Prague & Paris Trip

We returned Saturday from our honeymoon trip to Paris & Prague, and we had a lovely time.

In Prague I showed Alex around all of my old stomping grounds from the six weeks I spent there for a study abroad program in 2009. We ate Czech food, drank Czech beers, checked out the Prague Castle, the Charles Bridge and the famous astrological clock in Old Town Square. We also took a day trip to the charming countryside town of Cesky Krumlov.

In Paris we hit all the highlights: Notre Dame, the love lock bridge, the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe. We were just there for one full day, but it was an action-packed day.

Alex took 950 photos throughout the trip! I picked a few of my favorites to post here. Enjoy!

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Governor’s Island Picnic and Paris Festival

Last Saturday, I was determined to put the picnic basket I got for Christmas a few years ago to good use. I’ve carried that picnic basket from apartment to apartment, but  I’ve never actually packed food in it and taken it to the park. We decided to go to Governor’s Island, an island off the southern tip of Manhattan that used to be an army base. There are huge, beautiful old houses, tons of trees and lots of grass to roam around on. Governor’s Island is just a short ferry ride away, so we packed our picnic basket and set off. IMG_6429

It was raining when we got there, so we set up at a picnic table under a large tree, which shielded us from [most of] the rain. We had an impressive sandwich from Faicco’s Italian Specialties, which is right around the corner from our apartment. We also packed some Magnolia Bakery banana pudding [the absolute best] and some potato salad. Delicious. IMG_6435 IMG_6437 IMG_6438 IMG_6440 IMG_6445

Luckily, the skies cleared just as we were finishing lunch. We consulted a map and walked around the island to the Paris Festival that’s running on the Island all summer long. IMG_6450 IMG_6453

There were beautiful carousels and old time-y carnival games all around. It was the perfect thing to get us excited for our honeymoon trip to Prague and Paris next week.IMG_6457 IMG_6460 IMG_6463 IMG_6472 IMG_6482

We finished up the day with a few hours of reading books under a tree in a beautiful field. I didn’t even feel like I was in New York City anymore, which was just what I needed that afternoon.IMG_6502 IMG_6506 IMG_6514 IMG_6516

Early Spring Washington D.C. Trip

photo2This past weekend, we had the chance to get out of the City for the first time since Christmas. We took the bus to D.C. and met my parents for a nice, three-day weekend. Saturday’s weather was especially sunny and pleasant, which was perfect for walking around to see D.C.’s monuments. I’m pretty sure we saw nearly all of them — we ended up walking 10.5 miles by the end of the day!

As a reward for all that walking, we indulged in some beer battered/deep fried burgers at Tune Inn, a well-loved D.C. dive bar my uncle recommended to us. We also had mac and cheese wedges and delicious mozzarella sticks. Low carb diet? What low carb diet?

On Sunday, we attended the a Palm Sunday service at the National Cathedral, and spent the rest of the day museum hopping.

I brought my “real” camera and made a point of taking some photos with it, since I tend to rely on my iPhone camera most of the time. Here are a few of the shots I got:

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Beautiful details in the Library of Congress.Image

ImagephotoIt was hard to go back to work today…I definitely have the travel bug!

Mini-Parkway vacation

For as close as I live to the Blue Ridge Parkway, various hiking spots, and various natural areas, I admittedly spend way too much time in town/inside. This weekend, we decided to take a mini-trip to Crabtree Falls, which is about an hour from Boone. My dad used to go to the falls a lot as a child, and we went as a family last fall. The falls were really beautiful and the weather was perfect.

Then, we headed to Little Switzerland, which is a small community/business district near Spruce Pine, N.C. There’s a cafe there where I have eaten with my family [we had BBQ sandwiches and apple pie a la mode!], as well as a used bookstore called “Books & Beans,” which is basically my ideal combination of things. I picked up “The Baron in the Trees” by Italo Calvino (one of my favorite authors) which will round out my summer reading project if I ever get my ass in gear and finish “The People of Paper.”


It was a fun day trip. I need to get out on the Parkway more while the weather’s nice.

Maybe if I take my book out there this week I won’t have any distractions to prevent me from finishing it!

A few other New York City things, non-food related.

We did do other things in NYC besides eating, if you can believe it.

Starting in Brooklyn on the first few days, we went to the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, Brooklyn Flea Market, and Brooklyn Brewery. We went into a few vintage store, including Beacon’s Closet, which I had always seen mentioned on fashion blogs. It was overwhelmingly huge and the clothes were very reasonably priced. For some reason, I didn’t buy anything. It was like I had too many options? I’m an idiot.

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We spent the next few days doing museums, mostly. The pass we purchased (City Pass) gave admission to MoMA, the Met, the Guggenheim, and the Natural Museum of History. The MoMA is definitely my favorite, and I think we needed about 12 more hours to see everything in the Met. We also went to the top of the Empire State Building, and visited 30 Rock to look for Tina Fey.

The last few things we did were a Yankee’s game vs. the Kansas City Royals (funny considering my apathy toward sports) and a cruise around the island of Manhattan.

I was not ready to return to the real world, and I’m still not. My internship starts tomorrow, but I would love to go back to NYC instead! This was the first trip that had me considering living there, and I think I would enjoy doing so for a few years. We’ll see!

New York culinary adventures

I’m back in Boone after an exciting week in New York City, and a few days of rest in Raleigh.

I am dedicating this entire post to my favorite foods from our trip. Here’s my top five:

1. Cheesecake from Junior’s in Brooklyn. My sister had recommended we eat there, and it was delicious. The restaurant had a 1950’s diner feel, and the sandwiches we had were good, but the cheesecake was definitely the best part.

 2. Pizza from Grimaldi’s, also in Brooklyn. My sister recommended this to us as well, and we ended up waiting in line for about an hour before getting a table. Definitely worth it.  Helen and I had sundried tomato pizza.

3. We took a free tour of the Brooklyn Brewery with Helen on Sunday. The brewery is primarily housed in three large rooms. Then, we sampled a few of their beers, which I wish were sold more where I live. The Summer Ale was great.

4. We ended up walking about 15 blocks out of our way just to go to Magnolia Bakery, oops? Also worth it, though!

5. A friend of mine lived and interned in Brooklyn last summer. He also worked at a restaurant called Pies ‘n’ Thighs, which serves Southern food in Manhattan. Alex actually had a “Carolina-style” bbq sandwich, and I had a Bojangle’s-style chicken biscuit, although it wasn’t actually called that. We also had amazing apple pie (with cheese!) Definitely worth visiting if you are in NYC.