Travel: #EmnBtoDC

In case you missed our D.C. Eats recap, B and I were in Washington D.C. this past weekend! It was fun to jump in the car, hit the open road and get out of town for the weekend. Although we’d both been there before separately, we wanted to go back and see the historical beautiful sites, together.

Since our hotel was in a prime location, two blocks from the White House, and about a 20-minute walk from the National Mall, we were sneaker ready to hit up as many sites as possible. We got an early start Saturday, but many other tourists had gotten an even earlier start! Our first stop was the Washington Monument, and from there we went to the WWII memorial and walked along the Reflecting Pool to the Lincoln Memorial. There were many baby ducklings with their parents in the pool, they were too cute!

I was so looking forward to visiting the Lincoln Memorial and replicating that first time I walked in nearly 11 years before. I have the fondest memory of walking in from the bustling exterior and into this silent, peaceful and mesmerizing place. Sadly, it was not the same experience this time around.  People were yelling back and forth to one another to take a picture or facetiming with family/friends to show them the statue. I was so disappointed, and a little mad! But it was still an incredible place and site to see, the views inside and outside are stunning and breathtaking.

From there we checked out the Korean War Veterans Memorial, and hid from the rain under some trees surrounding it. From there we leisurely walked back through the park and made our way to the Smithsonian American History museum. We explored the war exhibits and the First Lady Exhibit; showing off their Inaugural Gown dresses and various White House China.

We made our way to the Capitol beating ominous clouds, again there were more adorable ducklings swimming in the reflecting pool in front of the Capitol. The Capitol is a massive building, and is radiant in symmetry. We hid from rain in various Starbucks on our way to lunch at District Taco’s.  We did a break back to the hotel, before we went back out and explored more around the White House, adoring the brownstone’s and historical buildings from the 1800’s surrounding it.

We clocked nearly 13-miles throughout our day Saturday, walking to all the sites, shopping and dinner in between. Because we were only there for the weekend, we definitely felt like we had to be selective we our choices but saw our must-see’s and had a fun weekend trip!

Travel: D.C. Eats

This past weekend, B surprised me with a trip to Washington D.C. to celebrate our dating anniversary! We always try and figure out places that are close-ish and within driving distance. This trip was just that. He booked this trip at the end of March, and didn’t tell me where we were headed until 5-days before!

The last time we were both in D.C. was for our 8th grade trips, so needless to say I am sure we didn’t appreciate a lot of it. Not to mention, going now, we were able to explore at our pace and more importantly find some good spots to eat and drink!

Cork Wine Bar
Cork was my surprise for B. I found a spot with the same name as our first date! It was a random find, located just North of Logan Circle. Cork’s atmosphere was cozy and intimate. They’re known for their old world wines, but we opted for bubbly and beer. They also recommend about 2-3 plates per person, so we ordered the full gamut! We started with the house-marinated olives and avocado. They were both pure heaven, and we hadn’t even gotten to the main course yet.  B ordered the grilled octopus salad, which was refreshing and light and a lot of great flavor. From there we enjoyed the crispy lemon and black pepper dusted calamari and rock shrimp, sauteed mushrooms and the lavender encrusted lamb chops. Everything was delicious, but the lamp chops were incredible, the taste and flavors beat any expectations.  We ordered the chocolate mousse to share and couldn’t stop gushing over everything we’d just ate.  Everything was phenomenal.

Astro Doughnuts
This was an Instagram find that happened to be walking distance from our hotel! So we popped over to Astro Doughnuts first thing Saturday AM with our coffee to get some sweet treats to kickoff the day.  We ordered the Maple Bacon, PB&J, and Almond Brittle. They were all delicious but the PB&J and Almond Brittle took the cake.  You can also order chicken or specialty sandwiches – but we stuck with the sweets.  It was on point!

Farmers & Distillers
Located in Chinatown, this spot is an urban twist on all types of cuisines, with their own stamp on the drink menu with their distilled alcohol.  This was your typical hot spot, it was bustling and loud.  The food was good, but it was so-so in comparison to our dinner at Cork. At Farmers & Distillers, we opted for the salad and pizza route. Our pizza picks were on point. We ordered the bacon & baby kale and the brie & tart apple, they were both delicious in their own way.  The food was good enough, but I wish we would’ve spent a little more timing finding a different spot with a cozier atmosphere.

We definitely ate well this past weekend in D.C. – and can’t wait to go back to try some new places and head back to a few favorites *cough Cork cough*

If you’ve got any D.C. must-eats, please comment below for our next trip there!

