Planning the Perfect Girl's Trip to the Big Apple

A few months ago my best girl Taylor and I got a wild hair while at the gym and decided to plan a trip to NYC!  We both adore the city that never sleeps and even more so in the fall.  We've both been several times before so planning on a whim was fun and spontaneous!   Here are my tips for planning the perfect girl's trip to NYC...

{1}  Find a friend you can travel with

This person should make you laugh until you pee a little and should be willing to cry over pasta in public if the conversation gets that good.  For me, that's this girl.

{2} Be a tourist, but get off the beaten path, too 

Since both of us have been to NYC multiple times before, we wanted to find things that neither one of us had done before.  A total touristy thing that we did was eat lunch at  Ellen's Stardust Diner  where the wait staff sings!  Several friends recommended this to me and it was so fun!  Later that day we got off the beaten path to catch the Carolina game at a bar called the Mason Jar.  It's where the NYC Gamecock Club gathers and fans living in and around the city, as well as visitors like us, come to "tailgate." Our moscow mules were served in mason jars of course! 

{3} See a Broadway show {or two}  

This was the first time either one of us had come to NYC without buying show tickets ahead of time.  We decided to take our chances at the TKTS booth in Times Square and saw both shows for under $100 each.  We stood in line maybe 30 minutes the first time, but one thing we learned is that if you have a ticket stub from TKTS and return the next day to buy another ticket you get to skip to a special line all the way to the front!  We saw the very popular Kinky Boots and a broadway classic Chicago.  Walking away from Kinky Boots we agreed that it was just ok, but we enjoyed the $18 glass of champagne and the Shake Shake burgers we inhaled late night! After Chicago, we wanted to abandon our lives in SC, move to Manhattan and audition for broadway!  Plus Rumer Willis was playing Roxy so that counted as our celebrity sighting!  

{4} Eat Brunch  

We "brunched" both Sunday and Monday.  One place we had both been to before, West End Grill and the iconic Loeb Boathouse in Central Park  was new for Tay.  We shared most of our food the entire weekend because everything looked so good!  This was the BEST.  French.  Toast.  Ever.  and my crab cake at the Boathouse was ah-mazing

{5} Take the Subway  

After cabbing it a few times, we got brave on Sunday and decided to take the subway.  We learned that sometimes using the subway on Saturdays and Sundays can be tricky because this is when they do maintenance and close down certain lines.  It all worked out and we lived to tell about it.  

{6} Visit the 9/11 Memorial at dusk 

There really are not adequate words to describe the mood there this time of day.  It almost felt like we were the only people there and seeing it with the lights was something else.  The weirdest thing happened though...immediately when we walked up, the first name I read was someone with the last name Burton.   

{7} Eat in Little Italy 

We asked someone working around the memorial how long the walk was to Little Italy from there.  She said 15 minutes.  She was a liar.  45 minutes later we were restaurant hopping until we found THE PERFECT atmosphere and  best menu.  We both had this certain image in our heads of how this dinner was going to feel.  We then proceeded to have the best meal of our lives.  Homemade pasta has changed my life.  I will NEVER visit the city again without having at least ONE meal in Little Italy.  

{8} Go to the Today Show taping and Rockefeller Center and St. Patrick's Cathedral

We had originally planned to do the Top of the Rock, but it just didn't happen this trip.  We didn't make it to the Today show super early so we missed most of the action.  This, however, did not stop Taylor from jumping over a man's head to get on tv.  Don't worry...we didn't have signs so they probably thought we were from Ohio or Alabama.  

{9} Stroll through Central Park

{10} Stop and smell the roses

Man, looking at these pictures makes me want to go back!  We had the best time...I'd travel anywhere with you THB.  


Five on Friday {Life Lately}

We've had a busy fall, y'all!  
  I am NOT one to glorify a busy life, but I do love a FULL life and ours certainly is that!    Between school, baseball, soccer, church, Lee's work and mine, our calendar is FULL.  Thought I'd jump back in with a Five on Friday on our top 5 from the past few months!  

1. Hampton started preschool early September and loves it!  He has the sweetest teachers and a great class of friends.  I will miss this little "Jesus bubble" when he starts big school.  One of his teachers this year taught the big boys when they were there so it's been neat that they will share that!  

2.  It was finally Hampton's turn to play a sport...Soccer!    Bless his heart.  We've been dragging him around to the big boys baseball for YEARS now.   Kid has eaten more suckers than should be allowed in 4 years of life.  We always joke that it's a good thing these aren't his permanent teeth!
Hampton's good buddy Dawson was playing soccer {and his dad coaching} so that made the choice to play even easier!  To say it was "touch and go" at the beginning is putting it lightly.  He stood midfield and cried the first game...kid has some serious stage fright going on.  Lee had to go on the field and run alongside him to get him to move!  He warmed up to the idea and the season ended up being a great experience for him.   GO BOBCATS!

3.  We made our first trip to Urgent Care!  As a mom of three boys, I am actually surprised it took this long!  Tradd learned the hard way that sock feet and running on hardwoods don't mix.  As luck would have it, Lee was out of town and I was by myself.  My best friend and neighbor, Tina, literally showed up in minutes to help me assess the damage and stayed with the other boys until my mom could get to our house.  
While sitting in the waiting room, my other best girl, Micah, showed up with milkshakes and her own three kids in tow.  Tradd felt so special and that was the first smile I had seen from him!  I am convinced that milkshakes cure just about anything.  Especially when delivered by your best friends.   
  When we got to the room, my daddy showed up.  Mama obviously told him as she was rushing from the house and he went to the ER at the hospital looking for us before finding us so I wouldn't be by myself!   Gosh I love that man.    5 stitches and less than two hours later we were back home and on the mend.  

4.  In September, Lee ran the Blue Ridge Relay with his F3 buddies.  It's really a tremendous race that covers 200 miles through the Blue Ridge mountains.  He and Travis were running partners and ran 17ish miles over the course of two days.  Tina and I surprised them at the finish line in Asheville and we all stayed for the night.  It was a sweet memory indeed.  
In October, I joined my workout buddies for an all female FiA Go Ruck Light.  If you don't know what "rucking" is just google it.    From their website, "GORUCK Light is an introduction to the team-based training found in Special Operations."  
Basically, you carry a weighted pack and other heavy stuff and work as a team to accomplish whatever the Cadre ask of you.  It's weird, I know.  

5.  Finally, baseball wrapped up with our little team having two second place finishes and winning two rings!    They have been chasing those rings since they realized that is what some travel ball tournaments award the winners and runners-up.   Tradd pitches, catches and plays short stop, while Jackson pitches, plays 3rd base and left field.  I LOVE  watching them play and love even more that Lee coaches them and they have that time together.  GO PIRATES!