Take a Hike

I always used to say that I respect nature so much, which is why I stay far far away from it. While I was away, I got the opportunity to explore nature and go on a couple of (easy) hikes. I can’t say I’m absolved of my fears of trees falling on me or a wild animal attacking me, but I can say that I’ve come to appreciate it a little more and besides, it’s a free workout.

Sunday, the Husband and I decided we’d head to Van Cortlandt Park to try out one of the hiking trails. We figured we’d start off easy, and chose the John Kieran trail, which takes you over a short, wooden bridge and past the lake. Of course we’re in this weird winter-spring limbo, so while it was peaceful, I bet it’s even more gorgeous once the trees are in full bloom.

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At the end of the trail (it was actually really easy, almost too easy…), we spotted a sign with a tortoise and a hare and I remembered that there was a tortoise and hare statue somewhere in the park, so we decided to follow it. The trail took us through the Northwest forest, where an occasional runner would pass us by. This was the sort of hike I was hoping for. It turns out we were on the Cross Country Trail, on the three mile path.

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Turns out, we could’ve just walked across the sport field to the tortoise and hare statue, but I guess that’d be cheating, right?

Then, of course, after all of that work, we had to reward ourselves with a slice of carrot cake from Lloyd’s across the street.

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Not a bad way to spend a Sunday at all. And if you’re participating in the #Not62 movement, hiking is something that can easily be modified and like, I said, is totally free.

Have you hiked in any of our Bronx parks? Which trails should I check out next?

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The Prague Socialite : The First Week

So, it has officially been one week since I moved to Prague. It still hasn’t really set in that I’m going to be spending the next 10 or so months here, but it still has been amazing. I love architecture and I think have spent a good chunk of my time just marveling at the colors and details of the buildings. The cobblestone streets are obviously just charming by nature (that is until I go somewhere that warrants wearing heels. Then I may just need to Uber it because that’s just a skill on its own.)  I’m in class for most of the day, but I still managed to take a few pictures to share with you.

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Perfect Spring Saturday

This past Saturday, I had the opportunity to attend the Daffodil Celebration and Wine Weekend at my backyard the New York Botanical Garden. After a long week of back to back rain, I was glad that it was not only sunny, but hot enough to break out my new maxi skirt. Win-win.

Last time I attended the Wine Weekend, I sampled so many delicious wines and even took one home with me! My favorites Brotherhood Winery and Winemakers New York,  were there among so many others. I got to sample a rose honey wine from Mysto Mead and a sweet blush wine from Hudson-Chatham Winery. I wanted to buy some pear cider from Brotherhood, but I waited until the end and they were sold out of everything!

It was also great to see the new CHIHULY exhibit. Dale Chihuly’s colorful and intricate glass sculptures enhance the beauty of the garden and are simply beautiful. To think of how much effort went into these sculptures is really breathtaking. See for yourself below and be sure to visit the New York Botanical Garden to check out the daffodils!

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Daffodil Celebration and Wine Weekend 4/29 & 4/30

This weekend the New York Botanical Garden will be celebrating the bloom of 300,000 newly planted daffodil bulbs along with a wine tasting from local vinters and live music. As if that weren’t enough, visitors will get a chance to check out the new CHIHULY exhibit. Check out the schedule and ticket information below:

  • Wine Tasting & Refreshments: Enjoy a flight of local wines from New York and New Jersey from 12–5 p.m.

    Participating wineries include: Baldwin Vineyards, Pine Bush, NY; Brimstone Hill Vineyard & Winery, Pine Bush, NY; Brotherhood Winery, Washingtonville, NY; City Winery, New York, NY; Hudson-Chatham Winery, Ghent, NY; Millbrook Vineyards & Winery, Millbrook, NY; Mysto Mead, Carmel, NY; Palaia Vineyards, Highland Mills, NY; Tousey Winery, Germantown, NY; Villari Vineyards, Sewell, NJ; Warwick Valley Winery, Warwick, NY; Whitecliff Vineyard, Gardiner, NY; and Winemakers New York, Massapequa, NY.

  • Live Music by Milton: Milton will perform acoustic bluegrass and folk tunes at 12, 1, 2, 3, & 4 p.m. each day.
  • Botany of Wine: Beyond the Grape: NYBG botanists talk about the botanicals that go into making wine and how the nuances of flavor come about at 1 & 3 p.m. in the Perennial Garden.
  • Daffodil Hill Tours: Meet at the Native Plant Garden entrance to take a walk with an NYBG guide and learn more about NYBG’s plans to dramatically expand its historic Narcissus collection.
    Tours at 1:30, 2:30, & 3:30 each day.

    Non-Members: Adult (21+): $38, includes souvenir wine glass ($10) and All-Garden Pass ($28) Members: $10 souvenir wine glass

    Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

Experience The Beauty of Thailand in the Bronx at NYBG’s Orchid Show

This week I got the opportunity to check out the New York Botanical Garden‘s latest exhibit, The Orchid Show:Thailand. It’s amazing how the Conservatory can be totally  transformed – from the Frida exhibit to the Holiday Train Show, and now to a beautifully tranquil imagining of Thailand. I’ve not yet been to Thailand (a future travel post!) but it was exactly what I imagine it’d be like to have teleported to a beautiful temple garden across the world.

The event, hosted in collaboration with Edible Bronx, was an Instameet Afterhours, giving us a chance to roam through the exhibit and post photos to our hearts’ content. Though the show is in its fifteenth year, this was my first time at the orchid show and I never thought I’d get so excited to see flowers. Really! As a person who has always suffered from allergies, I’ve always been one to admire from afar. Maybe it’s been the allergy shots I’ve been taking for the past year, but I was like a kid “Ooh, what’s this? Hey, look at this flower over here!” bouncing around from one section to another.  It was also really cool to see the array of different colors the orchids came in  – from white, to bright purple, to deep red.

I was most excited to see pineapples growing from the ground. Like, I was really excited (maybe it was the wine…?)

Unfortunately, many wild orchids are at risk for extinction because of over collection and the destruction of their habitats. In fact, many orchids are imported illegally! The NYBG is a designated rescue center via the Convention on International Trade in Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.  They have worked to rejuvenate many of these species.

So, if you want to support the NYBG in this mission or just spend an evening with beautiful flowers (and pineapples!) stop by soon. The Orchid Show: Thailand runs until April 9.

Perfect Beach Day

Having spent two weeks in South Africa, where it is currently winter (though of course nothing like the brutal winter we experience here), I came back feeling like my NYC summer was slipping through my fingers. Where did all the time go?! Remember that Bronx summer bucket list I made?  I’m maybe only half way through and yesterday was the first time I made it to Orchard Beach this summer! This is partially because making the trek from Bedford Park to the beach on the bus is daunting (though, it’s honestly not that bad) compared to being able to get there in 20 minutes from Castle Hill.

Anyway, I finally made it. It was the perfect temperature, there was a nice breeze, and I was able to get some writing done. Win win win.

What I love about the beach is that it’s the perfect broke person activity. Bring whatever you have at home and you are all set. No need to spend any money (unless you happened to be tempted to buy a nutcracker, but even so, you could probably just make your own…but like, you wouldn’t, because you would NEVER drink alcohol on the beach, right?)

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Snacks from home

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Entertainment – if you don’t know about Catstax, you’re missing out!