The Big Apple

I have something to admit – even though I love travelling I am soooo bad at sharing blogs about it!
I have so many photos of when Zach and I went to Peru last summer (I made a photobook for him for Christmas) and even though I wrote in my journal every day and captured as much of the trip as I could through words, I never posted a blog about it.
I wasn’t about to let that happen again! So even though it’s like a month late, here is a blog all about our latest trip – the Big Apple (equestrians rejoice)!
Zach and I try to take a trip every year and we have been incredibly fortunate to have been able to keep that up for the last four years. But this year, after returning home from our big backpacking trip through Peru, we knew we may not be able to financially swing another big trip.
Which is when my brain started yelling, “Go to New York! Go to New York! Go to New York!”
We’ve never done a “winter” trip and I’ve always wanted to see the city where basically all Christmas movies were filmed so we did a little research. We ended up finding a really good deal on a flight and hotel in New York City for December so our decision was made.
On December 19th at 5 AM, Zach and I got into a cab and headed for the airport. The flight was not long, maybe an hour, so we were in our hotel by early afternoon.
As we got off the subway and wheeled our luggage through the busy streets of Time Square, I couldn’t help feeling like I was in a movie. We eventually reached our hotel (after a few wrong turns and a couple arguments) and it was so much nicer than I was expecting.
The hotel was called Hotel Mela and it was on 44th (I think) street, which is basically directly in the middle of Time Square. It was very clean, cozy and warm and we couldn’t really beat the location. If you’re headed to New York City anytime soon, give this hotel a try!
Our first day we spent just walking around and exploring the sites and sounds. We visited stores like Sugarfina, Anthropologie, and Kate Spade (because I’ve only ever seen them online) and the NBA store (which I think you can guess who that was for). We walked and saw the displays at Saks Fifth Avenue and Macy’s – talk about Christmas spirit! I felt like I had wandered into a fairytale – not only because the theme this year was fairytales but also because of the twinkling lights and insanely beautiful fashion.

Our first night we had a reservation at a fancy Japanese restaurant called Tao Uptown which after a long wait (we actually didn’t end up getting seated until closer to 9:30 PM – our reservation was at 9) we were taken to the third (yes, third!) level of the restaurant and had a cozy little table in the corner overlooking all the people below us. This place was packed!

Our waiter was amazing – I have never felt so fancy in my life. He gave us amazing recommendations (we tried sushi with curry sauce on it – yum!) and at the end of the night brought us a GIGANTIC dessert platter as an apology for the wait.

It was a pretty great first day. After dinner, with our bellies very full, we walked back to our hotel and instantly fell asleep.
Day two we did A LOT of walking during the day. We came across Bryant Park (I fell in love) and explored the Christmas market they had going on. We made it to SoHo before our feet were screaming for us to stop so we sat down in a restaurant and had pizza. It was very yummy.

 But it was the evening that really stole the show. After walking around the city and seeing the beautiful twinkling lights (New York really pulls out all the stops) Zach and I went to….drum roll, please…BROADWAY!

We ended up getting tickets to Wicked (amazing). You can buy them the day of the show for discount prices, but I wasn’t going to risk not seeing the show so we bought ours ahead of time.

I HAVE NO WORDS for how great the show was. I have never seen a musical before (though I’ve always wanted to) and this one blew me away. The actors (is that what they’re called?)  were funny and soooo talented. The plot was something I never expected and I seriously never wanted the show to end.
Day three we did, you guessed it, even more walking around. We went back to Bryant Park (I pretty much lived there) and had Cookie Dough Confections (uhm…YAS). We basically just bummed around until the afternoon because we had a carriage ride through Central Park planned for 2 PM.

The company we used was NYC Horse Carriage Rides and I would highly recommend them. Their horses were in good health and the people were well organized and friendly. There was another company working at the same time (I can’t remember the name – I wish I could!) that I would not recommend. They were rude and pushy, and their horses were skinny. I didn’t like them. Anyways, I digress.
Our carriage drivers name was Richard and his horse’s name was Josephine. She was a standardbred x morgan x Percheron and I loved her. She was a no-nonsense girl who seemed to really enjoy her job.
Richard took us all throughout Central Park and told us about all the different movies that were filmed, showed us the corner where John Lennon had been shot and other historic places throughout the park.

That night we went to Grimaldi’s for pizza and it was delicious. You basically build your own pizza and they bring it to your table. It was so cheesy and amazing, my mouth is watering just thinking about it. Real mozzarella cheese is what heaven is made of, I swear it.
Our last day was pretty relaxed. We packed up our luggage, which our hotel graciously held while we went and did a final walkabout New York. We ended up going to lunch at Bubba Gump’s Shrimp Co. (lawl) and we split some fried shrimp and I got a bucket of fries. Literally. They came in a bucket.
After lunch, we caught a cab and proceeded to the airport. Where our plane ended up being delayed by 4 HOURS. Can’t travel without at least one airport inconvenience, I guess. We ended up landing in Canada around 1 AM and made it home by 3 AM. But, overall, the trip was amazing and worth it and I can’t wait to go back and see more of New York City!