Hello Lady Liberty!

When I first decided to move to New York, I put together a list of places that I wanted to visit and explore or eat at.  We shall call this my New York Bucket List.  Some of the things I have accomplished and blogged about and others remain outstanding.  Of course, I’m starting to realize that not everything that I have written there (or in my head or iphone notes) is a “must do” or maybe isn’t something that I need or want to do.  Like the clubbing or hot spot bars in the city? Yeah, it’s likely I won’t be hitting all of those up.  Not my jam and you know what?  That’s a-okay.

Something I have wanted to do is see the Statue of Liberty and climb my way to the crown viewing point.  When my family visited about 10 years ago, we were able to visit the Statue + Ellis Island, but because this was post-9/11, the crown was closed to visitors.  I had thrown around the idea of visiting again with a few friends but of course no one wanted to commit to a certain day.  So, in the end I decided to take a solo jaunt and booked my ticket back in July.  Yes, back in July because only so many people are allowed up to the crown each day and spots sell out rapidly!  Not as quickly as Jimmy Fallon tickets, but that’s a story for another day.

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I highly recommend planning your trip months in advance as tickets sell out super quickly.  Of course, if you aren’t looking to climb all the stairs and would rather just visit the island and stop by Ellis Island, you could probably do this day-of.

Back in July I thought that a 9am trip would be a good idea.  Sunday morning I did not think so.  But, I got my butt out of bed and trekked down to Battery Park to see Miss Lady Liberty.  As you can see in the ticket above, it really is only $21 to see this monument and soak in all that history!  Audio tours are included on both the trip to the statue as well as Ellis Island.  I’m not kidding when I say you could make an ENTIRE day of this.

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The time on your reservation is not the time you should arrive, nor the time you actually depart.  I ended up picking my tickets up around 8:40 for a “9am” ticket.  We did board the boat around then, but didn’t depart until 9:30.  Like most things in life, you should just go with the flow on this one.

If you JUST want a view of Miss Liberty, I recommend taking the local trick or tourist hack and jump on the Staten Island Ferry.  For a total cost of $0 (yes…FREE) you can ride the 25ish minute ferry to Staten Island, gazing lovingly at the symbol of liberty and freedom (according to history) and then take the 25ish minute ferry back.  This is also located in Battery Park but does not come with an audio tour nor a trip to educate yourself on Ellis Island.

IMG_2943 Sure, let’s take a selfie, shall we?

IMG_8144 IMG_8152^^ Yes, those would be part of the 377 steps going from the lobby to the crown viewing platform.  The engineering is brilliant as the double spiral staircase allows for one ascending direction and one descending direction – allowing for ease and flow of traffic.  One thing to point out (maybe captain obvious) but if you are at all claustrophobic, I don’t know if you want to put this on your bucket list.  With 18 inch wide steps and clearance of just about 6 feet…just throwing that out there.

IMG_8155 My view from the crown – the only really good view to give perspective of how high up the viewing platform is.

IMG_8157 IMG_8162 ^^ Can’t really believe I was all the way up there!  Waaaaaaaay back in the day, the torch actually was open to visitors but as you can imagine it was closed because of structural damage in the early 1900’s.

IMG_8169^^ Because this is New York and we like to commercialize everything.  My sister and dad (both of whom are essentially my accountants) would be proud – I spent no money on souvenirs or over-priced/low-quality food – just $2 for a locker to hold my purse while I climbed the stairs to the crown (security logistics, can’t beat around that bush)

IMG_8132Next up was Ellis Island.  The Statue Cruise NYC ticket actually includes a trip to the statue and Ellis Island + museum, so you might as well make a day trip out of it.  Since I had already taken this trip before, I didn’t end up reading through each and every museum sign.  It also happened to be the first day of freezing weather (like in the 30’s when I first arrived at Battery Park) and I was ready for my warm and cozy apartment. **Please don’t get me wrong, there is a LOT of history to absorb and understand on this island and should not be discounted.  I was lucky enough to have had the great opportunity to experience this before.

