28 Days of Awesome: Spring to Action

It’s hard to believe that Summer solstice is upon us. My blog 28 Days of Awesome: Find Your Local Adventure inspired a movement within myself. Though the initial blog was 28 unique things in 28 days I didn’t want to stop there. Why not try new things each season? Hell, I’m making it a blog series!

In order to make the most of 2017 I vowed to optimize each day as the seasons continue with small efforts to live life as an adventurous journey (not one we simple begrudgingly walk through).  Spoiler alert: it works! I feel happier and healthier.

Here are some new things I partook in (and highly recommend you do the same):

  • Eating at New Restaurants, Attending Yearly Events & Trying New Free Offers From A Variety Places:

The Cuban, Garden City, L.I.- Feel, and taste, like you’re in Little Havana. From Cuban cuisine to Latin music, this restaurant transports you on the vacation you’ve been dying to take.

Salinas, Meatpacking District, N.Y.C.- Bienvenido a España in this beautifully decorated restaurant next door to the Highline Hotel. In the true Spanish tapas style, plates are pequeña but a variety for sharing to get a taste of everything.

–  Ayhan’s Shish Kebab, Port Washington, L.I.- The original of the chain where I drank a pomegranate martini, making me feel like I was one of the Gods.

Left Coast Kitchen, Merrick, L.I.- I bow down to the person that created this Temple Burger. A spin on the classic bagel, lox & cream cheese deluxe, but replace the bagel with latkes and add some eggs. You read that right.

La Fondita, Amagansett, L.I.- Under the same ownership as restaurants Nick & Toni’s, Rowdy Hall and Townline BBQ, this off-the-road location looks understated but its large personality matches the enormous flavor.


Left- The Cuban / Upper right- Salinas / Bottom right- Left Coast Kitchen


–  Hampton Coffee Company, Hamptons, L.I.- I’ve never actually stopped at a brick & motor location for this coffee. Off route 27, it was an ideal pick me up.

Kobrick Coffee, Meatpacking, N.Y.C.- In an intimate and swanky, yet surprisingly casual location, that serves an Affogato worth salivating over!

Starbucks  , All Over- I came, I bought and I loved the newly released Toasted Coconut Cold Brew.

Douglas & James Ice Cream, Port Washington, L.I.- A quaint little parlor right on the water with a decor that makes you want to try it all!

– Carvel’s Free Cone Day, (once a year) All Over- I was the only adult on line, April 27th, but no way was I missing out! Mark your calendar for yours.

Taste of Tuckahoe, Southampton, L.I.- This annual benefit supports local schools and provides delicious tastes from dozens of local fare!

Southampton Publick House, Southampton, L.I.- In its new location, it retains the same welcoming vibe as its former.

  • As a self-proclaimed ‘fitness foodie’ my motto is that if you want to eat hard you have to work out even harder. As evident of the above, I had some hard work ahead of me. Listed below are some of the unique ways to keep fit:

East End Row, Southampton, L.I.- I’d never taken a row class, let alone been on a row machine, but this got me hooked. See my full review from The Independent Newspaper.

Glow Golf, Garden City, L.I.- It can still get chilly in Spring, so some outdoor activities remain on the back burner (like mini golf). But mention indoor, GLOW IN THE DARK mini golf and no questions needed.

Aerial Silks, Riverhead, L.I.-  I took an aerial fitness class in a hammock (what they use for aerial yoga) and became hooked. A slightly different, and more difficult, experience was the dual hanging silks! Full review here.

Volleyball, All Over- I may be an athlete by nature but I had never played competitive beach volleyball before now. Turns out, while I certainly need practice, I’m not half bad (for a real review ask my teammates).

Box + Flow, N.Y.C.- This summer Ruschmeyer’s kicked off #WavesandWellness. Based in NYC, Box+Flow made their east end debut with  a class combining boxing & yoga. This was the best way, potentially the only way, to eagerly get me on a yoga mat. Read my review in full.

Cryotherapy, Water Mill, L.I. & N.Y.C.- Can you stand to be in a tube filled with nitrogen gas at -250 degrees Fahrenheit? How about for 3 minutes? For the health benefits it’s entirely worth it. Read more.


Top Left- East End Row / Bottom Left- Cool Zone Cryo / Top Right- Box + Flow / Bottom Right- Aerial Silks
  • Explored some new places: Some things I just stumbled into, or decided to experience for myself.  In omnia paratus!

Private Artists Exhibit, East Hampton, L.I.- Guild Hall held its 79th Artists Member Exhibition and I was fortunate to attend the initial private showing.

Baron’s Cove, Sag Harbor, L.I.- Sitting under heat lamps on the outside deck, sipping my last whiskey cocktail of the season, it was a pleasant reminder that winter had passed and Spring was blossoming.

– Long Beach Strip, Sag Harbor, L.I.- A different Long Beach, known as Foster Memorial. A beautiful strip on the bay side.

– Democrat Point, Robert Moses Beach, L.I.- I hit a few first with this one, including watching kitesurfers!

Long Island Welcome Center, Dix Hills, L.I.- You’ve likely seen the obnoxious, blue I <3 New York advertisement signs on every major parkway. I stopped by the newly developed L.I. Welcome Center (eastbound on the L.I.E.). With all local produce it supports the entire community and gives back to those who make this island great.

Montauk Salt Cave, Huntington, L.I.- I couldn’t make it to Montauk but I did get to experience my first salt cave at their secondary location in Huntington. Inhale salty benefits, exhale stress.


