Well, well, well….we are back after spending three days in NYC (one of my favorite…and Chris’ least favorite…cities lol).
Chris planned this trip for me as a surprise for my 25th birthday as well as our 5th anniversary so needless to say there was plenty to celebrate. But, as with most trips….particularly if Chris is planning (love you babe!), the initiation of this trip started out…well…interesting.
It is a known fact that I’m a bit of diva (who isn’t amiright?), so of course I am too good to take the Peter Pan bus between Boston and New York. Without going into the gory details, let’s just say that Chris is aware of my diva-ness on this particular subject.
Chris: That’s one way of putting it.
Amidst his super sweet trip planning, though, Chris did not book train tickets to New York. By the time we went to book, we had the choice between $400/person train tickets, $500/person flights, or….(dun, dun, dun) the bus.
Chris: You we’re not happy with those choices.
Ugh. The bus.
However, I was not about to spend $400 on train tickets. Amtrak is definitely not worth that. So bus it was.
I have to say that Chris really followed through here and found a bus called Limo Liner that promotes itself as “luxury land travel between Boston and New York City.” Though it is still pricy ($188/person round trip), it beat the train and flying and had to better than the Pan, right? We booked it to find out.
Unbeknownst to us at the time, March 2018 is nothing but one giant nor’easter. What should have been a simple Uber to the Sheraton turned into quite the adventure because of the snow…and because I forgot something at the office….and because I needed to have Dunkin Donuts before we boarded the bus. Weather challenges, I tell ya.
Despite the dreary weather, getting on the bus couldn’t have been easier. It pulled right up to the Sheraton in Boston and the attendants were so friendly and quickly loaded our luggage underneath. The inside was beautiful and clean. We plopped down in our private, cushy, leather seats with foot rests and I was sold.
Chris: You have to admit I get points for that one.
You definitely get points babe. That bus was amazing. 100% would do again.
This will be the first of multiple instances in which it looks like Chris makes a questionable choice that turns out to be really nice…read on.
After arriving in ~The City~, we checked into the hotel (which rocked) and got ready for dinner. On tap for dinner was the incredibly posh Mexican inspired Empellon. Expensive? Incredibly. Delicious? I’d say so. Worth it? I don’t know…but probably because I got to sport some fab red lipstick. When in NY, right?
Chris was looking pretty good too, if I’m being honest.
Chris: Yeah I was, thank you.
What followed dinner was arguably one of the most unexpectedly awesome things we did all trip. We booked tickets to see the Unfiltered Citizens Brigade last minute and ended up seeing two acts: Jet Comes to Cobbsville and Branded Content Will Set You Free.
Holy moly, it was so funny.
Chris: Probably my favorite part of the trip.
The whole place had a very high-school theater vibe, which I loved. Though it had good reviews, we weren’t expecting much but we were so pleasantly surprised. If you are looking to laugh, YouTube some of their acts.
We started our second day in New York as we start most days…hungry.
Chris: And by ‘we’ she means ‘she’. Gotta feed this one otherwise she gets mean.
*Giving him a look*
Chris: *giggles*…what? It’s true…
After grabbing breakfast at one our favorite diners in Times Square, The Red Flame, we headed uptown to do what tourists do – visit the MET.
If the nature of the blog hasn’t tipped you off already, we love art and history so naturally a visit to the MET was on our agenda. And though we have both been before, we never get tired of seeing outstanding art.
Of course we loved the ancient art and sculptures, we always do, but this time I had a particular fascination with the paintings.
Chris: You did, and that’s unusual for you. You normally like the Greek and Roman stuff.
I do, you’re right. I don’t know. Something about the paintings, particularly the Thomas Cole art, really excited me this time. Guess that’s what happens after 25?
Chris: Yeah, it’s all downhill from there.
Well in case it wasn’t going downhill enough, I decided to aid the downhill process by breaking what is probably the cardinal rule for fancy art museums: I took out my selfie stick to snap some selfies of us with the Egyptian art.
And as I’m sure you’d imagine, the easy going museum attendants were super chill about the whole thing. They definitely did not yell across the entire silent atrium:
“MA’AM! Absolutely no selfie sticks under any circumstances!!!!
Chris: To be fair, you weren’t the only one. Plus there was a whole photoshoot going on behind us.
Ya, there totally was. And honestly, the scold was worth it for this classic picture.
Chris ready to invoke his ‘flight’ response as I get called out for using a selfie stick in one of the worlds fanciest museums. #memories
Anyway, we weren’t about to let the breaking of a few of society’s standards keep us from having a good time. We continued through the Egyptian art sans selfie stick and had to make due with taking selfies the old fashion way with an arm.
Chris: I mean they’re not as good, but at least they’re legal.
After we had our fill our the MET, we decided to spare other museum goers from the burden of my selfie stick and grab lunch. To the dismay of my inner Gossip Girl, we forgo eating on the steps of the MET (it was 35 degrees so…) to get soup dumplings from Joe’s Shanghai. This place came recommended by one of Chris’ coworkers who said their soup dumplings rival west-coast soup dumpling palace, and our favorite soup dumplings, Din Tai Fung.
