alla for snapping the only candid photo EVER of me to not involve snarled lips and a double chin…

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Kissing pigeons in the window!

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Stop No. 3 // After having lunch at Mario Batali’s Italian eatery Otto Pizzeria we continued to stroll around Soho and Little Italy for some window shopping and treats at M’o Il Gelato — so refreshing on a 90 degree day!

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Stop No. 4… 5, 6, 7 // After having dessert for lunch (hehe) we spent the night in Brookyln where we had some amazing Mediterranean tapas for dinner at Olea. We followed up with a little bar hopping — a fancy lavender cocktail at Dick & Jane’s Bar, some video games and beer at Barcade, and and all-night 90s dance party at The Bell House. Pretty much the most hipster Saturday night ever, and it was wonderful.

Stop No. 8 // Feeling a just a wee bit tired from our dance party the night before, I was ready for my first New York bagel… H & H Midtown Bagels East was loud, greasy, and had a nice long line… aka exactly what I wanted. The perfect bacon egg and cheese on a toasted everything to top off my weekend!

We had such a good time, and are definitely planning to return on the next long weekend, because 1 1/2 days just ain’t enough! Thanks Sarah for the foodie tour! 🙂

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Happy Weekend!

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Tomorrow is the OFFICIAL first day of summer friends, how exciting is that! We’ve been experiencing the heat already, but it will feel good to bump it up into summer full time (aka more beach and BBQs). This weekend’s weather looks promising, so before you head out to enjoy it, make sure to check out our Friday links!
xo G&M

cct // Speaking of summer, I guess that means it’s officially bikini season, ugh. I definitely need to fit in some cardio, but I can get down with these exercises for now.

rkv // Eek! I have 23 days until my first 10k ever, and I’m freakin’ a bit. I’m a bit behind on my training, but found these race do’s and don’ts refreshing!

cct // My boss made these amazing sounding cupcakes and I need to try them asap!

rkv // Lately I’ve been loving myself some green goddess dressing— it adds just the right amount of flavor to a dish, while being low in fat (the bad kind, that is). This recipe looks super scrumptious!

cct // We had a photo shoot yesterday (for the new Hartford Prints! website) with Victoria Gloria Photography, and here is a sneak peek – such gorgeous shots! (don’t mind my odd hip pop in the first pic, I don’t think I’m usually that wide??)

rkv // I’m feeling on this technique for beach-wave hair – I think the backcombing is key!

cct // These movies are 10 years old?! Woah…

rkv // I saw this and thought it looked like Christa’s dream snack (*um YES!)

 Have a lovely weekend!

Travel Diary // Italy

Ugh, sorry for the delay friends! It’s literally been a month since I got back and with starting a new job and such, I have been all over the place. But I’m here for the final installment of travel pictures from my trip and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

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^Florence // Although our initial touch down into Italy was in Pisa, it was pitch black and we jumped immediately into a bus after our RyanAir flight, so I’m going to count Florence as our real first Italian destination! We happened to arrive on la notte bianca, and walked off the bus into seriously the busiest streets I’ve ever seen! It was one crazy Florence city party! Anyway, we had our own personal architect tour guide (aka my brother Nick), who showed us the beautiful buildings, delicious food (gelato withdrawals anyone?) & an overall fantastic time! We spent most of our time in Florence staying at 2 awesome Airbnb locations and doing day trips – see below!

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^Pisa // We didn’t expect to go to Pisa, and to be quiet honest, most of us weren’t that excited! BUT that being said, it really blew us away! We went around 9am, and with almost no one around we could truly gaze at this amazing thing! We took about a half hour to observe and gawk before we were off to Cinque Terre…

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^Cinque Terre – Riomaggiore & Manarola // This might be one of the most beautiful places of all time! It was beyond gorgeous and it was mind blowing to think about people building and living in these buildings so far away from other cities! (Also, if you have a moment to check out their INSANE vineyards, which are pretty much vertical…). We had a fantastic time basking in the sun and watching Nick go for a dip. I would highly recommend checking out these breath taking cities. *FYI, it isn’t particularly easy to get to Cinque Terre, if you ever have any questions, let me know!

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^Wine Country – Greve in Chianti, Casamonti, a few small villages throughout the area  // This day was one of my favorites from the trip! We explored a few quaint villages before (and after) we had an amazing dinner paired with 3 delicious Casamonti Chianti Classico wines. We learned so much about wine and olive oil making in Chianti, and how the Cinta Senese pigs almost went extinct (!). We also had one of the fluffiest tiramisu cakes I have ever seen/tasted (evidence here). It was such a change of scenery from Florence, and the fresh air was extremely refreshing!

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And then we came home after 2 weeks of bliss! It was so sad to leave, but 2 weeks away from home, exploring multiple cities and countries was exhausting! I wouldn’t trade it for the world, but I won’t deny sleeping in my own bed was effing amazing. And as I mentioned in my post about Germany, I might not be an expert, but I would love to help with any travel questions you may have! And make sure to check out my Instagram pics for more candid outtakes!