It dawned on me that I never did share photos from our most recent excursion to D.C. (aside from a few Instagrams here). We went over Labor Day and, in truth, we didn’t do too much. It was our third trip to the capital in as many years, so we took the opportunity to aimlessly wander the neighborhoods, enjoy daytime cocktails and pop into the zoo. But the most memorable part of the trip was convincing Dave to paddle boat with me in Tidal Basin. It was terribly humid that day, my life preserver was damp with the previous boaters sweat and I didn’t anticipate how difficult paddle boating really is! (Dave kept kneeing himself in the chest because the boats aren’t exactly ideal for anyone over my height at 5’ 7”.) We made it close enough to snap the photo above before giving up and calling an Uber to take us to Churchkey, my favorite beer bar in the city.View comments)
We’ve been toying with the idea of going to Europe next fall, which has me searching for and pinning all sorts of travel-related images. Our short list of possible destinations includes Belgium, Istanbul and Prague, but this image of snowy Paris has me yearning to go to France.View comments)
Standing over the sink and squeezing the last bit of my preferred shampoo into a flight-approved bottle is my least favorite part of packing. However, I don’t check a bag, so it’s the only way to avoid hotel soaps and lotions that irritate my skin. Enter 3FLOZ. The site features a selection of luxury beauty items in sizes the TSA won’t confiscate with resources to make your travels so much easier:
- Frequent flyer? There’s a replenishment program.
- Heading to a new destination? Shop by activity.
- Forgot something? They’re now putting beauty vending machines in major airports.
- Not sure what you need (or are just too darn stressed to make a decision)? There are six curated kits with all of the essentials.
The 3FLOZ team sent over a "In a Clutch" kit for my trip to D.C. It’s full of must-haves for a night out, but the Air Repair rescue balm has already become my favorite everyday product. It’s an all-purpose moisturizer for lips and skin. (I had a dry patch on my lip that wasn’t healing even after applying Vaseline and ChapStick for two weeks; this Air Repair product did the trick in two days.)
- Air Repair Rescue Balm
- Blow Out Hairspray
- Help I Have a Blister
- Help I Have a Headache
- Tatcha Blotting Pads
- MBeze Cruizee Natural Deodorette
A huge thanks to 3FLOZ! That rescue balm was a lifesaver!(View comments)
I feel like a broken record with all of these D.C. trips over the last couple of years, but we love the city and couldn’t resist a cheap flight to the capital for Labor Day weekend. Our itinerary includes cocktails at the acclaimed Columbia Room, paddle boating in Tidal Basin and a late-summer baseball game. I hope you have a wonderfully relaxing holiday weekend!(View comments)
Dave and I had been talking about a summer weekend in Chicago ever since we visited the city in December for Christmas shopping along the Magnificent Mile. That weekend was unseasonably cold, rainy, windy, and didn’t allow for any time outdoors. A late-July visit just had to be better. So, we jumped at the chance to plan a warm-weather escape when Hotel Lincoln invited us to stay for a weekend. Unfortunately, it was on the chilly side again. (I even had to buy a pair of tights. In July.) But, a 65-degree day is always better than freezing temps with a full itinerary and a gorgeous hotel to keep us in good spirits.
The original Hotel Lincoln was built in the 1920s. It eventually became a Days Inn, fell into disrepair and closed for six years before Joie de Vivre Hospitality took over the property in 2010. The new owners gave it a multi-million dollar face lift with a vintage-meets-modern vibe. There’s a gallery wall of bad art, more fabrics and textures than you can count, a reception desk made of antique drawers (not all open, but some have candy in them), and a quirky menagerie scattered around the hotel. Really, it shouldn’t work, but it does.
I can’t believe a hotel with such prime real estate sat vacant for six years. Hotel Lincoln doesn’t waste a bit of the incredible Lincoln Park and Lake Michigan views. The hotel’s rooftop lounge, The J.Parker, overlooks the lake. It’s an upbeat, upscale venue with craft cocktails and imaginative shared plates. We snagged a quiet table to share a light dinner and toast to our weekend in The Windy City. The lonely Peekytoe crab beignet below is testament to how delicious it was (we remembered the camera just before devouring the last one). The fries with paprika aioli were a surprising standout. It’s open seating with a few reserved spots. If you’re planning to stay for snacks, arrive early to swoop in on a just-abandoned table.
