NYC Day 1: Central Park

We knew for lunch at some point while we were in NYC, we wanted to visit one of the Shake Shack locations. Upon looking up the locations, we realized one was near Central Park on the opposite side of the park as The Met. We figured it’d give us a great opportunity to walk through Central Park as we made our way towards lunch. I absolutely love the idea of Central Park. While you are in the park, you would never think surround you in a huge city.

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NYC Day 1: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

We arrived in NYC around 9:30pm on Friday for our Girls Weekend (the first of what we hope to make an annual Memorial Day weekend tradition). After meeting up with our friend and finding our AirBnB spot in Queens, we found Chinese takeout and stayed up in the wee hours of the morning just catching up considering we hadn’t seen our friend JJ since Christmas time. At some point we realized, hey we wanted to be at The Met around when it opens at 10am and that’s like 7 hours from now, we better get some sleep! We all managed to wake up and be ready only shortly after our planned leaving time of 8:30am. Shocking!

Our AirBnb host had said the subway was about a 20 minute walk from the place and he emailed us a bunch of links of ideas on where to go/see for local places and we didn’t ask anymore questions like, which way do we walk to get to the subway? Oops. After plugging it into Google maps, we thought we found it…. turns out the map meant Subway the restaurant. At this point, we consulted our phones again and realized we had walked about 15 minutes in the opposite direction of the actual metro/subway stop. We were now in desperate need of coffee and breakfast so we decided to try hailing a taxi to take us to the Astoria Boulevard stop. After 10 minutes of trying to spot one that was free, we did and he took us there. Then came the confusing part of trying to figure out how to best navigate the metro system for the weekend. Luckily a cop who was hanging out at the station must have realized we were out-of-towners as we were blindly staring at the computer screen and told us we could load up one card and share it (to save a little money), rather than buy individual ride tickets or each buy an individual card. With that, we were on our way into the city! Woot Woot! We had only been talking about this since December when the plan was hatched.

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Kenya-Tanzania Safari Planning & Wrap Up

Since I didn’t start doing the blog thing until after getting back from Africa, I’m going to do this a little differently than I will in the future. In the future I hope to do a post before we leave on how we planned for the trip and then do an update on what worked/what didn’t upon getting back. Since this is way after the fact now, I will just do a combined (really long, sorry) post on planning/how it went for us.

Planning wise, we always had the Serengeti and Kenya on our must see list sometime. But they shot up to the top after my brother did a semester abroad in Tanzania and my parents got back from a two week trip to Tanzania to visit my brother (and did a 10 day Safari while there) and all of them raved about it. Just listening to them talk about the love they had developed for Africa, just made us dying to go and so when we decided on what we wanted to do in 2015, Tanzania and Kenya were on the list. Originally we had planned on a two week trip, a 10 day safari followed by a few days relaxing in Zanzibar. Then work chaos ensued and my boss said I couldn’t get two weeks off at a time in the current situation (well that maybe I could, but he couldn’t promise and well, we couldn’t wait until the last minute to plan a safari in high season), so we had to settle for being going only 10 days instead of like 16, which meant about 8 days in Africa considering travel time to/from. After a lot of talk with the safari company we had already decided on, we came up with a new safari (dropping Maasai Mara park and Zanzibar).

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Tanzania Day 6: Serengeti & Arusha

We had an early start on our final day in the Serengeti so we could have a couple hour game drive before getting on our flight from the Serengeti to Arusha. It really started to hit me as we packed up our jeep for the last time that this was it, this was the last day of our safari and I started getting really sad. It was a weird feeling for me. I’m usually sad when it’s time to go home after vacation, but a part of me is always looking forward to sleeping in my own bed again and of course seeing my dog again! But this was a different type of sad.

Anyways, we packed up the jeep and set off back into the Serengeti. We only had a couple hours before our flight, so we didn’t have time to go chasing what was called in over the radio really our guide said unless it happened to be close, but that was fine with us. It was kind of nice to just enjoy seeing whatever we stumbled across ourselves. Interestingly our guide said there had been no mention of lions over the radio that morning as we were driving. After the past couple days where we saw an abundance of lions in the central area, it seemed they had moved on to a different area. So good timing on our part I guess?!?

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Tanzania Day 5: Serengeti

We started the day a little later than the previous day (leaving the camp around 8:30am) and driving back into the Serengeti. Our first stop was to be the Hippo Pool but en route as we crossed over a bridge, we saw a lone hippo actually being active! We watched the hippo swim to the shore and climb out of the water! Crazy hippo.

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Birthday Week

Well, my 30th birthday has come and gone this week and that is a hard thing for me to write. Entering my thirties means I have to start thinking about my traveling adventures slowing down as sooner or later, I do want to have a child. But I’m not ready yet! There are so many more places that I want to see. I know we will still continue to travel even after having kids (in the future), but it’s still a little sad to realize it won’t be 3-4 trips a year to somewhere exotic.

My favorite place I’ve been so far: Greece hands down. I loved it the first time I was there for a brief 36-48 hours in 2009 and fell completely in love with the country the two weeks we spent there in 2011. It’s the one place I know without a doubt that we will go again.

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Tanzania Day 4: Serengeti

We ate and breakfast and left our lodge at the Ngorongoro Crater early in the morning to start our drive towards the Serengeti. We saw a few giraffes and of course antelope as we made the couple hour drive from one place to the next. We entered the Serengeti at the Naabi Hill Gate. It was surreal arriving at the gate. The Serengeti is one of the places you always dream of going to and then all of a sudden, BAM, you are there standing under the gate!

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