Underwater fun in the Western Caribbean

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Where can you take a motorbike ride through terraces of yellow fields?

vietnam terraces

Vietnam

These beautiful terraces are used for vietnams staple crop, rice, which has been growing there for thousands of years.  This yellow color appears towards the end of September and/or October and typically only lasts for a few months, it signals that it is the ripen rice season.  Other times of the year you’ll see these terraces displaying beautiful greens.

The most noted areas in which you can find these terraces are Mu Cang Chai, Sa Pa, Hoang Su Phi; needless to say there are many others that may be just as beautiful just not as well-known, crowded and/or touristy.  (Most of the touring companies in Vietnam have various options to hike through these golden yellow fields!)

motorbike

A great way to let your senses truly experience Vietnam the non-touristy way is through a week tour on motorbike; although there are shorter options as well.  Not only will you be safely driven by a well-instructed driver, but you will see almost all of Vietnam (the sought after well-known destinations as well as the more remote destinations) without having to peer through fogged up windows.

A highly recommended company to do this motoride tour with is called Hue Riders.

http://www.hueriders.com/index.html

3 (unique) things to do near Naples, Italy

naples beach

La Spiaggia dei 300 Scalini – The Beach of the 300 Steps

“This beach is about 1 ½ hours north of Naples and has white sand with crystal-clear water. The catch? You have to descend 300 steep steps to enjoy this little oasis. However, it’s well worth it! Summer weekends feature beach parties and camping.”

Food, naples

Il Garum

“Il Garum is a small restaurant located in the heart of Naples’ historic district. They serve incredibly fresh seafood in a small piazza overlooking a busy street, so it’s great for people-watching. Their carpaccios are great as well as their eggplant, zucchini and mozarella-stuffed grilled squid. Yum!”

naples, Island of procia

The Island of Procida

“The island of Procida is a 1-hour ferry ride from Naples and is less famous than nearby Capri and Ischia – which means…less crowded! The best way to see the island is by boat or on foot. There are plenty of places to rent a small boat, great coves to swim in and small boutique shops with fun clothes and gifts for those not fortunate enough to travel with you to this beautiful island!”

All the pictures and information provided in this guest post was from a close friend whom I met in Tanzania, Bianca Hilary Kenworthy.

Bianca can speak Italian beautifully (fluently), and has been visiting family there since she was patiently waiting in her moms belly. Not only is she a Senior Account Executive at Auster Events but also runs an Italian Food blog that specializes in delicious homemade pastas.

Check out her blog!  http://www.pastificiodeicampi.it/blogs/linguina/

New York City adventure

mac and cheese adventure

Here we are holding a Mac and Cheese recipe book which I received as a present from my father (the peanut next to me).  In search of the perfect Mac and Cheese my father booked a sightseeing day in NYC and a delightful dinner at one of NYC’s top restaurants known for their Mac and Cheese!

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nyc dad

We started off our day with visiting the empire state building and going all the way to the observatory point, boy were we high! (Just a suggestion, during holiday season I would recommend buying the express pass, it saved us a few hours of waiting in a line!)  We then visited a unique art gallery which featured an exhibition on Hurricane Sandy, which displayed photographs of the damage that had been done in the New York and New Jersey area.

mac and cheese adventure

We finally ended the day with Bacon Mac & Cheese at Heidi’s House which was delicious.  The small restaurant can only fit about 22-25 people, and was fully packed only 30 minutes after opening.  We also had their delicious chocolate soufflé.  I would recommend going here if you have a cheese and chocolate craving!

An East Coast Weekend

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beach

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Nothing beats the aesthetically pleasing, beautiful colors of Fall.

Grounds for Sculpture (Hamilton, NJ)

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There were a ton of beautiful tree pathways.

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My new statue friends….

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…them too.

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Even the simple picnic areas are colorful.

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Nice restaurant on the grounds, French-Country cuisine, Rats Restaurant!

New Orleans

Wings

Aha! I knew I’d catch your attention with some food!  Oh yes, this photo (and all the photos following) were taken from my iPhone, they tasted better than they looked!  These wings were from Daisy Dukes- I got a tip from a local, he said they were the best wings in New Orleans, and boy was he right!  (If you like them extra crispy, tell the waitress you’d like them “fried hot”!)

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These chili cheese fries were also from Daisy Dukes, yum yum!  You are probably wondering why in the hell do I have no pictures of some of their delicious and famous seafood?!  I am sad to say, I’m not a huge fan of seafood.

Side note: I have no photos that will do it justice, but some of the best desserts are from Palace Cafe- in particular the white chocolate bread pudding, you will not be disappointed. (I actually have the recipe, long story, so just ask!)

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…I also went on a swamp tour and met this big guy, along with….

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…this little guy!

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Policemen on towering horses throughout Bourbon Street was interesting.  The French Quarter at night is so wonderful; you can get crazy walking in the streets with your oversized drink, bounce around to various bars (country music, hip hop, smooth and relaxing jazz, among many other “vibes”), or just spend a magical night taking a ride around the city in a carriage; this city has got it all, it’s fun and enjoyable for all ages.

One thing that made me *happy and feel at home* in New Orleans was how proud the locals were, they loved their city, and it showed; all guests were treated with hospitality, even the homeless were helping out the ridiculously drunk kids on the street… now that’s love!

Guatemala

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Just outside of Xela

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Hike to….

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Laguna Chicabal

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Nice hike from a Finca called Nueva Alianza to a waterfall!

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Beautiful sunset on my way home from the Finca!

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One of the many delicious meals my home stay mom made me.

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Chocolate con leche, yum yum yum!

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I was fascinated watching her make all of the colorful scarves and clothes.

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Some serious balance right there!

Key Largo

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Me

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sunset

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Inca Trail & Machu Picchu

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Inca Trail

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Inca Trail

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Inca Trail

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Inca Trail

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Inca Trail

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Inca Trail

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End of Inca Trail

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Woohoo, so close to Machu Picchu!!

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Oh no, before you…I insist

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“Ahhh fresh air feels so good”

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Went to Machu Picchu the next day as well, rainy, but still beautiful!

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Machu Picchu on a rainy day!

*Tip for anyone looking to climb Wayna Picchu, BUY YOUR TICKET in advanced, there is a limited number of persons allowed to hike Wayna Picchu a day!  The views are beautiful and worth the 2 hours hike.  Unfortunately, I am unable to share pictures with you because when I was hiking Wayna Picchu there was heavy rainfall so I was unable to get photographs of the beautiful views!