Hey friends! Happy Friday!
I am so excited for today, because I'm sharing all about Tay's big birthday trip to NYC!
This trip was easily our favorite trip that we've been on so far. We loved it - like love, love, loved it. I'm sure that we especially liked it, because we were there at Christmas time, but honestly we just really liked the city (especially me).
New York, you seriously stole our hearts.
Our trip was quick, but man we did SO much - we were up early and out late. We covered some serious ground & I loved every minute of it.
We got into NYC early on Friday morning. Our flight left Salt Lake City at 11:59 pm on Thursday night and we landed at 6:15 am on Friday morning - from the airport we went straight to our Airbnb and dropped our bags for the day. Our host was so gracious and let us leave our bags at the house even though we weren't supposed to technically check in until 3 pm.
After dropping our bags off we took a Lyft over to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. My original plan was to do the museum on Saturday, however it was raining on Friday and I thought it would be a great day to do the museum. WRONG. So wrong. I'm pretty sure all of Manhattan had the same idea as me - there were so many people and we literally got there 10 minutes after it opened. Sigh. So instead of standing in line I went online and just bought tickets for the 12 pm entrance and we left.
We walked over to Battery Park, grabbed some coffee, bought a second umbrella and wandered around for a couple of hours.
It was cold, windy & really rainy, but Battery Park was so pretty! We loved it.
At 11:45 we headed back to the museum. We still had to stand in line for about 45 minutes, but it wasn't a terrible wait and we finally got in!
You guys. The wait was 1,000% worth it. The museum is incredible and totally, totally worth it. It's very emotional and it's long - you definitely want to carve out at least 2-3 hours for it.
So amazing. There was a special exhibit when we were there - I want to say that it was called Sports after 9/11, but i'm not sure. I have no idea if it's there all the time or not, but both Tay & I really liked it. We honestly loved the museum - it's so well done and a beautiful tribute to the victims. If you are going to NYC, it's an absolute must do.
After the museum, we headed back out into the rain.
Poor Taylor was soaked. We knew it was going to rain, but I don't think either of us expected it to rain as hard or as much as it did. We ended up buying a second umbrella, because one just wasn't doing the trick.
Even in the rain and overcast skies, the city is still so pretty!
Loving the city!
This was actually taken earlier in the day before we went to the museum and were trying to stay dry. We are big Hugh Jackman fans and he has two coffee shops in the city - his shop is called Laughing Man Coffee. Over the weekend we went three times. This was at his location in Battery Park. It's a cool little place and we love the story behind the shop!
Next we walked up to Chelsea and hit up the Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Chelsea Market.
The Starbucks Roastery was SO cool - Taylor was in coffee heaven. It's like a hrewery, but for coffee! It's truly a coffee lovers DREAM. Taylor of course got a coffee and then we wandered around and looked at everything.
After the roastery we headed next door to Chelsea Market. This was fun too! It was busy, but really cool to see. It reminded us a lot of Pike Place Market in Seattle - so many fun little shops and restaurants. We stopped at a little taco shop and grabbed some tacos for dinner. Yum!
This little flower shop was inside Chelsea Market - isn't it the cutest?
After wandering around Chelsea Market for a bit we started to make our way to Madison Square Garden, because we had tickets for a 6:00 pm showing of How The Grinch Stole Christmas; The Musical.
Taylor was pumped! And of course Taylor couldn't see The Grinch without wearing his new favorite Grinch sweater! His sisters got this for him for Christmas and it couldn't have been more perfect.
The show was so good!!! So perfect for this Grinch loving husband of mine!
The show was shorter than what we thought - it was done by about 7:15, so we still had plenty of time to go out and explore more of the city.
We walked through Times Square but didn't really stop or spend too much time there - everyone told us to at least go and see it, but that's all we really needed to do. Honestly, it was too busy and totally overwhelming. 5 minutes was plenty of time for me personally.
We did make one quick stop. We of course had to get a picture in front of Harry Potter!
Next stop was the giant ornaments! I always see these ornaments in photos and movies and it was so fun to see them for ourselves!
