Travel Feed

Spring has finally sprung.

You GUYS.  I hope that you had as spectacular of a weekend as we had here in DC.  I mean, OMG.  Friday was eh, with rain and still kinda chilly, but Saturday? BE-A-UTIFUL.  Sunday???  Equally as gorgeous.

Saturday I finally decided to venture into DC, because I had to figure out this Metro at some point (it's less difficult that the NYC subway, but I wish it had more stops like NYC....), and it was the last weekend of the Cherry Blossom Festival.

Well, I got off the Metro close to where I'd have to then start walking to the river to see the blossoms, and OMG.  People.  Everywhere.  I felt like I was in that Bugs Bunny cartoon where he says to Gossamer "Doc! Look - out there! In the audience!"  and Gossamer yells, "PEOPLE!!" and runs through all the stage backdrops to get away.  Insert me instead of Gossamer and that was pretty much how my Saturday in the city began.

So, rather than try and see the blossoms, I just kept on walking to the downtown area.  I really wanted to go in at least one museum, while I was there, but all those people?  I was OUT.  Downtown and Georgetown, here I come.

The city gave me plenty to take shots of, but honestly, I was too busy enjoying the sunshine (hello, Vitamin D! i'm SO glad to have you back!!) to take many pictures.  Here is a glimpse, though, of some of what I saw during my walk.




Also, if anyone has about eleventy billion dollars they want to give me so I can move to Georgetown, that'd be fabulous.  


Pardon my lack of posts lately, peeps.  It's summer, and I've actually decided to enjoy it this year, rather than work all the daggone time and not take any time off.

So, I've been going places and doing things.

I went to Annapolis, and had dinner & drinks at a place where boats could dock (like this one), and I had a great view of the bay.


I went to NYC, and had lunch in this awesome coffee shop, The Grey Dog, where I had my first club sandwich in I can't remember how long, because they could make any sandwich on their menu on gluten-free bread.  I about died.   I got the biggest latte they offered (which was gigantic and outrageously delicious), and my sandwich came with sweet potato fries, which might be the best thing in the history of ever.   


I also went into Macys for the first time in a really long time (because, honestly, it's chaos in there all.the.time, and I can't take it for longer than about 15 min) while I waited for the next train home, and walked through the danger zone: the shoe department.


I wanted them all.

And I went to Florida to spend some time with one of my best friends from college, which also happened to coincide with my birthday.

It's never a bad idea to spend your birthday somewhere like this....


...and get gluten free goodies to celebrate said birthday from a place that shares my sentiment about dessert, AND has macaroons.....which I've never seen in any gluten free bakery....


....and have this little guy sing me happy birthday two nights in a row ("Happy Birthday, Aunt Zzzzacki!!"  those J's are tough, man.), because he was so excited for cupcakes and blowing out candles.....


I've been dreaming about my next vacation since I stepped foot in the airport in FL to come home.

Have you guys been anywhere yet this summer?  Do you plan to?  

Summer's half gone, and I'm in complete denial about the entire thing.  Hence why I need to take another trip somewhere.  Not like I really need a reason, but ya know.


NYC | Travel

This past Saturday, I decided it was high time I went back to NYC.  It's been since before Christmas (I didn't even want to be outside this winter in Philly, let alone go NORTH and be walking through NYC in that hellacious cold. nothankyouandgoodday.), so since I had no set plans for the weekend, I decided to hop the train and head up there.


I'm not a big fan of the center of know, around Times Square and all that I get on the subway from Penn Station and head either Uptown towards Columbus Circle or to the museums, or Downtown to my favorite....SoHo.  Greenwich is also fabulous.  Oh, and the Fashion District - the fabric and trim stores are TO DIE.  Now I feel like I need to sew something.

Anyway.  Focus.

Aside from the usual shopping while I was in NYC, I was on the hunt for Tu-lu's Gluten Free bakery, and I found it, nestled on 11th Street.  Like Babycakes, it's in an unassuming spot, bare-bones interior, but has phenomenal goodies.

Tu-lus nyc
I had the mini coffee cake, cranberry almond muffin, and the raspberry glazed donut.  The cranberry almond muffin was hands-down my fav of the three things I got.  I need to hit them up earlier next time (I was there around 1pm) and see what they have in the mornings before it's all picked over.

For my fellow gluten-freebies, I highly recommend this bakery when you're visiting NYC.  You will not be disappointed. 

