October Blog Review and November Goals

Two months of blogging down! The Adventuring Emily officially opened for business on August 31st, 2018 which means I now have two months under my belt. Though I didn’t do a review for September, I wanted to take advantage of today being the last day of the month aka Halloween and recap what I’ve done so far. This is a pretty picture light post so here’s a picture of my dog in is Halloween costume to tide you over:

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September + October stats:

Number of posts: 19

Number of total views: 292

Most viewed post: runDisney’s Dopey Challenge: 4 days, 4 races, 48.6 miles

Most commented post: runDisney’s Dopey Challenge: 4days, 4 races, 48.6 miles

Number of Twitter followers: 389

Number of Instagram followers: 307

Number of Pinterest followers: 12

Wow! So far so good! I didn’t really start my blog with any particular goals in mind because I really just wanted a place to save my pictures and adventures. Thank you to everyone who has supported me so far! Looking forward to November I have some specific things I want to work on.

November goals:

  1. ¬†Focus on growing my Pinterest account- I just started using Pinterest for my blog. I didn’t want to start with too many social media accounts at once when I was getting started! Thanks to all the helpful folks on Twitter who got me started I made my Pinterest account, figured out how to make posts and use Tailwind. This coming month I want to spend more time building my boards, growing my followers, and following other bloggers to enhance my feed.
  2. Grow my Twitter followers to 600– I think it’s really important to not focus on numbers so I almost considered not making this a specific goal. However, Twitter is my favorite platform to engage with people on and I think that engaging (retweeting, following others, etc.) is how I gain followers. With that logic I figure if I shoot to gain followers I’ll do it by engaging with others so this is a two fold goal!
  3. Participate in four blogger chats- I recently stumbled upon my first blogger chat by chance while I was scrolling my feed and it was really fun! I loved reading other people’s ideas and getting to follow new blogs after chatting with the writer. I’d like to do a little pre-planning to try and make it to one blogger chat a week this month.
  4. Comment on one blog every day- I love getting comments- always so exciting to to see that notification and get to respond to someone! I want to spread that excitement with others so I’m going to push myself to read more blogs. I’ll track my comments and aim for 30 (ideally with one each day to spread out my engagement.)
  5. Stick to planned posting schedule- I have all my post ideas for the month saved in my schedule queue waiting to be written. My goal is to stick with it and make sure I write them on time so I can post as scheduled.

Happy Halloween, adventurers! Enjoy your tricks and treats and let’s bring on the turkey and the blog posts starting tomorrow! What are your goals, blogging or otherwise, for November?

Shineon

Stay adventurous, friends!

Story and Soil Coffee in Hartford, CT

It seems like I need to give my coffee addiction more love on the blog so today I present another coffee shop adventure! When I’m looking for a new place to try my go-to search technique is usually Yelp which is how I found Story and Soil Coffee in Hartford, CT. This is right down the street from 84’s Capital Ave exit so it’s easy to get to if you’re in the area!

Right across the street from the Capital Lofts, Story and Soil has a small but quaint storefront.

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Admittedly seating inside struck me as limited- maybe ten or twelve seats? It seemed like the place where it was ok to take any open seat (give that there was one large table and window seating) so I took an stool at the window next to couple. There were picnic tables out front if the weather is fair. Going with the trusty recommendations of Yelp I ordered the Spanish Latte.

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I appreciated the touch that they served it with water for me to sip as well. The latte was great- a nice cinnamon flavor!

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The decor in Story and Soil is friendly and chic. Someone told me they purchase the flowers from a local farm!

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Out of all the coffee places I’ve visited with plans to write about, Story and Soil is the only I’ve only been to once but I need to change that. They recently came out with their fall flavors so I have to get back for another cup!

Hartford, CT

Stay adventurous, friends!

 

Big Slide Brewery & Public House in Lake Placid, NY

I admit, adventurers, I’ve become a little disorganized lately. I intended to have this all ready to go for yesterday and then I had to scramble to unschedule the post because I never wrote it! It’s strange to me because I always think things will slow down once summer ends but somehow fall seems even crazier! I’m (hopefully) getting myself back on track today and sharing one of my favorite Lake Placid destinations.

