In our undergad days, Jay and I didn’t travel much. So many of our nearest and dearest were of adventuring through unchartered corners of the globe or taking semesters off to backpack India (and fall madly in love). Whereas we were sticking around the island, being boring, doing homework and saving to buy a house. However, in the last year we have set out sights on travel while we are still childless and young. So we been trying to take every opportunity that we can to escape Brooklyn and explore new corners of our incredible continent. Predominately we opt for road trips because it gives us the leisure of taking travel at our own pace. However, after doing a touch of research I learned that the train trip between NYC and Montreal has been awarded for being one of the most scenic routes on the continent. With that fact in my back pocket, tickets were bought and hotels were booked. The result of which was an exceptional long weekend escape from the city. Here are the highlights:
We have been MIA the past number of weeks. Truth be told our last month and a bit has been pure insanity. Jameson is traversing time zones and racking up airmiles like a crazy person- not that this is anything new. But between his 90 hours work weeks and flight delays we have also been wrangling some work on our house in Victoria, prepping for the US work visa lottery and grieving the very big loss of my grandpa. We have been having all the big conversations about what comes next for us if I win or if lose the US visa lottery in April. Needless to say our plates have been full.
In the middle of it though we have managed to sneak away with two of our favourite people for the weekend. This group of NYC fam jam is who we do all our travels with, and all we wanted from the weekend was to set time aside to connect with our most cherished. In very un-Renée fashion I had zero plans for our escape other than locating a cabin on AirBnB. Our only goal was to simply press pause for a few brief moments and regain some sanity. We managed to accomplish just that by barely leaving the cabin the entity of the weekend. Instead, we built fires, cozied in under warm blankets and sipped at a glass of wine while we read books. We did switch it up a bit by watching old VHS tapes of 90s rom coms but the climax of our days were long naps, hot baths and home cooked dinners. It was perfection in the truest sense. Continue reading “Get out of Town: The Catskills”
Jameson was up in Boston again this week for work, and took Fab along with him. I made the journey up on Friday night after work to join them, and spend the night at our favourite Boston hotel, The Fairmont Copley Plaza. Saturday morning, we nabbed Aaron before heading off on a road trip to Cape Cod. It is a little past peak season, and many summer establishments are more or less in the tail ends of operations before closing for the winter. Personally, I am actually glad we waited until fall to explore the Cape because the New England colors made for a seriously breathtaking drive. So regardless of the timing we LOVED every second of our mini vacation. The beauty of the ocean, the quirkiness of the Ptown and the sheer, utter friendliness of the people blew us away. It was the perfect weekend escape from the city. We didn’t do much other than scout out places to eat, sip wine by the fire pit and walk the beach. It was perfection in its truest form. Our recommendations for a quick weekend getaway in Cape Cod would have to be:
As you may know educational writing and resource development are two aspects of my new role as Learning Specialist. I for one could not be more excited about this opportunity (being paid to blog AND create?! What could possibly be better?). Since tech is a huge professional focus for me (and my graduate minor) I will be doing a lot of tech and resource reviews. As well, I will be using my training in instructional design to share some of the curricular resources that I have designed for my previous classrooms or students I work with currently. Creating and sharing resources isn’t new for me; if you like what you see make sure you also check out the Teaching Category of this blog for some other freebies I have designed.
This latest resource is a game I designed called, On a Roll, which is a fun way to bolster your student’s sight word recognition. For background on why sight words are important to young learners, the rules on how to play the game, insights into how I used this resource in my own classroom and links to the standards head over to my post on the Yellin Center Blog.
If you are like me and want to keep personalizing the words as your students learn I have attached below the word version of this game so you can fully differentiate this activity to meet your students’ needs. My personal preference is to print the word doc version since sometimes the formatting of the google doc (like the sample offered on the Yellin Center Blog) can be cumbersome to navigate.
Please use, share, adapt and give me feedback. I am always looking to improve my materials and also love hearing the innovative ways my peers use my resources in the classroom. I especially love pictures, and sharing them here with your permission! Happy learning.
As all our New York nearest and dearest know because they finally got to meet her -my mom came to visit for a week. Having her in town is always a roller coaster. I spend the week before she lands being a ball of quivering, excited energy. Once she arrives, my emotions run high as we adventure, talk and just be. We really do just love to hang out. Then the morning she leaves I wind up standing in my go-to coffee shop with my eyes welling up with tears as the barista asks how my morning is going. Regardless of the tidal waves of emotions I experience in the few short days surrounding her visit I am always so, so glad she is able to come.
