Tag Archives: shopping

Day 35: Driving in LA, The Grove & Beverly Centre

Day 35: Driving in LA, The Grove & Beverly Centre

We woke up relatively late today (10:00am!!!), sat around in our rooms for a while before catching a bus to Hertz on Wilshire Boulevard. Yes, we caught a bus. The buses here seem to only go down one straight road, so if you want to go somewhere… not on that road, you have to catch another bus, each bus ride is $1.50, you can get a daily pass for $5, and other weekly and monthly passes too, but these had nothing to do with me so I did not look at the prices. We managed to make it to Hertz, thanks to Anna’s superb sense of direction, if it was up to me, we’d end up in San Diego again… we were meant to get the cheapest, smallest car possible for about $240 for 11 days, but they ran out of those cars and we ended up getting a super cute red Volkswagen Jetta! They just got it in March 2012 too, so it smelled brand new and I was a happy child, so was Anna! We ended up getting insurance for like $180 for the 11 days in case we ran into anyone; we are driving on the WRONG side of the road, after all.

Taken with Instagram

After we collected our car, we had to do a 3 point turn and get back onto Wilshire Boulevard to head to the Grove mall, the Grove is an outdoor mall that’s meant to be awesome, it’s actually straight down Beverly Boulevard. Anna signalled out of our parked spot on the street and we drove about 10m before having a panic attack and pulling over on the side of the road, driving on the right is NOT normal, the steering wheel is on the left and the signalling lights are on the left and the windscreen wiper is on the right, so Anna kept hitting the windscreen wipers when she was trying to signal, we were both scared. I seemed to be freaking out a lot more, which is silly, because Anna was the one driving. She was pretty fantastic though, she got used to the roads very quickly and we made it to the Grove alive. Happy days.  The fact that I am blogging about this = the rest of our drive was okay too. The Grove was okay, the toilets were pretty, they had Zara there, MAC, Crate & Barrel, and an assortment of other stores, they also had the Farmers Market next door which we decided to skip. It was pretty underwhelming to be very honest, so we decided to go to The Beverly Centre to pick up our GoLA passes. The GoLA pass is a pass that lets you go into unlimited attractions over a certain number of days, we bought the 5 day pass for $204, you can use it 5 non-consecutive days over a 14 day period, how cool is that? Its first use is going to be at Six Flags Magic Mountain!

The Beverly Centre is a short drive from The Grove, in fact, I think it’s just down 3rd St! We parked, and took a while before we found the actual stores, we browsed around but also failed again with buying anything…. WHY??? WHY DO YOU NOT HAVE THINGS FOR ME TO BUY? From memory, they had the following stores:

  • Macy’s
  • Bloomingdales
  • Samsonite
  • Godiva
  • Forever21
  • H&M
  • Victoria’s Secret
  • Steve Madden
  • I just realised I can google this.

Going home with no shopping bags when you intended to shop your little heart out… is a huge disappointment. Especially when this is the last leg of the trip.

We had dinner at Xiomara on Melrose, $45 per person courtesy of DineLA Restaurant Week, I can’t even remember the cuisine… For the Entree, I had Pork Belly and Anna had some mushroom thing, for the main, I had Salmon and Anna had a Spaghetti Bolognese sort of thing, and we both had a cake soaked in coffee with a caramel ice-cream for dessert.

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 OH! We went to a Laundromat too!!! It’s like 2minutes away from our house and it costs like $3.50 to wash and dry your clothes yourself, but takes like 2 hours, we sat there and just watched our clothes get washed and washed it get tumble dried. Bleh. One experience is enough.

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That was pretty much all of our day, we didn’t do much. Tomorrow is Six Flags. I hope I don’t pass out on a ride from fear.

K.

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Day 17: Sawgrass Mills

Supposedly the 6th largest outlet in America, we had high hopes coming here, there’s almost every big shop you can think of, but we left with our wallets intact! Thankfully so! I only bought a carry-on luggage with 4 wheels (so so much easier to travel with, and you can fit more in it than in those silly Sportsgirl bags, you know, the copy-cat Oroton ones). I also bought lunch from Tony Roma Express, ½ baby back ribs with a big fat sweet juicy corn cob for $8.99, my jaws dropped, I will go back to Australia as such a tight ass, unhealthy food is so cheap here! Anna ate some Taco Bell (HAHAH DODO, YES, SHE ATE TACO BELL!), it was less than $7 for a taco, nachos and a drink – whaddup, so cheap.

