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25th December 2010, aka Christmas Day:
We had a wee lie in on Christmas morning before we got up and decided it was time for presents!
We all sat around the lounge room in not-our-house in Chelsea and exchanged gifts. Everyone was pretty thrilled with their presents, especially me and Chloe. We assumed we weren’t getting anything, as we thought NYC being covered by our parents’ wallets was more than enough, but were surprised with pearl rings from mum’s work. Hooray! So pretty!
We then got ready and headed out for lunch at the Plaza Hotel. THe day was bitterly cold, though not as cold as we expected. Mum was hoping desperately that it would snow, although it was not forcast to until Boxing Day. (And trust me, we got it: BLIZZARD STYLE!)
We took a taxi to the Plaza, considering the cold weather and it being Christmas Day and all, and ventured into what I’d have to say is the most glamourous, ridiculously over the top, yet still classy, beautiful hotels I’ve ever been into. The Plaza is exactly how you imagine it to be mixed with exactly how it is described in Eloise At The Plaza. (A brilliant book that the Plaza obviously loves too because it has an Eloise flag and Eloise dolls and paintings near the elevator.)
The lobby is very old fashioned, just big enough (see: small-ish) and is cozy and warm after entering from the cold via a red carpet and a swishly-dressed doorman.
We were quickly seated in the main restaurant which was directly behind the lobby, and given menus. Being Christmas, the hotel had a set menu of Christmas specialities: goose, lamb, turkey. Very American.
I asked specially for the vegetarian special, whilst Chloe ordered steak, dad chose lamb and mum ventured out in ordering goose for her Christmas lunch.
While we waited, Chloe and I gave ourselves a tour of the dessert trolleys in the middle of the table, oh we couldn’t wait to dig into the adorable little pastel-coloured macarons, intricately designed chocolates and about five different amazing looking cakes with my name marked ALL OVER THEM!
We were served our first course, which was a really delicious pumpkin soup with a hint of truffle and a vast array of different little rolls for us to use to mop the soup up. The soup was rather on the thin side, which normally I would complain about (I prefer thicker ones), but I think the intense flavours of the herbs and truffle demanded something a little lighter.
Whilst waiting for our mains, Chloe and I ventured to the toilets. Unfortunately (or rather fortunately, as I see it), we got terribly lost and stumbled into the grand ballroom. It was GORGEOUS, the absolute height of last-century interior design with delicately carved wall decorations and rich red carpet and beautiful chandeliers. We didn’t stay long and quickly snapped a few pictures before bailing as we didn’t want to get caught!
The vegetarian course I had ordered was char grilled vegetables rolled around goats cheese. It was well seasoned and surprisingly good, despite the goats cheese being a little toooooo melty for my liking.
The steak, Chloe said, was decent and dad was thrilled with his lamb chops, but the goose was an ABSOLUTE disaster. Mum said she has never eaten drier food in her life, which is characteristic of meat like goose if not properly basted. Oh well, we weren’t at the Plaza for the food, we were there for the ambience! (Which is unusual for a family of foodies, but hey, we had great food every other meal!)
Then it was FINALLY time for the desserts. HOORAY! Let me say: they did not disappoint!
Chloe ate her weight in macarons, following a game of “guess the flavour” and I came back to the table with 3 different kinds of chocolate cake plus a tiny baby chocolate tart. Lord do I love that sweet sweet brown stuff. Yes, we made sure we got our monies worth out of that dessert table.
Earlier mum had insisted that all she wanted for Christmas was a horse and carriage ride around Central Park. So we ventured back into the bitter cold and rugged up under a warm blanket inside a cute vintage carriage that took us for a short ride around the park, which was just across the road from the Plaza. It was loads of fun, and a nice way to see the park on a day where it wasn’t much fun to be walking long distances.
We then spotted the UN Secretary General’s car outside of the Plaza (yes, for realz, I have photos) before heading off down 5th Ave to check out more Christmas displays and hopefully spot the Rockefellar Christmas tree, which is legend. NYC goes ALL out for Christmas. Seriously, I thought Americans generally did Christmas decorations well (especially after what I saw in Chicago), but no one does it like 5th Ave, with displays that would climb right up the sides of sky-scrapers.
We spent the rest of our Christmas day exploring free and always open sights such as Grand Central Station (where I pulled a Serena from Gossip Girl) and admiring architecture, such as the Crysler building.
All in all it was a pretty great Christmas, although I don’t think I could ever get used to a cold Christmas and will definitely be spending this year’s (2011) on the beach in scorching Australian summer style. You definitely need to experience a cold Christmas once, but I’ll always prefer summer Christmas, it’s my Christmas.
x

