I left work at 2:30 PM on Friday and met Rachel and Mscott downtown, where we began our journey to the city of New York. It took about 6 hours all told, with 2 whole hours spend getting out of the DC area and past Baltimore. After a stop in Brooklyn and a subway ride I reached Columbus Ave between 66th and 67th, Melinda’s apartment.

Almost immediately Melinda, Christie and I went to Pinkberry. I got a medium original with blueberries, granola (Christie’s suggestion) and rice balls. Melinda wanted rice balls too, but they messed up an gave her yougurt chips. She was pissed, but I was in Pinkberry bliss (p.s. that pic is not of mine, it’s stolen from google images, but you need a visual).

After some resting we went out on the town to Ace Bar, meeting up with Danielle and Julie. It was so Wayland High School it wasn’t even funny, but the four of us had a great time. They had skee ball at the bar and Melinda played a round with Christie. To top it all off, we ran in to Eli Berlin on the way out, he looks the same as he did in 2001. That made it truly a Wayland night. We even took a High School sleepover pic, hotness.

In the morning I got up early (10am) and made my way to Maplewood, New Jersey — only a 40 minute NJ Transit train ride — to meet up with my Ecuadorian host family. My host sister Gabi, her sister Aurora and her brother Eduardo, all live in the states, so their parents are here visiting them for a month. Gabi hasn’t been home or seen her parents in 3 years!

We all ate brunch at a cute little diner in picturesque Maplewood, and had a photo shoot of course.

Me and my host parents.

Me and my hermanita Gabisita.

Me, Aurora and Eduardo.

And most importantly, Eduardo with his requisite bottle of Coca Cola (he’s obsessed). In Ecuador he went through a liter a day by himself. It was so wonderful to see all of them. I’ve seen Gabi a few times, but I hadn’t seen anyone else in the Diaz fam since I was in Quito back in 2003!!!

Once back in the city Melinda and I walked across the park to my most favorite address in NYC: 59th and Lex, my mecca, my second home, BLOOMINGDALES. They were having a huge sale and after combing the racks for about an hour and a half we found NOTHING. It was really sad, but my wallet was actually quite happy.

That evening Melinda and I made Ina’s Portobello Mushroom Lasagna for dinner and drank some Harpoon summer brew. At about 11PM we went down to Kristy’s apartment in midtown

We had some drinks then made our way to Underbar at the W Hotel. It was trendy and swank and loud, but we ended up talking to some very odd boys (a metro, a gay and a midget) and enjoying ourselves. Afterwards, we hit up Union Pub and called it a night around 2am, whoops.

The next morning Melinda and I grabbed some bagels and bolted to Sheep’s Meadow in Central Park. Kristy met up with us and we tanned the afternoon away.

Around 4pm we left the park and did some shopping in the area. We stopped at Levain’s, the bakery from Bobby Flay’s chocolate chip cookie throwdown. One of the owners who was in the show was there too! Total celeb sighting.

The cookie was huge and amazing and gooey and crunchy and downright dank. My mouth is still watering. I also bought some trendy Gladiator Sandals, woot

That evening Melinda, Kristy, Danielle and I met at Craftbar, Tom Colicchio’s new restaurant, based off the more expensive Craft. It was simple and delish American cuisine. I had home-made goat cheese ravioli with hen of the woods (mushrooms) and apple. The ravioli melted in my mouth and the mushrooms were a flavor explosion.

However, Tom needs to practice what he preaches. The bread they served were these crumbly breadsticks, and no bread plates were provided. If my memory serves, Tom told some Top Chef contestants during restaurant wars that having no breadplates in their faux restaurant was a big no no. Interesting Tom, I think you forgot about that when you created Craftbar…

Post dinner we did some drinks and Danielle’s and found most likely the most amazing spoof music video ever made: Aren’t Asians Great, enough said.

Once we were good and Tipsy we made our way to the Hotel Rivington in the East Village. My dress matched the walls.

Our next stops were some major hipster bars where we didn’t fit in at all in our dresses. Luckily Danielle had changed into her hipster uniform of black and gray hues and converse shoes, so she led the way. I slept over at her house and in the morning I got a Pinkberry smoothie for breakfast: Pinkberry, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries all rolled into a delicious glass of goodness. I was a happy, albeit hungover, camper.

I went back over to Melinda’s and we layed in the park for a little while, sadly our time was cut short because I had to leave. We quickly stopped at Magnolia’s on the way home and I bought 4 cupcakes for the roadtrip back to DC.

Rachel, Mscott and I made AMAZING time back to DC. We didnt’ hit any traffic, which was quite odd for a holiday weekend. I think it was because we left around 2:45 and all the other suckers probably stayed at their locales later to enjoy the beautiful weather (hmm maybe we were the suckers).

Once home I ordered some drunken noodle with beef from Thaiphoon, Marc being in China was makin’ me crave Asian. I stuffed my piehole, watched 27 Dresses, which was pretty cute, and went to bed.

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