Since there's no room anymore in this site to continue my blog, and I don't want to pay for features I don't need (as all I need is more space for my blog), I'm going to move my blog somewhere else. Don't know where, yet. But I'll tell you once I've done the move.
My co-worker is going to New York City next week, and as I was looking for the Wall Street area of Pearl Street and especially Stone street, this Wall Street Inn caught up my eye. So I decided to check it out in Booking.com, and I booked it! Yeah, I know, we already had a hotel booked for our trip, but it was in Chinatown and I wasn't really thrilled about that hotel and that neighbourhood. And it had free cancellation until March 5th 2019, so I'm going to cancel it as I now have this Wall Street Inn booked. Let me explain you why I'm now so thrilled about this one:
Wall Street is known for being quiet after work hours, but this hotel's backyard is the Stone Street. This particular part of Stone Street is known for its atmosphere because of the bars and restaurants, not to mention the fact that it's one of the oldest parts of Manhattan: The Dutch West India Company built the first commercial brewery in all North America there in the year 1632. It's a cobble stone street and just for pedestrians. And I've been fascinated about this part of Manhattan for a long time, so now it's nice to be able to use it as a base of our trip.
It's a short walk to the 9/11 memorial and the new One World Trade Center, and a short walk to a NYC Ferry that takes us to Dumbo in 8 minutes! There are three major subway lines just in the neighbourhood so it's easy to get to the Intrepid or to Times Square.
I already found bars and restaurants I want to go to at the Stone Street:
Stone Street Tavern
Vintry Wine and Whiskey
The ratings of this hotel are 8.5/10 in Booking.com, 8.8/10 in Hotels.com, and 4.0/5 in TripAdvisor. So pretty good concerning the ratings of other people.
The building in which the hotel is at was constructed in 1836 (because the Great Fire of 1835 destroyed all the buildings at this area in the biggest fire of all times in America). The hotel itself was established in 1999 and is still owned by the same family. The hotel looks a bit outdated but for me it's part of the charm (just look at the pictures on their website, www.thewallstreetinn.com
It's supposed to be really quiet hotel. It only has 46 rooms and it's "soundproofed", and on weekdays it mostly has business guests. And hey! Breakfast is included in the price!
The previous hotel didn't get me excited at all. It was just a place to go to sleep during our trip, but this Wall Street Inn actually got me super excited again about our trip. Almost so excited, that the upcoming Normandy trip next week lost a bit of its shine.
I'm so excited about that Wall Street Historic area. Yay!
Oh my! It seems I haven't written about Normandy since I revealed that the trip is going to happen! But in all honesty, I haven't really been thinking much about this trip at all.. Shame on me, since it's a trip we've been wanting to make for years! So here's an update on what we're going to be doing on our upcoming trip:
This is a travelling day. Our flight from Helsinki to Orly is in the evening, so we're at Orly after 7pm. We're going to get our rental car from the airport and drive to a nearby airport hotel, Mercure Orly, where we spend the first night.
Early wakeup, breakfast at the hotel and then starts the drive towards Normandy. A shorter drive would be along the freeways, but we want to see some views and small towns etc along the way, so we're taking the scenic route. It'll take about 5-6 hours to drive to our accommodation.
After we've checked in to the hotel, we'll probably visit the Atlantic Wall museum, or just drive along the invation beaches. Then maybe dinner at the hotel's restaurant.
This days agenda is the Omaha Beach, Pointe du Hoc and maybe the Overlord museum. I'm not yet sure which museum is the best for us.. Oh yeah, the American Cemetery is a must.
If we've managed to see enough of the sites concerning the invation, we're heading out to Mont Sainte-Michel. It's a two hour drive there (or longer if we want to avoid the freeways), and I guess we'll be wandering around for few hours there. So it'll be a whole day trip.
Our flight back to Helsinki leaves in the evening so we have little time in the morning to do something in Normandy if we want to. Or then we'll start driving back to Orly but do some stops along the way.
We'll see how our schedule ends up being, since everything is quite vague at this point still..
But we're all very excited to go there!
