Catamaran Cruising the Caribbean

Ready to dive in?

Join us over the next few days as we explore the British Virgin Islands.

Day three and we are taking in the BVI both above and below the waves…

CONTINUE READING >> 

Follow all of our adventure with us on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

Ready to dive in? Join us over the next few days as we explore the British Virgin Islands.

Today we contrast the gorgeous, remote beauty of uninhabited Sandy Cay with the bustle of the recovering town of Cane Garden Bay.


 

Jost van Dyke has gone from Pirate hideaway to party hotspot, either way it’s a beautiful place to hang out.

On the third day… let there be rock formations and fishes…

… and a rainbow to end the day!


On our second day we are ready to check out what’s up under the sea.

We made it!

The Atlantic hurricane season is drawing to a close and, as rough as it was for much of the Southeastern United States, (here’s where to donate to help) thank goodness the islands of the Caribbean that were decimated last year didn’t sustain another blow.

The one – two punch of Irma and Maria left Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, St. Martin, and many other tropical paradises in shambles. Worse yet, these islands rely almost exclusively on tourist dollars as the engine for their economies.

Needless to say, those dollars dried up in the destruction left by the storms.

With this in mind we are thrilled that Dream Yacht Charter, the world’s largest charter company, has offered us the opportunity to head down and report on the progress as things get back to normal.

Their founder, Loïc Bonnet, said: “When you do business in the Caribbean, you need to respect Mother Nature as she is a great leveller, both literally and figuratively. Visitors are returning to the British Virgin Islands to support the rebirth of the region this season and it’s great to see the old favorites back in business, such as Willy T, Foxy’s and Soggy Dollar.”

We will climb aboard one of their custom catamarans, toss our flip flops and swim fins in our private cabin, and set sail from Marigot, the capital of the French side of St. Martin, for a week of sun, fun, and exploration.

The adventure includes everything we could ever need, and the intimate sized vessel can take us to ports of call that no cruise ship could ever enter.

As we make our way through the British Virgin Islands stops will include the amazing rock formations and pools at The Baths on Virgin Gorda, the notorious pirate hideout of Norman Island where rumor has it hidden booty remains stashed, and Jost Van Dyke for a swim and a sip at Foxy’s Bar, home of the famed New Year’s Eve celebration that has become world renowned.

On our return voyage we will relax on the uninhabited Sandy Cay, spend a day on Anegada’s white sand beaches and snorkeling some of the 18 miles of Horseshoe Reef, the largest barrier reef in the Caribbean and fourth largest on the planet, and then head back to St. Martin for a final evening in Grand-Case, the French food Mecca of the Caribbean.

If the Caribbean isn’t your cup of tea, Dream Yacht Charter also has over one thousand yachts sailing to more than fifty destinations around the globe, including the Bahamas, Asia, Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Americas, and the Mediterranean.

While we will be too busy having a blast, or maybe just relaxing on the beach to report every twist and turn of the journey in real time, but will certainly be updating as often as possible right here and across all of our social media channels.

So be sure to follow all of the adventure along with us and look for the hashtag #YourDYC on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

Then check back here over the next few weeks for in-depth coverage after the trip.

David & Veronica, GypsyNester.com

A big thank you to Dream Yacht Charter for providing this adventure, as always, all opinions are our own.

Crowdsourced College Care Package

A few years ago, after our youngest made his way off to college, we asked for ideas on creating the ultimate college care package.

Here’s what we came up with…

CONTINUE READING >> 

We feel wildly fortunate that our three offspring have managed to successfully navigate their ways through higher education and are all off into their careers.

But that doesn’t mean we don’t remember what it is like having them away in school.

A few years ago, after our youngest made his way off to college, we asked for ideas on creating the ultimate college care package. Here’s what we came up with:

The #1 Suggested Item – Homemade Baked Goods

Jan, a reader from our Facebook Page suggested: “How about brownies and ch.chip cookies – NOT out of a box! Nobody gets homemade any more it seems.”

