7 December 2014

A (very) Belated American Blog!

Ok, ok...it's been more than a while since I've been around these parts (and I'm not talking about New York yet!) First things first, I need to apologise to those of you who used to look forward to reading my blog and missed my weekly ramblings! (not many of you I know, but there were a few! haha!) Since starting my new job in October things have got a lot busier for me plus some bad news from a personal perspective also meant that my focuses have needed to be elsewhere for a little while, but I'm back now with a helluva lot of things to catch up on, so let's go! 

At the end of October I went on a trip to Las Vegas for a family Birthday celebration for a few days followed by a week in New York.  I'd been to Las Vegas before and although I enjoy it, it's somewhere I can only spend a few days before I feel very overwhelmed by the sheer craziness of the place! I find the mix of pure luxury mixed with complete and utter tackiness hard to understand, it's the best and the worst all mixed up into one big place. So surreal! Having said that, I really enjoyed it and here are a few snaps for you...

Starting with the famous Vegas Strip, we had a great view from our hotel (and advantage to spot the best sun hitting spots by the pool too!) ...

Ok, I must explain the following picture before you al sit there and think..hmm...So I'm of the era of Britney Spears....and I may have kept a little torch for the nutty woman who shaved all her hair off and whacked a photographer with an umbrella some time ago.  Despite Britney being ridiculed and at the risk of sounding extremely uncool, I actually really like a lot of her music so when I was in Vegas, my other half kindly bought me tickets to go and watch her at her residency at Planet Hollywood.  I loved every single poptastic minute of it too! .... Sorry not sorry! :) She was awesome and I had very good seats near the front.  Fangirl right here!

On the last night we had a big Birthday celebratory meal at Smith & Wollensky  Wow. What a place! The food was absolutely incredible. It's an upmarket steakhouse chain they have in the USA and I couldn't fault my food at all.  We shared a huge seafood platter to start, followed by steaks of all different shapes, sizes and varieties. I opted for a trio of fillet 3 different ways.  And the Mac and Cheese side......ahhh I want to go back there NOW just thinking about it!!

So after saying goodbye to everyone we hopped on a jetBlue plane back to New York (I can highly recommend this airline if you're flying internally in the USA - free snacks and WiFi on the plane - a plane ride that doesn't interrupt my addiction to social media, I'm sold! haha!) I also got to eat blue crisps?! 

After checking into our hotel we discovered we had a great view of the Empire State Building from our window :) and because we stayed during the week Halloween was being celebrated, they lit it up Orange (pumpkins - get it?!) for a few nights.  Being in New York in Halloween week was also quite a treat, I've never seen so many pumpkins lining the streets! 

This was my second time in New York and most definitely my favourite, we did quite a bit of research before we went to make sure we headed over to some great spots and stayed away from a lot of the 'touristy' areas that to be honest, just don't do it for me.   There was however an unplanned / planned (depending if you were me or my other half!) hour trip to a busy Sephora (thank god for WiFi in Sephora to keep the fellas busy whilst we spend hours deciding what colour foundation to buy!!) this will be featured in separate blogpost of it's very own next! :)

On the first night we booked a helicopter ride followed by a boat trip to get some great views of the city and boy was this worth it!  The views were sensational and we were lucky enough to have the helicopter to ourselves! I took some fantastic pictures and it was a chance to see New York and Liberty from a totally unique angle.   The boat trip was very chilly but romantic and I enjoyed it just as much as the helicopter ride.  The tour guide was also great, and had a good sense of humour!

The choice of places to eat in New York is absolutely insane. There are places to buy food everywhere, literally on every corner! I should imagine it's a very hard place to be if you are dieting! Luckily for me, I wasn't! 

Breakfast is a big thing over there and one morning we'd been recommended a restaurant to try for breakfast and a great recommendation it was! It was called Norma's and its within the Le Parker Meridien Hotel. LINK HERE If you are thinking of going though you do need to book, it's very popular! I opted for a special egg white omelette with King Prawns from the specials menu - served with fantastic coffee, orange juice and fresh chunky toast.  I was in heaven! I love a good breakfast and this was not disappointing! 

