Tag Archives: explore

New York, NY

I lived in New York City for 13 years before I moved to New Jersey and always felt like I didn’t really know the city I was born and raised in.

A few months back I decided to get to know my city a little better…

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Thanksgiving season is upon us and I have to say that I have so much to be thankful for.  My best friend Linda is one of those people. (Check out her Fashion BlogLinda is my oldest friend. We met in the 6th grade and we have been friends ever since. Linda still lives in NY and hates tourists attractions so I practically had to drag her on this adventure with me. Needless to say, that by the end of our trip she saw NY with different eyes and realized that she also didn’t really know her city that well.

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We took a boat tour of the city using Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises. It was absolutely amazing! We snagged two seats right next to railings and became amazed by New York City (Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island) and what it has to offer.

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The Empire State Building

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The Freedom Tower

NY5Lady Liberty

NY6The Brooklyn Bridge

NY7The Williamsburg Bridge

I was ecstatic seeing all these beautiful monuments/infrastructures that make New York such a wonderful city. It reminded me why I love New York so much and why I miss being in the midst of it all.

After our tour Linda took me to China Town! I was so excited because I have never really walked the streets of China Town in NY. What a lively section! There was so much going on. Linda was walking with a mission and I was looking around all excited and bubbly (tourist moment). We went to eat at Xe Lu’a Vietnamese Restaurant. I have never had Vietnamese food and as my only Vietnamese friend I demanded that she take me to go eat some!

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WOW! My seafood noodles were beyond amazing and I practically licked my plate clean. Till this day I cannot believe she kept me in the dark for so long about Viet food!

After dinner we walked a bit and came across some really cool graffiti!

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Located on 184 Mott Street. What lifts me? Adventures like these that remind me how much there is to see even in our own backyards.

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We stopped by Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream and on our way out came across this piece of art. I thought it was absolutely beautiful and brought out the vibrance that was inside of me.

I had such a beautiful day and I am thankful for the opportunity to discover so much. Everyday we should try our best to discover something new, no matter how small it is. The world is too big and filled with experiences that are just waiting to be experienced and if we wait, those experiences will just pass us by.

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Good Company

There’s just something refreshing about being surrounded by good company.

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambition.” – Mark Twain

When I think of good company a few things come to mind: happiness, laughter, being myself, adventure, relaxation and motivation. I like to surround myself with people who will ultimately inspire me; people who at the end of the day remind me to always be great, even in the moments that are not so great.

A few weeks ago it was my friend Stephany’s birthday. To celebrate we had Brunch at Zylo Restaurant in Hoboken, NJ. 
[Click Here For More Info On Brunch]

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I told Steph about my new hobby, photography, and she was more than thrilled to allow me to take pictures during our outing. I was so excited to carry a camera all day. I felt like such a creative bumblebee just buzzing around collecting sweet shots of honey. I was able to capture unique moments. Moments that tell more than one story. Moments that are now forever imprinted and that can be remembered if one day forgotten.

We sipped on mimosas for 2.20 hours and ate until we couldn’t fit anymore food in our stomachs. So yes we ate, drank and laughed. Could it have gotten any better than that? Of Course!

Hoboken has a great view of New York City being located right next to the Hudson River. It has the type of view that will make you get lost in it…and we did.

We came across an Arts and Music festival! I was so excited.

We all walked together finding something to laugh about with each step we took. So much life and vibrance everywhere! We inspired each other to keep smiling. It’s the small things that count and those moments we spend with those that make us better. Surround yourself with those that make you great. Surround yourself with those that inspire you. Surround yourself with good company. 

Just Breathe

Have you ever forgotten to just breathe? I mean to just take a second to sit down, stop thinking and simply just breathe

Today, I was reminded of how important it is to just stop everything and take some time to reenergize. I was reminded that there is such a thing as taking on too much.