Jane, also from Facebook added: “Homemade caramel fudge brownies…”

I am SO not a baker. And brownies? Don’t get me started. My only attempts have turned out runny goo or a black brick-like substance.

Jane had inadvertently suggested the impossible. But since we have the smartest and most clever readers, I dove right in.

Because we are purposefully homeless, I borrowed a kitchen (don’t ask) and started with Jan’s cookies.

Easy, really anyone can do cookies. I didn’t burn the bottom of a single one! The trick is to actually allow the oven to preheat.

For packing, I put four to a baggy, for busy college student grab-n-go ease.

That’s not cheese in the picture.

Believe it or not, the brownies were perfect! Well, until the caramel topping part.

I really thought I had followed the directions to the letter, but as usual, things went terribly awry.

The caramel wouldn’t spread without decimating the brownies underneath and then it cooled into a rock-hard mess. Cutting them into squares (squares being a very flexible term) took a Herculean effort that required sculpting tools.

I sent them on anyway with the hope The Boy doesn’t yank a filling out.

Things I couldn’t mess up by cooking them

Wendy from Twitter said: Anything local that they can’t buy where they are now. My kid is from Hawaii, live in NYC, so Crack Seed Shop care pkg is (love.)”

I really related to Wendy (after googling what crack seed was — it’s safe!); our kids all graduated high school
on a small tropical island. The conch shell horn is family tradition, The Piglet drove her dorm-mates crazy with her incessant blowing.

The Boy went to a college with a rich sports tradition, so the horn came in handy at football games.

Laurie from Facebook: Rolls of quarters for the laundromat were always a hit!”

Mary Anne exclaimed, Money!”

LOVE the rolls of quarters. Especially since we expected our kids to work for daily basics while in college, it’s a good way to give them a little money without ACTUALLY giving them money.

College is ridiculously expensive and we feel strongly that to appreciate it, they must pitch in. Though, like
Mary Anne, we sneak them checks for their birthdays and such.

Another no-money cheat is gift cards for groceries, restaurants, clothes, etc.

The Ultimate College Care Package

Another Twitter pal: “Lots of storage solutions if there is a dorm involved!”

Absolutely wonderful idea.

Dorms are tight spaces and anything you can find to create space would be most welcome.

The Boy received a laundry basket for this suggestion, as he was post-dorm.

No one is better at cracking an inappropriate, yet wickedly hysterical joke than The Boy’s “Uncle” Rich:

“How about a stack of nudey magazines and a 5 pack of Red Stripe?”

While The Boy may well enjoy those things, I found a magazine that I hoped he would find equally stimulating: Entrepreneur.
The lead story?

Young Millionaires, How They Did It.”

Also see: 9 Things We Wish We’d Known BEFORE We Sent Our Kid to College

Family friend, Devin, was equally as scary: Technology.
Some cool gadget he doesn’t have yet… but for entertainment, not education. (ipod, psp,video watch…) Or, the funny option: Magnums.”

Holy crap! Devin’s kids get video watches?

We got The Boy a movie (movies are technology, right?), he’s a pilot, so Airplane! is a cult classic among his friends.

I’m ignoring the condom suggestion. The Boy would kill me for blogging about his condom situation.

Another note on movies. We sent both The Piglet and Decibel “best of” video DVDs in their first care package. They included funny clips of them, family antics, theatrical productions, band & choir recitals,
etc. They LOVED it! Of course we have no footage of The Boy, so he didn’t get one.

Thank you notes. Make sure you include stamps. Get the most masculine ones you can find if your spawn is a male.

Doesn’t mean that they will actually be sent, but it ups the odds. I’m happier to get a thank you phone call myself, seems much more personal (and fun!) but am satisfied with an e-mail.

But, the older crowd considers those means of communication rude – my mother-in-law included. So my kids send real live old fashioned thank you notes (I think).

