Late Afternoons: Dog Park

25 Sep



sean1 sean2


tree mary3 sean3

The family at Shirlington Dog Park in DC one night this week.

It’s turning into Fall, guys!

Last Days of Summer

18 Sep


This past weekend, the weather turned ever so slightly towards Autumn.

So we took a short day trip to the water to soak up the remaining last bits of summer…

maryportrait beach2

lunch seancrab

m2 s3 m4




Is it already turning fall-ish wherever you are?

Family Portrait

16 Sep


smithsonian sean

mary monument


We took advantage of a beautiful sunny September day to walk Quinn around the National Mall.

Dinner at Colicchio and Sons

11 Sep


The highlight of our short trip to NYC was our seasonal tasting dinner at Colicchio and Sons.

Fans of Top Chef, we were excited to see if the meal at a Tom Colicchio restaurant would live up to his perfectionist persona on the tv show.


In fact, it exceeded our expectations completely.



First off, the restaurant itself is gorgeous and minimalist in neutral shades of gray and brown.

The aesthetic is masculine if not for all the lovely floral arrangements and a towering wall of flowers in a line in the middle of the restaurant.



Instead of ordering our meal off the menu a la carte, we opted for the 7 course tasting menu.

We wanted to be surprised by each course and try out some dishes we wouldn’t normally order on our own.

So, that’s what we did and our 2 hour food adventure began.

I don’t think I can convey how lovely this meal was… course after course of beautiful plated and delicious food including oysters, sea urchin, caviar, prawns, scallops, lobster, duck, lamb, a special cheese fondue course with mustard ice cream, and lavender donuts.

I’ll just let the pictures show it all.





lobster duck lamb cheese donut

My favorite course was the beautiful plate of cucumbers followed at a close second by the little pot of cheese fondue.

Sean raved about the duck wrapped in pancetta.

Until we meet again, Colicchio and Sons!



September in New York City

9 Sep






central park



Sean and I made a short trip to NYC last weekend to see the Book of Mormon and eat at Colicchio and Sons.

It was so sticky hot in the afternoon, so we headed to Central Park for a cool down and some green.

That’s where I spotted a bench where someone had dedicated a plaque: Don’t You Just Living Here.

I think I would love living there… and maybe hate living there too at times but mostly love it.

We stayed at the Row Hotel in Midtown and had a wonderfully fancy dinner, but that is so good that it deserves its own separate post.

Sunday Morning On The Lake

2 Sep








Del Campo

1 Sep






Friday evening dinner at Del Campo on DC



Who Let The Dogs Out?

27 Aug

cheddar close up

A few weekends back, Sean and I participate in the Lost Dog 5K Race Series. Basically we ran a 5K with Quinn and all the other participating dogs by our side as they played the song “Who Let The Dogs Out.”

You can imagine there were lots of doggies that got scared, tangled leashes, and people who got tripped up, but it was so much fun… and afterwards you could cuddle with puppies that were up for adoption.

I fell in love with Cheddar, the brown puppy pictured above.

Seeing that I was falling for this one hard, Sean sternly directed me, “Mary, put the puppy down now!”

It’s been a few weeks and I’m still thinking about Cheddar. Isn’t he the most adorable puppy that ever was?






Friday Flashback: China

15 Aug


A few years ago, we did an 8 day trip to China.

This tour was intense- three major cities and lots of sightseeing in sub-freezing temps!

The advantage of visiting China this time of year, though, was avoiding the throngs of tourists that are there during other seasons.

Our first day started in Shanghai, where we had a few hour layover before we headed on to Beijing.

During this time, we went to the top of the Oriental Pearl Tower for 360 degree views of the city. Yes, that’s smog!


This is a view of the famous Bund, which is one of the most well-known streets in Asia. It’s home to many foreign colonial buildings, banks, and swanky hotels.


While we didn’t go up inside the Jin Mao tower (pictured above), we could admire it from the Oriental Pearl Tower. This building is one of the tallest in the world, and a Mission Impossible movie was filmed here.

There’s a skybridge observation deck on 88th floor. Umm… I wouldn’t get on that deck for anything! (I think Tom Cruise did a fight scene there!)

Another fun experience was riding the Maglev train which reaches a speech of 430 km per hour. This is faster than the famous bullet trains of Japan.

Other trains pass at the blink of an eye. It’s really quite amazing.

Here’s another  funny thing we observed in Shanghai- live hairy crabs for sale at the airport.

Forget about Pizza Hut Express!


Next week’s Flashback Friday will be all about Beijing, our next stop on our tour. Stay tuned!


DC Local: Willow Restaurant

12 Aug


Dining al fresco at Willow


Lobster Pot Pie and Ravioli appetizer


Seared tuna with garlic chard


Here is a close-up of the Saint Andre cheese and wild mushroom tart that came with the tuna


Pork Chop wrapped in pork belly


The freshest German dark chocolate cake …

This past weekend, we finally visited the restaurant Willow in Arlington, VA.

I had been wanting to try this place out ever since it came on our radar at the DC Burger Bash, which I wrote about here.

Willow won the best burger award overall, and I also voted for it as my favorite that day.

Anyway, we were excited to eat at the restaurant, but many of the online reviews were slightly negative.

In the end, though, were not disappointed at all.

This was a really satisfying meal on every level and I’m kind of obsessed with this place now.

How do you feel about reading online restaurant reviews? Do you put much stock in what you read or prefer to take a chance on your own?


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