Browsing Tag

Weekend Getaway

Peach salad at Trace Austin

A Vegetarian in Austin: The 6 Best Things I Ate in Town

Because I don’t eat meat, I’m frequently limited when I travel. When I visit many other countries or cities, I don’t expect to eat the regional delicacy — and I’m respectfully OK with that. But on more than one occasion, I’ve found myself pleasantly surprised that I’ve been able to eat very, very well in places I didn’t expect that would be possible.

One such place was Austin, where I assumed I’d find a city overflowing with pulled pork and steak or whatever kind of barbecue meat eaters eat. (#Clueless.) Such was not the case. I found plenty of barbecue, of course — but that included a vegetarian barbecue sandwich I’d gladly pick as my sole desert-island food. It also included a huge selection of light and health-minded fare, including an impeccable peach salad and melon soup, just right for the 100-degree heat. And of course, it included some pretty epic dessert (which I approached in totally unrestrained fashion because vacation.)

So if you’re a vegetarian in Austin, or going to Austin, I present for your consideration a few of my favorite things in town:

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Barton Springs Pool Austin, Texas

48 Hours in Austin, Texas: The 7 Best Things I Did in Town

Regular readers of this blog will know that I’m a chronic sufferer of FOMO. (In fact, I characterized it as the most debilitating of my pregnancy symptoms last summer, which was really saying a lot.)

But I just came back from a perfect weekend getaway with the hubs — less than 48 hours — in which I somehow managed to feel like I had both soaked up a ton of local culture, and also scored some much-needed rest and rejuvenation. And despite the shortness of the trip, I didn’t come home feeling any FOMO.

Our weekender was in Austin, Texas. And although neither hubby nor I had ever before been there, we found it a perfectly paced town where there is plenty to do and see, but not an air of pressure that you must see everything on a list or else you have somehow blown a major opportunity. (I hate that feeling.)

In fact, before we left on this trip, I solicited some advice from travel blogger friends, as well as a pal who lived in Austin during graduate school. Here’s what the latter said about it in an email: “The good thing about Austin is that you can just soak up the vibe and not feel like you have to do any one, or 10, particular things. If you have some good food, margaritas, and hear a little music, then you’ve gotten a good slice of the city.”

And, after my visit, I found that description of the Southern city just exactly right: Austin is a place where you can find what your particular personality seeks — food, music, sun, culture, shopping, whatever — and come home enriched and restored. I loved that.

It also helped that we were so well located when we visited, thanks to our gracious host hotel, the W Austin. It’s right downtown in the Second Street District (literally right next door to the famous Austin City Limits music venue), and allowed us to walk (even in 100-degree heat) or take a few-dollar Uber ride easily around town to see a ton of great stuff without much effort or advanced planning.

That said, here are my absolute favorite things we did with our 48 hours in Austin, Texas: a little weekend getaway that felt like so much more.  Continue Reading

Riviera Palm Springs pool
Los Angeles Living, Travel

24 Hours in Palm Springs: A Perfectly Rounded Vacation in Just a Day

These days — with the demands of infant twins plus career plus being a grownup — at any given moment, I’d say I deserve a vacation more than ever before.

One (of the infinity) great things about living in Los Angeles is we have easy access to the desert, and 24 hours in Palm Springs can make a person feel totally refreshed, rejuvenated, and… tan.

So last weekend, hubs and I headed out for an overnighter at the Riviera Palm Springs that we sorely needed and enjoyed. We were going to take the babes, but decided it was better to leave them instead in the care of their grandparents when the weather forecast said (wait for it) 115. Fortunately, I can’t get enough of the heat myself.

Here’s what our mini-break looked like. Continue Reading

La Quinta Resort & Club at sunset
Family Life, Travel

Twins’ First Holiday! 5 Things I Learned About Taking Babies to Hotels

After you have babies, it’s all about firsts: first foods, first consonant sounds, first time crawling, first time pulling up to stand.

