USA Road Trip – Day 14 – Home Time

Our final day in San Francisco and our final day of the road trip!

We all woke up feeling a bit hungover and also sad that it was our final day. The past 2 weeks had flown by but also felt like we had been away months as we had visited so many different places and experienced so much.

We decided to start the day at Taylor Street Coffee Shop. This place has rave reviews online and seemed the place to go for breakfast. It’s tiny and we had to wait for a table but the food was delicious, more English breakfast and omelettes rather than the American traditions such as pancakes but would definitely recommend if you are in the area and need a place for quick food.

From here we had to head back to the hotel to pack up and check out, always the worst trying to squeeze everything back into your suitcases! Thankfully the hotel looked after our luggage for us so we could have one last walk around before heading to the airport.

We all decided to pop back to the shops just in case we had forgotten something or found a last minute deal. We also did the touristy thing and posed with the cable cars! Then finally we popped to a sushi restaurant for lunch where the food was so good and such good value!

Then it was sadly time to get a cab to the airport ready for our 11 hour flight back home to London.

It had been the absolute best 2 weeks away and I would love to do another USA road trip in the future – The Deep South, North California and East Coast are definitely on my bucket list!

Love, Chloe xxx

Honeymoon Day 11 – When in Vegas…

After an almost 12 hour sleep, I clearly needed it! We decided to walk next door to the Wynn for their buffet breakfast. Believe me when I say that there is nothing better than a Vegas buffet breakfast. Last time we visited we fell in love with the Caesars Palace buffet. However as we were in walking distance to the Wynn, we thought we would give theirs a try this time.

There was a small wait for a table, but it didn’t matter as you had a lovely view of the whole restaurant which is beautifully decorated with the biggest floral arrangements I have ever seen, it’s stunning.

4368

The seating area is spotlessly clean and very open and airy, filled with all these amazing flowers, plus they had TV screens showing adverts of the shows to see and things to do, which I enjoyed.

Now for the main event…the food! I think I went up to the buffet 3 times in the end, as there is just so much choice and I wanted to try it all! It is also really good value for money as it will seriously set you up for the day. I started with some granola, yoghurt and mini pastries, then went onto pizza (who doesn’t love pizza for breakfast!?) and finally I ended on some mini desserts such as strawberry cheesecake and mint choc chip cones, which were just delicious! I really wanted to get an ice cream to take away with me, but I had already eaten way too much so went against the idea. Matt stuck to the more traditional breakfast items like toast, bacon, bagels, salmon etc. There is definitely something for everyone, whatever you fancy!

436143634365

Opposite the Wynn and Encore Hotels is the Fashion Show Mall, it’s not overwhelmingly big like some American malls, but has all the shops you could want or need, so we decided to head there after breakfast as we needed to walk off all those treats.

las-vegas-fashion-show-mall-is-a-easy-on-the-eye-fashion-for-Fashion-Show-are-you-going-there-right-4

The mall was pretty quiet when we arrived which was great, as it was like we had the place to ourselves! Matt brought a few more bits in American Eagle while I found a new love with the shop Express, which unfortunately we don’t have in the UK. The sales assistants in Express were so helpful. When they saw me carrying around a few items I wanted to try on they took them from me, set up a changing room ready and still allowed me to go around & look at more clothes, before trying everything on. They even picked a few things they thought I might like and added them to my cubicle too! Take note UK High Streets!

I also fell in love with the shop Hot Topic, where I ended up buying a lot of presents for my sister for her Birthday. We didn’t spend too long shopping though as we wanted to head back to the hotel pool for some sunshine before heading out that evening.

Back at our hotel, we did a quick change and then headed down to find a spot by the pool. It was quite busy but The Encore has a few pools to chose from so you should always be able to find a spot by the one you are after. Whether that’s the Encore Beach Club with it’s famous parties, The European Pool Area with casino tables, hot tubs and stage for live music. Or the smaller pool which we always found ourselves at, as it had the perfect mix of relaxation but you could still hear the music from the other areas so it wasn’t too boring. We spent the rest of the afternoon chilling in the sunshine, enjoying the yummy frozen strawberry daiquiris!

4370

That evening our hotel concierge had amazingly managed to get us a table at Gordon Ramsay’s Steak Restaurant located inside the Paris Hotel.

43874400

On arrival we spotted the man himself which was really exciting, but we didn’t manage to get a photo with him. We did however get a photo with Chef Christina which if you are a fan of Hell’s Kitchen, like we are was pretty cool. She was so lovely and I think a bit shocked that a British person was asking for her photo!

4396

The food was absolutely amazing and we were shocked at the large portion sizes considering it’s a fancy place. To start Matt had the Shrimp cocktail, I have never seen shrimp so big they were huge! I went for the pork belly which to be honest could have easily been a main course, but it was super tasty.

