This summer has been a great one for traveling! I got to visit D.C. for the first time and Matt got to visit N.Y.C. for the first time. A couple of weeks ago, Matt and I used to airline voucher that I had gotten from my last trip to San Francisco to fly up to the Big Apple for a long weekend. He is such a city person that I knew he was going to fall in love!
We left Atlanta bright and early on Friday morning (7:05 flight!). As usual, I struggled to get to sleep the night before traveling so I survived the first day in the city on caffeine. After a sleepy flight, we broke through the clouds and Matt had his first view of New York from above. It really is such an impressive city. We landed at Newark and took the train into Penn Station and then walked to our hotel in Chelsea.
I am an obsessive planner. I wanted to see all that we could in New York, so I researched the best way to see the city (double-decker bus) and compiled a list of the places I wanted to visit geographically with a time line and places to stop for meals along the way (based on the Travel Channel’s guides). I planned this trip HARD CORE.
Imagine my frustration when we checked into our hotel and were already 2 HOURS behind schedule, even though we had been on the go all morning.
Eventually we set out on our way and I tried to relax and go with the flow.
We finally made it to Times Square where we explored a bit. Then, Matt and I picked up our New York Passes and bus tickets and hopped on to our first destination which was the Natural History Museum. On the way there we stopped at the Shake Shack and had delicious Shack Burgers and cheese fries. Heaven. And then…because we were close to it…I stuffed myself even further with a chocolate walnut cookie from Levian Bakery.
It was unbelievable. (It was here that I also saw Michael Cera…made my day!)
Then we moseyed (ran) our way to the museum and took about 30 minutes to explore and watched the Space Show (narrated by Whoppi Goldberg). Because we were running out of time, we had to skip the next item on the list, which was ride bikes through Central Park. Matt and I were so tired and nasty from the humidity that it just wouldn’t have been fun. We took a cab back to our hotel, rested and showered before heading back out into the city.
Matt and I walked to Rockefeller Plaza where we did the “Top of the Rock” and had amazing views of the city.
Next, we hopped on over to Times Square where we took a double-decker bus Night Tour. It was so wonderful to sit down and see the city at night, with the cool air and fun commentary from our guide. The tour took us all over Lower Manhattan and then across the bridge to Brooklyn! We had some incredible photo opportunities.
Once our tour ended around 10:00, we headed out for pizza at a great Italian style place called Capizzi! We were both exhausted by this point, but very impressed by how much we had accomplished in one day. After our dinner, we walked home (a very long way) and fell into bed.
Saturday morning dawned and I awoke with a vengeance to tackle the day. Matt did not. We compromised and slept in until around 9:00. Then we caught a double-decker bus to the Financial District where we visit the 9/11 Memorial and then walked to Battery Park. Once in Battery Park, we boarded our sailboat for our sail around the Statue of Liberty! This was definitely my favorite part of the trip.
Our sailboat was called the Shearwater and we were very lucky to have relatively empty tour! Matt and I felt like high rollers with all the private attention we got! And space to stretch out on the deck.
After our relaxing sail, we hopped back on the bus and headed for our next food destination…Katz Deli! This was Matt’s #1 request for the whole trip. I will tell you…it was well worth the trek (it’s kind of out of the way of the rest of the touristy stops). We even saw a movie being filmed on our way to Katz (although I don’t know what movie it was). After splitting our Pastrami sandwich, we went to Doughnut Plant and continued stuffing our faces. After eating our way through the city, we decided to head back to the hotel and rest.
Once we regained our energy, we headed back out and walked around Times Square. There is so much to see even people watching in NYC. I loved seeing the street performers and fashionable people. After people watching and exploring, Matt wanted to find some authentic New York pizza. We headed to John’s Pizza at 11:00 and it was still packed (amazing to us small-town folk). We split a pitcher of beer and some cheese pizza and meandered back to the hotel happy and wanting to move immediately.
Sunday morning Matt and I decided to go out for a good New York bagel and walk around the High Line, which was very close to our hotel. It was a humid morning and we soon realized that no matter how cool the High Line was (a walking trail that was built on old train tracks above the streets), we wanted to do something indoors. We made our way back to Rockefeller Plaza and decided to do an NBC Studio Tour. It was a welcome relief to be in air conditioning, and I enjoyed seeing the sets of SNL. Next, we shopped on 5th Avenue and only bought some Godiva chocolate (my tastes get a little picker in New York).
Finally, it was time to head to Penn Station to catch a train back to Newark for our flight. I was so sad to leave New York but I know we will be back soon! Back to Southern Hospitality, more humidity, and dull Papa John’s pizza…