Microwave mac ‘n cheese / soup / ramen noodles. These just-add-water comfort foods are great for care packages, and college students put these way up on their favorites list.

They also work as a nice packing buffer for breakable things!

Other nice packing materials:

— local newspaper sections (homesick babies read these)
— small bags of chips (the ones with lots of air in them)
— and sanitary products (sounds strange, but these are EXPENSIVE and are appreciated).

More GREAT ideas from our brilliant readers:

Favorite snack foods

Lynn @MamaSays, says (from the comments below): A cookbook aimed at new cooks, some essential spices

Melissa suggests (from the comments below): Kites (for spring) and the little guns that shoot nerf-type balls. Stress relievers!

TSogge says (from the comments below): Couple pairs of new underwear!

More ideas from Your GypsyNesters:

The Boy uses his conch shell horn at a football game!

Toiletries: Shampoo, creams and potions, deodorant, contact lens solution, special soap, acne lotion, perfume — that kind of stuff. The Boy got toilet paper this time. He and his roommates can’t seem to keep it in stock. We sent it as a joke, but I’m sure it will be put to use.

Things for their computer: Print cartridges, computer paper, etc.

Pics from Home: Stick ’em in a frame if you are feeling fancy. Or not. They’ll love ’em either way.

Make sure you send enough food to share: College kids are ravenous wolves. No better way to make a new friend than to share a cookie or two.

Veronica, GypsyNester.com

More: 9 Things We Wish We’d Known BEFORE We Sent Our Kid to College

YOUR TURN: Any ideas to share? Let’s brainstorm and come up with ideas for our newly “empty” nested friends!

By Popular Demand – How We Became Travel Bloggers

We’ve never formally talked about being travel bloggers on our website. But we’re being asked about it more and more, so we thought we’d open a dialogue.

In truth, we’ve always felt like we kind of stumbled blindly into our recreated lives – and by no means consider ourselves experts (in travel or blogging).

And, seriously, we thought, who wants to hear us talk about what goes on behind the curtain?

When we hit the road … CONTINUE READING >>

Since this is one of the most common questions we get asked, here is a recap of our story:
We’ve never formally talked about being travel bloggers on our website. But we’re being asked about it more and more, so we thought we’d open a dialogue.

In truth, we’ve always felt like we kind of stumbled blindly into our recreated lives – and by no means consider ourselves experts (in travel or blogging).

And, seriously, we thought, who wants to hear us talk about what goes on behind the curtain?

How to Become a Travel Blogger - GypsyNester.com
In Australia

When we hit the road in 2008, we were vaguely aware that travel blogging even existed.

For the first year, we were simply out in the world, enjoying each other’s newly empty-nested company and writing about what we were discovering so family and friends could keep up with where we were.

Our early posts were all over the place – and inconsistent. We posted photos that we would never post now because we had no idea what we were doing.

How to be a travel blogger. GypsyNester.com
In Peru

But we kept on writing. And writing. And writing.

Eventually our posts became less cringe-worthy and had more focus.

We discovered what we liked and didn’t like about our travels, and how to relay it in a (hopefully) engaging manner. We researched how to make our photos suck less.

How to be a travel blogger. GypsyNester.com
In Newfoundland

But it wasn’t until we learned to be authentic, when we found our voice, that people started to like our little website.

Still, it was very strange to us when folks began emailing with questions about how to do what we are doing. It still seems strange. Stranger yet, we’ve been asked to wax poetically on the subject in public.

WATCH: We join Michael of Time Travel Turtle, Elia of Blame the Monkey, Malini of MissMalini.com and Chris from Tourism and Events Queensland for “How to be a World Famous Travel Blogger.” (Forgive us if we seem ditzy, it was 3:00 AM in our time zone!)

All travel blogs are different and we highly suggest that you watch this video before reading on. There is certainly more than one way of approaching travel blogging, as this diverse group shows. What follows is OUR story more in depth.

