Outer Banks, North Carolina: Things to See & Do

I always wanted to visit the Outer Banks in North Carolina. This year, we were able to rent a beautiful house, directly on the beach in Nags Head. It was exactly what I needed to enjoy some much needed R&R. While I did spend most of my time on the beach, I compiled a short list of some of the things I did and places I visited while I was on vacation.

Miss Oregon Inlet Fishing Charter

I love fishing charters, especially since I caught the most fish! The weather was absolutely beautiful for a half day of fishing. The Miss Oregon Inlet boat was very well maintained and the crew was nothing but polite and helpful. Make sure you bring a cooler with water and plenty of sunscreen.

Roanoke Island

Roanoke Island was a great place to visit. It reminds me of Cape May, New Jersey. It has plenty of hotels and bed and breakfast inns. They have quaint little stores for shopping, and plenty of restaurants. My husband and I took a nice long walk along the waterfront, where beautiful boats are docked. Next time we visit we would love to see the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, Elizabethan Gardens, and the North Carolina Aquarium.

Lost Colony Brewery & Cafe

Jason and I love craft beers. We visited Lost Colony Brewery and Cafe on Roanoke Island. I particularly liked the Kitty Hawk Blonde and the Stumpy Point Pale Ale. Another reason why I loved Lost Colony is that they use the leftover grain from the brewery and combine it with flour, chicken broth and love to create Brew Chew dog treats. For every bag you purchase, Lost Colony donates $1.00 to the local SPCA! Jason and I were a little hungry, so we ordered hot wings with bleu cheese dressing and they were very good.

Wright Brothers National Memorial

I love history. Visiting where Wilbur and Orville Wright camped and first took to the air in 1903 was an awesome experience. I walked up the Big Kill Devil Hill to see their monument commemorating their historic achievement. Insider tip: This exhibit it outside and we went on a super hot day; bring water and good walking shoes. 

Outer Banks Brewing Station

After sweating profusely at the Wright Brothers Memorial, we went to the Outer Banks Brewing Station for some craft brews. My favorite was the Straight Ahead Summer Stout, which tasted chocolatey and delicious. I like that they have a “backyard” area where you could play cornhole while you wait for your table.

The Comedy Club 

I have to be completely honest, I had really low expectations of a comedy show in a hotel auditorium. I was pleasantly surprised and was really happy with the show! I laughed my butt off! It was actually better than most comedy shows I have been to in New York City and Atlantic City, NJ. Drink prices were great, too. Beer was $3 a bottle and wine was $5 a glass. I strongly recommend that you purchase your tickets; you will have a great time and support artists performing live entertainment.

And finally….

THE BEACH

Relax. Unwind. Take a long walk. Read a book or magazine. Go for a dip. Collect seashells. Whatever you do when you visit the Outer Banks, make sure you get your Vitamin D and visit the beach!

Outer Banks, North Carolina: Things to See & Do

 

Have you visited the Outer Banks? What was your favorite thing to do?

Namaste.

 

 

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Part 2: Lake Placid, NY – Things to Do

If you haven’t already, take a look at Part 1: Lake Placid, NY – Where to Stay & Eat.

This blog post features some of our adventures during our 4 night, 5 days stay in Lake Placid, NY.

Adirondack Wildlife Refuge

We love animals, so being able to see wolves, foxes, bald eagles, owls, and coyotes up close was really cool. We snapped a lot of pictures! The Adirondack Wildlife Refuge operates on donations, so make sure you leave a few dollars to keep this non-profit organization running smoothly.

Lake Placid Olympic Ski Jumping Complex

I always watch the Olympics. We got at the complex at the perfect time; the Olympians were practicing ski jumping into the pool. We watched them in awe. Then we took an elevator ride to the top of the ski jump. It gave us great views of the complex and high peaks.

Olympic Platform

Olympic Platform in the Ski Jump Complex

Ski Jump, Lake Placid NY

Ski Jump Complex, Lake Placid, NY

Hiking Cascade and Porter Mountain

If you are not in decent physical shape and don’t have the appropriate gear, please don’t attempt the high peaks! This was grueling. It took us six hours to do both Cascade and Porter mountains. The conditions were terrible; muddy and high water everywhere. Jason and I are in decent physical shape and we struggled! If you can do it, I would recommend it. The summits are beautiful and we enjoyed a breathtaking view. There are plenty of easier, shorter hikes if this is too challenging. I would recommend getting outside and on a trail!

Cascade Mountain

Cascade Mountain

Fly Fishing

Jason visited the local fly shop, The Hungry Trout, and had the best day in his fishing career. He fly fished the Ausable River and caught (and released) over 20 brown trout. This is a fisherman’s dream!

