I love New York – the city has such a great vibe with so much going on and incredible shopping! Whilst I still prefer living in London, I am always happy to spend some time in New York! We arrived in New York on Saturday 29th August (flying in from New Orleans) and stayed till 3rd of October. At the same time some good friends from London and Moscow were in the city as well so we went out quite a lot Smile

New York highlights & things we have done:

Saturday night: Straight after landing and checking into the hotel, we went to a Jazz Bar to meet with some friends. The music was quite experimental but good. Afterwards we to No 8 club. We had a table upstairs in the REC room which looked a bit like an old school living room which lots of records in shelves – quite a cool style. Also the music was good with mixes from 90s music to the usual club songs.

Sunday: We went to Soho House for brunch with some of my London girls. After a tasty brunch mixed with some cocktails we headed over to the High Line.

Later during the evening, we met the girls in the East Village at Bua Bar. Afterwards we crossed the street, entered a somehow dodgy fast food shop, walked through an indoor telephone cell and ta-dah, arrived at a secret cocktail place called Please Don’t Tell. Once the London girls went back to the hotel, we met with the other people in a rooftop bar of the Gansevoort Hotel.

Monday: We decided it is time to do some relaxed (sort of) sightseeing and  walked the entire way from our hotel in Chelsea, through Little Italy, China Town, over the Brooklyn Bridge, to Brooklyn. In Brooklyn we took a taxi to the Wythe Hotel’s rooftop bar and then later on went back to Manhattan (Taxi – not walking!) and had another cocktail at 230 Fifth’s rooftop bar.

Tuesday:  We hadn’t done any shopping so far and there was still a little bit of place in my luggage (and I needed a dress to wear at the wedding in Cape Cod that we attended the following weekend).  So, on Tuesday we spent quite some time in Macy’s and other shops around. I just love shopping in New York. The last time I went to New York I bought a whole luggage full of clothes – this time I couldn’t really do that given we are still going to travel for a few months.. Well, we will come back next year – just for shopping Smile

In the evening we met a good friend of mine from the UK (who now lives in New York) for dinner at Buddakan.  Totally loved this place!

Wednesday: Too much going out and I got a cold… So on Wednesday I stayed in the hotel watching crime series all day. In the evening we went to the cinema at the Times Square and watched The Gift.

 

Our hotel was in Chelsea on the 29th street / 5th avenue, the Marther Washington. It was a really cute 4* star boutique hotel with a unique style. So staying in on the Wednesday wasn’t so bad at all Smile

 

Below some photos that I took. My camera does not fit into my evening-bag, so below are mostly photos taken during the day.

New York Streets Photos 1

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New York Streets Photos 11 Union Square

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New York Streets Photos Times Square

New Orleans Streets 4

The taxi dropped us in the middle of the craziness of Bourbon Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Having been travelling for the last month we did not always do that much research before we arrived at a new destination, so we did not really know what Bourbon Street was about. We told the taxi driver to bring us to some nice bars in the French Quarter. And there we were – in the middle of Bourbon Street where people were drinking in the street (!) at 4.30pm (!) on a Thursday (!)!

New Orleans Streets 3

New Orleans Streets 5

There were so many Vodoo shops in the French Quarter, so we entered one to have a look around. In front of the shop were some people advertising ghost tours. Of course we had to join one tour Smile

Our tour would start at 8pm so we still had some time to get a drink and some food. We went to a bar opposite of the Vodoo shop, called Pat O’Briens where I had a Bloody Mary.

After finishing our drinks we went next doors to get a some food. The bartender told us that this place was hunted too. There apparently is a little girl that people sometimes see. When walking up to the restrooms (where the girl was seen most)  I paid special attention to not miss out on the ghost but nothing, no ghost..

New Orleans Interior Spooky Bar

We still had some time before the tour would start, so we walked around through the pretty streets of the French quarter and got some coffee and pastry at Cafe Beignet (photos below) which was a really cute cafe in a more quiet street.

