Beverly Hills, that’s where I want to be… 

Jordan and I spent 2.5 weeks in April and May of 2016 driving the coast of California. If you’d like to start at the beginning click here.

Beverly Hills California

Our West Coast trip began in Southern California and ended in Northern California. Usually, our stateside trips involve one major city at a time but I really enjoyed exploring different parts of California. Besides my home state of Illinois, I’ve now seen more of California than any other state.

Although Jordan and I stayed closer to the coast, I still feel like I got good glimpses into the personalities of regions of southern, central and northern California. I discovered that Southern California is more my speed but the views as you drive the Pacific Coast Highway towards San Francisco are unbeatable. But that is post for another day. Today we are going to talk about Beverly Hills!

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Weekend Links / / Piles of Laundry

Jordan and I arrived home very late on Wednesday night. Our laundry pile might be out of control, but there is watermelon and La Croix in the fridge and lasagna defrosting for dinner. I made a very smart (unintentional) decision to wait a few days before going back to work. This isn’t always an option but is so helpful, especially in the third trimester. It gives me extra time for all our laundry. 😉

Yesterday, was my glucose test and here’s to hoping I passed! The drink was rather disgusting, especially since the last thing I wanted to consume after a long vacation was added sugar. Afterwards, I scheduled appointments for the remainder of this pregnancy. WHAT?! I can’t believe we are approaching the finish line.

Onto the links!

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Currently / / May

China Town San Francisco

Celebrating | Entering my third trimester! After waiting nearly three years it’s a little hard to believe I’m in the tail of this experience.

Reading | Not nearly as much as I would like. I always think I’ll read a lot on trips, but Jordan and I stay busy so once my head hits the bed I crash. I am about halfway through A Homemade Life which I am loving.

Pondering | The end of a successful road trip through California. These next few months are going to be filled with a lot of baby prep so it was really special having time where life was put on hold.

Sipping | Sparkling water with lots of lime or decaf iced mochas. I have tried a lot of iced mochas on this trip and I have to say the best one I had was from Peet’s Coffee.

Going | Home! Today we are flying home and will have about a week to re-acclimate before we travel to Chicago for our baby shower.

/ / Linking with Anne and Jenna.

Eating at Home in Los Feliz

Home Restaurant in Los Feliz

Jordan and I aren’t travel foodies. We enjoy great food but we don’t usually plan our vacation locations around specific restaurants or cuisines. We’ll go to nice restaurants but what we really enjoy is grocery shopping when we’re in a location long enough.

When we do eat out, often we’ll look around our surroundings (or Yelp or Google) and pick a place that looks good! It’s a pretty simple process that works most of the time.

A personal restaurant recommendation is always best and we happened upon a great one while in the Hollywood Hills.

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Twenty-Four Hours in Kansas City

Country Club Plaza Kansas City

Jordan and I went to Kansas City in December, but due to major first trimester exhaustion I never got around to sharing the photos from our stay. I still loved the photos so better late than never!

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Nashville | Pinewood Social

Pinewood Social in Nashville

I have never experienced a place quite like Pinewood Social. It was one of the first places I frequented once Jordan and I moved to town. A friend invited me for coffee and breakfast and I was instantly smitten. Their food is excellent and the coffee and pastries are outsourced from a local roaster, Crema Coffee.

Pinewood Social is an experience all its own: part restaurant, part bar, part bowling alley and part public swimming pool. Yes, it sounds a bit crazy and eclectic because it is… in only the best way possible! Reservations to bowl are suggested (bowling is $40/hour for one lane) but the pool is first come first serve. Jordan and I can’t get enough of this place.

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Quantity Time with Our Canadians

Explore Nashville

One of my most favorite parts of blogging is the ability to look back and see growth and development: individual growth, but also communal (friendship) growth. Mike and Keira have popped up a few times on A Short Blonde. Jordan and Mike were in two bands that toured together ten years ago (!) but it wasn’t until they came down for a wedding in Chicago two years ago that our friendship as a foursome really developed.

In April we spent several days exploring Toronto with Mike and Keira and a few weeks ago they came to Nashville! I’m excited to see where we’ll meet up next.

We took our job as tour guides seriously and brought them to all of our favorite places: from burgers to pizza, from coffee to books, from records to pumpkins and even a little bit of country music.