Balanced Bodywork and Massage

I treated myself to a 90-minute massage and cupping treatment with Tim. It was one of the best massages I have ever received. I made sure to bring my AromaTouch essential oil, which made me feel super relaxed and calm. When I go back to Lake Placid, I will be getting another treatment at Balanced Bodywork and Massage.

Balanced Bodywork

Inside Balanced Bodywork and Massage

Shopping in Lake Placid

After my massage, I spent the rest of the day shopping in downtown Lake Placid. I purchased local olive oils, salts, dish towels, local brews, and other novelties. Each shop is unique!

Final Thoughts

This is a great trip for families, couples, and singles. There is truly something for everyone in any season. If you like the great outdoors, relaxing, adventure, and enjoy the Olympics, you would really enjoy visiting Lake Placid, NY. We will be re-visiting Lake Placid in the near future.

Have you been to the Adirondack region? What was your favorite thing to do?

Namaste.

Lake Placid, NY - What to Do

 

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Part 1: Lake Placid, NY – Where to Stay & Eat

Lake Placid, New York has always fascinated me. My friends have told me stories about skiing, hiking, the Olympic sites, and the quaint downtown. My husband and I purchased a Groupon Getaway to the Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort in Lake Placid, New York for January 2017. I injured my back, and the hotel allowed us to reschedule our 4 night, 5 days stay for May 2017. We were thrilled. We stayed on the fifth floor Marcy Specialty room, which had a jetted tub, fireplace, and private balcony.

Lake Placid, NY

Lake Placid, NY

Here’s why I would strongly recommend staying at the Golden Arrow:

  • Beach access, right on Mirror Lake
    • Canoes, kayaks, paddle boats, docks, plenty of water toys
  • Indoor pool with two hot tubs, a wet sauna, and a dry sauna
  • Fitness Center with locker room and dry sauna
    • Insider tip: use the sauna in the fitness center instead of the indoor pool area
  • Generations Restaurant
    • Happy hour all day when you show your room key
      • $5 house wine, $3 well drinks, $4 select draft beers
    • Free breakfast included with your stay
      • This was delicious!
  • Alpine Mall Shopping attached to hotel
    • Restaurants, shopping, and liquor/wine store
  • Location of hotel
    • Right in the center of Lake Placid, convenient to shops and restaurants

There are two issues with Golden Arrow: parking for a full size truck (even though they have a lot across the street, the parking is terrible during peak season) and the layout of the hotel (could only access the fifth floor from certain elevators & the elevator signage is confusing and varied in each elevator).

Lake Placid, NY Balcony View

View from the Balcony

We would absolutely stay at the Golden Arrow again. This was an incredible resort and we not only enjoyed our room but took full advantage of the amenities.

Where to Eat

Smoke Signals

If you love BBQ, put this on your list. Smoke Signals has indoor and outdoor seating and a fabulous menu that will make your mouth water. We had not one complaint about eating at Smoke Signals. The food was really delicious after a long drive up to Lake Placid.

What we ordered: 

  • Perpetual Pig BBQ Wings
  • Jason: Brisket and Macaroni & Cheese
  • Danielle: 1/2 rack of ribs and Macaroni & Cheese
  • Two local draft beers

Big Mountain Deli & Creperie

After a long day seeing the sites, we stopped here for delicious sandwiches.

What we ordered:

  • Jason: Table Top with chicken and a bag of Kettle Chips
  • Danielle: Algonquin sandwich with a side of potato salad

Big Mountain Deli and Creperie has 46 sandwiches to represent the 46 High Peaks. They also have soups, salads, and crepes. The sandwiches are very filling, great after a hike!

Big Mountain Deli & Creperie

Lisa G’s

Lisa G’s was another fantastic restaurant that had indoor and outdoor seating. The outdoor seating overlooked a scenic waterfall. Everything on the menu is homemade and the drink I ordered, Salty Rikki, was strong.

What we ordered:

  • Jason: Chicken Parmesan
  • Danielle: Crispy Goat Cheese Salad with Chicken
  • Drink: Salty Rikki

Salty Rikki

Honorable mentions:

  • Generations Restaurant (adjacent to our hotel)
    • We ate breakfast here every day as it was included in our stay. The blueberry pancakes were incredible, as well as the special egg concoctions. The Sunny Cove ($2 upcharge) was my favorite. We never had a bad breakfast here!
  • Emma’s Lake Placid Creamery
    • Dairy makes me sick to my stomach but I couldn’t help myself. I got a small maple ice cream. Jason had a scoop each of cookies and cream and double fudge ice cream. Incredible.
  • The Lake Plaid Pub & Brewery
    • Besides the long wait, this had three floors of fun and a store to purchase pint glasses and other keepsakes. Jason enjoyed the Ubu Ale while I imbibed the Golden Ale. The food was hot and delicious. I ordered the Josh’s Fire Fish for dinner while Jason enjoyed the Schulzy Burger.

