A Travellerspoint blog

October 2009

New York Minute

A brief intermission to our world trip for an important family celebration

semi-overcast 50 °F
View A Rough Outline of our Trip on daveliz's travel map.

When Dave and I packed our bags for the year we knew our plans would have to be flexible for 'life' things that popped up. What better reason than a family wedding. Dave's sister Karen married Charlie on October 11 at a picturesque chateau in rural New York.

DSC_0135-7.jpg
The family: Charlie, Karen, Dave, Elizabeth and Jessica (Dave's other sister.)

DSC_0002-2.jpg
Before the wedding, we hiked with Jessica and Dave's cousins Pat and Ellen to the Sterling Forest fire tower. We were all staying with Dave's mom Edie who was busy with wedding preps while we walked, but that didn't stop her from running a well oiled hostel. The bed was so comfy I had trouble getting used to it and the daily bagels were very much appreciated!

IMG_5829-10.jpg
After an early snowfall in the Sterling Forest area, Dave and I went to chilly Manhattan. We strolled through Times Square as it seemed like the touristy thing to do.

IMG_5833-11.jpg
We also took the opportunity to hang with friends. The college gals from left to right: Andrea, Rebecca, Wendy, Taal and good high school friend Joanne with me. A special thanks to Wendy and Joanne who gave up beds and mucho food for us nomads. You were great hosts!

IMG_5822-8.jpg
Dave and I both spent some time after the wedding with family. I met my second cousin Shayna for the first time. Long story! We also hung with Dave's cousin Shaina, but unfortunately we forgot to take a photo. Oops!

IMG_5825-9.jpg
While we were in Australia, my good friend Rocco left RNEWS in Rochester for a job with NY1 in Queens. After working the crazy morning shift, he was kind enough to stay up past his bed time for a late lunch with us. He is doing fantastic, so tune in!

By being back in the States, Dave and I both felt the reality of coming out of early retirement. We could feel the stress in the air in New York. Everything seemed so fast and busy. I must say I felt unproductive and guilty for not working. On the flip side, it acted as a strong reminder that when I return to work I must do something I feel passionate about, and we must continue to keep doing the things we love outside the office.

We're now in Rio de Janiero, our first stop on the final leg of our trip. More to come . . .
- Elizabeth

Posted by daveliz 18:19 Archived in USA Comments (2)

Catalunya Spain by Bike

Indulging in the food and architecture of Barcelona and the Costa Brava.

sunny 75 °F
View A Rough Outline of our Trip on daveliz's travel map.

View of Llafranc, Catalunya, Spain, from San Sebastian.

View of Llafranc, Catalunya, Spain, from San Sebastian.


We left the delicious bakeries and cafes of France for, well, more delicious bakeries, cafes and tapas bars in Spain. This was our last stop before returning to New York for my sister Karen's marriage to Charlie, who happens to be of Catalan heritage as well as an amazing professional chef. Good food is definitely in his blood!

During our first week in Barcelona, Elizabeth's parents Ken and Cheryl joined us. Together we explored the city's alley ways and highlights, including the Picasso museum, the Olympic village and many of Antoni Gaudi's masterpieces. We happened to be in Barcelona during the city's annual week long La Merce Festival, which features local music, dance and crafts. Little did we know the music ranging from salsa to techno would be playing below our hotel room windows until 3 a.m. each night!

Enjoying gelato with Cheryl and Ken.

Enjoying gelato with Cheryl and Ken.


La Boqueria on Las Ramblas sells delicious fruits and veggies.

La Boqueria on Las Ramblas sells delicious fruits and veggies.


Our first dinner in Barcelona at the tapas restaurant and wine bar "Astrolabi-Tinto i co" owned by friends of our Spanish biking friends Isi and Zaida who we met in South Africa. You can check out Isi and Zaida's blog at:

Our first dinner in Barcelona at the tapas restaurant and wine bar "Astrolabi-Tinto i co" owned by friends of our Spanish biking friends Isi and Zaida who we met in South Africa. You can check out Isi and Zaida's blog at:

http://www.getjealous.com/isidro

I turned 36 in Barcelona! Elizabeth took me to a dance studio for flamenco lessons, but we got stood up by the teacher. As a consolation, I pleasantly found a unique, new wedding ring made by a local artist. I topped the day off with some profiteroles. Yum!

