6 hrs in Key West

Since I was in Miami, I begged my friend to go to Key West for the day. It wasn’t hard, she’s up for just about anything (lucky me). Once I set foot on Key West, I knew I had to come back. I could stay a few days there, go parasailing, lay out on the beach, go snorkeling, do a sunset cruise or maybe go on a dolphin cruise. There were so many activities out on the water that I wanted to run to a boat and get on.

IMG_20171214_170812_027.jpg

But since we were only there for about 6 hours, I didn’t have time to do any of the things that I mentioned above and still have time to do some of the land things on my list. Which is reason #1 why I want to go back.

IMG_0272 (2).JPG

Key West reminded me a lot of Cape Cod but with clearer and bluer water — above is me in the Gulf of Mexico, an ocean I hadn’t put my toes in before so I knew I had to do that here just to say I had!

IMG_0236

If you’re looking for some places to walk around and just hang out, try hitting up Mallory Square or Duval Street — while you’re at it, go to Kermit’s Key Lime Shop for some Key Lime pie. If you like Key Lime, this is the snack for you. For lunch, try stopping by Conche Republic Seafood or Waterfront Brewery which are scenically located right on the water and boat dock.

IMG_0259IMG_0242

Last but not least try Hemighway’s House — which has his “ancestor cats”, I love that the cats can go wherever they want but us humans can’t touch the bed. Don’t forget about the Southernmost point in the US! That has to be the first thing you do, don’t forget about it! Who knows when you will be able to say that you stood there again!

Overall, I can’t wait to go back to Key West and just relax for a weekend there. It’s definitely worth the 3+ hour drive (one-way) from Miami.

Advertisements

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 😊

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!

20171215_123914.jpg

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:

IMG_0131

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

20171210_185650.jpg

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

 

Watkins Glen

Near the end of October we went on a little adventure. An adventure that didn’t include friends or weddings (no offense guys)! Anyways, this is part 1 of our weekend away. It started on a Saturday at Watkins Glen State Park. Watkins Glen is about 3 1/2 hours west of Albany, N.Y.. a hidden gem in my opinion and one I think a everyone should try to go see. Neither of us had been there before so this was a first for us. We got there around 10am and stayed until 12ish. Honestly go the earliest you can. When we came out of the trail, there were so many cars it was crazy especially since it was during off season. It’s definitely a magical place and would feel even more magical the less people are there. While we had people there when we went it was still easy to get pictures of everything. I think if we had shown up later it would have been worse. During peak season, the park is $8 a car, it’s open until dark and not only has the gorge and waterfalls but a pool and park. There are other parks near Watkins Glen that have waterfalls too in Ithaca and the Fingerlakes National Forest so there is definitely a lot to do!

We did both the Gorge Trail and Indian Ladder trail. The whole thing was probably about 3 miles round trip and took us a little over an hour. This being because I took more pictures than was probably necessary. I loved it though and my boyfriend found it cool too. The rock formations were just as interesting and gorgeous as the waterfalls. The (middle picture) railroad had history to it too and there are markings to explain each, how they were formed etc. If you’re ever in the area, definitely try to get here. You could definitely get lost in the beauty of this park, if we ever go back, I’ll pack a lunch and we can spend more time there just relaxing with the beauty of nature.

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!)

What is a 46er? wp-image-349553886

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!

wp-image-2109096542

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!

10 Non Beach Activities To Do At The Cape

I already spoke briefly about shopping in the cape, which is perfect for a day when it’s super rainy. However there are other things you can do that range from all regions of Cape Cod. Here’s a list below of some of them (minus things to to do Provincetown area because that will be it’s own post):

  1. Cape Cod Chip Factory  in Hyannis
  2. Walk the many marsh trails that are easily found via Google
  3. Head over to First Crush Winery to taste some of their wine
  4. Go on a Rail ride this is on my list and one of the only things I haven’t done
  5. Try some beer at Cape Cod Beer and Co
  6. Try the Devils Purse Brewery while this beer is better than Cape Cod beer, a tasting is rather expensive.
  7. Take a walk, run or bike on the Cape Cod Trails (only downfall, not a lot of ocean views)
  8. Rent a kayak or paddle board – you can find this almost anywhere on the cape!
  9. Go shopping – every town has cute shops to go into!
  10. Go on a Whale Watch

Thatcher Park 

I’ve mentioned a few times how we have been anticipating friends from Vermont to come visit. After two attempts, it finally happened! 

We did a lot that weekend and had a lot of fun. One of the places we went was Thatcher Park. Located near Albany, New York, this park provides enough entertainment for people to stay there the entire day. 

Here’s some things to know about getting there: 

  • The road to get there while fun is winding. I’m only pointing this out to warn you of car headaches (I’m prone to them) 
  • On everyday (except Sunday) during the summer, the price for admission is $6 (this is a state park after all). Trust me though it’s worth it in the long run. 

We’ve been a few times and unfortunately have only done one walking trail called Indian ladder. It’s totally worth it though because on a day when there has been a lot of rain, you might be lucky enough to see a waterfall. But I also like this wall because the rocks are uniquely shaped. Overall, it’s about a 1 mile loop. 
After this walk, you’ll end up seeing some really cool views of the Adirondacks, Albany, and Massachusetts on a really clear day. There is also an awesome overlook that you can drive to which will give you the view below: 

That’s a rundown of what we did, but here’s a rundown of all the other things one can do at this park: 

  • Disc golf
  • More walking/hiking trails
  • Volleyball
  • Pinic/BBQ
  • Camp/bonfires 
  • Mountain bike 
  • Visit the visiting center (brand new) and understand a little of the history 
  • Rock climb 

All in all, I love this park for all the action activities it has to offer. It’s great for a leisure walk, read a nice book but also great for the more adventurous folks out there.