This weekend I had the amazing opportunity to have a reunion with of my amazing cousins! A little back story, here, but my dad has 10 sisters and 1 brother!! Because my dad was the baby of the family, a lot of my cousins are much older than my brother & me. ! 1/3 are in America, 1/3 are in Malaysia (where they were all born), and 1/3 are in Australia so I didn’t really grow up with that many relatives around, sadly. When I went to London to study abroad, though, I realized that my cousin Christine had moved from Australia to London and was working there! It was seriously awesome reconnecting after so many years, and I got to meet her then fiancee and now husband! I am proud to say that I was the one who introduced them to Modern Family hahah. This past summer, Christine came to New York to pick up her wedding dress (yep, you read that right! she’s that cool!), and I got to meet ANOTHER cousin, Benita from Rochester, NY!
In December, Christine reached out to us again to let us know that her new and awesome company CHOBANI (#doesthismeanigetfreechobani) was sending her to NYC for a business trip! So we whipped up some plans where we could meet her. I have to say, this was one of the most fun weekends I had experienced in a long time. It was shopping and eating and shopping and eating - what more could you ask for? I also got a chance to work on my photography assignment and took a lot of small depth of field photos (a post on that later).
The first night we went to Ippudo (secret trick: the wait time is usually 1 hour, but if you wait there instead of leave and come back, they’ll come take your name again and bump you up the list!) We got some of the most amazing Akamura Modern ramen I’ve ever tasted (the broth was heavenly), and my favorite, the Hirata Buns with Pork Belly!
After some endless SOHO shopping on Saturday (helloo Aritzia!), we met up with Benita who had rushed to the Michael Kors store right after her flight landed hahah. We finally got to check out the epically awesome Chobani SOHO cafe and got some delicious Chobani samples thanks to our corporate friends (wink wink). My Strategic Brand Management Team is actually choosing Chobani as our project brand so I made sure to take down lots of notes and snap a gazillion pictures!
Below we have Pomegranate + Chia Seeds, Salmon + Olive Oil (surprisingly good! I was very hesitant about this one), Fig + Walnut (my favorite), and Pineapple + Toasted Coconut. Simply brilliant.
We got a little giddy with all the food available hahah..
The coolest part is that each Chobani dish comes in its own glass bowl which you get to keep! I’m eating my yogurt out of here every time from now on…
Since Christine and I hadn’t taken a peek at Michael Kors yet, we thought we’d take a gander. Little did Christine know that Benita and I would quickly convince her to buy the most gorgeous navy maxidress for her brother’s upcoming wedding! How gorgeous does she look?! I wanted her to get the shoes too, but they were a little bit more sensible…
We finally headed off to our lovely hotel where we randomly got complimentary rice krispy treats hahah and enjoyed some Laduree macarons (I insisted we make the trek!).
Later that night we had THE most phenomenal dinner at Balthazar where we somehow managed to finish off the largest raw seafood platter on the menu, and then still had room for dessert (again, at my insistence!). I discovered my second favorite dessert (#1 being macarons): pavlova! It’s a meringue that is crisp and fluffy on the outside and chewy on the inside…then doused with fruit. Sigh. It was heavenly. I wish the picture quality was better to show how decadent it truly was!
We also somehow managed to get complimentary champagne and put on Balthazar’s A-List! My cousins live like celebrities, I’m telling you…
Not to be beaten by the day before, Sunday we woke up at the crack of dawn *cough* 9am *cough* and went to Eataly to beat the rush! As much as I love the marketplace and the gelato, I have to admit that I was a little bit disappointed by the restaurant section, La Pasta. I think we were all a little underwhelmed by the flavors and expected a lot more considering how long the line usually is! Nevertheless, family and ambiance make up most of your enjoyment so we had a great time anyway.
All bundled up and still ready to eat freezing gelato! Commitment.
All in all, it was a glorious weekend. I am so happy and fortunate to have such amazing relatives who love me enough (despite only recently getting to know me) to put in the effort for a reunion. Christine and Benita are such beautiful, hilarious, fun, and generous people. I couldn’t be more lucky to be related to them!