Guide to the Best Brews of Brussels

Belgium beer are the bee’s knees. I was going to first provide a full Brussels City Guide, but I think that it is important to create one just for the beer! And the beer being a main course in Belgium, it only seemed fitting.

:::CAFE LEFFE:::

Our first stop was Cafe Leffe. As you can see below, we didn’t even get to our Airbnb to drop off our bags, having a Leffe was first on the list. This spot is not only in the beautiful Salon Center but also has all Leffe brews on tap. The Leffe Ruby being my favorite, so refreshing and yummy. We definitely came back here multiple times.

Brussels | Caffe Leffe | Scones In The Sky Blog Caffe Leffe | Ruby Leffe | Scones in the Sky BlogCafe Leffe  | Scones In The Sky Blog

 :::DELIRIUM CAFE:::

Delirium Cafe is known for their beer selection…as in 2400 different types of beer! They have a catalog for their beer menu…it’s crazy. It is kind of chaotic here, but worth checking out! We first ordered the Delirium Nocturnum on tap > Delicious! Then we went on to beers like the La Trappe, Pink Killer, and St. Bernardus. Great spot when looking for a unique selection of beer!

Delirium Cafe | Brussels | Scones in the Sky Blog Delirium Cafe | Brussels | Scones in the Sky Blog

:::AU BRASSEUR:::

Au Brasseur was the only place where we could find a sampler of Belgium Beers. You can order a sampler of 3, 6, 9 or 15 Belgium beers. This place was packed at night so we went during the late afternoon, when it was slower and shared the 9 beer sampler. {ALSO: The only take CASH Euros, no cards accepted.}

Au Brasseur | Belgium | Scones in the Sky Blog

Plus: There are many shops where you can browse beers by region!

Belgian Beers | Scones in the Sky

Look for more pictures and full city guide coming soon!

Happy adventures,

Erika

Joshua Tree National Park – Camping and Climbing

Jake has been dreaming about Joshua Tree National Park, and the feeling of the sun on his back as he climbs past the “Dr. Seuss trees” up to the top of a boulder formation.

We had such an amazing camping trip there a few years back. I was looking through the pictures and remembering how incredible it was.

It is relatively easy to get to. If you aren’t local, you can fly into Palm Springs, LAX, Santa Ana (Orange County) or  San Diego.  Then get there by renting a car.  You can also rent camping gear at Joshua Tree Outfitters — anything from tents & sleeping bags to a Coleman camping stove!

When we went, we stayed at the Jumbo Rocks Campsite, it’s the biggest with 124 sites. They have a fee of $10 per site. It was also the closest to the Skull Rock Trail. For reservation information and more about the park you can click HERE.

There are some really cool Airbnbs there too!!

Joshua Tree National Park | Scones in the SkyJoshua Tree National Park | Scones in the SkySkull Rock Trail | Joshua Tree National ParkJoshua Tree National ParkJoshua Tree National Park | Scones in the Sky BlogJoshua Tree National Park | Joshua Tree National Park | Scones in the Sky BlogJoshua Tree National Park | Scones in the Sky BlogJoshua Tree National Park | Scones in the Sky BlogJoshua Tree National Park | Scones in the Sky BlogJoshua Tree National Park | Scones in the Sky Joshua Tree National Park | Scones in the Sky BlogJoshua Tree National Park | Scones in the SkyJoshua Tree National Park | Scones in the Sky BlogJoshua Tree National Park | Scones in the Sky BlogSkull Rock Joshua Tree National Park | Scones in the Sky BlogSunset in Joshua Tree | Scones in the Sky BlogSunset over Joshua Tree | Scones in the Sky BlogScones in the Sky Blog | Joshua Tree National ParkScones in the Sky | Joshua Tree National ParkJoshua Tree | Scones in the Sky BlogScones in the Sky Blog | Joshua TreeJoshua Tree National Park | Scones in the SkyJoshua Tree National Park | Scones in the SkyJoshua Tree National Park Scones in the Sky BlogScones in the Sky Blog

This is probably one of my husband’s favorite places. For him, Joshua Tree is all about rocks, he loves to climb and be outside. The weather is rarely bad, unless it’s the dead of summer, then you might have some serious heat issues. It’s a great place for every level of hiking and climbing. Also, perfect for groups!

