Monday, December 16, 2013

My Christmasy Week in NYC

Last week I was in New York City.  NYC is one of my most favorite cities in the US.  I always look forward to it.  Plus it is Christmas time there (oh the Macy's windows were spectacular) and I got to see my sister-in-law and my dear friend Blaine.  Total win.  The failure part...the travel part to NYC.

I got up Monday (the 9th) morning at 4:15 a.m. to catch my 6 am flight.  Guess what...United failed again and the flight was cancelled because the plane wouldn't start.  Now I know I have complained about United many times before, but when it is with work, you take the cheaper flights.  United was cheaper than Southwest.  Weird, right?  Basically, other flights were cancelled due to weather all over the US, so we didn't get into NYC until 1 am when we were supposed to arrive at 5 pm.  I lost an evening in New York.  Total bummer.

But Tuesday, we worked a bunch (and boy was it cold) and then explored.  Tuesday night I met with Blaine.  I have known Blaine since he was a baby and now he is grown up working in New York as a Broadway casting person (technical name lost).  I didn't take any photos of us hanging out, but know that it was really amazing catching up with him.
Typical panorama of Times Square
The countdown has begun...View from my hotel

Over the course of my trip, we took full advantage of the subway.  I know many hate it, but if it keeps you out of the cold (it was pretty cold last week), I had no problem with it.  I used this subway station the most.

After having dinner Blaine, I went back to my hotel to find about ten fire trucks in front of my hotel.  Apparently a fire started on the 8th floor in the wall.  Good news was I got to see about 100 hot (ssh don't tell my husband I thought they were hot) firefighters in and around my hotel.  The fire was put out fast and the drama dissipated in about ten minutes.

Wednesday we headed out to Long Island (which I have never been to) for work.  When we were driving around there and Long Beach, it was amazing to see how much destruction Hurricane Sandy caused.  Long Beach had a lot of devastation there.  Really sad to see in person.  But we did eat at this amazing pizza shop for lunch.  Warning: share a personal pizza here.  It was enough for two (or one hungry husband).
 Personal Pizza from Sorrento's
Amazing dessert case.  I wanted it all!

Don't worry, I worked out a lot while I was in New York because the Marriott Marquis Times Square has the best gym.  I love that it overlooks Times Square and it is huge.  So many machines, free weights and amenities to it.  Plus you walk more than you could ever imagine in New York.

Wednesday evening we went Christmas sightseeing and I had pizza again (what can I say, there is nothing like a New York slice).  I have been to New York once during Christmas time before and it was spectacular.  This time didn't disappoint either.

Thursday was spent in a lot of courthouses in New York which was good because it was really cold.  They called it the arctic cold front.  Before I left to NYC, I bought fleece leggings from Express that saved my life (thanks to the commenters on Venus Trapped In Mars).

If you know your way around NYC, then you know that Ground Zero and the Freedom Tower is in the area.  While walking to our subway station, we happened upon the Freedom Tower.  Very beautiful building.  Plus they turned Ground Zero into a memorial with two pools featuring all of the victims names.  Very emotional place.

Thursday evening was my last night in my beloved New York, so I knew I had to go get my ultimate favorite food in the world...macarons.  And since I was in New York, I had to go to Laudree.  I have been dreaming about this place since reading Wedding Bee (Mrs. Camel).  Mrs. Camel went to Laudree in Versailles, but I settled for the Madison Avenue store.
Laduree aka Heaven
I bought six macarons (they are expensive, $2.80 per macaron) in the cute green traveler box.  I did eat one back at my hotel and then saved the rest to share with my husband.  Such a kind wife I am.  Believe me, I could have ate all six and more that day alone.  It took more than control not to.

After my Laduree trip, I met my lovely sister-in-law at The Meatball Shop.  Do yourself a favor and go.  My sister-in-law has been wanting to try this place, but her boyfriend is allergic to eggs, so she hasn't been able to go.  Fear not, I love meatballs, so I was total game.  We tried three different kinds of meatballs (classic beef with parm cream sauce, spicy pork with spicy meat sauce and chicken with mushroom gravy).  Too Die For!  We also had their risotto of the day (fennel) and daily greens (collard greens with golden raisins, onions and herbs) along with some tasty cocktails.  
Chicken meatballs with mushroom gravy
We sat and talked for hours at the restaurant.  I didn't get back to my hotel until almost midnight in order to wake up at 4:30 am (eastern time) to catch a 8 am flight home.

Good news was my flight from JFK to San Francisco wasn't that full and I had a row to myself.  Score.  I was able to lay out the entire flight home, watch a movie (I slept most of the way home) and not have annoying people next to me.

Plus this was a new United flight, so everyone had tvs, USB ports and regular plug-ins to charge your phone/ipad/etc.  It was an amazing trip, though very busy and fast.  I was happy to get home to my husband and pup who both missed me as much as I missed them.

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