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Holidays – Day 8 – #Blogtober17

As I mentioned back on Day 1 of this challenge, I have been lucky enough to win 2 holidays, which is todays prompt! Holidays! I am going to talk about my prize trip to New York!!

The business class flights from Silverjet were fantastic! We got to Luton and Silverjet have their own terminal.  We went through their lounge door and a concierge took our suitcases and passports and told us to take a seat in the executive lounge area. Talk about posh…there was absolutely everything you could think of to eat in there and could even have champagne if you wanted! Our passports were returned to us and within about 20 minutes we were told that we were going to be boarding soon! Was all very exciting!! We boarded the plane and almost immediately a stewardess came round with a choice of champagne, OJ or water. I chose OJ cos i was feeling abit nervous about take off. Ed chose champers. When the plane took of it almost immediately banked/turned back round on itself which made both me and Ed go abit green around the gills! But once we were up and away we were both fine. They bought the meal round not long after take off, which is served on proper plates with metal cutlery (none of this regular plastic stuff ). The food is apparently prepared by a top london hotel! Soon after eating i decided to grab some sleep as i was so excited the night before i had had none whatsoever. Ed decided to watch a film on the personal TV you get given that has built in movies! The flight there was about 8 ish hours and to be honest i slept most of it.

When we landed at Newark Airport we went through customs and were told our passports needed veryfying (we both had new passports and am assuming this is the reason!?) we were shown into like a waiting room and were told we would been seen in a minute!………..2 hours later!! Nightmare…started to think great start to the holiday! But all was good and we got a taxi from outside the airport into New York.

jumeirah essex house hotel, new york

We got dropped of at central park cos we didnt want taxi driver to know we were staying at a 5star hotel cos we were worried he may have ripped us off! We crossed the road from central park and there stood the Jumeirah Essex House Hotel!! Oh My God! Walked through the door and the lobby is all crystal chandeliers and black marble!! Stunning!!! They have bellboys who put our luggage onto one of those racks and once we had checked in took us up to the 16th floor in the lift and showed us into our room. The room…..well the bed was HOOGE, we had a walk in wardrobe each , aircon that you can control from a touchpad telephone next to the bed! A 32″ TV on the wall, 2 Huge mirrors framed in red leather. It was just beautiful!! The service was out of this world!

We had a little wander round central park and just tried to let it sink in that we were actually in New York! I was in total awe of it all!
I cant remeber which avenue it was but there was a street market on and it went on for 15 blocks! It was massive!!!!! We got a American version of a Kebab for dinner off a street vendor which was delicious! Then we went back to the hotel about 9pm because we were both so knackered. That was day one.

 

Day 2

I woke up at about 7.30 to Ed coming back in the room! He had woken up about 4am and decided to go for a walk! Nutcase! He had gone to walk around Times Square! I got up and showered and we went down for breakfast! You had a choice of buffet which was croissants, bagels, pastries, fresh fruit, cold meat, yogurts, etc or there was a menu where you could have 3 egg omletes with various fillings, eggs with ham, you couls even have steak for brekkie! I stayed with the buffet this time and it was delicious!

After brekkie we went out for a walk which turned in a bloody trek!! We walked 1st of all approx 3/4 of central park which is 800+ acres on its own, we walked around the reservoir and then walked and walked and walked and walked some more with a few lil stops on the way (ground zero and a few other bits) and ended up at battery park which is where you can get the Statten Island ferry!! That is MILES!  We were going to get the bus back but ended up walking back and I was in agony by the time we got back to the hotel. We had been walking for 9 HOURS!!! Someone we were talking to said we had walked in excess of 30 miles! My feet were raw!! Slept for 12 hours that night !!

NYC, NYPD, manhattan

wall street, new york city

 

Day 3

We went to Woodbury Common shopping outlet and had $264 dollars spending money as part of the prize!! Shopped my absolute butt off!! OMG its so cheap! Bought so many lovely things! Luckily i had only half packed my suitcase on the way out !! It was huge this place like its own little village!! They had Chanel, Ralph Lauren, CK, Ecko, you name it they had it and it was all so cheap i was in my element!! We were there most of the day and we were chauffeur driven there and back in a limo! It was so amazing. The lady in charge of sorting the Shopping part was so desperate to meet us! She was so lovely and full of congrats when she met us! The Americans are such wonderful people!

