NYC Girls Trip

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I can’t stay away from this city for long.  We’ve been talking about a High School girls trip for ages, and we finally made it happen!  I have known and loved these fun, spunky, witty, wonderful women for over 20 years and when I am with them I remember who I am and why I am the way I am.  We laughed, we ate, we stayed up way too late talking about everything under the sun, and then we woke up and did it all over again.  It was truly a perfect trip. 

We all flew in at different times on Thursday afternoon.  We met up at WTC 1 late in the afternoon and headed straight for One World Observatory.  I absolutely loved it!  It beats the socks off both Empire State and Top of the Rock.  The views are beautiful, and it’s definitely got  the WOW factor.  So, if you find yourself in NYC—GO!
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After we took in the amazing views we headed for Chelsea Market.  It never disappoints.  I had a pork belly sandwich with pickled carrots, cilantro and cucumber from Num Pang.  Every bite was scrumptious.  I also got mini doughnuts from Doughnuttery, but they were just ok.  I wouldn’t go back.  Next up, a walk along the High Line.  We had a killer view of the sunset. 
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The Utah girls had taken a red-eye flight so they were beat.  The rest of us piled into one of our rooms at the Salisbury Hotel and gabbed the night away.  I am so inspired by these women!  My faith, courage, and sense of self were all strengthened as we talked, listened, debated, and learned from each other. 

Sarahbeth’s was on the docket for breakfast.  I love the location on Central Park South, and loved trying bites of everyone’s dishes.  I ordered a garden omelet, but I think Kasey’s Lemon Ricotta pancakes won the day.

Today was Tour de NYC.  We walked all over the place!  Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Chrystler Building, Grand Central Station, Cookies from Levains, Lincoln Center and Temple—we saw it all. 

And NYC didn’t hold back for us.  Kasey was laughing at me that I thought NYC was so magical.  Then a few min later she asked if I ever saw any famous people.  And we turned the corner and saw a filming of Access Hollywood.  Then Kristi said she wanted to get her girls an “I heart NYC shirt”  Literally 2 min later we passed the biggest souvenir store I’ve ever seen.  After we’d been walking for days someone said, “Wouldn’t it be nice to get a foot massage?”  Literally 3 doors down there was a reflexology shop.  And after biking around Central Park Megan said, “I just really feel like some watermelon.”  You guessed it, there was a little pop up stand selling fresh smoothies and skewers of watermelon.  How can you not love this city??  
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After a rest at the hotel we went to MOMA.  We were kind of up in the air about doing this, but when we got there we discovered it was free Friday night.  SCORE.  Modern art is the best.  Even though it was crowded it was totally worth it to get in free.  Some of my favorite things we saw: a bizarre exhibit by Yoko Ono, Starry Night by Van Gough, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon by Picasso,  The Persistence of Memory by Dal, as well as some great works by Matisse,  Warhol and Pollock.  I think even the non art lovers enjoyed our time here.

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For dinner we headed down to Greenwich Village only to discover that many places close at 6!  So, that was a bit of a disappointment.  We did eat some delicious pizza at Joe’s and a Popbar, so not all was lost   We ended the night with a stroll through Washington park.  NYC at night is just magic.
Stayed up way too late again.  Totally worth it again. 
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Lindsay, Megan and I got up early Saturday and went for a run in Central Park. Adrienne came with us too and went walking.  We got lost like 3 times and saw a huge 10k race happening.  Never a dull moment in this city. Excuse the tired eyes.  Remember the late, late nights?
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We were hoping to go to the Tenement Museum this morning, but all the tickets were sold out for the morning tours.  Next time…
We ate Bagels for breakfast from Russ and Daughters and then strolled through Soho on our way back to the hotel.  As luck would have it, we were in the neighborhood of Dominique Ansel, and there were still Cronuts available!  By this point we had eaten A LOT of food, and so we just got a couple to share between us.  Flavor of the month—Key Lime.  Key Lime is not my favorite flavor, but I’m sure no one is surprised to learn that in a cronut, I loved it.  And, we also stopped at Rice to Riches. 
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We took our time wandering around and finally made our way to a bike rental near Central Park.  We haggled a bit with the owners and walked away with cruiser bikes.  We wanted to bike the 6 mile loop and stop at sites along the way.  We stopped at Belvedere Castle, The Central Park Conservatory, and tried to stop at the John Lennon Memorial in Strawberry Fields, but we couldn’t quite find it.  I think the bike ride was one of our very favorite things.  We had the best time just cruising around, enjoying being together.  Lindsay and Kristi had decided that they’d rather have pedicures, so after we returned our bikes we met them at Bethesda Fountain.  There was a wedding dress modeling shoot going on and it was so fun to see those beautiful dresses on beautiful women at the beautiful fountain.  We parked ourselves in the shade and everyone had a good little rest. 
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Now on to Broadway!  We had early reservations at ABC Kitchen.  We were running a bit behind and I called them to see if we could push our reservation back a bit.  Apparently they are quite the sticklers for time.  We were told if we weren’t there within 15 minutes of our reservation time that we wouldn’t get in.  We scrambled around, ran to the subway, and in our haste we got on going the wrong direction.  Jumped off at the next stop, turned around and made our way to Union Square.  The restaurant has a tiny, unassuming sign, and it took us a minute of wandering up and down the street to see it.  We arrived with not a moment to spare.  To a completely empty restaurant.  There were maybe 6 other people in the entire place.  We had a good laugh about that.  To ABC Kitchen’s credit, within about ½ hour, the place was packed.  But I think we hustled and sweated through our nice clothes for nothing.  (Thanks vogue.com for the image)

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Dinner was divine.  Truly.  I’d say this place makes my top 5 NYC restaurants I’ve  tried.  We all decided to order a bunch of appetizers and each person got a different main meal and we shared everything.  This is my favorite way to eat!  Having bits of everything was so fun.  Crab Toast, Roasted Beets, Fig Pizza, and Sea Bass were some of our favorites.  Sitting around this table with these wonderful women will remain one of my favorite memories from the trip.
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We arrived at the Walter Kerr theater to see Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder.  The play was just darling, but the theater was HOT.  HOT HOT HOT.  I thought I was going to die.  My feet were swelling and I felt claustrophobic.  I practically shoved people out of the way at intermission so I could get outside.  Everyone else was hot too, but it didn’t seem to bother them quite as much as it bothered me.
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After the show we wandered around Times Square for a bit.  By this time we were all walking Zomibes.  The late nights, rich food, and miles and miles of walking over the last few days finally caught up to us.  We got back to the hotel and promptly hit the hay. 
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Everyone but Megan and I had an early train or plane to catch.  We all said bleary eyed goodbyes, and the Meg and I took our time getting ready.  We schlepped over to Brooklyn for one last feast at Smorgasburg.  We had so much fun wandering around all the different food vendors deciding what we were going to try.  We ended up with a Pork Belly Taco from Goa Taco (So unique! ) Mango Coconut sticky rice from Bamboo Bites (looked better than it tasted), peach slush from Kelvin Natural Slush (Soooo yummy!) and a donut from Dough.  Seriously, at this point I don’t think I ever need to eat food again.  We enjoyed the Manhattan skyline and were glad to find a table with some shade! 
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We got back to our hotel with no time to loose and Megan jumped in a cab.  As luck would have it, there was a giant Puerto Rican pride parade going on that pretty much locked down Midtown.  It didn’t look like she was going to make it to the airport on time.  Then, due to some storms in the southeast, her flight was delayed and she didn’t even make it home until the next day.  What a hard way to end the trip! 

I had a little more time to kill and spent an hour or so up in Central Park.  I gave myself plenty of time to get to the airport and still made it barely in the nick of time.  What a weekend it was! I came home renewed in every way.  Spiritually, socially, and emotionally.  It was such fun to be with these girls who helped shape the person I am today.  It felt so good to get back to my roots.  Even though we don’t get to see each other often,  when we do I feel 17 all over again.  And that’s a good thing Smile

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