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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A Whirlwind of Motion

It’s only mid-March and I’ve already done a lot of things, some for the first time and others because it’s a known favorite.

First, an old favorite: Snowboarding.

These were taken at Gore Mountain, which is part of the Andirondacks. It’s a pretty large mountain (none of which I explored because I’m a scaredy-cat and did the same run over and over) and I was fortunate enough to go on a weekend when it was actually warm and the sun was shining. It was a little too warm for me on day 1 but the snow was still great. I also finally invested in a helmet. Not because I’m looking to be the next Shaun White…more as a precaution like if I fell while getting off the ski lift and got hit on the back of the head (which happened to me while I was in the beginning stages of dating this guy…reason number 455 why I’ll never be the female equivalent of Hitch #noGame).

I’ve also been going at night locally (Greek Peak) since lift tickets are only $20 during the week and it’s only 45 minutes away! One night I went when it was 10 degrees… it’s a good thing I finally learned to put on my ski mask properly after years of owning it…

Then I switched gears and went all fancy that one weekend in February when it was 65 degrees! I went with friends to the Liberty Ball in Philadelphia, a formal, black tie event sponsored by the Four Diamonds Foundation in support of pediatric cancer research.

The nice weather didn’t last long (of course). The Northeast likes to tease around this time of year. So back to indoor activities, this time, indoor rock climbing at the Lindseth Climbing Center at Cornell!

And since we were at Cornell, my friend suggested we visit the “Harry Potter library.”

This library is easily the coolest one I’ve been to! If I had gone to school here I definitely would’ve been at the library a lot.

Even though I’ve been out and about, don’t think I’m not spending time enjoying my new home! When I bought the house it was a fishbowl (I.e. no window treatments) and now it’s a fishbowl with cool looking shades!

And last night I did my most favorite thing ever…I sat on the couch with my two kitties while watching a movie in my lion onesie! I’ve lived here for three months and I just now got to this! For shame!
What’s next in store for can’t-sit-still me? More snowboarding, this time at Jiminy Peak in Massachusetts, then meeting my Cali friends in Denver. Then possibly visiting my friends in Boston. Or perhaps the introvert side of me will put her foot down and insist on another onesie weekend, who knows. One thing I know for sure is 2017 has been amazing thus far and I can’t wait to see what’s next. 

Life has been so much better since I’ve let this little girl come out.


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It was the best of days, it was the worst of days

A few weeks ago some friends and I spent the weekend at the Charles Dickens Christmas-themed Skaneateles. We spent the time enjoying the costumed carolers,

walking the decorated streets of downtown Skaneateles,

and relaxing at the luxurious Mirbeau spa, complete with our own fluffy robe.

‘Twas indeed the best of times. There’s nothing quite like enjoying a relaxing weekend with some amazing ladies whilst enjoying a glass or two (or three or four) of wine and indulging in some freshly baked donuts.

I had been to Skaneateles in the summer and also had a wonderful time, but I must say seeing it in the winter with all the costumed carolers and decorations made it a lot more fun. That and I indulged in shopping this time. 😀

Until next time, Skaneateles! I heard there is a boat tour in the summer so I’ll to come back for that!


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Hiking is my therapy

“Hey, it’s supposed to be beautiful out this weekend. Care to join us for a hike?”

“I’m in town today! Free for dinner?”

“I have dinner plans in the evening so I can’t go hiking with you guys during the day…because, you know, timing…” …That doesn’t even sound convincing to ME…

“Errr…I would go but…I already made plans with my cats.” No, that’s not an acceptable answer.

“I’ll have to pass, but next time for sure!” There! Vague, but polite. Just make sure not to post pictures from my solo hike on the same day they went hiking and no ‘solo dinner, finally!’ type of posts either…

It’s still a struggle for me sometimes to say no to people I usually love spending time with without feeling guilty. I know it’s a cliche but really…

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The things is, I’m known for my need for alone time, my preference for doing things alone, and my love of staying at home in my lion onesie while hanging out with my cats. And yet…I still feel bad for saying no, especially when I intend to do the same activity I’m being invited to. Perhaps with time I will learn not to feel guilty for doing what I need to in order to recharge but for now…vague responses and setting a separate time to hang out it is!

