What a week, friends! And it’s still not over! Last weekend was spent in New York City, much of which was spent walking and shopping, but also several hours at the 9/11 Museum (go alone, buy a ticket ahead of time, and let the tears flow) and at a long dinner with friends.
Monday through Wednesday was a whirlwind in DC. I visited old haunts like Matchbox and reconnected with friends. I also checked out the offerings in my old neighborhood of Brookland, which is so much more vibrant than when I lived there seven years ago! Menomale and Zeke’s Coffee (get there early because the Nutella Kouign-amann sells out quickly!) were my favorite stops there.
Fortunately, the traffic from the Pope’s visit was much ado about nothing, at least in DC. I suspect traffic will be a nightmare getting back into NYC tonight though. Regardless, I’m looking forward to a posh hotel sleepover with one of my girlfriends tonight before heading back to San Francisco tomorrow afternoon. And then it’s only one week until we head to Hawaii for five days of sunshine, the ocean, and R&R!
I love simplicity, especially when traveling. To keep things simple and organized, there are a few travel apps that I find myself using over and over again. Here are my favorites.
TripIt: This week includes 4 different hotel stays, 3 separate flights, a train ride, and a rental car. I could manually enter all of these details into my calendar and search for confirmation emails in my inbox or I could just forward each reservation to TripIt and have the app organize all of the details in one place. This app also makes it really easy to share my trip details with those who need to know about it, like my husband.
Duolingo: Traveling to a foreign country can be intimidating, especially when there is a language barrier. This app makes it easy to practice and learn a language so that you’ll know the key phrases to help you get around during your trip. The app makes it easy to practice wherever you are, too.
AroundMe: This app helps you find places of interest quickly using your location. I’m often impressed by the restaurant recommendations as it often highlights well-reviewed places, not just what’s immediately closest.
HopStop: I’m putting this on as an honorable mention, but unfortunately, the app is ceasing to exist in October 2015. HopStop is/was extremely useful in planning out transportation because unlike Google Maps, it estimates cab fares, which was great when planning transportation to and from airports in new cities. Since Apple bought HopStop, I’m assuming some integration occurred, but 1) Apple Maps is the worst and 2) I haven’t seen the fare estimate feature. I’ll be looking for something to replace HopStop, so if you have a suggestion, leave it in the comments!
Just kidding, sorta. This evening I’m hopping on a red eye to New York and heading straight to the office for a full day of special education PD. On Monday, I haul ass to D.C. for 3 days of classroom observations before heading back to NYC on Wednesday night and then to the Hudson Valley for my org’s annual staff retreat. Then on Saturday, I have a team retreat before finally heading back to San Francisco.
Oh, and the Pope’s trip is overlapping with mine, in both cities, so airfare and hotels were challenging to arrange for this trip… and I don’t even want to think about driving and parking in D.C.
Never fear, I have several blog posts in the queue for next week and when I get back, I’ll recap how I packed just 8 clothing items for 8 days of travel.