Real Life in New York

Last weekend I went to New York and Connecticut with my dad.  We were meeting with my brother Matt who attends the Merchant Marine Academy and an uncle.  My dad has two brothers and the other one was unable to attend due to a sudden medical issue with his wife.  We were all pretty bummed and hoping she makes a very safe and quick recovery.

Here is from last year
Here is from last year

Dad and I left for New York (not quite the city about 30 miles outside) on Friday morning.  We were lucky that we missed all bridge openings and train crossings (that is rare in Hampton Roads!) and made it up in around 9 hours.  I have never denied long drives are not my strong point.  In fact driving with me is probably some people’s worst nightmare.

Upon finally arriving in Terrytown, we ate at the El Dorado diner with my uncle (we have always ate here!) and I ended up getting the stuffed trout.  When they brought it out to me it was literally a deheaded fish (fin still attached).  I must say though it was some of the best fish I’ve ever had.  (Diners are seriously gems at life).


Saturday was quite the day.  In the afternoon dad Matt and I ended up walking around New York City.  First we took the subway to the Staten Island Ferry.  I am extremely UNCOMFORTABLE with the thought of riding the NYC subway by myself to the Staten Island Ferry to get to the marathon and since we were in town, dad walked me step by step to get to this.  I do feel a lot more comfortable now.

Sunday we went to Montauk Point so dad and my uncle could go diving.  While they were busy staring at lobsters and sea animals, Matt and I went for a beautiful run in Hither Woods State Park.  We didn’t even make a dent in the miles of trails after running 16+.  It was absolutely beautiful though and probably one of my best runs of the summer.  I often forget that trail running is a completely different world and always much more challenging.

Dad getting ready for his dive
running through the trails
running through the trails
The end of Montauk
The end of Montauk

Then Monday morning dad and I left bright and early but not without a stop to my parents second house and to see this lovely fellow.  If you are a new reader my parents own a donkey.  A living, breathing, kicking donkey.  The LOLZ blog wouldn’t be complete without him.


All in all it was a great minivacation.  I had a great time seeing relatives, becoming more comfortable with New York City and of course running.

Questions for you:

Do you have family reunions?

Are you good with public transit?

I know if I practiced and lived in a metro area I would be but  Upstate NY is quite different from NYC.  😉


  1. I used to spend every summer until I was 13 out on the tip of Long Island with my family. We stayed in both Montauk and Green Port (North Folk) and would spend hours hiking the paths around that lighthouse, stopping for sandwiches at one of our favorite delis in town ahead of time so that we could eat somewhere on the beach. Your pictures brought back a ton of memories haha 🙂 I’m glad you guys enjoyed your run out there…still one of my favorite places in the U.S.

    1. Awe I’m glad. It’s a little known gem really. People never expect NY to have such gorgeous beaches! I hope you get to go back sometime. 🙂

  2. Looks like a fun trip! Who would have thought there would be so many miles of trails!?

    Love the donkey!

    I used to live in NYC, the subway seems scarier than it actually is. As long as you make sure you get on, on the correct side, (going the correct direction), it’s fairly easy! Do you know where you are staying already, and what line you’ll be riding in on?

    1. We didn’t even plan to run on trails, just around town. It was such a treat when they just pulled up to the beach and it happened the trails were half a mile away!

      I have absolutely no idea hotel stuff or lines because I don’t want to book flights until I know where I’ll be at the time LOL. (It’s a disaster waiting to happen…)

  3. I grew up in the burbs of Rochester and there was zero public transportation, DC was a bit of a shocker! I am comfortable with it now but not in love with it. I would rather drive / walk / bike if I can. The NYC subway is way busier than DC’s and the one time I went it was before I lived in DC so I felt like a total fish out of water and actually sat at a platform waiting for a train that was never coming for about 30 minutes before asking for help…

  4. Hooray for getting comfortable with the subway! I love taking the subway (many years of dance there made me a pro) but it was so nerve racking my first time. You have a donkey??? I would like to meet him in person Shannon Hollie roadtrip date one day in our lives?

  5. DONKEY !!!!!!
    Glad to hear that you are more comfortable with the Subway…i’ll admit you see some interesting people not to mention it can be confusing about which one to take where!

  6. I want to meet the donkey! What is his name?
    Did you think about taking the midtown bus to SI? That avoids taking another bus once you get off the ferry!