IMG_2960 IMG_8178 IMG_8184^^ Take a look at the main hall and how immigrants waited in lines for hours at a time. Then take a look below to see how it looks today.  Neat comparison, right?   Many immigrants arrived at Ellis Island, looking to start a new life right away but often had to wait through long lines, health check-ups and more.  This would last from weeks to even years!

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The entire experience on Ellis Island is truly amazing, showcasing the ins and outs of how immigrants were or often were not welcomed into New York.  If you have the time to visit and walk around the museum, I highly recommend doing so.  You can even spend some time (and possibly $) tracking your lineage to see if you had any ancestors who traveled through Ellis Island.

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Statue of Liberty + Ellis Island
~ Crown Tickets ~ Information ~ Nearby Attractions ~

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“All journeys begin by leaving one place to venture to another” – Ellis Island

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Travels Tips ~ Avoiding Those Blonde Moments

First and foremost I have to give a mega shout-out to my sister Meghan who not only booked and organized a majority of the trip we took to Scandinavia, but dealt with some of my blonde moments and almost mental breakdowns.  Secondly, I would like to list out some of my tips and tricks for traveling in and around the country/world, with emphasis on Scandinavia.  I could call it “Traveling by the Seat of your Pants” but I think the published title tells it all.

So, most of these bullets are taken for my own use, to bookmark for future trips (in hopes that I review them prior to traveling) but maybe I can provide some wisdom and help you learn from my mistakes experiences.

  • It’s probably smart to review the trip prior to departing.  This means taking into account the following:
    • Do you have the necessary documents to enter? Tickets, ID, etc.
    • Do you know how to get there? Maps either provided by AAA, tourist booths or printed maps (thank you Google)
    • Do you have a guide book that tells you about the locations that you are visiting?  Our family is a huge fan of Rick Steve’s travel books and I think we got our money’s worth out of the Scandinavia book for sure.  Meghan was the smart one and read up on each place, whether we should purchase city passes, etc.  I just went along for the ride and acted as the photographer.  
    • Do you know where your passport is?
  • Worried about how you look in pictures?  They “blue steel” face from Zoolander is quite nice and makes anyone look good (even fit and trim)
  • Look for snacks in some of the local grocery stores rather than relying on takeout/coffee shops.  This is especially helpful if you are staying in one place for a longer period of time and save oodles of money vs. going to restaurants for every single meal.
  • Always report to your bank that you will be traveling in a foreign country.  One used to have to go into the bank or even call and wait for an operator in order to do this.  Now they even have a link online to fill out the proper forms and information.
  • Photocopy all of your important documents (passport, credit/debit cards, ID) leaving a copy at home and another on hand with you for traveling.
  • Send your travel info/flight schedule/itinerary to a friend or family member just so they know where you are if anything happens.  Or so they can track you on their atlas.
  • If you are a student (or maybe just graduated) ask for a discount.  Most places in Europe offer a discount and hey, it doesn’t hurt to ask, right?
  • Keep an eye out for free walking tours.  Again, these are pretty prevalent across Europe and are a great way to explore the city on a low-budget.  Just don’t be a butt and actually leave a tip.  They have them in most cities, but Sandeman’s New Europe is a good place to start if you are traveling to big name countries.  They even have walking and biking tours!
  • Not all restrooms (WC = wash closets) are free…rarely actually.  Either make sure to cary coins on hand or find your way into a local fast food joint.  Even then they may charge you so be thankful that the US of A has not jumped on that bandwagon.  Also don’t chug your water before getting onto a tour bus…things will not end well for you.
  • Some essentials: gum, hand sanitizer, tissues/napkins, plastic baggies, water bottle to fill up
  • No matter where you are going, always bring a workout outfit and bathing suit.  Just trust me on this.  Years of experience.

Norway in a Nutshell (Part 2)

Picking up with our next adventures in Norway.  After a short stint in Bergen and trip down the Fjords, we arrived in Oslo and were ready to hit the ground running.

Day 5 (5/20/15) ~ Oslo

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^^ I’m serious.  We started both mornings with solo jaunts along the water and around the castle.

