So, you will be relieved to know we did not all die in a tragic plane crash.
The aircraft bunny-hopped along the runway for a bit before landing in one piece at JFK. As soon as we touched down safely, the whole cabin erupted into applause.
Somebody, somewhere, WOOPED (that may have been me).
As we arrived a bit later than anticipated, we were cutting it fine to make dinner with friends that evening, so called ahead to tell them we were running behind schedule.
Although, one look at the queue for immigration and we thought we’d be lucky to make it in time for dessert.
After making it through passport control, one look at the queue for a taxi and we thought we’d be lucky to meet them for Sunday brunch.
However, make it we did. After a long, hot, car journey into Manhattan we arrived at our hotel with 15-mins to spare to drop off our bags, spray a bit of deodorant under our arms and quickly run a hot iron through our jet lagged hair.
Then, complete disaster struck! Neither the GHDs or the curling wand I had packed worked with the US voltage, so I had to leave the hotel with big Texas hair, made even more voluminous from the humidity and even more greasy from attacking it with hair products to try to control the frizz.
My skin had also been the undeserving recipient of a giant spot that had taken up residence on my left cheek, got all frisky in the heat with my nose and produced a dozen offspring.
Luckily the taxi driver did not appear to notice and was more interested in asking us to say ‘Luverly Jubberly’ in our British accents over and over again. I am not one to be dramatic as you know, but he drove like a lunatic. We may have survived near death on the plane but neither of us was too convinced fate would be so kind to us again. We buckled up and held on for our dear lives until finally he pulled up outside Dos Caminos in Soho.
We fell out of the cab and made our way through the crowds to meet up with friends, who we’d not seen for a couple of years. At this point, it was about 2am UK time – about 4 hours past my usual bedtime. However, a quick shot of tequila perked me up and we had a gorgeous catch-up with our old friends who were good enough not to mention my big hair, big bum or big spots. None of which would have been quite so prevalent the last time I saw them.
We stumbled out onto the street a couple of hours later, could not catch a cab for love nor money, so did something I would never do after a night out in London – we took the subway.
Items purchased: Grazia magazine and Easy Living (Heathrow airport)
Dined at: Dos Caminos – 475 West Broadway at Houston Street, New York, NY 10012 (SOHO)
Units consumed: 2
We awoke the next morning around 5.30am NY time after about 5 hours of restless sleep. Urgh. Throwing a denim jacket over our PJs, we ran bra-less across to the nearest Starbucks for a coffee and bagel fix. By 9am, we had showered, dressed and were on our way to 5th Avenue.
Most of the shops had not yet opened but we could wait… and it was worth it when they finally opened! We walked up one side of 5th, up to the Apple store and finally settled in SAKS browsing for handbags and jeans before it was time to head over to Brooklyn to meet our friends and their two kids for brunch.
We jumped back on the subway – twice in 24 hours! Some kind of miracle for me. I rarely use the underground in London, preferring overground trains, the bus and the car to being squished up against a total stranger in a confined space breathing in their armpit aroma.
We arrived in Park Slope around midday. The weather was amazing so after brunch, we took a stroll around the area and walked through Prospect Park back to their apartment.
It was not long before we could hear the call of the shops beckoning us again so we stole our friend away from her husband & kids and headed back into the city together for more shopping followed by a girls night out.
I wore a couple of my new purchases out to dinner and feasted on pork belly and roasted sea bass washed down with a quartino of red wine, which is basically a glass & a half. Or a large UK pub measure. Anyway, I had two of those.
I crashed into bed that night full of good food, good wine and good gossip.
Items purchased: Jersey maxi skirt in coral (GAP), white denim jacket (GAP), Pyjamas age 3 (GAP), Boys sandal (GAP), yellow taxi car (tacky souvenir shop), yellow taxi fridge magnet (tacky souvenir shop), Firestation sticker set (shop in Park Slope), Black jersey vest (Banana Republic), Boys red converse (Converse)
Dined at: Dizzy’s – 511 9th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11215 & Cookshop – 156 Tenth Avenue (At 20th Street) NYC, NY 10011
Units consumed: 2
We woke up early again and chatted in bed for a while before heading back out to yes you guessed it… the shops on 5th Avenue. As nothing opens early, we went for brunch at a place close to the MoMA. Seated on a communal table, we ordered the baker’s basket to share, with a side of yoghurt & granola parfait.
Looking over at the other people on the table, I noticed that most of them had ordered the spinach frittata but none of them had touched the bread that accompanied it. These NY women are missing out – the bread was delicious! We could not finish all ours so packed it up to take away with us in case we needed something to nibble on later in the day.
After brunch, we made our way to Bloomingdale’s. We spent quite a bit of time in there as Vic indulged her passion for Marc Jacobs (purchasing a neon pink wallet) and JBrand skinny jeans (purchasing 2 pairs); I indulged my passion for cross-over bags (purchasing a black leather one from Michael Kors) and Lins almost indulged her passion for all of the above but couldn’t quite make up her mind on a Marc Jacobs hobo. However, she did take home a pair of black skinny jeans and a matching Michael Kors cross-over bag.
By late afternoon, our feet were stinging from all the walking so we took them back to the hotel to rest them up for a bit before attempting to squeeze them back into heels again that night.
Later, we met at the trendy Plunge rooftop bar at the Gansevoort Hotel in the meatpacking district. I had to pull half my hair back off my face to tame the frizz down.
We finished with a late dinner at The Dutch, one of the best restaurants in NYC by all accounts. The food was ok, I think I ordered badly. My lamb chops were quite rich and I had food envy over the chicken and the scallops that the others ordered.
We fell into two cabs at the end of the night, Lins en-route to Brooklyn and us up to West 44th & 8th.
As we said goodnight, we arranged to meet in Brooklyn for a burger the next day before heading back to JFK airport.
But due to forces of nature outside of our control, that lunch would never happen and our goodnight was really goodbye… to be continued.
Items purchased: Black leather cross-over bag (Michael Kors at Bloomingdales), orange & gold bracelet (street vendor)
Dined at: Le Pain Quotidien – 7 E 53rd St., New York, NY 10022 & The Dutch – 131 SULLIVAN STREET NEW YORK, NY 10012
Units consumed: 3
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