Every year it’s been a small tradition of mine to surprise Chris with a date - where we go out to eat and see a show. It all started when I surprised him with tickets to see Madeleine Peyroux, a Jazz singer in Morristown. And last year I surprised him with dinner in Montclair and a comedy show with John Mulaney. This year, I decided to do something different and surprise Chris with a trip to nearby Madison, New Jersey for an afternoon showing of Richard III, one of our favori
I’m always looking for ways to surprise Chris with fun and different Christmas gifts. I love finding him things he doesn’t expect and two years ago I did just that. Chris loves complicated and methodical recipes and finding new ways to cook. He mentioned to me in passing that he had seen someone cook a meal in a clay pot on a TV show. And that year I decided to get him a clay pot for Christmas. Clay pots have ancient roots - used to cook in the kitchen since the Roman empire.
Ice cream is pretty good. But gelato is even better. Gelato is churned slower than ice cream which gives it a smoother texture. In Florence, we tried 3 different gelaterias and returned to some of them multiple times. Pistachio, strawberry, espresso, mango. I went for the nutty and caffeinated ones, while Chris went for the fruit filled and sweet ones. In Florence the gelaterias were open late. Our second night in Florence, just a few minutes before midnight, we were craving
When we arrived at the Westin Excelsior we were blown away by the lobby, where sunflowers in beautiful arrangements welcomed us to Florence. What we didn’t expect was a beautiful flower arrangement on the table in our room. After further exploration, we found a smaller bowl with river stones and a few small sunflowers in the bathroom. After a week, the hotel replaced the flowers with a fresh arrangement. It was such a small touch, but it meant so much to me. While we have an
As much as I love my day-to-day life and the familiarity of home, it’s always a little bit disappointing when the vacation ends. Coming home from Florence, it was a little bit of a shock to exchange the marble countertops, crown molding, and balcony of our hotel room for the everyday utility of our garden apartment. But it is our home, and although you’d never mistake it for a luxury apartment, we are committed to enriching our time there for as long as we live there. The gre
It’s hard to hold a wine glass - the right way that is. Not by the bowl or by the top - but delicately by the stem. We learned this and many other small lessons about wine on our fourth day in Florence when we crossed the Arno river to begin our morning at the Tuscan Wine School. If you don’t enjoy wine (or if you’re not old enough) - then this post might not be for you. But for all of you out there that love finding a new wine or enjoying old favorites, then I think you’ll e
When we first walked into Ditta Artigianale, we didn’t know what to do. Do we approach the guy behind the bar? Ask the waitress for a table, or seat ourselves? But soon a waitress came over to us and offered us a seat at a table within arm's distance of the bar where we could see them making cappuccinos and freshly squeezed juices from bowls of brightly colored carrots, ginger, watermelon, and grapefruits. Our waitress came over to take our order and since I knew a few Italia
Just like cities in the US, there is a mix of amazing, average, and below average dining experiences in Florence. It’s a competitive market, with lots of tourists, and lots of restaurants. One of the hardest parts is figuring out where to eat. So, I did my homework. Thanks to Yelp, we were able to plan in advance which restaurants we wanted to visit, and had a fantastic experience at every place we ate. Yelp is easy to search, and allows you to save all the restaurants that y