Back to Cape May for 6th Anniversary

We are not big occasion people. We don’t buy xmas gifts, we don’t go on dates, we don’t dress up. But one thing that we have celebrated for the last six years is our wedding anniversary. We always try to take a little trip around this time and this year, we headed back to an old favorite: Cape May, New Jersey.

We took a leisurely time to drive down to Cape May and stopped at a few thrift shops we enjoy along the way. We arrived just in time for the sunset. They are usually quite spectacular in this town.

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The night was easy and we took advantage of a warm room and a strong shower. In the morning we ate at the hotel restaurant before heading out into the snowy landscape.

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The Victorian homes and square are particularly striking in the snow.

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We always like to take a look at the sunken concrete ship at the end of the state.

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Our trip was very brief but relaxing and lovely. Here’s to another year to decide where to go next.

Past trips:
Philly
Princeton
Cape May
Washington DC

Off Season: Moth Coffeehouse

We recently headed to one of our favorite small towns, Allentown NJ, and finally got to stop in at a Moth Coffeehouse. I’ve been wanting to try it for a long time but somehow always visit the town when the cafe is closed. I was not disappointed. I love that this coffee shop is in a hundreds year old building and that it offers a lot of healthy and vegan options.

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The whole cafe and aesthetic is lovely. They have plenty of low waste options, to stay cups and plates. It’s cozy and if I lived closer, I could easily see myself becoming a regular.

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What’s your favorite coffee shop?

One Day in Cape May

Last month we took an impromptu trip to one of our favorite places, Cape May NJ. We left pretty late as it was a last minute decision to go, but it was a ridiculously gorgeous day and once there, we went right to the beach! It’s about an hour and a half drive so it was really relaxing to swim and lay out.

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Congress Hall is a favorite of ours when we stay in the area, but it’s also great to pop in and see how it’s decorated or for a bathroom break.

We walked around town and popped into a few shops, but then made our way down to Sunset Beach. We love the weird gem shop there and that there is a sunken ship still visible. We even got to see a flag ceremony with muscat salute! It’s also known for it’s sunsets, of course.

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On our way back into town we stopped at the Animal Outreach Of Cape May. It was too late for it to be open, but we got to see a few kitties.

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On the way back north, we stopped at Big Wave Burritos. It was pretty tasty! I was happy to try a few local spots this trip that we hadn’t before. Earlier in the day we also got a nice coffee at Out There Coffee.

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I’m so glad that we live so close to Cape May now and it makes for easy day trips to one of our favorite places! One day in this town is plenty to see and do a lot and I highly suggest a visit if you are close by.

Do you have a near by getaway that you love to revisit again and again.

On Not Being in Vermont

Can you be homesick for a place you never lived? 

My mother and I had vacationed in the same part of Vermont for 17 - 20 Summers (after that amount of time, one losses track!). We spent almost a month there year after year until about 7 or 8 years ago. Bc of work, and wanting to save to buy a house, we decided not to go. It was a tough choice to break the tradition. If we hadn't made that choice, I'd be in Vermont right now. 

Every year, leading up to August, I think more and more about Vermont. I can't completely describe why it's such a special place. It's more than a place to me, in fact, but a symbol of a way of life that I strive for. Vermont to me embodies slow, simple lifestyle, no waste mentality, fresh food resources, community reliance, and a balance between nature, industry, and a peaceful life. 

Obviously that's just want it embodies, to me, not what it actually is. But it is a state that strives to keep big box stores out, to value different and alternative lifestyles, renewable energies, farming, clean living, and statewide community. 

While thinking about it this year, I want my nostalgia to motivate me towards my evolving lifestyle. For the end of August, I'll be meditating on what I want my life to look like for the end of this year, what I want my life to look like going forward, and what that means for this blog space. My time in Vermont will be an inspiration for me.  

Hopefully getting back to Vermont will be part of our near future, but for now, I can use my memories to motivate my present!  

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Is there a place that inspires your day to day? Where is your home away from home?

Five Days in Cleveland Ohio | Part Two

In my usual style, I crammed a lot into five days when I recently visited Cleveland Ohio. I wanted to highlight the architecture and the feel of the city and you can see that in my last post. There was so much more I wanted to include, so for this part two post, here are some of the places I went and saw. 

Bc I was in Cleveland for a wedding I stayed in the Hyatt Arcade, a very historic and fancy hotel I most likely wouldn't have chosen myself. This ended up being perfect for me bc it exemplified the reuse of historic buildings that I enjoyed so much in this city. 

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I visited a few cute coffee shops, one was right in the ground floor of the hotel!

Cleveland is known for having a ton of great breweries and I was lucky enough to visit four of them in the 5 days I was there. My two favorites were Great Lakes Brewing on the West Side and Noble Beast which is in Downtown. 

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A must visit for Cleveland is the West Side Market and I almost missed it! The first day I tried to go, it was closed! I made it a point to go back and it was well worth it. I could have spent a lot of time and money exploring this classic indoor food market. 

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I went to a bunch of other sweet spots and I'm sure there are many more to explore when I go back!

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Have you visited Cleveland Ohio? Do you live there? Do you have suggestions of places to visit?

