Tag Archives: Travel

The Big Europe Trip: Google Zurich

22 Aug

We’d planned our entire Europe trip around a week in Zurich because James had a bunch of meetings at the Google office.

As soon as we checked into our hotel we walked a couple of minutes to Google to do our laundry – it was a lifesaver being able to wash our clothes midway during the trip. While we were waiting we explored the campus.
IMG_20190505_164508There was a slide in the cafeteria.IMG_20190505_164706And a fireman’s pole in one of the lounges.
MVIMG_20190505_171216And a reminder that everyone in Switzerland speaks like, 5 languages.
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There were also work pods made out of old ski gondolas. I guess the one on the left was garden themed and the one on the right was fruit themed.MVIMG_20190505_165100Inclusive toilets! Mermaids, superheroes and aliens welcome.
IMG_20190505_162303More cool work pods and a very stylish alligator: MVIMG_20190505_171016One of the cafeterias:
MVIMG_20190505_190222There were also a ton of lounges. James said the pods and lounges aren’t really that heavily used in the offices he’s worked in, but the Zurich office was really overcrowded (until the new offices are finished I guess) so they were always packed.

I think this was called the Sky Lounge or something like that:
MVIMG_20190505_170036The James Bond lounge (don’t get too excited – the bottles were empty):MVIMG_20190505_191119Though it did have a secret door.
IMG_20190508_090548We didn’t find it ourselves – someone showed James later.

Me: Ooh, what was behind the secret door?
James: More lounge.

=/

There was also a Star Wars room:
MVIMG_20190505_191703And a Western themed one:
IMG_20190505_191355With swinging saloon doors. This lounge ain’t big enough for the two of us …IMG_20190505_191345I don’t remember the theme of this one, but it had a micro kitchen, slack line, climbing rope, basketball hoop and work pods. IMG_20190505_171543A Google office isn’t complete without the lego room and pool table. It’s hard to see but along the bottom of the display wall in the back there ws a trough spanning the length of the room with lego pieces you could use for your masterpiece.MVIMG_20190505_191926A water lounge – intriguing! And vacant!
IMG_20190505_165658 Ooooooh.IMG_20190505_165603Oh, this was really cool. You could order groceries by scanning the QR codes on the wall and get them sent to the office.
IMG_20190505_192440I think the shopping trolleys are normally filled with snacks and fruits. In the back right you can also see one of the many Movenpick ice cream fridges scattered around the office. I always like looking through the snacks because they seem like a window into the local culture – in the Zurich office the snacks seemed to mainly be chocolate (usually Swiss, but some American brands too) or healthy things like dried fruit and nuts.

Drawers full of chocolate:
IMG_20190505_170219Oh yeah, and the bread! James had been told by one of his colleagues that one of the most memorable things about the Zurich office was how much bread there was. She said there were always bread knives and random loaves of bread lying around which, even on the weekend, was true.

This is the picture James took to send her lol:
IMG_20190505_170115But yeah, Zurich was one of the nicer Google offices I’ve seen. I’m glad we visited it on a Sunday afternoon when nobody was there so we got to explore it properly. And how convenient that we were able to do our laundry at the same time. =)

The Big Europe Trip: Villa Honegg

20 Aug

After several days of nonstop walking, James and I were ready just to laze around for awhile. Which was awesome because the next portion of our trip was two nights in a suuuuper fancy hotel near Lucerne.

Our room:IMG_20190503_145542Our view: IMG_20190503_145558After we got settled we went to check out the pool. It was awesome and had a fantastic view of Lake Lucerne. The only possible improvement? A pool beer.IMG_20190503_155805I liked the spa stations and James liked the giant taps.
IMG_20190503_153021This photo I just really like.MVIMG_20190503_163829Also this is the colder indoor pool that nobody ever used: IMG_20190504_073607We had dinner at the hotel restaurant, which was nice but expensive. We tried some Swiss wine and agreed that we weren’t huge fans.