43914390

Then for mains Matt had the Wagyu American filet steak which I think is one of the best things he has ever eaten, as he has mentioned it a few times since! I had the fish and chips and was shocked when 2 whole fish arrived, it was delicious but I couldn’t finish it all.

4394

For dessert I had the sorbet as I fancied something light and refreshing and Matt had the baked Alaska. They brought our desserts out with candles, as a celebration of our honeymoon.

440144024404

After dinner we headed over to Omnia nightclub in Caesars Palace to see Calvin Harris’ DJ set. Not your typical honeymoon evening but we had such a fun time and Calvin was amazing.

4406

4405

The views from the bridge on our walk over to Omnia 

 

4416442344254435

We finally got back to our hotel around 4am and decided to do some gambling, when in Rome Vegas… 

14633049_10157624227820092_2955409658633457563_n

Love, Chloe xx

Honeymoon Day 6 – Disney’s Animal Kingdom!

After our super relaxing day the day before, I was shocked when I woke up feeling a bit run down. I guess the build up to the wedding and then a few busy days at the parks had finally caught up with me. Nothing a little lie in and sunshine couldn’t help fix though.

 

3661

The view from our room

 

We drove to Animal Kingdom with the roof down enjoying the morning’s weather.

As we weren’t planning on staying all day at the park and with me not feeling 100% we decided it was easier if we drove ourselves.

14721531_10157623945540092_7100027519134398601_n14523092_10157623945960092_3898228416085362981_n

We arrived about 10.30am and after grabbing a map and taking an obligatory picture with The Tree of Life we decided to head straight to Festival of the Lion King – a 30 minute musical extravaganza showcasing the best songs from the film, we loved it.

14882253_10157623879740092_7404174968885361690_o

The Tree of Life

3925392339243928

3936

The Festival of The Lion King

 

As we had fast passes booked for the bigger rides after lunch, we went back to The Tree Of Life to watch It’s Tough To Be A Bug as this had barely any wait time, it’s meant for kids but I jumped a couple of times from the creepy crawlies under my chair!

14882275_10157623880300092_1166095229653514528_o

Such big kids!

We decided to keep walking anti clockwise (away from the crowds) and ended up in DinoLand U.S.A. which wasn’t too busy, probably due to the fact that Dinosaur the ride was closed for refurbishment.

ell685434large

Personally, I don’t feel that DinoLand is that exciting and it looks a bit tacky with the funfair style games and big brightly coloured rides. But it’s great for kids who love dinosaurs as they have the huge boneyard play area and then TriceraTop spin which is basically a dinosaur themed Dumbo ride.

The only other attraction in this area is Primeval Whirl. A spinning family friendly roller coaster. This had a 40 minute wait time but we decided to join the queue as I think Matt was ready for something a bit bigger then It’s Tough To Be A Bug 😉

I’m not going to lie I felt a bit scared queuing for this ride, as you know I hate roller coasters and even though this one wasn’t actually that big, the thought of drops and spinning made me fear I might be sick. Also doesn’t help that you are just watching the ride go round and round while queuing which made me more anxious!

The line moved quickly though and soon enough it was our turn. Matt used the GoPro on this ride and I really wish I knew how to upload the video as it makes me laugh so much. I am constantly screaming but actually I really enjoyed it, it was a lot of fun and the spinning weirdly made it better.

3945.JPG

We had fast passes for Finding Nemo the Musical so that was next on our list, it came at the right time too as we were absolutely melting from the humidity, so an air conditioned theatre was just what we needed! This show was amazing, all done with puppetry it was visually stunning and had some really catchy songs too.

14902842_10157623880505092_6427970952754421183_o14902794_10157623880500092_7150771195900272249_o

I was starting to flag a bit by this point and as I hadn’t fancied eating breakfast I was starting to feel quite hungry. We hadn’t booked anywhere for lunch as most places in Animal Kingdom seemed to be quick service, so we made our way around to Africa to Harambe Market. It was pretty busy as it was right in the middle of lunchtime but I managed to grab us a table in the corner, next to a fan hooray, while Matt kindly stood in the long queue, in the heat to get our lunch. Thanks Matt!

228c4131-68f6-4a12-aade-b500d046a35e

The food options are a bit random but Matt went for the corndog and I had the vegetarian stack which was roasted peppers, aubergine, courgette and onions with coleslaw. It was nice to have a rest in the shade and refuel, as it was just so hot.

We had fast passes for the Kilimanjaro Safaris after lunch, and we were lucky enough to see quite a few animals on our journey including rhinos, lions, giraffes and even elephants to name a few.

kilimanjaro-safaris

 

396139653967397139763977

Afterwards we made our way over to Asia, as we had fast passes for the Kali River Rapids.

