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Andy and I had talked about maybe doing a 5 year anniversary vacation this year, but with baby on the way and just a lot up in the air, we weren’t able to plan anything crazy.  Not really sure what defines crazy, but oh well.

We have always talked about going to New York City together, and I started piecing together parts of the puzzle to see if somehow I could swing getting us out there for a few days.  I was able to find affordable flights — after debating the train, Megabus or a combination of transportation options — we were able to save money by doing two long days and only one night, and childcare for Harlow fell into place.

Maybe I could pull this off.

I debated waiting until the night before our flight or morning of to spill the beans, but I wanted to make sure plans weren’t made for the weekend.  I ended up telling him during our date in Chicago on our actual anniversary.  I had researched the “traditional 5 year gifts” and found that they are wood and silverware.  (Silverware being the more modern take on the traditional anniversary gifts.)

New York memories sounded way more fun. :)

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We flew out early, early, early on Saturday morning and everything went really smoothly.  Flights were substantially cheaper into Newark, so we had Super Shuttle booked into the city.

After waiting a bit for our shuttle, dropping a few people off, and experiencing some lovely road-rage and loud arguing between our driver and a truck driver wishing to back up (yeah…it was awkard), we made it to our hotel.  Bags were dropped off, and our stomachs were saying feeeeed me.  

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We grabbed brunch at the Brooklyn Diner (it was delicious!) and decided to enjoy the gorgeous weather by walking to Central Park.

First we made a stop at the TKTS booth to see if there were any matinee shows that we wanted to try to snatch tickets for — nothing was really capturing our attention, so we decided to stay outside and just explore the city.

We walked to Central Park and our pre-4am wake up call was definitely already hitting us with the sleep truck.  It was amazing to just relax for a bit with some shade and breeze.  The weather was gorgeous, but it definitely cooked when we were walking and unable to find shade!

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After Central Park, we found a Starbucks (caffeine yes.) and decided to navigate the Subway down to the financial district to see the 911 Memorial and Museum.

We didn’t do a terrible job, but I definitely lost all confidence in the Subway when we were completely confused by closures near the memorial.  We’d be told to take a train one direction…only to find that we couldn’t because that station was closed.  We ended up walking about 10 more blocks after leaving the subway to get to the memorial — it was great to walk!  Just a bit hot!

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We knew we were pushing it time-wise to be able to see the Museum and make our 5pm dinner reservations, so we opted to stay outside and try going to the museum the next morning.

Through some Subway navigation, a lot of laughing and a lot of walking, we made it back to our hotel — making a few stops along the way.  We freshened up and then enjoyed a low-key dinner at Ruby Foo’s.  It was delicious, not insanely priced and we left feeling happily full and not overly stuffed.

We had some time to kill before Newsies started at 8, so we wandered Times Square a bit more, just soaking up the people watching and Time Square in general.

I even worked up the courage to go into the MAC store.  I know, I know, but I had this weird phobia of ever going to the MAC counter or yikes an entire store.  Andy gifted me with a fun lipstick color, and my fear — for the most part — has subsided.

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Newsies was amazing.  Right after I got our tickets, we learned that they’d given the show an end date of August 24.  I’m so happy we were able to get out to NYC prior!

I cried.  Blame it on pregnancy hormones, whatever.  I’m a Broadway and musical nerd, and Newsies is one of my top picks for sure.  So. Good.

We spent time with Corey and Meghan after the show — Fro Yo definitely hit the spot — and we were all zombies when we said our goodbyes at close to 2am.  Whoops!

We crashed hard, setting our alarms to get back down to the 911 Museum first thing in the morning.


 

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We woke up and ventured out for some coffee and breakfast before taking the Subway back to the Financial District.  Thankfully the Cotts had given us the confidence to navigate the Subway a bit more successfully, and it worked.  We were able to get into the Museum right at open (9am) and stayed for a few hours until we needed to get back to check out, grab lunch and catch our Super Shuttle back to the airport.

I cannot say enough about the 911 Museum.  It was emotional, informational, heavy, and hopeful all at the same time.  Part of me wanted to stay longer, but I am hopeful to go back.  It’s a lot to take in and read at one time — incredibly moving and emotional.  I hope to go back and spend more time there.

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We made it back to our hotel via the Subway with no hiccups, only to start receiving texts from United that would change the next 24 hours.  Hmph.  But we got home and it made for more memories!

There were a few things I learned during our time in New York.  Things that I would or wouldn’t do again:

  • Super Shuttle leaving Newark… wouldn’t do again.  I’ve had such great success with Super Shuttle picking me up and taking me to the airport, but we waited quite a while, even though I had scheduled a specific time given when we would land.  I’ve heard taxi’s aren’t the way to get from NJ to NY, so I think we would maybe uber it next time.
  • TKTS while pregnant…YES.  We were waiting in line as we read the marquis with the show tickets available, and an employee pulled me out of line and said “we don’t make pregnant women wait in line, you can go directly to the front.”  Believe me, it definitely made us think twice about not buying tickets to a matinee show!  Pregnant? go to NYC! :)
  • Maybe study the Subway map a bit before arriving — or at least download a Subway map app.  We just weren’t planning ahead, and I wish I had made myself a bit more familiar with the map.  Also?  I think whoever designed the Underground in London should design ALL Subway systems — goodness, I love London’s Underground more and more.

We had such an amazing time together, and it was overdue and so needed.  It was a quick weekend — and obviously more expensive than just staying home — but looking back, I’m so happy we bit the bullet and did it.

Have you been to New York City recently?  What would your do again/don’t ever do lists be?  What shows are your top picks?

xo
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