[N Y C]
B R O W N ‘ S B A G E L S
Bagel is obviously a must in the city. I only got one, but could have eaten here every day. It was a cute little bakery with amazing coffee.
M A S S O N I
at Arlo Nomad
Unfortunately I started feeling sick about halfway through the trip – cold, allergies, probably both – so one night I grabbed a pizza in the restaurant in my hotel and ate it in bed. How could you not, with these views?? The pizza was not traditional thin crust new york pizza, but it was incredible – pepperoni, jalapeños and honey. Wowww.
L E V A I N B A K E R Y
E A T A L Y
A I R P O R T F O O D
Yes, you read that right – airport food. This was basically cheese toast with prosciutto and arugula on top. Did I mention I was stuck in the airport for 7 hours? I should have ordered another one, because this is some of the best airport food I’ve ever had.
[H O U S T O N]
G U R U B U R G E R S + C R E P E S
N I N F A ‘ S
Okay if you’re ever in Houston this is the MUST-GO place. It is super authentic and absolutely delicious. You see (and smell) them making the tortillas as you walk in. I got Tacos Al Pastor with fresh grilled pineapple and it was the best thing ever.
T O R C H Y ‘ S T A C O S
Does this look familiar from my Austin Food Picturebook? Ha – Torchy’s is officially a favorite! This time I got the Trailer Park “trashy” again and tried The Independent loaded with veggies. Both were amazing as usual, and so was the queso, as usual. Who can I petition to get a Torchy’s in NWA?!
F E B R U A R Y
first of (several) work trips to NYC + got pulled on stage during spamalot on our valentine’s day date at the rogers little theatre
M A Y
(best month ever)
bentonville film festival, fayetteville foam fest + 5-year anniversary in St. Lucia
J U N E
sister-in-law got married + traipsed around california with these people
J U L Y
celebrated husband’s birthday in denver
A U G U S T
mother daughter weekend in NYC + too much fun at a wedding #travkeg2k16
O C T O B E R
squad goals at a stranger halloween
N O V E M B E R
an amazing weekend getaway in missouri + a fun week in LA
D E C E M B E R
birthday celebrations with the sistahs + christmas in DC
Typically when I go on a trip, I follow up with a Picturebook blog post sharing all my photos and trip highlights.
Since I just did an LA Picturebook in July after my last work trip, I decided to switch this one up a bit. I ate some amaaaazing food on this trip at some amaaaazing restaurants and I just had to share so you can enjoy them too (and so I can remember these places for trips to come!)
Enjoy a look at my latest LA trip via my delicious meals. #FoodPorn
S U G A R F I S H
My coworker would not stop talking about this place since the second we learned we were traveling to LA. “We HAVE to go to Sugarfish in Santa Monica.” So we did, straight from the airport. It was packed and a 45 min. wait (the perfect amount of time to get some shopping in), but it was totally worth it. I’m not an adventurous sushi eater, but oh my gosh it was divine. It was easily the freshest sushi I’ve ever had; I had a blue crab roll and a cucumber roll. Most people get the “Trust Me”, where they bring you all different kinds of sushi and you just, well, trust them it will be delicious. Next time, I think I’ll go for it.
Oh, and did I mention this place is a celebrity hot spot?? So you know that makes me like it even more ….
S W E E T B U T T E R
Okay, so this was another one my coworker kept going on and on about, and guess what, it was amazing. She definitely has good taste. This was an adorable breakfast and lunch spot in Sherman Oaks. We sat outside and enjoyed the Cali weather, a cappuccino, avocado toast and pumpkin pancakes. Is that perfect, or what?! They also had a mega drool-worthy dessert case. (I might have purchased a few things for later … and yes, they were delicious.)
M A L I B U F A R M
I stayed an extra day after my work trip to hang out with one of my high school besties, who now lives in LA. She took me to this incredible lunch spot in Malibu. It sits on the new Malibu pier with absolutely stunning views. We had the perfect seat, on little couches overlooking the pier and sea. We drank mimosas, ate nachos and chatted just like we were back in high school. Unfortunately it was pretty chilly and overcast while we were there, but I will definitely be back and if it’s sunny, you might have to pry me from this place, mimosa in hand.