Anna bought a bag from Kenneth Cole and some items from GAP, my gosh, Kenneth Cole at that outlet WINS, the bags are so so nice and are leather, it was discounted from $200 to $60 – I’m sure they retail for more than $200 in Australia!

We ended up leaving earlier than expected, so we made it for the free dinner from the Hostel. Chicken and rice, edible, but not the best, but it’s FREE, so whatever, they have free breakfast, lunch and dinner every single day.

http://www.simon.com/mall/?id=1262
12801 W Sunrise Blvd  Sunrise, FL 33323

You can book a spot on a bus directly from most of the places you’re staying at or just do a quick Google search, we paid $25 for a return ticket each – we also kept forgetting to tip the bus driver, oops.

Anyway, that’s all. We didn’t do much. :/

K.

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Day 14: Washington Square Park, Century 21 (HAHA!), B&H Photo, Totto Ramen & Momofuku

I’m going to keep this short.

Totto Ramen

Totto Ramen is a pretty popular ramen restaurant in Midtown West Manhattan, it is 2 avenues and 2 streets away from us and Wendy had previously recommended it. I was very insistent that we had to go for lunch, we were meant to leave at 11:30am, but ended up leaving at 11:50am, the line was super long outside and we ended up having to wait 1 hour before we finally sat down and ate. 15-20minutes of it went by pretty quickly though, we were playing with this little 2 year old girl outside, her parents must have been so thankful, as she was a cheeky little monkey. Every single time her dad told her to stop walking down the stairs, she’d walk one step down and stare at him, he would tell her to come back very sternly and she would take one more step, she was pretty much just testing how far she could go before she would get into trouble. She ended up walking into the store and her dad quickly grabbed her and carried her back up the stairs. She ended up saying hello to us and amusing us for 20 minutes while she played with my finger nails, I could tell she was so baffled as to why my nails were RED and hers were not, she would touch my nails and examine them, and then stare at her own, so cute! She played ‘hide the map’ and ‘guess which hand Karen hid the coin’. Adorableeeee. Anyway, I digress from Totto Ramen, food was good, we both had the Spicy Ramen, I had chicken and Anna had pork – pick the pork, it is far superior, they glaze it and then caramelize it. Yummo.

Taken with Instagram

Century 21
HA! I asked to go Century 21 again! I am choking on my words as I type this, this time we went to the C21 at Lincoln Square, the C21 here is more organized and there are less people than the Downtown store, though the Downtown store has more stock, I recommend everyone go to Lincoln Square. New stock comes in every Wednesday for both stores, so if you want to avoid the flocks of people who are on the prowl for a good bargain, then go some other day. Anna bought a Kenneth Cole bag for like $70 off, what a win!

B&H Photo Video
Next stop was B&H Photo Video, my boss has insisted that I must visit the store just to see how ridiculously huge it is – it is huge, with every lens and camera you can imagine, though the way you purchase things there is so weird: you pick what you want in one area, go to a separate area to pay for it, and then pick it up again in another area. I didn’t get anything, I was too confused about the layout of the store and sort of overwhelmed by a billion gadgets. It was nice to see the actual store though because I bought my 24-70mm lens online from them many moons ago!

Washington Square Park
We went to Washington Square Park next and it was so nice, we had to walk a bit to get to it and we walked through NYU, saw some of the dorm housing, saw some people graduating and stuff too! I want to go to NYU and study!!!!!! The park is so nice, Americans definitely do parks better than us Aussies do, there was a nice big fountain in front of the arch, people were taking their dogs out on walks, families were out and about, sun was shining… we sat around for half an hour before walking to Momofuku Noodle Bar.

Taken with Instagram

Taken with Instagram

Momofuku Noodle Bar + Maccas
Anna and I always make the most stupid food choices while waiting to eat dinner. Yesterday we had 2 cupcakes, today we had a big box of spicy snack bites from McDonalds because we needed to use their toilets. SMAAAARTTTT… S-M-R-T. Anna finished most of the box, though the damage was already done for me, I was kind of full. HOW AWESOME IS THE SAUCE HOLDER THING???? Why don’t our McDonalds do that?

$4.99 (Taken with Instagram)

We got to Momofuku at 5:20pm, opening time is at 5:30pm, and were promptly seated! It got pretty busy after 6:00pm but I think you only wait around 15 minutes; it only gets bad during weekends. We only ordered 4 pork buns and a sangria slushie, the pork buns were just as I remembered, soft, tender and delicious! Anna agreed, but she was very very full by the 2nd one, she could not for the life of her understand how I had an eating competition with those pork buns. We were seated right in front of the kitchen, so it was pretty fun watching them plate stuff.

