They sent me to Binghamton

I've always wanted to be on the east coast, and the universe responded…by sending me to Binghamton, NY. Oh you've never heard of it? Neither had I, but I do so love adventures and that's how I choose to view this. Let the adventures begin!


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Robert H. Treman State Park – Trees, and Trees, and Trees!

On my parents’ last day on the east coast we decided to go to Robert H. Treman State Park.

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Entrance to the Trails

As we entered the trail, my dad started looking for a makeshift walking stick to help with the hike. My mom followed suit. Once they found their walking sticks, they were ready to go!

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There were several trails to choose from, but we decided to take the Rim Trail, which went up in the trees instead of alongside the gorge. Usually, I choose the gorge trail because I love being near the water but there is something to be said about hiking within the trees. It’s beautiful in its own way.

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Much green!

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So wow!

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The moss on the fallen trees were pretty cool.

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I have about 100 pictures that look like the one below. I simply couldn’t help myself! It was too beautiful not to try and capture it!

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We came across this fallen tree in the middle of the path.

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So of course I try to lift it.

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CrossFit is supposed to be functional, right?

The cool thing about this path is we got to see the different types of vegetation and creatures living in them! There were many brown little frogs hopping about (that I unfortunately didn’t get on camera) and really well hidden spiders.

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Can you spot the spider?

We also came across this pulley system that I at first thought was supposed to be for ziplining.

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At the highest point of the trail there was an overlook of the falls.

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At the lowest point of the trail, you end up at the bottom of the falls and there we saw many people swimming, relaxing by the rocks, and just generally enjoying the view.

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My mom and I had a little rock skipping contest here

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My dad, nonchalantly sitting on the rock while whistling

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“You shall not pass!”

It was a great end to my parents’ visit! Next adventure for me is Costa Rica while the next adventure for them is Alaska!

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Nia-ga-ra Falls

My parents came to see me as part of their east coast trip. With there not being much to do in the immediate area, the plan was to explore the surrounding areas. Specifically, the majestic sight that is Niagara Falls. Or, as my parents kept saying, Nia-ga-ra Falls.

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My mom had purchased an adventure/tourist booklet for us, which included the Maid of the Mists boat tour, Cave of the Winds tour, access to the Aquarium, a movie describing the history of Niagara Falls, and a one day pass on the trolley. I highly recommend the Maid of the Mists and Cave of the Winds tour. It was such a great experience! Very up close and personal, which is why both tours include a poncho so your clothes (mostly) don’t get wet.

In the Maid of the Mists tour you are on a boat that gets really close to both the American Falls and the Horseshoe Falls and by really close, I mean you WILL get sprayed! It was so much fun!

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The Cave of the Winds tour is a walking tour and you get so up close and personal, they even provide you with sandals and a plastic bag for your shoes. The trail starts at the bottom of the falls and you get greeted with the sight of sea gulls just hanging out. They don’t seem afraid of humans all that much.

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The falls were just beautiful to look at, especially since it was a really sunny day that day and because of the way the light reflected on the water you could see a rainbow.

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Can’t see the rainbow too well here but in person it was distinct

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There’s a part of the rail that’s pretty close to the falls and you can feel the waterfalls pounding on you. It was pretty cool!

After we dried off, my parents and I went to the theater to learn about the history of Niagara Falls. Apparently, there were some crazy adventurous souls who decided to do some tricks at Niagara Falls such as crossing the falls on a tight rope, or the 63-year old lady who decided to go down the Niagara Falls in a barrel.

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Is this what they meant by a barrel ride??

The aquarium was ok. I guess I must’ve been spoiled by the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, CA and the one in Boston, MA.

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My brave father, reaching out to the big, bad shark

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Colorful but poisonous frogs – Don’t touch!

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The trolley ride was fun. We mostly just did this because it was part of the package and we had nothing else planned that day. Funny enough, I ran into some friends from Binghamton while we were waiting in line for the trolley!

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After that, we stopped by Rochester to see my cousin and her husband, then we went home. It was a very eventful two days and although it was tiring (since I was driving the whole time), I had a great time!