    After living in NYC for years I am A-ok with public transportation! Even the freaks on the subway are invisible to me 🙂

  7. DONKEY! What’s his name??!!! I am very jealous right now. As for subways, I go to Eagle’s games with my dad each year and we ride the subways into town; however, NYC is a totally different ball game so I don’t know if I would feel comfortable. My biggest fear is taking the wrong train to a complete GHETTO. I hope your Aunt is okay!

    1. Thanks Lauren! I have that fear too (about the subway) but also ending up at the complete wrong end of town…but really with so many marathoners one would hope there would be at least one going to the ferry on the same line as me LOL!

      And I’m not joking when I say the name of the donkey is Ba-Donk-A-Donk.

  8. We call them family BBQ’s but yes we have family reunions. As far as public transportation goes I am all for it. Growing up on Long Island and working in Manhattan I rode the LIRR into work every morning and grabbed the 7 train at Hunters Point Ave which took me to my job at Grand Central Terminal. Living in Central New York and experiencing life in the slow lane I would never live there again. However when we do visit Manhattan we drive to Peekskill and take Metro North into the city. We get around via subway, our feet and or taxi. In environments such as NYC public transportation is a must.

  9. Aren’t dads great for things like directions? 🙂 Glad you’re feeling more comfortable with the public transit. After 10 years in Chicago, I’m fairly comfortable navigating buses and trains, but I can definitely see how it would be stressful. As a general rule, popping into a hotel (in any city, even if you aren’t a guest) and asking the front desk is always a sure-fire way to get user-friendly directions with a smile.

  10. Having gone from Upstate NY to the DC area, I have to say I LOVE having a metro! It makes it so much nicer!

    1. I think I would like it if I lived somewhere and was a lot more comfortable taking it. For now I will leave the metro liking to you LOL. What part of NY?

      1. Binghamton… In fact you ran right by the road I lived on in a race you did last year.

        The big advantage of the metro, is not having to deal with finding parking in DC!

  11. I’ve already told you that I want your donkey (why does that sound so wrong to me?!), so now I’ll tell you that I’m a complete goober when it comes to public transit. I manage alright in my own city, but I know I’d be completely lost in a bigger city like NYC. That being said, I’ve always wanted to do some people watching on the subway… I hear it’s quite the experience.

  12. family reunions are known as weddings and funerals in my family….. I guess that’s life.

    Public transit is kinda hard for me, mainly because I never have to use it (ask me to read a bus schedule and I’ll tell you you’re on crack)…I can book a flight and rent a car like nobody’s business though.

  13. Oh my gosh that Donkey’s face! So cute! As someone who grew up/went to highschool in the city I am very familiar with public transit and subways as I had to take it to and from school. I am sure the day of the marathon there will be other people using public transit to get there so you won’t be 100% alone. Always feel free to ask people around you too! I had a family reunion last weekend and it was very nice and relaxing 🙂

  14. Wait, you were in NYC?! You’ll have to stay longer next time–and take me with you to Montauk. It’s such a nice area, and I’m glad you had a great weekend!

  15. When I read about the logistics of the NYC Marathon I get intimidated, and I have no plans to run it even in the distant future!

    Running with my brother is hands down one of my top 5 joys in life!

  16. I’ve been to both upstate NY and NYC (I live close by in Jersey now). I’ve been here a few months and am still wary about using the subway because I can’t SEE where I’m going. One day, when I need to use it, I’ll get over that fear. Until then, I can walk forever!

  17. I LOVE THAT DONKEY! I WANT IT! WANT IT! ha ha! My sister just moved to a new house where they have LOTS of acres – and I want her to get DONKEYS! ha ha ha! Oh and I used to live in CT actually, and go to NYC every so often on the train, it’s not as bad as you think. The busses out here in Los Angeles though, yeah, DONT go on them! LOL!

  18. Kinda funny to read this – I grew up in rural NJ and lived in upstate NY for 7 years after college. Last year, I traveled in Europe and was *quite* reluctant/distrustful of the public transport systems. Then, I moved to Singapore (no car) – and rely entirely on public transport and an occasional cab. I just wrapped up a second trip to London, and can’t for the life of me figure out why I was so intimidated/challenged by the Underground. Bottom line: It’s very scary to rely on public transport, when that’s not the way you usually function – but once you do it (with a reliable transport system) for awhile, it becomes second nature. Even just one practice run helps – you’ll be fine for the marathon!

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