Not all trips have to be full day trips; even going out for just a half day is worthwhile, in my book. There’s just something about disrupting what you’re doing for a little while and then perhaps coming back to it. It’s kind of like you’re at school and you sneak out for 5 minutes to go to the ‘bathroom’; that little pause is sometimes so worth it, right? Well, that’s what I feel about half-day trips. And for our latest one we ventured out to Cold Spring, NY.

After having breakfast at home early in the morning and relaxing a bit, we decided to break our day a little, called my cousin Jonathan in Brooklyn, scooped him up, and chatted our way on up to Cold Spring.

cold spring new york

It was about an hour and a half going up via car (Amtrak will get you there from Grand Central in about the same time) and we arrived a little hungry, so off to Hudson Hil’s Café & Market we went. It prides itself on using quality, fresh & local ingredients from the Hudson Valley and has been rated very highly. The place is a little small, so please note that there may be a bit of a wait. When we went we waited for about 25 minutes, so make sure you control that hangry ;). And yes, I enjoyed my mimosa before my food arrived #keepingitreal. All in all, very yummy :).

Explore & Shop

We thought we would walk off some of the food we had by popping into all of the cute shops that caught our eyes on Main Street. Cold Spring is just such a cute little town to take a stroll in (even if it was raining!). From antiques to camping gear and more in between, here were a few of our faves:

Antiques:
There are so many antique shops in this village, that we actually went into almost all of them! We really wanted to see if there was a difference, and I’m happy to say that they each specialize in their own crafts. Whether it be furniture, toys, lighting or art, I feel that you’re covered here and are sure to find a little something to bring back!

There was this one shop next to Bjiou that was operated by a husband and wife duo who have traveled the world and are both artists themselves. They have a great variety of things and actually love humor (as you can tell from the kitschy signs they have hanging around). I found a little glass tray that sits proudly in my bedroom!

Cold Spring General:
Upon entering, the sweet scent of a hand-poured candle burning in all its sensory-driving glory welcomed us. Books, mats, Rifle Paper Co. products, candles and more! Be sure to check out the back where they stash some beverages. The cute shop supports American-made products and sells locally-made goods!

Old Souls:
We try to go camping at least once a year and this store had the cutest little things around. I even found something for pulling ticks off of your skin. Listen, when you find one on the back of your husband’s neck one night in your tent, you get rid of that sucker!

Cold Spring Apothecary:
They make their own batches of candles, teas, skin care cleansers, hair treatments and more! They even make some fresh hot chocolate in their little café inside. The place is so aesthetically clean and pleasing. I heard so much about their candles and, after smelling them, had to bring one back home. I ended up getting a Bergamot & Basil scented one from their kitchen collection, which helps cut the smell of strong foods in the kitchen! :).

I’m sure all that poking your head around into the shops made you work up an appetite, right? Well, fear not! Head on down the little walkway and find yourself near Rincon Argentino, where empanadas, light sandwiches and delicious baked goods (caramel filled churros, anyone?) await! Alternatively, you could also go to the very popular MooMoo’s Creamery and get a scoop of one of their homemade, specially crafted flavors. My husband got their Nutella flavor; I just had to take a baby taste of it (lactose intolerant and all), and let me say, it was de-lish! We ended up doing both places as a snack; I mean, when in Rome, right? 😉

There’s a cute little promenade that looks over the Hudson River. Eat your empanadas and/or ice cream, enjoy the view and enjoy life!

Extending your stay into a full day:
– If you are looking to do some activities on the water, Hudson River Expeditions has you covered.
– If we stayed for dinner, Le Bouchon is where we would have gone for some authentic French food– you know me, the francophile! 😉
– The West Point Foundry allows you to hike, take in some beautiful scenery and even gives you the opportunity to take your own tour to learn more about how it played a major part in the American Industrial Revolution.

Happy Wandering!
xx,

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Brooklyn native, Latina, and founder of Enlightened by Bravery, an adventure/travel and wellness blog that focuses on drawing inspiration from adventures around the world back into your life // iPhoneographer // Francophile

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B.

Beaufort: Small City, Big History, Lots of Beauty

I like pushing the envelope. It’s just what my curiosity does to me. It’s a curse, perhaps at times, but when it comes to travel, however, I find it as a true blessing. It was no surprise, then, when planning my trip to Georgia that I wanted to squeeze in a day-trip to South Carolina. Now, I knew my days were tight, so I made sure to make this destination worth it. Cue in Beaufort, SC, a little city that opened my heart and mind through its history.

As a NYC resident, I wanted to explore more of a southern coastal city (can you blame me?)  and so when I saw Beaufort featured in the New York Times (and then after I booked my trip saw it featured in Southern Living and Vogue,) well, you know I just had to check what this city was all about.With a population of about 13,000 (and it being the second-oldest city in South Carolina), I must say, I felt pretty close to everyone I encountered and felt the history instantaneously upon my arrival.

I partnered with the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce to plan my trip and when I asked:
“What’s the best way to see the city?”
“Via a walking tour,” is what they non-hesitantly replied.

So, my husband and I got in the car, waved ‘bye’ to Savannah for the day and headed up north about 1.5 hours.

When we arrived to the visitor’s center in Beaufort, we were happily greeted and given recommendations of where to eat and what to check out. Never be shy about asking locals – they are the best source of information!

