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1st January 2011:
We all woke up late after a late night on New Years Eve and were slow that morning getting ready. Chloe headed for Central Park on her own, dad decided to wander around the Meatpacking District and mum and I headed for the Guggenhiem Museum on the Upper East Side. It truly is a spectacular building, both inside and out. Franky L (Frank Lloyd Wright) did a wonderful job, the outside looks like a pipe-cleaner you’ve twisted around your finger, standing proud in it’s gleaming whiteness amongst millionaire’s penthouses. The inside is a sight to be seen – and unfortunately I didn’t get any photos inside due to camera restrictions. It’s like standing inside a stretched slinky and as you wind your way up the slinky art work is to your right and to your left you can look over the ledges to admire that giant slinky in all it’s glory.
The only down side to the Guggenhiem is that the elevator was broken and the mysterious art gallery at the basement could only be accessed by the 4th floor. We didn’t realise this and headed the ENTIRE WAY BACK DOWN around the slinky only to be told we had to go right back up again if we wanted to see that gallery.
It’s a bit dangerous, if you ask me, only having elevator access to the basement… what if there is a fire? Earthquake? The possibilities for being trapped down there are endless!
Unfortunately, the hidden gallery wasn’t entirely worth all the walking effort, as it only have 3 paintings in there and they were good but not great. Luckily the rest of the Guggenhiem collection more than made up for the hidden gallery of not much.
On our way back we spotted the window displays of a department store we hadn’t yet visited (the name eludes me). This was the one we should’ve sought out! The theme was food and there were endless caricatures of all our favourite foodies (from Thomas Keller to Nigella Lawson and everyone in between) surrounded by Christmas feasts and festivities! Many photos were taken.
We spent our last night together in NYC at a small restaurant in the Meatpacking district that dad had found. We had amazing dinners, but the dessert was the highlight: petit pot au chocolat was intensely rich and chocolatey and it was a good idea to share, although I must admit I was a little sad when I reached the bottom of the little cup of delicious.
We headed home to pack, knowing that if we wanted to do anything tomorrow we had to get up and get out early before our transportation out at 2pm.

2nd Jan 2011:
Our last day in NYC!
We mostly spent this day wandering and exploring anything we hadn’t yet explored (except Queens, which I am definitely heading back to see). It wasn’t much time, although we did get to see the Meatpacking district during the day (its very trendy) and we made time for ONE last stop at Chelsea Market (our favourite!) before heading back to 18th Ave to collect our bags.
Mum and dad dropped me and Chloe (with the help of a taxi) in Chinatown for our bus before heading to the airport.
We walked up to the counter to get our Chinatown Bus tickets to Boston and were presented with little scraps of paper with stamps and scribbles on them. Apparently this would get us on the next bus to Boston! So why, then, did all the other passengers have nice, printed, professional looking tickets? Who knew? They worked though!
After standing on the side of the road in the rain (yes, the buses just pull up and yo jump on) we boarded successfully (Chinatown Bus: superior to SHITTY GREYHOUND) and headed off into the dark (it was about 4pm).
The bus made a “dinner stop” at Arbies – where Chloe and I picked up some curly fries – before pulling up in Boston at about 9pm. (We slept most of the ride.)
Chloe and I took the train to our hostel and collapsed on our beds. WE WERE GOING TO SEE BRITTNEY THE NEXT DAY! HOORAY!

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30th December 2010:
Up early, we left Chloe unwell at home to board the Statton Island Ferry to catch a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty for free.
IT WAS SO CROWDED! Let me say, honestly, it was probably worth it to pay a tour guided boat to see the lovely green lady rather than try and compete with the hoards of other stingey tourists on the ferry!
It was also freezing cold, but it was winter in NYC after all, and it was our choice at the end of the day…
From there we headed back to the centre of Manhatten to catch the elevator up to the top floor of the Rockefellar building for a spectacular view of the city skyline. It truly was magical up there, the city looks SO pretty from above, especially as the sun was setting (early remember, because it was winter).
We took the obligatory tourist photos with the Empire State behind us and then headed back down.
Chloe was absent for all of this, and again stayed in that night. Mum and Dad hit up some jazz bar for a drink or two and I headed back to BROADWAY!
This time I was off to see La Cage Aux Folles! I was alone, but I didn’t mind, I was SO excited about seeing this particular musical about love, folly and drag queens in the south of France!
Kelsey Grammar was FABULOUS as the drag queen club manager, and I wet myself laughing. It was SO camp! I especially loved it when Kelsey’s assistant told him he loved him to which he responded “if you loved me, you’d vacuum!” OH! And the queens! They just danced and bitched and danced and bitched! LOVED IT!

