When C told me she was raised on a farm, I grew starry eyed, barely able to contain my excitement. “Like…a real farm?” I whispered, eyes widening. As I get older, I find myself yearning more for big skies and fields of green. When I was younger, I thought I’d never leave the city, and couldn’t for the life of me understand why people wanted backyards and gardens. I didn’t (don’t?) mind small spaces, and I loved the vibrancy of a bustling metropolis. Some things haven’t changed; I still love the convenience (especially since I can’t drive!) and diversity of cities, but now I really want a garden. Actually, I want a greenhouse with a fountain like you see in those botanical gardens, but I should probably start small ;p
We romanticize and wanderlust after overseas travel so much that we forget there are gems in our own backyards (unless you live in like, Hawaii). A few years ago, I came across a stunning picture of what looked like the Caribbean sea, except, incredibly, it was only a few hours’ driving distance away. I sent the picture to my friends with the emphatic caption, “WE HAVE TO GO THERE!!!” My friend C responded with a casual, “Oh, I’m from there.” Thus began years of trying to experience this UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in person, until I finally managed to make the trip this summer. In the meantime, Bruce Peninsula National Park had exploded in popularity thanks to social media, which seemed funny to locals like C. Growing up, they never imagined that people would go crazy over the “Caribbean of Ontario”; to them, it was just a pretty and fun place to hang out with your friends. The grass is always greener on the other side…
The sheer amount of museums in NYC is utterly exhausting (and inexhaustible). There are “hundreds” of museums and cultural institutions apparently, and 3-4 of them are really well known. Some cities are lucky to even get one museum! The arts & culture scene is really spoiled for New Yorkers, at least from this Torontonian’s perspective. We had left all the museums to the last few days, as the weather was so nice that we didn’t want to waste it inside. There was one museum that really stole my heart (and I had a feeling beforehand that it would), which will be really obvious when the number of pictures for each museum are compared. It’s like when you see a whole photo album dedicated to your sister, and the only five pictures of you are with her – not that I would know, since I am an only child, so I was the one with the entire photo album of course🙂
By this time, New York had begun to feel like home, and riding the 2 in and out of Manhattan had become our daily routine. Except, of course, the best part was that we weren’t off to work. We were free to wake up whenever, head wherever, and do whatever!
After that first jam packed day, the pace slowed down considerably. In such a fast paced metropolis, it’s still possible to slow down and smell the flowers that were just starting to peek out. Day 2 took us to the “green in the concrete”, the one and only Central Park. It was the season for some “park tanning” as I like to call it, where the pale and not-so-pale-but-still-want-to-tan horde lay out their blankets for a sizzle in the sun. N, who hails from a hot country, thought it quite amusing that people were trying to cook their flesh when it was “only” 15 degrees (59 F for you ‘Muricans). Sigh, he just cannot appreciate the glory of double digit temperatures after months of White Walker-happy weather.
Back again in the greatest city in the world..Newww Yooork! This blog should probably be renamed to the “Greece & New York” travel blog, since it seems like I just shuttle back and forth between those two heavyweights these days.
Hungry for more stunning Greek beaches, we crossed over to the nearby island of Kefalonia. There are many tour operators from Zante offering day trips there, since it’s only about an hour and a half away. We decided to stay a couple of days, since I was ambitious and wanted to cover all the island’s top attractions. Arriving at Kefalonia was like coming back to the Greece you know and love – although a Greek restaurant in China would feel more Greek than Laganas town! It’s absolutely crucial to rent a car to get around, as it’s the largest of the Ionian islands group. We splashed out and treated ourselves to a nicer hotel here…a whole 15 Euros more woohoo!