Hi friend! I hope you had a wonderful weekend. I took advantage of it and relaxed as much as possible since last week was so jam packed. Jordan’s first soccer game was Saturday and of course it was the cutest. All those little babes running after the ball in a heap is so innocently sweet.
We also celebrated Brian’s daughter’s 12th birthday at his parents house and that was fun too. They have a little lake off the back of their house, and it’s wonderful to just sit outside and enjoy each other’s company. Our weather has been glorious and it puts us in the best mood.
NYC TRIP RECAP
You may remember I went to New York about a week ago. My boyfriend, Brian had business there early in the week and it was his birthday on that Friday, so I flew in and met him. The last time I was in NY was for an Amazon event and before that for a BHG event, but there haven’t been any blog conferences for me to attend the last couple of years.
It was great to explore the city with Brian and get to celebrate his birthday at one of his favorite restaurants. I really enjoy traveling with him. He’s great to be with we like the same kinds of things.
I took pics with my iPhone and lots with my little digital camera. I love this camera because, even on the auto setting, it takes fantastic pictures. The pics are even better than the iPhone, and then you can send them to your phone over wifi. It also takes videos and has a flip screen, perfect if you like taking videos too.
*At the bottom of the post, I linked where we stayed, all the restaurants we ate at, plus, my travel essentials and helpful tips so you could have them in one spot.
I got into town on Thursday afternoon and we had just about an hour to walk around Soho before it was time to meet Brian’s coworker and client for dinner.
I wore leggings and a tunic top on the plane and kept the same thing on for walking around. Best to be comfy when traveling!
We stayed at The Dominic hotel in Soho and it was really nice. I was surprised how roomy it was since lots of New York hotel rooms are tiny. This room had a desk area, large bathroom and a little cafe area with a big ‘foyer’.
Of course I packed with my travel cubes, they make everything fit so compact inside your suitcase and they keep you organized.
We were on the 23rd floor and had a nice view of the city. From the bedroom window, we could see the Freedom Tower.
That bathroom was perfectly big enough for two people to get ready in. I brought my new makeup case and toiletry bag and I liked how chic they look together, plus how functional they are. I’d definitely recommend them if you travel often.
After a quick refresh, we were off to dinner. We started out walking, but then realized the restaurant was actually further than we thought!
In my packing post, you helped me decide on this outfit for dinner. I felt really comfortable and classy in it.
The next morning, we slept in a bit and took our time getting out the door. We didn’t really have a plan, just decided to start walking and see what was around.
We quickly ended up in Little Italy and popped into Ruby’s Cafe for brunch. It’s a super small restaurant in Soho (but they have other locations) and we got there right before a big line formed outside.
I ordered a BLAT (bacon, lettuce, avocado and tomato) and it was extra good! One of the best I’ve ever had, in fact.
Little Italy happened to be having a festival where vendors lined the street and you could taste different bites of food. I didn’t get one because I was full from brunch, but the funnel cakes looked so good!
We popped inside Bloomingdale’s since we don’t have one in Houston and I bought these lipsticks.
Brian had never been to Eataly, and I think it’s a fun place to stop. It’s a huge marketplace with different restaurants and counters you can sit and eat at. It was nice to take a load off after walking for miles and grab a coffee and dessert.
The tiramisu in the little cup on the right was our fave!
At Zara, I bought the tee I’m wearing because I started to get hot in my tunic. The weather was mild, but lots of walking got me sweating. Then, later on, I was chilly. Go figure!
Standing in front of the One World Trade Center/Freedom Tower is incredibly moving and sobering.
Seeing and feeling the names of those who lost their lives on 9/11 makes my heart ache. We took our time here, just taking in the magnitude of it all.
It was kind of fitting that our next stop was at St. Patrick’s cathedral. We went inside, gave a donation and just took in the beauty. It’s really stunning up close and inside.
We also went inside Grand Central Station and that is a hub of busy activity. But it’s also beautify inside, especially the architecture and ceiling.
Radio City Music Hall was also nearby and we tried to go to the Top of the Rock (Brian had never been), but it was closed for a private event.
Rockefeller Center is always a sight to see, even though it was under construction while we were here.
We were getting kinda pooped by this point, it was early evening, so we stopped in Oceana and sat at the bar and had some wine and appetizers.
By the time we got back to our hotel before dinner, we had walked over 7 miles and 16,000 steps!
