Overnight At The Bernic

It’s no secret that long overnight layovers suck. Not only is it likely that the city you’re visiting is likely to have nonexistent or crawling transportation, attractions and bars tend to be closed and more often than not, you decide to stay at the airport sleeping uncomfortably at the gate with your belongings tucked under your arms so they don’t go missing. This is no way to travel. At least, not a comfortable one.

I was recently faced with another late night layover dilemma in JFK. Either stay at the airport for 10 hours getting terrible rest or pop out of the airport for a bit of rest and to discover a city. I choose the latter.

Why you may ask? Traveling is amazing. New sights, new cuisines, new cultures. It’s a shame to waste that opportunity to explore by staying inside the airport or only looking to stay right near the airport for convenience sake. I wanted to explore NYC. Enter The Bernic Hotel – a boutique hotel in midtown that’s only a 45 minute cab ride from the airport.

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Inside The Hotel

The hotel is quite large. Larger than what you’d expect when pulling up to the building. The quaint yet chicly decorated lobby was small so it couldn’t fit a large group of guests for the purposes of hanging out. It did offer a bit of standing room but if you want to relax, I suggest going to the cool bar attached to the hotel or explore the city.

I did however end up staying on the 17th floor. So although it may not be that wide, boy oh boy is the hotel tall, lending itself to beautiful midtown views.

Arriving at around 11pm, I was quite out of it after having been through an entire day of travel (thinking long three hour shuttle bus rides, hours in an airport, tight gua guas with luggage (local Dominican Republic transportation) was greeted by the most pleasant hotel representative. She gathered all of my details, told me about the amenities (WiFi, heated floors, Nespresso, etc) and even provided a bit of helpful information on taxis and shuttle options back to JFK.

She handed me my keys and off to elevator bank I went.

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Inside The Room

Swiping my keys, I opened the door to an amazing room that did nothing but impress. My room had a large bed, two balconies, two TVs, a sitting room, a special treat for me and a bathroom fully equipped with heated floors. Yes, you read that right – heated floors!

Imagine waking up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom only to have your system completely shocked by stepping on an icy floor. This isn’t the case at The Bernic. Upon entering, the bathroom immediately begins heating up providing you with warm and toasty floors. It takes a minute to get going but it’s a must-have feature.

Walking about the space and checking out all the other pieces in the room, I realized I needed to get a move on as it was 11:15pm and my time in the city was running out. I dropped by my stuff off and went into the city to grab a quick and affordable bite to eat (something you can’t do at the airport or airport hotel) and check out some attractions.

After a bit of wandering, I entered this pizza shop near to the hotel that was delicious. I ordered myself a slice and some garlic knots. So so good and worth the walk. Bringing it back to my hotel, I opted to spend the rest of my night cozied up on my bed, eating pizza and lounging with some T.V in the background. Better than spending it tightly coiled up on the airport floor eating a bag of overpriced chips.

The Last Bits

At around 5am the next morning, I woke up feeling like a VIP ready to jet off on my next flight. I took a great shower (amazing pressure) and got ready to jump into a cab to go back to JFK.

Only a 45 minute to and from, this stay at a hotel in the city was definitely worth it for me. Treated to a luxury stay with fantastic amenities, hotels in the city are definitely the preferred way to handle an overnight layover when traveling.

Restoring a bit of magic into the travel experience, giving yourself the opportunity to rest and recover after long days in transit is a must. It makes for a better trip overall and allows you to check off a new and unexpected city to visit. If you are in NYC overnight and need a place to stay, The Bernic is amazing. Definitely worth the money and time. It’s an experience like no other and I plan to be back the next time have a long layover!

 

Wake Up & Smell The Hot Cocoa

So December snuck on me – that was lovely. Lovely because so many things are about to happen. A trip to Tenerife, Christmas, Holiday Parties, A Long Overdue meet up with the BF (I have one now), etc. All of this sounds so crazy but the craziest thing of all is the fact that this year is my golden birthday.

What’s that you may ask? Golden birthday is when you turn the age of the date you were born on (at least, that’s what I was told). For some, they experienced their golden birthday at the ripe age of 3. Me, I’m going to be turning 27 on the 27th this year.

I don’t really love my birthday in general. I mean, I’m glad to be alive but don’t really look forward to the whole getting older thing but this year, I don’t mind. Partly because it’s my golden birthday and I’ll be in Tenerife with my BF on that day, but the other half of that is I feel like I *may* be hitting a stride or turning point?

I don’t want to jinx myself but I’m very positive about the things to come and achieving what I ultimately want. I think 2017 will be wonderful, despite all the tragic political craziness happening around the world. I have to be optimistic though. What kind of life do I expect to lead if I can’t see greatness for myself in the future? A pretty dark one is what I think.

This feeling of general glee and excitement came over me while sipping on the hot cocoa pictured in the featured image. I was out this weekend and treated myself to some hot cocoa. Although the taste and the atmosphere of the shop I was in didn’t transport me back to London, I couldn’t help but reflect on all the progress I made and the transformations I underwent.

