We are sitting on a field of victory enjoying a few well-earned quotesPeregrin Took
I sat down the other night after returning from Farbo Co, a shop of general nerdery, and thought about how I could incorporate my love of all things nerdy into a travel blog. My boyfriend and I threw around ideas about writing posts of movie locations and places like that, but I wanted to take it a step further.
Then, a few nights later, I woke up with what I think is my best idea yet and one I hope you all will love. What if I wrote “fan fiction” about my favorite characters from movies, books, TV shows, video games, and more, but wrote about their travel in the first person?
Did they ever go to these places in “person”?. Most likely no, but HOLY CRAP the possibilities. I quickly went to see just how many other blogs were doing this because, let’s be honest, it’s hard to be original these days. I found nothing. Zilch. Nada. Zero.
So, I proudly bring you my first nerdy travel post with two of my favorite character from Lord of the Rings. Don’t worry, this won’t be every week, but it will be a recurring post with as many different characters as I can muster. Will it be perfect? No. Will I keep working at it to make it as fun and interesting as possible? Oh hell yes.
Merry & Pippin’s Travel Diary: Day 1 Flight to NYC
M: Pippin and I are headed to America! I’ve heard it has more food there in one state than there ever was in the entire Shire. Sounds like heaven. One of the other hobbits said the airline serves authentic American food. Can’t wait to try it. It’s time to board now! Here’s a quick selfie to show just how excited we are!
WHAT IS THIS CRAP? They call this meal actual food!? Is this what Americans think a potato is? What is this mystery blob they are pretending is meat? Did I make a mistake planning a trip here? I stole Pippin’s food since he immediately fell asleep as soon as the plane took off. It’s almost as bad as what the orcs gave us…almost.
At least the seats are spacious so I’ll be comfortable if I die from starvation before we even get there. Thank goodness we had breakfast, second breakfast, and elevenses before we got to the airport.
Made it to the Hampton Inn near Times Square. This is much more spacious than the inns we have in the Shire. Maybe they made it bigger so they could stockpile food for the feasts they must have. For some reason dinner doesn’t last past 9pm which should be a crime. Not to worry though, Pippin and I discovered the snacks and grabbed 3 of everything they offered. The concierge seemed surprised, but I’m guessing he was secretly impressed with our ingenuity.
Merry & Pippin’s Travel Diary: Day 2 Food Tours
M: I am furious. What type of inn is this? Continental breakfast my big hairy feet! We were kicked out of the breakfast because the kitchen complained they were running out of food and breakfast had only just begun. Other guests were similarly mad and I can only assume they wanted to eat as much as we were and were upset the inn failed miserably to prepare.
M: Pippin and I only took this much food each… twice. I’m not sure how this is considered ridiculous.
P: After we were kicked out, a friendly traveler told us about food tours throughout the city. We’ve booked one for every meal!
- Breakfast — We couldn’t choose so we chose to visit 4. Bo’s, Absolute, Bagelworks, and Ess-a-Bagel all had way more options than we had ever seen! Who know there were so many varieties and spreads. We got one of everything at each place.
- Second Breakfast — We wanted to see more of the city but were still feeling peckish after breakfast, so we booked the Champagne Brunch Food Tour. All that walking to get bagels left us feeling like we needed a pint as well. Apparently they don’t serve much alcohol first thing in the morning here (lame), so we settled for champagne, prosecco, and some tea to top off their buffet. The views from the boat were incredible and were made even better by our discovery that the drinks and food are unlimited. Challenge accepted. The other guests didn’t appreciate us taking the unlimited food and drink seriously. How rude.
- Elevenses — We’re heading on a food truck tour now. Not really sure what this is. I’m assuming it’s trucks stationed around the city filled to the brim with food that we can feast on at will. Update: Not exactly what I was picturing but we did get to try burgers, hot dogs, corn dogs, pizza, pita, stir fry, wraps, curry, fries (no idea why they don’t call them chips here), kebabs, ice cream, and deep fried oreos. Why isn’t every food deep fried? This should be required by law.
- Lunch — Greenwich Village tour here we go! This way a lovely walk to cap off this mornings’ food extravaganza! This felt more like home with the small, local establishments and tree-lined streets. Highly recommend the cannoli and meatball stops. Don’t tell the tour guide, but we disappeared for a bit to nip back into the shops for a second round of meatballs and a few cheeky takeaway boxes for snacks on the road.
- Afternoon Tea — I’ll admit going to a place called Hell’s Kitchen had me torn. On the one hand, it sounded a bit Mordor-ish with its name, but how bad can a place be with kitchen in the title? Update: Oh sweet baby Frodo I don’t think we can leave Hell’s Kitchen now that we’ve tried Cajun, Latin, and Middle Eastern food. Not a thing like Middle Earth food, but my god the spices and flavor! We got 10 empanadas to go for each of us. How have hobbits not discovered these yet??
