A Must-Do Foodie Tour in New York


Doing food tours is one of my absolute favourite things to do when travelling, and you bet I did one in New York! I had heard such great things about Foods of New York tours and I couldn't wait to try some of the very best food on offer from their original Greenwich Village tour.

This is a food and culture walking tour in the historic west village of Greenwich, an old Italian neighbourhood. As you can imagine, there are some amazing food establishments here and we were taken around the charming neighbourhood to their favourite Mom and Pop restaurants and speciality food shops.

Read on to find out what mouth-watering Italian-themed cuisine we tried and why you should totally do one of their tours too if you're coming to New York.


Original Greenwich Tour

Our group met inside Murray's Cheese shop, an easy to find location in the heart of Greenwich. We were warmly greeted by our guide Marie who handed us each a bottle of water and information about the tour.

Once all of our party had arrived (a small group of around 12), Marie introduced herself and told us some interesting history of the 18-year-old Foods of New York company and what to expect from our upcoming tour.

We had 8 delicious stops ahead of us in total, beginning at the famous Joe's Pizza for their classic New York slice.


Established in 1975 by Joe who is originally from Naples, Joe's Pizza is now a "Greenwich Village institution" and is extremely popular with locals and tourists alike.

It tasted like true authentic Italian pizza (my fave) and I rate it very highly. After a mouth-watering slice, the tour was off to a fantastic start. 


Next up, we went to nearby Oliviers & Co, a boutique store specialising in gourmet Mediterranean products.

We began with a tasting of their basil-infused extra virgin olive oil on Tuscan bread which had an incredibly delightful flavour.


We were then presented with a cup of Truffle popcorn each - which was outstanding! It was so moreish, I could have kept eating that forever.

Thirdly, the lovely shop owner gave us a lesson on how to tell the difference between true aged balsamic vinegar. We tried two kinds of theirs, one of which was aged 8 years.


Our next foodie stop was at Faicco's Italian Specialties - the oldest establishment in the neighbourhood that's been there for over 100 years.

We got to try the most popular item on their menu - Sicilian Rice Balls as well as a tasting of their Italian salami. 


Rice balls, or Arancini, originating in Sicily, are balls of rice that are coated with breadcrumbs and fried. Inside was a mixture of rice and cheese and it was so creamy and delicious - the best I've ever tried in my life! The salami, too, was top-notch.


We then had a little break from eating and Marie showed us some points of interest around the neighbourhood.

We were taken inside a beautiful restaurant Palma that has a secret back dining room. We were told some very famous politicians and celebrities often dine here, including the Rolling Stones.

Next up, we had our first seated tasting at Trattoria Pesce Pasta. We were each presented with a lovely plate with an eye-poppingly large Italian meatball with sauce.


The meatball was tender and the sauce tangy and delicious. The grated parmesan cheese was the perfect addition and it was a delightful tasting in the classic looking restaurant specialising in Northern Italian cuisine.

Our next foodie stop was another seated tasting at Rafele Ristorante, and we had twenty minutes to enjoy the food and order a beverage if we pleased.


I ordered a cappuccino which was very good and enjoyed it with a great view of the chef working in front of the wood burner.

We were presented with a plate of Eggplant Rollatini and freshly baked focaccia bread. The Rollatini was creamy and cooked to perfection and the bread was springy and full of flavour.


Feeling a tad full now, I was glad we were off for a little walk again. We stopped by a few notable buildings before heading to a spot I was so happy about - the famous Friends building!

Being a big fan of the show and being in Greenwich, I was planning on finding this spot after the tour. Those of us who wanted one got their photos before heading to the next stop.


Milk & Cookies Bakery was our next visit and we each got one of their large Chocolate Chip Cookies, still hot from the oven. I couldn't even save it for later, once I had a bite I had to keep eating it all - it was so good!


We went back to where we first met at Murray's Cheese shop where we tried a selection of different cheeses including cow, sheep and goat. They were accompanied with apricots and cheese puff bites which complimented the cheese tastings very well.


The cheese shop is foodie heaven offering an abundance of fine cheeses plus bread, cured meats, olives & other deli items. I would be in there all the time if I lived nearby!


Our final stop of the day was at Rocco's Pasticceria where we had a fresh-filled Cannoli. I'm glad it was small because I was quite full by then but it was lovely and sweet and the perfect way to finish off the tour.


I was incredibly impressed by the amount of high-quality food we tried and there was a good amount of walking to balance it out. It was such a fantastic tour and each and every stop was well-thought out and delicious.


Details

Tour: Original Greenwich Village Food and Culture Walking Tour

Time: The 3-hour tour runs daily every half hour from 11 am - 1:30 pm

Cost: $54 US per person

Reviews: 5/5 stars out of 5,574 reviews on Trip Advisor (the highest rated tour)


Final Thoughts

I couldn't recommend this tour enough, I had such a great time in Greenwich Village, eating my way around the best foodie spots in the neighbourhood.

We learned so much about the history and culture of Greenwich and what makes it so unique from the rest of New York.

I loved the variety of tastings we tried and it was amazing value for how much you get. You certainly don't need to eat breakfast or even dinner after such a substantial tour.

Our guide Marie was very friendly and a fantastic guide. She gave us great recommendations for other places to eat in the area as well.

Foods of New York also offer many other neighbourhood food tours, including in Chelsea, Chinatown, Little Italy, Brooklyn and more. I would definitely love to do all of them when I get a chance.

Their tours are perfect for any type of visitor and locals alike, from families, couples and friends to solo travellers like me. Vegetarian and gluten-free are easily accommodated on their tours, just let them know when booking.

I thoroughly enjoyed the food tour, it was one of my top highlights from my time in New York.

Pin it! :)

Happy Travels,

New York Tour 1: See NYC Like a Local


As my recent trip to New York was my first time there, I wanted to do this iconic city justice in the short amount of time I had. There are so many attractions and sights to see and I didn't want to miss a single one.

I researched some of the top rated tours and came across New York Tour 1, which sounded perfect for my style of travel.

In a small group, you are taken by an expert guide around some of the best attractions of New York all by local transport. You see it the way true New Yorkers do, by walking, taking the subway and ferry.

This appealed to me very much as I love exploring a new city this way and you get to avoid losing time by being stuck in traffic.


One Day New York City Tour

I booked the tour for my first full day there and the meeting point was in an easy to spot location, by the statue of George M. Cohan in the middle of Times Square.

Our tour guide for the day, Tom, began by telling us some super interesting history of Times Square and how the once humble horse-trading district became the Entertainment Capital of the World.


We passed by the Diamond District before heading underground towards the Rockefeller Centre. This was a super handy walkway that we learned about that I used a few times after the tour.

We had a quick restroom break (I grabbed a coffee) before passing by the famous ice skating rink where we learned more fascinating history.

Across the road was St. Patrick's Cathedral - a stunning Neo-Gothic-style Roman Catholic church and the largest in New York. We got to go inside and marvel at the decor.