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Finding Yourself in the Middle of Nowhere

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As much as I miss being in a city, with all its conveniences, tall buildings, tight space, and just the general “I AM ALIVE” vibe that you feel walking around, there is something to be said about being in a rural place a.k.a. middle of nowhere. The hustle and bustle of a city gets you motivated to go out and do things, be someone, get noticed – you just feel so alive. The quiet and open space of a rural area makes you slow down, think about things, do some self-reflection – makes you feel grateful for being alive.

I mean, how could I have forgotten how much I love going on walks? Or going on a long drive by myself? I guess I just got so busy with my life that I forgot to pay attention to the little things that I’ve always loved, even back in the day before I knew what a career was. Being out here makes me remember the little things while still pursuing my goals. I’m already pretty self-motivated bordering on perfectionist/over-achiever that I don’t really need to live in the middle of a bustling city like NYC to feel motivated. Moving to Binghamton (Bingham-where?) has turned out to be the best thing for me. Had I not been sent here for work, I’m not sure I would’ve ever known that living in the middle of nowhere would probably be where I would thrive the most or probably be happiest, although I still maintain that I would probably be happy regardless of where I find myself.

So thank you, universe, for sending me to the middle of nowhere.

cooper comes too

Sir Cooper

God, I love this cat. He’s just so damn cute. And you know, just so I’m not playing favorites and all…

Roxie comes too

Miss Roxie

#catlady #aintnoshame #dohashtagsevenworkinblogs


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Cheers to the Freakin’ Weekend!

As much as I love Binghamton, I did not want to stay in town for my birthday weekend. I just felt like for my birthday I should do what I do best and what I love to do most, which is going on an adventure. At first I wanted to go to 1000 islands but my two friends had to work this weekend so I decided to postpone that to August. Then I made some tentative plans with someone else that ended up falling through as well. At that point it was already around 2pm on Saturday and I could’ve called it quits and went out with the girls in town instead but no! I must go out of town!

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So I decided that it was time for me to go back to the city. Unfortunately, it was way too late for me to get tickets to a Broadway show, even if I tried to get those day-of tickets, so I had to scratch that off the list of possible things to do. But I mean, come on, it’s the city so I was sure there was plenty for me to do. I hit up my three friends as soon as I made the decision then went on ultra-planning mode. Find hotel. Check. Pack clothes. Check. Give kitties food and water. Check. Eat to avoid the hangry monster. Check.

Fortunately, one of my friends happened to be free that night so we decided to meet up for dinner around 9:30pm. Had that been Binghamton, I would’ve been worried about restaurants being closed by then but this is the city that never sleeps so no worries there.

Since I was staying at a hotel close to Chinatown and Little Italy I asked him to pick a restaurant around there. I knew I was going to be close to Chinatown but I didn’t realize I would be smack in the middle of it. I mean, even my hotel name had Chinese characters under it!

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I may have been in the shady part of Chinatown, I don’t really know, but I absolutely loved it! Even as I sprinted towards my hotel (since I was running late) I couldn’t help but notice just how alive the city seemed. It is so, so different from upstate New York! The people there are so diverse, not just in ethnicity but in how they dressed, how they talked, and there was honking, impatient people crossing the street when they weren’t supposed to, cops yelling at folks, loud noises, smelly trash out on the street…damn, it felt so good to be in the city. It was absolutely what I needed this weekend.

Another amazing thing about New York is how compact it is. One minute I was sprinting in Chinatown with Chinese characters on all the stores and the next thing I knew I was in Little Italy. Gotta love it.

My friend picked an Italian restaurant called Peasant and O.M.G. the food and wine was to die for! We ordered a bottle of white wine and had an asparagus appetizer to start with. Then I got the black risotto while he had lamb. Unfortunately, I did not take any pictures of the food but it was seriously the most delicious risotto I’ve ever had! I’m not a huge fan of squid but the black risotto was just so flavorful. So much so that after dinner apparently my lips showed the evidence of my delight.

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I did not leave room for dessert. I know. How could I?