3952.JPG3953

Unfortunately though we still ended up in a pretty long queue, clearly a popular time for them! We felt that the actual rapids themselves were pretty boring and over really quickly, which was such a shame, as we love water rides, but these are nothing like the Popeye rapids at Universal which are so much fun. Even though we got pretty wet and had a much needed cool down, we were a bit disappointed with them, especially after queuing for so long too!

img_7226

The only ride left to do, which I had been debating over all day was Expedition Everest. A very big roller coaster, and we all know how I feel about those! I kept seeing it from a distance thinking no way it’s too high and then I would have a talk with myself and say no you have to do this, you have to face your fears. Matt also really wanted to go on it and didn’t want to ride alone, so he kept asking me to go on it with him. But I just didn’t know. In the end I stood watching it from the viewing point for ages and decided I just couldn’t do it. The drop, the going backwards in the dark, none of it sounded appealing and it just terrified me. I felt bad for Matt and he still tried to persuade me to get on it but in the end he rode alone. Sorry Matt! The only positive of that was he didn’t have to join the 45 minute normal queue, instead he joined the much shorter single rider line and he was back again within 10 minutes! I also managed to get some great pictures of him on the main drop and he was happy having gone on all the rides available, that day.

14522880_10157623880240092_8520220072974578766_n

Expedition Everest in the very distance!

14721635_10157623946035092_1940708532162157662_n

Spot Matt in the blue T-Shirt!

As the park was really busy and we had done all the rides and shows available (the only things we missed were all the animal encounters you could walk around and the train which I believe goes around the park) we decided to call it a day and drove back to the hotel, eating some delicious Mickey Mouse Ice Creams along the way!

3991.PNG

That evening we decided to drive to Disney Springs as we hadn’t ventured there yet. The weather had once again taken a turn for the worse (it seemed to be an afternoon/evening thing!) so was a mixture of rain and thunder and lightening, yet still very hot.

We had tried and failed to get a dinner reservation for The Boathouse, which looked absolutely stunning on the water. Make sure you book way in advance for popular dining options! However we did manage to secure a reservation at The Dining Room at Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe.

It’s quite a small restaurant located above the Wolfgang express cafe, overlooking Lake Buena Vista where we had a great display of the lightening.

14568054_10157623881035092_7198531197153595155_n

Matt went for the sashimi starter which he said was amazing and I chose the crab cakes which were so tasty. For mains I had the crispy pork schnitzel which was enormous and came with potato salad, tomatoes and a really yummy sauce, I didn’t manage to finish it all though. Matt went for the roasted duck breast which unfortunately he said was pretty bland, so wasn’t too impressed and said he wished he had stuck to the sushi which was delicious. For dessert we shared Wolfgangs famous apple strudel with cinnamon ice cream which was so comforting. In the end I was totally stuffed.

14883593_10157623881275092_4132514810006808082_o

It was so big!

We spent the rest of the evening leisurely walking around all the shops that Disney Springs had to offer, and there are a lot! Including a huge LEGO Store and World of Disney – The World’s largest Disney store!

14900580_10157623881270092_5261470221773013086_n

I would love to build this!

Love, Chloe xx

Honeymoon Day 3 – Shopping, Storms & Sports!

After a much deserved lie in, we decided to jump in the car and find a good spot for breakfast. Told you, food is always the first thing I think of!

14633675_10157623851385092_1204286550466437867_o

Our hire car

We drove with the roof down, making the most of the gorgeous Florida sunshine and after a quick online search, we ended up at Keke’s – a restaurant specialising in breakfast.

14615696_10157623850855092_4607772643042706160_o

KeKe’s seemed a popular spot which made us happy with our choice and we couldn’t believe how much was on offer with the large and varied menu.

In the end I decided on a large chocolate chip waffle with a side of banana and strawberries which was absolutely delicious and Matt went for the chocolate chip pancakes. Just check out the pancakes though, it was like a Man Vs Food challenge and our waitress found it hilarious watching to see if he could finish them all, but unfortunately he couldn’t quite.

14632849_10157623851100092_479654723365276078_n14732380_10157623851110092_392504328895555791_n

Keke’s is next door to The Mall at Millenia, which is huge and filled with every shop imaginable but after breakfast we decided to drive a little further to the outlets instead.

I love American Outlets as you can get such great bargains. We didn’t visit every shop as we would have been there all day, but we just checked the map to find the ones we really wanted.

I honestly couldn’t believe how cheap things were though. For example in Victoria’s Secret they were selling lip glosses for $1 each! One Dollar! In our UK stores they are currently £9 each madness!

