Showing posts with label US travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label US travel. Show all posts

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Sling Diaries: Discovery


This week we find ourselves in Arizona for a family wedding. We've spent the past few days taking in the beautiful views, hiking in Sedona, star gazing, and spending time with family in Phoenix

 

 In Ferris’s short 18 month life, he has now visited 20 states (+DC!) 
Ferris’s states: Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Virginia, West Virginia
 
We are on a mission to visit all 50 states – a goal partly driven by sentiment and partly driven by our love of gimmicks. We began this endeavor in 2010, when we celebrated our fifth anniversary in Vermont. Nick’s grandpa Ted was very ill, and he had visited 49 states – every one but Vermont. He got our postcard, which served as his honorary visit, one week before he passed away. 

There is the classic Proust quote often etched onto coffee mugs and refrigerator magnets: “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” 

Who am I to argue with Proust? A mere traveler. 

I don’t believe you can develop new eyes without seeking new landscapes.  I believe each time you leave your bubble of culture, you gain context that you couldn’t gain any other way.  I believe you can’t discover yourself without discovering others.







 
At this phase of his life, Ferris’s radar is tuned to doggies, trees, cars, latte foam, The Lumineers. Surely Ferris won’t remember hiking around Bell Rock in Sedona, visiting a plantation in Charleston, or exploring an art festival in Maine. But my sincere hope is that these experiences will paint portraits of a wide world and plant seeds of possibility for his future. I want his heart to be guided by the elusive openness to discovery. Even if in the end, he winds up where he started.


Ferris and I share Sakura Bloom's Essential Silk Sling in Licorice/Amalfi
Can you believe we're halfway through The Sling Diaries?

Monday, May 28, 2012

Southern Belles

We just wrapped up our 11 day road trip covering 10 states (+DC!) and 2200 miles! On our continued quest to visit all 50 states, we decided to take advantage of our East Coast location and Ferris’s inability to run away. 

Here is our crazy itinerary: 
New York, NY to Philadelphia, PA to Wilmington, DE, to Harper’s Ferry, WV to Leesburg, VA to Middleburg, VA to Chapel Hill, NC to Savannah, GA to Hilton Head, SC to Charleston, SC to Raleigh, NC to Washington, DC, to Baltimore, MD to New York, NY. Whew!

With the exception of Philly and DC, all of our stops were new to us, so this was a great chance to learn more about the different states. With few exceptions, most of our preconceived notions (both positive and negative) turned out to be pretty inaccurate. We had low expectations for West Virginia and Baltimore, but those were two of our favorite stops! I’ve heard so many good things about the research triangle of NC – Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill, but it underwhelmed us. Downtown Wilmington, Delaware, tax/legal home to just about every credit card company, is sketchier than any block I’ve been on in NYC. One huge surprise was our impression that rumors of southern hospitality are overstated. Also, we encountered plenty of southerners (Virginia, Carolinas, Georgia) who seem to hate babies, and I’m a little sore about that. (Or maybe New Yorkers just really love babies? Or maybe I think Ferris shouldn’t count as a baby since he doesn’t cry?) Who knew! 


Philly, PA: a quick visit to the Liberty Bell on our way to Wilmington! 


Wilmington, DE: “Hi, we’re in Delaware.” – Wayne’s World. This was pretty much it, but with a side of, “Don’t go to that ATM, that’s not on a safe block.” We happened upon a hospitable group of businesswomen who travel to Wilmington so often that they hang out with the hotel staff and take it upon themselves to pour the wine for the happy hour. 
Harper’s Ferry, WV: This little town is home to tons of Civil War history and an entrance to the Appalachian Trail. The landscape of the area was beautiful, with a view of the Blueridge Mountains and old battlefields. We went on a ghost tour and “hiked” to the extent it’s possible with an 11 month old.

Leesburg, VA: We went to a couple of different wine tastings and a jazz festival. This was the first example of baby-hating. I wouldn’t make such a claim without providing examples! We showed up for the jazz festival and were told that children are only allowed within a certain fenced in area. The setup was a little awkward so we drank our wine (individually, since tastings took place outside the family jail) and headed to the next vineyard. 

Middleburg, VA: We spent a few hours wandering around this little town, which had some cute shops. 

Chapel Hill, NC: We drove around Duke and UNC, hung out in our gorgeous hotel room, and ate biscuits for breakfast. Second example of baby-hating: people would glare at us while Ferris smiled in their direction. Third example of baby-hating: Ferris was sleeping in his stroller in a nearly empty restaurant, but the waitress still glared in his direction whenever she found time. 
Savannah, GA: Fourth example of baby-hating: it took ages to find a hotel that allowed children. But Nick did such a great job finding us a gorgeous historical building in the middle of Savannah. Ferris loved Savannah, because it has so many trees!
Hilton Head, SC: We loved Hilton Head, it’s the only spot we could imagine making a point to revisit. Nick golfed, I got a massage, and we hung out on the beach and ate gourmet hotdogs. This was Ferris’s first time in a swimsuit. Heartbreakingly cute. 