31st December 2010:
Hello New Years Eve!
This was the day we went to Brooklyn.
We wandered the streets a little, exploring all that this borough had to offer, before heading for the Brooklyn Museum of Art.
It had some pretty cool paintings in it. There was also a series of dinner plate ceramics, depiting various important historical women in an abstract way through flowers… It’s hard to explain excaatly what I mean without photos/gestures, but I can tell you they were very striking.
I think our favourite painting was the one of a family with all the men and boys dressed in black coats and white pants. Dad stood infront of this painting and announced “what kind of losers wear black coats and white pants?”
We replied: “You do!” as he hadn’t noticed he was wearing the EXACT same outfit the people in the photo did! Yeah that’s funny!
From there we WALKED (yes that’s right WALKED) back through Brooklyn, across the Manhatten Bridge, all the way to Chinatown. According to the taxi driver we hailed down in China Town, no one had ever walked that far across NYC before! We didn’t even REALISE we’d walked as far as we had!
We went back to the apartment to chill a bit before heading out to a funky little bar in the Meatpacking District for cocktails and dinner on NYE! We brought in the New Year there.

27th December 2010:
We awoke to find ourselves in a morning of firsts. First blizzard survived, first time “snowed-in” and first time dad has ever had to use a shovel to dig us out of snow. THAT was hilarious!
Chloe and I had a muck around in the white snow, which was thigh deep and incredbily cold. We’d never seen so much white in our lives!
From there we bundled up and headed out, following through paths others had already made across the streets of NYC.
We were off to meet Chloe’s best friend from primary school, Kristen and her dad. On the way we stopped in at a couple of department stores for a bit of shopping before catching up with our old friends outside the Plaza Hotel!
They took us to the CUTEST, QUIRKIEST little cafe that served delicious food. I can’t remember what I ate, only that I loved it.
Afterwards, Chloe, mum and I headed off to see Mary Poppins whilst dad went to Madison Square Gardens to see an ice hockey matched.
Mary Poppins was spectacular. Well, atleast the second half was. The first half was lacking in energy and we were on the verge of walking out. Thank god we stayed or we would’ve missed a really special second act! Very much worth seeing for that alone!

28th December 2010:
Chloe had long dreamed about standing outside Tiffany & Co on 5th Avenue, a la Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and sip at coffee whilst staring longingly at the beautiful jewelry inside. 5th Avenue had already been mostly cleared of snow, so we picked up some pastries and hot drinks before posing for our obligitory photos outside the store. Then Chloe popped inside for a few new trinkets for her charm bracelet.
After our Tiffany’s detour, we headed for Central Park, where children were enjoying the mountains of snow. Central Park is GORGEOUS covered in white frost.
This what where I saw a “shelf” of snow and thought I could sit on it… I didn’t realise quite how soft snow was, and fell right through it onto the ground. Chloe, acting just as intelligently as myself, copied my act and found the same fate as I had. HILARIOUS!
There were already snowmen everywhere, as well as a few sneaky “snow shapes” pressed into trees which were very impressive.
We continued on, headed to a very special place. We were off for a mini lunch at a very snazzy (name withheld) restaurant in a huge centre on the other side of Central Park.
The food was fantastic, we were treated to some spectacular showmanship in the form of edible treats and the waiters were flawless – if only all waiters were like these ones! They DESERVED every tip they got!
Later that evening, Chloe and Dad ran off home and I managed to drag mum into FAO Schwartz. Dream. Come. True. GIANT PIANO TO PLAY ON! BARBIE FASHION PARADE! LIFESIZE PLUSH ANIMALS! HOORAY!

29th December 2010:
This was the day we went to Harlem. We boarded the subway and went almost as far north as you can go on Manhattan Island.
We spent the morning exploring the area well known for it’s jazz culture. Mum waved to buskers on the subway, then we ended up in a creepy little cafe that was empty. Mum was so fascinated by the photos that it was almost IMPOSSIBLE to drag her out! She wondered why I was being so pushy until I informed here a CREEPY OLD MAN had been glaring at us from behind a curtain. Good, glad we left… After she photographed the bajeezus out of the place!
We had “breakfast” as IHOP (International House of Pancakes) – which consisted of the most calorific quesadillas in the world and unlimited pancakes. Hooray!
From there we headed off to find this mystical and magical suit shop dad had read about in the travel guide. It wasn’t enough for him to just buy a suit in NYC, no, it had to be from some quirky little store with an eccentric owner in Harlem. He got just that, and a few shirts too!
We then wandered down the main strip, found the Apollo Theatre and talked dad out of buying some truly hideous shoes.
From there we headed to the Upper East Side and into the Met (after taking some fun “Gossip Girl” shots on the steps outside). The Met is amazing. I wandered for hours on my own (having ditched the fam) taking in some really spectacular art works. They had some really obscure Picasso’s there (yes, even for Picasso) that I was totally dumbstruck by.
By then we were starving. We met out the front, found dad on the steps (he had gotten bored after 20mins and gone to get a snack) and headed for 42nd St where we were off to have dinner with some old friends of mum and dad.
Sharon and Carl took us to PongSri, a cosy little Zagat-rated Thai restaurant nestled just off Broadway. I had the BEST Pad Thai I’ve ever eaten in my whole life, as well as a spicy eggplant dish and a Thai-inspired chicken schnitzel which was pretty delicious. I ate too much.

