It was one of those "You Only Live Once" moments when I told my friend Camellia" Let's do it, book the flight! "
You see we have been talking about making this trip for SO long, but life always got in the way. Kids, work, family, health...you know, life! So once a little health scare I had came back normal, I called my friend and said lets go!
I have to admit, growing up in Chicago, I never really had a desire to visit New York City. I thought the 2 cities would have a very similar vibe and Chicago was always known as the cleaner smaller version of NYC. Lets just say I was wrong as this trip completely changed my opinion and made me fall in love with NYC!
In this blog post I will take you on a step by step journey of my 2 full days exploring all the little and big things NYC has to offer.
This is a video montage I was able to put together with the help of Snapchat that documents most of the major attractions.
Packing for New York:
The temperature in New York City can range from hot & humid in the summer to below freezing in the winter. So having a feel for what the weather will be like when you are visiting can help with what to pack. Luckily our trip was in late September. Perfect time to visit as it's early fall with low 70s to upper 60s. Just the perfect weather to walk around in and explore everything NYC has to offer.
While thinking about what to pack, I couldn't help but think of Carrie Bradshaw from my all time favorite show Sex and the City. She lived for fashion and even has confessed to buying Vogue instead of dinner.
"When I first moved to New York and I was totally broke, sometimes I would buy Vogue instead of dinner. I felt it fed me more." - Carrie Bradshaw
I knew that I had to pack for comfort but still be somehow "fashionably put-together". Lululemons and flip-flops ain't gonna cut it for NYC!
Comfortable walking shoes:
I am not a gym shoe type of girl, but finding a walking shoe that is both comfortable AND cute was a must!
I found these super adorable Sperry's over at my local Nordstrom's Rack. It was love at first try! Super comfy and adorable! After all "Shoes are part of the outfit".
Clothing for daytime:
Day One Outfit:
Found this supper cute Cold-Shoulder Striped Knit Sneaker Dress over at my favorite store White House Black Market. I went with a grey jacket and a yellow scarf in case i get cold and to add a color pop! Outfit for Day One ✓
Day Two Outfit:
While visiting Bloom , a women's boutique located in San Elijo Hills, I found this black and white striped jumpsuit. Super comfortable and surprisingly slimming! It also went perfectly with the gray jacket and my white Sperry's. Outfit for Day Two ✓
Clothing for Evening:
Planing outfits for evening time was easier than planning for day time. I kept it simple. You can't go wrong with a Black dress ✓
NYC Must See:
We arrived to our hotel in SOHO on Thursday night around 10pm. We knew we couldn't possibly visit every single attraction in just 2 days, so we made a list of our top things to see, mapped it out and went with that plan. The video in the beginning of the blog documents most of the places we visited during our very short visit. Thanks to my friend Camellia who purchased all the tickets ahead of time so we didn't have to do it while in NYC. It saved us a lot of time and money.
We also used an app called SplitWise . It
takes the trouble out of sharing expenses between friends. It keeps a running total over time, so you can pay each other back in one big payment, instead of a bunch of small ones. I highly recommend it!
"Time" is everything!
Friday morning - After grabbing coffee and bagels from a local cafe, we walked from SOHO to the memorial. These 30-foot waterfalls sit on the footprint where the Twin Towers once stood. It was the 16th anniversary of 9/11, I couldn't help but feel very emotional reading the names of people who lost their lives during that sad, tragic and unforgettable day.
Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
It was about a 30 mins walk from the 9/11 memorial to Battery Park where we took a ferry over to Ellis Island to see the Statue of Liberty. For millions of immigrants, the Statue of Liberty was the first glimpse of America. I again felt very emotional seeing it for the first time in my life as an immigrant of 26 years.
Sculptor Of Wall Street Bull and Fearless Girl
As we got off the ferry in Battery Park, we started walking back towards our hotel in SOHO. We grabbed a couple hotdogs and orange sodas from a street vendor, sat down on a bench and enjoyed every bite of the oh-so-famous New York Hotdog!
Feeling like 2 fearless mamas, we made sure to visit our fearless girl in New York City's financial district as she and the Charging Bull square off.
Eataly is a vibrant Italian marketplace that features an array of cafes, counters, restaurants, and a cooking school. It's like Disneyland for foodies, chefs and all who appreciate fresh food . Knowing we had dinner plans, we stopped by and had the most amazing Italian desserts. Yum!
A few blocks down from Eataly was the beautiful Trinity Church. One of the oldest churches in America. It's an active Episcopal Parish that has been an integral part of New York City’s history for more than 300 years. We went inside to say a little prayer to keep us safe during our adventures in NYC.
Dinner at BUDDAKAN
75 9th Avenue
It was dinner time, so we left our hotel after a few hours of rest and headed to Buddakan for an 8pm reservation. We made these reservations a month in advance as it's one of NYC's top most visited restaurants. It's a trendy Chinese restaurant located in the Meatpacking district also known to be the location where Carrie and Big had their rehearsal dinner on the first movie.
The vibe, the decor and the food was all breath taking! It's a must if you are visiting NYC.
Breakfast at BALTHAZAR
80 Spring St.
Day two - We took a walk from our hotel to Balthazar french restaurant which is not only one of the best breakfast places in SOHO but also happens to be one of the restaurant from Sex and the City. win win! We absolutely loved the breakfast and the amazing atmosphere of this charming restaurant.
We took the subway from Soho to Times Square and in a New York minute we were there! It is a major commercial intersection, tourist destination, entertainment center and neighborhood in the Midtown Manhattan section of New York City at the junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue. Shoulder to shoulder crowds, flashing lights, it's everything I imagined it to be and more!
The perfect way to relax in the city and leave the crowds behind is to spend sometime in Central Park. It is absolutely mind blowing, gorgeous, charming and magical!!! Never seen so much greenery and beauty all in one place. We rented bikes from a near by shop and started our adventure around this magical place that looks like it's out of a fairy tale.
BROADWAY SHOW - WICKED
Wicked is a unique take on the classic story "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz"
I am not much into musicals, but I know that you can't come to NYC and not do a Broadway show. Its a must! We reunited with another friend of ours who lives in Manhattan to have dinner and watch the show together. It was a very special night with so many memories created. The show was fantastic!
Times Square at night was absolutely amazing... lights, people, sounds... So much energy in this beautiful place.
Empire State Building
It was Day 3. We checked out of our hotel and headed to see one last thing on our list before heading to the airport. The Empire State Building is symbol for New York City, and a star in some great romantic movie scenes. The views of the city from the 86th-floor deck are spectacular, but the views from 16 stories up on the 102nd-floor observatory are even more so.
It was a perfect way to say goodbye to this beautiful city after a few slices of New York pizza for lunch.
My friend asked me if I will visit again.... and I replied "Abso-f***ing-lutely"
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