Monthly Archives: August 2012

A Right of Pass(port)age

Today there was a travel milestone… I handed over my first passport to International Visa Services because it is time for renewal. I can’t believe it has been 10 years since the real adventuring began. In a few short weeks my passport will be within six months of expiring and for some reason many countries require that it be valid for at least that long. (Seriously, what is the point of an expiration date if it is really before then…)

My FIRST Visa

I was very nervous to hand this puppy over. While it is just a ‘thing’, for me it represents so many wonderful memories. And forget the plane ticket, having a passport is the real ‘ticket’ required to access some of the most awe-inspiring places on the planet. I’m pretty sure I asked the woman helping me no less than five times if she was certain it would be returned.

The Streggas in Italy circa 2003

I think back to the visa that really started it all – Italy. I headed abroad with my friends and classmates for a trip that changed the way I looked at the world and affirmed that in my heart I had always been an explorer. The stamp that commemorates Danimal and my first international trip together –honeymoon in Greece. The stamp that challenged me to yet again redefine what I was capable of when I moved to Hong Kong. The stamp that I have a soft spot for because I thought I would never get it – Mauritius.

Mauritius… still can’t believe it

The great thing about a new passport – a clean slate with nothing but opportunity. Not to mention the fact that it is a chance for a new passport photo. (Tips for a good passport photo here.) I definitely brushed my hair and put on some lipstick before heading over… I mean this picture will be with me for ten years. The woman told me I looked better than in my last photo. We’re best friends now.

The OLD Passport Photo

I can’t wait to see what stamps the next 10 years bring!

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N-Y-SEE

In my world, discovery of self, others and place is the beauty of travel. I think that is why the places I appreciate most have an abundance of these types of opportunities. And that kids, is why I love the energy of New York. When Danimal and I traveled there two weeks ago, there was no shortage of things to SEE, especially since it was our first trip to THE city together.

View from Pali’s Place

While not quite Chuck Bass and Blair Waldorf (yet), we spent a lovely morning and afternoon in the Upper East Side. I don’t think the UES was quite prepared for our crew, especially the bar of the Plaza Athenee. I wish you could have seen us pretend like a $21 cocktail was no big deal. As with everything in the city, I tell Danimal you are paying for experience. Worth.Every.Penny.  My favorite part of the UES is how quiet the streets feel in a place so full of hustle and bustle.

So this is the boathouse…

The proximity of UES to Central Park is also clutch. I still don’t think I fully appreciate the size of the Park. Each time I visit, I find a new spot to love. I’m actually somewhat embarrassed to admit that this was my first time at the Boathouse.

If you look REAL close, you can see her!

We were officially there to SEE our dear friends Sarah + Aaron make it legal. They were very intentional in the way they wanted their wedding guests to experience the city. It was personal and inviting and took me to Brooklyn for the first time. Our crew decided to take the ferry from Wall Street over to DUMBO. As a gal who prefers this subway (thanks iTransit app), I am so glad we took the ferry because we saw the STATUE OF LIBERTY!!!!!!! Again, something I had never seen in the City. We weren’t even close to Lady Lib, but I felt like a giddy kid and got a little choked up gazing at her in the distance. (At some point I have just got to go to Ellis Island.) Turns out it is VERY important when taking the ferry to know which ferry stop is yours. You end up having to wait a good spell for the return vessel. While this was not part of our plan, we did get to hang at the gorgeous waterfront just south of the Williamsburg Bridge.

Williamsburg Bridge

We finally made it to the correct stop at Brooklyn Bridge Park. (Another great park… tons of energy and activities) We headed up to Aaron + Sarah’s roof deck for THE view of the trip… the Manhattan Skyline. Really, I could get used to this.

Back in the New York Groove

It wouldn’t be a New York post if I didn’t include something about food or talk about my favorite neighborhood, SoHo. So, while not technically a view, check out this pizza… prosciutto, goat cheese, figs and balsamic vinegar. Thank you Rubirosa Pizza. Thank you.

I could eat this ALL day.

New York, I miss you already. Until next time…

 

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Photo Friday: Bryant Park

Love this park.

Spent the morning at my favorite NYC park. I need to live here. (Not IN the park, IN New York)

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