- Dinner — I’ve fallen in love. With who? No. Dumplings are now my one true love. My sweet precious. Chinatown has endless supplies of them which we both can full appreciate. This is also the first place we’ve had a decent cup of tea. Thank goodness for the diversity here to teach Americans how to make a proper cuppa. I’ve changed my mind, roasted pork buns are my new one love to rule them all.
- Supper — Off to Harlem now for a soul food and jazz tour. Very excited for a lively supper! Had dinner at Sylvia’s and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Off to the jazz clubs now for some cheeky post-dinner drinks!
Merry & Pippin’s Travel Diary: Day 3 Pints, Pints, and More Pints
M: New York night life is loads better than Middle Earth! They really meant it when they said the city doesn’t sleep. We’ve decided to embrace the party today and booze up the town! Here’s what we have planned:
- Champagne brunch…again
- Speakeasy Cocktail Tour
- Hell’s Kitchen Pub Crawl (definitely grabbing food here again)
- Rooftop Lounge Bar Tour
- SoHo Wine Tasting
- Topping off the night with a nightclub tour
Update: Pippin is sloshed already and it’s only noon. Better go get him off the bar… the bartender doesn’t look happy.
Update: WOOOOOOOOO rooftop bars! YEAH. Merry we can see everything! Oh look shots!
Update: I don’t even like wine. Let’s get a bottle. No. Make it two bottles.
Update: We’re drinking all the fancy aaaaales, drinking by the flagon.
Update: This is the hotel concierge writing. Merry and Pippin arrived back at the hotel in quite a reproachful state. They were covered in glitter, consuming handfuls of fries, and singing at the top of their lungs. After being denied by the bartender they both sat down in the lobby and fell asleep! We had quite the time trying to rouse them and get them back to their rooms. I’m afraid they’ll be feeling their antics tomorrow.
Merry & Pippin’s Travel Diary: Day 4 Regret
M: What have we done? Oh god, what happened?
P: Why am I covered in glitter and where is my shoe?
M: Everything hurts.
P: For f*ck sake, close the curtains Merry it’s blindingly bright outside.
Update: Merry and Pippin emerged from their rooms around 3pm looking much worse for the wear.
P: I don’t remember taking this picture…
M: Not at all. Let’s just take a bus tour today to see the sites. Fresh air will do us some good and we won’t have to move much. Plus no one will notice our hangovers if we wear sunglasses all day.
Update: Minus feeling like a oliphant was stomping on our heads, we had a delightful day hopping on and off the site seeing bus. Glad we made it out of the hotel. Off to bed after room service brings us dinner and supper.
Merry & Pippin’s Travel Diary: Day 5 Treat Yourself
M: After spending most of yesterday feeling like we aged 437 years in one night, we decided today was the day to treat ourselves. It is New York after all, home of the lavish and the outlandish. I think we could do with a heavy dose of both today.
P: We almost had heart attacks and collapsed on the street. We went in a shop on 5th Avenue because the faux fur jackets looked incredible. Merry almost threw up on the jacket after looking at the price. We calculated that we could buy 47 dinners and 32 pints with the money we would’ve spent. Nope. So much nope.
M: Maybe this was an anomaly. Let’s try the other stores just in case.
*Merry and Pippin were last seen running away as fast as they could from 5th Avenue*
P: Shopping isn’t in the cards today I’m afraid.
M: Do you smell that Pippin? It smells like dessert! I think we should treat ourselves with literal treats today. Edible treats are much more appetizing for the soul.
P: WOULD YOU LOOK AT THE SIZE OF THOSE WAFFLES!? Are they adding an entire slice of cake to our waffle?
M: And whipped cream, 3 scoops of ice cream, and cookies. Pinch me, I think we’ve died and gone to heaven.
P: Let’s order 4!
Update: Several hours later, two hobbits were spotted groaning on a bench in central park sporting the largest food baby bellies the world has ever seen. Wrappers from decadent waffles, brownie-stuffed cookies, and piecakens could be seen around them. (Don’t worry they picked up their trash).
Merry & Pippin’s Travel Diary: NYC — A Review
Overall, it was a pleasant experience to visit a country that values food almost as much as we do. My only complaints were the small serving sizes and the fact that “all-you-can-eat buffets” are not, in fact, all we could eat. They just simply ran out of food before we could eat our fill. The variety however was fantastic. I’ve never seen such spreads of foods and flavors!
The hotel was spacious and comfortable for two hobbits of our stature. They did get a bit touchy about our “rowdiness” but I’m not quite sure I know where they’re coming from. Surely most guests party and take a snooze in the lobby from time to time before stumbling back to their rooms.
New York definitely reminded us how much we love hobbit holes. All those ridiculously tall buildings blocked a perfectly fine view of the river and surrounding countryside, but to each his own!
One of the things every hobbit should experience is the beautiful sensation of an American dessert. See how happy we were to get ours?
They’re about the same size as us, so it should fill in the cracks between dinner and supper while saving room for another round before heading off to bed. Highly recommend coming even if it’s just for the desserts. Loosen your belt buckles my friends. America just might be the best place for hobbits to feast outside Middle Earth. Just don’t expect to go shopping in New York. You won’t be able to afford the flight back if you do.