Final Thoughts

Have you visited Lake Placid? Where did you stay? What was your favorite restaurant?

If you haven’t, what restaurant would you want to try?

Stay tuned for Lake Placid, NY Part 2: What to Do!

Lake Placid, NY Where to Stay and Where to Eat

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Why you NEED a Vacation

I just got back from a long weekend in Lake Placid, New York. I haven’t been on a vacation since August 2016. My husband and I both started new jobs, which comes with new stressors, change, and uncomfortable acclimation. The little things were starting to irritate us; our patience growing thin not only with each other, but with daily life tasks. We needed a break. Whether it be a staycation, a drivable long weekend getaway, or a trip to somewhere exotic, read below why you need a vacation…

Break your Routine

Alarm clock. Coffee. Get ready, commute to work. Work all day. Hit the gym for a super quick workout. Go grocery shopping. Shower. Prepare dinner. Clean something. Throw in a load of laundry. Prepare for the next day. Try to unwind. Sleep. Repeat. Does this sound familiar?

Do you know what my routine was on vacation? Oh wait, there was no routine. None. No alarm clock buzzing in my ear at five thirty AM. No preparing for the next day. No cleaning. I got out of bed when my body wanted to rise. I went to the gym every day at whatever time I wanted to go. I didn’t have to worry about picking up my husband’s dry cleaning or running to the supermarket after my workout. I ate at a new restaurant every meal, not worrying about having to scrub a pile of dishes. I didn’t do one load of laundry. I fixed my hair nicely; I applied makeup. I took a long shower, not worrying about my to-do list. I read a book AND a magazine. I spent quality time with my husband.

Being on vacation allows you a change of routine, habits, and roles, that you need for adequate relaxation and rejuvenation. Sleep in, don’t cook, and sit down and read something other than the monthly bills…

Try Something New

I went for a massage and received a cupping treatment. Cupping is where they use cups to create a suction over your muscles to reduce pain, inflammation, and to promote relaxation and healthy blood flow. I loved it. My back and neck had less tension! I want to continue receiving treatments now that I am home.

My husband and I also hiked two of the 46 high peaks. We tackled and accomplished Cascade and Porter mountains. It was an incredible experience that involved a lot of teamwork and really brought us closer together as a married couple. Hiking the high peaks is no joke, and we were so happy when we realized that we hiked 4,096 feet above sea level together. It was exhilarating and we are so excited to share our adventure with others.

Even if you have a staycation, do something new. Visit a rock climbing gym, experience a cooking class, or get a Reiki treatment.  If you go away, plan an excursion. Push yourself out of your comfort zone, and most importantly, have fun.

Hiking in Lake Placid

My husband, at the summit of Cascade Mountain

Take Care of Yourself

I spent time swimming in the pool, relaxing in the hot tub, and sweating in the sauna. Swimming is fantastic exercise, the hot tub is super relaxing, and the sauna helps my body rid toxins. I got an hour workout in the gym every day. My husband and I had conversations at dinner other than what needed to be done (around the house, errands, etc). I felt fantastic. We reconnected. Win-win. I also went to the beach and read a book, which was so calming and soothing. Breathing in the fresh lake air, reading a New York Times Bestseller, and sitting with my toes in the sand, while drinking a local craft brew…what could be better?

Try to rejuvenate all your needs when you take a vacation:

  • Mental: read a book, magazine, or newspaper, play a board/card game
  • Physical: go swimming, to the gym, hiking, walk around town, explore your surroundings
  • Emotional: meditate, reconnect with whomever your with
Relaxing in Lake Placid

Relaxing on the beach with a book & a beer in Lake Placid

Disconnect

I’m guilty of being on my phone; but for a few hours each day, I tried to stay off my phone and be one with myself and nature. We are constantly on our electronic devices when we are at home. Give your brain (and fingers) a rest and disconnect from everything! It feels good, trust me!

Nature in Lake Placid

Being one with Cascade Mountain

You’ll Return Happy

When you get home, you’ll be thrilled. You’ll get to sleep in your own bed, bathe in your own shower, and come home to share your stories with family, friends, and pets. You will feel relaxed, rested, and happy. You won’t be ready to return to work, but when you head back into the office, you will remind yourself that working will pay for your next adventure.

Final Thoughts

Take a vacation. You probably need it.

