Category: Escape from New York

Discussing Common Sense with Thomas Paine

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.

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Best of the Best at the Philadelphia Auto Show

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.

In and Out of Iceland: 48 Hours in Reykjavik

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.

3 Days in Porto

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.)

Overnight Stay in Coimbra

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.

Travels in Lisbon

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.

Escape from New York: Portugal

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.

Untermyer Park and Gardens: Just 1 Hour North of New York City

If you were living in New York and wealthy at the end of the 1800’s what did you do with that money?  Build an estate or vast gardens along the Hudson River, obviously.

This wealth lives on and can be enjoyed by current New York City residents and visitors.

Untermyer Park and Gardens is one such example.  Located approximately 20 miles north of midtown Manhattan, you can take the train, car service, bike or drive your way to this venue.

Afternoon in Cold Spring

Cold Spring is a town of about 2,000 located right on the Hudson River and a 70 minute train ride from Manhattan.  It is no secret to people in the Hudson Valley and NYC but if you haven’t made the time to visit, be sure to schedule a 3/4 day visit in the immediate future.