Tuesday, December 11, 2012

In a New York State of Mind 2012

Right after Thanksgiving (thanks to my wonderful Mother-in-Law, Chris), Blaine and I flew to New York City for almost a week. Just us. No kids.

We felt like this was perfect timing for a getaway. With baby boy coming in March, me in the midst of my second trimester, Chris retired and more willing to help out, and a FREE flight and (almost) free hotel, we decided to go for it. I'm so happy we did.

I was terrified to do it... I've never left the kids before like this. Once, for our five-year anniversary, we spent a night downtown sans kids, but I'm a loser and put the kids to bed BEFORE we left the house. Other than my nights in the hospital with Sarah as a newborn and a girls' night in Park City with my mom and sisters (with Blaine home with the kiddos), this was new for me.

So, I cried the whole way to the airport, and the entire shuttle ride from long-term parking to the terminal. I was even weepy eating my reuben and waiting for the plane. But after that--no more tears. I knew my kids were in great hands. Nona is amazing and Poppy was due to come up and help in a couple of days too.

We got into the city late and I must admit that flying without kids was pretty awesome. :) We ate a late dinner at this awesome Italian place and had the best Risotto I've ever had.

The Hotel James was bitchin'. It was in Soho and was really hip and artsy and, of course, I loved that about it. It was also pretty fancy with robes, slippies, and heated floors in the bathroom.
Here's Blaine in his dainty slippies. They fit me a little bit better.

Our view and our tree wall...The bathroom had a really cool`screen that lowered and raised to allow privacy and ambiance. With our tiny room, it was a nice effect.
So, I took Tylenol PM most nights we were there... I knew I'd worry less about kids and sleep better with a little help and man--did it ever help me to sleep in! I cannot remember the last time I was able to just wake up when wanted to. This is kind of pathetic, but it's all I wanted to do this first day of vacation. And it was totally worth it. Poor Blaine had to get up early and go to his training... but don't let him fool you. He LOVES trainings. He was looking forward to the training as much as anything else this trip.

Rainy day view.

Our first night, we ate dinner in our hotel's restaurant, the David Burke Kitchen and had one of the very best steaks we've ever had. Afterward, we ventured to Serendipity 3 for something sweet. The last time we were here (five years ago) this place was closed. I was crushed. I was so happy to finally partake in dessert bliss. I had the famous frozen hot chocolate and Blaine had a regular hot chocolate.

A little glimpse of Serendipity. Pure heaven.

The next morning I got up relatively early and hit Times Square to get discounted Broadway tickets. Blaine's friend and co-worker, Jason was attending the same training and his awesome wife, Kristen was tagging along as well. Funny thing is that Kristen is also pregnant--and when we got in line to buy tickets, the guys working there took one look at us and sent us straight to the front of the line. This would never happen in Utah (where everyone is pregnant)! We loved being some of the first in line and totally snagged great seats for Jersey Boys.

Kristen and I were taking pictures of Times Square and this Elmo wanted in on our posing. We thought it was funny until he/she (?) awkwardly asked us for a donation. Neither of us had cash, so it was extra awkward.


I took this picture for Megan. The Empire State Building is where my brother, Scott proposed to her!

Okay... I absolutely LOVED this show. Even with all the F-Bombs, it was stellar. I didn't know much about the show or Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons at all before seeing it and it did not disappoint me at all!

Following our show, we ate at Junior's. My reuben wasn't great, but my cheesecake was killer. Then, we headed to see the Rockefeller Christmas Tree. It was lit up that same night and we barely made it in time to see it before they killed the lights.

Kristen and I had so much fun... Together, we shopped Times Square, hit 34th Street, saw Radio City Music Hall, and relished in Magnolia Bakery... we even bought Groupons for Mani/Pedis together. It was boss.

Once Blaine's training was over, we spent an extra day and a half seeing the city. Since I was pregnant this trip (and couldn't walk like I could the last time we were here), we cheated and bought tickets for a hop on/hop off double-decker bus tour. It was a great way to see the city, and while I missed all the walking I did last time, I feel like we saw parts of the city we never would have otherwise. 

Oh, I love this guy.

These buildings get all their water pressure from these wooden water tanks on top of them.
Also--the huge advertisements (like this H&M one) are all hand painted. Crazy.

Blaine and I thought this looked like the building in Ghostbusters.