I turned 36 in Barcelona! Elizabeth took me to a dance studio for flamenco lessons, but we got stood up by the teacher. As a consolation, I pleasantly found a unique, new wedding ring made by a local artist. I topped the day off with some profiteroles. Yum!


Ken and Cheryl got me a bike tour of Barcelona for my birthday.

large_IMG_5579-66.jpg

We saw traditional dancing in one of Barcelona's many plazas as part of the festival.

We saw traditional dancing in one of Barcelona's many plazas as part of the festival.


Charming ally ways of downtown.

Charming ally ways of downtown.


large_IMG_5562-62.jpg

Interesting railing on Gaudi's Casa Milà.

Interesting railing on Gaudi's Casa Milà.


Gaudi's Casa Batllo.

Gaudi's Casa Batllo.


Gaudi's masterpiece Sagrada Familia. Construction started in 1883 and is expected to be finished in 2026. The construction has been interrupted by war and money woes, ultimately being passed on to various famous architects. The size and detail of the church is magnificent.

Gaudi's masterpiece Sagrada Familia. Construction started in 1883 and is expected to be finished in 2026. The construction has been interrupted by war and money woes, ultimately being passed on to various famous architects. The size and detail of the church is magnificent.


Sagrada Familia ceiling.

Sagrada Familia ceiling.


One of many stained glass windows.

One of many stained glass windows.


Steeples from a window inside Sagrada Familia.

Steeples from a window inside Sagrada Familia.


Men at work throughout the church.

Men at work throughout the church.


Stairway inside one of the church steeples.

Stairway inside one of the church steeples.


Gaudi's Park de Guell.

Gaudi's Park de Guell.


large_DSC_0124-77.jpg

The Chernacks love Olympic villages. Elizabeth and Ken went swimming in the Barcelona Olympic pool on the hill of Montjuic overlooking the city.

Ken representing team USA.

Ken representing team USA.


From Barcelona, Elizabeth and I decided to visit the Costa Brava region in northern Catalunya. Inspired by cousins Pat and Ellen and our Spanish friends Isi and Zaida, we left most of our luggage in the city, rented bikes and rode through the area from the ocean up into the foot hills of the Pyrenees for six days.

The first few kilometers were straight up San Sebastian. The view was well worth it, but we began to worry about the difficulty of the rest of the ride! Luckily this turned out to be the most difficult hill.

The first few kilometers were straight up San Sebastian. The view was well worth it, but we began to worry about the difficulty of the rest of the ride! Luckily this turned out to be the most difficult hill.


Getting our bearings, beachside.

Getting our bearings, beachside.


large_IMG_5618-83.jpg

Each town we passed has an old district built in the middle ages.

Each town we passed has an old district built in the middle ages.


The Catalunya region has embraced biking. An old railway trail has been converted into a bike trail called the Vie Verda. The old stations along the route have been preserved and converted into information centers and bathrooms. The region has well marked bike routes on the roads, as well, where we saw many wannabe Alberto Contadors!

The Catalunya region has embraced biking. An old railway trail has been converted into a bike trail called the Vie Verda. The old stations along the route have been preserved and converted into information centers and bathrooms. The region has well marked bike routes on the roads, as well, where we saw many wannabe Alberto Contadors!


We turned away from the coast and headed toward the historical cities Girona and Olot on the Vie Verda.

The old town of Amer on the way to Girona.

The old town of Amer on the way to Girona.


Old train station sign.

Old train station sign.


large_IMG_5714-94.jpg

large_IMG_5649-87.jpg

Girona is a small city with a charming old Jewish quarter built in the middle ages.

large_IMG_5648-86.jpg

large_IMG_5677-90.jpg

large_IMG_5659-89.jpg

We then headed for the volcanic landscape of Olot, climbing the Coll de Bas and descending into the picturesque Bas valley.

large_IMG_5723-95.jpg

large_IMG_5751-99.jpg

large_IMG_5750-98.jpg

Nothing like a little help from a stranger.

