April Florida Trip

When we heard Seth’s parents and sister were headed to Florida for a week, we decided to join them for part of their vacation. There is so much to do there which makes a great place to meet up. Highlights of our trip were a waterslide park, trips to the beach, and a full day spent in Key West (my first time there), where we visited Hemingway’s house and of course indulged in some Key Lime pie. We loved the laid-back atmosphere of Key West and would love to return for a longer stay. But we were also satisfied with taking it easy in the sand and walking along the boardwalk in Hollywood Beach.

Thanks for all the fun, Ron, Carol, and Renée!

Ice Cream Sandwich

Can you spot the baby frog? There were teeny, tiny frogs *everywhere* on the beach at the lake near Seth’s parents’ place… and tadpoles in the water!

Fun with Aunt Née

Snack Break

Ernest Hemingway’s House

Southernmost Point of the continental U.S.

Train Excitement

The trip back from Key West

A Day in Cold Spring

We spent yesterday in Cold Spring, our go-to destination when we want a taste of something different but don’t want to travel too far and have nothing more than a spare diaper or two on us. In other words, our plan when we haven’t planned.

Cold Spring is lovely for so many reasons. It’s a little town with a sloping hill of a main street ?? lined with casual restaurants, cafés, a few galleries, and several antique shops ?? that leads to the Hudson River.

There are plenty of shops of all kinds, and the general mood is pretty laid-back. One of our favorite places to eat or have a drink is called Silver Spoon. We didn’t make the stop there this time, but it’s been great for catching sports games, grabbing a quick bite (and not just the typical bar fare either), and pretend you’re a local (seems to be filled with regulars). It’s also kid-friendly. Whew.

This storefront is for rent and I hope whoever rents it will keep this cool painting on the facade. It depicts the Hudson River just north of Cold Spring, and that building on the little island is an old over-grown abandoned armory I’ve only seen pictures of.

Once you reach the bottom of the hill, an old passageway leads you under the train tracks and over to the water side. But first, we had to stop at one of our favorite low-key, kid-friendly outdoor restaurants.

The old Cold Spring train station is now a restaurant called the Depot. Every 15 minutes or so a train passes by on the tracks right next to the terrace. At first Jax was scared, but then he and Seth made looking for trains into a game.

This table and little walkway are actually part of the adjoining park. We took a stroll through this passage to take the underpass (that brick structure in the back left of the photo below).

Out on the other side is a pretty jetty with spectacular views of the mountains across the Hudson. It’s remarkable how high ?? and how close ?? they are at this spot.

More train-related fun: a long cargo train passed us along the other side of the river.

The ducks were a little too friendly and had Jax running for cover.

There’s also some more green space along the river.  This is a great field for flying kites or watching the sun set over the mountains.

Good bye for now!

Boston Rain-Out

We spent 24 hours in Boston this past weekend to see Laura and Corey, who were in town for the Seafood Show. Boston is a 3 hour drive from us now, so it seemed a shame to miss them being so close. We booked a hotel through trusty hotwire.com, packed it up and off we went, through hour after hour of rain.

We met up with Laura and Corey on Saturday afternoon at a margarita place that warmed us up, then we walked over to Quincy Market to see something quintessentially Boston, despite the rain. We got majorly soaked. It was that drenching kind of sideways rain when it’s cold and the wind picks up and turns your umbrella into a helicopter.

Recovering, Regrouping

Quincy Market was actually packed with people beginning their St. Paddy’s festivities four days early. We are talking pub crawls with matching T-shirts at 5pm kind of festivities.

Hide and Seek

A certain someone took the liberty of removing a balloon from an ice cream shop’s balcony. It was filled with helium, but Jax did a great job of holding on to it for a surprising amount of time. Then the inevitable float to the ceiling happened.


Corey, Laura, and their friend Shannon from Seafood Watch

Once we made it back to our hotel, we found out it was connected to quite an elaborate mall. Under normal circumstances, hanging out all evening and the next day in a mall would seem like a depressing way to visit a city, but this was in the middle of a Torrential Downpour. And there was a Wagamama’s in the mall. And a Legal Seafood. And wide open hallways for running.

