Fall Foliage, Sleepy Bee & Cow Poop: My Trip to Ohio

  
I was in Ohio last month for work. Being the lucky girl in charge of driving the rental car, it felt kinda cool to drive from the airport in Kentucky all the way up past Cincinnati. The fall foliage was just beautiful! Maybe it was best that I was driving, otherwise I would have filled up my phone with pictures.

Still, I got a chance to walk around and briefly hang out with nature at Sharon Woods Park. See some iPhone shots below.

   

   
Also, if you are ever in Cincinnati, I recommend you drive to Oakley. From what I’ve heard, it’s up and coming and from what I saw, it’s very lovely. I had lunch at Sleepy Bee, delicious food and great service.

  
I had the Beekeper, which takes your BLT up a hundred notches and right up to the perfect level. Ideal first choice would have been the Buzzy Grilled Cheese but I felt that was too much cheese before a work event. You know how it is.

I have officially added a trip to Kentucky and surrounding areas to my travel list. I’m interested in checking out the bourbon trail and see a very unique and interesting part of the US.

P.S. You can buy Ohio Cow Poop at the airport. Not interested? Maybe you would like to purchase Cincinnati Pig Poop instead. Yes, it’s a real thing. Yes, I almost bought a bag for my boyfriend.

P.P.S. Reading around about Cincinnati, I found that some people call it the Paris of America which is funny since I just heard Chandler say today that Tulsa is the Paris of Oklahoma. With that, I leave you.

First Time Apple Picking + Fall Sangria

Deamarest FarmsI grew up in a tropical island. The closest I had to apple picking was having a lime tree in my backyard or grabbing a fallen coconut from the beach. You got apples from the super market, that was it. The concept of making it a full day activity to go apple picking, riding on the back of a truck, wearing boots, eating apple cider doughnuts and drinking apple cider was totally foreign to me. To me, it was all fun because it was a new experience. To my friends, it’s a tradition and a moment to relive memories from growing up.

Demarest FarmsSummer is my favorite season but fall comes in second, bringing with it so much beauty… and apples!

I tried out this great sangria recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction, it was delicious! I followed the recipe pretty closely, except I did not add the orange slices and I went easy on the club soda. It was a nice twist to my average sangria and it allowed me to use my freshly picked apples in a fun way. I also realized that nothing tastes bad with cinnamon.

This apple picking thing, it’s not bad at all. Next time though, I really need to get one of those famous apple cider doughnut.

SUMMER IS NOT OVER

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It’s the day after labor day. Yes, it feels terrible, but it’s not the end of the world. I saw people wearing boots and scarves today. GET IT TOGETHER, PEOPLE.

It’s still 90 degrees out. The sun is still shinning. Just because football officially starts this Thursday it doesn’t mean we have to bury summer away in its entirety. It’s not like all of the sudden we need to rock out pumpkin spice lattes (I’m speaking to you, Starbucks) and bring out the Christmas decorations.

I think summer should be enjoyed until you have squeezed every single drop of joy out of it and you’ve faced the inevitable sadness that is winter. Let’s be real, fall is just here to make the pain a little easier. Winter is coming.

*Photo blissfully taken at Morgan’s Pier this summer by yours truly*

On giving thanks… with a side of puppies.

1288588995Source: http://www.loveitsomuch.com/

Giving thanks…

Remember? Thanksgiving? The whole reason you eat turkey?

I know, it’s hard to remember when all you see is Christmas lights and black Friday deals. I know Thanksgiving is supposed to be about giving thanks and all that. To be honest, for me it’s all about being with family and people you love. If you think about it, that’s a reason to be thankful, so there you have it. No matter how you wish to look at it, you have to be thankful during Thanksgiving, maybe it’s because you are off work or because you saved a ridiculous amount of money on something you did not even need to begin with, but you are thankful and you know it.

This will be my 7th Thanksgiving that I spend away from home without my family. Sounds tragic, but I’ve been blessed to be able to spend it with special people each and every year. Whether it has been with my friend attempting to cook a turkey in Boston freshman year of college, abroad in France with my amazing host family or even  last year with another friend roaming the streets of NYC looking for a place that was open for cheap  turkey feasting (cheap being the key word).

