Monday, September 9, 2013

some souvenirs:

our wall of treasures has grown quite significantly. from left to right, we bought the straw brush, woven bag, tin heart, hand painted cross, tin pineapple and paper mache skeleton in oaxaca, mexico.

Sadly my last post marked the end of our travels in Mexico and America, however I thought I'd share with you a few things we bought on that trip, now taking pride of place in our home (with all sorts of other bits and pieces).

I thought I'd also let you know that I am off overseas again in a few weeks, so there will be plenty more travel posts coming your way! For now the location is a secret, as the trip is a surprise for my mum's 50th birthday. My sister and I have planned to take her way on a trip, however the surprise bit is that mum has no idea where we are off to, and will only find out once we arrive at the airport! Exciting stuff! Do stay tuned for the big reveal.

So back to the souvenirs. When travelling I'm always on the look out for things for our home. I like the idea of having an eclectic collection of treasures with a story behind them. On this trip, we bought most of our treasures in Mexico, with our favourites being found in La Lagunilla flea market. I find rearranging and redecorating is always a good way to ease those post trip blues!

from left to right, we bought the ceramic cone fromt he general store in los angeles, and the crucifix and oil painting from la lagunilla, mexico city.
religious painting on the left from la lagunilla, mexico city.

black ceramic skull from oaxacamexico.

from the left, tiny painted ceramic bowl from oaxaca, clay figure and wooden cross from la lagunillamexico city.

Monday, September 2, 2013

USA wrap up:

Ah, America. What can I say, we loved it! It was a short but sweet stay, and had us wanting more, specifically, a big road trip down the West coast or through the South. There's just so much to do and experience. The people are super friendly and helpful, the food is really good, the shopping, the sights... everything!

Below are some of our highlights and recommendations.


As we didn't travel around the States I'll break it up by city.

new york city: 
The majority of travel was taken via the subway. I'd highly recommend grabbing a weekly unlimited ticket, as you will well and truly use it! I'd also recommend downloading the subway map onto your phone or at least having some sort of print out as it will come in very handy!
We also caught the occasional cab (which are actually quite reasonable), and did A LOT of walking (which is always the best way to see and experience a city!). 

los angeles: 
As soon as we arrived at LAX we picked up a car and drove in order to get from A to B. Los Angeles is very spread out, and I would say having a car is the best mode in transport if you want move around and see as much as you can.


We ate so much food! Here are a few of highlights.

new york city: 
NoMad - the restaurant at the NoMad hotel came highly recommended from few people who in my opinion have very good taste. It did not disappoint, at all. If you're after a bit of a special meal, book a table here (in advance) and get their famous roast chicken for two. Amazing! (the hotel also looks very nice)
Cafe Gitane - we were very fortunate that Cafe Gitane was attached to our hotel (The Jane), and thus had breakfast here every morning. It's very cute and I still crave their breakfast shake.
Katz's Deli - when in NYC, right? We had the Rueben and shared it between three. It's massive! The brisket sandwich also looked incredible! Katz's is definitely an experience.
Russ and Daughters - not far from Katz's Deli, go here for their bagel and other delicatessen goods.
Paulie Gee's - one of the best pizza places in Brooklyn is Paulie Gee's. We lucked out and somehow managed to score a table (someone cancelled just as we walked in) at this Greenpoint institution. We met Paulie himself and fell in love with the Cherry Evans pizza. Who knew cherries with honey on pizza (a savoury one) would taste so good? We now know. SO good.
Smorgasburg - If you are in Brooklyn on a weekend, you must visit Smorgasburg! Highlights? Do line up for a Mighty Quinn burger (it's worth the long wait, trust us), some fish tacos from Choncho's Tacos, a Red Hook Lobster Pound roll, a couple of DuMont sliders, a Dough donut, and to send you over the edge, a smor's pie shake from Butter and Scotch. There are heaps of different vendors, and unfortunately we couldn't try them all, but do try as much as you can!
Cafe Colette - Some of the best cocktails from our entire trip were had here. We highly recommend trying the Salazar and Colette cocktails.
Whyte Hotel - if you're after sunset rooftop drinks, with a view of the NYC skyline, this is the place to go.
Alameda - we only had a couple of drinks here, but it looked great for dinner too with a stunning fit out.

los angeles:
In-N-Out - so admittedly, this was our very stop as soon as we picked up our car. In-N-Out at Suplveda. We had to see what the fuss is about. We now get it, but wouldn't eat too often!
Venice Beach Ale House - a good little stop off along the boardwalk where you can people watch and enjoy some tasty beers.

cafe colette


newy york city: 
The Jane Hotel - in the West Village, The Jane is in a great location and full of character. It is also quite reasonably priced, by New York standards. The Jane is only a block from the High Line and two blocks from the subway. 

los angeles:
Venice Beach House - a super beautiful old guest house, tucked behind Venice Beach boardwalk. We stayed here one night and loved it.

venice beach house


new york city:
I won't list every single sight we visited in NYC as there are just too many.
However, here are a few of our favourites:

High Line - pure genius. And such a beautiful way to explore some of New York.
Rockefeller Centre + Empire State Building - totally touristy, but you totally have to do it. Be sure to visit one of these at night time, too.
NY Yankees - I highly recommend attending some sort of sporting event if you can. The Yankees was a heap of fun and such a classic experience.
MoMA - the Museum of Modern Art was, along with the Met, was one of our favourite museums we visited. Such an incredible collection of iconic and stunning art (and  bit of design, too).
The Metropolitan Museum - this place is HUGE, and so impressive. If your stuck for time, have a good look at the map, choose a handful of rooms that spark your interest, and just focus on visiting those. Also, make sure you go up the rooftop for a lovely view over Central Park.
Brooklyn Bridge - such a beautiful bridge, and a wonderful way to view the skyline. Do make sure you stay within the pedestrian lines though, or be prepared to be abused (verbally and even physically) by the cyclists! We saw many examples of this - and it wasn't nice! However, do not let that deter you from visiting! It's beautiful.
Central Park - a welcome oasis from the hustle bustle of the city. 

los angeles:
With such a limited time in LA, we didn't really get see that much. A few highlights were:
Walking along the board walks and visiting beaches such as Venice, Santa Monica and Malibu.
Santa Monica Pier
Venice Canals


We had grand plans to do a heap of shopping while in the US, however we simply ran out of time, so my apologies for the short list! Apart from visiting chain stores that are not in Australia like J. Crew, Sephora etc, these were some standouts.

new york city:

los angeles:

the general store

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