Playing hometown tourist with Juicy Fruit: A trip to Coney Island, NYC | Hello Pretty Bird! - A beauty and not-so-glamorous lifestyle blog

21 July, 2014

Playing hometown tourist with Juicy Fruit: A trip to Coney Island, NYC

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Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #JuicyFruitFunSide #CollectiveBias


Do you ever find it difficult to get away for a proper vacation? I feel like I'm often short on time or money (or both), which makes traveling hard. The only trip I'll be taking this summer is to visit some friends in Chicago—fun, but my old roommate's fold-out couch isn't exactly what I'd call a tourist destination. Rather than mope about it, I decided to take charge play and tourist in my own town: New York City! No shortage of places to visit here. I loaded up my purse with chewing gum and other essentials, and headed off to my first destination ....

#JuicyFruitFunSide #CollectiveBias Coney Island Juicy Fruit Strawberry Bubble Gum

Coney Island! For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, Coney Island is a beach/boardwalk and amusement park destination in Brooklyn. I haven't been to Coney Island in YEARS, which is ridiculous because it's only a 20 minute subway ride away from where I live. But better late than never, I always say!


Before heading out for my hometown adventure, I made sure I had all the essential "tourist supplies" in my bag:

#JuicyFruitFunSide #CollectiveBias Hometown tourist travel supplies Juicy Fruit

  • A towel or small blanket: Even if you aren't going to the beach, it's handy to have something to sit on if you have an impromptu picnic in the park!
  • A guidebook or map: I get lost on foot easily, even in places I've been before. Plus holding a giant unfolded map at the top of the subway stairs is a surefire way to look like a tourist in NYC. Of course in this day and age, there are probably phone apps that will do as good or better of a job, so those work too.
  • Chewing gum: Great for keeping your breath fresh and tastebuds happy on the go, or to help with popping ears. I brought two of the new Juicy Fruit gum varieties, Fruity Chews (in the plastic cup) and Bubble Gum. Classic big chunk bubble gum and an amusement park seem like a natural combo, don't you think?
  • Sunscreen: I turn into Lobster Woman after seconds in the sun, so a good sunscreen is crucial. I applied it before I left the house, but of course one needs to reapply often at the beach.
  • Sunglasses: I like being able to walk around without squinting to see everything. Go figure.
  • Bottled water: Whether you bring it from home or buy it at your destination, it's important to stay hydrated!
  • A camera: Snapping photos everywhere you go will make you feel like a real tourist in no time. Again, if you have a smartphone that will probably do the trick. You don't want to be carrying too much stuff with you, after all!

Time to head out!

Coney Island Stillwell Avenue Station

Coney Island is actually really easy to get to because a lot of subway lines stop nearby. Depending on where you're coming from in New York it can be kind of a long journey, but once you get off the train you're pretty much right there. Very convenient for weirdos like me who don't drive.


I decided to head for the beach first. It's been a while since I visited a beach, mostly due to that whole "Lobster Woman" thing I mentioned earlier. But since I had thoroughly slathered myself with SPF prior to leaving the house, I was feeling confident.


Look, proof that I actually went out in the sun! The beach was fairly uncrowded when I visited, probably because I went on a weekday afternoon. Like I said before I haven't been to Coney Island in a long time, but I've definitely seen the beach way more packed than this.

#JuicyFruitFunSide #CollectiveBias Coney Island Boardwalk

Next I headed down the boardwalk for some people-watching. Yeah, I know that sounds creepy, but whatever. People are interesting. There were a lot of groups of kids from day camps visiting the boardwalk and rides that day. How could I tell? Kids from camps usually wear matching T-shirts on camp outings. I'm not sure if that's a New York thing or an everywhere thing, but it's kind of funny to see a sea of matching little blue blobs running down the boardwalk screaming in the distance.


I love the look of this food stand. It feels so ... beachy.


Here you can see the Wonder Wheel (Ferris wheel) off in the distance. The Wonder Wheel opened all the way back in 1920—that's almost 100 years ago, guys! Blows my mind. It's also an official New York City landmark.


Many of the entrances to the various rides and amusements are decorated with this face. It kind of creeps me out, if I'm being honest.


Ah, good old Nathan's hot dogs. And what would hot dogs be without several gallon vats of ketchup and mustard to go with? Funny story: There was a little girl hanging off the side of this condiment cart singing to the mustard—you can see her hand off to the left. Things like "I love you mustard, ooh mustard." A sentiment I wholeheartedly agree with. By the way, have I mentioned that people-watching is the best?


You can't have an amusement park without a carousel. Carousels were always my favorite thing when I was a kid.


Confession time: I've never been on a proper roller coaster. They kind of scare me. It's fun to watch other people screaming their faces off on them though. This is The Thunderbolt, which I think opened just this year.


One last stop on my tourist excursion. Though maybe not as scenic as the others.

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All in all, I had a fun day! It's nice to do things out of the ordinary once in a while. And even if you don't live in a big city like New York, it's still worth playing hometown tourist once in a while, just for kicks. Here are a few activity suggestions that might work in smaller towns and cities:

  • Local history museum: Does your town have a local museum? Or perhaps a historical exhibit in the town hall or library? This is a great way to learn more about the area you live in.
  • Special interest attractions: I've noticed that some of the more "unusual" attractions and museums I've come across in my life have been in smaller towns. The Jell-O museum in LeRoy, NY comes to mind, and Google tells me that there's a place called the "International Banana Museum" in California—I need to go there.
  • Rural adventures: Visiting a farm sanctuary or going fruit picking are always fun!
  • Be one with nature: Visiting a park or beach you've never been to (or haven't been to in a while) is a great way to relax! Pack a picnic and make a day of it.