Nothing like a little help from a stranger.


Finally, we headed back the way we came and did some relaxing in Sant Feliu de Guixols!

Relaxing on the beach after six days of biking. And for the record, we aren't naked.

Relaxing on the beach after six days of biking. And for the record, we aren't naked.


large_IMG_5785-104.jpg

We arrived in San Feliu de Guixols to another kind of biker convention.

We arrived in San Feliu de Guixols to another kind of biker convention.


We returned to Barcelona for one day before flying back to the states for my sister's wedding. A brief intermission to our travels before returning to South America for a final seven weeks.

We capped off our stay in Barcelona with, what else, churros y chocolate y suizo, a delicious donut stick dunked in pure hot chocolate with whipped cream. Mmmm!!!

We capped off our stay in Barcelona with, what else, churros y chocolate y suizo, a delicious donut stick dunked in pure hot chocolate with whipped cream. Mmmm!!!


- Dave

Posted by daveliz 04:30 Archived in Spain Comments (4)

Celebrating our first anniversary in Paris

An amazing year of stories, growth and bonding

sunny 70 °F
View A Rough Outline of our Trip on daveliz's travel map.

Sunrise at the Eiffel Tower, Paris, France.

Sunrise at the Eiffel Tower, Paris, France.


FROM ELIZABETH!

What a year! We celebrated our first anniversary in Paris, France, on September 19, and couldn't get over what we had accomplished. We've traveled around the world, climbed some of the world's tallest mountains, lived in a car for two months, became mildly acustomed to squat toilets and endured tick bite fever. I am Dave's GPS, helping him get from point A to point B, but he is my inspiration to keep going, keep traveling, keep seeing, keep exploring, to keep learning and keep believing that there are endless opportunities around every corner. Of course there were days when we wanted to be oceans apart, but with a little compromise we always found ourselves ready to keep rolling.

Always moving!

Always moving!


I tried to be creative for our anniversary combining Dave's love of chocolate and biking, but it turned out to be a comedy of errors. I mapped out the best chocolatiers in Paris and took Dave to rent a Velib bike, which are on every street of Paris. Locals rent them by the hour to get around town. Unfortunately, Velib did not like my credit card.

Note to those traveling to Europe - chip and pin credit cards are in and if you don't have one, expect to get denied at a few locations, like we did trying to rent a Velib bicycle.

Note to those traveling to Europe - chip and pin credit cards are in and if you don't have one, expect to get denied at a few locations, like we did trying to rent a Velib bicycle.


So we did the sweet tour by foot!

Of course, the first chocolate shop was closed.

Of course, the first chocolate shop was closed.


Chocolate crayons bigger than our budget : - )

Chocolate crayons bigger than our budget : - )


Dave waits patiently in line for the best chocolate in town.

Dave waits patiently in line for the best chocolate in town.


On our foot tour we passed the Louvre,

On our foot tour we passed the Louvre,


and the Arc de Triumphe.

and the Arc de Triumphe.


We followed the noise to the biggest techno parade in the world.

We followed the noise to the biggest techno parade in the world.


At night, Dave arranged dinner at a French bistro called Le Petite Prince. I surprised him by stripping myself of fleece and putting on a colorful new dress from London. I felt great, but let's just say Dave preferred my fleece. (Style is in the eye of the beholder : - )

Anniversary dinner at Le Petite Prince.

Anniversary dinner at Le Petite Prince.


Paris at night.

Paris at night.


FROM DAVID!

Wow! I inspired all that! The funny thing is Elizabeth inspires all the same in me. I guess it was fitting that we celebrated our anniversary in Paris with it's art museums and music, beautiful sculptures and architecture, and delicious food. Elizabeth also knows that I don't mind at all when her gifts get screwed up. For one, it's the thought that counts. But more importantly, it also relieves all the pressure on me to give the perfect gifts! (It gets better too... In the next blog, we get stood up by the flamenco instructor who was to give us a lesson for my birthday present.)

