Bishop Arts District

The Streets of Bishop Arts

At least two members of my family have been in town visiting me for the past two days, and BOY have we fit a lot into these 48 hours! Monday morning, my sister and I took the train to attend yoga class at a cutsey artsy studio that meets in a vine covered loft, but….long story short we were 5 minutes late and the class had already begun. So, we took the morning to walk around to grab coffee, walk around the West Village, and then tour an AMAZING exposed brick loft with panoramic views of the downtown skyline!

Tuesday, we decided to include Jesse, my dad and the boys, so we took a long tour of University of Dallas and then headed to a cool hangout spot nearby known as the Bishop Arts District. It amazes me how I lived in the DFW area for 4 years without ever discovering this eclectic/boho/art district. So many vintage, coffee, boutique stores!

Bishop Arts District sign

2014-11-25_16.15.11

Dude Sweet Chocolate

The Wild Detectives Coffee/Wine/Book Shop

The Wild Detectives Coffee/Wine/Book Shop

Rustic coffee shop

Wild Detectives Wine List

Brick wall painting Bishop Arts

Brick wall Bishop Arts

boho chandelier

Suit of armor decoration

Viaduct Oak Cliff sign

Bishop Street Market sign

Bishop Arts Christmas lights

If you’re ever in Dallas, make sure to drop by this quaint little neighborhood!

My 5 Favorite Restaurants

Recently I was asked to blog about my 5 Favorite Restaurants from anywhere in the world. I have been quite a few places in the world, but when I was traveling overseas I was a poor student on a budget, and I ate “street food”, mostly (which is how I ended up with camphylobactor once– darn the gypsies and their chicken!). Since becoming an adult in my 20s, however, I’ve grown up a bit in my tastes. I have found 5 wonderful restaurants along the way, and should you ever happen to visit these parts, you should also eat here!

image

#1 Thomas Hill Organics— Paso Robles, CA $30-40/person

I’ve never been to a more unique and wonderful restaurant. Their menu changes once or twice a month because everything they buy is grown locally and organically. Their wine selection is absolutely incredible (hello Wine Country!), and everything is absolutely delish. This was Jesse’s and my go-to fancy date night restaurant back when we lived on the Central Coast. Expect extravagant soups and meats, paired with unique vegetables and fruits.

And, I forgot to mention, the ambiance is INCREDIBLE, complete with loungers and couches instead of chairs, exposed brick walls, and hanging string lights in the garden/terrace area.

image image

#2 Storyville Coffee— Seattle $5-15/personStoryville coffeeThis is the coffee shop that all Seattle-ites want you to know about. Amazing coffee, downtown views, open loft seating area with an indoor fireplace…what’s not to love? And their desserts and baked goods are flat out incredible. They even have a gluten-free section! Look for this little shop right near Pike Place Market, near the wharf.

3. Astoria Caffe and Wine Bar— Addison, TX $10-30/person

Are you sensing a coffee and wine theme on this blog yet? This is a little place in downtown Addison circle, a hipster/young adult populated neck of the woods in North Dallas. They sell amazing coffee/liquer combos, along with amazing desserts and entrees, in a hip and sultry environment. If you’re looking for a place to meet people or go on a date in North Dallas, Astoria is your place! Jesse and I went here for our 8th Anniversary and loved what an incredible find it was!

4. Uncle Yu’s At the Vineyard, Downtown Livermore, CA $30-50/person

Jesse and I had a rehearsal dinner for a wedding I was in this last Spring. Situated up in Wine Country near Napa Valley, downtown Livermore is already the place to be. Add in this Chinese restaurant with a special gluten-free menu (the chef actually PRIDES himself in making world-class gluten-free food!!), and you have magic. I have never eaten tastier Chinese food, and the wine pairings put a CA spin (literally) on things! I cried tears of joy when I tasted the gluten-free orange-seared shrimp– it was, to date, the best gluten-free food I’ve ever eaten, and made me feel like I could, at long last, enjoy tasty delicacies for dinner.

Jesse and Kelly on dance floor

 

#5 Sally Lunn’s Historic Eating House— Bath, England

1927701_504786227877_9044_n

Okay, totally a brag-worthy moment right now. On one of my two trips to Europe, a few people from my group got a special reservation at this place, one of the oldest houses in all of Bath, England (which is saying something, since the Romans founded it!). We had a 4 course “tea”, and it was absolutely delicious, enough so that I still remember it to this day, 9 years later! If you are touring England, you will probably make it to Bath (or, at least, you SHOULD!), and this little restaurant is very close to the Jane Austen center. You know, if you’re into stuff like that 😉 Make sure to get reservations, as it’s VERY popular!

 

Thank you for reading about my 5 Favorite Restaurants! Stay tuned for a list of restaurants that I am DYING to try, but haven’t yet!

 

Birthday at the Lake

Grapevine Lake sunset

It always frustrates me when people turn up their nose at Texas. When we said we were moving to Dallas for the first time, we got a lot of looks like, “Eww, why would you do that?” I didn’t know enough to correct anyone, because I, too, was picturing tumbleweeds and desert sand dunes.

That common perception couldn’t be further from the truth, however, especially in East Texas. We live within a half hour drive of beautiful state parks, lakes and campgrounds. Grapevine Lake, about 10 minutes away from our old home 3 years ago, has a gorgeous RV campground right near the docks. This weekend was one of my godchildren’s 4th birthday, and his grandparents hosted the party right outside their RV.

Grapevine Lake RVs

It was a sunny 80 degrees with a breeze. We’ve been loving our weather lately!

Grapveine Lake playground

Grapevine Playground swings

Grapveine Lake playground b and w

My beautiful Gregory boy.

Handsome Gregory

My wonderful husband.

Jesse on slide

My adorable godson.

Cute Jonathon boy

My Texas.

Grapevine Lake tide

CA Vacation–Montana De Oro

Montana de Oro view

Saturday was my father in law’s birthday, so we took a trip to the coast to eat at Morro Bay for lunch, then walk around Montana De Oro State Park. Most people think that the famous beaches around here are just Cambria, Pismo and Morro Bay, but they forget to visit Montana De Oro out in Los Osos. It’s worth it, if you’re ever in the area!

Here are a few pictures from our time. It’s so nice to have my Canon T3 up and working again!

Montana de Oro Gregory in dirt

Montana de Oro beautiful view

Montana de Oro Norm and AJ smiles

Montana de Oro black and white

Montana de Oro rock formation

Montana de Oro Norm and the boys