When living in a place that is known as “the city that never sleeps”, it becomes essential to escape that uninterrupted noise in order to keep yourself sane. In October, we decided to venture upstate for Halloween weekend. We camped for the first night, and […]
In all honesty this year has not been great. Personally a large part of it was because of today’s political climate after the 2016 election. I myself noticed a shift in the atmosphere with everyone’s demeanor and for the first time there seemed to be a lack of hope. Almost everyday waking up I would dread grabbing my phone, afraid of what new CNN or NY Times update there would be. Besides the stress of the political state of our country, it seemed like my personal life was taking note and following trend.
I celebrated my birthday last year during a time where my professional career was at a stall and I was consumed by a sense of aimlessness. It felt like everyone around me was on the right track for their careers and I was just in a state of dark limbo, flailing. Right before going into summer my apartment got infested with New York City’s state bug, the cimex lectularius (also known as the bed bug). This was the second time in less than a year so the apartment hunting began for a new place. Halfway through the summer I had the joy of being hit by a car on my bike and the driver driving off. It was an incident that really shook me to my core, I will say I am a more vocal biker now in Brooklyn and have no problem letting cars know that I’m there. A few weeks after that I unfortunately threw out my back so badly that I had to start seeing a chiropractor and begin physical therapy. This of course happened right before my sister’s wedding, a wedding that was being held back in Colorado where the week was filled with outdoor activities galore. I did manage to get enough physical therapy in before heading out there so I was able to participate in all the activities.
I have to say that the wedding was one of the biggest highlights of the year. I planned a Napa bachelorette party for my sister and all her closest friends, and the wedding took place on a mountain in Colorado. We all knew the wedding was a success because the cops had to come and shut it down. It really was the wedding of the century, although I could’ve done without my breakdown in front of everyone during my toast.
A few weeks later in August my sister had to break my heart and move away from me. She has always lived here in New York while I’ve been living here and she now was moving to Colorado with her husband to begin their new life together. It is still hard for me to accept that they don’t live here anymore because, frankly, I haven’t known a New York without them. It petrified me living here in this city without her and it still does. I take it one day at a time and rely heavily on the small support system I have remaining.
In true New York fashion, the city has a way of kicking you when you’re already feeling down. Unwanted visitors came back to my apartment… Bed bugs. If you’re counting like my roommates and I were, that is three times in less than a year. It is a common thing that you will hear from those who have dealt with these mini devils. They would never wish them upon their worst enemy and I can attest to that. Not only is the process of getting rid of them draining and taxing but so is the emotional state of dealing with them. We also began fighting our apartment management company for not handling them the proper way the first time. That dragged out for quite some time, draining every single person in my apartment and creating friction for having to deal with this problem a third time. The only solution we came to that didn’t require a lawyer or taking our apartment management company to court was to move out when our lease ended in November. It was a bitter sweet conclusion because this meant Lucas and I could finally get our own place but I was losing the option of living with my two best friends.
My favorite time of year (September – December) quickly became a rough one but as much of a pessimist I am there were a lot of positive moments this year. The big one is Lucas and I got our own apartment in Brooklyn in a neighborhood we have fallen in love with! A lot of travel happened this year, Napa, Aspen, Joshua Tree, Fort Collins, Catskills, Vermont and Aspen again! With as much traveling as I did this year, I’m hoping to do more in 2018 along with leave all the bad in 2017.
So here’s to 2018, may you be filled more lessons, laughter, travel and memories that will be everlasting.
Wednesday, June 21 is the official first day of Summer. Even though that is not until later this month, I usually determine the start and end of seasons by months. For me Summer begins by the start of June and goes to the end of August. With my start date of summer come and gone I wanted to celebrate the beginning of the warmer months by spending a day at Coney Island. Since moving to New York, Coney Island has been on my list of things to do here. I have heard mixed reviews from people on whether it was worth it or not and I must say I truly believe it is worth it. For our Coney Island day, we decided to venture out there on a Wednesday to avoid the weekend crowds which probably contributed to us having a wonderful experience. The weather was perfect too, it was warm enough for us to enjoy ice cream and a cold beer but not too warm that we felt like we were miserable being outside all day.
The atmosphere of Coney Island is historic, encompassing a 50’s America feel. It’s remarkable that they have been able to conserve this landmark that is able to take you back in time. You have all your classic food joints such as Nathan’s hot dogs which was founded on Coney Island in 1916. The stand on the boardwalk still has a vintage aesthetic to it along with all the other vendors keeping to the theme of the area. You then have your classic ice cream stands, a bar to grab a nice cold beer, and women selling fresh mangos on a stick with the spices to your liking.
Inside the park you have a wide range of rides to choose from, all of which remind me of the days in my childhood when the carnival would come to town and it would be the excitement of the month. And like a true traveling carnival you have an abundance of games to choose from that make you think you can win one of those infamous giant stuffed animals. But in reality, how often does someone actually win one of those, I’d really like to know. Either way it’s about the experience and memories you’re making enjoying something so classic and heavily rooted American.
Whether you live in New York or are just visiting, put Coney Island on your list of places to see. I’m here to say it is worth the trip and you’ll travel back in time for it. Relax and escape from reality to a land of rides, games, and all the food you can want. Embrace your inner child and run around the boardwalk, scream at the top of your lungs on The Cyclone, or chow down on a Nathan’s hot dog.