If you’ve ever been to LP you know that on your way into town you can’t miss seeing the ski jumps towering over the road. My first visit I was in awe! Hell- I still am every time I see them! If you marvel at the jumps like I do, what better place to enjoy a beer than in their shadow at a brewery that pays homage in its name and logo?

Around since 2016, Big Slide Brewery & Public House is a Lake Placid staple in my book. Their brews are great and their menu offers plenty of choices to munch on.

They have a great patio out front and a grassy area where you can find ladder ball to play while you drink. There are multiple breweries in Lake Placid but one purely logistical thing that keeps bringing me back to Big Slide is the fact that they have their own parking lot so you don’t have to worry about finding a spot in the village (where parking is more limited.)

After my trek through the grass for pictures while everyone in the restaurant gawked at me (#bloggerlife) we settled into our table and started off with some drinks. I’m a sucker for a flight so that’s what I went with. Big Slide’s beer selection is a mix of their year round staples and some seasonal selections. Per our server, they’re best known for their Giant IPA which won gold in 2017 as the best American Double IPA at New York’s Craft Beer Competition. I included this one of my flight and really liked it!

Still teaching my mom the art of adjusting lighting before taking iPhone pictures but she’s learning!

While my mom is learning to appreciate different beers, a flight is still too adventurous for her so on our server’s suggestion she went with the cream ale which on request they add a simple raspberry syrup.

The cream ale with raspberry syrup

While we drank we ordered some pretzel bites and the chips and dip. The pretzel bites were amazing! They were seasoned with poppy seeds instead of salt which was really good.

I believe these were made by local bakery, Cake Placid (see what they did there? haha!)

The ambiance in Big Slide is relaxed (and very darkly lit.) The kitchen is mostly open so you can see them prepare the food.

Big Slide’s take home crowler option

The brewing supplies are behind a glass wall so you can also see them brew your beer (well, sort of- it was fermenting when we were there which isn’t much to watch.) They offer a crowler and a growler option to take home your favorite!

Best part?

Free bobsled rides home!

Ok, ok- just kidding!

Big Slide Brewery & Public House can be found at 5686 Cascade Rd, Lake Placid. Open 11:30-9:00pm most day, it’s the perfect lunch or dinner stop after hiking the high peaks or visiting the Olympic Jumping Complex down the road. Check their website here for exact hours!

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Stay adventurous, friends!

Ambrosia Diner: Adirondack’s most delicious?

Normally I would say all diners are pretty similar- delicious- but similar. However, Ambrosia Diner in Queensbury, NY really is a step above the rest! My mom had been raving about this place ever since she visited in May so we decided it would be our lunch stop on our way to Lake Placid.

I was immediately struck by how large Ambrosia Diner is. I imagine it’s pretty easy to be seated right away at almost any time of day. I was also amazed at how big the menu is- not only do they offer breakfast all day but they had sandwiches, burgers, and comfort foods.

After all long debate I started things off with some matzo ball soup.

Look at how big that matzo is!

Next came the grilled cheese! They had lots of specialty grilled cheeses to choose from but I went with the caprese (tomato and mozzarella.)

At this point I was already full but the dessert case is not to be missed- literally, you can see all the frosted goodness right when you walk in the door!

This picture doesn’t do justice to how big the slice was!

My mom and I shared a slice of chocolate cream pie (right out of the to go box because we were stuffed and could only manage a few bites!)

Ambrosia Diner was so good (and there were so many more things I wanted to try on the menu) that we opted to stop again on our way home!

If you’re headed up 87-N, take exit 19 and make a pit stop here- you won’t regret it!

Busy Girl's Guide to Thick Hair

Stay adventurous, friends!

runDisney’s Dopey Challenge: Walt Disney World 5K

This is part one of a recap of the 2018 runDisney Dopey Challenge. For the intro post click here!

