The Face of Newark Abroad

Hola Puerto Rico

Top 5 reasons Puerto Rico is my favorite island:

  1. It’s tropically beautiful.
  2. The food is delicious.
  3. The people are friendly.
  4. It’s relaxing.
  5. You don’t need a passport. (For those that are not yet international.)

There is so much to do, see and eat in Puerto Rico. Book a trip immediately, any time of year. I took an impromptu trip this month. Can’t wait to get back for trip # 4 or 5. I’m starting to lose count. I just know I need to go once a year🙂

Hasta lluego!

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Jacksonville Beach

I took a little trip to Florida and couldn’t leave without going to the beach. We arrived at the beach and were surprised to see a festival going on. Of course we headed for a cool frozen drink first and then for food. We ate fried junk food that was mediocre at best. I saw the booth for Bayou Billy’s Sweet Dixie Tea. I liked the souvenir mugs and their amusing promotional song: {“Put some south in your mouth.”} The best part of the deal is free refills for life as long as you bring your mug with you! They’re only in the south and Michigan. I’ll have to talk them into coming to New Jersey.

Though the water was cold, the sun was nice and I had a great time at the beach! I can’t wait to go back later this year.

Tennessee

I have a travel goal of exploring more of the US of A. Luckily for me I have a good friend that lives in Kentucky. I went to visit her and have now successfully visited my 17th and 18th state. They’re on the border of Kentucky and Tennessee.

Hopskinville, Kentucky and Clarksville, Tennessee house an American Army base. Clarksville is home of “Air Assault.” (I’m still not exactly what that means and did not do a great job pronouncing it in my video. I’ll look it up later.) Anyway you will see plenty of soldiers and their families. The base is enormous.

We decided to go to Nashville for dinner and a show. Her husband took care of the kiddies. I was so excited to see what the city  had to offer. We had dinner at BB Kings. The live music was great! Everyone was dancing, relaxing and having a good time. The atmosphere was amazing. I could have stayed in there all night. Alas, we needed to wander the streets since my time in the city was limited. We headed to the famous (or infamous) Broadway.  It’s a strip choc full of neon lights, gift shops, watering holes, bars, clubs, restaurants, shops that sell boots, and great music.

Broadway on any given Saturday night is loud, crowded, bright, drunken, and a good time for a few minutes. After walking up and down Broadway a couple of times that night, I had seen enough. It was a little hectic. I was really enthralled by the music in the city though. It seemed every bar and restaurant we walked passed had great live music coming from it and I wanted to stop in. All in all, I definitely need more time in Nashville. I would like to visit during the day also. Though Broadway is really crowded and crazy, I would go back because the music is too good to stay away.

My list for the next trip is already ready:

  1. Eat good BBQ
  2. Buy a pair of cowboy boots
  3. Visit the Country Music Hall of Fame

What am I leaving out?

I awoke with one false eyelash hanging over my eye. The smell of food from the night before was still in the room. There was make-up all over the sheets. My silk dress was ruined. A lampshade was on the floor.

Everyone had on pajamas except for one. I commented on seeing him fully dressed so early. He said he slept in his outfit and passed out. Someone had left the refrigerator door opened and all of the juice was warm. There were clothes, party favors, noisemakers, cards, and plastic champagne glasses strewn all over the room.

After putting on jeans and a t-shirt, but still barefoot, I ventured downstairs to the restaurant to inquire about breakfast. I still looked a mess and felt exhausted but I was so hungry. The concierge and bellhops looked at me strangely. The staff at the restaurant was professional though. They looked at me and said, “Table for 1?” The French toast and bacon was great!

Many thanks to my childhood friend from Germany and his wife for inviting me to this wild and crazy party in Washington D.C. at the Beacon Hotel! I had no idea how hard people partied in the DMV! I started off the new year with a bang.

Hello 2014!

http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7J6NM-91GT0

Birthdays Abroad

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This year was the 6th year I have celebrated a birthday outside of the USA. My readers know that I’ve spent my last 3 birthdays in Paris, France. This year I had the opportunity to go there again but decided I should give Paris a rest go back to one of my new favorite places: Morocco.

