Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Local Expeditions: Community-Driven Adventures

On Sunday at the New York Times Travel Show I came across a really unique booth, Local Expeditions founded by Nancy Blaine. Located right over the river in Brooklyn, Local Expeditions is community driven adventures. You probably are asking yourself, what does that mean? I was so intrigued listening to Nancy and can't wait to try out one of the tours!

Source 
Local Expeditions provides intimate (10 ppl max) walking or biking tours for visitors or residents that allows locals to show off their favorite spots.



The other unique aspect of Local Expeditions and the component I am most fond of, is the giving back aspect. The guide will choose his or her own favorite local charity and 5% donation is made from the sales of the expedition. If you scroll to the bottom you will see some of the charities selected.

You can learn more about the tour guides and what tours they are currently hosting. Also be sure to check out the blog as well! I really enjoyed my conversation with Nancy and learning more about how and why Local Expeditions was started.

This will be my first tour! See the calendar for more tours and let me know which one you would find interesting and would want to attend!

XoXo,
Tracy 

Monday, January 30, 2017

New York Times Travel Show

This past weekend the New York Times Travel Show was held at the Jacob Javits Center in NYC. At the last minute I decided to purchase a day pass for Sunday. There would be many travel and media professionals in one area which excited me as I love to travel, write about travel, daydream about travel and hope to one day become a full time-traveler!



I have been following Shelby, of TravelFitLove for a while and was excited to learn she would be at the show and I could finally put a face to a name. I can't wait until I can book a trip to Australia and have her help plan that wonderful experience.

I had hoped too meet Sarah Dandashy of askaconcierge  however we were unable to meet up. I love her short clips like this one! One day I hope to have a chance to meet her.

Kelly Lewis, the founder of Go! Girl Guides was speaking on a panel "Thinking About Traveling Solo? Here are the Top Places to Travel Alone in 2017" along with some other great speakers. I was able to attend toward the end and one of the key points was "Don't be afraid, be smart." After the panel I was able to meet Kelly in person and she is just as amazing after reading her books, website and articles about her. I hope to one day attend Women's Travel Fest, a festival she hosts. This year she just made this amazing announcement!






With snow in the forecast and the cold weather here in New Jersey I am more then ready for a trip down south for some warmer weather! Until then I will #ChooseWarmth in my daydreams!



It's never too late to discover your inner explorer! You can explore in your backyard, an hour away, for one day or ten days. Get out there and just explore!

Love the teal suitcase!




No matter where you travel you should always try and connect local for the best places. I wish the sign had said Travel Global, Connect Local!



I'm always ready. How about you? What is next on your list?


This dress was just one highlight of the day!

Where are you traveling too next? What is your dream destination? 

XoXo,
Tracy 

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Weekend Recap

This weekend flew by, friends.

It was a wonderful weekend filled with reflection, attending services at temple, celebrating my best friends 30th birthday and attending the New York Times Travel Show.

Friday after work I headed home for a quick nap before heading to temple for Friday evening services. The past few weeks have been "rough" to say the least with our current world affairs, far too many deaths and the overall change in weather I needed some time to reflect. The rabbi's sermon was on point about location and being in the right place at the right time. Her shared this story about how a woman survived a tornado in her bathtub after being carried 200+ feet from where here home once stood. I left feeling more peaceful, tranquil and ready for the weekend!

Saturday was for running errands, finally getting a haircut and celebrating my best friends 30th birthday at the Asbury Festhalle & Biergartern. First off, it was a surprise and for those who know me, know I am horrible at keeping them, yet I was successful! There had been a beer tasting earlier in the day and a chocolate festival down the road which made the hall extra crowded. We were able to get a table up front so when she arrived we could all yell surprise and she would see us right away! Since I had drove down I only had one glass of wine!

Haircut & Blowout

Surprise!!

Best Friend since 2nd Grade

Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten

As Sunday rolled around I was more then excited as I got to attend the New York Times Travel Show! I will have a detailed post up this week! Being in NYC always brings me joy. The trade show floor was fabulous and the speakers were on point. One huge takeaway "Don't be scared to travel, with everything going on travel will still be there."



One more round of 30th birthday celebrations and I am now ready for bed. I crawling into bed one happy lady tonight filled with hope and inspiration that I want to share with all!


How was your weekend?

