Travel Month - January 2016

Friday, January 29, 2016

Personal + Travel


We were welcomed back to Vilnius (from our Christmas visit in CT) with frigid temperatures of -15C, so I spent much of this month hibernating, reading, and editing. This month I got ahead on my 2016 GoodReads reading goal of 26 books and read three great novels (see this post to see what I've been reading).


Blog + Freelance


Back in December I started editing for the really cool new travel startup, Trip101. Over the past two months I've edited over 100 articles for them and have been constantly wanderlusting due to the awesome destinations covered by their writers (FYI they are currently looking for more writers - apply on their website). I also published an article with Trip101 about a romantic road trip to take in Rhode Island (see post here). I've really been enjoying my work for Trip101 - do check them out!

With the awesome travel ideas in mind, J and I have been slowly booking our 2016 travel. We have an upcoming trip to Madrid for February and a trip to Luxembourg in March. We are still planning and plotting about where to go during April vacation and over the summer. The Netherlands and somewhere in the US are both on my list. If you have any tips, suggestions, or posts please share in the comments!

Next month on the blog I'm going to be focusing on life in Lithuania. I have a ton of informative and exciting posts planned so stay tuned to learn more!

A photo posted by Elizabeth (@insearchofs) on


Look Forward To


In February we have our first trip of the year, so of course I'm excited about that! Here's hoping that Madrid is reasonably warm and sunny at this time of year. For Madrid I've booked us a meal via BookALokal, an awesome site that we previously tried (and loved) in Athens. It will be fun to eat a home cooked meal!

J's dad is coming to visit for the first 2 weeks of Februaty, so I'm looking forward to having a bit of help at home and to get to explore the city with him a bit more. I love having visitors!

As strange as it sounds, I'm also looking forward to Pancake Day. I'll be attending as many Pancake Day events as I can (and eating all the pancakes) and will be sharing them next month. Lithuania really goes all out for Shrove Tuesday (aka Uzgavenes) by burning giant straw effigies.

Don't forget to subscribe to my newsletter (going out January 31) to keep updated and to get free trip information monthly!

How was your January? What are you looking forward to in February?

Southeastern Connecticut Restaurant Guide

Monday, January 25, 2016




It is probably pretty clear by now that I enjoy eating a good meal out and am always looking for new places to try. Southeastern Connecticut, where I'm originally from, has some fantastic choices that have been unfortunately skipped over by Connecticut Magazine, as their articles primarily focus on the northern half of the state. So here is my list of restaurants I like in this half of the state. This list is by no means comprehensive. If you are visiting or living here and are looking for somewhere to eat, try one of these spots and let me know what you think. Also, if I've missed your favorite restaurant, share it in the comments - I'd love to try it.

Throughout this post I also mention restaurants that I've heard great things about, but haven't yet had the chance to try. Consider it my must-visit list for over the summer.

Colchester


Cafe Manga: Here you can find great Italian food in a relaxed atmosphere. Sit on the patio to really enjoy and be sure to have the polenta cakes! (68 Linwood Ave website)

Norwich


These Guys Brewery Co.: These Guys Brewery is a delicious brewery and restaurant located in an old brick building in downtown. Be sure to try the mac and cheese and chai beer. (78 Franklin St website) Read more here ...

Harp and Dragon: Here you can find good bar food in a huge space that shows sports on flat screen tvs scattered throughout the restaurant. (130 Main St website)

Philly's A Taste of Philadelphia: Oh, how I love grinders and miss them when I'm not in the US! Stop by Philly's for delicious cheesesteak. (33 Sherman St website) Read more here ...

Mystic


Margaritas Mexican Restaurant: Looking for reasonable Tex-Mex cuisine? Head to Margaritas for special offers and salted-rim margaritas. (12 Water Street website)

The Pita Spot: The Pita Spot serves delicious Lebanese food and has a really friendly waitstaff. Try the Lala Chicken with garlic sauce or kebabs to feel as though you're traveling via your tastebuds. (45 Williams Ave website)

The Engine Room*: The Engine Room was a delicious surprise that we enjoyed on our recent trip to CT. They have a great brunch with an open kitchen and tons of seating. I recomment the Dutch Apple Pancakes and a side of corn bread. (14 Holmes St website) Read more here ...