I first visited Morocco a year and a half earlier to attend my friend’s wedding there. She is American and married a Moroccan. I really enjoyed my time there and said I wanted to get back. I mulled it over in my mind for some time but didn’t actually make any arrangements until the week before I left.

I booked my flight and paid the deposit to stay at the hostel that my friend owns. I arrived at the airport in Marrakech and she had a car waiting for me. After a brief ride we arrived at Mama Marrakech. I spent the afternoon walking around, grabbed some lunch and then had dinner catching up with my friends. That evening I booked a trip to the Sahara desert right at the hostel. The “concierge” made a quick call on his cell phone and I was told to be up early as I would be picked up for my excursion between 7:00 and 7:30 AM. They also mentioned that breakfast would be served before we left. SCORE!

That Friday we left bright and early for the desert. After hours of sightseeing along winding roads and driving toward the Sahara desert, we finally arrived to a group of camels. There was no ceremony. We mounted the camels and took off into the desert. At first I was holding on for dear life but by the end of the ride I was taking pictures of my new friends and even snapping selfies!

The next day (my birthday) I rose early to watch the sun rise. I was so relaxed. I was a little sore from hours of camel riding but I felt incredible. The desert does something to you. It’s hard to explain so I recommend everyone to head to Morocco. This birthday definitely topped ALL the others. I had to out-do Paris. Mission accomplished. It will be hard to top this next year.

Until next year ….

– TravelingMad

Chowderfest

My roommate from college has a family beach home at the real jersey shore on Long Beach Island. I was first invited there about 5 years ago. It was during the summer and the island was packed full of people. Everyone was so friendly and nice. and dressed in tank tops and shorts. For the evening, it was a tank top with a hooded sweatshirt on top, and shorts.

My latest invitation to LBI was for Chowderfest 2013. My friend even offered to pick me up in Newark on her way down south. I was so excited to go back to the island. After our road trip we went straight to Kubel’s Too for dinner. We ordered a crab cheese dip for starters and I had the chicken sandwich with cheese and mushrooms. The food was delicious. We did a little more catching up and then fell in and out of sleep pretending to watch a movie in the living room.

The following morning we got up really early to beat the crowd at Marvel’s for donuts. They have a really old-fashioned machine that makes the donuts and there are only about 3 or 4 choices: plain, powdered, cinnamon, and glazed. I had glazed. It was really good. I highly recommend eating donuts for breakfast if you’re going to get them from Marvel’s.

Later we did some shopping and window shopping. All the vendors were set up under large white tents. We were able to find t-shirts and jewelry for good prices. We had lunch at The Chicken or the Egg (locals call it the Chegg). This was also the restaurant for an episode of tv show Man vs. Food. I didn’t have hot wings or anything. I had an amazing breakfast platter for about $8. Dinner was take-out from Barry’s Do Me A Flavor. Another delicious eatery on the island!

chowderfest

Sunday was CHOWDERFEST! I was so excited. Not sure if I was even a chowder fan or not, but what better place to find out? I think I had tasted chowder twice in my life before this day. Chowderfest consists of a “white” tent and a “red” tent. You pay an entry fee and are allowed to taste chowders all day and then vote on your favorite white and red flavors. There is live music and vendors also in the same area. We started at the white tent. After 2 booths, I was a fan of new england clam chowder. We actually tasted all of the flavors except Friday’s. We just weren’t particularly interested in their idea of chowder. Under the red tent, I was not really a fan. There were a couple that had good flavors but I don’t care for manhattan clam chowder. I tried them all though. Afterall, Chowderfest is only once a year and I wanted to be educated on what good chowders should be!

Before we left I cast my votes for Howard’s under the white tent and The Gazebo under the red tent. I later found out that Howard’s won! So I really know white chowder. The Gazebo did not place however, so I am not a red chowder expert. If you are anywhere in the NJ, NY, CT, or PA area, you must go to Chowderfest next October! It is a fun and filling experience.

This annual music festival in Newark, New Jersey is a favorite among the locals. Everyone comes out mainly to dance! The food vendors also do very well at these events. I bought an “uptown,” a shrimp kebab and a funnel cake!

I enjoyed the dancing and watching the skateboarding clinic by Kanek, a skateboarding shop in the city. The little kids with their helmets on trying to skate were adorable!

A good time was had by all🙂


July 2013

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