There were so many fun Christmas decorations! We loved it all!
We walked over to Rockefeller Center to see the big Christmas tree, but planned on coming back the next night so we didn't stay very long. We were both hungry so we headed to McGee's pub for dinner, which for any How I Met Your Mother Fans out there, is the pub that inspired the show.
Taylor was especially excited to go here - HIMYM is his fav show!
The whole restaurant is decked out with HIMYM pictures, memorabilia and all that sort of good stuff! They have drinks inspired by the show too - so fun! The food was pretty good also.
By the time we finished dinner, which was close to 10:45, we were exhausted and ready for bed. We jumped on the subway to south Manhattan, grabbed a Lyft back to our Airbnb and literally went straight to bed.
What a day!
Onto day TWO!
Our second day was by far our favorite (and our longest!) of the whole trip!
We kicked off our day by getting dropped off at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge in Brooklyn - some of our friends had recommended that we walk over the bridge to Manhattan so we decided to do it and holy moly, this was BY FAR one of our favorite things we did the whole trip.
We got to the bridge EARLY and it was perfect - it wasn't busy yet and we didn't feel rushed to get across. We took our time and just enjoyed the walk.
Hey there, Brooklyn!
We took so many pictures on the bridge. I feel like every time we found a great place to take a picture, we'd turn around and there would be an even better spot. We took close to 300 pictures on the bridge alone . . . #oops
Gettin the best angle!
I wish I could walk this bridge everyday
After finally making it off the bridge we headed straight towards breakfast & coffee.
We went to Laughing Man again, but this time we went to the original in Tribeca. It was tiny, but so cute! It's also Hugh Jackman's coffee shop, which makes it extra cool! We were really hoping to run into Hugh, but no such luck. Sigh.
I really loved Tribeca. The coffee shop was on this little side street that I totally fell in love with. It was just so dreamy!
This day was so fun, because we really didn't have any plans or anywhere that we had to be. We decided that we would just spend the day wandering around the city and it was amazing.
While wandering around Greenwhich Village, we of course had to check out Rachel & Monica's house!
The area was so cute!
We loved just wandering the streets - they are so pretty!
We then made our way towards Washington Square Park, which I LOVED!
I could've spent hours here!
I couldn't resist.
After walking some more, we ran into the Flatiron Building!
And then while we were walking, I saw a Macy's and I told Taylor that I thought that it was the original Macy's so we went and checked it out!
Definitely the original!
It was huge! SO MANY FLOORS! We just kept going up, and up and UP!
After Macy's we walked towards Bryant Park to check out the Christmas Market there.
Hello, Bryant Park!
We liked Bryant Park, but it was PACKED.
I stopped into the Melsy's Illustrations booth. I had no idea what is was, but it looked really cute so I decided to go in and look. As soon as I walked in, I WAS OBSESSED. Honestly, you can ask Taylor, I LOVE all of her stuff and just want to buy everything. I'm pretty sure I go onto her Etsy page like 3 times a week just to look. Sigh.
She had a set of Christmas cards that were on sale so I bought them, Look how cute they are!!!
Oh Melsy, I love you. Seriously.
After Bryant Park, we checked out Grand Central Station, which was as grand as it sounds! So pretty! Then we wandered around some more and ran into the prettiest Christmas tree!
I honestly couldn't tell you where this was, but it was so pretty and definitely worth taking a photo in front of!
Next up: Central Park!
Central Park was of course amazing! We actually wanted to eat at the The Loeb Boathouse in the park, but when we got there we found out that they were closing at 3 for a private event and it was 2:45. We were bummed and then also in a pinch, because we had no clue where to eat. We were starving so we went on a hunt for some gluten free food to eat - not as easy at it sounds folks. We ended up at some random little, emphasis on the word little, restaurant near the park - it was good, but nothing special.
After finally getting some food in our bellies, we headed back into Central Park and did some more wandering around. It was so pretty!
Can you guess where we went next!?
