Blizzards Call For Travel Ideas

Getaways, new york city

Stella has me thinking. Blizzard Stella, that is! Unbelievable that in less than a week Spring would officially start (mark your calendars March 20th). Where did the time go? More so, I wonder what we can expect from Mother Nature this spring… another snow storm? Let me not give her any ideas.

If you are a travel addict like I am (there is no cure- not that I’m looking for one). Here are some destinations that you need to visit. Remember there are never enough stamps on your passport! Psst, some of these destinations might not even require a passport just don’t forget your IDs. 

Miami
Downtown_Miami_Panorama_from_the_Rusty_Pelican_photo_D_Ramey_Logan.jpgHop on a plane and poof in just three hours you will be soaking in the rays!

Ocean_Drive_(Miami_Beach)_01.jpg

Speaking of Miami have you thought about Cubahavana-1613263_960_720.jpgIt’s worth the extra hassle and visa fees. Looking to expand your knowledge check out this Buzzfeed article with an intro to your next flight.

cuba-1202440_960_720.jpgSo maybe just maybe you love the cold weather. Here is some inspiration for you too.

Iceland 16932405087_6d2cdee1b0_b.jpgVisit the Blue Lagoon. Don’t forget you have to shower first before entering. Here you can find best of both worlds- cold and surprisingly warm. 16530600699_eb9a432f5c_b.jpgTalking about worlds. Look at those Aurora lights- amazing! Make sure to triple check the weather reports. If you’re lucky you can catch them.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming 

Looking for the ultimate winter wonderland head on to Jackson Hole during the winter. Slashin_(13229908703).jpg

Imagine yourself skiing, snowmobiling and taking in the mesmerizing views.24509859173_f9122de113_b.jpg

There you go- now you have some options for your next vacation. Or you can just spin a globe and randomly point where to go next.

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5 Reasons why (Not) to visit San Francisco 

Getaways

Please don’t visit San Francisco you don’t want to see this!

View of the Golden Gate Bridge. Can you spot Karl?

1. San Francisco is the absolute worst.. said no one ever. San Francisco is amazing it’s simply beautiful with it’s Victorian houses and clean streets. Yes, New Yorkers you heard right clean streets! San Francisco is very involved in being eco-friendly. Unlike New York City bags cost ten cents no biggie- it’s a nice way of making you aware of all those unwanted bags. The people are friendly and down to earth. I even learned some phrases such as dude, bummer, and catch my drift. It is a safe city to stroll around with common sense just like in any other big city. One of my lyft drivers told me to avoids City Hall at night, because it becomes into a “The Walking Dead scene” so just keep that in mind. Yes, you’ll see a myriad of homeless people but they are harmless just ignore them. If you feel threatened just call the police (911). I felt completely safe throughout my week stay in San Francisco. Hence I’m here offering my travel tips to you guys.

The famous Painted Ladies 

2. It has nothing to offer. During my week there all I had was places to see and people to meet. The best way to get around was definitely using Lyft and the City Sightseeing Tour bus (the best tour is offered by BB Hayes). Especially if it’s your first time in town. Using the Bart was fairly easy just make sure to insert you’re money first and check you’re stop on the vending machines. Insider tip: when using the Bart your fee depends on what stop you get off. Lyft is available in all of San Francisco and if you’re a first time user you get a sweet deal by getting $10 off your first five rides. But don’t be stopped by those transportation options. There is also the MUNI San Francisco’s bus system, they also have ferries (which I heard are one of the best ways to see the Golden Gate Bridge), taxi service, city bikes, trollies, and cable cars. Or you can just walk those steep hills to get a good work out. Can you feel those buns of steel forming?

img_5354San Francisco’s City Hall  

3. The weather. Enough said the weather has a mind of its own. When Karl( San Francisco’s fog) happens to stroll by it gets much cooler around 50- 65 degrees Fahrenheit. So be sure to bring a sweater, hoodie, scarf, jacket and/ or a windbreaker. I only brought a cardigan and sweater. However, I ended up buying another hoodie because it gets pretty cool in the mornings and nights. I’ve read that this city has Indian Summers so maybe you can rock those sundresses and shorts in September through November. But then again I saw many tourists walking around in both. My tip is to use layers that will definitely save you.

Sausalito’s #1 ice cream spot

4. The food is alright. Lies the food was exquisite. If you are in San Francisco you have to explore the food scene especially the Asian cuisines. I had a blast eating Thai and Chinese food. And if you’re a vegetarian like me you’ll find an array of places to eat at. My favorite Thai place was House of Thai 2 which is relatively close to the Painted Ladies. Check out the best ice cream in Sausalito I wish I had one right now.

