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winter fashion faux fur

Currently: May 2018

Hello May. It’s a little crazy that we’re already over a quarter-way through this year. And yes, I think this every year.

This month has been a strange one. The end of last month was a bit tumultuous really. Like very hard. But over the last week I’ve found a new sense of content-ness. Just simple things like going to the gym and eating well have weirdly (or not weirdly at all tbh) made me already feel so much better.

So without further ado, here’s what I’ve been currently coveting and doing this month:

CURRENTLY

Reading: I really haven’t been doing much reading at the moment. Bar, proofreading and subbing my magazine. I would really love some book recommendations though!

Watching: A lot of YouTube. Namely kids trying food on HiHo Kids by the CUT. I’m not particularly sure why it fascinates me so much. Also been watching the new season of The Handmaid’s Tale. Man is it good. Highly recommend. Also loved Marvel’s Infinity Wars, holy moly.

Listening to: Billie Eilish, Masego, Drake’s “Nice For What” and Childish Gambino’s “This Is America”, and the usual So-Ko jams. “Shine” by Pentagon, anything by SEVENTEEN, BTS’ Japanese album “Face Yourself” and some of Eric Nam’s new songs.

Dreaming of: Being happy and content.

Planning: A trip to Melbourne and later in the year, Japan.

Making: lots more food and trying new recipes which is super exciting. I really do love cooking.

Enjoying: feeling happier and healthier. Now just to keep it up! And being able to wear my (faux) fur coat again now that winter’s approaching – exhibit A being the feature image of this post.

Eating: as healthily as I can. I’ve really been getting that meal-prep down pat, which has been great for not having to cook after coming home from the gym at night.

Goal setting: Nothing in particular apart from perhaps saving money, which is a constant.

Lusting over: Food, as usual.

What have you been loving this month? Would love for you to let me know in the comments below!

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Disneyland Hong Kong

Disneyland Hong Kong (5 Days in Hong Kong: Part 2)

This series of blogs begins with a sad prologue: The phone that I took all my photos on while I was away has since died before I could get all the photos off it, so the visual storytelling of these posts will be reliant on Snapchat and Instagram posts, so bear with…

If you haven’t read about my first day in Hong Kong, you can check that out here.

*scroll down for my top tips and insights, otherwise feel free to read on from below*

Ok, let’s begin: Day Two in Hong Kong was one I’d been looking forward to as soon as my Mum announced we’d be stopping in Hong Kong for a few days. For me, Disneyland was a given — period. This strong sense of need originates from my previous job: working for Disney World in Orlando, FL back in 2016. It was like a homecoming… except like in a different country, but Disney is Disney.

In case you are new to my blog and are unaware, I love public transport. Auckland public transport is an exception (which I unfortunately take everyday as I am car-less), but if I head to a different country, a good public transport system is what I live for (it was the only way I got around Paris, New York and London) and is generally budget friendly. To get from our friend’s place to Disneyland we caught two MTRs (Mass Transit Railways) before hoping on the designated “Disney” MTR, which had Mickey-shaped windows (cute).
Disneyland Hong Kong MTR

Everything was decorated for Christmas, with giant Christmas trees and wreaths and bells hanging from all of Main Street which was so cool to see.

Hyper Space Mountain Hong KongFirst things first we headed over to Future World to go and ride ex-Space Mountain, which has now been renamed Hyper-Space Mountain to fit into the Star Wars theme that Future World is turning/expanding into. Once upon a time this was my favourite ride (this has now been over-taken by Rockin’ Rollercoaster at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida), and still is super fun. I am yet to leave without tears streaming out of my eyes (I have sensitive eyes guys – seriously).

Pooh Disneyland Hong Kong

It was then off to Fantasyland, where we took pics with some of our fave character, Tigger and Pooh, re-created photos of ourselves on Dumbo and the Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups from literally 10 years ago when we’d visited as a family, and of course went to visit the little New Zealand doll in It’s A Small World. We also had a walk around the Fairy Tale Forest which wasn’t there when we’d last visited.

