The While We’re Here Bucket List

We added and updated the list!!

We just moved from Virginia Beach, VA to the Jersey Shore this past December. My blog turned into a ghost town since the move and all while I was trying to revamp the blog . But we’ve been super busy moving, unpacking, 2 sick furbabies and just settling in and dealing with the winter blues for the first time in a long long time. But finally spring is starting to creep in and our kitties are feeling better so I thought it was time to dust off the blog and get back at it!

We will be here in New Jersy about 3 years sooooo we started making our New Jersey Bucket List!! We want to make the most out of the time we have here with as many adventures in NJ, New York and even the Philadelphia area of PA that we can.

Visit New Jersey

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Lot’s of hiking! New Jersey has quite a few great areas for hiking. Looking forward to autumn hikes the most and hope to get in some of the Appalachian trail (think, Stairway to Heaven)!! The Appalachian Trail is gorgeous during the autumn months! Top 10 Hikes In New Jersey If you are into hiking, High Point State Park supposedly has nice loop hikes incorporating the AT trail through it. Plus it is the highest point in NJ which means some beautiful views during the fall season!

Beach hop. We want to spend time all along the Jersey Shore and maybe a bit up into New York checking out the different beaches and beach towns! We’ve kind of started as you’ve seen by some of my last blogs. Of course it’s been way too cold to get in real beach/ocean time or to see how crazy crowded the Jersey Shore beaches can get during tourist season. All 44 beaches in New Jersey, ranked worst to best

Daily fitness/nutrition goals. Can we say, slackers?? Between the move and my hubby traveling for work our nutrition and fitness has kind of gone down the toilet so to speak. So now it’s time to get our act together. This will include lots of hiking, yoga, and Les Mills programs. This much we figured out before the move, the combo of these three things WORKS to add strength while making us lean and fit. My hubs will add a bit of running in there because it’s required for his job but I decided I prefer race walking and hiking. I’m a faster walker than runner and I enjoy it so much more! But of course no amount of exercise matters if nutrition sucks. Our plan is Vegetarian/Flexitarian Mediterranean nutrition plan. 30 day free trial Les Mills On Demand: sign up for a new LES MILLS On Demand subscription. On that page click the green text “Redeem Promo Code”, paste the code in and click apply. Your code is: supinesubstance57
The page will refresh and a hidden promotion with a 30-day free trial will show. Once you complete the sign up process, you will automatically receive 30 days’ free access to LES MILLS on Demand. **Terms and Conditions: Extended free trial is for 30 days and is redeemable for new subscribers only. Not valid to past trialists or current subscribers.

See Hamilton on Broadway! Yes, it’s expensive, and yes we will get the least expensive we can get lol, but it’s something we both want to experience. And maybe a few others too like Cats and Phantom. Broadway.com

Photograph a walking tour of New York city. I want to soak up as much of the city as we can. I’ve always been a city girl and could see myself living there. But this city girl is married to a suburban kind of guy. And I agree in part because I can’t wait to have a garden and a yard for our future dog to play in!! New York City: The Official Guide

Yankees game(s)!! I LOVE baseball and the hubs is ok with it (he’s not a big sports guy). I’ve been a Yankees fan since I was little, even while growing up in Ohio near Indians (I wish they’d change the name already) stadium and going to Indians games. So we gotta go, even if I’m in the bleachers or nose bleed seats! MLB New York Yankees

 

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Bronx Zoo…As I get more and more into the issues animals face, while wishing they could thrive in the wild, let’s face it we are eating up and destroying all the wild spaces! Most of my adult life I’ve been anti zoo and anti captivity. And while that still stands true for the most part. I can also be honest enough to admit we at times are fighting a losing battle to keep the animals safe and safe from extinction. One day zoos may be the only real safe zones for them. So I am a zoo advocate while still being a harsh critic of zoos. They need to do more, they need to actually keep them safe and not exploit them. They need to help the species to survive and thrive and not just for profit or human amusement. So we like to visit zoos to see how they rate as far as concern for their residents. *The Bronx Zoo opened November 8, 1899. The Bronx Zoo is a zoo located within Bronx Park in the Bronx, a borough of New York City. It is one of the largest zoos in the United States by area, comprising 265 acres (107 ha) of park lands and naturalistic habitats separated by the Bronx River. On average, the zoo has 2.15 million visitors each year. The Bronx Zoo is world-renowned for its large and diverse animal collection, and its award-winning exhibitions.[5] The zoo is part of an integrated system of four zoos and one aquarium managed by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), and it is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).[6] Bronx Zoo: Saving Wildlife and Wild Places

