February 28, 2016

Memoirs: The NYC Diaries – Part One

After coming back from Vegas last August, I pretty much booked NYC right after. Having something to look forward to and new adventures to get excited about is what life is about right?

Anyway, fast forward Valentine’s Day 2016 and I made my way to the ever glamorous Travelodge Heathrow Central to chill out and rest before my afternoon flight the next day to New York. I’d always wanted to stay over the night before near the airport for a flight as cab prices these days are ridiculous and with Heathrow being on the tube – why not! My Travelodge booking worked out at £20 in their Winter sale which is an absolute bargain compared to some of the other hotel chains in the area. I would highly recommend you booking in advance if you intend to stay the night before a flight. 

Arriving in my room, I was absolutely shocked at the sheer size. It could probably fit two double beds in and still have room and amazingly it was all mine for one night. Me being me, my suitcase was thrown in the corner and I began to make myself at home for a short while. My room was on the third floor and I had some gorgeous views of Heathrow airport with planes landing and taking off. If you’re wondering about the  noise of the planes, it was absolutely fine, just a mild hum in the background when aircrafts were nearby. 

Having only been in the room an hour, I had just finished straightening my hair, walked back over to my bed and saw my glasses were broken. All I could think was …



I know I’m incredibly clumsy but breaking glasses has become my forte in recent years. Luckily, I had brought more than enough contact lenses to see me through my trip but they tend to dry my eyes out so I prefer the old specs for daytime use. 

After the broken glasses saga, I knew I needed to eat to numb the pain of my clumsiness so I ventured out in search of food. I mapped out far the nearest McDonalds but I decided that a 2 mile walk in the dark was too much to ask myself. Instead I headed to the fine dining options of the Travelodge restaurant. It wasn’t as overpriced as I thought it’d be so I opted for their version of a meal for £12. This included a starter, main and a drink – I had the chicken goujons, fish and chips and a healthy glass of Pepsi. Surprisingly it was really good, hit the spot and was enough to put me to sleep. I lazily walked back to my room, tried to watch Mr Popper’s Penguins but sleep took over at the grand old-time of 8pm. 

…However for some reason, I bolted awake at 3am. I’ve been having trouble sleeping lately, not sure why, but hey ho, a quick browse through my social media feeds and I was back in dreamland until…I was woken up at 5am by a text from United Airlines informing me my flight was already delayed. UGH. Luckily it was only by 90 minutes but it meant my holiday was delayed too – I was so eager to get to the Big Apple! 

When I woke up (again) a little later around 8am, it meant I could slow down in terms of getting ready. I hastily made a cup of coffee (or two), watched a little Jeremy Kyle and Loose women whilst getting airport ready. Is it me or is my airport outfit more strategic than anything these days? I opted for skinny jeans, Timberlands, a light sweater with my khaki green parka and my huge faux fur scarf thrown over. My tactic was to be comfy, somewhat stylish but mainly bloody WARM. The temperatures in New York the night before had plummeted to -10C. Is that even real? Legal? Allowed?

I think at this point it dawned on me that this was definitely a city break and not a sun-swept holiday that I am used to. I have never been anywhere colder than the UK so I guess there is a first time for everything. I’m not sure if I’m ready for that skiing holiday or Iceland trip just yet… 


Anyway, after slapping on some make-up, making sure my suitcase could zip up and praying it was under 23kg, I headed on down to Heathrow airport. Thinking I could jump on one of the shuttle buses that run from the hotel, how wrong I was. They run every 30-45 minutes (I think), but of course I missed it. My time-keeping in 2016 is really slacking, so I got an Uber to Terminal 2 ready to get my NYC journey going. Whilst waiting for my friend, I had a good nose around the newly opened Terminal 2, known as The Queen’s Terminal, and was really impressed at how pretty and clean it was. I guess it isn’t called The Queen’s Terminal for nothing! Best of all, I weighed my luggage and it was under 23kg – my first achievement of 2016. Seriously, if you know me well, my bags are ALWAYS overweight, so this is definitely something that was worth celebrating. 



After a short while, my friend arrived, we dropped our bags, went through security in search of shops and food. 

Our flight was originally meant to take off at 4.05pm but due to the delay we had plenty of time to relax before our flight. We ate at London’s Pride by Fuller’s which is great if you want a hearty meal as plane food isn’t exactly the greatest. After this, I really needed some perfume, so it was a quick stop in duty-free before my favourite pre-holiday tradition… the champagne bar. Nothing like a glass of champagne or wine to get you in the jet-set mood, ease those pre-flight nerves and make you forget your overflowing e-mail inbox.



After a glass or two, we headed to our gate which seemed like it took forever and a year and realised we still had a little while before take off. Annoyingly, the 6pm flight had started boarding before ours and I’d started to wonder if we would ever actually get there…


A short while after we begun boarding and were finally in the air! On first thought… I wasn’t too impressed with the whole United plane or their whole service in all honesty. It was outdated, cramped and the screens were tiny. Maybe it’s because I’ve flown with Virgin and Emirates and I now expect so much more from long-haul flights. Anyway, after watching a movie, and falling asleep, I knew it wouldn’t be too long before we’d be in the city that never sleeps… 

Until I was awoken by the worst turbulence I have experienced on all of my travels. Like seriously, it was so RUDE, I just wanted to sleep! I don’t want to divulge any further incase you are afraid of flying but we landed in Newark (NEW JERSEY YOOO) a few hours later and were greeted by a blankety landscape of snow. 

