For our friend’s recent birthday we hit the road for a weekend in Hunter Valley. Phil and I were spoilt as our friends own a car in Sydney so they offered to drive us. God, how I have missed the charm of a road trip. Living in London for six years without a car, you forget how easy and marvellous it is to be able to jump in a car and head out for a weekend.
We stayed in the south part of the region, in Cessnock. At times Cessnock felt a bit ‘The Hills Have Eyes’, but for the locale to vineyards and price our AirBnB was a steal! Simply put, it was a large metal barrel.Read More
We’re supposed to be saving for the future ~ for little fingers and toes. But instead, we’re planning our travel and holiday plans for 2018. I think we both know it could be our last “escape” year so we want to make sure we tick a few boxes. Read More
In the middle of November, a brisk and chilly weekend, Phil and I caught a plane to Ireland. It was my first trip to the Emerald Isle and Phils’ second – having previously been to Galway. Now, you’re humming Ed Sheeran’s Galway Girl in your head. I am too.Read More
After clean cut, prim and proper Washington DC, we were ready to get down and dirty in Louisiana’s best known city; New Orleans. The first thing you notice (after the smell, seriously, what is that?!) is the beautiful, quaint buildings. The architecture in the French Quarter is to die for. It’s charming and one can almost imagine the days of yesteryear when the cowboys would ride up on their steeds. What you aren’t expecting is the party atmosphere.
We headed to Washington DC for a quick two day jaunt, on a train travelling through Philadelphia – it was great to get a glimpse and so nice to avoid the airport. I’d recommend a train over a plane wherever possible (and if the length of travel doesn’t become too extreme).
After falling in love with Toronto and wishing we’d added more days, New York was like an all night party of which we were sober for. Don’t get me wrong, we loved New York, but the vibe in both the city and Brooklyn were just so busy, and aggressive. They made London look like a chilled out surf town. Our first five nights we stayed in another AirBnB in Brooklyn, specifically, Crown Heights. My oh my what a place. The house was absolutely beautiful and very comfortable, however as soon as you stepped outside the front door it felt like a different place. We didn’t have any problems, but we also didn’t hang about to see if we’d get any. The commute to the city was very easy on the subway from there though, so it worked.
We flew to Toronto on Tuesday morning from Manchester, after spending the weekend with the in-laws (both mine and Phil’s – meet the parents event). Our flight was a reasonable 12:20 time, with us arriving in Toronto at 15:00 local time. I was so impressed by how easy everything was (we were let in the country!)
With our big North American adventure just 19 days away, I have been scouring the Internet and shops for must needed travel items. Neither Phil or I have been on a trip over two weeks for a very long time, and the last one we did was to New Zealand to see my family – so that doesn’t really count.
We shouldn’t really need too many ‘travel items’ as we don’t have children, but I am a sucker for an “essential item” and I love shopping. Phil had a hernia when I emailed him about this at work. Read More
Having now seen most of Europe, Phil and I have decided it’s time to branch out to a brand new continent. One that neither of us have set foot on. NORTH AMERICA. Fuck yeah!
On September 26th we start our three week jaunt down the east coast of North America, with our first stop in Toronto, Canada. I’ve been planning for MONTHS on what we will do and see and eat and experience and of course, have time for any unplanned excursions or sights that we want to do once we’ve arrived. We’ve finally secured all our hotels, B&Bs, flights and even a train from New York to Washington. We figured we could see the sights and EVERYONE recommended it. You know when you start planning a trip and you actually don’t know where to start and you ask a few people and then they all give you opposing suggestions? Yeah. That happened and it confused the hell out of me.
I mean, it’s slightly my fault as we’d thought we would be heading to NZ by this point but then quickly changed our minds and decided we weren’t ready when we moved into our own place. Now this trip has changed several times as we were originally going to do the west coast and fly to NZ direct from LA or Hawaii. Now, because we’re coming back to London, we’re only doing the east coast and will go back to do the west coast at a later date.