Bon Appetit!

Weekend Recap – Cabin Fever 

This past weekend, we had the perfect getaway to one of our favorite spots, the cabin in the woods. This time we met up with Katie & Travis with our pooches for a fun little weekend away.

B and I went in Friday night with Moz and grabbed some take out from a local joint, Pine Junction. We hung out and watched a romantic comedy (a rare occasion) and enjoyed our eats! The best decision about dinner was getting the Moose Balls. Chocolate covered peanut butter, SO good.

Saturday, Kates, Travis and Luna arrived and we took the pups for a walk before heading out to one of our second favorite spots – Southern Tier Brewery.  We hung out and had some beverages and ordered some food… Well it was kind of a lot of food. And we finally got Pumking on draft, it’s so good, especially to kick off October. They also had some new Pumking flavors, a Cold Pressed Pumking and then Rum Barrel Aged Pumking. Woah. Not to mention Warlock and their other usual suspects. It was fun gossiping, talking wedding and sipping some beers with my bestie and our guys.

It was the perfect fall weekend away in the woods. It was rainy and cool so just asking for us to be lazy and staying in.

Happy October, everybody!

Weekend Getaway Must-Have’s

Planning any fall getaways?  October always seems to fly by, but one of our favorite to-do’s is getting out of town for a quick weekend trip, being in the middle of nowhere, no wi-fi, no traffic, no house work, just hanging out and escaping the world.  As much as I love a weekend away with B, it’s even more fun when you can plan it with some friends or family.  Here are a few must-have’s for your upcoming weekend away.

  1. Games:  This is a way to laugh, have some friendly competition and get away from the TV!  Having some good group games like Cranium, Wavelength, Cards Against Humanity or even just a deck of cards will kick your nights off right.
  2. Drinks:  Have a variety of alcoholic beverages, but if you can find a fun recipe that is season specific or a new recipe to try! Split the ingredients with your friends and join together in trying something new.
  3. Music: Whether an inpromptu Basketstreet Boys dance party breaks out or just some background music is needed during games and drinks be sure to bring some portable blue tooth speakers and have some tunes ready to go!
  4. Food: Be sure to have a variety of snacks to enjoy during games and drinks; you can’t go wrong with cheese, crackers, grapes and don’t forget some chocolate to snack on! For dinners and breakfasts, keep it easy, eggs, bagels, oven pizza’s or something you can throw on the grill. After all your away so enjoy the down time.
  5. Local Spot: If you go to the same weekend getaway spot, and you haven’t found your go-to local spot yet, get on it!  Whether it’s a place for breakfast, an ice cream spot, an antique store, or a local brewery (we opt for the local brewery part whenever possible).  It can be your spot away from all your normal local home spots.

What’re you favorite things to do or have on a weekend getaway? 

Cheers to the weekend!


 

Travel: Kansas City

This past week I was in Kansas City for a company wide retreat with my new marketing firm.  One thing I don’t typically bring to my blog is my work life, which is intentional *smiles*.  So to keep it brief on the work stuff; in short this retreat was an eye opener in a lot of ways.  Which is good.  So please enjoy my KC highlights!

KC Highlights:

  1. Hotel Sorella in the Plaza: I am a bit of a hotel snob, however, this place definitely did not give me much to complain about, or anything at all. It was modern and beautiful and had a great restaurant and rooftop pool area.
  2. The Guild: This is where we spent most of our time on the retreat and it’s a beautiful event space.  If I lived in KC, I would probably want to get married here.  The chandelier is a statement, not to mention the room is finished with black and white subway tiles with an open industrial feel.  They also had an amazing outdoor space that had strung lights over the sky – it was perfect.
  3. Time With Coworkers: Since I was with most of these people for nearly 3-days straight, I first, got to meet a lot of people I’ve worked with for the last 3-months and second, I got to have some one-on-one chats with people when it’s normally all business. Working with people across multiple time zones in multiple countries and states as definitely been an adjustment so I truly appreciated the more personal time and chats to get to know my coworkers.
  4. Being A Part of Something Great: I am pretty sure I hit the jackpot with my new company and I am excited for the opportunities that I have and the future. Transitioning has been a bit harder than I thought so it was great to feel inspired and hopeful that this is truly something special.

