Travel: Asheville Eats (but really drinks)

In case you missed it, we ventured down to Asheville, NC this past Memorial Day weekend and it was full of delicious food and lots of beers (bubbles, too!).  There were a number of breweries downtown that were all walkable and perfect for creating your own mini brewery tour even with your furry friends.   Asheville is also home to some more known breweries like Sierra Nevada and New Belgium, both different but awesome in their own ways!
Food + Beer Asheville - the bee life
Curate: This was our first dinner and true introduction to Asheville, NC and boy was it a fun introduction with lots of tapas!  Curate offered a diverse array of options not only for your food choices, but the way you dine and enjoy your meal.  You could order from cold to hot, but they also had a option where they would bring you options based off your taste preferences.  We enjoyed and casually ordered different dishes, sharing amongst the table – it was a fun and delicious dining experience, be sure to make a reservation ahead of time!
13Food + Beer - Asheville - the bee life
Over Easy Cafe: This cozy spot is definitely worth the wait, and since it’s fairly central downtown there are plenty of places to keep you occupied while you wait (we waited just over an hour!)  The menu is fairly standard for your normal brunch and caters to those who may be a bit more traditional with their picks or a little more adventurous.  All of our dishes were beyond delicious and the mason jar mimosa was the perfect way to kick off another fun day of vacation!
12Food + Beer - Asheville - the bee life
Burial Beer Co. Although we didn’t eat here, we grabbed a drink, as this spot was collectively loved by the group for their tasty brews and low-key atmosphere. I especially loved this place, because while ordering the Donut Stout, I said; “Boy, would I love to eat a donut with this.” And the next thing I know, B is coming out with my beer and a donut hole skewered on top! *mindblown* it was SOOOO perfect, plus another pup friendly place!

New Belgium. This was B’s favorite spot we visited, he loved the atmosphere, the buildings, and of course the beers (it was a little bubble of fun!).  We also had an insider hook up and got a private tour of the facilities, from the employee lounge and indoor slide (which B rode, twice!), to the yeast laboratory, employee beer fridge, to B being able to pull some freshly canned beers right off the line.  It was pretty cool and such an impressive facility.  Oh and you guessed it, dog friendly!
14Food + Beer - Asheville - the bee lifeA few other honorable mentions;
Farm Burger. This was a late night dinner for us, that we took back to the house. With pre-made options to choose from, you can also create your own burger, plus the sesame seed topped buns hit the spot.  Not to mention the staff was super friendly and welcoming!
The Montford. With awesome views of the mountains, this is a perfect spot for a drink and snack.  The tater tots were seriously life changing, the whole group collectively was swooning over these!
Sierra Nevada. This place was a fricken compound – and I mean it was massive, ridiculous and just overall impressive.  With an extensive outdoor area, with a full concert venue (inside and out), corn hole (inside and out), and then their beautifully organized garden this place was stunning.  Whether you dine, grab a flight of beers, or just hang out with some friends and listen to music you’ll enjoy the offerings of this establishment!

If you’re planning your trip to Asheville, definitely get your taste buds and uber ready because you won’t be short of breweries to visit, beers to try and food to eat!  Our afternoon of brewery hopping was perfect because we just had a beer or two at each of the places and it was a nice way to enjoy a lot of different places throughout the day!  Have you been to Asheville recently? What was your favorite spot?

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Travel: #EmnBtoAVL

This past Memorial Day weekend we hit the road and ventured to a new city for a new adventure down to Asheville, NC.  From initial research on fun vacation spots, to our friends buzzing about visiting this latest hot spot our curiosity was peaked… so we crashed our friends trip and buckled in for a long weekend of exploring!
Travel - EmnBtoAVL - the bee life
Although our weekend consisted mostly of drinking and eating, we did have other trip highlights that made Asheville a memorable city that we’d be happy to visit again.

Blue Ridge Parkway – Craggy Gardens:  With the rolling mountains surrounding the city, the Blue Ridge Parkway is almost unavoidable.  We drove up to the Craggy Gardens pathway that led us to a stunning view, although the fog was rolling in, it did clear up enough for us to grab a few shots and see the true views.  This manageable hike was perfect for all ages and led for a great photo op and perfect spot for a lunch break.

Dog Friendly:  One of the great parts of this trip was being able to bring Moz! Our friends also brought their pup, Maybel, it was great because almost everywhere in Asheville was dog friendly! The one afternoon we went brewery hopping, the pups tagged along and probably met about 15-20 dogs throughout the day.  It was super fun, and the city is really great for us dog lovers whether your dining or drinking.