If that’s not enough information, here’s (more of) our two cents (yes, we admit our lives are a happy accident, but we really do have some hindsight insights):

We Wish We Could Tell You a Big Short Cut, but there is no Big Short Cut

Keeping in touch in Queensland, Australia
In Queensland

We had to do the work. Period.

We had to write, write, write. And we had to love it because it never stops.

Yes, we love it. We feel like we have the best life in the world – for us.

Because we also love to travel, we wrote about travel. A lot.

We Started out Small

Our RV, Bamf!
BAMF

Before we traveled, we wrote about travel.

Confused?

First, we wrote about things going on in our hometown. We home exchanged and wrote about that. Then we quit our jobs, sold our house and bought an RV for $3,000 that we named BAMF on eBay and wrote about that.

Then we drove all around the United States and wrote about that. Then we branched from the US borders and wrote about that.

And had a blast doing it. So we never stopped.

We Became Social

How to be a travel blogger - GypsyNester.com
On our amazing Asian cruise

There’s a reason it’s called social media.

We had gotten a few comments on our site and our oldest daughter, The Piglet, decided that we were on to something. She suggested that we start putting some effort into social media.

So we started a Facebook Page, thinking that was that. We’d post stuff and check it occasionally. It was fun. Then The Piglet dragged us kicking and screaming into Twitter.

So we sucked it up and tweeted our first tweet – we think it was something really fascinating like “Drinking coffee.” Then we wondered why no one tweeted us back (seriously).

Once we realized that social meant social, and we began being social, something wonderful began to happen – people started following us.

The Piglet kept at us – start creating videos, she said. There’s this new site called… So now we’re on YouTubeGoogle+,  PinterestGoodReadsInstagram and StumbleUpon – each with their own merits and each with varying success.

But posting videos of squirrels (yup, we did that) and tossing up photos of what we were eating for dinner was not cutting it, and we made mistakes and learned from them, but thankfully…

…Somewhere in There We Found Our Voice, We Became Authentic

The Maglev Train in Shanghai, China!
David now embraces his inner train nut!

We finally learned NOT to write what we thought people wanted to read.

This was THE big epiphany for us.

Taking a hard look at our posts, we realized they contained very little of ourselves in them. Even when we had been writing for our family and our friends, we were writing generic little pieces.

There was nothing in them that were uniquely us. Actually there was no uniqueness at all.

How to be a travel blogger - GypsyNester.com
Veronica is crazy for ALL animals – even this guy in Costa Rica!

So we decided to be ourselves, we started being authentic. At first it felt at like oversharing (still does sometimes) to talk about the real us, and perhaps it is oversharing.

But immediately writing became easier, even more fun, and began flowing out of us freely.

Now we discuss how destinations make us feel, let our innate goofiness fly, and write as we speak in real life. We admit our history nerdly-ness, we aren’t afraid to confess when we’re scared.

David now embraces his inner train nut, Veronica isn’t embarrassed that she happily squeals, bounces, and claps like a little kid whenever an animal comes into view.

We Have Support and Give Support

The GypsyNesters as Mae West and WC Fields
Dressed to the nines as Mae West & WC Fields at TBEX.

We are not alone.

As wonderful as we find our Nation of Two, we are part of a some very generous communities.

Like any well functioning community, we help and are helped.

We meet, learn, network, and have a blast at TBEX conventions – an excellent resource for travel bloggers and aspiring travel bloggers, highly recommended by us. We also read the TBEX blog.

As folks of “a certain age,” we also gather inspiration at AARP’s Life@50+ Expos (we’ve attended in Atlanta and Boston so far), and are members of the Facebook group Boomer Travel Bloggers (the criteria to join the latter are people who are travel bloggers with their own blogs and were born between 1946 and 1964 – but, if you don’t fit the demographic there are similar groups out there to join).

Once We Became Fairly Established, We are Diligent That…

…We Don’t Let Our Community Down

How to be a travel blogger - GypsyNester.com
On a boat in the Galapagos Islands

Now that we are a part of a community, we take our responsibilities seriously.

