Lavender & Wine: North Fork, NY (June 2016)

went to North Fork almost 3 years ago and had been meaning to go back since then. I love it there! It’s quite a long drive from Queens (2.5-3 hours), but worth it.

I love road trips (when I don’t have to drive)!

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I’m responsible for feeding driver.

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We found a campground in Suffolk to camp out the night before. Wildwood State Park! No grill at the campsites though, only in the designated picnic area.

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No unicorns were harmed during the trip.

I liked this campground because it has clean & spacious bathrooms and is next to a beach. But mostly because of clean bathrooms.

The next morning:

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Lavender by the Bay opens at 9am — go to their website for hours and facebook for updates on blooming. Due to my busy work schedule, we only had this one weekend to spare. The lavender field just had its first bloom of the summer, so some parts you’ll see are still bare. It usually lasts for a month depending on the weather, so there’s still time to see them!

$5 admission.

North Fork 2016

North Fork 2016

North Fork 2016

North Fork 2016

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North Fork 2016

North Fork 2016

Obligatory frolicking pic.

North Fork 2016

North Fork 2016

North Fork 2016

North Fork 2016

North Fork 2016

North Fork 2016

North Fork 2016

North Fork 2016

North Fork 2016

Some parts were not blooming yet.

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They also sell them!

North Fork 2016

North Fork 2016

North Fork 2016

North Fork 2016

North Fork 2016

You can find SOME of these products at the Union Square market in Manhattan, but they have more here!

North Fork 2016

North Fork 2016

After that, we went to Wednesday’s Table for lunch. IT WAS AMAZING. Seriously, go there.

Wednesday’s Table
53345 Main Rd 
Southold, NY 11971

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Mushroom truffle grilled cheese – Truffle-scented mushrooms, caramelized onions, sharp gruyere and soft provolone cheese on sliced sourdough bread

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Fried jumbo shrimp roll – Panko-crusted jumbo shrimp, pickled kale, daikon, & carrots drizzled with a wasabi-soy mayo nestled in a toasted long brioche roll

& Arnold Palmer (with green tea)!!!!!! So refreshing.

Next: wine time!

Mattebella Vineyards
46005 NY-25
Southold, NY 11971

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Mattebella for their sangria:

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This sangria sure is unique — it’s made with triple sec. The mint and apples were so good.

North Fork 2016

They make amazing wine.

North Fork 2016

North Fork 2016

North Fork 2016

I liked that it’s a small family vineyard with comfy chairs and sofas outside (don’t worry, there’s shade!). I also really appreciated the music in the background.

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North Fork 2016

North Fork 2016

After one drink each, we drove to the nearby Sannino Vineyard for flight tasting (now one of my FAVORITES).

Sannino Vineyard
1375 Peconic Ln
Peconic, NY 11958

North Fork 2016

North Fork 2016

The ladies there were so nice and friendly! Definitely felt the warmness from their staff.

North Fork 2016

North Fork 2016

They give you a blank sheet of 6 wine spaces where you fill in the number and they’ll give you the corresponding wine in each spot. Love that there were lots to choose from.

North Fork 2016

His.

North Fork 2016

Took a stroll in the vineyard.

North Fork 2016

North Fork 2016

North Fork 2016

We quickly stopped by Harbes Family Farm for some fresh strawberries…

Harbes Family Farm
715 Sound Ave
Mattituck, NY 11952

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SO SWEET.

Driving back to NYC, we had to eat again of course.

Lobster Roll Northside. Despite the mediocre Yelp reviews, I really liked it!!

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If you go to Lobster Roll Northside, of course get a lobster roll.

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Martha Clara white blend, $6 and SO GOOD.

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Soft shell crab sandwich was real good.

North Fork 2016

 

 

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Memorial Day Weekend Part 2: Whitecliff Vineyard & Dia:Beacon (NY)

This was a hidden campsite off the side of some road that I will probably never be able to find again. No itineraries, just winging it. I set my alarm for midnight to watch the stars. It was spectacular but I suffered the wrath of mosquitoes afterwards (one on my palm!!!?!)…

Anyway.

Memorial Day Weekend 2016

In the morning we ate another Mountain House product for breakfast:

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The breakfast skillet. It was SO delicious! Well, for what it is.

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Hashbrown!!!! Just add hot water.

Then we headed over to Wallkill View Farm Market in New Paltz.

Memorial Day Weekend 2016

Memorial Day Weekend 2016

Cinnamon apple cider donuts!

Memorial Day Weekend 2016

ICE CREAM! The bourbon pecan and kahlua calypso were soooo good. Ice cream for breakfast!

Memorial Day Weekend 2016

They also sell jam, sauces, anything you can cook with or bake with, they have.

Memorial Day Weekend 2016

I wanted to buy some plants too – they got rosemary, thyme, all the herbs!

Next up: Whitecliff Vineyard

Memorial Day Weekend 2016

(You get to keep the glass if you buy a tasting flight, which you should anyway)

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The menu for wine flights. I got the fruity one and Rosé one. I enjoyed the 2014 Traminette the most out of all of them. They’re also known for the Awosting White and Redtrail.

Memorial Day Weekend 2016

Memorial Day Weekend 2016

Now I have glasses from Robibero (also nearby!) and Whitecliff.

After that, we went to Dia:Beacon. $15 admissions. As we approached the museum, we saw lots of people walking over from the nearby Metro-North station. We were about to be turned away from the full parking lot when one car came out and we got to take the spot!

I loooooved this place. All natural light. The exhibitions were spaced out so that you’re not crowding around people trying to get a good look.

