Is it wrong if I feel rather like I have taken fashion advice from Mary Berry in this outfit a little? I mean - that's not really a bad thing, she's crazy stylish for an older lady and the last jacket she wore on GBBO sold out within hours of it airing so there are worse fashion muses to have! All I'm saying is, the gal loves a floral bomber jacket and she could do worse than this Wearall jacket I got recently - a) its a total bargain b) its the perfect weight for the ridiculously changeable weather we've been having and c) it is gorgeous. Its also fab for brightening up an outfit that might otherwise be a tiny bit dull, which is always a plus in my book!
You might recognise my clutch bag from my birthday wishlist post a while back - it turns out that Sean does occasionally glance at my blog every so often and he bought it for my birthday as a surprise to make up for the fact that he was away in the USA (chorus of awws). I love a black bag for being so versatile but I do get a bit antsy if I own something that's too plain so this tassel covered masterpiece is a perfect compromise!
My beautiful Olivia Burton watches are my go to wrist accessory these days and I have to say I think my Moulded Bee just about tops the list as my favourite (a tough call for me to make believe me, because all five of them get a lot of wear!) Usually I don't bother with wearing a bracelet as well, but that was before I discovered one that was the perfect accompaniment for my timepieces. I'd always associated Links of London with charm bracelets - something that I could appreciate was pretty but never coveted for myself - but their new range of slimline friendship bracelets is a whole other ballgame. Yes they might seem a bit pricey on first glance but trust me, these are worlds apart from the £10 versions that you can pick up on the high street, and i've road tested a few! I think my simple coral and gold bracelet looks lovely next to my statement watch - next I'm going to try using it in an 'arm party' style stack of bracelets.
So Day Five of my US trip posts is actually related to Day Six of me being out there, because I ended up having to spend the whole of my actual Day Five in bed dosed up on painkillers watching Gordon Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares and Parks and Recreation. Yup, in case you didn't see my pitiful tweets last week, just as we were getting ready to catch the Megabus to New York...I sprained my neck...whilst brushing my hair. HOW?! I was in so much unbelievable pain, poor Sean was probably weighing up the pros and cons of taking me to an emergency room (the main con being that you have to pay for treatment in the States...)
By the evening though I was ready to brave the bumps and jolts of the bus journey to get to the Big Apple, although I did regret that for a moment when walking through Time Square at peak time. First thoughts of New York were not positive I have to admit, that area of town is very loud, very noisy, very dirty and there are constant flashes of light everywhere from the eye-watering displays.
Our hotel was an oasis of calm though - a total bargain when we booked it and located right by Central Park, we were on the 44th floor of the tallest hotel in the area! I felt a bit queasy when I walked into the room for the first time and looked down at all the tiny ant people on the streets below (the second photograph is the view from our window!)
The next day was spent making up for lost time as we did a tour of some of the main places I wanted to see: The High Line, West Village, pizza on Bleecker Street, the new World Trade One building, the 9/11 memorial and the view across to the Statue of Liberty. The 9/11 memorial was enough to make you tear up - it's an awe inspiring sight but the constant flow of names and the flowers laid gently on the edges remind you that this isn't just another vacation landmark. The only part of the day I didn't like was our wander through the financial district AKA Wall Street - again the dirt and the noise and the crowds just really got to me!
If you are heading to NYC in the future I would 100% recommend checking out The High Line - its an abandoned rail track that has been transformed into a 'linear park' above the city. Its chockablock with greenery and seats to relax on and there are various food and drink carts along the way, I imagine its the perfect place to sit with a good book on a sunny day. It was certainly more scenic than the Subway and more interesting and relaxing than walking that distance I can tell you that.
Day Four of my trip to the US was also our final day in Philadelphia (sad face) which of course called for us to find the most ridiculous brunch that we possibly could. My order was brioche french toast stuffed with sweet cream cheese, baby marshmallows, chocolate chips, almond slices and strawberry preserves topped with a cinnamon maple syrup. It was good but my gosh was it massive - it felt like I had half a loaf on my plate!
After brunch Sean dragged me over to the art gallery which is where an iconic moment from the Rocky film is apparently set - I wouldn't know because I haven't seen it but Sean made me take a photograph with the statue anyway, there was a huge queue of people waiting to do the same thing so obviously I'm one of the only people in the world who hasn't seen the film!
The rest of the afternoon was spent at Philadelphia Zoo which was my choice of activity - I bloody love a zoo and try my hardest to go to one in every city I visit! I had great fun watching the snakes in the reptile house (and practicing my parseltongue) but my favourite was Louis the gorilla - just after I took this photo he came right up in front of me and we started playing peekaboo, he's my new best pal! In face I'm still pretty mad at Sean that he wouldn't buy me the giant gorilla stuffed toy that was sat in the window of the gift shop...