Happy Adventures,

Erika

 

Cozumel, MX – Our Sunshine Escape

I heart Cozumel. Wishing I was there writing this post and not in the cuddly 9 degree weather of Chicago. These pictures do give me some comfort. I had the awesome opportunity to go on a 5-night All-Inclusive trip with my crazy cool mom. (A couple of these pictures are taken by her :)) Ok, so your next month (or two or three) is going to consist of this: searching for flight deals and a Groupon that will take you to this gorgeous island.

Groupon has some great deals going on right now…you should totally take a peek. The Mexico, Caribbean & Latin America section is now on my “Favorites” tab on my Safari.

We were scheduled to be at the All-Inclusive Allegro Cozumel from our Groupon, but since they had a slight over-booking they upgraded us to the ‘5 Star’ –when they told us 5-star, I believe they meant to say it is of a higher quality, not that it was officially given that rating– sister resort the All-Inclusive Occidental Grand Cozumel. We were happy to make the switch! The Occidental Grand was secluded, had very lush scenery and a great beach.

Today, I am just going to share with you some pictures of the amazing water and sunsets, tomorrow I will give a better description of ways to travel around town, a few places you should stop and eat, and mini travel guide to Cozumel!

But first, I have to get you pulled in with these crazy turquoise waters and stunning horizons.

Cozumel Skyline | Scones in the SkyOccidental Grand Cozumel | Scones in the SkyOccidental Grand Cozumel | Scones in the SkyOccidental Grand Cozumel | Scones in the Sky BlogScones in the Sky Blog | Cozumel WaterCozumel | Scones in the SkyCozumel | Scones in the SkyScones in the Sky BlogCozumel Skyline | Scones in the Sky BlogScones in the Sky Blog | Panoramic View of CozumelCozumel Sunset | Scones in the Sky Blog Cozumel Sunset | Scones in the Sky Blog Sunsets in Cozumel | Scones in the Sky Blog Cozumel Sunset | Scones in the Sky Blog Morning Light over Occidental Grand Cozumel | Scones in the Sky Blog Beaches of Cozumel | Scones in the Sky Blog

The mornings are tranquil and perfect in every way.

Rainbows over Cozumel | Scones in the Sky Blog

It did rain on the last day we were there for about an hour or two in the afternoon. This beautiful rainbow was the result!!!

Rain in Cozumel | Scones in the Sky BlogRainy day in Cozumel | Scones in the Sky

 

With more to COME TOMORROW!!

Happy Adventures,

Erika

A San Diego Thanksgiving

Turkey Day is right around the corner…3 days away! Yay! We are so excited to go visit our family in San Diego. Mostly for the time with loved ones, but also to get away from this Chicago weather for a few days. It’s forecasted to be 80 degrees in San Diego on Thursday (as I look at the window and see snow falling in Chi Town). That’s just crazy! Weird to think I won’t need my down coat–well until I step foot back into O’hare.

Below is an outfit that felt very “Cali” to me…no jacket necessary, sunglasses for when you sip your Cranberry Margarita by the pool. Then probably get too hot in these leather leggings and ditch them for a swim suit. Bring it on.

San Diego Thanksgiving Fall Outfit

 

:::What you see above:::

Headband:::Forever 21, $6.90

Knit Sweater:::H&M, $29.95

Statement Necklace:::Target, $19.99

Wine Leather Leggings:::She-Fashions, $28.83

Sunglasses:::Warby Parker, $95

Leather Satchel:::GAP, $70

Steve Madden Bootie:::DSW, $69.95

Recipe to the Cranberry Margarita:::FREE

 

Happy Thanksgiving! I have so much to be thankful for, it’s slightly overwhelming. Praise God.

Enjoy your holiday everyone and happy adventures!

Erika

New Orleans, LA– An Awesome Place to Celebrate!

We celebrated our 1 YEAR wedding anniversary on October 24th! It feels like yesterday that we were saying our vows…that’s so cliché but so unbelievably true. I’m sure I’ll say that every year. Jake had never been to New Orleans, and I had been once on a layover. He picked the location about a week before, we found this Airbnb and off we went!

