About Cheryl Lock
Latest Posts by Cheryl Lock
One of the things I love most about NYC is all of the events. On any given night, in any given part of the city, you will find events for all sorts of fabulous things. Book launches. Magazine fashion shows. Movie premieres. I used to go to a lot more of them when I worked in magazines, but now that I don’t go to as many, that makes them all that much more special when I do.
Tonight it was all about cookie decorating. Emily Schuman of Cupcakes & Cashmere fame brought her fabulousness to Club Monaco on 5th Avenue for some appetizers, drinks, cookie decorating and discounts. (Club Monaco stuff is nice, but I mean …. that sch&*% can be expensive! Even with the 20% discount that attendees received I didn’t end up buying anything ….).
So I grabbed a friend and we headed on over for the fun.
Club Monaco is gorgeous! How have I never been inside here before??
One of my absolute favorite sights
Gettin’ our cookie decorating on!
Emily in all her glory. It was like a celebrity sighting.
(And yes, I’m aware how stalkerish this photo is.)
The clothing displays were so sophisticated. I thought there was something really beautiful about them.
This looked pretty, but it seriously tasted the worst.
After the event we didn’t quite feel like going home yet, so we headed over to the Union Square Holiday Markets to check them out.
I just love the Empire State hiding out in the background.
Bis bald, friends! Hope you’re all having a fabulous Tuesday night as well.
According to the Philadelphia Zoo’s site, more than 1,300 animals live there, including many rare and endangered species. The Philly Zoo was also America’s first zoo, established on March 21, 1859. It took another 15 years, though — thanks so the Civil War — for the zoo to actually open.
Philadelphia Zoo will soon transform into a winter wonderland as Santa travels to exotic places around the globe for a holiday celebration! Embark on a scavenger hunt around the Zoo, encountering unique scenes of Mr. Claus exploring the world. The adventure will take you to the rainforest, the Outback, the Arctic, on safari, and home on the farm. Stop by the Treehouse to get your picture taken with Santa Claus himself, and be sure to visit the Hot Chocolate Bar and Little Elves’ Gift Shop. Enjoy crafts and activities, and take home a special gift!
Here’s a bit of what we saw:
The zoo had this cool tunnel system running around above the grounds that the monkeys could wander through.
This little gator guy was in this position the whole time we were in the area.
Little Sebastian, anyone
I was about to delete this photo of the Clown Fish because I had better ones, until I saw the Fish Photo Bomb.
The fish tank was a serious highlight. So beautiful!
This little guy is a Red Panda, and she’ll be making an appearance in my children’s book very soon!
This was the Momma monkey, who did have a baby strapped to her chest, although it’s hard to see in this photo.
This is father and son. They were wrestling the whole time, which was pretty adorable.
The Philadelphia Zoo is open every day of the year except Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day. Off-season hours are 9:30 am to 4:30 pm and in-season through 5:30 pm.
^^ Pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere!
If you guys are anything like me, you’re akin to a kid in a candy store the second the calendar hits October 1. Who doesn’t love the crisp fall air, the changing leaves, an extra hour of sleep, carving pumpkins, pumpkin spice latte, pumpkin pie, pumpkin … anything!?
Which is why I’m ecstatic that my sister dragged the family to The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze at the Van Cortlandt Manor upstate. I cannot tell a lie — at first I was dubious. I didn’t actually believe that walking around and looking at some carved, lit pumpkins could be cool.
I can now admit that I was way wrong.
This exhibit features over 5,000 individually hand-carved pumpkins made into pretty much everything you can imagine.
Combine that with pumpkin and cider donuts and hot apple cider — which they also had — and you’ve pretty much got my perfect fall evening.
It’s hard to take photos of carved, lit pumpkins. In the dark. On your iPhone. But I gave it a whirl. Here’s some of what we saw last weekend ….
^^The great wall of pumpkins
^^Pumpkin flower fields
^^ I think these ridiculously adorable pumpkin monsters were my fave
^^ This creepy pumpkin-in-the-box would snap out every couple of minutes. Suuupppperrrrr creepy!
^^ A thoroughly impressive dragon made of pumpkins.
^^ Ditto with the dinosaurs!
The exhibit runs for another two weeks — but good luck getting tickets, because they’re pretty much sold out. Next year, however, if you happen to be in the area during the time it’s running, I would highly recommend checking it out!
On the way back into the city early the following morning (to help my friend shop for a wedding dress … she found one!), I snapped this picture from the train:
Hudson River views
A new study found out a whole ton of information pertaining to Millennials and their travel habits.
Some bullet points:
- 37% of Millennials said they would spend more of their company’s money on room service, compared with 21% of those between the ages of 46 and 65.
- 42% of Millennials said they would spring for a fancy meal on their company’s dime while traveling, compared to 26% of their older peers.
- More Millennials than older respondents said they were likely to spend company money on a flight upgrade to business or first class and on alcohol.
- More Millennials travel for business and pleasure than travelers from 31 to 45.
- 26% of younger travelers said they had posted a negative travel review in the last year, compared with 14% of their older peers, while eight in 10 Millennials find travel reviews to be “very important” or “somewhat important” when they book their travel.
Intrigue. While I’m definitely not disputing the claim that Millennials tend to travel more frequently than older generations, I do have to wonder how honest the older respondents were in answering the questions pertaining to spending on their company’s dimes. In my own personal experience, if anything there’s way less company money to be spent on travel now than there ever was before. I happen to have one friend in particular who travels multiple times internationally every year for her job — and never once has she been offered (or taken it upon herself to get) an upgrade to business or first class.
