Nashville, so far…

August 31, 2011

Tonight we saw a real life cowboy, gun in his holster, checked shirt, hat, boots, the works. It was like something out of an old Western except the saloon was an ice creamery and the two baddies in the corner were actually us shoveling red velvet ice cream.

After going to Jack’s BBQ for the ‘best BBQ in town’ (it was pretty good) we decided to Tootsie’s Orchard Lounge for some singing about a love lost in a trailer park. We were told by the singer to ‘holla then swalla’. I thought perhaps we’d stumbled into a budget porn, but then I realised she was just making everyone cheer and take a drink. Country music is a lot of fun, although there are a lot of dudes in all the bars who look like they’re on a car sales ‘top performers’ conference. The reason why I’m pretty sure I’m right is because we saw a lot of name tags with names like ‘Troy’ and ‘Earl’. On our way back to our car, we were approached by the only black guy in Nashville, who assured us he wasn’t a robber but could we give him some money. I liked his upfront approach, but the answer was still no.

Today we tried to go to I Dream of Weenie, supposedly the best hot dog place in town. We got there 5 minutes after it closed, but never fear, we will eat a hot dog one of these days. Luckily, Katy B’s Ranch Dressing was open. Ok, so it wasn’t food, but this is my new approach to shopping these days – we go to places that don’t sound like shops and then it’s a ‘surprise’ to Luke when we get there. Surprise! Another vintage store! This place was cool though, she used to dress drag queens in New York and had a signed thank you from Pee Wee Herman (Big Top Pee Wee was a masterpiece).

And this, was day one in Nashville.

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St. Louis not St. Louie

August 30, 2011

One of the most disappointing things on this trip has been finding out that St Louis is not pronounced St Louie. Damn you Judy Garland, all these years you had me fooled with your stupid song. Luckily, St Louis redeemed itself with its City Museum. Now imagine, if you will, the best playground you ever went to as a kid. Then double it, triple it and then times it by infinity. Ok, now you can imagine what City Museum is like. Made up of skeleton fighter jets, endless slides and basic weird shit, the Museum is more like an adventure playground for kids and 30 year olds on ‘life breaks’. It’s weird how when you’re older, you lose the fearlessness you have as a child. You start thinking of consequences, broken necks and whether Luke renewed your travel insurance. Nevertheless, we had a lot of fun. So much so, Luke spilt the front of his new shorts. Susan, one part of the couple we’re staying with, very generously gave Luke these shorts she had made. Some (he) might say he has a powerful penis, others (me) might just say he should stay off rope swings.

We also went on the Budweiser tour. Seeing Luke avidly listening to boring shit about hops and barley made me look at him differently. Like in a hey, are you going to start calling me bitch, kind of way. But then I looked at him again and he was the only dude on the tour wearing a man bag, so I figured not. The tour was the oddest mix of people; man bag boy and I, the most obese family in America, a cowboy and his wife, a Chinese family and a homeless dude with his plastic bag. You gotta give it to the homeless guy for creative thinking. All he had to do was get through 45 minutes of chat to get two free beers and free pretzels. Sadly, they cottoned onto his plan.

To end our day we went to the famous Ted Drewes for frozen custard. I haven’t totally worked out what frozen custard is, as to us, it’s just like soft serve ice cream but better. However, I will be happy continuing to try the various flavours and ice cream sandwiches until I have completely sussed out the situation.

Tomorrow, Nashville. Yee ha!

Chicago

August 29, 2011

We took to Chicago like a dog loves licking its balls. The city has definitely got an understated and old school cool about it. When you walk around downtown you can totally imagine John Dillinger terrorising the streets back in the day. Oh, and the architecture is phenomenal. So much so, when it came to looking through our photos, 90% of them were of the same buildings at different angles. Woah, WE KNOW HOW TO HAVE FUN. Wooo. In case you read this blog and ever think, hey this really lacks educational value, I’ll tell you how Chicago came about. Meaning ‘onion/stinky swamp’ in Native American, Chicago was originally a total hole. That was until a big fire wiped it all out and the young and up and coming architects of America realised they could do something amazing with this blank canvas of a city. Here ends the lesson.

So now I’m going to do the same kind of category based recap for Chicago. Dang, we had fun.

Entertainment:

Second City: we went to a sketch show with improv at the end. The improv at the end made my face hurt from laughter. There’s something about pedophilia innuendo that really tickles me.

