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Posts Tagged ‘honeymoon’

  1. San Francisco

    August 27, 2008 by superlative

    Hmm, I’m not doing too well at catching up on this blog thing am I? I must try to power through, I’m only… erm… three and a half weeks behind. Damn it!

    Anyway, off we flew to San Francisco, where we were staying at the second of my Trip Advisor-recommended hotels, the Chancellor on Union Square. It was lovely, I’m so glad I picked it! Although it is officially three star, it is actually really bloody good for three stars – marble floors in the reception, staff all dressed up in nice uniforms, little gold carts for putting your luggage in, etc etc. We were up on the twelfth floor which meant we had fantastic views over Union Square towards Macy’s. I had repeated my “it’s our honeymoon” casual commenting technique when I emailed the hotel about the booking, and this time it actually paid off – the man on reception congratulated us when we checked in, and we had a bottle of champagne and a present (a picture frame) waiting for us in the room. Which started me thinking you should probably always say you’re on your honeymoon whenever you go abroad anywhere, just to see what you get…

    Anyway, San Francisco was lovely, and so much nicer than New York. New York is definitely more buzzy, with more going on and more to see, and it’s a very exciting place to be because you know it so well from the telly, but in terms of actual niceness San Francisco wins hands down. It was cleaner, less rushed, more spacious, and generally prettier. The only thing that would have made it nicer would have been for it to be a bit warmer – we only had one day of proper sun, and the rest had high fog blocking out most of the heat so it was really quite cold and you needed a coat on. But frankly after New York it was quite pleasant to be cold, at least for a few days.

    Again, we did lots of touristy things, but it was generally less rushed as we had more time there and there is a bit less to do.

    • On the one sunny day (the first day) we took a walk around Union Square where all the shops are, and then we went to Dolores Beach. Dolores Beach is not in fact a beach, but is instead part of a park, and it is where all the gay boys go on a sunny day to sit around in minimal clothing pretending to read and looking at each other. It was very pleasant, although San Francisco gay guys seemed to be generally older and/or beefier than my normal tastes of twinky blonds, but I’ll take what I can get. I did unfortunately completely underestimate the sun and FRIED my shoulders and back, resulting in a good deal of pain, whinging, and hasty purchasing of after-sun for the rest of the week.
    • We went to loads of shops, but bought relatively little as we’re not that into designer labels anyway. I did buy some nice undies though.
    • We went to Chinatown – MUCH nicer than New York’s, which was a slum.
    • We saw the wiggly Lombard Street, which was thronged with tourists taking photos and must be a nightmare to live on.
    • We went to the Cartoon Art Museum, and fortuitously it was ‘Pay what you like day’ so we paid very little.
    • We took a trip to Alcatraz, which was really interesting, and as it was the evening it was dead atmospheric and spooky.
    • We saw the Golden Gate Bridge, and walked halfway across it before deciding it was too windy and then walking back.
    • We saw Dark Knight (very good) and The Mummy III (not that good) at the cinema.

    We also ate out LOADS and were completely stuffed for the whole week. No wonder Americans are so fat, their portions were ridiculous and we threw away criminal amounts of food and felt really bad. Highlights were the best BEST milkshakes ever in Lori’s Diner, and a fantastic Japanese meal in a tucked away restaurant where we were the only non-Japanese in there.

    We also went to quite a few bars on San Francisco’s legendary gay scene. Again, I wasn’t that impressed really… We visited Harvey’s, Twin Peaks, Midnight Sun, The Mixer, and The Bar. They were generally OK, either a bit empty or hugely overcrowded, and very very few boys worth a second glance. We decided that we’ve been spoiled by living in Brighton about 3 minutes from 9 gay bars where they often play better music and at least some of the people know how to dress properly. I think we had the most fun at The Bar, where it transpired it was Ladies Night, which meant it was full of black and Hispanic lesbians and had great music on, so we danced lots amid the lesbians and I cared not that I was twice the height of most of them.

    And then it was time to come home. I wasn’t sorry really, as I was quite worn out after 10 days of madly photographing everything and trekking around, and I really wanted my own bed and not to eat another calorie for a fortnight.

    The flight home was 10 hours, which was far too long, I couldn’t sleep, and I was pretty exhausted by the time we finally got back, but overall it was a lovely, lovely trip and a marvelous honeymoon. It’s not the kind of holiday we’d ever normally take either, so that made it quite special for us. And my bed was soooo comfortable when I crawled into it and slept for almost a whole weekend…!

