Recently in Travel Category

I Finally Used My Passport

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I never had a passport until about two years ago.  I didn't have any particular trips in mind or planned, but thought it would be a good idea to have in case my boyfriend and I wanted to go out of the country.  We actually haven't gone on many trips in our nearly 4 years together so I was just being optimistic, I suppose. 

This past week we went on our second significant trip together (last summer we went to Cape Cod, MA).  A few months ago we were asked by a couple of friends if we wanted to go on a trip with them.  We said yes right away and got to planning.  We went around and around on ideas, which is bound to happen with 4 people involved and nearly infinite possibilities. 

We finally settled on heading to Canada.   We called it our  "Fantastic Canadian Voyage".  We first travelled to Niagara Falls and then to Toronto.  Niagara was the half-way point to Toronto so we stopped there for 2 days.  We saw the falls during the day, the falls lit up at night, ate at the rainforest cafe while sitting next to a large aquarium, hung out at Margaritaville, and walked for pretty much two days straight.  We also ate dinner one night at a brazilian steakhouse called Copa Cabana.  If you ever have the opportunity to eat at a brazilian steakhouse and you like meat, I highly recommend you go.  It's quite the experience.  Men come around with large slabs of various kinds of delicious meats and cut a piece off for you.  They keep coming until you tell them to stop and take requests.  They also came around with grilled pineapple with some sort of spice (cinnamon and/or brown sugar, I don't remember, but it was delicious) for "dessert".

We were in Toronto for the three days after that and bought a city pass.  The pass included 5 different tourist attractions and was a real deal compared to if you paid for each of the 5 attractions individually.  Day 1 we just walked around and toured on our own and went to Gretsky's for dinner.  The next day we went to a castle called casa loma, went to the Royal Ontario Museum, and then that night we went to the cn tower (amazing view!).  The third day we hit up the Toronto zoo where I took over 200 photographs of the various animals.  That evening went went to the ballpark and watched a Blue Jays vs. Rays game. 

All in all it was an amazing trip.  We were busy the entire time and pretty tired, but it was the good kind of tired.  We made a lot of great memories with our friends and we were all very sad to see the week end.  I plan to be back soon to post some more pictures so stay tuned...

niagara falls.JPG



New York City

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This past weekend I went to a wedding that was down near New York City.  I have lived in New York State since I the middle of 1st grade and I have never been into "the city". 

There was one day of the 4 day trip where I had nothing to do, but my boyfriend, being part of the wedding party, was busy most of the day.  I figured I would lounge around in the hotel most of that day.  Maybe watch some tv.  Maybe take a nap.  Maybe do some writing.  I was very wrong.

The wife of one of the other men in the wedding party had planned to meet one of her friends in NYC on that one free day.  To my suprise, she invited me to go with her.  I was super excited, and a bit nervous.  It was a very tiring day but it was a terrific experience.

We arrived at Grand Central Station around 1:15pm.  The weather was a bit cloudy and I was worried that it would rain on us while walking around the city, but it remained decent for the most part and was much warmer than I had expected. 

Soon after we arrived the friend we were to meet called and said she'd be ready earlier than expected and suggested we meet for lunch around 2:15 at Edgar's Cafe on 84th Street.  We had a little trouble navigating the subway, but made it to the Upper West Side eventually.  We had to go all the way up to 96th street and then make our way back down to 84th but we ended up getting on the wrong one to go back down.  So we got off at who knows where, but it was about half a mile away from where we needed to be so we just walked.  I am glad we did  :)  We ended up finding a street vendor selling really nice pashminas for $5 so I bought two.  Also, we nearly got run over by Samantha Bee (from The Daily Show) and her baby stroller on our walk.  She was walking with her husband and baby and it was pretty sweet to cross paths with them. 

Edgar's Cafe was great and I highly recommend it.  I got a nice salad and then saved room for one of the fabulous desserts. I got the Apple Cumb Pie and they warmed it up for me before bringing it to the table.  SO good.  The cafe is apparently located in what used to be Edgar Allan Poe's residence.   

I had mentioned I wanted to see Central Park and we were near by so we headed over there next.  It wasn't too exciting but it was a beautiful atmosphere.  What a beautiful spot to walk or run.  There were LOTS of runners.



410.JPGNext we hit up the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  So many things to see there.  We were there for at least a couple of hours and we only managed to see part of the first level.  We were getting tired and our feet were hurting, and it was getting torwards dinner time so we headed out.  We went back to GCS to meet up with another friend.  The original plan was to go to dinner in The Village but it was raing a bit and we didn't feel like going far.  We ended up at a fantastic Mexican restaurant and had a great time chatting and drinking $3.50 margaritas.

421.JPGI should probably mention that this particular day that I took my frist trip into the city happened to be Halloween.  Our waitor in the Mexican restaurant actually warned us to be careful when we left -- because of all the crazies out.  So many people out in costume.  One other thing I learned was that children in Manhatten trick or treat during the day in the stores along the street.  Anyway, it was about 10p by the time dinner was done and so we headed back to GSC to catch the 11:15 train back to our hotel a ways north of the city.  It was kinda fun sitting in GSC and people-watching while we waited.  The most interesting thing was seeing 4 or so men running around screaming in their tighty whities and coboy hats.   

I don't think I'd ever want to live in New York City, but I definitely had a great time in the one day I spent there.  I never expected to be there on Halloween or have it be such a spur of the moment thing.  I have wanted to visit for several years now and am glad I finally had the chance.


