Revolucion De Cuba: Restaurant Review

Revolucion De Cuba

Revolucion De Cuba – Newcastle

Last week after several failed attempts being on time for the cinema, Holly and I decided to visit Revolucion De Cuba in Newcastle for food and drinks. The restaurant and bar is based in central Newcastle at the Cloth Market (bottom of the Bigg Market, was previously Destiny for those who are local). Although she had been several times, I was yet to visit but as a huge fan of tapas and cocktails, I knew that more than likely I was going to enjoy.

Cocktails on arrival

Zombie Cocktail - Revolucion De Cuba
Zombie cocktail at Revolucion De Cuba

Surprisingly, the first cocktail I ordered was not a Long Island Ice Tea. I did, however, opt for another strong cocktail with a load of different alcohol in which was the Zombie. I could not tell you what is in this as it’s actually secret on the menu but it was very nice and came with flaming brown sugar. Holly opted for the Pornstar Rumtini which is pretty self-explanatory. For the first round of cocktails, it was £9.25 for my Zombie and £9.50 for the Pornstar Rumtini. Although I think this is quite pricey, it is a very nice place and I was expecting to pay a higher amount for cocktails.

Tapas menu at Revolucion De Cuba

Tapas at Revolucion De Cuba
Tapas at Revolucion De Cuba

The menu consisted of a tapas menu and an ordinary food menu. The ordinary food menu consisted of burritos, burgers and other Cuban main dishes but we opted for the tapas. On Monday-Saturday tapas is 3 for £14 or it’s 2-4-1 on a Sunday. We visited on a Saturday and got 3 tapas dishes each to share between us. The dishes we chose were Albondigas (meatballs), Patatas Bravas, Charred Halloumi, Calamari, Chicken Rumba Skewers and Jerk Fried Chicken. The chicken dishes, calamari and meatballs were phenomenal and I would definitely get these again. The Patatas Bravas was nice but I felt as if the potatoes could have been in the oven a little longer as they were very very pale but they did end up smothered in salsa. The Charred Halloumi was nice but I felt like we received more salad than halloumi which was disappointing.

Second round of cocktails

Mangon! at Revolucion De Cuba
Mangon! at Revolucion De Cuba

Our second round of cocktails was unfortunately not as good as our first choices. I ordered a Nuclear Daquiri which was very strong. I found the texture of the daquiri very odd as well but it was okay. Holly’s choice, however, was absolutely tiny. Holly ordered the Mangon! She assumed it would come in a normal-sized glass but what came out was slightly larger than a shot glass. It was nice but quite strong and got quite sickly after a few sips. Both cocktails were £8.75 and my Nuclear Daquiri was significantly larger than the Mangon!

Overall Verdict

Revolucion De Cuba card
Revolucion De Cuba Amigo card

The service, was really good. It was busy upon our arrival and we were seated quickly. We were served by Jennifer who was really attentive and friendly. She was prompt taking our orders and was even kind enough to give us one of these loyalty ‘Amigo’ cards. The Amigo card entitles you to exclusive offers such as 3 for £10 tapas and 2-4-1 cocktails. Overall I would definitely come back. I would happily have the tapas again as some of the dishes were amazing, I’d also like to try the main menu. I’m definitely going to take advantage of the Amigo card offers as well especially the cocktails, although I might stay clear of the Mangon! If you’re thinking of visiting Revolucion De Cuba in Newcastle and would like to see the menu before your arrival you can visit the website here. They also have many other venues across the UK.

Llama Karma Kafe

Llama Karma Kafe

Eve’s birthday at Llama Karma Kafe

A photo with our llama, Gucci.

My little sister turned 13 a couple of weeks ago and as she has an interest in Llama’s. We visited the Llama Karma Kafe in Penrith as a birthday surprise. The cafe is on the A66 and features Llama treks, a cafe and also a B&B. We did not stay overnight but we did partake in an hour-long Llama trek and had food and drinks in the cafe.