J O N & V I N N Y ‘ S
So this one has quite an interesting story and is my favorite on the list. About 3 years ago, I read an article in GQ about this new LA restaurant Jon & Vinny’s. Something about the article captivated me – maybe the fact that they deliver pizza AND wine?? Regardless, I sent it to my friend and asked her to please go for me. Well, here we were 3 years later trying to decide on dinner and we remembered the article. We had to go. It was a Sunday night around 6pm, so we didn’t think it would be too busy. HA. Little did we know, they are full with reservations every.single.night. Like, always full. The only way we would be able to get in is if we waited and someone didn’t show up for their reservation. We decided to take our chances.
In the back of the restaurant is this adorable, tiny little wine store called Helen’s with bottles ranging from $15 to $800. We made our way back there to get a glass of wine while we waited and hoped for a table. We stood back there for over an hour and met two of the most interesting, talkative people. It was amazing and fascinating and felt so LA. Just as we were finishing up our convo with the ex-pro golfer who was trying to hide from his family, the hostess told us she could seat us if we could be in and out in 40 minutes.
So we took the challenge, ordered a salad, a pasta and a pizza to share and never looked back. Words can’t even describe how amazing all three were. Sadly this was the only photo I took before inhaling it all, but take my word for it – if you are in LA, you have to go to this place! Just don’t forget to make a reservation!
I N – N – O U T
And of course, I would be remiss if while talking about food I didn’t share my food porn, drool-worthy photo of a California staple – animal style cheeseburger from In-N-Out.
‘Ya hungry yet?
[first stop – husband’s favorite brewery!]
[did some shopping on Pearl Street in Boulder]
[perfect date night at Larimer Square – it was so picturesque and adorable!]
[the most amazing tacos + churros I’ve ever had at Pinche Taqueria – we went here 3 years ago and had to fit it in again. it will always be a go-to every time we’re in Denver!]
[and finally, the main event – The National at Red Rocks!]
We had such an incredible time in one of our favorite cities to celebrate Husband’s 29th birthday. Unfortunately didn’t get a photo with our generous hosts – cousin Ellen and husband Lanny, but so wonderful spending time with family! ❤
D A Y 1 – O K T O B E R F E S T
[Wilkommen to Deutschland! What an amazing surprise from my friend Bobbi Joe, waiting for me at our hotel. Dirndl and all here we come, Oktoberfest!]
[So much food! Pretzels, two hens, pork knuckle and the best potato salad I’ve ever eaten!]
[We were in the Augustiner beer tent for 5 1/2 hours, and by the end, everyone was standing on their tables dancing and singing, without a care in the world.]
D A Y 2
[Michael Jackson memorial outside the Bayerischer Hof Hotel, where he stayed several times and other celebrities stay in Munich.]
[When in Munich … eat pizza? Strange I know, but it was incredible because the meat is just so good on anything you put it on.]
[Early night in after a late night previously and a long day of walking. But of course, still laying in bed drinking beer.]
D A Y 3
D A Y 4
(We were supposed to take a trip to Austria our last two days of vacation, but unfortunately trains were suspended due to migrants, so we made the best of our extra time in Munich!)
[Rainy days are for museums – first up, Museum Brandhorst with an amaaaazing Warhol exhibit!]
[Next museum, Pinakothek der Moderne filled with everything you could imagine such as furniture, the first Apple computer and Dali’s!]
[We were looking for a place to eat dinner, and we just couldn’t pass up the meat cooking in the window. It was seriously the best thing we ate in Munich (and as you saw, we ate some great food). The pork knuckle and sauerkraut was incredible, and the flaming apple fritters were awesome.]
D A Y 5 – Last day in Munich
[Our last day in Munich we spent shopping in the morning, and then relaxing and drinking beer all afternoon at our now favorite beer garden Augustiner-Keller.
Then back to the hotel, watching the Scream Queens pilot on the iPad and figuring out how to pack everything to take it home…]
D A Y 1
[Arrived in Paris to a beautiful day and another adorable (Rick Steve’s recommended) hotel – Hotel Des Grandes Ecoles. This was the cobblestone pathway that led to the hotel behind closed doors from the street, and the adorable patio/garden where everyone sat and drank wine every afternoon. To say I could get use to this would be an understatement.]
[6-course French wine + champagne tasting]
[Moonlit stroll home with Notre Dame + Love Locks]
D A Y 2
[Musee d’Orsay was incredible – highly recommend it! And the special exhibition was amazing. Pictured: At the Moulin Rouge by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec]
[Our favorite thing about Paris was just walking around, exploring and these gorgeous views.]