That’s what it’s all about, feeling that warmth from the people that you love and being able to say: “Woah, I’m lucky to have people that love me.” Distance sucks, but even in the distance I know I have SO many people that love me and care about me. Sure, I can be thankful for so many other things in my life, but I’m gonna let myself be cheesy and this year I’m going to be thankful for love in all of its forms. Whether it’s my mom’s morning text, a friend’s hug, a lover’s kiss or a puppy picture in my phone’s background.

However, just in case you still need some reasons to be thankful today, here are some Thanksgiving themed puppy pictures.

Cute-puppies-golden-thanksgivingSource: http://puppypicsonline.com/tag/thanksgiving-puppy/

thanksgiving-puppy1Source: http://puppypicsonline.com/tag/thanksgiving-puppy/

cute puppy leavesSource: http://seasonal-love.tumblr.com/post/10766392765

cutest puppies in leaves

Source: http://www.all-hd-wallpapers.com/wallpaper/animals/autumn-leaf-bed/254045thanksgiving-dogSource: http://www.vetconm.com/13-tips-to-keep-your-dog-safe-on-thanksgiving/

Autumn Strolls: I Love Hoboken

It’s the little things that matter. When a stroll down the park can brighten up your day, you know you are lucky to live where you live. I love Hoboken. It’s across the water from one of the best cities in the world, but I get to enjoy little walks like this. No stress, just the beautiful colors of the fall.

image (4)imageimage (1) image (3)image (2)image (5)Photos taken & edited by Cristina Nogueras ©

 

Central Park: Feels Like Summer, Looks Like Fall

Feels like summer, looks like fall

“Let’s go to the Bronx Zoo on Saturday!”

That was ambitious. You would think that for someone who trekked four hours to the beach every weekend of the summer a trip to the Bronx from Hoboken is nothing. But you know how it is, it’s the weekend, you get lazy and you end up at the Central Park Zoo (which is still an accomplishment considering I had to train 45 minutes from Hoboken).

The Central Park Zoo is actually not bad, considering they don’t have giraffes and that their polar bear recently died (RIP Gus).

It was a fun day where the summer and autumn played along nature and the warmth of the sun and the cool breeze made an excellent mix. Confusing for your choice of wardrobe, but one of the best weathers for a stroll down what I consider Manhattan’s gem: Central Park.

Casually visiting the tropic

Where concrete meets nature...

Leaves are turning...

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From the Caribbean Coast to the Jersey Shore

Summer days down the beach in Manasquan, NJ

Summer days down the beach in Manasquan, NJ

So this summer, I joined a frat. Not really, but yeah.

I remember my family’s reaction when I told them I had decided to join a summer beach house down the Jersey Shore (Manasquan, to be precise).

“Isn’t that a crazy TV show?”

Well, yes.

It’s hard to grasp the whole Jersey Shore culture when you are not from the area. Having grown up in Puerto Rico, you have access to beautiful beaches all year round and it’s hard to understand why you would need to take a 2 hour train ride every Friday to go share a house with about 16 other people.

I was dragged into this craziness thanks to my boyfriend who had done the summer house the previous summer and I am so thankful that he insisted that I joined because this summer goes down as one of the best summers in my books (it would be a tie with that summer I went to a camp in Switzerland and then studied in Boston).

Sure, it was an exhausting summer, full of traveling and activities, but man was it nice to wake up and walk less than a minute to the beach and lay there under the sun. Living in the city, you tend to forget the simple pleasures of nature, like the ability to see the stars at night (I saw about three shooting stars this summer!).

As I sit now pondering about the summer while I look out the window and see fall almost at my doorstep, it strikes me again how fast time flies. It’s time for pumpkins, boots and scarves. It’s a bittersweet feeling, but it’s ok, because I can handle bittersweet.

Here’s to summer nights and clear skies

to kiddie pools and inflatable buddies

to summer tans and summer burns

to summer cocktails and fried food

to laying on the sand and dancing on the roof

to burger grilling and breakfast rolls

to wizard sticks and mario kart

Here’s to sunshine and laughs

Summer 2013, thanks for the memories.

My little art creation in the sand

My little art creation in the sand