2017 Round Up of Adventures

Happy Holidays everyone! I felt like doing An Adventure Roundup Post before I take a 3 day hiatus from blogging.

I’m using that time to be with friends and family during the holiday season but I will be back soon!

2017 might have been one of our best yet! I don’t normally like odd years but this one was pretty great. A first full year back in New York but we/I travelled so much it didn’t even feel like we were there the whole time.

Before I get into the adventures, I just want to talk about some random ones which were all the weddings we had. 5 in total! Not only were they fun but I got to see states (Hi Indiana and Illinois) that I hadn’t seen before!

Below is a highlight of 2017 adventures (don’t worry, a book roundup is coming) and some of my favorite pictures to go along with each.

Outside of New York Adventures

Well there were a ton of these! Here’s the big reveal for this year, I am afraid of flying but traveled to 4 locations that required it. I think I’m finally over my fear!

Those 4 locations were: 2 trips to Florida (Miami/Key West and Orlando/St. Pete) and twice to Chicago.

Chicago was such an awesome city too, it might be my favorite City that I’ve visited. At the same time Miami was a little bit of paradise.

Let’s not forget my two other trips that didn’t require travel. One is the usual trip, to Cape Cod. The little quaint area has more to do than you might think. But I have to admit, my trip to Maine might have passed the Cape. I hadn’t been to Maine in years so it was nice to go someplace different in the middle of June and really see what the area has to offer without a lot of people.

The New York Adventures

Man, that was a lot of adventures outside of my home state, but let’s not forget about all the cool things there are to do in New York!

My favorite trip of the year was probably Watkins Glen and Seneca Lake. Mainly because it was the first time in awhile that my boyfriend and I were able to just travel somewhere by ourselves. It’s also the most affordable weekend away that you can probably do which is also nice.

We also did a lot of local things, like our hikes (including some 46ers!), musicals, walking around gardens, museums, and even some chowder. All in All I would say it was a good time.

As mentioned before this year was pretty great but I am so excited for next year……….

We have officially booked our tickets to London and Cornwall England. It’s always been a dream of mine to go so I am anxiously waiting and I cannot wait to tell you all about it (any tips are appreciated).

Don’t worry, I have some other trips planned but nothing definite so more to come!

Happy Holidays everyone! Enjoy the time with your friends and family, it’s an adventure in its own right 😊

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6 Days in Miami

Hi everyone! It’s been awhile since I had a post about an adventure!  I took November off so I could keep my wallet from hating me before I went to Florida. I’m so excited to finally tell you guys all about my trip to Miami. I had never been to Miami before so when my friend asked me to go with her I knew I had to say yes!

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The Weather:

In December, the weather isn’t as warm as you would think for Miami. People were definitely walking around in pants, scarves and jackets but for someone from the Northeast, it was the perfect weather. High 60s to high 70s all week, I could definitely get used to that.

Where to Stay:

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I loved Ocean Drive in South Beach. It was such a classic little street with a 1950s-70s feel. There were a bunch of different hotels to choose from too, I’m sure (especially in December) you could get a pretty good deal. Ocean Drive also has a bunch of restaurants as well as being right across the road from the beach. I loved that it was away from Miami City so it felt like you were in your own little paradise. Also — I had no idea that South Beach was basically it’s own little island. It was great!

The Attractions:

We spent three days at South Beach which was awesome  but we also did some other things, such as Key West and attractions around Miami City. Anyway, one of the things we did was get a Go City Miami Card which is not only affordable but also provided us with some transportation and sight seeing. One of things that the Go City card allows you to do, is get on a Hop on and Hop Off ($40) bus which was awesome because parking in Miami can be a bit expensive ($20 for 24hours). The Go City Card was $98 (thanks to Groupon) below is a list of attractions with what the price would have been without the Go City Card.

