Blogs > Millennial Traveler

New and traditional ways of exploring the globe, and your own backyard.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Travel to Cuba

Travel to now much more possible than it was just a few years ago - or even a few decades ago - thanks to a recent policy change announcement by U.S. Pres. Obama.

I had actually started looking into what it would take to enter the country and it was such a hassle - even with my press credentials, which made it slightly easier. But now...I can finally check off #35 (Havana, Cuba) on this 100 Places To See Before You Die travel list.

And I can't wait.

Pop Up Ramen Noodles in Troy

A noodle business popped up in downtown Troy for the Victorian Stroll and it's back again tonight (Thursday, Dec. 18).

Tavern Noodle will offer a small but delicious menu starting at 5 pm. at their Broadway location, adjacent to the Juice Bar.

Jon and I went during the Stroll and it was a great, unique, diverse addition to the offerings of the event. I got the Miso Soup with Ramen and Jon got the Pork Soup with Ramen. He also got the pickled beats and I got an amazing thing that I now want every day called celery root buns - which were fluffy, soft, and had an addictive sauce.

While future Pop Up Noodle events may occur at the 217 Broadway site, the long-term plan is to open the location as Peck's Arcade in early January.

Lake Placid Winter 2015 Event Season Schedule

Below is a rundown of the events on Olympic Regional Development Authority's (ORDA) winter 2015 events’ calendar for your planning purposes. Dates and schedules are subject to change.

Jan 2-3, 2015 – New Year’s College Hockey Classic. Division III men’s ice hockey powers Hobart, Middlebury, Southern Maine and St. Michaels will square off at 4 and 7 p.m. both nights. The Classic opens with Hobart facing Southern Maine, followed by Middlebury skating against St. Michaels. On Jan. 3, St. Michaels and Southern Maine will face each other at 4 p.m. The 7 p.m. game pits Middlebury versus Hobart. All games will be played in the famed Herb Brooks Arena 1980 Rink. (Credential request form attached)

Jan. 29-31 – FIS Freestyle Skiing World Cup.  The world’s best freestyle skiers return to Lake Placid and Wilmington to compete in the FIS freestyle World Cup.  Action will take place at the Olympic Jumping Complex and Whiteface Mountain.  The jumping complex will host the men and women’s aerials competitions, where athletes twist and soar as high as 60 feet in the air before landing, while Whiteface will be the site of the moguls’ competitions. (Credential request form attached)

March 1 – Lake Placid Loppet and Kort Loppet.  Nordic skiers will converge on the cross-country ski trails at Mt. van Hoevenberg to compete in the 32nd Lake Placid Loppet. Inclement weather claimed last winter’s event.  Open to classical and freestyle skiers, the Loppet is a 50k race (31-miles) through the 1980 Olympic ski trails.  The vertical climb is just under 3,700 feet.

The 25k Kort Loppet, also open for classical and freestyle skiers, features a vertical climb of 1,850 feet.  The Lake Placid Loppet is part of the American Ski Marathon Series.
March 11-14 – NCAA Division I Ski Championships. The NCAA Division I Ski Championships return to Lake Placid for the first time in 32 years. Lake Placid, Wilmington, St. Lawrence University, the New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) and the New York Ski Educational Foundation (NYSEF) will join to play host to the event.

Whiteface Mountain played host to the event in 1980 and 1982 when the championship was only for men’s skiing.
Today the championships feature men and women’s cross country skiing, men and women’s slalom and giant slalom for both men and women.

March 20-21 – ECAC Men’s Hockey Championship Tournament. The ECAC Hockey championships for a second straight postseason. The winner of this tournament receives an automatic bid to play in the NCAA championship tournament.  Last season, Union skated away with the crown en route to the school’s first-ever national championship title. The ECAC Men’s Hockey championship tournament will be played on the famed Herb Brooks Arena 1980 Rink.

