Kinky Boots, Matilda, and lots of NYC fun.

On Saturday morning, my mom and I headed into NYC for an overnight stay with my aunt and cousin. We stayed in ‘Le Parker Meridien’ and it was lovely.

First of all- the hotel’s colors were white and orange , so I was already sold (orange is my favorite!). The closet was spacious, and the beds were big & comfortable.

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My favorite part though, was the bathroom. It was all stone, and the shower didn’t have a door, just a long glass wall. The cut out at the end is where the towels were. Everything felt so elegant and I definitely felt pampered.

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Unfortunately, I was sick all Saturday morning. I barely made the car ride. Basically I was nauseous and threw up multiple times. It was out of the blue and no fun at all. After we arrived at our hotel around 10 am, I laid down and drank some ginger ale. A little bit later, I was able to eat a little, and finally felt like a normal person again.

Just in time for us to head out to Matilda! It was so so cute and fun. I was blown away by how talented all the children were. They’re around 9 years old, but they can dance, sing, and act like any other Broadway star. Incredible. And I just left with feeling so happy and uplifted.

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After Matilda, we wandered around for a while before finding a cute place to enjoy dinner. We ate at 44 1/2 in Hell’s Kitchen. It was American cuisine, but I would say it had a modern spin.

I was pretty starving by the time we got here, considering the only things I had kept down were a mini ginger ale and some sourdough toast. My mom and I started off by splitting a spinach salad. It was spinach, blue cheese, prosciutto, marinated pears, and a poached egg. It was delicious. I didn’t go for the poached egg, but it was an interesting spin.

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For my entree, I ordered scalloped with vegetables. The scallops were actually my first, ever. They were fresh, and delicious. The texture wasn’t what I was expecting but I think I can definitely see more scallops in my future. The only downside was that this dish was relatively small, and I could have used more food.

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After dinner, it was time to head over to our second show of the day- Kinky Boots! This musical was so much fun, so energetic. Plus- the first song was “The Most Beautiful Thing in the World, is a Shoe” so I was pretty much sold after the first 5 minutes!

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NYC by night.

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On Sunday morning, my mom and I were both up early, so we decided to take a walk through Central Park. That was the other great thing about Le Parker Meridien- we were less than 2 blocks over from Central Park!

For brunch, we ate at Norma’s a top NYC brunch restaurant, that was right in Le Parker Meridien. The choices were delicious and so creative. Everything from eggs and bacon to french toast to a $100 dollar Caviar Lobster Frittata (with the $1000 dollar option if you want the 10 oz of caviar). I went with the Arepa (a corn pancake-esque thing) and eggs. I didn’t eat the sausage but I did steal some of my mom’s french toast. You should check out Norma’s if you are in NYC!

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My beautiful cousin Taylor and I.

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One last view of Time’s Square as we made our way to the train station for the ride home.

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Another lovely weekend in NYC. I am so fortunate to live so close to this amazing city!

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Another good day in NYC.

On Saturday, my mom and I decided to make an impromptu trip into the city and have a little adventure for ourselves.

Bright and early, we hopped into the car and made our way into the city. The drive was quick and easy- probably because no one besides us is crazy enough to be adventuring at 8 am on a Saturday…just a guess.

To start the morning, we ran by the Chelsea Market. Most of the shops were still closed, but it’s always fun just to window shop.

Next, we headed over the High Line. I’ve always wanted to check it out, but never have. The High Line is the revamped site of a historic freight rail line over the streets of the West side.

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These pictures speak for themselves but…it was gorgeous on the High Line. There are plants everywhere, and some beautiful overlooks.

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This amazing painting was one of the best things we saw. An old classic made new!

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We stopped by Tenth Avenue Cookshop for brunch. I had the Huevos Rancheros- eggs, salsa, beans, and cheese. I couldn’t finish it all, but it was awesome nonetheless.

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The rest of the morning was filled with a long walk downtown –> Times Square, enjoying the sights. After that, we hopped on the TKTs line (discounted broadway tickets) and were able to If/Then– the musical Idina Menzel is currently starring in.