I saw a quotation that stated, “Create a life you don’t need a vacation from.” – I’m not there yet. My life is unfortunately not a vacation. I look forward to getting away from my daily habits, roles, and routines to visit new places, try new things, and reconnect with myself and my husband.

When is your next adventure? Where will you go? What will you do? 

Namaste.

PS. Stay tuned to the next post which will feature a Cruelty Free at Home Spa Night – if you can’t take a vacation, you can still feel like you are on vacation!

Why you NEED a Vacation

Top 5 Yoga Poses for Traveling

By Juliette Kopp, Namastay Traveling

Hi friends! I’m Juliette from Namastay Traveling  and am so excited to be sharing with you some of the best yoga poses for traveling here on Realm of Vibes. As a certified yoga instructor, these poses are great for remedying the ailments and discomforts we can experience while seeing the world.

Small airplane seats, poor sleeping habits and an unusual diet can all make you feel less than stellar when abroad. While it’s fun to wake up in a different world with new experiences and routines, it can also throw you off and cause your trip to be more taxing on your body than you might realize. To ensure you get the most out of your travels, this five-pose yoga sequence is just the thing you need to balance your system in new time zones, build strength after sitting for hours on end, and increasing your flexibility and posture to make small cabin seats a bit more comfortable. All you need is a small clear area (like at the end of your hotel bed or outside in a park) to get started. Mat optional!

Disclaimer: while I am a certified yoga teacher, please check with your doctor before performing any of the poses below. As always, listen to your body and modify as necessary.

Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Downward dog strengthens the entire back and shoulder girdle. By lengthening the spine in this extended pose, it takes pressure off the lower back and works to eliminate pain caused by hunching over a seat or standing for long periods of time. Downward dog is also known to decrease anxiety, perfect for if complicated travels or airplane rides tend to freak you out.

How to get into it: Come into a high plank position, then lift your hips up high and towards the back of your mat. Press down with your entire your hand reach your heels to the ground. Gaze towards your shin, ensuring your shoulders are pulled away from your ears. If your hamstrings are tight, gently bend your knees.

Yoga Pose Downward Dog

Yoga Pose Downward Dog

Low Plank (Chaturanga)

This pose can be very challenging as it requires sufficient strength to maintain alignment. This is the perfect pose to build up your strength needed for long hikes, all-day adventures or having to carry heavy luggage.

How to get into it: Start in high plank, roll forward onto your toes as your elbow press against the rib cage at a 90 degree angle. Gaze at the mat directly below you while pulling your shoulders away from your ears. Abdomen engaged, glutes in line with the spine.

Yoga Pose Chataranga

Yoga Pose Chataranga

Camel (Ustrasana)

After sitting for long periods of times, camel pose opens up the hip flexors and chest region. By creating space in the abdomen, camel pose also improves digestion and elimination in case your diet might not be what you’re used to.

How to get into it: Kneel on your mat with knees no wider than your hips. Use your hands to support your lower back as you gently press your hips forward. Arch your upper back while drawing your shoulder blades towards each other. Option to take your hand to your heels to amplify. Come back up to kneeling pose and allow the spine to neutralize before sitting back into child’s pose.

Yoga Pose Camel

Yoga Pose – Camel

Garland Pose (Malasana)

This low squat opens up the hips and while stretching your ankles, hamstrings and back. This posture aids in digestion as well as keeping your pelvic and hip joints healthy and mobile. As a grounding pose, malasana calms the body and allows energy to move within one’s self.

How to get into it: Place feet a little wider than your hips, bend your knees to squat down ensuring your knees don’t go past your toes. With your hands in prayer, use your elbows to press your knees wider.

Yoga Pose Malasana

Malasana

 

Happy Baby (Ananda Balasana)

Since we tend to walk and move more when visiting a new city (so much to see, so little time!), our legs get a lot of forward motion. To balance that out, happy baby stretched the inner and outer thighs and while stretching the hamstrings and relieving the lower spine. Happy baby pose calms the nerves and relaxes the mind and is the perfect pose after a stressful day or to prepare for bed.

How to get into it: Lay down on your back and bring your knees into your chest. Let your knees go wide as your hands reach around the outside of your feet, elbows inside of your knees. Keep your feet flexed and your spine long. Option to gently rock from side to side, bending one leg while straightening the other leg to deepen the inner thigh stretch.

travel yoga happy baby 1

Happy Baby

Follow more of my adventures on Bloglovin, FacebookInstagram, or blog, Namastay Traveling, to get the most up-to-date travel tips along with my current yoga teaching schedule!

Xx,
Juliette

Top 5 Yoga Poses for Traveling

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