We also popped into The Disney Store, Ralph Lauren, Sunglasses Hut, Levi, American Eagle and my absolute favourite Bath & Body Works. Seriously when is the UK going to get one of these stores? I have been obsessed with them for years and on this trip alone I managed to bring back about 10 soaps and numerous other bits and bobs, everything just smells amazing! I brought a cherry ‘Vampire Blood’ soap for Halloween which all our visitors loved and Sparkling Snow has been out since Christmas and looks and smells so lovely.

 

3811

Inside Bath & Body Works

 

We had just left Bath and Body Works and only had one shop left to visit when a huge thunderstorm began. We had to take cover under a shop awning as there wasn’t enough time to run back into a store without getting drenched, plus I had leather flip-flops on, not the most practical footwear to run in!

It’s crazy how quickly the weather escalated and how heavy the rain was coming down. The thunder and lightning were directly above us and was so loud! The weird thing though was it was still so hot so even though we were getting rained on we didn’t feel cold.

 

3817

Just a little windswept!

 

We watched some people make a run for it, either to a shop or their cars but then the rain would come down even heavier. In the end we decided to make a run for it ourselves as we had no idea how long we would be waiting there for otherwise. However running to the last shop we had a bit of a nightmare when my Bath and Body Works bag broke – silly paper bags! So we were scrambling around in the pouring rain trying to collect all the goods that had spilled everywhere. Kindly, a stranger gave us one of his bags to use after seeing us struggle. Thanks again kind man! 🙂

Shopped out and soggy we made our way back to the hotel.

We didn’t have any plans for the evening so after having a little look at our options, we decided to head back to Universal’s CityWalk. We felt like the night before we had been too tired to take it all in properly, plus Matt wanted to watch the Miami Dolphins game, so we decided to head back and find a place to eat, drink and watch the game.

14523196_10157623851360092_5173522935480387388_n

Our hotel lobby bar

Universal was a lot busier than the day before but we realised it was the start of their Halloween Horror Nights so everyone was making their way into the parks. The Horror nights look amazing if you are into that sort of thing but I think I would be super scared! I can’t even watch horror films let alone walk around feeling like I was in the middle of one! So we left them to it and made our way to NBC Sports Grill & Brew. This place is huge and has screens everywhere showing all the sport imaginable. Matt was clearly in his element! They also played amazing classic rock music which is my favourite so wasn’t all bad 😉

We got a couple of drinks and decided to order a load of sides and starters to share rather than a proper meal, as we just wanted to relax, snack, drink and watch the game. Again a lot of fried foods oops, but they are so yummy! I think in the end we went for the cheese curds, onion rings, fries, southern fried sliders and buffalo wings – always buffalo wings they are my absolute favourite!

14581311_10157623944845092_3746870341716349259_n14680770_10157623944905092_8180617681514969771_n

It was a lovely chilled evening, but I couldn’t even tell you who won the game!

More fun tomorrow.

Love, Chloe xx

Donkeys, Dresses, Dinner and Dancing!

OK, so I admit it..I have been a very bad friend to my old school friend, Lauren.

1931386_116427480091_156_n

^^ A photo of us at a party in 2006/2007. Well it is #TBT

She got engaged in December AND asked me to be her bridesmaid, something I was mega excited and happy about. I congratulated them straight away and I couldn’t have been happier for them.

BUT I hadn’t actually seen her since November! See what I mean about being a bad friend! Don’t worry I’m tutting at myself!

We both have lots of excuses as to why we haven’t seen each other in so long though. Lauren is a nurse so works all weird hours, we live a couple of hours apart, I had just moved house, Lauren was looking to move house, it was Christmas, we had holidays. You know what it’s like and the list goes on. However we always make time to message and check in on each other and she is definitely that friend that you can go months without seeing, yet when you meet up it’s like you saw each other yesterday. Those are the best kind of friends and I’m glad to say I have quite a few of those.

I must admit though we haven’t always been the best of friends. When we first met at 13 years old we HATED each other. I don’t even know why. But we were horrible to one another! I mean really horrible! But luckily by the time we got to 6th form (16/17 years old) and were in a few classes together, we seemed to get over our issues, and actually found out we were quite similar and had a lot in common. And the rest as they say is history. At least we have lots to look back on and laugh about now! 🙂

So when we realised it had been 6 months since we had met up and we STILL hadn’t celebrated her engagement properly, we finally got a date in the diary. And so last weekend, Matt and I drove to the New Forest, to visit Lauren and Rich’s new place and to finally share some bubbles!

The drive was long, much longer than it should have been. The satnav decided to take us on a bit of a detour in an attempt for us to miss the motorway traffic, but we always seemed to end up in more traffic. But with the sun shining brightly, music on and a packet of wispa bites to keep us entertained, things could have been worse 😉

We finally arrived at their new place 3 hours later! But I only managed a quick hug and hello to Rich before I was getting back in a car to head out bridesmaid dress shopping with Lauren and her other bridesmaid Lucie.

