Friday, June 22, 2012

Taking a small bite out of The Big Apple

One of the most fabulous cities in the world, New York certainly lives up to its reputation. Vibrant, fast paced, cosmopolitan and not to mention beautiful.

We pounded concrete for hours, we stood atop skyscrapers, we chilled on the grass in Central Park, we ate street food, we saw world famous artwork, we rode in the open top bus, on the subway and around Manhattan on a boat - we packed in the touristy sights, and we just know that this is a city we'll have to come back to!

New York was the perfect city to end our amazing journey in. Although it was sad that our honeymoon had come to an end, we were looking forward to going back to South Africa - country of good weather, great food, cheap beer and awesome friends.

Now to start planning our next trip... :)

'Welcome to New York'! I was so excited to find the Brito installation at JFK after I'd just bought a pashmina from the Brito store in Miami. (still holding the Brito bag in this pic)

Picnic in Central Park with my dearest friend Jen :) The night before we'd visited a wine bar where we had fantastic mini designer burgers.

First sight of the Empire State building (our hotel was nearby), it really is an impressive building.

A little pizza place (called Vezzo) two doors down from our hotel that specialises in thin crust pizza - delish!

The artwork that survived the 9/11 attacks. This piece stood between the towers (I actually remember seeing it when we were in New York in 1998), and the impact of the debris from the falling towers is clear.

Wiets and 'The Bull' :)

Wiets on Wall Street, naturally.

The Freedom Towers are almost finished and are going to be beautiful!

Best street food - hot dogs with all the trimmings.

Mingling with the rich and famous at Madam's.

Times Square in all it's flickering glory. (It's law that all the shop fronts here must be covered in 25% branding/advertising.)

Stunning view of the Empire State building from 'Top of The Rock'. (If you visit only one skyscraper in Manhattan, this should be it!)

Central Park as seen from the Rockafellar center.

The 'Bodies' exhibition is both creepy and educational at the same time.

Open top bus tour - such fun!

How weird! We randomly met Fearika (Willemien's mom) on the circle line cruise around Manhattan... On Willemien's birthday nogals!

Lady liberty :)

Lunch on the High Line, a park and walkway that was constructed on an old rail track - stunning!

The City by night. View from the Empire State Building close to midnight.

A mini bottle of bubbly on the flight back to SA to celebrate our three year dating anniversary :)

Cheers to an AWSOME honeymoon, sunny SA and getting rid of 'the honeymoon beard' :)

Location:New York, New York

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Sun, sea and cocktails in The Caribbean

Lazy days by the pool, rum long drinks, turquoise waters lapping on powder white beaches... Caribbean bliss!

Miami greeted us with hot sticky weather - just how we like it! We meandered along South Beach soaking up the vibe while admiring the pastel Art Deco buildings. Eventually we rented some beach chairs and an umbrella and spent the day soaking up the sun on Haulover beach. Our first swim in the warm tranquil waters was delightful, and it felt like our holiday had only just started :) At night Miami is alive with salsa music and beautiful people - this was a city that we just loved!

On Saturday we boarded one of the biggest cruise ships on the planet, The Oasis of the Seas, and we set sail to the ports of Haiti, Jamaica and Mexico. The ship really is larger than life, complete with theaters, rock climbing walls, wave pools, a running track, discos, an ice rink, a carousel and a 6 meter deep pool (to name but a few!).

America hasn't been kind to our waistlines... And the ship was even worse. You can literally eat for 24 hours a day, non stop! From all-you-can-eat buffets to order-as-many-dishes-as-you-like a la carte menus to ice cream on-tap to midnight pizza, The Oasis serves up something for every taste at any hour - at surprisingly good quality, considering they cater for 6000 guests a day!

The cruise was fantastic! Our stateroom had a balcony that delivered endless ocean views and offered up sounds of crashing waves. During the day we lazed by the pool or soaked in one of the hot tubs, at night we watched one of the shows - from Hairspray to Ice Skating performances, they were elaborate, entertaining and of the highest quality. We docked in Haiti, Jamaica and Mexico, where we spent hours lazing on white beaches, swimming and snorkeling. Mexico seemed to be a firm favorite, the Margaritas may have had something to do with it... (ps We didn't take the iPad to the islands, so there won't be many island pics in this post.)

O, I also had my first serious panic attack of the vacation when we thought we were going to miss the cruise because of weird train schedules... Wiets saved the day by hauling a taxing in minutes and racing us to Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, my hero xxx

Endless stretches of white sand in South Beach, Miami.

So-kitch-it's-cool pastel Art Deco buildings line the streets of South Beach.

Fresh tuna lunch on the beach.

Sunset Jacuzzi on the roof of our hotel.

Our fabulous stateroom for the week on cruise.

This is how we spent our days on deck :)

Sweeping sunset views from the top deck.

Our reflection on the roof of the Solarium, we just loved these sun beds!

Drinks on our balcony with Haiti in the background after we'd spent a day chilling on the beach.

The ship was buzzing with activity at night.

This bar was called 'High Tide' because it went up and down 3 floors as guests sipped on their drinks.

Rum cocktails in Jamaica.

Bluer than blue water.

The dinners were delish!

Just one of the shows we enjoyed at night, this one was on ice!

Lunch with a view.

Stunning 360 ocean views.

The ship was enormous!

Last stop... New York, New York :)

Location:Miami and The Oasis of the Seas