New York was everything I dreamed of and more... and I cannot wait to go back! The entire time we were there, it kinda felt like a dream...
Total Travel time to NYC from AKL: 24 hours (including lay over in LAX)
6 Full days in NYC (Next time I'd like to stay for at least 8 days)
Accommodation: DREAM at Midtown (highly recommend!)
Weather: Summer (Warm at night, hot during the day)
Transport: Subway and UBER (when you get tired later in the day)
BEST food: Shake Shack in Madison Park although all the food we tried was tasty!
BEST shopping: Century 21 for discounted designer wear
Most EPIC moment: Top of the Rock at Rockefeller
Most Emotional moment: 9/11 Memorial
Biggest Highlight: Seeing the Statue of Liberty with my own eyes!
Buy a 3 or 7 day subway pass (gives you unlimited rides)
Study the subway map before you get to NYC!
Find your local Deli (this shouldn't be hard!) for grab & go breakfast bagel & Ice coffee
Must try a hot dog or pretzel from a street cart (just like the movies)
Take good walking shoes!
Jump on the "Hop on and off Bus" on your first day to get your bearings
Use UBER instead of Taxi (but you must try a yellow taxi at least once! for the experience).. there are UBER cars everywhere and charge a fixed price to your credit card (no cash exchange)
If you are travelling from NZ or AUS, I recommend staying the night in LAX (airport hotel) before travelling on to NYC (trust me you need the sleep!)
People Watch/ Fashion Inspo - New York has the most fashionable people I've seen.. so spend some time people watching while enjoying your starbucks for some Fashion inspiration!
Check out the Marshalls & TJ Maxx in Downtown - lots of stylish bargains
Phoenix was the perfect place to unwind and chill after a busy few days in New York... it also has the best shopping by far!
Total Travel time from NYC to PHX: Just over 5 hours of flying
6 Full days in Phoenix
Accommodation: Meridian CondoResorts in Scottsdale (highly recommend!) We stayed in a 3 bedroom apartment, 2 bathrooms, full kitchen, access to gym and 2 swimming pools/ spa
Weather: Summer - most days it was 44 degrees Celsius and 36-37 at night
Transport: 12 seater Van to transport our family of 8 (including shopping bags lol)
BEST FOOD: BBQ by the Pool
BEST Shopping: Arizona Mills Outlets (be prepared to spend 2 full days here!)
Most EPIC moment: Seeing my daughter dance with her crew at the World HipHop Championships (representing NZ) and also watching my kids having fun swimming etc
Most EMOTIONAL moment - as above
Biggest Highlight: This was our first Family vacation...so once the dance competition was over we were able to pick up our daughter and having all the family together in the pool, having fun was definitely a highlight for me.
Surprisingly, I thoroughly enjoyed everything about Phoenix! The weather and scenery reminded me a lot of Las Vegas (outside of the strip) but the pace was slower. The resorts were stunning so it's definitely an ideal place for families to enjoy the weather, shopping etc
Check out my daughters dance crew below for their performance at the Hiphop World Championships in Arizona.
The last part of our trip was spent in Anaheim, Los Angeles.
Total Travel time: 5hours 50mins drive
5 full days in Anaheim/ LA
Accommodation: Best Western Stovalls (Comfortable, clean, close to Disney, free breakfast but very busy and no kitchen)
Weather: a cool 22-26 degrees Celsius
Transport: 12 seater Van (used Shuttle bus to and from Disneyland)
BEST Food: Because we had no kitchen, it kinda felt like we were eating out all the time. But I did enjoy PANDA HOUSE (Asian food) - free delivery to your hotel!
BEST Shopping: LA Fashion District - Lots of bargains from 4 Tshirts for $10, Sunglasses, dresses, $10 jeans etc
Most EPIC moment: The whole family (including grandparents and our youngest daughter) enjoying the Thrilling "Indiana Jones" ride at Disneyland
Most EMOTIONAL moment: Being at Disneyland with my family! The whole experience was a dream come true.. from the rides to watching the parade and fireworks show.
Biggest Highlight: Visiting the Crystal Cathedral (WOW!)