XoXo,
Tracy 







Friday, January 27, 2017

Friday Favorites #18

Happy Friday, friends!

This week feels like it flew by in a blink of an eye. I thoroughly enjoyed my solo road-trip last weekend through New England. This weekend I plan to relax, catch up on my DVR and get in two strong workouts!

Let's jump right into what I am loving this week and as always please drop a comment or answer on Instagram with what you are loving!

"I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list"

Have you ever thought about moving out of the city? Interesting article.

I read every one of the books listed. I invite parents to encourage your children to read them.

"World traveler with a brunch obsession" is my tagline on Instagram. I can't wait to try some of the places listed here.

I love reading other blogs. Grace is one I read every morning. Loved her recent post filled with blogging tips!

I can't believe I will be 30 this April. After reading this article I have been doing a lot of soul-searching and thinking!

Talk about Travel Inspiration, Lindsay is killing it!

Have a wonderful weekend!

What is your favorite brunch meal?

XoXo,
Tracy 




Thursday, January 26, 2017

Mystic, CT

This past weekends road-trip took me to Hudson, MA for my college roommate baby shower followed by Providence, RI and the last stop on my New England tour was Mystic, CT. Saturday night after leaving Providence I arrived at the La Quinta Inn & Suites in Coventry, RI for the night. I literally had my dad book it on Priceline as I was driving from MA to RI only a few hours before I would check in! It was the perfect place to relax, unwind, and recharge before my last day on the road. For $63 it included a full breakfast, complimentary wi-fi and free parking! I was up and out around 9:30 on Sunday. 


Filled the car with gas and was on the road to Mystic, CT. I knew I wanted to walk around the seaport area. I will be back to visit the Mystic Aquarium, Historic Downtown Mystic and more. 



 There is a free parking lot across the street from the entrance above to the Seaport. Since I had arrived early on a Sunday morning in winter the area was quiet. There were a few joggers out here and there but other then that no cars in the lot and no people in the gift shop.

I will take the yellow house across the water, please. Any of the houses actually in the area are beautiful and in pristine shape. There is so much architecture and I look forward to spending a few spring days out there with my camera!


The red berries. Seriously this is one of my favorite shots from the weekend! I visited the gift shop before walking along the main street and let me tell you that wall of fudge, I could have easily bought every flavor, but I resisted. They offer free samples; however I was too early. 



The globe ornaments were so well crafted and the shop keeper explained it is one the most common items purchased. Travel the world, it's great for the soul.


I found the perfect blanket scarf and picked it up! I haven't stopped wearing it since Monday. I love the oranges and fall colors. Make sure you stop in the gift shop before you head out of town.

Next up I walked along the main road for a while taking in the houses and learning as much as I could about Mystic and the people who lived there. On a nice day I would have walked about 3 miles rather then the 1 I did on Sunday. Here are just a few shots.






That entrance way above is truly breathtaking. I image little children running up and greeting there parents at the door. Hanging out on the porch playing with their siblings and friends making it a common area for them to hang out.



Can I move in? The fence, the exterior, and the overall charm of the home makes this a true cottage in Mystic, CT.


This is the view from the Twisters Ice Cream parking lot. A small shop that neighbors Seaview Snack Bar. Both weren't opened and I am so anticipating my next trip up there to try both places. 




As I walked back to my car I realized how much history is all around us even in our own hometowns and backyards. I love to explore and hope to do more and share with you guys what I stumble upon. The ride home took about 5 hours and there was really no traffic through CT, NY and NJ. 

Also be sure to check out the Mystic Dinner and you can stay locally at the Hyatt Place Mystic or check out Priceline

Any fun travel plans coming up?

XoXo,
Tracy 




Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Where to Visit in Providence, RI

I spent the best four years attending Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. I made lifelong friends, created everlasting memories, and explored every area of the state. Rhode Island will always be a second home to me after New Jersey.

Main Campus- Gaebe Commons

Love the architecture of the building on the left. 