Rich with History:  One piece of Asheville history that we visited was the stunning Grove Park Inn. Originally built in 1913, this piece of property is impressive and of course has incredible views of the running mountains and downtown Asheville.  Even if you can just stop here for a drink on the outdoor patio (which we did) you’ll be in for a treat and able to enjoy this treasure and explore the original building.  The city center also held grounds for historic learnings and monuments that led us to google search a few times to learn about the cities origins and historical figures.

Be sure to stop back on Friday as I’ll be sharing more details into our favorite eats and breweries from Asheville!

Travel: California Honeymoon

**This post was written before the recent turn of events with the California/LA Fires; my heart goes out to every single living creature directly and indirectly affected by these sad and destructive fires.  Donate to the Greater Los Angeles American Red Cross to help those affected.

In case you missed our Thanksgiving in Palm Desert, you can catch-up on it here.  Our #emnbhoneymoon was our first vacation that we took together – usually we are with family, so that in and of itself was fun, plus it was our first time in Cali!

We flew in and out of Burbank, which helped save us some money and was also super manageable for being right outside of LA. We had a quick 2-hour trip to the desert each way and were able to explore some more sites around the Hollywood area on our way back to the airport.
Travel - California - the bee life
While we were in Palm Desert, we stayed close to the resort, only heading out to random stores to pick up groceries for various meals.  The pool was right next to our condo and it was the perfect spot for us to soak up the sun, take a nap, and just detox from the world. Mornings started with the sunrise, and usually a long walk around the complex exploring the sites.  We went out to brunch and dinner a few times but the standouts besides Eight4Nine were Trio for dinner and Wilma and Frieda for brunch – WOW, both were so delicious.

Before our flight, we headed back early to the Burbank area so we could check out Venice Beach and both see the Pacific Ocean for the first time! It was neat to check out the area, grab some pictures, walk along the beach and stick our feet in the ocean.  From there we found the closest In and Out Burger, each ordered a double and soaked up some more sunshine as we indulged!  From there we headed to Beverly Hills and took a drive down Rodeo Drive – it was unlike anything we ever imagined and blew shops in NYC out of the water. It was stunning. We didn’t have as much time as we would’ve liked to explore the greater Los Angeles area but we were able to drive around in our mustang convertible and take in the Cali life and all the sunshine before heading back to reality.

It was so fun exploring California – although there are a lot more places we will need to check out since it’s a biigggg state, but our mini-moon was the perfect little getaway after all the wedding excitement.

Where should we visit the next time we are in Cali?! Leave a comment below.

Travel: Thanksgiving in Palm Desert

We were lucky enough to take our #emnbhoneymoon right after our wedding, meaning we spent our first Thanksgiving as husband and wife in sunshine, just the two of us!  We love our families, but it was nice to detox, soak up the sunshine and do something new and not rush around to three different dinners within 48-hours.

Since we were still on east coast time, we woke up fairly early and were ready to roll, enjoying the sunrise from our balcony.  We started our Thanksgiving off with a walk through our resort over to the main hotel to grab Starbucks and explore the extensive campus of the Marriott Desert Springs.  We got back to our condo and B cooked breakfast, we found Home Alone on TV and vegged out, made some calls back home and figured out where we could eat that night searching for a spot to make dinner reservations on Thanksgiving!
Thanksgiving in Palm Desert - the bee life
By 10:30 we were suited up and at the pool, soaking up the sun as it warmed from 75-to 91-degrees.  The pool was fairly quite, we were able to nap, cool off and just soak up the sunshine while sipping some drinks. By early afternoon we headed back up to the room to get ready for our early dinner at 4pm. We headed to Palm Springs for our dinner reservation at Eight4Nine.

Luckily they had some Thanksgiving dinner reservations available and we snagged one up for their limited 4-course menu for the evening. This modern venue is sported in all white furniture, with pops of pink and fun art throughout and a stunning patio. Our “First Impressions” was a house-made ricotta with autumn root and shishito pepper giardiniera.  The “Second Course” we were able to select from 5-choices, I went with the Pear Salad while B had the Curried Cauliflower Bisque. For the “Main Event” there were 6-mouth watering options, one of which was your Traditional Roast Turkey – as tempted as I was, I went with the Marsala Pork Tenderloin; dried plum, roasted spiced yams, greens, candied bacon, and toast pine nuts.  B went with the Sourdough-Crusted Chilean Sea Bass with dungeness crab-stuffed piquillo pepper, saffron aioli, greens.  It was all so phenomenal, and we both ended withe the Bourbon Pumpkin Tart and some hot coffee to finish up our Thanksgiving meal.