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  2. Post-wedding and off to New York

    August 21, 2008 by superlative

    The lovely weather continued the day after the wedding, and as we knew lots of people would still be around we had booked one of the bar/restaurants on the beach for a late lunch. I’m glad we did actually, as it was really nice sitting out there in the sunshine, and it gave an extra opportunity to see some of the people we hadn’t had much time to talk to the night before.

    Mum and Dad left after lunch, having had two OK nights in the hotel but complaining that it had been noisy from the traffic on the road. Ha! They were lucky they had been at the front, the people at the back of the hotel hadn’t had a wink of sleep because of the nightclub outside their window and the roadworks that started at 7am, so they should count their blessings. That was the main drawback of the hotel in the end – it’s location is great in some ways, but it also means it’s very noisy and you can’t park within two miles of it very easily. But you’re not really thinking about those things when you book it 18 months in advance, are you?? And nobody really complained to us, they just got on with it, which is good.

    Sunday was our first day of proper rest and recovery, and we spent a nice couple of hours in the afternoon opening all our cards and presents. Oh. My. God. Everyone was SO generous, and we got given SO much money! We’d said “no presents” to people, because we didn’t really want lots of toasters and we weren’t actually that fussed about getting any presents, but everybody wants to give you something on your wedding day. So they all gave us money instead – a mixture of dollars for the honeymoon, and normal cash. I actually felt a bit guilty about how much we got in end… Well, not that guilty, but you know…

    And on Monday we jetted off to New York! It was terribly exciting to be going somewhere so interesting, and that we’d never been to before. We had thought it might be worth mentioning at the airport when we checked in that it was our honeymoon, on the very slim hope that they might bump us up to first class. Alas, check-in was at an automated kiosk that didn’t have a button for “We’re on our honeymoon”, and the lady at the bag drop looked thoroughly unimpressed when we tried it on her. So we flew normal class, but that was fine as Virgin Atlantic is quite good anyway.

    We arrived late in New York, where we spent the first four nights of our honeymoon. The hotel was lovely, a little converted town house down in Chelsea that I’d found on Trip Advisor. Each room was named after a film star and there were cool movie posters everywhere, which was quite fun. We stayed in the Lee Remick room – I’d never heard of her, but apparently she’s the Mum in The Omen, amongst other things.

    The three days we had in New York were nice: mostly very busy, loads of walking around and doing touristy thing, and it was VERY hot. I think it was about 90 degrees, and it was a sticky humid heat with no wind. The temperature was exacerbated, and possibly caused by, the millions of air conditioning vents that constantly pump hot air out in the street from every building and subway line, so being out in the street generally wasn’t that pleasant. Once you were inside on the good end of an air conditioner of course, it was all fine.

    We did all the tourist things we could fit in in three days, namely:

    • went up the Empire State Building
    • walked around in Times Square and Broadway
    • saw Madison Square Garden (from the outside anyway)
    • saw Grand Central Terminal
    • went to the UN headquarters
    • went to Macy’s
    • walked around Central Park – nice, but just a park really
    • went to the Natural History Museum and saw lots of dinosaurs and gemstones, and touched a REAL 30-tonne meteorite that had been in actual space
    • went up the Rockefeller Center at night
    • took the Staten Island Ferry to Staten Island and back, taking a million photos of the Statue of Liberty on the way
    • saw Ground Zero – just a big building site now
    • walked through Chinatown (quite shabby and horrible actually)
    • rode the subway and caught yellow cabs

    So lots of things really. The best bit was probably going up the Rockefeller Center at night. The views of the city lights were fantastic, you got to see the Empire State Building (which you obviously can’t do when you’re actually on the Empire State Building), and it was lovely and cool up there compared to ground level.

    We also visited a few of the gay bars during the evenings – Sport Bar, Barracuda, View Bar, The Monster, and Pieces. They were… OK. Not amazing, I have to say, but Barracuda and Pieces were both lots of fun. The others were a bit of an older crowd, or were a bit empty, or didn’t have any music on. We saw the best BEST karaoke ever at Barracuda, a girl who sang I’m Every Woman and who was every bit as good as Whitney Houston. And Pieces was fun because they had shag tags and beer pong (that’s a game, not the smell of beer) and good music. They also had a hot barman who had much better dress sense than most Americans, who we sort of tried to flirt with but failed because I’m so bad at flirting.

    And that was New York! Lovely, tiring, hot, and photo-filled. I photographed EVERYTHING I think. On Friday we got the subway to Jamaica (not the real Jamaica, it’s in Queens) and the Air Train to JFK airport, where we spent a couple of hours in the crappiest terminal ever – JFK Terminal 3 is tiny and pathetic, due to it only servicing domestic flights with Delta.

    But that didn’t matter much because then we flew off to San Francisco for the second part of our honeymoon adventure…

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