Alaska and The Yukon

Earlier this month I went on an 11 day cruise / inland tour of Alaska and the Yukon through Holland American Tour line. The trip was magnificent. We began in Vancouver and sailed for three days up the coast of Canada to Alaska stopping in Juneau and Skagway before taking the White Pass train into Yukon Territory.


Red Dog Saloon in Juneau – This is a huge tourist attraction, but with its sawdust floors, amazing burgers, and live music, it is totally worth it.


Traveling through the Yukon, we stopped in Carcross, Braeburn, Whitehorse, and Dawson City. We spent the most time in Dawson City and it was by far one of my favorite stops. The town was picturesque old west with dirt streets and western style store fronts. We made a trip out to the Dempster Highway and into Tombstone National Park. This took us out onto the tundra and over a continental divide.

Emerald Lake

Yukon River

Dawson City



Dawson City

From Dawson City, we drove over the Top of the World Highway, crossed back into Alaska and took the Taylor Highway to Chicken. Chicken is but three buildings, a mercantile, saloon, and cafe. The food was amazing! For such tiny little towns in the middle of no where, every place we stopped offered something delicious and tasty. From Chicken we drove on to Tok then Fairbanks before catching a train to Denali National Park. After Denali, our tour concluded in Anchorage.

Top of the World


Ten Dramatic Landscapes

I LOVE to travel. New cities, new countries, new anything excites me to the core. I am a bit of a sucker for top ten lists as well. TripAdvisor sent out an email today of 10 dramatic landscapes. These places are definitely going on my Bucket List. For those nature lover’s out there, get an eyeful of these stunning sights!

See the article here. I highly recommend using TripAdvisor when traveling to new places. 

10 dramatic landscapes

1. Badlands National Park

     South Dakota, US

2. Cano Cristales

     Villavicencio, Colombia

3. The Pinnacle

     Cervantes, Australia

4. Salar de Uyun..

     Bolivia, South America
     Bohol Island, Philippines
     Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, US
     Pamukkale, Turkey
      Arizona, US
     Namib-Naukluft Park, Namibia, Africa
       Northern Ireland, UK

My Favorite Little Kitten

8AM – Out of bed and dressed ready for a day of running around Manhattan. Brought with me lots of water and a big glass container of Green Juice I made yesterday. Pretty good concoction of kale, broccoli, bok choy, celery, cucumber, cilantro and apple. Sounds like it would be nasty, but I find it super yummy. When I began drinking green juices, I found them bitter and repulsive. My palate has begun to adjust to the taste and now they seem almost sweet and succulent. I did get a few comments trekking around with my green drink and my Vibrams Five Fingers. I have the TrekSport model and absolutely adore them. I run, hike, swim… basically do everything in them.

10AM – Spa appointment at Vada Spa on Avenue of the Americas right by Washington Square Park. I have a weird relationship with this place. I started coming because my friend recommended it, but I continued because they not only did a good job, but are super, super cheap especially when booked through Lifebooker. Today was great, but I’ve been there before where you sit and wait even if you have an appointment and the women at the front desk usually have a tendency to be a bit rude and ignore you. This didn’t happen today. They were very attentive, maybe because it was first thing in the morning. Regardless, I don’t always fully enjoy my experience, but I keep coming back, probably because its so cheap and its familiar at this point.

I always go to the same woman. Liza. She is from Georgia, the country not the state, super friendly and knows a lot about the weirdest things. She used to be a midwife in her country and she actually gave me a breast exam midway through my wax today. Kind of strange, but I found it awesome. Just an overall great person, plus she knows how to wax.

I finished up around 11 and had about 45 minutes before meeting up with Caitlin, my favorite little kitten, at Columbus Circle. It took me about twenty seconds to contemplate hopping on the subway, about a 15 minute ride up and waiting for them, OR to enjoy the bright sunny day and cool breeze flowing through the streets by walking the 55 blocks uptown.

I went with walking.

Full of green juice and in comfy shoes I power walked up 6th Avenue moving at a ridiculously fast pace. I stumbled onto the fair on 6th Ave (14th to 23st) which I completely forgot about. It occurs every October and basically has the same things on every block, pashminas, zeppoles, gyros, random bits of clothes, makeup and knick knacks. There is probably only one unique tent on every block, whereas the rest is just a lot of cheap Chinatown type things. The air was filled with the smells of onions being friend and meat sizzling on the open flames. So tempting for a recently converted vegan who STILL can’t seem to randomly stop cheating every few days.

Along the way, I ducked into a Sephora. My eyebrows were one of the many body parts waxed this morning. They tend to react horribly to being waxed and get super red and angry. Being silly me, I neglected to bring a concealer. I always feel guilty for using stores like this, but I popped into the Sephora simply to touch up my makeup so I didn’t look like someone smacked a ruler across my brows. This gorgeous sales associate with super hot, bright purple lipstick approached me to ask if I needed assistance then again to ask if I would like a foundation skin matching consultation. Any other time I would have been so appreciative for the assistance, but I was just using them. I hustled out of there so fast. It’s the same concept as Starbucks being NYC’s public restroom. I went in merely to use the bathroom and didn’t bother even getting a tea because the line was out the door. I feel a little guilty, but I’ve put enough of my money into these places to be granted the luxury.