When I was a student neither of the places below existed. The closest Starbucks was in the Biltmore, which was only a few blocks but the opposite way of campus. Although on the pricier side, the Biltmore is a gorgeous property centered in Downtown, Providence. Other places to stay in the area are Courtyard Providence Downtown, Providence Marriott Downtown, The Dean Hotel, Hampton Inn & Suites Providence Downtown, Omni Providence Hotel, Hilton Providence, Renaissance Providence Downtown Hotel, and Hotel Providence

I did my externship at the Courtyard Providence Downtown and when my parents would come to visit they always stayed at the Providence Marriott Downtown. All of the properties listed above are wonderful. I've had friends work for them, tour them, stay in them and each and every property offers something different and for every type of traveler! 






Finally on Campus 

View from the Starbucks on Campus
For my Freshman year I lived in a dorm off of Atwells Ave in the Federal Hill area. You can hear the church bells, enjoy fine dining and shop along the main strip. I would frequent Angelo's for a good home cooked Italian meal whenever I was stressed during finals. You have to try a Wimpy Skippy from Caserta Pizzeria. Be sure to finish off your food tour at Pastiche Fine Desserts and don't forget to try their All-American Chocolate Cake or Chocolate Walnut Truffles.

Waterfire Providence is a nonprofit arts organization whose mission is to inspire Providence and its visitors that fosters community and revitalize the urban experience. I loved volunteering and supporting the organization while attending college.

Thayer Street is popular to students from Brown, JWU, RISD, Providence College and other local high schools and universities. With many independent shops it's a communal area for those foodies, students, and visitors.

For more recommendations you can shoot me a message through the contact form or an email to tracyheather87@gmail.com.

What is one of your favorite cities to visit? 

XoXo,
Tracy 

Monday, January 23, 2017

My College Roommate's Baby Shower

My roadtrip to Hudson, MA started Friday around 12:30pm when I left work. I had a goal and that was to arrive no later then 5:30pm. I took the GSP ( Garden State Parkway) to the Tappan Zee Bridge and through CT on back highways to avoid the 95 traffic. There was one stop at the Darien Service Area  and another at a local gas station about 5 miles from her house. With two stops and some light traffic in the Worcester area I made it at 6:02pm. Since they were kind enough to wait for me for dinner I dropped my bags and we hopped back in the car and headed to Outback, first making two stops at Target and Destination Maternity. I didn't realize how hungry I was until the bread was placed on the table and I ate almost a whole loaf myself. It's OK because for dinner I had this amazing dish, Tilapa with Pure Lump Crab Meat. No meal is complete without a sweet dessert, Salted Caramel Cookie Skillet shared by my roommate and I. Once we arrived home we hung out and watched Impractial Jokers, which I never knew existed. Lights out around 11am and I woke up the next morning around 8:30 feeling refreshed. We spent the remainder of the morning getting ready and catching up some more before heading out to her Baby Shower. We were meeting her mom about a half hour earlier then the guests were set to arrive to see how the space was decorated and take some photos! I dubbed myself the photographer of the day and was so happy to get some great shots of her celebration for her and baby girl, Mackenzie!


The baby shower was hosted by her mom, mother-in-law and sister-in-law at the Maynard Lodge of Elks. The decorations were absolutely gorgeous and everything came out wonderful! 



There were so many thoughtful gifts, great advice shared among mothers and friends, and games. 




Her mom had saved some of her baby items and put them in a chest for her. The sentiment was so sweet and bought tears to every one's eyes. 




When you smile at your mom because she saved your baby blanket. My sister still has her blanket and I know she has hopes of passing it down to her child one day.


Before she even opened the box above she looked over to her mother who had tears rolling down her face, as well as the rest of the table. Her nana had knitted these blankets in hopes of one day giving them to her great-grand child. Again, there wasn't a dry eye in the place once we heard the stories behind the special blankets.


No one got the correct answer of 54.11 but two people came close enough to win without being over. On the onesie we left motherly advice. 


We attended Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI and were roommates as well. We spent some great years together. I wish we still lived close by and since we don't I cherish every moment we talk and spend together! 


Her mom made these cute hot cocoa jars as take home gifts for the guests as well as the lolly pop and chocolate covered pretzels! 


These cupcakes were delicious. How cute is the sign and the pink sprinkles or jimmies as they call them in New England. Yes, I was corrected on more then one occasion for calling them sprinkles. 

Once the shower was over we packed up the cars and headed back to their place. After unloading the cars I said my goodbyes. My next stop was Providence to see my old stomping ground. Check back tomorrow night for that post! 

What did you do this weekend?

XoXo,
Tracy