22 posts tagged travel
favorite things winter escapes & photography toys
Chris and I escaped Brooklyn for Buttermilk Falls Inn in the Hudson Valley this weekend to visit wineries, try new restaurants (A Tavola, an Italian newcomer in New Paltz, was our favorite), take naps, see deer in nature and let Jack off leash so he could romp around in the snow.
I took the above pic using Snapseed on my new iPhone 5. Snapseed allows for detailed photo editing, which, though it takes longer to do, I prefer to preset filters à la Instagram.
When I first began taking pictures with a phone, I had an iPhone 4 and relied almost exclusively on the Camera+ app to touch up pics. That was three years ago. Camera lens on phones have come a long way since then as have photo editing apps. I prefer Snapseed now because it lets you edit parts of a photo, not just the whole. Plus, it’s free, surprisingly.
The three photos above were taken with my trusty Olympus E-PM1 which I recommend to anyone looking for an in-between camera—one that’s smaller than a DSLR but still offers manual control if you know what you’re doing (which I don’t always, so I appreciate reliable auto settings).
This weekend I finally got the chance to unbox and play with the refurbished Polaroid camera I received as a gift from Wantful! At 24 dollars for each eight-photo film cartridge, it’s gonna be an expensive hobby. Still, I love it. No photography app or gadget can replace that rush you get knowing you have limited film to shoot with, motivating you to make every shot count.
Every once in a while I get intensely nostalgic for the year I spent in London. While I probably won’t make it outside Brooklyn today, I’ll have a hard time thinking of anything else until I get my passport stamped again.
Don’t forget: “Adventure is out there!” Go after it.
next stop: mexico
I’ve visited many countries, but never Mexico. So, on the recommendation of my world traveling best friend, I’m off to Tulum to change that tomorrow. Excited to abandon the Internet (no offense, Internet), do cartwheels on the beach, read, write, play in the ocean and eat authentic Mexican food…
Chipotle Shrimp Quesadilla from South Congress Cafe
1600 South Congress Ave, Austin, Texas (512) 447-3905
at the zoo
Spent today at the Audubon Zoo and saw white crocodiles, gorillas being fed and a two-headed snake! Here I am next to the white Bengal tiger cage.
Flying off to the second destination of my NEXTPEDITION trip tomorrow morning. I bought several pounds of pralines and caramel tortues (“turtle” in French) as presents from New Orleans. Will try to not eat ‘em all before returning home on Sunday…
About a month ago, I was invited to experience a new mystery travel program by American Express Travel on behalf of Foodspotting. The program is called NEXTPEDITION and the premise is this: Take a quiz to determine your “travel sign” and specialized agents will customize a vacation based on your sign, travel style and preferences. Oh, and your first destination and mystery activities aren’t revealed until a few days before you leave…
I took the quiz in September, but I didn’t learn of my first stop until last Friday and - surprise! - today I am in New Orleans eating beignets and turtle soup.
Tomorrow morning I need to seek more reliable connections to the Internet (trying to work and upload foodspottings here…) and, in the afternoon, AMEX Travel planned a culinary taste tour of the French Quarter. Many good things to come including the zoo on Wednesday! (My idea. I love the zoo.) As for Thursday, only time will tell. Literally. The next city will not be revealed until 24 hours before…
More thoughts on NEXTPEDITION on Foodspotting.
Photo: Me walking uphill in Lisbon two years ago. My cousin Lily and I were trying to reach a castle and were too impatient to wait for the bus. We walked about a mile before we gave up, and a bus finally rolled on by and picked us up. The ride up was steep, long and we would have never made it, but it was fun forging ahead with no more than enthusiasm and a vague idea about where we were going to propel us forward.
So, I’m going to Ireland next month. For work. Seriously. This could be your life, too.
Love food and travel? We do too. That’s why the Foodspotting team has been working hard to give our users the chance to win amazing culinary getaways to places like Ireland and Hawaii, with more destinations to come. Not using Foodspotting yet? It’s easy. Sign up on our site and download our free app.
And if you’re still not convinced why you should join our community of food explorers, then check out the envy-inducing Q&A with two foodspotters who spotted their way to their dream food holidays…
Tell us in the comments - where is your ultimate dining destination?
I’ve been away from New York for over two weeks. While I haven’t missed the cold weather, I’ll admit I miss my friends in the city and even Jason a bit. Earlier this month, I began my adventure in Austin where I caught up with the Foodspotting team at SXSW; then I saw my friends get married in Dallas before jetting off to Sony’s headquarters in San Diego this week. In the midst of that I celebrated my birthday with Jenna, my college roommate, and met up with an old friend from London and shot a Stupidly Simple Snack video with Heather Wong, the Scootbaker, in LA.
During my time away, I have looked back at New York with both love (such good food!) and loathing (so many people, so little space…). The city has a way of eating you up and spitting you out, which makes me question its allure at times. In the end it’s home, but it does make me wonder whether it’s normal to look at home this way…
Here We Go, San Francisco!
It’s 8AM and I’m speeding away in a cab to pick up Soraya at her place so we can jet off to JFK Airport together. We’re flying to San Francisco this morning to spend the week with the west coast Foodspotting team for our company’s first birthday! I’m hoping for blue skies and beach weather, but even if it’s a bit grey it will beat the slushy streets of Manhattan, I think.
Because I’m an awesome co-worker, I’m smuggling a dozen Ess-a-Bagels in my suitcase, which means everything from my pajamas to work clothes will likely smell like garlic bagels by the time we reach California. But such are the smelly risks one must take to share good food.
Gone Cooking: Culinary Bootcamp In The Hudson Valley
That’s just today. Tomorrow, they’re picking me and the other food writers up at 5am for actual cooking. The schedule said something about Coq au Vin…
(Photo taken last December at Jason’s parents’ ranch in Kerrville, Texas. Do roosters look like this year-round?)
Once Upon A Time In Ecuador
I may have missed the guinea pig feast with @JetSetZero in Quito, but we did have a Swiss pastry party one day while sitting on a street corner. Earlier that afternoon, Jenna and I wandered by a fancy Swiss bakery. When I learned that three dozen pastries only cost $15, I bought the box. $15 is equivalent to just about five bite-size pastries in New York, so I was happy to bring home and share 36. Happy Friday, Everyone!
Photo by Laurene on the left
Squash Blossoms Here, There, Everywhere
I had my first squash blossom last August at Bacaro in Providence, Rhode Island (pictured above). I’ve since been on the lookout for these crispy flowery things. Nearly a year has passed, but I finally found my second squash blossom at Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s latest restaurant, ABC Kitchen, with my friend Amy on Friday night. The tempura blossom softened like butter on my tongue, but the leaves retained the crunch of a lightly fried veggie chip. I could eat these by the bushel.
Manzanas y Naranjas, Apples and Oranges
En route to Cotopaxi National Park in Ecuador, @JetSetZero and I hopped off the bus in a tiny town called Machachi to catch a pickup truck to our final destination. It was Sunday, which turned out to be Machachi Market Day!
Local vendors sold cheese-stuffed corn cakes (2 for 50 cents), home goods, rows upon rows of fruits and vegetables, and sugar cane juice. In the back of the stadium-sized space, eight grills lined up next to each other, which, we realized too late, were just packing up after a day of selling cuy (guinea pig). We missed grilled cuy by about an hour, which was a bit disheartening, since we kept showing up for guinea pig at the wrong place, day, and time. But, in the way this awesome, non-touristy market is to the indigenous townspeople of Machachi, c’est la vie.