[One of the last remaining original metro signs]
[We didn’t go in the Louvre, but we did stop by for some photos]
[Wine in our hotel patio/garden. Like I said before, I could get use to this.]
D A Y 3
[Cappuccinos + croque monsieur at Le Descartes]
[Strolled through the gorgeous Jardin du Luxembourg]
[We stumbled upon this pop-up art museum and had to go in. Turns out it was an Hermes exhibition that was one of the coolest things we saw in Paris. We felt like we were in Alice in Wonderland!]
[Loved seeing a show at the Moulin Rouge! So much fun!]
D A Y 4 – Last day in Paris
[The Hall of Mirrors at Versailles was stunning!]
[We loved you, Paris! We will definitely be back!]
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D A Y 1
[First impression of London – I mean, WHY can’t our taxis be this adorable?! I already love this city.]
[Then, the unthinkable happened. I took this picture literally minutes before a drunk homeless guy came over and spilled his alcohol all over my pants. Like, I’m not kidding you when I say I reeked of alcohol and my pants were drenched. Long story short, it led to new pants from Zara and … ]
[… finding this place, The Cockpit. We ended up missing our pub tour we’d booked, but instead we found this pub that was so quintessentially English it was amazing. There were no tourists, Rugby World Cup was on the TV and most importantly, the beer was flowing. Probably our favorite place from the entire trip.]
[Pub stop #2. We just decided to make our own pub tour.]
D A Y 2
[Our Rick Steve’s recommended hotel was so adorable. I would highly recommend it to anyone. Not to mention we had a full, traditional English breakfast every morning. Not pictured: The baked beans that came with this and were SO good. (For breakfast! IKR!) Pictured: The most amazing bacon and grilled tomatoes you’ve ever had.]
[Tower of London, Crown Jewels and adorable husband – check!]
[And awesome views of the Tower Bridge – check!]
[My favorite thing we did in London was the Sunday afternoon church service at Westminster Abby. The choir was PHENOMENAL. I’ve never heard anything like it before in my life. Also, I couldn’t stop thinking about how Will + Kate got married here, sooooo that was pretty cool.]
[Favorite photo from the trip! Thanks random strangers from Chicago. <3]
[Next up – The London Eye. Which I did not like. So I promptly rewarded myself with ice cream. And as mom later reminded me, she always use to reward me with ice cream too.]
[After a loooooong day of walking, we decided to stick near our hotel for dinner. Come to find out the restaurant literally right next door was highly rated on Yelp. We both had great meals, but it was the dessert that left an impression. This orange creme brulee was TDF. Tiny, but TDF.]
D A Y 3
[Waiting with thousands of other people for the changing of the guards!]
[And the wait was totally worth it. Next time I have to go in Buckingham Palace!]
[Churchill War Rooms was Kyle’s favorite thing from London. It was literally the secret, underground bunker Churchill used during WW2, and it was fascinating.]
[Not Pictured: The National Gallery museum – highly recommend!]
[Tower Bridge selfie on our hop-on, hop-off tour bus! We loved this. It was a great way to see the city and fun to sit on top!]
[Dinner: The Thomas Cubitt
This may sound crazy, but this was the best soup I’ve ever had in my life – white onion + thyme with wilshire truffles and croutons. Like, I can still remember exactly what it tastes like, and I’m not even a soup person. Also, our appetizer got messed up and instead we got smoked quail, and surprisingly it was delicious.]
D A Y 4 – L A S T D A Y I N L O N D O N
[Kew Gardens was just gorgeous, and the weather was so perfect. My pictures don’t do it justice (and of course I took like a million.) But I had to share this one of the peacock that just walked right in front of me on the path – it was incredible! We were like, where are we?!]
[Mid-morning cake + cappuccinos.]
[Not Pictured: Victoria + Albert Museum – also highly recommend!]
[One thing we did not get to do that I really wanted to was go to Notting Hill (I will just have to re-watch the movie and go back!). This was the closest we got – Churchill Arms, a famous pub full of flowers and plants inside and out that also served delicious Indian food.]
But before we headed to Paris, there was one more thing we HAD to do …
[JK, we’re not going to Paris, we’re headed to Hogwarts!!]
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