Somewhere in Time: Visit Somewhere in Time for breakfast and expect a huge selection of delecious breakfasts and free coffee refills! (3175 Gold Star Hwy website)

Captain Daniel Packer Inne*: One of my favorites in the area, skip the upstairs of DPI (a fancier restaurant) and head directly to the cozy downstairs bar. The goat cheese medallions appetizer is great especially when washed down with a local brew. (32 Water St website)

Red 36: I've not yet tried Red 36, but it is on my list for places to try this summer. They have a seafood focused menu that sounds fantastic. (2 Washington St website)

Stonington Borough


Noah's: I love eating breakfast at this sunny restaurant located in the quaint Stonington Borough. The blueberry pancakes are my pick. (113 Water St. website)

Milagro Cafe: If you have a hankering for homemade Mexican food (their mole sauce is really good), Milagros is your best bet. (142 Water St website)

The Yellow House Coffee and Tea: On one of my many in search ofs for cafes in CT, I stumbled upon the Yellow House Cafe. I was pleasantly surprised by their bagel with cream cheese (spread evenly on both sides, unlike at Dunkin' Donuts) and would love to go back to try a sandwich. (149 Water St)

Dog Watch Cafe: An expensive, but nice restaurant located right on the water. (194 Water St website)

Noank


Abbott's Lobster in the Rough: This is a famous seasonal spot for fresh lobster, clams, crabs, and other seafood. Grab a picnic table and be prepared for a wait at this delicious outdoor restaurant. (117 Pearl Street website) Read more here ...

Ford's Lobster: Located just down the street from Abbott's, Ford's serves the same fresh seafood but is just a bit fancier. (15 Riverview Ave website) Read more here ...

Groton


Paul's Pasta*: Paul's Pasta is my favorite restaurant for freshly-made pasta dishes. I especially love the fettuccine alfredo with chicken! (223 Thames Street) Read more here ...

New London


Muddy Waters: Find muffins, bagels, egg sandwiches, and coffee at this cafe that is loved by its community. (42 Bank Street)

Northern Indian*: One of my favorite restaurants in the area, Northern Indian serves amazing curries (the Saag Paneer is tasty) and has a great value lunch buffet.

2 Wives: Shock and horror - I haven't yet mentioned a pizza place! 2 Wives serves great salads (try the Panzanella Salad) and tasty pizzas (with options for vegan and/or gluten free pizza) and often has 2 for 1 specials. (45 Huntington St website)

The Seehund German Pub and Restaurant: This restaurant comes highly recommended by my parents. I've not yet visited, but I'm sure I will over the summer, as I'm tempted by their traditional German fare (the roast beef sandwich and ruben both sound fantastic). (345 Bank St website)

RIP Singapore Grill :(   - my favorite restaurant recently closed :(

Waterford


Cafe NV: I always want to eat Greek food (and not have to cook it myself), so Cafe NV is somewhere I always try to visit when I'm back in the area. (57 Boston Post Road website)

Old Saybrook


Mystic Market: With several spots around Connecticut (including in Mystic), the Mystic Market is a great place for healthy fast food. Though pretty expensive, I love their sandwiches and occasionally pick up a frozen meal to re-heat at home. (70 Mill Rock Rd E website) Read more here ...

Penny Lane Pub: Though I haven't been to Penny Lane for a couple of years, I always have enjoyed their food (and am really thinking I need to go back soon!). They have the best sweet potato fries around and the location is great for a walk around Old Saybrook. (150 Main St website)

Westbrook


Lenny and Joe's Fish Tale: This is the spot that my out-of-town family always wants to eat at when in Connecticut. As the name suggests, they serve mainly seafood. (86 Boston Post Rd website)

East Lyme


La Belle Aurore*: The stuffed french toast at La Belle Aurore is what brunch dreams are made of! La Belle Aurore is a tiny restaurant in East Lyme that uses local, in-season ingredients and free-range meat. (75 Pennsylvania Ave. website)

