Home Sweet Home!

Ah... there's no place like home. Having spent the past two weeks on holiday in (rainy) Vancouver followed by (insanely busy) New York, I've never missed the comfort of my cosy home this much. Still a little tired & jet lagged after getting home last night, but the majority of the holiday has been totally worth it!

The highlight of the holiday for me? Definitely this rose gold gemstone/rainbow Cartier Love bracelet from (future) hubby! The 10 gemstones are: 2 yellow and 2 pink sapphires (my favourite), 2 green and 2 orange garnets and 2 amethysts.

So, so, pretty... It's never leaving my arm ♥_

First stop, Vancouver! This city far exceeded expectations; their seemingly never ending supply of seafood allowed me to consume super fresh raw salmon, my absolute favourite sushi, on a daily basis, with a plethora of fantastic restaurants guaranteeing healthy, delicious food every meal.

It was like entering food heaven (and I say this as a non-foodie) - streets were jam packed with Chinese/Japanese/Korean eateries as opposed to the KFC/Burger King/Pizza Hut that you find in the UK. In fact, the pizza houses we walked past were ghost shops, which I guess is somewhat expected. Why even consider pizza when you can have fresh sushi? With an all you can eat Chinese/Japanese restaurant within two blocks of our hotel, at only £15 per person, of course we dived in -  twice, actually. I just wish we'd discovered it sooner!

Lunch for only £5!

The less exciting looking yet delicious salmon maki rolls:

Fried squid and chicken teriyaki with rice. MMM...

A matcha flavoured ice cream cone that tasted... interesting... Although I love matcha, this probably isn't something I'll have again.

Delicious chewy strawberry milk candy I found at a Korean supermarket. Complete
with a crazy looking cow, lol!

Plus this AMAZING Korean restaurant. Gave them the fattest tip as we were so impressed by the speedy service & fantastic food. These are gyozas, kalbi beef and (can't remember what it was) chicken.

Salmon and wild salmon nigiri platter:

Three words: Best. Food. Ever.

We also came across a store selling San-X merchandise. Sadly, the Rilakkuma plushes were clearly fake, so I didn't buy any.

Thanks to the weak Canadian Dollar, I shopped till I almost dropped and went a little crazy at the Nordstrom & Holt Renfrew Cle de Peau counters. Of course, I picked up a few products (haven't unpacked them yet) from Sephora too.

CdP isn't available in the UK, so... I ended up with a small mountain:

Cle de Peau Radiant Fluid Foundation, Hand Cream, Powder Blush Duo and case (for the blush)

Cle de Peau Enriched Lip Luminizer x 2, with a case for each. I got shades 208 and 210.

Cle de Peau Luminizing Face Enhancer in 101 and 104

A few samples

Last but not least...  the amazing Cle de Peau Holiday 2015 Collection Bal Masque Makeup Coffret and Collection Bal Masque Body Powder

I can't wait to try these!

...More than enough to keep me occupied for the next few weeks!

New York on the other hand... Well, it looked amazing from the plane. However, upon landing, I quickly realised that the city was better admired on Google. Cars, traffic jams, tourists, were literally everywhere. Taxi drivers were borderline maniacs (sitting in the back certainly did not feel safe), weaving through tiny gaps and beeping at every opportunity they had.

The hotel prices were insane - for twice the price of what we'd paid in Vancouver, we got a room not even half as nice or big. That's the New York premium for you.

Times Square at night - beautiful, but too many tourists.

I prefer shopping at quiet times where I can be left browsing in peace. In NY, it just wasn't going to happen because all the major department stores were swamped with tourists no matter when you go. We were also hard pressed to find a decent Asian restaurant. Although I would eat them, I'm not a huge fan of burgers, pizzas, deep fried chicken, etc so... I was stumped for food, and ended up getting very sub par (compared to Vancouver) sushi.

We decided to check out Bon Chon one night for fried chicken & squid, and let me put it this way, the service was mediocre (waiter forgot our drinks and starters), food was just ok, yet they expected more tips - the bill even listed a few "recommended" tip amounts starting from 18.9%. What?! For that service? Sorry, no can do!

A place most worth visiting though, is the One World Trade Center. At the top of the tower, the One World Observatory offered a breathtaking 360° view of New York. We were so high up that looking down made me feel a little dizzy - not recommended for those scared of heights!

In the distance, you could just about see the pint sized Empire State Building.

Best food I had - Ben & Jerry's Strawberry Cheesecake ice cream. Sadly, this was the only thing I liked in New York (sub par sushi doesn't count). This particular flavour unfortunately doesn't seem to be available in the UK, or at least, not in my area.

IMO, this is better than the Haagen Dazs version.

Despite having always wanted to go to New York, on the whole, it was disappointing for me, and surprisingly, boring. As someone who isn't into sightseeing, my options were very limited.

Now that I can say "I've been to NY!" I never need/want to go there again. Vancouver on the other hand... see you next year!

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