FATTIES: WOW. WOW. WOW. We saw so many fat people in Chicago. The highlight was on the subway when this girl came and wedged herself in the seat in front of us. I’m not even sure if her ass touched the bottom of the seat. She was wider than Luke and I sitting side by side and as fat as another two/two and a half Luke and Vanessa’s sitting on our laps. There’s something so romantic holding hands behind a woman who just ate a bus full of little children.

Music Box: this was an old time movie theatre with its original seats and kitch red velvet curtains. We were loving it until we realised we were watching the wrong movie and the one we wanted was in the shitter, smaller movie theatre next door.

The Green Mill: you know when you walk in the door somewhere and are given a list of rules like ‘no talking when the music is on’ that it must be a pretty serious music venue. Home to some of the best jazz in Chicago, we watched an eight year old jam on the bongos with the experimental jazz group on stage. Talk about feeling untalented.

The ballet: We saw a celebration of dance event at the Millennium Park stage (amazing, amazing venue as we also saw Jazz there the night before). I couldn’t believe that we were watching world class dance companies that I’d been wanting to see for years, and for FREE. While I was dizzy with happiness, Luke had his eyes closed for a majority of it, thinking that I wouldn’t notice as he’d open them at the end when everyone was applauding. Tricky, but not tricky enough.

Food:

Big Star: we may have eaten tacos there for lunch and then gone back again for dinner. We may, or we may not have, I’ll let you decide.

Grahamwich: tuna, pineapple, soy, wasabi peas, all in a sandwich? Some say yuck, I say, get me another one.

Lula’s at Logan Square: hello best granola in the world. It was great eating you.

Jam at Wicker Park: french toast infused with vanilla french custard = BREAKFAST DESSERT! We also may have gone there another time and had a pulled pork, egg, watermelon and cheese sandwich as well as blueberry pankcakes. It might sound gross to you, but then again so does jam and peanut butter and we all know that’s food harmony.

Hot Doug’s: we caught two buses to get there to find out there was a two hour wait. Even we don’t line up two hours for a hot dog. If you do go there, go early and during the week.

General:

The Bean: Luke kept on asking me if I was flicking the bean. Sometimes with him, I just nod my head and don’t really listen. Sometimes I say ‘mmm’. This was not the time to do it.

Bikes: we hired cruiser bikes along North Shore drive and got yet another amazing view and a hundred photos of the Chicago skyline. Here’s another fact, Lake Michigan has just been upgraded from toxic water to polluted. Yay for the people swimming in there.

Summary:

Chicago was amazing. We both loved it and filled every second there with doing stuff. The people were so friendly, everyone wants you to see the best of their city, so they’ll go out of their way to tell you about great things to do. Thanks newspaper guy. Thanks guy with the fake tan in Whole Foods. Thanks waiter at Jam who didn’t remember us when we came back.

Old age

August 29, 2011

I’ll get onto Chicago soon, but first, it’s official, two weeks into turning thirty and old age is already kicking in.

There have been various signs of senile-ness on this holiday, but none as bad as the past week’s events.

Firstly, there was the incident on my birthday. Luke told me to find my ‘birthday things’ on the table. With the excitement of a dog being promised a walk, I picked up an empty bag filled with rubbish that I had placed on the table the night before. There was no present inside. This was because it was still filled with rubbish. I looked to Luke and he pointed to the unmissable handful of brightly coloured cards laid out on the table saying VANESSA.

Then, the other day, I stopped in the middle of the road and said hysterically to Luke that I had lost my hat. I started spinning around in a circle so I could run somewhere, anywhere, to look for it. Turns out it was on my head.

Yesterday, Luke handed me his glasses case while he stopped to look at the map – I can only do map reading on special occasions i.e when it’s something for me and with supervision. Within two seconds of Luke handing the case to me (and me putting it in my bag), POOF, we both forgot that this exchange had taken place. Thinking he’d left it in a shop, we, the two vacuum heads, ran back, breathlessly asking the shop assistants if they had seen Luke’s glasses case. Luckily, I had the brainiac idea of looking in my bag. Oh, er, ha, here they are, ha, I said to the shop assistant. I looked at Luke thinking I’d have to take the blame for this. I wondered if I could potentially deflect some of the blame onto him. I began to prepare my argument but luckily, he remembered what had happened (I still hadn’t cottoned on) and therefore we were able to split it 50/50.

I guess next is our severe memory loss. As we are both aware of how very little our brains can hold, we are writing everything down a day at a time so when it comes to remembering details of our trip, we can actually sit down and reminisce. Our awareness is so acute, the morning after Luke proposed, we wrote down the whole thing so we wouldn’t forget, and even then, the details were a tad sketchy.