Lilian's Cafe: Lillian's serves creative dishes of fresh seafood, salads, steaks, and burgers. Their outdoor patio is perfect in the summer, but arrive early as it fills up quickly. (374 Main Street website)

Hartford Giant Grinder: Another place to experience grinder (hoagie, sub, submarine ...) heaven, try the meatball grinder at Hartford Giant Grinder. (8 Hope St)

The Shack: The Shack has several locations in Connecticut, but the original is the best. Head to the Shack early for a filling breakfast (and to beat the crowd of old people). (324 Flanders Rd)

Glastonbury


Plan B Burger: This restaurant and bar offers a huge selection of burgers made of the finest quality meat from animals treated humanely. (120 Hebron Ave. website)



You can find my reviews of many of these restaurants on Minube. Restaurants with a * indicate my favorite of the bunch.

What I've been reading lately - Winter 2016

Friday, January 22, 2016



Who else has been hibernating inside due to the cold dreary winter weather? At least it has given me a chance to read some of the awesome books that I was gifted for Christmas as well as get a jump start on my Goodreads goal (25 books for 2016).

Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch: My rating: 5/5. Another enjoyable mystery from Aaranovitch.  This story was fast-paced and exciting. As usual, I learned a lot about British slang and enjoyed the pop culture references. I'm looking forward to the next book.

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman: My rating: 4/5. This was an enjoyable, quick read. I'm still a bit unsure/curious about some of the characters (Bradamant and Kai mainly). I'll have to read any sequels to find out more. I found the ending to be a bit confusing (the part with Irene and Coppelia (spelling?) talking in the hospital) and the whole book ended too quickly. Also, what happens to Bradamant at the end? I was left with many questions, some of which were answered in the second book of the series.

The Masked City by Genevieve CogmanMy rating: 3.5/5. I enjoyed this book and really like the author's writing style. The story was packed full of action and included all of the enjoyable characters from the last story. The book left off at a seriously cliff-hanger. Clearly the author is planning a 3rd novel. I'm looking forward to it!

Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness: My rating: 3/5. This book was a quick and interesting read. I enjoyed the historical references and genetic studies that were presented, but in certain spots felt as though I was reading an adult version of Twilight. Towards the end of the book everything from time travel to the main character being the most. powerful. witch. ever. got to be a bit too much.

Jade Dragon Mountain by Elsa Hart: My rating: 5/5. This book was written by one of my friends who I used to spend a ton of time with (at the Korean spa) in Lijiang, China. I really enjoyed this historical mystery (and not just because I know the author). Hart perfectly described the scenery of Lijiang (then called Dayan) and transported the reader to both the time and the place. The intricacies of guan xi and familial relationships were made clear and the characters were entertaining. I especially like the traveling story teller, Hamza, and hope to learn more about him in possible future novels by Hart.

I'm currently reading Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith.


What have you been reading lately? What should I read next?

These Guys Brewing Company

Wednesday, January 20, 2016



I know, I know. Another post about an awesome brewery in southeast CT that we brought Baby ISO to. Hey, we love our breweries and supporting new, local businesses!

Located in the beautiful, but past its prime downtown Norwich, These Guys Brewing Co. will hopefully begin a movement to rejuvinate this area. These Guys is in a large brick building and therefore has ample seating at the bar, a large front room, and even more seating in the back of the restaurant. Lit with Einstein bulbs and with walls of exposed brick, this is another spot that I could see becoming a hipster hangout. 

Best of all, in the back of the restaurant are large metal brewing casks in which beer will be made. These Guys just recieved their brewing license and whatever other approvals needed by the State of Connecticut for legalities. Anyway, they are now legal and hopefully by my next visit I'll be drinking some of their homebrew.

