Sunday, October 7, 2018

Honeymoon first Stops: Boston and Las Vegas

We left London on A Saturday afternoon and flew to Boston, arriving in at 7.30pm Boston time. We somewhat regretted flying from London when we saw the queue for customs, it was approx 45 minutes long and poor hubby got into some trouble over some apples that I had left in the bag. However after a minor detour to US agricultural control we were on the road to Coolidge Corner.

The first night we had just enough time to check-in, dump our bags and explore the immediate area s little bit before bed. We grabbed a quick dinner and settled in for the night. Our B&B was a beautiful old house behind the main street in Coolidge Corner. It was decorated and steeped in the history of the building including old family photos from the early 20th century in a super old--fashioned library. It was extremely welcoming and friendly with a family feel.

The next morning we had breakfast in the B&B, they have a family table set up where guests help themselves to a variety of breakfast foods (eggs, cereal, yoghurt, fruit) from the centre of the table. From there we set off into Boston. First stop of the day had to be the local Trader Joe's (fun-fact - this is the first trader joes I ever went to, 14 years ago, aswell).

We then headed over to Harvard to explore this esteemed college. The campus reminded us so much of Trinity college in Dublin and it also reminded me a lot of Yale. I guess the Ivy-leagues have a very similar aesthetic but we were duly impressed with the beautiful buildings and the manicured grounds. From there we went to MIT, when I briefly lived in Boston I trained with the MIT TKD club and so it was so much fun to go back to those places and explore the college in more depth with Brian. We both picked up MIT apparel, which I wished I had done back in 04 and will treasure now.

We then headed into town proper and spent some time exploring the city, I showed Brian the shops of Newbury Street and we found a new shop, Johnny Cupcakes with a really cool oven shaped door. Unfortunately the shop contained no actual cupcakes and although the merch was cool, my deep disappointment at the lack of cupcakes prevented me from buying anything at all.

We also explored the park, where we stumbled upon a legalized weed festival and definitely left with a contact high and did the classic thing of going to Cheers. We went to a delicious restaurant that night with my Uncle and his partner - 75 Chestnut which was such a lovely chance to catch up with them.

The next day we walked across the city to go to my (and Nelly's) old place of work - The New England Aquarium. Pretty much nothing has changed so it was a really fun step into the past. Brian also loved the many penguin exhibits.

This guy is actually from Toronto Airport but seemed appropriate here
 Then we took a flight that night to Las Vegas, with a fleeting panicked (15 minutes from plane to plane) change over in Philly. We landed at 11.30pm local time and just about managed to get ourselves to the Hotel - the Luxor. We decided to stay one night in the Luxor and the next in the Cosmopolitan. We really wanted to experience what it is like to stay in that pyramid and it did not disappoint - You can see out the side of your corridor down into the pyramid below, it's actually quite dizzying! Las Vegas was exactly as I remember, crazy expensive and bizarrely disconnected from any sense of time or normal reality. This may sound like a bad thing but I find it to be a really unique experience that seems to mirror back whatever the visitor puts into it.

Our first day in Vegas we hit the gym and then hit up Urban Toms - Our favourite breakfast spot in Las Vegas!! The omelettes and breakfast burritos there are fantastic, there's decent coffee and really lovely servers. From there it was a whistle tour of some of our previous spots and then we picked up a car and moved over to the Cosmopolitan Hotel. This is where we got engaged in 2016 and we were so excited to get back and try out the Wicked Spoon Restaurant which we hadn't been able to in 2016. There was a huge selection of foods with exciting ingredients like bone marrow and wild boar, as well as some gluten free and vegan cake options so something for everyone.

 Vegas is full of incredible places to eat and as well as the wicked Spoon our hotel also happened to have a new addition of a Momofuko and Milk Bar. I was absolutely delighted. I had recently watched the chef's table with Milk Bar and my brother had convinced me to watch Ugly Delicious in preparation for our adventure. So it was fate..... We got a whole buncha cookies from milk bar, including the famous compost cookie, which I found to be....okay but I didn't love. I think it was the crisps that threw me off but I am very very glad I tried it.

