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New York

Canada, Inspiration, Lifestyle, North America

A Decade of Desire: My Ultimate Travel Bucket List Part I

December 13, 2016 • By

Now that I’ve been traveling internationally for well over a decade, I think it’s time to challenge myself a bit more. I’ve accepted that my wanderlust might never be completely quenched due to work obligations, budget concerns or both. However, I’m a firm believer in declaring what you want as the first step into making it happen. Here I go!

Perhaps I was inspired by my recent Global Entry application. Obviously, I’m in it for the long-haul if I’m willing to pay for the privilege of line-skipping. I began compiling a list of places I wanted to visit, starting with all fifty states then branching out internationally. The ultimate goal is to visit every continent, but I also wanted it to be realistic due to my work schedule. For the first part of this series, I decided to stick closer to home, focusing on the Northern part of the Western Hemisphere.

  1. Alaska Range Cruise

Maybe it’s because of the many afternoons I spent watching Bob Ross paint happy little trees in front of magnificent ice-capped mountains as a child or maybe it’s because of the “purple mountain majesties” I had to sing about at that one assembly in 3rd grade.  Either way, I’ve always preferred the mountains to the beach. Ironically, next December, I’ll be embarking on my third cruise to an assortment of tropical destinations. To switch it up and combine my love of cruising and mountainscapes, I want to take an Alaskan cruise. Cruising through the Inside Passage while enjoying a gigantic mug of hot chocolate is my kind of vacation.

  1. Niagara Falls

It had always been on my list, but after watching Jim and Pam’s first wedding on The Office, Niagara Falls has been towards the top. I’ve been to New York and Canada several times, but I’ve yet to make my mark in Ontario or Western New York. I’m all about killing two birds with one stone and this will be the perfect opportunity. Whether enjoying the view of the Horseshoe Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls from the safety of Rainbow Bridge or while getting drenched on the boat deck, I know it’ll be a thrilling time!

  1. Cuba

Now that travel restrictions have been lifted, it’s the perfect time to visit the vibrant and mysterious Cuba. When I think of Cuba, I envision a kaleidoscope of pastel-colored façades, impeccably restored classic American cars and the clearest water imaginable. I look forward to spending an afternoon strolling along The Malecón, dipping my toes in the goldspun sand of Playa Pilar, enjoying an ensalada in one of La Habana Vieja’s many ice cream parlors and finding out all that this beautiful island has to offer!

City Views, North America, Travel Advice

Travel Photo Thursday – 30 Rockefeller Plaza

March 31, 2011 • By
30 Rockefeller Plaza

Start spreading the news……

Today’s photo in Nancie at Budgettravelerssandbox’s Travel Photo Thursday is a scene from the top of 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City.  It was taken in June 2010 during the “Top of the Rock” tour, which I highly recommend.  It is a photographer’s dream to get such a breathtaking view of the city’s skyline.  As you can see its pretty well populated; so much so that they only way to for the city to grow is vertically.  It was pretty windy which didn’t bode well for videotaping, but it was virtually impossible not to get a great shot.

City Views, North America

Pictures of New York City, NY

August 3, 2010 • By

New York City, NY

New York City is bigger than life itself. When I think of Manhattan, I envision constant movement, not one of confusion (though it may seem that way at first) but one of dogged and deliberate certainty. New Yorkers are a focused lot; each stride has a sense of purpose, of self-assuredness. Its people are what make this city come alive.

As a tourist, you can feel the excitement through every pore; the anticipation that something special is going to happen to you in this city….and you won’t be disappointed.  One of the most exciting things that has happened in the city in the past year is that Broadway on Times Square is permanently closed to traffic. It is now a haven for pedestrians who generally like to bring their folding chairs, sit and take in the view.

The cosmopolitan menu that is offered by the numerous street vendors is a foodie’s definition of nirvana. There’s Broadway and Off Broadway if you are so inclined to take in its famous cultural offerings. The best view of the city is from the top floor of 30 Rockefeller Center and you’ll get your best photo of Lady Liberty from the deck of a tour boat on the Hudson River.

Be generous with your time and check out the other four boroughs they have their own unique contribution to that varied mosaic that comprises one of the most vibrant and colorful cities in the Northeast corner of the USA, New York City, NY!

Click here to view these pictures larger

Budget Tips, Reviews, Travel Advice

Spa Deals For The Budget Traveler | Martinis and Manicures

July 11, 2010 • By

This is the second in a series of infrequent articles that feature spa deals for the budget traveler.

Spa Deals

While doing my research for my NYC trip, I decided that it would be cool to do something fun and different like getting my eyebrows threaded at City Brows.   Never too satisfied with only one quirky experience, I decided to check out what else I could get into in the big apple.  While checking out Time Out New York online, I came across a bar that took “Girls Night Out” to a whole ‘nother level. Every night, without fail, they have a “Martinis and Manicure” special that only costs $10.00!READ MORE

Budget Tips, Reviews, Travel Advice

Big City Pampering On a Small Town Budget

July 1, 2010 • By



This is the first in a series of infrequent articles that feature spa deals for the budget traveler

Last week, I was fortunate enough to be in New York City for a travel blogging convention (Go #TBEX!). I’m not the girliest of girls, but I decided a little pampering couldn’t hurt. I said “Self, this is a great opportunity to do something that you rarely get to do at home!” Since I had a dangerously good chance of winning a unibrow contest, I figured something along that line was in order. I was very happy to come across the aptly named “City Brows” which was located a block from the hotel that I was staying at off Broadway and between 78th and 79th streets.

This spa, owned by the Anitra family, specializes in brow threading but also offers facials, manicures, waxing and henna tattoos (if you are so inclined). I’d heard about threading but never had the opportunity (nor the desire) to try it. It’s a centuries old process used mostly in middle eastern countries and India. The clinician uses her teeth to anchor the (sewing) thread and both hands to grasp several strands of the unwanted hair and a quick tug pulls them out. The process lasts for up to two to six weeks, about as long as tweezing, but more hairs are pulled which shortens the threading session.


I will admit to some reticence as I was offered a chair. Let’s ‘face’ it, if they screw this up, it will make me mourn for that wretched unibrow. My daughter, Carisa actually got started before I did, so when I heard a few polite ‘ows’, I began to question my decision. But the 95 pound esthetician had me exactly where she wanted me and began gliding the thread ever so carefully over my face. It wasn’t as painful as I had imagined. At first, I thought I was being sliced because the feeling was so different from anything that I had felt before. I quickly became acclimated to that feeling and within five minutes, she was done. She asked if I wanted aloe vera rubbed over the brows and I said ‘YES!’ Please make sure that you do this because it allows the sting to quickly subside.


Now, the moment of truth…..the mirror’s point of view. I leaned forward and was astonished. My brows were a set of perfectly contoured arches that would put the St. Louis arch to shame. They looked like they fit my face….it was not outlandish or too thin or clownish looking. We were both very pleased with the outcome. The cost of this excursion into cosmetic bliss? $8.00!! They even offer a deal where you get your tenth threading for free. Are you listening, New Yorkers? This price was beyond reasonable and for both brows no less! If you find yourself in the neighborhood take a chance and try something new. I mean isn’t that one of the main reasons for traveling anyway and if you happen to live there, so much the better! The Anitra family was very professional, courteous and knowledgeable. I highly recommend them.


Now, it’s your turn. What little known, hidden treasure have you discovered during your travels (or at home)? What made your experience special? Did you get a great deal?