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After grabbing some water, we walked around and then headed to our show. Idina Menzel sang so well- and the rest of the cast was amazing too. The story line wasn’t the most fascinating ever, but the performance was outstanding.

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When we came out of the show, it was pouring rain. My mom and I hopped on the subway to get downtown. We were both pretty hungry- considering we hadn’t eaten since brunch! We ended up back at the Chelsea Market to have a quick bite. I had some salmon from a little market, and my mom grabbed a delicious sandwich.

The drive home went (surprisingly) without much traffic. By the time we got home, however, I was starving again. All the NYC walking + way less food than usual made me a hangry girl!

Snacks to round out the night (while I caught up on some studying at my computer):

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^^Gluten Free Banana Bread, almond butter, and chocolate chips^^

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^^Popcorn. Always a winner^^

It was an amazing day with my mom, and definitely a good mental break from all the time I’ve been spending with my MCAT notes!

Where’s your favorite place for a day trip?

And: check out the Treat Yourself Tuesday for more fun posts!

Christmas Classics

Do you guys have any special Christmas Classics//Holiday Season favorites? Living in New York the past 10 years {+ the fact that my mama grew up here} has turned me into a NYC Christmas addict. I am a firm believer that there is nothing like New York City at Christmas time…it’s simply magical. If you have the opportunity I highly recommend that you get into NYC– even just to walk around, window shop, and take in the spirit of the season!

Last week, my best friend Krista, her mom, my mom, and I headed into Manhattan together. It’s about a mile from my house to the train, so it’s easy for us to hop on and zone out for the trip! It’s almost a 2 hour train ride but we always have too much catching up to notice.

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^Good ol’ Empire State Building^

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^Macy’s decorates pretty well :)^

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^We ate at John’s Pizzeria— super touristy! But it used to be a church, which is really cool. Also see above ^^ we tried to take about 1000 pictures but… we only got one where we were both looking at the same camera.^

After lunch, it was time for the main event– the Radio City Christmas Spectacular!! Featuring our New York City Rockettes. This is one of my absolute favorite things to do during the holiday season. It has lots of numbers– from the Reindeer, to the Santas, to the famous Tin Solider number, and finally– it ends with a gorgeous nativity scene. Nothing like it to put you in the Christmas spirit. And there is a live orchestra to boot!

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^Holiday ready^

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^Nativity Scene… breathtaking.^

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^oh yea… it snowed inside!^

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^The Rockettes!^

After the show, we wandered around the city for a bit longer before realizing there was a train in 20 minutes… so we sprinted to the station and make it there 30 seconds before the doors closed. I was pretty sleepy on the train ride home.. but that just meant snuggle time with the best friend.

The perfect start to the holiday season!

Do you have any holiday traditions?

Anything that makes you feel like it’s really time for the holiday season?

weekend in the city.

Fun fact: I am a twin!

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^do we look alike?!^

My twin is a Lance Corporal in the US Marine Corps- and I am so so proud of him! He lives far away in New Orleans now, so we only get to see him a few times a year 😦 He’s home now for 1.5 weeks, so we are taking full advantage of our time and living it up! This past weekend we went into the city for a little adventure. We went to see the Book of Mormon! Growing up just outside, NYC always calls to us when we’re home. Broadway always seems to get at least one visit from us.

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^a quick train ride in, and bam! Hello, Times Square…^

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^it was only about a half mile from Penn Station to our theater, but man it was so hot. By the time we got there, we were all sweating, but never too hot for a picture stop!^

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^I enjoyed the show. However, it was definitely not for everyone. If you’re not ready to laugh it off, it can be taken as very offensive. It looks at a lot of situations (like religion, struggles in Africa…) in a very stereotypical and mocking way. Plus strong language, so beware for children (or conservative parents ha! I know mine wouldn’t care for it). Besides that, the music was great, and the energy was HIGH which is something I always love in a show! So I would say I recommend it with some warnings :)^

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^beautiful daisies, fresh from our garden. fresh flowers just seem to perk up any room :)^

