Washington D.C./New York

Last week G and I went to D.C. and New York and I really had such an amazing time exploring (i'd never been to D.C.!) eating, and learning new things thanks to my sister and her academic endeavors! The things mentioned below are just SOME of the touristy things we did that we thought were fun (or not so fun!) and a ton of photos because the architecture in both of these cities is mind blowing, enjoy! 

Washington D.C.

We stayed in Foggy Bottom and walked EVERYWHERE in D.C. If you've been, you'll know that there are a million museums, monuments, and things to explore. Garrett has been a few times so he really knew where to go and what to avoid at certain times which was really helpful! I could spend all day photographing buildings in D.C., and watching the sunset over them is pretty darn cool. 

We watched the presentation at Ford's Theatre, JFK Center for Performing Arts (watched the most intense student debates ever), visited the Peterson House, went to the Smithsonian (Presidential Portrait's at the National Portrait Gallery was AMAZING), the Air & Space Museum, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, The Hill, both war memorials, and my absolute favorite part of the trip: sunset at the Lincoln Memorial. You guys, it was breathtaking. It was fairly empty when we went and honestly I just sat there and admired for a while. As a history teacher and someone who greatly values preservation of history, I really felt profound gratitude while standing in front of this memorial and also the Washington Monument in front of it, just - wow! All of the museums except for the special presentations are free and donation based - so if you can reserve tickets ahead of time online, I recommend! 

We had a lot of coffee while in D.C. because - duh, and I really liked La Colombe, which we have here in LA! They are based in Philadelphia and their espresso is delicious. They also had yummy pastries and although we felt a little weird hanging out there in the morning (only people not in suits or a hurry ;) ) we went two times! Compass Coffee (pour over), Bakers & Baristas (pastries, try them!), Chinatown Coffee, and Pitango Gelato (affogato - yum!) are all places i'd recommend :) There was also a restaurant called Ted's Bulletin (Logan Circle) that has homemade pop tarts and Founding Farmers (best name!) was delicious. We ate there two times (always a wait of 30+ mins), and their deserts were incredible!

I have to admit that there aren't that many good food options for someone who is used to OC/LA restaurants - we ate a Le Pain Quotidien one day because we just got over trying to find something "new" so I will say you don't really come here for the food, but Founding Farmers & Shake Shack made up for it for the most part. I REALLY craved a burrito and chilaquiles by the time we left D.C.! 

 

NEW YORK 

We took the Amtrak into New York from D.C. (easiest thing EVER) and it was comfortable and affordable!  We stayed with my sister who goes to NYU the first night and got to explore Williamsburg which really is my new favorite place in NY!

We visited Bakeri for pastries & coffee in the morning (so tiny and a liiiitttle expensive but the interiors and taste made it worth it.) Did breakfast at this restaurant called Egg which was good and pretty simple. There are so many cute shops off of Bedford in Williamsburg, as well as DUMBO and I loved how lively this funky little city is. I could people watch all day! My sister lives in East Williamsburg which has a TON of really cool spots such as a cool Tiki Bar with a live band off of Bogart, a movie screening bar called Syndication (super rad!), Sey Coffee and Swallow Cafe (yummy as well.) Even the grocery stores in Brooklyn were adorable and unique. I had probably 2 bagels a day while we were there and I couldn't believe that the bagels in Brooklyn were 75 cents at some places - but my favorite were from Tompkins Square Bagel in the East Village which my sister and her boyfriend recommended! 

We walked about 9-10 miles a day while in New York because Garrett and I are freaks and love sight seeing, but it didn't feel like it because of the hustle and bustle of the city and how many parks we stopped and ate at along the way. My favorite park is Washington Square Park, just for a sit and sightseeing - but Union Square Park had a really cool farmers market on a Wednesday! Central Park is also amazing and ginormous, and we spent some time there on the way to the American Museum of Natural History. 

Rooftop bar at the Viceroy is one of my favorite views of the city (get there early!). On Thursday we attended New York Comic Con which was insanely busy and there were so many people in costume, really cool to see the contrast between SDCC! After the con a friend and I grabbed a drink and snack at Freidman's near the Garment District then walked to Chelsea Market which was a little underwhelming for me but I hear the flea market that goes on there Saturday is the best part, which we missed!

Some coffee places I really recommend are Bibble and Sip - chai, and Frisson Espresso (the absolute kindest owners and cute hole in the wall in Hell's Kitchen!)

I made it a point to spend time in Nolita which is adorable, we did some shopping at the random flea market and shops which boast the cutest store fronts i've seen, another new favorite!

If you follow me on instagram you'll know just how much I love Chinatown and Noodle Village which I always visit when I am in the city. They have the best noodles and dumplings!

I honestly never feel like I have enough time in New York but the subway and how easy it is to take (once you get the hang of it) make the city one of my favorites and I am already looking forward to another Brooklyn trip! 

p.s. Thanks for stopping by and reading ^ that novel of a blog post :) and i spent a LOT of time with my sister but she doesn't like being photographed so ya get building pics instead ;) 

Cabo San Lucas

I got to go to Cabo this past week to celebrate one of my very dear friends' bachelorette parties! I've known Stef for many years now and I am happy to be a part of her wedding party as well as have such an amazing excuse to travel with a group of amazing women ;)

We stayed at the Pueblo Bonito Rose and it was pretty magical! I definitely recommend staying at one of the local resorts if you are traveling to Cabo San Lucas because it is so much easier to be right upstairs from the beach than having to drive/shuttle to it! if you prefer quiet relaxation over a rowdier stay, the Montecristo Estates is where we spent the first two nights, the infinity pools and huge villas were perfect for some r&r. The Pueblo Resorts all have some pretty yummy restaurants and buffets as well as pool service and bars! I ate ceviche and fresh tortilla chips to my hearts content, danced until I literally couldn't anymore, swam, boated to an island, laughed until my stomach hurt, and had so much fun! Definitely one for the books. I have linked below a few of the places we ate at that were definitely delicious as well as the hotel we stayed at! :) 

