Godivaworld Travels, North America, U.S. of A

Jersey/Philly All Work – Little Play

It has been quite some time since my last post and sad to say it’s not because I was off gallivanting ’round some distant land….that’s next month (stay tuned).  I was actually off “making the donuts” on a project in Jersey for the past 6 weeks.  Initially it was a nice change but by the final week I believe we were all kinda over it.

Each week consisted of flying out of Atlanta on Sundays (for me, the others flew out of Charlotte where they were based) into Philly and back home on Fridays.  If that wasn’t taxing enough throw in driving to/from the Philly airport to Jersey where we worked and stayed.  Luckily the drive was a straight shot and no more than a half hour – hour depending on traffic.

Welcome to Philly per the Mayor
Escalator to Baggage Claim – Philly International Airport.

The campus or compound (lol to myself) was probably one of the nicest work sites I’ve seen – not counting the high-rise offices in the various cities across the company’s footprint.  One of the best views was during the walk from our building to the building housing the cafeteria.

We were fortunate in that over the course of the six or so weeks we really had decent weather (for Jersey).  Considering it was November/December, we only had to deal with chilly temps and rain, followed by unseasonably warm temps – for Jersey – during our final weeks. The campus pictures above paints the best picture of our various weather situations.

Taking a load off at the work site
Really just posing not-posing for a pic

This day I didn’t even require my jacket between buildings and I’m sure anyone who knows me will tell you that I’m ALWAYS cold.  I’m the odd bird who rides with her seat warmers on during the warm months.

In any case, it wasn’t all work and no play as we actually laughed as much as we could, stumbled upon a Casino, did our best to enjoy a good meal on most evenings and above all just made the most of our time in Jersey.

This one spot we lucked upon had a nice ambiance and a nice variety of ‘bar’ food.  It is where I found my new love:  “St. Bubbles” which is St. Germain, Champagne, Soda and lime juice…..I now order it everywhere I go smh.  On this night we had the table near the fireplace which would’ve been real cozy with a special someone i.e not your work peeps lol!

Brickhouse Tavern near Princeton

All in all it was an interesting six weeks and I’m happy to say I met some really cool folks whom I would gladly welcome the opportunity to partner with again.  Additionally the hotel staff and my ‘friends’ at the Philly airport restaurants, bars, stores, etc. always took really good care of me each and every week so for that the weekly jaunt wasn’t half bad.

On our final work day IN Jersey (for most) as the Charlotte contingency headed to the airport one of our teammates – the youngest in charge (inside joke) – whom we called Day 26 and the CFO – Chief Food Officer – said he and the crew were going to stop over in Philly at Pat’s King of Steaks.  I, myself wasn’t leaving until a few hours later due to a much later flight, however another teammate suggested a ‘field trip’ into Philly for lunch to Pat’s with the Charlotte Crew.  Off we went in the pouring rain with the Charlotte Connection leading the way determined to introduce our palates to the infamous Pat’s Cheesesteak.

Followed by an order at Geno’s Cheesesteak opposite Pat’s. Caveat…the guys ventured to Geno’s for cheesesteak #2 while I politely stuffed my half-eaten Pat’s cheesesteak in my purse.

I was waaaay out of my league in the food intake department with this crew…..and I’m perfectly okay with that.  At this point I think I was just in disbelief that these guys were going to have a second cheesesteak before the first one had a chance to make it through their digestive track.

Looking out onto the Philly Streets
Pat’s or Geno’s?

We came.  We ate.  They conquered (two cheesesteaks).

Meanwhile I was mostly looking for cool things to photograph and not getting soaked doing so.

Philly Street Art
On the streets of Genos and Pat’s Steaks

So there you have it…..all work, some play in Jersey/Philly and my justification for being MIA on godivaworldtravels.com for the past six weeks.  Sometimes you just gotta answer the call of duty but trust me, my next adventure is truly right around this corner called “2015 Holiday Season” so stay tuned for a little parlez-vous oui oui <hint hint>!