Pacific Northwest. PNW. You’ve got my attention and my heart. Okay, so I wrote about this trip in March, and about the possible route etc. But since then it has evolved and my attachment and interest and passion for this trip have grown exponentially. I basically have a route ready. I’ve been checking out accommodation along the way, I’ve been checking out trails, been thinking about what kind of gear to buy, etc. So this trip is going to happen, it’s just a matter of when and money :)
But here’s the route for now (and I’m pretty sure this is going to be it, since there’s just the right amount of everything..):
Seattle - Cape Flattery (A) - Ancient Groves (B) - Sol Duc Falls - Hoh Rainforest (C) - Forks (because of Twilight :P ) - La Push Beach - Melmont Ghost Town hike (D) - Skyline Trail (Mt. Rainier) (E) - Myrtle Falls - Naches Peak Loop (F) - Cle Elum Lake (G) - Ross Lake recreational area (I) - Seattle (J). Any suggestions what to leave out, or what to add? I’m so in love with Mt. Rainier right now! I’ve always been a fan of mountains.
Gotta get some proper water-resistant hiking boots. Other proper clothing I already have. It’s quite rainy at least at the Olympic National Park area. I can already imagine myself walking through the moist forests and on the side of Mt. Rainier.. And I've managed to get our traveling companions infected with this road trip fever already!
It seems I'm flooding my blog today (since this is the second blog post for today). But I was thinking about a conversation I had with a friend few days ago about dreaming of things to happen and things to get etc. My friend was asking me if there's any sense in dreaming about things that would probably not happen.. I thought everyone dreams of things to get when one wins the lottery or when one gets a raise at work or when one achieves certain age, etc.. But are there really people who don't dream at all? And how do they manage this average, thrill-less everyday life?
I'm constantly dreaming. I don't think that makes me less realist nevertheless. I know there are some dreams that I'll probably never achieve (or there's like one to zillion chance of achieving it). But many of my dreams are doable, achievable, reachable, etc. Like the dreams I have about traveling. I know, if I save enough money, I'll be able to achieve most of my travel related dreams. And some dreams are even smaller than travel related. Like some new clothes or leather binded cover for a planner, etc.
But not to dream at all?!? Not to have any fantasies about the future..? That sound terrible and sad, and I'd most likely be very depressed if I didn't have any dreams..
But of course you want to know what my "maybe not achievable" dreams right now are (or even if you don't I'll tell you anyway): I wish I'd win the Eurojackpot lottery now that the amount is 90 million euros. Here in Finland you get the whole 90 million, there's no tax in it for the winner to pay. So I'd get the whole 90 mil. Of course first I'd help out all my family and friends and pay off their loans and do fun stuff with them, but I'd buy us a house in USA, maybe in Lake Tahoe area, I'd pack the cats and go. I'd be forever satisfied sitting on my porch, drinking iced tea and watching the lake glitter in the light of the rising sun. Oh yeah and I'd donate a lot of the money to some cancer research or Crispr/Cas9 research, or something like that. All that would make me really happy. And all that dreaming makes me happy, and that's why I dream. It lifts my spirits. Way up high.
Our friends are on their honeymoon in Las Vegas right now. And they're doing a quite similar road trip to ours. And of course the memories of our own trip keep surfacing all the time. This morning I've been wondering how they're going to be amazed by the super hot and dry air of Las Vegas, the lights and overall ambiance of the Strip, the hotel, and the amazing beds of the hotel.. I mean that all was such a shock in a good way when we first went to Las Vegas in 2009. But every time since that, the arrival and the first moments are the best. You're so very tired after a whole day of travelling but the exhilarating feeling of travelling and the fact that you're finally there gives you this surreal feeling, and you can't even go to sleep because you just want to look out the huge floor to ceiling windows and just absorb everything like it was the last thing you'd ever see.
So our friends are staying a while in Vegas and then their road trip starts: Yosemite, the California coastline, the Pacific Ocean, San Francisco, Palm Springs.. They're even going to the Grand Canyon at the end of the road trip and travel back Las Vegas via Hoover Dam. All those places bring such fond memories to my mind. I'd go back this very second if it was possible. Ventura.. I'd move there if it was possible..
I'll be eagerly waiting for their blog posts (http://tntseikkailee.blogspot.com/ it's in Finnish) every morning, although from experience I know keeping up the blog everyday on a trip is kind of an annoyance..
If the title isn't revealing enough, and of course it is not, as I tend to write here about my travel dreams also, this time it means we're actually going. To New York. Again! Finally!
