La Dolce Vita: Rome, Day 1

Goodbye Connecticut, hello Rome! Today I’m finally heading to the airport to go on my trip to Italy, and don’t get me wrong, but I am totally freaking out as this will be the first time I’m flying by myself, to another country. I will be in Italy for 12 days and I am planning on eating gelato at least 3 times a day because when in Rome!!!

Heading to JFK airport and you can faintly see the NYC skyline in the background

I made it to the airport with my parents and I said goodbye to them as I went to wait in line for the baggage scanners, and everything went smoothly until I realized that I only had 30 minutes to spare before I boarded as they pushed up my departure time. Anxiety set it as I rushed through the check-in process and fortunately made it in time to board.


On the plane I was relieved to find out I was sitting next to a girl around my age with her mother sitting in the seat behind her and we had a pleasant conversation and we realized we are both going on tours and hitting the same locations! What a coincidence! The flight took about 8 hours and I realized how under dressed I was as we headed closer to Iceland, even when I changed into a sweatshirt, sweatpants, a blanket scarf, and fuzzy socks. Luckily I had an eye mask so I was able to sleep through most of the flight so it was a breeze, with no  turbulence, thank god!

In the cab on the way to the hotel

At this point, I got off the plane and I could not find the taxi service that was supposed to pick me up. I spent a good 2-3 hours at the airport, 1 hour spent waiting forever at baggage claim (and my bag was also opened and resealed by TSA all because I brought wine in my luggage ugh!). Another couple of hours were spent nearly in tears looking for my taxi and being somewhat harassed by other available taxi drivers trying to get me to go in their cab, no thanks! So eventually I paid 40 euros to go in a large cab with other Americans riding in it so at least I felt a little safer, and it was one of the cheaper fares as some other taxi cabs were charging 60 euros! My nerves were calmed as I talked to a couple from Minnesota in the cab ride, but that moment was fleeing as I learned that the taxi drivers like to drive FAST on the highway, like it felt as though we were going 120 mph! A pleasant surprised that I noticed was that it was surprisingly tropical in Rome; there were palm trees everywhere!

The Polo Hotel, Rome

I arrived in Rome around 7am, and because of all the complications at the airport, I didn’t get to my hotel until around 12pm. About 45 minutes later, I arrived at the hotel and realized I packed way too much, as I was huffing and puffing just to get one large suitcase and one carry-on bag up the stairs at the hotel. I had a couple hours to kill until I had a meeting around 4pm with the other tour members so I ended up taking a nap, and it was probably one of the best naps of my life, hands down.

La Gattabuia Restaurant

After the meeting, we then headed out to dinner in Rome at a restaurant called La Gattabuia. First, we had some antipasta, which consisted of meat, cheese, and bread, and then our table ordered a white wine which we finished very quickly! Then our main course came out and it was a traditional pasta meal, but they included little bits of bacon on it, yum!! For dessert we ended up having a typical vanilla gelato with some chocolate sauce on top. The experience was definitely worth it as it was a nice transition from American food to Italian food. Then we headed back to the hotel and I slept like a baby again until we had to wake up at 6am to get ready for a day traveling to Pompeii 🙂 Stay tuned for day 2!


“Even now I miss Italy dearly, I dream about it every night” – Eila Hiltunen

Bella Italia…My Trip To Italy! (Preview)

Doing a quick update to say I am back from my Italy trip! I will be posting all the details and pictures of the trip later on as I am suffering from bronchitis right now, but here is a sample of some of the pictures I took on my trip 🙂 (I switched between using my iPhone and iPad, no fancy camera!)

Florence, Italy


Burano, Italy


Capri, Italy


Wedding Crashers: Bermuda Style

Today I decided to relax at the hotel all day since the trip is winding down and I feel like I’ve been busy all week going to see different areas of Bermuda. I mostly explored the caves under the hotel again, and I also fed the fish by the pagoda and I was finally able to see my first parrotfish!

Breakfast at the hotel




If you can tell, his lips are green colored, as all parrotfish do, so it looks like he’s wearing lipstick 🙂




After feeding the fish t I relaxed at the beach for a couple of hours and then I decided to join my parents on a scavenger hunt that was provided by the Breast Cancer Society of Bermuda, and we were able to see different parts of town near the hotel we didn’t get to see before. And the most exciting part was that I was finally able to find the secret Blue Lagoon where you can go cliff jumping!