We are no longer an outpost in the desert.

We keep in mind that if we publish shoddy posts, our entire travel blogging community suffers.

From time to time we are offered sponsored trips by folks within the travel industry. In doing so, we have been able to bring stories to our GypsyNester community that we would not have been able to otherwise. And for this, we are very grateful.

When we do accept these trips, we are careful to act professionally, to work hard and do our research. Most nights on these adventures, we happily fall asleep while typing mid-sentence with our laptops on our laps.

For further reading on the subject of deportment and ethics while on sponsored trips, see this commentary from a travel blogger’s perspective and this one from an industry person’s perspective.

…We Remember to Give Back

How to become a travel blogger - GypsyNester.com
Delivering supplies to a little school in the Costa Rican jungle with Pack for a Purpose and Hotel Parador.

One of the most joyous parts of being a travel blogger is the ability to do good.

We have found ways that our little website can help others and inspire the GypsyNester community to find the joy in helping, too.

We have begun to Pack for a Purpose, and have a dedicated “how to help” section of our site. We can’t express the joy that has come into our lives by sharing ways to help others.

It’s highly recommended. 🙂

David & Veronica, GypsyNester.com

YOUR TURN: We’re sure we didn’t cover everything – so let your questions fly and we’ll do our best to help out! If you are a travel blogger and you have tips about subjects we covered (or didn’t cover) – please share!

Utterly Unexpected Palo Duro Canyon

Out of nowhere the Texas prairie drops one thousand feet down into the second largest canyon in the United States. If we hadn’t known what we were about to encounter our jaws would have hit the ground. They almost did anyway… CONTINUE READING >> 

We know everything’s big in Texas, and the Lone Star State is full of surprises… but this was one BIG surprise!

To make it even more surprising, we didn’t find it in Big Bend National Park, or even in that southwest part of the state where mountains are a part of the landscape.

No, the impressive Palo Duro Canyon is right smack in the middle of the plains of the panhandle. Out of nowhere the prairie drops one thousand feet down into the second largest canyon in the United States.

If we hadn’t known what we were about to encounter our jaws would have hit the ground. They almost did anyway.

Driving toward the rim we couldn’t help but think about what early settlers rolling across the smooth, open prairie in their covered wagons must have though when they hit the edge.  “This is too easy, nothin’ to it. We’ll be in Caiforn… Holy $#*%!!!! What in the Sam Hill is this?”

It was formed by the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River during the Pleistocene era, when melting Ice Age glaciers provided massive torrents of water. Thousands of years later, in 1934, this incredible geologic wonder became Palo Duro Canyon State Park.

Soon after that the CCC, Civilian Conservation Corps, built roads, trails, cabins, and campgrounds that still serve the park’s hundreds of thousands of visitors.

On our recent autumnal visit we found nary a drop of the water that carved through the layers of rock through the ages, but we did find amazing colors in the resulting formations. These are very reminiscent of the Grand Canyon.

Even in the fall it can still be pretty hot, so we spent most of our time driving the miles of roads that took us over the edge and down the slope of the canyon wall then in a loop along the floor.

We did stop for a couple short hikes, one led to a formation called the painted rocks, where fairly recent erosion has exposed a large cliff of red-orange stone.

The other took us to a stone that natives had used for grinding roots, mesquite beans, and various seeds for food.

Over the ages the process wore down obvious holes in the rock that allowed archeologists to make the discovery.

Soon after that we encountered a good sized flock of wild turkeys. With the heat and lack of water, these were the only wildlife we saw all day, but we guess that they would have made a fine meal too.

When we drove back up on the rim, we stopped in for a quick look through the visitor’s center and then another short walk that took us to an overlook with a panoramic view of the entire upper portion of the canyon.

From there we got a long distance view of the park’s most famous landmark, Lighthouse Rock, which made us feel okay about skipping the six mile trail that would have given us a close up view. With that, we felt that we had done a pretty good job seeing most of the sights.