Bed & Breakfast at Christmas in Cape May. Cape May New Jersey is a little bit magical during the holidays. The little coastal town is lit up with holiday cheer and touches of old fashioned Christmases gone by. Since they have so many century type homes still standing and still taking in guests and residents Christmas touches are just a little extra in the sweet town. Filled with small shops, confections and collectibles it’s the perfect place to welcome the season! I fell in love with Cape May when we first arrived here in December. We went down for trolley rides; one was an old fashioned Christmas ghost story while riding the streets of the town, one was an actual guided tour of the homes  and bed and breakfasts as we were told the rich history of the town. All the homes and B&B’s were decorated with lights and trimmings for the trolley tours. A must see if you’re ever in the area! Cape May

See the Battleship New Jersey. Historical site. USS New Jersey (BB 62) Wikipedia Battleship New Jersey

Visit Atlantic City & The Boardwalk. We already did a bit of this the past week. We wandered the boardwalk and the beach, drove around the city and visited a great little eatery, The Enlightened Cafe which is also a great community outreach. We have tickets to see Piff The Magic Dragon this weekend in Atlantic City. The area tends to pull in loads of great entertainment throughout the year. Atlantic City is mostly known for gambling but neither my hubs or I tare into that.  Atlantic City NJ

 

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Make snow angels! We haven’t seen a lot of snow during our 10 years living in Virginia and when we did we did it didn’t last long. It’s been a long time since I’ve made a snow angel and I plan to make them often during the winter months here. And speaking of snow, maybe some sledding and other winter sport activities while we’re this far north!

Six Flags Great Adventure. We already have season passes. One of the biggest pluses to being in New Jersey is that we are near Keith’s family! We plan many a visit with the fam to Six Flags while we’re here since it’s one of their “go to” spots with our niece and nephew! Added bonus is that we live super close!! Six Flags Great Adventure

Ellis Island & The Statue Of Liberty. This is simply one of those things you just need to see if you’re in or near New York City. History! Ellis Island

Explore Philadelphia! This city is another that’s rich with history. I regret in the entire 10 years we spent in Virginia we never took a trip to Washington DC to soak up all the history. So we don’t plan on skipping that with Philly! The 10 Most Essential Things to Do on Your (First) Visit to Philly

Dig For Herkimer Diamonds!! You can prospect for your own Herkimer Diamonds in Herkimer NY! “Herkimer Diamonds are high vibration crystals, that boost clairvoyant and clairaudient abilities. There’s even a KOA camping resort you can bunker down at! Can’t wait to get my hands dirty!!

Popcorn Park Zoo, speaking of zoos. Popcorn Park Zoo is a small 7-acre zoo. According to the Associated Humane Societies, the zoo is “a sanctuary for abandoned, injured, ill, exploited, abused or elderly wildlife, exotic and farm animals, and birds.”  This is someplace special and I want to celebrate that! Popcorn Park

 

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Paranormal Museum Asbury Park??? Unexplained phenomena, legends, folklore, myths, or are they?? The Paranormal Museum is a storefront and museum, in the tradition of “Roadside America” days gone by attractions. It houses a collection of historical and educational exhibits and just sounds like a heck of a lot of fun! I’m up for the macabre!! Paranormal Museum Asbury Park

Seashell Museum, because beach, sea, shells. I’m all about all things beachy and ocean related so this sounds like a great little day trip!! The Discovery Seashell Museum

Morey’s Piers & Wildwood. Morey’s Piers is a 6-block beachfront amusement park featuring 100+ rides & attractions including seasonal water parks. And Wildwood NJ has some great beachfront to explore and enjoy some sunshine at!!

Grounds For Sculpture. For my artistic side this place looks gorgeous to visit!! Grounds For Sculpture is a 42 acre sculpture park and art museum!