We were planning on doing a sisters + spouses trip to NYC early spring 2019, and when Finnair announced their sales campaign, it quickly turned from a plan to execution. Originally we had planned that all three of us sisters and our spouses travel, but E&R had to cancel on their behalf because of other projects.. But this is T&V's first trip to NYC, so we get to be travel guides with mr T.
So early March 2019 we're heading to NYC for 6 days. Finnair's straight flights were only 399€ per person!! I mean how would you be able to pass that kind of an offer?!? Our hotel is going to be Best Western Bowery Hanbee Hotel which of course isn't that glamorous, but it was the 2nd best value hotel in NYC (and oh man has the hotel prices gone up in that nook of the country!!!). It's located in the Chinatown area, which means really short distances to many places, and really good subway connections. It's got 4.1 average in TripAdvisor and if I remember correctly 8.2 in Hotels.com. So I think it's a catch! And hey, five nights in NYC means that we're on the go all the time and basically just need a place to get a good night sleep. PLUS! The breakfast includes in the room price! Yay!
My main goal for this trip is of course to have a pleasant trip with our posse, most of all because this is the first trip I'm doing a trip with my sister since childhood (cruises don't count!). But what I really want to do is to see a Broadway show. I would've wanted to see Hamilton, but the ticket prices are still almost 300 dollars in March. So it's a no-go. I'm gonna take part in the Broadway lottery when the time comes, but you can only get 2 tickets if you win the lottery, so then T&V would get a couple hours of alone time while we're at the show.
But here are some other plans for the trip (without explanations..)
- Zabar's salmon bagel..
- Central Park
- Top of the Rock
- World Trade Center
- Brooklyn Bridge
- And showing the Wall Street and other southern areas of Manhattan to my sister and her husband
- Plus of course enjoying the New York city! It's been 7 years since we were there..
I'm ecstatic and still quite not believing we're going.. Can't wait!
One small fraction of a thought and I'm already dreaming about and planning the next (major) road trip.
So take a look at this:
I call it the "Back to the Woods" trip. Why is that? Because all I want from this road trip is to see the giant sequoias and all the different state and national parks along the way from San Francisco to Seattle. Of course there are million other interesting places to see on the way, but these forests would be the main point.
I mean, take a look at these pictures (which are from glendeven.com, http://vacations.humboldtca.com, lindamassucci-wordpress.com, hikespeak.com):
Amazing looking places! I just want to get proper hiking apparel and go! But there are three other trips on their way, so unless I win the eurojackpot or the national lottery, this ain't gonna happen anytime soon. But girl can dream, right? I'll let you know if this dream turns into reality at some point.
Oh yeah, the route is at least 3300 km long and would take at least 20 days. More if we want to stay longer than a day at some places.. So three weeks at the west coast.. Anyone? I may have to trim it down a bit.
Okay so I've been a stationary enthusiast for I don't know how long. Since I was a child, I guess. I've always loved new notebooks, pens, paper clips, the smell of books, etc. On December 2017, I don't really remember how or why, I stumbled across this youtube video or videos about this cool looking planner, called Erin Condren Life Planner. And since I'm always looking for the perfect planner/calendar, this one seemed amazing! So on December 31st I ordered my very own Erin Condren Life Planner from her website, since those cannot be ordered from anywhere else, if one wants to personalise it.
A month went by and while waiting for the planner to arrive, I found this Facebook group called "Kalenterimania" which literally means calendar mania. The people in that group are amazing: supporting each other in everyday battles and joyful events but the main purpose of that group is that you can talk about your planner, ask advise, get great ideas about stuff, come up with new great ways of decorating your calendar/planner, etc.
"Decorating?", you ask. Yup, you can make your planner look like you in every way. Of course you can go on living your life with just an ordinary calendar, where you just write down your events, your meetings, etc and you'll be happy with it, or you can have an electronic calendar in your phone/tablet/pc/mac and you're more than satisfied with it just like that. But for people like me, planner decorating is a must. It's a great way tapping into your creativity, no matter how much you suck at it, but doing more decoration-wise and trying out different stuff expands your skills. And I think it's nice to have a pretty planner. So how do I decorate my planner? I have pretty stickers that you can buy from Etsy, or you can get these free printables from dozens and dozens of sites, or you can make your own printable stickers. There are also great Finnish shops from which you can get your planner accessories from. Then I use washi tape that you can nowadays get from everywhere. Then you can make your own inserts to the calendar or buy some from the erincondren.com. And then I use different coloured pens.
