Thursday, 11 December 2014

NY Diary Blog: BRUNCH and The Game

Our first day in New York! We had a bit of a lie in, after all the travelling from England to Pittsburgh, Pitts to Philly, Philly to NY, and all the nerves and excitement for the events, Rose and I were exhausted. Luckily the Omni we were staying in had gorgeous blackout drapes and we slept so so deeply until about 11.  In the taxi the night before we had agreed to meet Lindsay at 12 at her place. We knew we would sleep in and miss breakfast, so today was going to be all about BRUNCH. Apparently it’s a big thing here in NY and apparently it’s a big thing because everyone is drinking at brunch. Which sounded like totally my cup of tea. 

We got ready fairly quickly, feeling comfortable and not too bothered about what we looked like whilst hanging about with Lindsay and Donnie. All we had to be concerned about was keeping warm, and for the entire trip including the meet and greets I actually wore thermal leggings and a thermal vest under all my clothes! I probably looked ten times fatter than I actually am but it was worth it. I always wore fluffy bedsocks walking round so I was always toasty and warm.

We stepped out of the hotel and the doorman hailed us a cab, something I loved about hotels. When it was snowing or raining, the doorman opened his umbrella and walked us into the cab, opening up the door for us. It was awesome! We headed over to Lindsay’s and in the drive over I noticed I recognised where we were going and how far away we were from our last visit. It made me feel really awesome to realise that I was beginning to get my bearings around NY!

We arrived at Lindsay’s and she stepped out as we knocked on the door, perfect timing. We decided to walk to where we were brunching, it wasn’t far and, despite the cold, the sun was out and everything was bright and shiny. Lindsay dug in her handbag (just the one today) and handed me her sister’s sunglasses again. I told her I really really liked them and she said “They’re from Madewell. We’ll go there and get you a pair when we go shopping.” and I put them, put my hands in my pockets and strolled along next to Lindsay and Rose. We were brunching together, then meeting Donnie later.

The place we chose to Brunch at, under Lindsay’s recommendation of course, was The Pennrose. It was this huge wooden place with a curve bar that you could sit at and drink and then tables to eat at. We sat at the bar at first, hanging our bags and stuff on a peg by our knees and started looking through the menu. Lindsay had been telling me I had to do brunch and drink mimosa’s and then I found out here that mimosa’s are actually Bucks Fizz. I went for a mimosa, Lindsay went for a bloody mary and then Rose went for a BACON INFUSED BLOODY MARY which I forced her to get, telling her she liked bacon, she liked bloody mary’s and she had to try new things! So she agreed and we sat there sipping our alcohol, making me feel warm, relaxed and happy. The barmaid, a beautiful blonde girl, had taken a liking to our accents, hearing us discuss mimosa’s vs Bucks Fizz and was chatting to us about food. We looked over the menu, trying to make a decision. 

That’s when I glanced over at the couple next to me, who were just getting their food brought to them. I couldn’t believe my eyes! They were actually eating fried chicken, like breaded chicken with waffles and syrup!! I looked down at my menu and it was a thing, on the menu and everything! I was like “Lindsay, what the hell are they eating? EXPLAIN!” and Lindsay was like “Oh yeah a lot of people have that. I don’t like it though. But yeah, it’s a thing”

I was internally debating whether or not to have it, because I really wanted to try new things, whether they were gross or not. I looked over at Rose sipping on her bacon infused bloody mary, I don’t think she was too sure about it. I glanced down at the menu and saw something else I didn’t understand, ‘Shrimp and Grits’ and I had to say “Lindsaaaayyy what’s THIS?” And she explained to me that grits is some kind of porridge-y rice-y stuff. I decided to go for that, because I love seafood. It was as adventurous as I was going to be. Lindsay ordered something healthy; avocado and packed egg on toast I think. The whole time we were in NY Rose and I had to constantly yell at Lindsay not to order a salad at every meal. “Get FAT with us Lindsay” was probably a phrase repeated often. Rose ordered a deep fried oyster, egg and bacon brioche burger. It was going to be a feast.