The 16th Tiled Stairs 

5. There is only touristy things to do. Yes the Fisherman’s Wharf is fun and all. But here are some cool spots to visit as well. Such as the Golden Gate Park (which is bigger than Central Park) this park is open to the public and contains traditional a Japanese Tea Garden, Bison Paddock (where Bisons chill out man), and the park is right across from Ocean Beach. If you want a unique experience why not visit Japantown it was definitely one of my favorite parts of town. In Japantown you’ll find Dragon’s Breathe a fruity pebbled treat with a smoke effect. But if you’re not in the mood of trying nitrogen fruity balls then check out the shopping scene. You’ll be sure to find something for everyone here from cultural artifacts to food and Sailor Moon makeup kits. Don’t forget to visit places like Cupid’s Arrow for all you lovebirds and newly weds this is the perfect photo opportunity. Or why not get you’re workout mode and walk up Twins Peak, 16th Avenue Tiled Stairs, and Land’s End Trail by Ocean Beach. Don’t forget to take a day trip to Muir Woods and Sausalito, I highly recommend it.

Japantown 

Let’s just say you’ll have too many reasons of why you should visit this lovely city. San Francisco offers the best of both worlds the city life and a more calm way of living. There is no city like this one with all it’s marvelous steep hills and cool folks. Every part of San Francisco is beaming with pride of its uniqueness. So what are you waiting for dude go check out San Francisco! And if you’re in a double decker bus don’t touch those cables above you’re head like one of my tour guides’ said “you’ll have a bummer day dude”.

Look at that view from the Grand View Park 

Day Tripping: Boston 

Day Trips

I spent days debating if I should book a trip to the West Coast or visit Boston. This was all conducted in the very last minute and of course I was looking for budget friendly options. After taking into consideration hotel prices, airfare, and other factors I decided Boston was the best option.

  

“Attention passengers our next stop will be Boston” said our Bolt Bus driver. He was such a jolly man especially for a cold Thursday morning. He even made me feel good considering that I detest waking up early (I’m more of a night owl). However, when it comes to traveling I make sacrifices and Thursday’s sacrifice was waking up at 6am (or what I like to call ungodly hours). The advantage of bus traveling is that you get to sleep in and that’s exactly what I did for half of the time. The rest of the four hour ride was divided between making sure my brother was comfortable (my travel buddy), checking my iPhone, and reading my new favorite book Girls Who Travel. I have to say the driver was so nice that we made a pit stop and I took advantage of this by buying some food.

Upon arriving in Boston, I thought all the hours spent researching about budget friendly ways to explore Boston- was well worth it. I was ready to go on an adventure and enjoy my day trip there. In terms of numbers I spent roughly around $165 for the two of us, that includes food and transportation: Bolt Bus and Old Town Trolly Tour. If you buy your Bolt Bus tickets in advance, you can probably score cheaper tickets.

My initial plan was to do a self guided walking tour, but the weather had other plans. So I purchased my Old Town Trolly Tour tickets when I arrived to the Boston Historic’s North End. I am not the best map user, but I managed and I assure you that you can too. It goes to say that I walked from the South Station all the way to the start of the Freedom Trail by Congress Street. Mind you, I didn’t want to walk it but the taxi drivers insisted it was only a few blocks away or as one of them said “three traffic lights down and make a left”. Darn, I really wanted to take a taxi and avoid the cold walk. But we are New Yorkers and being so we can handle anything. And so our adventure began and we paid $37 per person for the trolley that took us around Boston.

For a detailed map of the Old Town Trolley Tour, visit their website they have many tours ranging from hop on hop off tours to chocolate tours. We went with the hop on hop off tour which lasted about two hours without stopping at any destination. The tour guide was very friendly and provided an array of information. He even went on to mention that if we were to get Red Socks fever that he can provide exorcisms especially to Yankee fans. No, we didn’t catch Red Socks fever but I did snap some pictures from the trolley window like the one below.

Before we knew it is was time to return to South Station and we were headed back to our starting point. But before we left behind Congress Street I needed to snap some shots of this historical city. We also visited the Quincy Market which was filled with people probably keeping warm away from the cold. Quincy Market has numerous food options from lobster rolls to Starbucks. So if you are need of something sweet or filing visit the Quincy Market, trust me you will not be disappointed.

 

Overall, it was a marvelous day trip and plan on returning in the spring or summer. Our tour guide informed us that reenactments happen during those months. Plus, you can do so much more. By then the weather will also be pleasant and I can finally explore the city in depth. My plan for my next trip over is to explore Chinatown, Harvard, go on a Swan ride, and possibly take a Duck tour. If you are not familiar with a Duck tour its basically a tour that takes you into Charles River with a splash. So if you are headed up there during the warmer months be sure to check out the Swan rides, Duck tours, and other amazing events.

Nos vemos pronto (see you soon)…Gigi