March 17, 2015

Like most New Yorkers, we’ve been dying to escape the horror that is the winter of 2015 (yes, I know you’ve had it worse, Boston). We haven’t been a non-family visit and/or friend’s wedding vacation…ever… so when our friend Tim mentioned that he was heading to California in February, we sprung for tickets and got to work planning a trip within our trip. We found this awesome Air Bnb called Sweet Rock Ranch nestled in the boulders overlooking Joshua Tree and spent a few days cooking, listening to records, hot tubbing, checking out the views and doing a bit of exploring in the park with a group of friends. I had never been to the desert before, so this was a pretty incredible introduction.

Almost immediately after we arrived, I grabbed my camera and started scaling the rocks in my skirt and inappropriate shoes. I think I am part goat.

Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard Yucca Valley Joshua Tree Green Cactus-15
Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard Yucca Valley Joshua Tree Green Pokey Cactus-15
Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard Yucca Valley Joshua Tree Many Piles of Rocks-15
Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard Yucca Valley Joshua Tree Sweet Rock Ranch View-15
Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard Yucca Valley Joshua Tree Purple Cactus-15
Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard Yucca Valley Joshua Tree Pokey Tree-15
Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard Yucca Valley Joshua Tree Pile of Rocks-15
Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard Yucca Valley Joshua Tree Pokey Cactus-15
Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard Yucca Valley Joshua Tree Golden Hour -15
Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard Yucca Valley Joshua Tree Animal Bone-15
Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard Yucca Valley Joshua Tree Brambles-15
Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard Yucca Valley Joshua Tree Scary Tree-15
Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard Yucca Valley Joshua Tree View-15
Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard Yucca Valley Joshua Tree View 2-15

Yes, we did got to Pappy & Harriet’s. Their bloody marys were delicious.

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December 4, 2014

A few weeks ago we got a surprise package in the mail from our friend Tim with a copy of Hiking the Road to Ruins by David Steinberg enclosed. Chris and I have been spending more and more time exploring on our weekends, so we were very excited to receive this unexpected guide to the kinds of weirdo places we love (Thanks Tim!) Since I had a venue walk through in Westchester on Sunday, we decided to take advantage of the trip and make it a half work/half adventure day. After my meeting, we ate in Scarsdale at the Candlelight Inn – hello best egg salad sandwich ever – before heading up a windy road to Tackamack County Park to explore the long-abandoned army trails. We got a little nervous as we got further and further up and realized “oh.. there’s actual snow here…” and glanced sheepishly at our beat up Converse and thin flannel. We’re not quite hikers yet, folks, still a ways to go…

Steinberg’s book has a very detailed written explanation of how to get to the tunnels, plus a tiny hand written map to help you get where you’re going. We had read an account of the area being a hotbed of evil/Satantic occurrences, so I definitely used this opportunity to misquote Blair Witch Project, one of my favorite “hiking” activities. The walk was fairly straight forward, as we wound up through the park, through a residential area, through a pine grove and finally hit a low wall that was the ceiling of the tunnels.

The army tunnels are the remains of what once was Camp Bluefields, a National Guard rifle range which closed in 1912. After the grounds were used by the YWCA and the ROTC, the area was eventually abandoned after World War II, where it’s sat and deteriorated ever since. With miles of available cement walls, layers of graffiti cover every available inch, as well as some of the trees surrounding, almost like a Tacheles in the woods.

