This past weekend was Labor Day Weekend in the US, which meant we got an extra day of vacation this Monday!
Labor Day is a nod to the contributions of the American workforce and it’s traditionally observed on the first Monday in September. It unofficially marks the last weekend of the summer season (though I refuse to believe that right now!) and there’s a well known saying here that you can’t wear white after Labor Day!
It’s a great time and a perfect excuse for a little getaway from NYC and most people leave the city in their droves to get some R&R somewhere slightly more quiet!
So funny to think that this time last year I was in Atlantic City in New Jersey with a couple of girlfriends. We hopped on a bus from Port Authority in Manhattan and a couple of hours later we were deposited in the glitz and glam that is the casino and beach resort of AC!
My friends, H and L, and I spent a couple of days drinking, dancing and attempting to gamble! I am not a gambler but even I don’t mind having a go at the slot machines!
This year I was invited to head out to a friend’s house in Westport, Connecticut. I had visited her last summer and was excited to return – my friend, A, and her family are absolutely lovely and a joy to spend time with, A is the most amazing hostess, she lives in the cutest town and has the most stunning backyard complete with a swimming pool! A also invited another friend J, who we haven’t seen in a while so all in all I knew this was going to be a fabulous weekend and reunion to boot!
J and I met up at Grand Central station on Friday evening and took a train just over an hour to get to Westport. A kindly picked us up from the station and whisked us back to her beautiful home, where we happily sat around the kitchen island, drinking some delicious Sancerre and catching each other up on all our most recent goings on!
Before we knew it, the sun had set and we needed to get to our dinner reservation in South Norwalk, a short drive away. It was super hard to pull ourselves away from A’s gorgeous Swiss mountain dog, Kolly – just look at how cute she is!
I’ve always been a little nervous around dogs (because of an incident I had when I was younger) but since my Mum met her now fiancé, D, and his labradoodle Archie made his way into our lives, I’ve slowly found myself becoming more comfortable around dogs, which is good thing living in NYC – as they’re absolutely everywhere here!
A picked a fabulous restaurant, The Spread for dinner and we were all impressed with the food. I devoured my hanger steak on a bed of tomatoes with chimchurri sauce, it was so good. After dinner we wandered down the quaint main street and then found a less quaint bar to have a few drinks and a dance in! Feeling not quite as young as we once were, we decided to call it a night at the club (lol!) and we headed back to A’s to have a midnight swim in her heated pool! It was blissful!
It’s safe to say that when we finally made it to bed, we were exhausted after a night of good food, good wine, dancing and a pool session I know I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow….. zzzzzz! The next morning we woke up to the most beautiful day and we really got to see A’s home and surroundings at their best. Imagine waking up to this view?!
After a delightful coffee by the pool, taking in the gorgeous setting, suddenly the smell of crispy bacon (just the way I like it) wafted over to us and we headed back inside for breakfast. Eggs, bacon, spicy sausage and fresh fruit – A had truly outdone herself!
And just when I thought things couldn’t get any better, A told us to take a dip in the pool while she whipped up a batch of homemade strawberry daiquiris for us! Honestly, we were so well looked after and sipping on our ice cold daiquiris (with whipped cream on top, A is such a pro!) while basking in the sun made us feel like we were in heaven! If only every weekend could start that way!
Sad as it was, at some point we knew we had to tear ourselves away from the tranquility of A’s backyard as we had planned to head out to the beach for the rest of the day. And what an day it was for it. Take a look at the views we had when we got there (photo at the top pf this post and below).
A is the best host, she loves to entertain and look after people, I think it gives her a lot of joy. So of course, she had thought of just the thing to pick up en route to the beach for a lunchtime munch – a sandwich from one of the most traditional Italian delis in the area. They even make their own mozzarella. I had a fried chicken sandwich with tomatoes (that tasted like they’re meant to) peppers, balsamic and that freshly made mozzarella.
Soooooo good. I’m even dreaming of that sandwich now a couple of days later! The rest of the afternoon passed by all too quickly – drinks in the sun, walks on the sand, braving the cold but beautiful ocean and generally having an all round lovely day. Later that evening we headed back to A’s for one final dip in the pool and then J and I had to say our goodbyes and catch a train back to the city.