You can see almost all the way out to the Royal Naval Dockyard on the other side of the island from this location

As I was running down the stairs from my hotel room to catch up with my parents to go to lunch, I almost crashed right into a bride standing at the bottom of the winding staircase! I was mortified to say the least as the bride, and all her bridesmaids turn around and see me lose my balance a bit to catch myself from falling onto her dress. As her train took up the entire stair with, all I could do is sit on the stairs and wait for her procession to start. The ceremony took place in the back of the hotel, looking out onto the water, and seriously made me consider having a future wedding there. All the groomsmen and some wedding guests, wore the classic Bermuda shorts in different colors, and the bridesmaids wore a beautiful beige colored dress. After the ceremony moved on to the outdoor reception, I managed to take a picture of my parents under the ceremony arch, and they decided to act out like they were getting married again which was hysterical. At the end of the day I relaxed at the beach again, reflecting on my trip, and sad that tomorrow will be my last day in Bermuda.







“You can’t buy happiness. But you can buy a plane ticket, and that’s kind of the same thing” – Anonymous



Upcoming Trip to Newport, Rhode Island

Hello everyone! I am planning a trip to Newport, Rhode Island with one of my friends (the birthday girl mentioned in this post). We already booked our hotel and we are staying for 3 days and 2 nights. We will be doing the mansion tour, the Cliff Walk,  some shopping downtown, glassblowing, and checking out some of the beaches. If anyone has any recommendations of where to go and what to see that I haven’t mentioned, let me know. And if you are interested in going someday and really want to know more about an activity or building/restaurant in Newport, let me know and I will try to take pictures and write about that experience for you. 🙂

Taken a couple of years ago on the 10 mile ocean drive in Newport

Exploring Massachusetts: Martha’s Vineyard

A couple of years ago I traveled to Martha’s Vineyard for a long weekend with my family. We have gone to Martha’s Vineyard about 4 or 5 times now, and we have yet to visit Nantucket. These are just a collection of photos that I found from this trip that is a look into the classic New England Coastal lifestyle.


The places I visited in Martha’s Vineyard was the down-island towns of Vineyard Haven, Oak Bluffs, and Edgartown.


A great place to go for some ice cream is Mad Martha’s ice cream shop, where they have the best flavors, and the ice cream is a very creamy consistency, similar to an ice cream shop from home where they use cows milk from the cows that roam their land. This is also a great place to people watch, as a lot of locals and preppy summer tourists like this place.


Their is a very big artist community in Martha’s Vineyard, as you can find sculptures, and art galleries all around the island.




We then stopped for lunch at the Black Dog Tavern, and if you have never been to Martha’s Vineyard, their mascot pretty much is the Black Dog, as their are many stores and restaurants named after it there.


This is the view from our table at the Black Dog Tavern.


I then explored around town on the moped, stopping at a couple of stores along the way.



I had to include this shirt because all my friends know that I loveeee ketchup and I pretty much put it on anything I eat.


Next, we stopped at Murdick’s Fudge, and we saw a live demonstration of someone making and cutting up the fudge.




We finally reached Edgarstown, which is a less touristy town but has just as much charm and stores to visit as Vineyard Haven and Oak Bluffs.






At the end of the day I ended up going to 3 beaches, one in Edgarstown, one in Oak Bluffs, and one back at our hotel. I also saw someone using a water jetpack for the first time (and this is back when the water jetpack first came out) and there was a crowd on the beach watching him perform tricks.