Lunch at the Llama Karma Kafe

With the Llama trek, you were entitled to a coffee and cake in the cafe which was used by my parents. Although the cake was nice they were quite dissapointed they were only allowed the tray cakes. The others available looked a lot more appetizing. My mam got the lemon drizzle slice and my dad opted for the flapjack. I also spotted many other cakes available for this offer such as a caramel slice and a rocky road.

Cheese and ham toastie at Llama Karma Kafe

I ordered a cheese and ham toastie which was one of the cheaper options on the menu. In my opinion, the cafe was quite pricey! My toastie took nearly 30 minutes as they mixed up the order. The waitress then came out and told us the order they had was a cheese toastie and that cheese and ham would be 40p extra. They apologized for the delay and offered me a free drink but by this point, I was nearly due for the llama trek so I declined. The toastie was quite nice and had plenty of cheese but I did have to pick off some of the bread at the side as I do not like coleslaw on it.

Trekking with Gucci the Llama

The Llamas at Llama Karma Kafe
The Llamas at Llama Karma Kafe

We paid £25 per person for the 1-hour llama trek including a coffee and a cake. Although it was my sisters birthday she was very apprehensive about it. Initially, she did not want to participate as was scared of the llamas. I joined her to help so the two of us joined the trek with two other groups of two. We had three llamas to choose from. The leader, Barney travelled at the front. Cuba which was the smaller llama was in the middle and then Gucci, the slower llama, who walked at the back.

Gucci the llama

We walked along the trail and led the llama one person on each side and stopped for photographs twice on the journey. The man who led the trail was very friendly and informative. He told us lots of facts about the llamas and each of their personalities. We found out that our llama, Gucci had two children and could even be a grandad in the near future. He also showed us some funny pictures of the other llamas trying to open the gates.

Our final photo spot was on a bridge outside of the castle. The man who took us around was happy to take any photos or answer any questions and the llamas themselves were lovely. We initially had some misconceptions that llamas spat and weren’t pleasant natured. He explained that it’s the hand-reared llamas that were more likely to spit at a human. The llamas spit at each other to assert dominance.

Other animals at the Llama Karma Kafe

As well as the gorgeous llamas, the Llama Karma Kafe also had some other animals to look at. If you walk outside the conservatory doors you can find rabbits, marmosets and some other small animals. This would be ideal for smaller children who may not have confidence in walking the llamas.

Our verdict

A happy birthday girl

 

Overall, we had a fantastic and unique experience on the llama trek at Llama Karma Kafe. My sister left very happy and proud that she had conquered her fears. We were considering swapping my dad’s car for a llama paddock in the garden but he wasn’t too keen on the idea. We would definitely come back in the future to do the llama trek again and give our new friend Gucci a big cuddle. If you would like more information on the Llama Karma Kafe you can visit their website here.

Walt Disney World Diaries: Epcot

Walt Disney World Diaries: Epcot

 

For the third addition to my Walt Disney World Diaries series, I’ve moved on to Epcot. As a child, this was my least favourite park as it has the least rides but it has moved up in the ranks. I now love exploring the different pavilions and taking advantage of Epcot’s photo opportunities.

Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

Lion King topiary
Topiary of The Lion King, Epcot.

 

One of my favourite things about visiting Epcot at the time we did (May 2019) is because of the Flower and Garden Festival. I’m fortunate enough to have experienced this on two occasions and it’s so interesting to see all of the different topiaries in the shape of Disney characters. Not only does it mean more photo pass spots, but also more characters to discover around the pavilions.

Beginning at Mexico

Mexico, World Pavilion
Mexico at Epcot

I prefer to begin the World Showcase in Mexico, which has improved a lot since I last visited. Inside of this beauty is filled with Coco themed merchandise, sugar skulls and the Three Caballeros ride. This is one of the most beautiful pavilions in my opinion but not many people think to look inside and explore.

Let it go

Frozen ride at Epcot
Frozen ride, Epcot

Frozen was my first FastPass as it is one for the whole family and it’s a ride I hadn’t been on. My dad was obsessed with the Norway area. My sister and I had a photo opportunity in front of the Elsa and Anna topiaries before moving on.