Guilty or not I did end up pretty much not talking to anyone I know that weekend and it was exactly what I needed. First of all, it was an incredibly beautiful weekend due to the unusual occurrence of gorgeous autumn colors coupled with summer weather. Think fall foliage with 70 to 80 degrees F temperature. YES.

Thank you, Google Photos for this awesome stylized photo! (original wasn’t this cool)

Second, with the election going on and people commenting on the election on social media in ways that I feel are not conducive to intellectual and meaningful discussions, my social capacity bucket has been near empty pretty much everyday. Did someone poke a hole in it when I wasn’t looking? Because lately my inner grumpy cat has come out and I’m annoyed with everyone. Well, not everyone per se. Just certain types of people.

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This is not like me. I do enjoy being alone and I particularly love going on hikes by myself but spending time with those I consider my good friends usually makes me happy. But, unlike me or not it was clear to me that I needed to clear my head and so I pushed the guilt aside and went hiking. The day before I went to Sugar Hill State Park  in Watkins Glen, NY and this time I decided to check out Salt Springs State Park in Montrose, PA. I didn’t realize the food connection until just now lol! I guess I decided to go somewhere sweet since I was feeling salty. Pa dum ching! 😄

Salt Springs State Park is not actually maintained by the state contrary to what the name implies. It is, however maintained. What that means is there are marked trails and maps and everything!

Ooooh…

Aaaaahhh…

Even though the trails were marked, the path itself wasn’t as well maintained as state maintained parks, which means it looks really pretty with all the leaves on the ground!

It also means you have no idea what you’re possibly stepping on, as I came to find out when something jumped out from under my feet.

I’m very glad I stayed true to myself and went in anti-social mode this weekend because at the end of the weekend I felt more like myself again. Nature tends to have that effect on me. How could it not?

I was happy, my mind was quiet, and I felt excited about life again, even though Monday was fast approaching.

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Hiking is my therapy and I am very grateful to live in an area full of beautiful trails.


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Releasing my inner #basic

It’s fall season! That means it’s time for sugar and pumpkin spice and everything nice! Leggings and sweaters and fuggs (fake uggs) and pumpkin spice latte and my favorite…the fall foliage!

Yaaas! Look at ALL the trees!

Take all the pictures!

Even if you know the pictures will end up looking the same, take more pictures anyway!

Being from LA I had no idea what a true fall looked like. I mean, the leaves back home changed color too but they mostly just turned brown before dying. We did not have this explosion of colors that look almost fake in its brilliance.

I mean, just look at that! Doesn’t it look fake? Heavily filtered? Something out of a fantasy video game?

Pardon my excessive enthusiasm but I just can’t help it. Fall seems to get me every time.

Tired of looking at trees yet? Come on, just one more.

Oh come on. One more won’t hurt. Just the tip (of the tree, that is. Stop that dirty mind!).

Oh but right. Details. Where was I? I was in Sugar Hill State Forest Park in Watkins Glen, NY, a park that along with hiking trails also has horse trails and a cool fire tower. 

I thought you would be able to go all the way to the top where that enclosed shed looking thing is in the picture. Unfortunately, there was a locked shut trapdoor (that I almost walked into) on the last flight of stairs. Oh well. Maybe next time it’ll be open. 

This is the first state park that didn’t have any paper maps available. It’s also the first state park I’ve been to where I didn’t have to pay for parking so I’ll take it! But they did have this cool map:

I made sure to take this picture prior to my hike so I could follow the right trail (I didn’t follow the right trail) and so that I didn’t get lost this time (I got lost).