“To travel is to live” – Hans Christian Andersen




Exploring Connecticut: Kent Falls

I recently went to Kent Falls located in Kent, Connecticut with my friend, and I visit here about 2 times a year in the warmer months. However, with all the nice weather recently I decided to be daring and visit during February. Looking back at it, that might have been a bit of a mistake. First of all, there was ice all around where the falls was so you couldn’t walk directly to the bottom of the falls unless you want to look like a penguin sliding on your stomach all the way to the falls. Even some of the stone steps were covered in ice, but it made it a little easier with a hand rail there to hold on to. And lastly, I almost got lost in the woods because of all the rain recently there was mud everywhere on the other side of the trail so it made it difficult to spot the trail or to even cross it. However, this seems like something that would only happen during the winter months, and I encourage everyone to visit during the summer because it’s absolutely beautiful and you can actually swim in the falls too, and I think it might just be the largest water fall in Connecticut. After exploring the falls, I went back into town that has some great shopping, cute boutiques, and a great chocolate and ice cream store (I ended up getting a mint chocolate chip ice-cream)! The whole town is very artsy meets hipster meets preppy. Almost everyone walks their dog around here and most dining places along the main street allow you to eat with your dog outside. If anyone has ever seen the movie Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, they filmed one of the scenes here in Kent at one of the outdoor dining areas, and it was the scene with Carmen and the two friends she was working with in the play in Vermont. And I actually ate at the same table at the same restaurant, but the store changed owners I think since it is now a cheese shop/restaurant called 109 Cheese and Wine. I ordered a grilled cheese, that’s on sourdough bread, and has Vermont sharp cheddar, gruyere, and Toma Pt. Reyes, and Vermont butter. And I also got a pecan sandie bar, and a tomato and cheddar soup to dunk my grilled cheese in which was delicious My favorite store in Kent has to be Kent Coffee and Chocolate Company, and it is as good as it sounds. My favorite items to get there is a peanut butter cookie with dark chocolate drizzle (it tastes like a peanut butter cup but 100x better), pecan caramel chocolate turtles, chocolate covered pretzel rods, and chocolate covered graham cracker s’mores. And on the way back home, I was able to see the river alongside the road, and because of the weather, all the ice broke up and it is something I have never seen before in real life, it looked similar to how all the ice broke up near the end of the movie Frozen. That’s all for now, enjoy the photos!
























This is the moment I realized I was lost, but found my way back to another trail after 20 minutes


109 Cheese and Wine



Kent Coffee and Chocolate Company
Huge chunks of ice along the river

“If you wish to travel far and fast, travel light. Take off all your envies, jealousies, unforgiveness, selfishness and fears” – Cesare Pavese

Guide To NYC: Midtown West

Midtown West

Midtown West, also known as Hell’s Kitchen, is a home to many aspiring actors. It has close proximity to many plays, and shows, as well as some great dining options. Some highlights of Midtown West are the Gershwin Theatre, home of Wicked the musical, and the Museum of Modern Art. Some current celebrities that live here are Katherine McPhee, Lady Gaga, Goldie Hawn, P. Diddy, and Carrol Burnett.


What To See

  • Daytime

Museum of Modern Art
  • MoMA
    • Works from van Gogh to Warhol and others, including a sculpture garden, 2 cafes and a restaurant
    • 11 West 53rd Street
    • Saturday-Thursday 10:30am-5:30pm
    • Friday 10:30am-8p
Intrepid Museum
  • Intrepid Museum
    • Flight museum on an aircraft carrier with exhibits including a Concorde, submarine, and a space shuttle
    • Pier 86, West 46th Street 12th Avenue
    • Monday-Sunday 10am-5pm
New York Public Library
  • New York Public Library
    • Open to the public
    • 5th Avenue 42nd Street
    • Monday & Thursday-Saturday 10am-6pm
    • Tuesday-Wednesday 10am-8pm
    • Sunday 1-5pm
Bryant Park
  • Bryant Park
    • Open 4 acre green space behind NY Public Library, including a café and other food kiosks
    • West 42nd street, Avenue of the Americas
    • Saturday-Sunday 7am-11pm
    • Monday-Friday 7am-12am
Gershwin Theatre
  • Gershwin Theatre
    • Plays, concerts, and ballets are staged in this 1,900 seat venue. Currently playing is Wicked (alt. version of the Wizard of Oz), which is a top Broadway hit!
    • 222 West 51st Street
    • Show times are listed online
  • Shopping

Lord and Taylor
  • Lord and Taylor
    • 424 5th Avenue
    • Monday-Saturday 10am-9pm
    • Sunday 11am-7pm
Bergdorf Goodman
  • Bergdorf Goodman
    • 764 5th Avenue
    • Monday-Saturday 10am-8pm
    • Sunday 11am-7pm
Henri Bendel
  • Henri Bendel
    • 712 5th Avenue
    • Monday-Saturday 10am-8pm
    • Sunday 12pm-7pm
Magnolia Bakery
  • Magnolia Bakery
    • Known for their famous and delicious cupcakes
    • 1240 Avenue of the Americas
    • Monday-Thursday 7am-10pm
    • Friday 7am-12am
    • Saturday 8am-12am
    • Sunday 8am-10pm
  • Nightlife

