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!
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Clearing my head in Maine

I had just been through a horrible divorce that left me feeling broken, distant, and confused. I thought that I had had life all sorted out, until this bombshell landed on me leaving me unsure of what to do next. After some months of sitting in my new apartment all alone, my friends forced me out to some neighborhood bars and restaurants. I started feeling myself reawaken from my deep despair, but somehow felt like I needed to get out and do some exploring on my own in order to completely regain independence and realize that I could in fact live on my own once again. And that’s when I decided it was time for me to plan that trip I never took, to Maine, a place that had always seemed like a beautiful place to visit, but that no one ever wanted to go to with me.

I flew there (from my hometown of Phoenix, Arizona) and rented a car at the airport. I had decided that I would split my time between woodsy nature and beaches. It was June, so I knew I’d be able to appreciate both of these two magical worlds. The first stop I made was at Moosehead Lake. I had rented a little cabin on the lake where I stayed for 2 nights. I spent my days swimming and jogging through the area (I was so out of shape—it felt great to get some energy back!) and my evenings bundled up in my cabin reading one of the many books that I brought at South Portland’s The Maine Mall (my real first stop after I landed in Maine!). Next I went to Baxter State Park where I spent the day hiking with a crowd that I had met in the visitor’s center. From there I went to Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor. Acadia National Park really was the ideal place for me, nestled amongst mountains and lakes with hiking and bike trails, but also included the beautiful Sand Beach which provided the coastal relaxing that I had only read in my books.

That was just the beginning of my beach run. I was feeling life coursing through my veins once again and I couldn’t wait to hit the beaches. I had been meeting such interesting people along my way and knew that the crowd would change as my surroundings changed, and I couldn’t wait to see who I would meet next. The beaches in Maine are perfect. I drove up and down the coast, stopping for a few hours or a few days (whatever I was in the mood for!) at Old Orchard Beach, Hills Beach, Ferry Beach State Park, and Popham Beach. I wish you could hear the tone of my thoughts as I type those beaches out. I suppose you could call it wistful? Relaxed? Maybe even happy. I ended the last day of my 12 day trip at Lake St. George State Park where I island hopped and celebrated the nature that was around me.

I think I’m going to do this every year. Maybe not Maine, but somewhere. I’ve always wanted to travel on my own, and I finally did!

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