Category: Travel

Manayunk, Philadelphia

corner house As I’m sitting here back in the Midwest, classwork in full swing for my last year of college, I cannot help but reminisce on all of the beautiful places I have visited in the last year. One place in particular that always comes to mind is Manayunk, Philadelphia.

After my visit to Philly this summer I never really wrote about my stay in Manayunk, so I figured I would go back and write about my experience.

canal flower Now, for those of you that don’t know, Manayunk is a neighborhood in the Northwestern section of Philadelphia. It is located on the banks of the Schuylkill River and contains the first canal began in the United States. It is a beautiful hilly little neighborhood, full of colorful buildings, art and lots of fun shops and restaurants.

hill manyunk rest manyunk neighborhood There are a lot of great little bars there with tons of character. We enjoyed getting away from NYC for a weekend and enjoyed more affordable prices. You’ll notice a lot of locals around town, but there is also a very young presence there.

If you’re looking to visit Philadelphia for a weekend I would definitely suggest staying the night in Manayunk. It was a very relaxed getaway for the night. We had a lovely breakfast at Greg’s Kitchen the next morning too (so delicious and ridiculously affordable).

painting1 ice cream place street art My favorite part of our visit to this neighborhood was our walk along the water. There was a great little boardwalk, surrounded by plants and artwork. There were locals riding their bike along the path, and families eating ice cream near the water.

This was the perfect little escape from NYC.

man hil

Until next time Philly!

Manhattan Dinner Cruise

sunset1

Every year Kyle comes up with the most creative and meaningful birthday gifts, but this year he totally outdid himself. For my gift this year he booked a sunset dinner cruise around Manhattan. I had never seen the city from the water before, so I was extremely excited for my birthday adventure.

skylineday us

Our cruise was through Hornblower and they did a wonderful job planning the trip. There was an hor d’oeuvres and cocktail hour on the boat, followed by a three-course meal and after-dinner dancing. The boat cruised around the Hudson and the East River and had great photo-ops near the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge.

There was a beautiful deck on the boat where you could stand or sit outside before or after dinner, or between courses. The weather was beautiful, so we enjoyed sipping on our drinks outside while taking in the breathtaking views.

drink bridgeboat

As far as our meal, the different courses were pretty tasty. I ordered the Tamarind and Orange Glazed Duck Breast for my appetizer, and the Oven Roasted Chicken Breast for my entree. Both were extremely well-prepared and had great flavor. The sweet potato puree with my appetizer was so well-seasoned I could have eaten a whole bowl of just that.  Kyle ordered the Jumbo Lump Crab Cake as his appetizer, and the Pan Seared Filet of Beef for his entree and they were pretty amazing too.. I had bites of course.  For dessert, I ordered the cheesecake, my absolute favorite NYC specialty.

food

The DJ played great music, mixing in the old with the new, and got everyone on the boat in a great mood. He played some top pop hits, some salsa music, and even some Frank Sinatra.

The Manhattan skyline lit up against the night sky is unlike anything else you will see in your life. We stood outside for almost half an hour just taking in the view.

skylinenight

For anyone living in, or visiting, NYC looking for a fun night out with friends or a romantic dinner date, I would definitely suggest booking a boat cruise through Hornblower. It was one of the most memorable nights in NYC I have had yet.

Brimfield Antique Show

audrey

Two and a half hours from Manhattan sits the little New England town of Brimfield; a quaint community surrounded by apple orchards, horse farms and rolling grassy hills. If you were visiting the area on a normal weekend it would appear as a simple charming small town, but three weekends a year this town actually holds one of the largest and best-known antique shows in the country.

Picture over a mile of tents, lining a hilly tree-lined road in Massachusetts. Brimfield Antique Show features more than 5,000 different vendors and sells anything from antique furniture and decor to one of a kind vintage fashion items.

horse think

When the handbag design team invited me to come with on their trip to Brimfield I couldn’t wait. It is the perfect place to find design inspiration and draw new ideas from vintage pieces of the past… Of course, I had to do a little shopping there too!

The show had everything you could imagine. From weird and quirky yard art, to trendy dishware, to spunky vintage clothing and accessories it was a maze of amusement. I loved wandering from tent to tent and exploring all of the old items. Some were weird and hilarious, some were dainty and beautiful and some were just plain historic… but I loved experiencing every angle of the show.

flamingo

lawn stuff fruit clothing

When it comes to eating there, they have any type of food vendor you could think of. a mac n’ cheese truck, lobster rolls, tacos, bbq, Italian paninis, wraps.. just about anything you could crave! Not to mention ice cream and treats of course. I had a fabulous lunch there mid-day, and was perfectly fueled to finish my antique hunt in the afternoon.

