I just returned from an incredible four day trip to Florence (Firenze), Italy with a big group of girlfriends. As you can imagine, there was never a dull moment with lots of food, wine, no sleep, and lots of activity. The trip was incredibly planned and I thoroughly enjoyed my first trip to this beautiful city.
We stayed at the most beautiful place. This is the view from one of the apartment’s kitchens. DUOMO. Stunning.
Since vacation is quickly approaching, here is my list of books to read! For whatever reason, I’ve been too busy to read this Fall, but with vacation around the corner, I am excited to try to tackle the following list:
1. Little Fires Everywhere (Celeste Ng)
After spending the weekend in Costanoa, we continued our California vacation by spending a couple of days around Stanford University. As readers of the blog know, Ken and I started dating at graduate school at Stanford (although Ken and my brother were best friends and roommates at Amherst for undergraduate). It was extra special to be there with the kids and show them the various places that had an impact on our life (i.e. dating –> love –> marriage –> life –> kids). Not only did we go to Stanford, but my father did as well for graduate school (right after marrying my mother), so this place is special to the whole family, and not just me and Ken. Take a look at the pictures (and I promise this will be our last post on our vacations, as we return to NYC so soon).
My (good looking) squad at the hotel.
Greetings from beautiful Northern California! We just had an amazing weekend catching up with our Stanford friends in Costanoa. Part camping, part hotel; basically high-end roughing it. Not camping, but pretending to camp.
Our bungalow, aka a yurt. This little shelter is made up of plastic walls. Like a tent, but actually a little cottage.
We returned Sunday night from our Third Annual Sonoma Trip with a small group of our Stanford friends. It continues to be a wonderful tradition and something we look forward to each summer. If you have never been to wine country in CA before, I highly suggest doing it– beautiful vineyard views, hot dry weather, delicious farm-to-table-food, and of course… amazing local wine. Can life be any better? Thank you to our wonderful friends and hosts, Kimmers and Joe. Enjoy the photos — I want to go back now!
The guest house we stayed at on our friend’s property. We took over a cabin close to the main house and it was oh so cute (and all four of us Natoris slept in the same bed for three nights!)
I just returned from a quick trip to Paris where I completed by 4th Paris Marathon (7th marathon total). It was great fun — both the trip itself and the run, and now I am looking forward to not traveling, not doing long runs, and staying put….. at least for the next couple of months (I have already planned my next two marathons…). Here are pictures of the weekend! (And what day is it today?)
We landed at 2 pm on Saturday, 16 hours before race time. So the only thing we could do that day was go to the Expo to pick up our bibs and get settled for the race next morning. YUP. The race at 8:20 am the next morning! Here is our feast pre-race.
We are now full swing back to reality with school, tutoring, responsibilities, etc…so it seems hard to think that we were just in Oregon a couple of days ago — it seems like an eternity. I already miss my parents, the fresh air, the fir trees, the crisp delicious water, and everything Oregon. Here are some pictures of our week skiing in Sunriver, Oregon. Enjoy!
Ken is the downhill teacher. He did an amazing job each day spending half the day with one kid, and then the other half with the other kid. They made huge improvements!
We just returned from a special 40th birthday party of a very dear friend in the French Alps. It was a weekend of snow, ski, rose, fondue, meat, relaxation, and lots of fun. An incredible experience that we will never forget.
Val D’Isere is located in the French Alps, a three hour drive from Geneva. We landed early morning in Geneva, took a bus to our chalet, got fitted for skis, and went straight to the mountain. No wasted time!
Introduced by a good friend, I had the privilege of meeting Jordan Rhodes, the creator of the website Glimpse Guides. The website shares Jordan’s travel finds, reports on current fashion for children and adults, and provides a wide variety of travel tips for families. It is a great resource when booking trips with kids. (She also featured my tips on traveling in Paris… take a look here). As a mother of two (with the third on the way!), Jordan manages to visit, write, and post inspirational and helpful content — thank you so much!
Jordan (pregnant with her third child) and her husband this past Fall in Skibo Castle in Scotland. Her family loves Scotland as there are so many outdoor activities for all ages, and the beautiful, remote landscape is unrivaled.
Bonjour! Hello from NYC after a whirlwind trip celebrating Mother’s Day with my special mother-in-law Josie Natori! As most of you know, I have a deep profound love for Paris and feel that it is my second home (Cruzzie corrected me and said “third’ — after NYC and Oregon, so true true). As it had been over a year since I had last been there, I was dying to get there. So my mother-in-law and I (just the two of us), jumped on a plane and went there for the long weekend. And what a special and wonderful treat it was. I am currently cross-eyed from no sleep (Jet Lag and I don’t mix), and we #ShoppedTillWeDropped, but it was so special and fun; a weekend to always remember. Take a look.
