USA Road Trip – Day 3 – It’s all about the food!

All completely wiped out from the day & night before, I think we finally surfaced around midday – hungry, hungover and in need of some fresh air.

We took a stroll along the strip from The Aria towards the New York New York Hotel. We were definitely hit with fresh air as it was a lot windier and a bit cooler than the day before.

We had barely got a start on our walk when we stumbled across Double Barrel Road House. Our bellies took over and insisted we check it out as the smell of BBQ sauce couldn’t be resisted.

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Feeling pretty ravenous, myself and Megs decided to go for American BBQ at its finest –  pulled pork, crispy fried chicken and lots of french fries. The boys on the other hand ordered salads…with a huge side of nachos! The food was delicious and just what we needed.

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Full of delicious food, we strolled along the front of NYNY and then decided to pop inside to take a look around. Since planning the trip, Megs had said that she really wanted to ride the NYNY roller coaster, so we went up to the arcade area to check it out. Me being the complete child I am (If you have read my honeymoon blogs you will know I’m not the biggest fan of big rides) decided that I would wait with all the bags, while the other 3 rode.

I went for a little stroll and then watched the roller coaster from the outside. It’s pretty cool how it goes through the hotel and then all around the outside of it.

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About half an hour went by and I was back in the arcade area where I said I would meet them but they weren’t there. I thought they would have been off it by that time as the queue wasn’t that big but it turns out the roller coaster had stopped running due to the high winds (it stops quite often because of the winds) so you could either wait for it to start again (no one knew how long this would be) or you could get a refund, which is what the guys did, as they didn’t want to waste all day in a queue for something they may or may not get to ride.

We decided to carry on our walk along the strip to Excalibur Hotel and then crossed over to the shops like M&M World and the Nike Store. The weather was getting colder and windier and there was even rain in the air. I didn’t know that Vegas experienced rain!

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We took cover inside Planet Hollywood’s Miracle Mile Shops and it would have been rude not to have a look around the shops.

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I also wanted to try the famous Fat Tuesdays frozen cocktails. Everywhere we went I saw people with them and they just looked so delicious and when on holiday you have to indulge with cocktails!

Fat Tuesdays is a simple hole in the wall drinks retailer but they have so many amazing flavours and you can mix and match and get anything from a shot all the way through to a huge super cup. After taking in all the flavours I finally decided on my firm favourite the frozen strawberry daiquiri, in a take away cup so I could enjoy it back in our hotel room, in a bubble bath. Yes seriously!

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We decided to head back to our hotel rooms to warm up and leisurely get ready for the evening ahead, as the weather wasn’t the best and we were pretty tired from the evening before.

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Later on we met Megs and Fraser on the casino floor for a little gamble before dinner. Megs and I were adamant we were going to win the big bucks on the Wheel of Fortune but we never did!

For dinner we had booked a table at Beauty & Essex which is located inside The Cosmopolitan Hotel which is just a quick walk next door from The Aria. Matt and I have visited B&E in New York but never the Vegas one so we were excited to check it out. The decor is amazing, hidden behind a fully functioning antique shop, you would never know that a bar and restaurant sit behind.

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The menu is comprised of lots of sharing dishes so we chose a mixture of things to all try including the grilled cheese dumplings (the most delicious thing ever!) Tomato Tartare, Lobster Tacos and of course we had to finish off with the famous Les NYC doughnuts (insert heart eye emoji here).

We celebrated Megs’ birthday (her actual birthday was a few days before we went away) and it was such a lovely evening. The food and drinks were incredible and I would definitely recommend visiting if you are in Las Vegas or New York. Now if they could just open one in London that would be amazing!

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We popped our heads into the Chandelier Bar, just look at how pretty this is! And then called it a night as we were pretty tired from the full on day before.

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Love, Chloe xx

Friday Night Fun!

Matt has had 6 weeks off rugby training for the Summer, and as much as I have enjoyed having him all to myself, I must admit I have been missing our big group meet up’s and night’s out! (Shh don’t tell him that!)

We knew our friend Dan (who we met up with in New York) would be playing the Piano at Urban Nine, a local wine bar. So we thought this would be the perfect excuse to get everyone together for a fun night out, before the craziness of rugby begins again in a few weeks time!

The evening started as a bit of a manic one. It took me ages to get home from work due to bad traffic, the weather was hot and stuffy so my hair was a bit of a frizz ball and I was a sticky mess (nice!), we then had some people over to look at some work we want doing to our house, but they ended up looking and chatting forever (more on house progress another time!) and so by the time I actually got a chance to start getting ready it was already gone 7pm and Emily & Sam we’re coming over at 7.30pm so we could head to the bar together.

