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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Impromptu adventure, ey?

Last Friday I received an email about discounted hotel rates for Niagara Falls. Since I was feeling sorry for myself that day due to my current gimp status (bum knee) I decided it was a sign to go off on an adventure and remember how blessed I actually am. I would’ve loved to make it a weekend adventure but I had another event I needed to go to on Saturday afternoon so I couldn’t make that happen. Besides, there’s something really fun about spontaneous day trips with no planning other than a destination in mind.

As it turned out another friend of mine was also free for an impromptu day trip to Niagara Falls the next day so Sunday Funday it was!

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Woo!! New adventure buddy!

I had been to Niagara Falls a couple years ago with my parents and at the time many of my friends were insisting that the Canadian side was so much better. I couldn’t imagine that being possible given how awed I felt seeing the Niagara Falls on the American side and going on Maid of the Mists but after this weekend, yeah, I’d have to agree.

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These pictures don’t do it justice AT ALL. The enormity of it and just the sound of the water rushing down really shows how miniscule we are in the face of nature and in the grand scheme of things. As in if we fell into the water, nature will not stop. It will not care. We would just get swept away and life will move on as if it never happened. So why care about the little things? I may have a bum knee but I can still walk and this is only temporary. People may annoy me on a regular basis but those same people, one-on-one, may be the perfect companion at the right time. Someone may have hurt me and chipped away at my friendship piece by small piece but maybe that same someone just needed time to grow, and maybe the potential I saw will come into fruition given time.

I’ve started realizing recently that my black and white approach may have been necessary for self-preservation in my younger years, but I think it’s time for me to learn patience and forgiveness now that I know myself better and can see beyond specific moments. I used to let the little things bother me and was unable to see beyond that. Not to say they don’t bother me now, they definitely still do, but now I try to think about the circumstances in which these moments happened. Is this person going through something? Did I just misunderstand what was said? Does this person know how upsetting it is to me? Is it worth my time and energy to let it bother me? Basically, I try to build context around it. And when my emotions take over me and I can’t seem to see beyond my feelings, I am now able to reach out to my friends who help guide me when I see red.

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I have by no means perfected this but I think my self-awareness and conscious decision to do this every time someone or something upsets me will be extremely beneficial in the long run.

If this is thirty, I’m so ready!

…but thirty year olds can still goof off right?

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Skinny Atlas

What is a Skinny Atlas?you may be thinking. “How does such a young girl even know what an atlas is?” was probably your next thought. (Like, ohemgee, thanks!)

Skinny Atlas is what I remember in order to pronounce Skaneateles correctly. Then when I try to spell it, I pronounce it as Skay-knee-ah-teh-lees. Why the strange spelling and pronunciation? Because it’s a Native American word just like Tongue Can Nick Falls, which is what I remember in order to pronounce Taughannock Falls correctly, pronounced as Tuh-han-nok in order to spell correctly.

What’s so special about Skinny Atlas? It’s freaking beautiful, that’s what.

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Look at how clear the water is.

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I made a day trip here during Memorial Day, which ended up being a beautiful day just like last year.

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For the most part, I hung out at Clift Park, which was right by the water.

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I also walked around and found this cool fishing area.

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Other activities included eating, reading, and daydreaming, my three favorite hobbies! Oh, and I’m pretty sure I took a nap at the park at some point, if the drool on my shirt was any indication…I couldn’t help it, it felt so good basking in the sun!

All in all it was a very beautiful day and just exactly the kind of day I was looking for. Have I mentioned how glad I am to have moved here? 🙂


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Oh Madrid, How Lovely Art Thou

Lately I’ve been filled with such joy and lightness in my heart, not sure why. Nothing has changed externally but for some reason, internally something shifted. It feels like when you do something without any real expectation of the outcome and then it just totally blows your mind. Like that time I went to Chocolateria San Gines on our last night in Madrid even though I’m not particularly fond of chocolate or churros, just because my friend said “You just have to try it! It’s very Madrid!”

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Or when our friends in Madrid causally suggested we go to the Temple of Debod to watch the sunset because it was “nice.”
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The Rick Steves book suggested getting a 10 pack of metro tickets for the duration of time we were there but given we were staying pretty much in the downtown area of Madrid, it didn’t seem necessary to take the metro. It was a difference of 5 minutes according to Google. Besides, the weather was really nice and there’s something amazing about just walking down the streets of a different country. So we walked.

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And walked.

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And walked some more.

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When I looked it up in my phone it turns out we walked an average of 7 miles each day, with a maximum of almost 11 miles! We weren’t walking aimlessly though so it didn’t seem that bad. We went to the Museo del Prado and got our Goya on.

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Then we decided to go modern the next day and went to the Museo Reina Sofia.

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For our final night, we decided to do the completely tourist thing and go to a Flamenco show, complete with sangria and tapas.

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Madrid is a very beautiful city with really friendly people.

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Although Barcelona still has my heart, Madrid is a close second because of its “city” feel and proximity to other cities in Spain. After all, it is pretty much in the center of Spain. Plus, I also discovered from my new friends in Spain that flying out of Madrid to other countries is much cheaper than other cities in Spain. Hmmmm…not that I see myself living there but who knows, right?

Spain is officially my favorite country in my travels so far. I finally understand what my other friends mean when they say they’ve fallen in love with a city or a country. It’s not a really tangible thing and even now I can’t quite explain. I just know that I felt extremely happy while I was there and that the cities I visited somehow spoke to me…which sounds like such a free spirit, tree hugging thing to say but I don’t know how else to explain it. Perhaps I’m slowly but surely turning into a hippie…

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…which really isn’t a bad thing.

On that note, peace and love, friends!

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