And good lord is it nice to have water pressure again. The Brits do many things well (ask Matt about cask-drawn ales sometime), but water pressure is not a high priority. And when it takes a half an hour just to get the soap out of my hair, it makes me think, are we really the wasteful ones here?
Anyways, trip recap part 1:
We drove down to the Bay Area and I got to have a nice visit with my grandmother, followed by a girly afternoon with Kari and pedicures and wine tasting. In retrospect, this was a GOOD idea. By day two in NYC, my dogs were barking! We got to have a chill evening with some friends instead of the reunion fiasco, and then we were off!
We flew into Newark first to see some cousins and had a couple of gorgeous days in the city:
We walked through Times Square (oops) and Central Park (aaah).
We hoofed it all the way up to the Lincoln Center neighborhood for free awesome jazz at the American Folk Art Museum AND over to Grand Central Station just to do some ogling. That is one gorgeous building.
Instead of walking back through Times Square we cut across Fifth Avenue and Matt patiently let me wander through H&M (I find that to be a highly stressful store) and I found a ridiculously large mauve circle scarf that I then wore every day for the entire rest of the trip. Also for one of the only photos of me, in front of Rockefeller Center (not very exciting).
Among the other highlights of the NYC portion of the trip were High Line Park, a converted elevated train line that is now a nice park for walking around (maybe better when you haven't already walked 100-odd blocks, though) with some neat views. It is in one of those weird neighborhoods where it looks kind of rough and is down by the water but then you walk by a store and realize it is Diane von Furstenberg. There are some cool views from up there. If you click that is Lady Liberty right in the middle there.
And some ugly buildings, too.
The Empire State Building has an amazing lobby but we were too cheap to go up to the Observation Deck. Story of my life. I guess the views aren't what they once were with all the taller buildings there now. But still, sigh.
We also walked to Greenwich Village for more awesome free jazz at The 55 Bar and just happened to walk by a Brooklyn Industries store. I now officially LOVE this place and wish I had more money to spend there. I got an adorable purple skirt (with studs! very mild-mannered ones, though) and a yellow wallet with birds on it (I will never lose it). The shirts were on the thin side but the dresses and skirts and bags were all eminently covetable. Also, lovely service and coats to die for.
We stayed with cousins in Hoboken and took the Path into the city, which was nice and easy. We didn't have much in the exciting food dept. overall, whenever we went somewhere touristy we regretted it. We found a great little Jewish deli right behind the Empire State Building where we were the only ones aside from the staff not wearing yarmulkes. We also had nice Thai food and tasty pizza in Hoboken close to where we were staying. We were trying not to spend boatloads of cash as England is pretty pricey, but we still had a lovely time. Staying with family was highly entertaining, the new wife is an ex K9 cop and current dog trainer and has a gorgeous black German Shepherd who only responds if you talk to him in German.
Next up, Earby! Also Manchester, Skipton, Carlisle is awesome and Heathrow sucks.