Packing/Cleaning
I spent 30 minutes watching youtube clips on how to pack my luggage efficiently, I decided on using the bundling method – it’s winning man, I like it, I like it until I need to pull clothes out, then it’s a bit annoying. Go google it, people fit so much shit in a carry on using this method! I managed to squish all my items (see distressed photo below) in without much effort at all!

What have I done?!? I have 4 weeks left!!!!!! (Taken with Instagram)
so distressssed

We decided to do a quick clean of the house even though the owners of the apartment never specified that we had to, they are just so nice, and it didn’t feel right to leave it in a huge mess. It was good as new by the time we were done, we cleaned the bathroom, the kitchen, vacuumed the floors – we are going to be winning housewives. We are all set to leave NYC L I don’t want to go. Don’t let me leave you NYC………………………………..there is still so much that I have not done, like the MET, Guggenheim Museum, Central Park Zoo, we haven’t even done Central Park properly!!! Oh well, it gives me an excuse to return one day.

Also, I lied, this wasn’t particularly short, it never is is it?

Oh oh, we stayed at an apartment that we booked on TripAdvisor: http://www.tripadvisor.com/VacationRentalReview-g60763-d1992371-Large_Sunny_Quiet_Studio_in_Midtown_Manhattan-New_York_City_New_York.html#review_120125300

I highly recommend it to anyone going to NYC, it’s in Midtown West Manhattan on 10th Avenue and it is within walking distance to Times Square, Central Park, Subways, laundromats, 24 hour pharmacies, an awesome fruit stall, D’Agostinos, and 9th Avenue (so many restaurants!).

K.

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Day 13: Union Square, SoHo, Century 21 revisited, Serendipity

We managed to knock down most of the things we wanted to do today, and we didn’t get lazy about any of it either, with a forceful determination, Anna and I woke up and left the house at 12:30pm – not lazy? Yeaaaahhh right. We didn’t even set particularly ambitious plans, since we jammed packed every touristy sight to visit when Doodles was around! Doodles landed in Sydney at around 6pm today (8am Sydney Time), and was already up and strolling around Cabramatta, the lucky girl doesn’t have any jet lag and didn’t even take the sleeping pills that were readily available to her. I on the other hand will be taking advantage of whatever sleeping aids I get – noise cancelling headphones, sleeping pills, a sleeping mask, the works!

Union Square
We first hit up Union Square, the park there is pretty I guess, I didn’t know what else was to see there, I saw a H&M store and got excited, I left this top I wanted 2 days prior because the lines are so so long on a weekend, shopping on a weekend should be avoided by tourists as all the locals flock there. Actually, it’s pretty insane on a normal day as well. While we were taking a romantic stroll at Union Square Park, it started to rain, yes, these are the tears of New York City from knowing that we will be leaving in 2 days, that’s what I tell myself. Anyway, we bolted down the subway and quickly abandoned our plans of visiting Washington Square (that’s where the big arch thing is, they have something that looks similar in France, it’s the setting of Suits episode 1, where Mike tells Trevor that he’s known his social security number since he was 9 and will f&^% him upppp – woo.. I am a Suits nerd.) EH, we will visit this tomorrow, and I know we will, since I am from the future and have already been there.

Taken with InstagramCentury 21

Oh gosh, I am going to eat my words here, I previously lamented about how incredibly shit it was and how crowded it was, I think my exact words were “HERE IS WHERE CLOTHES COME TO DIE!” Actually, those were Katie’s words. It is crowded all the time, but when you have time and are not in a particularly sort of rush, it’s not too bad. They have a ridiculous selection of sunglasses in the Downtown C21 store, I managed to get a pair of Michael Kors and Steve Madden sunnies, a Michael Kors black leather wallet that I kind of love, and a big fat red travel wallet (I put my phone, my money, my passport, my keycards, my receipts, my coins… my life, my mum and my dad inside). Anna also managed to get a Kenneth Cole bag, a nice Tommy Hilfiger wallet and a sunglasses case. FRUITFUL! IT WAS A FRUITFUL ADVENTURE!

SoHo
The fact that we have visited SoHo for the 4th time is evidence as to how incredibly awesome the shopping is. Best shopping in NYC, I say! I slipped into H&M to find my floral top and came out with 2 tops, a dress, and a bikini. WOO. I have an obsession with bikinis, sunglasses, and bras. I need to stop. Anna? Help me????

