Weekend Recap: Staycation

This weekend was fun and BUSY. My bff since first grade came to visit from New York and we had a blast with a mini-Baltimore staycation. We did a staycation in DC last summer, and followed the same pattern this year by choosing a hotel with a rooftop pool. Backing up a bit, Friday night was low key with a frozen chicken parm meal from Trinacria. Saturday morning I woke up early for a mani/pedi followed by my favorite gyro salad for lunch at Samos before picking up my visiting bff from the bus station.

Then the real fun began as we checked into our room at the Hyatt Regency. This hotel was definitely a bit of a splurge, but worth it for the outdoor pool and location. We quickly changed into our swimsuits and headed to the pool deck to post up for the afternoon. The pool was small but perfect for our needs and surrounded by lots of comfy couches and lounge chairs. The view of the harbor was awesome and we enjoyed a lovely afternoon in the sunshine alternating between soaking in the pool, laying out and sipping bay breezes.

After a few hours by the pool we were craving Mexican food and ended up at Blue Agave for guac and enchiladas. Following dinner we ended up back on the Hyatt pool deck for s’mores at the fire pit! We bought a s’mores kit at the front desk complete with graham crackers, marshmallows, chocolate and a long stick for marshmallow roasting. It was a gorgeous night and we has a blast acting like kids and setting our marshmallows on fire. I can’t remember the last time I had a s’more and it was delicious.

Saturday morning we woke up early for the Baltimore Women’s Classic 5k.  I ran the race last year and was excited to participate again. It was another great experience and we enjoyed the supportive, inspiring feeling that comes from a women-only race. It was a HOT morning and we certainly worked up a sweat during the race. After the race we went back to the hotel for much-needed showers and checked out before post-race refueling brunch at Metropolitan. I ordered a croissant sandwich with egg, cheese and turkey sausage that hit the spot!

To cap off the weekend with more eating, we got carry out pasta from Grano. You choose your noodle and you choose your sauce. Hello drool-worthy spaghetti Bolognese, house salad and bread with olive oil.


What was the highlight of your weekend? Have you ever done a staycation?

Weekend Recap: Wedding Festivities

This weekend we celebrated the wedding of one of Adam’s cousins to his amazing longtime girlfriend. There were multiple days of celebrations and I enjoyed the opportunity to soak up quality time with Adam’s extended family. I’d say the weekend really kicked off Thursday at lunch when I got this delicious pizza from Blaze. At Blaze they offer a myriad of toppings and let you design your own pie which they then fire in the pizza oven right as you wait. I went pretty simple with red sauce, mozzarella, ricotta and turkey meatball. It was piping hot and oh so yummy.

Blaze Pizza Baltimore Inner Harbor

Keeping in the Italian food theme, Thursday night we headed to Sabatino’s in Little Italy for a wedding welcome dinner. We had private space in their lower level and all enjoyed calamari, sausage and peppers and salad. We were offered a number of entree choices and I opted for the chicken alle marche – rigatoni with chicken, broccoli and alfredo sauce. It was very rich and I brought home enough leftovers to enjoy for lunch the next day! It was a fun place to kick-off wedding festivities and welcome all of the out of towners who had traveled in.

Friday was the wedding and I left work early for a blow out at Houte Blow Dry Bar in Harbor East. After a quick blow dry, I left with bouncy waves and went home to change before heading to Belmont Manor Historic Park. The venue was gorgeous and we sipped on strawberry lemonade while we waited for the ceremony to start. After a beautiful ceremony (that included the couples’ dogs), we enjoyed cocktail hour on the lawn and spent the rest of the evening sipping champagne and tearing up the dance floor.

crabs at captain james

Saturday we ventured across town to Captain James for a post-wedding crab feast! This was a blast and such a great, relaxed way to see everyone again after the wedding. Our party took over the covered patio overlooking the water and dined on crab soup, steamed corn on the cob and crabs, crabs, crabs. It was so fun to see out of town family trying their hand at cracking crabs and getting a real taste of Baltimore!

After all of that celebrating, I was exhausted and passed out for a nap. Adam snapped a photo of the hilarious way Jack is snoozing with me!

nap with dog

Sunday we got back together with family for brunch to celebrate all the dads. We noshed on bagels and cream cheese, mini quiches and shrimp cocktail and finished things out with birthday cake for my father-in-law’s bday. We rounded out the weekend with some grocery shopping and ramen and went to bed early!!