The Thinker by Rodin

The Thinker by Rodin


The Kiss by Rodin

The Kiss by Rodin


Paris' Statue of Liberty

Paris' Statue of Liberty


Ah, the delicious bakeries in Paris!

Ah, the delicious bakeries in Paris!


IMG_5295-49.jpg

IMG_5263-48.jpg

The past year of traveling has been wonderful. We've learned so much about the people and places we've visited as well as about each other. Everyone's first question is how we didn't kill each other spending 24/7 together for a year. Well, there were probably a few times we came close, but we always remember that it's much more fun to laugh at each others quirks and shortcomings. Given our abundance in those categories, we provide each other endless amounts of entertainment.

Our first picture together on March 9, 2007, in San Francisco where I surprised her. We met March 2, 2007, in Boston. We've come a long way since then!

Our first picture together on March 9, 2007, in San Francisco where I surprised her. We met March 2, 2007, in Boston. We've come a long way since then!


- Elizabeth & Dave

Posted by daveliz 09:14 Archived in France Comments (10)

Europe with friends

Seeing England and the Netherlands with locals

sunny 68 °F
View A Rough Outline of our Trip on daveliz's travel map.

This blue gem in Delft, Netherlands, is supposed to be good luck for lovers - as noted by our local tour guides Freek and Hester! More on them below.

This blue gem in Delft, Netherlands, is supposed to be good luck for lovers - as noted by our local tour guides Freek and Hester! More on them below.

In the past eleven months Dave and I have made some wonderful new friends. In many cases we will never see the people we encountered again, but when we decided to spend time in Europe, we opted to visit the homes of people we met along the way. All of our hosts were gracious with beds, meals, laundry and of course, great conversation! Dave and I were both exhausted from Africa, so home stays gave us the perfect opportunity to just curl up in a ball and watch a movie and do a lot of nothing.

Hostel Lucy and Mark. Putney Bridge, London.
In London, Dave and I enjoyed dinner with Lucy and Mark, who will get married in Australia next year. We met Lucy in Thailand on our hiking, biking and kayaking trip.

In London, Dave and I enjoyed dinner with Lucy and Mark, who will get married in Australia next year. We met Lucy in Thailand on our hiking, biking and kayaking trip.


Hostel Kath. Fulham, London.
Kath and I enjoy some delicious cake and tea in London. She also helped me shop for birthday and anniversary gifts for Dave. We met Kath, a South African, in Argentina. She did a similar trip to us and we bonded immediately. We also stayed with her parents in South Africa.

Kath and I enjoy some delicious cake and tea in London. She also helped me shop for birthday and anniversary gifts for Dave. We met Kath, a South African, in Argentina. She did a similar trip to us and we bonded immediately. We also stayed with her parents in South Africa.


Hostel Chloe and Roger. Chichester, England.
We headed south in England to Chichester to meet up with Roger and Chloe who we met before sunrise at the Bangkok bus station many months ago. We both crossed our favorite Cambodian border together and then visited Angkor Wat. We also met up in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

We headed south in England to Chichester to meet up with Roger and Chloe who we met before sunrise at the Bangkok bus station many months ago. We both crossed our favorite Cambodian border together and then visited Angkor Wat. We also met up in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.


DSC_0003-8.jpgWhile in Chichester we went on a beautiful country side hike.

While in Chichester we went on a beautiful country side hike.


Locals like to confuse the foreigners.

Locals like to confuse the foreigners.


My new cottage is move-in ready!

My new cottage is move-in ready!


We loved getting to see some of England's countryside. Chichester is a small town with friendly locals and almost every major amenity you would need. We could live there very comfortably. And as most of you know, my heart has always been in London. Ever since studying abroad there more than a decade ago, I have always loved the city's character, charisma and culture. While there I also had a chance to visit with some old friends.