We also used the hotel’s expansive lobbies for chasing and exploring.

Best amenity of all? The pool! We literally didn’t go outside from Saturday evening until we drove away to head back to New York on Sunday afternoon. Laura hadn’t seen much of Boston before, so I’m glad they are staying until Thursday to get a real feel for the place. For us, the real draw was hanging out with my awesome sister and brother-in-law!

Some highlights of our California trip in progress

Blogging on the fly means only iPhone pictures for now. I have many other friends and family members to show off once we have the “big” camera’s charger and cable set-up, but here is a start of what we’ve been up to this week.

First, we hung out in LA, and got to visit The Getty with friends Philip and Stephen. There is an awesome kids’ area there that our favorite toddlers loved. In nicer weather, the gardens are great, but this was a lot of fun too ?? so take your kids there when you’re in the area!

Jax and Stephen create a modern sculpture.

Then we went to Santa Monica and tried out the slides:

The next day we toured the boats Uncle Chuck drives, and Jax got a balloon from the captain himself.

Then it was off to Travel Town to see ?? and ride! ?? trains.

Today, our first full day in San Francisco, Jax and I checked off a lot of the tourist must-dos while Seth did his MacWorld thing.

Pier 39 and the sea lions:

He loved imitating the bark of the sea lions.

and climbing:

Then we had a lovely lunch for two at Fisherman’s Grotto, complete with chowder and harbor view:

We checked out the various fountains at Ghirardelli Square.

He pointed out that there was “dah-tu” (water) and a “tutle” (turtle) in this one.

We then grabbed some hot chocolate, at which point both the camera and phone were dead. We were pretty pooped, too. Since we had gone the whole day on foot (from Union Square to Fisherman’s Warf), we took the easier and more exciting cable car back to the hotel. Jax was really excited about the “a car” (cable car) but the vibrations going up and down all those hills put him to sleep.

And now begins tonight’s quest for delicious noodles and the continuation of our California adventure.

Laura + Corey


As we anxiously await the photos by the talented Jarusha Brown, here is my camera’s version of Laura and Corey’s wedding day, August 27, 2009 (click thumbnails for the full images):

And for our last trip of the summer…

We traveled 6 hours internationally with an 11-month-old to the Gulf Islands in British Columbia. Little sister, Laura, is getting married! I have many photos to share, but here’s a first taste of the beautiful place Laura and Corey now call home:
Mayne Island.

Jeff and Monica


On Saturday we went to the farmer’s market and the fish market:

This crab was delicious.


A dolly was required to transport all the salmon, crabs, and oysters we bought.

Monica, Mom, Laura, and Corey




These are some highlights of our Paris trip. The food was excellent, the city beautiful, but the best part was hanging out with some of our best friends in the whole wide world!

Chez Pralus, on rue Rambuteau, is the new Paris location of this famous Roannais pâtisserie. Known for their delicious praluline, but their chocolate is to die for.

Place des Vosges


We’re going to have to import one of these if they don’t get here soon enough.



Picnic on the Seine, best Paris activity in the summer.







Hanging with Leslie…

…and Knox.

Dinner with Julie and grass place mats.


Meeting Cécilia and Hippolyte for the first time!



Coolest high-chair in the world.

Playing with Corry, Mahmoud, and light.

Waiting in the lounge for the Eurostar to go back to London and catch our plane back home.

London – Part 2

With barely two days in London, we weren’t able to do much, although we did enjoy napping in Hyde Park on multiple occasions. The evening of the first day in London was our only night spent there, so after work, we headed over to our favorite footbridge and then to our favorite chain restaurant in the UK: Wagamama.  On our second day, we met Seth for lunch at a delicious natural foods place (I had a sweet potato portabello burger – portabello mushrooms surrounding a sweet potato pattie, in a bun. delicious!). That evening it was off to Paris on the Eurostar!