    • Upscale

21 Club
  •  21 Club (American)
    • Upscale former speakeasy serving classic American food
    • Monday-Friday 12pm-2:30pm
    • Saturday 5pm-11pm
    • Closed Sunday
    • 21 West 52nd Street
    • 4.1 Stars
The Roof
  • The Roof (Lounge)
    • The lounge and terrace on top of the Viceroy hotel serves food from Kingside and high-end cocktails
    • Monday-Sunday 4pm-4am
    • 124 West 57th Street
    • 4.0 Stars
  • Ardesia Wine Bar
    • Over 30 wines by the glass are available along with homemade NY pretzels and hand-crafted cheeses
    • Monday-Wednesday 4pm-12am
    • Thursday-Saturday 4pm-2am
    • Sunday 2pm-11pm
    • 510 West 52nd Street
    • 4.2 Stars
  •  Beautique (American)
    • Refined American food is served in a posh setting influenced by Coco Chanel’s Paris apartment
    • Monday-Friday 5:30pm-11pm
    • Saturday 6pm-11:30pm
    • Closed Sunday
    • 8 West 58th Street
    • 4.4 Stars
  • Budget Friendly

The Carnegie Club
  •  The Carnegie Club (Bar)
    • Patrons puff on cigars and sip single malts at this bar which is a clubby, elegant smoking lounge with a fireplace
    • Monday-Thursday 2pm-2am
    • Saturday 4pm-2am
    • Sunday 4pm-1am
    • 156 West 56th Street
    • 4.3 Stars
Swing 46
  •  Swing 46 Jazz and Supper Club
    • This jazz and supper club offers live music, swing dancing and free dance lessons
    • Thursday-Friday 5pm-3am
    • Sunday-Wednesday 5pm-12am
    • 349 West 46th Street
    • 4.4 Stars
  •  Tonic Times Square (Sports Bar)
    • Sports bar with big TVs, wood furnishings, padded-leather sofas and booths and a rooftop patio
    • Monday-Sunday 10:30am-4am
    • 727 7th Avenue
    • 4.0 Stars
Barcelona Bar – Harry Potter Shots
  • Barcelona Bar (American)
    • Bar with sultry décor offering over 100 shots with names such as the Monica Lewinsky and Harry Potter
    • Monday-Sunday 4pm-4am
    • 923 8th Avenue
    • 4.3 Stars

Where To Eat

  • Upscale


  • Nobu Fifty Seven (Japanese)
    • Sleek Japanese-Peruvian spot from Nobu Matsuhisa frequented by business types and celebrities
    • Monday-Saturday 11:45am-11pm
    • Sunday 5:45pm-10pm
    • West 10019, 40 West 57th Street
    • 4.4 Stars
Estiatorio Milos
  • Estiatorio Milos (Mediterranean)
    • Stylish Greek restaurant serving fresh seafood in a Mediterranean-style whitewashed setting
    • Monday-Sunday 12pm-2:30pm, 5pm-11:30pm
    • 125 W 55th Street
    • 4.4 Stars
  • Azalea (Italian)
    • Meaty fare from Brescia shares menu space with seafood from Amalfi Coast in an airy, high-ceiling room
    • Sunday-Monday 11:30am-11pm
    • Tuesday-Thursday 11:30am-11:30pm
    • Friday-Saturday 11:30am-12:30am
    • 224 West 51st Street
    • 4.0 Stars
  • Taboon (Lebanese)
    • Lively spot for modern Mediterranean/Middle Eastern food plus fresh bread from the namesake domed oven
    • Monday-Friday 5pm-11pm
    • Saturday 5pm-11:30pm
    • Sunday 11am-3:30pm, 5pm-10pm
    • 773 10th Avenue
    • 4.6 Stars
  • Budget Friendly

