Cape Cod Hike: Monomoy River Conservation Lands

After finishing our windy walk at the Coy’s Brook Wetlands, we made our way over to the Monomoy River (on the Harwich / Chatham border). It was still windy and cold, so this woodsy walk with glimpses of water views made for some good outdoor exercise given the weather. According to the Harwich Conservation Trust website this hike is 1.25 miles and the parking lot is off of Bay Rd. There were a handful of parking spots (not a ton). We were only one of two cars in the lot, so on a wintery day it’s easy to park.

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You can actually kayak along this part of the Monomoy River, but be sure to check the tide and time your visit right. My dad kayaked here and got cut up trying to exit his kayak along the newly renovated bridge area (by Route 28 on the map).

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Yay, the trail head!

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It’s woodsy walking out to the cliffside overlooking the river.

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This is the viewpoint out along the river. See the benches? On a warm day, pack a picnic!

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We did some birding as we followed the path along the cliffside.

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Eventually the water falls from view and it’s back to being a woodsy trek.

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You’ll hit an open area with power lines and you can see about the trail clearly continues along this opening..

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Following the power lines…

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And eventually you’ll follow the path to the right back into he woods where the hike loops back to the  parking lot. This was a great hike to link with the short Coy walk for a fuller workout. We also stopped in nearby Chatham at the fish pier to look for seals (and sharks.. I’m always looking for sharks).

If you’re looking for more exercise, or coffee/lunch, head into Main Street in Chatham and stroll around this super adorable street full of shops and food options.

Cape Cod Hike: Coy’s Brook Woodlands

I’m getting a little backlogged in hikes to share with you, so I hope to post a couple this week. When I was in Cape Cod two weeks ago, it was blustery cold and SUPER windy. We did the Bells Neck Hike  on Saturday, and then ventured out on Sunday to two different hikes. The first was Coy’s Brook Woodlands. It was a woodsy walk, less than a mile, with water/marsh views for half of it.

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Click on the map above and it will take you to the Harwich Conservation Trust (who made the map) and you’ll see official details from the hike. Below are photos of this trek on a cold early March 2017 weekend.

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The trail begins off a small parking lot on Lathrop Ave in Harwich Cape Cod, MA. There’s not a ton of parking, but on this freezing day it was only us and a woman walking her 3 dogs.

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The trail very quickly loops down toward the marsh, so interesting views are seen for over 50% of this trail. The tress also helped cut down on the cold wind. This was a very easy trail. You can see from the path image above, it was relatively flat, wide, and not very long. We did this on the same day that we did another short hike, just to make it feel like more exercise.

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Marsh views.

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You can see above, the trail has some bumps but it’s not very hilly and at under a mile, it didn’t take long at all.

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For birders needing to sit and wait for their winged friends, there is a bench along the water. The loop back to the car was woodsy, but before you know it you’re passing a water tower and the back of a private home, and it spits you out in the parking lot. Beware dog (hopefully) poop! I managed to get it on my hiking boots and it was a mess to get off my shoe. Classic Bethany.

Hike: Bells Neck Conservation Lands

This past weekend (March 4th to be exact) my parents and I ventured out into the freezing cold winds to get some exercise out in Cape Cod. After a week of 60 degree temps, we were SO COLD doing this walk (as you can see from our Michelin Man layers). I feel like the photos show how cold it was, but don’t convey just how windy it was. We are lucky none of us were blown into the West Reservoir of Bells Neck. I’m sure Ill do this walk again in the summer and share the differences!

We started by parking at the lot on the right of the map and then we worked our way around the water clockwise. I want to note that this was a pretty easy walk, 50 minute walk. From the parking “lot” (only room for a handful of spots) to the Fish Ladder, it was a pretty wide path, not much close brush and had pretty views throughout. The loop from the Fish Ladder back to the car, that north side is more woodsy, and a much tighter trail. In the summer I can see this being over grown and scratchy/itchy on bare legs (in shorts), which clearly wasn’t a problem today in our arctic layers.

Difficulty: EASY level #2 (1 being a paved path – 5 being an intense up hill hike)

Length: 2.75 miles according to the website, but I imagine it depends which route you go. It took us about 50 minutes, and we stopped for pictures and to look for birds.

Best Time to go: This will be busy (limited parking) + over grown in the height of summer (ticks!). Slightly off season is probably best. Spring/Fall. It’s also a great place to kayak!

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Map Provided by the Harwich Conservation Trust

For the original map + official details about the hike click HERE. Above is my version with the pink path showing you the route we took.

