Monday, December 2, 2013

Profile on my NYC Marathon/UNICEF Experience

Just as an update: my marathon experience was highlighted by NYU student Lauren Holter! Lauren interviewed me before and after the race and wrote this lovely article on the experience! Read her article here:

Please also note that today is Giving Tuesday-- a day/movement meant to counteract the "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday" craziness and promote the true "spirit" of the holiday season by encouraging people to make donations to non-profits, NGO's, and charities. My UNICEF fundraising page is still open and donations are being taken in to help with the continued relief efforts (particularly for children/families) in the Philippines after the serious Typhoon. As I know from my experience from Sandy, the relief efforts after the Typhoon are far from over! It will take well over a year for the Philippines to fully recover (Here in Massapequa, many families are still not recovered from Sandy-- not even close! And that was over a year ago!). Please consider making a donation on the right-hand side of this page if you have not already done so!

Thank you! Have a wonderful holiday season!

Monday, November 18, 2013

NYC Marathon!

So sorry I have not had the opportunity to write more recently! I ran the NYC Marathon on November 3rd for UNICEF. Thank you so much to all of my supporters-- I simply could not have done it without you! With approximately 90 total supporters of UNICEF/NYC Marathon campaign, I simply could not let everyone down! Let me give you a short play-by-play of the how the marathon went:
At about 5:30am my dad dropped me off at Central Park South in Manhattan to catch a Team UNICEF shuttle to the start village. We then shuttled down to Staten Island. Thankfully, the night before was when we turned the clocks back for fall so I had an extra hour of sleep, so waking up at about 4am wasn't the worst thing in the world. I watched the sun rise over Brooklyn on the way to the start. We arrived around 7am-ish at the start village and it took about 20 minutes to enter the area. There was a sea of people around me as we were herded like cattle into the start village. There were tons of foreigners and it got me thinking: wouldn't running a marathon be an amazing way to see a new city? I was astounded by the number of French people that were there-- the majority of foreigners I saw were from France! And, I would say the majority of people I saw were foreigners, not Americans.

The morning was freezing cold, but I assumed that once afternoon came it would warm up, but it didn't really. It stayed in the upper 40's all day! Yikes! Unfortunately, because of my start number & color, I began my run on the lower deck of the Verrazano Bridge. As a result, I didn't get that awe-inspiring image that I think people have when they think of the start of the run. Fortunately, being on the lower deck had the perk of less wind-- and boy was it windy! At the start of each heat they have a cannon go off and they play the iconic Sinatra song about New York, which was fun. The first ten or so miles are through Brooklyn, which was really fun. I had written my name on the front of my shirt, so as I ran by people were cheering for me. There were often bands playing and a few of them even sang out my name as I ran by! All the adrenaline had me flying, which is really bad when you have to run 26.2 miles. When I hit the halfway mark at 13.1 miles, I knew things would not be good. I reached the Queensborough Bridge, which is a pretty big incline, and my hamstrings tightened up. I thought I would try and push through and then feel good on the downhill, but when I hit the downhill the pain was much worse. This happened because I went out way too hard, didn't stop for water and didn't do my warmup drills in the first few miles like I planned. Woops! Well, I would definitely pay for my mistake!

The Queensborough Bridge ends at mile 16, with 10 miles to go, and I was in pain. Lots of pain. I tried to walk but my hamstrings felt worse. Then I'd try to run but my quads felt weak. Running down 5th Ave in Manhattan there was a sea of people cheering me on but I was walking-- pretty embarrassing! The pain was so bad I stopped at a medical tent just to get some reassurance that I would be fine and the trick would be to keep moving. The medical assistant asked if I wanted to sit down, when I responded that I thought it would be too painful, he grabbed me a Gatorade, dropped extra salt into it and told me to get back out there and just walk if I needed to. I pushed onward.

Being in the Bronx was actually fun. There was a lot of character there, many local grassroots organizations came to cheer on the runners, and some really eclectic music was playing. I started to feel optimistic. "I'm going to finish this run!" I told myself. Since I had decided just finishing was the most important part to this and I didn't care about my time, often I would stop and grab a banana or orange from people cheering us on. I made sure to stop at the water stops and sip on water and Gatorade for a little while I walked. Severe cramping can be horrible, leaving people literally writhing in pain on the ground. That was NOT going to be me. I was going to finish!

