I have returned from a short trip with my husband (no kids, no kids, not even one!) to New York. Before I recount my (mini-)adventures there, I wanted to explain why I didn’t let on about it properly before I flew.
I had orginally planned to make an announcement about this trip on the blog to meet readers and fellow bloggers there, but then in the days leading up to it, a very unsavoury person took an unhealthy interest in me and started pestering me with emails. Since he (it might be a she, but I’d say that’s rather unlikely) has an IP address pointing to the north-eastern US, I did not want my schedule to be public knowledge, I was simply afraid. I’m sorry that I could not use this time to meet some of you, but I felt a great need for privacy at the time and I’m sure that I’ll be back in this part of the world sooner rather than later, and things on the stalking front will hopefully be just a bad memory then.
We arrived at JFK Airport in the middle of the afternoon, and after a successful sprint off the plane in order to beat the hordes to immigration, we alighted in 95 degree weather (oof!) and where whisked away by our tiny (I use that term rather ironically) rental car in the direction of Woodbury Common Outlet Center in upstate NY, our first destination for one night. There was not much whisking though, as we quickly came to a grinding halt on the Van Wyck Expressway and stood bumper to bumper for the next few hours until the Tappan Zee Bridge spat us out into the countryside proper. An experience I don’t recommend after a ten-hour transatlantic flight, with not a drop of water between us, in weather more reminiscent of Las Vegas in August than the East Coast.
But we eventually made it to Central Valley, the Hampton Inn and a cold drink. To my delight we were upgraded to the King’s Suite, which included a whirlpool and a kitchen. I made good use of the former, the latter’s usefulness is lost on me even under the best of circumstances.
At this point we only quickly threw in our luggage though, because we were on a mission. Even after 17 hours on the road, there were things to do, places to see, or rather only one very important thing: having dinner. I was not hungry, to be honest, but for the husband – and all persons travelling with him – the following rule is to be obeyed at all times:
When abroad, eat at least 6-7 healthy (as in size, not necessarily nutritional value) meals a day. (Quotes substantiating this: “I need to schedule my days in such a way as to make room for at least six hot meals, that is not counting snacks btw!” and “I’m not coming to New York to eat quinoa!”)
Our destination of choice in Central Valley, NY is the famed Bright Star Diner. (Famed only in our lives I guess, and that rather out of lack of choice than culinary prowess. That little town is not known for its epicurean variety, the perpetually closed Pizzeria Pomodoro and the dilapidated Dunkin’ Donuts are not much of a competition, I’m afraid.) But we like it there anyway. It is classically American, from the fare to the interior, it says diner-like-in-a-80s-TV-show like nothing else. The food is plenty and definitely complies with the healthy meal (again: in size, not nutritional value) rule.
Quite tired and dazed from both travels and the heat, we still persevered and went for a first foray to the Woddbury Common outlet center, we were not here to joke around after all and sleep is overrated (you might guess that that last bit of wisdom reflects not exactly my own viewpoint, I love my beauty sleep!).
In the two hours before they closed for the day, we managed to successfully shop for a new suitcase (an excellent sign for the things to come, if there ever was one!), new shoes and pants (for the husband, not for me) and a few things for the boys.
I took a preliminary sniffing tour and make-up expedition to the Cosmetics Company Store (I love it there!!!). I was a bit woozy at that point, but I remember trying Bobbi Brown Bobbi’s Party, a rather unexpectedly classic floral with a dominant rose-violet accord over lots of really fake sandalwood.
The other hand got a good shot of Jo Malone Lime Basil and Mandarine with the intention of being a much needed refreshing kick in the head. Unfortunately it turned out to smell of fresh cut grass mixed with motor oil and exhaust fumes on my skin, which I am inclined to blame on a tester gone over, since it has so many fans and good reviews. It brought up the idea of a lawnmower naturally, and with that a short story of the same name by Stephen King – really not associations you would want your perfume to kindle…
I also was very interested in the various purveyors of leather goods, and had I been in the market for bright orange PVC bags with plenty of tassels, bows, ruffles and rivets, I would have landed a bargain or two. Unfortunately more classical styles were thin on the ground.
The whirlpool back at the hotel got rid of Jo Malone’s lawnmower and thus ended our very long first day on American soil and this very long account of all things trivial.
If you are still here, come back next week for Day 2, tentatively titled The Heat Is On, where we will meet a lovely lady many of you know!
See you soon!