Filed In: Travel

New York City: Day Seven

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Today was the best way to start the morning. We grabbed coffee at Ralph’s (Located in Ralph Lauren’s flagship store)

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and then ordered to-go for breakfast at Tiffany’s! If you know me, you know that I am pretty much in love with Audrey Hepburn, so this was absolutely a dream come true!

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We ended up spending so much time in Tiffany’s! It was HUGE! Jason and I also enjoyed playing and trying on wedding bands too 😉

screen-shot-2016-12-19-at-2-47-57-pm screen-shot-2016-12-19-at-2-48-07-pm screen-shot-2016-12-19-at-2-48-24-pmThe best part? They served us hot chocolate with Tiffany Blue marshmallows !

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After Tiffany’s we made our way over to Times Square to get ready to see Waitress!

We grabbed a bite to eat at Dos Caminos, right near the theater.


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We had a wonderful view of Times Square, so we enjoyed people watching.  Plus, the food was GREAT, and had lots of vegetarian options!

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After that we saw a matinee performance of Waitress!

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Jason and I were so excited to see this show. When we decided to go to New York, this was one of the first things we said we HAD to do.

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We have been listening to the soundtrack for some time now, and we were more than excited to actually be there. I was a tiny bit disappointed because Jesse Mueller (who is the original Jenna) was out and her understudy was on. However, I will say that her understudy, Stephanie Torns, was PHENOMENAL!

Pretty much cried through the second act, no big deal.

Oh, also, they had pie. Pie smells through the lobby, pie whirling around the stage, and pie to eat! So, of course, we got a little pie and a glass of wine to share.

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We were on a musical high after that show, and we were supposed to go to to ABC Cocina for dinner at 7. (Thanks to JamieLynn for the reservation!) But as we were walking out of the theater to go to dinner, we noticed that TKTS had Chicago on sale for 50% off…. so we went with it and saw another show! (ABC Cocina next time we’re in the city for sure!) Sometimes you just have to do what feels right.

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I am so fortunate to have been able to see TWO shows on Broadway in one day! We were so stoked. Chicago was a totally different feel than Waitress (obviously). I wasn’t sure what to expect because I have actually never seen a live version.  No sets, no crazy costumes. Just music, dance, and jazz.

It was a pretty awesome show to have seen.

We definitely weren’t ready to head home after that, so we checked out a spot that we missed out on earlier in our trip.

We went to The Back Room. 

At first we weren’t sure where to go…. it was a speakeasy, and definitely hidden.

First we saw a sign like this:

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And then you walk down the stairs…..

screen-shot-2016-12-19-at-3-13-49-pmand then down a long (creepy) alley…

screen-shot-2016-12-19-at-3-13-58-pmuntil you notice some toy wagons up some stairs ahead…
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Then you come to a door with no markings and only an eye hole.

screen-shot-2016-12-19-at-3-14-14-pm and if you’re courageous enough to open it up… you’ll find one of the only two remaining speakeasies still operating in New York City.

screen-shot-2016-12-19-at-3-13-40-pmThis was seriously such a cool experience. So many famous theater and movie actors,  and gangsters have flowed through these doors. We’re talking Bugsy Siegel, Lucky Luciano and Meyer Lansky, people.

They still serve beer in paper bags and cocktails in teacups too! (Just in case the fuzz comes by 😉 )

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It was such a fun environment! They played lots of different kinds of music, and people were all dressed up, and dancing in different old-fashioned styles.

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It’s hard to see, but that bookshelf there? Leads to a secret room.

We were so happy we made our way over to see such a great spot in NYC!

After that, we went back to our Air BnB and ended our last night in New York.

We had such a beautiful time in the city, and we definitely want to visit again. We really only got to do a fraction of what this place has to offer. But we are so thankful that we had the opportunity to travel here! 

New York City: Day 6

Today was a beautiful day because when I woke up, it was SNOWING!!!!!!! We laid in bed and watched it fall from our window for a little while before going out in it. It was so pure and pristine.

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I had never seen snow fall before. I have seen it once, in little piles on the top of a mountain in Austria, and another time in sludgy tiny melted piles in Philly. But I have never actually seen it fall from the sky. So this was SORT OF A HUGE DEAL FOR ME!

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After soaking in the snow, we headed over to Trinity Church, one of the oldest churches in America.

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(Not going to lie, I mostly wanted to go there to see Alexander Hamilton’s grave. No shame in my game.)

After that we made our way south to see Ellis Island and The Statue of Liberty. 

The snow was not as pretty during this walk… as there were HUGE puddles of water. I don’t think either of us had the proper footwear for this! Plus… it started actually raining.

