But recently when it comes to gift giving, we've been much more in favor of putting the money we would spend on each other for gifts towards travel. Our Europe trip last summer was one of our best experiences ever, and we're already planning the next one vaguely. We LOVE traveling together, and are passionate about keeping travel as a part of our lives even when we have babies.
All of that being said, my dad owns a publishing company that publishes travel magazines about the US to other countries. He has a deal set up where basically we have access to hotel rooms in New York (within reason) whenever we want. Knowing that the cost of lodging was taken care of, plus an INCREDIBLE deal on tickets (I'm all about financial transparency.. two round trips was $400) and Ben surprised me with this weekend getaway as my Christmas gift. The weekend we chose ended up being perfect because it was a few days after my birthday, and over Valentine's Day. And because we had already explored the city.. we got to stay away from touristy places like Times Square and the Statue of Liberty.. and really dig into the city. Or that was the plan. Before we chose a record breaking cold weather weekend. Haha!
It wouldn't be a trip without some views from the airplane, right? ;)
We actually had a pretty eventful landing.. We were in the process of landing when another plane took off without warning and air traffic control had to alert our pilot to head back up into the air. It felt pretty freaky. That also ended up with us circling again for another 45 minutes. Lots of views of the city. Lots of views of New Jersey. And snow. But we finally made it. Ben was ravenous so the second we made it into the city we just grabbed quick burrito bowls simply to satisfy our hunger!
A tip: something that really helped was that I "favorited" every place we had a reservation or wanted to visit on Google Maps.. and these stars came up. It was super helpful for last minute plans!
About a week before we left for the trip, I realized we were going to be there for Fashion Week. SO fun. The city was packed with celebrities for that and the SNL 40th Anniversary thing. Plus I really enjoy reading fashion blogs and knew so many of my favorite bloggers were staying just a few blocks from us. I wish I would have had a sighting.. but it's okay! After cupcakes we decided to go check out Lincoln Center and see all the Fashion Week setup.
We walked up to this. PAPARAZZI. At first we couldn't see past to who it was.. but then..
KARLIE KLOSS. I loved seeing her. Loved it, loved it. Especially because she is bestie with Taylor Swift. Also Lincoln center is beautiful. And there were fashion bloggers all over doing shoots which was really fun to observe.
It was really fun! Ben could have cared left but I love celebrities so it was just wonderful! That night we had dinner with a close family friend at Tao and it was a blast! We had quite the adventure hailing a cab in the FREEZING cold on Madison Avenue.. but we made it back in one piece!
When it comes to travel.. we are #teamwalking. To us, it's more fun to explore the city getting around by foot, plus you feel less guilty about the large amount of treats you will inevitably consume. We had a breakfast reservation at Sarabeth's East, so we crossed the park. This was before the really cold weather hit. It was cold, in the 20's.. but nothing compared to what would come the next day. It was a really enjoyable 35 minute walk.
Not gonna not! The met steps <3
Brunch was delicious, as brunch usually is. We brought back some of Sarabeth's legendary preserves and I am so happy we did! I wish I could have brought back a scone too though!
Afterwards we shopped, got some Valentines treats, and just explored the east side of the city.
We had a major shopping success later in the day with a gift- but it's a secret!!!
We then took a nap and indulged ourselves in the above treats. RASPBERRY AND STRAWBERRY CANDY FOR LIFE!! before dinner at Isabella's.. which was PERFECT for Valentine's Day!
When planning this trip one of my top goals was to visit the 9/11 memorial. I hadn't been before and it was just something I really wanted to do. Our travels were bitterly cold plus wind.. which really changed the atmosphere of our time at the pools. People were literally being blown around and I couldn't help but giggle at my lack of being able to walk at times. That being said, it really was so powerful to visit.. and I'm really thankful for a few moments to pray specifically for the families still reliving this tragedy daily.
We started the day at The Smith which I'm sorry but I'm still thinking about this meal. I got Vanilla Bean French Toast and Ben got Breakfast Pot Pie and we shared and literally.. YUM.
We then took the subway downtown and made our way to Ground Zero.
The pools really were breathtaking and I kept thinking about how I had read somewhere that the names were all heated so that they would be visible even in snow. That is so sweet to me.
We then worked our way through the museum. It was incredibly well done and of course, really heavy. I'm so glad we did it though. There were some parts that were really hard to handle, specifically the room with all of the photos of the lives lost.. but I'm thankful we got to visit.
We immediately stumbled into a cab through the freezing cold and went to Chelsea Market. Super fun. This was an area we would love to explore when its warm enough to walk around outside and not feel like you're dying. The people of the area were so incredibly stylin... plus the highline would have been really fun in the warm. Because of our whole hotel situation, we're actually talked about returning in the summer!
After some major subway mishaps getting home.. we finally just walked the rest of the way to our lunch destination, Shake Shack. We literally got there at 3 and it was PACKED. For good reason. I spoke too soon about french fries, y'all. I will eat a million at Shake Shack. It really was so yummy!
We originally had plans for that night but it was so incredibly cold that we ended up choosing a night in watching the SNL thing.. which was really fun being so close to it. We're boring, I know. But it really was record breaking cold. Awful.
The next morning before our flight we grabbed a quick breakfast and felt like this:
Just a few days of eating whatever made us feel awful. We were ready to get home after a stressful airport experience and feeling sick from the food plus we had both developed pretty bad colds. Not to end on a bad note though... we really did love our little getaway and it was a really different trip! We really are already planning our return! :)