NOLA felt like another country to me. Only a two hour plane ride, and it seemed like we were transported to another world. This is why I say that–the food is like nothing I have ever eaten, the people are unique (friendly, eclectic, and move to the beat of their own drum), and the buildings and homes stand out in color, shape and size. I loved it.

Our trip ended up going like this:
Day 1

  • Early morning arrival, taxi to Airbnb (All taxis are a flat rate $33 for 1-2 people, no meters involved)
  • Drop suitcases at the home and cruise on our complimentary bikes to the French Market.
  • Grab an ice cream Daiquiri at the Gazebo Cafe.
  • Stroll the streets of the French Quarter.
  • Chow down on some Gumbo, Jambalaya, Red beans & Rice and Fried Chicken at Coop’s Place for lunch.
  • Stop at every corner to listen, as the Jazz fills your ears.
  • Ride back to our Airbnb to freshen up (we heard people stay out to 3-4am, so we had to get prepared).
  • Hit Frenchmen Street all night long, hopping from bar to bar. *You will be amazed at all the talent and variety!!
  • We had our late night dinner at a Cafe Negril–which is a bar with awesome music and food was surprisingly delicious! Shrimp Tacos…yum yum.
  • Between the two nights, we probably hit most of the spots on this street… the BMC (Balcony Music Club) had a great line up. The drinks are priced a little too high there, but the band was incredible.

Day 2

  • Start the morning at Cafe Du Monde for a pile of powder sugar and a delicious French donut (famous for their coffee and beignets).
  • Explore a new neighborhood. We rode to the neighborhood of Bywater.
  • They were having the Mirliton Festival that weekend. Who knows what a Mirliton is? Not me…guess it’s a vegetable! Ha
    • The festival was dedicated to this forgotten vegetable! All the food dishes had it creatively used, there was even a guy dressed up as a Mirliton! It was awesome. More Jazz, art, jewelry and unique finds too!
  • We spent a lot of the morning and afternoon getting to know Bywater…staring at homes, perusing shops and always eating & drinking.
  • Next, it was time for Oysters at ACME. Just do it. (Also the Seafood Étouffée was phenomenal).
  • More exploring and a few French Market purchases later, we were coming to the end of our second night.
  • The Frenchmen Street was still the scene on the second night too. They also had a little ‘market’ in a parking lot off of Frenchman St. Where again, you can find little handmade treasures to take home as souvenirs!

Overall, an awesome place to celebrate, forget about work, and surround yourself with sunshine and good people. Move New Orleans to the top of your destination wish list!

<Here are the pictures that follow the events from above>

New Orleans Airbnb | Scones in the SkyAirbnb Scones in the Sky French Market NOLA | Scones in the SkyFrench Market NOLA | Scones in the SkyFrench Quarter NOLA | Scones in the SkyFrench Quarter New Orleans | Scones in the Sky French Quarter New Orleans | Scones in the SkyFrench Quarter New Orleans | Scones in the SkyCoop's Place NOLA | Scones in the SkyFrench Quarter | Scones in the Sky French Quarter | Scones in the SkyFrench Quarter | Scones in the Sky French Quarter | Scones in the SkyFrench Quarter | Scones in the Sky Scones in the Sky | French Quarter French Quarter | Scones in the Sky Bourbon Street | Scones in the Sky French Quarter NOLA | Scones in the Sky French Quarter |Scones in the Sky  New Orleans Bike Ride | Scones in the Sky Frenchmen Street | Scones in the SkyNight Ride NOLA | Scones in the Sky Scones in the Sky Cafe Du Monde | Scones in the SkyCafe Du MondeCafe Du Monde NOLA | Scones in the Sky Selfie | Scones in the SkyBeignets Cafe Du Monde | Scones in the SkyNOLA | Scones in the Sky Scones in the Sky  Bywater NOLA | Scones in New Orleans | Scones in the SkyMirliton Festival NOLA | Scones in the Sky NOLA | Scones in the SkyFestival Band | Scones in the Sky  NOLA | Scones in the Sky ACME Oyster House | Scones in the SkyACME Oysters | Scones in the SkyNOLA Oyster Cans | Scones in the Sky NOLA | Scones in the SkyRiding through NOLA | Scones in the Sky

 

Happy Adventures,

Erika

 

A Walk Through Boston

Boston is beautiful rain or shine, however, my umbrella did collapsed and my hair looked like a bird’s nest by the end of my walk. But it was worth it! I loved Beacon Hill and all the little bakeries and antique stores, it was just adorable. On my walk from the Sheraton to Beacon Hill (about 1.7miles), I passed by The Old South Church, Trinity Church, streets filled with shopping, the Boston Common, the Public Garden, the Library and finally Beacon Hill. There is still much much more of Boston to see. But here is a view into my small day journey through ‘The City on the Hill’.

