Hotel Belle by Annie Fitzsimmons
I read more books on my iPad these days. I NEVER thought I would EVER say that, but there it is. It’s just easier for my traveling life. But I still love all the little bookstores of the world (and Barnes & Noble never fails to cheer me up). I especially love this one in the West Village, Three Lives. I go in and browse, am never bothered unless I want to chat about new releases, and usually end up picking up a book or two. And doesn’t it look like a movie set?
My first post is up on National Geographic's Intelligent Travel, about the incredible cultural treasures of Jordan. Many travelers pop into Jordan only to see Petra and it is a huge mistake. The country deserves at least a week of exploration. Click here to read the post on National Geographic.
"Jordan still flies under the radar of many travelers today, conjuring a sense of isolation and wonder. Once uncovered, the country is easy to fall in love with, as I did during a recent ten-day visit. I was captivated by the landscapes and the friendly Jordanian people, from the Bedouins in tents to the young professionals in Amman (60 percent of Jordan’s population is under the age of 30, which provides a striking contrast between modern lifestyles and deep-rooted traditions.)
My favorite discoveries went far beyond Petra, the bucket list destination and ancient Nabataean city featured in Hollywood films such as Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Here are four treasures I found on my trip..."
Read more here
Andy got a bike from his company a couple months ago and has loved riding around the city. I’ve wanted to ride a bike on Ocean Parkway, America’s oldest bike path, out to Coney Island for awhile. So I borrowed a bike, Andy took his, and we took off. We ended up going about 32 miles round-trip and had an awesome time. Ocean Parkway doesn’t start until you’re in Park Slope, Brooklyn, near Prospect Park. So we started in Manhattan, rode over the Brooklyn Bridge, through Cobble Hill and on to Prospect Park. Riding in Prospect Park was my favorite part because you can just cruise. We entered the park through Grand Army Plaza and the famous arch.
I’m glad I had Andy because he looked on his iPhone and figured the path out. We found this little sign below telling us how to follow Ocean Parkway when we exited the park and hopped on for the last 5 miles out.
One side of the parkway is for bikes and the other for pedestrians, though most pedestrians either A. had no idea or B. decided to be obnoxious and walk in the bike lane. Still it’s a straight shot out to Coney Island through the old traditionally Jewish neighborhoods of Brooklyn, which I loved riding through.
We got to Coney Island, fueled up with smoothies and enjoyed the late summer cooler weather.
The way back felt a lot quicker (as it always does) and we stopped at Lobo in Cobble Hill for lunch. Andy has been on an endless quest for good breakfast tacos in NYC and he hit the jackpot here. It’s not an Austin breakfast taco but he claims they are the best he’s had in New York thus far. His hilarious post on the quest can be found here.
It was the greatest feeling to get home, shower and be completely exhausted from accomplishing something. I want to shop for a bike of my own soon.
One more photo that Andy captured and my favorite of the day: Yes, this man was jump roping. In his underwear. On the Manhattan Bridge with his clothes folded neatly in a pile next to him. I laugh at this every time I look at it. That's me on the left on the bike.