A New Orleans Cafe Beignet

B New Orleans Cafe Beignet

The ghost tour guide led us through the French Quarter stopping at many buildings which were supposed to be hunted. Most of the times, bad things had happened in such places in the past and the souls of the murdered people didn’t find peace – now scaring people as ghosts. The tour was actually quite interesting with lots of history of the French Quarter and New Orleans. Unfortunately, still no ghosts..

In the evening we headed over to Frenchman Street. There you can find more authentic bars and places that are not as touristy as Bourbon Street. Close by there was a little market that was open till late at night. They sold lots of handmade jewellery and lots of different art and souvenirs.

New Orleans French Quarter 8

 

 

On the next day we went to the French Market and strolled through the streets and shops there. We had coffee and beignets at Cafe Du Monde – the most famous historic cafe in New Orleans. So make sure to pay a visit to Cafe Du Monde to get some yummy beignets – they are really super tasty!

New Orleans French Market Entrance

New Orleans French Market Area

New Orleans French Market Clothes Shops

New Orleans French Quarter Figure on Bench

New Orleans French Quarter French Market

New Orleans French Quarter Figure in French Market

New Orleans French Market Shops

New Orleans Waterfront

 

After strolling through the French Market, we continued our little walking tour through the French Quarter. I am so fascinated by the architecture of the buildings. I especially love the balconies Smile

As you can see in the photos, some buildings are hundreds of years old and a bit run down while others still look really pretty.

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New Orleans French Quarter Architecture

New Orleans French Quarter balconies

New Orleans French Quarter Balcony With Plants

New Orleans French Quarter Beautiful Architecture

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New Orleans French Quarter Bookshop

New Orleans French Quarter Cafe in street

New Orleans French Quarter Cathedrale

New Orleans French Quarter Open Space

New Orleans French Quarter Clock

New Orleans French Quarter Clothes Boutique

 

New Orleans French Quarter Funny Balcony

New Orleans French Quarter Historic building

New Orleans French Quarter Shops Streets

New Orleans French Quarter Typical Houses and Balconies

New Orleans French Quarter Yellow House

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New Orleans Streets French Quarter

New Orleans Streets Karate Pony

 

 

For dinner we went to Oceana, a restaurant in the French Quarter with yummy seafood.  I was not a big fan of the interior (way to much blue colour everywhere) but the food was great!

New Orleans French Quarter Restaurant Oceana Yummy Food

New Orleans French Quarter Restaurant Yummy Food

New Orleans French Quarter Yummy Food Oceana

 

As you can see, the French Quarter is definitely worth a visit! The vibe of this district is just unique. There is also a great amount of live music in the bars and in the streets. We saw two parades in two days by randomly bumping into crowds of people Smile

My UK phone plan does not really give me a good rate for roaming so I try to use wifi networks most of the time.  While usually the network names are quite normal like “Home”, “Jess246” or a name and any other number, ‘ew York had a number of very funny and ‘interesting’ names.

These are my New York’s Top 7 Wifi Network names:

7. The pink lady

6. Ur girls next door

5. Pretty fly for a wifi

4. Theresidenceofnicholas cage

3. Pete the dragon

2. Superquadraplegay

1. I can hear you having sex

Seriously, I couldn’t help it, they made me giggle A LOT!

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We stayed in the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans from Wednesday 26th August to the following Saturday. I really loved the style of the hotel. The entire interior is super stylish and modern. I walked around and took lots of photos – below a little selection.

New Orleans Hyatt Regency Staircase

New Orleans Hyatt Regency Hotel Lobby

The hotel lobby area is really big with lots of different floor levels and shops, meeting rooms etc. Hence, at night when you come home from the French Quarter and had a couple of wine and maybe visited the Old Absinthe House, you may get lost a little while searching for your way to the elevators that bring you up to the rooms Smile

New Orleans Hyatt Regency Hotel Seating

The Hyatt Regency in New Orleans is one of the modern high rises in New Orleans. Walking to our room we realised how high up we were! What you see downstairs is a restaurant / breakfast area in the second photo and on the right there is the elevator!

