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October 28th, 2016
During our visit to Yellowstone National park we stayed at a campsite called Under Canvas. What was interesting about it was that our house was a teepee. There weren’t any real beds so we slept on cots. Another cool thing was that the campsite was only few miles away from the National Park. The campsite was a glamorous camping experience, otherwise known as glamping. It was as comfortable as camping can get , it was still in the outdoors –and s unfortunately it was freezing! Also at night it always rained extremely hard. In the morning when we walked outside we saw that the rain froze, and this was in July!
Yellowstone itself is loaded with wildlife but sadly the best time to see animals is early in the morning or late at night. Our first day in the park we didn’t find much wildlife but on our second day we woke up at five in the morning and and went straight for the park so we saw more animals than ever. On Thursday morning as we were driving in the park we hit a huge traffic jam. We sat there wondering what was causing the traffic. Once we got closer we realized it was a herd of bison crossing the road. At first it was kinda scary because they are enormous animals. Their head itself weighs 200 pounds! But then I realized that this was something I would never see in a normal day and started to appreciate it. They were just chilling, without a care in the world. It was extraordinary!
One of the days in the park we went to see all the geysers. We were lucky enough to see two geysers in action – the most famous, of course is old faithful which goes off every two hours or so. Many people are not aware that there are several other cool geysers which also predictably go off at different intervals. The geysers were incredibly cool and I was very glad to be able to see it. I highly recommend renting bikes around the geysers and riding down beside the boardwalk to view each geyser. The ride from geyser to geyser is pretty short so we went on another small ride in the forest.
Our next day we went horseback riding in the Lamar Valley, it was fun and we were able to see the beauty of the park from that high. The great part of the Lamar valley is that there are probably more bison than people in the Lamar Valley. We saw hundreds on our ride in the car and on the horse. One of our tour guides told us that only 5% of people that enter there get off the main roads .It’s really sad, because most of Yellowstone’s beauty is off the main road. So we decided to take a hike to a wonderful waterfall.
After a couple of days in Yellowstone we drove down to Grand Teton Nation Park. The most spectacular part of Teton Park, besides the gorgeous mountains, is Jenny Lake. We decided to kayak on the lake. It was so relaxing and we felt like we were on the cover of a postcard.
We kayaked to a small beach and went fishing. Later that night we stayed in Jenny Lake Lodge which gave us bikes to ride around the lake. Then the next day we went horseback riding in Teton and it was gorgeous. We got to see the spectacular views that we could not have seen if we were hiking. After an exhausting week we relaxed in Jackson village for the weekend.
On Sunday we went tubing down a natural river that went around our hotel. It was cold but fun. It’s ten minutes from Jackson in Teton Village. In the winter it is a ski village and in the summer it has a huge mountain bike track, trampoline bungee jumping, ropes course and rock climbing.
Our trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton was filled with ups and downs, mostly ups and was an incredible experience that I will never forget. I really recommend going with your family; you will make memories that will last a lifetime.
October 24th, 2016
This year, for me, it felt like summer came and went. It was a busier summer than usual, but somehow I barely saw the sun. I hardly went outside. In between family vacation, traveling for work, and work in general, I had little time to enjoy a Philadelphia summer.
So for next summer, I want to be prepared. I need to do some goal-setting.
Next summer I will…
Enjoy the Wissahickon. One of my favorite parts about Philadelphia is the Wissahickon. I used to live nearby, in Northwest Philadelphia, and can say I didn’t taken much advantage of it then. I’d drive past it on Lincoln Drive focused on the winding road and praying for all of heaven’s protection. I had been on a few walks and hikes around the Wissihickon creek, but never really explored it. Since moving, I’ve gone back a bit to go hiking, jogging, and even swimming.
The Wissahickon Creek runs 23 miles from Montgomery county into Northwest Philadelphia, ultimately emptying into the Schuylkill River. The Philadelphia part of the Wissahickon includes a section of Fairmount Park. The Wissahickon Gorge is probably the number one reason why people adore this place.
Next summer: more hikes, more swimming, and more full days outdoor, with sunscreen and friends, enjoying the Wissahickon.
Go to Spruce Street Harbor Park! Lay around in the hammocks, eat some tacos, play some Bocce ball or life-size chest, enjoy the multi-colored LED lights, etc. I’ve done this all, and I should have done it all summer-long. I went once in September, towards the end of the park’s season, and immediately I hated myself. How did I forget about this place? I could have come here on an early Saturday morning, laid out in a hammock, ate a breakfast burrito, enjoyed a book, while watching the boats on the water. I could have. I should have. And I will. Next year. I promise.
Next summer: more hammock-time, strolls through the park, and tacos. A lot more tacos.