This isn’t her first visit to our city, it is actually her third; she is pretty much a veteran New Yorker by now. So this time around we took it easy. We had a girls day complete with brunch at Walter’s in Fort Greene, followed by a spa day at the Plaza Hotel. We tackled the Met Rooftop after church on Sunday. Throughout the week she came with me to work, or met me for lunch at the Breslin Bar and Dining Room at the Ace Hotel. But most importantly we drank a lot of coffee from some of our favorite places. Including: Continue reading “Exploring Brooklyn: Favorite Coffee in Fort Greene”
We are slowly settling into a new fall rhythm. Jay is still traversing multiple time zones per week and racking up air miles like it is a business, but as for me I am transitioning into a steady pace of life and loving it. So as we ease into autumn it has me reflecting on the truly spectacular summer we had. On top of graduating grad school, landing a brand new (amazing) career and celebrating five years of marriage, we got out of the city to explore the greatness that sounds us as much as possible. A dear friend, Pat, mused that Jameson and I have left no stone unturned in our first year in New York. This summer that especially rings true. This summer alone has led us through eight different states. Here is the short list of some of our favorite getaways, and some of the highlights of each adventure. Continue reading “Get Out of Town: Best Summer Escapes from NYC”
Jameson and I strive to place people at the center of our lives. Careers and life goals and adventures are all of great import. But at the core of what makes our world revolve is the people we choose to share our mundane life with. We know a remarkable couple (who happen to be our high school gym teachers and later our landlords) that possess this unbelievable ability to love on others. When you are in conversation with them it is always intentional, and they truly have the gift of making you feel heard. In them both is the capacity to earnestly share in your joy regardless of circumstance. Beyond that, they also love God with the same vigor they love others with. We look up to them. Jay and I would consider it our greatest accomplishment if we are ever able to walk out our marriage in the same loving manner they embody, and make those around us feel even mildly as cherished as they manage to do.
Fortunately for us, we have people quite literally across the globe that love us and we love whole heartily. Our circle extends from from Dallas, to Sydney to Victoria, with stops in Toronto, California, New York and everywhere in between. It is friends and family who feed us. They possess the ability to transform a dreary day. They are the ones able to speak encouragement, and wisdom into our lives; whether we connect daily or only every so often. We are so grateful for all of those that are willing to come along side us to share in this crazy, adventure we are on. So thank you to each and every one of you.
So needless to say it was such a soul filling time for us this summer when we got the chance to carve out a week of road tripping with three of the people who are firmly entrenched at the center of our universe. Truth be told Jay and I are in full agreement that it is probably one of the highest highs of our entire time in NYC thus far. It wasn’t the adventure or the scenery or all the great food. It was simply because of who we shared the time with. We are so grateful to have created our own little New York family. Even though it doesn’t replace or keep us from missing those at home like crazy, it at least helps bolster us in the place we currently are. Continue reading “Get out of Town: Northeast Road Trip”
Summer in the city is arguably my favourite yet (minus the humidity and skin scorching temperatures).
We have been so fortunate to have three of our nearest and dearest come to town to explore a New York summer with us. My dad and his wife Maureen, came at the start of July to help us settle in and explore our new neighbourhood. Then last week my brother, Sean, ventured over to help us tackle many of the items on our NYC tourist bucket list. We loved having them along to explore our surroundings. Sharing the energy and pulse of the city with those we love, and exposing them what has made us fall love with New York really is the best treat. We SO loved having them. All bias aside I think Jameson and I have a pretty awesome family.
What follows is a few of our top picks for summer activities in the city. Continue reading “Summer in NYC”
Jay and I have LOVED our little corner of Harlem this past year. It has been so convenient being around the corner from my classes and across the street from work. Today we actually had the privilege to show my dad and his wife around our former neck of the woods and all sorts of nostalgia built up inside me (even if I have only been a Brooklynite for a mere 20 hours). However, with my graduation date just thirty short days away (HECK YES!) we have to vacate our university owned apartment. We elected to move into the amazingly, west coast feeling neighbourhood of Fort Greene. Added bonus, we are going to be neighbors with a few of our closest friends.
Air B and B does a much better job of cataloging the awesomeness of our new hood, so I would recommend checking them out if you are curious about where we are setting down roots. All I can say is we could not be happier we scored an apartment in a doorman, full service building in Fort Greene. It is a small, super popular corner of New York City which means the rental market is fierce. It tends to be pricey, since a plethora of celebrities are moving into the area (every celebrity sighting I have had in NYC has been in Fort Greene). So finding something in our range was something we weren’t totally sure we would wrangle. All in all, I am thinking God has a little something to do with us finding our new home.
The community itself has an abundance of markets, luscious parks and not a Starbucks in sight. The majority of shops and eateries are local and totally right up our alley. My west coast heart is doing back flips. Add to all that goodness that the streets are swathed in foliage and my soul is singing. So in honor of our move here are a few snaps of our new street.