M is for: Manhattan

Warning: Picture-heavy post

I have this weird thing I do when we travel. We’ll call it temporary trip anxiety. Basically, anytime we go anywhere “big,” I spend at least 2 hours after we first arrive fighting a “What have we DONE?!!” funk.

As if by taking a trip we have somehow let someone down. Or made some colossal mistake that can’t be undone. Instead of what we’ve actually done, which is deposited all of our children in the care of family that loves them to distraction and escaped for a rare, hard-earned, unlikely-to-be-repeated-any-time-soon diaper-less, juice-box-less couple of days to rejuvenate and reconnect.

I literally walk out on the streets of Sydney or New York or Chicago, and think, “I want to go home.”

I know. What a freak.

What can I say? I don’t love change. And when faced with something new, my first reaction is to desire familiarity, even if it’s an exhausting prospect.

Inevitably, though, by the last day, all I can think is: Can we pretty please have one more day?

But that’s only after I’ve had the chance to work the kinks out of my shoulders, sleep in for pretty much the first time in a year,  and consume an enormous amount of deliciously bad-for-you food.

Shaun and I are both a combination of wanderers/planners, with an emphasis on the planning side, so we had big chunks of each day at least loosely scheduled, with our basic trip itinerary looking a bit like this:

 

Wednesday:

  • Wake at 4 AM to get to the airport in time to check in for our 5:30 flight (we barely made it).
  • Arrive in Manhattan at 12 PM.
  • Take a taxi to the Upper West Side where were were staying, only 1/2 a block from Central Park.
  • Spend a few hours eating lunch/orienting ourselves to the neighborhood
  • Meet with our Airbnb host and head back to the apartment we were renting. IMG_7819

This was our front stoop (is that the right word?).

We both stayed up ENTIRELY too late finishing up all the pre-trip details the night before our flight, and we spent the first 2 days trying to stop yawning, so it was probably a good thing we didn’t schedule anything specific for Wednesday evening.

Instead we wandered down to Wagner Park to catch a glimpse of Lady Liberty across the harbor (Shaun had never seen her in person). IMG_7501

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A view from the opposite direction.

We kept right on wandering, finally ending up at a fantastic little restaurant called Crepes Du Nord. (I’m doing a dedicated NYC food post tomorrow, so I’ll talk more about that then).

We certainly didn’t do enough walking to work off even our Dulce de Leche dessert crepe (which was only one of two that we ate after a very large savory crepe each), but neither of us much cared.

Especially when I got the chance to snap away at the beautiful architecture at every turn.

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Thursday was a bit more structured and included:

A walk along The Highline, which is a project that has essentially converted an abandoned railway into a garden in the sky.

It was beautiful. Although I have to admit that my favorite views from The Highline were not necessarily the flowers.

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{This made me laugh}

After The Highline, we took a walking food tour of Greenwich village. I’ll talk about that the more tomorrow.

Thursday evening was spent going through the whole process of getting checked in for and then watching the taping for last Friday’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. (Which I got not one single picture of because they forbade any photography whatsoever inside the studio).

The funny thing is that we’re not even big fans. In fact, we never watch late night television, but we kept hearing that being in the audience for a show taping was a super-fun experience. So, we got tickets about a month ahead of time and ended up extremely coincidentally being the first in line (we were sitting at the table they decided to make the head of the line) to pick up our reserved tickets.

We had some time to wander around before the taping started, so we piddled around in Rockefeller Square and did a little window shopping:

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Okay, so most of those shots are not even from that particular window-shopping session, but it still holds true that one of the best things about New York is the myriad gorgeous, creative shop windows and interiors.

Friday morning consisted of park time—first at Riverside Park, which features prominently in the movie You’ve Got Mail.

I took this picture of the Riverside Dr. sign for my mom since You’ve Got Mail used to be a twice-yearly movie date for us.

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After Riverside Park, we headed to Central Park and took a jaunt around this body of water (the name of which has completely escaped me at the moment; native New Yorkers, some help, please?). IMG_7756

Then, we headed to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to meander through the various exhibits and had lunch at their rooftop cafe, where we discovered a new friend.