Whether you're going on a cross-country road trip or just to a local park, the new Juicy Fruit Fruity Chews and Bubble Gum (available in original and strawberry flavor) are easy to slip in your travel bag and bring along for the ride, plus they're sweet and fruity enough to be enjoyed by the whole family. I'm especially fond of the Fruity Chews because they're sugarfree and come in a convenient dispenser cup.

Juicy Fruit Fruity Chews Sweet Strawberry Original Bubble Gum #JuicyFruitFunSide #CollectiveBias

There are actually a couple of Juicy Fruit demos happening at Walmart stores across the country this week and next, so be sure to check them out if you're planning to get your "chew" on. The demos are happening at the following dates/times:

  • July 25-27: 11:00AM-4:00PM
  • August 1-3: 11:00AM-4:00PM on Friday/Saturday, 1:00PM-6:00PM Sunday

In the meantime, you can look for the new varieties in the candy aisle of your local Walmart or in special displays by the registers.

#JuicyFruitFunSide #CollectiveBias Juicy Fruit Fruity Chews Bubble Gum new display at Walmart

I know I said I liked the Fruity Chews variety best, but the Bubble Gum is really good for blowing bubbles. Just FYI.


POP!


Have you tried the new Juicy Fruit gum varieties? If you were to play "tourist" in your hometown, what would you do or go see?

22 comments:

  1. I've been on the rickety old Cyclone rollercoaster (in the first car; my heart leaped into my throat!) I'm going to the NY Aquarium soon...I NEED to see some walruses!
    Don't really chew gum anymore because it stirs up my stomach acid and makes me hungry :(

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  2. Even just talk of the Cyclone scares me, haha. Now that I think of it, I don't think I've ever been to the NY aquarium ... guess that should be on my list! I am a huge fan of walruses. Sea lions too. Arooooo.

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  3. Coney Island looks like lots of fun! I haven't played tourist in Detroit in ages. I really want to go to Greek Town and ride the People Mover and everything. I haven't been there since I was a kid.

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  4. orforforforforf!

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  5. Nice bubble at the end there! The international banana museum sounds great--maybe I'll make my boyfriend road-trip with me there, since at least it's in the same state. & rollercoasters are aweosme, but to each their own I suppose

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  6. I want to ride around on the People Mover. It's all elevated, right? Elevated trains are cool because you can actually see stuff.

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  7. If you go to the banana museum PLEASE take pictures. I am desperate to know what would be in a museum about bananas. As for the rollercoasters ... I'm mildly afraid of heights, but who knows, maybe I'll get over it someday!

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  8. Loved seeing your pics from Coney Island! That face is super creepy but that roller coaster looks fun! Have you ever been to six flags? There is one in MA and one in NJ. The superman ride is pretty scary but fun at the same time. I think they changed it to Bizzaro. Coney Island has a cool old school look to it. I grew up in a wicked small town in MA but Boston has a lot of great places. My favorites are Newbury St. which has a bunch of boutiques and outdoor restaurants and The North End which is like a "little Italy" with restaurants on both sides of the street.

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  9. I'm about to head up to Brooklyn next week to visit my new baby niece, and I'm trying to think of little excursions I can make while I'm there. Maybe I'll hit up Coney Island :)

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  10. The Six Flags in MA is close-ish to where I grew up so I feel like I used to see ads for it back before it was called Six Flags, My folks were NOT into stuff like that at all though, so I've never been. Some of the stuff in Coney Island *is* really old! Plus it's not separate from the city or anything - you can see trains and apartment buildings easily from where the rides are, haha. Anyway, Boston would be a great place to play tourist for a day! I loved going on school trips there when I was a kid.

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  11. Yay, have fun! When your niece is a few years older it would probably be a fun place to go with her. Lots of happy, screaming kids at the amusement park. :)

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  12. love the natural bubble gum flavor ♥

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  13. Awesome post. I really want to go to a carnival now. I used to be really scared of rollercoasters, but I love them now. Ahaha.

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  14. I loved visiting Coney Island a few years ago. My trip also included a Nathan's hot dog, people-watching on the boardwalk, and gawking at the amusement park. And you're not alone - I've never been on a proper roller coaster either!
    It's a neat idea to explore your hometown. I realize there are a lot of things I haven't seen or done in Vancouver, and I've lived here my whole life. :P

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  15. David @ SpicedblogJuly 22, 2014 at 1:24 PM

    Wow! What an awesome post. I've never visited Coney Island, but now I think I need to put it on the to-do list. And now I'm off to find some of that new Juicy Fruit! :-) #client

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  16. Thanks! I wish I'd brought some cotton candy back with me as a souvenir. :P

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  17. Sounds like a perfect Coney Island day! The people-watching can be quite interesting there. It really attracts all sorts of folks.

    I think it's like that for most people ... I grew up in a smaller city and I certainly never got around to seeing all of the local "attractions" when I still lived there! It's fun to go off the beaten path once in a while though.

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  18. Thanks David! Coney Island is definitely worth a visit if you ever find yourself in the area in the summertime. :)

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  19. Coney Island seems like so much fun! And the story about the little girl sounds like the cutest thing ever.

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  20. Oh man, I was laughing about that little girl for hours afterwards. I actually got her in the picture but cropped it out for privacy reasons - I'm glad her hand is there at least to remind me of the mustard song. :)

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  21. I didn't know Juicy Fruit has bubble gum! I've been missing out!!!!! I've never visited Coney Island but would love too! And even better, have you as my tour guide!

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