Characters around the park

Photo with Goofy at Epcot
Goofy at Epcot

As you move forward through the world pavilion each country has its own charm and own characters for example in Germany you can meet Snow White and drink German beer. In China, you can meet Mulan and explore a Chinese garden. In between all these exciting places we found some of the main characters such as Mickey, Goofy and Pluto through one of the side lanes and although photo pass photographers weren’t there, it’s a good way to get a photo and avoid queues. 

Reminds me of a place I’d been before

Morocco, Epcot
Morocco, Epcot

One of the most photogenic and beautiful countries featured in the world showcase is definitely Morocco. After visiting the city of Marrakesh on my volunteer trip last year which you can read here, some of the pictures bare similarities. However, the Disney version was much cleaner and safer. You also get to meet Princess Jasmine here if you missed her in Magic Kingdom.

Not my England

England pavilion, Epcot
England, Epcot

Although the Morocco pavilion is quite similar, the England pavilion, in my opinion, is very far away from my England. This may be due to the North/South divide and myself residing the in North but Sunderland certainly is not this pretty and peaceful. 

Your personal healthcare assistant at Epcot

Baymax meet at Epcot
Baymax meet, Epcot

After exploring the World Showcase we headed back to the other pavilions. The other FastPass I had for the day were Soarin’ which was at the land pavilion and then we went to the sea pavilion and rode the Nemo ride. The sea pavilion is especially good for kids interested in marine life as it has real sea creatures and a Bruce the Shark play area. We then went to Nero’s workshop and I met Baymax and there’s also the option to meet other characters such as Vanellope, Wreck-It Ralph and Joy and Sadness from Inside Out. 

Finish the day with Fireworks

Fireworks at Epcot
Fireworks at Epcot

After meeting Baymax we walked over to see if we could get on any of the bigger rides which were Test Track and Mission: Space. Unfortunately, this time around we couldn’t but they are both rides I have done in the past. This park is very difficult to get FastPasses for as there are not many rides so I’d definitely prioritise which of the more popular rides you would prefer. In this instance, we had chosen Frozen and Soarin’ as we had not ridden either of these previously but when I visit again I will make sure Test Track is on my list as this is probably my favourite in the park. We then ended the day waiting for the fireworks and the Illuminations: Reflections of Earth is the show currently at Epcot which is being replaced in October 2019 by Epcot Forever so keep your eyes peeled!

This concludes the third edition of my Walt Disney World diaries. If you would like to read about the other parks you can click here to view my post on Magic Kingdom or here if you’d like to read about Hollywood Studios. Be sure to look out for my final addition featuring Disney’s Animal Kingdom!

Walt Disney World diaries: Magic Kingdom

The second park, Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom is hands down one of my favourite places in the world. It basically says what it is on the tin and if you ever get the opportunity to go, you should. On this trip the second park we visited was Magic Kingdom and if you would like to read the first part of the Walt Disney World diaries series you can click here

Beginning at Adventureland

An image of Adventureland, Magic Kingdom
An image of Adventureland, Magic Kingdom

There are two ways in which people usually venture around Magic Kingdom you either begin at Tomorrowland or Adventureland. Due to Adventureland normally being the least busy we began there. I immediately got early FastPasses for Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Carribean and The Haunted Mansion. In Adventureland, you will find a series of rides and the shops are mainly featuring characters such as Aladdin and Moana. There’s also an Aladdin and Jasmine meet near the Magic Carpet ride.

Tangled at Magic Kingdom

The Tangled bathrooms, Magic Kingdom
The Tangled bathrooms

Between Adventureland and Frontierland we rode Pirates Of The Carribean, you also have the option to meet Jack Sparrow. Next, we headed to Frontierland which is home of Big Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain before then heading to Liberty Square. Liberty Square is home to my sister’s favourite ride, The Haunted Mansion, which we usually ride several times if possible. Magic Kingdom was so busy our only option was to keep booking fast passes as the queues were enormous.