In the meantime, I'd suggest getting a beer sampler as there are so many great varieties on offer. I ordered a beer for myself and J ordered a sampler and I really should have done the same. Add to your sampler the chai beer - it was incredibly flavorful. My dad ordered it as well and we decided it was a crowd pleaser after we all had a try. As we went to These Guys the day after Christmas, I was still pretty full. I ordered the tomato soup but couldn't resist a side of mac and cheese with bacon. Good thing J was hungry, as he did a lot of finishing of my meal (my eyes were bigger than my stomach!). As this was an extended family outing (my cousin didn't yet have enough snuggles with Baby ISO), I got to try a bit of everything on the menu. My dad and cousin both had the fish and chips, which my dad claims is the best fish and chips he's ever eaten. It was delicious! Really, the food was great.

As I've said before about Connecticut though, the prices were a bit high, this is not a budget option in the least. Despite this, everything was great and I'm planning on a revisit the next time I'm back in CT.










The Details: These Guys Brewing Company is located on 78 Franklin St. in Norwich, CT. website


Would you try a chai beer? Can you ever resist mac and cheese when it's on the menu?

Traveling Parents' Forum: Stuff to Make Travel Easier

Monday, January 18, 2016



Welcome to the fifth session of the Traveling Parents' Forum! Today I've got four incredibly knowledgeable Mom's joining me to share experiences and tips about flying with children. Here you'll find tips for short and long flights with infants, toddlers, older children, and multiple children. 

Throughout the series we'll be sharing our tips, favorite products, and looking to each other for advice to make traveling with little ones easier. If you have any questions or would like to share your experience please write it in the comments below! Also, if you have written a post(s) on a similar topic feel free to add the link in the comments. You can also join our group Pinterest board to post your own articles or ones you've found helpful. Just follow our Pinterest accounts and message me to add you to the board. The more information we have the better we can travel - at least that's what I think!


We'll be chatting about a new topic on the third Monday of every month. Today's topic is 'Items to make travel easier'

January 18: Items to make travel easier
February 22: Living/moving abroad with a child
March 21: Child jet lag
April 18: Traveling without your child

*I've slightly re-organized the schedule

Amy




Every time we travel with our baby, I find our requirements change a little bit. He grows so quickly, so things we needed when he was very small are not necessarily what he needs now. Our packing list also changes depending on where we travel. Over the last 18 months we’ve found the following things to be handy at various points. An extra large muslin (like this one from JoJo Maman Bebe) has so many uses I’d definitely make it top of my list. From lying on the airport lounge floor so that a small baby can spread out while you wait for your flight, to using as a blanket or a sun shield, you’ll be glad you’ve got it with you. If you're baby is very small, I can recommend a pop up bubble cot (Koo-di cot) - you can either use it as a bed for your babe, or take it to the beach to protect baby from sand, sun, and insects. If you’re going somewhere sunny, you might also want a sunshade (Koo-di cover) to protect your little one from the sun's rays. Baby can still see out, which means they can enjoy the sights, but they’ll be protected from harmful UV rays. It's also really handy for helping baby sleep in busy areas such as airports, or restaurants; minimalizing distractions so they're more likely to get some shut-eye.  If you're going somewhere where tap water is considered unsafe, I'd take some sterilising tablets for your baby's bath water. Anti-bacterial hand creams or gels are also a must for the diaper bag. I can also recommend plastic bags for wet or mucky clothes whilst out and about. Finally, if you bottle feed, you might want to take disposable bottles. They stack neatly inside each other, and you don't have to worry about sterilising them whilst you're on the go.

Amy has an 18 month old and is joining us from London, UK. You can find more about her life in London on Instagram and Pinterest.


Emma



A photo posted by Emma (@bavariansojourn) on


I guess important travel items really depend on the age of your children.  As a mother with a ten year old, an eight year old and a new-born, I can safely say that I can just about cover all bases … 

I guess it also depends on what kind of transport you are talking about too, but here are a couple of things I just wouldn’t consider travelling without for the baby: A Sling.  Baby wearing is always the easiest option when you are flying, and some airports even let you walk through the scanner without having to take baby off. It also comes in handy on the plane for the inevitable walking up and down the aisle you have to do during long journeys.  Something else I always pack is a baby sleeping bag.  My babies have always slept in these bags at home, and you can buy travel versions with holes for seat belts.  These introduce a bit of routine to a journey, and can make manoeuvring a sleeping baby (from a plane to car for example) so much easier. 


