Category Archives: Travel

The Cloisters

Today Dave and I had a great adventure. We started by taking my lemon tree out to his brother’s house in Queens. The poor old tree wasn’t getting enough light in my new apartment and was dropping leaves like its 1999. Hopefully she’ll be happy there and I can have some lemonade in a few months.

Then we went on a trek up to the Cloisters, which I’ve wanted to visit for a long time. All the way up on 190th Street, the Cloisters are in Fort Tryon Park overlooking the Hudson. We strolled among fragrant flowers until we got to the museum. As you can imagine, it’s a big stone building built in the style of religious buildings.

The museum itself is relatively small, but my favorite part is the inner courtyard. It’s full of flowers, a fountain, and was quietly peaceful. It was a bit of a trek to get to, but I loved the views, architecture, peace and serenity. I can’t wait to take a small picnic there and spend a whole afternoon.

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Georgia

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At a dude ranch in Georgia for vacation – more pictures to come later.

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The cat likes sudoku.

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This is what happens when I go out of town for a few days.

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Killington

For Superbowl weekend, fourteen of my college friends rented a house for a long weekend in Killington. While everyone else enjoys skiing, Dave and I didnt feel like spending over $100 a day to pizza down the slopes. So instead we went snowshoeing, which was awesome. Basically if you can walk, you can snowshoe. It was quiet, invigorating, and even romantic. I highly recommend it as a cold weather alternative.

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Greater Than Slush

I’m usually quick to bemoan snow in the city, and even quicker to get enraged when it turns into grey slush 24 hours later. Yesterday, though, I was excited because it meant I got to put my new boots to the test. So far they have been amazing – just as dry as my rain boots but infinitely warmer. I think they’ll be perfect for my ski trip in a couple weeks!

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District of Columbia

This weekend I took the train south to hang out with some old college friends in DC. Although we’ve spread out across the East Coast, every three to six months we try to get together in someone’s city for a weekend. We rotate cities – Boston, NYC, Philly, DC – so it’s been almost a year since we were here together. My friend Pat was a wonderful host, putting all 6 of us up in his townhouse.

Friday evening we waited 45 minutes for dinner at Lauriol, but margaritas and Dos Equis made the time fly. It was pretty rowdy – there was a table of roughly 25 that started the wave that ended up sweeping the entire second floor. Later we migrated to Nelly’s for some casual drinks. I was equal parts disgusted and intrigued by the big screens playing collegiate wrestling.

Saturday we had brunch at Eatonville, which was a magical start to the day. Who isn’t enthralled with sweet tea in mason jars?

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I had the eggs & fixings; I think between us we sampled everything. Next time I’ll probably order the Charleston toast.

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I have to admit I’ve never been partial to DC before (when we all get together, we tend to get into passive-aggressive competitions on who’s city is better) but I have to admit it was very charming this weekend.

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Finding something that we all agree on (besides booze) is a bit of a struggle, but we struck gold with the Newseum. Covering the news from the past century and a half, it was filled with fascinating exhibits. My favorite was the exhibit of every Pulitzer Prize-winning photo ever; it displayed all the photos with their background story and words from the photographer. There was also a sports photo exhibit that was interesting.

The large section of the Berlin Wall was pretty impressive:

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As was the broadcast needle from the top of one of the Twin Towers:

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There were even funny headlines in the bathroom:

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Awkwardly, I forgot to turn the shutter noise on my camera off, so the person next to me thought I was up to something naughty.

In honor of the holiday weekend, we decided to make the long trek over to the MLK memorial. Those national landmarks maps are not to scale. However, once we got there it was completely worth it.

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Finally, it was time for something I’d been nagging everyone about all weekend: Ben’s Chili Bowl. We all got chili dogs & cheese fries & massive stomachaches.

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We rounded off the evening with a game of Apples to Apples that was more competitive than it was ever meant to be and good intentions of going out to a 90s dance party – I’ll admit I was more than pleased when we scrapped our plans and ordered in Papa John’s instead.

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Boom Boom Boom

Nothing says “welcome back” like a gruff cabbie who decides you must like thumpin’ house beats on the way home from the airport.

Nonetheless, glad to be back.

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Wintering

I’m writing this post-oceanfront jacuzzi soak in Islamorada. I’m staying at Cheeca Lodge for a couple days on business, and have really been milking the luxury side of things. I took a sunrise dip as well, and (re)read The Glass Castle before my day of meetings. I have to say, I’m impressed at how much a period of relaxation can get you ready for the day ahead. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that it’s at least 30 degrees warmer here than back in NYC.

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Tonight we took a sunset boat ride into the bay, looking at the mangroves and learning about the history of the Keys. Did you know the key with the highest elevation is only 12 feet above sea level? Pretty absurd. Afterwards, we peeked over at Hawk’s Cay, where they have dolphins in a saltwater lagoon. Although it was dark and you couldn’t see much, every 15 seconds or so a dolphin would pop up for air. I tried whistling at them, hoping that was the secret signal, but alas – no tricks.

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As much as I’ve loved being here – touring the island, eating fresh sushi, ditching my winter coat – I’m not sure I could live here. I’ve always toyed with the idea of moving south, but it’s just not as glamorous as you’d think. I may be becoming a proximity brat, but having to get in my car and drive 4 miles for a CVS seems over the top when at home I can see Duane Reade from my bedroom window. There’s also a lack of restaurants here, and an even greater lack of diversity. For someone who doesn’t enjoy seafood beyond a healthy shrimp cocktail, this isn’t the ideal culinary destination. Last but not least, the fashion icon here seems to be Tommy Bahama.

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I know all my friends & coworkers are jealous – I’ll admit, I’ve been doing some Facebook bragging – but I’ll be ready to touch down at LGA tomorrow.

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