Monday, May 31, 2010

New York part deux

So we picked up the car masquerading as a truck and pointed it North. Destination: Woodbury Common.

Last time we visited I was starry eyed with all the amazing bargains to be had. This time, it wasn't as good. It was still okay, just not AS good.

I bought a few things at Ralph Lauren (a couple of dresses). I bought a nice pair of shoes at Salvatore Ferragamo (red ones. with a bow. snazzy.). I bought a few pairs of flats at Ecco and Aerosoles.

But I bought nothing at Prada. Nothing at Miu Miu. Nothing at Bally or any of those other wonderful designery type stores. It was all just a bit... Average.

But that was okay. I was saving myself for later in the week.

On the way back from Woodbury Common, we stopped at Short Hills Mall in New Jersey and I have to say I was probably more impressed with that than I was Woodbury this time around. I boght a great Ralph Lauren dress and a Calvin Klein jacket. The only downside to stopping there was that we unfortunately got stuck in traffic coming back into NYC and missed our dinner reservation at Lupa. Oh well - another reason to go back to New York!

After a restful night's sleep we set off on our second adventure with the truck - this time we decided to take it to The Hamptons. Home of the Elite. Summer destination of the stars.

Well, during the summer. It was a bit colder than we anticipated it might be, but nevertheless we drove through Easthampton and Southampton and ogled all the amazing houses. And they were amazing. I might have to do a little more than ferret for change down the back of the couch if we want one, that's for sure. Mr Kitty is going to have to start finagling those financials a bit harder, if I really want to live there.

There it is! Our new home...

Hiding behind the sand dunes with it's own private beach...

Anyway, we finally made it back to NYC, dropped off the car and moseyed back to the hotel.

Friday was all about ART. We spent some serious time at The Metropolitan Museum of Art viewing the Picasso exhibition and the impressionist collection (which is AMAZING). I also managed to get a great look at the American Women Exhibition, focusing on fashion from the turn of the 20th Century to the 1930's. It was absolutely wonderful. Highly recommended if you are in NYC anytime over the next few months.


After our meander through the Met, I went shopping. Yes, shopping. I went to Christian Louboutin and I bought shoes. Plural. More than one. Pair. Yes. I will share them in due course (once I have photographed everything). But suffice to say there is leopard print. And a lot of it. You would all be proud.

I made my way down Madison and Fifth. I pottered through all the shops. Zara was disappointing but I have resigned myself to the fact they no longer make things for people of my height. Everything is waaay too short (and I am no giant). I bought a fab cashmere Donna Karan cardigan in Bloomingdales. I lusted after the bags at Barneys. I bought more shoes at Bergdorf Goodmans. I cried in Crate and Barrel at the beautiful things. I fiddled and played with iPads in the Apple Store. It was the most fabulous of days, and despite the credit card bill, I'd do it all again in a heartbeat.

Dinner that night was at the amazing Spice Market, courtesy of a recommendation from the wonderful Amy at Whisk and Whimsy. I'd go so far to say it was the best meal of our trip - certainly the best meal in New York. The vibe is very cool, the food amazing, and despite the interesting antics of our dining companions at the next table, it was a fabulous night. And truly memorable.

Saturday morning took us to Macy's and the big sale. I don't get Macy's. It just doesn't do a lot for me. It's poky, confusing and an endless stream of rooms. Oddly enough I didn't actually buy anything, but what with my blow out the day before and the limits on my baggage allowance between NYC and Las Vegas, that's not a bad thing. Some frantic packing, a fabulous dinner at Balthazar and an "OMG moment" when I spotter Sarah Jessica Parker leaving our hotel rounded out our fabulous week in New York.

It would be hard to top. Las Vegas - are you up for it?

Kitty xx

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

New York New York! Part one...

So my grand plan for updating my blog while I was away really didn't go to plan... Nor did I take advantage of the gym facilities in any of the hotels we stayed at. But we did have a wonderful time and now I am back I can fill you all in on our amazing travels!

I'll pick up where we left off - arriving in New York!

We flew from the delightful city of Omaha to New York on the Sunday after the Berkshire Hathaway AGM, and I was so excited about arriving in one of my favourite cities of the world! So excited, in fact that I didn't take all that many photos... But that's another story.

We checked into our fabulous hotel (apartment) at the Hotel AKA Times Square which I highly recommend - other than being fabulous value for money, it's central but still relatively quiet. And the space! We had a one bedroom apartment and I swear our bedroom alone was bigger than the bedroom and bathroom we had the last time we came to New York. There was also a huge loungeroom and a great little kitchen which came in very handy...

Our first night in NYC we stopped by the fabulous Risottoria - one of our favourite restaurants from the last time we were in NYC. It's on Bleecker Street and is still very good. We started with the meatballs and a salad and Mr Kitty had the chicken, olive and roasted pepper risotto and I had the roast lamb, spinach and gorgonzola risotto. Like many restaurants now in New York, they don't allow photography inside which is a real pain, and will explain the lack of photos for this part of the trip... The food was really good, if not quite as good as I remembered!

On the Monday we went walking, and walking, and walking... We stopped by the Neue Gallerie on the Upper East Side (I have a fascination with Klimt and Bauhaus Design) which was amazing - I saw the Klimts when I was in Austria last year at the Belvedere Gallery but it was so amazing to see another one, and a truly famous one at that. Adele Bloch-Bauer 1 has a really interesting story that is interwoven with European history which made viewing it all the more fascinating. I also loved the decorative arts they had on display from the early 20th century, including a couple of amazing clocks that I really loved by an Austrian Architect called Adolf Loos.

Pictures courtesy of the Neue Gallerie, New York

On the Monday night we ventured down to the East Village to a restaurant called Hearth, which was pretty good. Unfortunately not as good as I was expecting but that might have just been my expectations and hopes running wild... The highlight was an amazing pineapple upside down cake with cardamon - truly awesome - and a fabulous rabbit parpadelle.

