Monday, 31 July 2017

Places where to eat from on the go in New York

When am in New York, am always on the go trying to see everything. Also the fact I travel to New York on my own, I don't feel comfortable to sit in restaurants where the waiter keeps coming over asking if your food is ok. I think I would feel awkward, feeling like am sticking out sitting at a table on my own. I feel comfortable to go to fast food places, street vendors and grocery stores, where I feel I blend in with the crowd.

Am going to share with you the places I go to for food and snacks on the go, in New York City. 

Cheese biscuit 

Chicken nuggets and chips (fries)

Whole Foods
Hot chicken


Street vendors 
Hot dog

Chinese food

Shake Shack
Hotdog, chips (fries) and milkshake 

Lays crisps (chips)
Swedish fish
Ben & Jerry's ice cream 

Cupcake sundae

Sunday, 30 July 2017

How to get a new passport in 1 day

Loosing my passport before my flight is something I'd rather forget, but it's all part of life experiences. Am one of those people who only wears bags on holiday and they sit in my cupboard, the rest of the year. Sometimes I leave my passport in my bag, other times I'll put it on the shelf.  Last year a few days before my flight I went to look for my passport and it wasn't in my bag or on the shelf. I got myself in a panic and searched my whole house. By night my dad came to help me search, then phoned the passport helpline only to be told if I don't have my passport I can't get on the flight.

I started thinking I can't be the only person this has happened to, so I started googling "lost passport before my flight" and everything I could think of. All it was showing up was other stressing out asking what to do, as they lost their passport. I remembered a few friends saying they went to the passport office and got a new passport quick, so I came up with a plan to go to the passport office the next day. My dad had the rest of the photos, which was used for my passport so he said take them and it will save getting a new photo. I didn't thinking much of it, thinking the photos would be ok if I was just getting a replacement passport. The passport was 3 years old, so I thought since it's a replacement they'd just give me a new passport for the remainder 7 letting me use the same photo. I ended up staying up the whole night praying my passywould show up, incase my plan didn't work and it was save going to away to the passport office. I went to the post office, in time for it opening and ran home to quickly fill out the form. Then I had to find someone to sign saying they know me.

The most stressful part was running for the train and having to explain yourself at the passport office. The reception woman said try not to worry and go on the phone round the corner to book an appointment. The next available appointment was Monday. I went back to the reception woman and she said she'd phone up to add more appointment for today, then told me to go back to the phone to get an appointment. I got an appointment for half an hour later, so I thanked the reception woman for helping me out.

I sat waiting and a woman came forward shouting my name, so I stood up and walked forward. She goes are you deaf ? I've been calling your name for the last 10 mins. I thought it was rude and wanted to say something, but I needed my passport. I sat down and she asked to see my form and photo. The woman said isn't this the same photo ? I said yes, am just replacing it because I've misplaced my passport. She replied, so you've lost your passport. The woman said you can not use this photo, it's 3 years old it needs to be in the past 3 months. I was told if I went and got a new photo they'd try get my passport for the following day. 

I walked down the street to find a photo booth machine, but at the same time I kept saying I have been up all night, no makeup on and my hair wasn't done. I phoned my dad and said they won't let me use that photo and am not even ready for a photo. My dad said just get the photo done, only the airport people will see the photo. I had to accept it was better than loosing out on my holiday.

I arrived back at the passport office and the woman shouted me over and asked to see my holiday documents to show I had a flight in a few days. I showed my holiday booking on my phone, then I was told I had to pay an extra £20 for the fast service. I paid the £20 and was told to come back the following day, to pick up the new passport.  

The following day David, a friend chummed me back to the passport office to collect my new passport which am so grateful for as I was really stressed out. I walked in the passport office and the woman was a lot nicer second time. She went and got my passport, telling me to get my ESTA sorted as soon as I could.