The next morning we headed to the pool again for a pre-breakfast soak. It was really beautiful seeing the sun rise and the fog creep over the lake.
MVIMG_20190504_062411It was just us and one other couple and they very nicely took this photo of us:
MVIMG_20190504_062839 Help! He’s fallen and he can’t get up! IMG_20190504_061931We headed to the dining room for breakfast and in the afternoon we went for a light hike nearby. IMG_20190504_124645 Switzerland is so very lovely. The lake! The snow-capped mountains! The green! The cows!IMG_20190504_124903On the walk up we were delighted, absolutely delighted, to see these two cows standing butt to butt: IMG_20190504_140305It was raining lightly on our hike but it wasn’t too bad since we were prepared with rain jackets and hiking boots. Also we got to see this beautiful, overcast view of Lake Lucerne: IMG_20190504_125729-PANOWe also visited the Hammetschwand Elevator, which is the highest elevator in Europe. IMG_20190504_132845We took it to the bottom, plummeting 152.8 meters in less than a minute. We wanted to take it back up but it cost 13 CHF each, which we didn’t think was worth it when we’d already done it for free.

We continued the hike and found a bunch of hotels/spas where there was also this cool bridge: IMG_20190504_153540 Also this big guy came running at us out of nowhere, looking for pats, and James initially freaked out because he thought it was a wolf. IMG_20190504_151027James: He was a good dog all along. It was wrong of me to judge.
Me: Based on his running speed.
James: And his wolfy face.

There were some nice tunnels and caves on our way back.MVIMG_20190504_144509 I asked James if the cliff edge scared him (like the wolf dog) since he doesn’t like heights, and he said yes. You can see him keeping a nice, safe distance.IMG_20190504_135245Later in the afternoon when we were hanging out at the pool – we were there a lot – it started snowing! MVIMG_20190504_181518It was gentle, soft flakes in the afternoon and in the evening after dinner the snow really started pelting down.

It was magical and we had the best time. (We were also very pleased that we’d finished our hike before the weather turned). James kept fetching handfuls of snow from outside the pool and bringing them in the water because he liked feeling them melt.

The next morning was even more incredible. The snow had stopped at some point during the night but it was enough to blanket the area.IMG_20190505_115843We swam around for awhile, then showered and had breakfast.

The hotel had these enormous faux fur coats and wearing them made us feel like Russian gangsters.IMG_20190505_122034James surveying his domain.
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It was a good morning for sunbathing.
MVIMG_20190505_122412 Touch the snow!
00000PORTRAIT_00000_BURST20190505123844345Then it was time to leave. =( We admired the beautiful view one last time on our picturesque drive back to Ennetburgen:
IMG_20190505_130411
James was really excited that you could see a pretty clear line between where the snow had fallen the night before and where it hadn’t (you can also see it in the sunbathing picture above).

Reinvigorated by our lazy weekend, we got on a bus and train towards Zurich, where James had several days of work and I had several days of solo travel!

The Big Europe Trip: Val de Travers

13 Aug

The original plan for this day was to hike to the Creux du Van (a natural rock amphitheater in Val de Travers), then hike back and take the train to the town of Motiers, birthplace of absinthe. However we woke up feeling pretty exhausted from the previous day, and while James was having his morning shower, I decided to rent bikes so we could cycle there instead of walking. Genius!

It was convenient because the bike rental place was right at the train station. The start of the bike ride was through some nice flat farmland, where James was very excited about these sheep.
MVIMG_20190502_094538After the nice flat farmland we then climbed 2263 fucking feet. Even with the electric assist it was brutal.

It was overcast and when we reached the Creux du Van it had started to rain. The view of the amphitheater:
IMG_20190502_113326The view looking out:
IMG_20190502_111455Gorgeous!

The rain and cold made the bike ride back pretty excruciating. I was shivering nonstop and my hands were so cold I couldn’t feel them.

Also we got lost – like, really lost – wheeling our bikes on a mountain bike trail in between fallen trees, cow pats and patches of snow kind of lost. And it was still raining and still so, so cold. Finally we came across some sort of mini brewery or vineyard and I was able to ask for directions (in French!) and get us back on track.

We returned the bikes and took the train to Motiers. We were freezing and wet, and both of us independently considered just heading back to the hotel. Luckily we persevered because it ended up being really fun!

We looked around the absinthe museum (free with the Swiss Travel Pass) and did some tastings at Maison de l’Absinthe. They were insanely cheap – $6 for three tastings.IMG_20190502_165614 The lady who worked there was so lovely and helpful. James was curious about another absinthe and she just poured an extra tasting for him.

The wall of absinthe – we could pick any three to taste. We each did a traditional green absinthe, a blue one, and one that was high in thujone.IMG_20190502_170524James tried the stronger-tasting absinthes:
IMG_20190502_165507 And I tried the milder ones: IMG_20190502_165337James bought a couple of high-thujone absinthe since you can’t get those in the US. The lady also gave him an absinthe spoon (he could pick between the glass and the spoon and figured the spoon was easier to transport).

Sitting inside and drinking really warmed us up! It was definitely a tougher day than we were expecting, but now (having forgotten how cold and painful it was) I look back on it pretty fondly. =D

The Big Europe Trip: Gruyeres and Bern

21 Jul

The morning started off with a bit of a hiccup when we got on the train going in the wrong direction.

It was a high speed nonstop train and we rode all the way to Zurich. I made a handy map for you – the blue line is the train we thought we were taking and the red line is the train we actually took.
Screenshot 2019-07-21 at 09.50.30(This was the day James quietly took over navigation duties).

Luckily I’d planned to get there quite early, so even with the unexpected detour we still had plenty of time to sight see.

Gruyeres was very touristy but gorgeous, with green valleys and mountains in every direction.
IMG_20190430_121918The town itself was also very picturesque.IMG_20190430_144634There was a cheese factory we could tour, but James is lactose intolerant and I don’t really like Gruyere cheese so we skipped it.

We did a tour of Gruyeres Castle, which has stood since the 13th century. They had cobblestone floors!
IMG_20190430_123156 The formal garden was also very nice. And more mountains!
IMG_20190430_130541 (1)Afterwards we went to the H.R. Giger museum (no photos allowed) and the Alien bar. The food and drinks were awful but we were there mainly to admire the decor.
MVIMG_20190430_132612The people working there were really nice, and let James behind the bar for a photo. =)IMG_20190430_134025After Gruyeres we walked about an hour to Broc. This was at the start of our walk where you could see the castle we had just visited.
IMG_20190430_152453In Broc, we signed up for a chocolate tour at the Cailler factory. Everything we did that day (the chocolate tour, the H.R. Giger museum, Gruyeres Castle, and the cheese factory tour if we’d chosen to do it) was free with the Swiss Travel Pass, so that was a nice surprise.IMG_20190430_171413The first part of the tour taught us about the history of chocolate and the Cailler brand. Then we saw Cailler chocolates being made and packaged in a mini factory (this was James’ favourite part).
IMG_20190430_164459My favourite part was the unlimited samples.
IMG_20190430_170131There were maybe seven or eight different varieties of Cailler chocolate for tasting. We tried one of each (though James skipped the milk chocolate). MVIMG_20190430_170053Unfortunately we were too full to even think about buying chocolates at their gift shop. We ended up buying Cailler chocolate at random supermarkets later in the trip, but I think it would have been cheaper here.

With James navigating, we managed to get back to Bern without incident. We arrived in the early evening, and even had time to do some touristy stuff before dinner.

Here we are at the famous Bern Rose Garden, with a beautiful view of the city.IMG_20190430_191042James and Einstein, Bern’s most famous resident.
MVIMG_20190430_191615We also visited the bear enclosures, where we saw some other famous Bern residents.IMG_20190430_193228We were also on time to see the hourly display at the Zytglogge, a landmark medieval clock tower in Old Town.
IMG_20190430_194933It was another early night for us, since we had a big day coming up – Lauterbrunnen!

The Big Europe Trip: Geneva

16 Jul

I’ve been putting off this post for aaages because I was intimidated at the thought of how large my Switzerland post was going to be. So I’m going to write bite-sized individual posts about the cities we went to. Much less daunting!

Geneva wasn’t originally on our list of cities to visit, but we’d managed to book one of the CERN group tours, so we decided to fly in from London and do some sightseeing on our first day in Switzerland. We stashed our luggage at the train station and walked around Old Town admiring the architecture.
IMG_20190429_111230I especially liked this building. So colourful!
IMG_20190429_170244
All the Swiss cities we visited felt very affluent, but Geneva especially so. Also, we were like “ooh, Old Town, how historic” but it turns out that there’s an Old Town in every city in Switzerland.

It was quite windy that day and the Jet D’Eau (a big spray of water on Lake Geneva) wasn’t operating, so we just walked around the lake and took a photo with the Flower Clock.
MVIMG_20190429_112958(Behind those sunglasses are tired, tired eyes. We’d gotten up at like, 3am)

We took a tram to CERN for the tour. CERN is known for its research on particle physics and, of course, the Large Hadron Collider. The tour didn’t go to the underground part where the LHR was, but it was still pretty cool.

The Globe is a CERN-related museum across the street from the main building.
MVIMG_20190429_122428It looks bigger than it is – the museum is only one floor and the upper level is an event space. There’s a more interesting museum about the LHC in the CERN building.

I liked the art on this building. Very thematic!IMG_20190429_133904Inside was the control room for the particle collider (apparently it’s normally busier than this).
IMG_20190429_141712I think our tour guide told us this is part of the original LHC. MVIMG_20190429_142957And here are the enormous tools they used to work on it. James is in the photo for size comparison.
IMG_20190429_145425It was a pretty cool tour, even if we were dead tired and didn’t quite understand a lot of the details.

Afterwards we grabbed some lunch (I got to speak French!) and then took the train to Bern. We didn’t really spend that much time in Bern, but it was a great base for all the day trips we wanted to do. We were too exhausted to eat out, so just grabbed some convenience food from a supermarket, then crashed for the night. And the next day – Gruyere!

 

The Big Europe Trip: London

11 Jun

A couple of months ago James had to be in Zurich for work, so we decided to add a couple of cities and make a vacation out of it.

It’s not an international trip if I don’t start it with the Paper Plane cocktail at the Polaris Lounge:
MVIMG_20190424_145120I had fish and chips for lunch and this lovely meringue for lunch-dessert:
IMG_20190424_153326Also I received three compliments on my new Globe-Trotter luggage before we even landed. =D

Day 1

We arrived around midday and got a fast pass through the arrivals hall at Heathrow which saved us a ton of time. We collected our checked luggage, purchased Oyster cards, then took the Piccadilly train to our AirBNB.

We wanted to make it a low-key day so we could recover from the flight but still tell ourselves we’d seen a bit of London, so we checked out the Google office. They were very into their post-it note art!
IMG_20190425_155854The elevators were cool – they had that fancy technology where you press the button for your floor and it assigns you an elevator.

In one of the microkitchens we discovered canned water. I don’t know why we found it so shocking but we did.
IMG_20190425_154201It’s weird, right??

The office was pretty small but there was a lot of construction nearby to build a larger campus – hopefully we get to see it next time we visit! It’s hard to tell, but the little floor level markers are Android figures.
IMG_20190425_145654Speaking of Android figures, here is a hint for what I bought as my London souvenir:IMG_20190425_151327On the walk back to the station there was this cool bird cage swing. =)
MVIMG_20190425_160819_1 We had an early dinner at an Indian restaurant, then headed to a couple of cocktail bars. IMG_20190425_192048_1The cocktails at Lounge Bohemia were very inventive and the presentation was fantastic, but taste-wise they ranged from average to awful. There’s just no way to make a red bull reduction taste good. We had a lot of fun though!

My tasting menu was “good morning” themed and contained six mini cocktails. I was already pretty excited that my first drink came in a bathtub and halfway through I found this little guy:
IMG_20190425_194837 This toothpaste one had rum and peas in it. It was kind of gross and I made James finish it.IMG_20190425_201545This is a photo of him resentfully drinking it:
IMG_20190425_201442The coffee cocktail was my favourite:
IMG_20190425_202305Feeling like we’d beaten jet lag, we took the bus back to our place for a well-earned sleep.

Day 2

We started the day off at the Tower of London. We went on the Beefeater Tour (definitely recommend! It’s free and really informative), looked at the Crown Jewels, and had a nice walk around. This is James standing where the tower moat used to be:
IMG_20190426_094706 Afterwards we walked across the Tower of London Bridge and took a bunch of photos. It was windy and my hair makes it look like I have a ton of eyeliner on.IMG_20190426_115044Then went to the Borough Market where James bought some scotch eggs for a morning snack. They were delicious, but right afterwards we had afternoon tea at Sketch, so the timing wasn’t ideal.

Sketch is famous for its gorgeous bathroom (scented with a billion Diptyque candles) and individual pod toilets:
IMG_20190426_132219 Also its beautiful pink room: IMG_20190426_140826The food was delicious (and AYCE – damn you scotch eggs) and we were massively stuffed at the end.

Afterwards James bought himself a souvenir – a hand carved umbrella from James Smith & Sons. They had cheaper umbrellas, but James argued (quite rightly) that the point of going to a store like that is to buy their custom-made ones.

The ones in this photo started at £250 depending on the wood and the shape of the handle.
IMG_20190426_174438But James fell in love with this super fancy option.
IMG_20190427_112719Hello Owl!

The store customized the umbrella’s height to him, which was pretty cool. Here he is getting fitted (behind him are the cheaper regular umbrellas)
IMG_20190426_173835We then went to the British Museum, which was amazing, and not too crowded on a Wednesday evening. We saw all the highlights, and I think James was quite pleased at being able to show Owl a bit of the world.

The Easter Island statue:
MVIMG_20190426_200229 Assyrian lion sculptures:IMG_20190426_202137And the Rosetta Stone (this one was just me – Owl saw it earlier with more people around):
MVIMG_20190426_202206Then we went to the Connaught Bar where we had fantastic cocktails (James thought they were the best of the trip) and bought a bottle of their house gin.

Day 3

In the morning we went to Westminster Abbey which was a lot more interesting than I expected. The highlight was definitely the Jubilee Galleries for an extra £5 – we got to see the Magna Carta, and had a killer view down the length of the chapel. No photos allowed though. =(

Afterwards James and I split up and he went to a gin class at the City of London Distillery where he learned about gin and distilled a bottle with his own custom mix of ingredients.
IMG_20190427_131928He got to name it and said he wished he’d called it Jamegin.IMG_20190427_135402They store the recipe on site, so if James ever runs out he can get them to make him another bottle. =)

While he was making (and drinking) booze, I went shopping and had some more Indian food for lunch.
IMG_20190427_131108Afterwards I went to the Burberry flagship store. I tried on almost every trench they had looking for the perfect one, and eventually found it in the Heritage Kensington in honey. I think the coat looks much nicer open rather than belted, and I love, love, love it.

31e83adca0a909c83ff20ac740520612e938d7f0

image from Burberry

Maybe I should rethink my usual method of shopping online because apparently I don’t know myself as well as I think I do – I surprised myself by preferring the double breasted trenches and more relaxed fits.

Anyway, giant, unwieldy Burberry shopping bag in hand, I met up with James again and we headed to the Royal Stables for some more sightseeing. We went later in the day (around 3:30/4pm) and we were practically alone as we looked at all the different royal carriages.
IMG_20190427_160129We also went to the Queen’s Gallery, which wasn’t quite as spectacular, though I did get to see Faberge eggs for the first time, which was pretty cool.

The highlight was definitely the Buckingham Palace state rooms. In Summer the rooms are open to the public but in Spring they only have small group tours on days when the Queen isn’t in residence. It’s more expensive, but it was amazing. 

James and I agreed it was one of the highlights of our trip to London, which was unexpected because we’re not normally interested in that kind of stuff. But the tour guide was really informative and a fantastic story teller (Her: If you’re looking around and wondering whether something is real gold, it is), and we got to see a bunch of priceless art and history in a really intimate, unhurried setting.

As usual, no photos allowed, so here’s one we took outside the palace afterwards.
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Then for dinner we went to Bob Bob Ricard. IMG_20190427_224849Don’t mind if we do!

Day 4

We were pretty knackered by day four, and had a bit of a sleep in before popping down the street to Blacklock Soho.
IMG_20190428_121320Where we had the world’s largest Sunday Roast.
IMG_20190428_123933The Yorkshire puddings were so big that they had multiple potatoes living in the craters. James liked the roast beef, pork and crackling but my favourite was the lamb. It was delicious and if I ate like that every Sunday I would be as fat as a yorkshire pudding.

Then we went to Jensen’s so James could try (and buy) some more gin. We also went to the Tate Modern where we saw – and failed to appreciate – a bunch of Rothkos. James discovered he likes Surrealism though, so there’s that.

The Tower of Babel at the Tate Modern:IMG_20190428_171115We had dinner at Padella, which I had been forewarned would be very busy. Also, when you see there is a queue outside the building, that is not a queue to get into the restaurant – that is a queue to leave your name/number to get a dining time. We got there 30 minutes after it opened and had an estimated eating slot at 6:30pm/7ish – perfect!

To kill time went for a bit of a wander around the waterfront.
IMG_20190428_182210 (1)You can see a little bit of my lovely new coat!

When we went back to Padella the pastas were beautiful. Really tasty and really affordably priced, even with wine.IMG_20190428_190720Afterwards we had cocktails at Lyaness which, in its former incantation was rated the best bar in the world, but eh. It was fine, but I can think of several bars that I think are superior. I did like this sign in the hotel lobby though:
MVIMG_20190428_195454(It turned out the sign changed automatically every 10 minutes or so. I sent James out to admire it and he came back confused because it just had some random quote about coffee).

I enjoyed our time in London – I think we packed a lot into three and a half days. =) The next morning we grabbed an Uber to the airport and got on a flight for the next leg of our trip – Switzerland!

First Trip of 2019: New York City!

4 Feb

I didn’t go at all to NYC last year so decided to join James for his first work trip of 2019. It’s the middle of winter here in the US – you can’t really tell in SF since it’s still hoodie weather, but we were definitely feeling it in NY!

Monday

It was a high of -9C when we arrived on Monday afternoon. While we waited for our Uber I saw a discarded bottle of water that had frozen solid.

This time we stayed at the Dream Downtown, which is normally James’ least preferred of the three hotels closest to Google because it’s attached to a nightclub and gets loud and crowded. It does, however, have an outdoor pool – which is just what you want when it’s below freezing.  IMG_20190121_160451I was pleased with the pictures my new Pixel took underwater!

The pool was heated to 26C so it was actually really nice. IMG_20190121_160345Getting out of the pool was a different matter though. When we walked to get our clothes it was so cold our wet feet kept freezing to the ground. We were too afraid to stand still in case we got stuck.

We had a fortifying shower then went to I Sodi for dinner (and on the walk there my damp hair got all hard and frozen). It’s a popular restaurant but we easily got a walk-in spot at the bar since it was so cold – I guess most people were staying home and getting dinner delivered.

Afterwards we went to a couple of bars (Employees Only and Little Branch), then headed back to our hotel to crash.

Tuesday

Thanks to the night before I craved greasy food all morning. I was also feeling very tired so spent pretty much the entire morning googling easily-accessible potsticker restaurants. I eventually settled on Halal Guys, since I remembered really loving it when James and I first visited NY.

I walked to the East Village location:IMG_20190122_123614It was OK but not as good as I remembered. =( I feel like I make a better version using the Serious Eats recipe.

For dinner we continued my comfort-food binge and went to Xi’an Famous Foods for hand-pulled noodles and had some pork dumplings at Vanessa’s.

