Sunday, 11 September 2011

New York!!!

Hello ladies, I'm back! I had a wonderful time and I'm am completely jet lagged after getting back on Friday late afternoon.

New York is the most amazing city I have ever been to, so huge, so hot, so so many people but so so much fun.

Thought I would share just a couple *cough* of photos from my trip with you!

We arrived in New York at around 3.30pm and after going through the scary American immagration we headed for a taxi and we faced our first New York queue (more on queues later!) and waited around 45 mins for a taxi, which is a set fair either way (don't let hotel concierge con you!) of $45 not including tips (at least $5) and tolls (midtown tunnel $6 if you are anywhere in the middle of Manhattan). The taxi takes around an hour in traffic (which there will be, both ways). The taxi journey in itself is very exciting (and mildy scary, they do drive extremely fast, erratically and always always on a mobile).

Woo! Photo out the window of the taxi.

We arrived at our hotel, The Hotel Edison and straight away I was utterly impressed with the location, it was literally steps away from Times Square and had a little deli next door. Although it looks a little fancy in the lobby its not, this was one of the cheapest hotels on Expedia and it is a budget hotel. But for the price you could not ask for better, and especially if you want to be right in the middle of Manhattan near a lot of the big attractions (rockafella is walking distance for example). The room itself was nice enough, 2 big double beds, clean bathroom (although the handle fell off as we tried to open it!) a walk in wardrobe with a couple of hangers for clothes and a big TV with 30 cable channels. We dropped our stuff off, had a quick shower and then headed out in to Times Square to find something to eat (after moving our plane food around its box).

My first impression of Times Square was "why is it so light it's night time!", and then you see all the glowing flashing billboard and signs and realise! It is also always (this was taken at 10pm) so busy, people and taxis everywhere and that can some times be slightly stressful (tired and fighting through crowds can wear down a little bit) but in general it has a really nice atmosphere.

After we ate we headed back to the hotel and passed out! The next morning we decided to head to one of the biggest attractions, so we grabbed our New York passes (which we picked up the night before from Planet Hollywood) which I couldn't recommend enough. If you know anyone that has been to New York they will probably say at some point "I spent most of my holiday waiting in queues" and this is very very true. The New York pass helps you shave some time off. At most of the main attractions there is a separate queue for people with the New York/City pass or somewhere else to pick up tickets. It also means that before you go 90% of things you will want to do are included in the price, such as Statue of Liberty, Empire State, Top of the Rock, Madame Tussades, Natural History etc etc.

So we headed to the Subway to get a week pass, I also would really recommend this, you will end up getting it more than you think you will because your feet will hurt probably more than they ever have. With our "Metro cards" in hand we headed towards the Statue Of Liberty. This was one of my highlights I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to everyone (even though its out of the way, right at the bottom of Manhattan)

There she is! The beautiful lady liberty herself! Also another thing to bear in mind, all the large attractions have airport style security and most of them you cannot take any food or drink into/on to these attractions, which means you end up spending a lot of money on water (for the first 5 days we were there it was between 26 and 30 degrees) but you can get super tack bottles of water like this

Liberty water anyone?

After we finished up at the Statue and headed towards lower Manhattan to look for ground zero. No photo of this as we didn't think it was right. There also isn't much to see as it is a construction site currently. We were walking to the Subway when we saw a shop called "Sephora" and decided to go in. This is now my new favourite shop in the whole world, and I curse the fact that they aren't in England. We probably went to different Sephora's around the city about 5 times during the trip.

Sephora for any one that has been there is a beauty shop that stocks lots of brands such as Benefit as well as there own brands and sell everything a girls make up bag ever want (including a home airbrushing kit, which if it wasn't $300 probably would of come home with me), they also sell lots of little half sizes of products so you can test them out before splashing more on them such as this Benefit primer tester set which I was very happy about as I want to try them all out before making a purchase and it was only $10 for 7.5 ml of Porefessional, That Gal and Stay Don't Stray. I think I already love Porefessional! More of a major haul post coming later in the week!

