Yoga and Meditation Resorts in the US

I just spent the most wonderful, centering, relaxing, balancing week at the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch in Woodburne, NY (yes I’m back on the east coast). I’ve decided that my next big journey will be to Thailand to study Thai yoga massage, but until then, I’ve decided to do some exploration here on the home front. There’s actually quite an industry (in a good way) of yoga retreats in the U.S. For the most part, they’re non-commercial institutions that take the art of yoga seriously. That has definitely been my experience so far and from speaking to other people, it seems to be the consensus. Here are a list of some of the yoga and meditation resorts in the U.S. If you know of any more, please please add them to my list…who knows…maybe one day I’ll reach them all!

Peace and Namaste, Olivia
Continue reading

Fall Foliage in New York City, (part 2)

Another (see my post on New York Fall Foliage) great way to appreciate the changing colors of New York City is by going as high up as possible in one of New York’s grand skyscrapers. From there you can see the parks, the rivers, and the vibrant colors of NYC’s people and changing landscape. Here are a few of the biggies:

A few more pretty places to go are Washington Square Park, walk up and down Fifth Avenue, or take the Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise – a great way to take in the whole city!
Enjoy Autumn in New York! Continue reading

New York Fall Foliage

Sure New York City is mostly cement and buildings, and sure in the winter whatever trees there are have shed their leaves and just look sad. And sure the summer is so hot and sticky (or rainy, like this summer) that whatever trees and flowers there are are overlooked on your run from the train to your air conditioned office. So, now that it’s fall, let’s make sure that we take advantage of the beauty in New York City’s fall colors that is so often overlooked during the rest of the year! There are so many scenic drives, beautiful hikes, botanical gardens, and other New York fall foliage options that can be explored before it gets cold and wet and the train to office dashes begin again!

There are more parks in New York City than people realize. Obviously there’s Central Park and Prospect Park, but there’re so many more, too! Check out Alley Pond Park, Forest Park, High Rock Park, Inwood Hill Park, the Staten Island Greenbelt, and Todt Hill. The best viewing time for these is the end of October through the first half of November. And the best way to appreciate them is with a bike, a picnic, and some good friends (in my opinion at least).

Going to botanical gardens is another way to appreciate the cool weather and changing colors of autumn:

You’ve only got a few months before it starts getting cold…so go have a picnic in the park and enjoy the beautiful weather!
Continue reading

Vermont Fall Foliage and More

Today is Labor Day and its time to plan this falls activities. Fall Foliage Trips are perfect for this year’s economy. For most of us, there are great Fall Foliage destinations within a tank of gas. Here are some favorites:

New England Fall Foliage

Mid-Atlantic Region

Rockies

And last but not least, for our fans in the South – Virginia Fall Foliage is at its best in the Western part of the state, in the Shenandoah, Blue Ridge and (further south) Smoky Mountains.

Affordable Theme Parks

When you’re on the road on a limited budget, the last thing you’re gonna do is drop $50-$70 for a few hours stop at an amusement park. And yet, stopping for the day (or for a few hours) at a theme park is sometimes exactly what you need to get that stiff sitting-in-the-car-for-too-long feeling out of you. A place where you can let loose and get all that pent up energy out.
Here are some reasonably priced theme parks in the country, $25 and less, where you and your kids, friends, parents, significant others, or whoever can go for a whirl without spending all your gas money. Prices are approximate for general admission and reflect the adult and children’s price, respectively. Some places charge more for special activities or rides.

Here are a few I came across in my searches. If you know of more, help out us struggling roadtrippers and post more affordable options!

Places to go when you just can’t pay for gas anymore!

I just read an article in USA Today that will definitely appeal to everybody: about great car-free places to visit. CAN YOU BELIEVE GAS PRICES?! It’s to the point of unbearable where I don’t even know if I’ll ever make it back to Massachusetts with any money left in my bank account! So the clincher, of course, is that you have to GET to these places; but at least once you’re there you can park your car and make good use of your feet for a couple of days. Here’s where they recommend going:

Enjoy!

Weekend roadtrip out of New York City

I have been too busy to breathe—I feel like I spend every second working that I’m barely getting a chance to hang out with Matthew these days and I’m barely getting to spend time with my new roommates, which isn’t good. So this past weekend, to try and rectify this time crunch, my roommate (Jeanie) and I planned a mini vacation getaway with Matthew and Bram (her bf) to Jeanie’s parent’s beach house in Southampton. We had so much fun—I think it was what we all needed: to spend some quality relaxation time away from the hot (and a bit rainy lately) city and to lounge around in a gorgeous house by a gorgeous beach and get to know each other a little better.

But we weren’t TOTALLY lazy. On the way out to the beach we stopped at Boomers where we made a bit of a scene on the go-kart tracks (we were asked to remember how old some of the children were around us…) and we played some mini golf. Friday night and Saturday we drank a lot of wine and grilled some burgers and really were totally lazy. and Sunday on the way home we stopped at another cheesy family park, Splish Splash, where we caused another raucous, which was worth every second of the lifeguard yelling at us. I know I sound like I’m 15 again… I’ll act more like a lady next time, mom, I promise….