Amarillo is only twenty five miles to the north, but we decided to stay in the closer town of Canyon. This smaller, and definitely quirkier, little enclave proved to be a good choice.

It is home to West Texas A&M University, and the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum on its campus, along with a couple interesting eating establishments that we can heartily give two thumbs up.

Feldman’s Wrong Way Diner was fun, with model trains circling the ceiling, but our favorite for both the food and its unique combination had to be Pepito’s Mexican Restaurante & Auto Sales.

We have a strict rule to never stop in Texas without getting our fill of Tex-Mex. However, we can’t say that we’ve ever considered getting our burritos and Buicks in the same place, but we can declare that at least the food was fantastic. No word on the wheels

On our way back to the main road in Amarillo the following morning, we made a quick pit stop at the RV Museum. The collection is on display at Jack Sisemore Traveland, which is the oldest RV dealership in the state.

Jack began collecting vintage trailers, campers, and motorhomes back in 1986, and has managed to gather quite an impressive array that embody the past century of Recreational Vehicle development.

After spending most of the last ten years in our three motorhomes, we couldn’t help but be intrigued, and were definitely not disappointed.

Right off the bat we were greeted by a 1915 Ford Kampkar. The body was actually made by Anheuser-Busch and fitted on to a Ford chassis, creating what was one of the first motorhomes, rustic as it may have been.

As we moved on, we encountered over a dozen other iconic models including the very first Airstream from 1935, a 1967 VW hippie bus, a 1976 FMC that was owned by Max Factor, and the 1948 Flxible bus featured in the Robin Williams movie RV.

One of the coolest things about this museum is that we were not only able to view these babies from the outside; the interiors are also open and impeccably restored. We could have spent all day, but had to get going.

As we pulled back out onto the highway it seemed more than fitting that we were traveling along the course of Route 66.

We certainly got our kicks.

David & Veronica, GypsyNester.com

A Slice of New York City: An Iconic Pizza Tour

Could there be a single food that is quintessentially New York City? 

If there is one food that screams New York from the top of the Empire State Building, it has got to be pizza.

How did this happen? We didn’t know, but we do now!…

CONTINUE READING >>

Who doesn’t love pizza? If there is anybody out there, we haven’t met them yet. With that in mind we present this story from our tour a few years ago.

Veronica loves Lombardi's pizza in New York City! GypsyNester.com

Could there be a single food that is quintessentially New York City?

Maybe a hot dog from the cart on the corner, or a sandwich piled high with pastrami from the deli defines The Big Apple.

No, if there is one food that screams New York from the top of the Empire State Building, it has got to be pizza.

How did this happen? We didn’t know, but we do now. The Crosstown Pizza Walking Tour took us right to the source. We got to spend an afternoon with an expert exploring the area where it all began, Little Italy and Greenwich Village.

Gatsby's in New York City, the home of the original Lombardi's Pizza

We met Cedric (and yes, he was entertaining), our tour guide/pizza aficionado extraordinaire, at the site of the first pizzeria ever opened outside of Italy, Lombardi’s.

The Spring Street location was a bakery, then the original Lombardi’s, and is now home to Gatsby’s, a neighborhood bar. While there are no longer hot, delicious pies flying out the door, the historic spot still occupies a big slice of pizza history.

We were issued pizza survival kits!
We were issued “pizza survival kits!”

Before we bit into the crust of the matter, Cedric gave us the lowdown on how pizza migrated from Naples to New York.

Back in 1904, a teenaged Gennaro Lombardi came across the Atlantic and found work as a baker.

The history of pizza in New York City can be traced to Genaro Lombardi
The history of pizza in New York City can be traced to
Genaro Lombardi,
click to enlarge

Since he was from Naples, he knew how to make his hometown favorite, pizza.

Soon he was baking a few in the big coal fired oven at the old bakery. The new taste sensation was a big hit, and became the bread and butter of the business.