We stumbled on an area which was not there the last time we visited and was of particular interest to me as I am a huge fan of the Disney film Tangled. Right next to the Haunted Mansion I noticed horseshoe prints with the name Maximus, if you have seen the movie Tangled you will know this is the name of the horse. As we got closer to the top of the bank I saw a Tangled theme bathroom and the Tangled tower along with several hidden Pascal’s you can find around the area.

It’s a small world after all

It's a small world, Magic Kingdom
‘It’s a small world’ ride, Magic Kingdom

After the Tangled area, we had a fast pass booked for an old school classic – It’s A Small World. This ride is in the Fantasyland area which also features the Peter Pan ride, Winnie the Pooh, The Little Mermaid, Mad Tea Party, Carousel, Phiharmagic and the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. This area is also full of character meets with Disney Princess’ so a lot of photo pass opportunities are available. I also really like the Beauty and The Beast area in Fantasy Land. This features the Be Our Guest restaurant, where you can dine with the beast. There is also a meet with Gaston as well as the Tales with Belle attraction.

Tomorrowland

Stitch meet and greet, Magic Kingdom
Stitch meet and greet, Magic Kingdom

We ended the day visiting Tomorrowland. Although, we did visit the small circus area for some snacks which I will show you in another post. We immediately headed to the Stitch meet as he is my sister’s absolute favourite and she was eager to get a photo. This meet was my favourite as the cast member really interacted and we got a lot of good pictures. We then headed for the Buzz Lightyear ride which is one of my favourites. Similar to Midway Mania in Hollywood Studios, it is a competitive shooting game. You also get a photo pass on the ride.

Buzz Lightyear space ranger spin, Tomorrowland
Buzz Lightyear ride, Magic Kingdom

I will suggest trying to get a ticket including a memory maker. Our tickets were from FloridaTix and it was included in with the price. This means you get all ride photos, meet and greets and photo opportunities within the parks.

At last, I see the light

Tangled photo pass opportunity, Magic Kingdom.
Tangled lantern photo pass, Magic Kingdom

We finished the evening with my favourite photo pass opportunities across Disneyworld – the Tangled lanterns. There is also Happily Ever After which is a show projected on the castle with music and fireworks.

Top Tips for Magic Kingdom

Cinderella castle, Magic Kingdom
In front of the Cinderella Castle

If you are visiting Magic Kingdom, go early. There are lots of attractions, meet and greets, photo opportunities and it will take all day. In my experience, this is always the busiest park so it’s definitely worth utilising fast passes or spreading it over several visits. There are also some incredible snacks, some of which I will show you in a future post. Also, just take the time to look around at some of the incredible theming, find the hidden mickeys and the tiny details that make the park so special.

I hope you enjoyed this post and if you missed my previous post about Hollywood Studios you can click here. If you want to read the next addition and head to Epcot you can find that here.

 

Thanks for reading!

 

 

Life Of Riley: Food Review

After hearing some positive comments about the food at Life Of Riley we decided to try it for ourselves…

What is Life Of Riley?

Inside Life Of Riley, Sunderland
Inside Life Of Riley, Sunderland

Life Of Riley is a venue situated on Green Terrace in Sunderland City Centre. As well as offering food it is also a very popular nightlife location, offering live music, pre-match entertainment and karaoke nights. You can find more about what’s on offer by visiting their Facebook page here.

Life of Riley’s menu

The food menu had a range of different options available from lighter bites such as panini’s and wraps to meals such as mince and dumplings, burgers and steaks. Life Of Riley also offers a Sunday dinner which often gets great reviews. The food is also very reasonably priced with an 8oz rump steak and chunky chips costing less than £10. We visited on a Saturday afternoon before the football match began and both opted for the chicken and bacon wrap from the lighter menu along with some chunky chips to share.