I guess the passport office don't like passports getting lost, so they have to act strict. I just felt I was paying for the passport and had to pay extra for the fast service, yet I had to prove I had a flight to get. 

I couldn't thank the reception woman who was at the passport office for helping me get my passport. So if you loose your passport, don't give up hope. Try the passport office, as your last option. Be photo ready, even though you'll be stressed out. My only disappointment is I wasn't photo ready and a passport is valid for 10 years. I've looked into getting my photo changed, but you need to go through the hassle of getting a new passport again.      

Thursday, 27 July 2017

10 reasons to travel solo

I have been traveling solo to New York for 4 years now. Here am going to tell you 10 reasons why I love traveling solo.  

1. You can get away with booking a last minute holiday, without all the arranging time of work, money etc with friends or family. 

2. Not everyone likes the same holidays. Why wait till you can find someone, who wants to go to the same place as you. ?

3. When you book with other people when it comes to picking plane seats, you have to say and where do you want to sit. ? When you are on your own, you are only picking your own seat, window ? Aisle ?

4. There's no rushing arguing what time to be at the airport for. Although I still get my dad to drop me of at the airport, he still says "if you aren't ready for this time am not taking you" haha.

5. There's no stressing about loosing anyone at the airport, because you are on your on. My mum is the worst for disappearing in the airport shops, you turn your back and can't find her.

6. When you arrive, you can go at your own speed, walking as fast as you want.

7. You do things as you please, so there's no hanging about "what are we doing today?". You just get up and go.

8. You can stop and take as many photos as you want and no one is telling you to hurry up or your taking too many photo.

9. You can stay out as late as you want, without feeling you have to go back to the hotel. When you travel with others you feel when they say they are heading back to the hotel, you kind of feel you have to aswell. 

10. Having a solo hotel party ! Who else loves going to the local Walgreens or local shop, on the first night and picking up crisps or chips, as Americans call them and sweets or candy, as Americans  call it. I love sitting in the hotel late at night trying American things and checking my social media, to keep me sane and not lonely in my solo travel.

Have you traveled solo ? What do you love about traveling solo ?

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

The Sheraton Hotel Times Square | Review

Staying in New York solo, there's certain things you want, a hotel central and an intercontinental hotel. I always dreamed of staying in a hotel right on Times Square, to do late night shopping and walking straight into the hotel. 

    I always automatically booked to stay at The Roosevelt hotel, but when it came to booking last September I noticed the Roosevelt hotel now charge a resort fee. A lot of hotels in New York charge a resort fee, a fee you pay when you arrive. I prefer a one total price for a holiday, so it made me open up to look at other hotels. The Sheraton hotel is right on Times Square and worked out cheaper than other hotels which charged a resort fee. With the hotel I always stayed at started charging the resort fee and my dream was to stay right on Times Square, it was a no brainer to stay in no other than the Sheraton hotel on Times Square. I stayed at the Sheraton hotel September 2016 and January 2017.

My first visit to the Sheraton hotel on Times Square was in September 2016. I checked in to the hotel and was given room number 4011, on the 40th floor. The lifts were modern with type pads, where you clicked the number of floor you wanted before entering the lift. I dropped my suitcase of in the room, then went to look out the window and couldn't believe the amazing view looking down the the street right onto Times Square. The room had a double bed, tv, large desk, sofa chair and a bathroom with bath/shower. It's one of the most spacious hotel rooms I've been in, in New York City. It's also good for working people with the huge desk.

It was September the 11th, so I headed down to see the blue light shining into the sky in memory of 9/11. Then headed back to the hotel room, but my room card work didn't work so I had to trek down to the reception. First the reception person said am not checked in yet. I said well where's my suitcase. ? I showed my room card saying I must be checked in I have this card and went to the room. I had to stand for around 10 mins, before the person spoke with a few people and sorted my room card. The good thing, I got to keep the room and after the panic where my suitcase was, it was still in the room where I left it.     