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The Attractions:

  • Vizcaya Museum and Gardens ($18)– so gorgeous and old! It reminded me of Downton Abbey.
  • Miami Science Museum ($22)– this might be one of my favorite Museums EVER. It had everything you could think of.
  • Art Museum ($16) — I think you could skip this UNLESS you really like art. I don’t really like and/or understand contemporary art so this really wasn’t anything for me.
  • Botanical Gardens (Free)– Google really made me think this was going to be a lot cooler than it was.
  • Holocaust Memorial (Free)– if you take the Hop on and Hop Off bus, you can see the Memorial from it, or you can go to the Botanical Gardens which is adjacent to this Memorial. One that is very well done.
  • Lincoln Mall (Free + Parking)– feeling like shopping? Maybe on a day that isn’t really for the beach? This is one of those places to go! Also within 2 blocks from the Botanical Gardens and Holocaust Memorial.
  • Key West Day Trip($75) — that will be it’s own post coming up in a few days 🙂
  • Wynwood Walls (Free + Parking)– while I’m not a huge fan of art, Wynwood Walls was amazing. I really liked the different art that was shown there. I swear, I tried that whole instagram look but failed, I’m okay with that though :).

We saved $72.50 by doing the Miami (2 day) Go City Card

Where to Eat and Transportation:

Obviously there is Uber and taxis that you can take. You could also rent a car but remember you have to pay for parking everywhere you go. We found a garage that was $20 for 24hours or $1 an hour. It wasn’t terrible but if you’re looking to be a on a budget, I’d suggest not having a car, especially if you’re on Ocean Drive AND doing the hop on and hop off. We used the car a few days out of the week but not every day.

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We also tried not to eat out for every meal. We really only ate out for dinners, partly to keep on that budget. Places I would recommend are: The Leslie and Penguin Restaurant. Both were delicious and reasonably priced. Oh and for dessert try Mammamia Gelato it was delicious!

Those are my tips for Miami. It was so much fun and so relaxing, I read, I got a tan and I just enjoyed some R & R. I can’t wait to go back! IMG_20171215_084246_857.jpg

 

Wine Tasting in Seneca Lake

Our trip out to the Watkins Glen area also included a day and a half of wine and beer tasting around Seneca Lake. I had never been to Seneca, only Cayuga — my boyfriend hadn’t been to either so I decided it was about time. We both enjoy wine and beer, so I thought why not? Let’s get away for a weekend and stock up our wine table. Here’s a quick 101 on where to go, where to eat and where to stay.

Where to Stay

We wanted to do an affordable weekend so we did Airbnb. It’s not the only option though, there are hotels in Watkins Glen (the South portion of the lake), around the lake and in Waterloo (the north portion of the lake). There are some breweries and wineries that also host their own lodging. We hadn’t researched a lot in cases of places to stay because we knew right off the bat that we wanted to rent a space.

Where to Eat:

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We went to two places for meals (then just did snack things later on). We had lunch at Ginny Lee Cafe and dinner at Scale House. Both were really good and really affordable. I really loved Scale House’s beer, they had so many varieties and the tasting was really cheap. We got dinner that gave us enough for leftovers the next night. If you get to Scale House please get their Peanut Butter Beer and then thank me for it. It was delicious!

The Vineyards:

We went to a lot of different vineyards while we were there. What I love about wine tasting in the Fingerlakes is that it’s really affordable. The most expensive tasting was $5 a person but almost every place you go will give you some type of coupon — whether it be $2 off a bottle or free tasting if you buy some wine, there’s always a way to stay on a budget. Tastings were at least 5 samples while some wineries gave you more than that. While I might have spent more than I meant to. It just means I won’t be needing to buy wine around home any time soon. I’ll take that as a win. Here are some places we went.