After major security, and taking off all our coats, hats, scarves, gloves, just to put them back on again, we finally found seats on the warm ferry.

screen-shot-2016-12-18-at-10-05-11-amWe grabbed a pretzel and a coffee, and the boat left for the islands.screen-shot-2016-12-18-at-10-04-57-am screen-shot-2016-12-18-at-10-05-03-am

We stopped at the Statue of Liberty, but we did not climb it because our bodies are quite tired by this point in the trip, and my leg is still not feeling so well.

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But we stayed long enough to snag a few pictures.  screen-shot-2016-12-18-at-10-09-28-am screen-shot-2016-12-18-at-10-09-44-am screen-shot-2016-12-18-at-10-09-36-am


I was mostly interested in going to Ellis Island to see where my ancestors came through when they got to America from Sicily.

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I remember going there as a kid, and doing a wax trace with a green crayon of their name from the walls lining the museum, and I am so happy I came back as an adult to do it again.

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My Italian name is Pollara. My great grandmother married a Faulconer, and so I gained a bit of English in me, but I still have roots in the Pollara family. img_5147

I was so happy to be in my history element, and we took our time through the museum to really learn and absorb our history.

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Once we got through the museum, we boarded the ferry back to New York, and decided it was time for lunch. We went over to Wo Hop in Chinatown to see what my family has been raving about.

screen-shot-2016-12-18-at-10-17-11-am screen-shot-2016-12-18-at-10-17-21-amWo Hop is a tiny little restaurant in a basement, with wall to wall decorations from past customers.

screen-shot-2016-12-18-at-10-17-32-amAnd let me tell you… the food was amazing!!!

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If you’re looking for great Chinese food in Chinatown, look no further. Plus, the service was great, and it was super cheap.

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After that, we walked around Chinatown for a little bit, and checked out Canal Street. We weren’t interested in buying knock-off designer bags, so we didn’t stay long, but I am glad we got the experience.

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Next on our list was the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. Bring on the waterworks.

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The first (and only) time I had visited New York, it was around a year before the towers went down. I remember going all the way to the top, and my ears popping in the elevator.

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A year later, I remember my principal announcing what had happened over the intercom. My 3rd grade teacher immediately turned on the news, and she began to cry. I remember being the only person in my class that even knew what the towers were. (Growing up in Florida, not many kids I knew had made it to NYC quite yet.) The moments and days following that were a blur. I remember watching the news non-stop, and I remember my grandfather being especially upset, because he had actually laid tile in those very buildings. I also remember hearing stories about good family friends who had barely escaped the tragedy.

That was a time I will never forget. Suddenly America wasn’t safe anymore. This great country we called home was threatened, but it also allowed Americans to come together as one. The world I know today, and the country I know today was shaped around these two towers coming down.

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Going to the memorial was something I felt like I had to do, as an American. It was beautifully done.

Unfortunately we didn’t group to the observatory because it was so foggy, we wouldn’t be able to see anything.

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After that, we went home with heavy hearts and tired feet.

We rested a bit, and then got dolled up to go celebrate our engagement at The Rose Club at the Plaza Hotel. (Which also has a Champagne Bar… count me in!!)

Thanks for the suggestion Michelle! 

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This place was absolutely BEAUTIFUL! We decided to let go, and actually splurge on a bottle and a great meal.  We got to talking to our bar tender, and a really nice couple next to us, and we were really having a great time in their company.

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We realized they were closing, and we said goodbye to the couple next to us as they left the bar. We asked our bartender for our check, only to find out that the couple next to us took care of everything! (We were so shocked!) We wanted to say thank you, to reach out to them, but the bar tender told us not to worry about it, and that the couple didn’t want us to realize until after they left.

WHAT A SURPRISE! There are beautiful people in this world. Seriously?!

screen-shot-2016-12-18-at-10-33-15-amAfter getting over our shock, we headed down the street to this club that our bartender recommended.

It was through a restaurant, down the stairs, through the kitchen, and into the basement.

It was called Boutique. There was no cover charge, and the space was really cool. They had champagne sparkler fireworks going off, crazy lights, and awesome dance music.

Jason and I grabbed a couple of drinks, danced, and had a blast. We even caught our bartender on the way out!

Overall, we had an amazing evening.

 

 

New York City: Day Five

We slept in a little today, but not too much! Once we were up and moving, went over to The Butcher’s Daughter for brunch, which was absolutely delicious.

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The decor was adorable, modern, and fresh, and the food was exactly what we needed.

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Despite the name, The Butcher’s Daughter, it is a completely vegetarian restaurant, which works out great for us!

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(Yeah, that’s black bean “bacon”)

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After breakfast we went to grab coffee at Happy Bones, and I sat to do a little bit of work.

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Yummy coffee, warm, and really neat space. screen-shot-2016-12-17-at-12-02-51-am

After my work was done, we wandered around Nolita for a little while, and we fell in love. <3

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Time for lunch! We were so happy to be able to meet up with some great family friends for lunch at The Modern, right outside of MoMA. Oh my goodness, it was utterly amazing! Every bite was beautiful, and it was such a great experience.