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^we filled the rest of our weekend with celebrations, family time, and working the pool scene^

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^and to round things out….definitely a creation I would classify as a pinterest hah! It was supposed to be a flag cake (like in my 4th of July post) but…. the white was too thick, the red was too thin, an the blue fell apart so I ended up with a slightly altered version. But I have to say…the icing was awesome! I made homemade whipped cream for the icing and I could just eat that with a spoon all day long! Yum!^

Whipped Cream for icing or eating with a spoon…. 😉

2 cups heavy whipping cream

2 T sugar

1 T vanilla

        1. put in (preferably cold) mixing bowl and beat on medium-high until it stiffens up to the consistency you want

…..that’s it! literally. And you don’t even need the sugar, if you’re not into that! But seriously guys…if you use organic whipping cream, vanilla, and maybe agave instead of sugar, and you have yourself a pretty healthy treat! I’ll be back with a greek yogurt version soon- even better 🙂

a weekend for the books- part 2.

       On Saturday the boy and I headed into NYC for some fun! He hadn’t visited my amazing city since middle school, so I was excited to show him around.

After a train ride into Penn Station, and a subway ride downtown- we stepped into Chinatown. A NYC classic.

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^ waiting for the subway like fools ^

Unfortunately, he wasn’t too interested in shopping, so we headed from there over to Little Italy.

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We grabbed some double espresso (for me) and a tea (for him). He’s not nearly as addicted to caffeine as I am!

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^Just a cute find on the streets of Little Italy ^

Then a walk over to SoHo and down to Tribeca. I wanted to show him everything! And SoHo is one of my favorite areas of the city. By the time we wandered into Tribeca, we were getting pretty grumbly for lunch.

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We went to Kitchenette Restaurant and could not have been more satisfied with our meals! For Nate it was a bacon, egg, and cheese on a biscuit with grits on the side. So southern- which is ironic considering we go to school in South Carolina and he never eats southern food there!

For me, it was an egg white omelet with spinach and tomatoes, served on a whole wheat honey english muffin with a salad. Yum! I definitely recommend Kitchenette to anyone in the area- tourists or locals!

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After our lunchtime fun, we headed over to the World Trade Center Memorial and Museum. I was really looking forward to seeing this, because I haven’t been before, and it is such an important memorial for our great city and the people who live there. The memorial itself requires reservations beforehand (if you want to ensure getting in), but the actual entrance doesn’t cost anything (only a suggested donation for those who would like to help).

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^ an aerial view of the memorial taken from the WTC Museum and Memorial website ^

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^the memorial fountains inside (there are two) were truly breathtaking. I was surprised but glad to see how the mood changed from hustle and bustle on the streets to somber and respectful inside. It was really moving to be at the memorial and I am glad that we went. ^

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^from the memorial you can see the building of the various World Trade Centers. Of this, the Freedom Tower (aka One World Trade Center) is the most famous- when it’s completed it will be America’s tallest building- and a symbol of New York’s strength and resilience. ^

After our somber moment, we wandered through the streets, making a stop at St. Paul’s Chapel (Manhattan’s oldest building in continual use!)

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and passed a street protest about the political regime in Turkey. (read more here).

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then a quick subway alllllll the way uptown for some juice and some Central Park-ing.

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^ cute little guy chillin’ on the streets ^

before we knew it, our relaxing time in Central Park had flown by, and it was time to get dinner before heading to see our show! We wandered down into Hell’s Kitchen and found and adorable little italian place- 44 & X.

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^ we started with some roasted peppers on garlic bread (so good)

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^ for the main course, the boy had pasta with ‘spicy marinara’ and I went for the ‘stuffed eggplant’ with apples, raisins and cornbread inside. It was unique and delicious! Plus roasted veggies on the side are always a plus. ^

then we headed back to the Theater District to see Once the musical. It was cute and quirky with some really great music! Then a late train ride back home….

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^for the end to a perfect day in nyc!^

it was a great weekend and I’m glad the boy got to see the highlights of manhattan!

do you have some favorite NYC activities?