Whilst waiting for our food, we moved over from the bar onto a table in the corner and started chatting about our plans for that night. Lindsay was taking us to see an American football game; NY Giants vs Dallas Cowboys. She kept talking about the ‘tailgate’ so we were asking her all about it, where we were going, what we were doing and she was explaining that basically we were going to get plenty drunk, eat food, chat with some awesome people then watch the game. It sounded like a plan! The food arrived and oh my goodness it was amaaaaaazzing! My shrimp and grits, uhhhh, I couldn't get enough! Rose was loving her burger, but I think with her bacon bloody mary AND a burger she was feeling a bit full, so I started sipping on her drink. It was delicious but it was literally like a meal in itself, it was so strongly flavoured, it was like some serious soup!

After the meal, we sat there, bloated and a little bit tipsy. We headed to the liquor store to grab some bottles of whatever we wanted to bring to the tailgate. I chose gin for Rose and I, and I think Linds bought a bottle of whiskey. Then we popped over to a general store to buy some mixers. Lindsay recommended cherry seltzer so we got that and something lemony and limey to mix with the gin. 

Last time we were in New York, the day we tried on our wedding dresses, Lindsay had come round to our hotel and hung with us while we were getting ready. She had seen me applying my favourite mascara that I swear by; No.7 Extreme Length and she had been really impressed by it. I asked her if she had No.7 makeup in the US and she said no so I promised to buy her some and bring it over. So when we were reunited again this trip I brought her some as promised! But we’re walking around this general store and I go over to investigate the American to see if I see any amazing new products and what do I spy? No.7!! To be fair it does say in huge bold lettering ‘Britain’s Number 1 beauty products’ or something to do with it being 100% British. And then I look closer and it is WAY cheaper in America! I buy it for around £12 and in America it was like $6! I was like “LINDSAY YOU have to buy it and send it to ME now hahahah” and we were joking around. We left the store with mixers and supplies for the tailgate in hand and headed back to Lindsays place, only we waddled, because we were still so full from the brunch. 

As we were walking back we bumped into Donnie, who was also walking down to meet us. She looked great, already prepared for the game wearing a Giants jumper and hat. She meets us and after saying her usual “Heeeeeeeeaaaaaayyyyyyy” she says “do you have polish my nails are chipped?” and Lindsay’s like “Yeah” and we all start walking back.

We get in and I instantly flopped down onto Lindsay’s sofa next to Rose, after turning a lamp on for Lindsay, who is flipping on the TV to a football game and simultaneously whacking on Spotify to play some tunes. Lindsay brings over Donnie some nail polish remover and a selection of polish and asks what we want to drink. I get up and fix our own drinks and we try that cherry seltzer mix she recommended…. oh my god. Heaven. And it was only a dollar!

We sit and paint our nails, chatting away and the drink was going down so easy after the mamosa’s at brunch! Lindsay starts digging through her wardrobe, grabbing us furs and jackets and jumpers, because we are going to be outside for hours before the game at the tailgate and we need to keep warm. I strip off my clothes and start adding extra layers before putting them all back on again. By the time Lindsay hands me a Giants jumper I am as round a pumpkin but mighty snug! I wear my Macy’s hat given to me to keep warm before going onstage at Pittsburgh and the girls wear Giants hats. Seeing how much Giants gear Lindsay and Donnie have make Rose and I swear we will come home from our trip to the US with some Giants gear.

Lindsay had ordered for a car to drive us to the tailgate so she informs us he is outside and we gather up our multiple layers and head out, drinks still in hand to drink in the car on the way. Just like before in August when we went out for Lindsay’s birthday, the driver allowed us to connect to his car via bluetooth so we could play out our tunes. Lindsay and Donnie took it in turns to blast our various songs from Before You Exit, Nick Jonas and Taylor Swift. The drivers really excited by our accents and joins in the fun, joking about what football team is going to win and who is better and joining in the fun, which was awesome. Fifth Harmony’s Boss comes on and we start having a massive discussion on Michelle Obama and the driver gets really into it and we’re all laughing.