New Orleans Hyatt Regency Floors Elevator

 

We had a little suite on the 25th floor which was super lovely. We arrived again later at night (like almost every time when we arrived at a new location on the road trip) and immediately stuffed the entire room with luggage. After 10min the room looked like we had lived there already for a week, so not really in a representable form anymore… So, sorry, no photos this time but I can totally recommend the hotel Smile

We stayed in Austin from 25th to 26th of August.  Whilst during the day, ok it was it week day, there were not many people in the streets at all, it was crowded in the evening! There are several streets in downtown Austin in which each bar has its own live music. Just walking down that street you don’t really know where to listen to – your ears are being ‘bombarded’ with live music from everywhere Smile

One of the places we went for drinks before dinner was the Austin Ale House which had nice cocktails and a cool vibe.  For dinner we wanted to have some burgers, so we headed over to Jackalope Bar & Grill which is located on 404 E 6th.  Around there are lots of bars and pubs with live music, so just walk towards the one whose music is most appealing to you.

Between your pre-dinner and dinner activities you should head down to the Colorado river and watch the bats coming out of their ‘homes’ at night to go hunting. This is an amazing thing to watch as suddenly, just after 8pm, you can see a big swarm of bats in the sky. We stayed in the Radisson Hotel, so before going to dinner, we watched the bats from the bridge in front of the hotel. There were thousands of bats coming up from just beneath us! It was great to watch from the bridge but I assume joining a river bats dinner tour would have been nice too.

Below a selection of photos I took in Austin. As you might have noticed in my previous posts, I try to not only post photos of the major sights but also of random things I see. Hope this brings the special vibes of the places I visit closer to you Smile

 

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Austin Texas fence

 

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Austin Texas park

 

Austin Texas Beautiful Old House

 

Austin Texas Old House

 

The architecture in Austin was super interesting – from beautiful ‘older’ houses to modern high rises.

 

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Austin Texas High Rises , Architecture

 

Austin Texas Park Tree

Austin Texas White House

 

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Below are two photos of the Austin Ale House where we had pre-dinner drinks.

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Austin Texas Bar

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Austin Texas Taxi

 

Austin Texas Blue Guitar 2

 

 

Austin Texas River Bats

 

The black ‘line’ in the back of the below photo is the swarm of bats!

Austin Texas River Bats Millions Swarm

Austin Texas Buildings Sunset City

Austin Texas Night Sunset Sky

In the afternoon, once we had finished our little drive through Mesa Verde, we continued our road trip. The next destination was Austin. We knew that we were not gonna make it in one go without spending the entire night in the car. The plan was therefore to sleep somewhere on the way. I really wanted to sleep in a Motel!

The landscape changes so much while you are driving. Below some impressions from the journey:

Pagosa Springs to Albuquerque

 

2 Pagosa Springs Road trip to Albuquerque flowers

3 Pagosa Springs Road trip to Albuquerque flowers

4 Pagosa Springs Road trip to Albuquerque raod

5 Pagosa Springs Road trip to Albuquerque sunset

Around 8 pm we arrived in Albuquerque where we stayed one night – not in a Motel Sad smile We are no morning-people, so the 18th day of the road trip did not start before noon when we had to leave the hotel. We first cruised a bit through Albuquerque and then continued our way towards Austin.

8 Albuquerque Roadtrip

9 Albuquerque Roadtrip

Albuquerque blue garage

Albuquerque

And then made our way to Texas!

10 Albuquerque Way to Austin

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12 Albuquerque Way to Austin

Can’t believe it has already been one month that we left to go on the world trip! On one hand it seems that we have been travelling for a very loooooong time already whilst on the other hand it feels like we left only yesterday!