We left the boys behind, having only met once before..in a pub…about 2 years ago. They would be fine, right?

The car journey was a very picturesque one, making our way through the centre of the New Forest. But stupidly I didn’t take a camera and my phone had ran out of battery. So I can only describe it to you. Sunshine, fields and forests that go as far as the eye can see, flowers, cute tiny foals, donkeys, so many horses and lots of children, laughing and having fun. If you haven’t been to the New Forest, you really should. It’s beautiful!

We made it to the dress shop and were let loose 🙂 Lauren is a very chilled Bride to Be and basically let Lucie and I have free reign. We tried on soo many styles and colours. Some we liked, some not so much. But we finally came to a decision on one that we both loved. It fitted us both perfectly and was the colour Lauren had wanted all along. How did we know 😉 Unfortunately I can’t say any more. You will just have to wait until December for the wedding! But they are gorgeous.

After all that hard work (we actually managed to do it in about an hour which I think is a miracle!) and to thank Lauren for buying them for us. We thought it was time for some tea…and cake. We crossed the road and actually stumbled across a cafe called Chocol8. Just take a look at this place, how could you resist going in??

8304100129_86fa1d395f_b

chocol8-see-do-food-drink-large

It’s pink, girlie, glam and gorgeous. I was a bit in love. Plus they sold handmade chocolates, fudges and sweets. As well as serving afternoon tea, cakes, sandwiches and smoothies. Perfect.

We ended up staying, gossiping and eating for quite a while. The chairs were too comfy, the cake was too good and we just didn’t want to leave. But we had dinner plans and boys to get back to! So we made our way back through the forest again.

Lucie ended up dropping both Lauren and I off at a local pub, where Matt and Rich had spent most of the afternoon. See we had nothing to worry about. Wimbledon, rugby and beer, we knew they would get on! We chatted about each other’s afternoons and what we had been up to and then looked at the time! Oops.

We rushed back to theirs and then Lauren and I had approximately 10 minutes to get ready before a taxi arrived. I think I’m getting quite good at this rushed getting ready thing, who needs hours? ha 😉

Glammed up and ready to go, the 4 of us headed into Southampton for dinner at Grand Cafe.

Grand-Cafe-01

The venue, as the same suggests, was pretty grand and I fell in love with the décor, a bit like the cafe earlier. Just bigger and better! We were taken to our table by the window and ordered some drinks. Mojitos for Lauren and Matt. A bottle of wine for Rich and I. I guess opposites really do attract ha.

11666201_10155758742265092_6042663819735894316_n

11698781_10155758744775092_4930774693161467331_n

We were talking so much, that I started to feel a bit sorry for our waiter, who had tried to take our food order about 3 times. But each time we would tell him we hadn’t looked or weren’t ready!

The menu had a good mixture of everything steaks, seafood, vegetarian options etc and we finally decided on 2 sharing boards to start.

The Spicy BBQ, which included ribs, chicken wings, garlic bread, corn on the cob and wedges. Plus the Italian Job, which included Italian meats, mozzarella, olives, plus plenty of breads and dips. There was a lot of food, but we had worked up an appetite and so it all disappeared pretty quickly!

IMG-20150705-WA0015 (2)

After the feast, we managed to contain ourselves when the mains arrived and so I managed to get a snap of these!

IMG-20150705-WA0017 (2)

^^ The Veggie Burger for Lauren. She’s not a veggie, but sometimes the veggie option is too good to resist!

IMG-20150705-WA0019 (2)

^^ A beefburger for Matt

IMG-20150705-WA0018 (2)

^^ Ribs for me, because I hadnt had enough with the starter! 😉

and finally….

IMG-20150705-WA0023 (2)

^^ Rich went caveman and got the ‘Meat on a Stone’ Basically cook your own steak.

The food was good and filling and for once, I couldn’t fit in dessert!! We stayed for a little while longer finishing our drinks and chatting. We had lots to catch up on and I needed to hear about all the wedding plans and of course hear the proposal story again 😉

We didn’t even realise the time, it was nearly midnight, so we decided to head to a bar for a couple more drinks. We found a small bar who would let us in, as weirdly most of the places refused us, due to them closing soon. We had no clue where we had ended up and looking around we seemed to be the youngest there! But the music was great, Spice Girls, Gina G, Wigfield! Haha all our old cheesy favourites so we were soon dancing the night away!

11241622_10153011382473404_2322940471874883739_n

A great day with great friends 🙂 and hopefully we won’t leave it so long next time!

Love, Chloe xxx

A Sunny Saturday in New York!

After a very disturbed sleep, I blame the fireballs entirely! 😉 We woke up on Saturday to sunshine and the excitement of Times Square below.