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Solo just so we didn’t drive one another completely insane.  That and I didn’t want to drag Meghan down with my unpredictable paces.  Also, there is only so much conversation one can have with the same person 🙂

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After getting cleaned up and an excellent Scandinavian breakfast spread (hardboiled/soft boiled eggs, cheese & meats, too many rolls and breads to choose from, juices, yogurts, and more), we headed out and up to see the Olympic Ski Jump.

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We had picked up 48 hr Oslo Passes, which covered transportation and free entrance into the museums.  I highly recommend checking this out as many of the museum entrances (and transportation) can add up.  **Note: If you are a student or just so happen to have your student ID on hand, you get a 20% discount!

~ Holmenkollen Ski Jump and Museum ~

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^^ imagine dropping off and soaring into the air. a bit nerve wracking, right? or exhilarating. take your pick!

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IMG_7206^^ we have a habit of making friends with the wildlife…alive or well-preserved

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Once we had exhausted our views of Norway and learned far too much about ski jumping, we headed back into central Oslo.  .

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From there, we wandered into the Akershus Fortress to have lunch (thanks to the hostel buffet spread for supplying sandwich ingredients)

IMG_7233Next up – the Norwegian Resistance Museum, the Nobel Peace Center, and the National Gallery (where “The Scream” painting is).

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^^ No “SCREAM” picture as cameras were not allowed, but this will do, don’t you agree? We think the seal looks like my dog Bodie (well we think most adorable animals look like him) and I was doing my best to mimic Bodie’s method of sitting – the one where he crosses his paws and looks very regal.

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^^ Norwegian brands of candy

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^^ Oslo Opera House

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^^ City Hall (supposedly they have daily tours, mostly in the summer so make sure to check the schedule)

After a long day of walking, we stopped by the hostel to rest our feet and check back in on social media.  I definitely could have passed right out had it not been for my brain telling me it was dinner time.  Yes, sometimes the brain speaks louder than my stomach.  Still working on getting the two to speak to one another 😉

We walked down around the harbor, searching for the perfect dinner spot.  Of course it turned into a game of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” as some were too fancy and others (cough…TGI Fridays…cough) were too casual and mainstream.  The harbor is a nicer and trendier area to visit and even if you don’t eat there, definitely take a stroll!

Dinner was obtained at a French-ish place called Albert’s, where I indulged in a burger and Meghan had a Croque Madame sandwich.  Tasty and satisfying, but nothing out of the ordinary.

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Ice cream following dinner was an absolute must.  I’m sure she is thrilled with my insistence on candids.  I also tend to make plenty of friends while abroad (see below…my feathery friend was quite intrigued with this ice cream concept)

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Day 6 (5/21/15)

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It was museum day!  After another solo jaunt around Oslo (this time muuuuuch slower than expected but I’ll blame the hills), quick shower, and buffet breakfast, we took the ferry boat to Bygdøy, where most of the museums are located.

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Viking ship

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Kon (Con) Tiki boat (slightly updated viking ship)

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Oh hey, look – it’s another viking ship!  Let’s just say I’ve had more than my fair share of viking ships.  For a lifetime 🙂

All in all, we went to the Norwegian Maritime Museum, the Fram Museum, the Kon-Tiki Museum, the Viking Ship Museum, and the Norwegian Folk Museum.  Since we had purchased the Oslo Pass, we didn’t feel bad about breezing through some of the not so fascinating parts of the museum.  As Meghan put it, we didn’t feel obligated to read every caption on every display just to get our money’s worth.

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In the afternoon we took the public transport to Frogner Park, picked up a tiny snack and read for a while in the sun.

 

IMG_7310Of course I made some more duck friends in the park.  Aren’t they gorgeous?  They were practically posing for us tourists.

Dinner was somewhat of a debacle – Meghan had noshed on a Cliff Kid’s bar and was satisfied for some time, but I was edging towards hungry.  We tried to avoid the Hard Rock Cafes and TGI Fridays but may have been better off there than the bar we settled on.

