Josh and I had initially planned for a longer baby moon: two + weeks of gallivanting through Europe was the original plan. However, once we realized how fast time crept up on us, we honestly weren’t prepared for such a big trip. Also, the idea of being so on the go whilst being 6 months pregnant didn’t seem like fun (and y’all know how much I love to travel…). So after a heart to heart, we decided to break up that longer trip into a few smaller trips and weekend getaways. One of the destinations I knew we had to go was NYC! And after having such a great time, I can’t wait to share my NYC recap with you all!
Why NYC? Because I have never been….what?! I know, it’s so wrong, right? 30 years on this beautiful Earth, 30+ countries, yet I haven’t been to perhaps the most popular city in the world…
It was baffling and we needed to change that….like ASAP!!! And what better of a time to go to NYC than at Christmastime?
Our time in NYC was magical. Time went by way too quickly and we’re already planning our return (we even looked up two-bedroom apartments to rent!!!) Obsessed much? Probably. I just think that NYC truly lived up to the hype that everyone creates it out to be and exceeded our expectations.
how beautiful is The Plaza? such gorgeous decor!!
NYC recap: what we did…
We um, had quite the lofty aspirations to see a lot in just a couple days. However, we didn’t quite understand how far a single block would take to walk. Haha so once we had taken that into consideration, we slashed our to-do list in half and tackled what we could.
This was kinda a no-brainer, especially at Christmas time. Cuz hello, the Rockefeller tree!! It was fun to finally see this area that is so coveted and such a landmark to NYC.
Top of the Rock
We almost didn’t do Top of the Rock. I had seen another blogger quote the price as $25 for admission – which seemed justifiable. However, the prices were actually $34/pp (check before you go to be sure!) and that seemed like a lot. So we actually left the first time to continue shopping and somehow, we kept coming back it. Since neither of us had seen NYC from way up, we decided it was worth the splurge.
And I’m so glad we did. We got lucky with the views and visibility (NYC got a storm the next day) and it was amazing to see the city from a birds eye view. Also, we got all these epic shots and did our “gender reveal” shots. See those here 🙂
Central Park + Wollman Rink
Since our hotel was so close to Central Park, we knew we would have to take an hour or two to stroll through it. So we decided to go on a nice walk before our flight home to exercise Phoebe a bit. Even though it was wintertime, it was still beautiful. And we stumbled upon the beautiful Wollman Rink. I have seen this site numerous times in movies and was so excited to see it in person. Since I was pregnant, we were limited to just people watching, so no ice skating, and to be honest, that was fine by me.
NYC Ballet Presents The Nutcracker at Lincoln Center
Our hotel was directly across the street from Lincoln Center, which made seeing a show almost mandatory. And since it was Christmastime, what perfect of an opportunity to see the Nutcracker. I wish we had planned out the day better to have time to dress up + get dinner beforehand because we went to that show tired and hungry. Haha we were quite hangry. Despite our hunger, it was so fun to see a show and beautiful ballet. Josh was definitely a good sport going along with seeing a ballet.
We knew we wanted to shop while we were in NYC. We hit up Gap Kids for buying little outfits for Cam, boots at Aldo for me, and a couple things from J Crew for the both of us. In addition to shopping for ourselves, we did our fair share of window shopping at fabulous stores such as Tiffany’s, Bergdorfs, and Cartier. And omg, the stores were so dreamy and looked fabulous all dressed up in beautiful Christmas decor!
We were so excited to try some of the foods NYC is famous for: B&W cookies, NY style pizza, bagels, Italian…Did we try them all? No, but we did have fun trying! We had bagels at Ess-a-bagel (45 min wait for decent bagels), ate late night NY style pizza at Mariella near Hell’s Kitchen (again, decent) and had a fancy lunch at Del Friscos Grill (really good!). We also couldn’t resist stopping by Magnolia Bakery to refuel with cupcakes (very tasty, affordable and no wait!).
yummy cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery. probably could’ve had three more…#pregoproblems
Where we stayed: The Empire Hotel
We stayed at The Empire Hotel solely based off the price. Since we booked this getaway so last minute, we were scrambling to find something somewhat affordable during the holiday season. And we lucked out big time with The Empire: $150/night! To say we were excited about it was an understatement. And after reading some reviews and seeing the location, we booked it asap!
Upon arrival, we were happy with how cute it was. It definitely has a fun, boutique hotel vibe to it, which we love and usually gravitate towards. The room was cute and cosy and perfect for our little getaway. Some of the reviews said it was noisy, but we didn’t have any complaints in regards to noise when we were in our room. However, I can definitely see this being a fun hotel, perfect for girls getaways or bachelorette parties.
The hotel is also extremely dog friendly too and within close proximity to Central Park. This made it perfect to walk Pheebs in the mornings and for potty breaks.
Overall, I would recommend this hotel if you’re looking for a fun place with a great price! I think though, if this is your first time like mine, I would recommend maybe something in Midtown to be closer to all the major sites. We spent a lot of time walking and being in the thick of it would’ve saved us a good amount of time.
What we’d do next time…
Definitely stay in the middle of things in Midtown or in Lower Manhattan – that way we can spend a day near Central Park/great shops/Broadway, spend a day checking out World Trade Center, Wall Street and make our way over to Brooklyn. Maybe spend an extra couple days so we can leisurely spend our days at the cute cafes I’ve seen in the West Village or Upper East Side. Definitely moving at a slower pace would be nice to really soak in the New York vibe and culture.
What to wear in NYC in winter
I knew the fashion in New York would be all-time and the men and women of NYC really lived up to that stereotype. I loved their fabulous coats, amazing OTK boots, and chic accessories. Also, I fell in love with Canada Goose (everyone – men & women were wearing these!) while we were there and it is already on my wish list for next year.
Also, I was surprised by how many women wore comfy boots such as Uggs. I guess when it’s 25 degrees with a 15 degree windchill you do what you gotta do to stay warm and comfortable! Regardless, they made these work and look so stylish (tell me your secrets…) I also loved the mix of high/low fashion and different ways of mixing things up. I left inspired to step up my own fashion game! So below is what I would pack for our next trip to NYC.
Thanks again for coming by! We absolutely love NYC and can’t wait to go back! Hope you loved my NYC recap and feel free to reach out if you have any questions!