Engagement Trumps Birthdays

The first 24 hours in NYC were epic. It started out at dinner with Jon to celebrate my birthday and our anniversary and ended with a Saturday brunch with the besties celebrating our engagement.

From this:

to this:

to this:

Rewind to the beginning…we got into NY around 4pm.  We were staying at a hotel because Jon’s parents were “painting” the apt (which turns out wasn’t true).  We got to the hotel and I immediately ran off to get a mani/pedi because I was in desperate need of one (anyone that lives in London understands). I knew I had to be ready early but  I thought I had enough time to get both a manicure and pedicure but I was wrong.  I wound up getting a pedicure and half a manicure (no polish).  I headed back to the hotel to shower and get for the dinner.

We met Jon’s sister, Erika, at the restaurant for some drinks before dinner.  We caught up, laughed and everything seemed totally normal.  Jon and I went upstairs for dinner to enjoy delicious sushi.  He decided he wanted to give me my birthday present after dinner and I wasn’t going to say no so we went back to the hotel.

I walked into the room and there were rose petals, flowers, presents, candy, champagne, and some other things all over the room!  I was in shock! I turned around and Jon was down on one knee.

After spending time together we headed down to the lobby where I was surprised to see my family and his family. We celebrated with toasts and drinks and then headed to a bar where I was surprised again by all my friends.

After a crazy night out which ended with dancing to a cover band we woke up to meet the girls for bunch at barmarche which I highly suggest you visit if you are in NY.

I still can’t stop smiling and can’t believe I’m engaged!

I keep forgetting that my birthday was on Saturday too.  I don’t really care though because the engagement definitely trumps the birthday.

Let the wedding planning begin!

Packing Sucks

As you know from the last post I’m in NYC right now. I’m home for about 25 days so that’s a lot of clothes and other things.

Somehow all of this

Fit into this silver suitcase

I brought about 25 shirts, 6 pants, 10 dresses, running gear, 4 pairs of shoes and other random things.  The blue bag is my carry-on which has my computer, 3 school books and 4 notebooks. Blah.

I’m really proud of my packing skills and how they have evolved over time.  When I was in college I went to California for a week with my family and I brought 2 huge suitcases for the week.  What an amateur. =P

I’M SO EXCITED TO GO HOME!!!!

Home Is Where The Heart Is

You hear that phrase over and over but no matter how many times you hear it it’s still true.

I’m heading home for a month and I couldn’t be more excited to see my family and friends.  My 27th (wow) birthday is on Saturday so I can celebrate it at home which makes me ecstatic to say the least.  We have lots planned including a wedding, holidays, family time, friend time and I’m even working in the NY office of my internship.

This will be the last long break to visit NY & NJ so we are going to make this one the best.  Hopefully the weather gets better because I want to just wander with my dunkin donuts coffee in hand. I can’t wait to eat sushi more than 3 times in a week, have a chopped salad for lunch, have a bagel with cream cheese and lox, dry my clothes in 30 minutes and so many other things.

I also have to study for 3 exams, write a paper and write my thesis proposal but I don’t want to be a downer right now so let’s ignore those little details of my fabulous month at home.

So cheerio London and HELLO NEW YORK!!


A Weekend In Gibraltar

I gave a hint to where we spent our weekend here and if you guessed Gibraltar then you were right!

We wanted to get away for the weekend and go to a plane neither of us have been to so we decided on Gibraltar.  Our hotel was in La Linea, Spain but it was a 10 minute walk to the border of Gibraltar so it was not difficult at all.  We just had to carry our Passports because we had to show them every time we crossed it.

Gibraltar is a British overseas territory so we heard lots of British accent and didn’t have to worry about currency since they accepted GBP.

We saw the rock as we were landing which got us really excited.

We quickly dropped our bags off at the hotel and headed back to Gibraltar to check out the town.

 

Trafalgar Cemetery

Trafalgar Cemetery

Gibraltar Botanic Gardens

Gibraltar Botanic Gardens

Gibraltar Botanic Gardens

And then we ended our day with a drink (and Cuban cigar for Jon) in Casemates Square people watching and enjoying the beautiful weather.

Loving Gibraltar and the relaxed lifestyle.

Florence, Italy: 6 Years Later – Day 3 in Pisa

In case you missed it:

Day 1

Day 2

We flew out of Pisa airport so we hopped on a train from Santa Maria Novella to Pisa for the day so we could explore the city.

Here’s a video of the view from the train going from Florence to Pisa.

It was raining in Pisa for the first 2 hours we were there so we headed to a restaurant to eat lunch and hoped the rain would stop by the time we were finished.

It stopped raining and we made sure to see all the important sights.

The Cathedral.

The Baptistry

We walked through a flea market as we were on our way back to the airport.

Then it was off to the airport to head back to London.

Florence, Italy: 6 Years Later

I have been putting off this post because there is so much to say I’m not sure how to say it all and not bore my readers. I think I’ve come to the conclusion that this weekend will have to be broken up into several posts.  Hope you enjoy them!

I studied abroad in Florence in 2005 (wow 6 years ago!) so I was very excited to go back to Florence since living there.  I wondered if I would remember the streets, if restaurants would still be there and how much the city had changed over the years.  The minute I stepped off our Ryanair flight (side note: baggage was a perfect carry-on size) it all came back to me (except the Italian unfortunately).

We started our weekend by getting lunch at Osteria dell’Agnolo which was a spot you could find us at all the time 6 years ago. I even ordered the same dish I always did, Ribolitta.

After lunch we wandered around the city. First we walked to the Duomo.

The Uffizi.

The Ponte Vecchio which was full of jewelry shops.

Along the Ponte Vecchio there are padlocks that symbolize the unbreakable bonds of true love. This tradition started many years ago and it actually didn’t have anything to do with love at first.  Men leaving for the service would put the lock there with a promise of coming home. There are so many and each have initials and dates on them.  To be honest, I wanted to put a lock on there but we didn’t know where to find one.  Cheesy or not, I wanted to do it. 

Wandered around a little more.

For dinner we went to one of the best restaurants in the world, Ristorante la Giostra. I didn’t take any photos of the meal but I’m still thinking about the delicious ravioli stuffed with pear and pecorino.  You can tell the pasta was fresh and it melted in your mouth.  For the second dish we shared sea bass cooked in tomatos.  I don’t think this is on the menu but the owner offered it to us after we couldn’t decide (or read b/c the menu is in complete Italian) what to get.  The tomatoes were roasted to perfection and blended with the sea bass perfectly.  Now I want to go back…  If you go to Florence and do not eat at La Giostra then you wasted a trip because you missed out on the best part….for real.

 

That was day 1.  On to day 2…

55cm x 40cm x 20cm (22in x 16in x 8in)

Those dimensions represent the strict carryon baggage allowance rules for Ryanair. I don’t remember these rules 5 years ago when I flew them but I know they are strict about them now so I had a little anxiety finding a bag and making sure it wasn’t bigger than the allotted size. We are only going away for 3 days so I luckily didn’t have to pack too much.

STEP 1: Find a bag.

Step 2: Layout everything that needs to be packed.

CLICK PHOTO TO READ CAPTIONS

Step 3. Pray it fits in the bag. (Sorry no photo)

Step 4: Smile because said bag is packed with room to spare!

Fingers crossed I don’t get stopped when I get to the airport!

Guess where we are going……

 

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