Into the wild – Hiking at its best

The Mohonk Mountain Lake and House

Hello folks!

No, this time we won’t talk about zip lining, kayaking or tubing. We went HIKING last Saturday and it was great ! Our two lovely tour guides took us to the Mohonk Preserve (, so whenever you have the possibility to go there, you should definitely do so because it is just amazing! There are 85 miles of winding trails to experience, ranging in difficulty from beginner to advanced.

We started ourThe IIB Team ! tour early in the morning, all freezing because autumn arrived so suddenly and none of us was prepared for it. After a short introduction gWhat a view!ame where everybody had to present himself with some “true or false” stories, we headed towards the mountains where the colors of the leaves had already turned into orange and red.

After having walked for almost two hours, we had a little lunch break with an incredible view on the Mohonk Lake and the Mohonk Mountain House. The historic resort is located just beyond the southern border of the Catskill Mountains, west of the Hudson River. Our guides explained us that the resort was built by the twin brothers Alfred and Albert Smiley in the late 19th century and since then, has been operated by descendants of the Smiley brothers. Several famous people such as John D. Rockefeller, Theodore Roosevelt andInto the wild Julia Grant have stayed at this beautiful place. And rumors say that Stephen King likes to come over to get some rest and inspiration here…

Incredible colors We continued our way up to the Mohonk Sky Top where we had an amazing view over the whole preserve! It was absolutely worth walking and climbing (yes indeed, climbing as well!) that long to finally appreciate this view.

This was by far the best trip I’ve done during my stay in New Paltz so it will be hard to top that experience… But let’s see! I will keep you posted!



Kayaking the Hudson River!

This Saturday we went kayaking on the Hudson River. How amazing does that sound? Almost all of us went and, even though I hadn’t gotten very much sleep the nights before (I went to NYC really early Friday morning to do some interviews and I had been studying late all week) I was very excited about the adventure we had ahead of us. Tired but happy we went to buy some picnic and then we headed to the activity center where we were picked up by a jolly and humorous bus driver.

The bus drive took approximately fifty minutes and I enjoyed the scenery that whizzed past us outside the window. When we arrived at the Hudson River we realized that the weather conditions were a bit rougher than usual. Our kayaking instructor informed us that they had decided to change the route due to heavy gusts of wind out on the river. We got some quick instructions and then we put on our life vests and we each grabbed a paddle. The sun shined encouraging and we were not too worried about the wind even though the waves were a bit unruly…

We paddled for about forty, sometimes though, but mostly great and enjoyable, minutes until we reached a lake or what looked like a big lagoon. It was surrounded by the most magnificent mountain face, which together with the willows contributed to an incredibly peaceful and beautiful view. We stayed there for almost an hour, just floating around, enjoying the sun and taking pictures. After that we returned – this time with the wind on our side, gently brining us forward. Our way back was a Sunday stroll in comparison to our first struggles and it went a lot faster!

When we got back we were starving to the point where we ran to get our bagels as soon as we sat foot on land. We ate all of our food in no time and when the bus arrived we were quite happy to find our seats and lean back. No need to say, I fell fast asleep on our way home, with Stephanie on my shoulder.

P.S. I would definitely recommend this trip to other students! It is a fun way to explore the areas surrounding New Paltz without spending all of your money!

Talk to you later!


My first visit to The World’s Most Famous Arena


One of the major reasons that I chose the IIB program is the chance to be in one of the most amazing event venue-cities in the world. And as a crazy New York Rangers-fan I would lie if I said I wasn’t biased towards Madison Square Garden. It’s not called “The World’s Most Famous Arena” for nothing as it has hosted some spectacular concerts and sporting events. Last week I unfortunately had to travel to JFK to visit customs for a new stamp in my passport and decided to do something good with the trip. I scheduled a tour of MSG.

9.30 in the morning I stood in the lobby among a bunch of typical tourists (including a group of guys from Sweden) excited for what was to come. I couldn’t believe the fact that I was actually here, where my precious Blueshirts spend so much time during the NHL-season. After a tour of the food court and “Defining Moments Exhibit” (where “The Great One” Wayne Gretzky had a case of his own) we got to go through a luxury suite into the arena space itself. During this day it was getting ready for night two of Kanye West’s show. The guide told us about the crazy fact that the reason we didn’t see any real stage was because he “floated” above the crowd. Talk about an innovative artist! It was magical to be here and picture that in just about a month the Rangers would hit the ice just below the temporary floor and the seats would be full with fans singing and shouting for their team.


We moved up to the bridge that is the highest point of the arena for spectators. The view was amazing! But now came the part I was most excited for. We went all the way down to the floor level because now it was time to see the locker rooms. We entered through the glass wall that separated the players from the fans at Delta Sky360 Club during the teams’ entry to the ice during games. We walked past the rack where the hockey sticks are placed during games and there it was: the Rangers locker room. Just a few feet from the New York Knicks/New York Liberty locker room. It was truly a dream come true to see the place where surely a lot of emotions, pep-talks and frustration has taken place. A noticeable attribute is the fact that the Rangers logo is covered up by a carpet. Why? Ice hockey players are extremely superstitious and would rather not see or talk about the logo – and definitely not step on it as it would be bad luck. Yes, it’s true just read about when Justin Bieber stepped on the Chicago Blackhawks logo and what the sporting world felt about it. It’s no joke!