When it comes to travel, I’ve written here about our firsts as new parents since the twins were born: my first business trip at 12 weeks postpartum, our first couples’ driving trip away without babies, our first trip by air since they were born.

At last, just as the twins turned 10 months old, I’m excited to share about our first holiday together as a family of four… which also included the twins’ first hotel stay, and their first time in the pool. (Spoiler alert: too, too fun and such a special and cherished family memory!)

Here’s what we did: Continue Reading

Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills
Los Angeles Living, Travel

A Luxe Babymoon Staycation (Or Combatting the Summer Pregnancy Symptom Known as FOMO), wee

I often hear people talk about how awful it was for them, or must be for me, to be heavily pregnant in the summertime. And I generally disagree wholeheartedly—it’s been mostly fine! But there is one majorly uncomfortable issue with being pregnant in these hot months, and it’s not the heat. Here’s the real reason why summertime pregnancy is tough: FOMO.

Given I’m carrying twins—and big ones at that, about six pounds each (!!) at last measure—I outgrew maternity jeans weeks ago, and closed-toed shoes on my swollen dogs sound like torture. So, thanks especially to my wardrobe of flow-y caftans and maxi dresses from the likes of Rachel Pally and T Bags, being pregnant in the summer suits me just fine (notwithstanding that three-week period when our home AC decided to poop out, because: Murphy’s Law).

But there’s this: Summer is my jam. My husband has always said I have a solar battery, and I get totally charged when things heat up. I want to be everywhere, every weekend: somewhere far flung out of town, somewhere fab within driving range, or at the beach or hiking right here in L.A.

Now that I’m close to 36 weeks pregnant and using a motorized cart just to get around Target, aint none of that happening.

My best friends all planned a camping/July 4 party weekend in Northern California, and I gulped with—what was it? Envy? Longing? (Maybe acid reflux.) It would be the first time, pretty much ever, that I’d miss out on a trip like that. I even sort of half considered, “Well, maybe…” and then I’d remembered that these days I cannot actually turn over in bed without David’s help, or make it to the bathroom at night without using multiple pieces of furniture as crutches, or that I could go into labor any day. So even relentlessly, mercilessly festive me had to admit it was time to wave the white flag on that idea.

But! We had a plan. Continue Reading

Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs pool scene

Babymoon Part Deux: A Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs Weekend (Including Shameless Bikini Bumpin’!*)

*Bikini baby bump not pictured anywhere here, obvi, hello.

As long as I can waddle, I can try to squeeze in one more babymoon. (I should put that in a pretty script font and circulate it as Instagram wisdom — because you can mark my words, so help me.)

No, but seriously. Our big European adventure was the technical last hurrah before babies — but so were Vietnam, Bali and Belize. So that’s how we do.

The next few trips on the docket are weekenders, including last weekend’s little Palm Springs jaunt. (A quick trip to the desert is something we’d talked about even while freezing our tushies off in Venice and Paris especially.) We stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs, which had just made its debut with an official grand opening party the week before. The Hard Rock replaces (and totally revamps) the former Hotel Zoso on Indian Canyon Drive — walking distance from basically everything. Continue Reading


Sunday in Berlin

I arrived in Berlin solo on Saturday afternoon after traveling all night on a fully packed and airless 747, during which I remained awake and eagle eyed merely inches from my seat mate who was a ringer for Gary Coleman, but that’s neither here nor there.

I was a jet-lagged zombie on my first day in town, but had a short weekend to explore before my scheduled departure for Hamburg Sunday afternoon and wanted to make the most of it. As I was feebly showing myself the sights in Mitte near my hotel, I asked a couple of traveling Americans to take a photo for me, and they turned out to be those extra vigilant people who take enough shots that you’ll be sure to be happy with at least one, and who actually pay attention to lighting and framing (the best kind of people). They also told me about this free tour I really ought to pick up the next day at 11 a.m. from the Starbucks next to the Brandenburg Gate to make the best use of my short time in town. A fortuitous meeting, as it turns out! Continue Reading