We had separate Boys and Girl’s Day’s planned. So while Matt rushed to get ready for his early start, I leisurely lazed in bed and watched my favourite guilty pleasure.. Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Matt left and I finally managed to get myself out of bed, oh how I wish I could have stayed there all day! I had a cereal bar (all I could stomach), a large glass of water, jumped in the shower and then got dressed ready for Soul Cycle.

I have never been to a Soul Cycle class before, however with all the hype surrounding it and all the celebrity followers I was very excited to try it out. Even if I did have a massive headache and slight hangover. So I grabbed the first taxi I could and headed to Union Square to meet the rest of the ladies.

b5cf6a79358810d8d121d4ffbe66b81b

^^ Soul Cycle, Union Square, NYC

I must admit I am not a gym bunny. I have tried a couple of classes before including spin, so I knew what to expect but I was a bit worried that I would look out of place and wouldn’t be good enough. However I needn’t have worried, the people who worked there were very helpful and after filling out a form and being given proper shoes to wear (the type that clip into the bike, we don’t have those at spin!) I met up with my group of friends and we found our bikes ready for 45 minutes of intense workout!soulcycle021

Oh all while the boys were playing baseball and eating and drinking all day……

11102954_10155576996020092_2595798929237075672_n

Wow Soul Cycle is hardcore! I don’t think I have ever sweated so much in my life. But I felt so good afterwards and I think it even helped shift my hangover. The class was full, but everyone was super friendly and it almost felt like you were part of some sort of team. The room is quite dark but I liked that, no one could see my bright red face, muffin top squishing out of my leggings or the beads of sweat constantly dripping off me ha, how lovely. But I just kept thinking how good this was for me and I really enjoyed it and the time flew by. Our instructor was amazing and so motivating, if a little OTT at times and I loved all the club music and how you rode to the beat. Half way through the class you use hand weights while cycling which mixed things up a bit. I found the stretches at the end a bit difficult as she uses the bike to help you but I think I was too small/short as my legs couldn’t even reach the floor haha. But all in all I had a great time and would so recommend it and would love to try it out again over here.

After the class Erin had to leave to do some last minute party prep. So the rest of us went back to our hotel’s and had a much needed shower!! I decided to spend a couple of hours in the afternoon just leisurely looking around the shops including Macy’s, as we needed to buy Bruce and Erin a wedding gift. We got them some Kate Spade His and Her’s tumblers in the end. They didn’t ask for anything, already live together and have been on their honeymoon so I thought this was just a cute gift.

download

I also popped into a gorgeous cupcake shop on my walk back, called Crumbs Bake Shop. I really couldn’t resist or decide what to have once I was in there, way too many good cakes and biscuits to chose from!

In the end I went for The Blackout for Matt as he loves anything chocolate and a raspberry flavoured one for myself, although I was so nearly tempted by The Grasshopper as I love mint choc chip!

file_26_1_1024x1024

^^ Blackout – Chocolate cake filled with fudge mixed with vanilla custard, topped with chocolate cream cheese frosting and chocolate crumbs drizzled with chocolate. Yummy!

I slowly walked back to the hotel, soaking up the sunshine and taking in the atmosphere of Times Square. I just love standing in the middle of Times Square, it makes me feel like I’m in a movie or something. Just me? OK 😉

Once back at our room I completely crashed on our bed. My legs, bum and feet were really aching by now, what had that spin class done to me?! The next thing I knew I was being woken up by Matt coming back to the room and we both got ready for the evening.

As I have mentioned before Bruce and Erin had already eloped and got married in February, so this was basically the after party and a chance for us to all celebrate with them!

We got a taxi to STK Downtown in the Meatpacking District and I was excited for the night ahead. We arrived at the venue and were told to head all the way upstairs to the Rooftop (yay just what my legs needed more steps 😉 ) but once we got to the top it was so beautiful, lots of sleek grey and white sofas and umbrellas, good music and a small bar area exclusive to the wedding party.

download

Matt got us a couple of drinks and we mingled with all the other guests and friends. Erin looked stunning in her white, floaty wedding dress, totally her 🙂 Below is a pic of the happy couple on their actual wedding day, doesn’t it look gorgeous?!

image2

After mingling and drinking for a while, we all headed inside to a private room which was pretty large, with 2 sections, one with a bar and dance floor, the other set up with tables for dinner. I loved the décor very goth glamour my favourite! We all sat for dinner, picked our food choices and then listened to all the speeches.

11208660_10155576993570092_7858608535612765662_n

^^ Matt and I enjoying our evening at STK. My dress is from ASOS.com

The food was really tasty. To start I had the kale salad, Matt had the Tuna Tartare. For mains I had the grilled half chicken and Matt had the steak and to finish I had the cheesecake and Matt had the brownie.

11209426_10155576996015092_1257654918353259195_n

^^ Our table, apologies it’s so dark but it was so dark in there!!