Trattoria Tricolori
  • Trattoria Trecolori (Italian)
    • Bustling Italian restaurant serving classic red-sauce dishes in a warm space with exposed brick
    • Sunday-Thursday 12pm-10:30pm
    • Friday-Saturday 12pm-11:15pm
    • 254 West 47th Street
    • 4.4 Stars
Topaz Thai
  • Topaz Thai
    • Small, no thrills Thai joint, located close to Carnegie Hall and City Center
    • Monday-Thursday 11am-10pm
    • Friday 11am-11pm
    • Saturday-Sunday 12pm-11pm
    • 127 West 56th Street
    • 4.0 Stars
La Pulperia
  • La Pulperia (Seafood)
    • Latin American food in a rustic-chic restaurant with Mexican tiles, repurposed Brazilian wood and a marble bar
    • Monday-Friday 4pm-11pm
    • Saturday 12pm-12am
    • Sunday 12pm-10pm
    • 371 West 46th Street
    • 4.6 Stars
Lillie’s Victorian Establishment
  • Lillie’s Victorian Establishment (American/British)
    • Restaurant and bar with a menu of classic American and British dishes in a Victorian setting
    • Monday-Sunday 11am-4am
    • 249 West 49th Street
    • 4.1 Stars

Where To Sleep

  • Upscale (prices for off-season/shoulder season)

Courtyard New York Times Square West
  • Courtyard New York Times Square West
    • Straightforward hotel with contemporary rooms and a restaurant, plus a 24/7 exercise room and free WiFi
    • 307 West 37th Street
    • 4.3 Stars
    • $319/night
Homewood Suites
  • Homewood Suites New York Midtown Manhattan/Times Square Hotel
    • Chic extended-stay hotel with full kitchens, free WiFi, and breakfast, plus a 24/7 fitness center
    • 4.4 Stars
    • $299/night
Pearl Hotel
  • Pearl Hotel
    • Modern boutique hotel with contemporary rooms, plus free breakfast, WiFi, and happy hour
    • 233 West 49th Street
    • 4.6 Stars
    • $440/night
  • Michelangelo
    • Luxury hotel with marble bathrooms, an Italian wine bar and free car service to Wall Street
    • 152 West 51st Street
    • 4.5 Stars
    • $270/night
  • Budget Friendly (prices for off season/shoulder season)

Fairfield Inn and Suites Midtown/Penn Station
  • Fairfield Inn and Suites New York Midtown Manhattan/Penn Station
    • Modern hotel offering free hot breakfast and WiFi, plus a fitness center and a rooftop bar
    • 325 West 33rd Street
    • 4.4 Stars
    • $119/night
Belvedere Hotel
  • Belvedere Hotel
    • 1920’s-era hotel offering elegant rooms, plus a 24-hour gym and a Brazilian eatery
    • 319 West 48th Street
    • 4.2 Stars
    • $186/night
The French Quarters Guest Apartments
  • The French Quarters Guest Apartments
    • Cozy Big Easy-inspired hotel featuring upscale rooms and suites, free breakfast and an airy eatery
    • 346 West 46th Street
    • 4.7 Stars
    • $187/night
Hotel Metro New York
  • Hotel Metro New York
    • Stylish hotel with an art deco lobby and a rooftop deck, plus free WiFi and breakfast
    • 45 West 35th Street
    • 4.2 Stars
    • $175/night

“I travel a lot; I hate having my life disrupted by routine” – Caskie Stinnett


Exploring Connecticut: Ridgefield

Today I went to Ridgefield for some lunch at an Asian restaurant called Wild Ginger and I got some delicious General Tso Chicken with white rice and broccoli (my favorite!) Afterwards I went to a local organic grocery store called Ridgefield Organics and Specialty Market, and picked up some Himalayan Pink Salt to try out, which has tasted pretty great so far! The grocery store also had a great selection of other fruits and vegetables that I have never seen or heard of, such as kumquats, ghost peppers (supposedly the hottest of the hot peppers) and mandarins. I also found out that in Ridgefield, they have a place called Saltana Cave, which is a small cave that is filled with Himalayan Pink salt, and supposedly it has numerous health benefits, since salt therapy is naturally anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal. So sometime this month I might go and try it out see what they hype is all about! And when I returned home, it was still snowing, and we got an additional 4 inches of snow with and additional 3 inches expected at night! Although I bet it’s nothing compared to how much snow people out west and up near Canada got 🙂




Saltana Cave, Ridgefield CT




“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” – Lao Tzu