travel

An Amazing Experience Happened at Alice’s Tea Cup in New York City

I discovered this place while on a trip with Girl Scouts several years ago. I was resistant to it at first as I was craving something else for lunch. But then I stuck with eating there and tried some new things.

I had a tomato soup (which I can no longer eat due to a tomato allergy I developed a couple years ago) as well as a tier with a sandwich, scone, and cookies. They were delicious. I’m actually glad that I gave into this restaurant. After that, I’d visit Alice’s Tea Cup on my own.

However, despite the amazing scones, sweets, as well as the variety of tea flavors (many of which you can’t buy at your local grocery store), the food prices are pretty expensive. I can’t remember the price of the cheapest tier at the top of my head, but I believe it wasn’t less than $40. I don’t think there’s a menu online—at least last time I looked. It could’ve changed by now. But yeah—if you’re on a budget, it’s best to save this place for rare occasions.

The space is very small, probably because it’s in New York City, and I think that’s typical there. It’s also got “Alice in Wonderland” images on the walls and in their overall theme for the place.

There are three locations. Two on the east side and one on the west side. The west side location was the first one I’ve been to and the one I prefer the most. Even though I don’t visit New York City that much anymore, I would eventually love to return to Alice’s Tea Cup.

travel

A Great Experience at Governor’s Comedy Club

Not far from where I live, I went here last year for my friend’s birthday party. It’s kind of like a restaurant, but with some notable differences.

For instance, there are no windows inside. But I think that’s typical for comedy clubs, probably so that no one can peak through during performances. However, there were TV’s on the walls, but without sound. Most public places that have TV monitors won’t make noises.

The food tasted good, especially the steak and mashed potatoes. Of course, they had to have sophisticated choices since this was an 18+ venue. Speaking of which, it was kind of strange, but nice, being in an adults-only setting. That being said, when the comedy show was about to start, the announcer still had to remind people not to shout out at the performers and silence their phones. One guest at my friend’s party was videoing, and the manager had to tell him to stop.

The warm-up comedians and the main one, Gilbert Gottfried, were all great. After the show, everyone got to meet Gilbert Gottfried. I got an autograph from him.

So, would I recommend this comedy club? Yes, most definitely! It’s not in New York City, so it would probably be easier to get tickets to for seeing your favorite comedian.

travel

A Dream Vacation I Have Lost Interest in

Image from Pixabay

Three years ago, or so, I longed for a trip to Maryland doing nature and adventurous activities. I never could find anyone to go with and my mom eventually told me that she wanted me to earn money and not focus on a dream trip.

Eventually, I lost interest in it. I don’t know how—maybe just from naturally drifting apart from it? The first resort I looked at had mixed reviews. So, I considered other places to stay near that same area. But then I discovered that the cell phone signal can be quite weak at times. Also, there is hardly any public transportation. Most people not from the area have to rent a car. And that wouldn’t have been a good option for me. Not just because there are more restrictions and fees for drivers between 21 and 24, but I also wouldn’t have felt safe driving in that unfamiliar area.

I looked at areas in Pennsylvania, as well. While there was a little more public transportation, a lot of places would take about an hour to go to, regardless of where I stayed.

Last year, my mom told me that I shouldn’t have focused on a trip when I didn’t make my own money. At some point, I understood.

While I’m not dreaming about this trip anymore, I still enjoy outdoor activities. However, I will think about them when the right time comes.

travel

When I Visited the Calgary Zoo in 2015

Four years ago, I went to Calgary for my cousin’s engagement party. On what was Independence Day in the US, I went to the Calgary Zoo. It’s kind of like the Bronx Zoo, but more condensed. You can probably see pretty much anything in one day.

After you’re admitted, you’re near the penguin house. Outside it, has different signs, one saying not to touch the penguins. I was puzzled, thinking, why are they reminding people something they already know? Plus, don’t they make it impossible to touch the creatures? Following that sentence was, “We have a no-touching policy.” In my mind, I was saying, yeah, no duh, all zoos do. That’s common knowledge! That’s like reminding people that animals can’t talk. Also, if you put that in a book, that’ll turn readers off. That’s right, I was thinking about something irrelevant.

But when you enter the penguin house, the tanks are, like, five feet tall. So, while little kids wouldn’t be able to reach the top, adults could. Perhaps, that’s why they needed to remind people that basic knowledge that most three-year-olds already know.

