5 Philadelphia Museums Off The Beaten Path

Travel

5 Philadelphia Museums Off The Beaten Path

Quick. Think of Philadelphia. What’s the first museum that comes to mind? Probably the Philadelphia Museum of Art? Maybe the Franklin Institute? For out of town visitors looking to get the most of the city, there are lots of things to see that might ordinarily be easy to overlook. For locals, there are places that you might have heard about but never made time to go visit. Regardless of the reason, there are plenty of museums to inspire, entertain and pique your curiosity. But now is the time and go visit! Here are 5 Philadelphia museums off the beaten path that you shouldn’t miss!

Continue reading

5 Must See European Christmas Markets

Travel

philadelphia christmas market

Each month I try to highlight a Must See. Usually this means a city, location or museum that I have on my own travel bucket-list. This month I want to do things a little different. Visiting a true European Christmas Market is undeniably on my Must See list. But there’s so many! To select just one would be too difficult and not fair to all of the other wonderful ones. So instead this month’s Must See pulls together five Christmas Markets to put on your own Must See list.

Continue reading

How to Spend 24 Hours in Munich

Travel

Go see Marienplatz during 24 hours in Munich Germany.

For many, Munich is all about Oktoberfest. But there is so much more to see than just the Wiesn. But sometimes you only get a limited window of opportunity to visit a city. Maybe your travel style is all about traveling to many places instead of getting to know a few really well. Or sometimes the reason is as simple as a lack of time or money. Or both. If you’ve got the time, I’ve shared my tips and favorites in Munich. But what if time is limited? I’ve put together my favorites and must-sees for a guide of how to spend 24 hours in Munich!

Continue reading

3 Comments
Post by . Originally published November 9, 2016. Last updated December 28, 2017.

Brewing Tea with a French Press

Food

Brewing Tea with a French Press using the El Gato Malo French Press!

When you think of a French press, your first thought is probably to think of coffee, right? It would make perfect sense as French pressed coffee seems more popular than ever. Everyone is looking to get that perfect cup of coffee without venturing out to pay someone else to do it. But have you ever considered brewing tea with a French press?

One of the reasons to opt for loose leaf tea over bagged tea is the way the leaves are processed. If you were to open a typical tea bag, you’d likely find finely chopped tea leaves. Loose tea is different. It is usually sold as large pieces of tea leaves even whole tea leaves. This can depend on the brand or even the style of tea. Because loose tea leaves are larger, when brewed they will expand. Having this extra room allows the leaves to release more flavor. In Asia it isn’t uncommon to put the tea leaves right into a pot. But this method, usually, doesn’t include any kind of mesh so leaves can get into your cup. Tea ball infusers, which is my normal brewing method, don’t give the leaves much room to unfurl. That brings us to brewing tea with a French press.
Continue reading

3 Comments
Post by . Originally published October 6, 2016. Last updated July 9, 2017.

Sail to NYC with NY Waterway Ferry

Travel

Leave your car at home. Enjoy this view of Manhattan's Upper West Side with the NY Waterway Ferry.

If you’re not flying into New York City, the question is: how do you get there? I recently took a day trip to the Big Apple and that was the million dollar question question. Nobody in their right mind wants to battle the traffic and then search for parking. You have to have plenty of time, money and, most importantly: patience. That leaves a couple of public transit options: Amtrak train, park & ride train or park & ride ferry. Without a doubt, taking the NY Waterway ferry is my new favorite way to reach Manhattan!
Continue reading

What to See in Pittsburgh in 36 Hours

Travel

pittsburgh skyline
A long weekend in the summer calls for a road trip! So that’s just what we did on Fourth of July weekend. We packed up and headed to Pittsburgh to spend, roughly, 36 hours. From Philadelphia, it is roughly a four or five hour drive across the state. We kissed the puppy goodbye, hit the road early and lucked out with relatively light traffic.

Pittsburgh is a relatively large city and the second largest in the state of Pennsylvania. The Steel City attracts a lot of attention these days and is definitely a trendy location. The city is considered extremely livable, has a foodie reputation, low crime and they’ve got winning sports teams. It’s just the right size for exploring on a brief stop over or a longer excursion. It’s also just the right size to see large portions on foot. But, there are a lot of hills and somethings are spread out so a car can offer much needed convenience.