That’s it for me this time, have a great week and never stop dreaming!

Push Your Limits!

What are “normaPicsArt_1446238979271l” people doing if they don’t have to work on a Saturday morning at 6:30am? Exactly, they sleep! Usually, I would do the same, but not last Saturday. For me, it was “boot camp time” on the Brooklyn Bridge – also known as one of New York’s toughest workouts.

Three years ago I saw a German TV documentary about the Brooklyn Bridge Boot Camp that has been founded by the German, Ariane Hundt. Since then, it was my dream to participate in one of her Brooklyn Bridge workouts and to enjoy the unforgettable backdrop, the New York skyline.

As we moved to New York two weeks ago I remembered the chance of getting a new running experience. Hence, I googled the Boot Camp website and I was hooked by Ariane Hundt’s statements:

Challenge yourself like never before! Define your abs,
slim your hips and thighs, lift your butt and burn about 800 calories!”

Spontaneously, I signed up for the Brooklyn Bridge workout at 8:00am last Saturday, what meant that I had to get up at 6:30am. I know, I am crazy; however, it was definitely worth it!20151024_080035

As I left the subway station “Brooklyn Bridge – City Hall” the panorama with the Brooklyn Bridge and the World Trade Center were super inspirational. At this time only a few tourists but many runners were enjoying the amazing views.

Meeting point was the ramp at the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge. We have been a group of 10 people. After a short introduction and warm up, the workout started directly towards the bridge. From that moment, there were no times for excuses anymore 😉

It was high-intensity-interval-training, consisting of running sessions and strength trainings. Usually, I used the bench for relaxing but during the boot camp the benches and the free spaces on the bridge got a new meaning for exercises such as step ups, pushups, tricep dips, lunges or wall sits. I had less time to breathe but a lot of fun. The tourists on the bridge were not disturbing, in fact rather the opposite, I was motivated by them to do my best.

After the workout I re20151024_090119alized that I don’t need any gym to get into shape. My body is all I need but using the own body weight can be the biggest challenge that needs to be overcome. However, for anyone who is interested in an intense workout, running, being outside should definitely sign up for this classes. Outside classes will also be offered in Upper East Side, Brooklyn and in the Central Park. So, check out the Bootcamp’s website for more information and deals (

If you are thinking about kicking your butt and burning mega body fat outside, one tip for you: leave all unnecessary things at home, except a water bottle, because there is no possibility to change clothes or lock valuables.

Get ready for the new experience and push your limits, you won’t regret it! I already signed up for a another workout session 😉

Two weeks left to the premiere for the New York Rangers

Ever since Peter Forsberg made the final goal for Sweden in the shot out during the Olympic final 1994 in Lillehammer I have loved hockey. By that time I was just a little kid and I was told that Peter Forsberg didn’t play in the Swedish hockey league but in a much better league, called NHL in North America. All the best players in the world are playing in NHL and many of them are actually Swedish, for example, the Sedin twins, Backstrom, Zetterberg and, maybe the biggest star of them all, Henrik Lundqvist. Lundqvist plays for Rangers and has got the nickname “The king of New York” after all his outstanding performances for the club. Wednesday the 7th is the official premiere in the NHL and guess who’s going to sit next to the TV and watch the game?! Later when we move to NYC I will make a dream come true and switch the TV against a real ticket and experience the best hockey in the world live. Just let me know if you guys want to join me!



This post is a “Pre-recorded Broadcast” ;-)… but enjoy it!!!

Yesterday was an ordinary day for me.
I was in New York with a friend of mine and my only concern was to find the right shoes at Macy’s rather than the right Jacket at Zara store….Then, something happened.
Rumors came from the street and I surprisingly found out that Roberta Vinci, a 33 years old unseeded Italian veteran, playing in her first Grand Slam semifinal, had defeated Serena Williams, considered by many the best female tennis player in History.
WOOOOW… Let me say it, a day to forget for the great Serena!… But that wasn’t the biggest News!
The second finalist who had to “fight for the crown” with Vinci, in the Grand Slam final, was another Italian girl, Flavia Pennetta.
Thus, to sum up: Two girls, not only from Italy but also from my beloved Puglia… One Grand Slam final… The US Open 2015… and no one (NO ONE) could have ever imagined it!
How could I miss the opportunity to watch this entirely Italian, Live and Epic One-Time Event???
Well, I couldn’t! So, my day became a race against time to find this one GOLD ticket for the final match… And after a while I found it!!!! 😉
The next day, I went back to NYC, took the train from Penn Station to the Arthur Ashe Stadium which is incredible by the way, and reached my craved destination.
I was by myself but too excited to feel lonely!!!
People from all around the world were there to see the match and I felt the adrenaline running into my body as never before!
The game started and the few Italians that luckily were there didn’t know who to cheer for! So, everyone started cheering and whooping and hollering for both the Italian girls that actually knew each other since childhood… and it was amazing.
At the end, Flavia Pennetta won but that was a victory for Roberta Vinci as well because they will both be remembered as the two Italian girls who left America speechless!
When I thought it was enough for one day, another crazy thing happened. After winning the US Open 2015, Pennetta announced her retirement in front of the entire world…
… and I realized that, one day, THAT moment would have become an adventure worth telling to my grandchildren, great grandchildren and friends!

Hope you loved the story as I loved living it!!!
Hugs and Kisses.