My NYC- Christmas in the City

Christmas Lights in NYC

I could live in NYC forever, if only for how beautiful Christmas time is here. There really isn’t much to say other than it’s glistening, sparkly and magical (case in point-the above picture I took last year outside Bergdorf’s). If you haven’t experienced it, put it on your life priority list ASAP.

Radio City

Christmas in NYC

Here are some of my favorite things to do in the city during this festive time of year-

To See

To Eat

What I’m Looking Forward to Trying This Year….

What are your favorite holiday activities where you live?

Flashback Friday- Williamsburg, VA

tall ship, Williamsburg Virginia Whenever I’m itching to go away (which is basically all the time,) I love to look back through pictures of old vacations. It reminds me to appreciate where I have been instead of focusing on where I haven’t been.

Flashing all the way back to 2000 (wow, do I feel old saying that), my Mom actually won a trip through the summer reading program at our local library. There were four places to pick from- but I only remember Cancun (because that’s where I wanted to go) and Williamsburg (because that’s where we went, obviously). She decided we all need to be more educated so off we went to Williamsburg. I took a ton of pictures, mostly of things I don’t remember very well, but these are some of my favorites (like the one of me in the battlefield down there). Side note- does anyone remember those sparkly little butterfly hair clips that everyone use to wear? Because that’s what phase my hair was in in these pictures. I was also in the Old Navy fleece phase (remember when everyone had like 10 of their fleece vests?!).

Do you have any favorite family vacation spots/memories?

Williamsburg, VA old canon Williamsburg, VA Indian hut Williamsburg wild turkeys Williamsburg, VA Williamsburg, Virginia williamsburg, virginia Virginia windmill sunset in Virginia

A Day Trip to the Jersey Shore

Jersey Shore boardwalk

It finally happened. After three years of begging, the Mr. took me to the Jersey Shore. And I am proud to say I did not fist pump…not even once. I asked Mr. RC if I should, but that idea was quickly shot down (my neon orange swimsuit cover-up was Jersey shore enough). The boardwalk was relatively empty and the destruction from Sandy (both there and in the surrounding neighborhoods) was, sadly, still very evident (so many houses missing and only a few boards left in their place). But nonetheless the boardwalk lived up to all it’s neon colored, leopard printed, trashy people watching glory. My only disappointment? Not seeing the Jersey Shore house…I guess I can add that to my list of life regrets right next to not eating chocolate covered ants and never having the opportunity to dress like Miley at the VMA’s…..what a bummer!

Jersey Shore-what to do Most of the rides were still in pieces or piles like this thanks to Sandy.

Jersey Shore amusement rides Mr. RC (a self-proclaimed Jersey Shore expert, or so he says) insisted that there were two things we just had to try- a pizza slice (that was the size of my face) and this Philly cheesesteak. Despite all the other delicious food offered on the boardwalk aka fried food heaven, we managed to somehow escape only eating this cheesesteak, pizza and an ice-cream. I have no idea how I passed up the fried oreos, fried ravioli, fried dough, fried butter or the fried-anything-else your about-to-have-a-heart-attack heart desires, but my swimsuit was ultra grateful.

Jersey Shore food You might be surprised by this one, but my favorite part of the boardwalk wasn’t the neon colored muscle tees that said “I’d flex but I like this shirt too much” (weird, I know). It was actually the signs.

Jersey Shore boardwalk Jersey Shore boardwalk Jersey Shore boardwalk And of course no hot beach day is complete without an ice-cream cone, color coded to match my outfit of course (I mean, doesn’t everyone match their dessert with their outfit?!)

Jersey Shore ice-cream

Have you ever been to the Jersey Shore? Have you taken any fun road trips this summer?

Road Trip Planning Tips

Road Trip Planning Tips

{image via}

I’ve done my fair share of traveling, but one of my favorite vacations to take is a road trip. My love of road trips began with my first big trip, a summer spent driving around the country with my family when I was only 9. Ever since then I have always enjoyed the spontaneity, freedom, and excitement that you get by driving a car down a six-lane highway, or the middle of Texas or up a Colorado mountainside. Here are some of my tips for planning a fun road trip getaway-

1. Research- Research your route to find points of interest, must see places and areas (or things) you should avoid.

2. Plan, but don’t over-plan- Obviously you need a general sense of where you want to go and when, but make sure to take advantage of the fact that you are driving yourself in your car on your own schedule. If you see an interesting detour, take it. If a local gives you a recommendation, check it out. Sometimes you can even skip hotel reservations, in favor of picking a place once you reach your destination for the day.