Whilst we are all drinking and laughing we start going through this really long tunnel lit up with loads of lights and Lindsay turns to me and says “Do you recognise this tunnel?” and I’m thinking yes, but I have no idea why. And Lindsay says, “Have you ever seen The Perks Of Being A Wallflower?” and we realise that we are cruising through that same tunnel Charlie is riding through when he says “And I swear, in that moment, we were infinite” and suddenly this ride in the car feels a whole lot more special and I feel exactly like a tourist again. Rose videos out the window and I don’t know why, maybe it was the drink, but I just felt like Wooooowww coooool. Haha obviously the alcohol was kicking in!

Finally we arrive at the tailgate which is basically in a massive New Jersey parking lot outside a stadium. We were looking for a certain area to park in to meet up with all Lindsay’s friends but we don’t want the driver to have to drive into an area and be charged for parking, after all, we’d already paid him and all we wanted him to do was drop us off. Before we went through some barriers there were some police officers guarding them and Lindsay tells Rose to open her window and ask the policemen if they would be charged for going in. Rose rolls down the window and, in her uttermost British accent asks; “Excuse me sir, we were just wondering, if we go through there will we be charged? We just want to get dropped off you see!” The policeman FALLS IN LOVE with Rose and decides to do everything in his power to prevent us from getting a charge. There was a massive queue of cars behind us but the policeman gets them all to reverse. Then we personally directs our driver and gets him to do a full 360 manoeuvre so the driver could leave the parking lot charge free. Lindsay and Donnie are clapping and saying “woooowww that accent!” Lindsay said she’d tried to talk to the policemen there before and they are never normally that nice. We were all whooping and celebrating - the power of the British accent abroad!

So the driver drops us off and we follow the numbers and letters to find the right area, and sure enough, we spy the huge Giants van, that was owned by Lindsay’s friend. What once was a catering van had been bought, done up and converted purely to be an awesome tool to aid in the tailgating process. It was huge, and everyone had dumped their coats and bags inside, so they could hang out outside of it. The game was on the television outside (although not the Giants vs Cowboys game, that hadn’t started yet - we were hours early) and also some huge floodlights, all powered (I think) by the van. There were tables set up with tonnes of food; some crisps and dip, homemade dishes with cheese that kind of looked like quiche, a big tin of chocolatey marshmellowy s’mores, alcohol (where we placed our gin, mixers and whiskey we had bought earlier) and a load of soft drinks like cola. There was also a barbecue with a man cooking sausages for hot dogs, burgers, some pulled pork, and then sides by him like rice and pasta. It was set up perfectly! There was a huge fire contained safely in this big circle and every single person was holding a red plastic cup that us English folk only ever see in the movies. Everyone was warm, full, drinking and happy. Music was blasting out of the van, and for those that weren’t socialising or watching the football, there were tables laid out with games. Flip cup was the first one I spied, the second was this ramp type thing on the floor with cut out holes, that people were throwing bean bags into. Lindsay dumped our stuff in the van and went around introducing us to people. Good job we borrowed Lindsay’s Giants gear because that was what EVERYONE was wearing! We met her old school friends and their friends, and there were some REALLY interesting people there. We met somebody who worked for Buzzfeed, a blogger who wrote a really famous article that I had read on the Huffington Post and a girl who used to work at My Damn Channel. It was so interesting! 

Rose and I started drinking the gin mixed with that white cherry mixer which was delicious, a little too delicious, I could barely taste the alcohol and it was going down nicely, warming my throat and making me feel so happy and bubbly. I spent a good hour chatting to the blogger about his blog and my blog, where we get our inspiration from, what works best, tips and tricks, I found it fascinating. We chatted to the My Damn Channel girl about MCNs and Content Partners and whether they work for a channel and youtube and having a really good chat about it all. 