We started our day with lunch at Plums. Real talk: I have been having SO much delicious butter (and shrimp!) down south that I opted for a refreshing chicken salad – oh, and some oysters on the side, of course to change things up a little bit and give my body a bit of a break. As we entered the restaurant, we requested outdoor seating and were escorted to the back, right by the Waterfront Park, a wonderful spot for people-watching and seeing boats pass you by. Interestingly enough, every couple of minutes during our conversation, we’d have to stop talking because we had fighter jets fly over us; turns out, we were right near Parris Island, a Marine Corps Air Station. How cool, because you never see those jets flying around in NYC!

After lunch, we went on our walking tour of Beaufort where I walked amongst some of the most beautiful Antebellum houses I have ever seen, built on what used to be plantation fields and learned that they were used during the war. Today, many of the homes are residential and used for films! There were so many movie references while on the tour, I wish I was a big movie person to understand; but it was okay, I understood the history and, honestly, just walking along the streets filled with oak trees, Spanish moss, birds chirping, carriage steps and imaging myself back in the 1700s was just incredible.

Friends, look at the following photos and imagine yourself hearing horseshoes and standing in front of these beautiful homes while feeling the slight breeze on your cheek.  We walked around the city for about two to three hours. All worth it. So in love:

After our super informative tour, shopping was obviously next on the list. I sometimes wish I had a cute little beach home that I could decorate à la plage. But, who says that daydreaming is a bad thing?  Even if it’s to go inside and imagine the décor I’d put into my beach home, I have a wonderful time just strolling around, touching every piece of glass, opening up and flipping the pages of freshly printed coffee table books, and sniffing every candle my nose can handle.  At this point, my husband was outside sitting on a bench waiting for me as he turned to his phone and flipped through who-knows-what. Either way, I stayed inside the store and kept exploring. Scout Southern Market was such a great find! They have such wonderful things inside that are one-of-a-kind and I poo-poo on myself for not buying the beautiful blue & white porcelain dish I kept going back to!  Lucky for me, they deliver.  I’ll be adding that to my to-do list ;).

As we know, shopping works up an appetite (yes, yes it does, ladies ;)) and I was craving something sweet. I recalled the gelato sign we passed by earlier in the day and headed back to Common Ground Marketplace Café where I indulged in a wonderful lemon sorbet. As a lactose-intolerant soul, I highly appreciate when places that carry gelato also carry sorbet. It was the perfect treat after walking around for hours under the sun.

After our little snack, we sat by the Waterfront Park on its swings for a while and enjoyed the beautiful waterside view. We made our way through some more cute shops and pondered about how great our day was, how much we learned and which restaurant would be our last stop for dinner (we love to eat, don’t judge ;)).

We ended up crossing over a little bridge and (per a local’s strong recommendation- I mentioned I loved locals, ya?) headed on over to the Dockside Restaurant for dinner. I KNOW.  I know.  I said I wasn’t going to have any more shrimp. But… it was strongly recommended… and how could I not? ;).

As we finished up our dinner, we packed ourselves back into the car and headed back down to Georgia. Our day in Beaufort was as beautiful as its homes, its nature, its water, its friendly people and, most of all, its rooted history (for the history buffs, check more out here). In a city that I knew nothing about, I walked out knowing so much and banked the trip in my memory, so happy I fed my curious mind.

xx,
Loren.


Outfit

Dress: Revolve | Shoes: Nine West | Watch: Fossil | Sunglasses: Shein

2.

2018: Goodbye NYC, Hello New Zealand!

…and I don’t mean it just as a vacation. Family & friends, it is with great excitement and joy that we share with you all that we are leaving everything we know about NYC behind and heading off on an adventure abroad for the year!

We are moving to New Zealand!!

There have been so many factors that played into our decision: one of them was attending a Tony Robbins seminar (that post coming next!), another was experiencing the beautiful culture in Denmark last summer (gosh, I love that bicycle life), and another was that, frankly, I have been left feeling a little uninspired by NYC lately. Nothing against the concrete jungle, but maybe that’s my problem: too much concrete.

I don’t know if I ever shared this, but there were two times in my life that I literally sobbed on the plane as we took off: once was when I wheeled up from France after studying abroad there (oh, the tears!), and second was when we left Denmark (how could I live without all the pastries and that bike life?!). I started noticing a pattern and it drew up a concern for me: why was I crying so hard? And what was it about those countries that made me want to stay forever?

In my efforts to understand myself, it was clear that those other places (and travel in general), always filled a void of unpredictability, new adventures and new customs/cultures. When I landed, it was like a game of strategy in which you must survive, learn the rules and get excited about all the different things happening around you. I know NYC is a giant melting pot, but having been born and raised here, it all has just started to feel and become a little, well, predictable. I already know we are all celebrating the fourth of July no matter what state in the country I am in. And while I love traveling around the country (the USA is beautiful), I am seeking something more.

It occured to me that in order for me to continue to grow, continue to be inspired and continue to love deeper, I need to get out. NYC, USA, it’s not you, it’s me; we need a break. You will always be my home, but I feel that distance will make the heart grow fonder. You give such great opportunities that I have yet to be thankful for. The opportunities are endless and you can be whoever you want to be; yet, I’m not grabbing anything by the horns.

So why New Zealand? Well, why the heck not?!

xx,