{one} Fall

{one} 5th birthday

{one} first day of school 
5th grade


{one} first summer on the boat

{one} Carolina tailgate

{one} night of tricks and treats 

{one} friday night under the lights

{one} 2 year old 

{one} baptism in Georgia 


NEW YORK {Part 3}

Third and final NYC post!  If you want to read about other NYC trips you can read about our last trip together here, here, here  and here  & the perfect girl's trip here!


 Visit Saint Patrick's Cathedral.
            The beauty of this place gets me every time.  

Walk the High Line.  

The High Line is a public park built on a historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side. It runs from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street, between 10th and 12th Avenues.

Go to church!  We were there on Sunday morning so we decided to attend Hillsong Church.  My friend Taylor told me about this after our visit last fall.  Let me just tell you...those New Yorkers can worship!

I didn't do so great this time on planning out our food like I've done in the past.  I asked a friend who lived in the city for recommendation months prior, but when it came time to eat we never were "near" any of those yummy suggestions!   It seemed this trip that our activities dictated most of our travel around the city and we just did the best we could!  Food highlights included Shake Shack, a little spot in Little Italy, and Artichoke Pizza in Chelsea.


New York {Part 2}

We packed a lot into four days.  If there's one thing all visitors to NYC will tell you is that it's expensive!  I've divided the things we did into stuff that cost $$ and things that are free!  I'm also realizing that I have too much for just this post so more to come!


Broadway   I mentioned in my last post that we saw two Broadway shows.   This is BY FAR my favorite thing to do in NYC, besides eat.  These are the most recent shows I've seen and would recommend: Something Rotten, Jersey Boys, Wicked, Kinky Boots, & Chicago.   I mentioned in my last post a few suggestions for getting discount tickets.

Tour Radio City Music Hall   When we arrived in the city Friday morning it was raining.  A LOT.   Even though I had been stalking the weather I totally forgot to pack an umbrella.  I am also too cheap to buy one on the street so we got a little wet.  'It's all part of the experience, honey.' {Name that movie}  We ducked into a Starbucks and I googled 'What to do when it's raining in NYC."  This suggestion popped up and it was a chance to be indoors for 75 minutes so we went for it.   I honestly didn't expect to like it, but I love learning the history behind old buildings like this so I loved it!  While we were there all of the boxes for the Christmas Spectacular were arriving!
Declared a financial failure in the 1970s, Radio City was slated for demolition in 1978. Preservationists rallied, and the Art Deco marvel was declared an interior landmark in 1978. The largest indoor theater in the world, Radio City has attracted more than 300 million visitors since its inception in 1932. ~Vanity Fair

The super cute raincoat that is not a raincoat.  

9/11 Museum  The last time we were here together the museum was still under construction.  This was at the top of our list for this trip.  The memorial alone is breathtaking, but the artifacts that they have preserved in the museum are incredible.  It's amazing to me how well the story of that day has been told here.  We were there from 11:30-3:30 and still did not read every single placard.  My favorite thing in the museum is the mural below that was created by a second grade class from Porter Gaud School in Charleston.  Admission to the museum is around $25.

Chelsea Pier Driving Range
I love a good surprise and I totally got Lee on this one!  He had no idea where we were headed and it was awesome.  This driving range is four-tiered outdoor driving range that sits right on the Hudson river.  They run a special on Sundays after 6, $30/person for unlimited balls and club rental.  

Nolita/ Noho Walking Food Tour  My friend Stephanie recommended that we do this and it turned out to be the thing we loved the most.   I bought these tickets ahead of time because it's not the kind of thing you can show up to the day of.  We got the last two tickets for 11:45 on Monday, as the tour will only take 16 people at a time.  I had also read glowing reviews online about this tour guide, Anny, so I was delighted when she showed up as our guide.  She was incredible.  Just like with most things that are guided, she made all the difference.  She was equal parts funny and charming.  She works a few jobs in the city to make ends meet, but if you ask me, she should be paid so much doing this she shouldn't have to!  We were fast friends and I definitely plan in keeping in touch with her. {Hi, sweet Anny, if you are reading this!} 
The tour consists of 6 stops at local spots throughout the Nolita {North of Little Italy} and Noho {North of Houston} neighborhoods for tastings.
Cappuccinos in the Little Cupcake Bakery

Street Art outside of the Little Cupcake Bakeshop by Shepard Fairey

Brooklyn Blackout cupcake

Sweet Anny 


New York {Part 1: The Basics}

What a weekend!  We just returned from our anniversary trip to the big apple and I've got a lot to say! We celebrated 15 years of marriage last June and our anniversary fell the week we were at the beach with my family.  Mid-May we decided to plan a trip to NYC for the fall and just go to dinner while we were at the beach.  Unfortunately, I got terribly sick at the beach and basically thought my anniversary would also be the day I was going to die...not to sound too dramatic.  BUT for real.  So the special dinner never happened and we were putting all our stock in this trip being fantastic.  Here are the details and some tips we learned to pass along!


We decided to go for broke and use our Hilton points to stay at the Waldorf Astoria.  Our points got us two nights and we paid for the third.  I tell you all this just to say...we ain't that fancy.  However, after learning that the Waldorf has been sold to a Chinese company and will close in 2017 for three years, we decided it might be our only chance to ever stay there!  The company plans to convert 3/4 of the hotel into luxury apartments and will only have 300-500 rooms for hotel guests.
After moving to Park Avenue in October 1931 from its original site where the Empire State Building now stands, the Waldorf became the largest hotel in the world at the time. With a name that came to conjure luxury and glamour, every American president since Herbert Hoover has visited, and Marilyn Monroe once called the hotel home. The Waldorf joined the Hilton chain when founder Conrad Hilton attained management rights to the property in 1949. ~USA Today
Now the truth.  The lobby was grand.   The staff, superb.  The room?  Not so much.  It was in need of basic repairs and sadly, our expectations were not met.  I get that this is a historic, 85 year old hotel, but the wallpaper was peeling.  Easy fix.  Our bathroom mirror had something on it that would not come off.  Easy fix.   Saturday night while walking home we noticed this cute little boutique hotel around the corner and I had the crazy idea that we should just ask if the Waldorf would allow us to cancel the reservation for Sunday night.  I was not going to complain, just ask that we be allowed to cancel.  This was going to save us well over a hundred dollars on the night we were paying out of pocket.  Of course, when I asked the front desk about canceling, they wanted to why we would consider moving so I told them what I just told you.  At first she offered to upgrade our room to a suite at the same rate and then offered to upgrade our room and match the price from the hotel down the street!  Way to make it right, Waldorf!  We were moved to a suite on the 19th floor and had ROOMS at the Waldorf.   Now THAT'S fancy.

Room #1
There was a wedding and reception Saturday night!  Lee and I grabbed a coffee and
 found an out-of-the-way spot in the lobby and watched the guests arriving.  

Room #2

Delta is my airline of choice and I was so happy that we were able to get a direct flight out of Columbia.  Sometimes a direct flight is more pricey, but I justify it knowing that I'll probably spend that difference eating in the airport during a layover.  In NYC, Laguardia is always my preference.  Our flight was 7am Friday morning and we were in NY by 9am. We UBERed from the airport for a little over $40 and were at the hotel by 10:30 to drop our bags and head out for the day.  Our return flight was at 8:15pm Monday night and we were home by 11.

So we UBERed to and from the airport.  We also UBERed Friday night on the way to the show because my feet were hurting so badly!  UBERing and taking taxi's can get super expensive if you are scooting around the city for a few days, so Lee and I decided to use the subway whenever possible.  I put two apps on my phone to help us.  One called Transit, that basically uses your GPS and maps out which trains to take and another, New York Subway, that is basically a subway map.  We used both.  I was so proud of us!  If you want to see lots of the city without spending a fortune you should definitely use the subway.  I would estimate we spent $40 during our stay and still had a few bucks on the card at the end.  I gave it to a cashier as we were leaving town so that was fun too!
We only met one sketchy character who kept yelling that the next stop was Sesame Street and he wanted everyone to smoke weed with him.   I'm pretty sure he didn't have any left to share.

I heart a Broadway show.  In fact, I've never seen one I didn't like!   I always aim to see at least two whenever I have the chance to go.  I typically select one show that I'm willing to pay full price to see and buy that online ahead of time.  This time we chose Something Rotten!  We sat front row mezzanine and dead center stage.  The theatre was small and the show was fabulous.  It is leaving broadway January 1 so I was so happy this is the one we chose.
I was waiting until we got there to see what would be at the TKTS booth.  For those that don't know, you can get discounted same-day show tickets at several of these booths around NYC.  Discounts range from 20-50%.  In the past, I've also gone directly to the box office and bought tickets day of.  I met a lady who was telling my of an app called Todaytix.  I checked it out and will definitely go this route next time to avoid the lines!
I've been dying for Lee to see Jersey Boys for years.  I may or may not have seen it twice before.  Also, I may or may not have the CD.  When I realized JB's is also leaving broadway, there was no question that we'd have to go.  We stood in line at TKTS in the rain for one hour.  Lee loved the show and I cried a little at the end because this show is just so special to me.   Mark Ballas from Dancing With the Stars just joined the cast as Frankie Valli!  His debut was Tuesday and we saw the show Friday night.  He was amazing!

More tommorrow on all the other fun stuff we did!