Finally, the excessive weeing should get a mention. When I first met my cousin, I was having an uncontrollable wee day. It was kind of like, hi, I’m your cousin Vanessa, nice to meet you and by the way, I wee like an old lady. I tried to get her to empathsise with the whole Asian bladder thing, but she wasn’t having any of it. So despite my desire to guzzle drinks like a fish, I don’t have camel-like retention to back it up. Therefore, Luke is now controlling my liquid intake. Honestly, it’s like flashing forward forty years but minus the nappy changing. But don’t you worry my husband to be, the time will come when I will soil myself, and it will be a sweet, sweet day.

Niagara Falls

August 25, 2011

I’m pleased to announce that after imprinting our asses into most of the chairs of Toronto’s finest eateries, we finally managed ‘to do something’ and see Niagara Falls. We had heard a rumour that there was a casino bus running from Chinatown to the Niagara Falls Casino that was half the price of the regular bus and dropped you right next to the Falls. Being half Chinese and therefore half tight, I was quite excited about the prospect of both cheating the system and getting a bargain. My cousin Michelle, who we were staying with, had already sussed out the whole thing a year earlier and had got herself a casino card which meant her round trip was $5. Now that’s what happens when you’re full Chinese and that is, quite frankly the kind of shit I can only aspire to.

Now the Chinese running the operation didn’t give a rats ass about who was on the bus. They were getting $30 from the tourists who had cottoned onto the scheme opposed to the meagre $5/free ride from the addicts clutching their Dunkin’ Donuts coffee and scratch cards to get themselves through the next gamble free two hour bus ride. The casino however, gave a huge shit about the tourists, so much so, a ‘representative’ from the casino came on board when we arrived, made all the suspected tourists sit in their seats and give us a ‘I know, you know but we know too’ spiel. I’m not very good at lying under pressure, or actually, just lying in general, so when were asked our intentions, I gave my brain a message to let Luke answer, but instead, I told them in one breath that we had just moved to Toronto and were really interested in getting a card because we really wanted to gamble and yes, we would take a form to sign up. Smooth. So we signed up for a card (free lanyard!!) and then got threatened if we didn’t spend it in the casino, we’d have to pay another $30 on the way back. We both believed this threat as we are easily threatened by manly chicks in cheap blue casino suits. Michelle wouldn’t have any of it and called their bluff. I won $13 (well $3 when you add up how much we spent) on Roulette, so who’s the fool now Casino bitches.

Oh so Niagara. It was really big, watery and impressive. There was a lot of scum on the surface of the water which for some reason I found mesmerising. First I imagined laying on it, then I watched it separate and join back together and then I wished someone would hurry up and ask how much it would take for me to eat it. But no one did, and no fun was had.

So the thing about Toronto is, it’s a really cool city, but you have to find the pockets of cool. I highly recommend getting your own personal guides, especially ones that drive you around the city so you can undo your top button after eating too much or ones that get you on the Niagara Casino bus, but in case you don’t, here’s my rough dot point guide of Toronto:

* Ossington has great shops, bars and restaurants

* Queen St West as above

* Kensington Market has great empanadas and a Chinese music bric-a-brac shop that takes junk to a whole new level – it’s like they’ve been ordering new stock since 1985 without anyone actually buying anything.

* Trinity Bellwood Park and an ice cream shop called White Squirrel named after the albino squirrels in the park. Toasted marshmallow ice cream sandwiches are the way forward for 2011.

* There’s a shop in Chinatown that sells live blue crabs that you can just put in your shopping basket still nipping and fish displayed on ice that are still gasping for air. Now that’s what I call fresh.

* On the metro, listen out for the stops. It’s like someone stuck a moody teenager in a room without social media for a day and made her say all the metro stops or else she’d be grounded.

And thus ends my dot point guide to Toronto.

Toronto

August 22, 2011

I’d like to say that our time in Toronto has been less revolved around food, but that would be a lie. A huge, fat, calorie fueled lie. In fact, all we’ve done since we’ve got here is ate and slept. Friday, we slept in, ate sushi, walked around a little, met our friends for a drink and snacks, then went out for dinner, then more drinks. Saturday, we went out for brunch, got ice cream, got driven around Toronto’s cool little neighborhoods, stopped for empanadas, slept, had a feast of Korean food and then sang karaoke. Today, we went out for brunch, got ice cream, shopped, swam, ate dumplings, watched bad TV, then went out for Japanese. And well, that’s literally all we’ve done so far.

