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Travel: My first visit to New York

I think I've been putting this post off a little bit for a few reasons, the first being that I have about 6 billion photos to sort through and figure out what's actually in focus, the second being that there are so many awesome posts about New York already out there, and the third, well, this is kind of hard to admit as I think it'll get me thrown out of the blogger club, and my membership is already pretty precarious, BUT, I just didn't fall in love with New York.

There I said it. It's out in the open. 

Don't get me wrong, I had a fab time in New York. Loads of fun. But there are so many places that I'd like to go back to before I went back to NYC.

But lets get on to what we did whilst we were there
Our first night in New York followed a somewhat fraught drive at rush hour across Manhattan, cue much beeping and stressing before we eventually got rid of the hire car we'd picked up in Washington on our first day. But, on the plus side, Jim had booked us in at Ivan Ramen for dinner so the stressing had a happy end.
Not only did we have some amazing food, but the beer selection was pretty fab too. And the staff super friendly! We decide to walk home most of the way, kind of because we'd had a bit of a subway mishap, but also so we could see more of the city. Which lead us past some fab little bars - including Alphabet City Beer
Our next day the plans were to take a highline walk in the morning but if you've met Jim before you'll know his ideas of morning and my ideas are somewhat different - it was more like a lunch time walk! I know that it's high on the tourist must visit list, but it was our first visit so we had to do all the touristy things and I really enjoyed it. I loved the views. I loved the way the bits of the railway were incorporated in to it I love the pizza we ate whilst watching the world go by in the big window by Artichoke.


That afternoon Jim had some important football to watch (side eye emoji) so I headed out to try and find myself some sort of headwear to cover the crazy ass regrowth - which was a total bust but I did get myself some gold boat shoe laces and some roller ball perfumes from Sephora. I know, I'm the queen of shopping. (But I really love the gold laces!)

That evening we had another special eating experience lined up. Jim had got us a table at The Gramercy Tavern, a Michelin Star restaurant, it was quite possibly the most extravagant eating experience I've had in my life!

The food was immense, Jim is still raving about his steak tatare and when we (I) couldn’t decide on the starter, our waiter brought us both! Yes the food was amazing, but it was the touches like your napkin being refolded for you when you went to the bathroom and being given the exact recipe to make an amazing cocktail we had from the bar, and the sheer diversity of people eating there was brilliant too. At the table next to us there was clearly an early date happening, awkward chat and both dressed to the nines, behind us was a 4 person wedding party in tuxes and a wedding dress, and behind them, a table of ladies, laden with their shopping bags, in shorts. I’d wrongly assumed it would have been a pretentious affair, but it was far from it! It was the perfect indulgent post cancer treat that we’d had on the cards for an age! But it was super dark in the restaurant so forgive the photos!

It was also the latest I’d stayed up in, oh, 6 months, so I felt it was a massive achievement! 



We woke up the next day to rain. Lots of rain, so our plans to go to a baseball game were rained off, and so we googled rainy day activities and ended up getting the subway to a crazy oriental shopping centre for gyoza and dumplings before going on a bit of a shopping trip. I really wanted to go to the Burton flagship store, Jim wanted to check out the Nike store, and I had my heart set on a cronut, but it was sold out by the time we got there. Our evening was spent having a bit of a bar hop home with our shopping, ending in a super cheap dive bar. 

Day 3 in New York had a plan. We’d ear-marked it as the day to visit the Guggenheim. Which meant we would also be visiting Central Park and Time Square on the way there from our hotel. It’s kind of mad going to places like time square and central park, having seen them on the TV so much – for instance, as we were walking over a bridge, in the park, Jim announced it was the one from Elf. Which baffled me because I have enough trouble remembering what I did last week, let alone what the bridge from the snowball scene in Elf looks like! 
 
We had evening drinks plans with a friend of a friend that night, but on the way back to the hotel I demanded a detour to get this epic Ice and Vice icecream. Maybe the most instagrammable ice cream ever?  And you know what, 100%  it was not a case of style of substance because it was delicious! That coconut macaroon cone was amazing!  


The next day was jam packed with tourist activities again. The first stop of the day was the Staten Island Ferry for a look at the Statue of Liberty. Then we jumped on the subway to Brooklyn to the Other Half Brewery for a few beers to drink in, and some to bring home! Then took a little walk round Brooklyn to Pig Beach BBQ – somewhere we’re been recommended to go to the night before. And it might have been the best BBQ we’ve had so far! Plus it was a super cool place. If you’re visiting Brooklyn, please seek this place out! 
That evening was spent seeking out roof top bars for crazy expensive cocktails, drinking beeritas, eating taco’s and exploring a very empty Grand Central station. 

The next day was our final day in New York, our final day before our evening flight home. But evening flights mean that you’ve got a day to explore. We’d booked a lunchtime trip up the Rockerfella centre. I am  really lucky that as Jim is so tall, he’s basically a built in selfie stick and tri-pod so he comes in super useful when taking pics over the crowds and taking pics of us. Granted we don’t take too many pics of our selves but when we do, he comes in handy! I was blown away by the vast-ness of New York from up there. It is just immense isn’t it! 
Then, we just had one last stop that Jim wanted to do – take a trip to Katz’s Deli. If you’ve been – how mental is that place. I went to fight for a table whilst Jim ordered us a sandwich to share. You know I’m a sucker for a neon sign and I kept getting distracted by the neons in there and nearly lost us our chairs! Oooooooops. But the sandwich was delicious – I’m not sure it was as fun an experience as the deli we went to in Montreal (but that involved an epic Cherry Cola), but it was good to experience. 


So, there you have it, our trip to New York. A very late and incredible long blog post. Tell me, have you been to New York? Did you love it? Am I an anomaly? 

Breast Cancer Awareness Month - What it means to me!

Yesterday saw the kick off of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Be prepared for an onslaught of PINK!

I'd not been diagnosed long at this time last year, so it was all a bit overwhelming and I tried to stay away from it a bit, feeling like I didn’t have a right to get involved. But this year, with a bit of perspective on the last year I've had, I'm not sure how I feel about it. 
Yes, it's amazing that there is a month dedicated to raising awareness of breast cancer, raising money for research, generally making people more au fait with the signs of breast cancer because in so many cases early detection is key. But the pink, it somehow seems to trivialise it (Ironic I know given the pin we’re selling is pink – but it’s a year round pink – not just for October!)

And if, after just one day I’ve seen so much of it already,  know that for people on the 'outside' it must get boring - being told to donate and wear pink and post hearts or the contents of your handbag to Facebook! It must be easy to put it out of your minds, forget about it when there is essentially a pink washing happening. But posting a silly status on Facebook won’t help anyone – if anything comes out of breast cancer awareness month it should be the message to check your boobs more, go see your GP if you’re at all worried, and make sure your GP takes you seriously. 

There are loads of helpful tips on how to check your boobs on the Breast Cancer Care site and about a visit to your GP here, on the Coppafeel! site. You can even sign up a boob check reminder here!
But the reality for me is I can't forget about cancer - it's there when I wake up in the middle of the night with hot sweats, it's there when I catch a glimpse of the collapsed vein in my arm, or I can't control the regrowth of my hair, it's there when I feel a random pain in my body and my mind instantly goes to a bad place. It's there when I see tweets from the wonderful people I've met online who've had the worst news imaginable. I hope the further I get away from this, the less it’ll be there, but the reality is, for now, it’s on my mind more than maybe it should be. 

I now don't need a month to make me aware of cancer. And I hope you never do either!