New York at Christmas

Friday, December 19, 2014

There is nothing like New York at Christmas. The word magical sounds very juvenile, but it's the only word I can think of that describes it perfectly! My dad was headed up to New York for work this week, and I happened to be at my parents' house when my mom was buying her ticket to join him. I still have a few extra vacation days for the year, and my mom really wanted me to join her - so I did! (Thanks for the ticket, mom and dad!)

I arrived Monday night and headed straight to the hotel to get a good night's sleep for the next day's activities.

Tuesday morning, I woke up and met Anna in the hotel lobby. I haven't seen her since her wedding (January 2013!), but it felt like we hadn't skipped a beat. I walked her to work and then we sadly had to say goodbye again. Good news - I'll see her next month!

Our hotel was right by the World Trade Center and the new Freedom Tower, so I had to stop for a quick pic.

While my dad worked, mom and I headed to the Christmas market in Bryant Park and spent some time looking at the little stands, drinking apple cider and watching the ice skaters. (The weather was about 50 degrees on Tuesday and Wednesday - so nice!)

Up next, we had to stroll down 5th Avenue and see all the window displays!

The stores don't kid around with their Christmas decorations - so beautiful! Here's Saks...

And the World Famous Macy's Herald Square! (It's 9 floors, insane.)

No trip to New York is complete without a trip to the Rockefeller Tree!

We passed on ice skating, but it was fun to watch other people struggle. Ha!

After a quick lunch at Benjamin Steak House, our adventures continued! We spent more time walking around and stopping into fun shops, then headed back to relax before dinner. All that walking is exhausting.

The happy family on the way to dinner at Tribeca Grill! (Of course, the only picture I got of the three of us is blurry. Mom has the good ones!)

I was asleep by 9pm (really living it up in the city that never sleeps!) while my dad hung out with his worker bee friends in the bar until about 11:30pm. How embarrassing am I??

Wednesday morning, mom and I decided to figure out the fancy subway system to meet Candace for brunch. We had to switch trains and still survived (and on time, might I add).

We ate at a cute little restaurant called Jack's Wife Freda in SoHo. It's always fun to catch up with one of my old college friends! Plus, SoHo is my favorite area of NYC.

Here we are standing in front of live Christmas trees for sale!  They're only about $200...

Mom and I then braved the Subway again to head up to Times Square. It's probably my least favorite spot in New York, but always a must see. Plus, we had to pick up our Nutcracker tickets. Which leads me to....

I was like a kid on Christmas morning! It made me feel like a little girl, again. Speaking of which, there were so many little girls in fancy dresses with their hair all curled. They were the cutest, EVER!

Champagne for The Nutcracker. Aren't we fancy?!

Cheesin' from our seats!

We had such a great time! A childhood dream fulfilled!

Watching impossibly thin dancers for two hours sure makes you work up an appetite, so we headed to Levain Bakery. A must, according to the Baker gals. After standing in a quick line, we were the proud owners of 7 cookies! (Three of which came back to Atlanta for Debbie, Kelsey and Meagan.)

Chocolate Chip Walnut.... oh my heavens! This thing was not a cookie - it was a mini-pie! SO DELICIOUS!

After chowing down on our cookies, we walked through Central Park just as it was getting dark. Tavern on the Green was lit up so beautiful, but of course my stupid phone did it no justice.

We walked through the little markets outside Columbus Circle, then made our way past all the ritzy hotels and condos (Hello, Plaza!) to FAO Schwarz. I always have to stop in when I'm in town! When I was about six, on my first trip to NYC, Aunt Frances took me to FAO Schwarz and told me I could pick one thing out. I started crying because I was so overwhelmed! How is a six-year-old supposed to pick out one thing out of four floors of the most amazing toys!?

I do remember the Big Piano being....well, bigger.

We then headed up the other side of Central Park to meet Christine and dad for a drink at the Carlyle Hotel. The bar was packed, but we were able to score a table after a pretty short wait.

Then it was off to Betony for dinner! One of my old colleagues runs Taste of the Nation NYC and also works on the New York Wine & Food Festival, so I asked her for the recommendation. Thanks to her, they kept sending out more and more food! It was all very good and very fancy. (Of course, I forgot to take pictures.)

Before we fell asleep in our plates, it was back to the hotel to pass out. We turned on the TV, but I'm pretty sure we were all asleep before the first commercial!

On our last day, we spent the morning in the hotel before venturing out for lunch at Adrienne's in the Financial District. Christine works nearby and recommended it. SO GOOD and such a cute little restaurant! Highly recommend it. Check out this bad boy....

After walking around for about an hour, it was time to head to the airport. We ran into a little trouble with an angry police woman after our driver went the wrong way down a one way street - straight toward the World Trade Center. But we all made it out without a ticket and eventually made it back home to Atlanta last night.

It was such a fun trip and I am just so very lucky to have these kinds of opportunities! Thanks again, Mom and Dad!

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