In the evening we walked some more and got some proper photos of New York at night!! Its so beautiful! We sat in Central Park and watched the world go by!

 

Day 4

Ok today was HOT! So  muggy it was unreal!! We had to keep dashing in the shops for a fix of aircon!! I was dripping with sweat. We went into Times Square for some souvenir shopping. They’ve got an M&M’s World!! Its 3 floors high with everthing you can think of to do with M&Ms!! I recommend the peanut butter ones.

Got a few pressies in there then across the road to the Hersheys store!!! Choc overdose!

Then we went back to the hotel to drop off the MOUNDS of choc we had just bought and the concierge from the hotel escorted us over to Central Park to get us into a horse drawn carriage for our ride!! He paid and tipped the driver of the carriage and told him to look after us! It was a wonderful little ride and would recomend it to anyone visiting new york! But if you do go when its really hot they wont be about as the horses arent allowed to work when its over 90 degrees! Its very romantic though! We so fell in love with New York!! Its magical!!

central park, horse drawn carriage

At around 7.30pm we made our way to the Rockefella Centre ( part of our prize that was originally a behind the scenes tour of Carnegie Hall but they werent doing that this summer so we got tickets to this instead!) and I really would recommend this to anyone!! Just as sun was setting we made our way up 70 floors to the “Top of the Rock” It is breath taking! The views are out of this world and something I will never forget! We captured New York as all the lights started coming on in all the sky scrapers! Just simply beautiful! There was a beautiful sunset that night too!  I could wake up to this city every morning for the rest of my life!! I was smitten!

We grabbed some dinner after, had another wander round then went back to our beautiful hotel!

empire state building

top of the rock, rockerfella centre, NYC

 

Day 5

Thursday we decided to go to central park zoo and try and see some other bits that we hadn’t seen. The zoo isn’t particularly big but amazing all the same!!

We also walked through the heart of the city again just amazed by the water features and statues all over the place and just how much you have to almost snap your neck backwards to look to the very top of the sky scrapers!

In the evening we had a meal booked at our Hotel (part of prize) that was being cooked by the hotels resident award winning chef Christian Gradnitzer!

So down we went for dinner and were shown to our candlelit table and were gven champagne. The waiter bought out 2 menus for us to choose from. We both chose hot potato and leek soup for starters and then t bone steak for main. The waiter came out not long after we had ordered and put a smallish plate infront of us and said this is compliments of the chef. We started eating this meat looking thing (the waiter had a posh sounding name for it lol)and realised it was kidney!! But……….it was actually quite yummy!

I couldn’t quite finish it knowing what it was but it was delicious! Then our soup arrived which was fabulous! Then OH MY GOD! The steak was huge. We couldn’t eat it all, it was bloody massive but again very delicious! Then the chef came out and introduced himself to us gave us both a little present which was all wrapped up fancy. It was a muffin and a chocolate lolly with gold detail in! He also presented us with  a big hard back book about the hotels food history and some recipes in there too and he signed it and told us its very rare!! He was such a lovely man. He shook our hands and said how nice it was to meet us and was glad we were enjoying our stay! I was just bowled over by the way were treated by everyone!

 

Day 6 Last Day

Was missing my kids like crazy by now but SO didn’t want to go home!!

We decided to have a last walk round before heading for Newark airport and it was chucking it down with rain! We thought NYC was preparing us for return to the UK. We didn’t care about the weather and just walked and walked again soaking up our last moments of this most wonderful, beautiful, breath taking city and spent the very last of our money on pressies and tacky souvenirs! I came home plastered in I LOVE NY everything!! Looked like a proper Tourist!!

We went to hotel and checked out and said goodbye to all the wonderful staff at the hotel!! I honestly was close to tears I was so sad to leave! We were treated like royalty and they bent over backwards to make our stay as special and perfect as it could have been!

They hailed us a famous Yellow cab and we headed off to Newark Airport for our night flight home!

SilverJet pulled out all the stops for a A+ service home! The most wonderful and helpful and very professional crew!!!

Landed back in Luton the following morning and felt VERY surreal to be home!

If you have ever contemplated going…. GO! You will love it! We did and hope to return one day!

 

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Post Natal Meltdown

The meltdown has begun. I have been dreading this for a while. It has been slowly creeping up on me.

My head feels heavy. My chest feels like it is bearing the weight of 100 elephants.

I am fighting so hard to stop the tears from flowing. It is back.

I feel lost under a black cloud.

I feel alone even though I have people around me.The walls are closing in, I’m trapped.

My mind is not where I want it to be. It has been taken over by the negativity.

I don’t want this battle, I don’t have the energy to fight.

I’m tired, no exhausted and don’t have the strength to stand tall.

I am not me. Where did “me” go? I want her back. I have a responsibility. I need to get up and fight this with every ounce of my being.

How can I find this strength?  I admit defeat…. I need help! I need support. I need positivity.

My ability to focus has disappeared. Gone. Vanished into thin air.

This place is familiar and not a place I have fond memories of or a place I wanted to revisit.

I feel nauseous and dizzy. My brain is mush, there is so much… too much going on in there.

Just want to sleep. For a week! Want to hide under the security of my duvet. But I can’t.

I have lost myself. I need to find me, pamper me, treat me and be kind to me.

I am a very lucky mum to have 3 beautiful healthy children.

I am a very lucky wife to have such a supportive and loving husband.

But I’m still lost!! I’m drowning, drowning in the inability to control my emotions and feelings.

I hate this feeling so much. I hate that I can’t fight it. I hate that it is taking over.

My heart beats so hard it feels like it will rip through my chest. I have to take a deep breath. I have to calm down. It’s so hard. The anxiety is so hard.

I need to be ME again.

On a mission to find ME!

depression, sadness, anxiety, PND

 

 

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7 Reasons Why I Love Blogging

 

 

 

Four Years I have been blogging for! That’s crazy! Four whole years! I absolutely LOVE it!

Here’s why:

1. I have made some amazing friends through this incredible hobby. Really lovely people who will go out of their way to help you out! They aren’t just virtual/cyber friends either. I have actually met up with quite a few at blogging conferences. Spent a weekend with them and become good friends. I don’t live close enough to any bloggers to see them on a regular basis but that is the joy of the internet! We can speak daily!

2. I have been given amazing opportunities too for myself and my family. We were lucky enough to be asked to review a holiday with Eurocamp 3 years ago. I drove to France and it was the kids 1st holiday abroad! We had the most amazing time! Opportunities like that don’t come along very often but that meant a huge amount to us as we’ve only ever had 1 other holiday so to get the kids out of the country was incredible. Very grateful for that.

3. Community. The blogging community is something else! I have recently joined a couple of groups that have given me the fire back in my belly. They are so friendly and helpful and no matter how many questions I or anyone else ask, there is always someone around to answer or guide you in the right direction. I think I would be lost without these groups and really wish I had found them earlier.

4. It helps me and is a sort of release. I blog about pretty much everything. So if something is bothering me I like to write it down. Whether anyone actually reads it or not is another matter but I find it very cathartic. “A problem shared is a problem halved” as they say!

5. I love to write. Once I start I can’t stop and do probably waffle on a fair bit but I love it.  Knowing as well that people do read my posts and leave comments is a great feeling. I was actually Shortlisted as a finalist in the 2015 UK Blog Awards!!! Out of thousands and thousands of bloggers… little old me was shortlisted down to one in eleven finalists in the Most Innovative category. I was absolutely blown away. I will never forget that. I didn’t win but I didn’t even think I’d be shortlisted so I didn’t have a care in the world. I was on cloud nine!

6. It has given me confidence to write a book. I did write a short e-book back in 2014. It did ok but I am now looking at revising that and adding loads more to it and having it actually printed into real books! How exciting is that?! Without blogging I would never have had the confidence to do that. Watch this space! I rushed into it last time and am taking my time with this new one.

7.  I get to share my ups and downs with the world. My triumphs and falls. All the good and bad stuff. I write 99% of it here and hope that people can relate to it. Especially the Autism related things and the mental health posts. If someone can read a post of mine and take comfort from it knowing they aren’t alone, then I will be happy.

 

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An Open Letter to Irresponsible Dog Owners!

My next door neighbours are exactly this! Irresponsible dog owners!

 

Three whole years ago they moved in next door. So its been three whole years now that we have had to listen to this awful sound. The awful sound is that of a dog that is abandoned all day long whilst these people work! Barking!!! Hours and hours of barking. It is enough to drive you half crazy! So Monday to Friday roughly 8.30 am to 3.30-4pm the dog is on its own. On the odd occasion (this is rare!) someone pops in to let the dog out for a wee but it is literally once in a blue moon.

 

Why the hell would you buy a dog when you aren’t able to give it the love and attention it needs? The dog is clearly distressed to be barking for long lengths of time. It isn’t fair on the animal! They aren’t meant to be left alone all day every day!  The poor thing must be bored shitless and lonely. I do feel for it. BUT I have to listen to that constant barking. It is incredibly annoying. My tele needs to be turned up to a stupid volume to drown it out. This evening though was pretty much the last straw….

 

8.30pm I put the baby down to sleep. We are in a good routine so this is pretty much give or take an hour, his usual bedtime. 8.45pm the dog starts barking. I didn’t think much off it and thought they’d see to it shortly and it will stop. No…. I looked out the window and their car was not on the drive. They were out. They are entitled to go out. The poor thing carried on barking…. and is still barking now at 10.25pm as I type this. Also it woke my baby up and he has only just gone off to sleep. Normally once he is down for the night we do not hear a peep until morning. So when the barking is STILL going on at half past ten at night it is a problem. I have 3 children trying to sleep. I am cross!

 

Please people. For the sake of the animal… think it through before you buy a dog. Have the time to spend with it. Be able to walk it often. Clean up after it…. god thats a another rant entirely. Love it, care for it and you will get all that back in abundance.  Do not leave it on its own daily for hours and hours on end on a daily basis. It is not fair on the dogs and it is not fair on your neighbours and your neighbours children who have to listen to it bark for hours on end.

It is distressing for all concerned except you who appear to be completely oblivious!!

 

 

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Who are you to Judge??

Be warned…. this may get a little ranty!!!

Who are you to judge the lady whose little boy fell into the enclosure with the gorilla? Do you literally have your eyes stuck to your child every single second of every single day?? How shit do you think that lady is feeling? How about the the enclosure should have been more secure so a child wasn’t able to get through? How about stop judging unless you are the worlds most perfect parent who has never made any mistakes and your child is impeccably behaved and has never left your side for a single moment and given you that heart in throat moment? How about animals shouldn’t be locked up in zoos, they should be free in the wild where they belong?

Who are you to judge the “weirdo” walking down the street talking to himself? There you are laughing and pointing. How about he has mental health issues and that person in their head who they are talking to is their only friend? How about they have been bullied all their life for being a little bit different? You don’t know them, their life or what they have to deal with on a daily basis!!

Who are you to judge me (or anyone else who does the same) for trying to earn a living and build a stable future for my family? I post on social media promoting products I’m passionate about, products that have helped me and my children. What I do is not a scam. I’m not the type of person to get involved in scams or pyramid schemes. I’m not going to promote dodgy products to friends and family. I love what i do yet get so much grief for doing it! The people who do judge funnily enough no NOTHING about what i do yet are quick to throw uneducated opinions around about it. It won’t stop me. In fact it makes me want to push on harder and harder to prove all the haters wrong.

There was one situation recently and I won’t go into detail but I judged a situation with a friend and took action to try and help that person and it got thrown back in my face so I won’t be doing it again. I didn’t hurt that person, in fact I thought I was doing them a favour as I care about them but I was so very wrong!! I’ve learnt from it now though and will never be making that mistake again!

We are all entitled to opinions but i think really so many people need to know when to shut up and keep their opinions to themselves. I don’t think they realise the impact they can have on someone. Words can hurt and really send people into a downward spiral. Words can make a situation so much worse than it needs to be. Words can be downright nasty.

Just think…. next time… before you open your mouth or type something…. THINK…

think how your words are going to impact things.

Maybe just keep those opinions to yourself.