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22nd December 2011:
Chloe and Georgia arrive in the Big Apple at 11am. We then proceed to hail a cab with our thousand suitcases and speed off towards the apartment we will be staying in in Chelsea.
After dumping our suitcases and exploring the apartment, Chloe and I wandered outside to find a small bakery next door. Half pound (250g) cookies and rich, fluffy cupcakes became our lunch.
Dad arrived an hour or two later and in order to keep him awake, I announced that we should explore Chelsea! Chloe stayed in, exhausted from the long bus ride, whilst dad and I ventured out to find Chelsea Market. Turned out the “little” market we were expecting to find was the size of a department store and had everything from an Anthropologie to an amazing bakery, fishmonger and a little Aussie pie shop! We wandered around before settling on a little Italian deli for some more food (dad hadn’t had lunch and well… I’m always hungry!) before heading back to meet mum.
Still excited by our little culinary find, we dragged mum back to the markets later that evening, when it was all lit up for Christmas! We then hit a trendy hole in the wall called Pop Burgers for an amazing round of sliders (mini burgers) before hitting the hay early, as we’d all travelled long distances that day.

23rd Dec 2010:
We set off relatively and successfully early (I believe it was the earliest we were ready the entire trip!) on our first FULL day in NYC. We headed south, hoping to explore Greenwich Village, Chinatown and Little Italy. Mother refused straight up to drink coffee from a little cart on the side of the road, so after the rest of us got our morning coffee and donut hit from a silver truck, we headed off to find some “real” coffee for the fusspot. We ended up at Jeffery’s, a quirky little greengrocer/cafe near Gay St, where mum got her “real coffee”.
Satisfied, we continued south.
On a busy street which I am thankful I don’t remember the name of, we came across a shop with some shoes in the window. Dad went in, deciding he wanted to look around. He found pimp shoes… We were in a pimp shop. Yes, my father the pimp. They were long, pointy leather shoes that were teal and pearl coloured. He wanted them so bad. Mum was feigning interest whilst Chloe and I were trying DESPERATELY to convince him that not even his friend Dapper would talk to him again if he bought them. They were foul.
Other items found in the shop: hooker boots with guns for heels, those dresses that have so many “trendy” torn rips on them you’re not sure if it’s really a dress anymore, pimp hats.
It took a good hour, but we talked him out of the hideous pimp shoes… although he did get SOMETHING from the shop: a very plain, basic pair of black leather gloves. He was very happy with his purchase.
And we kept walking, and walking, and walking…
And then we found a record store. It looked cool, so we went inside. We found a cat, and not just any cat but the WORLDS FATTEST CAT EVER! For realz, this cat was like four times the size of that fatty obese cat that lives down the road from you (you know the one, you all have one!). I would’ve broken my back trying to lift it. It was bigger than all three of my fatty pet cats combined. But he was a beautiful cat, and very friendly. Dad, Chloe and I spent a disturbingly long time with the fat cat, Carmel was highly offended.
So then we kept walking, and walking, and walking. We saw NYU and Chloe got this foul pretzel and we had lunch in Little Italy and we saw hoards of Chinese people hovered around a tiny little outdoor chess set – just like in the movies except instead of one or two spectators there was half of China there. Yeah.
More walking and we hit the financial district and we saw the courts and it was pretty cool AND THEN WE HIT WALL ST! We walked HALF of MANHATTEN in less than a day! By this stage it was getting dark (so early!) and we ventured down Wall St as it got dark and it was pretty cool I must admit. We saw the New York Stock Exchange and some other big buildings AND THEN WE SAW TIFFANYS! And of course Chloe disappeared inside… Eventually the rest of us followed, but not until we were finished being mesmerised by the Tiffany’s carolling men out the front, in their cute Tiffany-blue ties. Adorable.
Mum and dad were exhausted like the old people that they are by this stage and we headed back for Chelsea.
Chloe and I didn’t have much time to waste, we had to get ready to go to our first Broadway show: LION KING!
Let me just say one thing: if you never see the Lion King musical on stage then your life will be a complete waste. It was amazing. AMAZING!
Times Square is le disgust.

