Home For The Summer: NYC

Living alone in New York City for the entire summer seemed daunting at first, but now I am so happy that I did it. It wasn’t easy, but I had a few friends in the city and I had family come visit me. I also made new friends throughout the summer at Chanel. I stayed at Fashion Institute of Technology from June to August. After being in the city for 10 weeks, I now have my favorite restaurants, areas to shop, photo ops and tips for navigating the city that never sleeps.

FOOD:

  • Cha Cha Matcha- In the mood for some matcha? Look no further! This place has great snacks and coffee/tea.
  • Fred’s at Barneys NYC
  • Ellen’s Stardust Diner- I love this diner because I always have a good time when I go. Please keep in mind there is always a wait, but it’s worth it!
  • Sushi Seki
  • Pret a Manger
  • Sant Ambreous
  • Mr. Chow- This restaurant is by far, my favorite splurge restaurant. My boyfriend and I went to the one in LA (i’ve been to the one in Miami) and I knew we HAD to go to one of the locations in NY while he was visiting.
  • Il Buco- I came here for my friends 21st bday dinner and I had a truffle pasta and literally ate everything on my plate…it was so good!!
  • Chelsea Market- No. 1 Tacos, had the best tacos I have had in the US in a long time! They also had a delicious Horchata which, I love <3

SHOPPING:

I always take advantage of sales, i learned to only shop on sale (unless its a classic and I know 100% that it will never go on sale…)

  •  SAKS 5th AVE Sale (June)
  • Nordstrom Sale (July)- They are currently building the Nordstrom Women’s in New York, which will open in 2019, but the Nordstrom Men is across the street and you can always shop online!

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SPA/SALONS:

  • Heyday- I found out about this place because of a good friend of mine. My skin was in major need of a good facial after being in Asia and New York…my skin is not used to all the pollution. I got the 50 min regular facial, I would have done the microdermabraison, but since my skin was acting up and sensitive, my facialist suggested not to do it that day. I purchased an exfoliator and cleanser at Heyday and they put it in a cute little bag.  I was very impressed and am looking forward to going back one day. They also just opened up a location in LA!
  • Rounge NYC Nail Salon- I really wanted to try something new and fun for my nails. This place has so many options to choose from to take your mani to the next level. Please keep in mind, this place tends to get expensive depending on what you want- ask how much before adding elaborate designs, etc.
  • Chanel Spa at Saks NYC Flagship store- If you book your appointment in advance, you can get a facial at the new Spa Room at Chanel Beauty in SAKS on 49th!

HOTELS:

There are so many hotels in NYC, but my favorite is the Park Hyatt New York. It is in a great location, and the pool is amazing.

PHOTO OPS:

There are photo ops all around this magnificent city. Below are my favorite spots for the cutest pics.

  • Central Park
  • Times Square
  • Brooklyn Bridge
  • Rooftops- During New York summers, locals and tourists alike love to take advantage of the rooftop bars all around the city.
  • Cha Cha Matcha
  • The Flour Shop
  • STORY- This store is very unique because it changes “themes” every couple of months. I was able to take cute pics in this store, and my niece and nephew also loved it.

ACTIVITIES:

There is so much to do in the city, I wanted to try a few things I have never done while I was living there for the summer.

 

  • Spyscape- This was a fun activity to do with my boyfriend and his family when they came to visit. It had us doing something different and we all enjoyed it!
  • Concerts- While I was in NYC I went to the Taylor Swift Reputation Tour concert at the MetLife Stadium in NJ with a friend from work and we had such a great time. Concerts are always fun and something you will never forget!
  • Broadway shows
  • One World Trade Center
  • Museums- I was able to go to The Met and see the Heavenly Bodies exhibit! It was so beautiful.

