Friday, September 23, 2011

New York, New York

The first weekend of September, my mom, Nana, and I took a little girls' trip to New York City for the weekend. Neither of them had ever been, and I hadn't been in a very long time, so we were pumped to hit the ground running. We stayed at the Hilton in Herald Square...a convenient 1.5 blocks from Macy's. My husband took a huge risk when he booked that one for us...(smile)

The first day, we started with a long breakfast and then hopped on the subway and headed down toward Battery Park to take a ferry to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. We walked out of the hotel and right back in to grab a sweater after feeling the morning chill in the air! These FL/Carolina girls are not used to the 60's before late October!

Nana and I before hopping on the ferry.

Love this photo of her!
Ellis Island was spectacular...I really just find it so beautiful.  We had the perfect weather - in the low 70's and breezy!

I found the words of immigrants who came through Ellis Island to be so touching and inspirational...the one above was one of my favorites.  I told my husband later that it almost angered me to look at the dreams, motivation, and work ethic of these people who had absolutely nothing to their name, but were willing to work and be responsible for their own well being in this country. We've come quite a long way from that, and not necessarily in a good way. I wonder what these immigrants would think of the sense of entitlement that so many Americans have today...I think I would have liked the woman who said those words above.

When we headed back into the city, we stayed in down in Lower Manhattan for a bit and roamed around, went down to Wall Street, and then to the site where the World Trade Center towers used to stand. Humbling.  My brother is a firefighter, heart and soul devoted to it, and it frightens me and makes me proud at the same time to think that he would have been one of the brave ones who ran back in to try to save more people for as long as he possibly could.  The memorial opened a few days after we were there, so there really wasn't much to see, short of construction. 

That night, we ventured down a few blocks to see Times Square for the first time in lights! It's never a letdown is it?

Up bright and early the next morning, we hit the streets walking. Down through Times Square again, to Rockefeller Center (ya'll know the Today Show is my favorite show ever), and visited St. Patrick's Cathedral.

Mom and Nana in Times Square.

Anthropologie is just a hop and a skip away from St. Patrick's so we spent some time browsing around. They were ready for fall for sure with the clothes and decor they had out, and I came [this] close to buying this coat to bring back with me...but didn't, of course. Because I am a saver, not a spender, and because I live in FL. Where I surely would not be able to wear this beauty.

ADORE that plaid and those hangers made out of chair backs.

Then we made our way over for a little tacky tourist action at Madame Toussad's Wax Museum and had SO much fun being silly. The flash made them shiny in these pictures, but seriously, they look so real in person that it's ridiculous.

Just me hangin out with Kelly.

Nana, clearly enamored by Elvis.
This is for you, G.

 We spent the remainder of the afternoon shopping (spent entirely too much time in H&M and Zara), had a few sweet treats, and then headed back to the hotel to get ready to see the Lion King on Broadway! The show was AMAZING, seriously, would see it 10 more times. No cameras allowed inside of course, but we snapped a few before leaving the theater, which has amazing views over Times Square.

These mini cupcakes were wonnnnderful. Red Velvet and Cookies and Cream here...Of course, cannot remember the name of the place for the life of me.

 It should also be noted that on our way to the theater, I spotted the Naked Cowboy in Times should have seen us trying to explain THAT one to my Nana.

 We got out of the show around 11 or so, super late for Mom and Nana, but I convinced them that we should go up in the Empire State Building at night and see the lights of the city. I had no idea it was open until 2 am!

Mom a little anxious about the height!
 It should be noted that it was VERY windy and chilly up there, and I managed to flash half the tourists on the observation deck while trying to get *THE* perfect shot. Lightweight, short dress didn't do me any favors!

The next day was our last full day in the city, so we decided to spend it roaming around Central Park, doing some more shopping, and then head to Chinatown and Little Italy for dinner. But first, we had breakfast at the most adorable little corner diner ever. It was perfection.  They had the most amazing coffee...not Starbucks strong, but "diner coffee" - a breakfast blend. Ya'll know what I mean. I had apple cinnamon pancakes and they were DIVINE. I spent the rest of the day walking off that one meal.

A short subway ride later...Central Park. I was amazed by just how large it actually is.

While we were up in that area, we decided to hit up the American Museum of Natural History.  Dinosaurs never cease to amaze, no matter how old you get.

Street food for lunch.

We popped in FAO Schwarz for a bit, because everyone needs to see it just once, don't you think?  I don't know who was more amazed by the Barbie fashion show, me or that little girl.

We spent the remainder of the afternoon roaming around Macy' really is massive. But with 4 Starbucks locations inside, we managed to keep our energy up :)

Then we hopped back on the subway (I kept calling it the metro the whole time because we have traveled so much in Europe, and everyone looked at me like I was crazy) and headed down to Chinatown, my Nana's number one request of the trip.  She enjoyed the scenery and the haggling for bags on the street, but not so much the food :)

 After dinner at a restaurant called the Oriental Garden (highly recommended and very authentic) we headed back down through Little Italy for some dessert. Cannoli street cart style of course! Chocolate dipped shell with hazelnut filling was my fav! I was amazed at just how much Little Italy reminded me of the streets of Rome! Must have something to do with the sidewalk seating, but the vibe was contagious and the red wine flowed freely!  

We headed back to the hotel to pack and make sure we had everything together to leave for the airport the next morning (I still managed to leave my entire set of house, car, and office keys in a drawer and the hotel had to mail them back to me...thank goodness for spares right?).  We went back to our favorite little diner on the corner for breakfast, and then successfully navigated the trains WITH LUGGAGE back to the airport. Success.

We are all so terrible at goodbyes, of course we waited until the last minute and then cried like babies before leaving. Leaving is always the hardest part, and it never seems to get easier. But on that note, we had such a wonderful time roaming around the city together! It was nice to take a girls' trip and spend some time doing the things that I wouldn't do otherwise if I was there with just Eric (i.e. spend half a day shopping and in Macy's). My family is coming down to the sunshine state for Thanksgiving with us this year, and I absolutely cannot wait to see them. Only 8 more weeks!


  1. Casey, so many of those photos took me back to my NY trip. Isn't it the greatest city? I often think I would love living there...if I was loaded! I love the pic of Nana and Elvis. Very cute! I have never been to Ellis Island but, I am definitely going the next time I visit. I LOVE the Today Show, too! I STILL miss Meredith. Ha! Have a great weekend and thanks for sharing! XO

  2. Looks like you had a great time! Even living here, there's always something new to discover in the city. BTW - were the cupcakes from Baked by Melissa? They look like it. :-)

  3. LOVED this Casey! My husband and I are planning a trip to NY next year, so I love hearing what others did while there and how it went. Looks like you three had a ball and it's so sweet that you were able to spend that time together!