new york city, center of the universe.

This Christmas my family traveled to New York together for the first time. My brothers had never been before and Mom and Dad really wanted to take them so the 5 of us plus my sister-in-law traveled to New York the day after Christmas for 4 ridiculously busy and wonderful days.

We left Columbia Monday morning at 3:30 am to fly out of Charlotte. Once we got there we headed downtown. I took Mom and Katie to Soho while the guys went to Greenwich Village for a food tour. After a full morning of Starbucks and shopping at boutiques and stores like Zara, H&M, and Uniqlo, we headed to lunch at the Corner Shop Cafe.

Afterwards we headed back uptown for dinner with the gents and for Will, Daniel, Katie, and I to see Jersey Boys while Mom and Dad went to The Book of Mormon. I thought Jersey Boys was amazing. I have a new respect for Frankie Valli and I can’t stop listening to the soundtrack.

Tuesday morning we got up and headed over to Bryant Park and then off to Grand Central Station where we picked up Starbucks and prayed for a flash mob that never happened. We walked up Madison Avenue for a while before making our way to FAO Schwartz. Amazeballs – that’s what I thought about that. Why had I never been there before? Holy children’s store. If/when I ever have children, someone is taking me there STAT. Ahem, Mom and Dad. And all these other NYC trips I had just been happy to be near the fountain and the Plaza. (Side note: I once went on a Sex and the City tour of New York with Alyson where they showed us where all my favorite Sex and the City moments were set. Fan-freaking-tastic.)

We walked to Central Park afterwards (and after I drooled at the Apple Store at Central Park West and 5th) and played king of the hill and tried to figure out where Kelly Ripa might live.

After our walk we headed back to Greenwich for lunch. The boys showed us the Cornelia Street Cafe where Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick had their first date (!), introduced us to New York’s best pizza at Bleecker Street Pizza, and we all shared oatmeal chocolate cookies at Milk and Cookies. (Nom.)

THEN I saw where Cary Grant used to live! (Top left.) I LOVE CARY GRANT. (As does Mom.) So that was, like, pretty high on my list of life’s greatest moments.

We also saw the restaurant from the end of No Reservations (Bottom left.) and MONICA GELLAR’S APARTMENT BUILDING (Bottom right.)!

We headed to the 9.11 Memorial in the pouring down rain for a visit to the site that was so beyond what I could’ve imagined. My last trip to ground zero was in 2005. The construction of the memorial grounds is incredible and well worth the long wait in the rain + going through security. I’ve never seen anything like it before.

We grabbed beer and burgers at Bill’s Burgers in Rockefeller Center afterwards and then headed back to crash which is when I watched an episode of Friends and saw the outside of Monica’s apartment and SQUEEEEEEE I’ve been there now.

Wednesday morning Mom and I headed up 5th Avenue to heaven Anthropologie. I hadn’t been to that location since they opened so, obviously, I was in love with every last thing I saw. After a stop in J.Crew we met up with the rest of the family for brunch at the Terrace Club. Our view and brunch were delish and the perfect ingredient right before we all headed to see Spiderman, which was nuts.

We walked around Times Square and Rockefeller Center some more after the play before heading downtown again for dinner at Mesa. Seriously probably one of the best meals I’ve had in my entire life, if not the very best. We ordered the Goat Cheese “Queso Fundido” with Rajas + Blue Corn Tortilla Chips, the Cremini Mushroom Quesadilla with Fontina, Ricotta, Fried Egg, + Salsa Verde, and the Chorizo Meatballs with Red Chile Tomato Sauce + Cotija for appetizers. For dinner I had the Cormeal Crusted Chile Relleno filled with Roasted Eggplant, Manchego Cheese with Sweet Red Pepper Sauce + Balsamic Vinegar OMG. It was incredible. I can’t ever eat again but I was able to get Starbucks afterwards to get some energy for the trip back uptown.

We tried to go to the Empire State Building Wednesday evening but with a 1.5 hour wait we opted to try again in the morning before our inevitable flight home. So we shopped a little in Herald Square before calling it a night in anticipation of an early morning.

Will, Daniel, Katie, and I got up early and went to the Empire State Building. It was freezing cold but yet, perfect.

Such a great sight ot see before finally loading up for the airport.

I had such an incredible time with my family and I’m so blessed that I can say that. My parents, brothers, and my sister-in-law are such wonderful and fun people and I love each of them to pieces.. It’s the best way I can ever think to end this year.

Love, me

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