SO. I am officially home from my USA adventure. Well, I came back nearly a week ago but have been in zombie jetlag mode until now (three coffees down). I seriously had the most amazing time, and having worked every single day since uni finished at the start of November I needed nothing more than a big fat long escape out of the country!
I don't even know where to begin, apart from the fact that...uh...I HAD THE MOST AMAZING TIME! The flight over was brilliant-a half empty airbus meant that Phoebe and I got our own row each to lie down and sleep for the whole flight (take that, people who spent $6000 on First Class! Phoebe and I do life right). We arrived in LA and in a classic California moment I hopped off the plane (at LAX with a dream and a cardigan) and saw the Hollywood sign. Good start. We then got picked up by our mates and whisked away to Newport Beach where all our friends live (via an emergency lunch stop at In n Out burger). We stayed in Newport for a week, and it was the perfect opportunity to unwind-we'd sleep in, go shopping (hellooooo Fashion Island and South Coast Plaza), eat yummy food and just chill-something I hadn't really been able to do properly all holidays! Oh, and Disneyland didn't disappoint-we went on a school day so there were virtually NO QUES! As in I walked straight to the front of the que for the California Screaming. And the Tower of Terror. And the new Cars ride (which is the best ride I've ever been on). And every other ride. Other days I spent at Newport Beach and Laguna, both of which also never fail to disappoint. Can't wait to spend two months there at the end of the year! Then came time to say goodbye to LA and hello to NYC. It was a tad difficult coming from warm sunny California to -10 degrees NYC, but when I first walked off the plane into the snow I had just witnessed the classic flying into NYC at night scenery, so I didn't care at all!
I had super high hopes for NYC and the city blew every single expectation out of the water. Every single day was a highlight, whether it was wandering through Central Park in the snow, shopping up a storm on 5th Ave, eating Magnolia Bakery's cupcakes in West Village, eating super posh thai in Soho (at a kick-ass restaurant that has FREE-I repeat FREE entrees), hanging at the flea markets in Brooklyn, eating macaroons in the Upper East Side, sipping hot chocolate while sitting on the red stairs in Times Square, walking past the Humans of New York photographer, seeing Sir Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart in No Man's Land (and getting to chat with them in a special Q&A afterwards), soaking in the sun on the Brooklyn Bridge, being forced to stand up in a Harlem gospel church while the choir sings an epic 'Welcome song', dining at Gordon Ramsay's super insanely awesome restaurant next to Central Park for my 20th Birthday, getting into absolutely incredible speakeasy bars in Soho and TriBeCa without being carded (one of which had a free champagne bar in the female powder room), shopping in the four level H&M in Times Square that had a DJ and disco lights, visiting the 9/11 memorial which was both beautiful and moving, exploring the MET and frothing at every exhibition because I'm a history junkie, seeing Monet's Water Lillies and doing a sketching class, trying to master the subway (and ending up in Queens...), pondering life in Strawberry Fields, wandering along the Highline through the Meat Packing District, chilling and eating falafels in Greenwich village, meeting awesome Australians at the Toby's Estate cafe in Williamsburg, watching the sunset from the top of the Empire State, shovelling down burgers at the Shake Shack, mornings at Grand Central Station, ice skating in Bryant Park whilst Michael Buble was playing, meeting up with friends, getting late night dumplings, post-theatre walks through midtown...THE LIST GOES ON AND ON! I know after posting this I'll remember 50 million other things that I should have written! My biggest accomplishment was fitting all of my shopping in my two suitcases. It took a lot of brain and muscle power. A lot. Also, if any of you are heading to LA or NYC then drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll spam you with a list of addresses/shops/restaurants/bars etc etc!
So now I'm home in Sydney. Usually I feel super sad when an awesome holidays has ended, but I was really ready to come home and settle in for Semester 1 as a totes mature twenty year old. I feel very refreshed and motivated for what is going to be a kick-ass year. Also, I have some exciting news which is partially why I was so excited to come home-I GOT INTO AWARD SCHOOL! If you don't know what it is, read my last post before I left for overseas. It's a HUGE deal, and I am so insanely lucky to have gotten a place-it is so so SO tough to get into. People try out for years to get in and I got in at 19! It is A LOT of work, so I'm going to devote a lot of time and energy to it in order to smash it. I'll keep you posted on how it's all going-it starts next week!
Here's to what's shaping up to be an amazing 2014,
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