I was in New York City in October and had the best time! Technically, I spent my time in Manhattan. I was there for a work conference but naturally packed in as much as humanly possible outside of work hours. That’s how I typically roll anytime I go somewhere but the three hour time change killed me. The first couple days were fine but by the end of the week I was dying. And since I overpacked my schedule and paid for things in advance, and let’s be honest I don’t see myself back in the Big Apple anytime soon, I kept going sans sleep.
When I heard I was going to NYC I knew I wanted to see a Broadway show and take an in person Peloton class. I couldn’t decide which show to see so I saw four. And I did get in a Peloton class! It was an epic trip and quite possibly the highlight of my year. Life has so many beautiful moments and it’s important to make the best of them.
We flew into La Guardia on Sunday and landed late afternoon. La Guardia is the nicest airport I’ve been to. Apparently there are no trains directly from this airport so you have to take a bus to the train station. I was with several coworkers and since this was our first time in NYC we opted for a taxi. The pickup area is in a parking garage full of taxis honking. It was hilarious and the perfect welcome to New York.
We got checked into our hotel, dropped our bags, and hit the town for dinner. We were all excited to be in the city and decided to walk around for a bit after dinner. We stopped to get ice cream at Van Leeuwen and made our way over to Times Square. It was rather disappointing as it’s just an outdoor mall with neon advertisements all around. Not sure what I was expecting but not that.
Monday was our only totally free day and we started the day by hopping on the subway to Lower Manhattan to see the 9/11 Memorial. My Google Maps app made the subway seem really easy and I had grand plans for going all over Manhattan via the subway. My co-workers and I got into the train car and were having a great time, taking pictures, and living up our first subway experience. Next thing you know, we look out the window and are going over water and Manhattan is becoming smaller by the second. We ended up in Brooklyn and had no idea what to do next. Most of our phones were not working (because we were underground) and none of us knew what we were doing. It was hilarious for the most part. Starting our trip to the Big Apple by getting lost on the subway. The timing was perfect because we didn’t have anywhere we had to be. We got off the train at the first stop we could and eventually figured out we had to leave that train platform to get to the other side of the tracks to go back. We eventually got back to Manhattan and made it to the 9/11 Memorial. It was a humbling experience nonetheless.
After walking around the pools and taking in the magnitude of the situation, we decided we needed lunch and a drink. We ate at Eataly and the food was fantastic! I’m not sure I ever really have a bad meal in big cities. I had an arugula salad with grilled chicken and a lemon vinaigrette dressing and I would like another right now.
Our next stop was the pier to hop on a Circle Line sightseeing cruise. We took the 1.5 hour landmarks cruise and had the best time! I’d highly recommend this cruise. The guide was knowledgable and fun and we learned so much about New York. It was the perfect start to our trip.
On the cruise we went by something called Little Island and one of my coworkers wanted to check it out so we walked back to it. Had I know how far away it was I would have opted for a mode of transportation other than my feet but it was an enjoyable walk. The island is so cute and was a fun stop. I am impressed with how many nature retreats are on Manhattan.
By this point in the day it was late afternoon and our feet were tired. We took a cab back to our hotel and headed off to dinner. I wanted to try Thyme and Tonic and it did not disappoint! It’s an adorable restaurant and the ambiance is on point. It was a perfect end to a fun day.
Our conference started on Tuesday and we had a little downtime for lunch so we went to Rockefeller Center to try a restaurant I had read about online. If you ever travel with me know that I will have researched all the restaurants in the area and will likely go to random places to try things I read about on the internet. I had quite a list for NYC but that list was squashed when I realized the subway was not as easy to use as I assumed when I was route planning on Google maps from my couch in Arizona. We got lost inside Rockefeller Center multiple times (seems to be a theme for this trip). There is a mall or something underneath the building and that’s where the restaurant we were going to was. Colleen Hoover was launching a book that day and we stumbled upon the book launch party. That was fun to see even though we didn’t get a book or coffee from the coffee truck.
Tuesday evening was the first of my four Broadway shows and I started off with the Music Man. I picked this show because I wanted to see Hugh Jackman. I loved him in the Greatest Showman and was so excited to see him on stage! I knew nothing about the Music Man and was pleasantly surprised by how good it was.
Wednesday was mostly a work day but it ended with Hamilton! A couple of my coworkers opted to come with me and we had the best dinner before our show. We were a little pressed for time and the hotel concierge recommended Trattoria Dell’Arte. I don’t travel via hotel much but the concierge recommendations are almost always on point. We sat outside and it was super cute. We didn’t think we were going to have enough time to get our food but we let our waiter know of our time crunch and our food came out super fast. Not only was it fast (for us in our rushed state) but it was phenomenal! It might, quite possibly, be the best chick and potatoes I have ever eaten. After dinner we made our way to the theater for Hamilton! I saw Hamilton when the tour came through Tucson earlier in the year but seeing it on Broadway was so wonderful!
We had a little down time Thursday morning so we opted to walk through Central Park on our way to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Central Park was gorgeous and the Met was out of this world!
We had to do some work in the middle of the day but we had another show to catch that evening! We didn’t really have time to get dinner at a restaurant so we decided to try a street vendor near our hotel who always had a line. The Halal Guys was good and apparently a very New York thing to do. Rather than walking to the theater we decided to take a bike taxi. If you think taking a normal taxi is crazy, don’t get into a bike taxi. They are just as crazy weaving in and out of traffic but you’re in a cart on the back of a bike. It was an experience and I’m glad to have checked the box but I’m not sure I’d take one again. Our performance of the evening was A Strange Loop. I had heard good things about the show and was glad to have been able to see it. It is such a powerful and important story.
Friday was my last full day in the city. Once again I barely slept the night before. The only good thing about not sleeping is that Taylor Swift dropped her new album at midnight so I was able to listen to it at midnight. As such, I earned a Spotify badge for being in the first 1% of streams of Midnights. Thanks, jet lag. I started the day with an in person Peloton class! Honestly, I was exhausted by this point and would have skipped the class if I hadn’t been telling people about it for weeks and everyone I know with a Peloton was planning to ride live with me. In the end I’m glad I went but there was a moment, or 10, where I was questioning my life choices.
After my Peloton class I headed back to the hotel because I had my final conference sessions of the trip. I may or may not have skipped a conference session to attend the Peloton class. 😬Once the conference wrapped up I tried to take a nap but that didn’t work. My coworkers and I had our last dinner on the town. It was good but not as good as the one earlier in the week. I was also exhausted and was feeling like I was going to fall asleep in my food. 😂 My last Broadway show was Friday evening and I had saved my favorite for last – Hadestown! I was contemplating skipping it but my wonderful coworkers convinced me to go. They told me I could leave at intermission if I still wasn’t feeling it. In the end I went, didn’t leave, and am so glad to have seen it on Broadway.
I had the best time in NYC and am so grateful for all the memories. This trip was epic and one I will cherish for a very long time.