Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens

Since we are doing a big west coast trip soon, we decided to do a couple small trips with baby, to see how she would do. We went to Pittsburgh, for her to visit her great grandparents, and then explored Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens.

This place is beautiful! And it’s nice and mellow for a little 4 month old. She liked seeing all the vegetation. It was quiet and indoor/outdoor so we got to enjoy the sunshine. What I really liked about this place is that they grow and harvest ingredients for their “green” cafe. They encourage and recycle all that they can!

This would be a good place when the little one is older too. They have lots of interactive stations for kids, like building a fort, planting things, a mini fresh market where they can play “store” and other learning type activities.


Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
One Schenley Park
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3830

Great Wolf Lodge


So I’m sure you’ve heard commercials for this place. I believe there are multiple locations. We went to Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg, VA. For those of you that DON’t know what this place is, it’s basically a resort with an indoor water park. They’ve got a wave pool, a kiddie play area, a children’s “hot tub”, and adult hot tub, boogie boarding, a few huge slides, a swimming pool, a lazy river…


and this big climbing thing. Aside from water activities, they also have an arcade, which has this human size wack-a-light type game that I want to come back to play when I’m not pregnant. They also have minature bowling, a kiddie spa, and adult spa (with maternity massage!), Shadow/Magic quest which sends you on adventures all over the lodge and of course story times, face painting and a balloon animals guy. THERE IS A LOT TO DO.


The husband and I have always wanted to check it out, but since we didn’t have kids of our own yet, it would have been awkward to just plan a weekend there. Luckily, our friend has children, of age, and it was spring break and they asked us if we’d like to join. Uh..yes. There really was something for everyone, and I’d love to come back with our mini bun. During the summer they open up the outdoor part of the park so there is even more to do! One thing I recommend is getting the souvenir sipper cup. For $13 you get the cup and free refills your entire stay, and anytime you come back. Well worth it for us because this included Icees, and I am all about the Coke Icees. A small icee which is half that size is about $4 so it started paying for itself!


I was actually quite surprised to see some teens there. Looked like they brought their significant others as well. This particular location was very close to wal-mart, sonic, chick fil-a and other restaurants,so if you find the food too expensive in there you can always go off the resort for eats. They also provide a fridge and microwave in your room so bring snacks and your own water!

I definitely would go back with our little one, and friends and theirs!

After Vacation


Rose Island, what has become our private island


This vacation did its job. I was gone for a perfect amount of time. Away from the computer or my ipad (seriously, I didn’t turn it on ONCE, not even on the plane). Yeah I was on instagram, and answering personal emails on my phone, but no work, no blog, nothing that I “had” to do. It was great.



We had no real plans, no strain or pressure to be anywhere. It was relaxing. I brought three books. I finished two, and started another one on the plane. I really wanted to just read, which is why I intentionally didn’t bring headphones either. This vacation has made me realize, that the perfect amount of vacation for me is 5 days, 4 nights. Anymore than that will be overkill for me. I would start to worry about all the work piling up, and how to deal with it all.



The two hour trip to the Bahamas makes it well worth the 5 days off of working. But if travel time is longer, then of course I’d adjust the days off. Now that I am back I realize, I have got a lot of little things to do, to get my life back to regular function mode. Mostly…cooking, cleaning and the dreaded. LAUNDRY.


Where he proposed earlier this year.


But I am happy to be back. Still a little crispy, because I forgot to bring a hat, but I am hoping it will mellow out a bit. This tan will need to last me until next summer. I didn’t really want to do a recap, because I literally did nothing, or the same thing as the last time I went, but I just wanted to stick my happy pictures in there.


bJLYMdQJUd3IpFfz.jpgMy husband seemed to have a great time for his birthday and that is what matters to me!


The view is unreal.


And now…back to reality.


Up close and personal


The view from our hotel room

21c Hotel & Museum: Louisville, KY


While we were walking around in the city, my grandma bladder was telling me that we should stop for a potty break. As soon as I mentioned it to Josh and Tyann, they told me to hold it, because the bathroom they were going to take me to, was going to be worth the wait. Wait, what?C4nN48V6vkr1tkro.jpgwwDQoixyvtDD1j8T.jpgApa2qO0Bh4vjvuDQ.jpg

They took us to the 21c Hotel and modern art museum. Yep. A museum that you can stay at. It was filled with lots of cool modern stuff. So the bathroom. For the guys bathroom, there is a two way glass in front of the urinals. While on the outside you cannot see inside at all. But on the inside, it feels like you are peeing on display for everyone to walk by and see. Josh told us it was very hard to pee with us standing in front of him making inappropriate gestures and faces. The women’s bathroom wasn’t as fun.Rod6knhiEd2NT2PO.jpg

These penguins are also on the roof of the hotel. He became our new bff.o2nUXA6vFmP5EVyB.jpg

There’s an installation about the Chinese Zodiac, and the origins of the order and the animals. I never knew there was an actual purpose. The animals are in the order that they crossed the river in the race. The rat convinced the gullible ox to carry him across the river, then jumped off winning the race. What a rat. I am an ox. That is my ox face.STWYfTB9JbsLG6OW.jpg

Vitya is a tiger…I don’t know why this creature has cheetah spots.Go0VBt8t3ZL9FoVq.jpg

A tornado installation. Made up of things that would get swept away in a real tornado. I see what you did there.18dvUAwTybYbWYCA.jpgI wanted to give you a new view.

