No sleep til Brooklyn

This weekend was a whirlwind trip out to see Jeff's sister, Erin, in Brooklyn. Since I'm working on letting things go, I will only briefly mention that I hate LaGuardia, and kind of flying in general. 2+ hour delay to LaGuardia for a possible storm (that never materialized) and a 16 (yes 16) hour delay on the way home for a passing storm that lasted less than an hour. So annoying. But - it didn't ruin my weekend.

We flew in Saturday evening and got to see Erin's husband, Dror, briefly before he headed to France (sigh, I wish I was in France). Then we wondered through Erin's Brooklyn neighborhood, Cobble Hill. It's a nice area. 2 main shopping streets with lots of great (and casual) restaurants, cute stores and yummy pastry/coffee shops. You know you're in the city, but it's got a much more down to earth feel than Manhattan. Jeff and I agree that we really like that part of New York. We were going to go for pizza at was is reputedly one of the best pizza joints in Brooklyn, but alas the wait was entirely too long, and we were hungry!! So we went to a new restaurant called Meg and Watty. It was delicious!! I had chicken breast stuffed with mint and pumpkin seed pesto served with squash puree and succotash. Jeff had skirt steak with chimmichurri and roasted rosemary potatoes. I think Erin had soy/ginger marinated mussels and a salad. Fantastic. Then we headed to a little bar called the Jake Walk for after dinner drinks.

Sunday we got up, made breakfast at the apartment then took the subway to the East Village where Erin teaches yoga. We wondered around the neighborhood for a while to warm up for class and see some of the sights. At noon, Jeff took his first ever yoga class. Erin's studio is a nice little space, but it was warm and humid in there! We were sweating buckets in a 90 minute yoga class. I LOVED it!! Of course I already know that I enjoy yoga and was happy to have someone experienced correcting me so that I can continue to work on improving my poses. Jeff did awesome for a first timer and I think was surprised that he didn't hate it. Though I'm not sure the class convinced him to continue with yoga...

After cleaning up, we all realized we were STARVING!! We were going to go to a pizza place called Artichoke which is known for huge, gooey, thick, sloppy slices. But we all decided we'd rather go to thin crust route. We went to a place around the corner called Gruppo. A slice and salad for 5 bucks? Yes please! After inhaling our lunch, we decided to make our way to a vegan bakery called babycakes. Oh my - so delicious!! There was no indication that these yummy little treats were vegan. I had the red velvet cupcake, Erin had the carrot cake cupcake and Jeff had chocolate chip cookie and frosting sandwich. The bakery was this little whole in the wall in a funky neighborhood bordering Chinatown, so we decided to head through Chinatown to get back to the subway. After being given very incorrect directions from several locals, we all decided we hated Chinatown. It was crazy packed, smelly and dirty, and after wondering for way too long, we all gave up and decided to just grab a cab back to Brooklyn. We made a stop at a flea market under the Brooklyn bridge that had some really cute little stands with handmade and vintage products. If I lived there, I would for sure set up a shop for my work!

After relaxing at home for a little bit in the evening, Erin took us to a place called Char no 4, which is a barbecue place, but not like sloppy barbecue. I had shrimp and grits, with a side of baked beans, all of which was so flavorful and delicious! Jeff had a yummy chopped pork sandwich with mustard barbecue sauce, and Erin had grilled fish with fava beans. We spent hours enjoying each other's company and learning a lot about each other's childhood. You would think siblings would already know about each other's childhood, but Jeff and Erin quickly discovered that they had some different memories. While many were painful, it was so good for them to talk.

The crazy thing about NY is just how late everything stays open. as we were leaving dinner after 11pm on a Sunday, people were just coming to the restaurant. NOTHING is open that late here except Meijer. Not that I go out late very often, but it was cool to be at a place with options.

Monday we got up and while Erin went for a run (I opted out because I was tired and I'm in taper mode for my race on Saturday), we went for a long walk with Maude to see the promenade, which is a spot on the water in Brooklyn with a fantastic view of the city. We were walking FAST, so I ended up getting a workout afterall. I was amazed that little Maude was so speedy! Then we decided to walk to another Brooklyn neighborhood, Park Slope. I guess Park Slope used to be the hip artsy area of Brooklyn, but now it is mommy central. SO many strollers. It was kind of obnoxious. I'm all for family neighborhoods, but this was a bit extreme. And it wasn't all mommies. It was a lot of nannies. It made me think of the movie, "The Nanny Diaries." It was pretty ridiculous actually. After wandering for some time, we stopped at a cafe (which turned out to be a vegetarian place), and enjoyed a light lunch of sandwiches and salad. Since we were crunched for time (and very tired), we took the bus back to Cobble Hill, and stopped at a place for a ice cream, which was made on a farm in the Hudson Valley. Oh my - SUCH good ice cream - smooth, creamy, flavorful. I had a scoop of dark chocolate with a scoop of banana chip. Jeff had a scoop of vanilla and a scoop of ginger. I wish I had some right now...

Then Erin had to get to work, and we had to get to the airport. Long, annoying, frustrating story later, we ended up BACK at Erin's that night. The thing that bothers me about plane delays is the amount of time that is spent in the airport could have been spent doing more in Brooklyn. AND - LaGuardia apparently doesn't want people to be healthy. There were ZERO healthy dinner options and everything was ridiculously expensive. Stupd airports. I HATE them!

Even though we had to get up at 5 am after an exhausting weekend, we made it back and both agreed that it was a really nice visit. Erin has a really nice camera, and took some beautiful photos. I'll post them when she sends them my way!


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