We continued walking on this lovely sunny day, up Fifth Avenue. Along the way, Tom would point things out and give us super handy tips like the entire 8th floor of Saks Fifth Avenue is dedicated to shoes (totally went there another day).

We saw the Empire State Building in the distance and stopped to look at the impressive New York Public Library before turning towards the Grand Central Terminal.


We also learnt a bit about the Chrysler Building we could see nearby before heading inside one of the most famous transportation hubs in the world.

I've seen Grand Central Terminal so many times onscreen and it was truly marvellous to be there and feel the energy. Tom told us some really interesting stories and took a group photo (find it at the end of this post).


We had another quick break before meeting back up to catch the subway to our next destination. Tom showed us newbies how easy it was and we caught the line downtown to Bowling Green near Battery Park.

We stopped at Stone Street where there was an abundance of great food choices to have for lunch. We were given a whole hour break, which I personally thought was a bit long but that's probably because I was by myself. I'm a twenty-minute max kind of lunch-eater so after some sushi, I killed the rest of the time by drinking a very nice German beer in a pub. Win-win.

Next, it was time to catch the return ferry to Staten Island. I was most excited to see the New York City skyline and the Statue of Liberty.


Tom knew the best spot for us on the ferry and we had the best views all the way there and back. It was a 25-minute ride each way but with more stories and the stunning sights, the time went super quick.


Next up, we passed by the famous Charging Bull (which was so crowded it wasn't worth taking a photo of). We walked up Broadway and stopped at Wall Street and learned about the area famous for the New York Stock Exchange.


Our final stop of the day was at the 9/11 Memorial and One World Trade Center. We visited the two memorial pools where the buildings once were and heard some very moving stories including about the Survivor Tree.


It is a very sombre and sad place but a beautiful tribute and important to remember and pay respects. We went inside the Oculus, a uniquely designed transportation centre and shopping mall in one.

It was here that we finished up our tour with Tom, I couldn't believe six hours had passed by so quickly. We had the option to upgrade our tickets to include entrance to the One World Observatory, which I did.


Construction of the new building first began in 2006 and the Observatory was opened in 2015. It is now the tallest building in the Western world. The elevator to the top rises 1,250 feet in 60 seconds and the end reveal is a very impressive experience.


The panoramic observation deck on the 100th floor has incredible 360 views stretching all across Manhattan.

Seeing New York from above was one of my top highlights from my time there so I really recommend getting that extra upgrade. It was a fantastic way to finish off the tour and an already superb day.



I loved the tour and had such a great time seeing so many iconic sights and learning so much along the way.


The Details


Time: Tours run daily starting at 9:30 am and go for 6 hours

Price: $74 US per adult, $64 per child aged 4-12, free for under 4 years old

Reviews: 5/5 stars on Trip Advisor out of 12,767 reviews - the most highly rated tour

Our group at Grand Central Terminal

Final Thoughts

This tour is the perfect way for first-timers to be introduced to New York. From start to finish, the tour is extremely well thought-out and executed to maximise your time and enjoyment.

It's a fantastic way to learn your way around and you get to see and feel the real energy of the city. 
Our guide Tom was very friendly and easygoing and had a wealth of knowledge to share. 
As well as history and local stories, he gave us plenty of recommendations for the best things to do and even top places to eat.

This tour is perfect for all types of visitors, from families with children to groups of friends or solo like me. Everyone that's comfortable being on their feet for a few hours would thoroughly enjoy it. You see so many top attractions, learn a lot of history and get insiders tips.

They also offer a range of other tours including custom and private, Statue of Liberty tours, 9/11 Memorial and Wall Street tours and specific neighbourhood tours.

My first day in New York was one of my favourite days thanks to New York Tour 1 - I couldn't recommend them highly enough!

Pin it! :)

Happy Travels,

Top 10 North America Highlights


I've been home from North America for six weeks already (where did the time go??) and I still have so much to write about and share from my latest adventure.

Since it was my first time experiencing the States and Canada and I did some pretty fun things in quite a few places, I thought I would share my top ten best experiences.

Here are my favourite and most memorable things I did, in order:


1. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway


If you didn't know, I am a huuuge Harry Potter fan (mostly of the books) and I have been lusting to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Play since it first started in London.

When I heard it was coming to New York on Broadway and it just happened to be when I was going to be there too - I just knew I was destined to see it.



The tickets were released on a lottery type ballad system and luckily - it was meant to be. After much trial, I got through and paid a bomb and a half for them but it was worth every. single. penny.

It was SO incredible, both parts one and two will forever stand out as the greatest shows of my life (and I've seen a few major ones). If you are a fan and you have the chance to see it, definitely do.



2. Exploring New York City

Speaking of New York, this city has been at the top of my Bucket List for many years and it was a literal dream come true to be there.


Walking around Central Park, seeing Times Square by night, eating hotdogs and pizza, walking the Brooklyn Bridge, seeing the incredible views from the tallest building in the Northern Hemisphere - it was such a great experience and lived up to my very high expectations.


New York has such a great vibe to it, an energy like no other. I enjoyed every second of my time there. One week was by far not enough and I can't wait to go back and explore more of this iconic city.



3. Fun in Las Vegas

Vegas was another of those incredible places seen through a screen that I've always wanted to visit. I'm not a gambler at all but I do love the bright lights and city life.



Las Vegas was the epitome of cool. I was so impressed by the stylish and sleek hotels, the unique and lush decor, the fact that The Strip was actually clean and an enjoyable place to walk around.



I had such a great experience there enjoying a foodie tour, exploring the lavish casinos, doing a nearby e-bike tour of the Red Rock Canyon and seeing a fabulous Cirque du Soleil show 'O' at the Bellagio - which I highly recommend!


Another city that lived up to my expectations, I can't wait to return to Las Vegas for more fun some day.


4. Grand Canyon day trip

This day trip was taken from Las Vegas but deserved a whole point to itself - seeing the Grand Canyon with my own eyes was another huge Bucket List tick.


I did a 12-hour West Rim tour with Grand Canyon Destinations which I highly recommend. It included a stop at Hoover Dam, a nice lunch and snacks, hotel pickup and dropoff and over 4 hours at the Grand Canyon to fully enjoy it.


The pictures just don't do it justice, seeing it in real life is simply amazing. I would love to save up and do a helicopter tour over it next time - that would be so epic!



5. Snow and time with friends in Ottawa

I had such a blast in Canada - spending time with old friends and experiencing the last of the winter snow.


They so kindly took time off work to show me around their capital city. We tried Beaver Tails, walked around Parliament Hill, the town centre, had Poutine (omg YUM) and visited the Museum of Nature.


I went crazy over all of the moose souvenirs and maple syrup related things. I also really enjoyed spending time at their home, where their street still looked like a beautiful snowy Christmas card.

We took some very nice walks in the woods nearby trying to spot some wildlife. We did see a very large owl and some coyote droppings.



6. Los Angeles Full Day Tour

In Los Angeles, I had the opportunity to do a full day private tour with We Love LA around all of the main city highlights.

Even though it rained for 90% of the day and I missed out on seeing the Hollywood sign and Bowl overlook, it was still one of the best tours I've done.