Disneyland Hong Kong

One of the absolute highlights was going to Toy Story Land. This was definitely not there last time we visited and was home to a couple of the more intense rides including RC Racer. I actually chickened out initially and it wasn’t until later in the day that I agreed to go on (reluctantly), twice. It was also home to Toy Soldier Parachute Drop – pretty much the Toy Story equivalent of Disney World’s Tower of Terror, where you’re sat on parachutes that drop up and down, rather than an elevator.

Mystic Manor Disneyland Hong Kong

We also made it to Mystic Manor, which was pretty cool, Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars was another favourite ride of mine. What I would call a mash between Expedition Everest at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Big Thunder Mountain at Disney’s Magic Kingdom (sorry for all these Disney World comparisons – it’s hard not to since I literally spent 6 months of my life there). We also went for a night ride on the Jungle River Cruise.

MY TOP TIPS & INSIGHTS FOR DISNEYLAND HONG KONG

  1. Eat a big breakfast before you go, and get there early!
  2. Catch the Disney MTR to get there. It’s super cute and convenient.
  3. Bring comfortable shoes, you’ll be waiting in lines a lot.
  4. Get fast passes for popular rides like Hyper Space Mountain.
  5. GO ON RIDES DURING THE PARADES AND FIREWORKS. I cannot reiterate this enough. Particularly during the final fireworks display (which is of course beautiful) because there are NO LINES. By taking advantage of this while everyone was congregated around Main Street, we we were able to go on Hyperspace Mountain 6 times in a row, before running across to Toy Story Land to go on the Toy Story Parachute Drop and the RC Racer 3 times. It is really really worth it, particularly if there were rides you skipped earlier in the day because of the long lines.

On a train. 12am. Post-Disney.✨

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And so, that was pretty much my day! And what a long day it was. We then proceeded to catch three MTRs back home and got a very late dinner (McDonalds at midnight), before hitting the hay. Unfortunate I don’t have more pics, thanks to my broken phone, but you’ll just have to go visit for yourself to see it 😉

Have you been to any of the Disney’s before? What are some of your favourite attractions of things to do? Let me know in the comments below!

Wu & You Auckland

Food Photo Friday #37: Lunch @ Wu & You, Auckland

Food: Tuna Sashimi Pizza, Wok Fried Broccolini, Mr Krab’s Nori Taco, Yuzu Pot/ Consumed at:Wu & You, Mt Eden, Auckland / Date: 25 April 2018.

I’d been hanging out for about a month to try this place ever since it had opened. Working alongside food magazine Dish, I had gotten the low-down, which had obviously made me even more eager to try it.

On ANZAC day I headed with a bunch of friends to Wu & You, an restaurant with a similar approach as Melbourne’s Mr Miyagi, for lunch. I was on a bit of a tight budget and also am supposed to be doing the Biggest Loser Challenge at work, so those were the two things stopping me from ordering literally everything on the menu.

I’d had a squiz at the menu the night before (indecisiveness is a major flaw of mine) I’d made up my mind already of what I would be getting (surprisingly no dumplings for me this time which is incredibly unlike me).

I almost broke my decision, but persevered and ordered the Tuna Sashimi Pizza from the “Little Guys” menu, Mr Krab’s Nori Taco from their “Loners” menu, Wok Fried Broccolini from their “Sides” menu and as a tasty finale, a Yuzu Pot from their “Happy Endings” menu.

The Food:

Wu & You Auckland deep fried taco

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I started with the Tuna Sashimi Pizza which was comprised of yellow fin tuna, avocado, tobiko (fish roe), kewpie mayonnaise and purple shiso all sat on a thin wafer/cracker. I really loved this as a starter. It was light and refreshing and could easily have eaten another three plates, easy.

Wu & You Auckland nori taco

Next was the dish I had been eagerly awaiting: Mr Krab’s Nori Taco. Pretty much an epic seafood taco, but instead of a hardshell tortilla they’ve deep-fried sheets of nori – genius. Presented in a fun cardboard holder that read “every now and then I fall apart” this particular nori taco was stuffed with tempura soft shell crab, sushi rice, guacamole, jalapeno and topped with curried mayo. The menu describes it as “100% epic” and epic it was. I really enjoyed it, all the ingredients worked really well and the rice was a good addition as the nori had that fried greasyness to it (not necessary a bad thing though) and along with the fried crab, the rice balanced it out well.