Bored Vegetarian Abandoned Army Tunnels-1
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Bored Vegetarian Abandoned Army Tunnels-13

We didn’t bring headlamps along, so didn’t venture too far into the tunnels, but you can walk the stretch of the area without much daylight, if you dare. We’d like to go back in another season to explore the other side and bring more lighting to explore, but overall it was a cool place to explore and capture in photos. On to the next one…


August 25, 2014

Chris and I have been spendingmore weekends exploring the Hudson Valley over the last year. Highway 9 shoots up through Manhattan and winds along the river until slowly everything loud and crowded blurs and disappears behind us and all we see is lush green mountains. A few weeks ago we climbed Mt. Beacon in our best city slicker hiking gear (aka $10 shoes from Rainbow and skinny jeans) and took in the miles long views from the top. Last weekend we spent drove up to New Paltz and explored Lake Minnewaska. The city has its benefits but I’m sure wouldn’t mind trading it in to see this every day…

Hudson Valley Views Bethany Pickard Vegetarian Blog
Hudson Valley Bridge Bethany Pickard Vegetarian Blog
Hudson Valley Views Lake Minnewaska Bethany Pickard Vegetarian Blog
Hudson Valley Views Lake Minnewaska Mountain Bethany Pickard Vegetarian Blog

June 9, 2014

There comes a time in every girl’s life that she must witness one of her dearest friends, with whom she once frequently ate Trader Joe’s black bean soup paired with Vino Verde before late night dance sessions at Great Scott in Allston, MA, get married on an island in the Puget Sound. That time is less than three weeks away!

To celebrate my friend Laura’s upcoming nuptials, I joined a group of awesome ladies in the woods of Massachusetts in one of the oddest, most delightful of places, The RoundHouse . Though I took many photographs, there was no real way to capture the hidden treasures that we found in every inch of the house: A closet full of costumes; themed sleeping cubbies with dream journals; a hidden tunnel; locked doors with mysteries behind them; a kitchen cabinet full of different cheese graters. The curiosities were endless and kept us up late into the night, learning how to ride the unicycle and play the xylophone. It was three days of making a raucous for no reason and celebrating Laura’s last big hoorah before married life.

But outside of the uninhibited goofiness, it was the view, from high above the Connecticut River that really did it for me. Away from the constant grind of this city I live in, I found peace and quiet and it was wonderful.

The Bored Vegetarian Round House Views
The Bored Vegetarian Picnic Tables
The Bored Vegetarian Round House
The Bored Vegetarian Plants
The Bored Vegetarian Catwalk
The Bored Vegetarian Hole
The Bored Vegetarian Raccoon
The Bored Vegetarian Pantry
The Bored Vegetarian Stained Glass
The Bored Vegetarian Library
The Bored Vegetarian Donkey
The Bored Vegetarian Green View
The Bored Vegetarian Girls Walking

May 16, 2014

In February I bought an old Subaru to commute to a job I didn’t keep, but so far I’ve kept the car (and found a job I want to keep!) Though I never expected or wanted to own a car in New York, the bonus is the ability to getting to explore new places without renting a car or planning too far ahead.

Last weekend, Chris and I headed to City Island, a 1.5 mile island in the Bronx. The island has a decidedly New England coastal town feel minus the public beaches and Boston accents. The two-laned road there reminded me of taking the road out to Cape Cod in the summertime, as if everyone within 200 miles had decided that this was the weekend to go.

We drove down the main drag to see what restaurant options there were (hint: not veg) and ended up at Johnny’s Reef Restaurant at the other end. Policemen were strategically placed along the way to direct traffic for the various seafood shacks lining the street.

Johnny’s is set up similar to a food court, with food stations with various seafood options lining the wall and plenty of tables in the middle and on their giant patio overlooking the Long Island Sound. Chris was eager for some seafood so I resigned myself to a lunch of french fries and a soda, because I am the picture of healthy living.

After that we explored some weird antique stores, some abandoned ships and a graveyard overlooking the water. All in a productive Sunday!

City Island Roof The Bored Vegetarian
City Island Food The Bored Vegetarian
City Island Napkins The Bored Vegetarian
Johnny's Reef Restaurant The Bored Vegetarian
Lady Rage The Bored Vegetarian
Broken Boat The Bored Vegetarian
City Island Hidden House The Bored Vegetarian
City Island Trees
City Island Games

November 11, 2013
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A few years back, my friend Kasey introduced me to Jauntsetter, a website/newsletter of well-curated travel tips for New Yorkers. One of the gems that I discovered through JS is the Silver Sands Motel in Greenport, Long Island. I fell in love on my first trip there a few years back and keep returning to introduce it to more friends (and my mom!). Their cozy bay-side cabins are perfectly suspended in 70’s and 80’s decor and the owners are incredibly hospitable. Last weekend, a group of 11 of us drove up for the night and took over several cabins and had an awesome night cooking, drinking and playing some intense rounds of Celebrity. If you’re ever in need of a quick escape, this is the place to go.

Check out my Jauntsetter of the Week tips from 2011 here and here!


October 6, 2013
July 31, 2013
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I only get back to Washington about once a year to see my family and friends there. It’s always a jam-packed visit and this trip was no different, especially with my insistence on visiting La Push on the coast. We spent a week at La Push every summer growing up and they’re some of my favorite childhood memories. We spent the majority of our trips back then looking for forgotten fireworks and building forts out of the piles of driftwood on the beach. Grandpa Jack would take us out fishing in his boat during the afternoons and we’d spend the evenings by the fire roasting marshmallows.

Though I hadn’t been back in 17 years, not a lot has changed. The cabins are a bit nicer and without the graffitied loft ceilings and ember singed carpets, but the scent of moisture soaked, slightly rotting logs is the same. The rocky paths are are the same, and I still know the best places to find the star fish and sea anemones. I’m not sure there’s anywhere quite like it for me.

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June 13, 2013
November 29, 2012

LA and I have had somewhat of a contemptuous relationship since it stole away two of my closest friends a few months ago and have yet to return to them to Brooklyn, but as it was one of the cities I had yet to explore in my adulthood, it was time to go. The weather didn’t quite behave (those who say it never rains in California lied…) but we got to explore tons of neighborhoods and most importantly, eat a lot of delicious food. I came back feeling pretty inspired foodwise, which is one of the best things one can ask for.

Nickel Diner (Downtown) : Try the strawberry donut.
Little Dom’s (Griffith Park/Los Feliz) : Eggs Fungi Poached with Roasted Mushrooms, Grilled Bread, Fennel Pollen Hollandaise; Fried Potatoes
Cafe Gratitude (Venice, thanks for the recommendation, Nicole!) : Warning – their way of ordering (I AM ____________, to which the waitperson replies YOU ARE _________________) is a bit pretentious and off-putting, but it’s the most delicious vegan food I’ve ever had.
I AM VIVACIOUS: Live marinated Kale Chips with Hempseed Ranch
I AM HUMBLE: Indian Curried Lentils over Quinoa with Sauteed Seasonal Vegetable, Sweet Potato and Spinach, drizzled with Spicy Mint Chutney & Sweet Tamarind Sauce 
Huckleberry Bakery & Cafe (Santa Monica) : Quinoa, Butternut Squash, Rutiz Kale with Sunny-Side Up Eggs (pictured above); All of the baked goods (we had blueberry ciabatta and roasted fig flatbread)Jitlada (Hollywood) : Tom Kha Soup; Freshy Rolls; Native Fruit Green Curry with Coconut and Tofu
Wurstkuche (Downtown/Arts District) : Vegetarian Smoked Apple Sage (apples, yukon potatoes & rubbed sage)
The Pie Hole (Downtown/Arts District) : I forget which we had, but it was tasty!

Other highlights:The Varnish (in the back of Cole’s, Downtown) : Delicious cocktails
Cosmos (Little Tokyo, Downtown) : Karaoke with a 2 drink min., tiny stage and rules like “no jumping, no gum.” Point Dume : Beautiful state beach (pictured above) Disneyland : Weird, nostalgic feeling (and a Dole whip)(special thank you thank you to Brooke, Mads, Mei and Joel for showing me a good time) 
Where do I go next? I’d like to plan a trip abroad and at least one in the US for 2013… advice?

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