Corn Mazes and Apple Cider!

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Autumn is the perfect time for some outdoor adventuring. The temperature isn’t too cold, the air is brisk and refreshing, the trees turn magnificent colors – it’s wonderful! I have always enjoyed fall hikes through the mountains, corn mazes, and apple picking and this year has been no different!

I daytripped out to gorgeous small town with cute cafes, antiques stores, and a farm that was perfect for some fall festivities!  After a wonderful organic lunch of fig, apple, and brie cheese and a hot panini at The Robin’s Nest, it was on to Stony Hill Farm Market.

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Stony Hill Farm is home to a number of fun autumn activities to partake in.  There are hay rides, corn mazes, rope mazes, gemstone mining (for the kids!), apple picking (at their second location), photo spots, and yummy donuts and delicious cider to enjoy.  I grabbed a hot cup of apple cider and a yummy apple cider donut before heading into the giant corn maze!

The corn maze has a number of activities to complete while inside the maze itself. I focused primarily on finding my way and enjoying the sights from the bridges that place you above the maze itself while crossing, offer great views of the maze and surrounding trees.

With the clocks having rolled back an extra hour recently, the sun began to set incredibly early, casting a glowing, golden light over the corn field.  Looking around, it was impossible not to feel warm and happy 🙂

sarahheart

A Mini-Tour Through NYC

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I’m quite a fan of playing tour guide when friends and family come to visit me.  Over the past few years, I’ve had both visit me in Florida and I’ve happily played tour guide around various parts of the state (check out my “Florida” category to check out some of the awesome places!).  Most recently, though, I played tour guide one afternoon around New York City briefly when some of my family came to visit me there.  It’s hard to pick only a handful of places to go and see when there’s so much to do, but I planned out a route that included a couple stops at some notable places.

I came from the Jersey side and entered the city through the Lincoln Tunnel via bus.  A bus ride through the tunnel costs me only $3.50 versus the $14 to drive through in a car, so the choice there is an obvious one (never mind the parking fees, too, once you get a car into the city). I started off my “tour” from Port Authority.  My family agreed they’d like to walk south for some coffee and lunch, so I planned out a scenic route.  We exited Port Authority on 9th Ave (the “back” of the building, essentially), and began heading south down 9th.

We cut over to 10th eventually and then caught the High Line right around 30th and continued south that way.  The High Line is a wonderful scenic walkway “above” the city – it used to be an old train line that was put out of commission and then turned into a park.  It now has grass, flowers, trees, and plants and is really pretty and offers great views of the city as you walk along it!  My family was excited to experience it and see the sights!

The High Line continues down 10th Ave for quite some time.  We hopped down to surface level at 20th in order to cross the street and grab a cup at Intelligentsia Coffee inside the High Line Hotel – a favorite of mine and my boyfriend! It wasn’t too crowded inside and we were able to grab a couple seats on the back couch.  Our party of three ordered an iced coffee, a mocha, and one of the hot coffees (don’t remember the origin!).  It was a pleasant experience!

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Since it was getting on in the afternoon, we decided to check out Chelsea Market for lunch since there are tons of places in there to choose from. I pointed out some interesting shops and restaurants on the way before we entered the Market from the 10th Ave entrance. We wandered through the market exploring all the various dining options.  I’m quite a fan of Takumi, Amy’s Bread, Giovanni Rana, and Los Tacos for lunch/dinner options (the Doughnuttery is great for dessert!).  A new section of the market just opened, though, so I was curious to see what was there.  The pizza and sandwiches at the new Cappones really stood out to us, so Cappones it was!

I got a personal cheese pizza and it was great! The sandwiches looked fantastic, too – perfect if you’re looking for something filling since they’re rather large! There was quite a line at Cappones going but the service was quick and everything was made-to-order.  We ate at a standing table just a few feet away.  Everything was very enjoyable!

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After our tour of Chelsea Market, we decided to catch the Path back to Jersey to meet up with my boyfriend in Hoboken.  We took the scenic route since we had some time to kill and walked up 6th Ave to 23rd.  We passed by some interesting things, including one of street artist Invader’s 8-bit mosaic works on a building. There are always cool things to see around the city no matter where you are!