 The suitcase storing was on the 6th floor and there's a sign saying it's $4 per bag to store. I had to pay $8, as I had 2 suitcases (a large and carry on suitcase). I think the suitcase storing charge is ridiculous considering you pay dear enough to stay at the hotel and you have no other choice, unless you want to pull your suitcase around New York City for the day haha.

The second time I visited the Sheraton hotel on Times Square was in January. I checked in and asked the reception woman, if I could get a good view like last time. The reception woman said I wouldn't get as good view, but I'd still see Times Square on the 14th floor (room 1407). So I went to the hotel room window excepting not as good view, but I think the view was just as good if not better.

(The view from the hotel room second time)

When I checked out of the hotel, the bag storage was moved to the ground floor. Again it was $4 per bag, but I squeezed my small suitcase into the large suitcase to save paying another $4.

I totally recommend this hotel, although I think it was just luck getting an amazing view. 

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

The Roosevelt Hotel New York | Review

I have stayed at the Roosevelt hotel in New York 3 times, so I thought I'd share my thoughts. When it comes to picking hotels, am known for picking top hotels. I like staying at hotels known around the world. I have stayed at the Roosevelt hotel in Hollywood, so when it came to picking a hotel in New York I knew I only wanted to stay at the Roosevelt hotel.

New York was my first solo holiday so I was really nervous, but the reception person made me feel welcome. The hotel room was very small, but cosy. My room window looked onto trash bins, but hey you've got to look onto something.

The hotel is about 10 mins walk along 45th street, but there's always people walking along. Sometimes I got too caught up in the late night shopping in Times Square and forgot the time. I walked along 45th street at 11pm back to the hotel and felt completely safe, as there was always others walking along the street. I went from sleeping with my bedroom light on and door open, to staying in a hotel room the other side of the Atlantic Ocean on my own.   

My only disappointment in the hotel on the first visit the maid came banging on the room at 8am, telling me to leave the room. The hotel website states check out time 12pm. I was squeezing everything in my suitcase getting ready to go out and enjoy New York, before I caught my flight home. The maid was banging on the door telling me to leave. I opened the door and she said you leave today. I replied "oh you want me to leave now" she said yes. So I grabbed my suitcase and went.   

My second visit to the Roosevelt hotel was with my mum. My mum loved the hotel and even said it was fancier, than the hotel she stayed at work my dad. When we were leaving the hotel we had to leave our suitcases with the lobby staff. The lobby worker stood rubbing his hands saying "tip tip" before we even asked him to take our suitcase. It was quite rude, but we still laugh about it to this day.  

My third visit to the Roosevelt hotel was in January last year. I arrived and the reception woman said my room wasn't ready, but she could upgrade me to a room with 2 double beds at no extra cost.

I really enjoyed the Roosevelt hotel, however they have started charging the resort fee ($25 per night) , which a lot of hotels in New York charge.

I can't seem to find where I've saved the room photos, but this is a photo of me (in the hotel room).

The Roosevelt hotel also has a Rooftop bar, called Mad46. I always wanted to visit the Rooftop bar, but the times I stayed at the Roosevelt hotel it was always closed for the season. I did however manage to visit Mad46 September last year. The view was amazing.

Where : 45 East 45th street, New York  

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Blog Statistics | July 2017

I started this website, just over 6 months ago and really enjoy looking back at the blog stats. There's something I find interesting reading all the information, reading where in the world people visited the website from.

Page views : 23,463
Page views last month : 4,805

The most viewed countries are from United States, United Kingdom and Germany. Other views are from France, Ireland, Australia, Austria, Philippines, Russia, Poland, Belgium and Netherlands. 

