Happy happy Hump Day everybody! I hope you’re doing well 🙂
As I said in my last post, on Sunday I went to NYC with three of my high school friends.
I was praying that this trip would go as planned after the whole DC trip failure, and thankfully it went even better than expected!
Seriously every second of this NYC adventure was a blast. From chatting on the drive to my friend’s grandparents’ gorgeous home where we spent the night, to laughing on the hour long train rides to and from the city, to exploring on Sunday night and all day Monday, to watching Late Night with Seth Meyers, and of course, eating some of the best food – every moment was memorable!
Of course I wanted to recap my wonderful weekend getaway and since so much of the trip was spent eating the most incredible food, I figured what better way to
give you way too many details than I’m sure you care to know do that than a WIAW!?
As always, a huge thanks to Jenn for hosting this link-up!
What I Ate (& Did)
Wednesday in NYC
We arrived at my friend Matt’s grandparents’ beautiful home (about an hour from the city by train) at 5:30 and his grandma (the cutest, nicest, most amazing hostess) had made coleslaw and turkey & cheese finger sandwiches on the most delicious Panera sourdough. We weren’t super hungry then, but we were all so glad we ate because 1) it was so. freaking. good. and 2) we didn’t end up eating dinner until 9:30!
His grandparents then drove us to the train station, which was only 5 minutes from their house. Talk about convenient. We hopped on a train and talked and laughed (probably a little too loudly…) the whole 55 minutes to Grand Central.
When we got there, we hailed a cab so we could hurry to get in line for free tickets to a UCB improv show. Matt is in an improv group in college and it’s his passion, but we’re all SNL fans and love comedy (then again, who doesn’t?). Unfortunately the line was super long and there was only one stand-by ticket left. Of course, we let Matt take it! We felt bad leaving him, but he insisted that he was fine being alone (makes sense considering the amount of estrogen around him all weekend…). We knew how badly he wanted to see the show, so we agreed that us three (now very hungry) girls would go near Times Square and have a nice dinner and some girl time.
For some reason we had trouble finding a place to eat (I don’t really know how this was possible seeing as we were in NYC and all…), but finally we stumbled upon Planet Hollywood and decided that we would deal with the 20 minute wait because we were beyond starving.
My friend Caitlin and I both got the ‘Spinach & Peaches’ salad which was “grilled chicken, baby spinach, peaches, strawberries, candied walnuts, bleu cheese crumbles (<- I’m not a fan so I had those held), served with tomato balsamic vinaigrette”. Key words = candied walnuts. Holy yum. It was fresh, filling, and totally hit the spot.
Nicole chose three seasonal side salads – one was avocado and tomato, another was kale and cranberries (?), and the third was beets. She said they were all amazing, and they sure looked it!
No longer hangry, we happily headed over to Broadway for dessert and fun at Ellen’s Stardust Diner. If you’re ever in NYC, I highly recommend going there for some classic American grub (burgers, fries, shakes, and more!). Not only is the food amazing, but so is the entertainment. The waitstaff are extremely talented broadway hopefuls who audition when they’re not waiting tables, and perform even while they are!
Such a neat experience.
^ Our super nice, funny, and talented waiter.
We all ordered our own dessert, but quickly realized we could’ve just shared one thing…
(This drool-inducing photo is from my Instagram)
^ I don’t remember its name but I do remember it was chocolate on chocolate on chocolate. Yeah.
^ That would be the ‘Wicked Cake’ aka “moist chocolate-peppermint cake layered with chocolate ganache and creamy vanilla icing”. Mmmhm.
^ The ‘Brownie Mudslide Sundae’ aka “the best brownie in N.Y. smothered in vanilla ice cream & hot fudge”. I can’t.
Well actually I can, because I sure did. I’m either proud or embarrassed ->
I’m going with proud. No shame in enjoying life, especially on vacation!
I was almost (read: almost) too full to function but I just kept going at it because 1) I paid for it and didn’t want it’s amazingness to go to waste and 2) it was too good to stop eating. Zero regrets (except for about 20 minutes after…not a pleasant feeling).
