Tuesday, December 20, 2016

New York City 2012 - Day 1

When December rolls around and the Christmas festivities are in full swing, I often find myself thinking of New York City.  I think it’s probably because many of my favorite Christmas movies take place in NYC – Serendipity, Home Alone 2, Elf, Miracle on 34th Street, (I could go on) – so I’ve been conditioned to associate the city with Christmas.  It was one of the very top things on my bucket list to experience NYC at Christmastime, and I got to fulfill that wish back in 2012. 

Ever since I started this blog, I knew that I wanted to recap this trip to preserve the memories because it was just so magical, and what better time to reminisce than during the Christmas season?  New York City at Christmastime definitely has my heart.  It was every single thing that I had ever dreamed it would be.

We dropped Jacob off at school (my parents kept him while we were gone) and headed to the Atlanta airport in the early morning on Thursday, December 6, 2012 arriving in NYC in the early afternoon.  We took a cab into Manhattan and went straight to check in at our hotel so we could drop all of our bags.  We stayed at the Doubletree in Times Square and the accommodations could not have been nicer.  I can’t remember exactly which floor we were on, but I think it was somewhere around the 20th.  Our room was a suite, complete with a separate living area and a kitchenette.  We didn’t have a direct view of Times Square, but we could see it if we looked to the left from our window.  And they gave us one of those delicious, warm chocolate chip cookies upon check-in that we devoured as soon as we found our room.




After we were settled in, we bundled up and ventured out.  This was our third trip to NYC together, by the way, so at this point we had already seen most of the sights and touristy attractions.  It was, however, our first time in NYC during Christmas, so pretty much everything on the agenda was Christmasy – see the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center, eat at Serendipity, ice skate at Wollman Rink in Central Park (where they meet in Serendipity), go in The Plaza Hotel (where Kevin stays in Home Alone 2), look at all of the storefronts decorated for the holidays, see the Santa Clause display in the original Macy’s department store (the one that’s on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade), see a holiday performance, and shop shop shop.

Since we were staying in Times Square, we decided to spend a little bit of time there first.  Although, I’d seen it many other times by that point, I was still completely in awe of the glitz and the glam of it all.  I know New York City natives try to avoid Times Square at all costs, but man, I don’t think I could ever get tired of it.  Since it was December, they already had the ball up there for New Year's Eve.  See it?



There is a giant TV screen hanging in Times Square, and if you walk to the right spot, you can see yourself on it.  See B and me?



After Times Square, we started to walk.  I should probably mention at this point that about eight weeks before our trip, I slammed my foot into our coffee table (which is heavy as lead) and I tore some ligaments in my three little toes on my left foot.  Well, my podiatrist thought that everything would be healed by the time that we left for our trip, but nope, I was still in some pain and was still experiencing a lot of swelling, so I had to stay in my lovely boot our entire trip to keep my toes stable.  Fortunately, it wasn’t one of those big bulky ones that comes up to your knee or anything, but it did suck not being able to wear cute shoes.  Or warm ones.  Haha.

So anyway, next on the agenda was to see the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center.  It was the main thing that I had come for, and by that point, I was just dying to see it.  On the walk there, we passed so many wonderful things!







And then, all of a sudden we turned a corner, and… there it was!


You guys, what a sight!  It was so moving to see something so iconic in person.  I had seen it hundreds of times on TV and in movies, and there it was, perched right in front of me in all of its splendor.  We spent a good while there seeing the tree from different angles and watching all of the people ice skate.  I could have stayed there all night.  It was pure magic.





We spent the rest of the evening meandering our way through the city and soaking up all of the Christmas sights – the elaborate décor inside Saks, the Nativity inside St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the silver and white and robin's-egg blue Christmas tree inside Tiffany & Co., and so many other gorgeous buildings that go all out with the lights.  We did a little bit of shopping, stopping in GAP and H&M and several other places, and then we made our way back over to Rockerfeller Center on the way back to our hotel to see the Christmas tree at night. 













I also noticed the NBC store, and I just couldn’t help but duck in there to see if they had any Friends goodies.  It was funny because eight years after the series finale, the Friends memorabilia had more shelf space than most of the other shows that were in there.  I mean, look at this stuff!  It’s classic!





Of course I had to bring home something, so I brought home an oversized Central Perk mug to eat my soup in at work.  I love it so much and still use it constantly to this day!


That night we had a dinner reservation at Strip House.  Every time B and I travel, we always try to find the best pizza in town and we also try to find the best steak in town.  I had done lots of research on where to get the best steak in NYC and most of the reviews had pointed us there.  After freshening up at our hotel, we hailed a cab and headed over there.

The place itself was so cool – deep red walls filled with old black and white photos of celebrities, plush red seats, dim lighting.  We started the evening by ordering a bottle of wine (another bucket list check… until then, I had always ordered wine by the glass – ha!), and then B and I each ordered a filet.  The sides are all sold separately and are large enough to share, so B and I agreed on the twice-baked potato gratin and the black truffle creamed spinach. 