If you live in the area, or have an apartment in NYC, Brimfield would be the perfect place to shop for home decor and antique furniture. The prices, for the most part, are awesome, and incorporating a vintage piece into any apartment adds instant character. Unfortunately I will have to fly back home to the midwest soon, so I only shopped for things that I could realistically fit in my luggage… I think I did pretty well though!

Check out my little Brimfield haul below.

brim

Exploring Hoboken, New Jersey

I’m back in New York City for the summer and have already started to go back to my adventuring ways. I love spending my free time discovering new neighborhoods and areas in the city. I had never been to New Jersey before, so I decided it was time to make the trip (especially once I learned it was only a 10 minute train ride from the Financial District…so close!).

As graduation is just around the corner, I’ve started to look into different neighborhoods that I could move to in or around New York City. Hoboken was an area I always heard was very quaint and hip, so I figured I would give it a tour on my day off. I had a little Friday afternoon adventure to Hoboken and I completely fell in love with the neighborhood.

station

As you step off the Path Train from Manhattan you look to your right and you are right along the water. The view from Hoboken is breathtaking! You can see the entire Manhattan skyline from the pier and it is totally enchanting. The cute grassy area would be perfect for an afternoon picnic.

grass walkway

As I walked farther into town I was surprised at how many adorable little markets and cafes I passed.  There was a lot of outdoor seating at a bunch of local restaurants perfect for a summertime dinner date. The neighborhood was lively, yet much less noisy than Manhattan. it was a pleasant change of pace.

streetview

I couldn’t visit Hoboken for the day and not pay a visit to Carlo’s Bake Shop…AKA home shop of Cake Boss. Everything in the bakery looked delicious, but if there was ever too long of a line or you weren’t feeling the touristy atmosphere, there are tons of other local bakeries in the area.

bake shop

A bakery that I stumbled into today was called Choc-o-Pain. It was an adorable french bakery that carried everything from quiche to croissant. I chose the “Chocopain Aux Amandes,” which in other terms was a chocolate almond croissant and let me tell you… it was life changing.  Easily one of the best croissants I’ve ever eaten.. which is saying a lot since I have had some pretty amazing ones in France. If you want a low-key bakery with a lot of character and an adorable ambiance, this is your place.

croissant

The architecture in Hoboken was a lot more historic than I was anticipating for. I loved how much character the different blocks had and how each housing unit had its own touch of personality. Trees lined every street and the neighborhood had such a homey feeling.

city hall Corner building color houses House

If you’re spending some time visiting New York City in the near future, and are looking to see a few places away from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan, I would definitely put Hoboken on your list!

 

Spring Break Travels: Arizona and Puerto Penasco

IMG_9243 IMG_9327 IMG_9331 IMG_9348

For spring break this year I took a trip to Scottsdale, Arizona with  few of my friends. I had been to Arizona before when I was younger, but at that point in my life I definitely didn’t appreciate the surroundings and the amazing hiking opportunities that it offered. When staying in Scottsdale, you have easy access to hike Camelback Mountain. I ventured out with the boys  one day for a hiking workout and to see this amazing view everyone was talking about.

The hike is not an easy one! It involves climbing up lots of big rocks and loose sandy paths. For a girl that has short legs, it was hard to keep up with everyone. It was very do-able though, and by taking my time and watching my step we made it to the summit successfully. That view was worth the work!

IMG_9363 IMG_9355 IMG_9373    IMG_9371

In Scottsdale we stayed at The Saguaro. This hotel was right in the heart of their old downtown area, a 5 minute walk to the spring training practice facilities, and close in proximity to plenty of attractions and shops. The hotel was painted in a range of very bright colors, and had a very young and hip atmosphere. There were bikes available to rent, a ping pong table near the pool-side bar, outdoor cabanas and a big Jenga set near the lounge chairs. We really enjoyed our stay at this hotel, and I would suggest it to anyone looking to book a vacation to Arizona.

After a few days of hiking and lounging by the pool, it was time to head down to Puerto Penasco, Mexico.

IMG_9455

From Scottsdale, Arizona, Puerto Penasco is about a 3 hour drive. I had never been to Mexico, so I was excited to see the surroundings and lounge by the beach. We stayed right by the water in Puerto Penasco and the scenery there was beautiful. The water was bright blue, and the sand was nice and soft. The area was surrounded by big palm trees and neat sand dunes. A fun fact I learned about Puerto Penasco is that their tide fluctuates more throughout the day than any other beach area. When we woke up in the morning the water would be about 1/4 mile down the beach from the house, and by 4pm it would be right up to the front stairs.

IMG_9436 IMG_9432 IMG_9419 IMG_9401 IMG_9399 IMG_9393      IMG_9444

Mexico was beautiful and the spring weather was perfect. I’m looking forward to heading down there again some time in the future for another vacation!