Serendipity + Magnolia Bakery
Next, we headed to Midtown East to try Serendipity again, the last time we went at 11pm and there was a 45min wait. This time, we went at 6pm, SURELY, we’d get in immediately right? WRONG. 1 hr wait again, I don’t think there is EVER a right time for Serendipity in NYC, so if you want to go, be prepared to wait. Anyway, we were determined and just put our names down and went for a browse in the Bloomingdales across the road, we also went into Magnolia Bakery because I wanted a mocha. I don’t even normally drink coffee, this is how it all starts, first it’s a mocha, then BAM, I’m a coffee fiend and it’s the end for me. No, I will not allow this to happen, I quit mochas! I will save myself! We ended up 2 cupcakes each, Anna with a caramel and red velvet, me with a vanilla and banana… I will never know what compelled us to think that it was a good idea eating 2 cupcakes before dinner. Some lady kept talking to me while I was eating my cupcake.

Taken with Instagram

45 minutes went by and we went back to Serendipity and got seated fairly quickly. The décor of the place is adorable, it feels like you’ve stepped into vintage fantasy land, there’s  was a huge huge clock next to us, and there are vintage paintings everywhere. They are most famous for their Frrrozen Hot Chocolate – how it can be Frozen and Hot, I will never know, but we ordered one of these. We also ordered spicy chicken wings and a Turkey sandwich – hello America, land of the excess, we are learning your ways. The table beside us were going crazy with their food, I think they ordered like 5 big items and like 4 drinks – TWO PEOPLE ONLY. Anyway, the Frrrozen Hot Chocolate came and it was HUGE, I’m talking the size of two of my fists together huge, nothing special though… it tastes like Gloria Jeans Iced Chocolate, in fact, I would have to say Gloria Jeans is nicer because we have better cream. EHHH. The spicy wings I would have done without too, it’s just sticky and tastes like someone has poured hot sauce all over it. The Turkey Sandwich, now this, EVERYONE SHOULD ORDER! So delicious, so big, served with Irish Soda bread that Anna did not like but I loved.

Anyway, while we were waiting for our meals to come, Anna and I were complaining about not having seen any celebrities, we put our names on the stand-by list to go to David Letterman, but never got a call back, we were devo, Vanessa saw Melissa George, and that makes me even more devo. While I was people watching, a man was blocking the pathway of a waiter because he was playing with his kid and the waiter asked him to move, he quickly got up and went back to his seat and then I froze, this man looked oddly familiar… I quickly turned to Anna and I really did look like this: O_O, I have the worst poker face in the entire world, do not ever take me to poker. I grabbed her arm and started mumbling “OH MY GOD ANNA, OH MY GOD!! IT’S THE LEAD FROM ROYAL PAINS!! YOU WATCH ROYAL PAINS DON’T YOU?!?!? I WATCH ROYAL PAINS!! IT’S HIM! I KNOW IT! IT’S HIM! WHAT DO I DO?!?!?! I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DOOOOOO?!?!”, she turns to him and calmly goes “Yeah, it’s him”, wow, she must regret going on holidays with this nut job. He was on the table diagonal to us, 2m away from us! He seemed nice, played with his kids a lot and was polite to waiters. Ahhhh, that made my day, that 45min wait was worth it! I can officially report that we had our first celebrity sighting.

Taken with Instagram

Taken with Instagram

Anna (Taken with Instagram)
gorgeous NYC sun set, omg, NYC I love you!

 

Woot. Signing off.

K.

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Day 4: Bulls & Pythons

Everyone except for me got some decent shut eye today, I stupidly chose to stay awake to watch Fairly Legal’s season finale, and now I’m staying awake to blog, if I stop doing it daily, I will stop forever! We woke up at around 9am and had a yummy fruity breakfast again and headed to City Hall to start our days adventures.

Our plans today were: City Hall, St Paul’s Cathedral, Ground Zero, Trinity Church, Battery Park, Statue of Liberty & Century 21.

We saw street performers today! African American street performers! They were so funny and extremely talented. Why are all of them so ridiculous built???!?!? We ended up spending like 25 minutes watching them before going to catch the subway to City Hall. There were also stalls and stuff on one of the avenues on Saturdays, pretty cool!

Lunch was had at the upscale restaurant McDonalds! Doodles and I had a club burger and Anna had a BLT – American burgers taste so much better because of the crispy crispy bacon! Yum yum. It also amused us greatly that there was a piano player at the Broadway McDonalds near Wall Street, I think he gets paid to sit there all day and play the piano!!!! What the hell? How come no one does that at our Maccas? We then headed out and Doodles and I insisted on going into Sephora for 5 minutes, we love that place, I want to marry it and have babies with it.

