We just got back last week from a great weekend trip with our friends, Josh and Meshea, to New York. It was so fun!! This was my first time to visit. I’ve always imagined New York as a busy, bustling place…and is it EVER!! There are so many people…so many Ubers and taxi cabs…so many bicyclists on the streets, and so many street vendors! Busy and bustling is actually an understatement! (And I have never heard that many horns honking in my entire life!) Ha! This is New York! And I loved it!
Back to the beginning, we took an early morning flight that left on Saturday, and we arrived into New York before lunch. We took an Uber to our hotel, Candlewood Suites. First things first. Uber is great!! It is a little pricey, but I have nothing bad to say about them otherwise. Reserving an Uber is not at all complicated, and it is so convenient! If you ever travel to New York, I highly recommend going the Uber route…if you do not do the taxi cabs or subway. (I do NOT recommend renting a car!) Ha! It’s as easy as downloading the Uber app, selecting your destination, and waiting for the Uber to arrive. They are usually there within 5-10 minutes!
Our hotel was located in the Hell’s Kitchen area. Location wise, it was convenient for walking to Times Square and the surrounding area; however, it wasn’t the prettiest area. With that being said, for this time of year, it was the most affordable! (And honestly, we hardly spent any time at the hotel except for sleeping! Ha!) We stayed on the 29th floor, so the view from our room was pretty great!
We grabbed a slice of pizza and some cheesecake for an early lunch, and then we walked to Times Square. We definitely looked like a bunch of tourists with our cell phones and cameras out making pictures, videos, and selfies! Ha! Times Square is bold, beautiful, and so colorful! I loved it! We spent the first half of the day walking around and exploring the city. I love trying out local coffee shops, so we got a coffee from a little coffee shop called the Val Cafe.
That evening, we walked around more of the city, and also visited a huge indoor mall…mainly to warm up! (It was SO cold that evening!!) I loved the architecture of this mall! We all got a hotdog from one of the hotdog stands. (#Bucketlist) I’m glad that I got one just so that I can say I did, but it was ever SO spicy!! Can’t say for sure that I would get another one! Ha!
We also visited Ground Zero, St. Paul’s Chapel, and we toured the 9/11 Memorial Museum. I remember the day that it happened…that horrible day that the towers came crashing down and thousands of lives were lost. Touring the museum was such a surreal and touching experience. It truly makes you have a greater appreciation for all of the firefighters and first responders who sacrificed their lives. It’s unimaginable what the citizens of New York actually went through. If you are ever in New York, I highly recommend visiting the museum. It will give you a totally different outlook on 9/11!
After touring the museum we grabbed dinner at Carragher’s Pub and Restaurant, which was just a short distance walk from our hotel. It was beautifully decorated on the inside. And let’s just say it was prettier decorated, than the food was delicious! Ha! (The food wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t great, in my opinion.)
On Sunday we walked and got coffee and breakfast at a little pastry shop called Paris Baguette. The pastries were delicious!! From there, we took an uber to visit the Brooklyn Tabernacle Church (#Bucketlist). The choir singing and the service were really a-m-a-z-i-n-g! It was so refreshing, and actually just what I needed! I’ve heard many songs by the Brooklyn Tabernalce Choir, and I’ve also had the opportunity to hear Pastor Jim Cymbala at a church conference last year. It was wonderful being able to visit the church in person. I thoroughly enjoyed the service, and it was one of my favorite things that we did while in New York!
Following church, we walked the Brooklyn Bridge (#Bucketlist). It is such a beautiful walk, and it provides such a great surrounding view of the city! I’m so glad that we chose to do this! I recommend doing this if you are in New York!
Next, we walked to China Town and Little Italy. I absolutely loved these little “towns!” We ate lunch at the Peking Duck, which is a Chinese Restaurant. They had hot tea waiting for us at our table. We sampled some duck as one of our appetizers, and we also sampled each others entrees so we could get a taste of everything! My favorite entree was the beef, broccoli, and rice! So good!!
My friend, Meshea and I loved shopping in China Town and Little Italy! FYI, both places have great shopping for those of you who go in the future!
Following our “shopping spree”, we went to walk through Rockefeller Center to see the Christmas Tree, which is so beautiful! We also hoped to ice-skate; however, it was CRAZY busy that night and we decided not to to wait in the long line OR pay the $ (it was pretty expensive!) So after seeing the Christmas Tree, we watched the Christmas lights show at Sak’s 5th Avenue, which was so pretty! We did a little more walking and exploring that included seeing Macy’s on 34th Street, and getting our picture made with Santa! Ha! We also visited the Trump Tower, and took a carriage ride through Central Park. Last but not least we ate at a little burger diner called Five Napkin Burger. Really great burgers, by the way!!
The next day we got breakfast (again) at the Paris Baguette because we loved it so much! We took the ferry to go see the Statue of Liberty. (#Bucketlist) It is really massive and so beautiful in person! We were able to go to the pedestal level; however, the tickets to the top of the crown were all sold out! We found out that you need to book tickets to the crown months in advance (especially during the holiday season!) We still loved our visit, and I’m so glad we were able to go!
After arriving back into town, we went back to Little Italy and ate at an Italian restaurant called IL CORTILE. I got the spaghetti, and it was delicious!! This was my favorite restaurant out of the whole trip, and it was also decorated beautifully! We also stopped at a little bakery called Caffe Palermo and got a slice of New York Cheesecake, as well as a Cannoli King. They were absolutely delicious, although I’m not surprised, as the bakery has been featured on the Rachel Ray show!!
That evening, we went back to Times Square, hoping to see a show on Broadway; however, the shows we wanted to see were not playing that evening. So, we enjoyed seeing Times Square/the City at night, and we opted to go to the 86th floor of the Empire State Building, (instead of seeing a Broadway show that we were not familiar with.) It was worth it! The view was incredible…AND it was freezing cold!!! So we didn’t stay long! Ha! We ended the evening by eating at a second Italian restaurant. (We loved trying out all of restaurants that we do not have back home!)
Our last day in town, guess where we got breakfast? Yep! The Paris Baguette. I’m telling you, if you are ever in New York, try it out! You will see what I’m talking about! Ha! We visited the FDNY store, as well as the stores at Rockefeller Plaza. I love love love candles from Anthropologie, and they just happened to have an Anthropologie store there! I was very excited! I have always bought their items online because there isn’t an actual store location near us. I saw so much goodness that I wanted to buy, but I settled for a candle that is Expresso scented and the cutest coffee mug!
We ate lunch at a Burger joint called Bill’s Bar & Burger. I got some mini sliders, which were great! After lunch, my friend Meshea and I are feeling shopped out and tired of walking! Ha! With that being said, we decided to leave the guys and go get a pedicure in New York! We were proud of ourselves for being able to follow the map and find the salon without getting lost! Ha! The nail salon was on the second story of the building, and we had to ring the buzzer for them to unlock the door! We actually wondered what we had gotten ourselves into for a minute, but it actually was really nice and the pedicure was relaxing! It was the perfect ending to our time in New York.
After we met back up with our husbands, I grabbed one last coffee at a coffee truck called Ralph’s Coffee before leaving town. They made the coffee so pretty!
Well that’s a wrap! New York was so much fun, and I’m very glad we got to share it with our friends. I definitely want to go back and visit one day!