Okay so The Plaza is REALLY expensive and exclusive, but we really wanted to go inside and just see it. I looked up their menu to find the cheapest thing, which was Eloise's Rootbeer Float . . . can you see where this story is going?
So we stood in line outside the main entrance and waited for a spot to open up at the bar, because we were just going to go in and get a couple of rootbeer floats and call it good - a lady then comes out and says that they were able to make room for us at the bar. As we walked in, both Tay and I looked and each other so embarrassed and thinking we totally shouldn't be here. We got to the bar, I ordered a rootbeer float and I made Tay order the cheapest glass of wine they had, which was actually REALLY good.
So there we sat - me with my rootbeer float and Tay with his glass of wine in the ultra famous Plaza Hotel.
It was actually really cool and I'm glad we went, plus our bartender was AMAZING. We loved him.and got to chat with him for a little while, which was fun. He's actually thinking about moving to Austin, ha! He said the fact that we had come in must be a sign that he needs to move to Austin - guess we were supposed to go to the Plaza after all.
I may or may not have made Taylor switch me for the wine . . . also, it's hard to see, but our bartender made us a flower from our napkins! He was a charmer!
After drinks, it was time to go and see the BEST CHRISTMAS TREE EVER!
SO PRETTY! AND MAGICAL!
Ok friends - here's a tip if you don't want only selfies from your vacation. If you see another couple or family taking a selfie, ASK THEM if they'd like you to take their photo - 1. they always appreciate it and 2. they almost always ask in return if you'd like your photo taken
I did this a few times this trip, because I really wanted a good picture of us in front of the tree and it totally works!
I love this picture! It's one of my favorites from the whole trip and currently the background on my phone.
After spending some time around Rockefeller Center, we headed back over by Central Park for a very late dinner - we at at Tavern on the Green and it was delicious!
This was the patio at Tavern on the Green - it was all decked out for Christmas and WE LOVED IT!
And then we called it a night. This was the longest, but most fun day of the trip. We took a subway back down to south Manhattan and then grabbed a Lyft back to our Airbnb in Brooklyn. Other than taking a Lyft in the morning from our Airbnb to the base of the Brooklyn Bridge, which was about 2 miles, we WALKED everywhere we went on Saturday.
We walked 21 MILES on Saturday!
Our feet hurt were so sore by the end of the day. I've never looked forward to laying in bed as much as I did that night.
But so worth it. We had the best day!
Onto DAY 3!
This was our final day in NYC - we were up early once again, because we wanted to get to Rockefeller Center as soon as the Ice Skating rink opened. We got there 10 minutes after it opened and there was already a line. The line wasn't very long, but it still took us about an hour and half of waiting before we got on the rink.
We made it! Finally!
Almost everyone that we talked to told us that skating here was overrated and not worth it, but my heart was set on it. I'm honestly really happy that we did it - the wait was long, yes, but it was so cool.
As touristy as it was, it was a favorite memory of mine from the trip.
I'm a happy girl!
I couldn't leave Rockefeller Center without taking a picture in front of my favorite morning show!
Fun fact: I started college majoring in Broadcast Journalism and I dreamed of working on the Today Show or Travel Channel as a travel show host - I still do!
. . .
After Rockefeller Center, we headed over to Serendipity's - we couldn't leave NYC without grabbing some of their famous Frozen Hot Chocolate! It was soooooo yummy.
Did you know that you can take it to go!? It's the best way to go friends!
It's totally as good as it looks.
After Serendipity we only had a little bit of time left before having to head to the airport so we headed back down south and grabbed one last coffee at Laughing Man and then took a walk through the High Line. I had heard lots of good things about the High Line - it was awesome. Definitely go if you're in New York!
New York, you are so pretty.
This trip was a dream. Taylor and I both agree that this is our favorite trip that we've gone on so far - it was short, but I feel like we did so much. You can pretty much ask anyone that's talked to me since the trip - I want to move there. Sigh.
Also - as I'm writing this the song New York State of Mind just came on. LOVE!
I'm Emilee. 26. Homebody. Believer in a simple + intentional life. Daughter of the King. Living in Austin with my hubs.
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