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We finished up around 6:30 (yep, raging twins here) and decided to walk around town since it was too early to go to bed.  Per Meghan’s suggestion, we headed down to the train station, confirmed the departure of our train the next morning, and grabbed a final treat from Norway.  No, nothing special – just a waffle from Ben & Jerry’s for Meghan and a dark chocolate bar for me.

Stay tuned for the last part of the trip ~ Sweden!

Blondes Abroad ~ København 2015

For the past four and a half months, my sister has been studying abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark.  This is a normal thing to do when you are a junior in college (at least for those studying in the USA) and I myself spent a fall semester absorbing the culture in Barcelona, Spain.  Well, what do you do when someone you know lives or is abroad for a long period of time?  Visit them of course!  (sadly Meghan wasn’t able to visit Spain because of school and cross country, but I did get to see my mom for a short time).

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Anyways, the fact that Meghan’s program was set to end around Memorial Day made for a perfect work break and ultimately 10-day excursion to Scandinavia.  (I had actually traveled to a number of these locations previously but that was when I was less than the age of 3 and my parents and I lived in London for my dad’s work.  Needless to say I have pictures of it all but don’t remember a thing.)  She had been documenting her travels here for the few months and did an excellent recap of our Copenhagen adventure here.  Forewarning, I am posting picture heavy because I just love images are worth 1,000+ words, don’t you? If anything, my favorite part of traveling and even walking around NYC is to take in the sites and listen to everything around me.  Let’s begin, shall we? (forewarning, this is lengthy but has lots of fun pictures that also tell the tale)

Day 1: Arrival in København

IMG_6894The people, the languages, the cobblestone streets.  Everything here just screams Europe to me and I love it.

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~ Nyhavn ~

I took an overnight flight from good ‘ol Newark into Iceland and then another flight into Copenhagen.  From there, I following Meghan’s directions on how to get into the city (note: it’s a simple process but make sure you take the subway not the train…cough cough inside family joke 😉 ) After picking up an avocado flatbread sandwich and coffee from Joe and the Juice (which I thought was a small operation and that I was acting like a local – wrong – it’s a full-blown chain that hilariously only hires what look like male models), I met up with Meghan in Nyhavn.

Neither of us had international cell phones (her’s was finishing up that morning) so we decided to go old school and simply agree to meet at 3pm by the anchor.  No ability to say if you are running late, look up directions on your iPhone, or call each other to verify.  So strange and yet already I had the feeling of freedom from my iPhone.

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Walking around the palace

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The Little Mermaid
(no, not Disney created but rather Hans Christen Anderson inspired and Disney adapted)

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Sort of like the Mona Lisa portrait in the sense that it’s quite built up as an attraction and yet is so anti-climactic.  Still, I had to check it off the list.

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I found it fascinating that they 1) are super obsessed with Nike shoes (as well as the brand in general).  Nike is somewhat of a status symbol and you will see everyone walking around in different kicks.  Worked in my favor since that’s all I seem to wear while walking and had just picked up a pair from DSW.  A blonde in Nikes and I already fit into the culture.

Something else that intrigued me was that they are big into sweets (especially candy and licorice) but are so self-regulated that it is only a weekend splurge.  Stark difference to my American background and experience with indulging on the daily.

IMG_9913 Lucky for me, my arrival coincided with a Saturday evening dinner (Frikadeller – Danish meatballs, cabbage, & potatoes) and this lovely creation (chocolate mousse cake with vanilla ice cream, raspberries, a raspberry sauce, and dark chocolate shavings).  Meghan’s host dad, Tommy, is a chef and boy does he know how to present a meal.  If I had been their host student I would have surely gained 20 pounds from the trip.

Being jet lagged from the travel, I promptly passed out around 8pm.

Day 2: Exploration of København + Tivoli 

After sleeping for a solid 10+ hours (this.is.not.normal for me) we set off on a run through Hillrød, where Meghan’s host family was from, and had a lovely Scandinavian breakfast of homemade rolls with butter, jam, and cheese.  Meghan has always known how to self-regulate her meals and she has also been exposed to the type of spread Scandinavians eat for breakfast.  I on the other hand felt that my eyes bulged at every meal and subsequently left with a stuffed stomach (all in a good way).