We are hoping to go to Niagra Falls on Tuesday, but we’ll only make it if we make sure we bring some snacks for the two hour bus ride there. Otherwise, it’s going to be touch and go.

Our last couple of days in New York were filled with thunder, blues, balls, bling and yet more gluttony.

Our stories are kind of all over the place, so I thought I’d put them in categories for you and for me.

Weather:

Now, I know you UK lot love talking about weather, so you’ll be pleased to know that mixed in with the sunshine and extreme humid swamp ass, we also had thunder and torrential rain (still cause for swamp ass) for a couple of days. The thing is about New York rain is that it’s like its food servings; fucking huge. But it’s fun, the kind of splashing in puddles (although you know they’re full of residue tramp piss) fun.

Entertainment:

One night after going to Momofuku for dinner (more on this later), we decided to go to this table tennis bar we had found earlier. It was neon night at Spin and despite thinking it was a massive rip off for half an hour of table tennis, I realised after, I would have paid double to do it all over again. The room had about twelve tables, a bar and shit music blaring from the speakers – clearly this wasn’t the best bit, this was: we got a huge pot of balls and we could just hit them anywhere and not pick them up because there were Mexican ball boys there to scoop them up and replenish our pot! So Luke and I played one game and then spend half an hour smashing the shit out of the balls.

Our next entertainment highlight was going to Terra Blues. After being asked for ID (what a kind, kind man) we got there just in time for the warm up acoustic set. In true form, neither Luke or I can remember his name. The next act was The J Dugger Project. J Dugger is the fattest man I’ve ever seen, if you know my love of fatties, you’ll know it was like all my Christmases had come at once. His ass was the size of Luke curled up into a little ball and being glued onto his butt. This sounds so white and so very uncool, but when he sang, he was seriously funky. There’s something about blues that makes you feel cooler than you really are and for that couple of hours leading up to turning thirty, I felt cool. Then we went outside and I tripped on the pavement and that, is definitely not cool.

Gluttony:

Shakeshack: frozen custard strawberry milkshake, if I could stick that on my finger, I’d give up on a diamond.

Momofuku Ssam bar: deconstructed pork buns, like the Aqua song, If only I could Turn Back Time…to the rest of the meal, we could have ignored you all and just ate the pork buns over and over and over again.

Grimaldi’s Brooklyn: sure we stood in line for about half an hour and yes you were very good, but as Luke and I have realised, judging the best cookie, hamburger and pizza (we’ve eaten the supposed best) is very difficult and one of life’s challenges.

Koy Ya: for my birthday, Luke took me out to a two Michelin starred Japanese restaurant. We had an eleven course tasting menu that consisted of a lot of sashimi and a lot of mucus like dishes, all which were impeccable in their presentation (ice sculptures) and taste but we came to the conclusion that sometimes you just can’t beat a burger with triple cooked chips.

Wholefoods: with this meal also came a very clear life lesson: I need to be controlled in food bars. Allowed to wander on my own, I came back with my food box completely stuffed full like J Dugger’s ass. Luke had more modestly filed a few managable pieces in his and looked at mine with that I can’t quite believe you look. Embarrassed, I started stuffing things in my mouth to decrease on both the quantity and the cost once it was weighed at the cashier. Luke mentioned something about the boiled egg I had put in there, so I quickly made that the first thing I stuffed into my mouth. He turned back around and asked where the egg had gone. With an eggy mouth, I opened it so he could see bits of caked boiled egg stuck all around my mouth. Despite eating a quarter of my box in the line, it still cost about $15. I felt really sick after and I couldn’t finish it. I think this was a valuable life lesson on the eve of turning 30.

Sights:

We spent a day in Brooklyn, doing that thing where you walk way too far because on the map, it really doesn’t look that far and you end up going all silent and resentful because your feet hurt, it’s hot and you’ve got swamp ass. But then something happens like buying an awesome top (me) and sitting on a bench and watching baseball (Luke), going to the Superhero Supply Store and then everything is ok again. We also walked through Prospect Park which was beautiful, saw some potential drug dealing and caused a debate between some locals who couldn’t decide which subway station was closer for us.

On our last day I decided that I couldn’t be in New York, engaged and not go to Tiffany’s to try on a diamond ring. We tried going into Cartier and were blinded by bling. They totally ignored us because we looked like tramps (I had spilt my lunch on my lap and Luke had spilt his on his t-shirt) which was fine because we would have had to sell our body parts just to afford the claw the diamond sat in. So we made our way to Tiffany’s. It was really overwhelming looking at rings, so, I tried a few on, had some free sparkling water, pretended we were adults for a bit and then decided to go to Central Park and get some ice cream instead.