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A few weeks back I realized that November is around the corner and that 24 is peaking through my window. I started panicking because I haven’t even completed half of My List. I quickly started planning the remainder of August. After I finished packing up August with plans, I took a few minutes to think about my year and realized that it has been quite a fulfilling year:

  • I saw three Broadway Plays
  • I had my five year high school reunion
  • I vacationed in Cancun (snorkeled and swam with dolphins)
  • I celebrated St. Patricks Day for the first time
  • I ran my first 5K
  • I got my first massage
  • I rock-climbed
  • I have read three books
  • I roller-skated (I thought it would be a huge fail but it was amazing)
  • I partied on a cruise with friends
  • I took GRE prep courses
  • I went wine and cheese tasting
  • I went to a concert

Of course, after I wrote this down and took a look at it, it didn’t seem like enough. For the next few days, I started juggling so much that I was practically walking around holding my breath. Every second of my day my mind was racing with something I had to do or needed to do. 24 hours just wasn’t enough; everything needed to get completed as soon as possible.

Then my friend sent me this, “Never give up on something you really want. It’s difficult to wait, but more difficult to regret.” This really made me think… Why are you rushing? What’s the real problem? I let those questions sink in and today received this advice…don’t take on too much to the point where you jeopardize everything you have been working for…prioritize and don’t forget to take a moment to just relax. Funny, because not that long I was asked when was the last time I relaxed. I didn’t have an answer. For the rest of my afternoon I sat on my backyard, with my grandfather, and simply read my book as the wind caressed my face. I was finally breathing.

I decided that for the rest of the week I’m going to just focus on the first task at the top of my list and take it from there. It’s easy for me to forget that the only person on this journey with me is ME. I need to focus on what I am doing and not rush to catch up with everyone else. It’s easy to get distracted and be consumed by the idea of “catching up to others” or “feeling left behind” but the real triumph is staying true to your journey and working towards your goals at your own pace.

Wine and Cheese

Today, I was surprised and was taken wine and cheese tasting at Crossing Vineyards in Washington Crossing, PA. Everyone who really knows me knows how much I LOVE cheese and how badly I’ve always wanted to do this. It was an amazing experience.We had crackers and five types of cheeses:

  1. Pepper Jack Cheese
  2. Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  3. Pepato Cheese
  4. Dill Havarti Cheese
  5. Manchego Cheese

We tasted about 10 to 14 wines…I honestly lost count.

Here are the notes I took on the different pairings and the wines themselves:

  • Dill Havarti cheese pairs up with Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier
  • Chardonnay doesn’t really pair off with any cheeses
  • Vidal Blanc goes well with Sushi
  • Pepper Jack cheese pairs up with Riesling  *Riesling is also good with spicy food*
  • Manchego cheese pairs up with Merlot  *Merlot is also good with Pizza due to the Marinara sauce*
  • Rosé is really good
  • Cheddar cheese pairs up with Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Cabernet Franc is very smooth and delicious
  • Pepato cheese pairs up with Chambourcin Reserve 
  • Peach wine exist!!! (Blew my mind away!)
  • Wild-berry wine is good with cheese cake and duck
  • Chocolate Cherry Truffle wine really tastes like chocolate and is it absolutely delicious!

After the wine and cheese tasting we had a small tour of the vineyard. It was beautiful. There’s nothing like a great scenery.

Grapes growing (not quite ready yet.)

I was honestly in awe at how peaceful everything looked.

During the tour we got a brief history of the vineyard. I even learned that the owner of the vineyard was the man that complimented my curly hair during the wine and cheese tasting. I was extremely flattered being that I’ve been struggling with my hair.

Overall, I had a great time and wine tasting was everything I expected and more. I even learned that I’m more of a white wine type of girl unless I’m drinking Sangria, which comes to show that with every experience we learn something new about ourselves, doesn’t matter how small or big the detail is.

I Climb Rocks

I did it! I climbed rocks! 

Ralph Stover State Park (High Rocks Vista) – Pipersville, PA

Self-discovery is all about stepping out of your comfort zone and discovering that “you” that’s hidden underneath all your fears, doubts and worries. There’s no better path to self-discovery than one filled with new experiences.You truly never know what you are capable of until you challenge yourself and push your limits by trying new things. You might end up discovering a skill you never thought you had or a hobby that fills you with that joy you’ve been missing from your life.