Five Days in Cleveland Ohio | Part One

In late May and early June I had the opportunity to visit Cleveland. I had never been there before, except briefly passing through. I had a few days to wondering around and I loved the city! 

I stayed in Downtown Cleveland and spent time walking around, seeing some landmarks, and going to the aquarium. One of the things that struck me most about the city was the amazing architecture and how many old buildings were repurposed into something new. Many were also used for their original purpose and still going strong, like the West Side Market, a bustling food hall full of shops and restaurants. Or small local spots that seemed straight from the 40s. 

Here are some of my photos from Cleveland, OH. 

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West Side Market

West Side Market

5th Street Arcades

5th Street Arcades

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Tower City

Tower City

Heinen's Grocery

Heinen's Grocery

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I have so much more to show of Cleveland! Look for a Part Two of my trip! Do any of my readers come from or live in Cleveland? What are your favorite places? 

Whitesbog Revisited

This is our third year going to the Whitesbog Blueberry Festival and it's one of our favorite June events!! This year was much cooler and cloudy than previous years. It was really nice to do some exploring, eating and observing when it wasn't a million degrees. 

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We also saw this amazing dog!! How cute and tough is he?

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I love to visit and revisit the places we love around NJ. It's so great to see an area in all different weather. Where are your favorite places to visit in your state?

24 Hours in Philadelphia for 5th Anniversary

For our fifth wedding anniversary we weren't sure what we wanted to do, if anything. I have been trying be mindful about marking events that are important to me where my family is concerned. It's easy for me to just let an event or special day pass with little fanfare. 

After much hemming and hawing, we decided to spend one night in Philadelphia. We haven't visited for several years and not since we moved to NJ. Philly is only about an hour and twenty minutes from Asbury Park! We left a bit late in the day and made a stop at one of our favorite vintage toy shops in Allentown, NJ. 

We only spent about 24 hours in the city and plenty of that was sleeping, but we got to walk around china town, eat ramen, dim sum, pastries, have a cocktail in the hotel bar, see a cool museum, smash some pennies, see some historical sites, and walk around some more! 

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I didn't get to explore any zero waste resources on this trip but I'm excited to do more research next time!

Philadelphia has so many interesting pockets and neighborhoods and it's really easy to see a lot in a short time. We will definitely be going back for day trips and easy overnights. Especially concidering how easy it is to drive there for our house!

Please leave your Philly recommendations in the comments!

Goodbye Hall Of Gems

Last week The American Museum of Natural History in NYC closed the doors of the Hall of Gems for several years while they refurbish and redecorate it. We decided we needed to see this magical place one more time. 

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One of the greatest things about this space is that it is dark, cramped, and narrow. It always seemed a bizarre choice and something they will change in the new hall. But it was part of what made the experience so otherworldly. 

One of the reasons they are renovating the hall is to accommodate this massive amethyst! 

We were totally happy to get to see all these beauties one more time, to touch meteorites and huge quartz. Before we went, I thought there was no way I would like the new design and would be unhappy. But after our trip, I can't wait to see what the new hall will look like!

Art and Nature at Princeton University for Fourth Anniversary

For our fourth wedding anniversary, we opted to skip a larger trip and stay closer to home. We took several day trips over the course of a long weekend. One stop on our list was Princeton, NJ and specifically the Princeton University Art Museum. 

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We arrived in town and meandered around a bit, stopping for lunch and exploring some shops before making our way thru campus to the museum. The Princeton University Museum is free and open to the public. It sits in the heart of the campus. 

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This little museum packs a lot of punch!! We were quite surprised at how much was going on with it. There were ancient pieces from all over the world, recent artworks, too, and some modern art. The whole way through the museum we were amazed at what we saw and how much there was.

One of our favorite parts (which I failed to get a photo of) was a small hallway where items from greek, roman, and many other ancient cultures were assembles in packed glass display cases. This was specifically designed so that art students (and others) could come and sketch and study the artifacts. 

After quite a long time exploring the museum we went out in search of a Serra piece we had read was on campus. Before coming to Princeton on this visit we did now know that there were so many large scale modern sculptures on campus. The architecture of the school is nothing to sneeze at, either!

I highly recommend the art museum and walk through the university if you're in the area. 

Two Special Pieces in Princeton

Last month, for our anniversary, we went to explore some art in Princeton, New Jersey. We went to see the Princeton University Art Museum (more on that soon), but we didn't realize that there were so many large scale works of modern art scattered around the campus

Quite unexpectedly, we found two special pieces while we were there. The first we spotted as we drove through campus and it really blew our minds! This Ai Weiwei sculpture, Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads, depicting huge lifelike busts of the Chinese zodiac, has special meaning for us; My husband and I saw this sculpture on our second date! It was in Manhattan then, and we had no clue it would be in our new home state on our 4th anniversary!

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The second astonishing piece we saw was by Richard Serra, one of our favorite contemporary artists. The Fox and The Hedgehog consists of three massive curved sheets of steel, which can be walked through as well as around. We particularly love that aspect of some of his work. For some reason, you get a strange sensation to be inside of his sculpture. As if your molecules are drawn to and becoming part of the art, and you are involved more than observing. 

We are very excited to get another opportunity to return to Princeton and see more of there outdoor sculptures. I highly recommend a visit if you ever happen to be in the area. 

Who is your favorite large scale artist?