After deciding I was definitely not recording my calories into My Fitness Pal today, I was glad to finish the meal with a plate of the Wok Fried Broccolini which was marinated in mushroom oyster sauce and sprinkled with pork crackling, a good palate cleanser after the greasy (but delicious) dish I’d just consumed. I feel like this particular batch was a little over cooked as it was pretty soft and I prefer a tiny bit of crunch but overall a solid dish.

By now, I was absolutely stuffed. But somehow I convinced myself dessert was still a great idea. My colleague had spoken very highly of the Golden Gaytime Paddle Pop, essentially New York Cheesecake on a stick, and while it sounded incredibly appealing – think frozen New York Cheesecake, chocolate ganache, miso caramel and cookie crumbs, I was feeling more of a fruity vibe on this particular day. Because of this I went for the Yuzu Pot: lemon and yuzu curd, yoghurt mousse, pistachio and lemon meringue shards. It was very lemony in the best way possible, but maybe a little too sweet (I can’t believe I’m saying this), for my liking. To be honest maybe just one layer of the curd with all the rest yoghurt mousse would have probably suited me better, but each to their own I guess. I still really enjoyed it though.

In the end we left with very full tummies and a complimentary fortune cookie. While the price broke the bank a bit, I wouldn’t mind paying it again, as I felt like it met the quality of the food and service. Unfortunately this time around I didn’t try any of the cocktails, but I’ve heard some great things, so I’ll definitely be back to try more things on the menu place a cheeky cocktail or two.

Have you been to Wu & You yet? Would love to know what you thought! Drop me a comment below!

Food Photo Friday #36: Lunch @ Birdie’s

Food: Szechuan Roast Duck, Roast Pumpkin Birdie Bowl, Cocktail on Tap/ Consumed at: Birdie’s All Day Bar + Deli/ Date: April 2018.

I live just a couple of minutes away from Sylvia Park, but despite this, I still haven’t had a chance to check out all the new eateries that opened at The Grove at the end of last year. Last Saturday, bored and hungry (plus a little hungover) I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to head to one of the eateries I hadn’t yet been to yet, Birdie’s, to see how it was.

I hadn’t yet talked to anyone who had been there and saw pretty mixed reviews online, but after a look at the menu there sounded like quite a handful of tasty dishes, so I was keen to give it a try.

We headed in for a late lunch (around 3pm) so the place was pretty quiet. I really liked the decor – we sat opposite a wall with wooden frames framing bunches of dried leaves, herbs and flowers and to our left hung baskets filled with plants next to a huge window. We ordered drinks, I ordered the Cocktail on Tap, which happened to be an Apple Mojito and Georgie ordered an Early Bird (which I wish I’d gone for to be honest), a mix of bourbon, Earl Grey tea, raspberries and lemon juice.

Soon after, we ordered our food. I ordered the Szechuan Roast Duck from the ‘Smalls’ menu along with the Roast Pumpkin Birdie Bowl and I added rotisserie chicken. Georgie went for the Roasted Cauliflower and the Chicken Deli Roll.

The Food:

Szechuan Roast Duck (with roast beetroot, pomegranate, horseradish fraiche, sorrel, roti crisps): I tried the Szechuan roast duck first which was super tasty. The roast beetroot added the perfect sweetness to the dish while the pomegranate added a great tart flavour. The duck was also marinated and cooked really well with crispy skin and juicy meat.

I have a question for knowledgeable food people though: Perhaps I’m being ignorant, but when something is labelled Szechuan, would you expect it to be spicy? Because this was not. I guess Szechuan peppercorn is part of Chinese Five Spice mix though, which isn’t particularly spicy. IDK, I’d genuinely like to know what you think.