A few miles before the finish, you finally hit the hills. The hardest part of the marathon is right at the end, with uphill and downhills as you reach Central Park and get closer to the finish. It was hell. I decided to job the downhills and and walk the uphills. Suddenly, with just about 2 miles to go, I head people screaming my name! "GOOOOOO KRISTENNNNN!!!" I look up, pulling myself out of despair and smile at my family! For the first time in about 24 miles, I recognized someone in the crowd! I had gone over that moment in my mind prior to this. I envisioned breaking down in tears, saying I wasn't sure that I could finish, expecting hugs and reassurance that I could definitely finish. Instead, in my broken down state, I keep running. I couldn't stop, I had to keep going!

Throughout the run, I saw people that inspired me: blind people, deaf people, amputees, a mother-daughter team. But just as I was about 1 mile from the finish, I saw something that pretty much brought me to tears. A woman, who I assume was a paraplegic, was sitting in a chariot-like cart and around here were a team of firefighters wearing matching shirts. The team traded off pushing and pulling positions around the chariot. That kind of dedication to a friend, a teammate, there is nothing like that. There are no words for a moment like that.

The finish was a blur and I was so thankful it was over, I could have kissed the ground. It was absolutely freezing. If you didn't check a bag, you received a wrist band and could exit early. I didn't check a bag, but I had selected the option to check on when I picked up my number, so I didn't have a wristband. I had to sneak out the early exit (sorry NYC Marathon people reading this-- it was necessary!) and was able to beg someone to give me an amazing fleece poncho that they give wristband people at the finish. The temperature was plummeting and I was freezing. Finding a cab was impossible so I'm fairly confident we walked two miles to get to dinner. So that day I conquered 28.2 miles, I'd say. For dinner we stumbled on a beautiful and fancy Italian place and I had my favorite-- pasta!

What an honor to be able to say I've completed the NYC Marathon! Seriously, I would probably have quit when I stopped at that medical tent if it weren't for the 90 people counting on me to finish! Thank you to everyone who donated to my UNICEF fundraiser!!! Together we raised over $4600! So amazing! You can actually still give-- UNICEF is leaving the fundraising pages open and funds will go towards Philippines disaster relief, so if you haven't given, there is still time! Please donate by clicking the orange donate button on the right hand side of this website!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

T-Shirt Design is Out!

Great news: MadeInTruth Clothing, a small, Albany-based print screener and artist, has completed the front design for the t-shirt! Drum roll please...

The t-shirt design comes from the idea of UNICEF's slogan, which is "Believe in ZERO," the 0 representing the number of preventable children's deaths per year. The light blue is also the color of UNICEF's logo. We had the idea of the shoe prints from the Team UNICEF logo:
It was MadeInTruth's idea to have the "0 Preventable children's deaths per year" on the bottom corner facing up to the wearer as a sort of "cheat sheet."

T-shirts are available to those who donate $26.20 or more to my fundraiser (max 150 shirts). Businesses can have their logos placed on the back of the shirt for a donation of $200 or more.
Please make all donations here:
Special thank you to everyone who has given to my fundraiser! I am now 40% of the way to my goal and have surpassed the $1000 mark!!!

Thank you to the following donors:
Mary Jane Meconi
Pascale, George, May, and Ken Seigneurie
Prof. Stephen Straight
Betty, Bryan, and Cookie Marcelino
Ike Pardo
Catherine Quinn
Janice MacDonald
Mary & Tony Speranza
The Cafieros
Sean Mcleod
Marie Fuzia
Tom Maligno
Paula Kutch
Susan Thompson
Beth Mobley
Marianne Artusio
Fred Rooney
and Michelle Zakarin
Thank you!!! Without all of you I wouldn't be one step closer to getting to that marathon and getting this world one step closer to a world with ZERO preventable children's deaths per year!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Donate to UNICEF and Market Your Business!

Are you a business owner? Want to market your business AND demonstrate that it is a philanthropic organization?         

Make a tax-deductible donation of only $200 to UNICEF!

 If you make a donation of $200 or more to my tax-deductible UNICEF/NYC Marathon fundraiser, you can have your business logo placed on approximately 150 t-shirts that will be given to individuals who donate $26.20 ($1 for each mile) or more to this cause. As a result, not only will you be making a tax-deductible donation, but your business' philanthropy efforts will be made public.

