Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Empire State Of Mind (Vacation Recap)

Sarah and I on the Brooklyn Bridge

You would think that by now I would own an I heart New York shirt, but I don't. However, that doesn't stop me from loving NYC! And if my love for the city wasn't big enough, I got to make another visit to the city with my best friend on dare I say (of course I dare!) the most perfect day! Just look at this beautiful sky:

I know that it's entirely stereotypical, but my all time favorite thing to see in the city is Times Square. It's fast-paced flashy personality draws me in every time! We had the amazing opportunity to be joined by Sarah's friend Liz on this embarkation, and Liz—being a native New Yorker from Manhattan—showed us all the local spots that aren't usually covered on a Ride The Ducks tour. Having done the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, Broadway show thing before, it was a new adventure I could not pass up! We parked close to Times Square, which made the walk to the subway via the square a great welcome to the city for me!

Our first stop was for breakfast at The Doughnut Plant on Grand Street on the Lower East Side. They had so many unique doughnuts that I'd never even thought of before. They had a square one filled with peanut butter and jelly, a Tres Leches doughnut that was seriously the most delicious thing ever on the planet, and Creme Brulee doughnut so tasty it makes you feel like you're at a swanky uptown restaurant. We each bought 2 doughnuts and split them four ways—a piece for each of us: Me, Liz, Sarah, and Sarah's husband Randy. Even though we only had a little bit of each, it felt like a full meal deal. It's a good thing we spent the day walking through the city.

Another one of my favorite things to do in the city is ride the subway. I can't even begin to explain why I love it. Maybe it's the convenience; maybe it's the constant bustle of strange new personalities onboard; maybe it's the fact that we randomly had a mariachi band play for our subway car and no one onboard looked fazed at all! Sarah and I could not help but smile at each other the entire time and others either continued to read their books, the newspaper, and Liz even slept through most of it.

About mid-day the troops were fading and despite my desire to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, I settled for ascending the stairs to the bridge walkway with Sarah and taking pictures of the BEAUTIFUL view!

While we were in Brooklyn, we stopped in Dewey's Candy Shop, which Sarah Barkley had suggested to me. It was a wonderland! I wish they allowed pictures to be taken in the shop, but they didn't. I was quite literally a kid in a candy shop! I was so excited to see that they carried my favorite chocolate bar—the Aero bar—so delicious! I walked away with a jar of my favorite sugar-free candies and licorice bites, which now sit on a shelf at work for random snacking.

For lunch, we got some New York Style pizza at a local joint near Ground Zero. My heart was overwhelmed with love, awe, and gratitude as I watched the Ground Zero workers enjoy their hard-earned lunches and it was fun watching the old men in the plaza play chess and checkers on such a gorgeous day.

We also got to take the S shuttle which took us to the Q line that took us over the bridge where we could see Lady Liberty in the distance. But the true beauty was the stained glass art at the S shuttle station. It was just stunning!

After a long adventurous day of sightseeing, I walked away with an even greater love for the city. The fact that I got to enjoy it with my best friend ever on the planet was just the cherry on top! I just wish we could visit NYC together more often! I already confirmed with the Warners that this trip to the East Coast over the 4th of July weekend is going to be an annual thing for me, and I'm thinking the day trip to NYC should be as well! Next year . . . CONEY ISLAND!

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