Norway Day 5

This morning I woke up in Sandé, Norway to rainy skies. I threw on some warm clothes, grabbed a bowl of cereal, and headed into the van for another day.

Today the plan was to go for a hike near a huge nearby lake, and as we drove through the scenery of first, ocean side roads, and later winding mountain streets, I was happy to see the downpour subside to a drizzle.

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20 minutes into the drive, the main street gave way to a few smaller ones, and a little village came into sight. The view of an art gallery, rail road tracks, a quiet corner of the lake, and a grocery store called “Medisinutsalg”, displaying a sign advertising itself as Norways oldest grocery store, compelled us to pull over.

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We bought a bunch of Norwegian candies in Medisinutsalg, which apparently was established in 1868. After, we explored the little galleries (Iman bought a pretty pair of earrings), and went for a quick walk around the lake before continuing on our way.

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As we drove out of the town, the small paved roads gave way to small dirt roads, which gave way to even smaller dirt roads which curved steeply through a mountain pasture lined with cows.

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The lack of guard rails combined with the cliffs on the left of the narrow road left me slightly uneasy, and by the time we pulled
into a small grassy lot, barely distinguishable from the wilderness around it, I was ready to be done with the drive.

The hike was absolutely stunning, beginning on a dirt road that steadily narrowed, and continuing along open cliff side rocks lined with bright purple heather. By the time we summated, I was excited to sign the guest book, add a rock to the pile at the top, enjoy the view, and eat my picnic.

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The walk home was slightly less enjoyable, involving significant more rain and a significant increase in the kilometers traveled. When we finally reached the car we were all tired and hungry. Still, my dad insisted that we took a pit stop at a nearby lake, and while I was a bit resistant to swim in the less than ideal weather, the lake was beautiful, empty, and calm, and I didn’t regret it.

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Still, when we finally arrived home, was pretty ready for our dinner of homemade fajitas (recipe coming soon??)

Thanks for reading, and if you’re feeling it you can check out my vids of our trip too 😉

NORWAY DAY 4/5 VLOGS!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6HgOqZCupQ

Where else can you find us?
Business inquiries email: chloeandiman@gmail.com
Chloe’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chloe.pin_/
Iman’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/iman.kelly/
Last post: https://imanandchloe.com/2016/08/11/norway-day-2/

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New York City Travel Guide

 

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Recently, I (Chloe) returned from a trip New York City with my friend Lucy. Iman had school during the week I was traveling, and was hence unable to join, but don’t worry, she’ll still be hitting you up in all the future posts to come. New York has always been one of my favorite cities, and particularly during the springtime, the city never fails to amaze. After having such an incredible week, I thought it might be nice to write a little recap that highlights my favorite things to do in what I will always consider to be one of the best places on Earth.

Also, if you like any of the outfits in this post, I’m working on a lookbook from the trip that will include more complete outfit photos, as well as where everything is from, so stay tuned for that.

Day One:
Lucy and I took a bus both to and from New York, which I would highly recommend, as parking in New York is both insanely expensive, and difficult to find. We arrived at noon, which gave us plenty of time to both learn how to navigate the subway (we struggled more than you would think) and explore the city.

After a quick lunch at an amazing little Italian place, we decided to take a walk through Central Park, because honestly, is there anything more beautiful than Central Park in the springtime? The flowers were in full bloom, and even though I’ve pretty much visited the park every year since I was born, I still found hidden treasures around every corner, each more beautiful than the next. I’m not going to give recommendations for what to do in the park, because the real beauty of it is just wandering around, and seeing what you stumble upon.

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Eventually, we came out of the park on 5th avenue, right by the MET. We didn’t actually go inside the museum, because the lines were long and it seemed like a little bit more of a hassle then it was worth. However, for the art enthusiasts, the MET is cool in that, while on the signs it may say entry is $20, the fine print specifies that the entry fee is really just a voluntary donation, and you can get in for free if you so choose. The museum is really worth a visit if only for the outside, and lets be real; did you even go to New York if you don’t pretend to be Blair Waldorf on the steps of the MET?

