The Best U.S. Cities For Shopping

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From designer handbags and shoes to jaw-dropping diamond encrusted rings and things, it’s no secret that me, Princess Rosebud, LOVES to shop. I mean, shopping’s like a lifelong mission for me; that elusive perfect wedge is a prime example, right?

If you’re interested in shopping as a hobby, then you’re probably aware that it can be paired effectively with summer travel.

Sure, it’s always nice to stroll through local shopping centers with friends window shopping at the same old stores – but a bit of travel can put some adventure into your shopping habit, and give you an excuse to buy a few fun items.

After all, nobody travels to Paris for shopping without making a few unnecessary purchases! So with that in mind, here are a few of the best shopping destinations in the United States, for your summer travel consideration.

Aerial view of Fifth Avenue, New York

Aerial view of Fifth Avenue, New York

If there’s a U.S. equivalent to Paris – an undisputed fashion and shopping capital with world class venues – it’s undoubtedly New York City. Sure, the city is massive and crowded, etc., but truth be told it’s fairly easy to navigate, and the shopping is unparalleled in the United States. 5th Avenue is the most famous shopping district, and offers an eclectic mix of everyday style options (like flagship stores for Hollister and Abercrombie & Fitch) and the best names in style and jewelry. Be sure to check out SoHo and the East Village as well for some more unique shopping options and local art.

You might just think of Las Vegas as a hub for gamblers, or a massive cluster of bright lights and fountain streams. And, for the most part, you’d have the right idea. But there’s a high-end, classy side to Vegas as well, and one aspect of it is truly world class shopping.

Aria - Shops@Crystals

Aria – Shops@Crystals

Each resort has some spectacular options (the Bellagio, in particular, is worth a stop), but the ARIA resort is where you’ll find the Shops At Crystals, an incredible modern pavilion of shops, art displays and restaurants that could make a Parisian drool.

It’s not just close proximity to the famous Mall Of America that makes Chicago an incredible shopping destination. Rather, it’s the Magnificent Mile, the midwest’s answer to 5th Avenue in New York. From Saks to Macy’s and Lord & Taylor, to independent boutiques, this Michigan Avenue shopping strip has something for everybody, making it a perfect stop for traveling shoppers.

If this urban shopping district isn’t your thing, check out Wicker Park for some more unique boutiques, local shops and antique stores. And in addition to all this, Chicago has incredible dining options at every turn, to break up your day of shopping.

This is one shopping mecca that I’m definitely visiting again and again — with my Tugboat Man or a fun girly holiday!

P.S. This was a sponsored post.

“Them Beeyotches Be Cray”

“Them beeyotches be cray.”

That’s what Jeana Keough‘s daughter, Kara, said about Bravo’s Real Housewives of Orange County during the grueling two-hour test of RHOOC endurance celebrating their 100th episode.

Some of the original beeyotches

Some of the original beeyotches and their breasts.

I’ve been watching RHOOC since the beginning. I really hate myself sometimes for how much I love this real/fake/scripted show. Almost as much as I loved The Hills and Gossip Girl. (Yup, my real age is about thirteen. I admit it.) My tugboat man REEAALLLY hates it; in fact, it’s a deal breaker with us when he’s home. He REFUSES to be in the same room when it’s on — so I watch it when he’s out to sea or when he’s surfing.

I’ve seen all the different franchises; New York, Miami, Beverly Hills, New Jersey — I was totes obeshed with the original New York —  crazy Kelly and Bethany with her “satchels of gold”, but then I lost interest ‘cos it seemed like they were trying too hard for the camera and lost focus. Gia Guidice

At any rate, they lost me as a viewer. New Jersey kind of disgusts me; mostly I feel bad for all the children. My overall impression of NJ is that they all seem to be involved in some sort of criminal activity.

I don’t feel a connection to any of the cities except for OC, maybe ‘cos it’s just up the road from Casa de Enchanted Seashells.