Another unique aspect is that they have a restaurant with sit-down service and good quality food. That’s a big difference from the New York City zoos. And it’s indoors.

At the end of the day, it rained, and the small children screamed and cried, even in the tunnel to exit the zoo. Still, no two zoos are alike.

travel

These Are Unique Outside the State of New York

Image from PIxabay

I lived most of my life in New York. I was born in Texas, but only lived there till I was 15 months. So, Identify myself as a New Yorker. Ironically, I don’t have a New York accent. Neither do my brothers. It’s probably because my mom grew up in Massachusetts, so my siblings and I have her accent.

Anyway, there is so much I’m used to in New York that doesn’t really exist outside the state. Check out these unique things that pretty much is only in New York, or maybe nearby states.

1: President’s Week in February

This exists in New England and New York. However, the rest of the country only does President’s Day off and not a long week of vacation.

2: Family-Owned Pizzerias

There may be other parts of the country where these exist, but they’re pretty typical for New York.

3: Delis with sandwiches and other types of food.

I discovered years ago that delis outside New York usually meant just cold cuts.

4: Diners

Some diners exist in states near New York, such as Silver Diner in Virginia. But according to my mom, diners are more of a New York thing.

5: Children’s milestones being celebrated as banquets

These might be a little popular in some other major cities, such as Chicago, Washington D.C., and Los Angeles (I’ve seen hall websites that list them). But in many parts of the country outside New York, big-deal bar and bat mitzvahs and sweet 16s are not a thing. People usually only use halls for weddings, maybe birthdays and anniversaries. But in places like Ohio, Oregon, and Seattle, the biggest way to celebrate kids’ milestones would be a low-key backyard party. Kids and adults in those areas who know that children’s milestones are celebrated like weddings in the New York City area probably consider that an oddity.

6: Light coffee meaning with cream and sugar

I discovered this while on a weekend trip to Chicago years ago. I asked for my coffee light, and the person behind the counter said that they only had medium roast. I explained that I meant to ask for cream and sugar. Then my mom told me that light coffee meaning cream and sugar was only a thing in New York. Even in New Jersey, light coffee means light roast.

So, if you ever visit or move into New York, keep these cultural aspects in mind.

travel

Can Vacations Spoil You?

Image from Pixabay

My family doesn’t travel that much anymore. However, we’ve traveled so much that I have memorized all the airplane safety guidelines. I don’t pay attention to the demos when they’re live because I already know the rules.

Anyway, sometimes my brain has “rotted” a bit when I was out of town. One time, I couldn’t complete a social studies take-home-quiz in high school while I was in Florida, I believe. My mind was in vacation-mode. That wasn’t good.

Family trips have also spoiled me with luxury hotels and resorts, first-class seats in flights, and fun activities. That rarely happens these days. It has been years since I stayed in a fancy place. Now my family usually does cheaper hotels or sometimes apartment-like suites.

But when we did stay in luxurious places, they made me let-down by hostel-like buildings and quick sandwich and salad cafes instead of fine dining restaurants. That was with Girl Scouts when we stayed at a hostel in London and would’ve eaten at a quick café instead of a bistro on a trip that ended up being canceled. It turned out that many of the other girls didn’t have the amount of money my family had. So, in the later Girl Scout days, I was kind of the “spoiled rich kid”. Not terribly, though. But I didn’t like when the others said that hotels were too expensive.

So, can vacations spoil you? It depends on various circumstances. If you barely travel, then probably not. It’s how you handle certain aspects of the trips.

travel

A Place to Stay on a Trip – Should I Book or Should I Pass?

Image from Pixabay

Ah… decisions, decisions. Different factors play into your choice of where to stay on a trip. It could be your taste, others’ recommendations, intention or your trip, or budget.

If you are a student, for example, and your goal is to travel around a city, but you’re on a tight budget, you might choose a hostel. If you’re on a higher budget and your goal is to have fun on an island as well as relax, you might choose a hotel or even a resort.

When I was younger, my family usually stayed in nice hotels. However, when I traveled to London with Girl Scouts, we stayed in a hostel. And I was so bummed and let down by it. It was below my standards at the time, especially because I used to more luxurious places to stay.

Now my family hardly ever stays at fancy hotels or resorts. We usually do suites, cheap hotels, or motels. One time, I stayed in an Airbnb. It’s where you rent part of someone’s house or apartment, kind of like a mini home. They’re a lot cheaper than hotels, plus you might get some more control over your meals (like having a small cooking space and kitchenette). You also don’t have to get out for housekeeping. However, Airbnb isn’t available everywhere.