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Right near the MET is Madison Ave, which is 100% worth the visit. Lucy and I spent hours wandering down the street, window shopping at stores we could never afford, and of course, eating way too many macaroons. My personal favorite shops were Ralph Lauren and Kate Spade. Even if you don’t usually shop at Ralph Lauren, you should consider stepping into the store just to look at the four floors of marble, and admire the $4000 dresses. In terms of food, there’s really no other way to go than Laudreé, and I would say that you have to choose the rose macaroon, except that I really consider it to be more of a necessity than a choice.

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At the end of Madison Ave. is the Plaza Hotel, the famous Apple store, the horse drawn carriages, a beautiful sculpture and fountain, and some bomb af picture ops. We took the time to chill out for an hour, and just soak up the beautiful weather and beautiful place.

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We were staying with family in the city, and so for dinner we just ordered pizza from Caesars’ Palace. Caesar’s Palace is a pizza place, and is great if your looking for a classic meal that also happens to be the best pizza you’ve ever tasted.

Day Two:
We started the day in Times Square, which, while worth the trip if it’s your first time in the city, wasn’t exactly the highlight of the trip. It’s crowded, loud, and the shopping options include the M&M and the Disney store, but not much else. It was still cool to check out the lights and the huge billboards however, and if you feel like people watching, there’s really no better place than the crossroads of the world.

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After Times Square, and a bit of a struggle finding the subway, we made it to Soho. Soho was absolutely one of the highlights of the trip, with unique little stores, open air cafes, gorgeous flowers, and countless small side streets that make for great exploring. We walked down Prince street and then up Spring street, talking detours at all the cute little stops we found along the way, but really any route in Soho is nice. While in Soho, we also wandered over towards Little Italy, which was super cute, and very much worth the detour.

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At around 5, we arrived back at the apartment, ready to eat some pizza and watch some Netflix. However, when offered the opportunity to bike along the Hudson towards the Little Red Lighthouse, we couldn’t decline. This is something that you probably won’t find in tour books, but I couldn’t recommend more. We rented bikes somewhere in the Upper West Side (around Broadway and 95th I believe) although rentals are everywhere around the city. The ride was absolutely stunning, with perfect wind, gorgeous water, and more flowers than you can believe. When we reached the lighthouse itself, we were the only people there, and besides the towering bridge above us, and skyline to our left, we could just as easily have been on some empty beach in New England.

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We ended the day with pizza (of course)

Day Three:
We started our final full day with breakfast at a super cute cafe on the the Upper West Side called Fillcori Zecchini. Hit it up for insane Nutella croissants if your in the area. You also get free dark chocolates with every purchase, so that basically seals the deal.

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Following breakfast, we took the subway to the 9/11 memorial. The memorial is beautifully done, very powerful, and completely worth the stop. The area is still under construction, but one project that was recently finished is the One World Trade Center. This is a building of the same dimensions as one of the fallen towers, with an insane observation deck at the top. It’s not very well known yet, but the tower is higher than the Empire State Building, and offers more 360 degree views. The elevator to the top is also the fastest in the world, and the walls show movies as you make your ascent and descent.

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The 9/11 memorial is only a few blocks away from the High Line and Whitney Museum, so we decided to finish our day with a visit to these locations. The Whitney was a really cool museum with incredible views of the city, although we came at a time when they were between exhibits so we didn’t get the full experience. The High Line, for those who don’t know, is an abandoned elevated train track converted into a park with amazing street food (yes it lives up to the reputation), gorgeous gardens, and views beyond belief. We walked the entire line, and it seemed that at every turn there was another hidden treasure to be found.

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On the way back to dinner with family we were visiting, we decided to stop by Lincoln Center, and hang out by the beautiful fountain for a while. This was a really nice place to just chill out, and also right next to the Empire Hotel, for the Gossip Girl fans out there.

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Thank you for reading, and we hoped this helped anyone planning a trip to NYC, or just inspired your Wanderlust. You can expect a look book with full outfit pictures as well as where everything is from by saturday, so if you feel like checking back for that, it would be much appreciated.