And that, was New York.

Yes.

August 19, 2011

With a stomach full of eleven courses of sashimi, potential whiplash from the Cyclone roller coaster from our day at Coney Island and our sore feet rubbed by some giggly Chinese masseurs (exposure to Luke’s big toe), I didn’t think my 30th birthday could get any better.

That was until the Bacon cocktail.

We finished the night at PDT in the Lower East Side just near our place. The bar is actually hidden behind the wall of a phone booth in a hot dog cafe. To get inside, you have to lift the receiver to be let in the ‘secret door’. Now, we’d had a couple of cocktails and were finishing the night off with a Bacon cocktail (it really did taste like bacon). We were sitting there rapping about bacon, lardons and other derivatives of pork when Luke asked me if I’d like my last present. He’d already promised me a kick ass bike when we got to Australia, plus I had packed all our stuff, so I had no idea what it could be. He reached into his bag and got a little black thing out.

I almost died. I thought it was a ring box. I thought for a second he was going to propose.

Then I realised, it was a bike bell.

Oh…cool, I said while thinking; you loser thinking it was a ring. You are such a girl.

Then, out of nowhere, he started grabbing my hand and telling me not only was it a bell, but it also looked like a ring too. He slipped it on my finger and asked me to marry him.

I told him to stop joking and get it off my hand.

I asked him if the Bacon was making him do this.

I asked if he was serious about ten times.*

And then I said YES!

I double checked this morning and he still hasn’t said ‘whoops I was drunk’ or ‘JOKING’ so I guess it’s true…WE’RE FUCKING ENGAGED!!!!

We don’t have a ring (except for a bike bell that takes up most of my hand), nor do we have a date or a plan. But I do know one thing; I’m going to marry my best friend in the not so distant future and I can’t wait.

*BACKSTORY: we had a conversation in France about a month ago where Luke said I don’t know if I even want to get married, and if it does happen, it’s not going to to be for a really, really long time…clearly his sense of time works a little faster than the average persons.

More New York, New York

August 15, 2011

This morning, on our way uptown, we saw the fattest lady on the subway. She was so fat, she looked like a balloon that had been blown up two puffs too many. There was no distinguishing her boobs from her belly, in fact, she was so big she could lay her head on her chest and save herself a pillow. As I began imagining a wrestling match between her and the woman with the Michelin Man arms we had seen the other day, one of those awful, car crash, funny things happened. There has been torrential rain today, so everyone, including this lady, had their umbrella resting between their legs. As the subway stopped suddenly, her umbrella fell to the floor – a huge problem if you can’t see your feet. Luke and I held our breath, refused to look at each other for fear of pee in your pants laughter and watched her rock several times to get enough momentum to get far enough down in one continuous rock, pick the umbrella up and swing back to a seating position. What a triumph it was. I could just imagine her saying to herself in her head; ‘see y’all bitches, I ain’t that fat’.

While we’re on the topic of fatties, I should probably do a run down of what we’ve eaten over the last 48 hours because its been pretty fucking amazing. On Friday night, Luke decided he was in the need of a hamburger. As any good, wanting to please, brownie point gathering girlfriend like myself would do, I sat there and furiously Googled ‘best hamburgers in New York’ until I found one with good enough reviews that would be worthy of my Luke’s tastebuds. We made our way uptown to the Burger Joint, a greasy style diner, get this, behind a brown curtain in a really posh hotel. It was so, so cool. Luckily, I snapped out of my submissive girlfriend state just in time and went and claimed a table, despite the very British instruction of Luke to do it after we had ordered as we were in a line (there was a lot of people and not a lot of tables). I think there is definitely a lesson to be learned in me not ever listening to Luke again as we sat there enjoying our best burger in New York, seated at a table while the other suckers had to stand, burgers in hand. After dinner, because our bellies weren’t quite hanging over our jeans enough, we made our way to nearby Momofuku Milk Bar for some Crack Pie for Luke and a Compost Biscuit for me. Luke has confirmed that despite it containing at least a whole block of butter and enough sugar to promise dentures for life, he would go back for another. What a fatty.