Here’s a quick guide of what we did and what we say on our whirlwind trip! Yinz ready? (That’s Pittsburgh-ian for “you ready?”)
Continue reading

1 Comment
Post by . Originally published July 13, 2016. Last updated July 14, 2016.

German Films: Wolfgang Becker

German Films, Learn German

Wolfgang Becker
Some filmmakers have a certain rhythm to their work. Such filmmakers release a new film every few years. They are prolific. But other filmmakers, like German director Wolfgang Becker labor longer on each project. Since the writer-director released his first film (Schmetterling) in 1988, he’s since released only five other full-length movies including a documentary. But quality and quantity are not synonymous. Which is why Wolfgang Becker is this month’s featured filmmaker recommendation for German language learners.
Continue reading

6 German Beer Breweries You Can Tour

Food, Travel

Drink up! A German Steinkrug, or beer mug.

From precision engineered cars that race down highways with no speed limits, to pretzels the size of your head there are plenty of things — you might call them stereotypes — that Germany is famous for and German beer breweries are at the top of the list. The ingredients in German beer are closely regulated by the Reinheitsgebot, which ensures high-quality beer. And while Bavaria is arguably the center of the German brewery world, the rest of the country has more than a few brands to boast of.

Many of Germany’s beer breweries offer tours.  Regardless of whether you’re a beer connoisseur or just curious by nature, take note. These special tours often include guided walks through the production line, insight into the brand and brewery, and even tastings! Previously, I highlighted Bavarian beer breweries that offer tours. Now here’s a follow up with German beer breweries around the rest of the country.
Continue reading

5 German Blogs That I’m Reading

Learn German

reverberations tablet

Truth be told, I love following blogs in German not just for the educational aspect but also because I love to look at the photos and dream. With that said, it will come as no surprise to those who know me that several of the bloggers I follow are based in Munich. (Some dream of Paris, I dream of Minga.)

Regardless of where they’re based, blogs written in German can be a great way to practice your language skills. Most aren’t written at an extremely high reading level and aren’t too serious: both of which can be be discouraging when reading newspapers or classic literature. Academic-level texts can be so difficult.

Instead, with blogs, you get a peek into how people actually write and talk. And, depending on what the blogger writes about, you can get a really great feel for what is going on right when the “publish” button was pressed.

Here’s five German language blogs for a mixture of topics that you should check out!
Continue reading

2 Comments
Post by . Originally published June 29, 2016. Last updated September 13, 2017.

5 Fantastic Bagged Tea You Should Try

Food

5 fantastic bagged tea to try

Loose tea is all the rage these days. Recently, I explored five great loose teas that you should be brewing up. But what about the old standard: bagged tea! We can’t forget our old friend. You can’t argue with the on-the-go convenience of bagged tea. And these days, tea drinkers aren’t limited to bland bagged teas that taste like cardboard. The market has exploded and expanded. To celebrate the rebirth of bagged tea, here are five fantastic bagged tea that you should try!
Continue reading

5 Loose Tea to Try

Food

5 loose tea to try

While beer enthusiasts are busy trying every beer known to man, tea is more my speed. Tea has seen such a resurgence in popularity in recent years. Loose tea seems more popular than ever. Part of the fun of being a tea drinker is being able to try lots of different teas. No two taste the same and even ones that “are” the same, such as blended teas like your Earl Greys or Breakfast Teas, aren’t the same. The recipe or formula, if you will, for each blend is different. I wanted to share five loose teas that I absolutely love: Harney and Sons’ Viennese Earl Grey, Tay Tea’s Duchess’ First Love, Adagio’s Ceylon Sonata, Dallmayr’s Ostfriesien and Eco-Cha’s Organic Dong Ding Oolong.
Continue reading

1 Comment
Post by . Originally published April 6, 2016. Last updated July 15, 2018.

Giveaway & Review: Self-Guided Walking Tour App

Reviews, Travel

Self-guided walking tour with GPSmyCity

Maybe it is just me but when I travel or explore anywhere new I hate to be obvious about it. As far as I am concerned there is nothing worse than looking like a tourist. A recent guided tour in Nuremberg made me open up my mind a bit to the concept. But it’s still not at the top of my list despite how much great information you can get on a walking tour of a new city or even exploring your own backyard. So when GPSmyCity reached out to me about their app I was really interested.

GPSmyCity is a convenient and inexpensive app (each city costs less than $5) for your mobile device that offers self-guided walking tours on a variety of topics for nearly 500 different international cities. Using the GPS on your device, you can easily follow along the planned path and get from one important sight to another without getting lost. Available on both Apple and Android devices, the walking tours work offline so you do not have to worry about your data plan. You can even use the app to create your own walking tour. Not to mention that, because it is on your phone, it is discrete. No one need know you are a T-O-U-R-I-S-T. And because it is self-guided, you can spend as much or as little time at each spot as you wish.

Continue reading

12 Comments
Post by . Originally published March 7, 2016. Last updated July 9, 2017.