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Meet Pete the Praying Mantis.

We’re not sure exactly how he managed to get himself all the way up on the 5th floor of the Met, but he had a bit of a paparazzi moment as people came over to see why we were taking pictures of the shrubs and started snapping their own pictures of Pete. 

He was only too happy to pose.

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We’ll miss ya, Pete.

Friday night was our fancy night out with a scrumptious dinner and tickets to Broadway.

We spent Saturday morning strolling the streets of our neighborhood and visiting Levaine Bakery where they sell cookies for $4 each. We only got a bite each, but they actually seemed worth it! (Our only regret of the trip was somehow both managing to have a moment of temporary insanity and leaving the bag of expensive cookies we’d bought as gifts on the ground outside the Lego Store. We realized it quickly, and Shaun ran back for it, but only 5 minutes later, it was already gone. Boo! We were both hoping some hungry homeless guy got them).

As you might be able to tell, it was an absolutely lovely time, fully of some quintessential New York moments (Broadway, the Met, the State of Liberty) and many quirkier ones (you saw Pete, right?), which is totally more our style anyway.

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Goodbye, New York. I’m not in love with your cramped apartments or your odorous, cacophonous streets, but I adored getting to visit you (again; this was my 3rd time), and I hope I will again some day.

Do y’all ever have trip anxiety, or am I the only weirdo who has to adjust to being away from my routine?

Do you have any questions for me about our trip? I’m not expert, by any stretch, but I’ll be happy to share more of what we did/how we planned the trip if you’re interested.

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22 thoughts on “M is for: Manhattan

  1. What a fun time you guys had! How wonderful you could get away! Those trips are priceless ;) . Loved all the wonderful pics! I have never been to NYC but would love to visit one day!!

  2. so glad I’m not the only one who regrets the trip for the first few days….My mom, sis, and I try to go on as many Gaither Homecoming cruises (don’t laugh) as possible. I spend the first 2 days wishing I would take a helicopter home. By day 5 I am trying to figure out how to stow away and never go home. I do miss my hubby and kiddo’s terribly, but oh my word do I love me some southern gospel music!! Love all the pics! Can’t wait to see your post about New York food. I’ve never been to New York, but hope to visit one day.

  3. Oh looks like it was such a relaxing trip. :) Always love seeing your pictures from your little getaways. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Glad you guys got away for a few days, I grew up in new york most of my life but now we are in sunny florida, I really miss the food but do not miss the snow and cold weather, please tell me you both got a chance at some awesome new york pizza, me and my husband miss that the most, love all the pictures you took, makes me want to go back.

    1. Yay! Glad to see you here on the blog, Peggy (I always love your comments on the FB page). And, yes, we did get some New York pizza…the very last day right before we went to the airport! :)

  5. I’m so glad you and Shaun were able to get away by yourselves for a few days. It looks like you filled up every moment with wonderful memories. Your pictures are gorgeous!

  6. I am right there with you on the trip anxiety. My hubby and I have never taken a vacation together in 8 yrs… I know, cringe, but we’re saving to go somewhere for our 10th. In the mean time, we do travel from Indiana to Dallas to visit his family over the Christmas holidays. Venturing out in Dallas is a huge deal for me, coming from this little bitty town in the midwest. I get SO nervous, feel out of place and immediately wish I’d stayed home. But after awhile, I feel a little better. Only a little. haha It’s a darn good thing that God is everywhere I go!

      1. Thank you! I can’t wait! I want to go somewhere ridiculously tropical & fabulous like a Sandals resort in Antigua. But it’ll probably be somewhere cheaper, as we are trying to adopt and most of our money is going toward that!! (A baby/child will be much better than a vacation anyway!)

  7. I always go into a homebody funk on the first two days of vacation. I have to settle in before I can relax. So either your not crazy…or we are both crazy. :)

  8. That praying mantis is too cute! :) And I love your photos! I’ve been to NYC once but just to a meeting so yeah…no sight seeing. Want to go!!!

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