A few weekends ago, I traveled to NYC for some sibling bonding, but not just any old bonding. Since I have visited a number of times over the last few years (you can read more about that here), I challenged my travel planning skills to come up with something different. When I think about my favorite travel activities, two things come to mind, walking and eating. We could have paid to hop on a food walking tour (this one is awesome), but why not create our own?
So I put Jesse to task finding somewhat healthy options, and he delivered with an impressive spreadsheet. The best part about creating our own adventure was the inherent flexibility. While we had a rough idea for the day, we truly let our feet and stomachs guide us. Planned coffee shop closed? No problem, the one down the street smells great too. Feet need an extra break? That bench looks ideal. Not quite ready for dessert yet? Take an extra stroll around the block. I filmed our day, which turned out to be one of the best NYC experiences yet. I can't wait to do this again, enjoy!
With Labor Day behind us, summer has reached its unofficial end. While I don't believe summer meets its real completion for another few weeks, the fact is that pools have closed, kids are back in school, and the nights are a little cooler. I'm always sad to wave goodbye to this part of the year, but my mood can be slightly lifted by a quick recap of everything I checked off of my summer bucket list.
A few summers ago, I started creating a seasonal bucket list to ensure David and I took full advantage of all the experiences and activities available to us. Many of our neighbors use DC's heat and humidity as the perfect excuse to take a vacation, but we think DC is at it's best from Memorial Day to Labor Day (and a little after). This year was no exception; we walked, ate, explored, and relaxed our way through another perfect summer. Whether you are a fellow resident or are planning a visit, I hope this list points you in a good direction.
I met Ariel in college. In the last year, she has become a new mom and a new blogger (find her at ariel loves) covering a range of topics from home design to travel. As the travel bug has bit me hard again, I asked Ariel if she would be willing to share her tips and tricks for traveling with a baby. Below: Ariel with her husband Michael and daughter Adina.
Argentina and Uruguay here we come! Yes, that's right, David and I booked our flights for our annual trip abroad and I am beyond excited. We loved Chile so much last year, we decided to continue with a second year of South American adventures. In the past, I've written a few posts (here and here) about my own thoughts and tactics for travel and vacation planning, so I'd like to use this very real example to showcase my strategies in action.
Let's be honest, coffee makes the world go 'round. Well, it at least makes my world go 'round. I am far from a coffee snob, but I love nothing more than sipping on a cold brew in the summer or wrapping my hands around a warm mug in the winter. I don't need anything fancy; basic coffee with a splash of skim, whole, or almond milk hits the spot.
A few years ago, DC got its act together in the coffee department. This city saw a boom of new and independent coffee shops, cafes, bakeries, and roasteries open their doors. Suddenly, we all awakened to the greatness of better quality beans. Don't get me wrong, I will happily gulp down my Dunkin' Donuts, and sometimes pop into 7-Eleven even with other options in the neighborhood, but the increased variety in coffee date spots is welcomed.
Over the past four years my family and I have gathered biannually in New York City to watch my youngest brother's dance performances. Jesse (you can read his guest post here) has been pursuing his BFA in Ballet from Marymount Manhattan College, and will be graduating this weekend. While supporting Jesse has been the primary purpose of these trips, they have also served as precious family time. We've all grown older and moved away from home, so finding time for all five (now seven) of us to get together is more difficult. As Jesse's college dance career comes to a close, I have been reflecting on my family's time getting to know a city as regular tourists, which I believe has been a unique opportunity; "next time" was always an option.
In Part 1 of this series I tackled a key question in planning an unforgettable trip: where should you go? I discussed my own thought process in narrowing down a world of unlimited options by considering things like length of travel, weather preferences, and group dynamics. Whether you are actively planning your next adventure, or simply daydreaming about it (like me), the next step in the process is determining your budget. I know, sticking to a budget may make you feel constrained, but I promise it's the key to a guilt free experience.
Walking enthusiast, kitchen experimenter, sports lover (watching, not playing), and future world traveler.
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