Then we got called over to play Flipcup. We had noon idea how to play so we spent the first round at the end of the table watching everyone play. Everyone stood at opposite ends of the table holding up their drinks ‘matching up’ to their partner. Then we watched as the first person downed their drink, put their cup on the table, and tried to flip it so it did a somersault in the air and landed on the table as it had started. When it had landed correctly, the person next to them could start drinking their drink. It was like two drinking relay races, the first person had to complete their flip cup duty before the next one could continue. After the first round, Rose and I stood opposite each other and matched up, and ‘attempted’ to flip our cups. Rose was way better at it than me, I sucked, I totally let the team down. The drink in the cups was fireball, another item Lindsay had purchased to bring to the game, and apparently, spot had everyone else. We played about ten or so rounds of flipcup, and with the fireball and the gin going down so well, I could feel my cheeks starts to burn hot and my body start to loosen more and more. 

I declared that I needed the toilet and Lindsay linked arms with and said she needed to go to too. Donnie and Rose caught up with us and said the same, we all needed to go. The ‘porta potty’s’ were absolutely disgusting and I had noticed earlier that many men had taken to simply crossing the road, and standing and peeing in the bushes when they needed to go. Oh, the simplicities of being man; to be able to simply stand there and relieve yourself upon any tree or bush wherever you go. We all decided to venture into the woods and as I always love to put it ‘pop a squat.’

We ventured across, stumbling around and laughing together, occasionally grabbling onto each others arms in case we slipped. We squatted down, two at a time, and I think it was Rose who had announced “This is true friendship - peeing together in the woods!”

After a while more drinking and a few more trips to the woods, and also after sampling the s’more mixture in a tin and a burger of the BBQ, we decided to head into the game. Whilst walking across the massive car parking lot, and heading closer to the stadium we heard a load roaring of cheers; the game had already started and by the sounds of it, somebody had scored.

Or not scored but ‘touched down’ as I learned. I had no idea about the rules of this game I was about to watch. Still drunk and merry, I walked along holding Rose’s hand, ticket clasped in my other, gloved hand and following Lindsay and Donnie quite contently into the stadium. We walked up some stairs, past security and past a load of stalls selling Giants merch. Which Lindsay quickly pulled us away from, telling us it was too expensive here and we could get some elsewhere another day. After having such a fun time at the tailgate wearing Lindsay’s Giants jumpers we had decided we were now true Giants fans and we would wear our Giants gear proudly, every Sunday when a game was on.

We stopped and bought some more drinks, now we were far away from the table full of food and bottles, and we bought two ‘Strawbritas’ two extremely fruity bunchy sort of flavoured drinks that game in MASSIVE cups. Finally, we walked into the actual football arena itself, and I stopped and went ‘Woah’ out loud. I’d never been to a football game in my life, at least, not one I would have had to purchase tickets for. It was overwhelmingly huge and I was stood directly underneath a HUGRE television screen, showing close ups of what was going on down below. We walked down some steps and pushed past a few people and sat down, the whole time not taking my eyes off the game. Literally about two minutes into the game everyone on the Giants side ROARED and stood up simultaneously, clapping and whooping. The stranger to my right kept pummelling the empty seat in front of him screaming “YESSSS YESS YESS C’MON YESSS!” and I couldn’t stop laughing because he was SO animated. Us girls sat there and spent half the time concentrating on the game and the other half laughing, taking selfies and pictures and talking bollocks. I noticed I was slurring my words and wasn’t bothered.

