I think I get my travel genes from my mom. One of the many days that I was either fantasizing about traveling and/or about writing on this blog, my mom told me that she feels most free when she has a full tank of gas. “Like I can pick up and go anywhere!” Since I live in New York, I can’t really share that sentiment, but I totally got where she was coming from. The idea of being able to explore this big world we live in is exciting and totally overwhelming. Whenever I’m exploring a new location, I can’t help but feel like I’m missing something on each street I don’t choose to turn down (not to mention, the outskirts of town, and the things I hear about when I’ve just returned!). But anyway, that’s a tangent.
What I was trying to get to was, much like the way I randomly choose a city I absolutely need to visit, my mom does the same. Luckily, she often invites the rest of us to tag along. This year, she decided she wanted to spend Christmas in Portugal. Lisbon, to be exact.
I’m lucky enough to have parents who live in Florida–which means when we visit for the holidays, we escape the beginnings of New York’s winter and land in warm, humid climates down south. This isn’t something I appreciated when I lived there (who wants to sweat ALL year round?) but, now, it’s something I look forward to.
Sometime between the end of summer and the winter holidays comes a lull that calls for staying home, nesting, and prepping for a new school year (even if actual school years are long gone). I try to stave off my need to escape by planning new restaurants to go to and revisiting old neighborhoods. Last month, we took advantage of one of the last nice days to check out the fall foliage in Central Park.
Eat: bring a picnic to eat on the grounds (the cafe food was pretty good but not a must)
Sometimes the urge to get outta town can’t immediately be filled with a train ride or a plane flight, so I have a collection of “local escapes” to choose from on those days. Most of them came from reading TimeOut NY and tabbing the corners to remember… lo and behold, 9 years after moving to NYC, I haven’t done the best job at hitting all the spots. I decided this weekend to finally check one off the list.
Autumn has always been my favorite season (as long as I’ve lived somewhere where there is an autumn). I love when the leaves change color and the temperature starts to drop. I like cozy sweaters and cute flats and not being too cold, while not being hot, either. There always feels like a lot of promise at the start of fall–I’m wondering what the next months will bring, thinking about the holidays and then the start of a new year.
to. die. for. gnocchi
September is also the month Miles and I began dating oh-so-many years ago, and the month we got married. We usually take an end-of-summer/beginning-of-fall trip to celebrate our anniversary, while taking advantage of off-peak pricing. For our honeymoon last year, we started in Tuscany… and when the weather started changing this year, that was all I could think about.
Towards the end of last summer, I had this itch to get the hell out of Manhattan and go to a big house somewhere with a pool. That was literally my only criteria. I searched high and low on Airbnb for anything within two hours of the city that had a pool and there was…. nothing. So, I learned my lesson, and in February or something nuts like that, I booked a house with a pool for August. Luckily, we were able to recruit my freshman college roomie and her man to come along and, it turned out, she actually knew the place that I’d picked totally randomly.
Warwick is a small town at the southern tip of Orange County, NY, just about an hour and a half drive from Manhattan. Jen actually has a bunch of family in that area, some of whom were very connected to one of our main points of entertainment… but more on that in a bit.
(this is the third installment of our trip to Scandinavia! Check out Copenhagen part 1 and part 2)
After five awesome, busy, exciting, tiring days in Copenhagen, we made our way to Stockholm. When we were originally planning the trip I thought we might take a train–but after I realized how LONG that was, we decided on the 1-hour flight instead. As is usually the case with European cities, transportation to and from the Copenhagen and Stockholm airports was really easy. We opted for short cabs from the central train stations to our apartments because of our bags and tired feet, but you could easily transfer to a bus or subway to get there, too. Even with a bit of a delay, we still made it to Stockholm by early afternoon, just in time for lunch!
(this is a continuation — make sure you read the first post about Copenhagen here and our time in Stockholm, here!)
Generally when we visit a new city, Miles and I like to pick a different neighborhood each day to wander around. So for our third day in Copenhagen, we decided to go to Christianshavn because it looked so cute from our boat tour the day before.
(this is the first installment of our trip to Scandinavia! Check out Copenhagen part 2 and our trip to Stockholm, here!)
Copenhagen has long been on my list of places to visit. My obsession with it started probably 5 years ago–the colorful buildings, focus on biking, and, of course, the abundance of minimalist, inspiring Danish design drew me to it. I’d never spoken to anyone else who was interested in going… and once I realized it was one of the top most expensive cities in the world, the dream seemed a little far-fetched. But when my husband began working for a Scandinavian company based in Stockholm, my long-awaited trip fell back on the radar… maybe we could finagle something 🙂
In June, I decided it would be fun to do a quick weekend trip upstate to Hudson, NY. I knew little about the town, as usual–I think I read about it in a New York Times article or simply found a lot of cute Airbnbs there [and there are, seriously, a ton! Plus all the hosts seem to split their time between Hudson and Brooklyn, as painters or writers or other artists… right up my alley]. And there is a ton of vintage shopping, too, which is one of my favorite ways to explore a new location.