Donations can be made either via internet or through the mail. To donate via internet, please go to: To donate through the mail, please email me at
In-kind donations
Another great way of promoting your business would be to donate gift cards, services, branded materials (such as t-shirts, hats, etc.), and/or products. These items could then be raffled off to online contributors to the UNICEF campaign. This kind of contribution would allow for individuals to learn more about your business, encourage them to go to your store, and try out your products. Please note: these donations are not tax-deductible.

Thank you in advance for any and all assistance your organization can provide. I hope you will consider making a donation to my UNICEF campaign, which is not only an amazing cause but also a great way of marketing your business. With your help, the world will be closer to zero preventable children's deaths. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via email or phone.

Kristen R. Grennan
(516) 965-6833

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Running Around Dallas, TX

I headed to Dallas for a short weekend trip and had the opportunity to do some great running (and eating!). Dallas is actually a great city for people who like to keep in shape. On a Saturday morning, you'll catch tons of fit runners and bikers bouncing around. Apparently, olyn Austin outstrips Dallas in terms of sporty-ness. Be sure to dress to impress though-- both men and women (though particularly women) wear their finest sports gear and will hang around town in them all day.

The first great running spot I headed to was a little outside of Dallas at a lake and park known as Whiterock. Whiterock has a giant man-made lake and a 9.3 mile bike and running path that circles it. When I headed there on Friday morning, it was cloudy and misty. The heavy rains the night before caused the lake to swell a bit and the overflow portion behind the dam was raging-- a very cool sight to see. On a cloudy and rainy day, there are not many people, which was nice to have so much freedom. Everyone there is very friendly so be sure to say "Hi!" as you pass by (or, when I'm tired, I try and give a friendly smile and a thumbs up, which always boosts my mood too and helps me to pick up the pace a little). The the paved trail follows the lake the whole way around, dipping a little into a forest-like tree line, but always coming back to the lake. Sights around the lake that made it enjoyable were a small sailboat marina, a nice pedestrian bridge, the dam, and the nature. Since there weren't a lot of people around, I caught a beautiful crane hunting (and catching and eating) a fish. Definitely a spot worth a visit!
Aerial view of Whiterock Lake

Right in Dallas is also the Katy Trail. This trail was apparently a former railroad track and is a great escape from the city, while still staying in the city. As such, there are always tons of runners, bikers, and walkers on the trail at any time of day and especially on the weekends. The trail is about 3.5miles one way. Because it gets so congested, I would suggest checking it out early in the morning if possible. Alongside the paved trail is Turtle Creek, a nice and small little park that can be accessed from the trail. I would suggest hitting this up too if you have a chance-- I didn't, but I could see it from the trail and it looked very charming!

Popular Bar right off the Katy Trail

Running, however, was not the main focus of this trip. There was a LOT of eating involved. Food highlights include jalapeno skins (a jalapeno popper but instead of a breaded outside, it was a jalapeno with cream cheese wrapped in bacon!), the Dank hamburger at Kung Fu (Definitely check this place out-- they have free arcade games! And the burger: onion rings, grilled cheese sandwiches for the bun, so much cheese, two beef patties stuffed with jalapeno... Amazing!), brisket enchiladas at Meso Maya, and fried pickles. Tates has really beautiful cocktails, so definitely stop there any time of day. We also went on a private 2 hour Segway tour (, ask for Cameron, he's awesome!) and saw pretty much everything. If I had more time I would have checked out the art museums there, so if you have time definitely check them out!

