Saturday, June 20, 2015

New York City Travel Notes

You've probably thought I've abandoned this blog, but I've just been on vacation and taking a little break from the computer which has been nice. We did a quick family trip to New York and it was perfect. A week away was inspiring, relaxing and refreshing! We had just enough days between school's release before my boys began some summer things so we took off for New York City for a week. My guys had never been to the East Coast except on layovers. I highly recommend going in early June as it was not filled with summer tourists yet and the weather was perfect! 

I'm finishing up my travelogue of Manhattan to share with you, but came back with a few new things on the radar.

 Love the new United Terminal 3 at SFO.  We had a delay and a change of routes and it was actually not so horrible.
My youngest watching the planes.

 This terminal has terrific seats, views and some neat little local shops like Elizabeth W apothecary  and small versions of local restaurants.

Elizabeth W here and below. Great spot for local souvenirs from this Ghirardelli Square based local perfumer. I love their Vetiver and Sweet Tea fragrances, body oils and lovely candles too.

There was also time to have an Aperol Spritz before takeoff,  at Mission Bar & Grill.

Terminal 3 has long work bars with almost 400 electronic outlets to charge devices, free wifi, free water dispensers to refill bottles, a dedicated yoga room, and a spa-like women's restroom/lounge as well. If only all airports could be so nice! Shout out to SFO and United for a job well done!

I read Amanda Brook's new book, Always Pack a Party Dress on this trip. I was lucky to find it in the airport at the little Compass Books kiosk. I love this little mini book store. They were out of this book at the terminal I was in, so another person ran 20 minutes to another terminal to get a copy! Great staff who know their an airport!

Anyhow, loved the book. It's part memoir, part fashion guide and just the right read for NYC. I enjoyed how Amanda's personal stories mingle in with her style evolution. She's honest and humble and real. Her choosing farm life with her family over having it all, provide a strong counterpoint to the 'Lean In' mentality and I love Amanda even more for it. I agree that having it all doesn't have to mean simultaneously. Some terrific photos, wardrobe inspiration and thoughts on shopping fill this book as well. She's funny too. Her story of meeting Mick Jagger while clubbing is what any of us girls with a boyfriend would do. A great escape and I highly recommend it as a summer read for any fashion lovers out there.

I also picked up these Tretorn Tournament Net Sneakers  (above) at J Crew the day before as I knew I'd be pounding the pavement a ton in New York. They are cute enough to wear with a skirt and have the net fabric which kept my feet cool the whole trip. They also have a cushion insoles that massage your feet and let them breathe, sweaty feet! Get these if you want a cool travel shoe or just an alternative to sandals for summer. We walked about 18,000 steps a day in New York (serious) and took the subway. I wore these on the flights and a few days in the city too. They also come in a cute navy.

We did squeezed a lot into 7 days and I will share all of it next post. I especially loved Brooklyn which I had never been to. We tried to do things the boys would like.

 However, I did get to do tea at Bergdorf Goodman one afternoon overlooking the park! 
My guys were great sports and went along.

  Love my husband for agreeing to some of these 'girl' things with me.

Because we have done this a few other trips, my kids love afternoon tea... It's the sweets really.
 The iconic egg chairs and Gracie wallpaper at the BG cafe.

The lovely Bergdorf windows...

 To see even better shots I just noticed Jill of Everything Just So photographed these beautifully.

By the way if you are traveling to NYC pack skirts. I wore a skirt or dress every day of the trip. Even on the cooler days pants are warm and shorts seem a little casual for the city.

I went with a denim theme for packing and  brought a denim pencil skirt and two denim shirts as well as a Theory dark denim blazer for the airplane and one cooler evening. Here we are having cappuccinos on Orchard Street on the Lower East Side or LES, a super hip neighborhood. I am wearing one of my shirts and a multi colored wrap skirt that was great as it went with everything. For night I paired it with a silk black tank and wrapped black sandals.

 LES has  great coffee shops and The Tenement Museum which I'll tell you about in my next post!

Between all we did I fit in a few hours of retail research. :D I am used to shopping solo when I travel as I have a household of men who would prefer not to spend even one hour of vacation in a store. While they did a speed boat tour, I spent a few hours on Fifth Avenue, which was an easy 15 minute walk from our Midtown hotel. Of course I hit Saks Fifth Avenue!

