Life Lately + London

If I had to choose one word to describe the last week or two, whirlwind would definitely be it.  And it’s not slowing down anytime soon.

I was in London for a little over a week for work (more on that trip in a minute).  I am now back in Chicago for one more week.  I then fly back to Miami for a couple of days before flying back out to Austin for my friend Monica’s bachelorette party (yee haw!).  I then fly to Atlanta the following week for a wedding.  And then we’re going back to London for a week for another team meeting. 

And that’s just October!

As much as I love travelling, hanging out with friends/family, etc., I miss Miami and our life there!  I cannot wait to be home for all of December and not have to get on a plane.  We may go to Key West for a few days, but that’s within driving distance…phew!

So…London!  Even though we were there for a little over a week, the trip went by extremely fast.  Well, I take that back.  The days were long (7 am to 10 pm on average), but our overall time there felt short.  My team hosted a global conference for 50 leaders from over 35 countries – it was an incredible experience!  I finally met individuals that I’ve been corresponding with for over 2 years – it was like a family reunion!

There is really no way to talk about the trip in one post, so I’m going to share a few pictures and some of my favorite moments and things.

London 2
I freakin’ love Pret-a-manger’s porridge and berry compote.  It’s like oatmeal but better – super creamy and custard like.  I had this for breakfast every day.  It’s honestly perfection in a cup. 

London 5
What would a trip to London be if we didn’t have scones and tea (or in my case coffee).  And from my limited experience Fortnum and Mason has some of the best scones, clotted cream, and jam around.  Thea and I are going back in October!

London 6
London 1

London 11 
During my last trip to London, I walked around the grounds of Kensington Palace but didn’t have the chance to go on a tour.  Well, this time around we had some free time and decided to tour the Palace.  It was a really fun experience learning about the Royal families and seeing various artifacts.  My favorite part was seeing Queen Elizabeth, Princess Margaret, and Princess Diana’s dresses from the various decades.  Seriously stunning!

London 3
We ended our trip with a delicious meal at Wahaca (a Mexican restaurant with an innovative menu and offerings) and a little bit dancing at a local bar.  Good times were had by all!

And finally, I hope to get back to a regular blogging schedule soon.  Please bear with me!  I have some fun topic ideas in mind…I just need to find time to type them all out!

Day In the Life – Chicago

Our day-to-day life in Chicago is obviously different than what it is in Miami.  Some of the elements (like work) are still there, but the logistics of how we operate are just different.

Since I’ve already shared a weekend update, I thought it would be fun to share a little peak into our “Chicago life” and the things we do on a regular weekday.

This was our day yesterday…

My alarm goes off at 5:30 am, but I reset it for 6:15 am.  I could not peel myself out of bed to go to the gym.  I figured all the walking I do has to count for something!  After I get up and shower, Vishnu gets up and does the same.  We talk as we iron our clothes and prepare for our day.

After we are both ready, we head into the kitchen to eat breakfast.  Samir, who also leaves for work around 7:30, is also doing the same (we’re staying with Roshni and Samir right now!).  After eating toast/cereal, the three of us chat and head out the door.

Vishnu and I walk about 1/2 mile together to the train station.  We chat about life and living in the now.  I love our deep conversations!  When we get to the station, Vishnu takes the train heading north while I head south. 

Luckily, the train ride is less than 10 minutes, and the walk to the office is only 5 minutes.  Easy peasy!  I’m at the office by 8:00 am.

Day in the life Chicago 1 
Because of the way the Chicago office is set up, I have my own office (with a door).  It’s actually really nice because I sit in the same area as three of my colleagues.  This is such a welcome change since in Miami I only have one other person from my team (who has actually been out of the office for a few months now). 

On this particular day, Erin and I head down to Dunkin to grab some coffee when she gets in to the office.

Day in the life Chicago 2
Iced caramel coconut coffee with milk is the way to go!

Then comes a few hours of meetings and work. 