After dinner we spent the rest of the evening dancing the night away and chatting with friends new and old.

It was such a lovely evening and we were so happy to be a part of it for Bruce and Erin. Here’s to the newlyweds! ❤

Love, Chloe xx

Chicago Part 2! Food, Fishes and Fun

Oh the joys of jet lag!

Having gone to bed so early the night before, Matt and I woke up at 4.30am on Sunday morning! Not fun, but being 6 hours behind the UK meant I got to have a bit of a catch up and gossip with home. We tried and failed to go back to sleep, so in the end Matt got up at 6am for a swim! After a couple more hours of snoozing on/off and lazing around, we decided to get up and head out for breakfast.

Christina had recommended Wildberry to us, she explained there would be a bit of a queue but that it was absolutely worth the wait. So we set off into the wet weather, in search of Pancakes and Waffles, taking in all the fun sights and smells of The Theatre District along the way. We eventually found Wildberry due the mass of people and long queue that surrounded it! Is this really what she meant?! We managed to squeeze through the people and found out there was a nearly 2 hour waiting time for a table! Eek! and then we found out why..it was Mothers Day! (Mother’s Day is in March in the UK) We didn’t want to wait that long and so we walked back into the hub bub of the city and found a cute cafe instead. Refuelled and ready to go we made a quick stop at Target (Why is everything so cheap in the US, it’s not fair, I wanted to buy everything!) to get some supplies for our apartment, before heading back to meet up with Christina and Jason.

Originally our plan was to go to a baseball game that afternoon, but as the weather was so miserable and we didn’t fancy sitting out in the rain, the boys decided to stay in and watch the Bulls game instead. And what did us girls do? Shop of course!! Christina took me along Michigan Avenue which is home to the Magnificent Mile and we shopped until we dropped. My favourites included Express and Bath and Body Works (neither of which we have in the UK) Bath and Body Works I have been obsessed with for a long time and always make sure I stock up on soaps and hand sanitizers whenever I’m in the US, they smell incredible and feel so nice on your skin too. I am so gutted they don’t ship to the UK, please open a shop soon!! We also visited a huge Victoria’s Secret which I managed to spend a small fortune in but hey it’s cheaper than the UK so that makes up for it OK 😉 As we were having such a good time catching up and shopping we didn’t even realise the time (it was nearly 6pm!) So we headed back to the apartment, dropped our bags off and picked up the guys and headed to a local bar for a few drinks.

A few hours and cocktails later, my tummy was rumbling and in need of some good food, so we walked to Hard Rock which was at the end of the road. I know some people don’t like chain restaurants but I really love Hard Rock, I love the memorabilia and the good music they play, and I knew that being in the US we would get some good BBQ food too! And I was not disappointed, check out the pulled pork burger below! Excuse the hair though, I had been walking in the wind and rain all day!

11350465_10155576957010092_2348093770085849700_n 11143282_10155576957170092_8473682796128083869_n 11222679_10155576957200092_9179226052389118246_n

Nom Nom Nom.

When Matt and I woke up on Monday morning, we were so hoping for some better weather! I know we are used to it being from the UK but we were on holiday and needed some sunshine! So when I opened the curtains and saw that the weather was even worse than the day before I wasn’t too happy. What could we do today that was inside? We looked online during breakfast and found the Chicago City Pass, it seemed like a good deal and included some of the attractions we had talked about visiting, so we brought 2 passes and jumped into a taxi to The Shedd Aquarium.

11351195_10155576959000092_8387539866388751477_n

We have been to quite a few Aquariums before including London and Sydney but we enjoy them and wanted to see what The Shedd had to offer. Check out some of the animals we found cute, funny, strange:

11013285_10155576957510092_5765613037546216299_n 11144415_10155576958505092_545617809791702678_n 11202951_10155576958245092_58416927592318264_n 11295741_10155576957685092_2473306677313772021_n

We did take a looottt of pictures of fish so I don’t want to bore you with all of them!

There are so many different areas to see and explore and all are very interesting. Unfortunately though we didn’t spot the dolphins and we just missed out on the opening of Stingray Touch but everything else more than made up for it!

Included in our City Pass was a ticket to see the 4D experience film. As we are big kids we went for the Ice Age film version rather than the educational one! 😉 but it was still funny whether you’re a kid or an adult, promise! On the way out, we popped into the gift shop, where Matt thought I looked like one of the toy turtles, thoughts? haha.

11020757_10155576958985092_4178778724340546047_n

I would say Matt and I spent around 3 hours at The Shedd Aquarium, but I’m sure if you had kids with you, or wanted to visit all the live talks and shows you could easily spend a whole day there!

