All posts tagged: vacation

nearcation’s all I ever wanted.

For our second wedding anniversary, Hubs and I planned an almost 24-hour nearcation adventure across the Bay in San Francisco. Since we thoroughly enjoyed last year’s SF nearcation, and there is so much to see, do, and eat in the City, we decided to do it again. Plus, we lazy and didn’t want to drive or fly far away. 😉 This time, we stayed at Hotel Nikko. I love the art in the rooms and throughout the hotel, and the squishy beds, and the touch pad on the nightstand that welcomes you by name. They have the most amazing line of bath products, too; the custom scent is bamboo lavender, but to me it has notes of chai spices which I love. Also, I’m into the separate stand up shower and bath options. Note to self for future home. The hotel sits between Union Square and the Tenderloin. I made sure we stopped to see some of the mural art nearby. A lot of the ones I wanted to spot were either painted over or …

only in new york.

Five days and four nights in a city that never sleeps with one of my favorite people! We logged more than 26 miles by foot, ate everything we saw, and soaked in all the sites. Here are some highlights from our New York adventure! Eee, can’t wait to go back and explore more! Filter by #erinbelledoesnewyork for all my NYC adventures!

NYC sunrise.

One of the highlights from my New York trip was waking up super early to watch sunrise on the Brooklyn Bridge. We never really got used to east coast time so we had fallen asleep around 3am that morning and woke up around 5:30am to get ready. On just a couple of hours of sleep, we took the subway to the Manhattan side of the bridge and walked towards Brooklyn, taking all the photos along the way. The bridge is just over one mile long. There were only a handful of walkers, runners, and cyclists which made it easy to stop for pictures every two seconds. Once we reached Brooklyn, we jumped back on the subway and headed to Manhattan to get some New York bagels…and then to take a nap! I think I’ve only ever seen sunrise three-ish times in my life — Once in the Philippines while taking a morning beach jog, once on a boat in the San Francisco Bay when my husband swam from Alcatraz, and another time in Lake Tahoe …

always on vacay.

I embroidered a hat for my Mommy to take her retired life to the next level. I found a wide brimmed hat at Target and used embroidery yarn to hand sew on this fun phrase: always on vacay. Then, I made her model it for me. She’s a natural vacationer! It’s perfect for actual vacations, or for enjoying the garden or taking walks. What do you think? What other fun phrases belong on giant hats? Share below!

chocolate library.

A store that sells chocolates and salts. Hm, ok! I’m into it! At The Meadow there is a wall of chocolate, stacks and stacks of salt rocks, and, if you’re lucky, some sample bowls filled with treats. On our visit, we tried a popcorn with the Meadow’s black truffle salt ~ yowza! And Savage, a new-to-me brand of chips locally made in Portland. Delightful! If you tell me I can climb the ladder you better not be joking because I will do it! Imagine having your own chocolate library like this! I grabbed a few locally made bars that I chose based on wrapper/packaging. Yes, I judge chocolate by the cover, but also if it’s quality made and preferably 72% cacao. Also, yes, I am a self-professed chocolate snob. What are some of your favorite artisanal chocolates or chocolate shops? Share please!

good food days.

The post you’ve all been waiting for. 😉 This was my third visit to Portland, and Hubby’s first. It was fun to explore new food destinations with him, and to revisit a favorite. All the food from our tasty travels coming at ya. FRIDAY: Taco City, Hillsdale / one of each taco, please. and guacamole. Not my favorite taco stand, but it’s fun to experience pod food while in Portland. SATURDAY: Seastar Bakery, Alberta Arts District / sweet dill-pickled beets, oven-fried egg, and cypress grove goat cheese on seedy nutty rye toast / cilantro-jalapeño white bean daal with pickled red onion, radish-mint salad on rosemary cornbread Easily my favorite meal on this trip. Fresh, unsuspecting flavor combinations! I am inspired to play more in the kitchen. Prasad, Pearl District / chipotle chili bowl with brown rice, chipotle black bean chili, avocado, green chili sauce, and jalapeño cashew cheeze / hot smokey tempeh / tabor bowl with quinoa, slow roasted tomatoes, kale, green chili sauce One of my favorites that I got hooked on during my first visit to …

chai this; chai that.

When in Portland, try all the chai! First up: Seastar Bakery‘s Golden Chai with hazelnut milk, an herbal tisane made with turmeric, ginger, chamomile, citrus, and honey. This was unlike any beverage I’ve ever had. The citrus surprisingly worked really well in the tisane and the turmeric was not overpowering. It was by far my favorite beverage on this trip, and quite possibly from any bakery/cafe I’ve visited. Next up, Prasad‘s dirty chai with coconut mylk, a housemade masala chai blend with a shot of cold-press coffee, sweetened with honey. It was a little sour and a little sweet, but mostly had warm notes from the spices. To wrap up the day, we stopped at Tea Chai Te for…even more tea! Hers and his: Velvet milk oolong with hemp milk and almond milk tea with soy milk and mango popping boba. A lovely afternoon tea break. The next day, we started our morning with Pip’s Original Doughnuts. They serve their chai by the glass and by the flight. Whaaaat? I’m not a fan of beer flights, and …