We went to some really iconic spots including Venice Beach, Santa Monica Pier, Beverly Hills, The Grove, Hollywood Walk of Fame and so much more.


It was such a fantastic way to see all of these hot spots in one day and I highly recommend it for LA first-timers like myself.

One of my favourite moments was spotting Peter Jackson's star on the Walk of Fame! #ProudKiwi



7. St Patrick's Day in Chicago

Aside from eating aaall the pizza, the main reason I went to Chicago was to spend St. Patrick's Day there! Ever since I first learned they dye their river green, it was added to my travel list. (I have Irish heritage and I love celebrating March 17th).


It was a hectic day to say the least, sooo many people and drunk idiots even at midday. But I still loved it and seeing that green river was worth coming here for!

Of course, being the third largest city in the US, there is so much more to do as well. I spent four nights in Chicago and really enjoyed my time there.


What made my St Patrick's Day even more special was my friend Isabel who lives in Wisconsin drove all the way there and back in one day just to see me!

We got to hang out, have some obligatory green drinks and Irish whisky and it was such an amazing time.



8. Staying at the Citadel in Quebec City

I visited my friends in Ottawa who currently live there, but they are actually from Quebec City and said I had to visit there too or my time in Canada just wouldn't be complete.

I only had a short amount of time unfortunately so we were only able to spend one night there and it was a 5 hour drive each way... and it was SO worth it!


Quebec City completely charmed me and it felt like a slice of Paris and Prague. The coolest factor was that through connections we got to stay at The Citadel - an active military installation, historical fortress and official residence of both the Canadian monarch and the Governor General of Canada. Pretty dang cool if you ask me!


We left very early so we got to spend most of a full day exploring the Old Town. I loved the quaint cobblestone streets and cute shops, the Château Frontenac, trying Maple Taffy and the French influence everywhere.

Again, seeing the city covered in snow was such a novelty, but I heard it's even more beautiful in Autumn.


Another place I can't wait to return to for longer next time!


9. Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Orlando

This was pretty much the only reason why I went to Orlando and it was very cool to experience. The only thing I didn't enjoy so much was the crowds.

It just happened to be Spring Break while I was there (nightmare) and even though I arrived before opening, there were just far too many people to fully enjoy it.


I spent a good 8 hours at Universal Studios and only managed to get on three rides... and one I was lucky enough to go straight on because I was a single rider. That's how long the lines were (over two hours).

For how horrifically expensive it is to be there, it was a bit annoying but nevertheless, it was still a good time.


I loved the two Harry Potter-themed parks and the Hogwarts Express ride between each one. The Butterbeer was delicious (the Pumpkin Juice not so much!).

I also really enjoyed the Jurassic Park section, The Hulk rollercoaster ride (worth the wait) and the Voodoo Doughnut shop (delicious).



10. Disneyland, Califonia

Growing up with Disney movies, going to Disneyland was another of those places I've dreamed of since I was young.

It rained for the first half of the day but then luckily the sun came out!


The only day I could go was during the weekend, which again, was extremely crowded. Still a fun time of course at the happiest place on earth.

My favourite was the Space Mountain ride and I enjoyed the Indiana Jones ride too. I even went on a carousel pony ride because, why not?


I highly recommend trying the Pineapple Dole Whip - so delicious and refreshing! I had a great time at Disneyland but did think it was more of a children's/family place. Very glad to have ticked it off though.


Those were my top ten highlights from my recent adventure in North America. It was a fantastic trip and I'm very grateful for the memorable experiences I had in the States and Canada.

Keep your eyes peeled for plenty more travel guides and tips coming soon.

Pin it! :)

Happy Travels,

The Ultimate Pizza Tour in Chicago


There were two big reasons why I wanted to visit Chicago on my recent trip to North America:
1. To experience St. Patrick's Day in Chicago and see the famous green river (it was truly spectacular).
2. To eat aaall the pizza.

Pizza has to be one of my all-time favourite foods (which is saying a lot) and I was incredibly excited to try all the different kinds in Chicago, including the famous deep-dish pizza.

Typically, I researched to see if there were any good tours that would take me around to all of the best pizza spots and lo and behold - there was!
Chicago Pizza Tours were exactly what I was looking for and they had excellent reviews. It was a match made in heaven.

Read on to find out what delicious pizzas we tried all over Chicago and why you should 100% do this tour too if you're visiting the third largest city in America.


Original Chicago Pizza Tour

I chose their original pizza tour (they also do one paired with cocktails) which is a daytime bus guided tour around to some of the most significant pizzerias in Chicago.
There were five different styles of pizza to try in four neighbourhoods; naturally, I didn't have breakfast.

Stop #1

Our meeting point and first tasting of the day was downtown at Pizano's Pizza & Pasta. It is claimed to be the best pizza in Chicago and even the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Bill Clinton say it's their favourite.


We had several tables for us reserved downstairs and the restaurant had a very nice and cosy atmosphere. We had a full group of about twenty people - clearly a popular tour.

Our guide for the day Danny introduced himself and began with some tour information. 
He said every place we were going to was chosen because of how different each style of pizza is from each other - so we get to try a really good range.
He also told us we would eat about 2.5 pounds of pizza per person on this tour (he wasn't kidding!).

While our pizza was being made fresh for us, we learned some important facts like how thin crust is actually the most popular pizza in Chicago - three times more so than deep-dish. 

Our first tastings arrived and we were presented with two smaller slices of thin crust and one larger deep-dish.


The thin crusts were one mushroom, one pepperoni and they were both outstanding and full of flavour.
The deep-dish was sausage and the toppings and mozzarella cheese were absolutely delicious, but I definitely preferred the thin crusts. I'm not a crust fan personally, and I found the deep-dish to be a bit too thick and crunchy.

Great start to the tour though and we went back upstairs where outside our own personal minibus and driver Jonathan was waiting.


We all fitted comfortably onboard and were off to our next destination.


Stop #2

We drove south to Flo & Santos, a Polish-Italian restaurant, pub and pizzeria. As we found out, Chicago is the biggest Polish-speaking city in the world outside of Warsaw.


There was a really cool casual and industrial style setting inside and we sat at long tables. With some great local beers on tap, we had the option of ordering a beverage if we pleased. (Every stop also always came with plenty of water).

While our pizzas were being prepared we learned the history of how pizza came to be so popular in the United States (they eat 60% of the world's pizza!).

Here we got to try three types of thin crust. The first was Polish sausage which was my favourite, it was so tasty!


The second one was Italian beef, which was also very good. The flavours of both were incredible and (spoiler alert) they ended up being my top picks of the day.


Third, we were very spoiled and got to try their special dessert Smores pizza. It was very indulgent and nice to mix things up and have something sweet.


I really enjoyed the atmospher of Flo & Santo's and I would definitely be a regular if I lived in Chicago. Pizza and pierogis? Yes please.


Stop #3

Next up we had a 25-minute drive north to Lincoln Park which was perfect to digest a little.
We drove by the scenic Lake Michigan and Danny pointed out some popular spots and destinations to visit along the way.

