Earlier this month, my mum, sister and I headed to New York City—a place I have talked about visiting since what feels like forever. I’m so happy I got to spend a few days in this city with two of my favourite people. Despite the fact it was quite the exhausting trip (we were constantly on our feet), I had an amazing first experience here and we crammed a lot in in the days we were there—looking back I’m still quite shocked at just how much we managed to squeeze in.
I knew I would love New York City, but I wasn’t prepared for the overwhelming feeling of emotions being there. I felt quite emotional at some points, other times I felt like I was in a dreamlike state, but mostly I felt extreme happiness and gratefulness. New York City has this indescribable heartbeat that you can feel pulsing throughout it, which I feel Toronto just does not have. Don’t get me wrong, I love my city and Toronto will always be home, but New York felt so alive and I instantly felt comfortable there—like I had been here numerous times before.
We stayed at the Wellington Hotel in Midtown Manhattan, which was right by Carnegie Hall. Location wise it was perfect and we got it for a pretty good price. Our room was clean and fairly spacious, compared to other hotels we were looking at, and the staff were very kind and friendly. It also had a MASSIVE mirror which was especially convenient with three women getting ready together each morning. The only negative thing I would say is that our room did not come with a mini fridge and Internet was an extra fee (good thing there was a Starbucks right across the street), but otherwise I would definitely recommend this hotel based on price, location and cleanliness.
I have finally gone through all my pictures from my trip and after narrowing down which ones to put up on my blog, I’ve realized this needs to be a two part post. So, if you want to see what I got up to whilst I was in New York, grab a seat (maybe a snack and a drink) and carry on reading!
Our first full day there was actually on my mum’s birthday, so we got up early and spent our morning exploring Central Park. Central Park was so beautiful and lush—a real oasis within the hustle and bustle of the city. You can tell the city takes great pride in the park as it was impeccable and just radiated this positive energy.
Outfit Day 1:
Dress – Boohoo
Jacket – Urban Outfitters
Chelsea Boots – ASOS
Sunglasses – H&M
Bag – Target
Despite the bright and colourful scenery, my outfit was the complete opposite—mostly because I really wanted to wear my new Daisy Street boots I got off ASOS (you can find them here). I also hadn’t worn this dress in awhile from Boohoo, which I absolutely love, as it looks super chic, but is so comfortable. The weather was incredibly warm this day and I quickly realized I definitely didn’t need my jacket.
Central Park Carousel – this just added to the dreamlike feeling of being here.
Bethesda Terrace – Definitely my favourite part we ventured to in Central Park. It was absolutely stunning and the architecture made me feel like I was in a European country. It actually reminded me of the book ‘The Thief Lord’ (one of my favourite childhood books, but do not watch the film). The carousel definitely also added to that feeling.
Honestly, one of the best feelings for me is when I’m in a physical place that reminds me of a setting from a book I read or a film I watched or a video game I played—anything that allowed me to temporarily escape from reality and into a fantasy world. Anyone else?
Belvedere Castle – a Victorian folly built in 1869 that offers the highest view within the park.
Since the weather was so gorgeous and warm, inevitably I had to cool off with some birthday cake ice cream and not just because I’m a sucker for birthday cake flavoured anything…
After lunch, we headed to NBC Studios to be a part of the audience for the monologue rehearsal for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. We were unsuccessful getting tickets to the actual taping, but we were successful in scoring tickets to the monologue rehearsal where Jimmy tests out the monologue jokes for that night’s show. It was short, but really cool to get a behind the scenes look and of course, it was absolutely hilarious. Plus, Jimmy rehearsed his ‘Thank You Notes’ which was the bee’s knees.
My personal favourite from the rehearsal:
“Thank you paintball, for being great for people who love painting, but wish it could hurt more”
If you aren’t aware, tickets for the show are free, so if you’re curious about getting tickets to either a taping or a rehearsal you can find out all the information about it here.
We were indecisive about going up the Empire State Building because 1. It’s expensive and 2. We weren’t sure just how busy it would be and if that would take away from the overall experience. Quite a few friends and coworkers had suggested doing the Top of the Rock instead, which is what we ended up going with (since we were already there anyways) and I’m really happy we did it. It’s always a surreal feeling to see a place from an entirely new perspective (I felt the same way when I visited the Gravity Bar at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin) and because we did Rockefeller Center over the Empire State Building, we had a perfect view of Central Park.
Columbus Circle after leaving Whole Foods, where I may or may not have bought all the Luna and Clif bar flavours we don’t have in Canada.
For my mum’s birthday dinner we went to the iconic Tavern on the Green, as we had walked by it that morning and my mum had shown great enthusiasm towards it. This is a much more upscale restaurant, which usually isn’t really my cup of tea, but honestly the atmosphere alone was worth it. The whole restaurant is dimly lit creating this incredible ambiance. The restaurant successfully achieves this old meets new look, with a rustic tavern feeling when you first walk in to the bar area—where they had a live jazz band performing—and then when you enter the central dining area or ‘crystal room’ you are surrounded by a much more classic and modern atmosphere, which is adorned with chandeliers and surrounded by glass walls looking out onto the large outdoor patio.
Here’s my beautiful momma and sister. Seriously, I am often in awe how amazing my mum looks—no botox or work done, just a woman who tries to live a healthy and honest lifestyle. She inspires me everyday and makes me not scared of aging (going to refrain from posting her age on here incase she reads this haha). I LOVE YOU MUM.
To start, we split the Classic Iceberg Wedge which was topped with blue cheese and a light dressing that worked really well with balancing out the strong flavour of the cheese. My sister went with the Scottish Organic Salmon—a flavourful and moist piece of fish on top of a bed of eggplant caponata and my mum and I both had the Cauliflower Entrecôte which was topped with a lemon caper sauce, heirloom grape tomatoes and roasted brussel sprouts. We washed our meals down with a bottle of Pinot Grigio.
Was it good? Yes. Was it the best meal I ever ate? No. Was it worth the price? Probably not, but it was still delicious and I’m glad we came here for the experience alone.
After we finished dinner, we went to the bar for another round of drinks. The bartender working was really cool (to be fair all the staff working were very friendly) and he made us these amazing, complimentary mimosa-type drink with a bourbon soaked cherry at the bottom (I could of ate a whole bowl of the cherries to myself). He also let us sample some of the local beers they had on tap.
Though I probably wouldn’t come back to Tavern on the Green for dinner, just because it is very pricey, I would definitely like to come back during lunch to sit on their patio with a drink and some appetizers.
I’m going to wrap things up here. Check back on Wednesday when I post Part 2 of my trip to New York City—lots of art in this one!
If you made it to the end, thank you so much for reading!