Top Left- Artist Exhibit, Guild Hall / Bottom Left- L.I. Welcome Center / Right- Montauk West Salt Cave


  • On a more personal note, I made a conscious effort to further my career: I’ve worked hard on building my ‘Nikki on the Daily‘ brand for years. Recently, by consciously making an effort to push harder, it seems things are finally falling into place. But I wouldn’t be where I am without some help.

– Started a Fitness Column, East End, L.I.- I’ve been writing for The Independent Newspaper for several years. Currently I am perma-freelance reporting on several topics. A topic I aimed to be fluent in is fitness & have earned the weekly IndyFit column.

Modeled LIVE on TV, N.Y.C.- When I was in the studio audience of The Wendy Williams Show, back during my 28 Days of Awesome, I was asked to potentially return for a model segment. Thanks to help of style expert, Chassie Post, I modeled in a live TV segment called Look for Less.

– Hampton’s Modeling Debut, Southampton, L.I.- The wonderful Gabby Wild and Southampton Adoption Center invited me to walk in their ethical fashion show/benefit, Catwalk for Canines. I took a step in the right direction in the gorgeous fashion lines of Marita Wrong and Pelush, with a pup up for adoption.

Bethpage Polo at the Park,L.I.- This season, as a manager to the VIP tent on the polo grounds, I am both humbled and proud to be able to contribute to a business community I strongly believe in. Come join us on Sundays.


Top- Live TV, Wendy Williams / Bottom Left- Bethpage Polo / Bottom Middle- Catwalk for Canines, Pelush / Bottom Right- IndyFit Column


From my adventuress to yours, may every moment be more awesome than the last!

Make sure you check back for 28 days of Summer.


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To Go or Not To Go: Traveling Solo

For years I didn’t understand the concept of solo traveling. Who do you talk to? Who do you share the experience with? Gasp, who takes the pictures?

With family on the outskirts of San Francisco, I decided to give independent travel a chance for three days. I arrived at Hotel Zetta on a Friday morning before check-in, leaving me no choice but to hit the ground running.


Chorizo Scrambled.


A rumbling belly begged to be fed. Conveniently enough, right across from the hotel is a spot called Moz Café  where I ordered the chorizo scrambled.

Next stop, the famous cable cars. I purchased a 3-Day Visitor Passport for $31.00 from the San Francisco MTA booth on the corner of Powell & Market Street. A single ride is priced at $7.00 but there’s about a 50/50 chance someone will check your ticket. With three lines, the most popular being Powell-Mason Line, it’s helpful to have a route in mind before you board.


Ran into some Starbucks ladies who opted for a friendly photo

After a 45 minute wait in line I hopped to the front of the cable car and took the local roller coaster down to Fisherman’s Wharf. Lined with outdoor markets of fish on the rocks (ice) I knew I was really in the city on the bay. I heard echoing Sea Lions in the distance and made my way over to meet Pier 39’s most popular residents.

Got legs?

I spent about an hour here, embarrassingly to admit, just laughing at the mammals pushing each other over for the ideal nap position before exploring the markets.

The next day I vowed to get lost. Lacing up my sneakers, I waved hi to locals, acting as though I knew where I were the whole time. Bubble tea? Huge trinket stores with foreign writing? I landed in China Town. Upon the turn of a corner and I was standing inside a local book store. Apparently, San Francisco is filled with quaint shops for the articulately inclined.

I stumbled into an American eatery, Mo’s, for a late lunch at the counter (solo travelers don’t take up booths we sit front and center). Within minutes an elderly man who knew the staff seemingly well sat next to me. I was alone, he was alone, it seemed appropriate to strike up a conversation. Norm* was a widow and a local patron of Mo’s for a few decades. A world traveler from his days in the army, Norms best advice to an independent soul on the move,

“Surround yourself with people who make you happy. The rest is wasted time.”

Some Street Art in China Town

Countless steps and various detours later I finally made it to Coit Tower.

Later that night I was invited by the hotel manager to attend a private party in Hotel Zetta’s  Playroom. Apparently the Treasure Island Music Festival was going on and I happened to be staying at the ‘it’ spot for late night schmoozing. I took some additional time in the famed stairwell where local artists painted the wall, #TakeTheStairs.



Walking the numerous hilltops of San Francisco the day prior prepared me for my greatest adventure yet, biking over the Golden Gate Bridge.

San Francisco Makes A Beautiful Stairmaster
The View From My Hike

The next day I picked up my rental ride from Blazing Saddles  and began to peddle the eight mile journey towards Sausalito. Despite my perceived exhaustion curiosity took over. Parking my bike, I began hiking upward through the streets searching for the perfect view of San Francisco which landed me near the highway overpass and I knew it was time to turn around.

Before missing the last ferry back I rewarded myself with Kona Mocha Chip ice cream from Lapperts (the sole reason I workout, dessert). The boat ride was scenic, passing by Alcatraz Island and giving a great view of Ghirardelli Square.


A Brit, a businessman, and I began talking, all three of us on our own. Soaking in the panoramic view of the city we exchanged tips and discussed our unique experiences. In that moment I realized that I never actually felt alone during my trip.

On The Ferry

By not being engaged in a conversation with a companion I spoke to everyone around me. Each person I encountered became part of my experience, moments I was solely responsible for, good or bad. By living in each moment I spent less time looking through a lens, worrying. And when I did want a picture taken I asked a stranger and hoped they wouldn’t run away with my phone.


We spend so much of our lives relying on the opinions of others. Compromising what we want to do to satisfy someone else. And there is nothing wrong with that, but sometimes disconnection is the only way we can reconnect with ourselves.

Dare To Leave Your Comfort Zone- The Golden Gate Bridge

Why travel solo? Because it allows us to be selfish and ignore the noise. Dare to find yourself again.