We arrived at Pequod's Pizza, a very popular joint that was full of people. Luckily we always had a reserved table for us!


Here we were trying the biggest slice of the day and one that they are famous for - their deep-dish sausage and pepperoni. They were even named 2018's Best deep dish pizza in Chicago.

We were told the crust handle looks burnt but it's not, and it's the best part of the pizza - so we had to try it! The slice was absolutely enormous.


I really liked the sauce, it was fresh and tangy and it was true - the crispy crust was the best part. I tried to tackle it as best I could, but I couldn't even eat half of it!



Stop #4

Our final stop west was at Coalfire, where they specialised in traditional thin crust, coal-forged pizza. 


Their interior was trendy and modern, with an open kitchen to view into.
We had a choice of choosing either their White or Lasagna pizza, I chose the latter. I still photographed both as boy, they were beautiful.


I particularly liked how thin the crust was - it was so nice and light. The topping flavours combined on the Lasagna pizza was perfection and I loved the creamy whipped ricotta on top.


I was officially full to the brim with pizza after that one! After a quick drive back we were dropped off downtown where our first stop was.
Everyone was very happy and satisfied after an excellent afternoon of eating some of the very best pizza Chicago has to offer.


The Details

The tour: Original Chicago Pizza Tour

Time: Starts at 11 am and goes for 3.5 hours

Price: $60 USD for an adult, $36 for a child

Reviews: 5/5 stars out of 285 reviews on Trip Advisor




Final Thoughts

If you are a pizza fan then this tour is unmissable. It was a truly fantastic way to discover the best pizza spots in town.
What separates Chicago Pizza Tours from the rest is that they don't just stay downtown - we got to explore the best from different unique neighbourhoods all over the city.
I loved the variety of places we went to at authentic local businesses with stark differences between each pizza styles.

What made the tour all the more special was our wonderful guide Danny, he was such a fantastic and friendly guide and I learnt so much from him that day.
He is a local Chicagoan and has a wealth of knowledge to share. He has been doing this tour for five years and is very passionate about his pizza!
He also gave us plenty of recommendations for other great pizza joints and popular Chicagoan food to try and top things to do.

This tour is perfect for all types of travellers, whether with family, friends or solo (like me) or it would even be a great way for locals to show off their city's best pizza to visitors.
They can cater for allergies and vegetarians, you just have to let them know in advance.
It's excellent value for money; with very generous servings of delicious pizza - you don't even need to eat anything else that day (and I recommend wearing your stretchy pants!).

As a first time visitor to the city I really appreciated getting out from the centre and seeing more of Chicago.
It was a very enjoyable experience and I couldn't recommend this tour enough to all the great pizza lovers of the world out there - it will blow your mind!

Pin it! :)

Happy Travels,

40 Photos of New York City


Visiting New York City has always been the biggest dream of mine.

Ever since I was small I have admired this city through a screen - from watching Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, growing up with Friends, Gossip Girl and countless other movies and TV shows.

Standing in the middle of Times Square in real life watching the people flow by, strolling the skyscraper-lined avenues looking up, mouth agaze, cycling through Central Park, walking the Brooklyn Bridge, seeing the Statue of Liberty from a ferry, peering down from the tallest building in the Western World...

I fell head over heels with New York like I knew I would. Coming from such a small place, I can't get enough of wandering the streets of big cities and feeling the electric energy.

New York has such a vibe to it like no other. I marvelled over the skyscrapers and different styles of architecture.
I got stuck into the street food and took advantage of the multinational cuisines at my fingertips.
I mastered the subway and walked until my feet ached.
I got to visit some of the most iconic spots in the world and see an epic show on Broadway.

More than anything I really enjoyed photographing New York City. I tried to choose just twenty of my favourite photos and memories to share, but that was far too hard!

Here is New York through my eyes.

Times Square


The Lyric Theatre
Ice skating at Rockefeller Center

St Patrick's Cathedral

Central Park


Times Square by night - very crowded!
The Empire State Building
Staten Island Ferry
NYC skyline
Statue of Liberty, New Jersey & New York
Memorial Pool
9/11 Memorial Museum
One World Trade Center
View from the tallest building in the world
Looking out over Brooklyn
America's Response Monument
Inside the Lyric Theatre
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Play
Cool buildings in Lower Manhattan
Spot of shopping at Bloomingdales. Friends fans will know why!
Brooklyn Bridge

Manhattan Bridge
Back in Central Park

The Plaza Hotel
The Friends apartment building!
A whole pie of Joe's pizza
Gossip Girl fans will recognise The Palace Hotel
The back of St Patrick's Cathedral
The Met Steps (Metropolitan Museum of Art)
Inside Grand Central Terminal
I stayed at The Wellington Hotel - great location and highly recommended!

I hope you enjoyed seeing a peek into my trip and saw some of the magic I did. Stay tuned for plenty more New York City posts coming soon, including travel tips and top things to do.

Feel free to follow me on Instagram to see more photos and keep up with my travel adventures!


Let me know if you want to see more photography based posts like this one from different places around the world.

Happy Travels,
Pin it :)

A Must-Do Foodie Tour in Las Vegas


If you know me, then you'll know I love my food tours and I have partaken in many all over the world. I was most excited to jump onboard one in Las Vegas - known to be an absolute haven for foodies (there's more to Vegas than just gambling you know!).

As this was also my first trip to North America, I was looking forward to seeing what tantalising delights the United States would throw at me.

Upon doing some research, I came across Taste Buzz Food Tours, a highly rated Las Vegas Food Tour company that offers three types of tours.
I opted for the Foodie Tour on the Las Vegas Strip, as it promised a culinary adventure along with seeing some of the top attractions - a win-win for a first time visitor.

Read on to find out what mouth-watering dishes we tried and why every visitor to Las Vegas should put this outstanding tour on their must-do list.

An epic foodie tour

Stop #1

Our group's meeting point was at The Cosmopolitan - a luxurious hotel and casino on The Strip. It was also where our first three tastings of the day were located.

Kathryn, founder of Taste Buzz and our guide for the day greeted us outside and introduced the tour. We all introduced ourselves and went around and shared our number one favourite food (mine was German pork knuckle) before heading inside for the first bite of the day.

The first stop was at the very trendy Eggslut, which I had noticed when I was in Los Angeles by the long line of people waiting outside down the street for it.
My LA tour guide had told me they do the best breakfast sandwiches so I looked up whether there was one in Las Vegas. Funnily enough, the very day before this food tour I was one of those people in this very long line (and it was so worth it!).


But anyway - back to the tour (and this time we did not have to wait in line).

We got to try their signature dish named 'Slut' which is a cage-free coddled egg on top of a smooth potato purée, poached in a glass jar, topped with salt and chives and served with slices of toasted baguette.


You whisk the contents of the jar very quickly, where it turns into the most perfect and delicious scrambled eggs on toast you've ever had.

The potato combined with the egg made it extra creamy and it was just fantastic, I could have easily eaten the whole lot myself (but a lot more food to come).


