It was an absolutely picture perfect weekend to be in New York City!
Technically, this picture was taken in New Jersey, but more on that later. I’ve decided to divide our trip into three installments, in order to capture as much of the Big Apple as possible. It was truly a jam-packed, fun-filled trip!
We also had a clear view of One World Trade Center, otherwise known as the Freedom Tower.
It was definitely cool to see how much has been built already. It’s a beautiful structure!
The reason for our trip to New York was a business conference for Bobby, so he headed out early that morning, while I stayed back and got a few extra winks of sleep at the hotel. I didn’t sleep too long, though, because I was on a mission to explore the city while getting work done, too.
First stop: 71 Irving Place for coffee!
This coffee shop was recommended to me by my friend Marcy, who claimed it would not disappoint.
She was right. My vanilla latte was incredible, and the ambiance inside the shop was warm and cozy. It made for a great perk-me-up first thing in the morning!
Unfortunately, the shop didn’t have wireless Internet, so once I had finished, I was off to a Starbucks. I worked from there for a few hours before meeting up with my best friend Sam for lunch at Chop’t!
This is an über creative salad chain in New York and D.C. that makes build-to-order deliciousness.
I decided to follow Sam’s lead and went with the fall classic, which comes with house roasted turkey, crumbled blue cheese, apples and walnuts. It’s chopped with romaine and mesclun lettuce and served with a cider vinaigrette. We asked to wrap our salads for easier consumption.
The verdict? A definite yum! It was great to catch up with Sam, too. We said our goodbyes so she could head back to work and I wandered back through the city. There was a gorgeous tree in front of The New York Palace that I couldn’t resist photographing.
I continued walking and decided to return back to the hotel for the rest of the afternoon, in order to finish up some work before Bobby got out of his conference. On the way, I passed Max Brenner just south of Union Square.
After hearing from my friend Lauren that his hot chocolate was not to be missed, I headed inside.
I am very glad I did. There were so many unique chocolate gift items to peruse!
Of course, I was not leaving without hot chocolate. Dark hot chocolate, to be exact.
Hands down, the best chocolate drink I have ever had. Lauren knew what she was talking about. Wow!
Once I arrived back at the hotel, I realized I had walked a total of EIGHT miles!! It’s incredible how walkable New York City is. Although I was admittedly tired when I finally slowed down, I enjoyed every minute of my exploration.
After meeting up with Bobby around 5:30, we got dressed up and ventured to The Carlyle for dinner.
Last year, I was honored to receive a Rosewood Hotel 30 Under 30 award. The hotel made a $100 donation to the non-profit of my choice, and was also kind enough to supply me with a gift card dinner at any of their properties.
We were originally going to be joined by a friend of the family, but after a last minute cancellation, it ended up being just the two of us. This restaurant was very ritzy and, I will admit, not necessarily my normal taste. But the food was definitely a treat and I am grateful to Rosewood for the complimentary opportunity to dine there!
We started with a basket of rolls and a bottle of wine: a Benzinger merlot.
The waiter brought out an amuse bouche of cucumber, salmon and créme fraiche. This led Bobby and me (and our immature brains) to discuss an episode of South Park. That said, it was delicious.
We also shared an order of the lobster bisque, which was creamy and rich.
For dinner, we each had the halibut, served on a bed of mushroom risotto. I’m not sure how the sauce was made, but it was amazing, and the fish melted in our mouths. We eagerly enjoyed every bite!
We decided to forgo dessert, though they did bring out a small plate of assorted cookies and sweets, which we gratefully accepted. My favorite was by far the lemon muffin in the middle.
But we had bigger plans. Sweeter plans.
Dylan’s Candy Bar plans.
After visiting Dylan’s with Jill last year, I knew I would be making a return trip with Bobby.
Oh yes, I made him put on a cupcake hat. And take a picture. He might tackle me for posting it.
We explored every inch of this sugary paradise and each came out with a bag of joy. Mine was full of various gummy candies – including frogs, penguins and bears – as well as sour strings and dots. Mmm…my sweet tooth was happy with me.
We couldn’t resist snapping a picture in front of the chocolate bunny before we left.
We decided to walk a bit longer since it was such a nice night. As we headed in the direction of our hotel, we looked to our right and saw none other than Rockefeller Center and its gorgeous Christmas tree!
It was fun to watch all the skaters and see all the lights up close, rather than on television.
Our walk also took us past Radio City Music Hall…
…and into Times Square!
As this was Bobby’s first trip to New York City, he was impressed by all the ads and grandeur. Who am I kidding? So was I! Times Square certainly doesn’t disappoint, though I’m not sure if I could ever brave the crowds on New Year’s Eve!
We ooh-ed and ahh-ed a little longer before finding our train and heading back to the hotel for the night. Our first day in New York City was a lot of adventure – and a lot of walking – but there was still plenty more to come! Can’t wait for post number two.
Have you been (or do you live) in NYC? If so, what’s your favorite part of the city?
Happy Monday to all of you. Hope you have a wonderful week!