Paddling in the Potomac

Morning friends! Exactly one week and one day ago (aka last Monday), I hopped on a Tripper bus out of the city headed to Arlington, Virginia (a suburb of the D.C. area).

Here’s a little tip from a bus rider know-it-all: If you’re on a bus (or in a car or any other form of automotive transportation) out of the city heading through the Holland Tunnel, be sure to sit on the right-hand side, because you’ll be privy to this beauty of a view:

1NYC_Skyline

Anyway, as I mentioned in a post last week, when this particular friend and I get together, we generally do a whole lot of nothing. (Which is actually quite wonderful, as I’m sure most of you know.) I mean sure we eat and drink and chat and binge watch shoes (last week she introduced me to Revenge … why have I not been watching this all my life?), but there’s generally very little by way of activity, other than a walk here and there.

Last week, though, we got creative. On the heels of our very active trip to Marathon Key at the beginning of April, we were eager to try one activity in particular all over again in a new spot — kayaking.

So we headed into Old Town Alexandria (which is about the cutest little place you’ll ever go) and down to the Belle Haven Park and Marina, where we took a double-person kayak out on the Potomac River.

Let me tell you friends — it was something splendid, for sure.

2Kayak_Equipment

3In_Harbour^^ The water was pretty muddy after the torrential downpour we had the two days prior,
but it was still pretty splendid all the same.

4Kayak_View^^I have to admit that this kayak adventure was harder for me, for some reason,
and I may not have been a ton of help when it came to rowing. Thanks for taking the lead, Lisa!

5Log_Turtles^^ We saw so, so, so many turtles on this trip!

6Osprey_Nest

7Paddle_View

8Mischief_View^^ We may have ventured off the beaten trail into a tiny little area secluded by trees.
So peaceful.

9Mischief_View2

10Mischief_View3

 

So Lisa and I have pretty much decided this is our thing. Hopefully when she comes to visit me here in the city we’ll take some kayaks out on the Hudson as well. It’s always fun to have an activity to look forward to on a trip.

My time with Lisa was so fun, but it also went by so fast, and before I knew it I was back on a 2:30 bus on Saturday afternoon headed back to the city. After being dropped off near Penn Station around 7:30, I grabbed a ticket on the Long Island Railroad and headed back out, this time to meet up with Chris to spend the night in Long Island prior to his running the Long Island Marathon Sunday morning. My dad met us out there in the morning to watch, and we walked a grand total of 10 MILES around the course to catch Chris running at three different spots.

Oh, and Chris did pretty well, too ;) I mean, he broke his own personal record with a race time of 2:49:26!

I could not be more proud of him.

LI_Marathon1

LI_Marathon2

Bis bald, friends! Warmer weather is headed our way, and I hope everyone is getting excited for whatever plans you’ve concocted for the summer …

 

D.C. Bound

Hey friends,

So I’m off to D.C. tomorrow for the rest of the week for a friend’s sister’s baby shower. (I’ll be taking the Tripper Bus. I even had one free ticket to redeem — Hallelujah!) I just received a text from said friend containing this photo:

^^Craft supplies galore await me!

^^Craft supplies galore await me!

Needless to say, there won’t be much sightseeing or galavanting about on this trip … but that’s totally fine with me! I’m there to help … and craft! After all, that’s what friends are for.

Check out my last trip to D.C. in March right here.

Bis bald, friends! Hope you all have fun week/weekend plans!

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The Wheels On the Bus …

Are taking me to somewhere with better weather than NYC!

I’m on my Tripper Bus right now on my way to visit a BFF in D.C. I’ve got my Wi-Fi, my computer, some movies and music and my bottle of water … I’m good to go for the 4 1/2 hour ride.

I’ll update soon about the goings-on in and around D.C. (although in the name of full disclosure, I have to admit that Lisa and I do a whole lotta nothing — happily! — on these trips, so there may not be much to report).

Bis bald, friends! Hope everyone has fun weekend plans.

Installment Four: An Unplanned Day 2 in Rome

Last Friday Steph and I started our day off with a blank slate.

