Wanderlust

All girls trip!

Hi loves!

So back in June, a couple girl friends and I went to Chicago for the weekend (in between some trainings we had in the city). We had such a blast and it was a great way to send off two of my good friends who have since moved away.

We got in Friday evening and headed to Old Town for some fun! We started off at a super cool Irish bar called Lady Gregory’s. Their whiskey selection was great and if you are fan of pub style food – highly recommend you go! The Friday night that we went, they had a DJ who was playing all of the 90’s and early 2000’s classics. It was awesome! Definitely a fun place on a Friday night, with lots of people.

After hitting up the bar, we walked over to the Second City and saw a great comedy show! I love to laugh and man did the show provide laughs the whole time. I would definitely recommend seeing a show if you are in the area and love a good laugh!

By this point in the evening, or should I say, early Saturday morning, we decided to head back to the hotel and catch up on some much needed rest.

Saturday, I got up to work out and then brought back the girls some Cold Brews {who doesn’t love Starbucks first thing in the morning, I know I do}. We decided to do a brunch and ended up at Bridge House Tavern on the river. The view was amazing and so was the weather! We started off the morning with Bloody Mary’s and Mimosa’s and I think all of us girls order the Veggie Hash, which was phenomenal!

chicago 3

Next, we decided to hit up the brewery’s in Chicago. All of us are fans Goose Island Brewery and Revolution Brewery, so we made sure those were on the list to go to. We also ended up at Lagunitas Brewery, which was a little too much of an IPA type beer for my taste, but we had so much fun, it didn’t even matter {and the nacho’s there were amazing in our alcohol induced state}.

Goose Island was great and super laid back. We had fun drinking our flights and also brought a deck of cards along to play some card games. I am huge fan of Goose Island beer {which they recently started selling 312 in Atlanta – YAY} and would say that I enjoyed the Summer Ale that I tried in the flight. Goose Island was such a great start to our brewery tour!

Next, we hit up Revolution Brewery. I had been to their Brewpub in the past, when I had been in Chicago for training, but this was the first time I had been to the actual brewery. It was awesome. I absolutely loved the American Flag on the wall and had to capture it with the beer in front. I tried several different kinds of beer here and enjoyed every single one, it’s really hard to pick a favorite!

Finally, we hit up Lagunitas. By this point in the day, we had a lot of beer, but we still wanted to check it out! It is definitely an IPA heavy beer, so I was not a huge fan, but the atmosphere was great and they had food to satisfy our hunger at the point in the day.

Due to the amount of day drinking we participated in, we cut it out early Saturday night and headed to bed at reasonable time.

Sunday was such a great day – we rented bikes by Navy Pier and rode several miles along Lake Michigan. I loved getting to ride a bike by the lake and enjoy some time outside. Having an outdoor activity so easily accessible is one reason that I love Chicago. It is one of my favorite places to visit {and if it didn’t snow, I may even have considered moving there}.

Around lunch time, we stopped near Lincoln Park and had lunch at Gaslight Bar & Grille. They have different specials every day and on Sunday had a Mimosa bar, which was totally awesome! We bought a bottle of champagne and then got to mix it with whichever juice we decided {I picked pineapple, while the girls picked grapefruit}. They also had lots of add-ins like fruit and candies! The food was good and we walked out of there having enjoyed the time we spent there. We even hit it up later in the week for some Moscow Mules {well, I had a Mexican Mule that was the bomb}.

Later that evening, we all got dressed up {and I did everyone’s hair – curls for days} and went to John Hancock Signature Lounge for a drink and some great views of the city. We had reservations at Mercadito where we all had margaritas, shared guacamole, queso fundido and several different types of tacos. It was a great way to end our weekend!

All-in-all, it was such a great weekend and I was so glad to spend quality time with three girl friends who will always mean the world to me! Hope you enjoyed this post. If you try any of the suggestions I made above, let me know what you thought!

Xoxo,

Leah

Wanderlust

Miami, Florida

While I was freezing in cold in NYC and Atlanta during the first 2 weeks of March, I made a spontaneous decision to go down to Miami to see my best friend for her birthday! Literally, it had been so cold and I could not stand it so I booked a last minute flight (using Delta Skymiles of course) and headed on down to the Sunshine State!

So this was a huge surprise for my best friend and I totally threw her off! I booked my flight on a Thursday for Saturday. I messaged her for her address (which ended up being her work address – so I had to get her actual address from her mom!!!) and was totally prepared to surprise her Saturday morning. Friday night for St. Patrick’s Day, I grabbed dinner and drinks with some friends, sending her snap chats because I didn’t want her to think I was coming down (her boss and her mom were the only people in Miami who knew I was coming). She thought that there was no way I could make it since I was out drinking.

