An overnight flight between New York and Paris is around 7 hours. If you find a good flight deal and have a long weekend, what is stopping you from packing a couple shirts, grabbing your best walking shoes and picking up your camera for a quick trip across the Atlantic. (Note: this is not like my 48 hours trip to Iceland, but a few curated pictures I took while strolling around Paris to inspire you to book that plane ticket.)
Claude Monet’s Garden is located about 1.5 hours outside of Paris. If you are spending some time in Paris or the north of France, this striking garden is something to put on your travel itinerary. I had spent an afternoon in Giverny visiting the grounds and taking pictures as quickly as my camera would allow. It is a gorgeous space and if you are looking to bring back some concepts for your own garden (or purchase some seeds to plant) Monet has you covered.
New York has some distinct historical advantages. If you wanted to visit the final resting place of our 18th President, Ulysses S. Grant, simply head to 122nd Street on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
Like new adventures or last minute plans? Well, keep your ears open, especially when you’re in a new city and sitting on local public transit.
I was heading to Philadelphia for 12 hours and got to the city about 3 hours before the event I was attending. As I sat on the SEPTA between Trenton and Philly, I overheard a father and son talking about the Auto Show that was in town (and where they were going.)
A quick google search later, I saw the show was at the convention center (right above the train stop where I was going to exit) and since it was February and cold out, this was clutch. Entry was $14 (perfect.) And just like that I have my local activity for the afternoon.
Lookup the definition of serenity and San Diego is likely to appear. You might also take a page from Frank Costanza’s playbook and repeat “serenity now” as you board your west coast bound flight to escape a New York winter.
Winter in Iceland, experiencing the darkness and chasing the Northern Lights felt like an adventure worth having. So, why not pack that adventure into a 48 hour excursion to the middle of the Atlantic in November? No reason not to, really. So a 4 hour and 45 minute red-eye flight later (basically the time it takes to fly across the US) I touched down in Keflavik International Airport.
And as I stepped out of the airport into 50 mph gusts of wind and driving rain, in that moment, I was happy.
Three hours, 30 euros and a direct train ride from Lisbon to Porto makes me a happy traveler. Sipping Port wine along the Rio Duoro as I watch the sunset over the Atlantic and the lights of this tiered city come up means I will be going to Porto again (and again.)
Do you like Harry Potter and Jesus? If so, put Coimbra on your travel itinerary.
Very much a college town, the city has the University of Coimbra (with early ties to the Jesuits.) Founded in 1290, it’s a UNESCO world heritage site and has the Joanina Library with a collection of books dating back to the 1500s.
When you visit the campus, you’ll notice many of the students wearing their uniforms; including capes. It really does feel like you’re in a Harry Potter movie.
Lisbon is made up of distinct neighborhoods. I stayed in Alfama which is the oldest and located by a number of historic places such as the Sao Jorge Castle. The area is hilly and requires a special mention.
Imagine a place where you walk up a hill to get to your destination. You would think the reverse direction on the way back down would be easy, right? Wrong. Lisbon is seemingly uphill both ways. Not sure how this is possible but get ready for some strong calf muscles when you leave.
I tend to be a semi planner. I thought Lisbon in the south, Coimbra in the middle of the country and Porto in the north would provide a nice cross section of the country. There are also multiple trains running each day between all these cities so I wouldn’t have to worry about when to leave or travel wait times.