It was a heck of a time. A time where I experimented and truly tried to figure out who I was and where I was going. Everything was on me to figure out (how to get around, pay bills, find a place to live, find work/internship, make friends, etc). It was all hard but worth it. I accomplished so much and feel energized in a way to tackle more and continue to blaze down the path I’ve started to carve out for myself. I know I can do it, I just have to not get lost!

I feel like so many people, especially the millennial type in their 20’s, are so confused. Worried about blazing down a particular path or doing something that isn’t considered too risky for the sake of money. Money is an important thing for sure – we need it to live and satiate certain wants – but we are all soo sooo worried about it. I’d love if we could all find ways to break free of that vice. I mean I haven’t. Not even close. I still feel the pressure to bring home the green on order to live a life I can be “happy” with (note happy is in quotes because everyone has a different way in which they measure happy). I do wish we could escape it though, life might be better.

But yeah, this December I’m feeling excited about what’s to come. I believe a lot of good things have happened to me this year. I may have felt completely lost while they happened and experienced plenty of bad or traumatizing to balance it out but nonetheless, all of it needed to happen. Perhaps me drinking this hot cocoa needed to happen too – so I could truly think about the good.

Big City, Loads of Noises

Sirens again. Honking again. Screaming imbeciles again. That’s what I hear.

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It’s been three weeks since I’ve been back in NYC after spending 5 months away. Although I studied abroad and spent nearly the same amount of time away in Paris during my Junior year of college, this past experience feels so different.

Back then, when I had been a foreign country studying another language and truly living on my own for the first time, I was shocked. I was unprepared and didn’t really know what I had. This time while in London, my outlook was different. I loved nearly every minute of it. There were some lows, don’t get me wrong, but I truly saw another part of life and happiness. Even though I was spending my savings and putting myself through an endless test – joy ran through my veins. I was constantly going out to events, networking mixers, emailing companies and trying to do and learn as much as I could. Every day was a new challenge. I walked the city and discovered new restaurants and bakeries of course.

Now being back in NYC, I feel odd. I enjoy seeing old friends and family members I hadn’t seen in awhile but I do feel like I’m in a haze. I don’t want to lose all of the amazing things I learned and did while in London. I loved what I accomplished. I’d hate to let it go by being back “home” and falling back to the normal I wanted so badly to escape. Well, I guess not escape – I wanted to learn and feel a level of happiness I wasn’t quite getting. I found it in London and I don’t want to let go. In my heart though, I know I can’t lose it, unless I choose to.

I think that what I learned the most about London was not to be afraid of taking chances, putting my effort into something and asking for real results, doing me without too much hesitation, etc. It really informed my way of thinking and interacting with people. I already knew I gave too many s**ts about what people think and London helped me shake that a bit.

When I look around me, I see so many tall buildings. It’s pretty in a NYC way but the romanticism I felt in London isn’t here with me right now. Maybe I still need to get used to everything? But I don’t want to. I want to do what I want to and feel the same level of joy. I know I can still continue to push forward with the dreams that I was living in London. I also plan on going back. If there is something I know I haven’t lost, it’s my will. I don’t like to give up and I know the things that I’m after now are very possible! One step at a time. Nothing worth having is supposed to be THAT easy. It’s what they say, ain’t it?

Traveling To London Part 1

It’s been one day since I’ve arrived in London. Away from the things that are so familiar and routine for me. I feel so excited but now the nerves are coming on full force. My luggage is packed, I’ve spent a week saying goodbye, checked off all the items from my list, and savored my time in NYC.

Although I’ve never been super sentimental, I’ve made an effort to really enjoy everything about my hometown and appreciate it. I am trying to keep the “I Miss You” feelings away now that I’m in Europe. I’m not trying to be a robot but I want to give this the fullest shot I can – this means keeping my head straight ahead (so to speak). But first, let me tell you about my road to get here (London)

Cut to me trying to look cool but fumbling with my luggage at JFK.

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I tried my best to under pack, only bringing the essentials but how is that possible when you’re packing for three months and need to factor in haircare! Low and behold, my fears of being overweight at the airline check in were confirmed when the woman told me that I was 20 lbs over. What that meant was I’d have to pay $15 per extra pound which would amount to about $200. I WASN’T having it. And incase this isn’t stressed enough, please please always weigh your luggage before a flight. It will literally save you the heartache and the pocket shock when you arrive at the airport to have your fears confirmed.

Any who, I’m in a panic about my luggage and the prospect of paying $200. It wasn’t like I had any options (or so I thought) until the sweet bag check lady told me about option 3. I could check a 3rd bag for only $65 and she would just let me on with my overweight baggage. The only problem there was I didn’t have a third suitcase. Again, if you know your bags are overweight, research the airline extra baggage policy. Save you from sweating through your travel outfit. BUT, I did have my backpack so I was able to get away with checking that as my third bag. That woman was literally a godsend.

After that, I zoomed through TSA check in and then looked for my gate.

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Two phone calls and some ritz crackers later, my flight was called for boarding. I was about to get on a plane to better my future with no idea how. The great unknown – how freaking terrifying and exhilarating.

Post To Be Continued