Now Open: Hylandia By Shangri-La

44 years since its founding, Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts arrives in the destination that inspire

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New and different in NYC

Brooklyn Bridge at sunset

Brooklyn Bridge at sunset

It’s a bit of a challenge for us to do new things when we are in NYC because we have lots of favorite haunts and habits from our prior life here. But this trip, we actually managed to have some never-been-done-before adventures. HALLELEUJAH! From new events to new stores to new walkabouts, we had a fantastic time getting out of our comfort zone and taking that road less travelled.  Well, there is no road in crowded NYC that is “less travelled” but you know what I mean.

Summer Streets on Park Ave

Summer Streets on Park Ave

Stumbling into a NYC outdoor experience, Summer Streets, we got to join the crowd biking/walking/skating down Park Avenue that was closed to all but pedestrian traffic from lower to upper Manhattan. Taxi’s were hating it but we loved it! Very well organized, there were free bikes and rollerblades along the way, water stations, singers to entertain us and all played out on a beautiful sunny day. Free fun for all!

Music along the way celebrating Summer Streets

Music along the way celebrating Summer Streets

Our destination on Saturday was my favorite store, Fishs Eddy, but along the way we found a new, first-in-the-US store that I just love. Flying Tiger from Copenhagen is filled with under $10 stuff that you probably don’t need but have to have. I got super cute hostess gifts with a mustache theme for my boss—something about that crazy black curly mustache just makes me smile so hopefully she will find it amusing too especially in the form of mustache scrubbies for the kitchen and potholders to match. Just what ever kitchen needs to make it a happier place!

After buying as much as I could carry and storing it all away in my new canvas “RECYCLE OR DIE” bag (how Seattle!), we were off on the subway to visit Thom’s niece who had a baby and moved from Manhattan to Brooklyn so they could buy a house. And what a beautiful house it was! After visiting with Thom’s sister and brother-in-law too who were in town for the baby’s 1st birthday, we Ubered it out of there to go to Dumbo to meet up with Thom’s best friend since Kindergarten, Ronnie, and his wife, Andrea.

Our group caught up on our busy lives and walked along the East River and right into a Hindu Lamp Ceremony, called Aarti, complete with make-your-own ceremonial containers that you lite up to signify life and the burning of negative tendencies to purify our hearts and serve others with humility. What a great message to guide our existence! Thoroughly embracing the custom, we watched the containers drift out into the waters and listened to the chanting taking place to honor the ceremony.  Cool.

Wood fired pizza joint-cash only and gin-infused lemonades!

Wood fired pizza joint-cash only and gin-infused lemonades!

Eschewing the long lines at the local popular Brooklyn eating joints, we pooled our cash for a pop-up pizza outlet, no wait, and happily munched on wood fired pizzas and gin-infused lemonade. HAPPINESS IN A GLASS!  I was struck by the message of life that the pizza guy was putting out there on the back of his shirt, “Eat Pizza, Make Love”.    HELLO!  Another great message for all to heed!

Enjoying the suite life!

Enjoying the suite life!

Going back to the lovely Grand Hyatt, we enjoyed watching the Mets win (again!), drank wine and relaxed in the Presidential Suite that the hotel was nice enough to upgrade us to. SPOILED ROTTEN, WE ARE!

We appreciate every moment of our blessed lives and don’t expect to be able to visit NYC again, though we can always hope.  My work here is done for the foreseeable future and budgets are tight at work.  With friends and family here plus our love of this urban wonderland, the connection to NYC is so strong.  If the stars align, we hope to live here again some day.

In the meantime, we will continue to expect nothing and appreciate everything! Life is so good.

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My Event Bucket List

In the last two weeks I have introduced a bucket list at work.  The lovely ladies and I have stared a weekly bucket list of things we want to accomplish in the next week.  The list is everything from go to the gym 5 times this week to emailing our moms.  It got me thinking about my events’ bucket list so here is my top 5 locations I want to run events in the next five years:

  1. The Rainbow Room – NYC – I have been to NYC 15 times and it is one of my favourite places.  Every time I go I can visualise all the amazing conferences or events I could do there. The Rainbow Room opened in 1934 and was THE celebrity place. It has been mentioned in everything from a JD Salinger novel to numerous shout outs in Friends and to me, it is the epitome of NYC and to do an event there would be fab! 
  2. Grand Hotel, Wein – ViennaVienna is just stunning and to hold a conference  or a meeting followed by a Viennese themed ball would be amazing.  This hotel is breathtaking. You need to have a look!
  3. Burj-al-Arab – DubaiI lived in Dubai for two years so am well versed with all the amazing venues.  Despite living there, I have run only one event, in the Mall of the Emirates,and would love to do something at some of the more opulent locations. The Burj-al-Arab has some amazing spaces for meetings & events.  Who wouldn’t want to hold a cocktail reception where Tiger Woods teed off. 
  4. MGM Grand – Las Vegas – Ahhh Vegas. I have only ever been to Vegas for holidays and running an event in the 6000 person capacity Marquee Ballroom would be just fantastic
  5. Galle Face Hotel – Sri LankaMy husband and I stayed here a few years ago and it is so regal and the hotel is just so grand. I would love to run a smaller event here with a gala dinner in the grounds.  Everything about this hotel is perfect.  Great distance from the airport, amazing service and just beautiful.  

What are your top 5?

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