Heading Down South

I’m on a plane to New Orleans for a bachelorette party!Jamie’s getting married so we’ve got to celebrate!

I’M SO EXCITED!!!!

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!!


AC La Linea

In case you are catching up on our trip:

Gibraltar

Climbing the Rock

Marbella, Spain

We stayed at AC La Linea.  It’s a chain of hotels throughout Spain, Portugal and Italy.  The hotel itself was very nice, well priced and had a free mini bar.

Sorry about the messy photos.  I couldn’t get a photo before Jon plopped down his belongings EVERYWHERE.

Here was the view from our balcony which was also a plus.

I hope you enjoyed my commentary.

While there were plenty of good things about this hotel there were a couple of bad things.

1. The front desk weren’t much help.  We didn’t know where to eat dinner so we asked for some recommendations.  The women had to think and then gave us 3 places.  We tried one the first night and it was not good. We also about tours, day trips and things to during our stay and all the lady gave us was a map of La Linea.  She couldn’t give us any more information which was frustrating.

2. There wasn’t any conditioner in the bathroom.  I know most European (or outside of the US) hotels don’t provide conditioner but I’m still going to complain because I don’t understand why they don’t provide it.

3. Free wi-fi in the lobby but not in the room.  Just put it in the room too.

There were more pros than cons so I would recommend staying at an AC hotel if you are in Spain, Portugal or Italy.

5 Hours In Marbella, Spain

Day 1 of vacation

Day 2 of vacation

Day 3 was spent in Marbella, Spain.  It was a 1.5 hour bus ride up the coast.

I knew it was a beach town and it wasn’t going to be hot enough to lay out but we figured we might as well explore since we were close enough.  While doing research we saw a lot about the Bonsai Museum so we checked it out.  We were the only visitors and we didn’t have any guidebook or descriptions of the plants so it was pretty funny.  It was 2 rooms filled with different Bonsai trees that were up to 500 years old.  If you’re in the area don’t waste your time.

There you go.  You can now say you visited the museum.

After the museum visit we went down to the beach and the old town.

There were street artists in the old town and their work was very beautiful.  One in general stuck out.  Watch him do his thing in the video.

What do you think of his work?

Marbella was a great day trip but next time we will definitely bring our bathing suits so we can lay on the beach.

Climbing The Rock

You can read about our first day in Gibraltar here.

The best way to see all of the Rock of Gibraltar is to take the cable car up to the top and then explore it on foot.  At the base of the rock there are a ton of “tour guides/taxi drivers” trying to persuade you to take their tour for £70 but we did it all for £17.50 and was able to go at our own pace.

We took the cable car up the rock.

The view from the top was breath-taking.  You could see Gibraltar, La Linea, Algeciras and a bit of Morocco.

When we got off the cable car we were warned about the monkeys but we also read  this ahead of time:

Barbary Macaques (Apes)

Tourists should be aware that the Barbary macaques are wild animals and do bite. It is advisable not to feed the Barbary macaque, despite encouragement from irresponsible taxi drivers. It is illegal (hefty fines are in force) and bad for their health. Never try to pick up a baby Barbary macaque – its mother will not be happy, and neither will you. If you are bitten by a Barbary macaque, you will require hospital treatment, whilst the Barbary macaques are rabies-free they can infect you with hepatitis, they are most aggressive on the top of the rock, as the most successful animals claim the uppermost reaches of the rock, their less successful fellows being shoved down the rock and the social pecking order.

(source)

Clearly these Americans didn’t read the same article.

Other things to do on the rock are:

St. Michael’s Cave

Climbing stairs and walking miles:

Great Siege Tunnels:

The Moorish Castle:

Eventually you make it down the rock and are so tired you just sit in the square and devour chips with cheese, cheesy garlic bread and beer. Yummmm!

A great second day in Gibraltar! 

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