out with the old (hat)

This new year has crept up too fast! I feel barely ready for it. The last time I had a good grasp on what was happening in 2015, my husband accepted a job offer in the U.S. From that point, we had one month to close out a life in Spain, find an apartment the month after and yet another month to set up a new home.

Whew! It is exhausting me again to think about what ensued to reach this point.

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Goodbye old neighborhood! (Madrid)

So here I am, back in the country where I grew up. Even more, I am back to the metropolitan area that closely resembles “home”. After over a year of life in Madrid – feeling like I’m on perpetual blind dates in search of new friends, having cafe con leche and vino on terrazas when I actually found amazing friends, kissing everyone on the cheek twice (even if I didn’t like them), maneuvering Spanish bureaucracy and other challenges and joys of being an expat – that chapter is closed (for the moment).

Now, a new challenge is in front of me. It’s no longer about integrating into a new culture and new country… at least not that much. I’m still having lunch at 2pm, dinner at 9:30pm and hanging out at “night” starting 6pm, sounds odd. But that aside… knowing that I’m back for a couple of years, there must be a way to merge wandering tendencies with finding peace and contentment back in my old haunts.

So, how can one look at an old place with new lenses? Guess that’s what I will find out. After all, wandering never really ends no matter where you live. There is always something to explore.

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Hello new neighborhood! (Jersey City)

Here’s looking forward to a 2016 full of new discoveries and friendships! Happy New Year!

What are you looking forward to this year?

Winter Wonderland in Lake Placid

While most people choose warm, balmy beaches for a winter getaway, my friends and I decided to defy the masses and head up north to Lake Placid, NY!

We rented a quaint cabin in nearby Jay, NY that was perfectly situated in a secluded area near a creek. This cabin was so warm and cozy (perfect in the freezing temperatures up there)! If you are interested in renting this cabin, check some out here.

This cabin happened to be right next to a creek. We followed a short path to find it partially frozen. It was fun to frolick on the ice.
Lake Placid (former site of the Olympic games in 1980 and 1932) was not too far from our cabin. We bought an Olympic Passport to check out some places at the Olympic Village the next day. But first, we felt the need to frolic on yet another frozen body of water. Mirror Lake was frozen solid, so we went running, sliding, and simply enjoyed being on a frozen lake.  There were even people on dogsleds!
After all the frolicking, it is no surprise that we we were very cold and hungry. Perfect time to check out the local brewery, Lake Placid Pub & Brewery!  Since we couldn’t decide on which beer to choose, we tried the sampler with 6 of their brews before deciding on one to order in a pitcher. We even got some ‘smores to top off the meal.
Then, it was time to headed out for more winter fun: ice skating on the speed skating track! There were no railings for me to rely on, so this time, I actually had to buck up and learn to ice skate.
Other things on the Olympic Passport that we enjoyed: visiting the ski jump! It was crazy to see the ski jumpers up close and personal. That jump was high! I was scared for them.
Another Olympic sport site to visit: the bobsled complex.  We even saw a koala bobsledding.
The day ended with a view of the sunset with a snowy mountain view.

Last but not least, what is a winter visit to Lake Placid without some snow sports on Whiteface Mountain? I snowboarded for the first time this season in the freezing, windy, snowy cold. But it was a blast!

Next winter, I am up for another snowy adventure. Any suggestions?