At about 11:15 we walked to Grand Central to catch the 11:44 train back to the house. It was a little bit of a hairy situation with Matt since the UCB show got out at about 11:20, but somehow he made it onto the train at 11:43. Phew.
The train ride was full of recapping our nights and lots more laughs, especially when we realized we were on the wrong train (but luckily we figured out all we had to do was hop off and grab another train that came a minute later). We’re rookies, but we’re learning!
It was down-pouring when Matt’s grandparents picked us up. Clearly luck was on our side that night between Matt somehow catching the train, realizing our mistake before it was too late, and just barely missing the rain!
We arrived to a bowl of fresh cherries and had a nice chat with our wonderful hosts (who were not tired at all – guess it shows how good the retired life can be!) until about 2am. It was a late night, and I didn’t end up falling asleep until around 3:30, but the lack of sleep was totally worth it!
We got up around 8:45 and walked downstairs to a delicious breakfast. Our morning fuel: OJ, fresh fruit, cheesy scrambled eggs, and more Panera sourdough with blueberry orange marmalade & hot pepper peach jam (<-such a cool flavor!).
Shortly after, we headed to the train station and waited a while, playing games like ‘guess that person from high school using one word clues’ to pass the time.
We arrived around noon and headed right to Starbucks to grab iced coffees to keep the yawns at bay.
Next we walked to the MoMa where we showed our college ID’s and got tickets for $14 – pretty good deal!
^ The writer in me loved this one! So meta.
^ At this point it was about 1:30 and as much as we appreciated this famous work of art, it made us realize that it had been 4 hours since that lovely breakfast and we were feeling the grumbles, big time.
When we drove past Eataly the night before, both Matt and Nicole said we had to go there because they’d heard rave reviews. So, the decision for lunch was made! We hopped in a taxi and headed to the wonderful Italian market.
Let’s just say that what Matt and Nicole had heard about it was spot on. It was absolutely incredible and made me a million times more excited to study abroad in Italy this Fall!
We were well aware that we’d be without food from about 5:00-7:45 and then we were going to wait to eat dinner back at the house after the show. This meant we needed a hearty lunch to hold us over until about 9:30. Boy, was it hearty alright…
We chose the Panini place and seriously, they were perfect.
Nicole and I split the ‘Il Pescatore’ (“olive oil poached tuna, hard boiled eggs, tomato and red pepper pesto, and parsley”) and the ‘L’Alpino’ (“prosciutto cotto with fontina cheese and housemade fig mostarda”). The fish was super light and slightly tangy, unlike any tuna salad we’ve ever had.
While the first panini was delicious (and we inhaled every bite), the second one stole the show. The warm bread was crusty yet soft, and the sweetness of the fig mostarda was the perfect balance to the salty prosciutto and melted fontina. I could’ve easily polished off two more, sin un problema. (<- Whoops, that’s Spanish…I guess I need some practice before I leave!)
The paninis were fairly big but somehow didn’t feel heavy, which was a welcome change from the American sandwiches we’re used to.
Besides the paninis, pastas, wines, etc., the market has Italian groceries, and of course authentic gelato and cannolis!
Matt had a cannoli and Nicole had hazelnut gelato, which both looked so good. As much as I wanted gelato, I knew it wouldn’t keep me satiated for more than an hour, so instead Caitlin and I decided to pick a container of fresh fruit from the wall of choices.
As soon as we laid our eyes on the most beautiful, bright mango, our tough decision was made.
Again, perfection. Each sweet slice was cold, creamy, and literally melted in our mouths. I thought all the mangoes I’d had before were good, but man did this one prove me wrong.
We walked a few steps and then all four of us simultaneously
noticed smelled the Nutella store. Naturally, we just followed where our noses led us.
Oh my gosh, that place is what I imagine Heaven to smell like.
We were a tad full from lunch but split the ‘Pane con Nutella’ (“Eataly’s housemade rustic bread spread with Nutella”). It was essentially a large hunk of the sweetest, softest bread covered in decadent, gooey, melting chocolate. I don’t think we spoke for a good three minutes once we took a bite.
