Recap: Overnight in NYC

Happy spring 🙂

I just got back from a whirlwind overnight trip to NYC (Saturday morning bus to Sunday evening bus). It was a really great trip. We had amazing walking-around weather, we kept our energy up by eating small normal-sized, frequent meals, and we tried to have a variety of experiences while not driving ourselves crazy trying to “do everything.” Here’s a recap of my favorite things we did:

Butcher’s Daughter – This was our little afternoon snack break heaven. Organic, raw, fresh…this place offered all the healthy and delicious food adjectives. We got incredible fancy juice blends and an egg sandwich with their signature vegan cashew cheese. I immediately started wondering if I could recreate it.

The Butcher's Daughter - yummy sandwich

The Butcher’s Daughter – yummy sandwich

Brooklyn Bagels – Touted as best bagels (given the quality of bagels in the city I’m sure its a close call to call these best, but we felt it was deserved). We got a lox bagel sandwich with dill cream cheese and an everything bagel with cream cheese to split. The bagels were huge, fluffy, crispy, and all that we were hoping for.

Brooklyn Bagels - BAGELS

Brooklyn Bagels – BAGELS

Dirt Candy – A vegetarian restaurant! One that treats vegetables with TLC! We had to try. Super tiny and popular, we dined like pros and snuck into the restaurant before the reservations trickled in (tip: show up at 5:30 or a little earlier). We loved each dish, especially the mushroom one which had mushroom pate and roasted portobellos, and the jalapeno hush puppies with maple butter. So glad I’m not vegan just for that butter. Man. Delicious. Not to mention it felt like I was being pampered the whole time.

Dirt Candy - our meal

Dirt Candy – our meal

Artists & Fleas – we stumbled across this walking in Williamsburg, but loved the vintage clothes and beautiful jewelry. The people watching was great, too (NYC really is full of beautiful people).

The High Line – more heaven. I thought I knew what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of sunshine, benches, and happy people. Super relaxing up there, and a good way to go from Chelsea to midtown with a view (tip: stop off at Chelsea Market for a snack).

Arlington Darling | Brooklyn Roasting Company

Brooklyn Roasting Company – decaf mocha

Brooklyn Bridge – this is an iconic tourist attraction, so it was crowded, but totally worth it for the views and as a way to experience the great neighborhoods on either side. Stop by Brooklyn Roasting Company for a coffee (this coffee neophyte ordered a decaf mocha which I thoroughly enjoyed and was also approved by N, coffee expert) before your walk over from Brooklyn.

We did so much more, but I could write for days! Message me for more trip deets if you’re interested. I’ll give you the inside scoop :).

Arlington Darling | Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge

Oh, and if anyone out there has advice for how to approach a stranger who is out walking his cat in Williamsburg and you want to pet it, let us know. We were a little baffled by that one.


Recap: San Francisco

As you know, a few days ago I returned from my first trip to San Francisco! I went with my bestie, who introduced me (erm, forced me) to a relaxed vacation approach that did not involve planning or having a strict agenda. I was nervous at first, not knowing what we’d be doing every minute of every day, but I can wholeheartedly say that I enjoyed it in the end. We may not have hit everything the Bay Area has to offer, but we did what we wanted and we had a ton of fun. Isn’t that what vacation is all about?

For those of you planning your own trip (whether real or imaginary) to the Bay Area, here is my recap of the top restaurants and attractions that JJ and I enjoyed when we visited.

  • Tacolicious. This was my favorite meal of the trip, by far. Arlington Darling | San FranciscoI know, I know – it’s “just” tacos, right? Yes. But I’d fly back on that horrible redeye flight just to have these fish tacos again. Buttery, flaky, fried fish with creamy dressing and crispy cabbage…mmmmm. JJ loved her meat tacos, and the margarita was decent, too (not too sweet). Total “A+” in my book. Plus, outdoor seating!
  • Cable Car Ride. This was one of my favorite activities! We caught the cable car in Fisherman’s Wharf and took it all the way back to our hotel. It was exhilarating going over the hills, although the wait to board was a little long. I recommend going earlier in the day or trying to pick up a ride at one of the stops vs. the origination points.
  • The Ferry Market Building. For you DC folks, think of this as a combination ofArlington Darling | San Francisco Union Market and Eastern Market (a.k.a. foodie heaven). The Ferry Market Building itself has adorable, if expensive, shops and gourmet food vendors. Then, on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays the building and surrounding pier also hosts a vibrant farmer’s market. We bought all the things (see picture of our sourdough bread, cheese, and dried fruit), then took our picnic to Golden Gate Park!
  • Nob Hill. Cutest SF neighborhood ever. We stumbled upon it when wandering around on our first day, and I’m so glad we did. The area hosts the city’s “Little Italy” and adorable tiny streets. While you’re there, check out City Lights bookstore.
  • Carmel-by-the-Sea. I highly recommend a trip down the 101 to Carmel. It’s aArlington Darling | San Francisco gorgeous little town with more art galleries than homes (at least, that’s what it felt like). Brad Pitt has a house there (sadly, we did not see him). If you’ve never seen the Pacific Ocean before, this is a good place to see it! Plus, there is easy access to the 17-mile drive from the town. OH! And I almost forgot – make sure you rent a convertible for the drive. That was a definite highlight for me (thanks to Zipcar for keeping things super simple and for working across cities!). When you put the top down, just put the heat on and bring a sweater or two, hah.

That’s my list! It is not comprehensive by any means – for example, I also enjoyed our wine tour to Napa and Sonoma, our visit to the Japanese Tea Garden, seeing and being seen at Fisherman’s Wharf, the view of the Golden Gate Bridge and SF skyline from the Berkeley Hills, and sipping iced coffee in Yerba Buena park.

What did I miss? I could be persuaded to go back… :).

Happy 2013!

Happy new year, everyone!

I’m excited to kick off another year of blogging and I hope you’ll come along for the ride. I don’t know about you, but I feel more excited about this new year than I’ve felt about anything in a long time… so no pressure, 2013, but you’re going to be great.

Especially because I’m planning this:

How spectacular does that look? BFF and I are going to Cali, baby. The trip is in the very early planning stages but I started looking on the Visit California website this morning and got a little ahead of myself. California residents and California lovers, any hidden gems we should make sure we check out? We already know that our rental car must be a convertible, but other than that we are open to suggestions :).

I hope you’re just as excited about 2013 as I am!

New Jam: As Long As You Love Me

Despite my usual musical obliviousness, I like to think that I was one of the first people to hear the new Justin Bieber single “As Long As You Love Me.” It’s sad that I consider that a real accomplishment. I was up at 4am on Friday driving back from OBX and the Hampton Roads pop radio station played it every 45 minutes or so (my mom eventually overruled me and put on her Carousel soundtrack). I assume the song came out on Friday but I don’t really know. I hadn’t heard it played before and we had the same pop music station playing at the beach house all week (oh, the perils of going on vacation with two teenage boys).

The song is very, very catchy but the video is even better – there’s a Romeo and Juliet story line and quality about it which I really like. Plus the kid gets more attractive by the day.

The actual song starts around 1:19.

OBX Pictures

I’m finally back in DC after a week in OBX with my family. It was a great week (it rained a few days but I’m sure I’ll get over the lost tanning time eventually, hah). I’m super exhausted from the drive back, but I wanted to get a quick post in so you didn’t think I’d forgotten about you 🙂

Here are some pictures from the vacation:


Stormcloud on our last day.

House on the dune in Kill Devil Hills, where we day-tripped on the first day.

View from dinner on the last night.