Hostel Elana and Bruce. Clapham Junction, London.
Elana, a friend from Hebrew School, was kind enough to help me find lodging in Paris for my anniversary. She has lived in London for the past three years with her husband, but is now en route back to NYC.

Elana, a friend from Hebrew School, was kind enough to help me find lodging in Paris for my anniversary. She has lived in London for the past three years with her husband, but is now en route back to NYC.


Hostel Dana. Holloway Road, North London.
Dana was another fabulous host. She is a friend from the University of Rochester.

Dana was another fabulous host. She is a friend from the University of Rochester.


Boulder, CO, visitor.
Our friend Raj was in London with his son Rishi for a family birthday party. Raj's sister Puja lives in the city.

Our friend Raj was in London with his son Rishi for a family birthday party. Raj's sister Puja lives in the city.


Welcome to Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Welcome to Amsterdam, Netherlands.


Hostel Hester and Freek. Amsterdam, Netherlands. (They quickly informed us with pride that the Dutch found New York. Why didn't we know this?)

Dutch waffles - yummy! Dave and I met Hester and Freek on a boat trip along the Mekong Delta in Vietnam.

Dutch waffles - yummy! Dave and I met Hester and Freek on a boat trip along the Mekong Delta in Vietnam.


I had been to Amsterdam before, but not to cities and towns around it. It was all new to Dave, and we both loved everything. Practically the entire country has bike paths, which makes getting around very easy, and makes the sport extremely safe and fun. Oddly, for the amount of biking the Dutch do, they tend to ride bikes circa 1950. We are told this is due to theft, but we think they just like the old fashioned wheels.

IMG_5393-25.jpg

Hester and Freek took us to Delft, the college town where the two of them met.

Hester and Freek took us to Delft, the college town where the two of them met.


DSC_0028-28.jpg

IMG_5389-23.jpg

The Netherlands is built below sea level, so many buildings are on soft foundations. As a result many homes and buildings are crooked like this church in Delft.

The Netherlands is built below sea level, so many buildings are on soft foundations. As a result many homes and buildings are crooked like this church in Delft.


View of Delft from the top of a church in the center square.

View of Delft from the top of a church in the center square.


Enjoying the view with Hester and Freek.

Enjoying the view with Hester and Freek.


They took us to the Hague for a stroll on the beach where Hester wind surfs and surfs, and for a local treat. Freek eats Haring, a small, local fish that is enjoyed with its entire body in tact. I couldn't stomach this local delicacy.

They took us to the Hague for a stroll on the beach where Hester wind surfs and surfs, and for a local treat. Freek eats Haring, a small, local fish that is enjoyed with its entire body in tact. I couldn't stomach this local delicacy.


I love supermarkets and buying local goods. In Amsterdam you get a personal zapper to tag your food as you shop. It was genius and a little too much fun!

I love supermarkets and buying local goods. In Amsterdam you get a personal zapper to tag your food as you shop. It was genius and a little too much fun!


IMG_5346-15.jpg

While in Amsterdam, Dave and I took a tour on bike, the main mode of transportation for locals.

While in Amsterdam, Dave and I took a tour on bike, the main mode of transportation for locals.


IMG_5341-13.jpg

IMG_5373-19.jpg

We stopped at a clog factory for Dave to get some new shoes.

We stopped at a clog factory for Dave to get some new shoes.


After the ride we stopped for some local fast food at FEBO . . . croquettes right from a vending machine. The fried cheese and meat roll was oddly good.

After the ride we stopped for some local fast food at FEBO . . . croquettes right from a vending machine. The fried cheese and meat roll was oddly good.


Dave also toured the Anne Frank House, which I did many years ago. And we both took a trip to the infamous Red Light District where the sex industry is still booming.

Sorry....no pole dancing shots for public viewing. This is all you get.

Sorry....no pole dancing shots for public viewing. This is all you get.


In Europe, cars are small!

In Europe, cars are small!


We have many more new friends we would have liked to visit, but time was against us. The good news is we are only a flight away!

- Elizabeth

Posted by daveliz 11:20 Archived in England Comments (2)

(Entries 1 - 4 of 4) Page [1]