Our rough list of to-do’s in each spot are below; these are things Phil and I have had the desire to do and see, and also suggestions from friends who have been and lived in these locations. I wanted to tap on a bit of Mexico at the end too, but Phil nearly had a hernia (I have already squeezed New Orleans in) so I thought I’d let him win this round. So while we only have four cities to see – these are big cities, with SO MUCH to see. We didn’t want the trip to end up being a drive-by situation when we drop in for only a night or two. We want to immerse ourselves in the day to day and the culture. Sleep in, get up and stroll down Bourbon Street, picking up fresh coffee and beignets before dancing and drinking the night away in a jazz café or an impromptu party in the streets of New Orleans. Just typing that makes me weep and sizzle with excitement.
See: CN Tower, St Lawrence Market, Toronto’s Harbourfront, Entertainment District, Dundas Square
Do: Ice Hockey game, Casa Loma, Niagara Falls day trip
Eats & drinks: Bang Bang Ice Cream & Bakery, Woodlot, The One Eighty (for the view), Carisma, Rooster Coffee, Wish Restaurant, The Captain’s Boil
New York City
See: Fifth Avenue, West Village, Times Square, Little Italy, Chinatown, Battery Park, Wall Street, Greenwich Village, Grand Central Station, Walk The High Line, Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge, The National 9/11 Memorial
Do: Chrysler Building, New York Public Library, Rockerfeller Center, The MET, Madison Square Garden (basketball), Staten Island Ferry, Broadway show
Eats & drinks: The Rooftop, The Egg Shop, Murrays Bagels, Cheeky Sandwiches, Katz Deli, Tacombi
See: Lincoln Memorial, U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial, US Capitol, Supreme Court, The White House, Arlington National Cemetery
Do: Nationals Park (baseball), Capital Hill tour
Eats & drinks: Whaley’s, Hazel, La Puerta Verde, The Bird, Colada Shop
See: Bourbon Street, St Roch Market, French Quarter, Jackson Square
Do: Plantation tour, jazz cafes
Eats & drinks: Morning Call Coffee Stand, Domilise’s Po-Boys, Carousel Piano Bar & Lounge, Café Du Monde
Tell me your suggestions, please! Are you a local to one of these cities? Any tips or recommendations?
Last year Phil bought his dad tickets to watch the golf up north near his home town, leaving me with no plans for over a week in the middle of July. When this realisation hit me this year, I quite quickly decided, fuck this, and after discussions with my pals, Eileen and Toni, we booked the most amazing resort in Corfu, Greece. Yes, that photo above IS OUR RESORT. Beach, tick. Pool, tick. Loungers and cocktails. BIG FUCKING TICK. We’ve booked three nights in mid July, hoping for hot, hot sunshine. Suffice to say, Phil was left a tad miffed that he was missing out on a beach resort holiday. But we still have North America coming… more on that later…
The best part about this resort is that it is ADULTS ONLY. So many beach holidays I’ve been on in July/August leave you surrounded by children. I love kids, but not when I want to sip my cocktail, read my book or get my boobs out so as to avoid tan lines.
The plan of attack now is to eat salads and hit the gym, so when I come to put on my new bathing suit, it looks as good as bloody possible.
What’s to do in Corfu? Well apart from getting a tan and reading a couple of books, we have inquired around some diving and snorkelling excursions. We’ll also have a wander around the town and test out the restaurants. But mostly I think we’re all in agreement on relaxing by the pool or on the beach. Even though we all travel to new spots every couple of months, it’s very rare to have an actual break and a holiday where you relax. Most of the time you’re out walking about and sight seeing – which I love – but sometimes you just want to do nothing and actually switch off. After our most recent adventure together, I envisage the weekend to just be a load of laughs and future stories to tell.
I’m a planner. I fucking love it. I blame my job. I draw up spreadsheets of costs, days, nights being stayed, and what we will see and do. The lot. I love being organised. I love lists. Scraping your pen across something you’ve just completed is a huge accomplishment in my world. Even if the item stated “drink water”. Small wins.