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Sites seen: Rosenborg Palace, Christiansborg, through Christianshavn and Christiania, and to the trampoline sidewalks.

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denmark trampoline sidewalk

Around 2, we met up with one of Meghan’s school friends, Ruth, at Copenhagen Street Food.  This is very similar to the Williamsburg Smorgasbord but is housed inside a warehouse.  They run it every day of the week and during the warmer months, open it on the weekend.  After browsing from all the selections, I went with a pulled pork sandwich and Meghan selected a pork egg wrap (the wrap was literally made out of egg).

copenhagen street food
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After lunch, we walked back towards the center of town with Ruth, in and out of a few stores, and of course ended up in a sweets shop.  Copenhagen has these chocolate delights called fløbollers, which look like little snow caps with marshmallow and marzipan, all covered in chocolate.
Next stop…TIVOLI!
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We decided to go for the all ride wristbands, which enabled us to ride everything as many times as we pleased.  Like most city passes or ride passes, it’s important to think about how much you will get out of it versus paying ad hoc fees for rides or museums.  Well, we TOTALLY made the most out of our bands.
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I LOVE ROLLERCOASTERS! But really, it’s a problem.  I also seem to do this thing where I have a huge adrenaline rush while riding them and then can’t stop laughing and screaming.  Strange, but apparently I have had that problem (habit?) since I was little.
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Dinner at Cafe Paludan…possibly one of the best meals of the week – prosciutto salad with pesto, bacon, cheese, and a bed of greens.
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Though stuffed, a vacation is not complete without a scoop of ice cream (this just happened to be one of a few on my journey – but quite possibly the best).  Folks – if searching for something sweet, GO TO PARADIS!! Do NOT go to one of those pop up tourist traps, find your way to a Paradis and you will thank me later.
Day 3: Exploration of Helsingør + Copenhagen
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IMG_7047Local train ride (30-40 minutes) to Helsingør where we wandered Hamlet’s castle and along the harbor.  Apparently I had been inside the castle as a baby and Meghan advised that we skip the indoor tour.  I trusted her judgement and had a much more enjoyable time wandering the exterior.
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From there, it was back to Hillerød in order to pick up our bags before taking the train back into Copenhagen and grabbing salads from the Glass Market (at a paleo place none the less).
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We wandered up Strøget (the main shopping street) and I purchased my first souvenir of the trip.  A wooden horse that I named Sven. 🙂
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We then climbed up the tower in  Church of Our Savior
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(note – you will have to purchase tickets to climb the stairs but the views are totally worth it!)
 IMG_7061Testing out one of Meghan’s favorite pastries from Lakagehuset during our coffee break (ok, my coffee break).  We walked a bit more before grabbing our luggage, which had been stored at Meghan’s abroad program, and jumped on the metro to get to the airport.  From there, we scouted out a dinner option and played bananagrams until our flight to Bergen (Norway) was ready to depart.  If you are interested in a super cool hyper-lapse (or so I thought) check out my instagram here.

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Back at the castle near Hillrød

~ Danish Phrases ~

Goddag, mint nan er … ~ Hello, my name is …

 Tak {tahk} ~ Thank you

God morgen/God nat ~ Good morning/good night

Nej {nigh} tak ~ No thanks (and if you are just looking in a store you can say “Nej take, jet bigger bare” to say that you are just looking)

Meg vil genre have … ~ I would like … (polite way of ordering)

Undsyld ~ Used if you bump into someone.  They don’t seem to say “excuse me” so I guess this would be important to know

Jeg taler ikke Dansk ~ I don’t speak Danish

~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~

Well, if you happened to make it all the way to the end, congrats!  Stay tuned for our adventures in Norway.  Also, happy national running day!

Sights By The Sea ~ A Trip to Cape Cod

One of my many lofty goals is to explore the entirety of the east coast.  On a grander level, I would love to explore each and every state, as many countries as possible, and maybe even a road trip or two with pit-stops at random eateries and national parks.  But for the time being, I’ll stick to east coast based locations that are a hop, skip, and a jump away.  As a matter of fact, a month or so back, I waslucky enough to spend the weekend with my grandparents up in Cape Cod.  Yes I have been hoarding this recap in my drafts folder and so now it’s time to share the love.  