Cheers

 

 

 

Dominican Republic Experience/Travel Guide

 

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Happy friday, and welcome back to our blog! For those of you who are dreaming of summer like us, we’re coming at ya with a little throwback to some warmer and happier times.

Last summer we traveled to the Dominican Republic along with another friend. We traveled with a teen service/vacation program called Rustic Pathways, which has trips in almost every category all around the world. We had a generally very good experience with Rustic Pathways, and it’s a great way to get involved in local communities, and to learn more about the countries culture and nature than you possibly could on your own. Our one complaint was that we both like to be able to explore foreign countries in depth, and one of our favorite parts of travel is spontaneous adventures. With an organized trip, this is a little more difficult, as there is a set itinerary. However, the service exposure was incredibly, and overall I would recommend the program.

This was both of our first times in the DR, and were amazed at how beautiful it is. We visited 3 places in the Dominican; Santa Domingo, Jarabacoba, and Sosua. We were impressed by all 3 places, and decided outline what we most highly recommended in each location.

Santo Domingo
Our first day in the Dominican, we arrived prior to the start of our Rustic Pathways trip, and hence had a day to kill exploring Santo Domingo. However, this ended up being among our best days of the whole trip, and we were super happy we decided to go early. We drove about a half hour into Playa de Bocachica, which is a stunning beach on the outskirts of central Santo Domingo.

This beach is definitely more of a local beach, and while it isn’t deserted and tranquil, you really get a feel for Dominican life, and the vibes are a ton of fun. We accessed the beach through an adorable hotel (super sorry but we couldn’t find the name). The street itself is nice enough, although we were warned to not walk alone through the neighborhood. However, nothing in the area remotely compared to the beach, which is a few miles of golden sands, palm trees. turquoise water, and Dominican music playing everywhere you go. The beach is also surrounded by a reef, and so it’s no deeper than 4 feet no matter how far you go. And I didn’t even mention the banana boating around the mangrove cove, which I think is self explanatorily amazing.

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Jarabacoba
Our second location on the trip was Jarabacoba. Jarabacoba is a gorgeous area in the mountains of the Dominican Republic, and the location of most of our service work. While I’m sure there are things to do on your own in Jarabacoba, I would recommend finding some way to get involved in the local communities, as this was an amazing experience for us, and there are so many ways to make a difference in the local communities. We spent a day building a black water treatment plant for river water at an ecological college in the area. We also spent a day working on building an aqueduct, and a day running a camp for local children. Both our personal favorites was the kids camp, as the kids were all adorable and so fun to work with, and it was incredibly rewarding to see how happy they were to be at camp. The nature in Jarabacoba is beautiful as well, and we spent a day white water rafting (I only fell out 3 times), and an afternoon at a breathtaking waterfall.

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Sosúa
Our final location in the Dominican Republic was Sosúa; a chill beach town on the Northern coast. Unfortunately, we only has one night in Sosúa, but we loved every second of it. We stayed in the Peirgiorgio Hotel, which is genuinely on my list of most beautiful places I’ve ever been. While the interior of the hotel is completely fine, the outside is beyond belief. Picture marble terraces with balconies and towers extended over cliffs and turquoise water. We also found a little secret staircase carved into one of the cliffs that led to the water, and if you want, you can swim right of the rocks at the bottom of the stairs. I’m not even going to try to describe the sunset, as I think it’s a “you have to see it to believe it” kinda thing. Piergiorgio Hotel is about $75 per night, which is an insane deal given the experience that you’re guaranteed to have. IMG_9077.JPG    IMG_9076.JPG

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Our day in Sosúa was mainly spent at Sosúa Beach, which consists of more golden sand, turquoise water, and some great opportunities for cliff jumping. If you can tear yourself away from the beach, it might be worth it to grab some ridiculously good pizza at the little restaurant on top of one of the cliffs. You can also get some insanely cool braids done at a little shop about 5 minutes from the beach.

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Overall we had an amazing experience in an amazing country, and we both hope to go back some day. We both love traveling and adventure, so hopefully we’ll be back with more posts of new destinations soon.

Cheers!

-Iman & Chloe