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in Home & Lifestyle, Photography, Travel

Cheese Pretzels at Kamps, Cologne, Germany

Is there anything better in life than eating a cheese pretzel and drinking a cappuccino while overlooking a gorgeous cathedral in Germany?  Okay, a lot of things, but not when you’re on vacation.

The last stop along the Rhine River while cruising aboard the Avalon Panorama was Cologne, Germany, home to the Kölner Dom, a world heritage site cathedral and Germany’s most visited landmark. After exploring the city on a guided tour, my best friend and I were pretty beat (it was quite early in the morning) and with the weather in Cologne alternating between dreary and cloudy and actual rain, we decided the best bet would be to go to a coffee shop. Overlooking the Kölner Dom, Kamps is the largest craft bakery chain in Germany. The cute little shop serves amazing cappuccinos, brie sandwiches with freshly baked bread topped with mutant sized sunflower seeds, and of course, cheese pretzels. While in Germany, I developed a crazy addiction to cheese pretzels. I was on a mission, like Harold and Kumar, except I was looking for the most amazing cheese pretzel of them all. Sadly, I never found the holy grail of cheese pretzels, but I did enjoy a rather delicious one at Kamps. Between the foamy cappuccino, cheesy pretzel and amazing view, I think this may have been one of the nicest mornings on the whole trip. We really felt like we were experiencing Cologne the way it was meant to be experienced; sipping a cappuccino, having good conversation and being surrounded by locals.

OPI Gel Manicure in “Cajun Shrimp” with a Skyler Man Horned Black Stake Ring

in Home & Lifestyle, Photography, Travel

Hamlet Snapshot: Cold Spring Harbor, New York

A few weeks ago, my parents and I started a new summer weekend tradition where we take a day trip somewhere close to NYC. Although I live in the same city as my parents, it’s still hard to see them very often, so this has become a fun way to both spend quality time with my parents and get away from the city. A couple weeks ago, we hopped in the car and ventured out to Long Island, hoping to go to the Vanderbilt Museum. Unfortunately, we arrived kind of late, and didn’t feel like rushing around before it closed. Instead, we decided to check out a cute little main street that we passed on the way. That main street turned out to be Cold Spring Harbor, a hamlet in Suffolk County. The tiny little place in the Town of Huntington boasts a Whaling Museum, quite a few antique shops and the best fish taco (as rated by Newsday). Although we didn’t try said fish taco, at The Gourmet Whaler, my mother and father shared a couple scoops of their Butter Pecan Ice Cream, which they both said was very good. The little candy/ice cream/seafood shop also advertised a lobster roll that I will definitely try next time I’m in the area. Although very tiny, Cold Spring Harbor is a pretty cute little place to check out when you don’t want to go too far, but want to feel like you have.

 

P.S Over Memorial Day weekend, I took a little trip to Jackson, New Jersey to review the recently opened Green Lantern coaster at Six Flags Great Adventure. If you would like to read about my coaster riding experience, head over to www.themeparktourist.com, a one stop shop for news, reviews and money-saving tips from theme parks around the world.

in Home & Lifestyle, Travel

Beer Barns and Violence, Brighton Beach

 

Last weekend, my boyfriend and I walked down the Brighton Beach Boardwalk towards Coney Island to meet some friends and check out the new Luna Park. Along the way, we stopped for a late lunch at Le Soleil Draft Barn, a German inspired beer garden type of restaurant right on the boardwalk and overlooking the beach. The restaurant had an extensive, three page menu of beers. I settled on some Bitburger, memories of my trip to Germany a few weeks ago flooding back. My boyfriend got a Julius Echter Hefe-Weissbier which we agreed wasn’t very good. We also ordered some Calamari and potato pancakes with goat cheese, both were delicious with the calamari especially hitting that fried foods summer boardwalk spot. We took our time; talking, laughing, taking pictures and looking at the ocean waves and passerby.

That was last week though. Yesterday, as the boardwalk was filled with teenagers celebrating Brooklyn-Queens day, an unidentified gunman opened fire. Killing a 17 year old girl and injuring 4 others (including one critically) the boardwalk erupted with violence. Some speculate that the incident was gang related, however, no one is in custody.

One week earlier I was in the same spot, at the same time of day, eating right near where someone else was shot yesterday. It’s surreal. Having worked for 4 summers on that very boardwalk when I was younger, it really hits close to home. The boardwalk has always had tragic summers but most of the time they can be attributed to drownings, something that, although tragic, happens at every beach. This was different, this happened because evil people exist and because guns are way too easy to get. If you want to read more about what happened, check out Sheepshead Bites, they’ve got some good coverage of the events that transpired.

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