Inklings, Travel Adventures

A Hobbit’s (or Anyone Who Loves Books and Snacks) Guide to New York City

If you aren’t familiar with Hobbits, here’s one thing you need to know: They like food. There’s breakfast, second breakfast, elevenses, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner, and then supper.

They also much prefer to stay home, curled up in their Hobbit holes, with a toasty fire, perhaps reading a book or two. Unless, of course, a certain wizard stirs up trouble and suddenly they find themselves on an adventure.

So if consider yourself much like a Hobbit and support multiple meals, but also find yourself in New York City, here’s a list of verified places to eat:

Posto NYC Thin Crust Pizza in Gramercy: Of course you have to eat thin crust in NYC. This was right by where I stayed. A cozy spot I’d definitely hang out if I lived near by.

Magnolia Bakery: Things I won’t pass up – a bakery. This one was the Grand Central Terminal location. A cupcake is a great pick-me-up!

Lillie’s Victorian Establishment: This place was recommended by several people. There’s a variety of fun drinks and the Harvest Collins was very refreshing! The decor reminded a bit of Austin – random, yet not :).

Wo Hop Chinese Restaurant: When you’re eating Chinese food in NYC, you have to go to Chinatown. If you get the chance to go to Wo Hop, you can expect a wait, large portions, and bring cash. All worth it though!

Ben’s Cookies: It started in Oxford, so I was supporting Tolkien and Lewis.

Levain Bakery: This place was recommended quite a bit as well and yes, delicious! I brought some home too. Also, DON’T JUDGE ALL THE BAKERIES I WENT TO INTERNET.

Sapori D’Italia: This place was fabulous! Located in Little Italy, it was super cute, everyone who worked there spoke Italian and it was packed late at night. I hope to one day make it back!

Black Tap Craft Burgers: I may have ate the burger before I got a good photo. My bad! I was really hungry. Definitely worth trying. They also have ridiculous milkshakes (we’re talking a piece of cake on top of the shake), so there’s that option as well.

Ess-a-bagel: I’m not much of a bagel person, but when in New York right? Photo by my friend Leslie.

I got so many incredible recommendations for food and all the places we eat at were recommendations. Since there’s about 50 I still need to try, just gotta go back right?

Finally, need a place to find a corner and read? New York has you covered. (You can read more about each store over at @bookstoreandlibrarylove)

And if you find yourself going on a big city adventure soon, be sure to download City Mapper App before you go. It shows all public transportation arrivals, travel times, routes, and everything you might need to go exploring. I’ll be using it for all future adventures!

Thanks for joining in the NYC adventures!

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Inklings, Travel Adventures

A Long Expected Party in NYC

This past weekend I headed out to New York City to see the Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth at the Morgan Library and Museum. It started out last Fall in Oxford and is the first Tolkien exhibit in a good long while. Since I couldn’t quite make a trip to England happen, I was hoping it made it to the US and was so excited when they announced New York City as the city. That was much more possible. Then I found out about a Hobbit party and that sealed the deal.

I couldn’t take any pictures from the exhibit itself, but I loved it. There’s something enchanting and thrilling about seeing the thought process, writing notes, and doodles of an incredibly influential and favorite author. Tolkien was talented in so many ways, it’s almost ridiculous. I knew he designed many of his covers, but it was so awesome seeing his sketches, half painted ideas, and finished products.

I bought the book from the exhibit (you can get it online here) because I wanted to re-read and see all the extras. Here’s a couple spreads:

It also helped that the exhibit and party were held at The Morgan Library and Museum. This place is gorgeous! Turns out nearly 700 other people wanted to be a part of the fun too.

Did I also buy Hobbit Tea? Yes, yes I did.

If you’re in New York or close by, be sure to stop by the exhibit. It’s there through May 12th and then moves to Paris later this year. Maybe I should support France’s efforts? Anyone want to send me? I promise to bring you back a souvenir 😆.

Travel Adventures

Why Travel? Here’s 7 Reasons

“Traveling is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.”

I’m not sure who first said that, but to that I say YES AND AMEN.

I remember the exact moment in life I decided I would see the world. It was 1991 and I was 9. My parents decided to take us to Walt Disney World Florida (and also exciting Edgard, Louisiana). I may have shared bits of this story before, so forgive me for any repeats.

We all went to Epcot Center on one of the days and after “visiting” the first country, I was 900% hooked. You see, Epcot Center has several international pavilions and each had people from those countries working there. My parents bought me a passport and I got to go around to each place, look at the architecture, see the cute trinkets and talk to people from around the world.

I was deeply and madly in love.

I think it was after 2-3 stops my parents realized there was no stopping my mission to visit every country. So we split up, my Mom took my siblings and cousin on rides and my Dad took me to each country. Rides? What rides Dad?! I gotta see the world!

I still have it!

So began my lifelong love of traveling both near and far (I talked about the lovely Ireland here). Here’s the thing with the travel bug; once you start you will never want to stop and I think that’s amazing.

On a recent trip to Colorado (I 100% blame recent travels for neglect of this blog, but hey, it provided some new inspiration!) I was thinking about why I love traveling and thought it was the perfect time to convince the Internet to travel as much as possible!

This post is unsponsored, but if an airline company sees it and likes it, feel free to pass along a free flight or two. I shall graciously expect :).

1. The world is no longer a face without a name. I think one of the reasons I have such a passion for social justice and change is because I’ve been to many of these places and have seen the beautiful faces behind all of the stats. It’s amazing how much our perceptions and thoughts change towards fellow man when we have to opportunity to spend time with them. I’m not saying you have to spend days, sometimes it is just a few passing moments.

2. It is fun! I can go on for days about this one. I don’t have a study to quote, but I’m pretty sure there is a scientific evidence out there proving that you burn more calories due to laughing and adventuring. Whether with family or friends, fun is waiting. Right now I’m laughing while typing this thinking of hilarious times.

Visiting a school is Zambia – loved these kids!

3. You get to challenge yourself and stretch yourself. This might sound crazy, but not everyone lives like we do in the United States of America. Wha??? I know right? Who would have thought…

4. The food. I admit, I don’t eat anything and everything. Vanilla is and always will be my favorite ice cream. But that doesn’t mean I won’t try things at least once (I draw the line at bugs internet). There is some amazing food out there in the world just waiting to be eaten. Now I’m thinking of all the foods I’m craving that are far, far away from me. Curses.

San Fran with my sister and close friends = we all still crave the crepes.

5. Culture changes you as a person (and for the better). Trust me on this.

6. Cheeseball alert…the memories!! A significant majority of my favorite all times memories have been while I am traveling – whether a short road trip or somewhere international, the memories truly do last forever. Like I said, cheeseball to the core. ; )

When your friend turns 30, you go on a trip!

7. Beauty. One thing that reminds me of God’s creativity and majesty is traveling. Whether a beach, the mountains or people’s compassion and kindness, seeing the world has always drawn me closer to Jesus in ways I’ll never forget.

It’s probably because I’m itching to plan my next trip, but I hope y’all are inspired to pack up a car full of friends or maybe hop on a plane and go somewhere fun. If you aren’t sure where to start, I hear Austin has some cool people and pretty amazing food.

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine

Why do you love to travel? Where would you love to go if money wasn’t an issue?