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I’m not really a dessert person, plus they didn’t have creme brulee so I decided to pass.

My friend and I were talking about Speakeasy bars and since I have never been, he offered to take me to one. A Speakeasy bar back in the day was a place that illegally sold alcoholic beverages during the Prohibition era. Now it’s a bar that has some type of front that makes it seem like it is something else and sometimes requires a password to get in. He was telling me about this one Speakeasy bar in SF that looked like a house and to get to the bar you had to open this armoire looking thing, put clothes to the side, then part the curtains. The one we had to didn’t have as much of a front as that one but you still wouldn’t know it was a bar just by looking at it.

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Entrance to the Speakeasy Bar

He had to wake up early the next morning so we parted ways pretty early (early being 1:40 am) and since I was, shall we say, “happy,” I didn’t want to go straight to bed. So I “happy” texted some friends and called one of them.

ME TO 2 FRIENDS IN GROUP TEXT: Group “happy” text heeeeeyy

ME TO MY NY BFF: Figured you’ve been my friend long enough for me to do this… “happy” text heeeeeyyyy lol

PHONE CONVERSATION WITH FRIEND: I’m feeling “happy” right now heeeeyyy!

The next morning I decided to get breakfast at Friedman’s then do the tourtisty thing and go to the Empire State Building. I was worried that the wait was going to be long but the cool thing about eating alone is that there usually isn’t a wait. I got seated as soon as I got there. I also met someone else who was eating breakfast alone and we chatted as we ate our breakfasts. I like this pattern of meeting people every time I go to the city. 🙂

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Pastrami Hash with Gluten-Free Toast

After breakfast I came across this food market. How cool is this?

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Once I got to the Empire State Building I mentally prepared myself for a long line but it was all for naught. It must’ve been my lucky day because there wasn’t much of a line at all!

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The view from the top was amazing. I’ll have to come back during the night because I bet with the lights it would look even better. It is a different kind of view from what I see in upstate New York but it was beautiful nonetheless.

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The drive home wasn’t as bad as last time but I did get caught up in a storm (I think). I could barely see through my windshield and I also learned something new. Did you know that when it’s raining really hard you’re supposed to put your hazard lights on? Well, I’m not sure if you’re supposed to but that’s what the other drivers did and it helped me not crash into them so I did the same. I was really nervous that this was going to turn into another “adventure” like last time, especially since my cell phone was at 2% battery and the USB charger wasn’t working. I wasn’t sure what I would have done if I ended up stuck on the road and couldn’t get out. Then again, I also have Monstrosity now so maybe that wouldn’t have happened. Thankfully, I was able to get home without incident. Makes for a boring story but I will take it!

Now I’m back to Binghamton with its open space and friendly people. Time to walk slower and put the smile back on my face. Till next time, NYC!


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Sunday Mornings of Life

“Sometimes I’m alone but never lonely
That’s what I’ve come to realize
I’ve learned to love the quiet moments
The Sunday mornings of life” – India Arie, Private Party

I love alone time. I’ve come to realize that I’m actually happiest when I’m alone, either sitting at home reading a book or off on some spontaneous adventure. Last weekend I did a little of both. I spent Saturday night on my couch with my kitties, book in one hand and a glass of wine in the other.

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The next day I felt antsy about wasting such a beautiful day at home, so I decided to go to Ithaca!

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Road trip!

Of course, as soon as I got there I wanted to eat some food so I went to good ol’ Yelp and decided to go to the Carriage House Cafe. I ordered the “Breakfast Entree” but it sure didn’t look like breakfast to me!

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Breakfast Entree – Lamb with Poached Duck Egg and Side Salad

It was absolutely delicious! Afterwards, I walked for a bit in the Commons then headed over to Deeply Devoted Massage for an hour session of relaxation. It was so good I woke myself up with a snore. True story. I normally don’t like frou frou massages but she also managed to rub out some of the knots in my neck and shoulders so I really liked it. It was a good combination of relaxation and ouchation.

On my way home I started to feel hungry again so I decided to try Beef & Brew Restaurant, which my co-worker keeps recommending to me every time I mention going to Ithaca. He was right, it was pretty good!