It was nice being served an extravagant dinner while enjoying each others company after a day of sunshine and pool.  It was definitely a fun and a different Thanksgiving, but one for the books as Mr. & Mrs.

Planning Your Honeymoon

When planning a wedding, the honeymoon is often the second most talked about event beyond the big day.  And it is often the thing the couple ends up looking forward to, maybe even more than the wedding day? So with so much pressure on the big day, there is equal pressure for the week after.  Here are a few tips for planning your honeymoon!
Planning Your Honeymoon - the bee life

  1. Consider a Mini-Moon. Since we’re getting married in November, our dream spots aren’t in season in November or December, so we were a little bummed out.  Until family/friends were telling us we had to get away still, even if it was local in the U.S. Problem solved, tickets/resort booked! There are so many cities popping up all over the U.S. that can allow for the perfect romantic getaway you’re looking for. Oh, and you can still plan that dream spot the following year! Check out these mini-moon spots from Travel + Leisure
  2. Go Someplace New. We are totally guilty of vacationing to the same places, so this is the perfect excuse to try someplace new.  Whether you’re keeping it in the continental U.S., or venturing over seas, there are endless places to visit.  If you’re like us, the list goes on for days of dream vacation destinations.
  3. Add It To Your Registry! With new innovative registries becoming more popular, like Zola, you can literally add a honeymoon fund to your list! This allows guests to contribute money for your dream vacation, and can help take off some of the financial burden for the couples dream trip.
  4. Relaxation vs. Adventure. Choosing your destination may be impacted by what you’re planning to do on your vacation.  Consider if you’ll want to strictly relax, or want to have endless options of excursions and places to visit.  A city destination will probably be more on the go vs. a warm resort town on the west coast.  Looking for excursions and activities, maybe consider a mountain resort getaway or hiking through the Grand Canon or Smokey Mountains.
  5. Consider Connections.  Do you know family/friends that have vacationed in spots you’ve dreamed of going? Ask them for tips on places to stay and restaurants to visit.  Better yet, if family/friends have time shares that you can take advantage of, do it! Then you just have to worry about airfare, maybe a rental car and your day-to-day expenses! A honeymoon on a budget, is never a bad thing!

Whatever trip you plan, and wherever you end up going, will be a memorable trip!  Just remember why you’re going, it’s your first trip as husband and wife (husband/husband or wife/wife)!!

 

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Travel: #EmnBtoSTL

Since we flew in and out of St. Louis, we were able to spend two-days in St. Louis on our way out from the Ozarks, and a quick brunch on our way out to the lake.  Needless to say our 2-days in St. Louis were jam packed with prime tourist spots and a few off the path places.   We wish we would’ve had more time to explore, but definitely got a taste of St. Louis.

Half & Half Brunch
I had been researching some good food spots, luckily we were able to, at least attend one spot.  It was the perfect pit stop to refuel after an early morning of travel and before the drive to the lake.  The atmosphere was quaint and cozy, the service was friendly and on point, the food was amazing and wish we could’ve gone back for more!

Gateway Arch 
We popped over the the Gateway arch to start one of our days.  The last time I was in St. Louis, I was too young to remember, old photographs are all I have as a memory, so it was great to go back and appreciate the beauty.   Not to mention this was B’s first trip to the city.  We were late to the game booking a tour to go up inside the arch, but we were able to snap enough photos around the manicured greens.  This is definitely a must in STL.

Anheuser Busch Brewery
Of course we made a stop to the iconic “all-American” brewery.  This little village located on the perimeter of downtown, was an impressive site to see with many of the buildings built in the 1800’s, that by the way are in pristine condition.   The complimentary tour was the perfect combination of tradition and taste, while we began and ended our visit in the bier garden! A highlight of our stop here was touring the Clydesdale barn built in 1885, and then snapping a photo with one too!

We had a great trip at the lake, ending it with fun activities in St. Louis.  We definitely want to get back to visit a few new spots and enjoy a few again!