That last picture made us all laugh as hard as we possibly could and I couldn't post about Cabo without including it! :) 

Stay: (click for site) Montecristo Estates (more of a laid-back, quiet relaxing vibe) 

Pueblo Bonito Rose (more of a resort, beach, and pool party vibe)

A few of the restaurants: The Montecristo Estates and Pueblo Bonito Rose have many restaurants on the property, we had lunch and a breakfast buffet on the property during our stay! Edith's (a little more upscale, great for dinner, and amazing flan!) Common Table: more of a relaxed vibe, definitely would recommend for dinner, didn't try lunch but the menu looked delicious! In the marina & Puerto Paraiso there are quite a few restaurants, definitely recommend Los Deseos Restaurant & Cantina

 

 

Sequoia, Kings Canyon, and Yosemite National Parks

This past weekend G and I got to enjoy a little road trip to Sequoia National Park and decided to go to Yosemite as well, since we've never been there together! 

It was a short drive there (but if you're like me and cannot wait to reach your destination even 2 hours feels like forrrreeverrrrr) and we enjoyed quite a few day hikes during our time there!

If you have a few days, I definitely suggest going to Yosemite first, because there is SO much to do there, and even though there is a lot to do in Sequoia and Kings Canyon, Yosemite can be a 5, 6 day trip depending on what you want to do. 

If you have limited time in the park I suggest you definitely do a smaller hike. Perhaps one in Glacier Point, or one of the other smaller ones (there are a TON!) I personally used this list to find a few that could work for us and the amount of time we are

there. https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/hiking.htm

As with all things, plan ahead! I promise you that during Spring/Summer it is almost impossible to get a camping permit or book a hotel! You also need permits to hike a lot of the most stunning trails, so keep that in mind. :) 

before my hair turned a mess and my legs were jelly

before my hair turned a mess and my legs were jelly

G is great at making me laugh, even when I am soooo sleepy!

G is great at making me laugh, even when I am soooo sleepy!

Portland, Oregon

We drove from Seattle to Oregon during this week since G and I have never been. It was pretty cool! Portland most certainly is a unique little city :)

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You could literally have coffee every hour of the day here!

You could literally have coffee every hour of the day here!

Tried Voodoo Donuts because duh. I have to say that I wasn't that into them :( but it's definitely a must-stop spot if you're visiting!

Tried Voodoo Donuts because duh. I have to say that I wasn't that into them :( but it's definitely a must-stop spot if you're visiting!

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Stopped by the Portland Art Museum. Awesome!

Stopped by the Portland Art Museum. Awesome!

Their modern art collection is amazing!

Their modern art collection is amazing!

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Ate at this cute little spot called Pizza Jerk! 

Ate at this cute little spot called Pizza Jerk! 

We only spent 3 days in Portland and I can safely say it was not enough time! I look forward to exploring more of Oregon soon!

 

Seattle, Washington

Recently, my husband and I had the chance to visit one of our favorite places, Seattle! Here are a few of my recommendations for Seattle:

We stayed in Capitol Hill this time around, at this Airbnb. It was pretty modern and in a great, quiet part of town. For our last trip we stayed in Downtown at the Via6, which was much busier although just as great. 

Capitol Hill has so many awesome things to do and since we were traveling with Seattle natives, we knew where to pop in and where to eat :)

Elliot Bay Bookstore is a MUST if you are in the city and like reading, coffee, and just an all around relaxing time. The bookstore itself has an Little Oddfellows Cafe inside of it. 

Try their lemon polenta cake!

Try their lemon polenta cake!

While in Capitol Hill we also did karaoke at Rockbox. If you are nervous karaoke-goer like most of us, they have private rooms and during their happy hour it's less than 5 dollars a person! Definitely a fun birthday activity! There are a ton of great food options but we ate at the same Udon place twice. It was called U:Don Fresh Japanese Noodle Station. We also ate bagels from Etlana, and had dinner at Oddfellows Restaurant. 

Of course Pike Place Market should be on your to-do list if you haven't been. There are ton of delicious bakeries and coffee shops, as well as a ton of vendors. You could literally spend an entire day here eating, relaxing, and people-watching.

Home of the original Starbucks!

Home of the original Starbucks!

Seattle Sculpture Garden!

Seattle Sculpture Garden!

The famous gum wall. Careful not to lean in too close! 

The famous gum wall. Careful not to lean in too close! 

The Botanical Gardens were beautiful. Cherry blossoms for miles! I suggest wearing water-proof shoes here :)

The Botanical Gardens were beautiful. Cherry blossoms for miles! I suggest wearing water-proof shoes here :)

Fremont of course is the home of Theo Chocolate Factory where you can tour their chocolate factory and sample like a million different flavors!

Fremont of course is the home of Theo Chocolate Factory where you can tour their chocolate factory and sample like a million different flavors!

Pioneer Square. Eureka coffee, Tat's famous deli and many other delicious eats and shops!

Pioneer Square. Eureka coffee, Tat's famous deli and many other delicious eats and shops!

We rented a car for the day and drove out to Snoqualmie! It was absolutely breathtaking and the weather was perfect for hiking. We lucked out on no rain and got to see the famous Twin Peaks falls up close! It was a short hike down to the base of the falls, and a short (yet inclined) hike back up. 

Gotta love camera self-timers!

Gotta love camera self-timers!

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