The next morning, we enjoyed breakfast at Perennial Virant, the street-level restaurant connecting to the hotel. The interior is beautiful with large farm style tables and plush seating. We ordered the housemade sausage and the three-egg skillet. Honestly, the sausage was a little dry, but the side of breakfast potatoes mixed with cheese curds was incredible - so much so that I Instagrammed it, Facebooked it and raved about it to our friends that evening. (Wisconsin should have been doing that for years!) The real highlight were the fried green tomatoes (a surprise from the chef). I first tried the Southern dish in Savannah earlier this year and Perennial’s version was just as good. We ended brunch with breakfast cocktails: a Bloody Mary garnished with an elk stick (seriously) for Dave and I sipped on a seasonal mimosa made with fresh raspberries.
We stayed in a junior king suite with a breathtaking view of the lake, a spacious seating area and two bathrooms (!). I’m happy to report that the reception area’s kitschy design flows into the guest rooms, albeit in a much more understated way. A serene palette of olive, blue and brown creates a sophisticated backdrop for the hotel’s signature red accents. At check in, you’re warned that finding some of the amenities is a bit of a scavenger hunt. I forgot about this the next morning when I was searching for the hairdryer. Eventually I did find it, along with an extra roll of toilet paper and additional bedding. Historic hotel don’t always have the closet space to accommodate these necessities, but it adds to the charm. (I know that “historic” and “charm” are sometimes code words for less-than-stellar accommodations, but Hotel Lincoln doesn’t skimp on the upgrades. There’s a fairly large flat screen TV, an iPhone dock and Kohler fixtures.)
Make reservations with Hotel Lincoln online or by calling 855-514-8112. Upgraded stays are available with special packages like the “Bark in the Park” package for pups (a doggie turndown service!) or the “Bed to Baseball” package (a romantic getaway with your guy?). No Chicago plans yet? Keep up with the hotel on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook.
A huge thank you to Hotel Lincoln for the incredible stay!(View comments)
When Dave gave me an iPad Mini for Christmas last year, I’ll admit that one of my first thoughts was “ooh, now I can buy a cute case for it!” Unfortunately, there wasn’t a lot to choose from at the time and I settled for protecting it with a scarf when we traveled. It certainly wasn’t the best solution, but it worked until something better came along. So, you can imagine how thrilled I was when M-Edge reached out about their Trina Turk collaboration. An iPad Mini case with Turk’s signature designs? Count me in! Fortunately, it’s not all about the aesthetics with this case (although that’s a huge selling point). It’s generously padded and has a soft microfiber lining to keep the device safely stowed away. Much better than a flimsy scarf!
I have my eye on that yellow and grey case for the day I finally upgrade my phone to the iPhone5. (It probably won’t be too much longer. The home button on my iPhone 4 will sometimes open an app when pressed instead of closing everything.)
Special thanks to M-Edge for sending over the iPad case for review!(View comments)
We were invited down to Chicago for a stay at Hotel Lincoln last weekend. I’ll let you know more about the hotel next week, but I first wanted to share our recommendations for a weekend in The Windy City.View comments)
We’ve been meaning to go up to my parents’ house all summer and finally made the trek to Northern Wisconsin last weekend. It was the perfect excuse to continue north to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula on Saturday. (We were just a hop, skip and a jump away, after all.) We spent the day exploring Houghton, stopping at a couple of breweries and taking a walk along Agate Beach on Lake Superior.View comments)
I couldn’t resist a generous offer from Hotel Lincoln to spend a couple of nights in The Windy City next weekend. We’re planning to snap touristy photos at The Bean, go on the Ferris wheel, dine at The J. Parker, take an architecture boat tour and try a few new-to-me beers at The Bad Apple. What else should we add to our must-do list?View comments)