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Here in Toronto, we’ve had the privilege of an unseasonably warm fall season, but the cold of winter is finally starting to move in and I can’t help but think back to hotter days under the sun.

I love New York City in the summer. Before this year’s August long weekend in the Big Apple, my last two visits had been on the cusp of winter and spring. Snow and rain made for chilly walks through the city’s streets and I longed to see the trees in Central Park in full bloom.

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Erin and I were lucky this year, as our planned day in the park coincided with one of the hottest days of the month. We had come prepared with long, flowing maxi dresses – perfectly suited for the weather and the Upper East Side aesthetic. The last time we’d been there, our sole focus was on finding the perfect place for brunch worthy of a Waldorf or a van der Woodsen. This time, we wanted to enjoy as much of the fresh air as possible.

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Prior to our stroll in the park, we visited the exteriors of two of the UES’ most popular museums: The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. To this day, I still haven’t been inside the Guggenheim, but it’s simply another excuse for me to repeatedly go back to NYC.

Just a few steps south is The Met. You can get lost in there for hours and manage to only see a fraction of the collection. Yet another reason to come back again and again.

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For anyone who’s ever been a fan of Gossip Girl, sitting on the steps of The Met is a rite of passage. This year, we came prepared with yogurt and did our best impression of S and B while the hordes of tourists strolled up and down around us. During my first time here, I learned the hard way that there are virtually zero places in the area that will conveniently sell you yogurt. So come prepared. Grab a Chobani from Starbucks on your way and declare a throne for yourself on those iconic steps.

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If I lived in New York City, I’d make it my personal mission to explore every part of Central Park. There is so much to discover in the vast landscape, especially during the warmer months when beautiful blooms like this Crape Myrtle tree appear, seemingly out of nowhere.

We parked ourselves underneath this tree for hours, enjoying the shade and the sounds of children playing nearby. I played Pokemon Go, using a Lucky Egg as I caught and evolved a bunch of new ones to add to my Pokedex. Every once in a while, someone walking by would notice the tree and stop in awe to take photos. And who could resist?

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I’ve decided I want these trees at my future wedding. This is a notice to my future husband to find a way to make that happen.

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I love watching people play with the model sailboats here. As we strolled along the Conservatory Water, we overheard a grandfather patiently coaching his grandson how to operate the boat. Needless to say, it was adorable.

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As suspected, Bethesda Fountain was crowded with tourists, but it didn’t stop us from taking a moment to revel in the stunning view. It is, without a doubt, one of my most favourite views in the city.

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Now that I’ve experienced Central Park in the spring and summer, I’m dying to see the trees in the fall, the leaves a smattering of red, gold, and orange. And although I really hate winter, I suppose seeing the park after it’s just been blanketed by a fresh snowfall is pretty high on my travel bucket list, too.

Featured Outfit //
Karrie & Erin’s dresses are both from Forever21

#karrietravels //
Follow me on Instagram @karriekwong and track my travels & adventures with #karrietravels!

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Turtle Bay Resort | 57-091 Kamehameha Hwy, Kahuku, HI | ★★★★ | $$$$

Turtle Bay Resort is the major resort on Oahu’s North Shore. The resort sits on one of the world’s most scenic peninsulas and boasts beautiful guest rooms, suites, villas, and beach cottages, and a host of outdoor activities – all on its 850 acres of land. It’s also where one of my favourite comedies, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, was filmed. I had visited once with my family (no overnight stay) when I was much younger, so I knew I had to take the chance to come back and fully experience the luxury resort.

The Room

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Our room was spectacular. We were on the 5th floor, outfitted with a king bed, a very spacious room, and a balcony looking out onto the resort’s marvellous pools and a breathtaking view of the ocean. I’ve also always loved the design and colour scheme of Turtle Bay, especially with its signature turquoise blue. It just exudes a “you’re in Hawaii, it’s time to relax!” quality. (more…)

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My trip to Hawaii with Jen was absolutely stunning. Perhaps my favourite part of the week-long stay was the time we spent up on the North Shore of Oahu. It’s important not to underestimate the power of having a rental car when exploring the island. That’s how you get to see some of the great pocket beaches that we found all along the coast.

We stayed with Jen’s brother for most of our stay in Oahu, but treated ourselves to a night at Turtle Bay Resort. Despite the resort being beautiful, I think I might have enjoyed the time spent getting there and back more!

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Our first stop was Haleiwa. If you’re taking H2 up to Turtle Bay from Honolulu or Ewa Beach (where we were), this adorable small town will be on your route. Haleiwa is well-known for its shrimp trucks and shave ice stops, both of which are a must-try when in Hawaii. (more…)

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When I travelled to New York City as a kid with my family, I always dreaded it. For some reason, my parents were always fascinated with visiting the Statue of Liberty or joining a bus tour to hit up the best shopping venues in the city.

But as I’ve grown older, I’ve had the fortunate chance of visiting the city on my own terms and now I’m always clamouring to go back.

If you’ve never been before, visiting the main tourist attractions are an inevitability. You’ll want to lay eyes on the massive gift to the United States from the people of France, stand in the middle of Times Square to ogle at the bright lights, and walk through Wall Street to catch a glimpse of the giants of trade in the area. But these places are often packed with people and you’re rarely experiencing the best parts of the city.

So let’s go beyond that and discover some things you can do to truly fall in love with the city that never sleeps.

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Waldorf Astoria New York | 301 Park Avenue, New York City, NY | ★★★★ | $$$$

What do you think of when you think of “old money” in New York City? Of course, the Upper East Side rings bright and true as the definition for the term. But for me, one of the first things that comes to mind is the Waldorf Astoria.

This beautiful Art Deco hotel was built in 1931 and is a vision of glamour and luxury. It has always been known for its lavish parties and galas, as a popular destination for political and business conferences, and also as the home of many big names for several years (including Frank Sinatra).

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Stepping in, you can immediately admire the very expansive foyer with its high ceilings and wide stretch of marble flooring. There are a few comfortable sitting areas out here for visitors to lounge on and small staircases leading to some of the lobby-level meeting rooms. During the day, the foyer is packed with those staying at the hotel and curious passers-by hoping to get a look inside.

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