Due to Matt only taking roughly 5 minutes to get ready, he kindly cooked a couple of pizzas for us and poured me a chilled glass of white. While I frantically showered, attempted to straighten my hair in the heat, applied minimal make up and finally threw clothes around the room trying to find something to wear. This was the end result:

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Skinny white jeans, my new fluffy black strappy sandals and a very summery printed vest top, not exactly matching but hey I liked it!

Em and Sam had obviously already arrived by this point, so I quickly joined everyone in the lounge, took a large sip of my drink and then attempted to paint my nails while eating pizza! Bit of a fail oops!

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^^ Em & Sam ❤

Finally ready to go 😉 we grabbed a cab and Em and I realised how matchy matchy we were! 🙂 Great minds and all that!

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Urban Nine is a small piano bar, situated above it’s sister Urban Kitchen. Kitchen being open in the day as a cafe and Nine being open at night as a bar.

Luckily we had reserved an area as there were quite a few of us and with the venue being quite small tables fill up fast! Our tables were in perfect view of Dan on the piano, whereas the other tables are around the corner in the bar area.

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As it was still pretty hot and I was in a holiday kind of mood, I decided to go for a frozen strawberry daiquiri as my first drink and it didn’t disappoint, full of flavour and just what I needed to cool off. Matt then kindly brought bottles of prosecco to share, before we had another look at those cocktails! They have a large choice and they are all delicious.

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^^ Girls group shot! I can’t remember what those lethal green looking cocktails were but they were very sour and soo good!

As the night went on Dan had the whole place singing and dancing and the atmosphere was buzzing. It could have been those cocktails though! 😉

Dan is an amazing Pianist but also a great all round entertainer, he isn’t just going to sit in the corner and play quietly, he likes to put on a show and he is so much fun! He even encouraged people to join him sing and he happily took requests.

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^^ Dan in action

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^^ White jeans were clearly the way to go

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^^ Andrew joining Dan for a song

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^^ Dan’s lovely wife, Sarah & I

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^^ Just a couple of the rugby boys, posing for a picture 😉

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^^ and Andy taking his posing to the next level!

Unfortunately, after a good few hours of listening to Dan play and sing, catching up with friends, dancing, singing and attempting to try all the cocktails, a DJ takes over and plays the usual chart music for the rest of the night.

Which is when Em, Megs and I decided it would be a good idea to do a few shots of tequila Rose;

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From then on the night is a little bit of a blur, but a good blur! 😉

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Cheers Guys and Girls and here’s to the next one, and if any of you are ever in Reigate I would def pop into Urban Nine for  a cocktail or 2 or 3…

Love, Chloe xx

Bidding a Fond Farewell to New York!

After the busy few days we had had, Matt and I decided to have a bit of a lie in on Sunday. Some people had agreed to meet for breakfast but we just knew we wouldn’t make it in time, so we decided to do our own thing and would meet up with everyone later.

After lazing in bed for too long, we finally got up and decided to head to out for breakfast. We weren’t really in the mood to be walking around trying to find somewhere, so we decided on Applebee’s before we had even left the room. There was no particular reason for choosing there, only that we had noticed it from our window, I had vaguely heard of it and they had a big sign saying they did breakfast. Sold!

It was really quiet and empty which shocked me however the servers seemed friendly and I loved the decorations they had put up for graduation. I really wish the UK would go all out for celebrations!

I decided to go for waffles (as usual!) with a cup of tea and Matt went for an orange juice and egg and bacon sandwich. When the food arrived, for once we didn’t feel overwhelmed by the portions it was just 1 round waffle and that was perfect for me, it did lack fruit though as you can see by the picture they could use a little more! I don’t know if I would rush back to Applebee’s again though, as the food wasn’t that great.

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Over breakfast, Matt was in contact with Bruce and the rest of the group, and we decided that we were all going to meet up around midday to get a ferry over to Brooklyn for lunch. So once we had finished, we headed outside into the sunshine to find the closest subway station. We had had enough of taxi’s and wanted to try something different, plus we had some time to spare.

The subway is so easy to use and so cheap! So much cheaper and less confusing than London! For a 1 way trip it was $2 each. I believe that was any trip, anywhere but correct me if I’m wrong! We got the number 1 red line from a station in Times Square all the way down to South Ferry, which took roughly 30 minutes maybe quicker. It was air conditioned (another luxury London is slowly getting), clean and we both managed to get a seat. It was just nice to be on the move and not stuck in the traffic!