The Dank

A unique event going on was Redbull's Flugtag. Flugtag (pronounced "flooh-tahg") is when you make flying contraptions and you have a team of friend push the contraption off a ramp and into water and see how far they go. It was, needless to say, hilarious! It was only in 5 cities in the country and they do it as an annual event (I think). Redbull also sponsors it around the world and there is a flugtag world record. Teams get really into the event by dressing up and putting on a skit before shoving their craft off and into the lake below. The craft is also creatively done up and the skits and team members all go with the theme. One of my cousin's friends was on a team and actually was the "driver" who was shoved off with the craft. They had a plane that was designed to look like a space ship and they had the crowd roaring when they danced around in their space suits and ran around with an American flag (which was naturally pinned to the front of the ship and launched off as well). One of the funniest ones was a portapotty (seriously, it was a portapotty with wheels). For the team's skit, they played the 90s song, "Everybody dance now" (you know it, just google it!). But when the lyrics played they had signs that went up "Everybody pants down" and ripped off their pants to expose nude colored leotards and then they just danced around really crazy. At the end of the skit, they pulled some lever that caused the walls of the portapotty to fall down into wings and expose the driver sitting on the john (pants down). They then pushed the portapotty over the edge and he then plunged face first into the water. Epic.

I would definitely go back to Dallas! It was awesome!

Special thank you to Seth Gold for giving to my fundraiser! Don't forget that if you give more than $26.20 ($1 for every mile) you will get a FREE T-SHIRT! Woo! Hope to have the design out for everyone to see soon! :)

Friday, September 13, 2013

Running in Oregon

Oregon is an amazing place to run, not only because of the beauty of the land, but also because of its rich running history. The famous middle and long distance runner Steve "Pre" Prefontaine was a track star in Eugene, OR at the University of Oregon and was trained by the equally famous track coach Bill Bowerman. Bill Bowerman first introduced Pre to a new kind of sneaker made specifically for running by a fledgling local company, Nike. Today, Nike is an international running powerhouse but it still keeps its roots in Oregon, keeping its HQ in Beaverton, just outside of Portland.

During the time that I was in Portland, there was a festival called Music Fest North West going on. Nike was one of the sponsors and they had a really cool and unique idea to give some of the tickets away by having festival goers participate in sports events. The night that I arrived, Nike sponsored a midnight 5k through Portland that resulted in the finishers getting tickets to two shows: Diplo on Thursday night and Flume on Friday night. I really wish I could have run it-- I would have loved it! Unfortunately, my flight arrived at midnight to PDX so I didn't make it. But what a great idea!

I had the opportunity to run in Beaverton, just outside of Portland and where the Nike campus (aka HQ) is located. If you're looking for a scenic, wooded run or bike, definitely check out Tulatin Hills Nature Park. The park consists of "primary" and "secondary" trails. The primary trails are totally paved and the secondary are either gravel or dirt, but they are immaculately maintained, which is amazing because moss grows like crazy there so I feel like it must be hard to keep everything so tidy and not slippery. When you arrive at the parking lot, there is a great "interpretive center" (I guess a nature center?) and there is a information board with great maps that I highly encourage you to grab. These maps give great detail for distance, so it'll help you to figure out how far and fast you ran. There is really only one large loop you can do, but its only about 3miles, however that only really covered half the park, so definitely feel free to just run around for an hour checking out all the trails, you just might have to double back a few times since they're not all connected and there aren't a lot of loops.
Tulatin Hills Nature Park main path

At the end of one of the trails in Tulatin Hills

What's really awesome about woods running in Oregon is that you feel as if you've been transported to an ancient land. Because Oregon is so wet (it's technically a rain forest!), everything is insanely green and covered with moss. The trees all seem to have that iconic dark, reddish-brown trunk that us easterners think of when we think of western tress (especially redwoods and sequoias). What's nice about the nature park is you get a slice of wilderness in a very urban area. There were definitely a good number of people around, but not so much that you had to stop running to let people pass. I would say the whole half hour I saw about 10 people.

While in Beaverton I also had the opportunity to run the Nike Campus. Just as a warning, if you go on a weekend, most of the buildings are closed, but if you need to use the bathroom then if you run to the back of the campus at SW Walker Road and the main building there should be open to the public. Running around the campus is a great way of scoping it out; I was really impressed by the size and beauty of the campus and on the weekend there was no one around so I could pretty much run anywhere without hassle. There is a beautiful man-made lake with a gravel path around it, outdoor seating that overlook the lake, and cool bronze statues that overlook the lake as well. They have all kinds of neat things, like tennis courts and soccer fields, and there is a nice trail that goes around the outside of the campus and you can run over bridges that are elevated over the entrances, so you get to go high up which is kind of fun. Across the street from the front of the campus on SW Jenkins road is a woodsy 1.5 mile path, which I saw one distance warrior doing repeats on.
The gravel trail around the man-made lake at the Nike Campus