One thing I absolutely agree with, though, is the part about reviews being very important when it comes to booking my own travel. I honestly can’t remember the last time we booked a hotel or tour without first checking out the reviews.
What do you think — do Millennials take advantage of company money when it comes to travel?
Photo credit: Dan Schawbel/Forbes.
Below, join us on a journey from Sydney to the north where we took in the Great Barrier Reef.
Flying over the Reef.
It only takes about two hours to fly from Sydney to the island where we were staying , Hamilton Island, which is part of the 74 Whitsunday Islands all located on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef.
The view from our balcony. Not too shabby. Everyone on the island rents little electric golf carts to drive around — no one except the owner of the island is allowed to drive regular cars on the land. We only rented the car on Tuesday, as we were doing excursions the other days we were there.
It probably goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway — the beaches here are gorgeous. And during low tide, you can walk out for what seems like miles into the ocean, with all of these little pools of warm water around you, and tons of sea life surrounding you.
It was jellyfish season. You pretty much have to be aware of that, then ignore it, or else you’ll be obsessing over it the whole time you’re in the water.
Having a drink poolside at one of the other hotel pools. Pool-hopping was one of my favorite things about the low-key feel of this island.
^^ What? I’m not paying attention to you.
As our waiter pointed out (and as we later witnessed) the cockatoos on this island are not shy, and they will steal your food if you look away for a second.
The fruit bats come out at night. We rented our little golf cart early in the morning, and then spent the morning eating breakfast with the koalas at the zoo.
Don’t worry — he was behind glass
Who knew this docile (and weird) looking bird would be Australia’s deadliest bird.
Having wine and cheese and crackers on our awesome porch with a view to die for.
Beautiful stunning Queensland.
^^ Goodnight, Great Barrier Reef.
Life in the Great Barrier Reef isn’t just above ground.
^^ Fish at the Reef, as seen from the glass-bottom boat ride.
^^ Some coral from the same ride.
^^ A view of the part of the Reef where we snorkeled and dove. Look at all that gorgeous green/blue coral under the water, just waiting to be checked out!
^^ A storm was brewin’ on our way back from the Reef. It made for some pretty awesome pictures.
We recently caught the express train down to Bowling Green and hopped on the (free) ferry over to Governors Island. New York’s Governors Island is, in my opinion, a hidden treasure. I have only been over there twice now, but it’s so much fun, relatively easy to get to, and has such a laid-back, welcoming vibe, I always wonder why we don’t go more. My purpose for heading there today was to check out the Fete Paradiso, a traveling festival of vintage carnival rides and carousels from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It is over on September 29, 2013.
While there we ended up renting bikes and riding all over the island (if there is a possibility to rent bikes somewhere, my husband will find it), stopping for some seafood and beer at Little Eva’s Beer Garden, and then grabbing a Mr. Softee (my first this summer!), before taking the ferry back into the city. Here’s a bit of what we saw:
^^ Helicopter tours were taking off while we waited for the boat to take us to Governors Island.
^^The island is very environmentally friendly. They have this little composting center where they teach all about it.
^^There was something beautiful, and at the same time creepy, about the old carousels of Fête Paradiso.
^^ View of the Freedom Tower from Governors Island.
^^ Lady Liberty, making an appearance in the background.
^^ A boy walking a goat. You certainly don’t see that every day.
^^ The cute little beer garden where we ate lunch.
^^ I recommend the Mahi Mahi fish tacos…although they were a bit expensive.
^^ Me, eating my ice cream, in front of the structure that was made entirely of recycled water and milk bottles, filled with blue liquid.
^^ Carousel ahead!
^^Buh-bye Governors Island … see ya next year!
When next in New York City, be sure to take in some sailing if you’re there in summer or fall. Below are some fabulous shots sailing along the Hudson off of Pier 25.
Taking off before the sun “set.”
^^Views from the pier. There’s mini-golf and sand volleyball — it’s pretty amazing!
^^Peak-a-boo Statue of Liberty.
^^We were all fascinated with that gorgeous boat in the background. It looked so fancy and old-school!
^^Towing the line. Or rowing the hoe. I may not have picked up on any nautical terms during this little adventure.
^^ Coming back into the harbor, we noticed the Empire State Building was purple and pink. So fun!
^^ After our sail we sat at the picnic tables near the water and ate the chocolate cake Carla had baked for Ryan. A perfect way to end the evening!
There’s a relatively new winery in upstate New York: the Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery. By now we have been to quite a few wineries in the upstate area, and I’d have to say this one was by far our favorite so far. It was pretty packed, but it’s not hard to see why. They had live music, there’s a cafe with really good food and the grounds are gorgeous. They even have an apple orchard where you can pick apples in the fall. When we went on Saturday they were setting up for a 6 p.m. wedding, and I can only imagine how gorgeous that would have been. The tastings are $5, and you get 6 of their wines and you keep the glass.
^^ Apple picking starts at the end of August!
^^We fed our contraband apples to the horses.
^^Squirreling apples away in my pocket.
^^ Oh my goodness I love a good pickle!
And that was our weekend! I would highly, highly recommend a trip to Warwick Valley Winery if you’re in the area — you seriously won’t be disappointed!