Cape May Lighthouse Full Moon Climb A great fitness challenge doing something you know you’d like to do anyway, that’s the way I see it anyway lol. Lighthouse Full Moon Climb

Off Roading The Pine Barrens, yikes! Rattlesnakes, frogs and a whole lotta swamp! But, we have a jeep so we can adventure!!

Rock Climbing. This is uncharted activity for hubs and me. I’ve talked about it and repelling often as something I want to try out. So time to strengthen up our arms and legs and dig in! These are the most popular places for rock climbing in N.J.

 

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My not so little list keeps growing. I started this blog post before we moved, that was in November and when I opened the draft I had to edit in so much more we’ve found to see and do. So many parks and hikes we are super excited about! So many beaches to explore! Now we’re in search of the lesser known out of the way gems that only locals know about. So this list WILL be added to on the blog and as we do them, I want to cross them off the list to see how much we accomplish!!

<We’ve been honest that this wasn’t the easiest move. We called Virginia Beach VA home for 10 years of our 11 years together and all of our married life together. So Virginia Beach was home to us. But being in New Jersey has so many high points we can’t not be excited. Especially with family being here. I started this list to get myself ready for new adventures and discoveries and I know we’re gonna make a lot of memories and have a lot of fun!

 

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If you are in the New Jersey/Philladelphia/New York area and have a fabulous sight you think we should check out or activity we may want to dive into, leave me some info in the comments and it may get added to this list!

*Italics: Wikipedia

 

 

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Garden State Of Mind

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I’m back from my Thanksgiving getaway to my In-Laws in New Jersey! I hear so many people talking about their bad relationships with their husbands family and I have to tell ya, I’m blessed in that department. My husband’s family makes my heart smile. You know that warm fuzzy hot cocoa, soft blanket & great book kind of warm and fuzzy. They feel like home 💗

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They came in to town and our plans had us leaving the next day for New Jersey. Yep, 369 miles to get me, and that was just one way. We went to dinner at Cheeseburger In Paradise, one of my favorite places. And it’s all because of pickles! They have the best fried pickle chips ever and they are served with a delicious sauce! They put a new drink on the menu, Spiced Berry Sangria and I’m not much of a drinker, but this was seasonal and very very tasty. Nice for a family toast!  I highly recommend this restaurant. It’s a beachy themed sports bar/restaurant atmosphere. The food is reasonably priced and service is always great.

This wasn’t a touristy trip at all. It was filled with family, great food, a fun event and a fabulous movie! We spend a lot of time in the car. My brother-in-law and sis-in-law and their kids live about a half hour to 45 minutes away from my In-Laws house and we went out that way twice. But the drives were nice. The weather was chilled but sunny for the most part and autumn was full bloom. Took some pictures from the car…

I love New Jersey. It’s rich in culture and heritage. Diner’s are still all the rage in Jersey and that is most excellent. The diner is to Jersey what a coffee shop is to Seattle. It’s where you go to eat a meal, have coffee or two, or three and just have conversation. Diners have regulars, so if you are one, you likely know many of the faces you see when you come in. It gives a community feel to the neighborhood. In a world where many neighbors don’t know your face, in Jersey diner patrons see each other and greet each other. Add to that, all the trees, the hilly terrain, brick houses and of course the hues of autumn were gorgeous with the blue sky and sunshine as the backdrop.

 

Fantastic_Beasts_and_where_to_find_them_logo.pngWe went to see a movie that I feel like I’ve been waiting forever to see!! I’m a big Potterhead and was so excited that we were going to see Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them!! I’d been reading the reviews and some were mixed. I think it came down to people expecting it to be the same as the first in the series. But how could it be. It was a different time, different cast, different mood. The book itself is a different mood departure from the what the films were based on. This is by far my favorite of the series. And as my husband said, Newt Scamander is my spirit animal. If I went to Hogwarts, I am very Luna Lovegood. But closer even than that to my personality is Newt Scamander. He is the animal rights activist of the wizarding world. And Eddie Redmayne was brilliant in the role. The supporting cast was pretty darn awesome too. I love love loved this movie!!! newt-scamander After the movie we went out to dinner at Houlihan’s . Good dinner, wanted cappuccino’s but they were out, settled for coffee then some much needed sleeps, the next two days are a lot of driving and busy busy busy….

