Where: Yosemite National Park, California
When: May 2015
Where: Ojai, California
When: May 2015
With: Husband and pals
Since I started taking these NYC getaways, I’ve realized that one of my favorite parts about exploring a new area is visiting the often overlooked (by everyday tourists, at least) towns nearby. So on our recent trip to LA, I wanted to make sure to include a trip to one of the nearby desert towns. I thought about Palm Springs, but after seeing several posts about Ojai on my Instagram feed (yes, that’s really how I make travel decisions!), that sealed the deal. Ojai it was!
Ojai is a tiny town of about 8000 people, located in a valley about an hour and a half drive northwest of Los Angeles. It’s a sleepy little town, with a small main street area, an emphasis on locally made goods, cute restaurants, health food, and healthy (hippie?) living.
When: Most recently, February–but we’ve visited most seasons
*This love letter refers to a very specific point in New Jersey, arguably more well-known for the Pennsylvania city across the river
**I’ve actually been in New York 9.5 years, which is about 6 months short of the 10 year mark that, according to urban legend, makes you a real New Yorker, so I’m slightly jumping the gun
Where: Wave Hill in the Bronx, NY
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.
every little alleyway led to amazing views
Where: Tuscany, Italy (mostly Montepulciano)
With: Miles (husband)
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.
Where: Warwick, NY
With: Husband with friends Jen and Will
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.
Where: Hudson, NY
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.