I feel like SUCH the dirty voyeur peeking through the drapes when I watch the  drama and bad behavior. Even tho I know most of it’s not real, I’m drawn into it anyway.  When I see a row of Chanels in every color of the rainbow, I am so jel, I drool. Really. The pink Chanel. Drool.

heather-dubrow-picYa know how sometimes you meet someone and totes have the hate on for them immediately? That’s how I feel about Heather Dubrow, one of the newer cast members. OMG, I just Googled her name and it’s like Google can read minds with their predictive text. How did they know that I was thinking Heather Dubrow crazy eyes? Her eyes ARE weird; they look fully dilated ALL the time, very strange, very off-putting. Don’t get me wrong, I can throw down with the best of any mouthy Jewish girl, but she seems so mean spirited and supercilious — and she ain’t all that. I think she’d contrive to be a bit more humble – her weirdly Joker-like pointy scary face isn’t the best advertisement for her plastic surgeon hubs, if ya know what I mean. SUH-NAP…

I found these comments about her on Google, so it’s obvs I’m not alone in my opinion:

“Heather Dubrow has black zombie eyes with a face stretched like the Joker. Horrible underbite too. All that money, nosejobs, botox, etc etc and they can’t undo some genetics like her junkyard dog neanderthal underbite…”

“I think she is a plasticized, botoxed, wide-eyed frozen face horror movie doll.  This crazy needs to keep her big mouth shut.”

“She comes across as very overbearing and manic. She doesn’t look like she ever relaxes or is mellow. Almost as if she were on amphetamines. I don’t like her personality. It’s like she’s always studying others and her mind is never at ease. You get the feeling she’s never kind and gentle and has a Type A personality.”Jesus jugs

You know who I have sympathy for? Jesus Jugs, aka Alexis Bellino. I agree with her that the other beeyotches pick on her — I don’t know why she continues to allow the bullying, but everyone has their price, I guess.

I know what my price is; as much as I would love to be on a show called The Real Housewives of SoCal Tugboat Captains, I have a feeling it would be non-negotiable with Mister-Don’t-You-Ever-Tell-Anybody-My-Name-or-Post-a-Pic and that’s just for this blog. I can only imagine his response to being attached to a microphone and filmed.

Not. Gonna. Happen.

Lots of divorces are the intentional or unintentional fallout for exposing your life and secrets on a reality show. I’m not sure I’d want to sacrifice mine — but you never know…the lure of those Chanels is a powerful game changer. I could film it while my tugboat man is out to sea and he’d never know, right?

Do you watch any of the Real Housewife shows? Which one(s) resonate with you?(Just another way of asking which one is YOUR dirty little pleasure?)

Halloween didn’t happen; earthquakes, tsunamis, and hurricanes did

Thank you to my commenters for weighing in on what the captain and I should dress up as for our party last night. We never went! In the late afternoon, he started to get a sore throat and was not feeling too good. Since I was recovering from tonsillitis, we thought it best not to spread our germs to friends and others in case he was coming down with the same thing. He seems to be feeling better today; a a quiet evening at home and a good night’s sleep was most likely what he needed more than partying and staying out late. He’s very healthy whereas I seem to get lots of upper respiratory things, prob due to chronic asthma. I really wanted to go as the Captain and MaryAnn! Oh well, there’s always next year, but he might not be here…

I’m making a healthy Veggie Lentil Soup for dinner tonight. It’s pretty easy. Just sauté some onions, celery, carrots in a little veg or olive oil. When they become fragrant, add about 4-6 cups water and 1 1/2 cups dried red lentils. I always rinse lentils first to clean off any dirt, etc. Let it simmer for about an hour, add some broccoli florets and continue cooking until they attain the degree of doneness that you like. I usually use my immersion blender for about half of the soup, I like the rustic piecey part too. I’ll serve with a (not homemade this time) sourdough bread.

Hurricane Sandy
My son’s been in San Francisco for a few days and was supposed to get back to the east coast Monday night. That was not gonna happen, so he changed his flight to tonight, but I don’t think that’s gonna happen either, as he was flying in to New York and I’ve heard that 5000 flights have been cancelled. I’ve texted and emailed him; haven’t heard back, so I’m on mom high alert until I know everything’s OK.

With this superstorm and the earthquakes and tsunamis on the west coast, I’m beginning to freak out! What’s going on? Is this the beginning of the end? Should we load up on hair supplies and Jolen facial bleach? I’m glad I got my roots done on Friday; I’ll be OK for a few weeks. We’re running a little low on toilet paper, that would not be good to run out of that!  I hope everyone is safe back there and up there.