Wednesday

I walked in a different direction this time and headed down Bleecker street. I had a toasted cheese sandwich at Murray’s Cheese, then went to the Dominique Ansel bakery where I had a cronut:IMG_20190123_131107It was almond and cherry flavoured and very good. I also got a Blizzard Bear because I thought it was adorable (though it was maybe 20% as good as the cronut). But look at it – so cute!
IMG_20190123_131037I removed the bear’s scarf and sent James a pic:Screenshot_20190129-100420 (1)Rude.

After some post-lunch window shopping I headed back to the hotel for a quick nap before meeting James for dinner. We went to Olmsted in Williamsburg with James’ colleague and his girlfriend. The food was delicious and dessert was adorable s’mores in the backyard of the restaurant.
IMG_20190123_211537Afterwards James’ colleague took us to his local bar, where we drank insanely cheap craft cocktails because he’s buddies with the bartender. The bartender was chatting with our group all night, doing shots with us, making random drinks for us to try … and the bill at the end of the night was $25 (not each – altogether). I told James afterwards that I have never felt like such a VIP.

Thursday

Once again it was difficult to wake up because we drank too much the night before. But we had to go to YouTube so dragged ourselves up at 9am.

The last time I visited New York James was still part of the Play organisation, so this was the first time I’d seen the YouTube office. Behold!MVIMG_20190124_095145We couldn’t go in because it was in use, but behind this wall there’s a fancy secret VIP room with nice booze and insanely expensive speakers.
MVIMG_20190124_100151Here I am looking tired and doing a voice recording for YouTube.IMG_20190124_115621 (1)And here is James editing file names so the sound editors could tell which file was which.
IMG_20190124_112408Then it was lunchtime! We had sushi and pasta, both of which were really good. The food in the New York office always seems better than the food in the Bay Area. James said the coffee is much better too.

The pasta was cooked on the spot for us, which was pretty cool. I had bolognese with capers, olives, onion and tomato, and parmesan sprinkled on top.
IMG_20190124_123203
Then I went back to the hotel for what was becoming my daily nap. When James got back we went out for dinner and drinks at The Office and The Aviary.

The drinks at The Office were better but the drinks at The Aviary were way more fun! We had two at The Office so were already feeling a bit tipsy by the time we headed to The Aviary.
IMG_20190124_200751(That’s right, busting out the Junya Watanabe top again. Once again it was a compliment magnet).

A ship in a bottle! Unfortunately the actual drink was poured into a glass. Note the atmospheric candle behind it.IMG_20190124_202357We also ordered this pork skin to eat. It’s not on the menu but The Aviary is pretty famous for it.

OooooOOoooooh!
MVIMG_20190124_203010It was delicious. So crispy and salty – like a prawn cracker but SO much better. At that point we’d had 4 or 5 drinks so that pork skin really hit the spot.

This is the pork skin about 20 minutes in. To be honest, if this was what they had given us to begin with I still wouldn’t have been disappointed.IMG_20190124_205508They gave us these classy little moist towelettes to clean our hands and James was so drunk he thought it was a tiny complimentary drink.
IMG_20190124_222355Also a group of three came over and said we looked adorable and gave us their leftover snacks – some olives and cheesy popcorn. It was very nice of them. =)

James’ cocktail marinating:
IMG_20190124_205753My cocktail smoking:
mvimg_20190124_210458_exported_stabilized_2902587954644618319At the end of the night (and by that I mean 9:30pm – which was doubly pathetic because it was only 6:30pm West Coast time!) we took an Uber back to the hotel where James was lured by a Halal truck and got some lamb and rice to eat in bed.MVIMG_20190124_230747

Friday

The original plan was to get spring onion pancakes for breakfast but James was feeling a bit ill (possibly from Halal cart) so we decided to go to Google instead.

Breakfast is thataway!IMG_20190125_094615No pics but I had eggs over medium, bacon, grilled tomato with mozzarella and some rocket (which Americans call arugula).

I always feel super bloated when I leave New York because of how much we gorge ourselves, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to going back and having some more pork skin. It was good to get home to lovely temperate San Francisco weather though. =)