It was pure heaven.


I was stuffed after the main course, but we couldn’t leave without trying a slice of the Strip House Chocolate Cake because it’s 24 layers. 

Twenty-four layers, y’all. 




It was so huge we couldn’t finish it all, so we let them box the rest up to enjoy a little later in our room.

At that point it was already after ten, so we decided to call it a night since we had been up so early from traveling.  We took a cab back to our hotel room and relaxed for the rest of the night.

Well, did my recap put you in a Christmasy mood?  Day 2 of our trip will be up on Thursday, and stay tuned… it only gets better!  I think Day 3 was my favorite of them all!

*Linking up with Our Pretty Little Girls for Tuesday Talk.







26 comments:

  1. I've never been to NYC, but I sure would love to go. I'd especially love to go at Christmas time. It just seems so magical.

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  2. NYC is just magical and fabulous at Christmas, I took my mom there for her birthday a few years back and the lights and the Rockafeller tree are spectacular!! Look a that cake...YUM!!

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    1. It really is fabulous! I want to go back so bad. I bet you and your mom had SUCH a great time! I can't wait until our babies are a little older so we can take them at Christmastime!

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  3. I have always wanted to go to NYC at Christmas. My inlaws just went and it looked so fun. It seems so magical this time of year!

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  4. You know going to NYC at Christmastime is on my bucket list so this was so fun to read!! I cannot believe your memory, like it's amazing! I can't remember any small details from a month ago let alone years! I'm impressed :) I cannot wait to read more on your trip!

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  5. You like friends?!?! #morereasonstoloveyou. This trip looks amazing. I have always wanted to see NYC, Christmas time would make it better. Maybe someday we will!

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  6. Yes! We also went to NYC during Christmas when Jon's mom was working at a library on Staten Island! It was so much fun!! However, it looks like you had way better weather than us, because it was coooold and snowy when we were there. But oh my gosh, these pictures sure did bring back many magic memories! Thank you so, soooo much for sharing. What a fun post!

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  7. What a great trip and I love how you finally shared it! I've always wanted to go during Christmas but never managed it. Maybe next year!

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    1. You definitely need to add it to your bucket list... there's really nothing like it! I don't think I'd want to be anywhere else at Christmastime... other than home, of course. ;o)

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  8. Such a special trip! We went to NYC during Christmas time once when I was in high school, and it was amazing. We saw the Rocket's and went ice skating in Central Park...pure magic. Looks like your trip was amazing!

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  9. We are going to NYC next December and I cannot wait!!!! Neither one of us have ever been and it's always been a dream of mine to go when it's all decorated for Christmas!
    Sarah at MeetTheShaneyfelts

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  10. Love this!! We're planning a girls trip with my mom & cousins to NYC next December. I cannot wait!!
    That's so funny about the NBC store because those were a some of the souvenirs my mom brought us from her last trip, too: A Friends mug & a Friday Night Lights shirt...both cancelled shows!!

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  11. Going to NYC around Christmas is definitely a bucket list item for me!!! Sounds like you had the perfect day 1!

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  12. Such great memories of a special trip for you both and that was only day 1! The city really is an amazing place to visit during this time of year. I hope you get a chance to come back soon! Beautifully Candid

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  13. So much fun! I want to go to NYC during Christmas time too, one day I'll get there! :)

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  14. New York is my favorite city. I love it so much. I went to NYC during Christmastime for my first time as well. So many cool things to see and everyone needs to go in December. Love seeing your recap.

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  15. I want to go to NYC so bad!!! and at Christmas time....oh my!! :)

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  16. oh my gosh I am soo jealous!! this is on my life bucket list, and it looks so amazing! it reminds me of Elf a lot, too :)

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    1. Yes it does! We love that movie! I do hope you make it there someday... it was a magical trip!

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  17. How cool that you remember the trip so well! Having the pictures helps, I'm sure--and it looks SO fun!!!

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  18. I stayed at the Doubletree in Times Square too! We were in a room just like yours! It was soo nice to wake up every morning, look out the window and see Times Square! Your trip looked like so much fun, I've never been around Christmas time & I'm super jealous!

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    1. How cool! I wish we could have had a room that overlooked Times Square... that would have been really neat! And you definitely need to try to go back around Christmastime... it was a dream!

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  19. That looks like so much fun! I've been to NCY but, it was in the summer time. When I went a few years ago I saw the back of Daniel Radcliffs head as he was leaving the play he was in. I was pretty excited (my husband thought I was nuts). ;)

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    1. Ah, that's so neat! I freak out anytime I see anyone famous so I would have done the same thing!

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  20. My husband just doesn't want to go...and I just think it's an incredibly romantic place and so want to surprise him and make him go anyway.

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