JUST SNAPPED @littleswallowchinadoll

Day 1 with the girls + Balthazar, Soho, NYC

Saturday and the sun was shining and the snow was melting. The little one and I rolled out of bed and headed out for brunch. Via Aritizia. Big mistake.

About a million soft, silky, beautiful garments later, I'd blown a wad of cash thanks to the lucrative sale prices and A's encouragement. 

The big one is mine. The little one is A's. Appropriately.

After working up an appetite, and completely missing brunch, we decided to head straight to lunch: pizza at Rubirosa. Get the mushroom pizza. You won't regret it.

(that's a good little cousin, serve me...)

There may have been a moment of doubt that we could finish everything.

Only a moment.

Have I ever mentioned that my mum comes from a family of 12 kids? No, they aren't catholic. Yes, they were poor. 

The result of all that procreating is a generation of cousins across a broad age range, across many, many miles. In 2011, I met one of my cousins, B, for the first time in NYC. In 2012, I introduced her to our youngest cousin, again, in NYC. So it was fitting that in 2013, we again reunited in NYC.

And what better place to meet than somewhere close to my heart: Chobani Soho. The girls were in fits of excitement, especially as they got the rockstar treatment from the fabulous crew there. 

Yep, other cousins might get you free tickets to gigs or designer clothes, but I can get you access to the best yoghurt experience in town. To be honest, that experience is available to absolutely anyone who visits. No exaggeration, and no bias - promise.

After a quick trip uptown to bag A's favourite macaroons, it was time to head back to the hotel and pop some bubbles. 

Before heading out for the main event: dinner at Balthazar

B and I have been for a drink there every time we've met, and every time fail to secure a table for a meal. This time, we weren't missing out. Briefed a month in advance, B scored the booking and it was worth every bit of forward planning.

We started with the steak tartare and risotto. Simply stunning. Good French food done well is just divine. 

Then followed up with a tower of seafood. 

Spot the student on the right. That's right, A, one day you too will drink champagne and eat seafood  every Saturday night with promising students, dispensing worldly wisdom.

Of course, no seafood platter would be complete without perfectly cooked pommes frites.

Completely stuffed, we got the bill. Then sat and gas-bagged until A managed to convince us that we should have dessert. Which of course, somehow managed to score us complimentary champagne. Don't get me wrong, I didn't hear anyone complaining.

I know what you're thinking. We were full, but not completely and utterly. Gracefully, we retired to our hotel room to gossip, drink, and nibble daintily on macaroons. The perfect day with two of my favourite ladies.