A Quick Getaway to the Concrete Jungle
Queue Taylor Swift song: Welcome to New York, It’s been waitin’ for you. Welcome to New York, welcome to New York. Darin, my sister, Shannon, and I had a mini retreat to NYC at the beginning of September and it was the perfect way to close out the summer with one last hoorah! I love my sister for many reasons, but two specific reasons made this trip extra fun: Firstly, Shannon is a “seasoned traveler” and always knows all the in’s and out’s of where to go and what to see… SCORE! Secondly, she’s way more adventurous than I am. She is more fun than I’ll ever be and I’m the first to admit that! (I’m a 70 year old stuck in a 24 year old’s body 🙂 ) On top of that, I always love to travel with my hubby. I love getting to experience new places, see new things, and cross places off of our bucket list together! Our goal for next year is to go to Europe together since Darin’s never been… fingers crossed!
I wanted to share the highlights of our trip and my opinion of “must do’s”:
Central Park… DUH!
I had been to NYC a few times when I was younger, but never got to experience Central Park. I think I would have enjoyed it a bit more if it wasn’t 500 degrees the day we went, but hey, it definitely is an NYC must in my opinion! Central Park is unique in the fact that it’s a beautiful green, lush getaway in the middle of skyscrapers; I think that’s why I loved it so much. Shannon and I wandered around taking it all in… from sidewalk musicians to the views of the bridges. I trusted Shannon (the seasoned traveler, right 😉 ) to lead us in the right direction, and she did for the most part, lol, but we somehow managed to get lost a few times while within the park. But we got our steps in for the day at least 🙂 I think the coolest part is just walking through the park and seeing all sorts of people: tourists from all over the world, yogis practicing their yoga, mamas and babies taking an afternoon stroll, and so much more. I am a creep and love to people watch and Central Park was definitely a great place for that! Not to mention, anywhere you turn is a perfect photo op!
The Met… A Gossip Girl Lover’s DREAM
The Met (The Metropolitan Museum of Art) was close to Central Park so it was only fitting that I convinced Shannon to go. If you’re a Gossip Girl junkie like me, than you know the significance of this place. If not, what are you doing with your life?! JK, but honestly, go watch it on Netflix… now. The Met is a key part of the Gossip Girl series because it is where Blair Waldorf (the main character) ruled her high school throne. Blair and Serena would sit on the Met steps and drink their lattes gossiping of course. Anywho, I was dying to go see this place and it was magical. Probably because of my Gossip Girl obsession, but this is a touristy place and it’s also a prime people watching spot. My sister and I didn’t actually go into the museum because we didn’t have time, but just sitting on the steps and watching the taxis go by was reason enough to visit. It would have been even cooler if Leighton Meester and Blake Lively were sitting next to me, but hey, a girl can dream right?
National September 11 Memorial… a MUST
I think if you could only visit one “touristy” place in NYC, it should definitely be the National September 11 Memorial. It goes without saying that the Memorial represents New York City itself and the struggle and the pain our country has gone through since 9/11. It was breathtaking to see the space in which the World Trade Centers used to stand and think about those that lost their lives that day. People from all over the world were there taking a moment of silence as they walked by the memorial looking at the names of those engraved and listening to the waterfall of the memorials. It just so happened that we were there only a few days before the 9/11 anniversary which made it that much more surreal. We didn’t have time to go into the museum, but it’s definitely on my bucket list. Even if you can only spend 5 minutes at the Memorial, DO IT! You won’t regret it. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures of the memorial itself. To be honest, I didn’t really want to take pictures in that moment; I wanted to take it all in and pay respect to those that we lost.
By the National September 11 Memorial is the Oculus. The Oculus is the World Trade Center Transportation Hub that serves as a train station that gives futuristic vibes (in my opinion). The hub was created to replace the train station that was destroyed during 9/11. It’s made of all glass and steel and not only hosts the train station but shops and stores as well. Like I said earlier, I like to people watch, lol, and this was definitely a cool place to do that. As you enter the Oculus, if you stand at the top of the steps, you can look down at all of the people walking through the station and it’s so cool! The Oculus’ architecture makes for great photos and makes you feel like you’re not in NYC anymore!
Times Square… Bright Lights, Big City
Times Square, the epitome of NYC. This is another one of those “must-do’s” for first time visitors. Times Square is jam packed with people weaving and dodging, street artists, crazy drivers, and billboards made of LED lights. The best time to visit Times Square is obviously at night when all of the billboards are lit up. That’s also my favorite time to visit because, I myself, am a night owl and no matter what time you are walking the streets, it will always be alive with people! It almost makes you forget what time it really is- you can grab a hot dog at 2 am or a latte at midnight; it doesn’t matter! Currently wishing KC had something similar for me to getaway to for those nights I can’t sleep 🙂
230 Fifth Rooftop Bar…Trust me, you’re cool enough
For our last night, we decided to go out with a bang (aka staying up past 11 pm 😉 ). I was just googling restaurants around our hotel and we stumbled upon 230 Fifth Rooftop Bar. We took an elevator for what seemed like forever and we stepped off onto this eclectic, sophisticated lounge. We both looked at each other in awe, lol. We then walked outside to an amazingly beautiful rooftop bar that was filled with young, chic 20 something’s. The views on each side of the rooftop were stunning. You could see for miles, each of the tall buildings that made you feel so small when down below. We sat and lounged on the rooftop and ordered a few drinks and appetizers. We both felt like we weren’t “cool” enough to be there, lol, since we are such home bodies and never do stuff like that. But it was honestly one of our favorite parts of NY! We felt like celebrities in a way because the rooftop and the lounge seemed like part of a movie scene. I recommend finding any type of rooftop bar/lounge to see incredible views of the city that you may not see otherwise!