26th December 2010: Boxing Day
This was the day of the blizzard. The blizzard that my family didn’t realise was a blizzard. The blizzard that came up to our thighs and blanketed New York City in pure white frozen fluff. The blizzard that still hadn’t entirely melted away nearly two months later when I went back to NYC in late Feburary. Yup, THAT blizzard.
It started off fun, a smattering of white on the ground outside our apartment was exciting and the snow kept falling and we all thought it was so pretty!
We headed for the Natural History Museum that morning, which I was particularly excited about due to my love of natural history museums generally. It was fantastic, they had this amazing tree made entirely out of origami animals and dinosaurs and other things on display at the museum (such as astronauts, gems and trees) and there was a never ending maze of rooms with new things to discover! I was mostly interested in the animals, which we visited first. They had ALL my favourites, including a few VERY large mooses which were a little daunting.
We also made our obligitory visit to the cultures rooms (which my dad loved, especially all the native American stuff, he loves that) where there were some pretty neat headdresses from all over the world.
The dinosaur rooms were the best though! SO MANY BONES! SO MANY MYSTICAL CREATURES I NEVER GOT TO SEE WITH MY OWN TWO EYES!
Yes, I loves me some dino bones!
Of course, we were also distracted by the falling snow outside, it was coming down quite hard and fast and what we were unaware of at that time was that THIS WAS THE BLIZZARD! Lord and we thought that was an actual storm that would take place later! We figured the early snow was just snow, lol so dumb.
We went to pick up our Promises, Promises tickets following that and then grabbed some late lunch at this little cafe before wandering over to the MoMA. It seemed this was Carmel’s favourite art gallery, as she spent the longest in there of any of us. There was heaps of Matisse, whom Carmel loves. Mind you, it was a pretty cool gallery filled with some pretty sweet art stuff.
Afterwards, we went out and posed in the snow, still completely spell bound by this magical substance that none of us had seen in such mass quantities before!
We headed home, still completely unaware that we were trekking through the middle of a BLIZZARD! Starving, we realised there was nothing in the cupboards and HAD to find somewhere to eat… But where? AROUND THE CORNER TO THE LITTLE MEXICAN JOINT! Which was essentially the best meal I had in NYC (no jokes). We did like 4 courses of magical, fresh Mexican flavours including some seriously good moles and the freshest tortillas and the yummiest corn dish I ever had (too bad I can’t remember its name).
The people at the restaurant couldn’t believe we Australians had headed out into the weather! We had figured we didn’t want to look like tragic dumb tourists and so braved the weather regardless… Little did we know that we looked like dumb tourists anyways, out in a bloody blizzard!
Full to our bellies, we braved the blizzard (STILL unaware it was a blizzard) all the way back to the apartment TWO BLOCKS down and ONE across. It took like 20mins when it would normally take 5.
Bet the blizzard was laughing at us!

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

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!

hello my adoring fans!

How is? I have been a busy been and have been back in Albuquerque no more than two weeks since I trekked across the great old USA! Since then I have been interning for a government department and have had little time to update.

Since we last spoke I have:

– Been to Las Vegas with mother and let hell run loose on the Strip.
– Done 2 university exams and become a college graduate
– Visited the Capitol: DC
– Spent a freezing, blizzard-filled Christmas in NYC
– Been frozen into an icypole in Boston
– Tasted 60 different flavours of soft drink at the Coca Cola factory in Atlanta
– Visited the shrine to education and myself: The University of Georgia
– Had a blast getting drunk and listening to jazz in New Orleans
– Interned for two weeks successfully at my little government internship

Yeah, I’ve been a busy little bee and unfortunately have not had time to update until now! However, fear not my little readers, I will be filling yo in on everything that has happened over the coming weeks as well as letting you all in on my fabulous return to Albuquerque which was quite warm and made me very happy until it started snowing less than half an hour ago!

So expect lots of love and updates in the coming days, everyone!
x