Helicopter Trip, San Francisco

Helicopter Trip, San Francisco

Another thing on my 101 in 1001 list was to take a helicopter trip.

I was a little nervous before going. Aeroplanes I was used to (even more so on this trip!) but helicopters seemed a little more lightweight and prone to… problems. There had been extremely dense fog and visibility wasn’t looking too good. That didn’t help with the nerves.

But once we were belting down the freeway to the airport, I started to feel a bit better. The sun came out and burned any remaining mist that was looming.

I took the tour with San Francisco Helicopters who were nothing but very friendly and informative. Because I was a solo traveller, I got to sit in the front of the helicopter (the dream) and get all the front row action. There’s nothing like taking off in a helicopter. There’s no big run up to lift off, you simply “levitate”, I guess. It feels scary and wonderful at the same time!

I popped some fab shots I got on Instagram but here are few more:

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Urban Staircase Tour, San Francisco

Urban Staircase Tour, San Francisco

If you’ve seen my Instagram, you’ll see I went on a mega trip by myself (that’s another one off the 101 in 1001 days list!). I had the pleasure of exploring some familiar cities and some new ones with friends and by myself. To say I learned a good bit would be underestimating my experience greatly. I got so much more from it than I imagined.

My first stop was, of course, San Francisco.

San Francisco has always been a deeply personal place for me. It was the backdrop of many films and books that I grew up with, it was the first stop on my first ever American tour, it’s where I lived and worked for three months, it’s where I laughed, cried, grieved, stressed and made many fantastic friends.

I think Herb Caen put it best:

If I do go to heaven, I’m going to do what every San Franciscan does who goes to heaven. He looks around and says, ‘It ain’t bad, but it ain’t San Francisco.‘”

–  (USA Today, February 16, 2001)

I’ll be doing a few posts on different parts of not just San Francisco but my full two week trip across the U.S. and Canada. Disclaimer (!!): these posts will be photo heavy but worth it.

SO, let’s get started.

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Vienna

Vienna

Today’s post is more of a photo diary (with photos in no particular order to reflect my life). I spent the last five days visiting friends in Austria, taking a much needed break.

Vienna was ten times better this time around – probably because I had a friend to show me around rather than just scrambling about for myself. We had a lot of good coffee, good Aperol and plenty of indescribably great experiences (such as one time on The Danube, struggling to steer our electric boat whilst treating to the shores of the river to Beyonce). It was good. I feel rejuvinated. And most importantly, it was soul-healing.

(thank you so much, Fi and Hannes for a really incredible trip and letting me invade your home, you guys are truly the most welcoming hosts)

Ps, Fi took some of the photos on this post – I think someone should get her a camera stat. Also, a puppy.

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It’s Always Snowing in Wicklow

It’s Always Snowing in Wicklow

I’m going to keep the text brief as the photos speak for themselves.

Myself and two of my very close friends took a trip down to Glendalough on Saturday to catch the last of the snow. Usually this place is BUZZING with tourists, buses, families, etc but the weather over the last week and a half had made the place pretty inaccessible. But no less beautiful.

It was the perfect opportunity to try out the new iPhone X’s camera (you can decide what you think from the photos).

The snow and mist made this usually familiar trail completely unrecognisable – like an Icelandic fjord or something out of Middle Earth. There was no wind but the rain got so heavy at one point that the lake burst its banks and the river became a genuine threat. But we trudged through snow, ice and rivers to see what this usually busy and lusciously green valley had to offer – and we were not disappointed!

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Balenciaga at the V&A

Balenciaga at the V&A

I’m not going to lie here. I didn’t know a whole lot about Balenciaga before I went into this exhibit. I had only heard of Balenciaga once in a Halsey song.

I visited the V&A last May just a few days after this exhibit opened and I was too broke to go. As in, I couldn’t spare the £12 to buy an entry ticket. It looked so beautiful from the outside, and a few people I knew had seen it, but I knew that if I wanted to make it back home, I really needed to stop spending money. So I made a promise to myself to come back before it closed in February 2018.

I was very lucky that I managed that.

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I’m not into high fashion but I do appreciate a good design when I see it and this was the exhibition for it. The story of how Cristóbal Balenciaga came to set up his first house to how he shaped modern fashion by creating something so far removed from what others were doing at the time was truly wonderful to look at.

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Inside The Ritz

Inside The Ritz

I promised myself I would start 2018 as I meant to go on and if that meant Afternoon Tea at the Ritz, then so be it. (Spoiler, nothing has really come close to it in the two weeks since).

The Ritz is an institution of tea, brioche sandwiches and homemade cakes, its only competitor being the likes of Claridge’s. If you do plan to go, I would recommend booking it, and booking it early as, although they have four sittings a day, it is extremely popular.

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We arrived a little early due to the Mayor’s New Year’s Parade and were seated in the lounge which allowed me some time to take some sneaky photos. Photography is allowed but you’re asked to take your shots discreetly.

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