Tuesday was another walking walking walking day, topped off with a visit to Katz's Deli for an amazing pastrami sandwich. To give you an idea, this sandwich is so large it can feed two people. We had one and a cheese and fruit blintz which was more than enough for the two of us. The afternoon took us ambling through Chelsea and the West Village, including a stop at Diptique on Bleecker Street (a purchase or three may have been made) and then a nice drink at a little bar during an impromptu rainstorm. We opted for dinner in on Tuesday night, paying a visit to our favourite supermarket - wholefoods. i swear, if this store existed in Australia, Mr Kitty would be bankrupted in record time.

On Wednesday and Thursday we had a Car. Or should I say truck...

Some might call it overkill for two people. Unfortunately we were a little late to pick up our pre-booked compact car at the rental office and this is all they had left... The silver lining was that we in fact did end up getting a car (because the four people in the queue behind us didn't) and that is had enough storage space in the back for all the shopping I was going to do at Woodbury Common!!

Stay tuned!

Kitty xx

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

There aren't many songs about Omaha...

Counting Crows sang a song called "Omaha". Grand Funk RailRoad sang about a wild night in an Omaha Hotel in "We're an American Band" (although I'm sure they weren't staying in the Candlewood Suites like we did). Irving Berlin mentions the city in "I'm a Bad Bad Man" from Annie Get your Gun but that's pretty much it.

Omaha isn't a place that inspires verbose repartee. It's a nice, if somewhat not particularly memorable mid-western town that gets taken over once a year for the Berkshire Hathaway Annual General Meeting, held at the Qwest Convention Centre in downtown.

Are you still with me?

Good - I promise I'll keep this reasonably brief.

We were in town for the aforementioned AGM. Mr Kitty specialises in the financial arts. If you work in that space, quality time with Mr Warren Buffet is something worth having, or at least experiencing once in a lifetime. He bought some shares earlier this year to qualify for attendance once he worked out that the timing would nicely coincide with another conference in Las Vegas a week later.

The attempt to get to Omaha was nothing short of epic. Flying Delta (that was clearly our problem) our flight left LAX almost two hours late which meant we missed our connection in Salt Lake City by half an hour. Delta rebooked us on a flight that would get us to Omaha. Eventually. They suggested we stay overnight in Salt Lake, at our own expense, then fly to Atlanta the following morning, and then on to Omaha, with a connection in Memphis, arriving at 4:30 the following afternoon, half an hour after the meeting would finish. Convenient.

Seriously. The airlines in this country are unbelievable... A bit of foot stomping got us onto a flight that afternoon after two seats magically appeared... Nightmare...

I digress. We eventually arrived (missing our pre-booked dinner reservation by more than two hours), but we arrived. As did our luggage. Win-Win.

The next day, whilst Mr Kitty was at the Festival de Warren, Miss Kitty tootled around town in her newest acquisition...

Okay - so I didn't buy it, but for the first time I actually got to choose the rental car. And you can tell... It was pretty cute and nice and zippy. It took me all the way to a place called Village Pointe where I did a spot of shopping (love J Crew). We ate at the Cheesecake Factory (I recommend the Key Lime Pie). It was more than adequate for a stop over.

As the Cirque de Buffett wound up for another year, the Kitties made their way to the airport for the next leg of the journey - NEW YORK!

Kitty xx

Los Angeles and the wonder of being a 34 year old kid

Kitty and a Fashion Icon: the lovely Miss Minnie

Or rather, perhaps this post should be entitled: “My trip to Disneyland”!

Greeting readers, all the way from the wonderful United States of America: home of the Cheesesteak, pastrami sandwiches and Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, amongst other things. I know it’s been a little while since I have graced you with my presence but rest assured, we now have some time to update the blog! Very exciting for all of you (and me) I am sure.

Our journey starts some two weeks ago when we hopped on a plane (V Australia – Highly recommended, by the way) and flew all the way to Los Angeles. Our stop here was a mere two days – just enough for me to immerse myself in the delights of the Magical Kingdom, or as some people call it – the happiest place on earth.

Can you see all the smiles on their faces??

Our first day concentrated on Disneyland. Like most visitors, I started with a plan of which rides I wanted to go on. According to Mr Kitty, my initial plan of “EVERYTHING” needed to be amended so I started with Star Tours, Space Mountain, Indiana Jones, Pirates of the Caribbean and Splash Mountain, with Peter Pan’s Flight, Teacups and Mr Toad’s Wild Ride bringing up the rear.

Kitty on the teacups

We had a ball. Even Mr Kitty enjoyed it. The rides are amazing, particularly Indiana Jones, and my favourite of all time – Splash Mountain. And after we dried off, we had fun on the Dumbo ride (a back story in Kitty Family Lore...).

The weather was amazing – the sun was out but it wasn’t too hot (in fact once the sun went down it got quite chilly). Mr Kitty got to eat his clam chowder in a sourdough bowl which is one of his favourite things ever. And we got to act like great big kids, which is much more fun than going to work!

California Adventure Park

The following day was our day in California Adventure Park – Disney’s latest offering to the theme park Gods. It’s pretty cool – I’ll give them that! Our favourite ride was Soaring over California – where you are suspended 20-odd feet in the air and swung around like you are hang gliding over the natural wonders of the Golden State. Most excellent. The Muppet 3D movie was really fun too, and I enjoyed the demonstration of tortilla making and bread making. Pretty cool. We finished off our day at Disney doing a little bit of shopping and taking our last ride on Splash Mountain. Very cool day indeed.

After two full days of fun and excitement, we headed off to the airport. Next stop – Omaha!!

Kitty xx