August 12, 2013

Turning 28

Is it just me, or do birthdays seem less exciting each year you get older?

Nowadays, the best way to celebrate is with a quiet evening at home and an ideal gift is one that is completely practical. It sounds so depressing, but I guess it can't be all cakes and parties forever (although I intend to try!)

Kyle turned 28 last week (holy cow 30 is coming quick) and we were lucky enough to spend a lot of the day together just relaxing and visiting some uncharted places in the city. We finished of the day with a nice dinner at home and Hershey Bar Delight for dessert. 

We plan to celebrate a little more with a weekend trip when we both have some time off coming up. 

For now, it's Happy Birthday to my best bud. I love you and can wait to hang out with you at 128!

August 6, 2013

Bar Hopping

After the weekend we spent relaxing on Long Island it was back to work for us and the continuation of their vacation in New York for Kyle's mom and dad. We managed to catch up with them and partake in their activities.  This mainly consisted of eating and drinking (fine by me!!). To mix it up a bit, and make room for more, we took some great scenic walks through different neighborhoods, along the High Line, and across the Brooklyn Bridge. 

Here's a peak at a few of our stops. 

Hogs and Heifers. The epitome of a dive bar in the West Village, this place is loud, dusty, covered in women's bras, and full of some seedy characters. It was also the inspiration for the movie Coyote Ugly. Don't come in for just a look, the tough chick bartenders will call you out over a megaphone.  

Walking through DUMBO, a section of Brooklyn, admiring the great views of the city is always a fun thing for us to do. 

With flavors like cotton candy, honey, and Mexican hot chocolate we just had to try some ice cream. Totally worth it!!

Grimaldi's is one of the original pizzerias of New York, but it has since been sold, the new owner moved to the building next door, and duplicated the restaurant in numerous cities across the U.S. The first Grimaldi's still attracts long lines of customers, but after years of being out of the business Patsy Grimaldi decided to open a pizzeria in his very original location (next to the current Grimaldi's). Juliana's, named after his mom, is almost an exact replica of everything next door, but just a little better. Nothing like a coal-fired pizza in New York City!

Why not finish the day off with a shot and a beer? At Floyd, NY in Brooklyn you can get a drink, eat cheese spread with a roll of Ritz, play bocce ball indoors, and lounge on some thrift-store furniture. Just another one of kind places we found in the city. 

This only scratches the surface of all the places we went. What an amazing week it was. 
I'm already starting a new list for their next visit!

In-Laws In-Town

Kyle's mom and dad came to the city in the middle of July and the first thing we did was leave the city. We went to the North Fork of Long Island to visit the wineries and escape the sweltering heat of Manhattan. We rented a house, it was surprisingly a lot cheaper than a hotel, and it was the highlight of our weekend. 

It had a yard! And a patio! And a grill! 

Since our only private "outdoor space" in the city is the fire escape this was a piece of heaven and we took full advantage of it. We played catch, bocce ball, grilled our dinners and finished them off with s'mores. Again, it was heaven!! 

And oh yeah, we visited some pretty great wineries too. I think even the wine aficionados were pleasantly surprised with the quality of Long Island wines. Throw in a lobster roll and great conversation and you could say it was a perfect weekend. Not that I expected anything less. 

Back At It!

I'm a little lot behind on updating the blog. With Kyle done with his board exam and his nose out of the books we've been spending every moment playing catch up on our list of places to go. So where have we been? Well, this isn't everywhere (look for more posts to come), but it's a start.

First up, The Plaza Hotel. A fancy, and pricey, place to stay during your visit to the city, it's located across from the southeast corner of Central Park. We didn't come here for a room or to spy on rich old ladies sipping tea, we came for the food court in the basement. This is one fabulous selection of eateries with gourmet delights. The perfect place to grab a quick, yet delicious, lunch. 

Next up, FAO Schwartz. If you want to see whiny kids, hopped up on sugar, begging their parents for every toy imaginable, this is your place. I have to say, we were definitely children again as we gawked at some of the coolest toys we had ever seen. A toy store on steroids, this place is awesome. The large keyboard from the movie Big really does exist and you can wait your turn to run across it and play a tune. 

Grand Central Station isn't just a place to pickup a train. It has beautiful architecture, fun shops, and a spectacular food market. I'm always in awe of the organized chaos that occurs in this place.

Coney Island is a mysterious playground I had always heard and read about, but had never seen. Home to sideshows, the Cyclone roller coaster, Nathan's hot dogs, and a large boardwalk it's a Mecca for families throughout the summer. 

Our impression, not impressive. It reminded me of the Arizona State Fair. The people, the food, the atmosphere. I don't know what I expected, but a run down amusement park full of trashy people wasn't it. After an hour and a half, we were on the train back to Manhattan. 

Last up, Fraunces Tavern.  Currently a bar, restaurant, and museum, it was the site of George Washington's farewell to his troops on December 4, 1783. Kyle was quivering with excitement and in awe of the magnitude of the history made there. My history buff claimed it to be one of his favorites things in the city. I guess I'm not too surprised. 

So that's it, for now. I'll get my act together and get you all up to speed with our other adventures.