It’s no surprise that the world is in a very delicate state right now. Not just politically but also environmentally. It’s a proven fact that we are having more warm days than cold days and the polar ice caps are melting at a growing […]
Just a few weekends ago I had the pleasure of traveling to Healdsburg, CA. It had been several years since I was in California and it honestly felt nice to visit for a weekend. I forgot how much I love Northern California and why I went to college out there. We made the obligatory stop at In n Out, but after our tummy’s were full with burgers and fries we headed up to beautiful wine country for our weekend filled with laughter, music and rosé. The ultimate reason for the trip was to celebrate a bachelorette tying the knot, and the town of Healdsburg ended up being the perfect setting for our celebration.
Due to having a larger group of girls we decided to rent an entire house. The place we were lucky enough to stay at was beautiful and accommodating. There were plenty of rooms, a large kitchen to cook, living room to play games and dance around in, not to mention the pool/hot tub in the back to lounge around by. If you are planning a similar trip for a special occasion I highly recommend seeing if you can rent out the same house we did; click here to view.
Friday we all got settled into the house and immediately took advantage of the 80 degree weather and pool. It was the perfect way for California to welcome our arrival and detox from the long cross country plane ride. For dinner we had several options on the table pending weather. Luckily the weather held up so we were able to dine at Campo Fina in downtown Healdsburg. They were wonderful in accommodating a large party; they placed us in their backyard patio area right by the bocce ball court. Our dinner was delicious. We opted to do family style and ordered an assortment of dishes to share with one another along with bottles of wine. Campo Fina ended up being the perfect place to grab dinner, not just for a big group like ours but also for much smaller groups.
Saturday was our big wine tasting day! We had reservations at three different wineries spread throughout the day. Our first stop was Red Car Wine in Sebastopol, CA. Right as we entered, Michael our server, was ready for us with a line of glasses filled with rosé. In all honesty I have never been the biggest fan of the style but this particular bottle converted me. I have already searched for places in Brooklyn that would happen to sell it. The exact rosé we had is linked here.
The decor of the winery was just up our alley. In my opinion it had a little Brooklyn feel which I always love. The different wines we tasted were all amazing. I particularly enjoyed the Pinot Noirs. Below are the exact wines we tasted if you want to try something from this winery. If you happen to be in the area though I do suggest visiting their tasting room directly, and make sure Michael assists you. He was very enjoyable and knowledgeable for our tasting.
Here is a list of the wines we tasted here:
- 2016 Rose of Pinot Noir
- 2013 Estate Vineyard Chardonnay
- 2013 Hagan Vineyard Pinot Noir
- 2013 Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir
- 2012 Estate Vineyard Syrah
After we had a little picnic to make sure our bellies were full we ventured on to our next tasting at Quivira Vineyards & Winery. This winery was utterly breathtaking. They had a table reserved for our party right underneath their olive trees whose fruit were served with the tasting. Unfortunately they don’t sell them to go, I was wanting to bring home a jar so badly. Our server Alec was a delight and was throwing pun after pun keeping us entertained. His sense of humor combined with the golden-doodle that crashed our tasting may have made this the group’s favorite stop of the weekend.
Here is a list of the wines we tasted here:
- Fig Tree
- Petite Sirah
Last stop of the day was Mill Creek Vineyards. After doing research beforehand I was particularly excited for this winery due to the setting and pictures I saw of the vineyard. The main facility is a beautiful rustic barn house with a water mill on the side and an outdoor patio area to sit and overlook the surrounding vineyards. However this vineyard ended up being a bit of a disappointment. We were a few minutes behind for our reservation and during our entire tasting the group felt a bit rushed by our server. We kept feeling like they wanted us to finish our tasting as fast as we could and leave. We weren’t able to enjoy the vineyard as much as we would’ve liked.
Here is the list of wines we tasted here:
- 2015 Chardonnay
- 2014 Reserve Chardonnay
- 2014 Pinot Noir
- 2013 Zinfandel
- 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon
Tipsy and happy we headed back to the house where a majority of the girls and the bride to be were surprised to see dinner was being prepared for us by a local catering couple. My thoughts while planning out the weekend was we all would be exhausted from the day of wine tasting and no one would want to cook for a big group like ours. Quivira Vineyards suggested I hire Odd Couple Catering and I could not thank them enough. They were so patient and accommodating during our months of emailing back and forth. They went above and beyond for the night and customized a menu specifically for the group: southern themed cuisine. The appetizers and meal were exquisite. Another recommendation if you are spending the weekend in the area and need something catered. They were truly a delight to work with.
Due to all of us being hard working professional women our trip had to be short but sweet. We all had flights out of SFO Sunday afternoon but on our way out of town we decided to make one last wine tasting stop: Banshee Wines in downtown Healdsburg. This winery was by far my favorite — not just in wine but also aesthetic. It has a southwestern decor that just made my heart flutter and the wines we tasted were so divine that those of us that traveled in from New York ordered a case of things to be delivered to Brooklyn. Still awaiting the arrival of those but I’m excited to have their wine again.
I think it’s fair to say all of us would’ve loved to stay longer and explore more of Healdsburg and visit other wineries. It was the perfect little weekend getaway and a wonderful way to celebrate a bachelorette party. Healdsburg has already been added to my list of places to travel to in hopes of revisiting and exploring the surrounding area more.