Carrying on, the roti chips were a nice textual addition, although I would have preferred for them to be a bit thinner because it was almost like I was just eating plain puff pastry with no filling. Overall though I really enjoyed this dish and would happily, and gladly order it again.

Roast Pumpkin Birdie Bowl (which also included kale, farro, chickpeas, labne, za’atar, roast lemon purée): So when I saw this come out I was like “oh damn, I’ve ordered too much”. It was a pretty generous serving I would say, and with the added rotisserie chicken on top, I knew I had probably over ordered, but it looked delicious. Weirdly there was no roast pumpkin in sight. The salad as a whole was delicious, but I specifically ordered it because I thought there was going to be roast pumpkin, so I was a little confused by that. The additional chicken was a generous serving, although I felt like instead of a huge hunk, it would’ve been better to shred it a little bit, as the meat was a little dry (the skin was super nice and crispy though!).

After a quick chat with Georgie she commented that her cauliflower was tasty, but probably needed a little extra sauce and her deli roll was also great, but how it was served (in a metal basket) made it tricky for consumption!

Final Thoughts:

Overall a good experience, a pricey one, but a good one, and to be fair I was absolutely stuffed when I left. Tasty food, great service and great atmosphere. I’ll happily come back for more as there are plenty of things on the menu I’d love to try. Namely the Miso Roast Eggplant, the Hoisin Beef Rump and their ‘famous’ Chicken Croquettes – may have to wait until pay day though.

Have you been to Birdie’s at Sylvia Park yet? If so, let me know what you thought below. Or, if you’re a Szechuan cuisine expert, let me know your opinion about whether you’d expect something labelled Szechuan to be spicy. 

 

Easter at The Hamilton Gardens

On Easter Sunday I made the drive to Hamilton to spend the day at the beautiful Hamilton Gardens with my friend, family and family friends. It was a gorgeous warm autumn day, and I was surrounded by gardens that transported me to a new country each one I visited, but the best part? It was free!

It had been a long time since I’d visited Hamilton Gardens, and while a day spent looking at gardens may not sound like the most exciting way to spend your day, it’s actually a pretty relaxing, enjoyable day out.

We left Auckland close to 10am and arrived at the Hamilton Gardens about an hour and a half later. It was packed. Before venturing into the actual grounds, we stopped for a quick bite to eat at their cafe (I was actually really keen to try a cafe I’d heard about, The Kirk, but with limited time we stuck to the Hamilton Gardens cafe).

First up were the ‘Enclosed Gardens’ and this is pretty much where we spent most of the day. The enclosed gardens are just that, enclosed within walls (or fences), each with their own theme. The first stop was the Italian Garden, which is probably my favourite, and definitely the iconic place to snap a pic (because if you didn’t go to the Italian Garden, did  you even go to the Hamilton Gardens?).

The Italian Renaissance Garden

The Italian Renaissance Garden

Along with the Italian Garden, other themed gardens within the ‘Paradise Gardens’ included the Indian, Chinese, Japanese, English Rose Garden and Modernist American Garden, all themed around different eras within those country’s history and style.

The Chinese Scholar’s Garden

Next within the ‘Enclosed Gardens’ were the ‘Productive Gardens’, which are tended to by students from WINTEC (which is pretty cool). These included the Te Parapara Garden, the Sustainable Backyard Garden, the Herb Garden and the Kitchen Garden. My fave was definitely the Sustainable Backyard, I could pretty much identify all of the fruit that grew within those grounds, much to my surprise, considering I hate gardening (I involuntarily picked it up from my green-thumb parents though). There were also some the fattest chooks I’ve ever seen as well.

“Oh cool! Is that their worm farm?!” – My mum.

This pretty much sums up my family as they walked through these gardens. Weirdos.

The final section of the ‘Enclosed Gardens’ was the ‘Fantasy Collection.’ Some of these gardens are still in the process of being created (like the Surrealist Garden, which looks like it’s going to be hella weird and cool – think Alice and Wonderland themed), but ones we were able to visit were the Tropical Garden, the Concept Garden and the Tudor Garden.

