Time flies, even in the future! We are now in Queenstown, New Zealand, after a week in Sydney and Melbourne. As with most trips my devoted time to chronicle our adventures shrinks with each new destination. Our week in Australia was incredible and included an unforgettable day for Leann and me (more on that in another post). We saw botanic gardens, churches, museums, and a cricket match! We’ve sampled the fish and chips while discovering Australia makes some mighty fine muesli/granola bars.
Taking the advice of a friend, I have been attempting to breathe in all the beauty that surrounds us. I was concerned before traveling here that my expectations for Australia and New Zealand’s beauty were unrealistic. Certainly someplace couldn’t be that beautiful.
Then you discover you are living in a Bob Ross painting every day of your life.
Quick notes before getting ready for our day trip to Milford Sound:
- I’ve never encountered as friendly people at home or during travels.
- These towns leave you in awe and disbelief.
- I think we have new retirement goals.
- “No worries” is both my new way to end conversations and my goal mindset for living.
New York has an abundance of everything: museums, tourists, pigeons, Broadway shows, and restaurants. Leann and I added a few days to a business trip to New York to explore the tastes and experiences of the big city. Thanks to recommendations from friends who live or lived in NYC we had a long list of places to try sorted by area.
There were two standouts for me: Her Name is Han (Korean BBQ) and Besfren (dessert spot on 32nd and 5th).
Beauty & Essex was a really cool spot for people watching. The man at the table next to us was regaling his guests with stories of Russian escorts and tech executives. Not something you hear during dinner at home.
Great food with great friends can’t be beat, no matter the city.
Where should I dine during my next NYC trip?
Her Name is Han
Beef bone noodle soup
Fire-grilled pork in
Prost under the highline
Chocolate sponge cake with coffee filling – Dessert from Besfren
“That’s a helluva pretzel!”
Lebanese food at ILILI
More dessert from Besfren – sponge cake with salted caramel filling
Salmon on toast
Grilled cheese and tomato soup bites from Beauty and Essex
Lobster mac & cheese from Beauty & Essex
Oatmeal cookie from Besfren
Bacon and egg bagel sandwich
I’ve never been a huge fan of New York prior to this trip. New York is a fantastic city, but it’s overwhelming. Manhattan is massive. Chicago is also large, but Manhattan is like someone took Chicago and replicated it a ton of times across a large island. There are always people on the street. There’s always a cacophony of noises. Don’t get me started on the smells. One breeze carries grilled meats from a corner food stand. The next wifts are of sour garbage.
This is the first trip to NYC where I had influence into the agenda. The first trip was when I was a kid visiting my aunt and uncle. The second was visiting a friend while she finished law school. Leann cobbled together the recommendations from friends and must-visit museums, much like she would for our other adventures. Continue reading New York on foot
If you were asking yourself “what happened to week one?” that’s valid. Juggling multiple social platforms and a blog to grow a cult following as strong as last year’s kale presents unique challenges.
Each week I will live stream a garden update on Facebook. Eventually it will make its way here.
Im trying a new gardening strategy this year: moderate laziness. I commute downtown every week day and don’t have a lot of time to prune. Most days I have just enough time to ogle and water my sprouting plants. This year I’ll share tips I learn along the way to be efficient with your gardening time.
If you’re a gardener, please share your tips in the comments and share this with the plant growers and plant killers.
Looking forward to the growing year ahead!
Apologies the video is in portrait. I’m working on it.
We shared many memories. Some easy times and some struggles. In its last days, it stood tall despite knowing the end was near.
Gone, but never forgotten. RIP.
Through the magic of the Internet I receive offers for some random food items to sample for my loyal readers. Every so often, I am emailed about things I really like. Halos mandarins reached out about their seedless treat earlier this month with a giveaway offer.
In a given work day I eat at least two Halos. My office also happens to keep them stocked in our fridge for those mid-afternoon hunger pangs. Continue reading Fight Off Scurvy with Delicious Halos Mandarins – Giveaway
Pro-tip for anyone traveling: if your eight-hour flight is littered with crying babies, going to the opera can be simultaneously the best and worst decision you make for things to do on day one.
Leann and I are in Vienna, Austria; the city that seems to have invented classical music and fried meat cutlets. The weather was dreary today, but far warmer than Chicago. As has become our tradition, we spent our first day wandering the city to get oriented on landmarks and get a sense of the city’s pulse. My first thoughts are Vienna loves Christmas and commerce. There are tons of stores, many clothing brands from the US, and huge Christmas decorations on most streets.
Thanks to a disco nap post-babies on a plane, we were able to wander around and see some of the attractions. The city’s layout is reminiscent of Rome, with cobblestone streets, winding roads and huge churches. The upside is there are great discoveries as you wander. The downside is it’s difficult to stay on target with your destination since the streets often are rings and angle away from where you want to go.
We did a large amount today, especially considering we got less than an hour of sleep during the flight. We checked out an impressive baroque church, got schnit-faced with a huge pork cutlet, took in “Macbeth” in Verdi’s operatic account at the Shakespearean thriller, ate sachertorte and goulash.
Fun fact: don’t order water in restaurants. We tried unsuccessfully to request tap water and received bottles of water that cost more than our food. I told myself I’d let it go. But I can’t.
In happy news, the city is pretty and has a lot more discoveries in store for us tomorrow.