Traffic source, Bloglovin, Google and Facebook  

Most viewed posts

Rank in all : 34,622
Rank in lifestyle : 3674

My personal blog (Danielle Mac) was my first blog and I've learnt so much from it. I like to think of my personal blog was where I began and this is my more serious business website. Would you like to see more statistics posts. ? Let me know your thoughts. I think these posts will be nice to look back on and see how far the website has grown.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Planning a trip to New York

I have traveled solo to New York so many times now, rather than trying to convince a friend to come and join me. I've had friends say they wish they could go to New York, but say it's too expensive. The best thing about traveling solo, you're on you're on so there's no planning things with other people. I love the fun of a last minute holiday to New York. I have booked 48 hours before I traveled and it's turned out the best holidays I've been on.    

My Cousin turns 21 in October and is planning to spend her 21st birthday, in New York City. I feel honoured she's asked me to join her and a few other Cousins, in New York. Not only is she spending her 21st birthday in New York, it's also my favourite place. 

I've never been on a group holiday, only family holidays and I have traveled solo to New York. Am clueless what is the best way to arrange a group holiday. Should we fly direct or look into the cheapest way of flying, if stopover flights are cheaper.  When I fly on my own to New York, I always fly direct. It's easier, less panic rushing from one plane to another. If am with other people, I'd be open minded about stopover flights. The thing with stopover flights, you have to consider how much are you saving, what time is your flight arriving compared to the direct flight. Is it really worth arriving late to pay for a hotel for the night. ? I love the direct flight from Edinburgh, it arrives at 12, New York lunch time.    When I've booked to go on my own to New York, the websites I use the price always changes. When we find a flight, hotel and price we all agree to, we could bank transfer to one person to book. However there's been times I've clicked back and the price has jumped up. We would have to be at the pay page and everyone ready to bank transfer, if we agree to that price. Or do we go to a travel agent and we each pay our share. ?   

How long is enough time in New York. ? Ok reality there's never enough time, as when I come home there's always something I wish I done. I always think of New York like . I've always went for 3 nights, except September last year I went for 6 nights. I honestly felt I had the best time staying 3 nights. I loved the feeling of rushing to as many touristy places, late night shopping. Last September when I visited New York for 6 nights it was like having too much time, I was strolling in Central Park enjoying the sun.

I've been five times to New York, however it will be my Cousin's first trip to New York. I imagine they'll want to do all the first time touristy things, e.g. Empire State Building, Top of the Rock, Flatiron Building and the World Trade Center. I have seen the tourist side of New York, so do I act as the tour guide. ? I like finding things online, I haven't done in New York and making a list. Should I go of and do my own thing, while my Cousin's do the first time touristy things. ?

Where is the best Rooftop bars in New York. ? My Cousin says she wants to go to Rooftop bars to celebrate her birthday. I've been to Mad46 Rooftop bar and the view was out of this world. I'd really like to visit 230 Fifth Rooftop bar, the photos online make me want to me in New York right now seeing the New York skyline. Is there any other places in New York good to celebrate a birthday. ?

I can't wait to be back in New York, New York is like a dream. If you have any ideas or anything I've missed tweet me, or send me an email.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Share a Coke | New York

Who loved when Coke done the "share a Coke with names". I was lucky enough to find my name "Danielle" on a bottle. The new campaign is city's around the world. If you are someone like my mum this can be bad. My parents have travelled to many city's and they happened to have been to a lot of the places on the bottles. My mum went to the shops and started putting all the bottles of City's  she'd been to in the trolley and my dad goes "calm down, we don't need all these." It is quite expensive if you have been to a lot of the places, as the city names are only on the single bottles. The only city I wanted to find was New York and would you believe it took me a whole week searching the Coke shelves, before I finally found "New York".

Have you found the City you've been to on a Coke bottle yet ?

Friday, 14 July 2017

McDonald's Great Tastes of America | New York

Brands need to stop using name sake names, known if it's called "New York" I'll buy it. Every year McDonald's do "great tastes of America" and New York is part of the limited edition burger. 

The New York stacker has, beef patty, bacon, cheese, lettuce, red onions and a mayo mustard.