How did the soup dumplings stack against Din Tai Fung?
Chris: They were good but not as a good as Din Tai Fung.
I’d have to agree. Soup dumplings are delicious no matter what. And after fending off the MET fuzz, they taste even better. But I don’t think I can say they were as good as Din Tai Fung. The DTF (lol…) reigns another day as soup dumpling king.
Full of soup dumplings and coming down from our adrenaline high, we sauntered back to our hotel for some relaxation. What should have been 4 hours of napping turned into 3.75 hours of HGTV’s Beach Front Bargain Hunt watching so intense we decided to skip dinner.
The show this night was STOMP. Neither of us had seen it before, so we figured it would be a great time to check it out. Upon arrival, it was apparent that we were the only two patrons not associated with a high school New York trip so, you know, that’s how that was.
Chris: I still had a great time.
Of all the three “shows” we saw, I’d put STOMP as my least favorite. While the techniques and performance was certainly interesting, it dragged on a bit.
All that stomping made us hungry, so in true New York fashion, we popped in to grab pizza for dinner.
We went to this little place called Nicoletta Pizzeria in the East Village and it was fantastic. If pictures are worth a thousand words, I should not need to tell you how Chris felt about this pizza (as he goes for a third slice!)
Maybe it was the fact that we ate nearly an entire pizza the night prior, but we woke up on Saturday feeling less hungry. A sign that we are in full vacation mode and overeating.
So naturally we head to The Smith for brunch.
Chris: A go-to for Ally every weekend.
After brunch, we decide to take a tour of the 9/11 memorial and museum since Chris had not seen it. As difficult as it is to be reminded of that day, the memorial and museum is beautifully done.
We were so entranced by the museum’s exhibits that again we lost track of time (trend?). Facing the classic “do-we-eat-a-late-lunch-or-do-we-wait-until-dinner” question, we opt for the later.
Chris: Which was the wrong choice.
Approximately eleven minutes after making that choice, I became ravenously hungry. At this point we are in line to visit the observation deck of One World Trade Center.
Now, I’ve been to other observation decks (i.e. top of the Prudential Center in Boston, top of Willis tower in Chicago, top of CN Tower in Toronto…you get it), but this takes the cake for the most confusing, orchestrated ~observation~ experience I’ve had.
Ok, I was definitely hungry so maybe I wasn’t as appreciative of the extra-ness of the observation deck experience, but like, I just want to see the views (or eat a sandwich). I don’t need to be upsold on 38 different things on the way. Alas, this is New York.
After what feels like an eternity, we are finally set free on the observation deck. First stop? Purchasing a $4 muffin from the Sky Café.
I can’t fully describe the necessity of that muffin.
Refueled from the blueberry muffin, we are back on track to soak up the views. And WOW are they stunning.
I know we told you we were visiting Site 187 while in New York, so this is where I have to tell you that we are fudging this one a bit.
Full disclosure, we did not actually take the ferry out to the Statue of Liberty to truly cross off Site 187 (remember it was 35 degrees). I had seen it before, so we figured as long as we saw it, it was good enough. Whatever, we made the rules so we can break them…need I remind you of the selfie stick incident?
If you look r e a l l y closely in the picture of Chris above, you will see the Statue of Liberty (Site 187) in the background.
Yup, that’s it! 101 floors up, that’s what it looks like. Seems crossed off to me!
With a UNESCO site spotting, and a full day of museum tours and observation deck experiences, it was time to head back to the hotel and change for dinner.
The restaurant for dinner on night three was picked by Chris. A seemingly elegant but low-key Italian place near our evening theater show, it sounded perfect. We got all dolled up and jumped in a taxi.
Ten minutes later, the taxi dropped us off…
Chris: “You’re going to kill me…”
Macy’s. You know, where the Thanksgiving parade happens? Interesting.
At this point, it wasn’t looking good for Chris. We go in and see the restaurant is located on the 6th floor – past the bedding and lingerie departments. Great.
Chris: You were skeptical for sure. And you were making fun of me.
I was definitely making fun of you *cough* Snapchatting *cough*
Alas, we arrive and I have to say this place is nice! Hands down, we have the world’s greatest dinner view.
Ummmmm how awesome is that view?
The only thing better than the view was the company. Happy five years, babe!
The food in the Le Michelin de Macy’s was pretty good, especially for department store food (the risotto balls were delicious). The service was…adequate. Honestly, it was the best way I could imagine spending our fifth anniversary.
After sipping our wine, we were off again. This time to see Phantom of the Opera.
Neither of us had seen it, so this was a special treat for us. We were sitting in the second to last row on the highest level of the balcony (hello $55 tickets), but it didn’t matter. The show would impress from any seat.
Phantom was amazing. The only thing that could top it would be Chick-fil-A. So we stopped at Chick-fil-A on our way back to our hotel to round out the perfect dinner date.
Technically this wasn’t a day we had in NYC, but rather the day we headed home. We got our steps in trying to find our bus (#busprobs), but along the way we did spot the touristy L-O-V-E sign. How very fitting for this anniversary trip!
Until next time LOVE (NYC)!
– Ally & Chris