Don’t forget about South Street. I always do. I’ve never lived near that part of the city, though I love so much in it. I don’t forget about South Street as much as I subconsciously-try to buy into a different narrative of the street (“it’s so far and not that special”) in order to protect myself from constantly traveling that way. But, the truth is, it’s a lot of fun. And I really don’t live that far from it. 30 minutes on public transportation isn’t that bad, at all. Anyway, Philly Aids Thrift has the friendliest, most helpful folks working there, and honestly, it’s my favorite thrift store in Philly. Wooden Shoe Books is one of my favorite spots in Philly, as well. Wooden Shoe is an all-volunteer, collectively-run bookstore with really brilliant books on activism, politics, identity, etc., and it also serves as a space for gatherings and meetings of like-minded individuals. A similarly quirky and brilliant bookstore would be Garland of Letters Bookstore, with an extremely friendly staff, and a range of books on spirituality, as well as spiritual paraphernalia, such as crystals. One thing to note, though, is Foursquare user Jennifer’s advice: “Don’t ask to go to the bathroom. They’ll look at you weird and say no.”
Next summer: more eating, thrifting, and general shopping on South Street
I think these are worthy goals. Any goals for your next summer? Places in your city that you forgot about that you want to appreciate once again? Foods that need to be eaten?
October 18th, 2016
TTT writer Sacha’s video from over 6 years ago about what’s fun to do in Denver. A classic, and we need not to forget what a gem this is!
September 7th, 2016
Going to Montana is like vacationing in a postcard. Once we arrived in Montana we went on a two day rafting trip with Montana Glacier Guides. Our views were absolutely beautiful!. At night we camped right off the shore and early morning we got right back on the raft. As we rafted down the Flathead River we came to many rapids. For example, the rapids were called Pinball, Bone Crusher, Jaw, and Toilet Bowl! We had an amazing time and it really was a once in lifetime experience.
After camping next to the river we stayed at a hotel in Whitefish,Montana. It was the cutest town and just outside of town there is more than 1,000 acres of just cherry trees. They were the best cherries I have ever had. They were sweet and huge. After a our day of picking cherries, we had 15 pounds of cherries!
The next day we went to the most famous national park in Montana: Glacier National Park. The park has over five amazing lakes and a huge variety of hikes ranging from easy to difficult. One of the hikes we went on was about five miles long. It was uphill and hard but it was worth it because it led us to the most amazing lake. One of the lakes in the park is Avalanche Lake. Glacier National Park was spectacular since each mountain was perfectly snowcapped.
After a few miles into the park, we reached Lake Mcdonald which is a picture perfect spot. Near Lake Mcdonald there is a tent and RV camp site which is just a short walk from the lake. Here we rented stand up paddle boards, kayaks, and motorboats. The water was a little cold but it was still fun. While we boated and we stared at the beautiful mountains. Some of the things we passed as we climbed and hiked are Saint Mary Lake, Red Eagle River and Logan’s Pass.
If you are not a hiker then try driving to the sun road. It is just as beautiful as any of the hikes and it covers most of the park.The drive is about three hours long but do feel free to turn around at any time.
Towards the end of the drive we encountered the continental divide which runs along the mountain tops. Every few miles on the drive there was a great lookout point to spot some wildlife and take pictures. We saw a lot of wildlife including mountain goats, elk, bighorn sheep, and bears. But remember don’t feed the bears since it might turn out bad for you and the bear!
Whitefish is a town just 20 minutes from Glacier National park so we decided to stay in town for the weekend. Just our luck, Whitefish was the cutest little town! Every few steps was picturesque, charming and warm.
While Montana might not have the largest population, surprisingly, most locals like it that way as the serene surrounding and the abundant wildlife are all they need to keep them company.
September 7th, 2016
South Dakota is beautiful especially if you have been locked in a box for three days! My family of five headed west in a camper van (aka “the box”) equipped with all necessities. After 72 hours of television, fighting, and more television our dad finally let us out of the tin box on wheels. We got to stretch our legs and see Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. I used to think South Dakota is boring but all I knew of it was Mount Rushmore. After our pit stop there I realized South Dakota was much more than just Mount Rushmore.
The Corn Palace is literaly covered in corn. In South Dakota corn is a big deal, so big they made a palace as a tribute to their love of corn! As you walk through the corn palace you can see a timeline of the palace as well as a short film. After the film, something you might want to do is see the gift shop because they have everything related to corn.
Mount Rushmore is the biggest tourist attraction in South Dakota. Mount Rushmore has the faces of some of our greatest presidents carved into a giant bolder. It is so big you can see it from the parking lot.
The Badlands are not so bad after all! Badlands National Park is one of the most beautiful National Parks in South Dakota; between the valleys and tall mountains you can’t go wrong. Even though it is 90 degrees you can enjoy climbing on rocks or hiking one of the many hikes. Just make sure to watch out for the rattlesnakes!