NYC ADVENTURES

Last July, my BFFs + I were sitting in my friend’s basement chatting about how we should take a trip together – just the girls – sometime.  We figured out my friend Katie – another teacher – and I had the same spring break this year.  So, we began discussing where we should go.  It didn’t take long before we decided we NEEDED to take a girls trip to New York.

We would talk in our backyards about our trip, but didn’t start actually planning it until December.  We finally pressed that BUY NOW button and it was ON!

We returned from our NYC Girls Trip last Sunday and I am already itching to go back!  While I am definitely not a city girl (I know some of my colleagues would disagree), I fell in love with New York!  Maybe it’s because I feel like there is still so much more to see since we were only there for 4 days.  But, I just absolutely LOVED the entire experience of the city.

Here is a brief recap of our NYC Adventures:

We booked our trip on Travelocity and scored a great deal on airfare (direct flight from STL to LGA even!) and a hotel.  Our hotel – which I HIGHLY recommend the Courtyard by Marriott in Manhattan/Times Square – was located halfway between Central Park and Times Square.  It was absolutely the perfect location and we didn’t feel like it was outrageously expensive.  Our concierge was SUPER helpful with navigating the city and giving us great places to eat, and the room was a decent size for 4 thirty-something females.

We arrived late afternoon on Thursday, and ended up spending 2 HOURS stuck in NYC traffic just trying to get from LaGuardia to our hotel.  Nothing like spending as much time in a shuttle as we did on the plane… Once we were checked in, we headed across the street to a restaurant called Three Monkeys for dinner.  Typical pub food, but it was REALLY good.  Maybe because we were in NYC, but we really LOVED the food everywhere we went.

After dinner, we walked down to Times Square.  We LOVED our location – we were only a few blocks from Times Square, so it was perfect to spend the evening walking around the area and doing a little bit of shopping.  I was so in awe of being in a place I had only seen on TV + movies.  I wish we had gotten a chance to go back, actually!  It was the only time we ended up spending in Times Square!

My friend Stefanie + I woke up early Friday morning to go for a run in Central Park!  Bucket list item = CHECK!  While I loved having the chance to run there, I would REALLY like to go back when there isn’t snow on the ground!  But, there were SO many runners out!  I LOVED the experience for sure!

After showers + some coffee, we headed to the subway where we realized we are definitely NOT locals and totally got scammed on some subway tickets.  We were out $25 (a piece), but we at least have a good story to tell (don’t pay cash to anyone who says the electronic kiosk is out of service) and were able to ride back for free, thanks to the nice guy at the REAL ticket counter.  Oops.

The subway took us down to the 9/11 Memorial + Museum, which I have to say, was probably one of the highlights of the trip for me.  I’ve been to countless museums in my lifetime, but never a museum that had a place in history I remember so vividly.  We did a guided tour of the memorial, which I HIGHLY recommend.  They told stories about some of the survivors and gave us so amazing insights about why the memorial is the way it is.  TOTALLY worth the $15 and 45-minute walking tour (in the cold, I might add).  We also were able to do the museum, which was amazing as well.  We spent a good almost 2-hours walking around and remembering that day.  I would go back in a heartbeat.

After figuring out we got scammed on the subway on our way back and finally making it back to our hotel, we spent some time resting in the room (I mean, 4 moms without our kiddos… we are definitely going to enjoy some time doing absolutely NOTHING) before heading out and walking around the city.  We went to Rockefeller Center and explored a little bit.  Our Jimmy Fallon tickets fell through, unfortunately, but it was really cool just walking around – again – someplace you had seen on TV a million times!

We spent the evening at Avenue Q off Broadway, which was SO good!  I immediately bought the soundtrack, that we listened to while we got ready the next morning!  And we quickly learned the New York truly is the city that never sleeps by getting sushi at 11PM and seeing people continue to file into the restaurant throughout the night.

Saturday morning, I woke up early on my own to go for a longer run through Central park.  I was able to run to the lake in the center of the park and then cut through to the west side of the park to finish my run.  I was really just looking for things I recognized – mostly from the movie Enchanted – but the snow was really throwing me off.  It was some very easy, slow, BEAUTIFUL miles that I will cherish for a long time!  I wish I would’ve realized the United Airlines Half Marathon was on Sunday – I definitely would have found a way to get into that race!

I REALLY enjoyed Saturday.  First, we went to Top of the Rock and enjoyed the view of the city – in the SNOW!  Not ideal, but absolutely BEAUTIFUL!  Then, we headed down to Greenwich Village to get pictures at the Friends building and Carrie’s house from Sex in the City.  We also stood in line for AN HOUR for DO, but it was WELL worth it… even if it was in the freezing rain and 2 of us (NOT ME) complained the entire hour we were in line.

After some down time back at the hotel, we headed out to Union Square to meet up with some old high school friends for dinner and dessert!  It was so nice to see some old choir buddies who are still doing musical theater since high school.  We also enjoyed some AMAZING food, before, again, realizing that NYC truly is the city that never sleeps, as we ended up having to STAND on the subway at 1AM on our way back to the hotel.

Our last day was spent doing some last minute souvenir shopping for our kiddos and eating a delicious brunch at a nearby restaurant before heading on the plane home.

It was definitely an AMAZING experience that has brought all 4 of us closer than ever.  We are still texting and laughing about our trip on a daily basis – and we are already planning to go back, maybe annually, because we LOVED it so much!
Nothing speaks the truth more than my souvenir mug…