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narnia?

Hey guys!!  I know I’m like a week late with this, but happy new year!!  Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas season with your family and friends and an awesome New Year’s Day as well. :)  As you can probably tell, this isn’t really a strictly “travel focused” post, but more of a hello and an update.  Since I haven’t written anything on here for two months!  I’ll try not to do that again, it’s waaayy too long of a break.  Right now it’s currently a chilly (well more like a ‘your toes might fall off freezing’) 3 degrees here in the lovely upstate New York.  We are in the midst of a huge cold front that will be several days long.  The wind chill puts us way down in the negatives.  It’s so cold that today all the schools in the area were cancelled.  So that’s what’s up here!

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The Other Grand Canyon

Homeland Series: Post Two

Yep.

There’s another Grand Canyon.  Bet ya didn’t know that!  It’s a 50 mile long canyon located in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania, aptly named the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon.  It’s much greener than the Grand Canyon, and is much more suited for the northeast. I know, I know.  You are reading this and going duhhh. Sometimes I enjoy pointing out the obvious just.. because.  I guess. :)  Anyway, it’s an area that my parents and grandparents and relatives have always enjoyed visiting and I went there too a few weeks ago.  It was pretty chilly out, let me tell you!  But the fall leaves were gorgeous (aren’t they always?) and the canyon was very awe inspiring to gaze into.  In the warmer summer months, people like to go camping in the state parks on its edge and go rafting down the river in the heart of the canyon.  Since it was the middle of October when we went this time, there wasn’t much to do, and we were too cold to do much anyway, but in the summer it’s much more fun.

October

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Tallest 3 in New York State

That title is a little bit vague, isn’t it?

Well if you’ve followed my blog at all before, you know I am in love with waterfalls.  I’ve seen probably several dozen in my life and they never really get old.  I have had the privilege of seeing New York State’s 3 tallest waterfalls- multiple times, and I’m excited to share them with you here.

Hector Falls – Hector, NY

At 165 ft. tall, Hector Falls is the 3rd tallest waterfall in New York.  It’s located in Hector, just minutes from Watkins Glen.  A few neat things about this waterfall- it flows directly into Seneca Lake, and is easily seen from the lake.  I was out on a sailboat several months ago on the lake and we were able to see it from the boat, it was pretty cool.  Another cool thing about this one is that the main road on the eastern side of the lake goes right over the falls on a bridge.  Many people pull over on the side of the road and get out to take pictures, which is really fun and gets you up close and personal to the cascade.

Hector Falls - Sarah

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The Beauty of Watkins Glen State Park

Watkins Glen Gorge

Homeland Series – Post One

I’ve decided to do a little series of posts about my hometown and surrounding areas.  Why?  Because I am not traveling as much right now as I was in the beginning of the year, but I still want to give you all something to read from me.  Plus, I actually don’t really mind writing for my blog.  In general, I’ve always hated writing.  But there’s something calming and almost therapeutic about writing for my own venture; writing about my experiences for anyone and everyone to enjoy through my writing.   I figured if I was going to keep posting somewhat regularly on Living My Adventures, then doing a series on my own beautiful homeland was a logical step.  This series is meant for picture eye candy, for learning a little more about me, and for inspiring your own travels- hopefully even to my area that I will talk about!  I don’t know right now how long it will be- it could be just a few posts, or it could be a dozen.  I’m going to write when the mood and inspiration strikes on this one, and I’m hoping you’ll enjoy my adventures along the way!

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NASCAR Race Weekend

Watkins Glen, New York was especially busy and lively this weekend as NASCAR, along with its dedicated fans, came to town.  Having lived in this area my entire life, it was a privilege to be a part of race weekend for the very first time this year.  The entire weekend’s events lasted from Thursday, the 8th, to today, Sunday the 11th.  My dad and I were only up there today and yesterday though, because we both had to work on Thursday and Friday and there wasn’t too much going on until yesterday.  Race fans have the option to camp up at the track, but we didn’t because we live so close.  The Zippo 200, NASCAR’s nationwide series race, was yesterday, and we had a lot of fun being introduced to the world of NASCAR.

NASCAR Race Weekend 030
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Cable Cars and a Golden Gate

To spend a day in San Francisco on a sunny spring afternoon is to spend a day of happiness.  Our very last day of our long California weekend brought us to the beautiful city, which we flew out of later that night.  We all piled into three separate vehicles and drove the two hours from the house to the city, and arrived late morning.  The traffic was pretty bad, which can be expected for a city like that.  We drove around a little bit just trying to find a parking garage or parking lot to park for the day, and finally found one, which was VERY expensive.  (like almost $40 for one day if I remember correctly!)  Having brought lots of food for an impromptu picnic, which ended up taking place in that parking lot with everything spread out on the trunk of one of the cars, (hey, we know how to party!)  we ate all of that and then set off to explore the city.

