The desire to do something different with some recent visitors from England prompted us to take a trip up the Hudson valley. It’s a beautiful way to spend a day out of the city, and an easy train ride from Grand Central station. Initially we thought we might go hiking, but when the weather forecast started predicting frigid temperatures we decided that an indoor activity would probably be more comfortable, so a museum visit was planned instead.
Sunday was to be our day for seeing some of the city-centre sites, and we started with a delicious breakfast at another neighbourhood gem, Forever Vegano – I didn’t take any photos of the food but the building was just as lovely, and quite typical of the architecture in that part of the city.
New York art aficionados are currently being spoiled with two once-in-a-lifetime exhibitions of old master drawings*, as both the Met and the Morgan have shows on display. Despite drawings not being entirely my thing, I went to see both in the same week, and have subsequently been horrifying all my arty friends by grumbling about one of them… Continue reading →
I don’t actually have anything interesting to tell you today, but it’s very quiet in the reading room and I thought that writing something here would be preferable to staring blankly into space (or at my screen). You’d think I could just do some reading, and there are many books here I’d love to get stuck into, but the problem is that when I’m absorbed in a book I don’t see or hear anything going on around me. So, here we are. Continue reading →
Almost as soon as we got home from our Alaskan adventure we were off again, this time for a weekend wedding in Chicago. The festivities were taking place in the leafy suburb of Oak Park, and we enjoyed wandering around on Saturday morning before it all got going. Continue reading →
I could write posts and posts about our Alaska cruise, but I’m trying not to! In the interests of not boring everyone senseless, I’ve condensed the entire week into this single account, itself a lightly-edited version of the brief notes I took each day. We sailed with Princess cruises from Anchorage (Whittier) south through the inside passage to Vancouver, past the glaciers of Yakutat bay and Glacier Bay national park, stopping at Haines, Juneau and Ketchikan, and then caught the decidedly unglamorous but perfectly convenient Greyhound bus down to Seattle for a cheaper flight home to Newark.
Along the way we saw harbour seals and Steller sea lions, Pacific white-sided dolphins, humpback whales and a lone orca, and, magically, the Northern Lights. We shared a dinner table with some extremely nice people, and met all kinds of fellow travellers around the ship. We ate lots of food, drank plenty of cocktails, and generally had a lovely time – looking through my notes and photos is making me wish I was back there right now!
Pretty much as soon as we got home from our 2015 trip to Hawaii, we started joking that Alaska was next on the bucket list. However, the distance involved, and the fact that everyone we know who has visited encouraged us to take a cruise, meant that it was very much on the “one day” end of the spectrum. Fast forward to a quiet weekend in autumn 2016 – we were idly wondering just how much a cruise might cost, decided to look it up, discovered an affordable option in early September 2017, and booked it on the spot.
Since the cruise was a week-long voyage from Anchorage (well, Whittier) south to Vancouver, we decided to arrive early and spend some time in Alaska before boarding the ship, which quickly turned into a fairly epic trip – we flew into Anchorage and spent a day there, rented a car and drove up to Denali national park for a couple of days hiking and enjoying the wilderness, headed to Palmer for the Alaska state fair, and then ended up back in Anchorage to return the car before setting sail.
Once again it has been lamentably long since I wrote anything much about our NYC activities (July 4th notwithstanding), and somehow it’s August already. Looking back through the calendar for July, we have certainly been keeping busy. Continue reading →