Memorial Day Weekend 2016

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I thought it was cool how the lights show up as different colors on phone pictures (the top was taken with a DSLR, this one was taken with my phone)

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Notice the difference when you tilt the phone vertically vs horizontally.

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Secret agent pic.

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I highly recommend Dia:Beacon if you are hiking nearby or visiting the wine trails.

For lunch, we went to the nearby Kitchen Sink (recommended to us by the nice lady at Whitecliff).

Memorial Day Weekend 2016

Chicken liver biscuit sliders

Memorial Day Weekend 2016

Memorial Day Weekend 2016

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Memorial Day Weekend 2016

Grandma’s Brisket Grilled Cheese — SO delicious

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24-Hour Banger Banh Xeo

Memorial Day Weekend 2016

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Panna cotta with rhubarb

Memorial Day Weekend Part 1: Hiking Indian Head/Twin Mountain (NY)

The Indian Head and Twin Mountain hike is an 8.4 mile loop that involves steep scrambling (getting on your hands and climbing). Its difficulty was rated 10/10 according to this site, which I use quite often to find new places to go.

The first half of the hike had several sections of scrambling, which I enjoyed. The second half was pretty boring going downhill, with lots of rocks and twigs on the ground. The views were okay, not as grand as I had expected.

For activities on the way back to NYC: (on the next post)

So back to the hike.

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Indian Head first, then Twin Mountain. Follow the red markers to Indian Head.

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Continue with the red markers to Indian Head.

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Here’s where we went the wrong way. Once you see this sign, don’t follow it. If you do…

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This is when you know you’ve gone too far. Turn back. Go back to that sign. Find the red marker and turn into that path instead. The path wasn’t well marked, which is where we got confused.

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Outlook!

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Panorama. It was just an okay view.

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Some steep rocks. We saw a couple with 3 dogs trying to figure out which peak to hike up to. I wonder if they made it.

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Perhaps it would be better in the fall?

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Twin Mountain.

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Another panorama.

The way back down was pretty boring. It felt like we were walking in neverending forests. It took us about 5 hours total.

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This Mountain House rice & chicken was really good. Just add hot water.

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Dat camp lyfe.

 

Travelogue: Valparaíso, Chile (Dec 2015)

We booked a tour through our hotel in Santiago (~$50 USD) to go to Viña del Mar and Valparaíso. Nicknamed “The Jewel of the Pacific”, Valparaíso was declared a World Heritage Site in 2003. What I really wanted to see were the street art and wall murals!

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Isn’t he/she cute though?

Our tour guide picked us up with a small van.

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That’s not our tour guide, but it’s too adorable not to post.

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Quinta Vergara Amphitheater — where they hold the International Song Festival every year. It is the largest and best known music festival in Latin America.

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Legend has it that if you take a picture with this clock, you will one day return to Viña del Mar. We had lunch here and walked on the beach.

Without further ado, our next stop: Valparaíso.

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A city built on hills, people use these funicular lifts called ascensores (steeply inclined carriages) to get up and down.

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Colorful houses!

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Every corner there is art.

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We got on a funicular lift.

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Love the downtown architecture.

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Finally got one! It’s called “Mote con huesillos”. There’s a peach in there along with beans… very sweet and refreshing drink (and cheap too!). They sell them all over the streets of Chile.

Chile: Puerto Natales, Punta Arenas, Santiago (Dec 2015)

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Breakfast at Refugio Las Torres was good. So much better than the other refugios.

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Our view from the dining area.

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We walked around the area before catching the shuttle to Puerto Natales.

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After catching the shuttle to get out of the park, we got to the bus station to purchase tickets (Puerto Natales –> Punta Arenas). There were lots of bus companies and you can pretty much get on any and it’s the same price.

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Buses Fernández.

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Buses Gómez.

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Since we had some time before our scheduled bus, we explored the city center some more.

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When we got to Punta Arenas, it was already bed time.

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Next morning’s breakfast at the hotel.

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I love these trees.

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We walked around the city. Yes, we do that a lot.

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At the airport going from Punta Arenas back to Santiago. Paro!

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Naoki in Santiago. Sushi in Chile? Why not…

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It was easy to catch a taxi back to our hotel.

We booked a tour through our hotel (about $50 USD) for our last day on this trip to Valparaíso. To be continued…

W Trek: Sunrise at Las Torres (Patagonia, Chile) (Dec 2015)

Trek time: 2 hours

So at 2AM, we woke up with our backpacks and clothes ready along with the most important things: headlamps & flashlights. Las Torres is what we came to here to see, since the park is named after the three towers.

Since we would be going back to the refugio after this sunrise hike, we left most of our things behind and carried only the essentials.

Tip: Bring hand warmers and a jacket, it is freezing up there at sunrise!

After a lot of scrambling in the dark (yay for headlamps) over large boulders, we got to the top to catch the sunrise.

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I love the color change

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You can see the moon. Turn 180 degrees and you see the three towers…

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Turn back around and you see Boo…

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As the sun beams touch the top of the towers, people are staring intensely.

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Some camp out on random rocks to sit for hours.

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After breakfast, we hiked to Refugios las Torres, which was to be the best refugio we stayed at with the cleanest facilities and best food!

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Refugios las Torres

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We were hungry so we got a chicken sandwich for pre-dinner snack, it was SO GOOD and juicy and tender.

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Menu

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Amazing pork for dinner. Definitely the best refugio in the whole trek.

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Finally, dessert that tastes like dessert.

We leave for Puerto Natales and Punta Arenas the next day. There are only 2 scheduled bus times that leave the park, so make sure you check the schedule beforehand!

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