Thanksgiving in NYC
This post is a little late, but I guess better late than never. Visiting New York City has always been something we've wanted to do and knew that we would someday...we just didn't realize someday was coming sooner rather than later! And who knew it'd be over Thanksgiving? Can you say Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade?! Yep, we went to the parade!
The trip was already being planned and being taken whether we (the parents) were going or not. Our bookends (our youngest and oldest daughters who are 10 years apart) were already committed. They'd already taken one trip together...I think this is becoming their "thing." Anyway, out of the blue they invited us to go! The main purpose of the trip was for our youngest, a senior in high school, wanting to visit a couple of fashion colleges. What better place, right?! The cherry on top was that the oldest has friends who live in the upper east side and offered their place for us to stay since they were going to be out of town! No kidding, yes, we were blessed!
So we were off and running with our plans for a Monday through Friday stay. As we listed those things that were important for us to see and do we began mapping it all out, the excitement grew with each passing minute as we counted down to the big day!
I must say I was already feeling pretty good about this trip since I knew we'd be flying there and we wouldn't have to do any driving! Our trip to Washington D.C. was very different because we drove. I highly recommend depending on public transportation or walking to get around...it will make your life so much easier!
I'll share day by day what all our trip involved and hopefully if you're planning a trip to NYC you'll gain some insight.
MONDAY: We arrived at the LaGuardia Airport around 5ish. Our oldest was flying in from North Carolina at around the same time and met us at our terminal. We had already been given advice from her friend who lived there to take a taxi from there instead of an Uber. We must've looked like tourists from the git go because a man tried to get us to take one of his "taxis" but a police officer caught us and warned us that he was scamming us and directed us to where the real taxis were. We walked a short distance and yep there were taxis there alright, bunches of them lined up! Coming from a small town in the Midwest I must say New York City is an entirely different culture than what we're used to!
Our first NYC taxi ride proved to be everything we thought it'd be....scary! Lot's of punching down of the gas only to quickly slam on the breaks and do it all over again in a matter of seconds. Oh and throw in constant honking...yep you're getting the picture now! We made it to see our friends as they were heading out the door. After getting our things put away we headed out to the first destination on our list...Tom's Restaurant. Made famous by Seinfeld. This was a really nice treat for my husband especially.
TUESDAY: We started the day in a little French Restaurant. I don't even remember the name of it. We headed out to take in a few things before our two scheduled college visits. We visited Lush & Macy's before heading to the Fashion Institute of Technology. We enjoyed our first NYC hot dog and then headed over to LIM college. It was here we were offered a ride on the Subway to see the living quarters. Since we chickened out the night before on our first attempt we took them up on it! It was a good experience, but I'm much more a fan of the taxi or Uber! Once we finished up with college visits we had the rest of the evening to explore some places like Times Square, Trump Tower, Lotte New York Palace, The Waldorf Astoria, a serendipitous moment outside of Sak's Fifth Avenue and topping the evening off a visit to Serendipity which was the highlight of the trip for me personally!
Most of these places were just photo opportunities for us so we could say we'd seen them. Our visit to Sak's ended up being such a happy accident because as we were checking out the fabulous window displays, that I couldn't get enough of, we were lured across the street to these beautiful angels. Low and behold when we turned around and were seeing Sak's from across the street we were greeted with a fabulous light show on the side of the building to the tune of Christmas music! It was the perfect serendipitous surprise!
WEDNESDAY: The girls wanted to go see the TODAY show and hopefully get on TV so off we went at o'dark-thirty on this brisk morning. We had made our poster boards at home hoping our hard work would pay off. When they suggest you get there early, they aren't kidding. The line was wrapped down and around the block when we got there. Dress warm if you're going in the late Fall or Winter! We did get to see them putting up the Christmas tree! As you can see in the picture below. We saw ourselves on TV on the recorded version after we got home. We had to pause because we almost missed it! The girls are circled on the left and my sign made it on TV on the right! Fun times :)
After our fabulous time at the TODAY Show we made our way toward the Statue of Liberty. We did buy reserve tickets on-line. The advice we'd gotten was to be there at 11:00 for our 1:30 ticketed time, but we found out that they would only let us in line 30 minutes before our ticketed time. Very frustrating because we stopped at the 9/11 Memorial before heading over and rushed it in order to make it the Statue by 11:00. We did end up going back though because we were rushed the first time. It was a sobering visit. I wouldn't mind taking in the Museum the next time if there is a next visit. Back to the Statue. A little fore warning: you will go through security twice. Yes twice. Once before getting on the ferry. And another once you're at the statue before entrance. It was a bit tiring waiting in the lines and taking off all our layers. We enjoyed it for the most part, but it was quite the process.
That evening we did attempt to go and see the balloons being blown up for the parade the next morning. Not sure what we expected, but there were a whole lot of people and you had to walk a few blocks out of the way because it was blocked off and there was a gated area where people were weaving through...we saw that and we were out! My suggestion: go earlier. From what I understand they start around 3:00 p.m. Don't wait until later when everyone else is there too! So we had dinner at a little Mexican Restaurant and called it a night.
THURSDAY: Thanksgiving Day! More advice we'd received was to get to the parade early...which we did, but not as early as a whole bunch of other people. We didn't get a spot right behind a barricade, but we only had 1 set of people in front of us. We had a great spot! We had read to try to get a place near a Starbucks or somewhere with a restroom. Not sure where that would've been but the closest Starbucks to us wasn't letting anyone use their restroom. We ended up having another serendipitous moment with a very nice gal who sat next to us at the parade. We were on 6th avenue on the west side of Central Park. She lived in the building right where we were sitting. She let me use her restroom! Yep, she doesn't know me from Adam, but was so gracious to take me to her, what I'd call a penthouse, I'd wish I'd had a body cam on so I could've shown my family how beautiful it was!
After the parade it was restroom search time! I think we went to same Mall as everyone else from the parade! We then headed for lunch from there. We had pizza and donuts from Fluffy's. We went through Central Park as we made the long walk back to our home away from home for some much needed rest from the many miles we'd been trekking by foot not to mention the early rises! We ended staying in for the rest of the day and our Thanksgiving meal was take out from another Pizza place! It was even delivered by a man on a bicycle!
FRIDAY: Our last day in the Big Apple! Since we weren't flying out until the evening we decided to go explore a little more. We ate lunch at the Shake Shack. A NYC staple from what we understand. We then checked out the MET. And even did a little Black Friday shopping in NYC! I did almost have a panic attack at one point! But we fared just fine & I would go back, especially if our youngest daughter ends up going to college there :)