Then Donnie leaned over and started talking about how hungry she was and Rose and I started nodding in agreement. We popped out of the arena into the stadium to grab some food. I dashed to the loo, figuring I’d make the most of a real, concrete toilet with loo roll whilst Rose and the girls ordered the food - a MASSIVE hotdog each, with ketchup and mustard. While I was gone the girls had formulated a plan. Donnie had bumped into friends at the game and wanted to spend some time with them, whilst Lindsay wanted to go outside again and continue the party - the other guys at the tailgate didn’t have tickets! They were watching the game on the screens outside. Rose and I decided to join Lindsay, happy that we had been inside and watched the game for real, but missing the party outside. We hugged Donnie goodbye and munched on our dogs whilst we walked outside, back into the freezing fresh air.

Whilst wandering back through the parking lot, trying to find our Giants van amongst the many Giants vans, we got deep into conversation. What I love about Lindsay is that half of our time we spend having the most immature, stupid conversations of our lives and the second half we spend having really deep, intense conversations about why things happen and isn’t life funny and stuff like that. We were talking friendships, relationships, family, everyone. It was really dark and the stars were really bright and I couldn’t help but think that everyone gets a little bit deep in the nighttime. 

Finally, we get back to the van. Some people had gone home, I’m sure it was past midnight, but the party was still going with those that were left. I looked across the road and could still see a few guys with their backs to us, obviously weeing in the bushes. This time we grabbed drinks and sat inside the van, as it was a little colder, and someone was in there passed out.  A few more people join us and we have a massive conversation which ended in some guy stumbling in and asking Rose if she was single. Which Lindsay and I found HILARIOUS and sat there watching her squirm. Then suddenly, Donnie popped her head around the door saying “Heeeeeeaaayyyyy” her friends had gone home and she was back with us. Lindsay called the driver who had driven us over, and we stepped outside the van to meet him. About two minutes later though, another driver had arrived and we hopped in, eager for the warmth of the car. 

We decided to get the car to take us back to Lindsay’s, as we had pealed off our clothes there, swapping them for Lindsay’s warm furs and Giants gear, and we’d also left some stuff there. During the car home, drunken, merry and warm, with the radio blasting, we were laughing like crazy, at some of the stupidest stuff. I was so sure the driver was really annoyed at me because I could NOT stop laughing and neither could Lindsay, she could barely tell him where to pull over when we got to hers.

After a quick round up of our stuff, we stepped outside once again, to hail our final cab home.  I noticed little tony snowflakes tumbling down to the ground. Our first day in New York - perfect!!


  1. Amazing blog Rosie. When I read it, I smile the enitre time. I love hearing you describe things that are so common to me. Especially when you talked about the "bean bag game". Its called Corn hole...I swear. Stupid name but fun to play. I can't wait until I get to experience NY for myself.


  3. I felt like I was there too when I read this, but really, I wish I could have actually been there to play flip cup with you guys (or maybe even pop a squat). I already knew this blog post would be good after seeing Instagram pics ahah, and I didn't want the story to end!

  4. Excellent writing--you make me feel as though I'd been there with you all!

  5. u have the gift of writing ur blogs are awesome love u both <3 ;)

  6. wow this sounds amazing im so happy you enjoyed it rosie .. i wish i could visit america xx

  7. Amazing. Hearing about your adventures to NY makes me miss it so much! I lived in New Jersey for two years, and I spent almost every weekend in NY with my friends! That place is amazing, and you guys are amazing!! Too bad I had to move before I had a chance to meet you. But one day! Much love from As.

    1. Az. Not stupid auto correct....

  8. I love your diary entries Rosie! I travelled in Europe for hockey my freshman year of college and did personal diary entries and your entries reminded me to find those and read them again. I love how it's like your almost writing to remember yourself when you want to look back on them but also sharing your adventure with all of us! Happy Friday!

  9. Wow talk about a true experience; a tailgate AND a football game. Sound like a super fun time, cold BUT fun.

    Next time have the chicken and wafflessssssss :)

  10. His story is the best love story! better than twilight... hahaha

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  13. Write a book! Your stories are the best, simple and fun.


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