2017 archive

Our summer trip to NYC

This is the post I get asked to reshare the most on Facebook so I thought I would pop it up here so I can link to it easily and maybe some of you might find it useful. We went to NYC for the first time ever in July 2017 to celebrate our 17 year wedding anniversary and me turning 40. Here’s the post…..

What we did in NYC…..its long so be warned! If you’re not planning a trip, skip this post!
We stayed in The Hugo in Soho. Really nice spot on Greenwich Street & corner of Spring Street. Very laid back & loads of good restaurants. The hotel has an amazing roof top bar as well, views out over The Hudson.
We arrived in at 3 on Friday & changed & walked the highline, loads of you recommended & well worth it. Headed to The Standard roof top bar for a drink, more great views & retro 70s vibe in the hotel. Then we went to the White Horse Tavern & after The Spotted Pig….delicious food & lovely cosy setting.
On Saturday we walked Brooklyn Bridge & had the best breakfast of the trip in Almar in DUMBO. Avocados are basically everywhere. We walked round the park there & then back, fantastic views of the city & skyline. We kept walking to the 911 Museum. We didn’t do the guided tour just walked round ourselves. Very somber but had to be part of our trip. Then hit Century 21. I got nothing
🤣. Paul got a few bits but I wasn’t feeling it. We did the Staten Island Ferry after. It’s free & gives you great views of the Statue of Liberty. The walk back to our hotel through Battery Park & all along the waterway was really lovely. Would definitely recommend this too. Bit too much walking that day but it’s a great way to see the city. The Nikes were needed!
That night we did Beauty & Essex, everyone raves about it….now the food was delicious, I just thought it was too loud & buzzy & I didn’t love the street as much as other areas. I am officially a Granny. The mini cronuts for dessert though were delish.
Sunday we took the subway to Grand Central Station. Just beautiful, really worth it. Breakfast after was across the road in Pershing Square, amazing pancakes! We walked 5th Avenue…..now that blew me away, loved it. We went into St Patrick’s Cathedral & did Top of the Rock, unreal views of the city & no major queues, staff were all super friendly. We had lunch in PJ Clarke’s, excellent. Subway is great way to get around & not scary like I thought….too many 80s movies ;-). Dinner that night was L’Artusi in Soho…our favourite meal & really lovely atmosphere. Lots of locals.
On Monday we went into Times Square….too manic for me…told you Im a granny. We had brekkie in Juniors, nice but other places better. It was just massive….after we were both like “I can’t believe we ate the whole thing”…..we said that a lot.
Then we picked up bikes & cycled Central Park and had lunch in The Boathouse….wow! Just like the movies & food was fab, again! Expensive, but at this stage we realised everything was! We hired a boat for an hour, good laugh, so so sweaty & a few crashes but no one overboard even though I had a strong urge to just push Paul in. There’s a swimming pool too in the park! Never knew that…so bring togs, we debated trying to get in with our undies but I’m guessing that would be frowned upon 🙂
We went to Gotham comedy club that night….some comedians good, some terrible but that was funny too. We were supposed to go to Tao but I reckoned it would be too loud for me….is this 40?? ….so we went to Morandis, delish Italian & ate outside people watching. Could people watch all day long.
On Tuesday we did the waterway near Battery Park again for brekkie. Tried Pain le Quotidien, a chain, but it was excellent. More avocados & eggs. Lunch was in Extra Virgin in Soho on the street in the sun just watching people go by, food superb again. Not one bad meal. Then we got bus to Coldplay in Jersey. I have no words other than AMAZING. Took all night to get home & my sandals fell apart but we made new friends..from Lisbon, Brooklyn & Cavan….of course. Ate a burrito on the curb at 2.30am, classy.
Wednesday morn we did Chelsea Market…..so many food choices. Amy’s Bread….wow! The food excited me more here than any clothes shopping. That & the views. We had lunch later in a little Sicilian on Spring Street called Piccola Cucina. Delicious again. I’m gonna miss the food but my skinny jeans won’t. It was a struggle putting on long pants yesterday & my ankles are now cankles after the flight.
My shopping haul….pathetic. NARS blusher, a tan cross body bag & crest teeth whitening strips. But I do know I love NYC, way more than I thought. I kind of thought it would be overwhelming or something but it wasnt, it was so doable! Just bring Nikes & loads of money…..tip tip tip….two drinks 50 dollars, breakfast 50 dollars….
There was no Aldi

Family Holiday this year to France!

