Thursday, February 27, 2014

We Take On New York City: Day 3

I woke up on our last day, got out of bed, and my legs collapsed. We had walked the city up and back twice, but it was worth it. We were ready to do it again:)

Our morning started off with a Subway ride to the bottom of the island. I had originally wanted to take a Statue Of Liberty tour, but quickly changed my mind when the wind hit me. I could not imagine the chill on the water. So, we saw her from Battery Park. She was stunning. There were huge chunks of ice floating in the river, which made her and Ellis Island look even more majestic.

Next on the list was the Wall Street Bull and Freedom Tower. The bull was great.. didn't realize the thing to do was act like your grabbing his package in a photo. We did not par take in that one haha. We took our picture and headed to the 9/11 Memorial Site.

Absolutely beautiful. I had a mix of emotions, as I feel like many have. It is such a beautiful memorial with a gorgeous tower being built. But at the same time I had to stop and remember what happened in that very place in 2001. I was happy and sad all at the same time. My favorite thing I took from it was the "Survivor Tree". It was the only tree to survive the attack and has been nursed back to life. Every Spring it blooms and it reminds the city about the story of survival and resilience.

From here, we made a pit stop at Starbucks, the one thing I liked least about the whole trip. I didn't want to go to anything we had back home, but it ended up being good because my food beast was about to emerge. Never a good thing. With Starbucks in hand, we trekked to the Brooklyn Bridge. I loved being above the water. It made us realize we want to live somewhere near the water. This was one of my favorite things. 

We capped off our night with sushi followed by Pinkberry, which was scrumptious. 

Our trip to New York was amazing. We got a great mix of tourist and local. Traveling is a passion Mike and I share I cannot wait to plan our trip back to the BIG APPLE. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

We Take On New York City: Day 2

This was by far our favorite day. I did some research before coming of local places we should check out. The first one I found was a coffee shop in the basement shops of Rockefeller Center. It is called Blue Bottle Coffee and by far some if the best coffee I have had. Mike, who has never been a big fan, got a Mocha and downed it. It took us a while to find it, which people noted when I was researching, but so worth it! Highly recommend. 

Next stop, Grand Central Station. The coolest feeling. You see the station in the movies all the time and I always see pictures on HONY taken there. It is so magical. The restaurants in the bottom of the station are so cute. So much life going on every where in NYC.

Next on the itinerary was the Empire State Building. But before that, we had a quick stop at the NY Public Library. 
My face was 1/2 frozen

As for the Empire State Building, we did not plan on going up, but I am so thankful that we did. The views...breathtaking. It also made me confirm my fear of heights. But all in all, if you are there, make sure you pay to go up. 

Our friend had told us about this awesome park, High Line, that used to be an old railroad. It was amazing. Even though it is not too high above the streets, the views were still amazing. It was like being a fly on the wall watching all those hustle and bustle below us. It is a great mini escape.

Beautiful building art

Next stop: lunch. Another friend told me about the Jane Hotel. If you don't mind a little bit of a walk or the Subway, I recommend scouting this place out! Cafe Gigante is the hotel restaurant and the vibe was just what we needed. The food is authentic and the atmosphere matches. We didn't stay long enough for the bar to open at 5pm, but I hear it's the place to be. 

Looks kind of funky, but it was absolutely delicious. And we were BOTH stuffed. 
After the Jane, we took a nice stroll through Greenwich Village. The brownstones are just what I imagined and I wish they had them back home. I would definitely love to live in one. It was so peaceful to be able to walk on the side walk without someone constantly at your heels. Very cool area.

Our mission after this was to get to the Ace Hotel. Mike mentioned he saw one of his friends check in to this hotel and how we should look it up. It was awesome. Very hipster, but very fun/amazing/just how I want to decorate our house/just what we wanted. In side, they have Stumptown coffee, which blew me away. Delicious lattes and regular coffee. It you love coffee, check this place out. There bar is also well known, but we weren't ready for drinks yet. Side note, when I was looking on Instagram later that night, Joe Jonas checked in at the Ace. I had a moment! 

We are ready for dinner now, but not sure where to go. This was my fourth trip to NYC and all the times before I have eaten at the Stage Deli. I was on a hunt to find it, but when I thought I had the right address it was wrong. Come to find out the deli closed in 2012. So sad. SO instead we went to Carnegie Deli. I think this was Stage Deli's rival, but what were we supposed to do?! Huge portions and delicious. Mike's pastrami sandwich was about 3 inches tall. And like a pro, he ate the whole thing.

One of the things I wanted to do most on this trip was to go ice skating in Central Park. We finally found the rink and of course they were about to clean the ice and then we would only have an hour to skate. Our fault for getting there at8:30pm, but the website said they closed at 11pm not 9:30. I was sad, but that just made me more ready for Serendipity 3!!! This was the cutest place and just like I pictured (and I saw it on one of those food shows). We were only going to get one frozen hot chocolate, but they have a minimum of $8.50 a person. Not a problem for a girl who loves options and desserts. We ordered the biggest Sunday I have ever seen. You get to choose your flavors of ice cream and your topping. One scoop vanilla, one cinnamon, and one mint chip covered in hot fudge. I could have ended the trip right there. I was in a state of pure joy. Now on the other hand, the frozen hot chocolate was not as good as I thought it would be. Good to know for next time.. There will be a next time.

Look out

So fun

We finally stumbled home with full bellies around 11pm. It was quite a long day, but I had never seen the city like that before. I highly recommend getting out of the touristy spots at some point in any trip you take. It gives you a whole new perspective. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

We Take New York City: Day 1

The day has finally arrived! We are writing this on the plane as we fly over states. I wasn't sure if we were going to be able to take off because the ONE time it snows in San Antonio is the ONE day we take off for our highly anticipate trip to NY. Everything worked out perfectly and I am so thankful. Our best friend, Rachel, so kindly took us to the airport at 4:30am. Our flight to St. Louis was a breeze; we slept the whole way. The views of the city from the plane were beautiful! Everything was covered in snow and looked so majestic. Just what we booked this trip for. Snow.

As our in flight entertainment from St. Louis to NY, Mike and I found the photo booth app on the iPad. I have not cried laughing that hard in a long time. Bonding.

We finally landed and the city was our playground. Our first stop was Central Park. So majestic. I could have walked the whole thing. 

Our next stop was FAO Schwartz. Mike was like a kid in a candy store. Toys every where for everyone. He grew up playing with Playmobil and almost cried of joy when we stumbled upon their collection. 

Thursday night was our night to see Phantom Of the Opera. We didn't have time to eat dinner, so we got drinks at the show instead. Two small glasses of wine were $29. Welcome to NY, Aschbachers. The plus side was that they came in awesome souvinere cups, which we will definitely re-use. 

Phantom was great. Mike loved it and seeing a Broadway play on actual Broadway is the coolest thing. It was a great first day in the city!