Explore Nashville

Explore Nashville

Did you read this article, The Myth of Quality Time? I first heard about it on the Around the Table Podcast. Essentially the author claims it is impossible to plan deep connection. It isn’t quality time, but quantity time which allows for relationships to blossom.

We delude ourselves when we say otherwise, when we invoke and venerate “quality time,” a shopworn phrase with a debatable promise: that we can plan instances of extraordinary candor, plot episodes of exquisite tenderness, engineer intimacy in an appointed hour.”

It is in the mundane weekends, running errands, folding laundry and cooking dinner where marriages become strengthened. It is the family vacations and weekend visits where deep conversations happen randomly while kids are running around in circles. Despite the fact that Mike and Keira live in another country the only kind of time we’ve experienced together has been amazing; quantity filled with quality.

Explore Nashville

Barista Parlor Nashville

^ If you leave Nashville without visiting at least two coffee shops you didn’t do it right! 😉

Explore Nashville

Explore Nasvhille

Explore Nasvhille

^ I didn’t realize we matched like a family Christmas card until AFTER I began going through the photos! Haha.

/ / Want to leave a reply?

Cincinnati | Findlay Market

Cincinnati | Findlay Market

While in Cincinnati, Jordan and I, along with our friends, spent a few hours exploring and eating lunch at Findlay Market. I’m not sure if I have mentioned this before, but after high school Jordan spent a year in Cincinnati going through an internship program. While he was an intern he lived with a host family and over the past decade we have remained close, even vacationing together!

I was born in Dayton, Ohio about an hour away from Cincinnati but my understanding of the city is only from our different visits. Did you know Cincinnati was settled in the late 1780s? I really didn’t realize it was so old; To give a comparison, Chicago wasn’t incorporated until 1837. Cincy’s Findlay Market is located in historic Over-the-Rhine, which has some amazingly old buildings surrounding it.

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Atlanta Food Truckin’ in Style

Atlanta Food Truck Park & Market

On our drive from Orlando to Nashville last month, we stopped in Atlanta for dinner.

I can enjoy Chick-Fil-A, but we don’t regularly eat fast food. When Jordan and I road trip, sometimes fast food is unavoidable (I could bring food, but packing lunches is one of those things I don’t do). During the six-hour drive, I spent a few moments looking for a local establishment that wouldn’t require a complicated parking situation. Coming from Chicago, I anticipate complicated parking though I’m recognizing most cities aren’t as congested.

I went straight to Jenna’s guide to Atlanta and was sold as soon as I saw the words “food truck!”

Atlanta Food Truck Park & Market

Atlanta Food Truck Park & Market

Atlanta’s Food Truck Park & Market is essentially right off the highway, which makes it extremely convenient for road travelers. The ease of fast food is experienced without eating fast food! The featured trucks change depending on the day and are announced on the Atlanta Food Truck Park & Market’s Facebook page.

After looking through all of our menu options, we ate from Island Chef Cafe, as they had more gluten-free meals. I chose curry chicken with steamed yellow rice ‘n’ vegetables and plantains. Jordan had the mango jerk chicken. My curry was delicious and honestly one of the best meals I’ve had in a while.

For dessert we split a coconut paletas from King of Pops. I’ve only recently discovered the world of Latin American ice pops. I have been missing out! Nashville’s version, Las Paletas, is merely a hop, skip and a jump from our front door. We love taking visitors there!

Atlanta Food Truck Park & Market

And before we knew it, we were back on the road!

Atlanta Food Truck Park & Market

^ Jordan ordered this ginger soda of sorts. It had a very unique flavor!

Atlanta Food Truck Park & Market

Relevant Podcast Live

Relevant Podcast Anniversary Show

Live podcasting events are fairly common now, at least amongst popular talk radio style shows. For example, the Gilmore Guys have been touring all summer: LA, Austin, NYC and Philadelphia. I listen to these live recordings, but I never gave much thought about traveling to attend one. Last month, Relevant Podcast announced it would celebrate its 10th Anniversary by hosting a live event in Orlando.

Jordan’s been listening to the Relevant Podcast since 2005 and expressed a desire to go the live event. After looking into it, we were able to secure two tickets. I then had to figure out if I could get off work last-minute. After rearranging my schedule and working (too many) days in a row, we jumped in our Camry and hit the open road!

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