July 29, 2014

Girls' NYC Trip!

In mid-May, Carrie and I made the trip to New York City to visit SD and her family! It was surreal to be visiting her there because for several years the discussion has been on the table of when the Herringtons would spend some time there. SD's husband Peyton has always had the dream of living there for at least a little while, and so they made it happen! I was really excited to see NYC from a more personal perspective. It's so fun to do the "classic" things, but it's the first time I've had a friend actually living there, so Carrie and I got a really neat window into what it's like in the day-to-day.


I met Carrie in the airport (our flights arrived around the same time) and we got a cab to Brooklyn! It was so crazy to actually drive up to SD's co-op!

Here we are!

How wonderful to reunite with SD, Ann Peyton and Baby Graves!

We walked down to the subway station to get our Metro cards and then got some pizza, which hit the spot!


The next day we started at Connecticut Muffin which is right near SD's place.

After taking the train into Manhattan, we had to stop and take a picture. It was raining and our hair was CRAZY. We felt touristy and gross, but thankfully this was the only day it was like this!

A pretty little flower shop reminded me of a scene from You've Got Mail!

We had tea at an adorable little place called Alice's Teacup! There are several locations, and I believe our's was "II." I enjoyed this so much. I always love having tea, but it was even more wonderful with my friends, and the tea hit the spot on the drizzly day.

My "Mad Men" moment. :)

We visited the Frick Collection, which is housed in a beautiful 5th Avenue mansion. I always love art collections when they're showcased in homes, because you can picture them as they were originally displayed. It was gorgeous!

We stopped by the Plaza, of course!

I love the Plaza's sense of humor - such a cute portrait of Eloise!

In fact, Eloise has a whole little shop devoted to her!

Then it was off to FAO Schwartz!

We had stayed our first night at SD's apartment and then for the next couple of nights we got a hotel room in the city so we could be close to everything. It was perfect because Peyton was off for the weekend and SD got a fun little break! We stopped at our hotel to get changed for dinner and our SHOW that night! :)

We ate at the Bryant Park Grill in Bryant Park and it was so lovely. I feel trite using the word, but it was really chic and understated. 

We saw the incomparable Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella! It was magnificent! It was visually stunning, and the quick changes were incredible - the costume designer won a Tony award, and seeing it in person was so cool! Cinderella was supposed to be played by Carly Rae Jepson, but of all nights, her understudy was playing that night. Oh well - good thing I'm not really a fan!

I DID sneak a picture of Fran Drescher, who played the Stepmother. My friend Erin is her biggest fan and just about died when I told her that Fran would be performing!

The end of this night was absolutely CRAZY. We realized that we all had low cell phone batteries (we didn't have time to charge them at the hotel), so we were stressing about rationing the batteries. Well, as we were walking out of the theater, the bottom fell out and it started POURING rain. I mean torrents and torrents coming down. We had wanted to get dessert somewhere but it was impossible to find a cab after a show in the RAIN. One by one our phones died. I can't even remember the details of how insane it was, but we ended up navigating our way by train back to our hotel (without Google maps to help!). We were exhausted but it made for some funny memories!


We started off with breakfast at Paris Baguette! This place is very special to me because we ate there a lot in Seoul when we went to get Liam. I have such a special place in my heart for it. :)

 We headed over to the World Trade Center area, and it was still heartbreaking. It definitely feels more optimistic since construction is going on, but just knowing what happened there and how many lives were lost was so surreal and sobering. We also weren't prepared for all of the people trying to sell "guidebooks" (which I guess they really are guidebooks, but….). It was so distracting - you couldn't just stand there and respect what had happened. The last time I was there was 2002, when the damage was still VERY fresh, so it was at least encouraging to see the progress that's been made and that the area continues to have purpose and people thriving in it.

We headed to the SoHo area and ate at the Bowery Bar and Grill, which had the BEST atmosphere. It was a beautiful day and we sat on the patio. I pictured Kurt and I bringing the kids there to eat for brunch if we lived in the area. . .it seems like such an urban thing to "brunch" outside surrounded by city life happening. :)

After lunch we walked right across the street and visited the Merchant House Museum. It's the only fully preserved historical home in the city, and it was fascinating! This is the sort of thing I love to do on trips - find something that's a hidden gem that the average tourist would never discover. We loved it and learned so much! We really enjoyed seeing what life was like for a merchant's family back in the 1800's in New York City.