For my older children I always pack decent rucksacks (with plenty of pockets) full of goodies such as snacks, magazines, books, pens and colouring books, not to mention the all-important electronic entertainment (plus chargers of course!)! And perhaps the most important item of the lot?  Travel sickness tablets.  Don’t be caught short, there’s nothing more unpleasant whether you are flying or driving.  I will never forget our Four Countries in One Day trip when we ended up on what has to be the windiest road in the entirety of the world in Italy, and I will also never forget the (mostly!) sympathetic  looks of the older drivers that passed us of “been there, done that”…  

Emma has three children. She blogs over at Bavarian Sojourn and is writing from Bavaria, Germany. You can find more from Emma on her blogPinterest, and Instagram.



Roshan




Just take twice as much of everything- twice as much formula, twice as much food, twice as many nappies and twice as many clothes. You never know when you may be caught with a flight delay and it’s always better to be over prepared rather than be caught out having to pay double the price for a colouring book in an airport.

Roshan has a three year old and blogs about her travels at Roshan's Ramblings. Roshan is writing from Australia. You can find more from Roshan on her blogTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest.


Andrea





There have been a few items we find invaluable when we travel and we try not to leave home without them.

Pack and play or travel cot: we had a very portable travel cot for William that we took on a few trips with us.  It packed down into a little duffel bag and assembled almost like a tent.  If you mostly do road trips, or have room in your luggage, a pack and play or play yard is even better.  This prevents you from having to fashion a makeshift bed for your child, which you may not be comfortable with in unfamiliar accommodations.   We also always check with the hotel or apartment rental we are staying at to see if they have a crib we can use so that we don’t have to bring our own.

White noise machine:  We have a Sleep Sheep that plays white noise that we always turn on as William goes to bed.  It us useful if you are staying in an accommodation that is a bit noisy, or you have to share a room with your child and you don’t want to wake them up as you get ready for bed.
Baby carrier:  Whether it’s for walking through the airport, or a crowded marketplace, a baby carrier is very handy for traveling. 

Umbrella stroller:  We actually made do without an umbrella stroller for all of our travels but I could see it being a necessity for a lot of people.  Now that William is a bit older, I think we would probably get one for the next big trip we take.  

Portable change mat:  We have a change mat that we keep in our diaper bag to use in public washrooms.  But after having done some diaper changes on picnic benches in Paris and farmers’ fields in the English Countryside, I realized how useful they are!

First aid items:  As your child gets older, these items will change.  But for traveling with a child under one, we would always pack our thermometer, acetaminophen and occasionally our nasal aspirator.  You never know when your baby might come down with something and having those items on hand could save you a late night trip to a foreign pharmacy.


Andrea is joining us from London where she lives with her husband and 1 year old. You can find more on her blog, In Love In London, or on Instagram.


Elizabeth




Other than a couple of age-appropriate toys, I only have a couple of things that I find really helpful for traveling with baby ISO. The most important is a diaper changing pad loaded with extra diapers, wipes, clothes, and bags for clothes that get gross/wet/pooped on (Skip Hop Pronto Changing Station*). I rely heavily on our baby carrier so that I can have both of my hands free. I didn't even have to take Baby ISO out of it while going through security on our most recent flights. It also can be a bit chilly on planes, so I always pack some kind of blanket or scarf to wrap Baby ISO (or myself) up in. I've also used this to cover seats in the airport, so I could lay Baby ISO on them. If you are nursing and will be traveling for a few weeks or longer I suggest bringing a travel pump. I like this one from Medela that works both with a plug and with batteries. This is especially convenient when you are traveling places with different outlets (like our recent trip from Europe to the US). One last essential for us were baby congestion drops. Our pediatrician suggested we bring them with us as the dry air on the plane can cause congestion. We only used them during one flight, but I do think that hey helped.

I have a 5 month old and am writing from Vilnius, Lithuania on In Search Of. You can find more on  TwitterInstagramFacebook, and Pinterest.



Follow Elizabeth @ In Search Of's board Traveling with Children on Pinterest.