The Dopey Challenge begins nice and easy with the Walt Disney World 5k on Thursday. At 3 miles, for an experienced runner, this seems pretty easy, right? That’s the tricky part of the Dopey Challenge- you start with this nice easy distance and before you know it you’re at the start line of a marathon!

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The Walt Disney World 5k is a great starting race as it’s untimed and family friendly. I saw lots of fellow Dopey’s bringing the whole family along to get the weekend started. For my Dopey Challenge my sister Caitlin was along for the ride (run.)

Tip: Research the weather and dress accordingly

We rolled out of Coronado Springs Resort approximately 3:30am to begin the cold and dark wait for the race start at 5:30am. Fortunately through our previous runDisney experience we brought plenty of warm clothes to bundle ourselves up with.

If you’ve read any other post of my blog you might know that I LOVE coffee, especially from Dunkin’ Donuts. Thus, how our costumes for this race were born:

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Our custom t-shirts say Dopey’s run on Dunkin’ and were made by an awesome facebook seller. If I can find her page I’ll link her back! We actually stopped at a Dunkin’ in Orlando the day prior to pick up the munchkin boxes and some coffees. We did run and pass out the donuts but we thought it was safer to take the cups empty so we drank the coffees the day prior!

The 5k course takes you through the Epcot parking lot, into the park behind Test Track, around World Showcase, and back out to the parking lot by looping around Spaceship Earth.

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We took many pretend coffee drinking pictures!

I love running through World Showcase in the dark. All the buildings are lit up and the torches are glowing- it’s the perfect way to see the sun rise! The beauty of the 5k is that it’s untimed so you can walk the whole thing if you please. We wanted to take it easy but it was so cold so we decided to at least maintain a slow job to keep moving!

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Horace was greeting by The Land Pavilion so we jumped in line (and passed out munchkins while we waited!)

Generally I find that the character lines are the 5k are wayyyy too long for us to consider wanting to wait so we were pleasantly surprised that we only waited 5-7 minutes for Horace. After meeting him we headed for the finish line so we could get on the bus and warm up!

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One race down and still all smiles!

The 5k is a great start to the Dopey Challenge! It was the perfect way to start the weekend and shake out some of the excited energy I was feeling. We had a lot of fun! Best part? The race is done with enough time for us to go back to Coronado Springs to take a well deserved nap before heading out to Epcot.

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With 3.1 miles down, we only had 45.5 miles to go! Click here for the Walt Disney World 10k recap!

Dopey Challenge

Stay adventurous, friends!

Throwback Thursday: Connecticut Lights and Sights

Today I’m throwing it back to a MUST-DO Connecticut adventure: Cross Sound Ferry’s Lights and Sights cruise! In July, my family and I took the two hour cruise out of New London on the Cecelia Ann. I had no clue that Connecticut had so many lighthouses with such colorful stories!

We boarded just prior to 10am. I don’t know how many seats were sold (in relation to what would be considered full) but there was a good crowd yet plenty of seats. We opted to start our cruise with outdoor seats and later moved indoors to get out of the wind for the sail back to the dock. There were plenty of windows so we still had good views while inside.

New London Harbor Light
New London Ledge Light

The cruise takes you to 15 different sights including lighthouses, historic forts, castles and more!

North Dumpling Light is currently owned by the inventor of the Segway!
On our way to Morgan Point Light while standing on the top deck.
Latimer Reef Light

At each sight the captain made a full 360 degree turn so you didn’t have to leave your seat for a great view.

Race Rock Light
Little Gull Light

Tickets are $30 for adult fares and sailings continue until October 31st so you have a couple more chances to squeeze in a cruise before the end of the season. Otherwise, Cross Sound Ferry Lighthouse cruises sail from the end of May to the end of October. Visit their website here for more details!

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Stay adventurous, friends!

runDisney’s Dopey Challenge: 4 days, 4 races, 48.6 miles

Today I’m excited to say that I’m going to start a 4 to 5 part series on runDisney’s Dopey Challenge. This event, occurring at Walt Disney World each January, consists of running the Walt Disney World 5k, 10k, half marathon and full marathon races four days in a row. Pretty darn dopey, right?!