Or, it was a blank slate in the fact that we didn’t have a tour planned or meals that would be fed to us at their specifically designated times. Other than that I had my map, and my list of suggested places to eat from my co-worker, and my own list of all the places we hadn’t hit yet on our tour from the previous day that I had decided we absolutely had to see before we left.

So I suppose it wasn’t totally blank.

Happiness is a new, gorgeous city with nothing but a map, yum food and all the time in the world.

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Installment Three: When in Rome, day 1

A little Italian countryside on the train from Rome to Florence

Last Thursday, at around 11 p.m., Steph and I had made it to our final European destination—romantic, wonderful, beautiful Rome, and as tired (and sweaty and dirty) as we were, we were really excited to be there.

So remember that backpack that I mentioned back in Paris? The one that had all the travel documents in it? It also had detailed directions of which train to take from the airport into Rome, and walking directions from the Termini to our hotel, hotel Le Petit, which was only about an alleged 7 minute walk.

But the thing was, had our flight left on time, we were supposed to have arrived in Rome around 7:30 instead of 11 p.m., which would have made it a bit less sketchy for us to fumble our way around a foreign country, and find our way from the train station to our hotel (I can now tell you, having lived through this trip already, that it’s laughable how close our hotel was to the train station. Make a right, walk five minutes, make another right and you literally walk right into the train station. But at 11:30 p.m. on Thursday, after picking up our luggage, we had no way of knowing how easy it would be).

So as we entered the main part of the airport (no customs, no luggage check, no passport stamp. What’s up, Italy?!), I started to wonder if taking the train was really the best idea, still (despite my detailed notes….thanks to you, Chris!).

Turns out, I didn’t have a lot of time to think about it before we were approached.

“Need a ride?” a man with a thick Italian accent approach myself and my sister.

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Installment One: London Calling

Hi friends,

So let’s pretend that we’re back to last Sunday, as my sister and I were boarding our Icelandair plane for London. It’s the day that our whole Euro-adventure began…

Trafalgar Square

With our layover in Iceland, we started a little worried that a certain volcano might erupt and ruin the whole wonderous time that we had planned (and paid for). Lucky for us (and everyone around us…trust me), that didn’t happen. We spent three days in London, a few hours in Paris, and three days in Rome, with a couple hours in Florence stuffed in there as well. In order to give this trip the full importance that I feel it deserves (because believe me, it deserves importance), I’m going to break the blog entries into three shifts—London, Paris and Rome. So let’s get started across the pond….

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G4: Grounded

I hope this volcano in Iceland stops acting out—otherwise my sister and I will be traveling to Europe like Seth did in Grounded

I mentioned a while back that I was reading a book a friend had recommended to me–and I just had the pleasure of finishing said book. And so here goes my first foray into an actual travel book review…

“Grounded: A Down To Earth Journey Around The World,” written by Seth Stevenson, chronicles the tale of the author and his girlfriend as they travel around the world, roaming from latitude to latitude, without ever setting foot on a plane (well, spoiler alert, that’s not totally true of both of them). They take container ships and cruise ships, buses, trains and rental cars. They even book it for a while on a bike journey.
I have to say that what I liked most about this book was how Stevenson managed to tell his personal journey so well, while teaching me something about the history of travel in the process. (That, and the fact that Stevenson settled it for me—I could never travel around the world the way he and his girlfriend did!) I’ve never known more about the origin of air, ship and train travel. And who even knew you could catch a ride on a container ship?

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Musings From a Bus Ride

Traveling via bus is not my cup of tea.

This past weekend I took a little trip to D.C. for my friend’s birthday. We were going to be staying at her sister’s place, which is actually in Alexandria, a town right outside of D.C.

Can I just say—I’m definitely no stranger to bus travel. When I was living at home and commuting into the city before I actually moved here, I took a bus each and every morning into good ole’ Port Authority, and then back home again at night.

I’ve taken buses to Boston that cost about $15 per ticket AND had free Wi-Fi, and comfy seats with tables and cup holders.

With that recent trip to Boston in my head, I was a little surprised when I discovered that the bus we would be taking to Virginia was in fact $30 per ticket. No biggie, though, for double the price, it’s got to be a decent bus, right?

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