Oh, the places your mind takes you!

I hope you had a wonderful weekend, especially if it was a 3-dayer. My weekend was lovely. On Friday, my friend and I grabbed dinner at Trattoria Locanda, located on idyllic Main Street in Fishkill, NY. As we were led to our cozy table near the fully stocked wine tower, we were pleasantly surprised to learn that it was also Restaurant Week in the Hudson Valley. Woo! Bring on the 3-course meal! (Hudson Valley Restaurant Week ends November 17th, just FYI.)

A lovely Pinot Noir and fresh, hot garlic bread to start it off.

Yea! It’s Restaurant Week.

Killer ambiance. Something about brick walls and chandeliers, right?

First Courses: Fried Calamari and Caesar Salad (we shared).

….And that’s it on pictures! Somewhere between waiting for the second course and pouring glass of wine #2, I became so engrossed in our conversation that I forgot I even brought my camera. I definitely think that’s a good thing. Best to enjoy your evening and the company of others than to spend all night snapping away. Needless to say, we enjoyed our Veal Marsala, Shrimp Parmigiana, Tartufo, and Tiramisu IMMENSELY! We finished off the night with a little nightcap at the bar next door, Eleven 11 Grille and Spirits.

Had to whip out the camera one more time for these beauts!

~Cherry Cosmo & French Martini~

Ok, so that was Friday. Saturday was equally as lovely. My mom, sister, and I traveled to New Jersey for my cousin’s baby shower. It was a beautiful celebration for such an exciting time. It was also great to spend a whole day and night with my girl cousins and aunts: lots of sangria/wine, telling old stories, making jokes, laughing. We had a blast.

“From Bride to Baby,” a little Instagram post I put out in honor of the day.

~my cousins, sister, and me~

Sunday was a relax/recoop day, and yesterday, after doing a few random things during the afternoon, I met my family for dinner at a local spot. It was on my drive to the restaurant that I got the thought for this post. Have you ever sipped a drink, smelled a smell, or heard a song and the taste, scent, or words just transported you to another time in your life? I’m sure you have. I just sipped my Peppermint Mocha Latte at Starbucks and was instantly zoomed to the memories of past Christmases. Boom! Flashes of walking around Rockefeller Center, wrapping presents, the comfort of my home and family, the way I decorated my old apartment just danced in my head. Isn’t it crazy how the mind works like that?

Same thing happened last night. It was a short drive to the restaurant so I didn’t bother playing tunes from my phone. Just the good ol’ radio was on. A song came on that was very popular last year. Quite honestly, it’s a song that I usually skip now when I shuffle my library because I’ve just heard it so many times. But, there’s no skipping on the radio and I didn’t feel the need to change the station. I mean, I do LIKE the song. So I listened. And there was my mind at work again…bringing me back to when this song first came out. It was about this time last year when I was listening to it almost everyday. I had just gotten out of a relationship, and it’s one of those songs that, at the time, seemed to be “exactly what I was going through.” How many songs have had that effect on you? It’s actually an awesome thing, the powerful impact that music has on our everyday lives. I mean, the song would come on, and I would literally sing those lyrics as if I was singing to my situation. And then I would repeat. It helps. I even made an Instagram post way back when to give it a shout-out.

If you clicked on that last link, you now know the name of the mystery tune – “Sweet Nothing,” by Calvin Harris ft. Florence Welch. Amazing song. Not the happiest, but definitely worth a listen. For me, it was there just when I needed it. A year ago. Now? Well, it’s still a good song but, thankfully, no longer needed. Whether we believe it at the time or not, we will always move on and move forward from hard times. We will get stronger and better. Happy to say that hearing this song last night reminded me of this fact. So, I guess it was there for me again – but in a much better way.

Happy Tuesday! Have a great week : )

Cheers, Natalie

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