Now I’m back in New York City and got back just in time to run to Central Park where my amazing friend Amy had secured us both tickets to see the last show of Hamlet in Shakespeare in the Park and it was with Lauren Ambrose (Clare of 6 Feet Under fame) so if you know me….you know I was happy. -)

And now…back to work. blah.
Continue reading

Romantic New York City, take THREE

Here’s the thing about romance—it doesn’t really matter what you do. It matters who you do it with; and so, really, anything can be romantic if you’re with the right person. That being said, I suppose there are things which, with the right person, are more or less romantic. And I suppose there are things that EVEN if you’re with the wrong person, you can see how it’s possible that it COULD be romantic. (Jesus, there I go again.)

Meanwhile, I’ve FINALLY moved into my apartment in Spanish Harlem which is pretty sweet (I mean, considering the fact that my room is the size of an ice box and it’s got fake walls) and I started my temp stint as a paralegal. They’ve been working me pretty hard, (like sometimes til midnight—is that allowed?), but I’ve still found time to explore the great New York, New York.

More romantic ideas:

6. Orchard Beach, in Bronx, NY, is the only beach in the Bronx, located on the Long Island Sound, comes complete with volleyball courts, a boardwalk, and a band shell. Just so happens that the NY Times just came out with an article about Orchard Beach memories—Orchard Beach Journal; Slice of the Riviera, With a Familiar Bronx Twist.
7. Orient Beach State Park, in Orient, NY, is on Gardiner’s Bay where you can go swimming, fishing and kayaking. Nearby there’s hiking and biking along forest trails. It’s a few hours from New York City, but makes for a fantastic day trip.
8. American Museum of Natural History, in New York, NY, is one of my most favorite places on Earth. I love all the animal exhibits. Right now they have an exhibit on horses which is just breathtaking.
9. Hayden Planetarium – while you’re at the American Museum of Natural History, make sure you experience some romance under the stars at the Hayden Planetarium. I think this is one of those things where even if you’re not with the right person, you can sense the romance in the air. Beautiful shows.

Ok, gotta get some sleep. I hope you get a chance to experience romantic New York City!
Continue reading

Romantic New York City, part II

I figure I should start with this: New York is a romantic city. And I’m not just talking about the Marriott Marquis and the Empire State Building. Here are some more creative, romantic ideas:

  1. Besides for the above, I recommend taking the MTA #7 Train. It travels out of Manhattan and through Queens through different ethnic neighborhoods. Go hungry and get on and off the train, sampling different cuisines as you go. It’s a fun, romantic excursion, giving you a chance to spend quality time together as well as distractions around you (if you need to fall back on them during your date).
  2. The Chelsea Market is another unique date place, and with the smells of fresh baked cookies and gourmet foods all around, you’ll never want to leave. The National Biscuit Company (Nabisco) was established in this area in the 1890s and the Oreo cookie factory is now a block-sized market with food, flowers, art, and shows. We went the other day and sampled some delicious samosas and had fresh squeezed OJ. yum yum.
  3. Another unique hot spot is the Jazz Museum in Harlem. There’s something about Jazz history that I find romantic. The Harlem Renaissance, Duke Ellington, African American culture—I find it all beautiful. And Matthew’s grandfather played with Willie Smith and Matthew grew up in the Afro American music scene, so he’s particularly passionate about this museum and the whole subject in general.
  4. Coney Island Boardwalk, Brighton Beach, and the New York Aquarium. Matthew planned those other days, but this one was on me. My dad grew up in Brooklyn so I know these places by heart. We spent the whole day (a Sunday, since believe it or not, Matthew actually works) walking around, eating cotton candy, and relaxing on the beach.
  5. Top of the Rock – Rockefeller Center Observation Deck. Ok, so maybe it’s just as cheesy as the Empire State Building, but it’s a little more unique. Also, once you’re in Rockefeller Center you can also do the NBC Studio Tour. (Go 30Rock!) Put all those things together and you’ve got yourself a romantic outing!

So there you have it. I can be happy and in love and I can give practical advice! Who would’ve thought!

P.S. For a great list of free things going on in NYC, check this out


Related Topics:

Romantic New York City

Where did I last leave you? I feel like I haven’t written in ages, and in that time, so much has happened! I’m back in New Jersey for just another week, but somehow it’s really not so bad—especially since I’ve spent most of my days (and nights 🙂 ) up in the Bronx (much to my parents’ chagrin). We went to the Guggenheim Museum, which was pretty funky, and then to the Central Park Zoo because I love zoos and it was so GORGEOUS outside and romantic. I love New York and can’t wait to have this park be my back yard! I’ll be in Spanish Harlem which seems like an awesome neighborhood—I’m moving into an apartment with two acquaintances—I was told maybe it wasn’t so smart to live with best friends, but it just so happens that 2 of my best friends live on my same street but cross town, so it’s an easy walk or bus ride. I’ve been studying maps and trying to learn more about the geography of NYC.

Matthew knows so much about NYC, what’s free, when and where, but also all of the newest bars and clubs and somehow he gets himself (and me) in. Seriously, I’m pulling clothes from my freshman and sophomore years of college when I used to dress up to party (I kinda chilled as parties got repetitive) –thank god I still fit in them. But I’m just having so much fun.

Yesterday we went to Zabars and then sat in Central Park for hours and hours with yummy food and blankets and books. I was wearing a silly looking floppy hat and huge sunglasses and ….am I boring you? I feel like I’m transmitting useful info about my whereabouts, but maybe it’s coming off as puppy love babble to you. I’ll write more later when I’ve organized my thoughts.


Related Travel Guide Topics: