The Best Guest

Guests, like fish, start to smell after three days.  Heard this one? Summer is prime season for beach invites or long weekends with friends, so what’s the best way to secure your invite next year? Here are five simple tricks to guarantee you’re at the top of the list.

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Puerto Rico Vacation

We had planned this trip for last year, but I came down with an awful ear infection and couldn't fly for a few weeks.  By the time we went to rebook, the ideal time to vacation in Puerto Rico had come and gone.  We rescheduled for the same time this year, as we had planned for last year; but this year came with a ton of travel for Doug leading up to the vacation.  Here is a snap shot of travels to Puerto Rico.

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Travel Tip: Extra Boarding Pass

When Doug travels, I always take him to the airport and vice versa. But, when we travel together, we park the car in the long term parking, of the airport from which we fly.  The drill is always the same, and goes like this:
  1. Check-in online the night before and print boarding passes
  2. Carry-on luggage (here's why) unless I have international travel
  3. Take ticket from turn style at the garage, park and enter airport
On the way home, it's always the same: walk to car, pay parking attendant and exit garage.  That is, until the day you lose your garage ticket. Then, you're stuck.
They asked for our travel itinerary, which we didn't have on our person or in the car.  Nor did we have the tickets for the first leg of the trip, which they needed to verify our claims of entering the lot on a certain day. Eventually, in the bottom of my ginormous bag, we found one of the crumpled up boarding passes for the first leg.
Moral of the story: Print an extra boarding pass to leave in the car, just in case! It's way easier to print one as a back up, than to pay for more days than you actually parked.

Five (almost) Free Finds in New York City... and a few luxurious options as well!

Lots to do, lots to do! Yesterday, I had some time in the morning to walk and explore the city and found some really fabulous finds, which I wanted to share with you.  Akin to putting together a high-low outfit, New York itself has budget friendly finds, as well as a few luxurious finds!

Budget Friendly:

1) Pashminas.  They are on almost every corner in the city, and sold for $5.  Red, black, yellow, green, patterns... you can collect these treasures in many a color and they can be used as a scarf or as an evening wrap.

2) Meat on a Stick and Nuts from a cart. Again, found on almost every corner, both are New York staples and a quick, easy and inexpensive food option.

3) The New York City Library.  It's free, informative, historical and beautiful.  One could get lost in those time-honored walls.

4) Chelsea Markets. Walk around, explore and enjoy the people watching.

5) Eataly. Mario Batalli's newest addition to the food world.  When it first opened, there was a line out the door and they were doing a one in- one out policy.  Now that it's been a few months, there is less of a line and it's a fun place to see food wares brought in from Italy.

BONUS: I couldn't make this list without adding Crumbs.  The monster of a cupcake (do not pay attention to the card that lists the calorie count, enjoy it!) is worth the calories and worth seeking out at one of their many locations around the city.

Luxurious:

1) Henri Bendel. It's a woman's shopping dream.  They have everything from jewelry, to make-up, cashmere gloves, sunglasses and fun, style books.  Even if you don't purchase anything, it is still fun to take a lap through all of the beauty laid out before you.

2) Adour: Alain Ducasse French masterpiece inside the St. Regis Hotel.  Innovative, attention to detail and an ever changing menu make Adour a top New York restaurant, but with tasting menus starting at $85/person, it's a special-occasion kind of place!

3) Plaza Hotel. Whether it's having Tea with Eloise for the kids or drinks or you, the Plaza is elegant and historic, sits directly across from the entrance to Central Park, and is a landmark in the city.  Even if you aren't able to stop in, it's always worth the trip up 5th Avenue to take a look.

4) Masa. With no menu and only 26 seats, Masa offers Japanese fare, that will take diners through a three-hour culinary experience.

5) Any of the fabulous shops along 5th Avenue.  Just walking up 5th Avenue and window shopping is a fun experience in New York City, especially at Christmas when the stores are decorated and festive.  Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany's, Gucci, Bergdorf Goodman ... the list goes on.

Whichever you choose, New York is a fun experience regardless.  New York is seriously the city that never sleeps, with shows, restaurants and events at all hours of the day and night.  It does not matter how often I visit, I find myself enjoying the city differently each time.  Find your adventure and enjoy the moment!