NYC Restaurant Reviews – Lunch/Dinner

The Dutch (131 Sullivan St. btwn Prince & Houston)

We had a late lunch here as we got a little distracted from shopping!  The Dutch is located in Soho on Sullivan Street.  We ordered one three-course lunch menu and shared it.  The first course was a watermelon salad with ricotta cheese, snap peas and mint.  The key to this dish is being certain you get a piece of mint with each bite.

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NYC Restaurant Reviews – Breakfast/Brunch

One could call us foodies, at least to the extent that we really enjoy good food, and consider food/restaurants an important component of any trip.  Last year when we were in NYC we ate at two of the top ranked restaurants (and most expensive) – Eleven Madison Park and The Modern.  While we had fabulous meals at both, we agreed this trip we would skip the over the top expense.  There is so much great food in NYC, I think you can have a fabulous meal with out doing a major splurge.  That is not to say that the list below was inexpensive, just not ridiculously priced.  Lauren did all the restaurant research and made all the reservations.  We use Open Table for reservations, when possible.  She also made an excel spreadsheet listing restaurants with their address and type of food and sorted by location (ie Soho, West Village, Gramercy, etc.).  This helped us decide where to go for lunches depending on where we were at the time.  Happy to email anyone this spreadsheet.  Just email me your request through the blog or at Read More →

Hotel Standard – NYC Meatpacking District


My twenty year old daughter and I just spent a week at The Standard Hotel in the Meatpacking District.  This was our fourth trip to NYC in the past seven years.  On previous trips we always stayed on the Upper EastSide or Midtown, but this time we were looking to stay in a new area.  I found a pretty good deal on (’s travel website).  It was one of their “Flash Sales” which means the price is even lower than normal but usually only lasts for three to four days.  The only drawback is that you do have to prepay (no refunds) so be sure you are definitely going!!

We really liked staying in the Meatpacking District. Read More →

Packing for carry-on only

Can you guess what Lauren fit in this rollaboard and tote?

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So, you want to travel internationally with your kids??!!

So, you want to travel internationally with your kids??!!  Some may think you are crazy – I say just dream, plan and go!!  After many years of vacations in DisneyWorld, Scottsdale and Hawaii we decided it was time to start seeing the world.  Our first international trip was when our daughter was twelve and our son was nine.  A lot of questions went through my mind – Would the kids be able to make the transition from sleeping in and boogie boarding all day to getting up early, lots of walking and seeing the sites? Would we regret not resting on the beach??  Would they eat the food?  Would they enjoy the museums?  Could they handle the long plane ride?  We decided to just give it a go and see what happened – it worked for us and we have been traveling ever since!

A few important things to do for a kid/teen friendly trip: Read More →

Israel & Petra: Trip Planning and Hotels 2010

We had a fabulous two week trip to Israel and Petra in March 2010.  Lauren was seventeen and Michael fourteen.  We also traveled with my Mom and Dad who were in their late 60s early 70s.  This was spring break of Lauren’s senior year so we knew we wanted to do something special.  We were literally all over the map on where to go – India, African Safari, back to Europe.  After looking quite a bit into India we switched gears and decided to do Israel, hoping that my parents might come on the trip with us. (India and Africa would have been out of the question for them).  We havw traveled quite a bit over the past several years and always travel independently, hiring a guide here and there for certain sites, etc.  This time, however, we decided to go with a private guide for most of the trip. We did have a day on our own in Jerusalem, a free day in Eilat and two free days in Tel Aviv.  A group tour was never an option for us (and after seeing so many while we were there, we now have even more reasons why!!) We just knew there would be so much to learn about while we were there and we figured a good guide was the best way to learn. Read More →

Galilee 2010


We flew from Portland, OR to Newark, NJ on Continental, then Newark to Tel Aviv.  We do not usually fly Continental but were quite pleased with the flight.  We had a seven hour layover in Newark, and despite the fact that many people said to just stay in the airport, we ended up renting a car and having a nice dinner in the Ironbound District of New Jersey with plenty of time.  We arrived in Tel Aviv and were greeted by someone holding up our name who took us directly to our guide who was waiting outside.

Like I said we usually do not travel with such great service – but it was not hard to get used to – and there were more great services later on!  We hopped in our guide, Menachem’s,  Mercedes SUV and drove to the Galilee.  We were already learning interesting things about Israel.   It was early evening when we arrived at Nof Ginossar, our hotel,  so we just settled in and had dinner. Read my review of Nof Ginossar here. Read More →