Jason and I both had a great time savoring our lunch and having great conversations with my Uncle Kenny and Aunt Debbie.

After that, we made it to MoMA. (PS- MoMA is free on Friday’s after 4pm). This was another thing on my bucket list, and I am so happy we chose MoMA. We knew we didn’t have time to do all of the museums in the city, but we definitely wanted to see MoMA. Klimt, Warhol, Van Gogh, Picasso, Matisse, MONET, Dali, Pollock, Mondrian, Willem de Kooning, AND MORE, where can you go wrong?

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Seriously, MoMA was amazing, and I wish we had more time to really explore, but we were on a time crunch because (surprise!) we left our Nutcracker tickets at the Air BnB, so we had to go allllll the way back to get them.

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THEN WE SAW THE MOST MAGICAL THING THAT EVER WAS! THE NUTCRACKER!

I have never seen The Nutcracker,  but I have always wanted to. The New York City Ballet was beautiful and everything I could have dreamed of.

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I’m just going to stop here and thank Sue Vaughan for the tickets! <3  You’re absolutely the best! 

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After that, we were feeling a bit STARVING, so we went to grab some Mexican food from Burrito Box, just up a couple of blocks.

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Well, that about wrapped up our day.

All for now,

xoxoxo

Meg

New York City: Day Four

Let me start out by saying, today was the coldest I have ever felt in my life. It was 25 degrees, plus wild wind. (I almost couldn’t stand straight at some points!)

We started out at Best Bagel and Coffee this morning. 

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Now, normally my motto is that if a place has to name itself the best, it’s probably not the best. However, we got some recommendations from our friends, and we were told that we had to go.

NO REGRETS! This place was EXCELLENT! It was super crowded and busy, which was a little annoying, but it was worth it. (Thanks Ryne and Sharon!)

After that, we headed over to Chelsea Market, where we spent more time than we thought we would.

img_4967 img_4964 img_4962 I was thrilled because we found a little shop that sold chains. I was able to get a chain to put my promise ring on, since  I have a new one in it’s place. 😉img_4959 img_4960 img_4963

 

and here is Jason being a tourist 😉

 

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After Chelsea Market, we wandered through Chelsea and took a short walk on The High Line because it was FREEZING (literally)!

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After that,  we went back to our Air BnB to get ready for dinner and to rest a little.

We went over to Rosemary’s  for an early dinner. The place was gorgeous, and was honestly the best food we have had yet. They grow most of their vegetables right there at the restaurant. You can taste the freshness.

img_4955 This place was beautiful, and warm, and Christmas-y, and oh-so romantic. I would HIGHLY recommend going here. img_4941

Then we headed down to see Avenue Q! Such a hilarious show!! I have known the music for years, and have always wanted to see it. We scored pretty cheap tickets and got great seats!

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After that, we headed home for some much needed sleep.

New York: Day Three

I have to admit, today was  favorite day of the trip, and also one of the best days of my life, but we’ll get to that later. 

We started out the morning at this great restaurant right around the corner from our Air BnB, called The Smith.

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We loved the atmosphere and the look of this place, and Jason and I both agreed that if we lived here, this would be a frequent hang out spot.

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After breakfast we hopped on the train over to Brooklyn. (Which we did effortlessly, might I add)

Once there, we went to find some coffee. Ended up at a place called Devotion. Wow! So beautiful!

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This spot was not only a cafe, but also a roastery, and the coffee was pretty darn good. It was so refreshing to come out of the bitter cold, and see plants growing on the walls and the sun shining through the skylight. This space was amazing!

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After our coffee fix, we went out to explore more of Williamsburg.

screen-shot-2016-12-15-at-8-07-28-am screen-shot-2016-12-15-at-8-07-44-am We went down to Bedford Avenue to check out some of the local shops there. 

screen-shot-2016-12-15-at-8-08-29-amOf course, I found a shop called Meg, and had to go in!

screen-shot-2016-12-15-at-8-08-48-am screen-shot-2016-12-15-at-8-08-16-amThis place was super cool. They make all of their own clothes right there in the shop, and all of the accessories are locally sourced. We had fun peeking around the store and talking to their very friendly staff.

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After that, we made a pit stop for coffee at Parlor Coffee. Their shop is located in a barber shop, which I thought was a really cool concept.

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Jason had been really looking forward to going to Parlor Coffee, after hearing so many good things about them.

img_4853We really really enjoyed our visit there. We chatted with the barista and we actually met some other people who are into coffee from New Orleans while we were there. It was really fun to connect in such an intimate way, and about something Jason is so passionate about.