Once at South Ferry, we took a walk through Battery Park and along the waterfront. The weather was so hot! Which I was a bit unprepared for, jeans were not a good choice! But still, I love being near the water and in the sunshine. The friends we were meant to be meeting were running late as their breakfast/brunch had run over, so we could have actually joined them all along, but oh well! We then realised we were walking the wrong way, so turned around and headed back along the water in search of Pier 11.

Pier 11 is actually on South Street, a bit of a walk and not near Battery Park or the day trip boats. But we finally found it! and our friends! Only to be told that not everyone was here and so we wouldn’t be getting a boat quite yet. So what to do on a Sunny Sunday? Find a bar of course!

We all walked along together chatting about our breakfast experiences and quickly found Nelson Blue a New Zealand Bar and Grill. We grabbed some stalls along the large window which was actually all open so you could still feel the breeze and the sunshine and took a quick scan of the menu. We were only looking for drinks and the friendly waitress happily recommended a wine for us ladies and beers for the guys and I must say the wine she chose was delicious!

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We could have easily stayed there all afternoon, but the rest of the group caught up with us and Erin recommended an outside bar around the corner (I’m really sorry I didn’t get the name) On walking around the corner, we seemed to have stepped into some sort of market or festival day. I don’t know if this is a usual Sunday thing or if something was going on but it was a lot of fun. There were clothes stalls, outdoor bars, dance classes, live music, the list goes on. So we grabbed a picnic bench and settled down to enjoy the atmosphere and more wine 😉

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^^ How cute is consuela, Bruce and Erin’s dog!? She was adorable but a bit of a diva 😉

It was now around 2pm and a few of the group had to leave as they were flying back to the UK that night! Which was a bit of a shame, so at that point the rest of us decided to head back over to Pier 11 to catch the water taxi over to Brooklyn.

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^^ The View of Brooklyn Bridge from the taxi queue

The queue was quite long and so we waited a while to get onto the taxi, however they are free to use at weekends, so you can understand why a lot of people were using them! Once on the boat, we quickly sped across the water over to Brookyln, taking in the sights of Brooklyn Bridge and The Statue of Liberty along the way.

Once off the boat, it was only a couple minutes walk to Brooklyn Crab, where we would be spending the rest of the afternoon.

iBtvkm5tPrmI^^ Don’t you just love the look of this place? You could smell the seafood straight away, I had salt in my hair and the sun was shining brightly. It was bliss and I felt like I was on an Island in the middle of nowhere.

We had to wait for a table as there were so many of us, but jugs of beer and all the arcade games, kept us happy, along with friendly competitions of basketball hoops and air hockey! If we had to wait longer, we most definitely would of had a game of mini golf!

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We were seated upstairs so had a lovely view of the sea and New York skyline. Now let’s take a look at that menu..

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We decided to get a few starters to share which included the oysters, fried calamari and popcorn shrimp, all of which were delicious. For mains, I won’t go through everyone’s, but Matt got the Blue crab roll and I got the shrimp basket. I love shrimp! We all received so much food so it was well worth the money, I couldn’t even finish all mine and it was so yummy.

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^^ Phil and Jess

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^^ Dan and Sarah

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^^ Group Shot!

It was such a lovely afternoon spent with friends, that I was sad our trip was coming to an end. I would love a place like this, near to home, that I could visit every weekend in the sunshine. Shame the UK weather is so unpredictable!

As usual the time had flown by and it was now early evening, so we headed back to the taxi.

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11140749_10155576994995092_6226463662456738064_n^^ The ladies enjoying the ferry back

Day turned into dusk and Erin took us to a cute little wine bar, which literally looked like someone’s house and we sat outside, drinking cocktails, watching the sun go down. What a perfect last night in the city.

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We got a taxi back to Times Square around 11pm and I just stood taking in all the atmosphere and buzz for the last time.

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Monday morning we packed, had breakfast at the hotel (I had pancakes for a change ha) and then we headed out for one last look of Times Square.

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^^ Matt and I on the Red Steps

We popped into a few shops like The Disney Store, Hershey’s World, Levi and Forever 21 and also grabbed a few last minute gifts for friends and family back home. We decided to have lunch at Planet Hollywood, before getting a taxi to JFK, for our flight home.

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^^ Final buffalo wings of the trip

Sat at the airport I was so sad to be coming home. We had had such a great trip, done so many things and met so many lovely people that I just wanted it to continue. In all honesty it felt like we had been away months not 11 days! It was also nice to experience New York in Summer, as many people including us only really visit in Winter.

But as they say all good things must come to an end, so thank you New York, until next time.

And here’s to the next trip……. Dubai in October hehe.

Love, Chloe xx

P.S. If any of you have any good recommendations for Dubai please let me know, I’m so excited, I’m researching already! 😉