It was about 3:15 when we returned back to reality after our brief visit to Heaven on Earth (aka Eataly). We figured we had just the right amount of time (and fuel) to make the 1.7 mile trek to 30 Rock to pick up our tickets and chill before the show.
On our way, we found ourselves walking through ‘Broadway Bites’, a bunch of little street vendors set up with yummy foods and drinks from local restaurants.
Caitlin and I sipped an organic matcha green tea from one vendor, and Nicole bought some ‘B-Day Cake Truffles’ from Momofuku Milk Bar which were unbelievable.
Just think: funfetti cake batter rolled into balls, but ten times better. Yep, that exists.
We then wandered through Bryant Park, which also had tons of street vendors, plus games like ping pong and bocce, as well as beautiful greenery! We were practically drenched in sweat by now (I give too many details, don’t I?), so we sampled two unique juices to quench our thirst: ‘Strawberry Basil’ and ‘Watermelon Jalapeño’. They sound a little crazy but they were both super refreshing and different than anything we’d ever had!
As we neared 30 Rock, we came across a crowd of people taking pictures of someone in a store, so we knew there had to be a celebrity inside! Matt soon found out it was Floyd Mayweather, an extremely wealthy boxer. Kinda cool!
We finally arrived at NBC right on time! At 4:15 we got our tickets and wristbands and then went downstairs to wait until 5:15.
It brought back memories of last summer when we saw Jimmy Fallon, and suddenly we were filled with excitement!
The hour flew by and the next thing we knew we were headed up to the studio to see Seth, as well as his guests: Kate McKinnon (SNL star), Pete Rose (former baseball player), and Betty Who (singer)!
Somehow luck was still on our side because we got front row seats again! Seth was literally less than a foot away from us when he would talk to his producers/writers during set changes, and he even came into the audience to answer questions. Matt and Nicole both asked him one and he was so nice to answer!
The hour long show was hilarious and went by way too fast. Just like that it was 7:40 and we were headed back to Grand Central to catch the 8:22 train.
Once we sat down, we realized how sore and tired our legs were! I opened my Argus app and saw that on Sunday night we walked almost 3 miles and Monday we walked almost 5.5! We figured we probably walked even more than what my phone picked up. None of us were wearing the most supportive shoes so our calves and feet were feelin’ it, but we were glad we got some exercise without even trying!
Once again, we somehow just missed the rain. When we arrived back at the house at about 9:45 it was pouring! I guess God really wanted to let me and Nicole have a good time after the weather messed up our Washington DC trip!
Matt’s grandmother had made the most amazing (I feel like I’ve used such strong adjectives to describe all the food I ate, but I mean every word) salad with cranberries and some sweet vinaigrette, roasted garlicky broccoli, and healthy (not breaded) chicken parm on top of the Panera sourdough! It was the perfect way to end a day (make that two days!) of incredible eats.
At 10:30 we hit the road, (safely) blasting show tunes and throwback hits, and blabbing all the way.
I got home around 12:30 and as soon as I got inside the exhaustion set in.
But as tired as my body was, my mind couldn’t stop thinking about the perfect mini vacation I just had.
To say that this trip was a success is an understatement. Both days were so full of laughs and fun, and the four of us made some of the best memories (and ate some of the best food) that we will never forget!
I feel so blessed to have such great friends to be able to share all of these experiences with. It’s times like these that I truly feel alive.
I’m also so grateful for this blog where I can write about my life, not just for myself, but to share with all of you!
Whew. I know that was the world’s longest post, but I really hope you enjoyed reading it as much as enjoyed writing it 🙂
Have a wonderful Wednesday and a great rest of your week!
I’ll be back soon with more OOTDs, new content, a ‘how to pack‘ post, and even more randomness. As I mentioned before, I’m going to be updating and adding to my ‘About Me‘ page so that you can get to know me beyond my eats, workouts, outfits, and recaps!
*Questions of the day:
- What are some memorable foods you’ve had?
- Have you ever seen a celebrity?
- What is one city you’d love to visit?