    Kansas City is a cool city and I hope one of these work trips I’ll be able to be a little bit more of a tourist and explore more parts of the city. All-in-all, it was a good trip, but it was great coming home to Moz and B and sleeping in my own bed.  I’m feeling recharged and motivated for the start of this new week!

Travel: Jackson Hole – Part 3

Sick of all the amazing photos of beautiful scenery and food from our trip? Me either. This last recap is for the must see photo stops beyond the millions of other stops you can make along the way.

Oxbow Bend
This is on the north end of Jackson as you’re headed out to Jackson Lake Lodge or Yellowstone.  Not only does Oxbow Bend have great views of Mount Moran, but you can also bet on seeing some wildlife around there, particularly a grizzly or moose.

Jackson Lake Lodge
JLL is a great place for a nicer dinner and drinks especially if you want to be wowed by an amazing view of Mount Moran and the stunning range it belongs too.  Again, another great spot for animal watching especially early morning or in the evenings the floor to ceiling windows allow for nearly unobstructed views.

Jenny Lake
You’ll find that this is a popular destination for new and seasoned visitors.  Whether you’re stopping at a pull off to capture a peak of the lake, jumping on the ferry to cross over, or renting kayaks to paddle along you’ll have stunning views of Teewinot and Mount Owen.  This time around we went the kayak route which can be rented right at the boat dock and it was awesome.

Moulton Barn on Mormon Row 
This is one of the most photographed barns mainly because of it’s stunning views of the Grand Teton not to mention it’s iconic structure.  Since I first went out to JH, Moulton Barn has definitely risen on the map and is more “commericalized” with an outhouse, parking, and even a bridge to be able to walk over and get up close to the barn.  When we first went out the property seemed sacred only being able to get only as close as the fence would allow (below 2009 vs. 2016).  It’s definitely changed over the years, but still a must-see.

Schwabacher Landing
If you do an image search “Jackson Hole Wyoming” one of these iconic pictures of the Grand reflected into water will turn-up.  Most famously shot early mornings at sunrise you’ll be up before the sun to get this shot.  We did that on our last morning, got up early and waited until the sun came up to grab the perfect shot with the pinks on the tips of the mountains.  If you walk the trail further you’ll be guided to another marshy area full of beavers! Definitely a stunning shot that looks nearly fake in photos.

Jackson Town Square
The center of Jackson is cornered with four elk antler arches, huge arches that you can walk under and they stand in their glory day and night. It’s often sometimes hard to get a clean shot in front of an arch due to the tourists walking around and even snapping their own pictures – going early mornings or later in the evenings usually has a smaller crowd.  If not offer to snap a couples photo and have them take yours, in and out!

In Jackson, pretty much anywhere you drive will have stunning views of the Tetons or the foothills, it’s incredible how much beauty is packed into one space.

Questions on JH or just visited? Send me your pictures @mmariebee or leave a comment below!

ICYMI:  JH Recap #1 – Hikes || JH Recap #2 – Food || #EmnBtoJH – 2014

Travel: Jackson Hole – Part 2

Since this week is super rough after an amazing trip last week, let the JH recaps continue. This post is all about all the yummy food we ate and the dranks we drank!  There are definitely more places to visit than what we covered this past week, but none the less the spots we picked were pretty tasty too. Enjoy!

Cafe Genevieve
We had seen this spot on an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, so we definitely wanted to check it out, it did not disappoint. We ended up at this spot twice for brunch and were introduced to deliciousness AKA pig candy. The pig candy was a game changer, especially when paired with a Bloody Mary.  Oh, and you can buy it online too!  Not only was the atmosphere quaint and cute, but the service and staff was exceptional and the food was great. I went with the Biscuits with Canjun Gravy while B had the Snake River Farms Corned Beef Hash and the Cajun Eggs Benedict, all so good.

Snake River Brewery
The beers are great and it’s supporting local business with delicious food too.  We started with the beer sampler, which in and of itself is worth getting because of the presentation.  We then ordered the pretzels and cheese dip, ohmygawd. I ordered the bison burger, because when you’re out west it’s kind of a necessity to get a bison burger. I definitely over indulged but it was the good kind, plus you forget when the atmosphere is fun and tunes are cranking.

The Deck @ Piste
AKA happy hour at nearly 9,000 ft. AKA one of the most stunning happy hours you might ever go too.  The free gondola rides start at 4:30 and from there the 10-minute or so trip takes you up to The Deck.  The drinks are delicious and the views don’t stop it’s a win-win combination for good conversation and a good time – not to mention live music too!  We were able to get this happy hour in twice while we were in town.