Stops 2 & 3

Our next tasting was at The Juice Standard where we got to try a variety of their freshly pressed, all-natural, vegan and organic juices and nut milk.
Their range combines super healthy ingredients to create different flavours and benefits. 

Their Cosmopolitan juice, for example, is perfect for detoxifying the body and Bee Resilient gives you two days worth of greens. 
My favourite was called Bee Vibrant which tasted like a spicy lemonade. The ingredients were alkaline water, lemon, agave and cayenne.

You could taste how fresh each one was and that it was really good for your body.
They also do superfood smoothies which sound amazing as well.


Next up, we were taken to the third floor of The Cosmopolitan which is dedicated to dining.
Kathryn told us about some great choices up there including an exclusive restaurant with a 15-course tasting menu.

We were taken down a cool vinyl-lined hallway which led to what is known as 'Secret Pizza' - there are no signs or advertising for this place. Apparently many locals don't even know about this hidden hole-in-the-wall spot that does amazing New York Style pizza.

We tried a slice of their signature White pizza which came with ricotta, mozzarella and herbs and it tasted amazing! I loved the New York style thin crust and the cheese combination was very delicious.


The place had a very casual but cosy atmosphere, with places to sit and enjoy your pizza or you can even have a go on their pinball machine while you wait.

I will definitely be back to try more of their menu the next time I'm in Las Vegas.


The Bellagio

It was time to pop next door to the world famous Bellagio. We first marvelled at the ceiling of glass flowers in the lobby that cost 12 million dollars to install before heading to the indoor Conservatory & Botanical Garden.


This is a huge Las Vegas attraction and the display is redesigned for each season and Chinese New Year. We were lucky to witness the newly installed Spring Celebration design which was a fantastic showcase of nature, colour and sounds.


We were then led to any chocolate lover's dream - to see the world's largest chocolate fountain!
It is 8 metres tall and circulates 2 tonnes of chocolate at a rate of over 100 litres per minute. It was a truly magnificent sight.


Stops 4 & 5

After that little break from eating, we headed outside and crossed the road to our next foodie stop at Dirt Dog.
We got to try two items off their menu - their signature bacon-wrapped hot dog and a deep-fried Oreo with Horchata whipped cream.

That hot dog was, I kid you not - the best hot dog I've ever had in my life. Just thinking about it now is making me drool. It is a mouth-watering flavour explosion and I even had to go back that same evening to get another one for dinner!
The deep-fried oreo too was very delicious and went perfectly with the Horchata cream.


On our way to the next destination, we passed through The Flamingo Hotel where they actually have real live flamingos - just to make our day that little more extra.


Our last savoury bite of the day was at Off the Strip, known to be the best steakhouse in Las Vegas.
We got to try their Rolled New York Strip with Asparagus - the strip was stuffed with Provolone cheese, basil and sun-dried tomatoes, wrapped with asparagus spears and smothered in Marsala mushroom sauce.

It was very juicy and tender and the flavours were wonderful. Being a Bistro and Bar there was an opportunity to order a beverage if we wished and the group had a great time sitting at our reserved table eating and chatting away.


Stop #6

Next up, we were off to the nearby Amorino, an Italian dessert shop specialising in gelato and sweet treats.
We got to have their 'Hot Chocolate Experience' which was a cup of their Cioccolata Calda - a traditional recipe for a smooth and flavourful chocolate drink, which is then topped with whipped cream, marshmallows and grated chocolate.


I am not one to order hot chocolate myself (I would order a coffee drink instead) - but oh my giddy aunt, this experience completely changed my mind!

It was one of the most decadent and delicious things I've ever tried and I fell completely head over heels. You chocolate lovers out there - this is your dream beverage.


I'm also totally keen to return and try their amazing looking Italian gelato as well.

Heading towards our final tasting of the day, Kathryn showed us Sprinkles Cupcake's ATM machine - something I had never seen before.
(I ended up walking past one later when I was in New York and tried it out - they are very fresh and tasty!).



Stop #7

Our final stop was at Honolulu Cookie Company, a Hawaiian based company who freshly bake their gourmet shortbread cookies.
They use the finest ingredients, natural Hawaiian fruit flavours and hand-dip and package each premium cookie individually.


We got to sample each flavour and try as many as we pleased. They were all fresh and crunchy and melt in your mouth good. 
My favourite was the White Chocolate Coconut and I loved the Pineapple Macadamia as well.


I adored their packaging and pineapple-shaped cookie tins. Most of the cookies come pineapple shaped as well.

We were each given a goodie bag to take home with three of their full-sized cookies in different flavours which was a very nice surprise!


That was the conclusion of our epic foodie tour. Everyone was very content and full after a fantastic afternoon of eating our way around some amazing highlights of The Strip.


The Details

The tour: Foodie Tour on the Las Vegas Strip

Time: 11 am and 7 pm (Summer schedule). Tours run for 3 hours.

Price: $89 USD per person

Reviews: 5/5 stars out of  85 reviews on Trip Advisor


Final Thoughts

I was thoroughly impressed by the food tour and I couldn't recommend it enough to visitors and even locals of Las Vegas. It is the perfect way to explore some of the very best culinary delights this exciting city has to offer and see some incredible photo-worthy attractions along the way.

There was a great variety of foodie stops and each one was carefully thought out - being a local and an expert foodie herself, Kathryn sure knows her stuff!

There was a perfect balance of salty and sweet and a good amount of walking and pauses to break it up. Not only was each tasting finger-licking good, we also learned a lot of great information and history about each place and we got plenty of worthy recommendations along the way.

What is most impressive is that this tour is only one year old and it is doing so well, as it rightly should be.
Kathryn was an excellent host and guide, her passion for food really shone through and she had a wealth of knowledge to share.

The tour is great value for money with the diverse and generous servings included and all of the highest quality.

It was a super fun and satisfying way to spend the afternoon and be introduced to some of the very best foodie hotspots of Las Vegas.

Kathy and I after the tour

Pro Tip: If you plan on doing one of their tours (which you totally should), don't have breakfast and wear your stretchy pants!

Happy Travels,
Pin it!

Red Rock Canyon by E-Bike: A Fun Must-Do in Las Vegas


Excited to be heading to Las Vegas, and not being much of a gambler, I spent a bit of time researching some fun activities to do during the day.

I had heard of Red Rock Canyon in Nevada’s Mojave Desert which is estimated to be 180-190 million years old, and was pleasantly surprised to find out it was less than half an hour away from The Strip.

I came across EZ Ride LV by their glowing reviews on Trip Advisor and loved the sound of their tour. They are a self-guided electric bike tour company which means you can enjoy the beautiful scenery at your own pace and stop whenever you please.
I had never been on an electric bike before so I was most excited to try it out! 


Red Rock Canyon E-Bike Tour

I went for an afternoon tour and it was only a twenty minute Uber ride to the meeting point. I met with one of the family-business owners, Laurent, who allowed me to change my tour day at the last minute - he was very flexible and accommodating.