Erin, Thea and I break for lunch around 12 and head to Bombay Wraps.  YUM!

Day in the life Chicago 3
Paneer wrap with lentil soup on the side!

After lunch, I have a some emails to respond to and a few tasks to cross off my to do list.

I leave the office around 5:15 pm and make it to Roshni’s place by 5:40 pm.

After talking to Vishnu for a few minutes, Roshni and I head out to Michigan Avenue to find a pair of comfortable flats for me. 

Success!

Day in the life Chicago 4 
These simple flats are some of most comfortable shoes I’ve ever tried on!  Totally worth the investment!

After stopping at Trader Joe’s to pick up a few items for dinner, we head home.

Salads and pasta are on the menu!

Day in the life Chicago 5 
The four of us eat dinner and watch TV together.  After cleaning up, I quickly write up this blog post, chat with the gang for a bit, and head to bed!

While it’s so much fun being in a new city, I do miss my Miami routine.  Thank goodness we have great friends who make us feel right at home!

Well, that’s pretty much our day-to-day routine right now.  I head to London on Saturday night for a week, so I’ll have a whole new routine during that time.  Being adaptable and agile are so my thing now! 

What does your daily routine look like?  Does it vary by the day or is it pretty consistent?

Weekending It Chicago Style

I can’t believe I’ve been in Chicago for a week!  I also can’t believe it’s already September.  Umm…when did that happen!?   As I was looking through my planner this afternoon, penciling in a bunch of key events/dates, I thought to myself, “2014 has been the busiest/fastest year yet.”  Does anyone else feel this way?

Anyways, this was my first full weekend in Chicago (a long weekend at that), and I can honestly say I love this city.  There’s so much to do, eat, and see!  I feel like we’re only going to scratch the surface over the next few weeks!

First, I have to mention that the weather has been absolutely gorgeous.  It’s hard to imagine it ever being cold and snowy.  Personally, I think I brought the sunshine with me!

Chicago 1 
Next up, the food.  Oh the food!  Chicago is a food lovers paradise – there is no shortage of amazing restaurants. 

Over the weekend, we tried Taco Burrito Express, a true hole in the wall that did not disappoint.  My sister highly recommended it (she used to run 3 miles just to eat here!) and said she would be mad if I didn’t make the effort to go.  Ankita and I shared a veggie burrito and tostadas – yum!  Unlike most traditional Mexican restaurants, TBE uses all kinds of veggies in their dishes.  Ours included zucchini and broccoli – unusual in a very good way!

photo 3 (6) 
Vishnu and I also enjoyed date night at Piece Pizza.  This is definitely one of those must try restaurants if you’re a pizza lover.  Not only is the food delicious – NY style pies – but the atmosphere is fun and laid-back.  But be ready for a wait – this place gets packed!

Piece Pizza
We started with a couple of beers – Vishnu opted for one of Piece’s home brews while I chose something called Stiegl Radler (a grapefruit soda and beer blend).   The pizza we ultimately decided to order was a traditional red (the BEST red sauce and mozzarella) with sautéed mushrooms, spinach, and ricotta.  YUM!

I also enjoyed a couple of iced soy mochas from Caffe Streets on both Saturday and Sunday.  The coffee to chocolate ratio was perfect (re: not too sweet).  I really hope our neighborhood in Miami gets it together and opens up a place like this!

This weekend weekend was also the start to college football season.  I watched the UGA vs. Clemson game and loved every minute of it!  All I have to say is Todd Gurley is a beast!  He dominated on the field and definitely helped seal the deal for a Georgia win!

todd gurley 
I have a good feeling about this year!  GOOO DAWGS!!!

Well, my first week here was filled with excellent meals, fun with friends, and some quality time with Vishnu!  Here’s to another great week in the Windy City, which will include all of those things plus a little shopping!

Are you a college football fan? 
What was the absolute best thing you ate this weekend?