But being in a group like Kalenterimania has also its downside.. You see so much pretty planners, bujos etc that you get more ideas and want to get yourself a bujo or a Travellers Notebook or a Hobonichi Techo, in which I fell in love with, and now I'm thinking that I need one, except I don't, since I have my ECLP.. But maybe someday. :)
Pens! Now that I have my pretty Erin Condren Life Planner, I want to have the best possible pen to write on it. So I've been testing out and purchasing more pens. I now have Pigma Microns, which I guess are mainly meant for drawing really accurate pictures such as architectural designs, but I love them since they have so small tips: the smallest I have is 0.2mm and the largest is 0.5mm, and they're very good in writing on sticker paper. Then I have a PaperMate InkJoy, with the tip of 1mm, and it moves on the paper really well. Then I have this Cello JotDot. I think the tip of it is 0.5mm, since I can write really small text with it. Now I'm testing out my new Pilot G-Tec-C Maica pens. Their tip is 0.4mm so they too are really nice in writing small text. And I'm waiting for my Muji-pen order to arrive, so that I can test them out too. But as you can see, for me it cannot be just any old pen to make planning with.
So what do I write down on my planner? Well all my work related meetings, events, things to do, places to go. And my personal stuff: events, meetings, fitness stuff, to do -lists, birthdays, vacation planning, small trips, stuff to get, stuff to get rid off, weekly food planning, etc. So I have it all there.
And if you're interested in getting your own Erin Condren Life Planner or some other products from erincondren.com, please use my referral link https://erincondren.com/referral/invite/tiialoukonen and you'll get 10dollars out of your first order and so that I too get something nice out of it :) I'd really appreciate it!
Here are some pics of my planner stuff.
The flight and accommodation has been booked, and the car has been rented. All we have to do is get there! Only six months to go :) But in case you're interested, here's more info about the trip.
The flights are Norwegian flights Helsinki-Vantaa - Paris Orly and back.
The accommodation for the first night (since our flight lands so late) is nearby airport hotel Mercure Orly Rungis (****) and for the rest of the trip this amazing La Ferme de la Ranconnière, which has been built between 13th and 16th century :) Can't wait!
The duration of our trip is five days, well four, because the first day we fly to Paris so late. But then starts to happen.. Here's our early plan itinerary:
We drive from the hotel to Normandy. Our first stop is the Museum of the Atlantic Wall, which is located at the Sword Beach, at Ouistreham. From there we'll continue to Arromanches 360 at Arromanches-les-Baines. It is a 360 degrees circular cinema showing the happenings of the battle of Normandy. Then a visit to the American cemetery at the Colleville-sur-Mer. A little quiet time there walking through the cemetery. Next step is the Omaha beach with the D-Day Memorial, Sector Charlie and just picturing the horrific events on D-Day. Then before heading to our accommodation we'll take a detour to Pointe du Hoc.
We'll have breakfast at the hotel and then head to Carentan. Nothing special there, just a walk around the town. Then to the Airborne Museum at Sainte-Mere-Eglise. Also we're going to check out the church of the town, since there's a paratrooper dummy hanging in the corner of the ceiling just like this poor paratrooper did back then. Then we'll continue to the beaches, to Monument of the Landing of the Second Armoured at Saint-Martin-De-Varreville. From there to Quineville to check out this Army&Navy Surplus. Then we'll head to Cherbourg-Octeville to buy some umbrellas :) And then back to the accommodation and just chilaxing the evening and eating well.
This day we're heading to Mont Saint-Michel to see the amazing island and its gorgeous architecture and narrow streets. Can't wait! Driving back, we'll go to Bayeux if we'll have time and we'll go check out the famous tapestry made in 1066-1086. Quite old :)
This day we'll be heading back home. But first we'll check out some beaches or something if we've missed something. If we feel we've seen everything we want to see in Normandy, we'll go to Versailles and hang out there for a while. And then back to the airport and home.
I'm so excited to get there with my nephew and have a great time exploring the places of the Battle of the Normandy.
This blog is mastered by Tiia. I'm in my thirties, and I'm always way too excited about travelling. Even the smallest spark of hope concerning making trips and travelling in general gets me going and then I'm even more obsessed in writing this blog. Although you might find texts about other parts of my life here too, such as our two kitties..