Saturday morning (and really I mean Friday night, because seriously, how if 4:45 am morning already??) I woke up after only 4 hours of sleep and headed to the airport! My flight was early in the morning and I got to Miami around 9:15am. I took an uber (THANK GOD FOR UBER) from the airport to her apartment. As I am knocking on her apartment (and trying to record a video) I get the feeling that OMG I either am at the wrong place or she is not home…

I get on the phone and call her and see what she is doing.. She goes in the list long story (probably about 5-7 minutes long) of all the errands she needs to run because she has her birthday party that night (DUH – that’s why I was standing outside her apartment). Finally, once she is done, I tell her that is great but she needs to turn around because I am outside her apartment. AND she FREAKS. Literally freaks and starts crying on the phone. Even though the surprise wasn’t in person, it felt great to be able to pull it off!

True to her word, we ran errands all day. We had lunch at a cool little place called Diced (kind of like Chipotle, but I actually liked it better – I know, OMG). It was super good and the perfect amount to keep me full while went ALL over Miami. Finally, we went back to her place to get ready for dinner and go to her favorite bar.

Dinner – Yardhouse: This place was packed, but it was totally worth it! The first thing I really liked about this place was the number of beers they have on tap, each round I had a different beer! For food, we kept it light and ordered a bunch of appetizers –  crispy Brussel sprouts & ripped potatoes, poke nachos, truffle fries and sweet potato fries. The poke nachos were out of this world good! I absolutely loved them! They were large enough to share, but it could easily be a meal for one person. When I go back, I am getting these all to myself!

Bar – Bougainvillea’s: This bar was SO Kelly! It was laid back and had an outdoor/indoor bar area. It was a super cool place and  we had so much fun! We danced and hung out and drank the night away, celebrating my best friend! I may have been up for 24 hours by the time I went to sleep that night, haha! It was definitely a great time and another place I cannot wait to go back to!

Even though it was a short trip and I have now spent 3 Sunday’s in a row recovering,  I wouldn’t change it for the world! It was so nice to be able to surprise my best friend and I know it will be a birthday she remembers forever (well until the big 3-0 next year where she says she wants to go to Vegas)! BTW – check out this post to see how I curled my hair!

IMG_3099

Happy birthday Kelly, I love you!

#confessionsofatravelholic

Leah

Wanderlust

New York, New York

Hi guys!

So I have decided to do a little sub-blog talking about my travels! As you may have read in my resolutions post for 2017 – I want to go to as many new places as I can! While each city won’t be a new experience for me, I will be trying out new restaurants, bars, entertainment activities, etc. I wanted you guys to get to see the travel side of me and I really hope you enjoy what I post about here!

First up – one of my top 3 favorite cities in all the world New York, New York! I absolutely love this city! I love being able to walk or use public transportation to get any where. The food is amazing and you are always guaranteed to have a good time!

I flew into LGA on a Friday afternoon and caught a cab to my hotel in the city! I have several friends who live in or around NYC, so I wanted to make sure I got to see them! On Friday, I met up with a friend of mine and his wife who are from Atlanta but are currently living in NYC. They live in Chelsea and know of all the hot spots around that area! We ended up having dinner and drinks!

Dinner – Bar B: OH MY was this place cool or what! It is a super small bar where you stand up to eat your dinner. It is super casual and the perfect ambiance for hanging out with 1 or 2 friends and wanting good food too. You have to go in knowing that it is standing only and super small (literally 20 people at a time small). Make sure to get there a little early (we got there around 7pm on a Friday) so that you can get a spot. The bartenders/servers are great about making room so that more people can fit, but there can be quite a wait if you get there too late! Their happy hour is unreal and we had a couple of drinks while catching up. I ordered the Beet Burger (I know, sounds gross – totally amazing). It was a combination of so many great flavors that I couldn’t event taste the beets (NOT my favorite vegetable). I also had a side of the potato salad and it was the best damn potato salad I have EVER had! I cannot wait to go back to this place again in the future! Bar B also has a sister restaurant called Basta Pasta(it is sit-down) and I cannot wait to try it out next time I am in the city!

Play time – Kinky Boots: This play is the whole reason I went to NYC the weekend I did. I am a HUGE fan of Todrick Hall (check out his youtube page here). He is amazing and it was his last weekend as Lola in Kinky Boots. I was dying to see him on Broadway, so I made a trip just for this! And let me tell you, he did not disappoint and neither did the play! It was phenomenal! I have always said that Hairspray! was my favorite play, but this one took over number 1 in my heart! I laughed, cried and wanted to dance along with them. Going to see the play was by far my best decision! I also got to see some great friends while in the city & they came to see the play with me, so it was a win-win!

IMG_3055
My second family!

Dinner – Carmine’s: You cannot go to NYC without getting some good Italian food and man was this place yummy! It is family style, so remember that when you are ordering! You have to make reservations at this place! It gets so packed! We had cheesy garlic bread for an appetizer, and man do I love me some carbs! It was so fantastic! For our entree we had shrimp scampi and it was amazing! I loved this place and will definitely go back (and remembering all the good food I ate is making me sooooo hungry)!

This trip was definitely one for the books. I had such a great time catching up with friends and I loved that I got to eat some great food and see one of my favorite entertainers (and human beings) perform on Broadway!

Thanks for the great memories NYC!

IMG_3059

#confesssionsofatravelholic

Leah