USA – In pictures

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I’ve finally got around to uploading and reviewing our massive haul of photos from our trip to the US over the holidays. I have Mike to thank for braving the bitter cold (and sometimes, the snow) to take the vast majority of these snaps, while I kept my hands warm inside my gloves. Over two weeks, we visited San Francisco, New York City and Las Vegas (with a side trip to the Napa Valley). These are a small selection of images from our album.

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We stayed with Mike’s family in San Francisco.  Rajah and Wael were the most warm and gracious of hosts, not only welcoming us into their home, but also being our own personal tour guides of their wonderful city. My favourite experiences in San Fran were, in no particular order: our drive through the Napa Valley on a gorgeous, sunny Californian winter’s day; our first all-American In-N-Out burgers (our first Stateside meal, in fact); shopping at midnight (it was just before Christmas); the view of the Golden Gate bridge from the top of a hill with the city lights in the background; my first basketball game.

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To New York – one amazing, diverse, surprising, exhausting and unforgettable city. We walked what felt like the entire length and breadth of Manhattan, taking in the sights and stopping wherever looked interesting.

We found an amazing rice pudding shop (of all things) in Nolita, Rice to Riches, that we frequented three times in the space of 48 hours. I could live anywhere in the West Village (I loved Marc Jacobs’ own bookstore, Bookmarc, just opposite Magnolia on Bleecker in the Village). I experienced one of the best meals of my life at Marea on Central Park South.  And we had a pretty romantic Christmas day ride through Central Park.

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The New York Public Library had one of the more beautiful Christmas displays that I saw (and we saw some cracker Christmas trees). We witnessed both classically elegant and innovative architecture all over the city, including at The Guggenheim, Grand Central Station and St Patrick’s Cathedral (where we visited on Christmas day).

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We capped off the trip in Vegas, where we rang in the New Year with a huge tapas dinner and fireworks out on the Strip.  Vegas was a crazy, over-the-top city, and such a jarring departure from New York City.  The panoramic view of the canyons from our hotel suite was stunning, and sat in complete contrast to the bright, artificial light of the tourist district and the colourful, outrageous decor in the hotels.

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This little trip was such a great way for Mike and I to round out 2012 and welcome in this new and exciting year. I’ll forever hold close my memories of our Stateside experience, and we have already promised each other that this trip won’t be our last.

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