You need advanced passes to go to the Ground Zero memorial, we didn’t have those, so we just walked there and stared at the seas of people around and then walked back out and headed to Trinity Church, the Bull on wall street and then Battery Park. We made a decision to take a picture with the bull’s balls since there were too many people at the front, we ended up getting a rare picture of the 3 of us. As we made our way to Battery Park to catch the ferry, we saw two guys with huge snakes, Dodo was game enough to put it around her shoulder ($5 for the small python, $10 for the big one!), and it was pretty hilarious.

We abandoned our initial plans of visiting the Statue of Liberty (well, not abandoned, we moved it until tomorrow), and instead chose to catch the FREE FERRY to Staten Island. They have ferries coming every 25-30minutes and there are so many people that jump on it, the ferry is a fantastic way to see New York, you go past the Statue of Liberty too!

We went to Staten Island for about an hour, and just laid around in the sun by the water and watched the ferries and chatted. We spotted a lonely little duck in the water and Dodo had one of her amazing quotes

dodo: look, the duck is following us!
kk: i’m pretty sure we’re following the duck.
dodo: well, we’re beating it!
kk: wow. really? did you just try to compete with a duck?!!?

Omg, so many funny quotes from Dodo, I should have written them all down and had a quote of the day. She says something ridiculously funny EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Anyway, we headed back to Manhattan and made our way to Century 21, the famed discount department store for brands galore – let me say this, it sucks. It sucks so so bad. It sucks sucks sucks. There’s about 4-5 levels and it’s so packed and things are not particularly pretty, maybe it’s good for getting mum and dad souvenirs? I am definitely never going there again, sticking to the outlets!

We all headed to SoHo AGAIN (you’d think we’d have learnt our lesson the first time and not take Dodo there again!!!) to find Dodo’s shoes, she lead us to the wrong shop and we walked all the way down Broadway for no reason (CURSE YOU DODO! CURSE YOU!) and then back the other way and ended up finding her shoes! We both bought another pair of shoes at Steve Madden and then proceeded to head home – it was 9pm or something, we had walked for 9 hours. We got back to the area after a long friggen walk, seriously, 8th ave – 9th ave is painnnnnnnnnnnn… the bottle shop is open until 11.45pm on Saturdays and Doodles flew in when she saw that it was still open, I really thought she’d lift off the ground and fly, she ran straight for the Sangria and she’s drinking it this very moment – it was $6!! My feet are so tired and my calves are so toned now -_-.

We were meant to hit the bars/clubs tonight but also swiftly abandoned those plans upon getting home, everyone was so tired and our feet hurt. I don’t think I would have been able to squeeze into a pair of heels. Anna and Dodo haven’t even had dinner, I made a pretty mean fried rice and ate that. I am proud that I can feed myself.

Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn Museum and Buddakan NYC for dinner tomorrow. YAY. Hmm… we still haven’t gone to Central Park, shame. We’ve seen it from a distance 🙂

Anyway,  I think I’ve written an essay today! Goodnight, world.

K.

We love NYC lolol look at their expressions (Taken with Instagram)

Two happy people in Maccas

Bull balls on wall street  (Taken with Instagram)

I’m going to be rich!!

Street performers! (Taken with Instagram)

Street performers … built street performers.

Taken with Instagram

Doodles with the $10 python!!!!!!! So heavy! So brave!

Taken with Instagram

Staten Island! Look at Doodles posing!

NYC subway rides! (Taken with Instagram)

NYC Subway rides

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Day 3 Part 2: Woodbury Common Premium Outlets & Jet Lag

Okay, dilemma, I have about 1/5 bottle of my Moscato D’Asti left, I’m bloated as hell, and I don’t know if I should drink it… and then go shower… or shower and then drink it??? First world problems eh?

Dodo is in the process of finishing a whole bottle of red to herself and she keeps almost flashing me when running around the apartment, I think it’s going to turn into a definite flash soon, and I’m going to be scarred… so very scarred.

Our disco lights are on, and Dodo is surprisingly not dancing. Anna is watching soccer and I am making hard decisions in life about whether to shower or drink first while blogging.