  • Boundary Breaks VineyardIMG_20171020_184144_198.jpgThe first winery we went to and the first where we found a bottle we both like (I like sweet, he likes dry). It had a picturesque scene but other than that it was only okay. The place wasn’t as friendly as some of the others but it was still a good first place. Also- can we appreciate the saying on top of their door? Love it.
  • Wagner Wine and Beer: The cool thing about Wagner is that you can get wine or beer and it’s next to Ginny Lee’s Cafe. The bad news? The beer tasting was expensive for what you got and the beer was not as good as Scale House.
  • Penguin Bay Winery: I had to go here just because of the name. I then found out that it’s the sister winery of Swedish Hill (Cayuga Lake and in Saratoga). This was one of those places where the wine was delicious and you got a coupon when you did a tasting.
  • Lakewood Vineyards: One of the best views of Seneca Lake. Here you got a tasting for $3 plus $2 off a bottle of wine. You cannot beat that. We were lucky enough to get the outdoor bar for the tasting too. 20171021_121303.jpg
  • Rock Stream Vineyards: $5 a tasting, no coupon — but a lot of variety and the bartender was so nice and funny. You could also do a beer tasting there too if you weren’t feeling wine.
  • Glenora: 20171021_141211.jpgThe oldest winery on Seneca Lake. You can tell they know what their doing. They have a restaurant, hotel and during tastings you also get some food tastings. Which is perfect when you’re drinking. The tasting was $5 a tasting plus $2 off a bottle of wine. They also had port. I bought some, and drank it thinking about being Demelza from Poldark…it was a good day.
  • Damiani: Mostly reds, but good reds, wait did I just say that?
  • Standing Stone: Cute setup inside (but hot). Wine was pretty good and the view is fantastic.
  • Caywood Vineyards: $2 samples, I repeat $2 samples. It was so good too. I got two bottles there, but they also had some liquor/cherry type stuff that was amazing. I felt so sophisticated!
  • Lamoreaux: This was all Francis, I unfortunately can’t tell you guys anything about this except he bought a bottle so he must have enjoyed the wine.

The Resources:

Honestly, the easier way to find these places is just by driving, they are everywhere. Francis couldn’t believe how close they were to each other but they really are neighbors. Everyone is so nice and always trying to help you to know where to go next best on your style. I would definitely recommend picking up a map though, it will give you some more information. Information not just on wine but beer, cider, food and distilleries. Need even more info? Click here and enjoy!

 

Leibster Award

I was nominated by the lovely Paperback Beaches for the Leibster Award. This award is really cool because each of us gets to choose the questions for the people we tag and Courtney had some awesome ones! So thanks again Courtney for the nominations and awesome questions!

Here are the Rules:

  •  Thank the person who nominated you.
  •  Answer the 11 questions they gave you.
  •  Nominate 11 blogs.
  •  Give them 11 questions to answer

