NYC: Holiday Overnight Trip

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

There is nothing better than spending time in NYC during the holidays! I love looking at the window displays in all the department stores and seeing the tree in Rockefeller Center. My mom knows how much I love the city so we went for a little overnight trip the day after Christmas.
New York Palace Tree
We take a bus into the city so that we can arrive stress-free! We took an early bus and got into the city close to 10a.m. We always stay somewhere different when we come to NYC. There are a million options to choose from but this time we chose to stay at the New York Palace in The Towers.

I'm not going to lie. I asked to stay at the Palace because this year I've become obsessed with watching Gossip Girl on Netflix. I was able to check off some other Gossip Girl locations on this trip as well.

The hotel was crazy busy and we were too early to check-in so we checked our bags and left for lots of shopping in SoHo/Tribeca! With it being the day after Christmas I was really excited for all of the sales! I have never really shopped down in SoHo because I typically stay in Mid-town and everything is right there. However, during the holidays 5th Avenue is a zoo and it's best to shop in Lower Manhattan.
Washington Square Park
Or first stop was the Village! My mom and I wanted to check out Washington Square Park. They put a tree up under the arch, but it's actually rather skimpy. We also saw the Washington Mews. Then we hit up the Urban Outfitters down there. I bought a cute flannel shirt for $29.

I didn't eat breakfast that morning so around 11:30a.m. I was starving. We headed around the corner to  Peanut Butter & Co. I've seen their products in the store but had never bought any. Now was the time to try! It's a tiny store with a handful of tables. We got a seat near the window and was amazed at all of the peanut butter concoctions! I settled for the Jerry Seinfeld's Comedy Special, I mean what's more New Yorker than Jerry Seinfeld? It's a toasted bagel with peanut butter (melting off the bagel...yum!), drizzled with honey a swirled with cinnamon! It was very delicious, filling and something I can duplicate at home! My mom and I grabbed some peanut butter chocolate chip cookies to go.
Jerry Seinfeld's Comedy Special
After lunch, it was time to start the serious shopping! We headed for Broadway where every store you can think of is located. We also headed down a few side streets. I got a wooly heritage plaid skirt from Banana Republic for $32. I also picked up a $5 long, sleeveless tank from GAP and a birthday card for my sister at Papyrus. Lastly, I got two Alex & Ani bracelets at Bloomingdale's. I got the dragonfly and the bumblebee, both in Russian gold.

I didn't get too much because nothing really jumped out at me. I was on a mission to find leggings with a faux leather strip down the side but PINK was sold out of my size. However, when I got back from my trip my bestie, Jesenia, had a pair for me as an early Birthday gift!! I also was after this sweater but it was sold out all over the city so I just ordered it online in the hotel (wanted to make sure I got the 50% off)!

After shopping it was time to be pampered. I took my Mom to a nail salon in Tribeca called tenoverten. I treated us to manicures! I will go into detail of our experience for Friday Fingers! this week.

Before we knew it, it was time to head back to the hotel and get ready for dinner. We got to the hotel and tried to check-in again but the line was too long and we would have missed our dinner reservations. We hailed a cab and headed to Harlem for dinner at Red Rooster Harlem. Truth be told, I booked this dinner reservation before I had my mom book the hotel room. I've waited a long time for this dinner and was super excited! Chef Marcus Samuelsson is my favorite chef!

Dinner was amazing!  I started off with the Yes, Chef cocktail. It consisted of vodka, ginger beer, berbere (an Ethiopian spice) and pineapple juice. My Mom and I shared two "snacks" and we each got our own cornbread (as pictured). We shared the deviled eggs (as seen above) and a crab cake. For dinner, I got the fried green tomatoes (pictured) and a side of mac & greens (pictured, as well). Everything was delicious, no complaints. While I did have room for dessert, nothing really appealed to me.
View from the 47th floor in The Towers
In the evening we finally got checked into our room. The view from the 47th floor was breathtaking! We had a clear view of 30 Rock! After unpacking a bit and checking out the room we quickly bundled up and took a walk down to see the Rockefeller Center tree and see the windows at Saks! This year the windows at Saks featured the Saks Yeti. He was cute and small children really enjoyed the windows because they were automated. 

In the morning, we grabbed a quick bite to eat at Pomme Palais, which was located in the lobby of our hotel. We ate back in our room and mapped out how we could conquer the rest of our trip.
Having a Breakfast at Tiffany's moment!
We headed down 5th Ave. to see Tiffany & Co. and other famous jeweler's windows. Absolutely stunning, but as always Harry Winston's diamonds shine the brightest! Next we made our way to Bergdorf Goodman, which always has my favorite window displays! This year their theme was the holidays in the calendar year! Some of the windows were also just done in winter white. For someone who hates Valentine's Day, BG made me LOVE that window.

After window shopping, it was time to go explore the Metropolitan Museum of Art (The MET). There is an exhibit, Jewels by JAR, that I've had on my to do list! I don't have any pictures to share because you were not allowed to take any and I like to follow the rules. Just google it and watch your jaw drop! There were about 300+ pieces of jewelry to view and it took us over an hour to view them all (it was super crowded). We had 1:30p.m. lunch reservations so we only got to see a view rooms in The MET after Jewels by JAR. 
Having a Gossip Girl Moment on the MET steps
After The MET, we stopped at LadurĂ©e for French macarons. I got six for now (already ate them) and six for later (going to share them with friends on my birthday). I just adore French macarons and fell in love with them on my trip to Chicago. While LadurĂ©e has the widest variety in NYC it no where compares to the fun flavors I found at Vanille Patisserie. I really wanted one of the macaron trees for my birthday party but they were not in my budget...

Last stop of the day, lunch at Bar Americain. This was my Mom's choice, she loves Bobby Flay. The place was jumping for a Friday afternoon. We promptly were seated, unfortunately next to a loud, New York princess on her lunch break with her new co-worker. We started the lunch off with appetizers. My Mom got a bowl of the New Manhattan Clam Chowder and I had what else but the deviled eggs! The eggs were good but the Red Rooster eggs were better. I also found an egg shell on my last deviled egg at Bar Americain. I told the waiter and two seconds later the manager came over to apologize and told me that the eggs were on the house.

My Mom and I both got the lobster club. This was the reason my mom wanted to come to Bar Americain because she had seen it when Bobby Flay co-hosted the Today show with Kathy Lee Gifford. Anyway, I found the sandwich to lack flavor. I wanted the Bobby Flay kick and was left with bland. My Mom loved hers and that's all that matters. The barbecue potato chips were a disappointment. Some were burnt and then some were still greasy/soft in the middle. The flavor on them was also a poor translation of barbecue.

However, dessert made up for all of the poor flavor in the main course. I had the bistro apple tart with nutmeg soft serve. It was absolutely delicious! My Mom got her dessert on the house and she went with the Deep Dish Chocolate Cream Pie. She couldn't finish hers and so I had no problem picking up the slack. The cream was out of this world, so silky and the cookie on top had the perfect crunch! I would definitely return for dessert. I will say the staff was very friendly and took care of us after the "egg"cident.

That's it for my NYC get-a-way during the holidays! If you have any comments or questions about anything you saw in this blog, leave it below! Have a happy, healthy New Year! I've already been working on my New Years resolution to eat better! I've got a new blender and my Tone It Up nutrition plan, nothing can stop me!

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