The museum was filled with really cool stuff and everything interested me, at least. But really…the bathrooms were the main event. Ha!

21C Museum Hotel
700 West Main Street
Louisville, Kentucky 40202

Doc Crow’s, Louisville, KY


We went out to Doc Crow’s in Louisville, Kentucky for dinner. Its a nice place, pretty popping for a Saturday night, about an hour or so wait.gDO8HIzkkVEhU7ya.jpg

I liked the decor, its set up kind of like a train car. Really long aisle and tables on the side. We got the best seat in the house, right next to the window in front of the street so we could people watch. We were downtown so there were a lot of bachelorette parties going on. Lets just say, people were already taking off their shoes at 8pm. Come on ladies. Gross.z9fkkxeVHWTJTYYK.jpg

We started the night with beer, wine and peel and eat shrimp. They were boiled in Old Bay and served with cocktail sauce. The flavors were great, but the shrimp had that “I was frozen” texture to it. To be expected, Kentucky is landlocked.SFjwcc12vhlu2QHp.jpg

Oyster sampler, came from 3 different places in Virginia. I don’t eat oysters, raw or otherwise. The other ladies liked them though!NNSLTAxYtjFFakFG.jpg

Mother of all nachos. Housemade bbq chips topped with cheese, pulled pork, salsa, sour cream, jalapenos, bbq sauce. What is this madness? Delicious.giBWF7Zr9WSn9Mi8.jpg


This is what I should have gotten. Loaded baked potato. Loaded with goodness that is bbq pork, cheese, and sour cream. OMG. Now I want more.d31mECX4IuqFeYp5.jpg

Tacos. I didn’t eat them because they were soft shell, but it looks tasty. He ate it so fast I almost didn’t get a picture.mXj9wJFzXlyFqj5D.jpg

Mussels were great. I’d go back for mussels.nNIUru9f1BUYrXgd.jpg

Baby back ribs. Glad I only got half a rack. It was packed with seasoning, and served dry on purpose. But it was so caked on that it tasted like…chalky. I had to rub off some of the rub, and pour bbq sauce on it to get through a couple bones, but in the end it wasn’t worth it. Maybe because I like a fattier rack of rib, so if you like dry meaty, fatless ribs, go for it!EEeIlJYUYtgEppgJ.jpg

Either way the service, the atmosphere and the company was well worth it. The ribs didn’t put a damper on our night!faLsuLtbVqvO3FEL.jpgThanks again to this awesome couple for taking us out and about!

Doc Crow’s Southern Smokehouse & Raw Bar
127 West Main Street
Louisville, KY 40207


Road trip: Louisville, Kentucky



It is amazing how different each state is. As I do more travel on the ground, I realize that there are so many things to see on the road. RsdSojLwIetMTzwY.jpg

Friday, Vitya and I, my favorite road warrior (our relationship was built on crazy road trips, hence our “ride or die” motto) got in our rental car and drove the windy roads and mountains a couple states over to Kentucky.UEVFdFSXvTWSLw4m.jpg

I have never ever set foot in that state. EVER. I had no idea what to expect. I know I was super excited to see my friend Josh again and meet his fiancee, whom I’ve become internet friends with, IN REAL LIFE. Quick side story, on a related note:


Josh and I met at the How Design conference which took place in Austin, TX in 2009. It was my first time traveling alone for work in a new city. My company only sent me, and he was also the lone ranger from his company, Pizza Today. We sat next to each other at a talk and pretty much became instant BFFs. Michael Jackson dying that day bonded us forever. Oh, and he made sure I didn’t get murdered.


We stayed in touch these past 5 years, and in that time, he bought a a super cute house (with his now fiancee), added more animals to his posse, and proposed to the woman he had just started dating before we met. Tyann. We finally got to meet her after corresponding through social media. And a failed attempt at the Derby in 2012 (where we ended up in Myrtle Beach instead).



We love Tyann. So much. It’s ridiculous. Poor Josh. It definitely turned into a girls trip. We’ll bring our men next time! I promise. He was definitely a good sport, and tried to blend in with us. See how he has a margarita while we all had beers?


It was a short trip, but filled with good food and good times. Details on that later. But if you have a chance, spend a couple days in Louisville!



The Philadelphia Zoo

I had no idea that the Philadelphia Zoo was the first zoo in America. According the plaque located at the entrance.