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On my way to the restaurant I noticed a visitor’s center by Seneca Lake so I decided to stop there for a bit and I’m really glad I did. This was actually the best part of my impromptu trip. I love basking in nature’s beauty, without a care in the world.

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The beauty of upstate New York still never fails to astound me. It rained the other day and I swear the trees and bushes grew. After a few hours just hanging out at the Geneva Visitor Center while listening to some live music, I finally decided to head home. The Taughannock Falls State Park happened to be on the way home so I decided to stop by briefly. There’s a trail there too so I’m going to have to go back to explore. In the meantime, I enjoyed the view of the falls and the entrance to the trail.

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I didn’t want to get home too late so I left after a few minutes.

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Beautiful Drive Home

It was a great weekend and definitely left me feeling refreshed.


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It’s My Birfday!

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Das right!

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Pretty much sums it up.

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Thanks Iron Man!

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You know it, Tyra!

Ok, now that I got all of that out of the way…just kidding, one more!

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I am so stoked that it’s my birthday! In other years, I’ve never been this excited about my own birthday, although I usually do get excited about other people’s birthdays. I’m not sure why my own birthday used to not be that big of a deal to me. Part of it is probably because I always hung out with people older than me so I always felt like I was just catching up. Like when I turned 21 it wasn’t like “WOOHOOOOO!!!” it was more like, “Geez, man, finally! Been waiting to go to Vegas for you!” I think the other part is I just didn’t like that kind of attention on myself, which again is weird because social butterfly that I am, I typically end up getting a lot of attention (I’m loud, people have no other choice lol). Now though?

do what i want

I’m still not planning any big hurrah or anything but unlike past years I have not been hiding the fact that it’s my birthday from people. In fact, I almost go out of my way to tell people. For instance, at the dentist’s today (because that’s the best way to start your birthday) as I was filling out my form:

FRONT DESK: Please fill out this form.

ME: Sure, no problem. What’s the date today?

FRONT DESK: July 11.

ME: Oh that’s right, it’s my birthday.

Ain’t no shame! Ok, so that’s not really how it went down but in past years I almost tended to shy away when someone who isn’t a friend mentions it’s my birthday. I would change the subject. Now it’s like, damn right it is!

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UNTZ! UNTZ! UNTZ! UNTZ!

I think the main reason it’s different this year is because I am very, VERY excited this year! I have a feeling it’s going to be an amazing year, especially because 27 ended on such a good note! I am incredibly happy, I’ve got options on how I can stay here on the “right” coast, and I’ve actually made some pretty good friends, one who is pretty much my sister from another mister! Life is good!

So yeah, maybe I’ll end up spending tonight at my apartment with a bottle of wine and my kitties, but I’m totally ok with that. The important thing is, I’m happy. 🙂


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Binghamton was mentioned on TV!

I didn’t realize this before reading this post but I have actually heard of Binghamton, NY before my company assigned me here. As it turns out, Binghamton is mentioned in the show Alphas!

“The Binghamton Special Research Facility is a government run facility located in or near Binghamton, New York where Alphas who are a threat to society are imprisoned.”

So basically, if you’re bad, you get sent to Binghamton as punishment. Strangely enough, that’s how most people viewed my situation as well.

“They sent you to Binghamton? What, did you do something to piss someone off?”

“Wait, you came here from where? And they sent you HERE? What, as punishment?”

Then people from back home were all:

“Oh yay! NYC WOOT WOOT! Wait…that’s not NYC? Is it close? No? Oh…”

“So basically…they’re sending you to the bumf&^k of nowhere. Yikes.”

Perspective, man.

It’s just funny because I can’t believe I didn’t realize this until now! Alphas was one of the many shows I got obsessed with during my phase of marathon Netflixing. I was actually really upset when I got to the end of the last season and it was completely a cliffhanger! I remember immediately jumping on the interwebs to find out when the next season was coming out, only to find out there will be no next season since it was canceled.

In any case, I must’ve been a threat to society since they sent me to Binghamton. 😉