I was given a refresher on how to use the gears correctly and took the e-bike for a little spin around the carpark to be sure I was confident to go off on my own. 
I was given a map and clear instructions on how to get to the Red Rock Canyon entrance where it is then a 13-mile one-way scenic route.

I was also provided with a correctly-fitted helmet, riding gloves, two bottles of cold water and two snack bars for the journey. I was even offered a jacket in case I got cold, but I was lucky and got a nice and warm sunny day - so I did accept the offer of sunscreen!

I was off towards the National Conservation Area. It was an easy 4.5-mile ride there and the surroundings steadily became more and more impressive.




Red Rock Canyon's 13-mile scenic road is a one-way loop which is shared by vehicles, hikers and cyclists alike. There are multiple scenic stops along the way which are well signposted with information, many offering their own unique hiking trails amongst the incredible geological features.

I marvelled at the towering red sandstone peaks, the Sand Dunes Frozen in Time, the Sandstone Quarry and the stunning panoramic viewing spots dotted throughout the ride.
I chose to hop off at multiple points to have a closer look.







The e-bike was very easy and comfortable to ride. It looks like an ordinary bicycle and is equipped with a large battery capacity and a 450-watt motor capable of going up to 20 miles per hour. 
You pedal to activate the motor and while the bike does do a lot of the work for you, it is still quite a good work out, especially after 22 miles all up!

I was extremely impressed going up a hill when I zipped past what looked like a professional cyclist with utmost ease.

There is a screen on the front where you can see how fast you are going and other useful information.


I was keeping my eyes peeled for wildlife!
Sandstone Quarry Area
I can't tell you how much I enjoyed being out amongst such beautiful nature while exercising - it's something I wish I did a lot more often because it's such a fantastic feeling.

The landscape is completely different to anything I've ever seen before - it was even my first time seeing native cacti (that doesn't come in a pot plant).

Each of the miles is marked along the way and at about mile 6 was a beautiful high lookout point where I had a bit of a rest and soaked up the surroundings.




I also enjoyed one of the trail mix bars which was a great source of energy. I had the e-bike for a full three hours and was glad to be able to ride around leisurely and stop wherever I pleased.

There is a Visitors Center at the entrance/end if you wish to take a look but I didn't feel the need to.
It was an easy ride back to the meeting point where Laurent came to collect the e-bike and equipment. My legs definitely felt like jelly by then - but that's because I hadn't cycled in years! (I enjoyed it so much though that it made me want to buy a bike when I got home).


The Details

The tour: EzRideLV Electric Bike self-guided tour

Time: Two tours run daily at 9 am and 1 pm, both for three hours

Price: $79 USD per person with no pick-up included, or $99 with hotel pick-up

Reviews: 5/5 stars on Trip Advisor out of 169 reviews



Final Thoughts

I couldn't recommend EZ Ride LV's E-bike tours enough, it was such a fantastic way to see Red Rock Canyon and a very memorable afternoon.

This tour would be a great activity for families, couples, friends and solo travellers alike. Even children are more than welcome as their e-bikes come in different sizes to suit all riders.
All ages and levels of fitness would enjoy this tour as the powerful bike really does most of the work.

It's the perfect fun activity to get out and away from the city lights for a few hours to soak up some fresh air and truly stunning nature.

Being self-guided was quite relaxing and each site was well marked and explained along the way.

Right from the beginning the communication with Laurent was great and you can tell they really care about their customers. The bikes were great quality and the tour is excellent value for money.

E-biking through the Red Rock Canyon was an amazing experience that I will never forget and I would 100% love to do it again on my next trip back to Las Vegas.



Would you be up for e-biking the Red Rock Canyon? It's definitely worth putting on the bucket list!

Happy Travels,
Pin it!

We Love LA Tour: The BEST way to see Los Angeles


Being my first trip to Los Angeles, naturally, there were so many things I wanted to see and do packed into just a short amount of time.
Researching full day tours of LA, I came across We Love LA Tours, which are a private tour company that packs in so many of the top highlights I wanted to see all in one day.
It was a match made in heaven.

They are the top rated, number one tour on Trip Advisor for a reason, as their full day tour was absolutely fantastic, and despite the fact that it was a rare rainy day in LA - the tour was one of the best I've ever done.

Read on to find out what I got up to in the City of Angels and what makes this tour company so outstanding.


Venice Beach & Santa Monica Pier

We started our day at 9 am where my mum and I were picked up promptly at our hotel by our wonderful tour guide for the day, Bruce. The vehicle was very comfortable, clean and spacious and we were provided with complimentary water and even umbrellas to help keep us dry (a necessity!).

As it was quite drizzly, Bruce made the decision to visit the famous beaches first, as he heard the Hollywood sign - originally first up on the itinerary had poor visibility. We had the hopes that the day might clear up by the afternoon.

It was a twenty minute drive to our first stop and Bruce introduced himself and talked about Los Angeles along the way. We drove slowly through the Venice Canals which were very stunning, before being dropped off at Venice Beach to stroll around leisurely at our own pace.

Venice Canal
Venice Beach

The beach was very cool and I loved the vibes. I have seen it so many times in pictures and video but with blue skies and crowded with people! One good thing about the rain was that it kept most of the crowds away.


Cool street art
The famous Venice sign

We had at least half an hour there to do as we pleased and Bruce waited patiently for us to take us to the next spot: Santa Monica Pier. Again, it was apparently very quiet for a Saturday so I didn't mind the rain at all! 

I got my photo taken at the End of the Trail Route 66 sign and enjoyed browsing in the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co souvenir store (the pier is where Forest Gump ran to before he turned around).

Route 66 sign
Outside the Bubba Gump store

We had ample time (over 45 minutes) to stroll the whole pier and I even grabbed a sweet snack for morning tea at the Food Market set up there.

Fun park at Santa Monica Pier
A happy selfie
Delicious donuts! I tried the X-Ray Speculoos


Holmby & Beverly Hills

Next up we drove to Holmby Hills to see some famous Celebrity houses. We saw Aaron Spelling's mansion (TV producer who helmed Charlies Angels, Beverly Hills, 90210 etc.) called The Manor which is 5.3 acres and has 27 bathrooms. It's the largest in the Los Angeles area and it's even bigger than the White House.
We drove by the old Playboy Mansion, one of Ellen Degeneres' former homes and even the house where Michael Jackson passed away.

The gate to the old Playboy Mansion

In the Beverly Hills area we stopped at the very unique Spadena House, nicknamed 'The Witch's House' which was very cool to see. We saw the old and iconic tree in Beverly Garden Park which looked like it was straight out of a Disney movie.




I even asked Bruce if he could take me to The Beverly Hills Hotel for a photo in front of it and he didn't mind at all! It turned out to be my favourite photo of the day.



By then it was absolutely pouring with rain and I was so glad to be nice, dry and warm inside the car and still get to see these incredible sights! I really enjoyed driving through Beverly Hills, the tree lined streets are so beautiful.



Farmers Market at The Grove

We drove down Rodeo Drive - where the rich and famous shop, before heading to the famous Original Farmers Market at The Grove for lunch. We had a full hour to enjoy lunch and browse a few shops.