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Look at the level of layers required! I think we just had an especially rough day, wind wise.

The map up above has “B”s marking the benches along the loop. It’s probably more fun to sit when you aren’t being blown over into the water.

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The plants and branches were frozen to the water along the edges.

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This is the view of the Herring River on one side of the fish ladder.

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Above is the view of the West Reservoir. So peaceful. Given the cold temps, I think we only passed one person on this trail (and another person along the bike path). So still.

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Above and below are shots of the fish ladder, currently unoccupied by herring fish but soon will have fish jumping along the ladder.

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After the fish ladder we continued on to make this a loop along the water. This route takes you by privately owned cranberry bogs. Such a fun punch of color in a wintery landscape. Keep an eye out for “trail” tags marked on the trees showing you were to jump back into the woods along the path.

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These two images above show you that the wide path snakes along the edge of the property untimely meeting up with the bike path.

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Here’s the entrance to the bike path, which also has a map of the area posted for reference. When you reach the bike path take a right and continue on the path until you see a clearly marked path back toward the water, also on the right.

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This is the view along the path- pretty!

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Above is my Dad in giant layers trying to hide behind a tiny map. Can you spot Waldo? This is the path heading off from the bike path. You can see, it’s easy to spot.

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This part of the path gets a little narrower, and you can see that poison ivy+ticks might make this part tricky in the summer.

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We did an added little loop on a peninsula that juts out into he water, and then made out way back to the car.

I was with my birding parents, so they were constantly on the lookout for birds and we did end up seeing a massive blue heron. It was good at hiding among the tall grass by the water, so I don’t have a photo of it worth sharing. Keep a lookout for them when you’re exploring the area.

As windy and as cold as it was, we were really happy to get out of the house and get some exercise along a woodsy path (that cuts down on the wind!) and with pretty views of the water. I’ll for sure be doing this walk again during a different season and show the contrasting images.

 

September 14, 2015 Update

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The summer has FLOWN by. Yesterday it was practically 90 degrees all day, and this morning it was so cold I wore a sweater to work…. it’s officially FALL! This has been the season I’m most excited for now that I’m back in New England. I arrived in New Haven in December of 2014, so I experienced a lot of cold, then a very quick spring followed by a very hot summer and now it’s finally fall!

My Fall list has already started; apple picking, pumpkin carving, a visit to Salem MA, etc all made it on there. I’m looking forward to a little fall wardrobe upgrade as I haven’t bought new nice clothes in forever. What gets you excited about fall? Is it the pumpkin spiced lattes?

I continually ache to keep this blog up to date, but my etsy shop has been off the hook. I keep playing with the idea of closing it for a week just to catch up. It’s hard to explore new designs and add to the shop when Im filling orders. The good thing is that the physical store (located in Hamden) is starting to take shape. I’ve also taken up weaving, which has been a great night time stress release. I can put on a movie and at the end I’ve made a decorative wall weaving. HERE‘s a great tutorial. I figure it’ll be good to add some soft items to the shop.

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One fun creative project I was commissioned to make is this cedar chest with herringbone pattern. I’m really happy with how it came out and I look forward to developing this as a table top soon… I just need to find the time!!

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As for Meyer Wire, I’m still in the process of installing the baseboards. It will look significantly better once I finish this, but I just need a solid few days of being able to knock these out. Im spread a little thin right now, but Im hopefully things will even out, as I make more work boundaries and allow for longer lead times on projects. I did make myself a Honey window sill that I love 🙂 Such a subtle but meaningful upgrade to the office.

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I’ve spent a lot of my summer out in Cape Cod enjoying the summer and the perfect weather. I’ve been out there almost every weekend walking the beach looking for sharks (with no luck). We’ve been playing a ton of Settlers of Cattan, and of course eating fried oysters (yum!!). The diet officially starts now that fall is here.

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Oscar update: He’s cute as ever and loves stealing my yarn.

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A Wintery Cape Cod Weekend

Sometimes you need to get away from you routine and have some adventure, which is what lead me to Cape Cod this past weekend. I was in need of escape and joined my parents on the Cape for a weekend of exploration. We arrived at their house on Friday night, and woke up early on Saturday to hit the road heading down to Woods Hole, MA.

We meandered down to Hyannis and did a drive by the Hyannisport compound of the Kennedy’s. This photo below was taken a little further down the street from the compound. What a beautiful day. Blue sky, snow on the ground and even mini-icebergs in the water. What a sight.