It was time to treat the birthday boy for dinner and he chose one of his favorite restaurants, Balthazar. It really was so good and we got the hostess to snap our picture before heading being seated.
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We at the most delicious ceviche and I ordered steak frites for dinner and Brian had the halibut. We also got a creme brulee for dessert.
After dinner, we went to Minetta Tavern and had a drink at the bar. One of my all-time favorite shows is Mad Men, and Minetta Tavern is where Peggy’s boyfriend didn’t propose, but asked to move in together.
We knew we wanted to go explore Central park on Saturday, so we took a subway from Soho and walked from there.
Using the subway app made traveling via subway a no brainer. It’s only $3 a ride or $9 for a day pass. The app is so user friendly- you just type in where you want to go, and then you can choose quickest route or fewest stops and it tells you what subway to get on. There’s also a map and it shows you what stops are on your route.
I’ve been to NY several times, but still saw new parts of the park that I’ve never seen before. I always love to see everyone out and about and the weather was lovely, so it was really enjoyable.
We ate a delicious brunch at Sarabeth’s. I had the farro breakfast bowl with greens and poached eggs and it was so good! I actually ordered farro with my groceries when I got back home because I want to try to recreate this dish!
It was interesting to see these outdoor dining huts pop up all over the city. Many were decorated quite nicely. They offer outdoor seating and you don’t need proof of vaccination to dine there.
I love visiting bookstores, and while we were strolling on our way to Levain Bakery, we passed by Shakespeare’s and headed inside. It’s a very quaint, old school style bookstore and I bought a book while we were there.
The walk to Levain Bakery was 100% worth it! Those cookies made me drool they were so good!
Saturday night we met Brian’s friend and fiancee at Avra, a super chic restaurant that is absolutely stunning inside! I didn’t get a pic, but wore this outfit and felt great in it.
After dinner, we went to the Peninsula Rooftop and had a drink. The view is amazing from up there and the vibe is nice and relaxed.
Last morning in the city and we enjoyed a leisurely walk from our hotel to Le Pain Quotidien for breakfast. It was so cute and quaint inside and the service was really good.
It’s traditional French style and the coffee is even served in a bowl like they do in France. I ordered another breakfast bowl and it was good, but the one at Sarabeth’s was even better.
We took an Uber to the airport, and ended up getting delayed so we hung out in the airport for awhile. I made sure to order groceries so I’d have them on hand when I got home.
And doing laundry isn’t my fave after a trip, but I put all my dirties in a packing cube, which makes unpacking easier.
It was a great trip, but I did come home exhausted. It’s one of those fast trips where you feel like you need a vacation from your vacation! Am I right?!
Here’s a little recap, so you can have everything in one place:
Where We Stayed
- The Dominic in Soho
- peppermint essential oil (sniff it if you get carsick and it settles your tummy)
- comfy walking shoes – I walked over 16,000 steps a day in these
- sunglasses – super inexpensive and stylish, wore these all over town, great for day and snazzy enough for early evening
- crossbody bag – large enough to hold everything and has a slim profile with front zipper pocket
- packing cubes – for compact packing and staying organized
- toiletry bag
- makeup case
- digital camera
Restaurants We Ate At
- Il Mulino Prime – old school Italian and the waiters are like family
- Ruby’s Cafe – vegan, healthy options and delicious
- Eataly’s Pasty Counter – tiny, beautiful pastries and the tiramisu hit the spot
- Oceana – near Times Square, great to pop into for a glass of wine and apps at the bar
- Balthazar – our fave & where we celebrated Brian’s birthday
- Minetta Tavern – Mad Men spot
- Sarabeth’s – across from Central Park, delicious brunch
- Levain Bakery – worth walking a million miles for their world famous cookies
- Avra– stunning inside, ‘see and be seen’ vibe
- Peninsula Rooftop Bar – very cool view of the city
- Le Pain Quotidien – French style cafe with lovely service, they serve coffee in a bowl, tres chic!
- Currently, restaurants are requiring proof of vaccination if you want to sit indoors, but most restaurants offer comfortable outdoor seating. You can show a photo of your card, not the real paper copy. Some restaurants required photo ID too.
- The subway app makes traveling via subway foolproof and you can pay from your phone or credit card right at the turnstyle
- For safety reasons, it’s not recommended to take the subway at night
Do you live in NYC or have been recently? I’d love to hear your favorite spots and restaurants. Y’all always have such good insider info!
Now let’s go kick Monday’s booty!