Rodeo Drive
Dylan's Candy Bar at The Grove

The market offers over 100 gourmet grocers and restaurants in an open-air setting so there were a lot of delicious kinds of food to choose from. I went for a traditional American hotdog, because - I love trying local food! We then spent the rest of our time in Topshop where I bought a couple of things...

Shopping at The Grove


Hollywood Boulevard

Next up was something I was super excited about: exploring Hollywood Boulevard!
We began in the dazzling Dolby Theatre - the permanent home of the Oscars since 2002, before heading out to the boulevard dotted with over 2,500 stars.

Bruce showed us the TCL Chinese Theatre and helped me to find Sir Peter Jackson's star on the historic Hollywood Walk of Fame before leaving us with free time to walk the stars on our own.



I was so happy to get a picture with Sir Peter Jackson's as I'm a huge fan and a very proud fellow Kiwi. Tom Hanks' star was my other favourite of the day as he is my all-time favourite actor. I had a fab time running around and spotting everyone's stars!


We finished up in La La Land, a huge gift store with some great souvenirs in there, before hopping back in the car to our final two attractions of the day.

Rainy Hollywood Boulevard
Inside the La La Land store


The best view & the sign

We drove to the Mulholland Overlook which boasts the best view over the Hollywood Bowl and Downtown LA. Sadly, as it was still terrible weather we could only see cloud/fog.

Mulholland Overlook

This is what it looks like on an ordinary day for reference (not my photo obviously!):


And sadly, we also missed out on seeing the Hollywood sign - something I've been dreaming of for so long! It's such a shame because the We Love LA Tour has a fantastic spot to see it right up close. Nevermind, it just gives me even more of an excuse to come back!

Boo!
Pretending I can see the sign anyway!

We headed back to our hotel in the late afternoon and were dropped off by about 4 pm, very happy and satisfied after a full and excellent day of sightseeing, even with the rain!


The Details

The tour: We Love LA Tour: Los Angeles Full Day Private Tour

Time: Pick up is at 9 am and drop off is 4 pm.

Price: Depending on the group size, please check the pricing here.

Reviews: 5/5 stars from 574 reviews of Trip Advisor (and the number one tour in LA).




Final Thoughts

I couldn't have imagined a better day tour of Los Angeles, it was the abolute perfect way for first-timers like myself to be introduced to the best and iconic sites of the city.
We never once felt rushed and had plenty of time at each place, the whole day was extremely well organaised.

What made the tour all the more special was our incredible guide Bruce, who went out of his way to give us a memorable and fun day. He shared countless great stories and facts about the city and his passion for what he does really shone through. He was also a wonderful photographer for me (thanks Bruce!).

Doing a private tour is without a doubt the best way to see LA, we could personalise it to how we wished and it was very convenient and comfortable.
We didn't need to worry about driving, parking, where to go or being one of thirty others in a big group. We got to do the tour on our own schedule and I loved how flexible it was.
They also offer half-day tours if you don't have time to do a full day and they do fully-customisable tours as well where you can design it all yourself.

I couldn't recommend We Love LA Tours highly enough - they are outstanding in their field and I would book again with them in a heartbeat.

Don't worry about the weather either, I happened to tour on the 1% of days it decides to rain. The odds of coming on the other 99% with blue and sunny skies are a lot better!

End of the tour! My guide Bruce and I

Have you been to Los Angeles or is it on your Bucket List?

Happy Travels,

Pin it! :)

Packing List for North America: How to Travel Light in Hot & Cold


As you may have heard me gushing all over social media - I am off to North America very soon (two days - aah!).
It's my first time there so I am incredibly excited - if you couldn't tell. For a peek into my itinerary and where I'm heading, head to this post here.

As I am going in early March, it's a bit of a tricky one packing-wise. I love to travel as light as possible and usually do so with no problem at all.
However, I will be going there still on the tail-end of winter, and while some of the places will be relatively nice and warm (Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Florida), I am also heading to places where it could still be potentially snowing! (Chicago, Ottowa, Quebec City, New York).

So how do you pack lightly for both summer and winter for an entire month away?

This will be my 15th trip overseas in just the last few years, so I'm pretty sure by now I am a packing master.



Let's begin with a few tips before I dive into my packing list:

✽ Layering is key
Try to choose really versatile pieces to bring that you can mix and match and layer if need be. Most of my clothing tends to be darker and complimentary colour-wise.

✽ Wear your bulkiest items on the flight
Wear your jeans, boots and jacket, even if it's not cold. Bring a pair of light cosy pants and fluffy socks to change into on the plane.

✽ Merino for the win
Clothing made from merino wool is super-lightweight, keeps you warm in cold weather and cool in hot weather and you can wear it for days on end and it still won’t smell. Winner!

✽ Bring your own washing powder
Fill a small snap-lock bag with washing powder, which is enough to last a few weeks.
This allows you to rewash your shirts and underwear whenever needed which means you can bring less with you.

✽ Take minimal toiletries
99% of places will have the basics so save space by only bringing the minimum.
I bring everything in miniature form, enough to last a week or two and will repurchase once I've run out over there.

✽ Roll 'em
Roll your clothes instead of folding them. As well as saving space, you'll avoid wrinkles.

That's enough tips for now and I'm sure you have probably heard it all before anyway - on to the list.

Here is everything I have packed for four weeks away in potentially all seasons:

Shoes:


1 pair black leather boots (A necessity for the cold - will wear on the plane).
1 pair Nike sneakers (Comfortable every day walking shoes).
1 pair jandals/flip flops (For the warmer days and hostels).
1 pair sandals (Again for warmer weather and can be dressed up if need be).

Clothing:

Bottoms:

2 denim skirts (one black, one blue - wear with tights and boots if cold)
1 pair denim shorts
1 pair black stockings/tights (not pictured - in undergarment bag)
2 pairs denim jeans (one blue, one black)
1 black comfy pants (used on long-haul flights and as pyjama bottoms)

Tops:

5 shirts 
(one for sleeping)
2 singlets (one for layering if cold)
1 long sleeve merino top (for layering - not pictured; in wash)
1 checkered button-up long-sleeve shirt
1 nice jumper
1 zip-up sweatshirt

Coat & Jacket

1 light zip-up coat (will wear on plane)
1 waterproof rain jacket (also has a removable merino shell lining)

Extras:

1 bikini top and bottom
1 pair light boardshorts
Underwear for five days
Incl. 2 pairs merino socks


Accessories:


1 backpack (Used as carry on bag with laptop in it)
1 beanie/woolly hat
1 pair fingerless gloves
1 scarf (will also take as carry on)
1 pair sunglasses
1 small umbrella
Basic jewellery - a few of my bracelets I collect from my travels and one necklace
1 smaller everyday bag (I use a small leather side satchel)

Toiletries:


Very basic makeup - light foundation, powder, mascara, eyeliner, concealer, 1 lipstick
Chapstick
Small comb
Cotton pads (for cleansing water)
Small moisturiser
Mini facewash
Mini cleansing water
Mini shampoo & conditioner
Floss
Toothbrush and small paste
Small packet makeup wipes
Hand sanitizer
Razor
Small soap
Packet of tissues
Deodorant (roll-on)
Panadol
Plasters
Small tube antibacterial cream
Any prescription medication

Electronics:


Cell phone - Samsung Galaxy S7 (not pictured, took the photo)
Laptop (small and light Samsung notebook)
Camera - Sony RX 100 iv
2 SD cards - SanDisk Extreme Pro 64gb
1 spare camera battery
Headphones (flight necessity)
Portable charger (so handy for travel)
GoPro - Hero4
Any required cables/chargers
Universal travel adaptor (not pictured)

Extra Stuff!:


Canvas bag (for shopping/groceries/beach)
Earplugs and eyemask
Boost multivitamin tablets
Sweetener tablets (for my coffee)
Seasickness bands 
Hair ties 
Small lock
Small tin with USB stick, mini sewing kit, safety pins and bottle opener
Ziplock bags (for storing toiletries, dirty laundry etc.)
Washing powder
Notebook and pen
Packing cubes (not pictured but such a great way to organise and save space)

And of course the obvious...

Travel Essentials:


Passport
Approved ESTA before you go
Wallet - including some American Dollars

Cash Passport (a handy preloaded card used like a Mastercard without the fees)
Travel insurance
Travel documents - locked and loaded online, a copy given to relatives or friends

And for those wondering, what's specifically in my

Carry On:


Eyemask and earplugs
Laptop
Headphones
Blow up neck pillow
Sunglasses
Passport
Wallet
Facewipes
Gum
Cellphone (loaded with books on my Kindle app)
Tissues
Portable charger
Comb
Hand sanitizer
Chapstick

And that is everything that I am packing! It all fits nicely into my lightweight suitcase with plenty of space left if I decide to do any shopping over there.


The clothing is stored into three packing cubes on the left (undergarments/ swimwear, tops and bottoms). Shoes (in the green plastic bag), toiletries, electronics and extras are on the right.


I'm all set for my next adventure! Feel free to follow along on all of my social media channels (Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter) to keep up with my travels.


Let me know if there's anything else you would pack too in the comments below.
See you in my next post which will be from Los Angeles!

Happy Travels,
Pin it! :)

My North America Itinerary & Goals


The final countdown is officially on and I'm going on my first ever trip to North America in just over two weeks!

As you can imagine I'm extremely excited and I'm also very busy during this time - February has been the busiest month for me. I flew to Auckland twice, spent a week in Tauranga and my best friend is coming to stay for a week soon.

We only received our shipping container full of household stuff at the end of January, so we still haven't fully unpacked yet or completed setting up our new place.

All of this while organising my big trip and searching for work in each place has unfortunately left writing for my blog in the backseat.

But I thought I could at least update you a bit before I go away and tell you what I have coming up for my next big travel adventures, including goals for each place.

Here is a map of everywhere I'm going to over the space of four weeks in March and April:


Itinerary


• Thursday 8 - Sunday 11 March (4 nights)

Los Angeles, California 


On the Agenda:

- Disneyland!
- We Love LA full day tour
- Museum of Art
- Farmers Market
- Soak up Cali vibes
- Try all those iconic American food places (Shake Shack, Taco Bell, Cinnabon etc.)


Goals:

- Get a photo with the Hollywood sign
- Walk the Hollywood Walk of Fame
- Visit Venice Beach and Santa Monica Pier
- Have a blast at Disneyland



• Monday 12 - Thursday 15 March (4 nights):

Las Vegas, Nevada 


On the Agenda:

- Grand Canyon day trip
- Cirque du Soleil show
- Hike in the Valley of Fire (with Outdoor Travel Tours)
- Visit Hard Rock Cafe
- Las Vegas food tour (with Taste Tours)


Goals:

- Gamle in Las Vegas!
- See the Bellagio fountain show
- Get a photo with the LV sign 
- Helicopter over the Grand Canyon
- See a show in Vegas



• Friday 16 - Monday 19 March (4 nights): 

Chicago, Illinois 


On the Agenda:

- St Patrick's Day celebrations
- Pizza tour
- River skyline tour
- Walking city tour


Goals:

- Get a photo with the Bean
- See the green river on Paddy's Day
- See the amazing skyline from the river
- Eat aaaall the pizza



• Tuesday 20 - Saturday 24 March (5 nights)

Ottawa, Ontario 


On the Agenda:

- Stay with friends
- Visit Parliament Hill
- Museum of History
- Parc Omega
- Stay for the weekend in Quebec City (unconfirmed)


Goals:

- See Canadian animals
- Stuff yourself silly with poutine and maple syrup
- See snow?
- Learn some Canadian history



• Sunday 25 - Friday 30 March (6 nights)

New York City, New York 


On the Agenda:

- Central Park
- Top of the Rock
- Full day NYC tour with New York Tour 1
- Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Play Parts 1 & 2 (woohoo!)
- Empire State Building
- Times Square
- One World Trade Center
- Statue of Liberty
- Ice skating at Rockefeller Center
- Greenwich food tour
- Metropolitan Museum of Art
- Brooklyn Bridge
- Gossip Girl tour
- Natural History Museum


Goals:

- Do all of the above
- Get some amazing photos
- See Harry Potter on Broadway!
- Eat NY pizza and hotdogs
- Master the subway
- Visit iconic sights from Home Alone, GG, Friends etc.



• Saturday 31 - Wednesday 4 April (4 nights):

Orlando, Florida


On the Agenda:

- Universal Studios Florida
- Drinking cocktails by the pool


Goals:

- Have a blast at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
- Drink Butterbeer!
- Go on the Incredible Hulk rollercoaster
- Relax before your long flight home


I am flying home via Houston, Texas where I have an 8-hour layover, so I'm not quite sure yet if it's worth venturing out or if I will just stay put in the airport and catch up on some work.

At that is basically my trip in a nutshell! I know it's a lot of places jam-packed into four weeks but I really wanted to make the most of my first time there and tick off everywhere that I've dreamed about for so many years.

It should be an absolutely amazing trip. Two countries, nine states (ten if I pop over to New Jersey), nine flights in total, two buses and 7 jobs lined up (so far).

Pin it :)

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed a little glimpse into my trip.
Please let me know in the comments if you have any advice for me at all and any recommendations for things to do and best places to eat if you have them for anywhere I'm going to! I would really appreciate it.

If I have time I am hoping to write up a packing list like the one I wrote for Southeast Asia. Packing this time will be a bit trickier as I'm going to places where it could be still very cold on the tail-end of winter (Chicago, Ottawa, New York) and places where it will be a lot warmer (Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Florida). I like to travel super light so layering will be key!

As always I will also be making travel vlogs over on my YouTube channel and posting plenty of photos on my Instagram, so follow along if you would like to keep up.

Stay tuned for plenty of North America blog posts too!

Happy Travels,

*This post contains images that are not my own.

Site Footer