Saturday, July 15, 2017

Take Me Away - So, I went to the Grand Canyon

Last February when we visited family in California, we were able to squeeze in a road trip to the Grand Canyon. Its one of those places I always felt like I had to go see in person, so I was lucky when my in-laws were down to take the trip. My husband, his brother, mom, father-in-law, grandparents and little old me crammed in a car together. It was a bit tight, but we worked in out.

We drove from El Centro, CA to Flagstaff, AZ, where we were going to spend the night.
Our first stop on the road was Sunset Peak, on route 17 a few miles outside of Phoenix. Its a rest station/viewing point at about 3000 feet elevation.

We continued to drive towards Sedona and stopped just outside to see the Bell Rock. The Sedona desert is amazing and I definitely fell in love. It was a bit rainy and muddy but I'm so glad we still tracked down the trail a bit and explored the Red Rocks.

We continued our drive to Sedona where we ate at SeƱor Bobs Hot Dogs (seriously good Burgers and Dogs ... just saying) and then headed to Downtown Sedona which is packed with little shops and restaurants. And everywhere you look, you got an amazing mountain view.

We spent the night in Flagstaff and woke up to snow.

When we were in Sedona we talked to some locals that told us we should drive up the 89 to the 64 and enter the Canyon from the east, instead of driving via the Grand Canyon Village, and I'm so glad we did. It lead us to 2 great Indian ruin sites (Wupatki National Monument), which is something I had never seen before. During the summer months, theres also trading posts along the route.

 First Wupatki site

View from the top of the site

 2nd site

After checking out these awesome sites (and Manny's grandmother being asked if some tourists can take a photo with her because they thought she was "a real Indian") we continued to drive. We entered from the east side and took a quick stop at the Desert View Watchtower, only to be utterly disappointed. There was so much fog in the canyon, that there was nothing to be seen. It was raining and windy and we all were getting a bit frustrated. Luckily my father-in-law (our driver) was totally determined to find an amazing view. We continued to drive along the South Rim and stopped at every view point possible. The weather seemed to change every time we got out of the car - snow, hail, rain, strong winds, and quick moments of sunshine. But we did get to see some incredible views of the canyon and, all in all, it was a successful trip. But if I ever go again, I'll make sure its not winter. 

Desert View Watchtower - with not much of a view due to fog

Hermits Rest view point with a little gift shop. 

All in all it was a very fun trip and I felt very lucky to have such awesome in-laws that were down for the adventure.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017


I always love spending the beginning of the year planning vacations, day trips and date days for the year.
I already have a pretty decent list for this year that I'm looking forward to checking off.

Here's my top NYC date day & day trip plans for 2017.


New York City Transit Museum

Ever since I saw photos of the Transit Museum, I've been wanting to go there. Exploring a bunch of old subway cars (that look like they were taken right out of the 70s) is definitely my kind of Museum experience.

1 - @jacquietran | 2 - @jleblanc454 | 3- @hoyanlay | 4 - @bossbug71 


Wave Hill Gardens in the Bronx

This place just looks magical. Beautiful views and a gorgeous botanical garden. I can't wait to see it in person.

1 - @_remyshay_ | 2 - @wavehill | 3 - @pepperknit | 4 - @sophialeuner 

Central Park Zoo

I love zoos and this is the last one on my list in NYC.

1 - @alexespagobizc | 2 - @monicaksmith | 3 - jchyip


Coney Island

Boardwalk, Hot Dogs, Roller Coasters & Freak Show. What more could you ask for?
Though Ive been to Coney Island quiet a few times, I've never been on any of the rides there. Riding the Cyclone is on the top of my Summer 2017 to-do list!

1- @fordampconey | 2 - @lapatite | 3 - @thephotofaerie | 4 - @dynusboss 

City Island

I read a few things here and there about city island - a small island in the Bronx. Because of its affordable housing, the community has grown in the last few years, yet it has maintained its small town charm. Seems like a great city-gateway to me.

1- @selenozzz | 2 - @buckybuchholtz | 3 - @fromthebronx


Lake Minnewaska State Park

I definitely want to squeeze in a couple of Upstate New York trips into 2017 as well. Lake Minnewaska State Park has caught my eye a while ago ... and keeps calling my name everything I see a photo. Its just so beautiful out there.

1 - @srodriquez92 | 2 - @heididopita 

Roosevelt Island

Another Island! An aerial tram will bring you from Manhattan (or Queens) to Roosevelt Island, and along the ride, offers some great views of the city. On the island itself, theres lots to discover as well, like the Franklin Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park.

1 - @_kimtaisuk | 2 - @kcy103 | 3 - @justj_ok | 3 - @ameblack

What are some of the things you're looking forward to this year?

Sunday, January 15, 2017

DAYTRIPPING - Brooklyn Winter Flea & Smorgasburg

Whenever my husband and I have a day of together, we try to get out and do something fun in the city. Its super rare that we actually have a weekend day off together, so we had to take advantage of a free Saturday and check out the Brooklyn Indoor Flea Market, Record Fair and Smorgasburg (Food Vendors galore).
We had been to the Brooklyn Flea before (Saturdays in Fort Greene and Sundays under the Manhattan Bridge), but never to the Indoor Winter version, that combines the Food Fair with the Flea Market.
Its a perfect thing to do on a cold, wintery day, since you can spend hours exploring inside. The Winter Flea is located inside the old Williamsburg Savings Bank at 1 Hanson Pl in Downtown Brooklyn, right across from the Barclays Center. Its super easy to get there by Subway (Atlantic Ave - Barclays Center station) or by car (you can park across the street in the Atlantic Center shopping mall parking lot).

The building it self is beautiful and we had a lot of fun exploring all the vendors. Every once in a while the Brooklyn Flea also holds a record fair, with a huge selection of music to pick through. The main market is on the ground floor and level 1. The Smorgasburg food fair and Record Fair are located in the basement.

Our favorite find, no questions asked, were these Chinese Quail Eggs on a stick! Amazing. They came in 3 different flavors (plus 1 non-egg sausage version). Sooooo yummy! I easily could've had 5 of those. I had the South (with nacho cheese and tortilla) and my husband had the West (with Turffle and breadcrumbs)
I also totally had to have a Wowfull because ever since I discovered those Hong Kong style Egg Waffles with Ice Cream in Toronto, I'm a huge fan!!

Chinese Streetfood by "Brunchspot". Our new favorite

Wowfulls - Sweet version with Ice Cream for me. Chicken & Wowfull version for him.

Thousands of records to dig through at the Record Fair.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

PLACES + SPACES - Southern California Trip Planning

In 1 month my husband and I are flying to California to spend 2 weeks with friends and family.
Even though I lived in San Diego for 6 years, there still so many things in So-Cal that I haven't done yet and I want to try to check some of them off on this trip.

Here some of the things on my list, as told by my instagram feed

1) Salton Sea by @jimmy92233
2) Cabrillo National Monument in San Diego by @jujubee_84
3) Galleta Meadows by @juliannaesther
4) Moorten Botanical Garden in Palm Springs by @lainetrees
5) Spruce Suspension Bridge in San Diego by @preeetpal
6) Grand Central Market in LA by @toms
7) Aerial Tram in Palm Springs by @holliecusty
8) Cabezon Dinosaurs by @ohnochriso
9) Salk Institute in San Diego by @shotsofnorthamerica