If you have little kids, this might be a difficult decision. There are some resorts that have children’s activities and are located in child-friendly areas. European touring might be tough for this age group as they are often uncomfortable standing in lines or not getting to run around.

Enough said about that, though. Remember, where you stay should make you satisfied, regardless of how long you will be there.

travel

Wondering About a Winter Resort

Image from Pixabay

I don’t know why, but for some reason, I have been gaining interest in a winter resort. The ideal one for me would include snowtubing, shopping, and indoor activities like a game room.

Why not skiing, you might ask? I’m not really passionate about it. I did it a little bit when I was younger at ski resorts. But I wasn’t that good at it. Also, I didn’t like having to start out without poles. Nor did I like that most of the beginners were toddlers, and I was 10.

Snowtubing is different. You sit in a round tube and get pushed down a hill. No experience is needed. You probably just have to be a certain height, weight, and in good health condition.

Who doesn’t love villages with different shops as well as food stops and even activities? I’ve been to many. And I loved pretty much all of them.

When it’s cold out, it’s good to chill inside with some tea, coffee, or hot chocolate by the fireplace. It’s also nice to occupy yourself with games, like ping pong, pool, or arcade games. Some resorts have arcades. I also enjoy fitness rooms and used to enjoy swimming pools and waterparks. I still admire the idea of waterparks and going swimming, however, my skin has been super-itchy lately. So unless that stops, I am going to refrain from anything with chlorine.

I’ve been doing a ton of research. Sadly, I have not found one that appealed to me. Even if they had most of the things I’d like to do, they still didn’t draw my attention. But I won’t give up hope… or doing more research. Hey—maybe there’s something in the west.

While I usually don’t favor winter and snow (especially when I have to drive in it), I still have an interest in going to a resort with winter activities.

travel

Atlantis, Bahamas, Ooh I Want to Show You (2010 Trip)

During my President’s Week break in my junior year of high school, I went to Atlantis in the Bahamas. It was one of the few trips I suggested myself. My parents didn’t enjoy it too much. However, I loved it a lot.

Atlantis falls

The resort consists of several buildings of accommodations and it resembles the damage of the lost city of Atlantis legend. There is also a tunnel with a tank of fish as well as other marine animals in other parts of the resort, such as turtles and sharks.

Atlantis shark

There are also several swimming pools, restaurants, and shops. But one of the crown jewels is the waterpark. There are two slides that take through a tube where you’re surrounded by the sharks. But you’re inside glass, so the sharks can’t hurt you. The rapid river was fun, although I flipped and got a little cut. But I was okay.

There is a dolphin and sea lion encounter program where you get to touch the creatures, which my family and I didn’t participate in. We did swim with dolphins somewhere else, though. That was Blue Lagoon Island. I read and compared the reviews of the Atlantis one and the Blue Lagoon Island one. The latter had received better reviews. It cost less and had more to offer.

The resort is so big that you can’t really do everything in one day. It’s also costly. However, I had a good time. I would gladly recommend this resort to anyone, whether you’re a childless couple, family, group, etc.

 

travel

Ice… Ice… Iceland – My Trip There in 2017

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Image above from Pixabay

In the summer of 2017, my parents and I took a trip to Iceland. We stayed at nine different hotels during the ten days we visited.

Iceland has caves, waterfalls, hot springs, and lava fields. The bulk of their population is on the coast and especially in their capital, Reykjavik (rake-yah-vik). The inland is pretty much uninhabited.

The population is so small that there is only one prison in the entire country (which I did not see, by the way). The weather drastically varies, even within just 20 minutes on the mainland and not up a mountain. It can be mild in one area and chilly in another, just minutes away.

Iceland specializes in lamb and seafood. They have good lamb soup and stricter food guidelines than in the US. I had a jelly doughnut where the jam tasted really fresh. It was strange, but delicious. I had a chocolate cake where the icing was clearly made with real butter and even tasted buttery.

On the fields, there are sheep, cattle, and small Icelandic horses. In fact, those horses are the only types allowed in Iceland for temperature reasons.

If you go to Iceland in the summer, be aware that the sun is out for about 24 hours. So you should have a sleep mask with you.

Iceland was an interesting place to visit. In the winter, I hear it’s brutal, and the northern lights aren’t guaranteed. In the summer, it’s a nice place to hike and sight-see.