Jet lags, late night snacks and breakfast

Someone other than me finally made a post! Hurrah! Hallelujah! Dodo spent a nice 15 minutes wondering what she spelt wrong (good work, Savi! Cheesy and site FTW). I cannot believe jet lag has affected us this badly, ridiculous! Passing out at 7:30pm is such a bad idea, I woke up at 11:30pm, forced myself back to sleep, and then woke up at 2am and got conned by Do into eating a whole load of Cheetos. No regrets. No regrets. I fell asleep again at 4am and she didn’t sleep until 5am or something, I think Anna passed out somewhere between while watching soccer. We woke up and made breakfast… HAHA well… Dodo made breakfast, we had fresh raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, yoghurt and granola… so cheap, it probably cost less than $5 to feed all 3 of us today for lunch. Winning, yes?

Woodbury Common Premium Outlets

Onto more interesting things… We went to Woodbury Common Premium Outlets today and shopped our little hearts again! Anna and I were pretty concerned about setting the Dodo into that environment again, but she did okay today. Our vans were such a lifesaver, never walk around the states in flats with no cushy soles, I’m sure no one is as stupid/shallow as we are, but we learnt our lesson very quickly. We took the bus from Times Square Port Authority Bus Terminal and it took around 45minutes to get there. We had lunch first because Dodo was starving, she also didn’t trust me to suggest lunch since I tend to keep forgetting about lunch! We had huge pizzas that were delicious and the size of our faces haha.

We did most of our shopping in Nike, Polo Ralph Lauren, and American Apparel. Doodles saw an amazing Prada wallet for $320 that I’m sure she’s still thinking of at this very moment, I swear I saw drool dripping from her mouth when we were there.

The Nike Win

After walking around the entire Woodbury Common Outlets, I was ready to curl up into a ball and… well…. bawl. My feet were so sore even though I was in comfy shoes, I need to exercise more :S Anna and I were dying pretty badly. Our last stop was Nike and we had our biggest win yet. All of us bought a pair of shoes and we had a coupon for $25 off $150, our shoes added up to something close to the $200+ range and the guy forgot to scan the most expensive pair of shoes!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We all looked at each other, paid and promptly walked out of the store and power walked to our bus. WINNING, right?!?!?! That was definitely a high light of the day, when somebody else’s incompetence pays off! Unless he just hates his job/nike and gave us the most expensive pair of shoes for free on purpose. I guess we will never find out!

Dinner & Drinks on a New York rooftop

We had our first experience with New York chinese take out from Mee Noodleshop. They really come in those chinese takeout boxes and paper bags, it was awesome, delicious and so very cheap. $24 for a huge meal – chow fun, mushu pork, and dim sum with rice! Woot. We have bottle shop downstairs so we took advantage of that and quickly ran downstairs to buy a few bottles of wine. When we got downstairs, a bunch of teens were in there wreaking havoc, apparently they had been there for 30 minutes and were underage and trying to bribe the store owner into selling them alcohol, there were about 10 of them and Dodo promptly urged us to get the hell out of there after buying our wine. ALCOHOL IS SO FRIGGEN CHEAP HERE?!?! $17 for a 1L bottle of Smirnoff Vodka, somebody needs to tell these Americans they don’t know how to make a profit. We proceeded to run up to the rooftop for drinks and take lots of photos. New York from a rooftop is pretty damn amazing.

Tomorrow’s plans

I think we’re hitting up City Hall, St Paul’s Cathedral, Wall Street (YES I GET TO GRAB THE BULL’S BALLS!), Century 21… and taking some photos of the Statue of Liberty.

Bits & Pieces

  1. AT&T sell prepaid sim cards called a “go card” for $25 a month with 250 minutes of calls and unlimited national texts. Only go to the official AT&T branches. We went to an “authorised retailer” (*COUGH* bullshit) and they tried to sell it to us for $25 + $30 for the sim… that’s ridiculous. WHY DID YOU TRY TO CON US?
  2. As I mentioned, Americans don’t like $100 bills, go to exchange them at a bank for $50 bills. Banks generally do about $300 per person, but they might bend the rules.
  3. Wear vans/comfy walking shoes with nice cushy soles. Always. Don’t wear pretty little flats, your feet will hate you and you don’t want your feet to hate you. We made the crazy mistake of wearing FLAT sandals yesterday, your feet get super tired and you end up wanting to cry by the end of the day. I cannot stress this more, comfy shoes or sandals with soles if you’re going to walk heaps! I don’t know, maybe I’m just weak!!??!
  4. Try not to nap at 7:30pm and turn it into a full blown 6 hour sleep… you will hate yourself when you wake up at 3am. Jet lag blows.
  5. Songs repeat A LOT on these radios, we listen to the same shit over and over!
  6. I have no sense of direction. 9/10 times I will say go right and Anna will say go left, and we were meant to go left. Thank god no ones listens to me!!!!!!!