The Tudor Garden

After that we walked to the Victorian Flower Garden, the Rose Garden and had a look at the glass house winter gardens which included a Cacti Garden (I am a sucker for cacti y’all, hence the feature image) and another Tropical Garden.

Me, when someone hugs me by surprise.✖️🌵

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After this, with weary eyes and sore feet, we took the drive back to Auckland and headed out for a much needed scoff-down of dinner – the famous Shaolin Kung Fu noodles (blog post coming soon 😉 ).

If you have a spare day in Hamilton and are short on cash (or even Auckland for that matter, it really isn’t a very long drive) I’d definitely recommend a visit to the Hamilton Gardens. The ‘Enclosed Gardens’ are a must, the rest is pretty, but not anything you wouldn’t find somewhere else. For some, it may seem like a boring day out (and to be honest, I was initially apprehensive) but can you really beat getting some fresh air, light exercise and being surrounded by the most beautiful plants nature has to offer? I’d say no.

Note: Do bring good walking shoes. Or, just go barefoot. It is NZ afterall.

Have you been to the Hamilton Gardens? Let me know how you found it below in the comments.

 

5 days in Hong Kong (Part 1)

I begin the re-telling of my time in Hong Kong and Vietnam with a sad prologue: The phone that I took all my photos on while I was away has since died before I could get all the photos off it, so the visual storytelling of these posts will be reliant on Snapchat and Instagram posts, so bear with…

This one-month trip to Vietnam (via Hong Kong) had been a long time coming. Let’s be super dramatic and say it’s been 22 years coming. Why? Because my Mum is from Vietnam and until this trip, neither me or my two younger siblings had ever been. And considering we’ve grown up identifying probably more with my Mum’s Asian side than say my Dad’s Pacific Island side (well it’s been that way for me anyway,) it was a huge deal to finally be going to the “motherland”.

Before heading to Vietnam though, we were stopping over in Hong Kong for five days (just FYI: I LOVE Hong Kong guys). The last time I’d been to Hong Kong was at the beginning of 2015 (for 14 hours haha) but the rest of my family hadn’t been for 11 years. We have family friends who have an apartment there and kindly let us stay with them.

Auckland to Sydney to Hong Kong (Day/Night 1):

We flew out of Auckland bright and early at 6am with Qantas, had a very speedy stopover in Sydney before hopping on another plane to Hong Kong. More than 10 hours later we touched down on Hong Kong soil.

I actually am chuffed to be back in HK, believe it or not 🇭🇰

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Side note it was absolutely freezing! Coming from New Zealand, which was starting summer, and having only packed summer clothes for warm Vietnam we knew we’d have to go shopping the next day if we were to survive the next four days.

The rest of the night was super chill. We were all very tired from the flight so went to bed early, ready for a busy day (of shopping) the next day.

Day 2: Shopping, eating, more shopping

It would be kind of ridiculous to go to Hong Kong and not go shopping. Ok, there are plenty of other things you can do, but seeing as we needed warmer clothes this was the plan for our first full day in HK.

⇒Fun fact: Hong Kong don’t have GST (goods and services tax/ VAT), which means everything you buy in Hong Kong is pretty much automatically cheaper than what you’d find in New Zealand (pretty much the equivalent of duty free prices).

First things first though was food. We headed to Lai Chi Kok, a suburb in New Kowloon to a restaurant called The Salted Pig. Definitely not traditional, but still super yum. I personally ordered the Sauteed Octapus, Chorizo and Potato, but we all ordered a lot and passed it around family-style.

After lunch and thoroughly stuffed, we headed to Mongkok which is known for its shopping and bustling streets (where in HK ain’t bustling though, let’s be real) – and shopped up a storm. A fave purchase was probably some plaid culottes (see below):

With arms full of shopping bags we headed out for dinner (I can’t quite remember where we went) and then continued walking through the streets of Mongkok. I really love the buzzing, busy atmosphere of Hong Kong at night. The neon lights really help bring the place to life in a way that you just can’t find in New Zealand.