The first month of the trip looks like this:

Los Angeles – San Francisco – Mammoth Lakes – Yosemite Park – Las Vegas – Grand Canyon – Sedona – Pagosa Springs – Albuquerque – Austin – New Orleans – New York – Cape Cod

The highlights so far:

LA’s vibe
Though I’m not the biggest fan of LA (didn’t find it that pretty) I loved the city’s vibe

Disneyland in LA
I just love the Disney Princess family and the firework at night was amazing

Night sky and drive to Mammoth Lakes
We left San Francisco in the early evening to drive to Mammoth Lakes where we arrived at circa 3 am. From 12 am to 2 am we were still driving through the woods in the mountains 9000 feet high and away from civilisation – loved it :)

Yosemite National Park
Simply stunning and amazing!

Clubs in Vegas
Both nights were totally crazy!

Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon is seriously impressive and looks super beautiful. What I found even more impressive though was watching the sunset being on the Grand Canyon and looking at the Milky Way and a sky full of stars.

Hiking in Sedona
We went for a little hike in Sedona which was super pretty. The Airport Loop trail takes between 3 and 5 hours and is easy to hike with a great view.

Seeing swarms of bats during the sunset in Austin
Around 8pm you can see thousands of bats coming out of their ‘homes’ to look for food

French Quarter in New Orleans
Though the French Quarter is not entirely as shown in the TV series ‘The Originals’, it is super pretty with lots of history and many historic bars

New York nightlife
We stayed in New York from Saturday Till Thursday and went out most nights. There are lots of clubs, rooftop bars and hidden cocktail places :)

Super beautiful wedding in Cape Cod
Stayed in Chatham from Thursday to Sunday. The wedding ceremony was held with a beautiful view on the beach with lots of fishing  boats in the background – great scenery. The bride was so pretty and the party soooo much fun :)

 

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We are now in Boston and will fly to Toronto later today.

On day 17, 23 August, we left Pagosa Springs to continue the road trip towards Austin, Texas. Before going back on the road east though we took a little detour through the Mesa Verde National Park.

entrance mesa verde

Around AD 550, long before the Europeans arrived at the American continent, some people living in the Four Corners region decided to move onto the Mesa Verde. These people and their descendants lived and flourished there over the next 700 years.  In the late 1200, over a period of one or two generations, they left the area and moved away.

The Mesa Verde National Park was created at the start of the 20th century to preserve the archeological heritage of the Ancestral Pueblo people. The park includes over 4,500 archeological sites of which 600 are cliff dwellings.  The cliff dwellings were built towards the very late stage of their time on Mesa Verde.

 

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We did the Mesa Top Loop Drive that passes by a variety of great viewpoints as well as artefacts of old ‘houses’ of the Ancestral Pueblo people. Whilst the early stages were characterised by essentially ‘holes’ in the ground where whole families lived together, their homes became more and more sophisticated over time.

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The below photos show cliff dwellings that were built towards the end of the period that the Ancestral Pueblo people lived on Mesa Verde.

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The entire Mesa Verde National Park is beautiful, not only the archeological heritage of the people that lived there. The viewpoints present an amazing view over the countryside enabling you to look very very far.

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Am 17. Tag, bevor wir unseren Road Trip fortsetzten, machten wir einen Abstecher zum Mesa Verde National Park. Der Park wurde Anfang des 20. Jahrhundert geschaffen um das archaeologische Erbe der Ancestral Pueblo Menschen zu schuetzen. Das Volk bewohnte circa von 500 bis circa 1200/1300 den Mesa Verde.

Es gibt eine Route im Park, die Mesa Top Loop Route, die wunderbar an verschiedenen archaeologischen Staetten und Aussichtspunkten vorbeifuehrt. Hier kann man genau die Entwicklung der Ancestral Pueblo Menschen erkennen. Dienten anfaenglich ‘Loecher’ im Boden als Unterkuenfte, so entwickelten sich ueber die Jahrhunderte beindruckende Bauten an den Klippen der Berge.

Der Mesa Verde National Park ist richtig schoen – auch in Bezug auf die Natur. Es gibt zahlreiche Aussichtspunkte, von denen man richtig weit sehen kann!