We joined a lengthy line to go through passport control, grabbed our luggage and a taxi to our hotel in Manhattan. The whole airport rush made me so hot and sweaty that once I stepped foot outside I didn’t really have a chance to climatise as next thing I knew we were in a cab! 

Snow problem...

Snow problem…


Looking out the cab window and taking in New Jersey in all its glory, I couldn’t wait to unpack, get some sleep and explore NYC the next day…

We arrived at our hotel (The Quin) a little after 10pm and I was amazed at how gorgeous the lobby was, not to mention our huge room! Seriously, if you are ever in New York, this place is worth a stay.



As our flight was delayed, we were unsure if we were gonna go out or not (our other friends were arriving a little later than us too). So instead, we freshened up a little and headed to Duane Reade. If that makes any sense to you… NYC has 24 hour drugstores. Literally the best thing ever – if you need new foundation or $6 wine at 3am, this is the place to be. They even had half price Valentine’s chocolate boxes… Not that I bought any but I did stock up on my favourite Ogx shampoo and some other bits not worth mentioning! 


Anyway, I think this blog has been long and boring enough so I will leave this here for the moment. I will have more in store for you in the rest of my NYC blogs!

Char xo

24 responses to “Memoirs: The NYC Diaries – Part One”

  1. […] you’re thinking about going to New York in mid-February. Don’t. Only joking. If cold weather doesn’t bother you too much, then it is […]

  2. […] skyline. Having arrived there after a 7 hour Megabus journey from hell (I could have gone to New York instead), we were easily checked in and made our way to our room to relax before getting ready for […]

  3. […] ruining my nails with acrylics like I do before every holiday, my nails are absolutely ruined as per. It’s like a cycle of abuse with me. ThumbsUp Nails […]

  4. […] shapes and vivid colours, signifying that a change was in the air.   <br> Walking around NYC alone back in February I was infatuated with the architecture and always caught myself glancing at the […]

  5. […] thought of food can take you back to a specific moment. New York – 2016 I fell in love with New York more than ever and I don’t think I’ve had such a yearning to go back to a city in my […]

  6. […] get to us and the fact that we didn’t actually have a place in mind to go to. We stopped for food at what seemed like a local neighbourhood Turkish restaurant (which reminded me of home). We […]

  7. […] in my entire *cough cough* 26 years on this planet. I obviously had to do some detailed research in New York to […]

  8. […] visited earlier this year in the dark of Winter. LA seemed very quiet on a Sunday evening, whereas New York was a little more alive and buzzy. But again, I couldn’t make such a comparison when I’d […]

  9. […] at my heartstrings. It seems like the sort of place you can visit alone, as a couple or with your friends. I imagine myself just jumping on the Eurostar one weekend and just soaking up the culture and some […]

  10. […] some rooms planned on Pinterest). I actually want to get to the stage (I’m hoping in around five years), where I’m living in hotels around the world, embracing home wherever I […]

  11. […] the check in desks are there and are good to go through to security. We were flying with Delta (A Virgin partner airline) and the check in process was smooth and easy. I had originally put my boarding cards on my phone […]

  12. […] mean I can’t window shop… right? If money was no option, this would be dragged along Heathrow Terminal 3… it is the Queen’s terminal after all. Louis Vuitton I don’t like hugely […]

  13. […] I Have in Winter… Whilst I am not an advocate of wearing real fur, it doesn’t mean I cannot appreciate J.Lo’s winter style. For me this is where she […]

  14. […] find the very small boutique hotels, but the Novotel Tour Eiffel is along the lines of a typical NYC hotel with the views to match.   Even though my friend’s flight was earlier than my train, I […]

  15. Musings: American Icons | Memoirs & Musings says:

    […] deserve. The atmosphere here is a world away from any of the busy roads that surround the park. It simply lifts your mood. It’s big enough to give you a complete break when you need it. Most importantly, it’s cared […]

  16. […] something about Cardi B’s personality that is raw, infectious and real. She is a straight up New Yorker (My favourite place in the world), isn’t afraid to rock some Fashion Nova and frankly she’s […]

  17. […] Read more: Memoirs: The NYC Diaries – Part One […]

  18. […] mean I can’t window shop… right? If money was no option, this would be dragged along Heathrow Terminal 3… it is the Queen’s terminal after […]

  19. […] ruining my nails with acrylics like I do before every holiday, my nails are absolutely ruined as per. It’s like a cycle of abuse with me. ThumbsUp Nails […]

  20. […] Pikachu and The Hustle all whilst dipping in and out of sleep. I’ve been on some flights *cough cough United to NYC* where there were only 5-6 movies to choose from. […]

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About Me

Welcome to my little space on the internet, known as Memoirs and Musings. I’m Char, short for Charlotte and my blog/website/diary is dedicated to documenting my Memoirs and Musings, hence the name. I wouldn’t say I was your ‘typical’ blogger either. I don’t care about getting the perfect flatlay or feeling bad for not posting, I just enjoy writing. If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading. Anyway, I love to travel, indulge in a glass of white wine, when plans are cancelled and purchase overpriced make up.  I guess that’s me in a nutshell, trying to figure out this thing called life, have fun and never lose sight.