Anyway. I’m going to go shower. I don’t think I can finish this bottle of wine. Weak, I know, I’ve let myself down too. Here… have some photos!

via PhotoToaster, using these settings.

Breakfast
New York new York!!! (Taken with Instagram)
Times Square
Late night blogging with some Moscato D’Asti (Taken with Instagram at 10th Avenue)
Drinking & Blogging
New nails!! via PhotoToaster, using these settings.
NEW NAILS! I LOVE
Huge pizzas (Taken with Instagram at Woodbury Commons Premium Outlets)
HUGE PIZZAS THE SIZE OF OUR FACE
 via PhotoToaster, using these settings.
New York night sky on the roof top
via PhotoToaster, using these settings.
Anna trying and successfully opening my bottle of wine for me, I’m so useless. WHY?!
via PhotoToaster, using these settings.
CHINESE TAKE OUT

K.

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Day Three: Jet Lag and Cheesy Flavoured Cheetos…

Good morning world!

After our epic day of 7 hours of clothes/make-up shopping, burning a hole in my travel budget, going grocery shopping and having lunch/dinner around 7pm…I think it suffices to say that today was a great shopping adventure : )

However, upon returning from grocery shopping, putting away my new belongings and eating – we knocked out way too early (7:30pm) and am now wide awake at 4:36am, blogging for the first time…

We somehow all woke up around 2am and decided it was a great time to open the bag of Cheesy Cheetos. Anna refrained herself whilst Karen and I stuffed our faces with chips, giant strawberries and cherries. American fruits are so cheap and have an amazing taste! Well, the fruit stand in front of D’Agostino does anyway…

So far, this trip has been quite surreal and interesting. I never realised how friendly New Yorkers are compared to our Sydney peeps – it’s quite refreshing to see and makes me happy : ) I met people on my flight from Dallas to NYC who shared their love of solitaire where the man from Long Island swapped his game via his MP3 player with the eccentric old lady from Cali; who in exchange, shared her chunky/confusing version of solitaire with him. She also sang “New Yoork New Yorrrk!” as we landed, which I loved because it’s exactly what I felt like doing! Anna and Karen on the other hand, think I’m crazy lol

After our stroll into Time Square, we ran onto the rooftop to see the view and boy was it a beautiful sight to see! This city has such history to it and makes me feel like I’m constantly in a movie scene – whether it be a Humphrey Bogart film noir (this occurs the most), walking the streets of Sex and the City where I may bump into Carrie yelling for a yellow cab or dancing my way to Centre Stage. I love it!

We also have a shiny disco ball which makes me want to constantly sing and dance, regardless of Karen’s dismay and Anna’s silent second-hand embarrassment. I love it and don’t care, they love me either way : )

I’d say more about our trip but feel pretty confident Karen already covered it in her previous blog updates.

So I’m logging off now, I need to rest before we have breakfast on the roof and burn more holes in our wallets at the Woodbury outlet!

Here are some of the images I feel are worth sharing.

Buenas Noches!! From the one KK calls Dodo xx

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Our apartment perfectly captures the beauty of each famous building/statue in NYC – vintage feel ❤

Shiny Disco Ball!!!

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The bright lights of Time Square

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The city that never sleeps… (this was foot traffic around 1am)

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My film noir moment 🙂

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Our rooftop view from our apartment in mid-town Manhatten –> It feels like Batman may appear…

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Love that this is placed in front of the sink in our apartment!

And finally, my Cheesy Cheetos moment – Best Cheetos ever!

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Day 2: sore feet in SoHo

Our feet are so sore. I do not know what compelled all 3 of us to think that wearing sandals was a good idea when we went to shop for 7 hours. I do not know.

FYI Anna is currently assisting Amanda in tying her shoe laces. HAHA. Child was not taught properly.

SoHo is absolutely amazing, everyone who told me it was amazing for shopping did not lie!! We took a while to find it though, we were on West Broadway when we were meant to be on Broadway… we probably took about 1.5 hours before getting onto Broadway. We stumbled around in some weird area until we walked past a fire station, made Dodo bat her eyelashes and ask a fireman how to get to SoHo shopping, he was very very helpful and told us that it was about 5 blocks away.

We were such smarty-pants, we did not get a map or anything of NYC so we just strolled around aimlessly. Note to self: go to the Times Square visitor centre and get lots of things. Also, Amanda went bloody nuts shopping, we’ve created a monster.