 

 

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Summer Vacay: Japan & China

JAPAN

Asia was a trip I have been wanting to go on for a looonnngg time. This year, my mom and I finally had the chance to visit Japan and China right before my internship in New York City. On the day of my last final of Junior year at SMU, I said goodbye to Texas (just for the summer!) and headed straight to Washington D.C. to meet my mom before our early morning flight to Tokyo, Japan. I knew the flight was going to be super long, so I prepared by downloading a bunch of movies and TV shows on my ipad and laptop. When the flight attendant woke me up to tell me that it was time for breakfast, I was so excited because that meant, we only had a few hours left. When we arrived in Tokyo, I had so much energy from how excited I was, we went to the Ritz Carlton, checked in, changed and went out to explore the amazing city. I knew that I really wanted to visit Harajuku while we were in Tokyo. I also wanted to buy every flavor Kit Kat possible since they are my favorite candy. They had green tea, mint, dark chocolate, strawberry, melon and other Kit Kath flavors. I was shooook! My mom bought me pink hair dye while we were in Harajuku because she knew that I would have totally died my hair pink like Kim K, if I didn’t have an internship at Chanel a couple weeks later. But I am getting my hair dyed pink this weekend when I go home! Thoughts? The people in Japan were so friendly, I did not want to leave. We had a super friendly and helpful tour guide on our first full day in Tokyo, Yoshie. We went to a cotton candy store, because I LOVE cotton candy and Yoshie tried it for the first time! She was the best!! We only had a couple of days in Japan because we had to meet our cruise group in Beijing, China! I 100% want to go back to Japan one day <3

Travel Tips:
  • Don’t Tip in Japan- it is considered rude, but instead you can give gifts as a token of your appreciation
Where to Eat:
  •  Aman Hotel
    • The restaurant located inside the Aman Hotel had delicious Italian food, which is my favorite cuisine- even in Asia!
  • Bvulgari Restaurant
    • If you are into unique foods and are willing to try new things on their set menu, this place is a great choice for you!
  • Ninja Resaurant
    • This place is so cool! When you enter, you feel like you are going to a secret Ninja spot, all the tables are in a private room and there is a set menu of Japanese cuisine.
  • Robot Restuarant
    • I do not reccommend eating here, but it is fun for drinks and an awesome show. If you are clausiphobic and don’t enjoy loud noises, this is not the place for you. My mom and I had a fun time here, even though she was scouting how we would get out of there in case of an emergency 85% of the time. The show was fun, especially once you have a few drinks.
Photo Ops:
  • The Ritz Carlton Hotel
  • Tokyo Tower
  • Robot Restaurant
  • Harajuku
  • Tokyo Disney- I wish we had time to go, because I would have LOVED it!

CHINA 

The Chinese culture is very different from that of the Japanese. In China, I often caught myself paying closer attention to my surroundings. From Tokyo, we flew to Beijing to meet up with our tour group from Uniworld Cruises. This included a lot of flying from city to city before we reached the destination of the river cruise in China. We knew we would not be able to go on the last leg of the trip, which was Hong Kong because my internship started on June 4 and that was the day the rest of the group was flying to Hong Kong. It was one of the cities I REALLY wanted to visit, but unfortunately didn’t work out with my schedule. My mom had been there before a few times and I had been when I was little. My mom is also going back to Japan and Hong Kong in September, so she was okay with missing HK on this trip. We did a lot of sightseeing, tours, and walking with the Uniworld tour guide.While I was in China, I walked part of the Great Wall of China, learned a little bit of Tai Chi, tried Acupuncture and Suction Cups for the first time, saw the Tarra Cotta Warriors, tried calligraphy, went to shows, visited a Buddhist temple, toured a private boarding school, went to the Three Gorges Dam, went to the Chongqing Zoo and saw pandas, and more. Being on the Uniworld tours was non-stop, but looking back, I am so happy that we were able to do so much. It was my first time not having control over my plans on a trip and having to go on other people’s schedules, and I didn’t really like it. We had to wake up at 7AM almost every morning. When we were finally on the cruise ship, my mom and I took advantage and relaxed. Overall, I am so happy and grateful that I was able to visit Japan and China this summer with my mom, we had such a great time experiencing new things together and I cannot wait for our next mother/daughter trip <3

Favorite Cities in China:

– Shanghai

– Hangzhou

– Hong Kong