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While I don’t actually have any family that lives on the east coast, I do have lots of loving relatives who are willing to make the trip out from sunny Southern California.  Also, this might be a complete east-coast-ignorant statement but when I first proposed visiting the Cape, I had no.darn.clue how many places that potentially included.  Here I was thinking it was all one beach town.  Noooope.

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To be exact (wikipedia exact), there are 15 different towns {Bourne, Sandwich, Falmouth, Mashpee, Barnstable, Yarmouth, Harwich, Dennis, Brewster, Chatham, Orleans, Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro, and Provincetown}, each with a number of different villages.  Well thank you to my good friend Sarah, who has extensive knowledge of the area, I narrowed it down to Chatham and that is where we traveled.

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Once we selected the town, it was time to figure out where to stay.  Thanks to my dad’s excellent travel research skills, we stumbled upon possibly the most adorable B&B I have ever visited or seen before. The cute couple has been running this B&B for almost 20 years and they certainly have it all down to a science.

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The Old Harbor Inn
22 Old Harbor Rd, Chatham, MA 02633
(508)945-4434

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^^ perfectly decorated bedrooms filled with little snack baskets, the most luxurious mattresses, chocolates on the pillows, and an endless stream of snacks, cookies, coffees and teas one could ask for.

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^^ Even a daily breakfast selection by the hostess.  The night before, you will find a perfect little menu printed on your bed with all the potential options and boy is it delicious.  I certainly had way too much fun playing with the Nespresso machine.  Who wouldn’t?

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~ united states coast guard ~

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^^ on the first day that we were in town it happened to be 1) raining and 2) we were sans electricity as some fuse had blown out.  So instead of sitting around, we decided to drive out and around the various cape towns.  Lucky for us the sun decided to shine by the time we reached the tip of the “arm” (how some like to describe the shape of the cape)

grandparents on the beach

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^^ traveling out and around the coast to Provincetown is a must

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On Saturday morning, the sun was shining bright and early, so once we were finished with our lovely B&B breakfast, we set out for a walk about town.

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^^ salt water taffy, another must when you find yourself on any coast

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^^ a Massachusetts and northeast classic

IMG_6706^^ with so many different mom and pop stores to wander, I was in seventh heaven.  While the weather might have edged on the chillier side, it was lovely to travel and walk around town without all the tourists.  You know the overwhelmingly obnoxious tourists, not us of course 😉

More to come on some of our delicious eats!

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many many thanks for making the trip!

“Life is like a camera focus on what’s important and capture the good times” – unknown

January Life of Late

To say that this year has been uninspiring thus far would be a terrible mistake.  Despite having to spend a majority of my day staring at a computer (hello Excel and Outlook! My bestest of friends), I have already traveled to new places (mostly within New York City), met new friends, visited new restaurants, and just lived in the moment.  Oh, not to mention, applied and received a promotion at work, so that’s pretty nifty.  I’d say that’s an excellent start to 2015, don’t you?

What have I not done?  Well, a sugar cleanse & dry-January (um, seeing as I rarely drink, it wasn’t such a big deal and netted out to drinking 2 days out of the month), worry (too much) about the future, or save the world.  Not too shabby and can all roll over into February.  Yes, even saving the world.  But, there’s more to this city than that.  Grab a cup of tea and stay awhile.  Here’s some of the fun that living in such a unique place like NYC can offer.

IMG_8152Times Square
Now that all the holidays are over, the city is a little bit better to navigate.  Sure, I try to avoid the main tourist traps, but walking through this central hub of lights makes me think I live in a dream.

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Museum of the City of New York
1220 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10029
(Btwn 103/104 on the right side of Central Park)
~ More ~ Visit ~ Exhibits ~

I first read about this museum and the following exhibit in particular in the New York Times news paper.  As a matter of fact, I may have received the article from a grandparent, but I don’t entirely recall.  Anyways, this gem of a museum is hidden on the Upper East Side and not talked about as often as I think it should be.  Sure, it’s not your MET or MOMA, but it has so much history that it’s another fabulous stop on a rainy or snowy day.