But in 1970 the huge brick oven collapsed from the vibrations of the subway running underneath it and, without his signature pies, Lombardi’s soon went out of business.

Lombardi's Pizza in New York City

That triggered a search for a similar oven. After several years a giant, 1890s vintage, brick coal-fired oven just like the old bakery had was discovered only two blocks up Spring Street.

A new Lombardi’s was opened, with Gennaro’s grandson Gerry at the helm, and pizza lovers started flocking in just like the good old days.

The coal fired pizza oven at Lombardi's Pizza in New York City

To demonstrate the difference between a regular oven and these classic stone behemoths, Cedric whipped out his handy dandy laser thermometer. The big coal oven was burning at over 900 degrees–regular gas or electric runs about half that.

Lombardi's Pizza in New York City

The pies cook in a matter of minutes and have a chewy, fiery flavor that is unlike any pizza most Americans have ever experienced. While we ate, we discussed the reasons why.

High-protein wheat gives the crust a more chewy body, uncooked crushed tomatoes give the sauce a tangy zip, and soft, fresh mozzarella adds a mild sweetness.

Somehow these qualities have been long lost in most fast-food versions.

The wood-fired pizza oven at Forcella in New York City

After tasting the New World original, the pie-o-neer, we figuratively stepped back in time to give the old Neapolitan style pizza that started it all a try.

At Forcella, the pizzas are cooked in a smaller wood-fired oven, just like back in the old country.

Checking the temperature of the wood-fired pizza oven at Forcella in New York City

Cedric’s magic laser hit 1000 degrees inside their oven, which cooked the pizza in just two minutes, and made for a slightly crispier, smoky flavored crust.

The wood-fired pizza oven at Forcella in New York City

We have enjoyed many a pizza Margherita in Italy, and this was the closest we’ve experienced in the States.

Pizza at Forcella in New York City

As wonderful as those two notable offerings were, they did not embody the classic New York slice, a big greasy wedge of cheesy, saucy goodness that has to be folded to be eaten properly.

For that experience, we headed toward Joe’s in Greenwich Village.

The Village is packed with great pizza places, but its real claim to fame are the nightclubs that helped launch the careers of some of the world’s top musicians and comedians.

David grabs a slice at Joe's Pizza in New York City! GypsyNester.com

Since Joe’s has been around for almost forty years, some of those stars must have snagged a slice from time to time.

How could they resist?

This is the grab and go pizza that New York has become famous for, no fancy brick ovens, definitely no knives and forks–just a soft, chewy crust, some sauce, and lots and lots of cheese served on a paper plate.

Famous Joe's Pizza in New York City

It’s a style of pizza that caught on in the sixties and seventies, after the advent of a low-moisture type of mozzarella.

The old soft, high-moisture cheese had a short shelf life and was next to impossible to shred, but as the harder, drier variety became common, pizza ingredients were much easier to ship and store.

Hundreds of little walk-up, by-the-slice pizza joints sprung up throughout the city. These are the pies that became synonymous with The Big Apple, and Joe’s is widely considered to make one of the best.

Pizza from Famous Joe's Pizza in New York City

Cedric’s final performance as our guide was to pass around the giant slices that topped off our tour, and our bellies.

It was enough to quell our craving for John’s of Bleeker Street — just down the block — and home of our favorite pizza in New York.

Pizza at the park by Joe's Pizza in NYC

We asked Cedric what he thought about John’s and it is high on his list too. It is also often included in the tour as the stops rotate among a group of Manhattan’s best pizzerias.

We felt good that our top choice got the expert’s seal of approval, but mostly we felt full after taking some big bites out of the Big Apple’s favorite food.

David & Veronica, GypsyNester.com

Big thanks to Viator for providing this delicious adventure! As always, all opinions are our own. To see more about this tour, click here.

See all of our adventures in New York City!

YOUR TURN: Could there BE a better day than walking off pizza around New York City? Where would YOU start?