Tu-lu's Bakery:  Web | Twitter | Facebook 




A Few Days Off

Friends.  To say I needed some time off from work is an understatement.

So, with the long weekend this past weekend, I took a few days last week to make it really long.

I don't regret it one bit.  Not one little teeny tiny bit.  My work can wait.  My brain needed to take a vacation.

The main reason I took off was to see the Blue Angels flight demonstration team.  If you've never seen them, drop everything and go now to your nearest air show and see them fly.  You will not regret it.

I didn't take many pictures of the show, mainly because I wanted to experience them, rather than be so worried about getting the greatest shot of them in perfect formation.  And they are perfection, my friends.  

They're also hot as hell.  Those blue flight suits.......

Wait.  Was that outloud...?

The BA (which also could mean badass, and in this case, is also true, because the Blue Angels (and really all naval aviators) are badass...) were at Annapolis for graduation week at the Academy, so they did their flight demonstration on Wednesday, and then did the fly over on graduation day.

If you ever have the chance to go to Annapolis, go.  Take a tour of the Academy - you only need your drivers license to get access to the base, but because of heighted security will most likely not be able to park on base, so just park nearby and walk through the pedestrian gate - and make sure you stop at the chapel and the museum.  If you're there around noon during the academic year, you can watch Noon Lunch Formation....


 The surrounding town is also great, with little boutiques, and pubs you can stop in for a quick bite, before heading home with that hot officer you just picked up off the street..... ;-)

USNA: Web | Facebook | Twitter

Blue Angels: Web | Facebook | Twitter


Winter Blahs.

I can't do it anymore.  I just can't.  This winter has been absolutely brutal.  The amount of snow and bitter cold has me at my breaking point.  I don't know how the people in the MidWest are surviving - they have just piles upon piles of snow on the ground.

I am thankful that these next couple of days will be warm enough (and by warm, I mean in the 40's, although tomorrow is supposed to be in the 50's!!) with rain to melt some of this crap.

Do NOT get me started on the pothole situation in Philadelphia. 

Having phenomenal foresight (or just already sick of winter on 2 Jan since Christmas was over) I called up one of my dear friends from college who moved to FL last year for her husband's job, and asked if she was up for a visitor in February.  She was, and we settled on a long weekend when I could come down, which would also be around her birthday and her son's birthday.  Bonus!

When I tell you I couldn't have planned it better if I tried, I really couldn't have.  I left last Wednesday morning, and a Nor'easter blew in that night.  So, instead of seeing snow for 4 days, I saw this --


I took this on my run - I haven't been able to run outside in months, so when I was on my way back, I ran up to the beach and took a few shots.


(sigh) Heaven.

I almost stayed down there.  It was soooo difficult for me to come back to a "feels like" temperature of 17 degrees, when I left it was 68.  

I also want this to be my Starbucks, since in my mind, they have these pretty purple flowers all year long.


One day, we went to Universal Studios, which has a Margaritaville outside the park at the City Walk.  Natch, I had to take a pic of something at Margaritaville, so I settled on this, which was a tiki bar outside the restaurant ~~


"There was this one particular harbor...."

And, of course, the nerd that I am, I HADDDDDD to visit Harry Potter world....


If seeing Hogwarts Castle doesn't make you want to be a freaking witch/wizard, I don't know what will.

"Something wicked this way comes......"

Looking back through these pics is keeping me somewhat grounded this week, as I hope for warmer weather STAT, but know that we have a loooong way to go yet.....

How are you all keeping sane this winter??  Are you stitching?  Are you scrapping??  Drinking????  ;-)

Day Trippin'

This past weekend, the temps were actually above freezing, so I decided to take a little drive up to Princeton.  Across from the campus, they have a nice outdoor shopping area, so, for a change of scenery (especially since I've hardly been out of the house this winter because of the bitter, bitter cold and all the snow), I took the trip.

I went into a few stores, then decided to wander onto the campus to see what it looked like.  

The buildings on this campus are absolutely stunning.  I have no idea what most of the buildings are, but I just started taking pics.

These are the archways over the entrance to the library.  


This is the church on campus.  Absolutely beautiful.


This is the front of the big building you can see from Nassau Street, which goes in front of the campus.  I caught it just as the sun was setting between buildings ~~


Seriously.  Gorgeous architecture. And lions.


This building really captured my attention -- do you see that giant sundial on the tower???  How friggin cool is THAT?!