Cape Cod, MA

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The second stop on our little vacation was Cape Cod, MA.  We went to the same little town that I went to every summer for two weeks while growing up -- Harwich port. 

I found it really hard to decide where to stay. We agonized over reviews on and visited and revisited dozens of inn and hotel and bed and breakfast websites. We researched all the different quaint little towns that make up The Cape. In the end we decided to go with what I was familiar with, and what my parents were familiar with. It had been years since I had been, but I had lots of memories and had a reasonable idea of what the trip would be like.

We had lots of great tips from my parents and older sister, which was really helpful.

The Inn

We ended up staying at a place called the Sandpiper Beach Inn. The main reasons we chose this place over the others were:

  • the location -- right on the water and also walking distance to lots of restaurants
  • private patio and beach
  • very reasonable prices

I was really happy with our decision. I didn't have one complaint. The room was tiny but it was plenty big enough for my boyfriend and I. It had a private patio butting up against the beach with tables and chairs and umbrellas -- perfect for sitting and reading or enjoying your lunch.  Beach chairs and umbrellas available on the beach.  There was even a fire pit.  It was NOT fancy or luxurious, but it WAS inexpensive, clean and had all the necessities (including wi-fi).  If you're a couple looking for a relatively inexpensive relaxing vacation on the beach you will get what you're looking for at the sandpiper beach inn.


The Restaurants

The first night we arrived we went walked up to the main street (Rt. 28, about a 5 minute walk) to a very casual bar and grill type place called Hot Stove Saloon. I got a large hot dog with curly fries. It was BIG. If you order this and they ask you if you'd like cheese on your hot dog, say NO. It was delicious, but OMG the stomach ache afterward.

The next night we went to what ended up probably being my favorite place. It was also up on the main street about a mile down the road. A slightly more upscale, but very reasonably priced, place call Brax Landing. We had about a 30 minute wait. Then we were brought to a table in the back left section of the restaurant with huge windows overlooking a beautiful harbor. I ordered the Chatham Baked Scrod with rice pilaf at my sister's urging. It was faaaaantastic.

Wednesday night we headed down to Dennisport to a place similar to Brax called Clancy's. I highly recommend the shrimp scampi.

Sundae School. Ice cream! Delicious homemade ice cream! I always looked forward to going to this place when I was younger and was eager to go back. Tuesday and Wednesday I was sure to leave room after dinner so we could go get ice cream. Luckily this was close enough to the inn to walk so we burned off a few of the calories.

Bonatts Bakery. This was another place that I remembered from my childhood. We planned to go here on Friday morning before we headed to Boston. I think if you go on a Saturday or Sunday morning it can be crowded and there can be a long wait but we got in and seated right away. We also had great service. Something I didn't remember about this place was their (apparently) famous specialty called a meltaway. They brought one to our table with our juice shortly after we sat down. It was devine. Heavenly. Melted in my mouth (the name doesn't lie). I tried to resist eating it all so that I could leave room for my actual breakfast. My pancakes were great and they brought me -- no lie -- 8 slices of bacon.


Bonus Material

Bonus shopping:

Every year that my family went to the cape we'd make the required stop at a place called Cuffy's. I think we usually went to the one in dennisport but this year my boyfriend and I went to the one in Chatham (right on Rt. 28). If you're looking for a nice t-shirt or sweatshirt with the words "Cape Cod" on it, I recommend this place. I think the hooded sweatshirts were 11.99 and the t-shirts were 4.99.

Bonus pics of whychmere harbor:

I didn't have my camera with me when we walked by so when we got back from the walk I had the boyfriend drive me back just so I could get pictures.



While growing up, my parents would pack my sisters and I into the big ol' station wagon every year and make the long drive from NY to Cape Cod.  We'd rent a house for two weeks.  We'd go fishing (both off the pier and deep sea), we'd sit on the beach, we'd go walking in the evening and get ice cream.  It really was nice, but of course I didn't appreciate it at the the time.  The 6 1/2 to 7 hour drive felt more like 16 or 17.  I complained how boring it was and in my whiniest voice would ask why would always had to go to Cape Cod instead of somewhere cooler. 

Approximately 15 years later, that's exactly where I plan to spend my summer vacation.  At least part of it. Funny, that.

We're in the midst of planning a 5 day stay on the Cape sometime in July. That will most likely be sandwiched in between a weekend at the font end in Rhode Island for a friend's party, and a weekend on the back end in Boston visiting a sibling.

That's about as much as we've got planned so far, but it is oh-so-nice to have something to look forward to.

Are you planning a vacation for this summer? If so, share your plans!

The Philippines

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Two weeks ago I met someone from the Philippines and have spent a fair amount of time with him since then.  On Thursday he said that I should plan a trip to the Philippines and let him know when I was coming. 

I know next to nothing about the Philippines.  He gave me the names of some resort areas and I did some googling.  Man, is it beautiful. 

Boracay, Philippines

Puerto Galera, Philippines

Puerto Princesa, Philippines

In the words of Liz Lemon: I want to go to there.

About This Blog

Stories, advice, and random thoughts from a thirty-something female.

Many people in their thirties are dealing with common issues and concerns. Some of these include buying a home, establishing a career, starting a family, and dealing with aging parents. I will blog about all these things as well as other every day stuff as I make my way through this third decade of life.

You can read more about the author behind thirty-something blog on the About Me page.





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