Cheers to the start of a very cold Dopey Challenge weekend!

I’m pretty excited to write about this for a couple reasons. First off, I love runDisney. It’s something my sister and I found we loved together and through it we were able to foster a really close relationship. We’ve run many runDisney weekends but Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend (where the Dopey challenge takes place) has always been my favorite. Finally getting to do Dopey this past year was the highlight of all the time we’ve spent running and training together. Overcoming this physical (and very much mental) challenge was one of the craziest things I think I could do and it was fun to boot!

All bundled up with Pluto before we ran the marathon.

I’m also excited to recount our running adventures this past January because I’m looking forward to going back to run Disney World again this coming January for the WDW Marathon (just the 26.2 miles this time.) Reliving this makes the time past faster as we count down to 2019.

Three races down and one more to go!

Stay tuned as I share how each race went and possibly share some tips and tricks that worked well to help get us through.

48.6 miles worth of bling!

Stay adventurous, friends!

Five Things Friday: October 12th, 2018

Time for another Five Things Friday! Now that I’m writing my second one it officially makes it a thing (I think!) Today I want to share five things about me that I haven’t shared on the blog yet. These are things that I want to write more about in the future so I thought this would be a good chance to introduce some of these hobbies.

  1. Confession: I’m a Disney World person. If you’re not one yourself you probably know the type of person I’m talking about. This is the person who has voyaged down to Orlando once a year, if not more, for as long as they can remember. The person who you can’t convince to visit Europe because they insist it’s more economical to see the eleven countries in Epcot’s World Showcase in one trip. Sound familiar? Yeah, that’s me. Are you a Walt Disney World person?

    One of my favorite times of year at Walt Disney World is the Flower and Garden Festival!
  2. I’m a runner! I’ve run 15(ish) half marathons since 2011. I’m gearing up for my fourth marathon TOMORROW! I’m running the Hartford Marathon for the first time and I’m really nervous. This training cycle has been difficult for many reasons but I’m hoping for the best. Wish me luck! Any words of wisdom from a fellow runner?

    In the final stretch of marathon #2 in 2017 at Walt Disney World. Yes, I can in a Minnie Mouse inspired tutu! I love running Disney races in costume!
  3. I love my dog! Ok, you got me- this isn’t a new confession if you’ve read my about me page. And who doesn’t love their dog?! However, I’d love to share a post sometime about my dog Waffles and the story of how I got him from an awesome rescue organization. He’s my first dog EVER- we never had a dog when I was growing up.

    Waffles aka the Waf-man
  4. I got hooked on watching HGTV while I was working the night shift. It was always on the break room tv which introduced me to Fixer Upper and Flip or Flop. Now I love watching home design shows. It always gives me the itch to redecorate! I decided to create a combination coffee bar cart for the kitchen. I ordered a cart off Amazon that looks like it will be perfect- fingers crossed! We’ll see if it comes out Chip and Joanna worthy!
  5. I like to read! I decided to make a better effort to enjoy a good book this year by joining my local library. Since June I’ve checked out and read six books! I most recently finished Finding Atticus by Tom Ryan which was excellent is you’re an adventuring dog person like myself. Got any good book recommendations?

Stay adventurous, friends!

Hiking in the High Peaks: Beginners welcome!

When we planned our girl’s trip to Lake Placid and Lake George hiking really wasn’t on my agenda. After all- my poor mom is in a cast after breaking her hand a couple weeks ago so trekking the High Peaks certainly didn’t seem in the cards. However, at her request, I did some research and was pleased to find there are plenty of ways to get out in the woods with no experience necessary. If you’re not ready to tackle the Adirondack 46 High Peaks here’s what we liked:

Roaring Brook Falls

Roaring Brook Falls is located about 30 minutes outside Lake Placid on Route 73. There is parking by the trailheads that fills up early but we were able to find parking on the road and walk back to the trail.