A statue at the Nike Campus by the lake

The running path across the street from the Nike Campus

Another great place to run at (though I didn't) is Hagg Lake, about 45 minutes from Portland. It is a massive man-made lake with beaches, boat launches, fishing, hiking and more. I feel like my photos don't do it justice at all. It was such a warm, sunny day and the lake was such a nice relief. It' really safe there too with not a lot of people, even on a Saturday, so you can go for a really hearty swim across the lake if you like. I could really see a great triathalon happening there. If you do go, its $6 for parking and I suggest parking at Boat Launch C, where there are beaches, picnic tables, boat rentals, and a snack stand. From there you can jog down the road and you'll see lots of trails into the forest. I really wish I had gone for a run, but I also loved chilling and swimming with my friends, so that was a good "cross training" day. 
Beach at Hagg Lake

If you are visiting Portland and want to scope out more running spots, I would definitely check out Arlington Heights, near the Oregon Zoo, which is much more accessible by public transport. I didn't have the chance to run there this time, but I've gone hiking there before and it's great-- and huge!

Please be sure to add your email to my email list to get more great running travel updates! Also, please consider giving to my fundraiser for UNICEF (read a great article on UNICEF here: ! I am running the NYC Marathon in order to raise $3,500 for this amazing, life-saving organization. Read more about my fundraiser here:

Please consider contributing at least $26.20, one dollar for every mile I run. If you do, you will receive a really cool t-shirt that is being designed by screen printer Made in Truth. If you have a business, we can add your logo to the back of the shirts for a donation of $200 or more! Feel free to contact me at KGrennan1 [at] gmail [dot] com.

Special thank you to Bob Ferguson, Christopher Mortweet, Elizabeth Norman, Maryliz Uihlein, and Beth Seickel for contributing to my fundraiser this week! You guys rock!

Monday, September 2, 2013

NYC Marathon 2013 for UNICEF!

I have some very exciting news to share! I have decided to run the NYC Marathon on November 3, 2013 with the UNICEF team! As a result, during the next two months I will be writing about interesting running locations around the US. In September I will be visiting Oregon, Texas, and Georgia and more locations to be announced at a later date! My travel blog will become a travel running blog!

I have teamed up with Albany-based Made in Truth Clothing to print t-shirts to the first 150 people who sign up to give at least $26.20 ($1 for each mile I'm running!). MiT will be designing a personalized logo and printing the shirts! More details to come.

Are you familiar with the work of UNICEF? The United Nations Children's Fund is a United Nations Programme headquartered in New York City, that provides long-term humanitarian and developmental assistance to children and mothers in developing countries. You might be familiar with the UNICEF collection boxes that children carry around during Halloween. Well, those collections go to assist millions of families worldwide.

Since 1970, the number of deaths for children under 5 years old has dropped from 17 million to 7 million in 2011, with every region in the world seeing marked decline. Those are amazing results, however at UNICEF they believe in zero, particularly in polio, measles, and maternal/neonatal tetanus. 1 child under 5 still dies every 5 seconds, and to UNICEF and their supporters that is a tragic number.

That's why I've teamed up with UNICEF. In just 2 months I will train to run 26.2 miles through all 5 boroughs of New York City. Besides pushing myself to get into shape, I'll be pushing to fundraise $3500 for UNICEF. To show all of my appreciation to my supporters, I will continue to look for great incentives! Right now the incentives are:
  • Give $5 or more and receive a personal thank you card from me after we've completed the NYC Marathon!
  • Give $26.20 and receive a great t-shirt! (More details to come on the t-shirts; expect shirts to ship in December of 2013)
  • Give any amount and receive access to track my run during the NYC Marathon to follow my progress and realize that each step we took together and brings us closer to a world of zero preventable child deaths in the world!
  • The highest donor will get a personal phone call or video chat from the NYC Marathon as a special thank you for their support!
  • The first two people to give to my fundraising page online will receive a free UNICEF t-shirt to be received immediately!
You can give directly on my fundraising page here: as well as through my blog ( on the right-hand column.