Our Verdict

I thoroughly enjoyed my meal at Life Of Riley. The wraps were stuffed with good quality chicken and the bacon was not fatty or cut too thickly. Although it was a simple meal it was delicious and done to perfection. The chunky chips were also amazing, they were crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. I am quite fussy so didn’t have any salad with mine but my partner enjoyed the salad with honey drizzle and cleaned his plate. As well as the food tasting amazing we also had cocktails which were on 2 for 1 during the happy hour. We tried a Zombie Ice Tea and a Long Island Ice Tea.

rhdr

I also thought that the service and staff were fantastic. Our order for food was dealt with promptly and the food was hot when we received it. The bar staff were very nice and I enjoyed chatting to Allison and Kody whilst our order was being prepared. Josh was new to working behind the bar but was very polite. He ensured he received support when required and apologized if he was slightly slower but wanted to ensure our order was correct. The manager Andrew was also very nice. We noticed he was very supportive and contributed to serving the food and drinks instead of just making the other members of staff do everything. Overall, I really enjoyed having food and drinks at Life Of Riley and the staff made the experience better. I would definitely return again in the future.

Walt Disney World diaries: Hollywood Studios

Beginning with Hollywood Studios

To start my Walt Disney World diaries series I’ve decided to begin with the first park I visited on my May 2019 trip to Florida, Hollywood Studios. The last time I came here was in 2013 and A LOT has changed since then.

Toy Story Land

Entrance to Toy Story Land in Hollywood Studios, Orlando.
Entrance to Toy Story Land, Hollywood Studios

The first and most recent change to the Hollywood Studios park was the opening of Toy Story Land in 2018. On my previous visits to the park, I’ve ridden Toy Story Mania but this part of the park was non-existent. We began at Toy Story Land to see if we could get on Slinky Dog Dash as we were unable to get a FastPass for it but at park opening the queue was already 120 minutes long. We also had a look at the swirling saucers which was a 60-minute wait. Although both rides did look fun, the wait time was too long to wait in 35-degree heat as for my family they were not necessarily must-do attractions. The theming of the land was amazing but this was the busiest part of the park by a mile off.

Pixar Place

Photo pass photographer spot at Pixar Place, Hollywood Studios in Florida.
Photo pass opportunity at Pixar Place, Hollywood Studios

Another new addition to Hollywood Studios was the Pixar Place area. Although this area wasn’t big in terms of attractions this was a great spot for photo opportunities. There was plenty of photo pass photographers and the option to take photos with props as well as a Character Meet with Edna Mode which was a must-do for me. The queue was less than 5 minutes long. This part of Hollywood Studios was mainly home to The Incredibles and they also have a dance party with all of the characters.

Meet and Greet photo pass spot with Edna Mode at Hollywood Studios.
Meet and Greet with Edna Mode at Hollywood Studios

Meeting Mike and Sulley

Mike and Sulley photo pass meet and greet at Hollywood Studios
Mike and Sulley meet and greet, Hollywood Studios

After exploring Pixar Place we wanted to stay close as had a Toy Story Mania FastPass within the hour so we headed over to meet Mike and Sulley at Walt Disney Presents in Animation Courtyard. This was a museum which had a lot of information on Hollywood Studios. It also featured the expansion of Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge which is coming later this year on August 29th. They also gave a first look at the Aladdin live-action movie which was due to be released. The line for the meet up was very long – a lot longer than advertised! We then watched The Little Mermaid show which was right next door.

Star Tours and meeting Chewbacca

Chewbacca meet and greet, Hollywood Studios
Chewbacca meet and greet, Hollywood Studios

After our FastPass for Toy Story Mania, we then had to head over to Star Tours for our next FastPass. This has been at the park since 1987 but was revamped in 2010 and is a virtual reality ride. After Star Tours, we then watched my Dad’s favourite – Indiana Jones. This is a stunt show involving the audience and is worth a watch. I really wanted to meet Olaf who was quite close to Star Tours but the queue was quite a wait and my final FastPass was at the other side of the park. We instead decided to go to the Star Wars Launch Bay and meet Chewbacca which was only a 10-minute wait. We then ended the day with my favourite ride Rock’n’Rollercoaster.