Although just a quick trip, it was so wonderful to spend quality time with A and J and to get out of the city for a bit. I was amazed that only an hour and a bit on a train and you can be somewhere so totally different from NYC. Westport is an adorable town and I’m really glad I got to see a bit of South Norwalk this time too. Thanks A for such a fun and enjoyable trip!
Again, I spent so soundly on Saturday night and woke up raring to go on Sunday. After a low key brunch with some friends in FiDi, I headed into the West Village to meet up with a new friend M.
Now if you know me, you know much I adore the West Village (and if you don’t know, you may like to check out my West Village Neighborhood Guide here)! So I made sure to give myself a little extra time to stroll in the sunshine and savor the cuteness of the Village. I always find another adorable spot I want to snap or a restaurant that I make a mental note to try out in the future. The West Village really is the neighborhood that just keeps giving!
M and I met via Instagram, which before moving to NYC, I would have thought a little strange! But I’ve actually made a few friends here this way which has been an unexpected but lovely surprise!
M suggested we meet at Anfora, an organic or natural wine bar and I was happy to oblige as it had been on my list for a while but I had not gotten around to visiting. I would describe the inside as small but perfectly formed! They make use of the small space really well and as its probably very popular with couples on dates, considering its so small, they’ve managed to carve out a little privacy as well! The wine list is extensive and the staff are on hand to take you through it, answer any questions and let you taste to your hearts delight. Whilst we didn’t eat while we were there, I can tell you the smells coming from the kitchen were divine, so I have no doubt the small plates will be excellent. It was a lovely place to spend the rest of the evening getting to know a new friend better.
You can’t have it all and Monday – Labor Day – was grey, rainy and all around miserable when I woke up the next day. It reminded me of home! The dreary weather coupled with all my usual gym classes being cancelled due to the holiday, meant that I was more than happy to indulge in a very lazy morning in bed finishing a great book….
So good in fact that when I was done I immediately ordered Kate Quinn’s new book, The Huntress!
Feeling cosy at home and more than just a little lazy, I could have easily stayed in all day but I knew I’d regret it later. So I was very happy when another new friend H, checked in to ask whether our plan to catch up was still on. After some (ok, a lot) of Instagram scrolling in the morning, I had seen that a new restaurant and bar had opened at the Equinox Hotel in Hudson Yards, and desperately in need for a little glam to outweigh the dreary day, I suggested to H that we meet in Electric Lemon (don’t you just love the name?!)
Since re-starting my blog recently and with another writing project in the pipeline, I’ve taken to getting to meetings or appointments an hour or so early so I can get some solid writing in. It’s been a great way to keep my writing focus and work it into my plans for the day. I do write at home but as I live in tiny studio, I love to switch up my surroundings whenever I can. I also find that an hour or two is really doable and then knowing I have a lovely social engagement straight after really works for me!
So I can attest that the beautiful bar at Electric Lemon is a perfect spot to get some quiet time in. The space is minimalist but luxurious, the staff are so pleasant and friendly and the views, well frankly, they’re insane!
I mean, that’s definitely one angle I have NOT seen The Vessel from yet! Even on a fairly grey, drizzly day, the views here were so lovely. I can’t even imagine how much better they are on a spectacular day. Which means, I will just have to go back!
Despite the distraction out of the floor to ceiling glass windows (!) and generally scoping out the new addition to Hudson Yards, I actually managed to get a bit of writing and editing done before H arrived.
We spent a lovely afternoon chatting and getting to know each other better. I love afternoons like this – great company, easy conversation and a beautiful spot from which to enjoy it all. Before long, the afternoon was fading into dusk and knowing it was back to work the next day, we decided to responsible adults and head home at a reasonable hour! But not before some last minute photos of the incoming sunset….
As the rain had finally let up, I decided to walk the 20 or so blocks back to Hell’s Kitchen and was reminded of how much I love this city that I’ve found myself living in. This was my journey back home.
All in all a fabulous Labor Day Weekend. I was so lucky to spend most of it with friends who I’ve made in the two years I’ve been here. Whilst they might be new friends, I’m so grateful to them for being part of my NYC experience!
What did you get upto this Labour Day Weekend? Leave me a comment below!