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Next we went down to the Brooklyn Bridge, where we had a photoshoot scheduled with one of our good friends Cat Coons. (if you haven’t seen her work yet… it’s beautiful! http://catherinecoons.com) Cat had asked us to shoot with her, as she had several times before. I thought nothing of it.

We did some shots down below the bridge, and soon headed up to the top. It was FREEZING! Jason was shaking pretty bad, and I thought, “Wow, he is super super cold…”

We finally found a clearing in the bridge walkway to get some great shots. Cat began directing us with poses, “Okay, now get close, okay now get nose to nose, okay now Jason, get down on one knee…..”

……..

I looked at Jason like “Hah! Yeah right!” and then he DID get down on one knee.

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He told me some beautiful things, and that I truly made him the happiest man on earth, and then he asked, “but do you know what would make me happier?”

Then he asked the big question….

and I SAID YES!!!

img_4870and just like that we were engaged!!! I was in a state of shock I think, but I was thrilled to be engaged to my best friend. (I will be making a separate blog post about this, so look out for that.)

 

We were so excited and had no idea what to do after that, so we walked until we found a little wine bar to go in.  We celebrated, had some champagne, and called our loved ones.

screen-shot-2016-12-15-at-8-27-49-amThen, we had plans to meet with one of Jason’s friends Katie. She took us to this amazing restaurant in Williamsburg, The Rabbithole. (Their white bean burger hit the spot. Seriously, so good!)

We had a great time conversing, catching up, and talking about life.

After that we went to this adorable bar called St. Mazie.  

img_4877Sorry for the terrible picture, it was super dark. But it was a great little spot with craft cocktails. They also had live music, which Jason and I truly appreciated.

We were so happy to see another old friend while in the city.

High on life, we headed hope to catch some sleep.

All for now,

xoxox

Meg

New York: Day Two

Wow! Day two! We made it!

I am happy to report that the weather isn’t killing us, my leg is doing okay but not great, and we have successfully ridden the subway quite a few times now. 

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For Breakfast this morning, we had planned on going to The Picnic Basket, but couldn’t find it! (Our map apps were not liking us today.) So instead we stopped into this very busy bagel place along the way, Ess-a-Bagel. 

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I was happy to finally taste a real, fresh, New York City bagel. It was everything everyone had ever told me about NY Bagels. Ugh, so good!  They also had an assortment of salads, pastries, and cakes to choose from too. Everything looked so yummy. The workers there were a little on the crabby side, but it was exactly the kind of service you would expect from a fast paced and very busy NYC Bagel Shop.

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We took the bagels to go because we definitely needed coffee, and the shop we wanted to go to was a little ways away.

We had heard about  Blue Bottle Coffee, and wanted to see what all of the hype was about.

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We were definitely stoked to have a great cup of coffee in the morning. Blue Bottle was serving Guatemalan as their single origin espresso, and it was delicious.

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Jason also tried their Costa Rican coffee, but wasn’t as big of a fan.

screen-shot-2016-12-13-at-10-24-00-pmHowever, their staff was super friendly, and it had a nice atmosphere. So if you are around Bryant Park, and in need of a pick-me-up, I would recommend checking Blue Bottle out.

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After we were fueled up, we explored The New York Public Library. (AKA Where Carrie ALMOST married Big)

screen-shot-2016-12-13-at-10-24-09-pm Did you know The New York Public Library is the second biggest library in the US? (and probably the most gorgeous!)

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Seriously though, if this isn’t on your list of things to do in NY, put it on there! There was actually so much to see there, and it was stunning.

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After the library, we jumped over to Grand Central Station, which was also gorgeous. we didn’t spend as much time there as we did in the library, but we were happy that we stopped in to see it, and to people watch a little.

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After that, we made our way towards Rockefeller Center. On the way, we went into St. Patrick’s Cathedral. 

This place was utterly beautiful.

screen-shot-2016-12-13-at-10-21-33-pmEven if you are not religious, go here. The architecture alone is worth seeing. Go ahead and sit yourself in a pew, look up, and take in the beauty.

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As we made our way to Rockefeller Center, we stopped to see some of the amazing storefront displays! I mean, where else can you go that has a LINE made for window shopping?!

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(Yes, I went into Anthropologie. Can we just pause here and admire their display?!)
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Then FINALLY, ROCKEFELLER CENTER!

screen-shot-2016-12-13-at-10-20-24-pm screen-shot-2016-12-13-at-10-19-51-pmIT WAS SO MAGICAL!!! The tree is HUGE! It officially felt like Christmas after seeing it. We were so happy to cross that off our bucket list of things to see before we die.

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(PS- No, we didn’t end up going ice skating today. With my leg feeling like it does, it doesn’t look like that’s in the forecast for us. But that’s okay!) 

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After that, we decided we wanted to go back to our Air BnB, to rest my leg, and to freshen up for the night ahead.