Other things to do in Hollywood Studios

This was how we spent our day in Hollywood Studios but there are other things there which we did not do but have done previously. I’d recommend the Beauty and The Beast stage show, we would have watched it but the times clashed with our plans. I’d have liked to have tried the Toy Story rides but the waits were just too long and another popular attraction is the Tower Of Terror. Although this is a staple attraction at Hollywood Studios and I have been on it before it’s not really a must-do for me. I prefer the rollercoasters and again this gets quite busy. If you’re visiting Hollywood Studios you can always have a look at the Walt Disney World website for more details. I’d also recommend the Fantasmic! show especially if it’s your first time.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my time in Hollywood Studios. If you want to continue with the next in the series you can find Magic Kingdom here. If you’d like to skip to Epcot you can find that here.

Thanks for reading!

Berlin City Break

Berlin City Break

So this blog post is a bit late, I actually visited Berlin in November 2018 but haven’t got round to posting about it yet as I’ve been so busy with university. We travelled at the end of November flying with Easyjet from Newcastle and stayed at Frederics Berlin City Hackeschermarkt which are serviced apartments. The apartments were clean and close to both public transport and the main attractions in the area (unfortunately I did not take a picture of our room – sorry!).

Berliner Dom. Berlin Cathedral Church
Berlin Cathedral Church aka Berliner Dom
In front of the Berliner Dom

Day One – Sightseeing

We got there quite late at night so just went for a couple of drinks in the local area of Hackeschermarkt before beginning our first full day sightseeing and taking in all Berlin has to offer. I didn’t really have a clue where I was going so kind of drifted towards the Brandenburg Gate but we got to see the Berliner Dom on the way as the majority of landmarks were close together.

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

Our next destination was the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe which is very sad as it commemorates up to six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust. We then headed to Potsdamer Platz (and Cara’s coffee shop) to continue exploring. Unfortunately, we were a little early for all of the Christmas markets as they did not begin until the final week in November so we were a few days early but we still saw a small one there. I tried a Bratwurst which I didn’t think I would enjoy but it was actually delicious. Luke’s Currywurst, however, not so appetizing to look at.

Topography of Terror

After this, I had looked at the Topography of Terror online and thought it would be really interesting so we decided to go and have a look. Some of the content I found really upsetting and terrifying, it was difficult to come to terms with the fact it really happened. This is a free museum and well worth a look. We also saw the remaining part of the Berlin Wall before heading to Checkpoint Charlie. After the day’s sightseeing, we decided to head out for some food and drinks. We found one of the waiters in the restaurant we went to very helpful and he pointed us to an area to get drinks. I really liked the Vulcano Bar as the staff were so nice.

Checkpoint Charlie

Day Two – Stasi Prison

Our second day we visited the Stasi prison which was where political criminals were kept and interrogated. Our tour guide was very knowledgable and both English and German tours are provided throughout the day. We got there via the tram service which was straight forward and easy to use as well as being the quickest way of getting to the prison.

Stasi Prison

The tour took up quite a lot of our day but we still ventured out on an evening, got some food and had some drinks. We found it quite difficult to find busy bars in our area but it is so casual over there people literally walk around with bottles of beer in their hands.

East Side Gallery

Day three – East Side Gallery

Just before we caught our flight home we managed to squeeze in a visit to the East Side Gallery to look at all the graffiti artwork. It was so interesting and unusual we saw the famous “the kiss” along with so many others.

The Kiss

So that was a short diary of my time in Berlin. This post is fairly brief and I wish I had included a bit more about where I ate and drank and how much things were etc. but we only had a short space of time here so I really wanted to see as much as possible. I was also quite unwell after visiting the prison on our second day so wasn’t really up to much that evening. I hope this gives some ideas on what to do in Berlin but there was so much more I could have explored and I would love to go back in the future.

The Receipts Podcast and why I love it

Since the majority of my posts recently have been travel guides I thought I would creep in with something different. This post is about my new favourite podcast, The Receipts Podcast. I figured since I have spent every car journey since discovering them avidly listening, they deserved some love on my blog.