24th Dec 2010:
So we started our day with the hunt for the mystical bike shop my dad was so intend on visiting. Whilst Chloe and Mum went to get Chloe’s glasses repaired (she sat on them), Dad and I strolled a few blocks over to find the bike shop… What we found was an empty storefront that had closed down only mere weeks earlier… LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL! I was so pleased we didn’t have to visit the stupid bike shop… UNTIL WE FOUND ANOTHER STUPID BIKE SHOP! Karma: gets you every time!
We then embarked on a mini architecture self-guided tour. We visited the Flat Iron Building, the New York Public Library, the Empire State and many amazing skyscrapers before finding ourselves on 5th Avenue admiring the gorgeous Christmas windows. We also saw a man do a backflip over 4 standing people. It was pretty hilarious. It was also a pretty sweet deal kinda lazy exploring NYC day.
After a really late lunch at this amazing cafe, I ditched the rentals and sister to catch up with my friend Brad and do a little last minute Christmas shopping! I was after this particular bike book for my dad, and whilst I didn’t find it, I found something better: the sequel to his FAVOURITE bike book of all time! Hooray! I also picked up a few sneaky things at Sephora for mum and Chloe.
Then we all retired in for the night, eating dodgy late night pizza, before going to bed to await Santa!

Twas the night before Christmas, and… twas the only time of year we bloody use the word ’twas’! It’s such a fantastic word, we should use it more often. I hereby advocate for the increased use of the word ’twas’ all year round!

So, retailmania is over and we had champagne to celebrate! I now have to wait, as due to double demerits AND only just getting my P plates (YAY!) mere days ago, I cannot take the risk driving even with just the slightest hint of booze in the system.

I’m also in the process of packing for my month long journey of Europe – I’m having alot of trouble trying to work out which airports are where and how on earth to book my final flight from Paris back to London! It’s absolutely much too confusing for my poor retail-frazzled brain.

So, I can’t be bothered posting my Twilight movie review on my Twi-blog, so after completing this holiday season post, I will post my Twi-review – which might even be MORE epic than my HSM3 review. And that is truly saying something epic.

This year we sold like a hundred billion copies of The Snowball; aka Warren Buffet’s biography, aka a Weapon of Mass Destruction within its own little hardcovered black and gold self. We also sold a hundred billion copies of Dawn French’s memoirs, Matt Price’s book of columnistic titbits and maybe a million billion copies of New Moon (Twilight#2). The Twi-sales may have actually caused me to be OVER Twilight!

OMG! Did the world just end? Did Georgia say she was MAYBE over Twilight? Well yes – but only when it involves discussing the novel with underage tweenie twats who know nothing about nothing and get really, personaly offended when you tell them you are Team Mike, New Moon is your favourite book and you think Edward might be a closet gay.

…Yes, despite being one of the biggest Twilighters in Australia, I have still managed to retain my indie-cred, dignity AND sense of humour, ok? Fear not, I shan’t succumb to Edwardmania and purchase these truly epic gems of merchandising that must be seen to be believed.

Not even I want Robert Pattinson’s glarey face to keep me toasty warm during the night. That goes far beyond creepy… infact, it’s so far past creepy, it’s getting back arond close to normal! THAT’S SUPER INTENSE CREEPY!

Although, I did ask my boss if we could maybe order in this life size cut out of our favourite hottie vampire for the shop. True hilarity would ensue if we displayed THAT piece of awesome in our shop window. (Oh and us casuals would get no work done as we would spend the whole day swooning… But let’s just keep that between us.)

I also saw this amazing billboard the other day. It said:

DRINK SPRITE! It makes you sexy!*

*You must already be sexy.

…Or something like that. Best billboard ever.

So, I’m gonna wrap this up here, because my Twi-review is going to be so epic that it might even cause WordPress to crash. I also have to drive to Katie’s (I am now ok to drive, I had the tiny little sip of champers almost two hours ago) and pick up the last little bit of Chloe’s birthday present!

I’m leaving on December 28th for Europe and will be back on January 28th 2009 – however I hope to blog for you all when I am on my travels!

So, Merry whatever-you-celebrate and have the most AWESOME NYE possible without me and I’ll see you all super soon, I promise!

Lots of love and hugs and red and green cheer and maybe some mistletoe,
Your best and favourite,
Georgia

p.s. we have a MAYBE on ordering the life size cut out into our store!