12PM – Finally arrived at Columbus Circle, legs a bit tired from the speed walking, but otherwise feeling on top of the world! My little kitten was waiting for me next to the elephant with two of her friends in from Boston. One of which is about to embark on an epic adventure down the coast and across the country to San Francisco and back. Ryana and I planned a similar trip, but due to work and money it was unfortunately postponed. I will be insisting on doing it summer 2012 regardless of finances or time. I’ll make it work.

We ate at the Flame Diner on Columbus and 59th. I managed to stick to my veganism and enjoyed an eggplant and tomato napoleon with pesto and balsamic vinegar. So yummy! After some lovely conversation we parted ways, her and her friends headed towards the Central Park Zoo and myself off running errands.

I won’t go into graphic detail on the errands, but I did stop and this cool place I learned about through The Renegade Health Show, Organic Avenue. I don’t know how I never noticed them before, but they sell freshly made juices, chocolate treats, granola, and bars, as well as some prepared meals. Everything is organic as well as primarily vegan and raw. This place was really cool. Not cheap, about $10 for my green juice (tasty, but mine was better). Next time I’d like to try one of their fresh fruit juices. I was going to get this small thing of chocolate and goji berry truffles, but they were $16 so I passed. I’ll splurge on a treat when I control my cheating.

This concluded my day. Ended up home around 4pm and in desperate need of a nap and a massage. I’ve yet to have either. Regardless, fun day with lots of studying to look forward to tonight.

Have a lovely evening.

9th Annual NYC Burlesque Festival

I am a bit late in posting about this, but the first weekend in October was the 9th Annual New York City Burlesque festival, a mixture of outlandish acts with scantly clad men, women, and something in between, all taking their clothes of and performing lewd behaviors. Definitely my kind of scene.

I attending the Teaser Party Friday night, no expectations and no idea what I was even signing up for. Arriving early at my destination in Brooklyn, the venue was on a dark deserted street in some warehouse Brooklyn is so well known for. Hosted by the World Famous Bob, a 200+ pound, over 6ft tall woman with enormous breasts and features resembling that of Marilyn Monroe, opened the scene with revelry and depravity.

She hosted through 23 different acts of various magnitude. My favorites included a classic burlesque act with a beautiful women done up in the old style with a corset and thigh high stockings dancing around and slowly taking it all off. Wonderful.

The show also involved a man swallowing an entire balloon. No, not a round balloon, but one of those long ones the clowns use to make giraffes and puppy dogs outs of. The kind then resembles a… Well you get the idea. A woman also dressed as a robot and turn Mr. Roboto into a strip dance. A Christmas Story was also corrupted by a short haired woman who was way too into her Red Rider BB Gun.

Another favorite of mine was a spinoff of Disney. A beautiful princess, Snow White I believe, singing to the birds, happy and innocent until she discovers that certain dirty things feel very good. She was beautiful and this was tastefully done.

I would love to share photographs, but they are either too inappropriate or of terrible quality due to the flash and the stage lights causing this gross pink glare.

The show was a spectacle and well worth the trip down into grimy Brooklyn. There are a few burlesque places in Manhattan that I look forward to checking out and blogging about at a later date. Definitely check out the festival next year. It is an amazing show.

Pick Me Up

No matter how awful I feel or how miserable my week has been, there is one little town with the gift of melting away any anxieties or suffering, Warwick, NY.

Cruising along Route 17, windows down, XM’s The Highway blasting, the feeling of anticipation heightens as the highway turns into small town roads leading through Sloatsburg and Tuxedo, before abruptly transforming into a 55mph serpentine along the side of a mountain. Reaching the top, drivers witness stunning views of the surrounding countryside before disappearing into a mass of foliage. The journey is all part of the experience.

Warwick is the ideal small town. It consists of a lively downtown area with boutique shops and restaurants as well as jewelry stores and salons, but directly outside of the downtown area is the country. Rolling hillsides meet orchards of apple trees, low valleys filled with wild raspberry bushes. Horse farms are in abundance and everything is lush and beautiful. The downtown is constantly host to county wide events such as the Applefest in the fall, farmer’s markets every weekend, and festivals of all sorts.

I have been horseback riding in this country town in upstate NY for the past fourteen years, never truly appreciating its quaint, country charms until the past two years. My routine visit usually includes breakfast at Le Petite Cuisine, a fabulous French restaurant across from the train station with marvelous concoctions and fresh, warm, buttery croissants. Their breakfast crepe is to die for. I follow this lavish meal with a long horse ride through the 200 acre plot of hay fields, woodland and rivers that makes up Quiet Creek Stable. After a cool down, I meet up with my cousin Lindsay for some family time, usually over more food.

This past weekend (Columbus Day Weekend), I ventured outside of Warwick to the small town of Sugar Loaf, NY. Known for its crafts and artsy crowd, this town was host to a Fall Festival featuring local artists and designers. The street was closed to make way for tent after tent of jewelry, paintings, baked goods, leather wares, and gifts of all sorts. I took my 10 month old puppy, Darby and everyone fawned over her. She is such a beautiful girl.

The fair was great! I even found a baker with organic dogs treats; Darby devoured them in moments. It was perfect. I look forward to exploring some more towns in Orange Country.

[I’ll add some photos to this on my next trip.]