It would be easy to say that New York is amazing for shopping, and it would be, if you had an unlimited budget. We had around $100 a day each and I found that I was spending at least $10 a day on water/ drinks and food is also very expensive if you ate dinner out and tried to eat cheaply you were looking at usually somewhere around $25 dollars at least as tax is added after and the waiter would usually add there tip (between 18% and 20%) to the bill. As breakfast wasn't included at the hotel (they have a small cafe next door which is quite cheap) you were looking at 3 meals a day to pay for, which meant that a fair amount of my daily budget went on feeding and watering myself. Luckily as it was very hot and humid I didn't find myself hungry that often and most nights I ate from Danny's deli next door, and found that the only thing that I really wanted to eat was watermelon.

Mmmmmm yummy yummy watermelon. This saved us a fair amount of money and we could grab it on the way back to the hotel. This isnt to say that there aren't amazing shops in New York and it is also not to say that we didn't do A LOT of shopping but some shops (such as Saks 5th Ave) are so beyond posh it can be a bit uncomfortable. It is also worth bearing in mind TAX IS ADDED AFTER YOU GO TO THE TILL. For example if the tag says $20.00, you will pay something closer to $22. This applies to every purchase, from water to souvenirs. But we still managed to purchase a lot in a small amount of time!

So much so that packing my bag on the way home took hours to make sure it would clothes and dividing things to stay within the weight limit!

We headed to The Empire State Building about midway through our trip, which is also worth doing but a bit of a wait! It took around an hour to get up but once we were up it was all worth it when you see the views!

Beautiful isn't it! The big green patch at the back is central park! Also due to my love of tat I brought an amazing snow globe from the gift shop

Don't you just love it?!

5 days in to our trip the weather began to change and we were caught up in one of the worst rainstorms I have ever seen, where there was around 3 inches of rain in a couple of hours, but it had been so hot that it was almost a relief.

For our last day we had saved the real "shopping day" and headed to 5th Avenue to check out all those shops you hear about. After another amble around 5th ave's Sephora we headed towards Saks 5th Ave, which we went around for a while but quickly gave up as it was beyond posh and slightly uncomfortable. We headed to H&M which was fun, were "poshed" up and all I needed was a few basics for the flight home! After a fair few stops (by this point our feet hurt so bad it was difficult to stand for longer than an hour!) we found this beautiful beautiful shop

6 Floors Tiffany's, oh so beautiful! After a quick look at the beautiful diamonds on offer we headed to floor 3, the "Silver and Charms" floor, oh and we might of made a sneaky purchase!

The lovely shop assistant took our photo for us!

I got a Paloma Picasso Dove necklace I have always admired and I think I am a tiny bit in love with it!

In the evening we headed to the Rockafella Centre to do Top of the Rock. This went a bit "tits up". When we got to the desk to get our tickets it was oddly quiet, and the man at the desk informed us it was "0 visibility", pfft I said I am sure it will be fine. So we headed straight up, and up again alone. We got upstairs to an empty area (apart from 2 other people that left quickly) and this is vaguely what it looked like

Me having a Marilyn Monroe moment. And yes we are in the clouds. We couldn't see a thing. But oddly, it was probably my second favourite moment of the holiday, no waiting and no massive crowds, it was funny wandering around and giggling between ourselves about the great views. This was the last day of our holiday and it was a great way to end it. We had a great time, chatted to security guards and took lots of photos of each other.

The next day we headed home on a 11pm flight, and of course, we had planned to sleep and we were sat across from that screaming toddler all fliers fear. We got to Heathrow, came out and managed to get an earlier coach back to Bristol (a kind elderly welsh driver just said "going to Bristol? Ok then") and after what felt like a hundred hours I was home and giving out presents.

I had a wonderful time and I have just managed to catch up with my reading list!

I have a couple more New York themed post coming up, including a mega haul and a review of "they're real!" Benefit Mascara later in the week.

Hope you have all had a wonderful week!


  1. The pictures look great & it looks like you had a wonderful time! :) So jealous about your trip to Sephora! x

  2. interesting! although I have no expert, but I want have to know more and more, on your blog just interesting and useful information. Keep it up!


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