Sunday, June 1, 2014

New York City with my Mom!

My mom and I used to take an annual summer trip just the two of us. We skipped....oh, the past SIX years, but we're starting the tradition back up! We went to NYC May 22-27 (Memorial Day long weekend). We stayed near Madison Square Gardens, which admittedly isn't the quaintest area BUT it's central, making travel to other areas easy and safe. 

Our flights got in 10ish and we were able to check in to our hotel early. It was kind of chilly out, so we went to Times Square to get discount tickets (from TKTS) to a Broadway play. We were between seeing Phantom of the Opera and Mamma Mia. Phantom didn't have seats together, so we saw Mamma Mia. 
We made it! Times Square 

BAM! Hello, tourist area!! His rear says "Naked Cowboy". Kinda hilarious. 
Loved Mamma Mia! It was very lively and fun!
That night we ate at Soccarat Paella Bar in Chelsea. We had a delicious cocktail while we waited for our meal. 
My heavens, this was the best paella! We literally scraped the pan clean. It has mussels, scallops, fish, and shrimp. YUMMY
Again, another slightly chilly day with a chance of rain. We headed south to the Tenement museum. This is a must do. It's an old apartment building and they share the stories of immigrants from the late 1800's. Seriously, I will never complain about my life. It was pretty eye opening. You couldn't take any pictures, but here's the link if you're interested:

This was near China Town, so we wondered around there (and a little of Little Italy). 
In China Town, we found a Vietnamese restaurant we wanted to risk try. We were the only white people in there (everyone else was Asian) so we took that as a good sign. I got a delicious curry chicken soup. It had huge chunks of chicken bone in it. 

Then we just shopped around SoHo for a bit.

Seth's sweet cousin Katie lives in New York. We met her near her apartment and she took my mom and I to the Metropolitan Museum. She has an annual pass and goes frequently, so it was nice to have a little tour guide. :) 
Lots of Monet!

After seeing lots of art, we went to the Garden Terrace and had a glass of wine overlooking the skyline. Awesome!

From there, we saw Katie and Brian's studio apartment. I was really intrigued by how they live in the city and loved hearing about it. We went to a Mexican restaurant near their apartment and then we all went to Grand Central Station. Brian knew all kinds of neat tidbits about it. We cabbed it back to the hotel in the pouring rain. That was an exhausting day, but so fun!

We took the subway to Brooklyn and walked across the Brooklyn Bridge back to the city. That was pretty cool!

This was as much as we saw of the Statue of Liberty. We didn't do the boat tour or go inside of it. We also didn't do Empire State Building (I did that in high school and don't need to do it again)
Everyone hung locks on the light posts. I read it's a symbol of love?
Deal of the Day- Mom and I bought infinitly scarves that this man was selling on the side of the street for $5 each! 

After that, we went to the 9/11 Memorial. The 9/11 Museum opened the week prior and tickets were sold out. I guess Memorial Day weekend is a great time to visit that! Next time....
This is the church across the street that provided meals, cots, and a resting spot for the rescue workers after 9/11. 

Bell of Hope from Lord Mayor of London and Archbishop of Canterbury

Reflecting Pools (there are 2 in the footprints where the Twin Towers once were)

The new World Trade Center
I found a Baked by Melissa, a bakery that makes the PERFECT bite sized cupcakes. 

From there we walked to Greenwich Village. We shopped at this cute art market, where local vendors were selling their funky homemade jewelry, clothing, etc. 
This is Washington Square. Checkers tables are set up in area. 
Kids at play in Washington Square- such a neat playground
Strange bird-loving man
That night, we ate at Akura, which is an awesome sushi a few blocks away from our hotel in Murray Hill. This is the Lion Roll- yum, yum, yum. 

 We hit the Highline first thing that morning. This is a paved path above the street that is lined with beautiful plants. It's neat to see the city on one side and the water on the other side. 
 Our plan was to see another Broadway play that afternoon, but HELLO! Memorial Day weekend! Everyone and their brother was in the city with the same idea. So, we wondered around Rockefeller Center for a bit. 
Adelyn was excited to see this picture- a two story American Girl Doll store!
We decided to visit MOMA, the modern art museum. Loved it!
This is a cool painting by Rene Magritte (night on the bottom, day on the top)

We spent that late afternoon/dinner time in the Meatpacking District/West Village. It's a very trendy area. By now, we had walked SO much over the past several days that mom and I had changed into comfy tennis shoes. We tried going to a hip place (Top of the Standard) that overlooks the Hudson River and were told that we couldn't enter in tennis shoes. I just joined the Nerdy Mom Club. 

This was one of my favorite days. We spent the bulk of this GORGEOUS Memorial Day at Central Park. Because we had 5 days, we never felt rushed to get it all in. I certainly enjoyed taking our time to see all this famous park has to offer!
We entered near Strawberry Fields, which is across the street from where John Lennon lived (and was killed). 
Bethesda Fountain
The first thing we did was rent row boats! It's only $15 for an hour. Woo hoo!

Working out my shoulders!
Mary sitting pretty. We took turns rowing. 
I love my mom!

 Alice in Wonderland Statue

 Belvedere Castle
City view

That night, we went back to West Village, where I saw Carrie Bradshaw's apartment and we explored that area a little more. We headed back to our favorite little sushi restaurant for round #2. SO GOOD. 

Then it was time to pack up and head home early Tuesday morning! I was ready to see the kids and Seth! I LOVED seeing all of NYC with my mom and spending quality time with her. There is such a unique culture there!

Thanks to Seth and Brenda for keeping the kids and to all my awesome friends whose suggestions made this trip superb. 

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