There is never a dull moment in Sin City. I am not a big gambler, but that doesn’t mean I can’t play with the best of them! I wouldn’t say I won big, but I sure tried to look the part!
I’m back! I took a little break from writing. My life has recently taken me to NYC. Sometimes things just appear in front of you, don’t ask why, you just trust the new path.
I moved from NYC almost 4 years ago. NYC was my home for 6 years. Let’s just say it’s the longest relationship I have had in a long time. Just like in some relationships, I needed a break. I needed to experience new things, new people, in a new place. I needed to start over. I am so happy I took this step. I think this is the only way we grow in life. You have to take chances. Since moving to Venice Beach, California I have been so lucky to visit NYC almost every month. But since last May that changed. I no longer was getting my city fix. I had this huge craving to see the city I was in love with for so long. Two months ago a job offer came out of no where, and I was on the next plane. I was New York City bound, and on a mission to fall in love yet again.
New York is the city that inspired me to travel. The city for me is full of beautiful magic. It makes me feel alive. I know for most people the city that never sleeps is a lot to handle. Most are happy with just a long weekend. If you give the city a real close look, you will see it has so much to offer. Yes, nothing ever seems easy. Yes, you walk until your legs feel like they are going to fall off. Yes, winter and the rain are no fun. But then there is that perfect fall day, or when all the holiday decorations are making the city shine bright . This is when I smile and appreciate all the big apple has to offer. In a matter of minutes you can feel like you are in China, Italy, to Poland. There are little worlds of culture everywhere. Exploring the city and getting lost is like traveling around the world by foot.
A southern girl straight out of college stepped foot on the island of Manhattan 10 years ago and has never been the same. The city has played a major part in making me who I am. I have grown and experienced more than I could of ever imagined. It has given me the courage to travel the world without any fear. I always say NYC is bootcamp for life. If you can survive here, you can make it anywhere. Once you get over the hump of the weather and the constant struggle that the city is fighting against you. You have made it. You can call yourself a New Yorker. You deserve it.
Since my days as a concierge, It was my job to know the city inside and out. I am going to let you in on some of my secrets and my favorites places. Some of them are new, most are my old goodies.
Remember that Times Square is the theater district, but it is not the heart of NYC. The people who have lived or live in NYC do not go there. So be like a true New Yorker and get out of that bubble. Explore the best city by foot. Start walking…and enjoy! Fall in love with everything it has to offer. I will let you borrow my boyfriend for a bit 😉
Bowery Meat Co.
Lure Fish Bar- happy hour
Beauty and Essex
Jacks Wife Freda
Criff dogs- come on! Hot dogs and tater tots. *secret bar inside Criff dogs. Walk into the photo booth and pick up the phone and say how many you are. Bar is called PDT- (please don’t tell)
Miss Lilly (east village)
Boom boom room (top of standard hotel) – best view of the city )
Death and company
PDT (see above)
Central Park- it is huge. But go anywhere in the park. It is worth your time to explore. (Take a carriage ride- might be touristy but worth it. Grab some champagne to enjoy while you stroll around)
Highline park- this once train track just recently expanded along the Westside . One of my favorite NYC parks.
Downtown: west village, greenwhich, soho, Nolita, east village, lower east side. I’m a downtown girl. Walk it all
Brooklyn Bridge- walk over it to Dumbo. Once on the other side. Best view of the NYC skyline
Museums- American history is my favorite
MET and MOMA are also a must see
There are places that are so picturesque that you can not take a bad photo. Then there is Big Sur. The ‘sur’real land along the central California coast stretches 90 miles long. You hear stories about the beauty of big sur. But this is not a land that can be told by stories. This is a land you need to fully soak in and one that needs to be explored. Big Sur is an actual slice of heaven.
You have no choice but drive on highway 1 along the coast. The roads are very windy and seem to go on forever, but that all just fades away. You get lost in the dramatic cliffs and crystal blue waters, forgetting that you are still in California. It is the most exotic place I have been, while still on US soil.
Big Sur truly has it all. There are tons of great hikes. The camping is some of the best in the world. You can even rent a lavish cabin on the cliffs. It even brings something for the top foodies. You have to check out Big Sur Bakery and also Napenthe. Napenthe has the food and the view. The bakery has everything one could ask for: great food, and a beautiful rustic atmosphere.
In my book Big Sur is a top wonder of the world. If you have not yet experienced the wonder, you are missing out on a magical and mythical place. Trust me…Big Sur will blow your mind.
Accommodation Tips: Unless you plan and book way in advance, It is hard to get a room in Big Sur. Camping is always an option, but the camping grounds book up as well. Or you can do what I did and stay in Monterey. The city is not a far drive from the top
of Big Sur. It is also a cute city to explore. Carmel is also an option. Both are usually on the more affordable side. If you are determined to stay inside of Big Sur just make sure to plan many months in advance.
The city that has it all. This might sound a bit impossible, but if you have had the pleasure to visit the southern city, Charleston, then you know exactly what I am talking about. I grew up in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Then after a few years at University of Tennessee I landed at the College of Charleston. After just moments I felt at home. The city does have it all. Everywhere you turn there is history, culture, food, fashion, THE BEACH, and just great people. What else could you ever want? There is a pause I get when I say my family all lives in Charleston. It is a pause of why did you ever leave? I ask myself this question all the time.
When you think of Greece, you think of the Greek Gods. The land was made for and by the gods. It shows in every city and every island. You can easily get swept away with its color and charm. And let us not forget about the food. I have eaten all over the world and the Greek Mediterranean diet is one of my favorites. I decided to concentrate on one island that I have been dreaming of going to for years. That island is no other than the amazing Santorini.
But before you enter the jaw dropping islands, you have to pass through Athens. I love athens. I have been here before. Since I was here for just one night, I wanted to live like a local. I seeked out some art and culture. Luckily enough there happened to be The Athens Art Festival. I decided to attend the African dance version of Swan Lake. After buses and trains and walking many miles. I was outside my comfort zone (which I love) and far from city center. I was of course lost yet again. I finally found the warehouse theaters, and it was worth everything. It was breathtaking, beautiful, and tragic. Happy with my night, I had to get ready for my early ferry to Santorini.
The island lived up to it’s very big shoes it had to fill. I could feel the Greek magic over take me as I pulled into port. I wanted to beach hop, and the island is way to big to walk. We figured 4 wheels were safer than 2, so we rented an ATV. We were a little naive. It was scary, but we managed to explored the entire island. I wanted to see the famous sunset and eat fish. I did both, everyday. I saw the red beach and the black sand. We toured and sampled local wines at Santos Winery. At the winery the views could be one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. We finished our last night by riding our ATV to a local outdoor movie theater. We had no idea what to expect, but were just excited to see an English movie. And it just happened to be Pompeii. We were there just weeks before. And the magical little theater might have been my favorite thing on the island. It was all outdoors with recliner chairs and jazz playing in the background. You could drink wine and beer and sit among new friends. We all couldn’t help but share in each other complete happiness in the moment. It didn’t matter what movie was playing. It was the perfect night.
I was very happy with my last hurrah of European island hopping ending in Santorini. I was once told by a friend that Santorini was the only place she had ever been that looked better in person than it’s google images. It is true. It’s hard to explain how gorgeous the island is without experiencing it firsthand. Everyone out there make sure the Greek islands are on your bucket list. The gods created them for a reason!
Check out my new post for Kate Spade New York. So happy to be apart of an amazing fashion company!