You wouldn’t think that New York City would be so full of different types of flowers, but at every turn I’m amazed at how much plant life there is. Around my apartment almost every restaurant have some form of potted plants and there’s even a small community garden. Nature and urban landscapes can co-exist as evidenced by this beautiful garden of flower vines twining through the bars of a window. Just noticing these small things have made me slow down on my walk home and try to discover the hidden beauty all around me. It’s not all pavement and celebrities around NYC you know!
People always ask me how I can get by on packing so little. I’ve always been a light packer and on trips where I take a plane, I have a fear of checking my bags. I’ve heard too many horror stories of people’s luggage getting shipped elsewhere that I’ve decided to never check on luggage if I can help it. It’s also really easy to pack light as long as you’re going simply for pleasure. Here is my top 10 ways to pack light for a trip.
When I was younger my family and I would take road trips almost every summer to different places. Some years we couldn’t really go to far so we’d visit places like Lake Placid or Ithaca. Other years we’d go to Washington DC or Boston. I can barely remember most of these places, the unfortunate thing about growing up. But there are some memories that will never leave me.
I remember visiting the Smithsonian Air and Space museum. What I remember most, though, is my brother getting sick off of bad ham that he put into this ramen and then getting food sick. We later went out to eat sushi and, although he was sick, he still ate it. And of course promptly emptied the contents of his stomach. The other thing I remember? Our motel was right next to the train tracks. I went again during my 8th grade trip, but nothing nearly as memorable happened.
“Ou est rue de…de…” Of all the places to visit, I just had to choose Paris. I couldn’t choose Spain where at least I could speak a little, oh no. Well, the plane tickets were cheap and I couldn’t really pass up my first experience traveling abroad and by myself. Still, it wasn’t a good way to start off. I couldn’t speak the language, I couldn’t even pronounce the name of the street my hostel was on. I wrote it down and handed it to the cashier at the bakery. She looked at me like I was from another planet. I pointed at what I wrote and shook my head and shrugged…a gesture that I hoped would translate to “I don’t know where it is.” She also shook her head. I was on my own.
There I was, 19, lost in Paris on a winter night. It was starting to get too cold. A vision of me frozen to death on the streets of Paris flashed through my mind. This was it. The end of my short life. And then…somehow I found where I was supposed to go. I swear I had walked up and down the street 5 times, but somehow that sixth time I saw the street sign. I was saved.
I know that I should have taken more pictures than I did, but I was so busy relaxing that I kind of forgot. And for a short period of time I also couldn’t find my camera. Turns out it was wedged between a decorative dresser and my bag. These things happen, you know? Anyway, it’s difficult to really capture Pembroke in all it’s glory, but hopefully these pictures do some justice. Some of these are also my mother’s pictures.
On our previous planned trip to Pembroke Springs, we were going to stay their Friday, Saturday then leave on Sunday. I had forgotten the reason why we had planned that, until we remembered…Home-cooked dinner. Unfortunately, they only serve dinner on Fridays, though they did have a specialty chef cooking on that Sunday. Sadly, there was something called work to go to the next day so we couldn’t stay for the food.
Although we didn’t get to eat the home-cooked meal at Pembroke Springs, Lisa recommended a cute little place called Cristina’s Cafe in Strasburg, VA. Now, Strasburg is a very small town. So small they only have two traffic lights. Literally. But just because it’s a small town doesn’t mean that the food isn’t good. We arrived at kind of a weird time, 4pm. So it was a little too early for the dinner menu and too late for the breakfast menu. While the lunch menu was quite short, all of the options sounded tasty AND they were all flavor of the days. So we ordered the quiche, empanadas and soup of the day which turned out to be cream of potato and poblano soup, flan and creme brulee.
For some reason, it seems like the fates were conspiring against my sister, my mother and me every time we tried to take a trip out to the Pembroke Springs Retreat. We were originally supposed to go in May however work and weather got in the way. When we finally were able to get together and take the drive down, we were hit with a tornado warning 30 minutes before reaching our destination. At that point, we had come too far to go back home. Luckily, we only had to deal with the bad weather for ten minutes until we arrived at our destination. The road there wasn’t easy though. We drove through the winding path through a pretty wooded area. Thank goodness there were no cars coming in the opposite direction as the way was almost too narrow for two cars to fit. When we reached the clearing at the top, though, my anxiety immediately disappeared as I took in the gorgeous view.
There are plenty of places to pop in for a drink, but not all bars are equal. While Bourbon street is probably synonymous with drinking, there are plenty of awesome bars that evehttp://rovingwanderer.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=166&action=edit&message=1ryone should experience simply for the history. Of course you can most likely wander in anywhere and grab a drink, but here is my top 6 list.
There are actually 2 different Pat O’Brien’s but they all connect to each other through a beautiful backyard. It’s a huge place so you’ll more than likely run into some fun people. Pat O’Brien’s is allegedly the birthplace of the Hurricane, so you’ll have to get it when you’re there. I’m not really a huge fan of sweet drinks, so I didn’t really like the drink but I finished it. I just like the atmosphere and the fire fountain.
No travel experience is complete without taking a ton of photos. There’s definitely a lot that didn’t make the cut namely because of the blurry pictures but we definitely saw and went to a bunch of cool places. I believe that these pictures really capture the essence of New Orleans and its uniqueness. It really is like no other place in the US.
There’s never a bad day to listen to music in New Orleans and they’ve got something for jazz or blues lovers. The most well-known music scene though is Frenchmen Street. Every venue you go to will have their lineup posted on the window so you can find band that suits your taste. Don’t like what’s playing at one place? Then there are plenty of other places to go to. Don’t like any of the places that night, try the next day. There’s literally live music every day of the week and, if you start feeling cramped, take a step outside and listen to the brass band performing on the corner.