Flight Delays
Just waiting around the Philly Airport after delay #2

Until the next journey, have a joyous 2015 Holiday Season and a Happy New Year!  The wait won’t be too long….I promise.

~Godivaworld Travels

Godivaworld Travels, U.S. of A

Milestone in MIAMI

I swear there are sooooo many reasons to celebrate and just as many reasons to travel, although I’m the odd bird who knows neither requires any reason nor excuse merely just the desire to do so.

In any case, this past weekend I celebrated my girlfriend’s BIG birthday milestone in Miami!

Miami  image

Three of the 5 gals (6 gals if you count my car whom everyone knows as “Eva’) made a road trip of it which was a change of pace for sure.

FRIDAY

When we arrived on Friday it was a rainy, overcast Miami day but we made the most of it.  The first order of business after checking in while awaiting the arrival of the other ladies was some vittles as someone was a little hungry (not I says the #alwayseating chick)!  So being that we were on Ocean Drive, there’s no shortage of sidewalk eateries with an acceptable mexican spot right next door to our hotel.  Talk about ideal, this enabled us to see the other chick as she arrived and whisk her to our abode.

With the rain and all our Friday evening consisted of preparing for our night out, laughing, and rolling around the city until we reached our destination – that which shall remain unnamed.

It’s amazing the things you see in different cities when you’re half paying attention.  I came across a dancing billboard on the Intercontinental in Downtown Miami which was quite entertaining.  Luckily no one was behind me at the light because I believe I sat there through a full light change.

Friday night was a blast with the birthday girl having a great time for her special day!

SATURDAY

Typically, I coordinate for everyone and take care of accommodations and such which I love but admit it can be taxing at times.  Given that I told myself I would be on total guest mode and did just that lol with just one request which was to peruse Calle Ocho in Little Havana for some Cuban food and a Cigar Shop to fall into.

The day began with breakfast/brunch on Ocean Drive and a little beach time before we made our way to Little Havana.

Needless to say by the time we were ready for Little Havana I was feeling a little tipsy but ready for whatever lol!  So began our journey to Little Havana with my dear Eva leading the way (I even rode in the backseat which I’ve only done maybe once or twice)!

Again, my main goal was puro, street art, and eats/cocktails; the other ladies came along and was hoping for some good eats and whatever they stumbled upon.  I’d say we were successful in getting our desires met for this outing.  We even saw the restaurant and store front where an episode of “Power” was filmed (the El Pub).

After all our walking (my drinking) and whatnot it was time to head back to our suite to prepare for what we hoped would be another night of shenanigans.  Before we got our lives together I had to get atleast one cigar moment in while people watching on our balcony!

Saturday night found us making the most of our final night by taking in the South Beach nightlife, specifically some of the classics.  So we set out to stomp the streets in our stilettos ready for whatever….with whatever just so happen to lead us to the Clevelander.  As is typical, the streets were packed and so was the Clevelander’s bar, pool area party etc.  We were informed of a rooftop party that would offer a great view with a popping atmosphere so we figured we’d head there.

With the exception of the exxtremely overpriced basic cocktail (thought I heard the bartender wrong lol) the DJ, atmosphere, people watching, etc did not disappointment.

….and so our night came to an end – albeit at 4 AM after sitting out on our balcony getting in just a little more people watching.

SUNDAY

Ode to departure day which meant looking for things, organizing, packing, and making use of the last little bit of time before we headed out.  It’s so hard to say goodbye sometimes especially when you know you’re leaving 70-80 degree weather for 40-55 degree.

Alas we prepared for the farewell and headed out once again for brunch and cocktails along Ocean Drive.  We stumbled upon the Columbus Restaurant and when I say we were gifted not just complimentary Mimosas but shots as well….unfortunately I had to remind myself that I was road tripping it .

