Biking and Wine Tasting with Outdoor Connections

I recently went on my first event with Outdoor Connections for a day of biking and wine tasting.  I had such a wonderful experience and couldn’t wait to write about it.  Anytime you try a new company, you know anything is possible.  Luckily, Outdoor Connections is well organized and ready to get city dwellers out of the concrete jungle to enjoy some fun adventures.

Once everyone had gathered near Port Authority, our group was divided into two vans.  A benefit of going with Outdoor Connections is that they provide a wide assortment of breakfast goodies for everyone.  The options included chilled juices and an assortment of fresh muffins and pastries.  What a great way to start the day.  Approximately 2 hours later, when we got to our starting point on the Delaware Canal Bike Path, all our bike rentals and helmets were ready for us.  It was time to start biking! Our organizer, Jim, made the trip both informational and fun.  He shared some history of the canal at a few of the stops and made sure everyone was comfortable with the pace and that no one was left behind.  Lunch is also provided with this trip which was another nice touch. 

Biking down the Delaware Canal is something I would definitely do again.  The canal path was flat and well groomed so I never felt overwhelmed and there is so much to see along the way.  We biked a total of 15 miles and then some of us did an additional 3 mile loop before it was time to drive to our next stop – Sand Castle Winery.  A well organized and thorough tasting (which included chocolate pairing for some of the wines) followed by some cheese to snack on and our day was almost done.  It was time to head back to NYC.

Outdoor Connections does a variety of trips and would be a great way to get out and enjoy the lovely fall weather.   You can also find out what they are up to at meetup.com by clicking here.  I look forward to joining them on another trip sometime soon.

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Happy New Year!

2010 was filled with adventure and activities and I am certain that there is much more on the way in 2011.  It has been very busy during the holiday season, so still to come are posts on my first international trip to Iceland with Random Events and a Pottery Making Class that took place towards the end of the year.  Coming up in 2011, I am already looking forward to learning how to make sushi and more skiing adventures in Vermont and New York. 

I wish you a very Happy New Year!  Let’s make sure we live it up in 2011!!!

Paintball Is a Blast!

Up until last weekend, the only gun I have ever fired was a water gun.  That all changed when I joined Urban Escapes on one of their Paintball and Beer Tasting day trips.  We met at 9am close to Port Authority and arrived at the NJ paintball park at around 11am.

We had been told to wear lots of layers for padding and the only items we were given were a face mask, a paint gun and 500 paintballs each.  Once our group was divided up into two teams, it was time for the first game (where the rules were set that if you got shot once then you were out).

In all, we played on three different terrains: a junk yard, a castle, and the forest (my favorite area was the junk yard).  During these games, each team would get a chance to start at different sides of the terrain and we discovered there were definite advantages to certain areas.  After the official games were over, it was time to finish off all of our paintballs by playing a wilder game.  In this last round, you were out when you called yourself out, so you could get shot as many times as you were able to stand it.  This is where I got a little frustrated because some trigger happy players shot me after I had already called myself out (and that’s when I got my worst battle wounds).

All in all though, paintball was intense at times but lots of fun.  Urban Escapes does a great job at planning the perfect day trip.  After we changed out of our paint covered clothes and into something more presentable, it was time for lunch.  Included in the cost of the trip, we enjoyed a salad bar, pizza, pasta and beverages.  To make things even better, as our welts made themselves more visible, we were able to help numb our pain at our next stop – beer tasting at Cricket Hill Brewery (also in NJ).

The beer selection at Cricket Hill was great and the brewmasters were really fun while being informative.  We were able to sample quite a bit of their selection, relax and mingle, and then make our purchases before it was time to get on the bus and head back to NYC.  If you ever wanted to try paintball, this is a great way to do it.  Urban Escapes has other dates scheduled for this popular trip, so definitely sign up before they sell out!

DiWine is Delightful

I had the pleasure of trying brunch at DiWine in Astoria this past weekend.  They recently began serving brunch on both Saturdays and Sundays starting at 11am.  The price fix brunch includes your choice of entree, a coffee and a cocktail for $13.  For an additional $6 you can get unlimited cocktails with your brunch.  There is a variety of entrees to choose from including eggs, paninis, salads and their fabulous brick oven pizzas.

My friend and I decided to split the Breakfast Pizza (eggs, tomatoes, mozzarella and house cured salmon) and the Capricossa Pizza (Pepperocini, mushrooms, eggs, and mozzarella).  Both were quite delicious and it was very enjoyable to go from one flavor to the other. We had also chosen the unlimited cocktails option and while I ordered my usual mimosa, my friend tried the Bellini.  I am tempted to get that cocktail the next time I go because you could see that these Bellinis were made with real peach puree. The wait staff did a great job of filling our drinks throughout our leisurely meal and we left feeling quite content since the portions were so filling – we even had some pizza to take home.  I look forward to going back for more visits to DiWine for their scrumptious brunch in the future.

DiWine also has an excellent dinner menu.  In addition to their brick oven pizzas, the focaccia bread appetizer is absolutely delicious and I am a big fan of their berry martini.  DiWine has an elegant, cozy setting with outside seating available during the nice weather.  It is definitely worth a visit whether is it for brunch or dinner.

DiWine is located at 41-15 31st Avenue, between 41st and 42nd Street in Astoria.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I am of the opinion that you don’t have to be Irish to enjoy celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. Today, everyone can be at least a little Irish! Whether you are out watching the parade, enjoying some fabulous Irish fare at your local pub or just wearing your best green attire, I hope everyone has a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day!

Ready for Some Football?!

Whether you are a big football fan or not, there is still plenty of fun to be had on Super Bowl Sunday. Even though NY didn’t make it to the game this year, I am still planning to watch and partake in the festivities. I always love how watching the Super Bowl gives people a reason to come together with the added bonus of indulging in many delicious snacks and beverages. Whether you are actually rooting for a team or just waiting for the commercials, I hope everyone has a fun day today!

Happy New Year!!!!!

Personally, I couldn’t be more excited that 2009 is here! I have great hopes for this year to be the best one yet! After trying so many adventures this past year, I am looking forward to having even more fun during 2009! There are already some exciting winter activities coming up in January that I am really looking forward to. I can’t wait!

I wish you all a very happy (and safe!) New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day! Happy 2009 everyone!!!