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While in Hyannisport we made a stop into Tim’s Used Bookstore on the main drag. They have a great collection of art/coffee table books at reasonable prices (fyi). Im trying to save my pennies, so I didn’t get anything although we did spot this hilarious book below:

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It’s trying to appeal to 50 Shades of Gray loving nuns? Why does the nun on the cover look like she’s 12?! Hilarious and horrible at the same time.

We got back in the car and continued on until we hit the Falmouth Public Library. It’s a beautiful building (with clean public restrooms). They have a fun Main Street, with cute shops and restaurants. We stopped into Quarterdeck for lunch. It was good food with generous portions and the decor is meant to make you feel like your in the captains quarters of a boat. It’s really fun and I recommend it. Below is a photo I took looking up at the ceiling over our table.

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After a quick walk around we got back into the car and continued on to where Woods Hole Rd. meets Water St. Most of Woods Hole seems dedicated to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. They have many buildings and dorms dedicated to ocean and animal life research. They are often on the scene if anything exciting happens along the east coast (with respect to science and marine life). They also have a FREE Science Aquarium that is for sure wrath the visit.  I took so many photos and had such a fun time watching all the fish swim around. I could stare at them forever.

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If you’re visiting Woods Hole, the FREE aquarium is a must. When my parents visit in the summer, they bring their bikes, ride around town and then stop in the aquarium to see the fish and enjoy the AC. Given that it was snowy this past weekend, it was nice to get toasty in the heat.

Eventually we left the aquarium and did a walking loop around Eel Pond. It was so frozen over that many people were out walking, ice skating and even playing hockey on the ice. It was quite a sight!

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After a walking loop we stopped into Coffee Obsession and grabbed some coffee for the road. Before leaving Woods Hole we visited a beach off of Gosnold Road, where we saw people kite-skiing! It was insane! They were really flying around out there on the water that had frozen over. Normally that would be a sandy beach with water hitting the shore and instead it was a kite-skiiers paradise. I had no clue that was even a sport, but it looks really fun.

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Back in Harwich Port, we had a puppy cousin reunion which involved lots of white puppy hugs 🙂

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Is Vacation Really Over?

It’s time to face facts- it’s 2015. Since Ive been on vacation the past few days I haven’t been able to really start my resolutions. Tonight I head back home and tomorrow really brings the start to 2015. As part of my resolution list, Ive decided to add a challenge a friend of mine is also doing: 100 miles by Valentines Day. It’s really a doable goal, and my go at it starts tomorrow. I also get the keys to my apartment tomorrow (woo hoo!) and I become a New Haven resident. I’m so excited to be down there and explore more as a local. And this begins all my 2015 adventures!

Before I move on just yet, I’ll catch you up to speed with the remaining Cape Cod adventures.

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We had a very cold, but clear day this past week where the Meyer’s got in a car and drove over to Brewster’s Wing’s Island (the John Wing Trail). This is a popular birding spot and a quick 1.5 mi (?) loop. We followed the trail on boards across a marsh land, and then made our way through some woods out to the beach. The tide was extremely low creating some fun tide pools to explore. Off in the distance we could see different clammers and oyster catchers collecting their goods. I highly recommend this path, as it was short (although you could walk the beach and make it a longer walk), had beautiful views and was a fun landscape to explore (even in the winter!). The Cape Cod Museum of Natural History is also located by the parking lot of this hike. Make an afternoon of it, and check it out!

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Next we headed over to Eagle Point, also in Brewster for a very quick loop in their wooded lands. This loop is wooded, but along Upper Miller Pond so it has so beautiful views. It was also fun walking through the trees around 3:30p, as the sunlight cast a warm light on the trees.

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This hike is short and interesting because these are Punkhorn Trails. There aren’t any paved roads leading to cabins hidden in these woods, so the people living here look for complete privacy. I wouldn’t go hiking here at night, as this type of hard-to-reach place attracts people and activities that sound more scary than fun. But during the day, it’s an interesting web of trails to explore.

Another night we decided to walk to Neel’s Beach (Harwich Port), walk the beach, and then walk back. We did this right at sunset, so we got some great beach photos and made it home before it was dark.

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It’s time to pack up, and say “see you later” to the cape as we make our way back to Connecticut. Time to go back to real life, and I’m excited to get a start on all the 2015 fun!

Happy Holidays from Cape Cod!