Other events this fall and winter include New Year’s Ski JumpDec. 29Stars on Ice Skating ShowDec. 30North American Cup Bobsled RacingJan. 12-18Eastern Synchronized Skating ChampionshipsJan. 22-2434th Annual Empire State Winter GamesFeb. 5-8Nor-Am Freestyle Skiing (Moguls & Aerials),Feb. 9-16Harlem Globetrotter Basketball World Tour, Feb. 16;FIS Cup Ski JumpingFeb. 17

For more information on ORDA’s Olympic venues and events,

-- ORDA --
Established in 1982, the New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) was created by the State of New York to manage the facilities used during the 1980 Olympic Winter Games at Lake Placid. ORDA operates Whiteface, Belleayre and Gore Mountain ski areas; the Olympic Sports Complex at Mt. Van Hoevenberg; the Olympic speedskating oval, Olympic jumping complex and Olympic arena. As host to international and national championships, the Authority has brought millions of athletes, spectator and participants to the region, resulting in significant economic development. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

UnPlug for Charity Week 3

This was a weird week for my "Unplug" quest since I actually used social media twice this week for work - once to message a person for a quote and then for Live Tweeting/Facebooking of Wednesday's casino decision in NYS.

What I have realized thus far is that I can survive without social media (and social media can survive without me), but it is nearly impossible to be a journalist without social media.

I've also made some other observations, as in past weeks:

1) I am noticing more flashbacks and that I'm having a better overall memory. This isn't saying much - my memory has always been bad - but I've been able to remember more without my print and digital calendars lately.

2) With that in mind, I had a flashback of when I was a kid and used to pretend I lost my voice to get attention. I'm starting to wonder if that's how people perceive this effort - as a further cry for attention. Though I am raising money for charity in the process. And, if you really think about it, most things on social media/online are for attention.

3) I don't miss obligatory weather posts. Ya know how whenever it snows, or rains a lot, or it's freezing or extremely warm, you *have* to write a hopefully-funny post about it? Well, I don't have to.

4) I miss posting proud moments.

5) Writing Christmas Cards is a tad harder without referring to Facebook for proper spellings.

6) Likewise, networking and friend-working is harder without my usual follow-up friend request after meeting someone.

7) It's kinda hard to go off and on and off and on social media. It's easier to do two weeks straight without social media than it is to only go on once per week.

Well, I really appreciate the support with this so far. Feel free to continue to check in here and donate to my two GoFundMe sites: and

Monday, December 15, 2014

Italian Cookie Making in Colonie with the International Center of the Capital Region

As I continue my social media sabbatical, I've been trying to do a few new-to-me things. This week, that included baking Italian cookies with my dad.

(my 70-year-old Sicilian dad making "wands")

As part of a $25 International Center of the Capital Region workshop, we learned how to make and got old recipes for five traditional Italian cookies that are particularly prevalent around the holidays. We made ricotta genettes, walnut balls, amaretti cookies, biscotti, and fried cookies called "wands".

(sadly, I didn't make these)

The class also included some Italian cooking/baking trivia and a couple of prizes.

We saw baking demonstrations, helped with the recipes, and all walked away with a lot of delicious cookies. On top of this, we met some fun people and I got to spend some quality time with my dad, who is 100 percent Sicilian.

I definitely recommend checking out the ICCR's programs.

Buon Natale!

UPDATE: Sydney, Australia Hostage Situation

The hostage situation that took place over about 16 hours, starting during the morning commute rush, appears to be over in Sydney, according to the Wall Street Journal and other news outlets.

A gunman had been holding hostages in a cafe. Police say three are dead, including the gunman, according to the AP and Fox News.

Friday, December 12, 2014

ICCR Looking for Local Japanese-Inspired Artwork for Upcoming International Celebration

Albany – The International Center of the Capital Region, in collaboration the Linda, WAMC’s Performing Arts Studio, will be holding an evening celebration on Thursday, April 23rdhighlighting the history, art, food and music of Japan as the first part of a four-part International Passport Celebration series. 

To add to the evening, ICCR is seeking local artists interested in displaying/exhibiting and possibly selling their Japanese-inspired (Japonism) artwork. Such mediums as wood-block prints, watercolors, landscapes, photography, sculptures, fabrics, clothing and jewelry would be ideal.

If interested in discussing further please email