You are my teammates and together we really can work to achieve this amazing goal. I cannot cross that finish line without you and you will be there with me the whole time! Stay updated via this blog on interesting runs around the States (as well as any marathon or UNICEF updates) by adding your email to our email list, on the right hand side of the blog. Thank you in advance for your support!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Bronx Botanical Gardens

I recently headed to the Bronx Botanical Gardens to check out the Orchid Show, which was held from March 2-April 22, 2013. The orchids are found in the greenhouse, which covers a variety of climates (such as desert and rain forest). The greenhouse is always a highlight of the Botanical Gardens, but during the Orchid Show the entire house is alive with the most breathtaking orchid displays.

In the theater below the library they had really lovely music shows from the "world of orchids." The day I was there they happened to have a traditional Brazilian group performing. It a really nice touch, though a bit far from the actual greenhouse. Another time I was at the Botanical Garden I saw a concert at the same theater performing traditional Chinese music. I like this nice touch-- gardens and flowers stimulate the eyes and nose, but the touch of music help to stimulate the ears! Also, in a way, the variety of plants from around the globe help you to learn about the ecology of foreign countries; therefore, this touch of foreign music makes a lot of sense.

During some evenings they had Orchid Evenings where you could get a cocktail, listen to music, and enjoy the flowers. I didn't get to do this, but I wish I had! The American Museum of Natural history has something similar once a month or so, where they have a DJ come to the Museum and perform (more details here). I love this concept of museums and exhibits doing new activities to bring new life and excitement into the field, which usually is associated with old people, academics, and little kids and definitley not associated with fun parties and young people.

Here are some photos I took at the show:

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Best Job in the World: Chief Funster

Just wanted to let everyone know that I have applied for the Best Job in the World! It is a worldwide contest hosted by Tourism Australia. This is actually the second time Tourism Australia is hosting the event. Back in 2009, the event was hosted for the first time ever to promote tourism to the Great Barrier Reef. Brit Ben Southall won and his video isn't the highest quality, but it is definitely the most fun:

Ben actually did a really awesome job. So awesome, in fact, that Tourism Australia kept him on after his contract to be a "Tourism Ambassador" and he traveled all over Australia to promote the amazing travel opportunities there.

Funny thing is, I'm actually (sort of) connected to the 2009 Best Job in the World. In the fall of 2009, I took an internship in Paris with a small price comparison website Let's Buy It. They held a contest called the Second Best Job in the World, which would actually be the best job if you are a city slicker and hate the outdoors (especially since the Australian Best Job was on a remote island and you were expected to be outdoors all of the time!). The Second Best Job had one grand prize winner travel to 7 cities around the world in one month to test out the shopping waters and blog about it. You can check out the website here:

So, now Australia has round two. But this time it's event bigger and better: not one, but SIX job opportunities. The jobs are: Chief Funster, Outback Adventurer, Park Ranger, Wildlife Caretaker, Lifestyle Photographer, and Taste Master. While I know I am wayyyy more than qualified for Taste Master (this blog is evidence to the fact that I literally eat my way through cities), I decided to apply for Chief Funster. There isn't much in the job description, but I got the gist of it. A Chief Funster is actually an event blogger in Sydney; you will be expected to blog, tweet, and post about the VIP shows, concerts, and festivals that Tourism Australia sends you to. And since I already have experience with the other blog I co-own (Sensible Reason) in covering shows and festivals as well as artist relations, I figured Chief Funster would be a good fit:

So applicants had to submit a 30 second video by yesterday and on April 24, 2013 we will be notified of the top 25 applicants for each job. Just so you know, 40,000 people from around the globe applied! Whew! I have no clue how they plan to sort through that many videos and narrow it down to 25 in about 2 weeks. Definitely glad that is not a part of my job description-- haha!

If you like my video and have a Twitter account, please consider tweeting: @Tourismaus: Pick @kristengrennan #NYsChiefFunster for Sydney's #ChiefFunster #BestJobs

I will definitely keep you posted! I don't really think I'll win, but the contest is so fun! And the "job" is pretty epic as well!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

East Coast Florida!

I recently headed to the East Coast of Florida for spring break and thought I would share with you the secret spots I visited. And you know how much I LOVE food, so they are naturally surrounding food.

If you would like to read about my music adventure in Miami, click here to read my post on Sensible Reason!

