Category Archives: Travel

Lonely & Happy in NYC

This weekend I was in New York City for a short 48 hours after a conference nearby. I was traveling alone aka not my favorite way to travel. I woke up anxious. I left the Airbnb in search for breakfast and a {non-dairy} chai latte feeling lonely. I ate breakfast alone. I walked to the park alone. I felt alone regretting my choice to travel to NYC solo.

And then, I walked into the Brooklyn Botanic Garden & It. Was. Magical. The cherry blossoms at the entrance were blooming. I started the day lonely and anxious, but as soon as I saw the pink petals blowing in the wind and carpeting the ground, I had a smile on my face.

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The day continued that way…

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Top 5 Coolest Sites in the World!

I’ve been a lot of awesome places with a lot of awesome sites to see. Here is a countdown of my top 5 favorite sites in the world!

5. Brooklyn Bridge (+Grimaldi’s Pizza)

Anytime anyone asks what to do in New York City, I tell them go to the Brooklyn Bridge at dusk so you can take pictures during the sunlight and at night. By walking the bridge, you get to see the skylines of both Manhattan and Brooklyn. Though you have to share the bridge with bikers and a whole lotta tourists, the cars drive on the platform underneath. Whether you start or end in Brooklyn, it’s a must that you go to Grimaldi’s Pizza next to the bridge. The pizza is traditional New York style (which is the best kinda style, sorrrrrry, Chicago <3). There’s no alcohol served and sometimes there’s a wait, but it’s so damn worth it.

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Animals and Adventure in Costa Rica!

My friend, Shelley, and I went on a 12-day trip around Costa Rica in September 2017. I have individual blog posts for each city we visited (see below), but wanted to share an overall blog, too, for what we did there.

San Jose

Admittedly, there isn’t much to do in the capital city. It’s the main airport of the city, though, so staying a night or two may be necessary. If we’d spent more time, I definitely would’ve done one of the free walking tours.

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Animals and Adventure in Costa Rica: Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Our final city to explore in Costa Rica was Puerto Viejo de Talamanca (or as you may read for the public bus, Puerto Viejo, Limon; there are actually two Puerto Viejos in Costa Rica and you want to go to the one on the beach in the Limon province). Since we were traveling in September, we chose to go to the Caribbean side since it’s not rainy season there. We spent 2.5 days here, which was a day longer than any other city we’d visited in CR.

Sightseeing

The first thing we did in Puerto Viejo was to explore, both by foot and by bike ($5/day rental). There are a bunch of shops and stalls to peruse. And the town is right on the beach, so we spent plenty of time moseying about.

Playa Uva came highly recommended. Puerto Viejo is bordered by the Caribbean sea, so there are plenty of beaches to choose from. Because we’d met some Costa Rican friends, we hitched a ride to Punta Uva (it’s a point where you can hike around) and to Manzanilla, where its said the manzanilla plant grows (think chamomile tea).

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Animals and Adventure in Costa Rica: Tortuguero

In order to maximize our time in Costa Rica, Shelley and I spent only about 1 1/2 days in each city we visited. We made sure to do everything we really wanted before heading on our way to the next destination. From La Fortuna, we traveled to Tortuguero, most notable for the sea turtles (tortugas) that lay eggs there a few months out of the year. The town is flanked by water – the canals on one side and the Caribbean on the other – which gives it a very laid-back lifestyle.

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Sightseeing

Sea Turtle Night Tour

“The town’s beaches are considered one of the world’s most important nesting sites for green sea turtles, which weigh up to 400 pounds and can lay up to 700 eggs per season. Nightly turtle tours depart several times daily during nesting season [July-October].”*

This was hands-down one of the coolest things I’ve seen! A guide takes you onto the beaches of the Tortuguero National Park where spotters are looking for giant turtles to lay their eggs. The mamas swim up onto the shore, dig a hole, and as soon as they’re ready to lay the eggs, they go into a trance-like state. That’s when you’re able to watch. We saw one mama lay a few eggs, which was pretty magical.

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Animals and Adventure in Costa Rica: La Fortuna

In order to maximize our time in Costa Rica, Shelley and I spent only about 1 1/2 days in each city we visited. We made sure to do everything we really wanted before heading on our way to the next destination. After leaving Monteverde, we headed on our way to La Fortuna, home to the famous Arenal Volcano.

Sightseeing

Don Olivo Chocolate Tour

This $25 tour may seem a bit steep in price for 2 hours, but with the amount of food you’re given, it’s worth the price and more! The owner of the farm walks you around sharing about the many fruit trees that grow there. These trees not only protect the cocoa trees, they serve as a good source of revenue for the owners. The best part is all of the amazing fruit and chocolate you get to eat! We tried star fruit, papaya, pineapple, bananas, and oranges right from the tree. We also pressed our own sugar cane juice, and made our very own hot chocolate from the cocoa bean we picked ourself! Tours leave at 8am, 10am, 1pm, and 3pm, and the price includes transportation to/from the farm.

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