We spotted Magnolia Bakery, so we knew we had to grab a sweet treat to bring back to the room with us. (NYC Cheesecake? Yes, please!!)

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(Thanks for the recommendation cousin Michelle and Aunt Paula!!!)

On our way over to the subway entrance, we walked by Radio City Music hall, and of course, I had to snap a few photos.

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As we were walking by, we heard someone yelling something about free tickets. I immediately thought it was a scam, but was interested anyways. So I looked back, and it was actually a Radio City Music Hall worker.

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I turned to her and I said, “Really? What’s the catch?” She just kept saying, “I have free tickets here, and I can’t sell them. Does anyone want to see the show?”

So, we asked her when the show was and she said, NOW! She handed us the tickets, and the next thing I knew, we were inside the theater, and The Christmas Spectacular starring The Rockettes was starting!

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WHAT?! Jason and I were stunned. MERRY CHRISTMAS TO US! I was juuuuust saying to Jason, “Sorry we aren’t going to get to see The Rockettes while we’re here….”

WHAT?! I’m still shocked that we actually got free tickets to see The Rockettes! AH!

I definitely cried once I saw them on stage. screen-shot-2016-12-13-at-10-17-20-pm

Okay, now it’s really beginning to feel like Christmas.

We also had pretty darn good seats, so this was such a treat for us. (Oh, and don’t forget we had a piece of cheesecake from Magnolia Bakery in our hand! So of course, we ate it while we watched the show. Talk about a dream come true! 😉 )

After the show, we had plans to see an old friend from high school. I hadn’t seen Perla in YEARS! I am so happy we got to connect after so long.  (Excuse our subway background, we almost forgot to take a picture! Hahah) 

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Perla took us to a great place too! It’s called Ayza. It’s a little chocolate and wine bar in Midtown, and we stopped in for happy hour and a little bite to eat. I was happy to see a place that a local would suggest 🙂

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After we parted ways with Perla, Jason let me know that he was still super hungry. So, we went to Pokeworks, which was an experience in itself. Sushi burrito? Count me in!

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Everything is made to order, and you can customize it any way that you want.

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If you haven’t been to a place like this and you like sushi, you’ve got to try it! I love that you can really make it any way that you want. I would definitely recommend Pokeworks if you are in NY.

 

We still had a little bit of time left in the night, so we went over to Times Square to wander around a little.

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We poked around in stores, and got super excited to see some shows while we are here. But we didn’t stay too long, because we started to get pretty tired. screen-shot-2016-12-13-at-10-15-16-pm screen-shot-2016-12-13-at-10-15-03-pm

And so, that ended our day two in NYC.

Tomorrow, Brooklyn.

All for now,

xoxox

Meg

New York City: Day One

Although I was not thrilled with only having four hours of sleep, when I woke up this morning, I was SO EXCITED! The day was here! NYC! We boarded our flight at 7:30, and landed in Newark around 10:30 and took the train into the city. We were able to check into our Air BnB, and then head out to explore. (That’s the ideal version of what happened, of course. That’s not including our utter confusion of the subway, not understanding the metro card machines, getting off at the wrong stop, and then taking an uber the rest of the way. HAH! You learn from your mistakes, right?

screen-shot-2016-12-12-at-10-47-34-pmOnce we were settled into our room, the next thing we desperately needed was FOOD. So we stopped into a little ramen place down the street from our Air BnB. SO SO GOOD!

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Apparently there are a couple of Totto Ramen restaurants around Manhattan but we tried the one in Midtown East. We sat at a table with a couple of local regulars, and ordered some veggie ramen. (Jason got the spicy, of course.) I would highly recommend this place, especially if you are looking to get in and out of somewhere quickly. Their staff was friendly and helpful, and it was a nice introduction to the city.

After that we headed over to Central Park! (Which was about a 15 minute walk.)

screen-shot-2016-12-12-at-10-48-30-pmWe really wanted to go ice skating in Central Park, but the rink was closed due to weather! So Jason and I decided we should just wander around the park for a little while, and I am so glad we did. We mainly explored the southern part of Central Park. We stopped to watch a saxophone player, and to admire the pups running by, and to people watch of course.  We walked down The Mall (my favorite spot) and down  Strawberry Fields and through the Bethesda Fountain and Terrace.

screen-shot-2016-12-12-at-10-49-02-pmI think Jason most enjoyed running all over the rocks, and playing with the fallen leaves all through the park. 😉 

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I am actually happy we got to explore the park instead of ice skating. Exploring was super fun! If we have time, I think we might try to skate another day. (Maybe in Bryant park instead?)

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At this point in our journey, we were in NEED of some coffee. We tried two places, the first had a great atmosphere and okay coffee, it was called Madman Espresso.