Did you notice I’ve been MIA? Do This Today Posts will be back in full force in 2015, I swear. I’ve been on a Cape Cod winter hiatus.

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The hiatus started with a nasty cold that thankfully has passed. After a few days of rest I was able to get out and explore. Stop one was an evening Brewster beach walk (photo above) and a stop into some local shops (Chatham Town Center and Brewster General Store). Shop local!

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One day we ventured out to Monomoy Nature Preserve (below) and did a fun 3+ mile loop. Winter time on the Cape means very quiet beach walks and thankfully this was a calm 40 degree day so it wasn’t too cold.

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Yesterday we drove all the way out to Provincetown and did a walk along Herring Cove (below) before shopping in town and catching the sunset. It was so beautiful, but it was around 29/30 degrees and breezy. Yikes it was cold!

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Look at this gem I found in a shop in P-town! It’s a poster ad for the Rolling Stones doing a pre-tour show at Toad’s Place in New Haven. Ticket price? $3.01! Man that would have been a fun show. What a great find!

After visiting a few shops in P-Town we caught the sunset and drove to Orleans for a yummy seafood dinner at Old Jailhouse Tavern (a family favorite restaurant).

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Up next, I recap my 2014 resolutions and then I’ll share my 2015 goals. 2015 will be a big year! 🙂

2013 Resolutions: The Final Weigh-in

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Greetings from a wintery Cape Cod. As you know I make a huge resolution list, and in 2013 it was no exception. HERE‘s my initial 2013 list. HERE is when I checked-in and took stock of my progress in July. And now here we are, on the last day of 2013 and it’s time I see how successful I was.

Resolutions for 2013:
– “SAVE SAVE SAVE!” – Check! In 2013 I knocked off 1 of 2 student loans and got rid of all my high interest loans. I’m hugely proud of myself for this because otherwise I’d still be paying off these loans at 50 years old. Just a little more to go.
– Go Cross Country skiing for the first time! – it didn’t happen in 2013.. maybe 2014?
– White water rafting. – I didn’t get to go in 2013, but hopefully next summer.
– Go kayaking – Check! I went in Cape Cod in the fall.
– Walk 5 times a week at least (mornings + nights!) – Check! I was pretty good about walking and added the Silver Lake Reservoir to my regular walks.
– Do a Monster Walk! – Nope, but I still did plenty of walking in 2013.
– Do more hikes from my hike book – Nope, in 2014 I need to hike more.
– More camping! – I hope to do a lot more in 2014 and I’m aching for it!
– Run a race! 5k and work up to 10k? – It’s about time I trained again.
– Whiten Teeth – Check!
– Do a secret stair walk with the facebook group and meet other stair walkers. – I still need to do this. It will happen in 2014.
-Do taxes in January (to get money back sooner!) -Check!
– Take an art class – Check!
– Do more artwork. I have the supplies, so no excuses! – Double Check!!
– Learn French I- Rosetta Stone – Check!
– Learn how to sew – Check!
– Learn how to knit – I still need to do this.
– Take vitamin b – I’m bad about doing this every day, but I’ll work on it in 2014.
– Keep up water intake! – Check!
– Clean bathroom drawer + cabinet – Check!
– Do projects from the Young, House Love book – Check!
– See a dermatologist – I’ve put this off for years now. It’s time.
– Read typography book I got for Christmas – Check! I’ve also read a handful of books in 2013, which is the thing I have the most trouble making time for.
– Clean out closet again this year- Check!
– Clean garage and organize with plastic bins – Done, but I wonder if I should do this again.
– Clean out wallet – Check!
– Clean out all emails – Check! But this is a life project and will have to happen again.
– Clean out computer and back up files – Check! But this is another thing that is a constant issue.
– Get a new cell phone – Check!
– Keep going out during the week -I’m always up for week night fun, I’ll sleep when Im dead – Check!
– Do more running outside – Check! But I still hope to do this more.
– Living on my own?? – Not this year, but it’s another year of saving for something better in 2014.
Improve my blog! Change is a good thing! – Check! I redid the header and I’ve been working away on my shop site.
Keep saying yes.. to everything! Yes to life! YES!
GROW A PAIR!

Trip Ideas:
O Visit 2 presidential libraries – Went to the Nixon Library, still need to see the Reagan Library.
O Take the train somewhere for a day trip outside LA -I haven’t taken the train, but I’ve been north and south for day trips outside of LA in 2013.
O Chicago again? -We shall see
O Beach camping up the coast?
O San Fran? more north? Portland? -I decided to skip this and some of the expensive travel items because I went to Israel and Istanbul with my sister and uncle in November. When I made this list last year I had no clue this was doable, and we made it real!