Friday Five: Summa, Summa, Summatime

Happy Friday, everyone! This Friday Five is brought to you by my scatterbrain that just wants to go outside and play. ::looks longingly out the window::

  1. I have GOT to get to a farmer’s market this weekend! I’ve been so busy lately I haven’t gotten to one yet this season, but I love a good excuse to wake up early, soak in the sunshine, pick up a breakfast sammy and get my veggies for the week. I think I might head to the Baltimore Museum of Industry’s farmer’s market after Dance2Fitness on Saturday, but the market under the JFX on Sundays is always a good option, too.
  2. Looking forward to the Chesapeake Crab & Beer Festival next weekend! I sort of wish I opted for the 5K + crabfest ticket, but let’s be honest… when the time arrives, I’ll just want my crabs, sans three-mile sweatfest beforehand.
  3. My sister will be in town in a few weeks and I’ve been trying to brainstorm some fun things to do with her that aren’t your typical tourist activities. She’s a UMD alum and has been to Baltimore several times before, so she’s already done the Inner Harbor tourist-trap thang. I’m thinking Mount Vernon Marketplace and duckpin bowling. Any other must-do activity ideas?
  4. Want all-you-can-drink beer + a chance to win a trip to an adult camp in Colorado? Baltimore Social is throwing an end-of-season party next Thursday, June 23. It’s free if you played in the league this season, but if not, register online and pay $10 at the door. The event includes free beer, a flip cup tourney (winner gets free camp registration), sailing regatta, cornhole and more.
  5. I’m sad I haven’t gotten to any WTMD First Thursday concerts yet, and it looks like I’ll be out of town for their July concert as well! If you’re around, definitely plan to head to the Canton Waterfront on the first Thursday of the month (through September) for a free concert with incredible bands handpicked by Baltimore radio station WTMD.

What are you all excited about this summer? Let us know what’s going on in the comments! I’ll leave ya with a summer jam.


Linking up with Heather for Friday Faves.


A Different Kind of Circus

Last week, one of Cirque du Soleil’s newest shows – TORUK – The First Flight, which was inspired by James Cameron’s Avatar, came to Baltimore! And, we had the chance to not only see the show, but to go backstage earlier in the day and see how the show comes together.


Personally, this was my sixth Cirque du Soleil show; I just can’t seem to get enough of them, but my first time backstage! However, this one was very different from the other shows I have seen. For the first time in Cirque history, this show has an English narrator and is more about telling a story than simply showing the crowd amazing acrobatics. Don’t get me wrong, the acrobatics we have come to love are still there throughout the show, but this time, the main purpose of the show is to follow three main characters on a journey in an attempt to unite five clans in order to save their population.

TORUK – The First Flight is set as a prequel to James Cameron’s Avatar and showcases some new characters who Cameron himself approved and noted that the audience might meet again in future Avatar installments.

The show is one of the largest sets in Cirque history and uses more technology than your average Cirque show, as well. In the afternoon, we got to see the artists preparing for the evening event and the stage set in its raw form.


By the time that we arrived for the evening performance, the set had been completely transformed with the use of video mapping and projection. Through this technology, the team was able to change the setting of the story throughout the world of Pandora without ever changing the physical stage set. The lighting and projection were spectacular and really made the audience feel as if they were part of the show. To incorporate the audience even more, the show has an app, and all audience members are encouraged to download it and participate with their phones at various points throughout the show.

Overall, the whole experience was fun and new, and definitely something that I would recommend for a family outing. I cannot wait until the next Cirque du Soleil production rolls into Baltimore!

Disclaimer: Guest post by Brittany Vanderpool. We received two complimentary tickets to attend the show as well as the behind the scenes tour. As always, all thoughts and opinions remain our own.


Friday Five (Spring Happenings)

To celebrate the end of the rain and the return of the glorious sun to Baltimore – here are five things we’re looking forward to this spring:

  1. Outdoor movies: From the AVAM’s Flicks from the Hill to the watching Minions at M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore has a number of outdoor movie options! There’s something cozy about packing a picnic and maybe a box of wine and enjoying an outdoor film with your neighbors. Baltimore steamed crabs
  2. Crabs: Nothing says Baltimore like cracking into a hot steamed crab. Working to get every bit of crab meat as the Old Bay burns your eyes and throat – in a good way. Head to LP Steamers and dive into a pile of crabs, hush puppies and curly fries. Yum.
  3. Free fitness classes: Waterfront Partnership is hosting a series of free fitness classes as part of their “Waterfront Wellness” campaign. Meet in the Harbor for free barre, boot camp and yoga! Check out the Waterfront Wellness free fitness classes schedule here. TORUK Cirque du soleil Baltimore
  4. Cirque du Soleil: a brand new show is coming to Royal Farms Arena, TORUK – The First Flight inspired by the movie Avatar, but with the amazing feats and theatrics that cirque is known for. After seeing and loving our first cirque show a few years ago at National Harbor, we were thrilled to be offered tickets to check out Toruk when it comes through Baltimore June 9-12!
  5. Beach: Heading to Bethany next weekend and couldn’t be more excited. Ready for that salt air, the feel of sand beneath my toes and a few rounds of miniature golf.

What are you looking forward to this spring? 

And since it’s Friday, we’re linking up with Heather, Courtney, Cynthia and Mar.