The view from the apartment. There is just something so special and glamorous about the buildings there. #BuildingEnvy
After our wonderful vacation in Mexico with my parents, we headed to Puerto Rico with the Natori Seniors…YUP #hardlife and YUP #travelwithparents. We had a luxurious, lavish, relaxing, and fun 5 days (just like last year. Same vacation, different year). Take a look at the pictures….wish I was back there NOW! NYC is flipping cold and un-Spring like.
Bucerias, Mexico to Puerto Rico isn’t exactly a direct flight. We had 4 hour layover in Dallas, so we killed time (at the kids’ request) by taking the airport monorail in circles for 45 minutes. #KillingTime
Like last year, we spent the first portion of Spring Break in Bucerias, Mexico at my uncle’s beach house. My mother, born and raised in Mexico City, still has two brothers that live in Mexico. And fortunately for us, one of them has a beautiful beach house in Bucerias, a sleepy-non-tourist town north of Puerto Vallarta, on the west coast of Mexico. Here are the highlights from our ten day vacation with Nana and Tata!
Happy 2016 and back to reality! We are back to the routine (school, work, pressure, paying attention to time, the hustle and bustle of the city, oh me oh my!), which makes me even more nostalgic of last week’s Sunriver vacation with my family. Although my dad claims that there is “family” and “vacation” and no such thing as “family vacation,” I happen to disagree. We had the best time with my brother, sister-in-law, parents, nieces and nephew; and loved every minute of our time with them. Here are some pictures to enjoy!
SNOW! And lots of it! Unlike the 70 degree Christmas in NYC, the West Coast was hammered with cold temperatures and lots of snow — perfect for a ski vacation!
Fall is in full swing and I am (incredibly) nostalgic about sunshine, bathing suits, vacation, less scheduled time, and popsicles. So throwback (#MondayMemories — such a thing, HA!) to August when we traveled with our best friends (who don’t like the internet) and all our kids to one of my favorite places to travel: Sunriver, Oregon. Growing up, we would go there twice a year for family vacations; always to ski. Winter ski trip and Spring ski trip. Only once did I go to Sunriver in the summer, when I was invited in middle school with a friends’ family. Our trip this summer did not disappoint and we thoroughly enjoyed each and every minute — activities, relaxation, and quality time all together.
An ice cream a day keeps the doctor away. A crowd favorite, ice cream (and candy) from good ‘ol Goody’s!
The Kiini bikini! This new popular all-over-the-place bikini is completely mainstream, but I am hopping on the bandwagon. Obsessed! I love the look, the colors, the vibe. This crochet bikini is handmade, so no two are alike. The classic triangle form is the perfect shape and the material embodies the bohemian Josie Girl vibe. What is not to love?
Crochet form. (Note: this is inside out — the tag should be inside and not showing)
Happy Spring Break! As mentioned on Monday, I spent the first half of Spring Break with my family in Mexico, summarized here in 5 pictures. Now we are in Dorado Beach in Puerto Rico with my in-laws. To keep up with the 5 picture theme and little words (shorter and funnier), here are cinco pictures of our current trip.
Kids’ heaven. Playground with multiple airplanes. It is always deserted with very few people, and we are so happy to be there.
Happy Monday! I just (barely) survived my first solo travel excursion with both kids. To make it easy, we made the trip to Mexico…. with a stopover…. and a forty minute drive (joking on the easy part). All worth it to meet my parents on vacation (I meet Ken, who couldn’t take two weeks off, next week), but boy, was it an effort!
The below (while not taken yesterday), summarizes my (our) feelings.
Toosh… Make a mad face
HOW ABOUT ‘EM (pine)APPLES???
Pineapples and tushies. I’ll take two of them.
We just arrived in Florida after a solid week of lounging / eating / lounging / eating / lounging / eating at my brother’s house in Seattle. My brother, who happens to not just be my brother but also Ken’s best friend from college, along with his wife, 3 kids, cat and dog hosted the 4 of us, my parents, sister and mother-in-law all in their home. Gracious, open, and welcoming as always, we had the best time with them all. Thank you so much, Proskurowski-Rob family for taking us in to your beautiful home and letting us bounce off your walls for the week. And thank you to my parents, who like always, fed, spoiled, and took care of us all. Although I am wider than last week, I am more refilled with love from those closest to me. We love you so much and miss you all, already! Here are pictures to recap our vacation in Seattle.