*indicates affiliate link


What times do you find necessary for travel with your baby? If you'd like to join in feel free to add links to your posts below, add posts to our Pinterest board, or join in by sharing your experience for one of the upcoming topics!

The Engine Room: Excellent Brunch In Mystic, Connecticut

Friday, January 15, 2016



Before heading back to Connecticut I looked up a few restaurants that I wanted to check out. One that particularly caught my eye was the Engine Room. Located in the quaint Mystic downtown, the Engine Room is located in an old brick building that would attract even the pickiest hipsters.

When we arrived the restaurant was packed and we were asked to wait. After just a few minutes wait (and a nice stroll down the street) we were seated at a large enough table to fit four adults and two infants. From where I sat I had a great view of the open kitchen and I loved the exposed brick inside.

We were there just in time for brunch, possibly one of the best meals of the day. The menu had so many delicious sounding choices that I almost couldn't choose between the individual Dutch apple pancake or the bbq brisket sandwich. I ended up going with the Dutch apple pancake and I was not disappointed - I mean look at it in the photo below!

If you are looking for a great place to have brunch in southeastern Connecticut, be sure to head to the Engine Room. The meals were excellent and the restaurant had a fun atmosphere.











The Details: The Engine Room is located on 18 Holmes Street in Mystic, CT.

Where is your favorite spot for brunch where you live? Where else should I try the next time that I'm in Connecticut?

Photo Diary: Connecticut At Christmas

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Over Christmas we spent about two weeks in Connecticut. Those two weeks were jam-packed with family and friend visits that were, of course, accompanied by tons of food. We ate a lot (more of where we ate coming soon ...). We also were always really busy, except for a serene walk on the beach on Christmas day. The weather was surprisingly warm for late December, but it was a nice break from the currently -15C weather that we have in Vilnius. Despite being so busy, it was a blast to spend Baby ISO's first Christmas with family and friends.














How was your Christmas? Did you travel at all?

Hotel Review: NH Collection Hotel Frankfurt

Monday, January 11, 2016



The NH Collection Hotel located on Vilbeler Street was a perfect accommodation for a weekend visit to Frankfurt. The staff were helpful, the rooms clean and large, and the location perfect.

The NH Collection hotel was in a great location, right in the center of Innenstad. There were numerous options for surrounding restaurants including two great Thai places, a couple of great cafes, and many bakeries just around the corner. We were also very near to the famous shopping street, Zeil, and close to the Christmas Markets. For me, this hotel was all about the great location.

The staff at the hotel were very accommodating. Prior to our arrival I emailed asking for a baby bed to be provided in our room. Upon our arrival it was already set up near the bed in our room. After we checked out we had several hours before catching a bus back to the Frankfurt Hahn Airport and the staff was more than happy to store our luggage while we went out to explore the city some more. They also allowed us to use the baby changing room prior to leaving. 

The rooms were large (especially for Europe) and were very clean. The room was furnished with a very large bed, a desk with a chair, a comfy chair, a coffee maker, and closet. There was plenty of space to fit both the crib and our stroller without feeling cramped. 

The bathroom was another highlight of the NH Collection Hotel Frankfurt. It had a glorious waterfall shower that I'd someday love to have in my home. It also came equipped with a hair dryer, a selection of toiletries, and many plush towels.

The only negative that I could pick out was the exorbitant cost of the hotel breakfast. It was something like 20 EUR per person (I can't remember the exact cost). It was much cheaper to eat out.

Overall, I really enjoyed my stay in the NH Collection Hotel Frankfurt and would recommend it to any visitor. I'd even look to stay at other NH Collection Hotels in other cities - that is how much I enjoyed it.







The Details: Vilbeler Street 2, Frankfurt Main; website*; Rooms starting at about 100 USD per night.


Have you stayed in an NH Collection Hotel before? What hotels would you suggest for Frankfurt?

