I am a girl who lives to travel. I love exploring far away and near new locales just as much as I love tried and true weekend jaunts to places that feel like home. No matter the destination, I'm all about making memories to last a lifetime and learning along the way!
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I just had an amazing whirlwind trip to NYC. The reason, to celebrate my dear friend and cousin's bachelorette! The weather was unreal the entire time. Sunny, high 60s during the daytime creeping only down to the high 50s with the loss of the daylight. We were tucked away in SoHo at a very reasonably priced hotel. The Gem. The service was great, the rooms were clean. That was all we needed... as we did not come to The City to sit in our rooms. We came to explore, eat, walk, get lost, take pictures, have late night dance parties, and marvel at the fact this would indeed be the last "girls weekend" with our one and only bride to be.
This was the first time I've been to NYC where I was the leader. With each and every other visit, I am visiting friends & my weekend is laid out for me, I have no decisions or choices to ponder, I am just along for the ride. It proved to be a little trickier to plan a long weekend for 12- However, due to some rather excellent recommendations from friends across the country. We had success.
Six (out of the 12 we would end up with) of us arrived to LGA Thursday afternoon. After a semi short cab ride to our hotel, we change and get freshed up to start adventure. We walked out of the hotel and came across Bowery. We were familiar with that street, so we swing a right and stumble upon an adorable Italian joint where we have pizza and drinks. I think it was here when we all realized we were 'in NYC'. I am not sure which was a better backdrop for pictures and memories... the people watching or the Empire State Building soaring in the sky.
Thursday night we decided to take on the Meat Packing District, starting with dinner at Pastis. Which, well, was delightful. http://www.pastisny.com/ After a very yum yum dinner and several bottles of red vino we tactfully made our way across the coble stone road to the http://www.hotelgansevoort.com/restaurants-bars-lounges/ for $15.00 roof top drinks. The view was worth the pricey cocktail. Next we have drinks in the outside downstairs bar of the Standard while we waiting for my friend Billy to join us. Soon after his arrival, he guides us to http://www.acehotel.com/newyork/place for drinks. The building was reason enough to go. The atmosphere, high ceilings, $8 dollar drinks, awesome dj, a wall leading up the stairs that was clearly made for photo shoots, the old school photo booth, and cozy couches were all just icing on the cake.
Friday we forced ourselves out of bed to what was our second home while visiting the Big Apple, the Whole Foods that was right across the street to load up on water, fruit and snacks. We decided it was a great day to venture North and have a lil picnic in Central Park. After a 20-25 min taxi ride where we all had our hands on the "oh shit" handle the entire time, making small talk with our driver and gazing out the window watching how the people/ trends/ area changed with each borough, we arrive at 59th and 9th Ave- the Southern entrance to the park. Right inside the park was a grassy little knoll and here we nursed our hangovers from the night before with all the treats purchased. Around 4 pm we decided we should start the hellish hailing of cabs before the mayhem of NYC Friday 5pm traffic (however I am not totally convinced it’s not mayhem all day, every day). Since there were 6 of us, we had no choice but to divide and conquer. Contrary to our popular belief, van taxi cabs are not plentiful. We started walking down Broadway. Next thing we know we've walked to Times Square. Not to take away from the excitement of the trip - but you can imagine our "oh hell" thoughts as we notice its now 4:45 and we are smack dab in the center of Time Square. All we can do is keep walking. Vacant cabs are not to be found. So we walk. Google maps on my cellular tells us it should only be about an hour walk, which we are 100% ok with- I mean we are in New York. Well, let me tell you, the South entrance to Central Park on 59th down to 135 East Houston is NOT an hour walk. Let’s just go ahead and call those 60-65 block 2.5 hours! Exhausted but knowing night of round two is just right around the clock's corner, we push through. Los Feliz http://losfeliznyc.com/ was our dinner locale, and it should be yours next time you are in the Lower East Side. We had a table for 6 downstairs. A bit loud, but to be expected in a basement with hand painted murals in shades of blacks and grays on the cement walls, on a Friday night, with 40 or so other joyous guest surrounding you. The margaritas are to die for, and I don't even love margaritas! The party continued into the early hours at Lit Lounge http://www.litloungenyc.com/.