Space!!! Needle! Space Needle!
Hola from Puerto Rico! Today is our last morning in tropical paradise before we head back to Nueva Yorka. We have been here for the past 5 days on a family vacation with the Natori Seniors. And what a perfect time we have had! I know, SUPER annoying to the (cold and snowy) New Yorkers (sorry!)…but really, it has truly been a great escape! Here are some pictures of our trip! Enjoy!
Looking up at the sky never made me so happy.
We are in Florida now after an incredibly relaxing and enjoyable week in Sunriver, Oregon with my parents. Although not as bad as last year, we missed a connection on the way out and had to rent a car and drive four hours from Portland. No matter what a pain in the arse traveling across the country is with two kids, two car seats, a stroller and five million bags, it is worth every second to be with my parents. Enjoy the pics!
The area around the Sunriver resort is usually covered with snow this time of year. Not this time. So no ski-out cross country skiing. At least we got to enjoy the high desert scenery.
Frequent readers of the blog know that I am royally obsessed with coconuts. See here and here and here and here. And not just to drink or eat, but also to smell. The smell is so tropical and laid back, that when I smell coconut, I instantly think of vacation. Yep, vacationing in NYC with concrete, vertical, grey, massive buildings and coconut oil. Livin the vida loca.
We are back in New York after an amazing week of skiing, eating, and relaxing with the family in Oregon. We went to Sunriver, a resort 2.5 hours west of Eugene that I grew up going to my whole childhood. While I always went in the winter and skied at Mt. Bachelor (40 minutes away), it is very popular in the summer as well, and has amazing, hiking, fishing, and golf.
For those of you looking for an “out West” ski option that is more mellow and less New York than Aspen, Jackson Hole, or Sun Valley, Sunriver is a great option. Enjoy the pics! (For those of you who can’t make it out West, there was a great article in the Sunday Times Travel section this weekend about skiing in Maine. I have never been, but want to go now!)
Sunriver. A 40 minute drive from the Redmond/Bend airport, which is less than a 2 hour flight from SLC and SFO.
The main lodge. We always rent a house on the property (as most people do), but there are traditional hotel rooms as well. That’s Mt. Bachelor in the background. Gorgeous.
As we just returned from our babymoon on Tuesday and the food was memorable and delicious, here are some of the highlights of the yummy-ness we experienced on our President’s Day weekend holiday….
Some people get normal breakfasts, but not Ken. Ken *always* likes to experience the local cuisine and eat whatever they suggest. Breakfasts are usually his time to experiment and explore new foods. This is salted fish with Antiguan chop. And yep, he ate it for breakfast. Oatmeal or salted fish? Easy choice for Ken!
The hotel makes their own organic jam with local fruits. I am not sure exactly what type of fruit jams they were, but in any case, they were delicious and I could not stop eating them....
I am a sucker for all pastry baskets.
Each morning they had a "special juice" -- on this particular day it was papaya and pineapple. So tasty -- it was like drinking a papaya whole. And the lattes were a special treat as well.
Last weekend was a relaxing and terrific time, but we are truly looking forward to our normal family weekend routine here in NYC. Soccer class, Brooklyn Aquarium, Central Park visits, grocery shopping, cuddling, relaxing, and being together as a family. Until Friday!
— Anika Yael Natori, aka The Josie Girl.
For better or worse, we decided to leave our little pot of gold behind and take a weekend trip with just the two of us. We debated back and forth whether or not to go as we had never really left our Monkey behind — especially for 4 days. After lots of debates, tears, emotions, and anxiety, we both realized that this was our only chance to get away just the two of us before the storm hits (a.k.a. second baby), and so Antigua it was. Although we both missed our King Cruz more than anything, it was an incredible chance to be together and simply do n.o.t.h.i.n.g. I can’t remember the last time that I slept as much as I did, or just stared off into the distance without any real concerns…..not that we didn’t skype with Cruzzie 4 times a day and get 4 texts a day with information on how he ate, slept, etc…. but I was able to let go (a little) and just focus on us. As hard as it was, it was an absolute blast…and it’s not going to happen again for another 5 years….
Ken was engrossed with his book "Steve Jobs" the entire time. He found it inspirational, motivating, and captivating. I, too, read a great book -- "The Marriage Plot."
At our resort, each room was a little hut. It was a small and secluded area with only 25 rooms, so it was incredibly quiet, peaceful, and relaxing.