3. Be prepared- You never know where you might end up or what situation you could be in so you should be prepared as much as possible. It’s always a good idea to have car chargers, a flashlight, extra batteries, a First-Aid kit, some blankets, bottled water and lots of healthy snacks (think trail mix, granola bars, fruit). Also, some of these apps will come in handy as far as preparing for the best places to get gas, the current weather and rest stop information, among other things.

4. Bring a map- I hope this would go without saying, but these days were all so dependent on technology you never know. If you’re in an area without service, you’re camping so internet isn’t provided or one of your devices dies and you have no way to charge it, a good ol’ fashion map can do wonders.

5. Have fun!- By far, the most important tip I have is to just enjoy the trip and have fun. If you get lost, don’t get upset….you may stumble across the most scenic view you’ve ever seen. If you can’t find the restaurant you were hoping to try, just pick another one….it could be the best meal of your life. Road trips should be about enjoying the little things, stopping to smell the roses, exploring the beaten path and making memories with those you are traveling with.

Do you enjoy going on road trips? Do you have any road trip tips or advice?

 

Roadtrip to Maine – What To Do In Bar Harbor

There really aren’t many words to describe the abundance of natural beauty on Mt. Desert Island, so I’ll let the pictures do the talking…

Jordan Pond, Acadia National Park

{Hiking around Jordan Pond, part of Acadia}

what to do in Bar Harbor Maine

lookout jordan pond

frog Jordan Pond hike at Acadia National Park Jordan Pond, Acadia Park, Bar Harbor Maine Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor Maine

what to do in Acadia national park what to do in Bar Harbor Maine trees in Acadia National Park hiking in Acadia wildlife at Jordan Pond Acadia National Park

{Crazy green algae and even crazier amounts of minnows}

wildlife at Acadia {How cute is this mini squirrel??! I wanted to take him home!}

clearest lake in the Northeast winding trail, Acadia national park Louis Vuitton hiking {If you saw this picture on Instagram, you know I’m not usually a #highmaintenancehiker carrying a Louis….I swear!}

what to do in bar harbor for couples

{On top of Cadillac Mountain}

Cadillac Mountain lookout Bar Harbor view from Cadillac Mountain top of Cadillac Mountain

{Exploring the coastline}

seagull in Maine Maine coastline lighthouse in Bar Harbor Maine Bar Harbor, Maine

Bar Harbor coastline Bar Harbor coastline Bar Harbor shells {Mussels for dinner??}

Bar Harbor coastline Bar Harbor coastline

what to do in Bar Harbor

{Whale and puffin watching tour}

Bar Harbor whale watch {A mama and baby calf Fin whale swimming side by side, not something many people get to see. It should also be noted that when I say ‘baby’ I mean it weighs 4,000 pounds or so}

Petit Manan Island Maine

{It’s hard to tell but this island, Petit Manan, home to the 2nd largest lighthouse in Maine, is swarming with tons of nesting birds, especially lots of puffins…the three black dots on the picture to the right are puffins flying, which, it should be noted, look like a mix between a hummingbird and a football when they fly (so cute!). Can we also talk about how baby puffins are called ‘pufflings’??!! I mean…if that doesn’t make you want to make you take them all home….}

lobster traps in Bar Harbor boat in Bar Harbor bay

low tide sand bar in Bar Harbor

{Sand bar only visible during low tide that leads you to Bar Island}

low tide sand bar in Bar Harbor

shopping in Bar Harbor Maine

{One of the coolest stores I’ve ever been to! I wanted to buy everything…except for maybe the python snake skin and the taxidermied bats!}

Bar Harbor, Maine

{Last night there…good bye Bar Harbor!}

You can see what we ate in Bar Harbor here, as well as check out the first part of our road trip here and a vacation outfit I wore here.