Fall Foliage Fix – Hudson Valley, NY and Northern NJ

Minnewaska State Park 2, Moss Glen Trail

My name is Kevin, and I’m a leaf peeper. Is it a problem? Maybe, but I’m more of a functional leaf peeper. Every fall though, I fall off the wagon and go back to the same old habits. I can be found driving aimlessly around rural areas, stopping to gaze at the red, orange, and yellow splashes along the way. Symptoms include feverishly taking photos of trees, aggressively seeking out farmers markets, gorging on apple cider donuts to the point […]

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Amtrak Hacks for your next trip on the Northeastern Corridor (DC to NYC)

Graffiti in Philadelphia

Getting sick of driving on I-95 between New York and DC? It might be time to consider Amtrak. Yes, it’s expensive, and you won’t have a car when you get to your destination, but there are a lot of advantages to taking the train. I frequently take Amtrak between the DC and NYC and have a compiled a few hacks that you can use to make your trip along this route more pleasurable and lighter on your wallet. Booking Amtrak […]

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Reunion Tower Dallas

Just got back from a quick trip to Dallas. They say everything is bigger there. That saying is trite but my wife and I definitely saw some truth to it.  The highways were bigger. The food portions were bigger. Even the people were bigger. We arrived on Saturday night and went to dinner at Gemma, one of Dallas’s best restaurants if you use Opentable demand as a measure–I booked the reservation three weeks in advance and could still only get […]

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Sonoma and San Francisco

San Francisco Full House

I love wine. I love good scenery, and I love San Francisco. There aren’t too many other places in the country that are as beautiful as the Bay area and wine country. Novato, CA We were in California for a wedding. We stayed at a surprisingly nice Best Western in Novato, about 25 minutes north of the Golden Gate Bridge. Novato turned out to be a good base for exploring the area. The first morning, Emily and I used Yelp […]

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Atlantic City, NJ

Atlantic City casinos

Despite its troubles, I love Atlantic City. I’m not a big gambler, but I enjoy casinos. I like the colors, the lights, the noise, blackjack, the people watching. I don’t know why, but I do. The weekend I was up in AC for my brother’s bachelor party this weekend. 21 people came, a sign of just how awesome and well-liked he is. Washington DC is about 180 miles from AC but the drive took five hours because of traffic around […]

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Saratoga Springs, NY

Saratoga row houses

Emily and I just returned from a weekend in Saratoga Springs, NY for a our friends’ wedding, held in the beautiful 140 year old Canfield Casino, a Renaissance Revival masterpiece in the middle of Congress Park in downtown Saratoga. The wedding was really fun and families of both the bride and the groom were extremely nice. I’ve been to Saratoga a couple of times before and really like the downtown area and the old mansions that line the streets on […]

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Mohonk Mountain House

Mohonk exterior

I got married over the weekend! And this blog post is my first as a husband–wow, that sounds weird. After a beautiful wedding in New York City that exceeded both our our expectations, we embarked on our two-day “mini-moon” to get some relaxation and downtime before going back to work in DC. Our destination was the historic Mohonk Mountain House, a 146 year old resort outside of New Paltz, a town about 1.5 hours north of the city. We arrived […]

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Oahu, Hawaii (April 2015)

Lulumahu Falls

Work brought me to Hawaii once again. The non-stop, 11 hour flight on Hawaiian Airlines was a bit of an ordeal, but was all worth it when we descended from the clouds and the sunny paradise of Oahu became visible from the plane window. Before I go on, I have to say that Hawaiian Airlines itself is really top notch. What other airline in the U.S. gives you free meals and wine in coach? Moanalua Valley I arrived late in […]

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Oahu, Hawaii (March 2015)

Hawaii north shore sunset

The wide blue watery expanse of the Pacific Oceans appeared ahead as I descended from Oahu’s hilly center to the North Shore. The water was beautiful, sparkling in the late afternoon light. To the left, behind a volcanic plain, was the Waiʻanae Range, which looks right out of the background of the show Lost. The scenery was a welcome respite from the hectic southern end of Oahu, with its traffic stalled highways and sprawl. Work brings me to Hawaii once […]

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San Juan, Puerto Rico

Old San Juan cobblestone puerto rico

When my friends asked me where I wanted to have my bachelor party, I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go.   I had some criteria: late February, in a warm place with a beach, nightlife, and a good restaurant scene.  I didn’t want people to have to worry about passport issues. Puerto Rico was the first place that came to my mind. At first I was a little skeptical about PR as a destination, with reports of high crime and […]

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