Monday, November 17, 2014

July 5, 2014 (a lesser known happy day)

One of the main things I wanted to do in New York this time around was wander through Brooklyn. I had specific suggestions from friends and strangers I admire alike and many of them would be found across the East River from Manhattan. Ready for some views from the Brooklyn Bridge? Too bad if you're not! 

As soon as we found our way from Newark to NYC we walked across the bridge, heading for the Brooklyn Bridge Park. This was the park where I hoped to watch the fireworks the day before but discovered we would have had to camp out there all day to even get a chance to watch from there. When we walked along it we saw all the happy remnants of the previous days occupants strewn everywhere. 

We walked along, hoping to chance on some street vendors for breakfast but with no such luck we began the trek into Brooklyn Heights to scrounge up what would now have to be brunch. That's when we found Clark's. Yum. Brooklyn Heights is awesome. I would definitely live there. Probably couldn't afford it but it would be nice. 

This next set of photos is from a shop I've wanted to visit for over three and a half years. Catbird, I love thee. I didn't buy anything this time but their style is something I would love to own and be able to just have on the next street over in case I was so inclined (and had several extra dollars to spare (or a hundred...ha)).

Next stop, the free Staten Island Ferry for a far-away tour of the Statue of Liberty and a panoramic view of the city:

That's it for New York, folks. Last tip: try out Hamburgao in Newark if you're ever there. Seriously, hands down my favorite burger ever.  Better than Tom Wahls, better than Bill Gray's, better than Five Guys and even better than, dare I say it, In-N-Out! It's true. It was wonderful. The End. Farewell til next time, NYC.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

July 4, 2014, New York City

America! I love America. I also love New York. Possibly as much as Paris. I'm not sure yet. I need a few more visits to be positive. I definitely enjoyed getting around easier with the English signs everywhere we went. That was nice. But on to some New York. First, a little Central Park on the way to the Met:

The Metropolitan Museum seemed like a good place to start since the entrance fee is negotiable and we are definitely into "close-to-free" if not, entirely free so in we went. We were hit smack dab in the face with patriotic works of art.

The day was a very rainy one, I was worried about the fireworks that night, but in the meantime we kept ducking into museums to hide from the downpours. I didn't think that I was interested in the Museum of Modern Art until we looked up major works in it while we ducked into their lobby to decide (yes, Art History at Roberts failed me, or rather, I didn't internalize the insane amount of flash cards I made and studied for three years...ugh). As soon as I read the words "Starry Night" my mind was set on getting in. We immediately bough tickets and walked up the steps, bound for Van Gogh. 


Fitting, and I didn't even realize that this was the chapstick I brought.

Arriving at the firework viewing location, we found it was already packed. We ended up standing for about three hours by the time the fireworks were over. Honestly though, it was worth it. What a production! I'm glad we stood where we did, the view was great and it was easy to get to and from it. Oh! I almost forgot, it may not really be of interest to the masses but this story is not something I want to forget in the long term, which is a huge problem of mine. Story! Here we go. 

Because of all the rain, Chris and I both had umbrellas on us. Chris had his trusty navy umbrella that followed us all through Europe and I had the cute frilly floral monstrosity that I got in the UK. Luckily mine was small enough to hide tuck into my purse because when we got to the entrance to the viewing area for the fireworks we found policemen taking all umbrellas and storing them in big cardboard boxes. I suppose they have to maximize the viewing opportunities but I saw Chris' face when he had to drop our travel-weary umbrella into that box and I knew I would look for it on the way out (their suggestion when we asked about getting it back). On the way out of the area, heading for the subway, we moved like cattle with the masses and then I saw people ducking to the side and crouching down and realized they'd found the umbrella pile. I even saw several women hustling quickly away holding several small umbrellas (obviously not all their own). I dove in. Moments later my eye caught a broken string, would into a tiny loop in an attempt at usefulness. Like a viper going in for the kill, my hand cut through the other reaching arms and grabbed it up. Umbrella recovered! Chris never smiled so big.

Six seconds of waterfall fireworks is all I got. But it's worth it isn't it! 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Ladies and Gentlemen: Ellie Goulding! (and the rest of Colorado because c'mon, time to move on, Kelly)

This is the first view of Red Rocks on the day of the concert that we had! But first: the rest of that day...

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. Especially when it includes giant proportions...I think I could seriously eat diner food all the time. It's probably a good thing I don't but I would love it.

It would seem that all we did that day was eat from the look of these photos. Just before the concert we found ourselves in the Little Bear restaurant, a place where many musicians have stopped in to play including Willie Nelson on more than one occasion. We were recommended this location by a relocated former local who is the mom of one of my closest friends from high school. The Larson family moved from Colorado to Canandaigua, New York and I will always be thankful that they did!

Back to the venue! We got there seriously early. We had run out of things to do locally without also running out of time for parking, walking up the massive number of stairs, so we headed there as soon as we knew the gates would open.  I took a photo from our seats once every twenty minutes or so as the sun set and we waited for the stars to come out while we sat on the red rocks. The video below is a result of those snap shots: 
The following day we headed into both Boulder and Denver with no real plan for either since I had a major lack of planning when it came to this trip. It's harder to find things to do that aren't expensive in the not-so-major cities I'm realizing. Or maybe it's just harder to find them? I failed if the latter is true at finding said inexpensive activities so we walked around a lot and took our time at each meal time. Below we find Chris in one of the great many breweries of Boulder:
Denver was surprising in the way that we didn't really like it at all. To be honest, we may not have given it much of a chance, spending less than four hours there, but four hours was plenty for us. The crowds there were a little tougher, the individuals we ran across were definitely not as friendly and the vibe generally not as relaxed and welcoming as Boulder. We left soon after we arrived but not before I snapped a picture of one of these awesome pianos lining the main shopping street. People were playing all the others and I felt creepy taking their picture. If memory serves, this was the only one unoccupied during our hour-long jaunt. I love how they're all decorated!

The two main reasons I picked Boulder for this (three months later) birthday trip for Chris was because 1. a Red Rocks concert was the last item I knew about on his bucket list and 2. I found this amazing airbnb for us to stay at. This one definitely hit the top ten of favorite lodgings we've had. This tree house was only one of the perks! There was also a hot tub we hung out in to watch the stars (in May!) and the little cottage itself was stocked with food for breakfast (not common in our experiences so far) and so warm and cozy with sky lights everywhere. What a place to come and relax at, if we lived within driving distance I would go back again and again so we could slowly do all the trails around the area.

Well that's all for Colorado, folks. I'm slowly getting us to more relevant times soon! The photos are edited, the words and the time just has to be there. Thanks for being patient!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Sunset over Boulder

Our last night in Colorado (our second night in all hah!) we realized that we didn't have to hike up a mountain to get to the top. We could drive! So we went off in search of a nice restaurant, leaving enough time to get to the top for a sunset view we couldn't get in the valley of Boulder. We somehow ended up in Chipotle for our fancy meal, (and by somehow I mean we saw it, wavered for .32 seconds and then I made an immediate U-turn to get back to it), but neither of us were complaining. I still can't get enough of it since being in the back home. On the drive up the mountain Chris captured a few shots of the scenery, look at all those trees!

This was breathtaking.

One last parting shot. Beauty. Living near mountains might be an amazing adventure someday.

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