One little interesting thing: the main "den" or "family room" was downstairs. The family would relax and even eat down here on a daily basis, and the upstairs, more formal rooms were used for entertaining and special occasions.

On the highest floor were the servants' quarters. This hit home the most, because it was so primitive and stark (and this would've been considered the nicer end of things). Just imagining the intense, HARD labor that our guide described was really eye-opening. We even tried to lift one of the coal buckets and could hardly get it off the ground - and those young girls would carry two at a time up three flights of stairs. They would wake well before the sun and go to bed VERY late. I always think it's good to put yourself in people's shoes and feel their story.

After our tour, we explored some unique places in SoHo. . .

 . . .and ate some cheesecake!

We also observed some fashion trends. Get excited, ladies - these are headed to a suburban town near you!

 We went to the hotel and changed for dinner, then headed to Patsy's for dinner. It was WONDERFUL Italian food, and this was one of Frank Sinatra's favorite restaurants!

After dinner, we headed to Times Square! It's a classic New York thing, and SD and I wanted Carrie to experience it (plus we wanted to as well!)!

Of course I had to stop in the Disney Store in Times Square! :)

 DAY 4

This was Sunday morning, and I was SO EXCITED because we were heading to the Brooklyn Tabernacle for church! It was kind of a crazy morning - SD left the hotel in Manhattan early because she needed to get a key from Peyton (something complicated like that), so Carrie and I checked out of the hotel a little later and took a cab into Brooklyn. We ate breakfast at a delicious, cute little place called Putnam's. We loved it!

On the way to the bus stop, we saw many classic Brooklyn views.

After our bus ride, we ARRIVED! I've listened to the Brooklyn Tabernacle choir for years, and I just love Jim and Carol Cymbala (the pastor and his wife - she directs the music)! I couldn't believe I was actually there!

We took our seats and I just couldn't believe we were there. It was something on my bucket list and I was just overjoyed to experience it!

 A singing group from Liberty (where my brother and sister go to school) was going to be there that night. Small world!

 The worship was just amazing. Hearing the choir sing in person was something I will NEVER forget!

 It was also so special to take the Lord's Supper at the Tabernacle.

After the service, we had the most fun thing planned. A neighborhood/area of Brooklyn called Park Slope was having their annual tour of homes that afternoon! Peyton had gotten us tickets and it was SO FUN!! We got to tour actual Brownstones where families are living, and it was such a rare and special opportunity. They were each VERY different. Some had maintained a historical feel with the decorating, and others had been completely remodeled and decorated in an ultra modern style. It was another one of those times when I really imagined our family actually living in New York (or really any super urban environment) and what it would be like for us. I love letting my thoughts wander like that; I think it creates a really rich life experience when you can picture your life in a lot of different scenarios.

After the tour, we stumbled upon a Greek restaurant and decided to give it a try. It was very good and we had more great conversation, as usual!

After dinner we went back to the Herrington home and stayed up VERY late talking about every topic under the sun! Peyton even joined us for awhile and we made up for lost time all talking together. :)

The next morning was our departure day, and I couldn't believe the weekend had gone so quickly.

After a good flight, I drove myself home from the airport and felt a huge sense of peace come over me as I saw our home in the country. It was really crazy - only hours before I had been in New York City, of all places. The city that never sleeps; so much going on and SO different from where I call home. And then all of a sudden there I was, in what felt like a totally different world.

After getting and giving huge hugs to everyone, life quickly resumed with me getting snacks for everyone. :) It was the BEST feeling to be home!

I am so incredibly thankful for my precious friends and how much we enjoy each other. One thing I'm really proud of is how hard we've worked to maintain our friendship that now spans three states! We've kept that commitment to stay in touch and stay connected. I will say it's not too hard when we care about each other as much as we do. I love these girls so much and I'm so thankful for all they mean to me!

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