I told myself that this year I was going to go rock climbing. Why? I don’t have the slightest idea. I simply just wanted to do something different and challenging. Let me tell you that I have never been more proud of myself then when I reached the top of my first rock, hugged the tree and looked down at my guide and friend who were looking up at me.

Dare to do what you think is impossible.

On my journey to the top I got ridiculously dirty, became acquainted with bugs I would normally run away from, got a few scrapes and bruises and worked out my arms. I felt like I was doing yoga (never done yoga but I’m convinced I did a few yoga moves) while climbing to the top. It was all absolutely exhilarating! Everything disappears and it’s just you and that rock… all I could think about was, “what’s my next move to make it to the top?

Rock climbing is all about determination. It’s like life. It won’t be easy, you’ll definitely get a few scrapes and bruises but reaching the top will make all the struggle feel like nothing, compared to the feeling of accomplishment. Ironic right?

I discovered that I like climbing rocks and I would do it again in a heartbeat. 

Overall, I had an amazing day learning how to climb. My friend was a great supporter and was an awesome climber! I met a family of rock climbers (12 year olds were putting me to shame) and my guide was awesome! Ralph Stover was a beautiful park that left me in complete amazement and gave me an incredible experience.

** My Rock Climbing experience was possible thanks to Northeast Mountain Guiding

Moments.

I love those moments when everything seems to be still except you.
The breeze feels smooth, your body feels light as a feather and everything is just right.
You’re genuinely happy inside. 

That’s exactly how I felt when I went skating in Philly. Everything seems to have disappeared.
I felt unstoppable. 

Not sure what’s in the air or how I can tap into that feeling but wish I could…
ALWAYS.

Life is full of moments why not take a minute to really appreciate the special ones….

Time for a Vacation!

Every once in awhile it’s important we take a break from daily stress, work, routine and everything else that composes our hectic lives. Believe it or not it’s super easy to forget to give yourself a break…you get caught up in everything going on in your life and trying to better yourself, that you lose focus and forget that treating yourself should be a part of bettering yourself. Yupp…that was me. I graduated college and didn’t celebrate, not a party, vacation or even a shopping spree. I was too focused on moving on to the next phase of my life, (I felt behind schedule) that I forgot to enjoy the moment and celebrate my accomplishments.

So I graduated, struggled, and finally landed my first full time job. Months later, my friend asked me if I wanted to go to Cancun for her Birthday… I somehow snapped out of it. I thought about the last time I left the country…Study Abroad Fall 2012 to Brussels, Belgium…it’s 2015! Yea, I was going!

I’m telling you, when you put your mind into something and you are determined to make it happen…it happens…because in the next few weeks I was off to Cancun, Mexico.

Four and a half days in Cancun, Mexico.

I can sit here and write stories but instead I’ll give a list of highlights:

  1. We swam with dolphins (Solomon and Sydney.) Why they chose to name a dolphin Solomon? Who knows.
  2. We went to an island, “Isla de las Mujeres” – the Island of Women, where we did most of our souvenir shopping. We also spent most of our time there looking for our friends who we lost… we shall keep that story in Cancun.
  3. On our way to the island we snorkeled! SUPER PROUD OF MYSELF! because I can’t swim.
  4. We went out to the clubs and got VIP all night! YES to us!
  5. We ate authentic Mexican Quesadillas. 
  6. We met a bunch of Canadians.
  7. We ate at almost every restaurant in the resort.
  8. We took the local bus more than once and experienced Mexican cockroaches… bugs suck in every country! Wish I took a picture of my friend literally standing on her seat the entire bus ride to the hotel!
  9. I sang with a Mariachi!! I must say that was a dream come true!
  10. Took tequila shots!

Overall, it was a good trip! Just like any vacation with your girls we had our moments but in the end it was money well spent! I can’t say I’m pressed to return but maybe one day Cancun and I will meet again.