MAC lipsticks are el cheapo here, $15.60!!!!!! They are so so so expensive in Sydney. Dodo and I bought about $350 worth of products from Sephora, oh my, Sephora, love of my life, light of my life… I bought another Naked Palette (could. not. resist.), a bunch of Urban Decay products and OPI nail polishes!! I ended up spending about $220 there :X All of us walked away happily with vans too! Good bye to sore feet!

Finally bought sim cards too! We had to buy a $20 phone for it to work… we spent about 1 hour in the AT&T store trying to figure out what to do since all of ours were locked. Pathetic! Thank god my 3GS works, we need internet on a phone with maps!

OH the most stupid thing happened today, we passed out at around 2am last night and woke up at 6:50am!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The conversation at dinner last night went something like this:

Anna: so guys, what time should we wake up tomorrow?

Karen: 8:30am??

Dodo & Anna: WHAT? NO WAY, THAT IS SO EARLY?!!?

Karen: OKAY. 9am then!

Okay, anyway, we haven’t had lunch and we’re all going to limp across the road to buy groceries now. We haven’t done much aside from shop and I don’t think anyone wants to read a detailed list of what 3 girls bought.

I will finish this off with a few things I’ve found out on the first days of this trip:

  1. Americans don’t like taking $100 bills, I did not know that.
  2. Amanda Do doesn’t know how to tie shoe laces
  3. Micky D’s makes a mean Mixed Berry smoothie
  4. Amanda Do turns on the disco lights every morning, afternoon and night… blasts music, and dances like a queen.
  5. Americans are so incredibly friendly and helpful! Especially Marshall from AT&T who we are going to give a 10/10 rating for via SMS for selling us our prepaid sim cards and listening to us babble for 1 hour.
  6. Everyone thinks we are British and people on the street keep saying hello to us?!?!?!
P.S. We are going Woodbury something outlet tomorrow, our wallets are going to die! :X
K.

Day 2 shopping damage between 2 girls (Taken with Instagram at 10th Avenue)

The Damage… and an unconscious snoopy in the background

Love loveeeee via PhotoToaster, using these settings.

Our amazing apartment

Apartment via PhotoToaster, using these settings.

….Still amazing

Free condoms from Steve madden!!! Haha (Taken with Instagram)

 Free condoms from the Steve Madden store.. GUESS WHO’S GETTING LUCKY TONIGHT!?!?!?!

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Insurance Dramas

Just 14 working days left before I go on leave for 7 WEEKS! Excitement! How am I going to be able to work after coming back!??!?! I will let future Karen worry about that.

I’ve been meaning to sort out my insurance with Travel Insurance Direct (TID) for the longest of time (I bought insurance in October 2011), I mentioned in my previous posts that I stupidly forgot to cover the last 2 days of my trip (smart, I know. S-M-R-T), well, I’ve finally called TID to amend this little error, and to my surprise they don’t let me extend my policy as they are now underwritten by Lloyds and not Allianz – which is what my policy is under. My entire policy costs $270 to cover 41 or so days and this includes covering my DSLR + my expensive lens… to cover an additional 2 days, I need to purchase a completely new policy from TID for $35 🙂 HOW DOES THAT MAKE SENSE? That’s 12% of the cost for 4.8% of the time. THAT SUCKS. IT SUCKS TID, IT SUCKS. I know I should have called you earlier to fix it, but gosh, I should not be punished for you changing your underwriters!!! To cover my SLR as well, I need to cough up $55 😀 So it’s actually 20% of the cost 😀 WHADDUP. I will not cover my SLR for my trip home from LA, I will keep it on me at all times, my main issue is that I’m scared it will be stolen, I will guard it with my life (take it with me to the toilet and all on the plane)… /Rant over.

Lesson here: fix your insurance the moment you realise something is wrong, don’t wait 6 months like I did.

I’m eagerly waiting for dineLA to release their list of participating restaurants for restaurant week 🙂 I am not entirely sure if Anna is willing to humour me by eating out everyday at fancy pants restaurants for lunch and dinner! It’s okay, I can do with 10 out of 14 days. LOL. Hi Anna.

I have also been researching the cost of mailing parcels back to Sydney (I anticipate shopping spreeeeees) – USPS is the cheapest and costs about $70 to ship a 9kg  23 x 13 x 13 parcel. That’s alright. I might have a look at excess luggage charges from Qantas. OH! Qantas doesn’t let you bring 2 luggages anymore, they’ve changed their policy to only 1 piece of checked luggage! Though I think if you booked it before May 2012, you can still bring 2, I sure hope so.

K.

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