Travel: Lake of the Ozarks

B and I were lucky enough to take another awesome vacation this past week.  We headed west-ish for my aunt’s belated 60th birthday trip to the Lake of the Ozarks.  A first for B and I, it was a treasured childhood spot for my mom and her family growing up, with lots of memories in and around the lake!

Days consisted of bikinis, sunshine, pool gossip sessions, corn hole tournaments, cold beers, fishing and ski-dos.  One day the ladies went hiking and explored around Ha Ha Tonka State Park, climbing 317 stairs both ways, while exploring old castle ruins, breath-taking water spots and the natural bridge.
Travel - Ozarks - the bee life
Night’s consisted of large family dinners with St. Louis style ribs paired with incredible spreads of fresh salads, fruit, lots of beverages, including of course, Manhattans.  There were also many family stories shared, reminisced of old times, and lots of laughs.  We celebrated my Aunt’s 60th our last night at the lake, and her gratitude for everyone making the trip there, was exactly the reason we went, to create and share in family memories.

It was a great vacation, full of sunshine, awesome weather and even better company.  We can’t wait to get back to the lake!

Travel: Myrtle Beach Eats

So one of the fun parts of traveling is trying new food spots! Although, Myrtle Beach is filled with chains, we tried to find some spots that weren’t native to our area, or were a one off, I think we did a pretty good job!

Sam Snead’s Oak Grill & Tavern
A golfer’s paradise, full of memorabilia and achievements by Sam Snead. The menu is cleverly named with golfing terms like; “Tee Off” for the appetizers, “Water Hazard” for the fish selections, and “In The Fairway” just to name a few. Since it was our first dinner out, the theme and selections were based around the idea of YOLO so I went with a Peach Lemonade Cocktail, Salad and Baby Back Ribs, B ordered the fish and chips.

Famous Toastery
This was a random find for a late brunch one afternoon, and it was an awesome pick! The menu was impressive, serving breakfast and lunch all day from 7AM – 3PM. Everything is made to order for easy customization for any dietary needs. Not to mention they have all your brunch beverage necessities from mimosas, to bloody mary’s and even beermosa’s. We stopped here twice for brunch and each time left impressed and wanting more!

Brother Shuckers Fish House
We ended up here for dinner, again looking for a place a bit off the beaten path with a nice atmosphere and yummy eats.  They did not disappoint, from the drinks to the entrees, everything was absolutely delicious. I ordered the speciality cocktail, a Raspberry Cosmo, I could’ve drank those all night. Then for my entree I ordered the Pecan Encrusted Salmon with green beans, perfection. B ordered the Peppertini (yum!) and Stuffed Tilapia, all the other dishes around the table looked amazing.  It also sounded like their cocktails changed often and the bartender made his own mixers and concoctions, so it was definitely a great spot for a good drink on top of good food!

We definitely ate and drank well over our trip to the beach! Have you been to Myrtle Beach recently? What’re your favorite spots for brunch, lunch or dinner? Comment below!

Cheers!

Travel: #EmnBtoMB

B and I were lucky enough to get away for a few days over Memorial Day weekend with my parents in Myrtle Beach.  The main reason for the trip was to visit my grandma.  She lives down there in a nursing home, and my aunt and cousins also live in the general area. So the goal of the trip was to get my grandma out of that nursing home and spend as much time as possible with her!

Our first full day there was a beach day! Yes, we took my grandma to the pier and got her onto the beach. We avoided the more touristy part of the beach, and went to Myrtle Beach State Park – it was a perfect spot with not too many people. A storm rolled in, but we waited it out and the sun came out, the clouds went away and it was beautiful.  B and I got to stroll down the beach, had some fun in the water and snapped some pictures, while my parents walked the boardwalk with my Grandma.
Myrtle Beach - the bee life
The next day we did some outlet shopping, and then made our way to the community pool where we were staying with a pitcher full of Whiskey Sours (recipe coming soon!),  so music, swimming and a little cat nap in the sun, was the perfect afternoon.  Saturday was a morning workout day and another pool day, and then family time with your standard picnic feast! It had been a bit too long since I’d seen everybody, and B’s first time meeting the cousins – so it was a much needed trip and visit.

Although the trip felt quick, the sunshine was needed and it was great to get out of town for a few days. This trip was also special, because this was B and I’s first “beach” vacation – as we’re used to heading out west, or weekends away at the cabin.

Check back in tomorrow, I’m sharing our Myrtle Beach eats!