Thursday, 27 April 2017

New York

For our anniversary, Oliver took us to New York on a big adventure...

For someone who has only been on a two and a half hour plane journey to Portugal, going on an eight hour flight to New York was more than daunting. Turbulence scares the hell out of me and being in a big machine catapulting across the sky obviously brought out my anxiety.

However, our journey there and back with Norwegian was fairly smooth - even though take off is always the worst! For me, I like to grip on to Oli so hard he has to pull my claws off him!

When we landed it took us over an hour to get through the border and we went on the sky train and subway.

Once we got to Hotel Pennsylvania and checked in to our room, our smoke alarm wouldn't stop beeping, there was mold on the walls and plug sockets hanging askew off the wall. We requested a change of rooms, exhausted (it was nearly 4am UK time). We were so happy with our new room - you wouldn't think it was the same hotel!

Day One

On our first proper day we headed to Dunkin' Donuts for the best hot chocolate ever(!!!) and croissants. After that we went on the subway to Tribeca, where Taylor Swift's apartment is located. Being a Swiftie, this moment was precious to me. I had stood where she stood, walked where she walked. I just wish she had been there!

After seeing Taylor's apartment we walked to the Brooklyn Bridge, crossed it and had pizza which was only $7! We came back and walked a very long way to the ferry. We thought it would be cheaper to see the Statue of Liberty from the Staten Island ferry than it would be to go and see it close up! (It's worth it to just go on the ferry unless you're desperate to get a close up for those Insta posts! 😉)

After walking from the ferry, we went to Ground Zero. It is such a surreal place. You don't realise how big and wide the towers were. We went to Times Square to get McDonald's and went back to the hotel.

Once back at the hotel we relaxed, watching Friends in America(!!!), before going out to Times Square for something to eat. We went to Applebee's but we were so stuffed from croissants, pizza and McDonald's that we barely ate. We ended up having giant pretzels afterwards though...

Day 2

On day two we went to the Friends Building and fangirled. Then we walked up to the High Line and along it and saw some good art pieces, including this hilarious piece...

While we were walking across the High Line we saw the Patrouille de France who were doing their first tour of the US. We then walked back to Times Square and saw the Rockefeller Centre. Strolling along at this point, our legs killing us, we went to the Gossip Girl Hotel and Grand Central. I pretty much risked my life to take a photo in the middle of the road of Grand Central.

We then went and saw the Chrysler building and the Empire State building and walked back through 5th Avenue to our hotel. And, of course, like the Instagram oriented person that I am, I decided I wanted a photo of the aesthetic brown Starbucks up several blocks from us. At this point I had already gone past a shop full of puppies in the window (cruel, I know. I wanted to take them all home!) and was eagerly trying to catch a look before Oliver pulled me away.

Once I had taken a photo of Starbucks, I was determined to set foot in Barnes and Noble and to take a picture of it. It is every book worm's dream! It was at least three floors of beautiful bounded books: contemporary, fiction, non-fiction and the classics where I dragged Oli around looking at all the huge books that couldn't possibly fit in my suitcase. We then went to TGI Fridays for the first time ever - I hadn't even eaten anything there in the UK.

Day 3

So, after attempting to go to Ellen's Stardust Dinner for ice cream several times, we decided to wait again on our last day. We waited before and they told us the electric had cut out when we had been waiting half an hour and the queue was stretching further and further down the block. We were told this even though we could clearly see there were people still in the dinner. So on our last day we queued for about forty-five minutes before they told us they were changing the menu from breakfast to lunch and then they told us half an hour later that a group of school children would be taking up the whole dinner - bear in mind the queue was now stretching around the block. We eventually entered after freezing to death for two hours and sat down to order ice cream, just to be told we couldn't order it as it was melting. I would not recommend this place at all.

After wasting two precious hours in the city that never sleeps, we were starved and started walking to Columbus Circle and to the mall which had the most expensive cafes inside. So eventually we went to Starbucks and walked through Central Park with a pretzel in hand. This was the coldest day we had had and we walked to Belvedere Castle and then hobbled to the MET (aka Gossip Girl steps). Oliver found it hard to walk after the past few days' adventures. And then we finally went to another Gossip Girl location - the Museum of the City of New York.

Finally, we took the tube and walked past the New York Public Library to TGI Fridays once again for lunch. This time I had a burger instead of salad and it was honestly the best burger I have ever eaten. After lunch we headed to the Flat Iron building and then made our way back home after grabbing more Dunkin' Donuts!

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Sunday, 2 April 2017

Beauty and the Beast 2017 Movie Review

Hey guys, I'm going to be doing something different today and talk about the new Beauty and the Beast film now out. I'm very excited to be doing my first movie review and hope you enjoyed the film as much as I did. (There may be spoilers for those of you who haven't yet seen the film.)

First of all, I was apprehensive about seeing it because I was worried I would just see Emma Watson as Hermione Granger. At first, I did think this, but after a while I just saw her as a brilliant and very talented actress.

Beauty and the Beast is one of my favourite Disney movies and I was nervous the new adaptation wouldn't exceed my expectations. However, Disney has made the movie better and more informative in my opinion. I loved how we see more of the Beast's back story and more of Belle's mother as well.

I also liked how Disney has added in some new songs and made a magical book that the Enchantress gave to the Beast. This book transported the Beast and Belle to Paris, where her mother died of the plague when Belle was a baby. Belle questions this throughout the film and I'm pleased we have received answers about what happened to her mother.

Some things have been changed - such as Gaston tying Maurice up in the woods to die, a few songs added, Chip the teacup not stowing away to help Belle and Maurice escape the cart that will take them to the asylum. However, I like how they made Belle and her father escape on their own and this proves Belle is more inventive and has more skills than the Belle of the original film.

They also added that people who loved the servants and workers in the castle, would forget them altogether, and would forget the castle even existed. It turns out that Mrs Potts and Cogsworth both have loved ones who live in Belle's village. Mrs Potts finds Mr Potts again instead of striking up a friendship with Belle's father like in the 1991 movie.

I enjoyed that there was much more of a story with this movie because it proves that Disney thought more about having a plot in place with questions answered. The Enchantress has more of a role in the film and is actually there when the Beast dies and brings him back to life.

Now, lets talk about the music. From the very first song to the end, it was exactly as I remembered it and brought back childhood memories of watching one of my favourite Disney movies. The new songs added are called "Days in the Sun," "Evermore" and "How Does a Moment Last Forever?" However, the one part I do prefer in the original movie is the "Be Our Guest" song when they are serving dinner because the food looks so yummy!

The scenes and props were spot on. From Belle walking through the village singing to running in the field, to her outfits, it was brilliantly done. The village is just like the one in the 1991 movie and the castle is slightly different but scarier. And the library is every bookworm's dream - including mine. However, the Beast also reads - I remember he couldn't read in the original movie and Belle had to teach him.


I thought that the costumes were excellent and exactly like the 1991 movie. From Belle's blue and white everyday dress to the famous yellow gown, it was very well made. The red cape Belle wears in the grounds was one of my favourites too. Overall, all the costumes were good and reflected the clothes which were animated in the original movie.

I really think the actors were well played and lived up to my expectations. Gaston is just as selfish and even more funny in the newer version and his companion is the same little, annoying man as in the original film. However, they did make Lefou gay in the movie which I loved, obviously. And the furniture was just as whimsical and comical as ever; I do however prefer the animated Lumiere, Cogsworth and Mrs Potts because of their appearance. Belle was cast well and had a strong female lead by one of the most influential actresses of our generation.

Overall, I love both the original and the new adaptation but enjoyed having more of a plot to the newer version. I grew up with the older Disney movies so I didn't care too much about plots when I was younger, but now I really see the importance of setting out the whole story and appreciate that Disney has done this.

Don't forget to comment your opinion down below if you've seen the movie!

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