Charleston, SC: Nick found another amazing place to stay – an old rice plantation with award winning architecture. We did a little bit of exploring downtown Charleston, but spent most of our time touring the plantation. Fifth example of baby-hating: Ferris was sleeping in the baby carrier, while we signed up for a tour of the plantation house. The guide lectured me that I would need to leave if the baby started screaming. A. He’s asleep. B. I have enough sense to leave with a screaming baby so blanket restrictions and lectures aren’t needed. C. You’re a bitch. 

Raleigh, NC: Admittedly, we just stayed here to break up a long stretch of driving. But Raleigh boasts the best coffeehouse I found along our trip! 
Washington, DC: Nick scored again, although by accident - we went to the wrong Kimpton Hotel, but they let us stay for the same rate, and.... drumroll.... upgraded us to an amazing suite with a jacuzzi. (Does this count as southern hospitality? The hotel manager was born in Minnesota.) The standard fare: walked around the White House, the Washington Monument, and a special exhibit at the Holocaust Museum. 
Baltimore, MD: Ferris went to his first baseball game at Camden Yard! Baltimore was a charming, livable city, and we discovered a lot of cute neighborhoods. When we’re traveling, I try to find the best coffee in the city, since that usually leads us to fun new places. (You know, the type with growly baristas and signs that say, “Friends don’t let friends drink Starbucks.”) Despite the baby-hating, we had a fun time getting away from our familiar routines and locations. And thankfully, this trip made us so appreciative of how great Minneapolis is, and how exciting our new neighborhood will be!

Top: Delaware friends, ghost tour, trees!, mint julep, hot dogs
Bottom: beach, plantation grounds, DC, Orioles


Just one more photo of Ferris. This is me trying to show a little restraint. Can you believe the next post pretty much has to be about his first birthday?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

We're in Miami Feets!

I've needed a few things over the past few weeks: some laughs, a vacation, Oscar short films. Check, check, check.
Saw this on the way to work!
Had me laughing for a good 10 minutes

As for vacation, I saw a picture of The Standard Hotel in Miami and decided I just had to go. As luck would have it, Nick found cheap flights to Miami, so we booked a Valentine's Day trip. And what Valentine's Day trip would be complete without a baby? The Standard doesn't feel the same way: no kids allowed! So I was able to enjoy a spa day all alone, which was magnificent. Look closely and you can see my mojito in the top left picture.
This means I took my phone in the pool! Luckily I'm a good swimmer.

Sunrise view from our hotel - top right was my view since I didn't have my contacts in!
Party in the city where the heat is on? All night on the beach till the break of dawn? Alas. The closest we got to a party was jazz brunch with cocktails. The weather was nice but didn't hit 80 until the day we left. Ferris woke us up till the break of dawn. Parents of little babies need a different soundtrack.

Our soundtrack:
1 - We're in Miami Feets! (adapted from I'm in Miami Trick by LMFAO)
2 - Mama Got Milk (adapted from Baby Got Back by Sir Mixalot)
I like to suck and I cannot lie
You other babies can't deny
When a milk walks in with an itty bitty waist and two round things in your face
You get THIRSTY!
3 - The Babies Need the Burpies to Make Room for the Milk (original)
4 - Night Night Ferris (adapted from I Want Candy by Bow Wow Wow)

Our itinerary: lounge around, visit the beach for sunset, eat stone crab, tour the Vizcaya mansion.


And what Valentine's Day would be complete without a card for all of you!

We got set up for a beach picnic, and I propped the camera on a beach bag to take family pictures with the remote. Nice that Ferris looks away to give us some privacy. We're raising such a considerate boy! :)


Steps at the Vizcaya Mansion, a museum with a house from 1916 and beautiful gardens.
 
More beach photos, since I have so many favorites to share.




Ferris splashing in the pool:

Learning to climb. Note our <100% excitement.

That about sums it up! Have you noticed that since I've stopped sleeping, my mind only thinks in photos and I can barely string together a sentence? I think I need another vacation!





Monday, August 22, 2011

New England Road Trip

At long last, a travel post! (Which some of you may remember, is what we wrote about on this blog before Ferris hijacked it!)

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Travel journal, coming out of hibernation

We hit up a grand total of 6 states on our trip: New York (of course), Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine. This means that little Ferris has been to more than 10% of the country already!