Creative Locale: Vilnius Gastronomic Week

Friday, January 8, 2016



Sometimes living in Lithuania can be a challenge (oh those dark winter days!), so I wanted to focus on forgetting about the challenges and enjoying the positives. To do so, I've started a monthly post (the second Friday of each month) that features the more creative side of Lithuania (or wherever I happen to be living). In previous posts I've written about Uzupis, which is truly a creative mecca. For this series I wanted to focus on creative events, unique aspects of the culture or language, and cool places that I find around Lithuania. Previously I've written aboutOpen Kitchen, the Beer Marathon, a Cat Cafe, the Lithuanian Design BlockPottery ClassCoffee Enthusiasm, A book fair, and a felting class.  If you have any suggestions of things to check out I'd love to hear them!

If you would like to participate in sharing creative things about where you live, tag your photos on Instagram or tweets on Twitter with #CreativeLithuania or #CreativeLocale. I'd love to see the creative side of every country! I'll share my favorite tweets and photos each month on social media and here on the blog.


This month for Creative Locale I got to do something I really enjoy - go out to eat! 2015 marked the second year in a row that Vilnius restaurants hosted a Gastronomic Week. During this week, restaurants offered special fixed menus for lunch and/or dinner that cost 10-20 Euro (for 2 to 3 courses, plus a drink!).

I hadn't heard about this event prior to the week, but luckily, one of my favorite Lithuanian Instagrammers (@where2eat_lithuania) mentioned it. When I looked into it a bit more I found 24 restaurants had signed up to participate. Some of the restaurants were already well-known, like Zuvine and Lokys, while others were relatively new such as Strange Love and Ti'ana.

Wanting to visit a couple of different places during the week, I roped a friend into lunch with me and Baby ISO at Strange Love. Unfortunately, I didn't manage to take any photos and we were too busy eating and chatting, but everything (as usual) was delicious. I've really got to bring J!

The next night, J, Baby ISO, and I went to Lokys, a popular restaurant that is a bit pricey so we hadn't tried it. Taking advantage of the 20 Euro fixed menu, we had three course meal and drinks. To start with we were served a generous bread basket with delicious butter, followed by a hearty meat soup. For our main meal we had the steak with cheese puffs and potatoes, which was really delicious, though I'm not a huge fan of wine-based sauces (I know, what is wrong with me?). The meal finished with a cup of coffee and a really delicious sorbet. We then were offered (gratis or on the menu - I don't know!) two shots of Lithuanian vodka. Everything was very tasty and our waitress was friendly, which is notable as that isn't always the case in Lithuania.

In 2015 the Vilnius Gastronomic Week took place from November 16 - 22. Check this website or sign up for the In Search Of Newsletter to be notified for the dates of the 2016 event.










What cool events have been going on in your area lately? Have you visited a Gastronomic Week or a Restaurant Week before?

Places I'd Love to Visit in 2016

Wednesday, January 6, 2016



I had such fun writing this travel list back in 2015 and am happy that I was able to visit two out of four places on my list, including Greece, which was my dream destination for 2015. Oh so many more places on my list for 2016! This year I've also limited myself to four places plus one dream destination that I'm currently saving all of my pennies for.


1) Somewhere in the US that I've not been before (maybe Cape May, NJ?). I've been doing a ton of international travel for the past several years, but haven't had the chance to do much traveling in my own country. I'm thinking that during my visit to the US over the summer I'll have to visit Cape May in New Jersey or go south to Virginia for a little visit. Have you done a lot of visiting in the country you're from?

2) Warsaw and/or Krakow, Poland. Poland is pretty close to Lithuania, making it a relatively easy trip. I'm thinking a long weekend in one of the cities or a week-long trip spent in two cities.

3) Ireland. My parents visited Ireland for one of their big anniversaries several years ago and they still rave about it. I've got to see for myself!

4) The Netherlands. I've really been wanting to visit Amsterdam for a while now. Hopefully I'll be able to make the trip in April.


Dream Destination


1) Thailand. I'd love to meet up with my old roommates from Kunming, China in Thailand. They frequently vacation in Thailand and we've been talking about a group trip for ages now. Any money I make from random side jobs and change from grocery trips goes right into a bucket for the trip. I'm thinking summer of 2017 ...


Where do you want to visit in 2016? What is your dream vacation destination?