It was now around late lunchtime (I swear I always think about food!) and so we headed back into the city to check out The Cheesecake Factory. But not before having a selfie and quick snap with a school bus! (The Magic School Bus, was one of my favourite TV programmes growing up, so I had to take a pic! Our buses aren’t yellow 😦 )

11264882_10155576958710092_4662209126889458077_nIMG-20150522-WA0054

Now where’s that Cheesecake?

Having been to America quite a few times before I had yet to experience a Cheesecake Factory! I know I know, what have I been doing my whole life!? and so I was super excited for my first experience!

Look at all the cheesecakes…..

11377245_10155576948075092_4275383902040326440_n

But first onto the ‘proper’ food. And where to start? The menu had something like 26 pages, crazy. Luckily we had an amazing waiter who knew from the looks on our faces that it was our first time. He explained the portion sizes, asked us what we liked/didn’t like and told us what he did and didn’t recommend, he was super friendly and honest and we liked that. and so what did we go for? A salad and sandwich to share, he told us this was a good choice. So we sat back, relaxed and waited for our food to arrive… and then it landed on our table…OMG good job we got this to share!! Check it out……

10405386_10155576947755092_2793031609345105646_n 11351315_10155576947810092_4740497735609281080_n

I don’t think we had ever seen such a big salad before, but do you know what? The food was soo good and tasty, full of flavour and was definitely hitting a rather large hole! 😉 I did feel a little like Adam Richman though tucking into that salad haha. We tried our best to finish it all, but we HAD to keep room for cheesecake! I don’t think we did too badly though….

11351276_10155576947985092_5846559737504816679_n

So now what to choose for dessert? I LOVE dessert it is my favourite part of the meal, but there was just SO MUCH CHOICE!

11064850_10155576947575092_1469377407905780431_n 11377217_10155576947535092_7353124416180746212_n

In the end we decided on the Oreo Cheesecake to share, it’s making me hungry just looking at it all over again..

11226543_10155576959580092_4205804691805415388_nJust look how happy I am! It’s as big as my head and sooo delicious! I was tempted to buy another slice to take home for later but my eyes caught up with my belly and I went against it! 😉

13408_10155576959565092_3225762780926192820_n

Thank you Cheesecake Factory for a delicious lunch and please come to the UK soon!

The rest of the afternoon was spent walking around the shops, trying to burn off that big lunch! Before meeting up with Jason and Christina at Beercade for evening drinks. If you love Beer and Arcade Games this is your place to go! Luckily they had a large selection of cocktails for me to chose from too! A good, fun evening had by all!

IMG_8668headquarters1

Love, Chloe xx

P.S I want that sign in our house!

And…I’m back!

How quick did those 11 days go?!

We got back Tuesday afternoon, but after a flight delay and the unexpected delivery of our new dining table as soon as we got to our front door, I then spent the rest of the day sleeping! So much for staying awake to lessen the jet lag! Oops! 😉

Yesterday was a bit of a tough day too, I went back to work, wishing I had taken the rest of the week off and basically sat at my desk like a zombie, not really taking anything in and forgetting how much staring at a computer screen all day, looking at numbers and spreadsheets, sucks.

After work I drove to the supermarket to do a food shop (you know us women’s favourite thing to do *yawn*) however they did have a good deal on wine, hooray! I felt like I was on super market sweep, dashing around the isles, wanting to get home as quick as possible, to pass out on the sofa. But then someone got in my way…the cashier…she started off pleasant enough with the usual how was your day, you’ve got a lot of shopping, etc. But then she stopped me in my frantic food packing state, to ask for my ID…Noooo. The one thing I didn’t have on me. I could tell her exactly where it was.. in my dressing gown pocket – where else? ha 😉 as Matt had only given it back to me that morning from where he had kept it in his wallet our whole holiday. Also I know most women see this as a nice compliment – well it usually is when you have your ID and laugh that your nearly 10 years older than 18! But when you don’t have it, it’s like you just want to scream and protest just how old you are. But she wasn’t having any of it and she made me look like a silly little teenager when she took all my bottles off the conveyor belt! So then I sulked. I was tired, grumpy, jet lagged and just wanted to buy the wine. I paid and left in a very foul mood! (no wonder she didn’t serve me!!) When I got home, the first thing I did was place my ID straight back into my purse, so hopefully I won’t have to go through that embarrassment again any time soon! lol.

Anyway as you can probably tell, yesterday I was a little over emotional, but today is a better day, I’m feeling back to normal and ready for yet another bank holiday weekend woohoo! This one is set to be a super busy one. We have a wedding on Saturday, I am performing in 4 dance shows over the weekend, oh and my parents are coming to stay! So no stress at all! 😉

I did have a great time away though, both Chicago and New York are amazing, so much to see and do. It was so much fun and great to catch up with old friends and make new ones. Plus I just love America! 🙂 ❤

I shall tell you all about it in my next post!

Have a great long weekend!!

Love, Chloe xxx