And that was pretty much Day 1. Pretty low key, but the next day we ditched the “oldies” and headed to Disneyland (aka my second home). Stay tuned for more, pals.

Have you been to Hong Kong? What was your highlight? Or, if you haven’t been, what would you love to see? Let me know below!

 

Currently: March 2018

Oh, hello there. Long time no see.

I’ve stumbled my way back to the blog for a couple of reasons; 1) one of my workmates said I should start a food blog (little does she know I have a blog already, I’m just terrible at updating it and 2) I do miss it, quite a lot!

I can’t say my life has changed very drastically at all. I’m at the same job, same house… It was my birthday a couple of weeks ago (23 years-old holla), did go to New York for a few days in August last year and on an amazing one-month trip to Hong Kong and Vietnam though over the Christmas break, so I’ll be doing a bit of catch up and talking about that in the coming weeks. In the meantime, here’s what I’ve been loving during the month of March.

CURRENTLY

Reading: I really haven’t been doing much reading at the moment. Bar, proofreading and subbing my magazine. I would really love some book recommendations though!

Watching: Not a lot. The billions of TV shows I used to watch on the regular have fallen to the wayside, instead I’ve been watching a lot of YouTube and a few K-Dramas here and there.

Listening to: Daniel Caesar. I went to his concert last week and oh my god it was fantastic. Like what a magical voice and magical man. (I am also digging the lovely voice of Dean and the liveliness of Seventeen…)

Dreaming of: Being an overall happy person.

Planning: Nothing in particular at the moment. I am hoping to get my ass to Melbourne or South Korea and Japan later in the year.

Making: an effort to try and eat healthier. Does chucking chia seeds on things count??

Enjoying: My down time. I cherish it a lot… maybe a bit too much sometimes.

Eating: a lot of kimchi. I’ve heard it’s good for the skin, so I put it in everything.

Goal setting: Something I’m terrible at is saving money. I would really like to get saving more my long time goals like buying a house etc. At the moment I’m really just living pay cheque to pay cheque, and it’s not working!

Lusting over: Food pics. Like wow.

What have you been loving this month? Let me know in the comments below 🙂 

Food Photo Friday #35: Dinner @ Happy Boy

Food: Pork burger, KFC and Peach Iced Tea Slushie/ Consumed at: Happy Boy, Royal Oak, Auckland/ Date: 22.07.2017

Royal Oak was the busiest I’ve ever seen it on a Saturday when I stopped into the brand new Happy Boy last Saturday. It’s difficult to miss with its neon lights pulsing from within. Walking inside is like being transported straight into a video game, it’s uber cool.

The place was buzzing, there was a massive line of people waiting for tables which almost put us off, but after being told it would only be a half hour wait (which turned out only being about 20 minutes,) we were happy to wait around and soak up the atmosphere.

We got there just after 6.30pm and the place was filled with young families digging into delicious burgers and sides. When we left, close to around 8pm the crowds had died down and there was no wait. So if you want to be seated quickly, best to go a bit later.

I’d already decided what I wanted before heading there (I’m one of those people who takes an age to decide what to eat because I generally want to try everything) – the pork burger, with a side of KFC (Korean Fried Chicken, duh and the perfect way to complement my current Korean-exclusive music playlist).

 

The food menu is pretty minimal (which is a good thing). The burgers, all served in bao buns are a nice light alternative to your traditional burger bun (I’m a sucker for bao buns in general, so I was all for it). My pork bun was filled with a free range pork bun patty, kimchi, fancy lettuce, smoked cheddar and black sesame mayo.

And now to get to the Korean Fried Chicken. Man, oh man. Hands down the best chicken wings I can remember having in (perhaps?) forever. It was inevitable that I’d get deliciously sticky sauce ALL over my hands, but every drop was worth it.

 

To be honest I could’ve eaten just the wings as a main, as they came in a decent size with about five wings. I didn’t end up finishing them, so took a couple takeaway to enjoy in the comfort of my own home (where people wouldn’t judge the fact I probably looked like a five-year-old with all the sauce I got everywhere).

