Travel: #EmnBtoCbus

We snuck away this weekend to visit some friends in their new city: Columbus, Ohio.  Although it was a quick 24-hour trip for us, we seemed to squeeze in some pretty major places for tasty eats and drinks in addition to being able to catch up with our long lost friends!

We kicked off our festivities with a trip to North Market, which is an indoor market that is open 7-days a week with a variety of food vendors, shops and delicious smells.  Whether your shopping for lunch, grabbing meat for a dinner or fresh produce for an upcoming meal.  We were able to try a decent amount of the vendors like Brezel, Destination Donuts, Firdous Express and Hot Chicken Takeover, everything was delicious.  Oh and did I mention, you could walk around sipping the drink of your choice?  I opted for prosseco, yum!
Travel - #EmnBtoCbus - bee life blog
From North Market, we ventured to Wolf Ridge Brewing – this space is impressive with an intimate dining space, event room and then a back tap room giving you that local brewpub feel.  We hung out in the taproom, ordered a few tasting flights and discussed the many flavors of the beers.  With a pit stop back to the house to check on Moz, we headed out for a late dinner reservation at Service Bar. From the moment we walked in, the front doors are jaw dropping, I was in awe of the decor and atmosphere.  With gold tables, black leather booths, gold modern chandeliers and a 1920’s art decor wooden backdrop as the bar, this place was a mix of old world and modern.  Their menu’s also accommodated for vegetarians, gluten free and everyone else, the choices were a plenty and it couldn’t seem like you could pick wrong.

For Sunday #brunch we headed to Hoof Hearted Brewery & Kitchen, again we were challenged with having to choose one item on the menu, so we started with the Brunch Ballz and then decided on the Hoofy Breakfast, which was a plate full of delicious carbs, gravy, eggs and bacon. I had to throw the towel in and get a doggy bag, although, almost everywhere we ate we ended up having leftovers!

We had a great trip visiting our friends, catching up and eating delicious things – we are already looking forward to heading back to visit them for another weekend, as it seems like there are plenty of more cool spots to checkout!

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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.

Mighty Niagara Half Recap

ICYMI (here and here) B and I were training for a half marathon! After 12-weeks of training and knocking off a majority of our long runs together we were feeling good going into the race. In addition we knew the race course was fairly flat, with little surprises, so we were ready to conquer it! Plus, it was a completely new race for us, it was on a Saturday, we were excited! We headed to the area Thursday to grab our race packets and made a quick stop to explore Niagara Falls, after all we were running the Mighty Niagara, so it only made sense to visit the mighty falls.

Fast Forward Race Morning: A race morning wouldn’t be a race morning if you didn’t have to wake up before the sun. With an hour-plus drive we had to leave by 6:30am to have plenty of time to figure out parking and get to the start line! With a start time at 9:15 – the sun was in full force, but luckily the first part of the course was nicely covered, and navigated us through the adorable town of Lewiston, we were off to a good start, and sticking to our pace.
Mighty Niagara Half Recap - the bee life
By the time we hit mile 4/5 we were in straight sun down a lonngg straight road. The mental game set in. By mile 7, I couldn’t handle the heat – I had to stop and take off my tank top and pour some water on my head, this would become the trend for the next 5-water stations.  By mile 8/9, the heat had really gotten to me, and I was in bad shape – but B stuck by my side. The remaining 5 miles were slow, hot and miserable, the mental and physical game was strong.

I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to finish a race before. I was defeated, mad at myself, mad at our time and overheated, but we finished and we finished together! My parents and Moz were waiting for us at the finish line, so it was good to see them and be done with the race.  And at the end of the day, we accomplished a difficult feat and didn’t give up!

The after race festivities were impressive and the scenery throughout the race was beautiful, running along the Niagara River was stunning! We would definitely run the Mighty Niagara Half Marathon again, but would hope for much cooler weather.  This being the first half in almost 3-years, it definitely wasn’t a walk in the park, but I can’t say I’ve completely hung up my half-running sneaks just yet!

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: #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!

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!Travel - Washington DC - the bee life
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!

Travel: Jackson Hole – Part 1

Happy Tuesday and start to a short week after a longggg weekend.  I was lucky enough to have a super long weekend and was vacationing all last week in one of my favorite spots ever – Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  The last time I was out in JH was two-years ago, which was the first time B got to experience the magic and beauty of the Grant Tetons, he feel in love too.  To share the love of my trip, and in case any of you are planning a trip or looking for your next vacation spot, here is Part 1 of our trip, focusing on the hikes we took throughout the week!

Taggart Lake Trailhead
Level: Easy – Moderate | Distance: About 3-miles
You can access Taggart Lake once you enter Grand Teton National Park (GTNP) from the Moose Entrance Station it’s one of the first stops that is clearly marked as you head north.  It’s definitely a popular spot and you’ll run into fellow hikers and tourists, throughout this hike you’ll be stunned and amazed at the Grand Teton as you keep getting closer and closer.  Once you get to Taggart Lake you can definitely relax in serenity and soak in the views of the Grand. If you’re looking for more views and a little longer of a hike from Taggart Lake you can go a little further and reach Bradley Lake, if you’re looking for something more challenging you can also head to Ampitheater Lake from the Taggart Lake Trailhead.

Geraldine Lucas Cabin
Level: Easy | Distance: 2-miles
Geraldine Lucas was a pioneer for her time and the second woman to ever climb the Grand Teton (at 58-years-young).  She was mostly notable, unfortunately, for being a divorced single mother,  not only was she divorced and a single mother but she also attended college, in Ohio of all places. She retired out in Jackson Hole in 1913 – she acquired nearly 160 acres for her homestead.   The property was later owned by Harold Fabian, and the property is now commonly referred to as the Lucas-Fabian Homestead.  This trail is a bit tougher to find – well currently, but the park service is finally getting this on the map with marked trails and signs (as it’s currently a bit of an adventure to find).  Again off Teton Park Rd., you’ll want to look for The Climbers Ranch road and drive down the road past the first driveway, over a bridge and park to your right in a little pull off. The Cottonwood Creek Trail to the homestead starts there. You’ll again reach stunning views of the Tetons once you reach the 11-house homestead, Geraldine picked a killer spot.

Two Oceans & Emma Matilda Lakes 
Level: Moderate – Hard |  Distance: 4-11 miles
This hike was a random pick by me, mainly because of the name, Emma Matilda, a nickname my mom calls me.  You’ll get here by taking 191 and continuing onto 191 at Moran Junction, from there follow the signs to Two Oceans and Emma Matilda, after entering the park. The hike around Emma Matilda Lake is about 11-miles. The hike from Two Oceans to Emma Matilda is about 4-miles depending on how much you explore, Two Oceans is about a 6-mile hike, so you’ve got a lot of options with this spot. Although this is prime bear country so be sure to make noise while hiking (wearing a bell or clapping) and be sure to have bear spray! We did not see any grizzlies, unfortunately, but this is definitely one of the less traveled trails. The views however once you reach Emma Matilda from Two Oceans is unbelievable and definitely worth it. Our hike was cut short from some thunder and rain, but still totally worth it.

Although we only went on three hikes throughout the week, they were all different from when we were last out in JH. It was fun getting out and exploring and seeing as much of the beauty as we could up close and personal.  There are so many hidden spots and treasures in GTNP, and these are definitely a few of them!