Trinity Church Boston MA | Scones in the SkyACORNS | Scones in the Sky  Trinity Church Boston | Scones in the Sky The Tortoise and the Hare Cute Chocolate Shop Boston | Scones in the SkyBoston Buildings | Scones in the Sky First Baptist Church of Boston | Scones in the Sky All Saints | Shopping in Boston Public Garden Boston | Scones in the Sky Public Garden Boston | Scones in the SkyPublic Garden Boston | Scones in the Sky Public Garden Boston | Scones in the Sky Beacon Hill Boston | Scones in the SkyWalk to Beacon Hill | Scones in the SkyBeacon Hill Boston | Scones in the SkyBeacon Hill Boston | Scones in the Sky Beacon Hill Boston | Scones in the SkyBeacon Hill Boston | Scones in the SkyPublic Garden Boston | Scones in the SkyPublic Garden Swans Boston | Scones in the Sky

Boylston and Charles were the main streets in my excursion, if you need a good place to start. 🙂 I did a lot of weaving and a 35 minute walk there took me a few hours–and the same return, tried to weave in the directions I missed on the first pass. I’m excited to go back, because I missed out on the famous clam chowder at Legal Sea Foods.

Happy Adventures,

Erika

A Perfect Day in Portland

Portland has a unique vibe and feel that is so inviting. Everywhere we went I kept thinking or saying aloud, “this place is so cool.” And the people are incredibly nice. I really could have spent all day at Powell’s Books and the whole experience at the McMenamins’ Edgefield was perfect.

Jake, Sam and I started our Saturday afternoon at McMenamin’s Edgefield, which is 74-acres of fun. It was built in 1911, and they utilize everything from the basement now wine cellars to the shed out back now distillery bar.  We happen to arrive during their Half Way to St. Patty’s Day celebration…so random, but a reason to celebrate I guess haha. Near the Distillery Bar they also have a putting area and also a little round of golf if you are interested! There is so much to see and many tasty beers to be had.

 McMenamins Portland | Scones in the SkyMcMenamins Portland Scones in the SkyMcMenamins Jacob Scones in the SkyIrish Dancing McMenamins PortlandMcMenamins PortlandMcMenamins PortlandMcMenamins PortlandMcMenamins PortlandMcMenamins PortlandMcMenamins Portland Scones in the SkyMcMenamins Portland Put Put McMenamins PortlandMcMenamins PortlandMcMenamins Portland

 

Next stop was to grab dinner at the food carts on 10th and Adler. Again, so many to choose from–I went with a Super Falafel Pita and it was delicious.

Food Trucks and Me Scones in the SkyFood Trucks PortlandFood Trucks Portland

Around the corner was the Ace Hotel, accompanied by Stumptown Coffee Roasters. So much hip in one block. I kind of loved it.  Jake and Sam tried the coffee on Nitro…basically looked like a dark beer but tasted like an amazing cold bubbly coffee. Genius.

Ace Hotel Portland |Scones in the SkyAce Hotel Portland | Scones in the SkyAce Hotel Portland | Scones in the SkyPortland Ace HotelPortland Ace HotelScones in the Sky Ace Hotel PortlandPortland Ace Hotel

Ace Hotel PortlandAce Hotel Portland

Lastly, we took our time roaming the book covered shelves of Powell’s Books.  I love books, libraries, cozy reading nooks…those are all places that bring me comfort and help slow down time. I was extremely impressed with their selection and happy to see so many people there.

Powell's Books Portland Powell's Books Portland

The buildings didn’t disappoint either. This one was particularly design happy.

Portland | Scones in the Sky

Happy Adventures,

Erika