Until next time Miami ❤

 

Adventures, North America, U.S. of A

Falling Down (My Skydiving Adventure)

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all. ~Helen Keller

When I tell you these past couple years have been full of adventures, both the traveling, exploring, and living on the edge kind.  From my long awaited trip to Bali for my birthday last year which included me partaking in Fly Fish (The ultimate in speed and exhilaration the Flying Fish is the newest water sports toy on the market! Fly Fish is a great adventure where you fly like fish jumping on the seawater with high speed boat); to parasailing in Mexico last October; followed by Ziplining in Barbados this past March.

Even after all that I just needed to quench my thrill seeking thirst by adding to the list – SKYDIVING!!!

Look, its the plane as I soar below it through the sky
Look, it’s the plane as I soar below it through the sky

I feel the need to endanger myself every so often. ~ Tim Daly Continue reading “Falling Down (My Skydiving Adventure)”

Godivaworld Travels, North America, U.S. of A

Viva Las Vegas

The city that never sleeps but when I tell you I was trying to outdo the city on the sleep-o-meter or the lack thereof….smh!  This was yet again another birthday celebration orchestrated by me for my dear friend back in 2010.  Might I add, it was also the year of Kim Kardashian as she was EVERYWHERE including hosting a party at TAO for her birthday the same time we were there.

Now I have been to Vegas a handful of times beginning in my youth during a cross country drive my family did (cross country as in from Florida to California where we dropped off our car to be shipped to Hawaii, our home for 3.5 years).  As the story goes, or atleast how my dad tells the story, we went into a convenience store and with a nickel I either found or took from the car, I put it in the machine and coins came out.  Yeah my dad loves telling that story even after ALLLLLL these years.

Back to the story.

Although I’ve been to Vegas a ton of times, I know that it is just one of those cities that is never quite the same from one day to the next in that there is debauchery and shenanigans to be had every single time.  Sign me up!

So it was a girlfriend’s birthday and given she’s not quite the avid traveler I am, I wanted her to do something special for her special day.  It was a small group, 3 to be exact, and really just the right amount of gals to have a good time yet not be overwhelmed by the estrogen in a small space lol!

DSCF6489I chose the Venetian Hotel for no particular reason however Vegas is the hotel capital of the world so there are plenty hotels to choose from in case you were wondering.  On second thought, the all-suite design played a big part in my decision when I think back (that estrogen overload minimizing thing I mentioned before).

Let me say, we were pleasantly pleased as it offered just the right amount of space for 3 gals to not trip over and bump all over each other….not to mention the bathroom could not have been better again for that same reason.

To that I say, “WELCOME TO LAVENDAR HILL” (a line from one of my favorite movies – Boomerang – don’t judge) as the late great Eartha Kitt uttered when she welcomed Eddie’s character Marcus to her home for a night of debauchery lol!

The birthday girl in black and our mutual friend in crime.

Not wanting to over-plan, so that we could enjoy the trip, we only planned a birthday dinner while leaving the rest of our time to just wander…..and wander we did.

We somehow thought we were going to be able to get into TAO for Kim Kardashian’s birthday bash (not that we’re fans but we figured heyyy there will most likely be lots of eye candy present) strictly for entertainment purposes.  That was a fail but we managed to find another equally as stimulating venue for which to dance the night away. And we did!

To say we didn’t have a good time would be an understatement.  The girls respected my need to roam and be free and indulge as I sometimes do.  The birthday girl was even able to see one of her high school friends who was living in Vegas at the time which made this trip even that much more special for her (I think)!

Vegas is known as a party city (Sin City by most) and definitely one that never sleeps but I gotta admit I like Vegas for the magic you feel while there, marveling at the massive hotels in all their grandeur, lady luck and just all the sights and delights!  So if you’ve NOT been to Vegas or just haven’t been in awhile I would definitely recommend it as it’s NOT the Vegas of days past (although make no mistake there’s plenty debauchery to be had after all it’s not called Sin City for nothing).  It is truly a place to feel like a kid again.

~ Travel well ~