After Laura from Laura etc.. recommended Doughnut Plant I was determined to find it because she has fantastic taste! :) We then stumbled on it by accident and let's just say I'm very sad that it's going to be a while before I see this place again.  It's an independent speciality doughnut shop that blows Krispy Kreme completely out of the water (in quite a major way!!) I did plan on taking a picture of the peanut butter and strawberry jam doughnut and the Creme Brûlée doughnut we bought, however they didn't stay around long enough to have their photo taken! If you're in New York I urge you try one of these doughnuts! Especially the square filled ones! 

We'd got tickets to go and see the New York Knicks basketball team one night during the week, and hadn't realised we were attending the Knicks' opening match to the new basketball season! The place was packed and there was a great atmosphere, Madison Square Garden is a great venue too.  Amongst the crowd were the likes of Heidi Klum and Taylor Swift (and some other American celebs that I didn't know!)  Now I don't know the first thing about basketball but I thoroughly enjoyed watching them play and it's not too difficult to understand either! Had they won it would have been the perfect night! 

We hired a car for part of the trip and headed to Woodbury Common Outlets for the day.  The Americans certainly know how to do outlet malls.  They are a million times better than any I've ever visited in the UK and the discounts far greater.  I picked up some J Brand jeans at a snip and quite a few jumpers and basic tops in Ralph Lauren.  I needed to be quite strict with myself though because I could have spent a LOT more. 

Whilst in New York we spent quite a bit of time in Greenwich Village, The Meatpacker District and Chelsea.  Whilst on Bleeker Street we fancied a bit of pizza for lunch and came across the famous Johns.  A rough and ready type of restaurant where the emphasis is on the pizza - a really authentic old school pizza joint with booths and graffiti on the tables and walls. The pizza was yummy and I enjoyed the experience of eating in a restaurant like this.  (interestaing fact - I've actually spotted this place on a Friends episode recently!) 

I was very jet lagged in that picture by the way, hence Little Miss Pokey Eyes making an appearance! :D 

Whilst wandering around the West Village I suddenly remembered (and this really wasn't planned!) that Carrie Bradshaw's house from Sex And The City was situated around here.  So a quick google on the trusty iPhone and I'd found out the exact address.

Fangirl Lis made a second appearance and I dragged the other half to the house to have my picture taken in front of her steps! (Pokey eyes again!)

So after watching the Summer series of Made In Chelsea in New York I'd spotted them eating in a funky looking restaurant called Tao Downtown.  After doing some research beforehand I'd discovered that this was a very popular restaurant and after managing to get a table I can see why.  The whole experience was sensational from start to finish.  When walking in, it's like walking into a swanky night club and you feel as though you're going under ground, then suddenly you open a door and you enter a humongous room filled with fabulous and opulent decor.  My photo doesn't really do the sheer size of the room much justice but check out some of the pictures on the website. HERE  The food too matched up to my expectations. Just perfect....and the cocktails...don't even get me started on those! :D

On our last night we went to Chelsea Market (highly recommended) and then found a cute little Italian restaurant to eat our last meal in New York (after much traipsing up and down Ninth Avenue much to the dismay of my other half who probably would have eaten my arm at this point given the chance!) 

The restaurant was called Pastai LINK and wasn't anything hugely fancy, but had a lovely 'homely' cosy feel to it and a great atmosphere with a little bar overlooking the kitchen. We had a window seat, watching all the hustle and bustle outside whilst eating lovely homemade pasta and drinking Prosecco.  Too full for desert we opted for Espresso Martini Cocktails to finish off our meal. Perfect. 

Sadly, the trip had to end at some point, although I could have quite happily stayed in New York forever! So much more to explore....I will be returning soon I'm sure!

Sephora Haul next on the agenda....prepare yourselves!

Lis x 


  1. Oh I LOVED reading this and seeing the pictures! Are you gonna do a post on other stuff you bought also clothes, shoes anything else? One can never have too much New York talk :) x

  2. Looks as though you had the most amazing time, makes me want to go back.



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