Saturday: Wake up and think, Lawd we must do it again. We walk a few blocks down Houston to have an very much needed mimosa and delicious brunch... with a side of live bluegrass! http://www.nolitahouse.com/ was recommended by several friends for "booze, brunch and bluegrass" it was just what we needed and who knew you could get unreal cheesy grits in NY!? From here we walk around SoHo (Broadway, Spring, Broom, etc) to shop, drink and of course people watch! Saturday night was going to be our "big" night. Once again, we had to pull ourselves out of the struggle box. 508ny http://www.508nyc.com/ was where we were taken through the kitchen down stairs, through a storage area into a quaint room seating just 12 with 3 walls lined with what I can only imagine was amazing vino. We had dim light, bottles of red flowing, our own jams playing on the i- deck, lingerie, mouth watering food, balloons, bride to be sashes, colorful sunglasses, penis necklaces, and head pieces - of course it was going to be an epic night. After a couple hours on the boarder of TriBeCa and West Village, we wander around and we come across a hole in the wall bar where we take shots. Hail cabs. Meet friends. Head to the Bowery Room. Head to another bar (could not tell you where, but can tell you it was interesting). Finally heading back to our first love, Lit Lounge. Door men and bar keeps are happy to see us return. We dance the night away until 4:30 then stumble home (oh yeah, after stopping for Pizza).
Sunday: to help with the pain we head back to NoLita House for one last dose of great brunch and music. Mimosas were left out this round. After brunch we hug and part ways.
Last September I had the pleasure, a rare pleasure, to stay at Bar TT Ranch outside Dillon, Montana. Before arriving at the ranch, we made stops in Jackson and Yellowstone! Ten of us stayed on the ranch, women from all walks of life in Raleigh. However, since it was my birthday, 4 of us flew out a few days early to explore Jackson and Yellowstone! I could not have asked for a better way to turn 35. Sally , Alice and Sharon are all living & working in Raleigh to create, build and give back to our community. All three of them have inspired me to not only be better but to do better! We flew into Jackson with the Grand Tetons greeting us with their jagged points. We popped in Liberty Burger for beers and burgers before walking the town to shop. I purchased an ornament and the best sunscreen, Trilipiderm . It's fresh smelling, not sticking and very light! To get a better view of the range, we went to Teton Village for a gondola ride. Gondola rides to the top were official
We might as well tell you some cool stuff about where we live (well, I live here, and its basically Brooke's second home). Little background of Raleigh, NC: 1771- Wake Co was created 1788- Raleigh was named the State Capital .... previously it was New Bern, NC (my home town). The Capitol was moved to Raleigh to centralize it. 1792- Raleigh was officially "established" The City's location ( g'ment stuff) was chosen because of a local tavern called Issac Hunters. Members of the commission were fond of a little pub called Isaac Hunter’s Tavern (located in the vicinity of where Old Wake Forest Road is today), and tasked with resolving this controversial issue, the commissioners gathered at Isaac Hunter's in March of 1792 to work. Ten days later after enjoying the hospitality of the tavern and the nearby home of State Senator Joel Lane, they reported back to the legislature their decision that the new capital should definitely be with
Richmond hasn't ever really been on my mind as a place to visit, but this past weekend I met two of my best girls there and we had the best time! We stayed at the Quirk hotel and it was colorful, spunky, chill vibes and good customer service. We loved the high ceilings throughout, all the artwork in the rooms and murals in the elevator. There was grand lobby, with the most adorable courtyard with string lights and vines of jasmine with lots of potted flowers... it smelled devine! Quick also has an onsite art gallery + pretty snazzy gift shop. There faux floral designs throughout the lobby were like works of art! Brie's cousin and his husband live in RVA, so we have our own private tour guides! Friday afternoon we wandered around VA Museum of Fine Art and saw work from Beauford Delaney, Julie Mehretu, Helen Frankenthaler, Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Sari, Dienes, Dorothy Gillespie, Roy Lichtenstein, Henrique Oliveira, Dale Chihuly and so many others! Much to our delight,