After my last post I’m sure it will seem like I am a self-hating New Yorker. Definitely not the case. I absolutely love the fact that I have the opportunity to live in one of the best cities in the world. Case in point, where else would you find such a beautiful, simple reminder like this? A few years ago, some magical holiday elf decided to continue the spirit, even after the Christmas trees had all been abandoned. I will never know who created this special moment, but I will never forget the way it lifted my spirits that day.
I absolutely love living in New York City most of the year, but there is one major reason I am dying to become bi-coastal. THE COLD. Now that Spring has arrived it’s easy to forget about the biting cold, the mountain of snow, and the constantly running nose. So this is one of my many reminders to incentivize myself to find a cute little beach hut for those never too far off, long winter months.
One of my favorite memories each summer is spending quiet days on the beach in Fire Island. Accessible only by Ferry and with a strict no-car policy, there is no place that forcers busy New Yorkers to slow down more than Fire Island. Bikes are the preferred mode of transportation and the local grocer will make you a custom sandwich to nourish you after a long day in the sun. As the sun sets each night, and the boats lining the dock bob slowly in their beds, you can practically feel the stress melting away.
A few years ago (hence why I look so young in the above picture!) a friend and I took a road trip from New York to Montreal. I had never been before and was completely unprepared for how much it reminded me of France. In fact French is the first language in Montreal and many people there do not even speak English. From the cobble-stoned streets and the French street signs, to the piercing cathedrals and boulangeries, Montreal captured my heart. The perfect destination for a a quick stay, I fully intend to return and properly explore this gorgeous city.
Living in a city, it is easy to overlook those everyday places that serve such an important purpose. Millions of people cross through Grand Central Terminal in search of a subway, a train, or even just a dose of fresh oysters. I decided to visit the NYC landmark and take myself out of the race, and just observe. In the midst of the movement and chaos, I found little happy moments like two little girls spinning on the slick marble floor, beautifully detailed lighting, and a gentle rhythm to the constant bustle. It was a simple reminder to take the time and stop every once in a while, to just admire our surroundings.
Last Summer I spent some time in California, and one of the clear highlights was a wine tour of Santa Barbara. Driving through the wide open fields of the countryside with the scent of fresh grapes permeating the air was more relaxing than a glass of the orchards finest. Driving from winery to winery you not only get to taste a series of wines, but also pick up quite a few interesting facts about the industry. My favorite part of the experience was experiencing the seemingly endless countryside, and enjoying a fresh picnic in Kohler Winery’s backyard. On the drive back to Santa Barbara proper, I stopped at Solvang, a Danish village that feels like you are stepping back in time. Don’t miss their fabulous pastries and wooden shoes!
Whenever I travel to someplace new, I am always interested in meeting locals, seeing their way of life, and observing the differences (and very often) similarities. As my country count started racking up, I soon came across more than just the local people in each new destination. I started noticing the animals that I met along the way, from the free-ranging cows in India, to the frolicking beach dogs in Thailand’s Koh Samet island, to the drowsy cats in Santa Barbara’s wine country.
Here are just a few of my favorite animals that I have encountered. I might have been worlds away, but at the end of the day, a cow in India is the same as a cow in the United States.