Brad and I got to spend the the entire week of Thanksgiving in New York City! I can't wait to (finally) tell you all about our trip! Since we did so much throughout the week, and took so many pictures (over 1,000), I'm going to do a separate post for each day that we were in the Big Apple.
Indulge Join me as we sit down together and go through our vacation pictures! :)
This was the beautiful view from our hotel room, which was tiny. Literally, Brad's knees hit the wall if he sat on the toilet. Ha!
This was our first picture together in the city. The fountain behind us, located right outside of Central Park was filled with tons of lit Christmas trees for the season!
Our first stop was 5th Avenue. We wanted to get any shopping / visiting of shopping areas done early in the week so as to avoid Black Friday craziness. And it was wonderful. We saw all kinds of fancy stores that were way out of our league: Gucci, Prada, Bergdorf Goodman, Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Chanel, Dior, Amani, Saks, etc. I had to stop outside of Tiffany's to flash my own bling. And they all had everything decorated for Christmas, which made me a very happy tourist! Look how pretty that Cartier store is, all wrapped up like a present!
One store on the strip, however, was precisely up our alley. I declare that FAO Schwarz has got to be the best toy store in America. The toy soldier guard even took a break from his cheerful song welcoming people to the store to pose with us!
Seriously, Brad and I were like little kids in this place. I was all wide-eyed in wonder looking at all the toys. And they had an entire floor that was just a big candy store! It was called FAO Schweetz, and they had candy the size of your head! I'm talking a pair of 1/2 pound peanut butter cups, people!
We hung out in FAO for hours. Literally. We played with every toy and posed with every prop. There was an entire Harry Potter section where you could buy real quidditch robes and wizarding hats. I was very tempted to buy this Hufflepuff scarf. (Yes, I was sorted into Hufflepuff. I've come to terms with it.) But our favorite parts may have been all of the gigantic lego sculptures! They were pretty amazing.
Once we were finished playing in the toy store and mocking strange window displays on 5th Avenue, we ventured over to the Radio City Music Hall. Thanks to our pre-purchased New York pass, we had access to the backstage tour. It was interesting to learn of the history and see the secret VIP rooms in which celebrities during various awards shows. But the best part was definitely the opportunity to meat a real Rockette! She told us all about the show and the the routines and the audition process and the height requirements. (They're all between 5'8" and 5'10", and they create the illusion of being the exact same height by placing the tallest in the center and very gradually placing the shortest on the edges.) All I know, is standing next to her not only demonstrated our height differences, it also demonstrated how to pose for pictures to look awesome by having your front leg bent and tilting a little to the side. Tricky, tricky.
One of my personal favorite aspects of NYC was the presence of all of the hot dog vendors! They were literally everywhere you looked. On this one intersection alone, there was a stand on all four corners of the street. They were such a cheap and convenient solution to hunger with a busy schedule. And these guys were super fast, too. They'd trail mustard on the dog one direction, drop the container, pickup the ketchup, and squeeze it out going the opposite direction. (And it's "mustard and ketchup" not "ketchup and mustard" in NYC.) I think the entire process from order requested to the exchange of food and cash was less than 90 seconds. Nice.
We stepped into the massive, beautiful, free public library to take a look around. The whole place was like one giant work of art. The never ending hallways, stairways, and rooms had incredibly high ceilings with murals on many walls and ceilings and gorgeous scroll work and carved woodwork throughout. Naturally, in such an overwhelmingly beautiful building, I had one mission: to find a copy of Harry Potter. Mission: Accomplished.
Right outside of the library was this giant area with various booths and stands surrounding a pretty fountain. (The only fountain that we saw all week with water still running, even into the winter months.) One of the little shops had pet souvenirs, and I was this close to buying Chester a shirt that said "I Ruff NY." But alas, Brad vetoed the decision. We did, however, purchase our annual 2011 personalized ornament here.
As evening approached, we walked over to Grand Central Terminal. Sadly, we did not see any flashmobs during our visit. To cheer ourselves up, we got super-touristy and enjoyed a little audio tour of the famous landmark. Yeah, we're that legit.
Like I said, we wanted to get any shopping / stores done early in the week. I couldn't be in New York City, and not visit the festive Macy's! I was pretty pumped to be standing on 34th Street, where miracles have been reported. (Full disclosure: All but three of the pictures featured in this collage were actually taken later in the week when we came back during the daytime. Shhh....)
The entire department store was decked out for the holidays. I loved it! They even had a special section for writing letters to Santa and putting them in a special North Pole mail box. We went all the way up to the 9th floor (!) to see all of their Christmas merchandise. A whole floor of nothing but Christmas stuff! It was like magic!
After I had purchased my authentic "Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 2011" ornament to commemorate our trip, we penetrated Times Square for the first time. Wow. It was like sensory overload! So many giant billboards and screens and flashing lights and people! We loved it!! In the midst of all the chaos, we stood there for a few minutes, just holding each other and taking it all in. What a cool thing to experience with my favorite person in the world!
Our Times Square visit this night (we went back often) consisted of another toy store; Toys "R" Us. (Don't judge us. We love toy stores.) They have a full sized ferris wheel inside the store! Every car was different and awesome. They had the Mystery Machine from Scooby Doo. They had Toy Story characters and Nickelodean characters. They had a Barbie corvette and a Monopoly car. You weren't able to choose the one you rode in, but I had secretly been hoping for the giant Fisher Price car, since I watch Charlie and Layla have so much fun in theirs all the time, and I just have to watch since I'm too big. And guess what, that's was the next car that came up as we were loading! Holla! (In your face, girls! I can ride in one, too!)
Whoa. Did you even know you could pack that much fun into one day?? I sure didn't! But NYC has endless possibilities! By the end of the night, we were so exhausted and had terribly sore feet from walking around so much. Even though I was half asleep, I couldn't neglect taking some pictures of the city at night from our hotel room window. So pretty.
We fell into bed with a sense of accomplishment for successfully completing everything on that day's itinerary. As well as a sense of apprehension for the tiring days ahead. One day down, five to go. Bring it on.
Catch up on the rest of the week: