How to Hit on a woman (and succeed)

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I absolutely have to share this story because it was just that hilarious.

Me and my roommate went out for a few drinks the other night and were not the least bit interested in talking to anyone besides each other. We had a beer at one bar before deciding that we were hungry and had to find somewhere to eat (in walking distance) before we might die of starvation.  I recalled this nice bar/restaurant with great burgers & fries—which conveniently was right around the corner. So, off we went.

We ordered loaded burgers and spicy fries as soon as we got there. 😍 AHH, just what we needed. After we ate, this young man in a hippie-type hat approached two guys directly across from us asking if we were all together. They quickly said no, (I think they were actually with each other.) Anyway, we overhear part of the conversation introducing himself as Ryan, Co-owner of the bar/restaurant. He walks away and then comes up to us a few minutes later and says something along these lines “Hi, I’m the Ryan co-owner with that man over there in the glasses.” We each shake his hand and glance over at the man in the glasses and smile. He then says “How was everything, is there anything you wanted to try on the menu?” I pipe up immediately because if you’ve read my blog, you understand my true love is actually food. So I’m like “Mac & cheese!” He’s like ok they’re a little busy, but it will be right out. He gives us two drink chips & walks away.

We talk amongst ourselves about how that was really nice of the owner to come up to everyone and make small talk and give out drink chips. What a great way to keep people coming back we both nodded. I would never think twice about it, but my intuitive roommate saw a few holes in the story. He only talked to the guys across from us, asking if we were together—no one else. Not to judge a book by the cover, but he didn’t look like an owner of a bar/restaurant. Then, out of nowhere a cook from the back comes out and says “Sorry about that guy creeping on you.” Before we could reply, he set down two drink chips in front of us and quickly walked away. Wait, what creep? The owner? Then it was like a light bulb went off and it hit us. We laughed SO hard in disbelief of the lengths “Ryan” was willing to go to just to come up and talk to us. We enjoyed the Mac & cheese and free drinks.

Of course I went up to the other “owner” in the glasses while he was paying his tab and said “Wait, if you’re the owner then why are you paying your bill.” He laughed and said he WAS the owner and that his friend Ryan really liked us. Pretty sure he was not the owner either, but at this point who really knows?!

In conclusion, I think most girls admire boldness and/or ballsy-ness. He left his number, but we left it on the bar. Whoops. Any man who is willing to buy me food gets a gold star. LOL. For another funny, yet true story you have to read this one: Cab Ride With the Man-bun.

 

 

Xoxo

 

-E

10 Ways to Make 2018 Your Best Year Yet

1. Take care of your health (physical & mental) — Believe it or not, they actually go hand in hand.

View More: http://raeoflifephotography.pass.us/erin-hartle-blog

Benefits of exercising include, but are not limited to:

♥  Improved self-confidence

♥  Improved overall Well-being

♥  Sexual satisfaction

♥  Improved Intellectual functioning

Exercise has even been reported to decrease the following:

Alcohol abuse

Headaches

♥ Hostility

Mild to Moderate Depression  1

2. Keep A Clean Living Space

The importance of a clean house is not to be underestimated. Having a messy area can actually be distracting and prevent you from getting other things done.

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3. Cook More Real Food

There is a certain amount of self-satisfaction knowing you took the time out of your busy day to make your own meal.  With all of the overly processed foods out there, knowing exactly what ingredients you’re putting in your body is a comforting feeling. After all, you only get one body—unless you’re Kim K. of course.

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4. Make personal connections with people

This world can be an increasingly lonely place, but making personal connections with others makes life that much better. Social media can make you feel distant or loved, depending upon how you use it. Reach out to people and engage in real conversations. You’d be surprised how much you may have in common with a stranger. Now — Don’t forget meeting people in person is just as important. I’m available to chat on various social media platforms, don’t be afraid to chat me up on Instagram or Facebook.

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5. Fear-less, Do More

I’m not saying go out and live a fearless life, but fear can be crippling. How about actually living—try something new & step out of your comfort zone. Remember that one time I went camping in the Adirondacks on an island?! No? No worries, catch up here..  Adirondack Island Getaway. How about the time that I snuck up on a roof top and stood on the edge? Read that epic story here.

 

 

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6. Focus On Your Strengths

God knows we have plenty of weaknesses, but how about we try focusing on our strengths for once. For those looking for an enticing read in the new year, I highly recommend you add this to the list: Now, Discover Your Strengths: How to develop your talents and those of the people you manage. For example, I have a way of connecting with people through writing; however,  I’m not so good at math. The concept is as simple as this; focus on connecting with people through writing and create momentum for yourself. So—blogging, here I come.

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7. Be a Woman Who Empowers Other Women

It’s a common, almost disgustingly popular trend to comment negatively regarding other women’s bodies. We are almost all guilty of this. Just because everyone else does it and just because they think it’s okay, doesn’t mean it actually is. Challenge popular opinions. You can find a prime example of women empowering other women in my post titled Every Body Is Beautiful and read about how I took the pledge.

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8. Surround Yourself With Likeminded People

We are most at home when we are surrounded by others whom we are most comfortable around. Finding  people that have the same mindset or outlook on life as you do are where you are bound to shine the most. One diamond is shiny, but how about 100,000 diamonds?  🙂 Now that is real shine.

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9. Attract What You Expect, Reflect What You Desire

This is for all my single peeps as well as people in relationships. Say it a couple times aloud to grasp the full meaning. No doubles standard here, just love. Keep in mind, this also applies to friendships.

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10. Be UNpopular

Last, but certainly not least. My blog title. You don’t have to go with the crowd. Stand up for what you believe and be Unpopular. We need more of you.

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erinhartle@yahoo.com

 

XOXO,

-E

 

 

 

References

  1. Taylor, C B, J F Sallis, and R Needle. “The Relation of Physical Activity and Exercise to Mental Health.” Public Health Reports 100.2 (1985): 195–202. Print.

Travel to New Orleans

New Orleans aka NOLA is not your ordinary American city. It’s just, well.. New Orleans. Between the French quarter, Mardi Gras, voodoo talk, crawdaddy’s, and jazz music, there is a lot you need to know about New Orleans.

Donkey rides and gold painted “statue” men. Just another day in NOLA.

»BEIGNETS [ben-yeyz] — A must While in NOLA & where to get them 👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼

So my sister and I actually lived there when we were younger. I remember getting beignets (french donuts) in the French quarter and watching the factory pump them out. I don’t recall a lot from when I was younger, but I could never forget those yummy dough balls of happiness topped with powdered sugar. Maybe you have heard of the famous Café Du Monde French for “cafe of the world” or “the people’s cafe.” It is the place to go get beignets while in New Orleans. This café with a long line down the road is famous for a reason annd I just realized I could talk about beignets all day long.

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Another place I was particularly impressed with is Café beignet. It is less busy than Café Du Monde, and in my opinion, just as good. Another great thing about this little café, is that they serve up more than just beignets. They also serve breakfast, lunch & most importantly (after beignets of course), cocktails. My sister and I enjoyed our food outdoors. I highly suggest you don’t leave without trying both cafe’s.

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“Beignet, done that,” Mimosas anyone?

»FOOD FAVES

  • Po boy — Traditional New Orleans Sandwich.
  • Beignets — French donut.
  • Pralines — Hard to explain, but essentially it’s a sugar & pecan fudge-like treat. It is not exactly like fudge though because if you try a really good praline, they are actually not chewy. Don’t buy the “famous” Aunt Sally’s brand. They are not good at all. Spend the extra money & buy fresh at a souvenir shop downtown. You’re welcome in advance.
  • Banana’s Foster — A few ingredients… bananas, ice cream, & rum. Why yes “I’ll have 32 to-go please.”
  • Gumbo — Stew with Seafood, chicken, okra, or sausage.
  • Crawdaddy’s aka Crawfish — Not for me, but so popular there.
  • Jumbalaya — Usually a spicy sausage and rice dish.
  • King Cake — Famous during Mardi Gras. A delicious Danish pastry.

»WHERE TO STAY

  • In French Quarter (get your wallet out — it’s expensive, but probably worth it)
  • Anywhere near the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas (right near the Mississippi River — for stunning views)

— OR —

We stayed at Le Pavillon Hotel, which is only a few blocks from the French quarter. A decently cheap alternative to staying directly in the French Quarter. I would have probably liked being closer because you walk a lot as it is in New Orleans, but I really enjoyed my stay there. They had a PB & J hour at around 10pm every night where there were mini PB & J sammies served with hot cocoa. It is the little things. The rooms were nothing fancy by any means, but the hotel itself is stunning! The dining/bar experience was exquisite. Did I mention the rooftop pool?

»Fave New Orleans drank — Daiquiri from Big Easy Daiquiri’s. It’s a must.

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Helpful Tip: Do not get the extra shot. Not because you don’t want it, but because it is now no longer the perfect consistency of a slushy. It’s watery. 

»TO DO«

Do A Guided Tour:

There is no shortage of tours in New Orleans. I’m talking historic tours, ghost tours, drinking ghost tours, swamp tours, cemetary tours, walking drinking tours, riding drinking tours, donkey tours, food tours, boat tours, sober tours. LOL.

Since this was a sister-bonding trip, we did a walking-drinking-ghost tour. It was pretty awesome. We went to one of the oldest bars around, Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop located on the famous Bourbon St. — serving up drinks since the 1700’s. Trip advisor is honestly the best for looking at all of the types of tours before traveling there because you can read reviews and prices, etc. To check out the types of tours click here.

Go to a Festival:

Just like there are no shortages of tours, the same can be said for NOLA festivals.

My sister and I went to the Bayou Boogaloo —  3 day music & arts festival in late May. Get there by trolly. Includes: several stages with different kinds of music. TIP: Bring sunscreen because even though it is in May, it is boiling hot and they charge an ungodly amount of money for sunscreen. Also, bring a floaty!

Explore:

Don’t forget to just walk around and listen to the smooth jazz on the side of the street! One of the best things about New Orleans — music and art is everywhere.

Audubon Aquarium:

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Highly recommend. Cool experience and probably the best aquarium I have been to thus far. There is an option to package together the zoo, insectarium, and aquarium for a decent price, but I didn’t want to see insects. So the aquarium it was.

Walk along the Mississippi River right on the strip by the aquarium — the views are absolutely breath taking. There is art and music in every single corner.

In summary — New Orleans is amazing and you should go. Hope this was helpful 🙂 Looking for another cool place to vacay? Try visiting Old Montréal.

xo,

-E

Every Body Is Beautiful

Café at 407

A café with a cause.

MaryEllen created Ophelia’s Place — a nonprofit organization that helps individuals struggling with disordered eating, eating disorders and body dissatisfaction. They offer support services, treatment programs, education and community for anyone struggling. Some of Ophelia’s Place is funded by this amazing little café on Tulip St. in Liverpool, NY. Café at 407 is a coffee shop created for the sole purpose of funding this treatment center. The café supports Ophelia’s Place with the belief that EVERY BODY IS BEAUTIFUL. 

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Circles of Change is an outreach movement that was created by Ophelia’s Place to change the culture and conversation around health, beauty and body image. Its goal is to help people reach their full potential and ultimately CHANGE diet culture and skewed standards of beauty, with the end goal of putting an end to eating disorders, disordered eating and body dissatisfaction.

I love the mission of Circles of Change and while blogging at Café at 407, I found some inspiration.

I gave $15 today to help someone struggling — I gave someone hope.

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Buy this shirt

Want to get involved? Click here to give back OR give to the cause by purchasing a shirt with a message of empowerment for you or someone you love + become a part of something bigger while supporting families and communities impacted by eating disorder, disordered eating and body dissatisfaction.

For another way you can get involved, become a Warrior for Change. After much thought and consideration, I took the first step to become a Warrior by taking the pledge.  

👉🏼Take the pledge with me 👈🏼

I choose to:

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I choose to accept every body

I am a warrior for change

You can also get involved with different “circles creating change.” You can become a Movement Warrior, Wellness Warrior, Community Warrior, Parenting Warrior or Media Warrior. Whatever your interest, there is an empowering community circle you can join to find tips and tricks to change the conversation and culture within those interest circles.

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Additional information on Ophelia’s Place:

  • Ophelia’s Place was established in 2002
  • It is a national leader in redefining beauty & health
  • 100% of the profits from Circles of Change products (like the “Be Brave” shirt above) goes directly to supporting the cause, Ophelia’s Place.
  • Every coffee and baked good at Café at 407 supports the movement and the cause
  • Even employees tips go directly toward supporting the cause

Not only are they behind a great cause, but the desserts are handmade every day and phenomenal! The menu is also worth mentioning — serving up local coffee and tea, paninis, grain bowls, salads, smoothies and more. They try to source all of their food locally as much as possible. One of the absolute best of Liverpool, NY! If nothing else, just stop by and enjoy a cup of with a side of coffee cake; they would love to have you!

Something new every day, YUM.

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XOXO

 

-E

Glamping

Glamping: In a nutshell, it’s glamorous or luxurious camping. Instead of sleeping on the ground, you get to sleep on an actual bed, with fluffy pillows and a cozy comforter. You have access to water, rest rooms, showers, and maybe even Wi-Fi with a continental breakfast. Though some believe it defeats the purpose of camping, I disagree for the simple fact that it’s not camping — it’s GLAMPING. The whole purpose is to enjoy the outdoors more comfortably. It is especially great for people who don’t have the skills to be out in the wilderness with nothing more than a tent and a lantern.

*This is a Sponsored post for Seneca Sol Glamping, but all opinions are my own.

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I just had my first experience glamping right here in NY. Perfectly placed in the middle of the Seneca wine trail, you will find Seneca Sol Glamping. With over 30 wineries to choose from, there is plenty to do! 7 minutes from Watkins Glen (home to the famous Watkins Glen gorge trail), and Only a few minutes from Grist Iron Brewing Company where you will find delicious beer and a chill environment to grab food.

The check- in desk/lounge area is located in a tent, holy CUTENESS!

 

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The cherry tent is a homemade safari tent equipped with a little stand up closet with hangers, a desk, 3 lanterns, a queen size bed, a decorative chair, a bench, a chest, AND a back patio with table and chairs.

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You know you are glamping when you can charge your phone with a lantern.

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There is a beautiful bath house located a short distance from the camp with fresh water as well as individual showers and toilets. Towels, washcloths, shampoos and conditioners are all provided for you.

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On site, you will find a 10 – 15 minute nature trail. SO incredibly gorgeous in the fall!

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You had me at COFFEE BAR.

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Other perks:

  • Includes free breakfast.
  • Each night around 7:30 pm a communal campfire is lit for glampers. Firewood is supplied.
  • Free Parking
  • Free cancellation within 48 hours
  • You can choose to stay in a Teepee
  • Free Wi-Fi

Although they are officially closed for the season, they will reopen in May 2018! To book your stay next season or for more information, check out Seneca Sol and all they have to offer. To find out which wineries are located on the Seneca wine trail click here.

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Need cute glamping gear? Get this teepee vibes shirt at Reelnomadic. You’re welcome.  🙂

 

-E

 

Ins & Outs of Old Montréal

A city full of never-ending festivals, old school architecture, and French charm. ❤️ With so much to do, it’s hard to get bored. Here is a list that scratches the surface of what to do and how to get around Old Montréal. When planning a trip to Montréal in the summer time, I would suggest booking a hotel in Old Montréal.

OLD MONTREAL THINGS TO DO:

1. Segway Tour—Old Port—French: Vieux Port

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Honestly one of the coolest things I’ve done. A silly and unique experience including a one hour tour along the old port of Montréal on these bad boys. It was well worth the money. You get a 15 minute training session which is easy peasy, I promise. Want to know how to get around in style for around $60/ person? Schedule your segway tour here.

If you look in the background to the left you’ll see a white clock tower located at Clock Tower Beach. If you book the old port Segway tour, you will go right by it. Although there is no swimming at this sand strip in the city, it’s still definitely something you don’t want to leave without seeing. Way behind us under the bridge, you will find the only Six Flags in Canada! Add that to your to-do list while in Montréal.

2. Notre-Dame Basilica of Montréal

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Stunning church inside and out. A must-see while roaming the streets of Old Montréal. This church is so photogenic! Am I right?! Rich in history and beauty, what’s not to love? Located in the heart of Old Montréal, making for an easy walk to nearby food afterward. For food advice read: The Best Food in Montréal.

3. The Montréal Observation Wheel

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Although it wasn’t open for business when I visited, it is now officially open! For rates and details, click here.

  • 360 degree panorama view
  • Air-conditioned/ heated.
  • Open year-round
  • Anti-UV tempered glass panes

4. Scena at Old Port

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Right at the Old Port sign, you will find this bar/restaurant. Includes:  large outdoor patio  equipped with umbrellas and an outdoor bar. This cutesy bar also comes with wine and a view of the water. In the summer it is a chill bar/restaurant.

Not only is this a super cool spot to relax in the summer and grab a drink, but it’s also an event venue. Hold your conference, corporate event, or even wedding there in the beautiful Old port of Montréal! Definitely a unique venue for a wedding! Want more info? Here you will find what you are looking for.

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The best part of Old Montréal is walking and exploring and all the city has to offer. The cobblestone streets, the views from rooftops, the unlimited places to eat and drink, the zip lining, the old port, and so so much more. Every bar, shop, and restaurant are decorated to perfection making it extremely difficult to choose where to go! We actually walked in and out of so many places, simply to scope them out. Old Montréal is the best part of Montréal. One I will be revisiting and booking a hotel in very soon.

5. Mount Royal Park

Not exactly Old Montréal, but it is certainly blog-worthy. A Beautiful park over-looking the city with views just as amazing at night as they are during the day. In the winter months you can cross-country ski, snow shoe, ice skate, tube, etc. In the warmer part of the year you can picnic, walk, guided tour, hike the 3 peaks, bike, etc. For details and to book your scooter tour of the park, click here.

HOW TO GET AROUND:

Metro – (subway ) Place-d’Armes is where you want to get off to go to Old Montréal where everything is located. It is a longer walk than we desired, especially in the heat. There are scooter rentals and bike rentals all over the place which is convenient.

Uber – I love Uber because they know exactly where to pick you up. Not necessarily the cheapest way, but 100% the most convenient. No comparison. Download app, set up your credit card info, and get rides. Easy as 1, 2, 3.

Bus

Taxi

Ever been to New Orleans? You might want to put it on your list!

xo,

-E

Guide to Huntsville, Alabama

Fun Things to do:

Big Spring Park

 

This is a very well-kept park in the middle of the city. My mom took me here and we honestly had a blast! So there is a pretty large canal with a ton of fish in it! We fed the fishies for .25 cents. Before you leave Huntsville, you must see.

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If you follow the canal, you will run into a big staircase. There you will find The Cozy Cow, an ice cream parlor/restaurant that is just as cozy as it suggests. It has a nice little patio to enjoy your panini, burger, sandwich, or ice cream outside.

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If you head upstairs, you will find an Irish Pub named Keegan’s Public House with a partial outdoor  bar and a few patio tables as well. Great place to stop for a beer with a nice park view.

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At the top of the stairs, you can consider yourself downtown Huntsville! Tired from all the walking? I got you covered. Honest Coffee downtown is where you need to be. A snug little cafe with a garage door that opens up with plenty of outdoor seating. Met with baked goods and coffee with a welcoming atmosphere!

Tons of other great restaurants and bars close by, but my favorite thing we did next and it doesn’t include food (I know, surprising.)

Harrison Brother’s Hardware 

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110 year old register (that still works!)

Doesn’t sound like much, right? Well, this is not just any hardware store — it is actually the first of its kind (in Alabama).

It was founded in 1879 by two brothers named James and Daniel Harrison and it remained in the family until the illness of John Harrison in 1983. The Historic Huntsville Foundation purchased it from the Harrison family and has vowed to preserve it ever since.  From the original creaky wooden floors to original items still on the shelves, this is certainly one of the most unique historic sites I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing. Nowadays, Harrison Bros. Hardware is a souvenir shop of sorts run solely by passionate and knowledgable volunteers. They sell magnets, real cotton wreaths, pottery, knickknacks, and more. The lady at the counter took the time to explain the whole history all the while showing us old pictures of the Harrison brothers.

Botanical Gardens

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I would recommend visiting the Botanical Gardens only if you have kids. While it is very pretty, it is definitely more kid-oriented. Lots of kids activities and attractions, hay rides, kid art, etc. My favorite part was the butterfly habitat because I have never been to one.

Nothing Bundt Cakes

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Seriously clever name! If you have ever had a bundt cake, then you know exactly what they have to offer. They sell little bundtlets (mini bundt cakes) as well as regular sized bundt cakes. I bought two bundtlets — one funfetti, and one pecan praline. Both were super moist with just the right amount of frosting. I am actually really happy there is not one located near me because I would practically live there. They had a pumpkin spice to sample which was equally as good as the ones I purchased! They also do special occasion cakes which I think is awesome because it’s different from the usual birthday cake and we all know I am obsessed with unpopular ideas. Check my unpopular special occasion idea in a recent blog post: Just Donuts.

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Green Mountain Nature Trail

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You know you’re in Alabama when there is a chapel in the middle of the woods!

Green mountain nature walk is a 1.5 mile nature trail. So it’s a beautiful and easy trail to enjoy the outdoors away from all of the hustle and bustle. With a super nice and informative employee at the park entrance, it made this my second favorite thing to do in Huntsville. The best part? It’s free! I always love getting out of the city for a little while just to breathe in the fresh air. Another park with great reviews that I didn’t get a chance to explore is Monte Sano State Park. Let me know how it is!

Well y’all that about wraps it up for Huntsville, AL. What an amazingly clean city with plenty to do, and obviously filled with loads of southern charm! Good to know: They call Huntsville “rocket city” because it is home to the US Space and Rocket Center.

xoxo Follow my Instagram journey here.

 

-E