I love this picture.

This year's Macy's Christmas theme was "Believe"... based on the 1897 letter that a little girl named Virginia wrote to The Sun regarding the existence of Santa Claus. Our tour guide read a little snippet of this letter and its response during our tour. I thought it was so inspiring and beautifully written and I can't believe I had never read it before... read it. It's awesome.
Apparently, Mr Macy was a Titanic survivor and this storefront has a commemorative tribute to Titanic. You can't really see it here, but trust me, it's cool.

Inside the Empire State Building lobby. I loved this. Did you know this building is currently the tallest in NYC and took only one year and 45 days to build??? I think that so amazing. Especially considering how long 134th South in Herriman has been under construction. :(

I look very awkwardly pregnant in this picture.

Views from the top...

There's the Crysler Building on the right.

The last time we were here, we went to the "Top o' the Rock" (Rockefeller Center), and saw breath-taking views of the Empire State Building. This time, it was fun to see things from a different perspective.

Back on the bus... and taking pictures like a fool.

The Flatiron building.

So freakin' cool.

I just love all this great architecture.

Picture overload... sorry. (Sort of.)

This is the almost finished new World Trade Center building. When completed, this will be the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.

One day, I will walk across the Brooklyn Bridge... when I'm not pregnant.

Love it.

We saw tons of Christmas lights on our night-tour...

The Harry Winston store front looked like it was dripping in diamonds.

We waved "hello" to NBC and Tina Fey.

And we eventually made it back to the tree again.

Awesome, right?

Believe... at night. :)

I die over these buildings.

Oh my gosh--it was so cold.

Museum of Natural History.

Blaine freezing to death... but he was a good sport and sat up top with me the whole time. What a guy!

Cathedral of St. John the Divine. This cathedral is breathtaking. I'm trying really hard to not post too many pictures of it...

Obviously, I failed... there are probably too many pictures of it. Oh well.

Harlem. Love all the colors.

Apparently, the residents of Harlem weren't too happy with the design of the Guggenheim when it was first built... By the way, I loved getting fed all this information while on our bus tours. It was fascinating to hear this kind of history and information about the city.

The Guggenheim Museum.
If we had more time, I would have loved to explore this place. (And think its exterior design is bitchin', actually.)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. This was my second time visiting the Met and I loved every second of it again.
Last time I was here, the Impressionist Wing was closed. CLOSED! I wanted to die. I was very happy to be able to visit again and see my very favorites.

Here are a few favorites I posted on Instagram. I cannot express how amazing it was to see some of these paintings with my own eyes. Seriously... Van Gogh, Matisse, Renoir, Manet, Monet, Degas, Picasso... Absolute Joy.

Blaine was so great. He mapped everything out for me so I could be sure to see everything I wanted to (which was everything). Without him I would have just jumped from painting to painting--too excited to calm down and plan out a path. Bless you, left-brained Blaine. You're the Yin to my Yang.

Harry to Sally: "You know I have a theory that hieroglyphics are just an ancient comic strip about a character named Sphinxy."

This one is for my mom... This painting is huge in real life. And not shaded over her boobies like my mom made it in her bedroom. What a prude. :)

After the Met, we walked through Central Park to the subway station and back to our hotel to catch our shuttle to the airport. We flew out that night and landed late in Salt Lake.

There's nothing like the New York skyline.

And finally, my attempt at taking and Instagramming a panoramic picture. 
Until next time, New York City. I'll miss you.

When we got home the kids were sound asleep. It was hard to not wake them up to squeeze them, but Jake's face in the morning when he crept into our room was so awesome. And while it was wonderful to see my kiddos, I relish this trip with Blaine. It was absolute perfection. I loved being able to focus on each other without any other distractions... in a lot of ways, it totally felt like we were dating again. Except, you know... that I am now knocked up. :)


Rachael said...

Ummm... AMAZING!

Thanks for sharing so much of your trip! I loved reading about it!

Becca Jo said...

I'm so glad that you went. I know it was hard for you to leave your kids. It would have been easy for me so I'm really jealous. :)

Candice said...

I love NYC! I'm so jealous of this trip. You deserved that time with your lover.

Great pictures.

And I love Jersey Boys! It's coming SLC in June and i'm dying to go.

dxeechick said...

fan-freakin-tastic. thanks for sharing all the pics, i was totally nerding out over here