This was all washed down with a peach iced tea slushie (they have some amazing sounding alcoholic slushies, but I couldn’t quite justify a $15 slushie over a $6 one). I also had a taste of the squid rings (deliciously crunching on the outside and the right amount of soft and chewy on the inside,) and a few of the shoestring fries.

All in all, with ever popular Nanam just down the road, the food scene looks to slowly be on the rise for the humble ‘burb of Royal Oak. I’ll be back to Happy Boy very soon for a bite of a different burger and of course, the soon to be famous KFC, because maaaaaaate.

Shop ‘Til Ya Drop | Washington DC Day 4 and 5

After trying to jam in as much as we could in the first few days, our fourth and fifth days in the capital were much needed chill days consisting of (window) shopping and seeing more of our new favourite city on foot. If you haven’t already, you can check out Day 1 here, Day 2 here and Day 3 here.

Our last couple of days weren’t very eventful in terms of checking out iconic landmarks, but it did cement our love for DC. We were both quite exhausted by the previous day, so being able to take in the sights and sounds of DC at our own slow pace was a nice change.

This included window shopping at malls and shops, trying a handful of cute cafes and getting our internet fix.

 

A few quick observations during my visit:

  • Something that really stood out to me was how easy it was to walk everywhere. The whole time during our stay in DC we never had to take public transport of any kind. I guess we were lucky weather-wise, to always have clear blue skies every day we were there, otherwise that would’ve been trickier for sure.
  • The compact size of the city also lent itself to being very walkable, and is definitely a plus because all the iconic sites are situated within walking distance to each other.
  • I found Washington DC very budget friendly. From memory, food (and the movie) was the only thing I had to pay for. Entry to all the museums and art galleries was free to all visitors and accommodation was very affordable also. If you’re blessed with wonderful weather, public transport won’t need to be paid for either. And being an absolutely gorgeous city, in the heart of all the political action, it’s really a no-brainer.

Anyone been to Washington DC before? I’d love to know your favourite places to visit, eat or stay. Let me know in the comments!

Culture Vultures at the Smithsonians | Washington DC Day 3

Day three in the capital consisted of a lot of museum and art galleries, a must for me when visiting a new city, even if it’s just a quick peek. And if you haven’t already, you can check out Day 1 here and Day 2 here.

It’s no secret that I’m not about early rising. Except for very special occasions, (read: occasions that happen no more than once a fortnight,) so it was no surprise that we left our hotel just before noon for our day out exploring a few of the Smithsonians.

Our first port of call was the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. Georgie studied American history and politics at university so she had a particular interest in stopping in for a quick nosy and to be honest I’m always up for museum visits of any kind. I was in awe when I saw the Star Spangled Banner in real life. Other highlights included the First Ladies exhibition where you could see a lot of the famous outfits the First Ladies have worn and getting a peek into Julia Child’s kitchen, was pretty cool. What can I say? I just love food.

Speaking of which, lunch was the next thing on the agenda. We skipped the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History (in most instances I would definitely stop in, but with limited time and a certainty that we’d visit the one in NYC we both decided we’d leave it). The Pavilion Café at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden did the trick for us. It was right next to the National Gallery of Art (figures,) which was going to be our next stop.

Out of all the places we visited, this was probably the place we spent the most time. I may know very little about art history, but I love learning about it when I can.

The Smithsonian Castle across the Mall wasn’t quite what we expected as it served mainly as an information centre for all the Smithsonians more than anything, so after just a quick stopover for a snack, we quickly headed elsewhere. Namely, a look around the Enid Haupt Garden, just outside the castle.

Our final stop for the day was the Hirsshorn Museum which had an amazing collection of modern art (and a few that you literally had to squint at).

Despite having sore feet and feeling drained we decided a bit more emotional draining via rom-com was needed. Specifically, via the film Me Before You. Georgie cried, I cried, we were a mess, but it was a great, relaxing (??) way to end a full-on day. Safe to say we slept like logs that night before our final full day in DC.

Anyone been to Washington DC before? I’d love to know your favourite places to visit, eat or stay. Let me know in the comments!