It was a very short hike (because I went the wrong way) but it was still exactly what I needed. It was such a beautiful day. Perfect for just being in the moment and getting away from everything else. I ended my day with a cup of hot mulled cider, and by cup I mean ginormous mug.

Just kidding. My day didn’t actually end there. It was a friend’s birthday party so I went out afterwards.

I know, I know. My face looks really different when I actually do something to it, right? 😀 

Today was actually a very good day. It was a great combination of enjoying my solitude on a beautiful day and having a blast at night with some good company. My favorite kind of day. 

Balance is key.


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Ain’t no mountain high, ain’t no valley low…

… that I won’t try to climb on top of or crawl under! 😀

This impromptu Sunday Funday included an adventure at the Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, NY, which reminded me a bit of the Room of Requirement in Harry Potter due to the many different activities you can do. 

Want to get married? You can do that.

Not getting married or invited to the wedding but still want to be a part of it? You can do that too. There are various stone cottages and treehouses type of thing that would allow this.

No one will ever know you’re watching!

Want to just sit in a gazebo and enjoy the view? ‘Tis possible.

Want to stop and smell the roses? Done.

But the best part was going through the labyrinth. Unfortunately, I don’t have many pictures of the actual “obstacles” within the labyrinth since I was, well, going through them, but it consisted of climbing over rocks, going through tight spaces, climbing ladders, and yelling, “parkour!” with every attempted leap. It was SO much fun! Not to mention incredibly beautiful.

At the end of the labyrinth is this section called “Lemon Squeeze” where the labyrinth makes lemonade out of you, especially at the end of it.

Here I am, about to become lemonade. What chu know bout that lemonade, Beyonce?? (Just kidding, I love you, I’m a huge fan)

After becoming lemonade, you are greeted with the most amazing view, complete with scary ledges that I sat at the edge of because… I’m old enough to know better but young enough to do it anyway.

I didn’t know what vertigo felt like until I looked down at my feet…

…but if I just leaned back, put my arms behind my head, and relaxed, I found that it was actually quite comfortable!

Here’s a better perspective on how far up that ledge was.

Yup, we’re crazy. 😀

It was truly such a beautiful day and I’m so glad they invited me to this impromptu Sunday Funday. I will definitely have to come back some time.


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The Clueless Rebel

This past weekend I did my first hike of the summer. I was trying to figure out why I hadn’t gone on any hikes before this weekend considering it’s already mid-summer and summer is short around here. Then I realized it’s because I could barely walk. Ah. That is a critical component of hiking so no wonder.

But no matter, at least I can walk with barely a limp now so I’m ready! And for my first hike I decided to go to Letchworth State Park, which is considered the Grand Canyon of the East. In hindsight I’m not sure why I thought that would make a good first hike considering it’s 7 miles one way, but in the end it didn’t matter. I got lost and inadvertently turned around about 2 miles in so yeah… that happened last time too…sigh…

But whatever, I got some pretty cool pictures and was able to relax a bit.

I noticed the waterfall seemed a lot more dried up than the last time I was there in September. It wasn’t as powerful but it was no less majestic. In fact, because it was pretty dried up you could actually go down on the river bed, which I did.
Not shown here is a man wearing a bright yellow shirt walking towards me, almost ruining this shot for me.

Also not shown here is me getting kicked out by said man in the bright yellow shirt because apparently you’re not supposed to be down there… Oops… but I took one last shot before I got out. Take that, bright yellow shirt man!

After my short hike I decided to go home. Well, more accurately, my stomach decided it was time to go eat and my stomach pretty much rules all so off I went. On the way home I noticed a few places where one could pull off to the side and check out the overlook. So this one did just that.

Then a child kindly informed me that sitting on the ledge was unsafe and started explaining to me the dangers of what I was doing. Boy, I just couldn’t win that day! 😁

So in conclusion, I found that I am a clueless rebel who has a terrible sense of direction. Next time, I swear I’ll be successful in finding and completing the trail AND won’t break any rules!


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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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