Here were the questions I was given to answer 🙂

1. What was the worst book you ever read or stopped reading?
I think the worst book that I ever read is the one that was read recently and that’s the Notebook. Ugh, the movie with Ryan Gosling give me any day — the book no way.
2. What kid’s movie, where you scared of as a child, but like now?
So I actually REALLY liked this movie as a kid but always had to hide behind the couch in one scene. The movie? Beauty and The Beast. The scene? When the Beast sees Belle near the rose. But I LOVED the movie and Belle is my animated self — because of books of course!
3. What quote inspires you?
I’m going to give one of my favorite quotes that doesn’t really inspire me and one that does:
  • For where all love is, the speaking is unnecessary, it is undying and it is enough – Diana Gabaldon
  • All we to decide is what to do with the time that we have – JRR Tolkein
4. What is your least and favorite blogging post and why?
My favorite post is probably not a book post but my post about 48hrs in Maine because it was my real true adventure post and I felt like it was my way of knowing that I could really do both — book and adventure/travel blog.
My least favorite was probably my Notebook post because 1) I didn’t like the book so I didn’t really know what to talk about and 2) I really hate when I ramble in a post and I felt like I kind of did that on this one
5. How do you promote your blog?
I don’t promote my blog as much as I’d like to –somewhat because I don’t know how to (so if anyone has tips let me know!) Twitter is a big one, following other blogs, my instagram is specific to my blog posts and interests, facebook and I have bloglovin’ (but I don’t know how to use it)
6. Where is your favorite place to read?
My recliner chair with a comfy blanket wrapped around me 🙂
7.What are some things you haven’t seen or read, but know everything about because of popular culture?
Wow this is a tough one. I don’t know how to answer it. I’m going to go with the Middle East because I have family from there and while I’ve read articles about it I knew about a lot of everything going on there before it got in the news/before my generation started to pay attention.
8. How would someone describe your blogging style?
hmmm I would hope descriptive and individual. Even when I write my reviews about books I try very hard not to just copy the synopsis on the back of the book but to write my own style.
9. What do you find most challenging about blogging about your topic?
Goes with #8, sometimes I have a hard time explaining the plot of a book — it takes me longer to do that than my review. On the adventure side, sometimes it’s how to piece it all together to make sure it flows well with the topic at hand and what information I’m trying to get across.
10. What is the most ridiculous fact you know?
Oh my gosh, I have no idea. Seriously, my boyfriend and I are just staring at each other trying to figure this one out. In the 1990s, Doctors were afraid to prescribe opioids to people, then they were told they weren’t prescribing enough, so they changed their practice — now we are in a crisis.
Also — there is an diagnosis code for walking into a lamppost.
Here’s who I nominate:
  1. Danielle @ The Introverted Booknerd
  2. Kerry @ Kerry McKim
  3. Kathy @ Books and Munches
  4. Alex @ Coffee Loving Bookholic
  5. The Revenant Reader
  6. Jill @ JillJemmet
  7. Jessie @ The Better Places
  8. J.W. Martin @ JWMartin
  9. Nano @ Travel with Nano B
  10. Wanderlust Writings
  11. BakingThadBooks
Here are my 11 questions
  1. Where is the one place you wish to go?
  2. If you could only keep one book, which would it be?
  3. Your favorite place on earth
  4. What is one thing you’d like to change/update/add to your blog?
  5. One embarrassing fact about you
  6. Why did you start blogging?
  7. One interesting fact about you
  8. Your favorite and least favorite thing about blogging
  9. What advice would you tell your younger self?
  10. If you could meet one person, who would it be and why?
  11. What do you love most about the blogging community?

Enjoy!

 

The Blogger Recognition Award

Hi Everyone! I was nominated by the lovely Danielle over at The Introverted Book Nerd for the Blogger Recognition Award! To Danielle — thank you so much for the recognition, if you guys haven’t checked out her blog before, head over to the link above, her blog is so fun!

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I love what this nomination stands for, and I love that you will get to know a little bit more about me from it!

THE RULES:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog
  • Write a post to show your award
  • Give a brief story of how you blog started
  • Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers
  • Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to
  • Comment on each blog to know they were nominated

How it all started

I’ve always loved writing and I’ve always loved reading but putting the two together was really hard for a really long time. I had a really hard time balancing my work life, social life, home life and doing some things (solo) that I like to do. I am an only child so having some me time has always been really important. My friend Jess (who you will see tagged below) has a post and she kind of got me into the idea of this hobby (she’s also pretty excited I blog as much as I do now).

I have actually had a blog for a really long time but it wasn’t until I moved back to New York and made a commitment with myself to blog and read more that it really took off. I blog on things I enjoy, I use my adventure posts as a way to remember what we’ve done and I use my book posts to remind me what books I loved and to bring my book love to all of you!

Advice to New Bloggers

  • It’s okay to take breaks. Everyone needs a break sometimes, whether it’s because life gets in the way or you’re in a blog rut, no one is going to get mad if you take a hiatus or blog less often. Remember that blogging is for fun, don’t ever make it feel like work and always remember to actually get out there and live your life.
  • Find your special way of blogging. My favorite times to blog is when no one else is in the house, I love my boyfriend but it’s easier for me to write a blog post when I’m by myself with some music on. Can I blog in other environments? Absolutely but it takes a lot more effort. Find what works for you and go with it.

The Book Blogging community is awesome! You will always find new people who have a lot in common with you! Don’t take that for granted! Remember to respond and read their posts because they might just help you along the way with your blog and give you inspiration you didn’t even know you were missing.