sf

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Rushing for Gold

Ever wanted to know the story of how the California Gold Rush began in the late 1800’s?  Then Marshall Gold Discovery Park in Coloma, California, is the place to be!  The very site of the first discovery of gold lies within the borders of the park, and it’s a very neat place to visit.  Located roughly halfway between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe, Coloma is a little town with a lot of old charm.  During my time in California, we visited there with one of the best tour guides around- my friend’s uncle- the one whose house we were staying at.  :) Of course, we also had a couple official park tour guides show us around and tell us different stories of the area from time passed.

coloma

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California Spontaneity at its Best

Back about a month and a half ago, at the end of May, my sister and I were invited on a very spontaneous trip to California.  My sister’s best friend’s family was going out to see her aunt and uncle, and we had been talking a little bit about it.  We were just saying that my sister and I should go and that it would be really fun and we should do it, not expecting it to actually happen.  Well… a couple weeks passed by and we forgot all about it; we didn’t think it would actually happen.  But then, five days before they were flying out, it came up again.  And long story short, my sister and I ended up on the airplane with them.  J  It was a really fun trip, and I am so glad I went, even though it was so last minute.  You know, sometimes I think that the trips and plans made at the last minute are sometimes the best and most memorable ones.  That was certainly true of this one!  It definitely didn’t lack adventure or spontaneity, that’s for sure!  Anyway, we were in California for only 3 days, and we packed a lot into those days, some of which I’ll talk about in my next few posts.  For this post though, I’m going to share what our initial impressions were and what we did the first day we were there, in the grand city of Los Angeles.

Venice Beach

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A few weeks ago I had the amazing and very spontaneous opportunity to go to California for a long weekend.  It was a whirlwind trip, seeing several cities in the state in just over three days.  But to get there, I had to endure a long (5 hour) trans-continental flight from Philadelphia to San Diego, and for the returning flight, San Francisco back to Philadelphia.  Because I took two trans-continental flights just within a few short days of each other, I definitely learned a little bit about how to endure them.  Here are some tips, and they will even work whether your plane ride is two hours or eight.

1.  Bring snacks.  In this day and age, this is a lot more important simply for comfort as far as hunger and your wallet is concerned than it used to be, because most airlines don’t offer anything complimentary anymore except something to drink.  If you do decide to buy some snacks on the plane, be aware that they are very overpriced.

2.  Bring a sweatshirt or jacket.  Airplanes are generally a bit chilly, at least for a lot of people, so just make sure you bring something to put on in case you get cold.  It doesn’t have to be heavy or anything, just a little bit of warmth.  The temperature also generally depends on how big your aircraft is as well, because my flight home from Philadelphia was on a tiny little plane and it was really chilly.

3.  Bring something to do.  This is probably pretty obvious, but bring  a little something to keep entertained.  Most airplanes don’t have in-flight movies or anything like that, so unless you want to spend the entire time looking at the Sky Mall catalogue in your seat pocket, bring a book or your iPod. View full article »

That was one of the first thoughts I had as we entered the city of Chicago on the Metra from Elgin, Illinois early last month.  We were out there visiting a college for a long weekend, and couldn’t help but spend a day in the city since we were staying only about an hour away.  As most of you know, I live in a relatively green (not all urbanized) area of New York that most people refer to as “upstate,” as in up the state in relation to New York City.  While I’m not completely unfamiliar with huge cities like Chicago, it’s still always a bit of a shock to be thrust into them.  I like to say that when I am older and move out on my own, I want the best of both worlds.  I want to live near a big city, (and by near I mean within probably two hours of a major one) but I also like my green grass and fresh air; I couldn’t handle living in a concrete jungle.  Let me tell you a little bit more about my area than you might have read in my “About Me” post or page.  I live near the southern border of New York right near the Pennsylvania line that runs straight and horizontal.  My general area spanning almost to Lake Ontario north of here is known as the Finger Lakes Region.  We have lots of hills, lakes, gorges, waterfalls, and wineries.  It’s a very outdoors oriented area and is great for people looking for that “small town” feel.  There are lots of small towns as well as cities that are a little bit bigger; we don’t do without malls or regular stores or anything like that.  It’s a good area to raise a family if you want to be outside a lot and get that fresh air but still have lots of things to do, there are festivals and hiking trails and other places and events throughout the region.  Anyway, growing up around this and then visiting huge cities like Chicago is definitely a wake up call for me, so I’ve come up with a list of ways in which Chicago is different than my quiet, ruralish Upstate New York, and I thought I’d share them.

1. Chicago is loud.  While my street does have considerable traffic compared to most in my town, nothing here compares to Chicago.  And Chicago doesn’t compare to NYC.  That’s even worse.  I’m not saying I hate it; I don’t and it’s just something that people are used to or aren’t, but I know I’d probably have a bit of trouble sleeping anywhere in downtown Chicago as of right now. View full article »

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