So, just to tell you a little about the podcast I’ve taken this description from Google Podcasts…

‘#TheReceiptsPodcast is a fun, honest podcast fronted by three girls who willingly talk about anything and everything. From relationships to situationships to everyday life experiences, you can expect unadulterated girl talk with no filter.’

The hosts are Milena, Tolly and Audrey and they each bring something different to the podcast which is what makes it work so well. They are absolutely hilarious and their content is full of singing and epic one-liners (Milena calling someone’s mum a sideman had me in hysterics!). Although the majority of episodes are full of real talk and humour the one’s I really enjoy are the minisodes called Your Receipts.

Your Receipts is where the girls basically ask for dilemmas which they solve and give advice on.  They literally range from little things like “Should I give a girl my basketball jersey?” to a lot more serious topics involving pregnancy and family situations. I absolutely adore how honest the girls are and how they also bring past life experience in to help other people solve their dilemmas.

So basically what I want you to do is go and check the girls out on their podcast and you can become addicted to listening like me and you can have a genuinely more interesting commute to work every morning. They release a new episode every Wednesday which alternates between a normal episode and a Your Receipts episode.

Follow the girls on twitter too, they are also funny on there. Tolly also has recently started a love letter series here you should also check out:

Audrey @Ghanasfinestx

Milena @Milenasanchezx

Tolly: @Tolly_T 

Happy listening, you can thank me later!

Cara x

New York Travel Guide Day 4: Madame Tussauds and travel terrors!

Welcome to the last edition of my New York travel guide which includes my trip to Madame Tussauds as well as a collection of travel tips and travel terrors relating to my trip to New York City. I also have part one, part two and part three you can go and look at. This post is all about my trip to Madame Tussauds and my travel nightmares coming home.

Cute kitty in Petco

My final day

So our final day was predominantly spent shopping in New York. I really wanted to visit PetCo for some goodies for my darling angel Tigerlilli and was very sad looking at the pets up for adoption. We also visited the Korean part of New York which had an abundance of skin care and face masks – I am a big fan of Koran skincare! We did also explore the bigger department stores such as Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s but huge busy places really aren’t my cup of tea! My favourite shop was Bath and Bodywork’s.

The Flat Iron Building New York
The Flat Iron Building

We also saw the Flat Iron Building whilst trying to find Forbidden Planet although it was good to see I wouldn’t make a purpose of wandering that far out without a metro pass unless you’re in that area anyway.

Rupaul Charles waxwork Madame Tussauds
Rupaul Madame Tussaud’s

We also visited Madame Tussaud’s during the evening time and naturally I gravitated straight towards Rupaul! It was full of waxwork models and some more interactive attractions. 

Marvel 4d

We went in the Marvel 4d show which was really good, there was another interactive experience but it involved zombies and this did not sit well with my younger sister. I really enjoyed the waxworks you could really interact with such as the ET one below.

ET waxwork Madame Tussauds New York
ET 

My holiday hell!

The hulk Madame Tussauds New York
The Hulk

So, although I did have a great time, the thing which ruined my holiday was the dilemma’s we faced on the way home (and my next phone bill faced after). Upon travelling on the bus back to Stewart airport we were informed our flight back to Edinburgh was cancelled with no explanation. Another passenger approached us and showed us a text he had received this morning and said they had arranged another Norwegian airlines flight to get them home but my dad hadn’t received any communications from them.

Ghostbusters

Things not going to plan give me major anxiety so this was such an inconvenience. I had to call Norwegian airlines from America who offered me a flight from JFK to Stockholm which had one seat for a family of four, then another flight to Paris which was even later. Then the flight to Edinburgh from Paris was too late as messed with everyone’s plans and work commitments so I ended up opting for a Newcastle flight from Paris which got us home at 3pm but my dad would still have to go to Edinburgh to collect his car. I was ten contacted again and told the Paris flight was delayed and I would miss the Newcastle flight so I had to then fly to Amsterdam before Newcastle.

