Lower Avatar Grove

Lower Avatar Grove was our favorite of the two, it seemed greener and quieter. Avatar Grove can be visited all year long, we were here in early October. The trails can be steep but it consists mostly of boardwalk so it’s not that bad. Someone with bad knees won’t be so happy. I didn’t mention the roads in the Upper Avatar post. You will need a 4 wheel drive, the roads can be really bumpy and uneven. It would be best to get a vehicle with high clearance from the ground. Continue reading


Upper Avatar Grove

Avatar Grove is located around Port Renfew. It has Canada’s gnarlist tree and big red cedars. The trees are 500-1000 years in some areas. There are two portions to Avatar Grove: Upper and Lower. We chose the Upper Trail to explore this rainforest. Continue reading

Along the Way to Avatar

Our last day in Port Renfew was spent hiking Avatar Grove, a patch of forest saved by the Ancient Forest Alliance. I forgot the names of the areas we drove through, some of it is First Nations land. Everyday at the cottage I wondered what as across the water and finally got to check it out. Continue reading

Morris-Jumel Mansion

If you want to imagine rural NYC with rolling hills and vistas everywhere, go to the Morris-Jumel Mansion. It’s actually pretty hard to imagine the city in colonial times especially when you look around and it’s extremely developed but the land the mansion sits on is the same. It’s amazing being able to walk into a house that was built in 1765 (9 years before the American Revolution). Continue reading

Cold Spring, NY

Cold Spring is a town in Putnum County, NY . It’s a great getaway when you need a break from the humdrum of the city. The historic area is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and has many preserved buildings from the 19th century. Metro-North Railroad commuter service is about an hour and 10 minutes from Grand Central. Continue reading

The New Yorker Hotel Behind The Scenes

This Art Deco beauty opened on June 2, 1930, a popular style in the 1920s and 1930s. The hotel was built in the Garment District by developer Mack Kanner. It was designed by Sugarman and Berger and the original plan was 38 stories. When it was finished the hotel stood 43 stories, had 2500 rooms, and cost $22.5 million (original estimated construction cost was $8 million). Continue reading