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Although it was a brief trip, it was fun playing tour guide for an afternoon in the city. There are truly endless things to see and check out.  The High Line, coffee, and lunch at Chelsea Market was a nice way to see some iconic things during a quick afternoon.  I’m always on the hunt for new places to explore (and have plans to create an interactive map with a bunch of my favorite spots on it for you to enjoy!).  If you’re ever in NYC, these are definitely some spots worth checking out! 🙂

 

Happy travels and adventures!

sarahheart

The Road Trip From Hell

My life is currently split between different parts of the country.  I live in the south, but travel frequently to visit family and friends in the northeast. I generally fly since it’s quick and easy, but when I have the time, I do sometimes drive. Driving is actually cheaper and I’m able to bring the things I want rather than be limited to a carry-on bag and I have the freedom of having a vehicle when I arrive so there are definitely benefits to driving.  The drive is generally about 16-18 hours.  Most people cringe when they hear that, but I’ve been doing it my entire life since I was a child so it’s pretty normal to me.  I wake up super early, drive all day, and arrive late at night.  I’ve got it down to a science (and I’ve done the drive so often, I often end up revisiting the same gas stations over and over along the way which always seems crazy to me… of all the exits to get off on a highway during a 16-hour drive, I apparently pick the same ones time after time without realizing it). This most recent road trip, however, was just the worst – it was the road trip from hell.

Some backstory: a couple weeks ago I drove up north to spend some time with friends and loved ones and do some traveling.  The drive up there took about 18 hours – a little longer than I’d hoped to do (my goal is generally 16 hours) but no big deal.  I made it on time for what I needed to do and it was a petty enjoyable drive for the most part.  Fast forward to my return trip and that’s when things turn totally south.

I woke up at 3:30am to get ready and load up my car to head home .  By the time I was actually on the road it was about 4:30am.  The roads were car-free for the first few hours of the early morning and it was glorious.  But by around 9am, I was stuck in bumper-to-bumper stop-and-go traffic that would last for EIGHTEEN MORE HOURS.

When you drive open highway across the country, you’re bound to hit traffic.  It’s expected and I’m used to it.  But when it ended up lasting well beyond what I expected, my road trip quickly became an agonizing quest of trying to simply get home.

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My biggest pet peeve when driving? Rubbernecking.  It is the worst.  It causes backups for miles and is 100% avoidable.  When a few cars suddenly slow down, it creates not just a domino effect, but a snowball effect, essentially slowing down cars more and more until they are stopped completely.  This was pretty much my life on this fateful day.   Because of the high volume of people on the road, I ended up passing by a number of fender-benders that apparently necessitated an entire interstate stop moving as people slowed down to see it.  These backups were dozens of miles long.  It was painstakingly slow going. And when your trip is already about 16-18 hours to begin with, any lost time really starts to add up.

After I had been on the road for TWELVE HOURS and realized I wasn’t even halfway home yet, I began to worry.  I’ve gotten pretty good at calculating how long it takes me to get through each state and estimating arrival times hours and hours in advance.  By my calculations, my 18-hour drive was quickly turning into a 21 hour drive. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never sat in a car (or even on an airplane for that matter) for 21 hours.  Most people don’t even stay awake that long in a given day.

Why didn’t you just pull over for the evening? you may ask.

I had important obligations the following day that required me to be up and going in the morning. So stopping for the night wasn’t an option.  I had to keep going and make it home in time.

To add to my stress of sitting in endless traffic for hours as I tried to traverse the interstates of the east coast, I lost additional time at a gas station for about 20 minutes after I thought I had misplaced my credit card (it fell between my seat). I lost about 20 more minutes at another gas station waiting in line for a restroom (insane!) and in line to buy water and trail mix to keep me energized.  That’s almost another hour lost.

Eventually, at around 10pm (18 hours AFTER I started), traffic cleared up and it was pretty smooth sailing.  I was supposed to be home by then but still had about two states and five hours to go.  I forced myself to drive the final couple hours and finally made it home.  I promptly fell asleep and had to wake up just two hours later for the event I had to attend. Talk about crazy.

So, here’s my road trip from hell in numbers.

Start time: 4:30am

End time: 3:00am

Total time driving: 22.5 hours

Needless to say, I never want to spend that much time driving in a car ever again.  It’s one thing if you can trade off with another person, but when it’s just you, it’s terrible.  Although I’ve done the drive countless times without issue, I’ve now decided to never leave myself so little room in my schedule that I can’t stop and pull over for the night. Always leave room in your schedule in case things go awry!

No matter the case, as always, I wish you happy adventures and travels!

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