New York City
NYC

Instead of an hour coach trip from Manhattan to Stewart Airport then a direct flight to Edinburgh followed by a drive home for lunch time I had a coach trip from the airport and back, a taxi ride to JFK airport, a flight to Paris departing at 2am instead of 10:30pm, a flight to Amsterdam and then I finally arrived in Newcastle at 11pm. This was 13 hours later than my estimated arrival. My dad then had to travel to Edinburgh via train to retrieve the car. We were also subjected to tired old planes with no entertainment and although we paid for reserved seats we could not sit together.

My top travel tips for New York

  • Pack for literally anything it could be sunny one day, snowing the next
  • Get discounted entry into some of the main attractions such as the National History Museum (Read travel guide posts 2 or 3)
  • Don’t buy a travel pass for the subway (see travel guide 2)
  • Avoid Norweigan airlines

Thank you so much for reading my travel guides if you would like to visit part one, part two or part three please do so! I hope you’ve enjoyed my insights and if you have any New York related questions please feel free to ask!

Cara x

New York travel guide Day 3: The American Museum of National History and Central Park

Welcome to part three of my New York travel guide all about Central Park and The American Museum of National History! If you would like to revisit part one or part two of my New York travel guides please do so by clicking them! We decided to visit both of these locations in the same day because they were both very close to each other and both take a while to explore!

The American Museum of National History

Outside the American Museum of National History
Outside the American Museum of National History

This museum is gigantic so I’d thoroughly reccomend getting a map from the reception upon entry, it’s very easy to get lost. It covers animals from different countries, people from different countries, dinosaurs, historical figures along with biology and space. Most of the museum is included with a ticket but you may need to pay more for special exhibits. 

In front of the elephants in the African Mammals exhibit
In front of the elephants in the African Mammals exhibit

You could easily spend the whole day in this museum it’s so big but we decided just to pick out some of the exhibits we wanted to visit. The animal exhibits were definately a firm favourite as as well as the animals being so realistic, the settings and greenery were too which was a far cry from the New York city outside!

The huge whale in the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life.
The huge whale in the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life

In the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life a huge 94 foot whale is suspended from the ceiling and 122 foot long skeleton of a Titanosaur stands in the dinosaur exhibit. There’s some really amazing things to look at and see and I can imagine this being the most amazing school trip for the kids that live in New York. I’m sure the class I work with would love to visit here!

The titanosaur
The titanosaur

You can also visit the famous Num Num from the movie Night At The Museum which was actually set in The American Museum of National History, in New York!

Num Num from Night at the Museum
Num Num from Night at the Museum

Another top tip for the museum is to pay what you want! Obviously there is a suggested donation amount but if you are only calling in for a particular exhibit or for a small amount of time it’s worth offering your own donation it also means you can avoid using your city pass and save it for another place. However, this does not apply to the special exhibits so you may need to pay more in order to visit those. If you would like to find out more about the museum, I have linked their website here.

The mammoths
The mammoths

Central Park

Bow Bridge at Central Park
Bow Bridge at Central Park

Central Park is a gigantic park in the middle of New York which has been regularly featured in different movies and TV shows. This particular part is Bow Bridge which was in one of my favourite teen movies, Uptown Girls.

Squirrel in Central Park
Squirrel in Central Park

The park featured a lot of squirrels which darted around and lots of different greenery. I also visited the John Lennon memorial and the statues of Alice and Wonderland and Hans Christian Anderson. It was a great way to relax and escape the hustle and bustle of the city. There is also a zoo which I didn’t visit but apparently the other New York zoo’s are higher on reccomendations. 

Central Park
My sister and I in Central Park

Although I enjoyed Central Park it does take a WHILE to walk round, it’s so easy to get lost in here and the majority of it is just an actual park so I’m glad we were also able to fit something else into our day as a lot of people opt to spend the day here. 

Thank you so much for reading and check out my next post coming soon which is part 4!

Lots of love,

Cara x