 I bought a pair of Rag & Bone straight leg jeans with a ragged hem and a white jean skirt from Frame that I will wear a ton. The big Zara was there and is always a great go to for summer trendy things like floral blouses and modern sleeveless shift shirts.

Some of the gorgeous Michael Kors bags at Saks. Mind you these are the $1,000 ones so no I didn't come home with one, but they are beautiful with their two tones. Lots of fabulous things to fawn over at Saks!!

The people watching was terrific  on Fifth Avenue and I found New York gals to be fully embracing summery dresses and skirts (the best way to stay cool) and ankle tied espadrilles, which made me really want some.

 I wandered into Banana Republic to find a bathroom, and found this flagship post had some very cute things ( although I have one in my town) and bought this pair of leather espadrilles (think they are 40% off now-!) with ankle ties which are very comfy with a padded footbed, and the perfect white linen shirt dress which I had on my list to add to my summer wardrobe. While shopping I fell for these Vince espadrilles which I am dreaming about, such a chic, modern looking espadrille.

On holidays I have a tendency to get excited when I'm at shops I normally can't get to and often buy what I don't need. Lately I've really been thinking long and hard and taking a curating mindset with my closet and buying only things that will enhance what I already own. Still, so many cool stores and little time to see it all, especially the uniquely NY ones. Another day I hope!

I hoofed it back with my shopping bags and grabbed a street pretzel! I loved soaking up the energy of Manhattan and even the sidewalk crowds.

Next post I'll tell you where we stayed ( I loved our hotel) and where we went.
Hope you are enjoying summer!


All photos property of NorCalStyle.


  1. Look like a great trip. I love NYC almost as much as I love SF. Looking forward to your next post.

    1. Me too Julie! Hope I can get back soon, I felt like I could have stayed another week!!

  2. OH NEW YORK......................IT HAS been years!!!Look forward to MORE!

    1. Contessa, so would have loved to have tea with you at Bergdorfs!! You would have fit right in with the glam crowd there !!

  3. Glad to see you back and happy to hear you had a fun family vacation! Anxious to see more.

    Looks like you had fun shopping! I recently found out about Frame denim through another blog... I purchased 2 pairs of their jeans in the last couple months. I love the higher waist and they run really long too which I need. A little pricey, but I was tired of looking! Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet.

    Have a great week!


    1. Linda, I love the Frame denim too! Good find and I agree jeans are always a good investment though...for the amount they get worn! Have a good weekend!

  4. You're looking fab, Kimi! I would love to visit NYC again. It's been forever.
    Dawn Lucy

  5. It looks like a fabulous trip and you look terrific!!
    Great to have you back. Lunch soon?

  6. Far out. I love NYC + can't wait to return. I've been toying with the idea of taking our 10-year-old grandson! He makes everything more fun!

    1. I bet he would be the perfect age to appreciate NYC!! My son really loved going to the parks, the speedboat tour, and Dylan's Candy Bar.. All I'm writing about next post!

  7. Looks like a great start to your holiday! I love city breaks like this with a range of activities (including a little shopping!) You will know from my blog that I'm a fan of afternoon tea and Bergdorf Goodman would suit me just fine with those iconic chairs and that view!

    1. Thanks Miss b, I was thinking about you when I was a Bergdorfs! I swear it as you always post the most amazing tea spots!! I think you would approve !

  8. What a wonderful family holiday. Your boys seem so engaged and ready to try new things! We were last there for our youngest daughter's 10th birthday, it was lovely because it was before she hit the teen years, before she had her phone which she is glued to! Love NYC and I can't wait to go back.
    So fun that you took some time by yourself to hit the shops, it sounds like you were really inspired. Love the sound of your travel wardrobe too Kim. XO

  9. Hello dear Kim,
    I am finally catching up on my blog reading and I could hardly wait to get back to this NYC visit with you. I love NYC-the energy, the art, the fashion, the whole vibe (the food of course). I can totally relate to your afternoon of solo shopping. It looks like you made some lovely purchases and enjoyed every moment of your time in the city. I so agree about skirts and dresses for summer-in the city or in a tropical location-pants are just too heavy. Wonderful post!
    xx, Heather
    PS-I highlighted your gardening post in my Lifestyle Linkup Highlights last weekend. Our linkup will now go live the first Monday of each month. We are having so much fun with it! :)