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Our first stop was Rhode Island, where we stopped at the Culinary Arts Museum. The Museum had a bunch of interesting and crazy things, but our personal favorite was the unlimited free Skee Ball machine. In New Hampshire, I stopped for a tour of the Zimmerman Frank Lloyd Wright house, which was fascinating. I wandered around the house with little protective booties covering my shoes while Nick and Ferris went on a little drive around town since NO KIDS ALLOWED! We have a kid!

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At long last, we reached Maine, which was our ultimate destination. We hung out in Portland, took a ferry to Peak's Island, walked around Kennebunkport (where the Bush family has an estate!) and went to an art fair.

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Portland Head Light

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Houses around Peak's Island and Kennebunkport
One night we went out for a nice dinner in Portland and ordered the lobster diavolo for two - it's a big skillet filled with lobster, clams, mussels, calamari and pasta. Ferris woke up halfway through and started to fuss. Nick, in his infinite wisdom, picked up a huge lobster claw and put it in front of his face, "HI, Ferris, I'm going to EAT YOU!" Maybe it was because I was making a rare journey through a bottle of wine, but it was hysterical. We had the tables around us laughing, smiling, and telling how great it was that we were getting out with our baby, so of course, we ate up the compliments with the diavolo.

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Lobster roll, Del's Lemonade, salt water taffy, whoopie pie
We spent our last full day in Kennebunkport, where we finally got to a beach and Ferris stuck his tiny toes in the Atlantic Ocean for the first time. (Also the first time I ate 3 lobster rolls in a single day!) On the drive over, Ferris had a wee bit of an accident, so we walked around this charming town looking for a store that sold baby clothes and making up funny songs about F meeting the elder Bush with shit on his koalas. We not only found a onesie, but also a rad hat that makes people think he's a girl.

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A few more close ups of his dork ass hat.

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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Celebrations

"The pioneers, the immigrants who people the continent, were the restless men in Europe. The steady rooted ones stayed home and are still there."- John Steinbeck

The restless woman and accommodating man that we are, we traveled to Boston for a little Thanksgiving vacation. To be more precise, we actually spent Thanksgiving day in Plymouth, the birthplace of the holiday and the welcoming post for the aforementioned pioneers.
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Here is the infamous rock!

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I knew from the moment we saw this rock on wikipedia and laughed at its unassuming stature that we would not be impressed. And we weren't.... because it's just a moderately sized rock behind a fence! But hey, it's a kitschy thing to be in Plymouth on Thanksgiving day (much like Times Square on New Year's Eve) and we haven't shown much aversion to kitsch. Hey, look, a fake pilgrim!

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We were thankful for many things on Thanksgiving. Tops was successfully leaving Plymouth. With no taxi service, we basically had to beg strangers for a ride to catch the last bus to Boston. Thankfully a non murderer obliged us. (Side note: they were visiting from New York, who says New Yorkers can't be nice?)

It was our first time visiting Boston; we spent a lot of time wandering around different neighborhoods, which was fun and easy, since the city seems so compact compared to New York! We also did an early morning running tour along the Freedom Trail, which was a fun and efficient way to see everything.

Massachusetts Statehouse

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Boston from the JFK library

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Boston Harbor

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Last and kind of least, we walked around Cambridge. The Harvard campus somehow didn't meet any of the expectations I had for its beauty, with the exception of this church.

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Julia Child's former house! It's been remodeled and was last sold for $3.7 million.

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The rest of our celebrations took place in New York. First was the day I ate a creme brulee donut which was a celebration because it was the first day I ate a creme brulee donut. Holy shit. The top is carmelized and slightly burny and phenomenal. Whenever I start to daydream about living in a city with cheap rent, I find things like this to daydream about instead.

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And, finally, my birthday! Nick and I took the day off work to celebrate my birthday weekend. Starting with lunch at Jean Georges (3 Michelin stars if anyone is counting!) and it was fantastic. My favorite was the parmesan and mushroom risotto.

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I also took my first ride on the S train, which is one of the random subway lines that nobody ever talks about. It was really cool inside, I couldn't help but look like a tourist and snap a few photos.

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We also wandered around Grand Central Station, found the whispering hallway (you can whisper into the corner and people can hear you across the hallway), and the dirty rock that shows how the ceiling looked before the restoration.

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Next we went to tour the UN, and I stopped in Nigeria along the way.

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Cool doors to Kuwait's UN Mission

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El globe

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Gifts to the UN

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UN general assembly, where the shit goes down

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The rest of my birthday weekend was filled with more eating, with a friend who had her birthday on December 1, shopping, naps. Just the way it should be..... I'm almost 30, I only have energy for the essentials!