We also checked out Fremont Street which we had missed in 2016. There we saw some of the older casinos and the zipline. One consideration in both these locations was the heat. Boston seemed to be getting an indian summer on the weekend we were there. The sun was backing down and temperatures were easily in the low to mid 30s C. Vegas was even hotter it was 38-40C while we were there and the sun was scalding hot on the skin. Las Vegas is so air-conditioned in the hotels that it created a really unusual experience of flipping between too cold and far too hot in the split second of walking outside. However walking down the street the city had  lamp-posts that sprayed mist into the air to keep us all from drying out completely. It was such a pleasant experience in that heat.

We felt particularly sorry for the street performers, out there all day! Finally we also went to the Bellagio, which I somehow managed to miss the first time around. There were saw an absolutely incredible Fall (autumn) flower exhibit, a Christmas shop, a chocolate fountain as tall as the ceiling and a little robot that delivers items from the shop to around the hotel.

 The last thing I did that I had missed the first time was that I gambled. I choose one of those slot machines with the giant red handles on the side, I immediately doubled my money (1 dollar to 2) and then cashed out while I was ahead - doubling my money in Vegas baby ; ) 

I will leave it there for now but return soon with more from our trip to Los Angeles and the start of our roadtrip experience in America!

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Honeymoon Plans

Hello again,

So we have something kind of interesting planned soon. Myself and my husband are headed to America on a roadtrippin' adventure. We have decided to document the whole thing here to share with friends and family who have so kindly contributed in so many lovely ways, and also anyone else who might just be interested (I read and am reading a whole bunch of blog preparing for this).

It will also definitely be a trip involving lots of exciting food exploration for us and so I think it will add some interesting foodie content on here and on instagram, if that's your preferred content.

Photo from Savvy travel

So I thought this might be a fun preparation post to give some details ahead of time.

We head off mid September and start in Boston. We spend a few days there and then fly to Las Vegas, where we got engaged. We spend a few days there, where we intend to hit Fremont Street as we missed it last time and the Neon graveyard cos it sounds so cool. Then we pick up a car and drive to Los Angeles. We are visiting family in Los Angeles and really really excited to see them there. We stay in Los Angeles for a few days, where I am also hoping to tour the Warner Brothers Studio and see where they filmed the Gilmore girls (Eeeeeeeeeeeee!).

In Los Angeles we are renting an RV, a huge RV!! We will then drive the RV up through California, stopping off in Sequoia and Yosemite . In Napa we are staying in a beautiful hotel for a night and we plan to do a few sneaky vineyard tours and drink a glass or three of wine....

Then it's on to the north California coastline and up into Oregon. We have some further stops planned in Oregon, definitely staying a night in Portland, to rent some bikes and hit up some craft breweries, and then up to Seattle.

In Seattle, we finally bid farewell to our (hopefully) trusty RV, and stay in a hotel again. We plan on touring Seattle and seeing the original Starbucks amongst other things.

Then we board a train to Canada!!

We have chosen the awesome looking Cascades train that goes up the coast and includes beautiful large windows with lots and lots to see. We will celebrate our one year anniversary as a married couple with a drink and an incredible view. We disembark in Vancouver and then our Canadian adventure begins.

We are planning on hitting more exciting wilderness with a tour of Whistler and Garibaldi.

We are also really really hoping to see some bears in Canada - from a safe distance of course. We also want to explore Vancouver and the city experience in Canada.

Then after all the fun we will fly home, happy and tired but probably already planning our next adventures to Canada and Alaska.

As some of you are aware we had originally wanted to make it to Alaska on this trip. However, we could only take so much time off work, and after a huge amount of careful consideration we decided that pushing ourselves to make it to Alaska would probably end up reducing the time we had to appreciate all the places on the way. So we will make it to Alaska, no doubt about that, but just not this trip!

So that's our honeymoon. We are extremely excited now, doing lots of prep work and walking training, as you can tell we will be doing a lot of hiking on this trip. As mentioned at the start of this post. We have made the decision to document our experience on here. I cannot promise daily updates, particularly as we are staying in an RV in national parks for a good chunk of time and there will be no wifi there. That said we will be taking lots of photos so we will plan to update on here every few days and update instagram more regularly. So if you have any interest in following us on our American and Canadian adventure, check back here for more. See you soon =)

Honeymoon first Stops: Boston and Las Vegas

We left London on A Saturday afternoon and flew to Boston, arriving in at 7.30pm Boston time. We somewhat regretted flying from London when ...