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The second place we went was called Third Rail Coffee. They served Counter Culture Coffee, and it was delicious. This really hit the spot, and gave us the energy to get through the rest of the night. 

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After that, we made our way over to 
Cacio E Pepe. Ummm this place was soon delicious! We decided to eat here after seeing a viral video of how they serve their pasta (in a giant wheel of cheese.) I mean how could we resist??

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And yes, it tasted as good as it looked. (Jason wasn’t a huge fan, but I loved it!!)

To end the night, we walked over to  230 Fifth Rooftop Bar. (Thanks for the suggestion Nick and Keani!) What a cool experience!! This wasn’t just any rooftop bar. This bar gives you a snuggie to cuddle up with, and serves hot beverages for you to sip on. (Oh, and also an AMAZING view of the city, including the Empire State Building.)  Not to mention, the roof is lined with colorful heated igloos for big parties to sit under. We know this is a total tourist trap, but what a great concept! We couldn’t resist.

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After that we made our way back to our room. We were soooooo exhausted, and ready for some shut eye.

We can’t wait to see what is next on our journey!

(Oh, also, I think I might have pulled a muscle in my right leg. Not entirely sure. By the end of the night I was in tears because of the pain. I am hoping that the pain will be gone tomorrow. Fingers crossed! I have the best of luck, don’t I?) 

All for now,

xoxox

Meg

 

 

 

 

5 Tips for the Woman Who is Always on the Road

img_3718If your life is anything like mine, you are always on the move. I travel a lot for work, but mostly to territories throughout Florida. In other words, I pretty much live in my car.

By now, I have gotten pretty good at being out and about, but also prepared. You’ll find some of my tips below. I would love to hear any tips any of you might have for me too

1.Get Yourself a Mary Poppins Bag. 

Keep everything in this bag, and bring it everywhere. It should be big enough to hold your laptop, papers, and folders, but also have room for things like your emergency kit, sunglasses, a water bottle, ect.

2. Get Organized.

I have found that by keeping things in separated tiny bags, I am a little more organized. I keep everything in smaller bags inside of my Mary Poppins bag. This way, if  I need to bring a smaller bag with me, I can easily grab the things I do and don’t want inside. It can get so frustrating when you feel like your things are scattered across your car. If you feel yourself loosing track of things, pause and re-group. It will save you time in the long-run Also, if you’re a jewelry girl, I highly recommend grabbing yourself a great jewelry separator for all of your small easily lost or tangled items.

3. Stay Healthy.

When you are traveling a lot, your body can get run down and worn out. It’s so important to stay healthy, even when you’re on the road. Pack yourself a cooler full of healthy snacks and quick meals so you aren’t temped to run through a fast food place. Also, take your vitamins!!

4.  Pack Within One Color Family.

Packing neutrals has been key for me! I always try to pack a sweater that goes with everything, and a pair of shoes that are comfortable and that match all of my outfits, depending on how long I’ll be gone. It’s nice to be on the lighter side when you have to lug your bag from place to place. Plus, even if you pack lightly, and wear seemingly neutral pieces, you can always jazz it up with smaller accessories.

5. Bring Something that Comforts You.

Being on the road can be lonely sometimes. If you have something that reminds you of home, it can be really comforting. Maybe it’s your favorite tea, or your crystals, or your boyfriend’s hoodie, or all of them. Sometimes that little thing is just enough to cheer you up if you’re feeling down.

BONUS: The things I always keep in my Mary Poppins Bag

  • Emergency kit: band-aids, floss, chapstick, mints, Benadryl, Advil, Tums, safety pins, lotion, triple antibiotic ointment, mini deodorant, nail clippers, tweezers.
  • Laptop, charger. (Phone, Charger. Camera, charger, cord. Never assume your battery will last. It probably won’t.)
  •  Wallet, sunglasses, keys, pepper spray.
  • A pouch full of regularly needed items: Burt’s Bees, Lipsticks, Pony Tail Holders, Bobby Pins, Back-up Touch Up Makeup, Body Spray. (Also, Name tag, sticky notes, business cards, pens for work.)
  • Refillable Water bottle

Essential for travel 

And Vacation Continues…

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Our second stop on our vacation was at Kill Devil’s Hill in North Carolina, affectionately known as OBX. Jason and I were able to meet up with my family there, which was a change of pace. We had so much fun!

A few of my mom’s friends let our family stay at their house there, and we were within walking distance of the beach! Jason and I had fun searching for sea glass and walking down by the shore.

IMG_1247After arriving at Kill Devil’s Hill, Mom, Jason and I went over to the Wright Brother’s Memorial. I definitely recommend taking a trip there if you are in OBX.

Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 3.23.34 PM The hill was definitely a climb with my injured knee, but the view was worth it!Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 3.23.50 PM Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 3.24.04 PM Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 3.23.06 PM

PS- This dress is from Target, and I basically live in it. It is super comfy, and was great for our long drive from Charleston. I threw on some slip on shoes and a chunky necklace and it made for a great travel outfit. Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 3.24.50 PM Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 3.26.11 PMScreen Shot 2016-07-03 at 3.25.05 PMAfter touring the museum, we relaxed with the family and took a nice long NAP!

Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 3.33.42 PMOur first full day in OBX was one of my favorites on the whole trip. We rode horses on the beach! What a dream! We drove down to Cape Hatteras National Seashore and Recreation Area, and met the team from Hatteras Island Horseback Riding.

Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 3.26.51 PM Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 3.27.40 PM Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 3.27.08 PM Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 3.26.32 PM If you are ever in the area and want to do this, I highly recommend Hatteras Island Horseback Riding. They were great, and very accommodating. They were also pretty reasonable with pricing for our family. Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 3.28.49 PM Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 3.28.32 PM Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 3.29.56 PM Seriously guys, how cute are they?!

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Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 3.27.53 PM Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 3.29.03 PM Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 3.29.16 PMAfter we were done with the horses, we hit a couple of lighthouses and museums on our way back north.

Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 3.30.15 PMScreen Shot 2016-07-03 at 3.30.51 PMThe first one we hit was the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. We climbed  all 257 steps to get to the top! I think this was my favorite lighthouse. I love the classic black and white!

Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 3.31.15 PM Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 3.31.27 PM Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 3.31.44 PM Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 3.32.04 PM Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 3.32.15 PMWe then saw The Bodie Light house (which we were too pooped to climb! 😉 )

Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 3.32.45 PM Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 3.33.00 PM This is Jason’s vacation hat, and it was one of the best things to have happened on the vacation hahah! Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 3.33.13 PMIMG_1283
IMG_6802The next day we took a little trip over to The Whalehead Club in Corolla, which was GORGEOUS! The house was designed completely in art nouveau and had some amazing art throughout (like Tiffany’s glass!).  We took the house tour, which brought us through 21,000 square feet of history. The house was used for many different things throughout history, so it was very cool to spend time in.

Unfortunately you can’t take photos inside, hence the lack of photos on this place. But trust me, it’s gorgeous!

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We also visited the The Currituck Lighthouse after that. This was my mom’s favorite. The lighthouse is just around the corner from Whalehead. We decided not to climb, but it was definitely worth the visit.

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Overall, OBX was BEAUTIFUL! We definitely enjoyed our stay there. It was a more relaxing part of our vacation. We cooked at home, took lots of naps, and used the time to power back up for the next couple of days ahead.

All for now

xoxo

Meg

Roadtrip: Charleston

Jason and I recently embarked on a driving trip through the Southeast. This was our first road trip together and it was quite successful. I did a crap ton of planning ahead of time so that things would go smoothly. I also did tons of research to find out the places that were worth while. We spent about two days in each city, so I am going to post a little guide of some of our favorite places to check out. We are coffee lovers, so there will be lots of shops included!

Today’s guide: Charleston.

Our first stop was Black Tap Coffee. We had been driving since 5am and didn’t arrive until around 12pm, so it was definitely time for a cup of coffee.

IMG_8314 IMG_8934The vibes were great. The shop was smaller, so it was a little hot with all of the people crammed into it, but other than that, we had no complaints. We talked to some of their baristas about good places to explore in the area, and they had some great suggestions. Black Tap just started roasting not too long ago, so we talked a little about that, and ended up buying a bag of beans from them. If we lived in Charleston, this would probably be a frequent hang out spot for us.  We quickly did some work (yes we both worked on our vaca!) and then headed out.

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We passed the Old Jail on our way through the neighborhood… you know… casual. The Old Jail building served as the Charleston County Jail from its construction in 1802 until 1939.

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We wanted a real Southern experience, so we decided a trip to a historical plantation would do the trick. We went to Middleton Plantation, and it was BEAUTIFUL!

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Middleton Place is a National Historic Landmark and home to America’s Oldest Landscaped Gardens. According to the website, “Built in 1755, the House Museum interprets four generations of Middleton Family, with extraordinary family furniture, silver, porcelain, rare books and portraits on display. Birthplace of a signer of the Declaration of Independence, Middleton Place and the Middletons have played an important role in American history. The property has miraculously remained under the same family stewardship for some 320 years, and today, successfully preserves history for visitors to enjoy.” Being a history buff, this was pretty impressive!

IMG_6622 There were gardens on gardens on gardens! It was fun to sort of get lost in the different parts of the property. PS- it’s 65 acres! Talk about a big garden! I loved that I kept seeing hydrangeas everywhere I went! I love them, and they don’t just grow like that in Florida, so it was a pleasant surpriseIMG_6631

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We toured the gardens, the chapel, the stables, the mill, the many graves throughout the gardens, as well as the slave cemetery,  but we did not tour the house. The house tour is not included in the admission price, for future travelers. There are many ways to tour Middleton Place, but we decided a self guided tour was best for us because we like to explore!