After spending a few days in Miami for Ultra Music Festival, I headed up to Jupiter, FL to relax. What I love about Jupiter is it's very residential, the beach is right near by, and my wonderful grandmother lives there (Don't be fool-- she jumped out of a plane for her 70th birthday and recently did a TRIATHLON! Amazing!!!). Anyway, Jupiter is about 30 minutes north of West Palm Beach, which has plenty of bars to scope out, so if you're looking to have some fun it's not so far away. However, I love that I get to have my down time in Jupiter. The surf is beautiful, there are loads of beach bums, and the beachy bars are my favorites.

Sunset at the Square Grouper

The Square Grouper in Jupiter is actually also called Castaways, after the marina that is attached to it. It's a beautiful spot, overlooking the Jupiter Lighthouse and the Intercoastal. This is a great bar that it's rumored Jimmy Buffet loves and will randomly do a surprise show at. I have a lot of great memories at Square Grouper and I suppose the whole town does as well: it's not really a "secret" spot-- everyone knows it's there! However, I always go on a week night when the crowds are thin enough that you can sit at a table and watch the sunset. They also have pretty cheap beers (More Beer Mondays, anyone?) when there's a drink special, so definitely hit it up on those "off" nights. I think, though, what draws people in is the "tiki bar" feel and the spectacular view; it's definitely got that beach bum feel, so if you're on vacation this is a spot you'll be happy to stop at!

Speaking of memories at the Square Grouper...
Me with my amazing "pops" at the Square Grouper several years ago!

Across from the Square Grouper is another great place called Guanabanas. This is a bar and restaurant that has a more tropical rainforest feel: lush greenery all around, waterfalls, and bamboo-esq chairs and tables. There are dining tables for sitdown lunch and dinner, as well as bar stools and tables for happy hour appetizers and beers. Oh, and if you're lucky, you can grab on of the half dozen patio chairs on the dock overlooking the mangroves. The food was absolutely fabulous-- and half price because we went at happy hour! We had the Sanibel Steamers (great!), Floridian Fritters (local shrimp and crab served with sweet jalipeno mustard sauce-- my favorite dish!!!), Smoked Fish Dip (I found this to be a little fishy for my taste, but my friend Mia loved it), Spicy Shrimp Bites (with a bang bang sauce- yum!), and finally the Avocado Bacon Mango Salad. For the salad, I have to say, at first I was surprised that they served it with whole mango slices because it made it a little awkward visually, however it showed that the mango was utterly fresh, not canned-- major props on that! If you're thinking, "Wow! That's a lot for 2 girls to eat!" you would be right, but it was totally worth it!! I was really impressed with the food as well as the atmosphere!
On the dock at Guanabanas

Of course, it wouldn't be a visit to Jupiter without the trip to the beach. Sadly, it was freezing. But if you know Jupiter, then you know that there is no way that the surfers and kitesurfers would miss a day (even a Tuesday!). By there pier there were still sunbathers (they must have been crazy! It was in the low 70s!) and surfers galore, as well as one brave skimboarder. In the distance, further north along the beach, I could catch the kitesurfers (kitesurfing is beyond popular in Jupiter). So, without further ado...
The beach!

I miss it already! I know it's a short post, but it really felt like such a whirlwind! Hopefully this gets you excited for the summer!!! Sorry I haven't posted in ages! As a life update, I started a new job at Touro Law Center in Islip, New York at their Assistant Director of Digital Media and Marketing. I really love the atmosphere there: my coworkers really seem to be interested in the work I do and if I feel comfortable at the office and the field of social media is so dynamic and new that I feel challenged everyday. I'm so happy. Oh, and I got this fabulous new car for the commute:
It's ok to be jealous! Haha! I'm so happy with my Ford Fusion 2013 in Ginger Ale with the technology package, I never need to date again or worry about having kids-- this car has it all! With voice command, I tell it what to do and it always listens! And with Sirius radio, I sometimes never want to get out of my car (seriously, NPR has me hooked!). It also keeps me out of trouble with a review camera. This is one of those moments when you can help but say: #Winning! :] Ok, whew, enough gloating...

Not to overwhelm you with writing, but if this post wasn't enough and you checked out my Ultra Music Festival Post (linked above), then check out this recent art gallery review I did on F.A.T. Gold, a fascinating modern art DIY exhibition in Manhattan that's completely free!