The main reason I wanted to go was to see the “Mac Conner: A New York Life” exhibit, which highlighted the works of one of the first “Mad Men.”   Mr. McCauley (“Mac”) Conner (born 1913) was quite influential in the city’s growing publishing industry.   The exhibit will take you on a journey through his Navy publication days and into his hand-painted illustrations for advertising campaigns and women’s magazines (Redbook and McCall’s) created post World War II.

~ Huffington Post Review “Meet One Of The Real ‘Mad Men,’ 1950s Ad Artist Mac Conner” ~

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NOVEMBER PROJECT

IMG_8155Wake up the Sun @ Upper West Side ~ 116th and Morningside Drive

Sure, when my alarm goes off, I don’t always want to get up.  But, when I know that there will be smiling and friendly faces at NP, I know it’s worth it.  I know that starting my day by working out is the best thing that I can do for myself.  A happy (yet slightly tired and wired on coffee and tea) Kaitlin will be much better for the world, just trust me on this.

Some of our other favorite phrases and hashtags are: #weatherproof (we will work out in any weather – rain, snow, sunshine…the latter preferable but rare in these NYC winters), #justshowup #verbal (letting others know that you will be at the workout. it’s called ACCOUNTABILITY!) #positivity #grassrootsgear #wakeupthesun

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IMG_8074For those of you who are still intrigued (or confused…it’s totally ok to be confused) about November Project, I HIGHLY recommend checking this site out and watching this video.

Still trying to figure out why people want to wake up at the crack of dawn and go running around their respective cities?  Read Gabbi’s (Run Now Wine Later) recap of her year at NP-SF and you will know.  It’s just that amazing of an environment and I’m pretty positive that this is how we all feel about our tribes. 

IMG_8080Really though.  How could you not love this view?  Living on the east coast has made me appreciate the value of a sunrise.

IMG_8095ACAI BOWLS + GREEN SMOOTHIES GALORE
Thank goodness for Juice Generation, Liquiteria, and so many other pop-up shops.  Sure, the $8-10 price-range isn’t ideal but a bowl full of nut butter, fruit, and greens sounds like heaven to me.  At least I feel slightly healthy inhaling all those natural sugars and protein.

Also thanks to my planner who gave me a Juice Generation gift card for Christmas, it hasn’t been too terrible for my bank statement.

IMG_8088My terrible habit of having at least three beverages going at a time.  My family (and now roommates) have to deal with me constantly rotating cups and leaving them around the apartment. I may have three-four partially consumed drinks going at a time.  Sometimes I extend them out over a few days (of course putting them in the fridge and such), but they will be consumed. Eventually.

IMG_8085Just some friends playing Jenga and competing to make the tallest tower.  Ah New York.  You really do have it all.  (Sidenote: we were having such a good time that people around us were highly jealous of our Jenga skills)

IMG_8147Summer Roll  (Tuna,Avocado,Crab,Lettuce,Asparagus,Cucumber and Kaiware Sprouts Shrimp Tempura) … quite the mouthful.  Really.

Lunch at Sushi Zen
108 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10036

While some of the perks of my job include taking clients out to lunch and getting our nails done (free mani/pedi? Worth the long hours in excel), this was from lunch with my AWNY (Advertising Women of New York) mentor.  It’s what my dad told me (a younger Kaitlin grudgingly agreed at the time and is now thankful) that it’s all about – networking, networking, networking.

IMG_6557Wouldn’t you know that just across the water and 7 Train, there is this place called Long Island City with some delicious restaurants and recently renovated parks?  Thanks to my previous manager for this tip!

IMG_6527Just a couple of friends playing tourist for the day.  (Notice how Rock Center is not NEARLY as packed as say two months ago during the holidays?)

IMG_8130Because views like this make my day, week, month, and year.

“Be a first rate version of yourself, not a second rate version of someone else.”
– Judy Garland