Today, our eating has been exceptional. Despite it taking about two hours to will ourselves outside due to the rain, it was worth it, because we had the best brunch EVER at Stanton Street Social: hot donuts with sticky caramel sauce, banana pancakes with maple syrup, tacos with scrambled eggs, bacon and avocado, baby eggs benedict, French onion soup dumplings and a cheese slider sandwich with a zesty lime sauce. It was so good, the kind of good that makes you eat in silence, then make groaning noises after and repeat over and over again about how good it was (although this may be due to the fact that we’ve run out of conversation and have now reverted to noise based communication).

It may surprise you to know, but we have done other things in New York other than eat. Yesterday, we went down to Williamsburg, checked out some vintage markets (well, I did, Luke sat outside), watched a softball game in the park and then saw a dude who looked like one of Fidy-Cent’s posse ride around the park in a suped-up seated bike with a subwoofer on the back. I’d say it was phat, but that would be really uncool. Today, we went to a fantastic photography exhibition at the International Centre of Photography. Elliott Erwitt has the most phenomenal collection of funny, clever and moving photography I’ve ever seen. There was also a showcase of Ruth Gruber’s work, who at 20, got her PhD and then went on to have the most interesting and fulfilling photojournalism career. So tonight, to console ourselves and our lack of life achievement, Luke and I are going to practice our new American style positivity and say some life affirmations to each other: ‘no you’re great…no, you are, you have great hair’…or something like that.

New York

August 12, 2011

After months of planning and numerous culls of my very nerdy ‘my places’ on Google maps, we’re finally in NYC. An hour into our first day here, Luke and I were talking about where he’d done his work exchange when we bumped into people we’d used to work with at Iris. They were on the street because of a fire alarm. I can’t begin to describe how surreal it was. It was even more so when we caught up with them for a drink later on that night and then bumped into yet another guy we had worked with in London.

So our time in New York is basically going to be spent eating. Before we got here, we had more places to eat on the map than meals available, even if we went out for breakfast lunch and dinner. Hard life, right? So yesterday we started eating our way through New York. We started with breakfast at Clinton Street Bakery, where three years earlier I’d learned my lesson not to eat an omelette the size of my face and then go thirds in eating a triple stack of blueberry and chocolate chip pancakes as ‘dessert’. We then went to No 7 Sub for what was truly the most interesting sandwich menu I’ve ever seen. Chips/crisps (see, I cater both languages, Australian and UK English) in sandwiches? I say yes to that. We then went to WD-50 that very sadly, we’d been wanting to go to after seeing the restaurant on Masterchef. Turns out we weren’t the only losers doing that as two guys from Australia who were sitting next to us were doing the same thing after seeing it on the Australian version. Highlights were a celery cocktail and rice krispy treats with buttermilk ice cream inside. Today we went straight to Joe’s Shanghai Dumplings where I ate four dumplings too many and Luke claims he only went one too far. We may or may not have eaten 16 rather large and fully filled dumplings plus a plate of cold sesame noodles between us. We then finished it off with ice cream from il laboratorio del gelato which has the best ice cream ever. And believe me, I’ve made it my life purpose to taste A LOT of ice cream. I had Black Mission Fig and Toasted Coconut and Luke had Chocolate Amaretto and Buttermilk. We’re going back tomorrow for Sweet Potato and White Sesame. To prevent obesity, we went for a run along the East River this morning, although the way we’re eating, it probably didn’t help that much.

Ok, I’m going to stop talking about food now. I’m going to talk about shopping instead. I’m just going to pause while the male readers decide whether they’re going to skip this section…

Two and a half years into our relationship and Luke and I haven’t actually really been shopping together. Let me rephrase that, two and a half years into our relationship and Luke hasn’t had to follow me around girly shops, flitting between him sitting at the front with all the fellow men folk or standing there while I ask his opinion on two tops that looking exactly the same to him. That is, until now. Yesterday, to his disgust, we went into the same shop in four different locations. His brain went into overdrive, trying to work out why anyone would want to go into a shop four times to look at the same clothes. I tried to explain that I was searching for something in a different size, but to him, I was speaking ‘WOMAN TALK BLAH BLAH’ to which he immediately stops listening. Luckily, I found what I was looking for and it just goes to show that there is such a thing as a happy ending. For both of us.

At the moment, we’re sitting in our ‘private yard’ in the heart of the Lower East Side. By ‘yard’, it actually feels like a tramps junk storage area, but apparently yards in New York are pretty hard to come by. We’re also staying in what was advertised as ‘The Tiniest House in the Village’. And it really is. But as I tell Luke, size doesn’t matter. Ba boom.