 

 

 

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Thanksgiving Day began like usual. It was a tradition in my family and in Keith’s to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. There’s something wonderful to be said for traditions in families. Traditions make life just a little warmer and memories that much more special. So in my fuzzy slippers and with a cup of coffee I sat and watched the parade surrounded by all the memories of days gone by in that cozy home where my hubby grew up. And although my hubby couldn’t be there because of work blah blah blah, this was the next best thing.

 

Then it was off to dinner!! It’s a tradition that my sis-in-law & bro-in-law do Thanksgiving. And I wouldn’t want it any other way. They have a feast of deliciousness. And Tori’s family joins us and so good food and good company is the blessing of the day! But, I have to admit I spent most of the day with our nephew and niece 💗 They kept stealing me away to play, which was by far the BEST part of the whole trip! They are at the age that the distance and time between us doesn’t make them forget bonds that were formed. Keith and I have lived away from all our nieces and nephews and it can be hard to form good bonds. It’s something we’ve learned that is a really important thing to focus on. If quantity of time is unrealistic, then quality of time must be foremost.

So we all at well and enjoyed the day. I was missing my hubby and missing Ippo (our dog that passed away in September) and of course our kitties. But being around family makes the missing pieces feel not as distant.

The next day we headed back out that way again for Hugs For Brady Holiday Light Show at DeVry University. It was their first year and it was for a good cause! They had a lot of activities that kept the kids happy and having fun. It felt like a carnival without the rides. But they had a bounce house/slide and face painting along with other activities that kept them amused and us entertained watching them have fun. The lights were beautiful once the sun set. And at the end there was a light show we sat down for. That, they have some kinks to work out. It was a great way to spend my last evening in town though. Surrounded by family and enjoying an event that helps kids.

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I’m sad my hubby had to work but it was nice having his family all to myself for once. Living too far away for frequent long trips back to our hometowns and families we have to take advantage of all the moments we can. And usually I let my hubby monopolize his families time because he doesn’t get to see them as often as he’d like, but this time they were all mine. And to them….

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Travel Photography Advice!

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I found this fantastic travel blog,  G Adventures and a really cool write up about how to,  and not to take travel photo’s. I’m just learning how to take better photo’s mysself. And am signing up for classes very very soon. Photo’s hold your most precious memories. Not only for yourself but for everyone you share your adventures with now and in the future. Learning how to better capture those moments is a subject I’m delving into more and more. So check out the blog and learn how to take better vacation pics!

 

How Not to Take a Travel Photo

Do you suffer from boring travel photo syndrome? Don’t worry! Travel photographer Peter West Carey’s got your cure!

Source: How Not to Take a Travel Photo

How to Prepare & Pack for a Run-cation!

Informative read on packing for an out of town race. I know I’m planning at least one in 2017 so this was really helpful!

 

Are you eying that out-of-town race that looks like tons of fun, but you’re not sure where to begin? Though it may seem intimidating, traveling for a race can be a lot of fun and surprisingly….continued at the source:  How to Prepare & Pack for a Run-cation!

Vacationing like you’re local

There are so many ways to travel, and one way isn’t better than any other. It comes down to personal preference. Over the years, I’ve found that I like to move around like I live in my destin…

Continue @ the Source: Vacationing like you’re local @The Art Of Being Fabulous

The Nyonya Garden Mural Art at Gusto Cafe, Penang.

The Nyonya Garden Mural art at Gusto Cafe, Penang. My brief was to paint something that would teach these people how to respect nature. Mr Koi represents all the koi fish that were brutally murdere…

Source: The Nyonya Garden Mural Art at Gusto Cafe, Penang.

Washington’s Ferry County Rail Trail

Trail of the Month: October 2016 “It’s rugged territory, and the rail-trail offers a beautiful wilderness experience.” It sounds too good to be…

Source: Washington’s Ferry County Rail Trail

7 Facts About The Himalayas You Never Knew (Sivana)

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It’s still Growing!

The Himalayas are considered to be the tallest and youngest mountain ranges (only 70 million years young), which were caused by a continental collision between the Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates, resulting in the development of the Himalayan mountain ranges.

Various geological tests conducted by scientists have confirmed that this great mountain range still moves approximately 20mm every year.

Because of this restless or continuous movement of the plates, the whole Himalayan region is prone to various natural disasters like earthquakes, tremors, and landslides.

More about the Himalayas & this story at Sivana