It was extremely hot, so we were happy to check into our AirBnb after that. After we were showered up, we headed out to dinner.

We went to The Grand Bohemian for a cocktail to start

IMG_9130If we weren’t doing Air Bnbs the whole trip, this would have been an excellent choice for a hotel. It was super quirky, and we loved the rooftop bar!

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For dinner we went to Butcher and Bee and we couldn’t have been more pleased!

IMG_4358 IMG_3576We were extremely impressed with the food and the service at this place. We HIGHLY recommend it. They serve everything for sharing, so Jason and I were able to order several different things, which is always a plus. Everything was fresh, and beautifully displayed. They also had vegetarian options, which was a huge plus for us.

IMG_3074Then we went to Edmund’s Oast for an after dinner drink, which was conveniently located right behind the restaurant. This place was also recommended by the baristas at Black Tap. The atmosphere was really cool, and we were able to sit outside under the twinkle lights. We didn’t find it to be over crowded, which is often our complaint with bars. The beer was great, and it was exactly what we were looking for.  It was the perfect way to end our first day of vacation.
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The next day we did a lot of walking, and boy was it HOT!

We began at Poogan’s Porch for brunch. We were sure to make a reservation here, as we heard it gets packed quick! There was a line out the door when we arrived right before opening.

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Jason must have gotten shrimp and grits at every restaurant we went to on this trip, so of course, that is what he ordered here too. I am not a fan of grits, but these were EXCELLENT! We wished we could have been seated outside, because the patio was adorable and so was the front porch.
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We then went to White Point Gardens, also known as The Battery.

IMG_6665 IMG_6685 I mean, this place was stunning. It is right on the water, and the perfect place to enjoy a picnic or just some casual wanderings. White Point was first used as a public garden in 1837. With the outbreak of the Civil War, it became a fortification for the city. Also, in the 1720s a famous pirate named Stede Bonnet was hanged here with another 50 more of his kind. He was later buried nearby. You can find a memorial of him in this park as well. IMG_6694

PS- this top is from Anthropologie, and was great for this extremely hot day! You can find it here!

IMG_6702 IMG_6723 We wandered down some of the streets to explore. We were pretty much in awe of how beautiful these houses were!

We had originally planned to take a carriage ride through downtown Charleston, but the temperature was 100 degrees. We still saw horses out and about but knew they must be exhausted. It really was not cool enough for horses to lugging around carriages. We even saw people protesting the horse carriage companies with signs on their porches saying “Too hot for horses!” We decided it was for the best not to take a tour. If we were exhausted, so were they. So, we walked!

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My favorite little spot was Rainbow Row. SO GORGEOUS! Jason and I had fun picking out which house would be ours in our imaginations. IMG_5523

After that, we explored in Charleston City Market.

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There were lots of local shops and makers. We were happy to explore through the air conditioned portions of the market too! 😉 It was definitely worth the trip through. We were able to find some cool prints to take home for cheap!

Then, we wandered down King Street. This is a major shopping street, full of stores that I LOVE! We happened to come on the second Sunday of the month, and they had the whole street shut down. They had live musicians, and other vendors along the street, which made it even more interesting for us.

I currently work for URBN inc, so I am always interested to go into the different stores they have. Their Anthropologie was beautiful, but our favorite was the Urban Outfitters on King St.

IMG_6147The space used to hold a theater, and then was turned into this beautiful store!

IMG_6150I happily bought a pair of shorts to change into because I was SWEATING! This heat was something different than anything I have felt in Florida. I might have started to get a bit dehydrated too, because suddenly I didn’t feel too well.

We went to a little sandwich shop along King St. to recharge.

We definitely needed a little pick me up by this point, so we headed over to Kudu Coffee after that. IMG_9391 We liked that it was part bar, and part coffee shop. Jason enjoyed a glass of beer and I enjoyed a glass of wine after our coffees were finished. The decor was eclectic, and there was a great amount of seating outdoors. We really liked the environment. IMG_1582After this, we decided to go back to our Air Bnb to rest.

We chatted with our host, and decided to take their advice on a place for dinner. We headed out to Folly Beach, and went to this hole in the wall bar that served tacos and rice and beans. It was delicious, and had a great price tag! It was called Chico Feo. This seemed like the kind of place that locals could stay a while. The bar was outdoors, with dogs freely roaming. The service was quick and friendly. It was perfect, and gave us an excuse to see Folly Beach.

We walked across the street to the beach as the sun was setting. We dipped our feet in, and  admired the pier, and headed in for the night.

In the morning, we started our drive to the outer banks in North Carolina.

More to come,

 xoxox

Meg