New York Travel Diary
Updated: Jan 5, 2018
One of the first pieces of advice I got from Spencer's new boss when we moved to San Diego was, "Just go! Take off for the weekend, plan trips, explore together! Once you have children it will be a lot more difficult, so take advantage of it now." The very next day we made a list of our top five places in the US that we wanted to explore. Number one on both of our lists was New York during Christmas time. So I put together an itinerary and we booked it. Was this real life?!
When we go on vacations we always love meeting couples and making new friends. In February, we lucked out and met three amazing couples when we were in Maui, HI. We went to a Luau together, dinners and even partied at clubs. One of the couples, Joey & Frieda, happened to live smack dab in Manhattan. We immediately reached out to them and within a few days they gave us an hour-by-hour itinerary of our trip! Not only was it beyond generous but extremely helpful to make the most out of our quick 3-1/2 day tour of New York City. Another couple we met in Hawaii, Brett and Alisha (who are from Utah), had expressed that NY was on their bucket-list as well and decided to join us! Three couples who were complete strangers, met in Hawaii for two nights and end up on this last minute trip to New York....how cool is that??!
We took a redeye on a Thursday night at 11PM and arrived Friday morning at 7am. Although it was awesome to fall asleep in California and wake up in New York, I would not recommend that again. We did it to save money and time but only ended up being exhausted and fairly useless that first day. We didn't accomplish half of what was on the list but did manage to maneuver through the subway, explore ground zero, saw the Statue of Liberty and were in the middle of Wall Street. Don't get me wrong, we had a great first day but it was a little challenging to fight through the exhaustion. Joey & Frieda couldn't join us until Saturday but they made us reservations at one of the top steak restaurants and boy they did not disappoint. The rest of the night we bar hopped and ultimately landed at this swanky roof top bar with insane views. We searched out drunk munchies and stayed up until the late hours of the night.
Saturday we were determined to start bright and early but with the little sleep we had gotten the past two nights, mixed with the time change, we ended up sleeping in. We did wake up to the first snow fall of the season and that was magical! We took a step outside and it felt like we just had landed in a Christmas movie. I had read so many forums of New York weather and snow in December was very unlikely, so we were pleasantly surprised to be apart of the first snow fall. Saturday was our productive day because we had Joey & Frieda giving us the grand tour. We saw Rockefeller Center, Radio City Hall, Park Avenue, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Saks Fifth Ave, Trump Tower, Madison Ave, Candy Stores, Macy's Christmas Display, and my ultimate favorite Central Park! At one point all six of us were walking by central park and out of no where three young boys start throwing snowballs at us. It led to an impromptu snowball fight with the men as the ladies ran away laughing. Another highlight of the day was getting to see Joey & Frieda's condo. We sat on the balcony drinking beers and soaking up the city views - for a second we felt like the New Yorkers. Dinner was at a delicious restaurant called Ethos Gallery 51, apparently it's one of the best Greek restaurants in all of NY . Amidst the appetizers and food tasting they had fun music and sparklers going off every ten minutes or so. I was eating food that I had never tried before and the atmosphere was energetic and fun! After we bar hopped with Joey's assistance and ended the night at 2:00am at a Pizza joint.
Sunday was another productive day, even though we managed to somehow sleep in again. We started off the day at Grand Central terminal, then ice skated at Bryant Park, walked all through time square, then found ourselves at this Christmas themed roof top bar. Our last night with the crew was reservations at Lavo, which is an upscale Italian restaurant which turns into a nightclub, so you had to dress to impress. Within the first five seconds of walking in, Spencer spotted three Laker players! He immediately became star-stuck but somehow managed to get a picture with them. For Spencer, this was one of the highlights of the trip. The restaurant/club had a 20's theme with performances every twenty minutes. When everyone was done eating the main course, the music switched, people started standing up and the dance party began. The type of energy New Yorkers have is amazing and this quickly became another highlight of the trip. We danced the night away and stayed until they kicked us out.
The last day in New York, Spencer headed to the Manhattan office to work for a few hours while I slept off a gnarly hangover and packed up the hotel. We were able to squeeze in a trip to the Brooklyn bridge, just the two of us, before we officially started our journey home. One thing that we took away from this trip is that the spontaneous vacations are the ones that end up being the most fun! We were so lucky to have gone with such a great group of people and thank Brett, Alisha, Joey & Frieda for being apart of it!
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