Million Dollar Cowboy Bar
The Million Dollar Cowboy Bar is a staple in downtown Jackson.  It’s marquee is a photo stop day or night, but you must be 21 to enter this bar!  It wasn’t until 2-years ago that I finally got to visit the bar.  It’s rustic decor is just what you would expect, and yet the most known item at MDCB is the saddle bar stools. We enjoyed some cocktails and grabbed dinner at the bar, they have a Steakhouse in the basement, but we opted for chicken fingers, burgers and fries. *smiles* It’s definite a must-stop in JH.

A few other spots we visited were the Mangy Moose, E Leaven, Thai Me Up, Smokin’ Iron (awesome patio) and Moo’s Ice Cream. We definitely got to enjoy a lot more food since we stayed in town so we were closer for brunching, lunching or sipping, all of it within walking distance too!

Cheers!

Travel: Denver Recap – Part 3

The true reason for our long weekend trip to Denver was to celebrate B’s cousin’s wedding! The bride, Lauren is from the Denver area, and they recently moved there within the last 2-years, so most of B’s family had to travel in for the nuptials.

Wedding festivities kicked off with a welcome reception hosted at Tivoli Brewing Co. the outdoor patio space was the perfect spot for a warm night with gorgeous views of the city. This was the first time we got to see a lot of B’s family since arriving Thursday morning.  So it was good to see everyone and start celebrating Lauren and Jensen. The food and beverages were flowing and we easily helped shut the night down, being literally the last two to leave. *smiles*

Saturday, July 9 – the big day was finally here! We were taken to the ceremony location by commercial buses from the main hotel.  The setting for the ceremony was a beautiful, Grecian Parthenon found surrounded by trees in a park in the center of the urban setting, in Cheesman Park. It was a toasty afternoon and the sun was shining bright by the time the ceremony was supposed to start. The setting was beautiful and the decor elements were simple yet made a statement. Their officiant was a close family friend, which made the ceremony personal and unique to Lauren and Jensen’s relationship.  They also shared their own vows, with a blubbering groom. You could see how happy they both were.

The reception was at a venue called Mile High Station. It was an old warehouse/depot like place that was refurbished with a modern industrial feel. The introduction of the parents, bridal party, and newlyweds was a unique one – allowing the guests to get a birds-eye view of everything from the happy hour space above the main reception area. Dinner was family style BBQ, mac n’ cheese, beans, salad, and portabella mushrooms. Desserts were mini cheesecakes, a salted caramel brownie and an original strawberry flavor and a doughnut wall I resisted! Pretty soon the dancing commenced! B was showing off his dance moves, apparently his family hasn’t seen him dance much! Luckily he danced the night away with me!!

Lauren was a beautiful bride, there was so much love not only between Lauren and Jensen but all of their friends and family that supported and were involved in their special day. This was our last wedding of 2016 and it sure was a good one, it was a reminder that our planning is going to start kicking up soon, and it’ll be B and I on our big day before we know it! (crazy!!)

 

Travel: Denver Recap – Part 2

Since our trip was relatively short for traveling so far, we didn’t do nearly as much outdoorsy activities as I would’ve liked.  After all, I’m used to week long trips out west, including hikes, horseback riding, kayaking, and sightseeing. So I was beyond happy to get a quick trip to Red Rocks in, to see some of the world’s natural beauty, get a little sweat on and take some pretty pictures.  My cousins were able to take us up there, which was such a help since they had been there before and could navigate the layered landscape and show us the Amphitheater and the distant city views.  It also brought back some of my favorite memories with them exploring JH.  Red Rocks was one of the places almost everyone told us you had to visit, it definitely was a phenomenon.

IMG_4199IMG_4204IMG_4202IMG_4221DSCN2540DSCN2535IMG_4223I can’t imagine going to a concert at Red Rock’s – although I hear that is an absolute must also.  I would also like to go back and do either yoga or boot camp on the steps of the Amphitheater.   The day we went they were having a huge fitness event with obstacle courses and more sessions of exercise classes on the steps, so were were only able to get so high up, which was a bit of a bummer since our time was cut short. Regardless, it was definitely a highlight of the trip and I loved getting outdoors, exploring and seeing new sites. And a special Happy 75th Anniversary to Red Rocks!!

TRAVEL TIP: If you’re planning a trip to Red Rocks, be sure to do some research or go with a local, there are lots of different sections of parking and entrances it’s easy to get caught up!