New York City :: Day 1

Last week the girls and I headed to New York City.....this was a Bucket List Trip.
My mom turned 65 last Tuesday so we celebrated with a girls trip to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade & explore NYC during the holidays.
We crammed A LOT into 4 days, so I am doing a post for each day.
The girls were so excited for our trip, they packed about a week before we left and we listened to JayZ & Alicia Keys "Empire State of Mind" along with Taylor Swift's "Welcome to New York" on repeat the weeks leading up to our trip.
We took the red eye from SFO and we only got about 3.5 hours of sleep. 
Red eyes are brutal, but we didn't want to waste a day traveling, so that is why we took the Red Eye!
Loved flying and seeing the sunrise over NYC
Landed at a little before 7am and headed to Manhattan. 
Once we got into the city, the excitement kicked in and we powered through any tiredness we had. 
We dropped our luggage off at our hotel &  went to Bouchon Bakery for a quick breakfast.
Coffee & a pumpkin muffin for me :)

The Today show was still filming & at Bouchon you have a perfect view of the taping.
Then we went into tourist mode. 
 Checked out the Rockefeller skating rink:
They were putting the lights on the Rockefeller Center tree.
It was covered with scaffolding so that the workers could put on the lights.
 There were so many people putting up the lights. It was impressive.

It was so fun walking around the city looking at the buildings.
So much energy!
 On our agenda was to go see the Statue of Liberty, we went to Grand Central Station to take the subway downtown. 
Grand Central Station is so pretty and busy!!!!
A month or 2 ago, I tried getting tickets to go up into the Statue of Liberty, but they were booked out until January. So, if you want to do that when you visit NYC, make sure you book tickets 3-4 months in advance. I didn't realize they booked up like that! 

So instead of taking a tour, we took a Ferry ride to see Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.
On the way to the ferry, we checked out the Brooklyn Bridge:
 Got on the ferry...view of Brooklyn Bridge from the Ferry:
It was a beautiful Fall day in NYC....sunny and 55 degrees. 
 Lady Liberty!
 Love the view of NYC from the ferry:
 After the Ferry ride to Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island, we explored Battery Park. I love how there are parks scattered throughout the city.
 Then we walked to the 9/11 Memorial, I loved the views of One World Trade Center.
Just stunning.
We got to 9/11 Memorial 
Ground Zero took my breath away.
The last time I was in NYC was in 2002 for 9/11 relief and this the last photo I took of Ground Zero when one of the firefighters drove us down into the pit:
Checking out all the names. Somber.
There was 1 name I was looking for since he lived in our area & was on Flight 93. There is a road named after him that goes through our town.
His wife wrote a book and I have heard her speak several times. 

I wanted to walk over to St. Paul's chapel because that is where I volunteered the night shift when we did our relief efforts trip. This was home base for the workers & firefighters. We made meals for them, gave them fresh supplies (clean socks, toiletries, etc) We were there to pray for them & listen to their stories of 9/11 & loss. I will never forget that weekend working at St. Paul's Chapel. It was good to be back and see it.
If you want to read about my Relief efforts trip to NYC, click HERE.
I loved this photo of a bell/dedication to St. Paul's
 Close up of St. Paul's Chapel entrance:

We also checked out the Oculus since it right there on the same street as the 9/11 Memorial.

We headed back to the hotel to check into our room. I loved the lobby of the hotel.
The other side was a bar/lounge.
 We stayed at the Intercontinental Barclay in Midtown.
It was a great location & the rooms were clean & updated.
 The bathroom had lots of charm
The girls and I had our own room & it was adjoining with my sister & mom.

 We walked to dinner & on the way we stopped at Dylan's Candy Bar.
It was awesome!
My girls were in heaven!
Everything made out of candy. It was way cooler than I thought it would be :)

We went Serendipty for dinner.....Serendipity is one of my favorite holiday movies!
It was all decked out for Christmas
 I had a bacon cheeseburger for dinner.
Of course we had the frozen hot chocolate to celebrate my mom's birthday. 
 Walking back to our hotel after dinner we passed Bloomingdales, also a part of the Serendipity movie :)
 At the end of the day we logged 9.54 miles of walking & over 21,400 steps. 
So proud of the girls, they were rockstars! 
Even though the Red Eye was brutal, it forced us to get onto East Coast time & we were in bed by 8:30 (which was 5:30 California time!) 
We had to get our sleep for another busy day in NYC.

Come back tomorrow to read about Day 2!


  1. Oh I ❤️ NYC!! It’s just such a fun city!

  2. I loved watching your trip on Instagram. It looks like it was perfect. I'm not really a "bucket list" kinda girl, but this is definitely something I want to do sometime. What great memories you made with your girls. ❤️

  3. That frozen hot chocolate!! Yum!! I loved following along on Instagram! And I can't wait to hear all about the parade!! Eeek!

  4. You sure packed a lot in on your first day! Traveling west to east is hard!

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  5. My husband and I went with my in laws back in 2009 to see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. We were so lucky to have great weather too. We took a super early morning flight into the city too and had a very similar first day!!

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