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Well everyone, thanks for reading in 2013! Tomorrow I’ll be posting my 2014 New Years resolutions and in January my Israel + Istanbul travel posts will begin. I can’t wait to share all of this with you, as well as all the excitement that 2014 is going to bring. My horoscope has been saying for years that 2014 is going to be a big year of change for me, and I’m really looking forward to the needed change!

A Cape Cod Hiatus

Sorry for the lack of communication, but I’ve been hiatusing out on Cape Cod with limited internet access and plenty of cold but beautiful weather. I love Cape Cod in the winter. It’s way less crowded, expensive stores are having wild sales (yes, I will buy this at 50% off), and the colors are so unique. Desaturated winter colors are just as gorgeous to me as bright colors. Just see for yourself. The blue sky, soft clouds and golden dried grasses are some of my favorite color combinations that are worth exploring even in the frigid cold.

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Lighthouse Beach, Chatham MA

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Chatham, MA Fish Pier

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Salt Pond, Orleans MA

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Overlooking Nauset Marsh, Orleans MA

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Also overlooking Nauset Marsh in Orleans. This was more about our three shadows.

I’ll check in tomorrow and do a round up of 2013 resolutions (I don’t think I did so hot), and figure out a plan for 2014!

Bringing Israel + Istanbul to Los Angeles

Every time I travel anywhere from home for a New England weekend or a month in Spain (which I don’t get to do either often), I like to bring back some aspect of that lifestyle. This can be a smell, a plant, type of food, or activity. Like after a visit to Cape Cod I’ll buy hydrangeas, cook more seafood, and take time to go to the beach. After spending two weeks in Israel and Istanbul, I’m noticing a lot has come back with me.

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1: Dreams- I can tell every night since I’ve been home, I’ve been dreaming that I’m still abroad. In my dreams people have heavy accents, and I wake up feeling like I spent all night visiting religious sites and walking the narrow cobble stone streets. Every morning I’ve woken up to the thought “where am I?” It’s disorienting, but a relief that in my brain I’m still on an adventure exploring the other side of the world.

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2: Walking- I always love walking, but when I walk it’s often to do a loop for exercise (or secret stairs) and not about walking due to necessity. In Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Istanbul, walking is an essential part of every day. In Jerusalem, it’s nearly impossible to drive in the Old City so you see people (usually women) with their rolling carts for groceries they’re buying from the stalls. Lettuce from one vendor, meat from another, dessert from another. Tel Aviv and Istanbul both have similar markets (the Grand Bazar) where people buy their goods. Today was a rare drizzly LA morning and it was a delight to walk from my home to complete all my errands and shop local at the farmers market. It reminded me that I may be in a very modern city, but by walking it made me feel very connected to the past.

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3: The Spa Lifestyle- I have to thank Brian for this phrase. While in Istanbul we all were brainstorming about hospitality needs and Brain said he’s decided to live the “spa lifestyle” and the phrase has stuck with me. I also equate this phrase with Israel because of the Dead Sea. I brought back some Dead Sea salt (Ahava) and just took a soaking bath. Amazing. There’s something really special about that salt. I also brought back some dried olive oil based soap (a Turkish specialty) which made the bath extra fun. The Middle East knows how to do baths right. It’s made me think about redecorating my long neglected bathroom, as baths are calming and stress releasing which is key to happiness. It’s time I also embraced the spa lifestyle.

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(Photo courtesy of @asherworldturns) This (minus the chicken) was amazing. Hummus!

4: Food- Where to start with this one… I love hummus which was so readily available in Israel. It is common to order hummus as a meal. Just a plate of hummus with some pita. It’s all anyone needs in life. And mezze’s are what all meals should be: many tiny plates of food. In Israel it’s common to eat mezze’s before you even order any food, although by the time you eat the mezze’s you’re often too full for the dish you ordered. An example of mezze’s would be many small plates filled with mashed eggplant, hummus, olives, diced cucumber, plates of cheeses, guacamole (their equivalent), felafel, and so many more that are continuously refilled. Did I mention Israel makes great wine?

I think all travel is invaluable and you can’t put a price on these life experiences that end up changing parts of your everyday routine. It’s fun to travel and to see what everyday life is like for people in other places and absorb some of their ways. This trip has made me see how small this world is which puts things in perspective.