Also, this statue is at the beginning of the zoo. Its a mama lion with an arrow through her, and her babies on her and the daddy lion looking mad. If I was a kid, I would be scared and not want to go in.ey5tBo7jwRVY7VDe.jpg
The zoo was fun. I can’t wait to have kids and take them to things like this. Mostly so I don’t look like a weird adult who actually like doing things like this.
I thought this was super cute. The monkeys were sitting next to each other with their tails intertwine. Love in the wild. Well not wild, but wild animals. It makes me sigh from the love. They even look like a heart shape.
B2ocwXM7OQaETkB5.jpgThis zoo has wild peacocks roaming around. Like literally they were just walking around the zoo like they owned the joint.
Yes. They did run this joint. I was clearly scared.
Rhinos look like dinosaurs to me.
hc9kyzt85gfHZJHB.jpgThis gorilla was so human-like it was really scary to observe. Because I wonder what he thinks about when all these people come up to the glass and stare at him.
Elephants are cute…I don’t remember seeing them at the zoo though?!
Cool fish tank. This is John. He loves fish.
I thought these flowers were SOO pretty and cute and fun. Anyone know what they are called?
I had a great time at the zoo…and makes me want to do more things like this. What’s up next friends?!


The City Of Brotherly Love


Couldn’t go to Philly and not take a picture of the love sign! Little did I know, DC has one that says Amour. LuvUwJnw8OFsfhXg.jpg

Girls are excited..boys are.. indifferent.IwYTIVvyBR6oUsZb.jpg

China town for some baked goods.5fZCicYDWwd42JQE.jpgyNH4XSlGohw849wD.jpgrPHONZWdYI0d0cQ5.jpgC4dGvrlua4D4gQhX.jpgV0fPnyLoszNv7izD.jpgpBzP7RTT69puI3YP.jpg

We waited in line for this picture. This is the only pose I could think of.cbYTqR0Zhx2pyC7a.jpglQW8f0X4pttlPI04.jpg

These steps weren’t as daunting as it seemed. They were pretty low.sE7aGZcIPiXZC0GO.jpg

The water was ice cold. PHlY9rQX49SICTD8.jpgrRHeHZhuKUCD6yL5.jpgPQOVZ6oWRkZpxTfB.jpgReading Terminal market was definitely much better first thing in the morning. We went again in the afternoon and it was PACKED. But it all was delicioooooous, and right around the corner from our hotel.

I had an awesome time, we actually did everything on our list and finished pretty early! Zoo, Rocky Statue/Steps, Reading Terminal Market, Chinatown, noodle bar. Yep. A jam packed less than 24 hour trip. kuDDCQHxh6pnPkuM.jpg


Cheu Noodle Bar Philadelphia


Mmmm. Ramen noodles. Soups are definitely my comfort food. And I love that ramen is everywhere now. Thrillist featured this place as one of the top 25 ramen places in America, so while in Philly, I had to!qeI2cuTjiYLNWxtd.jpg

There was a little bit of a wait at like 9pm, but that’s a sign that its good right? The guy was super friendly, and we got a couple of the specials while we waited. I had the white tea/lychee, he had the watermelon ginger. Both were unique and delicious. I liked mine better because it was light, floral and only a tiny bit sweet. x25ujXOoIDeWAUHs.jpg7sNidfhSKj06YwlY.jpg

Awesome shirt. 2qFu1P2Ue3M34Gyo.jpg

We sat at the bar, so we got to see the magic happen.HX8Bq4zaVw6NZtsH.jpg

It must be a requirement for ramen places to be so cool looking.aebSrcAqZegw3E65.jpg

Sichuan beef dumplings. Nothing to write home about. Sorry.gnQdQiKBDOLtrBfn.jpg

WHERE’S OUR RAMEN. Anna and John. Hilarious couple to road trip with <39Npi1w6Bd71JgRTb.jpg…and the main event. Miso Ramen, with pork shoulder and sea beans. I think they ran out of sea beans in mine because I only got mustard greens. Which is fine by me. It was delicious. I actually never got a miso broth before. I usually go vegetarian or the full bodied broths. It was delicious and reminded me of my mom’s suki yaki, oddly enough. Now I want to make that.

I’m hungry.

Cheu Noodle Bar
55 South 10th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Ice Dreams Soda Shop


This little ice cream shop was so cute. It is basically a cola cola paraphernalia hoarders dream.  b3EY46kN4Okw2nxX.jpg

The owner collected all kinds of coca cola trinkets and decorated the shop with it. Along with their ice creams, they had cold and hot drinks to choose from. Cash only!1Paqa1r8qz9sZJdh.jpg

I got some crazy ice cream with chocolate fish in it.M5YpMLpTKxaGR2zH.jpg

WSPLmLA5fcT2EZlp.jpgIt kind of reminded me of my mom, because she drank one coke a day, and loved the polar bears and those old school coca cola glasses!

Ice Dreams Soda Shop
3131 Muskoka Road 169
Bala, ON P0C 1A0, Canada


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