Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Travel Tales: NYC!

Well, this is long overdue... Whoops!

The first weekend in December, I scooped up my parents and C and headed off for a pre-Christmas adventure - a day trip to NYC! I was itching to do a little traveling, and with our busy holiday schedules, a day was about all we could spare. I did a little research, realized that the Bolt Bus is dirt-cheap, and bought tickets for all four of us. For $160 round-trip, the four of us were able to ride up and back with comfy seats, naps, (semi-working) wi-fi, and no sitting in traffic. Can't beat that!
On the bus
Macy's! Love the decorations.
We left Union Station in DC at 6:30 AM, and by 10:45, we were pulling into the big city. We bundled up and headed out for a day of adventures! We didn't have much of an agenda - we didn't want to bind ourselves into concrete plans, preferring just to wander as we pleased. It was the perfect plan. We started the day by meeting up with a sweet friend of mine from college, Marisa, who is a big city girl now (right?). Really, her life is like a movie to me - and it was so great to see her and catch up for a few minutes!
Hi there, sweet friend!
She picked City Bakery for our rendezvous spot, and it could not have been a better recommendation. Let me introduce you to my pretzel croissant, aka the most amazing pastry I've ever had the pleasure of eating. Ahhhh-mazing!
Pretzel croissant and a latte. Heaven!
Amazing pastry and hot chocolate with homemade marshmallows.. whaaaat.
With full bellies, we said goodbye to Marisa and headed off for our first destination: Top of the Rock!

We braved the cold and wind and saw the whole city from the very top of Rockefeller Center, which was one of the coolest things I've ever done. I only wish that it hadn't been quite so cloudy - I'm sure that, on a clear day, the views are even more incredible!
Space shuttle in the harbor - random & awesome!
After Top of the Rock, we went down to the ice skating rink and the giant Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center - a must-see anytime you're in NYC around Christmastime! It was absolutely packed down there. We heard that the line for ice skating was almost 3 hours long! That's freaking insane. So not worth it, in my mind... but whatever makes your touristy heart happy!
Around that time, I over heard someone say that it was time for a beer... and I could not have agreed more. We quickly decided that our next destination was a bar - a drink and a snack sounded perfect! We walked toward Times Square, and stumbled upon an awesome Irish bar, where we had incredible black and tans poured by an actual Irish guy. Loved it!

After getting warmed up, we made our way to Times Square to look around a bit. We marveled at the sky scrapers and gigantic billboards, and watched some of the street performers. There are so many random things in NYC.. but pretty damn cool, too!
Before long, it was time to hop in a taxi and head towards our next destination: Ground Zero. This was the only part of the day that was specifically planned, as you have to secure timed-entry passes in advance (FYI! I didn't know until a week before our trip). This seems like a good place to leave off for now... Ground Zero deserves it's own post. To be continued...


Lisa said...

That's a great deal for a day trip. Looks like you had a good time!

Anna said...

Trips to NYC are always the best, but also sad because a short amount of time there always leaves you lingering for more!