So, got a lot of messages about our trip to France & staying in a mobile so here goes. This was a last minute holiday for us, only decided to go in July. We flew Ryan Air to Nice (yes one hour delay going out and even more of a delay on the way back. I will not rant. I will not rant). Anyway that was the only moan I have. As it was a late flight we stayed one night in the IBIS airport hotel and then hired car next morning. We had booked it ahead of time with Gold Car – really good value, about €150 for the week for a medium sized car. I just found them on Google so was dubious, but all good .

The drive was just over an hour and after initial shouting from me as co-driver….watch it, watch it, slow down, speed up, did you see that? what’s that noise? All was grand. The campsite we stayed in was called Domaine des Naiades in Port Grimaud with Eurocamp Holidays. It’s a medium sized park with a pool, 2 slides, restaurants and bar and full entertainment and kids clubs (for kids who will go…ours have just never gone!!!! Much as I have begged and bribed). We stayed in a two bed Vista mobile with pull out bed for Amy and air-con and decking. Air-con is a must!! We learned that the hard way a few years ago when we all melted.

We haven’t been to France since 2011 and these mobiles have had a makeover…..a grey makeover. So on trend! Really clean as well and the welcome pack was better than I remembered. All the mini essentials to get you started, tea, coffee, olive oil, washing up stuff, biscuits, pringles…..and wine! The only thing we forgot were the tiny swim trunks!! I should have remembered. France likes them tight! So had to go buy 3 pairs for Paul and the boys. Pauls were offensive, I think we didn’t get the sizing right ha! but the whole pool was wearing them so be warned its Willy Watch/Penis Patrol poolside

Our kids are 13, 10 & 8 so no baby pool anymore but it’s there. They spent the time on the slides and jumping in the deep end, it’s very deep. The also had a full on inflatable obstacle course one day, like wipe out – brilliant! I overexposed myself. Great laugh. The Eurocamp team are really friendly and helpful too, there all the times….even when we had a “I can’t find a corkscrew” emergency.

The food onsite was really good, especially the Pizza Blenti. The chef has won some pizza awards apparently. All the food in the area has a bit of an Italian influence and loads of seafood.

The beach is about a 10 to 15 minute walk away as is the town of Port Grimaud. The beach is lovely, soft sand and nice bars and restaurants. The town though, wow! It is so picturesque. Like a mini-Venice. All piers and canals and houses with decking onto the water. It’s like a scene from a play or something. Green shutters, pretty chairs, quaint side streets and a church and the square for the market. Loads of massive boats as well for the rich! We took a trip to St Tropez one of the days. It’s just 15 minutes away by boat. Another stunning place, full of the mega rich and their boats. It was nice for a visit and to see all the shops and pretty side streets. Missoni, Diane Von Furstenburg etc all high end and the boats and cars high end too! Was good to see it all but I liked the calmness in Port Grimaud.

We didn’t do much else really as only a week so just chilled. Drove to another beach L’Escalet Plage to snorkel one of the days and kids loved it. I loved it too (after initial coughing & spitting & drama). We read books, drank wine, ate cheese. That was the goal. The kids loved it and I think holidays are getting easier now they are older. We did Cambrills last year and Belle Italia the previous two years and I have to say this has been my favourite. It was the right combination of park size, walk to the town and beach, good food and beautiful scenery. It depends what you are after as a family and what ages kids are too. Being in a mobile is not everyones idea of a holiday but we love it! My parents used to take us years ago and they are still the best memories. I find it way more relaxing than a hotel or apartment and it is good value, especially if you have more than 2 kids. It’s really back to basics and you can just let it all hang out and completely relax. I have a couple of friends who did it based on me saying it was fab and they hated it! (It did rain though & they all wanted to kill each other ha) I have others who just love it and go every year now, even back to the same place. So it depends on what you are after in a holiday, but we “heart” mobiles…I’ll get that in a t-shirt

Full details on the site are available here: http://www.eurocamp.ie/campsites/rivieraandprovence/rv053-domaine-des-naiades/ataglance.html