My Nominations

If you aren’t following any of these blogs, I recommend checking them out, you never know what you might find! Enjoy!

Adventures Updates

Hey everyone! I realized that this blog has lately been all about my book reviews and nothing about adventures! In fact, since July the only adventure we have done is go for a hike at Cascade Mountain.

Have no fear though! We haven’t had a lot of adventures because we’ve been planning so many that we just haven’t had time to go on any! I can’t wait to tell you all about them and if I’m MIA for a bit it’s because of them all.

Here’s what you can get ready for:

  • Chicago
  • Chicago x2
  • Seneca Lake
  • Miami Fl.
  • England –London, Bath, Cornwall

Some of these are far away but I’m so excited I just couldn’t wait to tell you guys!  I want to be able to not only share my adventures with you but how we went about planning and budgeting for them (you can check out my Pinterest site for some helpful pins as well). So you’re probably going to see two posts for each adventure; one on how we planned it all and another on the actual experience of the trip.

Anyway, do you any travel tips? Have you guys been to any of these places? If so, what would you recommend?

Talk soon ☺

Cascade Mountain

We finally did it! Since we moved to New York, all I’ve wanted to do is hike a high peak/46er but we just haven’t had the time. This past weekend, we had friends staying an hour from Lake Placid so we took the 1 hour and 45 minute drive to Cascade Mountain (about 10 miles from Lake Placid) to do our first (2- more on that later 46er!)

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There are 46 mountains in the Adirondacks that are all above 4,000 feet, which is how they got their name the 46er challenge. There are groups related to these hikes, you can even fill out paper work for each mountain and get a patch and an official congratulations you hiked all 46 high peaks. If you wanted one of course. We decided to start by doing Cascade and then walking the ridge to Porter Mountain to get 2 out of the 46 done in one day.

Cascade and Porter

To get to the mountain is really easy. If you’re coming from I-87, you’re going to get off at the Lake Placid exit (I think exit 30) and then continue you on the same road until you hit the sign that says Cascade. There are a few parking lots but mostly you will park on the side of the street. Plenty of parking that way. You will also find a bunch of signs for other mountain trails, a great way to get accustomed to what mountains are up this way and to help plan your next adventure! Also– I have to admit, this park of the Adirondacks is no other just in the sense of driving, I felt like I was in a completely different state, not New York, it was really gorgeous with water and mountains on all sides of the road. I can’t wait to go back in the fall with all the leaves changing! In fact, they had already started to change!

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The hike it self was about 6.2 miles round trip, this being because we added Porter, if you don’t add Porter, it would been 4.8 miles round trip. Considered one of the easiest 46er because of accessibility, the views of the mountain ranges make you feel like you’re on top of the world. We all got to the top were speechless with the views and all the mountains. Fun fact, 30 of the 46 high peaks are in this area and you can see at least 10 of them from Cascade. We hiked all the way up Cascade first, we aren’t very experienced hikers but it took us 1 hour and 35 minutes, something we were really proud of. Yes there are some steep sections but I never felt like I truly had to climb (me being all of 5’2, that happens a lot). We stayed up there for awhile enjoying the view and the wind on our backs before we headed down about a half mile and then started the trek up to Porter Mountain.

Porter is another 0.7 miles one way, and while it’s good to check it off the list for hiking a 46er, the view is pretty pathetic to pictures I posted above. One cool thing though is that you can see Cascade’s ridge so essentially you can see where you just were when looking from this trail, and again, you get to cut another 46er off the list! Coming down seemed to take forever but actually only took us about another 20mins (I’m slow down hill hiker) so overall not too bad. We were up there almost the whole day but due to the fact that we lingered for a really long time up top. I would say this is definitely a half day kind of hike if you’re a moderate hiker!

I would love to see this view in the fall and honestly, I think we’ve got the itch, a lot more hiking will be happening in the future and I can’t wait to see what we do next!