And I couldn't pass up the opportunity to take a pic of these gorgeous wood doors ~~


Shopping and seeing these beautiful buildings was well worth getting out of the house on a chilly January day.  Once it stops snowing (which at this rate might not be till June), I want to go back and see more of the campus and its astounding architecture.


(PS - I took all these pics with my iPhone 5.  No filters were used.)


I Heart NYC | Travel

I love New York City.  I love it. 

I love walking through the streets in the Fashion District, staring at all the bolts of fabric in the windows, and wandering aimlessly through mood. 


Seriously.  These rolls of fabric just go on for miles.....

And going into places like M&J Trimming and Tinsel Trading Company and just drooling over the unique trims and vintage embellishments you can use in your creative endeavors. 

Kinda makes me want to pretend I could actually make a living doing stuff with all that fabric. 

Oh, to dream.  But that's what NYC is all about, right?  So you can be a dreamer of dreams?


I do so much love going up there, though.  Being in Philly, it's a short train ride from Trenton to Penn Station, and I'm ready to take on the streets.  I went up to NYC one day over Labor Day weekend, and decided this trip that I wanted to wander around SoHo.  More specifically, I wanted to find this particular bakery ~

Gluten free.  Refined sugar free.  Vegan.  TO.DIE.FOR.  I got a chocolate chip cookie sandwich with mint filling, a pumpkin cupcake, a lemon cupcake, a samoa donut (YAH. SAMOA.), and a container filled with chocolate filled brownie bites.


Words cannot describe how good these were.

There's nothing like walking through Little Italy ~

And getting to see the Flatiron building for the first time was pretty awesome --

I love New York, and I can't wait to go back.



More from my KAF weekend getaway

Hello all!
I realized last night that I never downloaded the pics from  my camera that I took while tooling around VT & NH.
On Friday, with an entire day to scope out the area, I decided to head over to Woodstock (no, not that Woodstock) and go to this outdoor book fair they had going on all weekend.
Vintage and second-hand books?  Yes, please!  The town was not far - maybe about a 25 min ride from the inn.
I mean, honestly.  These old buildings are just gorgeous.
The above pic I took in the town library where they were having the rare book sale.  I thought it was super cool, espeically since it's crafty & such.  Here I am, 7 hours from home, and I find something done with mixed media in the least likely of places!  I don't even know what it was doing there!  Just chillin, I guess, on that bodyform.  Whatevs.  Cool, nonetheless ;-)
This, I think, was an inn.  Well, a large inn...but I think it was called the Woodstock Inn.  It's hidden behind those pretty trees, but you can still get an idea of how big it is.  And it was a beautiful building.  I felt so touristy taking pics in this quaint little town, so I tried not to whip out my camera too often, which is why this is the only pic of this building that I took.  
This is a little shop along the main street in Woodstock.  Suspended over the river.  So cool.  So peaceful.
This was just a little cafe that I walked past on my way to the local coffee shop, and I loved the flower boxes and the umbrella tables. 
That's all I have of lovely Woodstock, VT.  Oh, and Bookstock wasn't as thrilling as I wanted it to be.  I'd hoped to snag some Nancy Drew books in the original printed text, but I didn't see one Nancy Drew in any of the places they were having the book sale.  Oh well.  I'll just have to keep my eye out at antique shops & such.
After I was done with Woodstock, I decided to go to the Shaker Museum in Enfield, NH.  This was...interesting.  I don't really know what I expected when I went here, since I knew absolutely zero about the Shakers going into it, but I still figured I'd stop by since I wasn't far.
The surrounding area is beautiful - the museum is right on the river - and must be stunning in the fall when the leaves change.  I didn't take any pictures of the building, since you had to call ahead to ask permission to take pics, which i didn't know, so I just took the tour.  There are no longer Shakers there - in fact, there are only 3 remaining Shakers in the entire country, & they're in Maine - the property was sold to the La Salette order of Catholic missionaries, who owned it until the 1970's.  So, there's a beautiful Catholic chapel on the premesis, which is a far cry from the very plain Shaker building.  
Belinda Karls-Nace, of Blue Ribbon Designs, taught a cross stitch class here last fall, and designed a teaching piece specifically for this location.  To read more about her teaching experience (and I believe she was able to take some pretty great pics), go to her blog posts about it here and here.
That's it for today!  My little side trips through VT & NH before heading to my wonderful baking class at KAF!!!  
Have a wonderfully creative day everyone!!!!!
Much love ~~~
J :-)