Roaring Brook Falls is 0.3 miles from the road on a fairly flat and open trail. After about a ten minute walk we found ourselves gazing up at the waterfall’s rock face.

While my mom sat and enjoyed, I climbed the rocks over the brook for a better view.

Hi mom!

This hike is definitely good for beginners- we saw everyone from young kids to older adults walking out to see the waterfall.

High Falls Gorge

On the way to Whiteface Mountain, High Falls Gorge is a little less of a natural hike and more of a tourist attraction. We debated if it was worth the $11.95/person ticket cost (especially in the pouring rain) and ended up deciding to wing it- very happy we did!

The weather gave us low crowds to enjoy the man-made paths and stairs that wrap around the gorge. We donned our umbrellas and raincoats and out we went:

The paths were easy to traverse and there were plenty of good views without needing to go up or down the stairs at all.

Afterwards we sat in the adjacent cafe by the fire and sipped some hot chocolate, both agreeing we were happy that we didn’t let the rain scare us away.

Overall, lesson learned that you don’t have to climb Mount Marcy to enjoy the wilderness in the High Peaks region of the Adirondacks!

Stay adventurous, friends!

Wineries of Saratoga Springs, New York

Ok- I swear we’ve done other things besides drink wine on this girl’s trip! I just love writing about the wine as much as I like to drink it. Today I bring you a recap of two great wineries in Saratoga Springs, New York. Saratoga Springs is most commonly known for it’s horse racing history but it’s also home to a vibrant food and drink scene.

Our first stop on this wet tour of Saratoga was The Saratoga Winery. Don’t let the name fool you: you don’t need to be a wine drinker to enjoy this place! Not only did they do wine tastings but they offered craft beer flights, signature cocktail flights and mimosa flights during their Sunday brunch.

Just by pulling up I got a more familiar vibe to the Connecticut wine scene that I’m used to as opposed to the store-front style of Lake Placid. The inside has a comfortable rustic feel. Like the Lake Placid wineries (which you can read about here,) the Saratoga Springs wineries also grow their grapes in the Finger Lakes region so you won’t find any vines growing out back.

What I found to be most unique to this tasting was how it was served: in a wine tree! This would be especially great during busy times because you have all your wines laid out in front of you so no need to wait for the server.

My favorite wines here were the Saratoga White and the Torched Cherry Bomb. I appreciated the ability to choose from some sweeter reds so I can broaden my pallet a little without having to go too dry. I liked the cayuga Saratoga White so much I enjoyed a glass while we perused around the rest of the room and the outdoor seating area.

Our next stop about 15 minutes down the road was the Thirsty Owl Outlet and Wine Garden. The name here fooled me into expecting some sort of store so imagine my surprise when we pull up to a massive, gorgeous renovated old home.

The Thirsty Owl here in Saratoga is actually a full-fledged tasting room and bistro that gets their wine from Thirsty Owl Winery in- you guessed it- the Finger Lakes. Unlike the woodsy theme that many places around the Adirondacks like to stick to the Owl had a clean, modern feel. I especially loved the wine bottle lighting!

My mom and I shared a tasting here. Again, I liked that there were a couple sweeter reds to try though, as usual, the sweet whites won. I got a glass of the 2014 Apple Wine while she picked the 2016 Semi-Sweet Reisling. We sipped, and browsed the bottles. I always love admiring the label artwork.

Happy hour specials rolled out at 4pm so we decided to grab some meatballs and bruschetta and holy crap- SO GOOD! I don’t know if it was all the wine talking or if The Thirsty Owl Bistro’s food is just that amazing! Either way, I’d bump this place up to a must-do in Saratoga Springs whether you like good wine, good food, or both!

After five winery visits this week (because yes, I’ve been hiding my favorite one yet from you for another write up) I dare say we might be a little wined out. However, with one full day left, you never now where my producer (my mom’s self proclaimed title- she’s enjoying her picture taking duties!) and I might sip next!

Stay adventurous, friends!