Tag Archives: New York

Connections, & social media & geography – oh my!

with Katie at Seaport Village, San Diego - thegiftoftravel.wordpress.com

Former student visits the west coast

We’ve now been in San Diego for ten months. We’ve had more random connections in those ten months than in the ten years I lived in Long Beach, NY thirty minutes from the town in which I grew up. Former students popped by when visiting friends. Friends we met traveling passed through on their way from here to there and we met in person. Mat’s high school friend now lives an hour away. Teenage youth group connections rekindled with those passing through for conferences. University friends grabbed coffee together en route to meetings. One of my San Diego yoga teachers grew up a few blocks away from me and went to the same high school. And virtual travel connections became a reality. When shifting gears or geography stations, people who are in your outer circles resurface – maybe it’s to teach you something or maybe it’s only for an afternoon. Life is beautiful and strange. Read the rest of this entry

A lesson wrapped in challah

Happy New Year from San Diego - thegiftoftravel.wordpress.com

Happy New Year from San Diego

This past weekend was Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. In over four decades, this is only the second time I’ve been away from home at this time of year. The first was six years ago. We’d gotten married in late August and took off for an around the world honeymoon, only to find ourselves celebrating the New Year in Berlin, Germany. This time, we’d taken off to escape winter in New York last December, and haven’t yet left San Diego. We found ourselves in this southern California city to ring in the New Year. Although short in length, these two experiences taught me endless lessons. Read the rest of this entry

When one door closes…


My first apartment in Long Beach

When Mat and I left French Polynesia, it rained. The hostess at breakfast looked directly at us and said, ‘Bora Bora cries for you’. It stuck with us. This past Monday it rained in Long Beach, and we remembered her words-to us they meant ‘Long Beach cries for you’. It was so foggy out that from our balcony you couldn’t even see the ocean just feet away from the door. It’s as if she was hiding – not wanting to say goodbye (for now). Perhaps these are just things we tell ourselves to make choices that might be hard, seem easier. Either way, we know just how lucky we are to have these choices and remind ourselves of that each and every day. Read the rest of this entry

Headed East for a visit!


Long Beach, NY

Tonight we fly to New York for a visit. Weird. I’ve never before heard myself say ‘New York’ and ‘visit’ in the same sentence since for almost forever it’s been my home base. We know how to ‘visit’ Melbourne, Australia and of course ‘visit’ friends in other places, but never ‘visit’ New York. Read the rest of this entry

Remembering Sandy


Long Beach 2012 - thegiftoftravel.wordpress.com“Crash, crack, smash!” – Two years ago, Hurricane Sandy slammed our shores. In a few short hours, the ocean met the bay and Long Beach was under water without electric or clean water and ‘shelter’ took on a brand new meaning. One night’s damage would take years from which to recover. For weeks and months on end help came from everywhere and in all forms. The kindness of strangers never ceased to amaze me. Read the rest of this entry

NYC Straight Out of the Movies


photo 4 copy

Did you ever have one of those moments that you think, ‘I must be living someone else’s life’? It’s a scene straight out of a major motion picture or a prime time drama and it just doesn’t seem real, but somehow, it is. Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw, I am not. But at this moment, as the resident pigeons search for dinner beside my aluminium table in Herald Square, I feel as if I’m channeling her writer side.

This week alone, I watched one of the old Law and Order episodes with both the actors who played Miranda and Mr. Big, and a friend posted an image of the Birkin bag she bought herself as a birthday treat. Read the rest of this entry

5 Things I Love About Long Beach, New York


The Ocean-Long Beach, NY

1.The Ocean

Holding the answers to all of life’s questions, this endless body of water is the life-blood of this city. She’s there every day with waves that crash and lights up every night as boats queue to head into New York harbor. With an open invitation to all, the ocean is a constant provider. The salty sea air is a cure for whatever ails while the crashing sound of the waves soothes the soul. She is a force to be reckoned with, a calming natural wonder and a source of life for all living things. Without her-we’d be just another city. Read the rest of this entry

A Snowy Excursion in New York


in Central Park - thegiftoftravel.wordpress.com

I’m a summer girl at heart so it’s safe to say that winter excursions are not typically on my agenda. But with a change of attitude comes a change of adventure and that’s just what happened this weekend. Mathew and I have now been home from our first RTW adventure for just over 3 years and from our second one for just over seven months.  Each time we’ve tried to follow the sun and that’s what has always made my heart smile. Our holiday travel has only ever involved shorts & flip-flops (thongs). If you can believe, this is the first time in twelve years that we’ll be spending December in a cold weather climate. Adventures with my husband are the best and with one planned to be travelers in our own NYC this weekend even the snow didn’t stand in our way. Read the rest of this entry



French fries are my most favourite food in the entire world. My husband and I even had a French fry bar at our wedding. Having sampled chips in over 50 of the world’s countries, I’ve been asked by friends to compile a list of my favourites. Just as there are differences in people, there are varieties in chips (fries) and everyone will have their own personal favourites. There are the thin ones, think ones, crinkle cut, strings and all things wedge. They’re all different of course and each one selected does have their own special flare. There have been many enjoyable chips (fries) and some that will get a slot for the chips I ate in that country-but to put them on my overall favourites list would be lying. If you happen to get a chance to stop in at any of these locations and french fries are on your list of favourite foods-I would recommend you give these a go.

My Top Five Best Chips in the World

My most favourite chips in the whole world!

The very best!

1. Grill’d-Australia: thick cut rosemary herbed chips (get the regular size-even those will be gone too soon) dipped into your choice of sauce (my staple: herbed mayo)

Lord of the Fries with Belgian Mayo

2. Lord of the Fries-Melbourne, Australia: thick cut chips in a box or a cone with your choice of heaps of sauces (my staple: Belgian mayo)

When in Belgium!

3. Friterie Tabora-Brussels, Belgium: perfect Belgian frites in a paper cone with your choice of divine sauces; you’ll be sad when they’re finished (our choice for best sauce: Andalouse)

Pomme Frites-my favorite in NYC

4. Pomme Frites-New York City, New York, USA: Belgian frites in a paper cone that sit in the bars on the side of the wall so you can easily dip into an array of sauces without the worry that your chips will land on the floor (sauces: they’ll let you taste test before you choose)

Best chips I’ve had on Long Island

5. Press 195-Rockville Centre, New York, USA: Belgian chips (easily enough for two) with a few different sauces (my staple: chipotle mayo)

Really…what could ever be bad about a potato fried in oil! Happy eating!