DAY 4 | NYC

Day four was our last and final day of vacation. It can also be said that day four was the main reason why we were even here in the first place – for the NHL Bridgestone Winter Classic. It was decided some months ago that this trip to NYC for the Winter Classic would be a Christmas gift for me and my brother. He came up with the idea and I totally agreed, as neither of us need anything so, why not? So, thanks to having season tickets for the Buffalo Sabres we were able to snag some seats and, a few months later, we were on our merry way.

That morning, we woke up, packed our things into our suitcases, loaded up the car, bundled up and set out for Citi Field. Now, when I tell you bundled up, I do not mean we zipped up our coats and put on a hat and a scarf. I mean, we put on our three pairs of pants, six shirts, four pairs of socks, two pairs of gloves, a scarf, a hat, our snow pants, and our winter coat, and hoped that these intense layers would be enough to keep us warm for the 3+ hours we were going to be outside. While we escaped well-beyond-freezing temperatures, it just so happened that the day of the game, the wind chill was going to be, again, well-beyond-freezing. About -6 degrees below zero to be exact. Was the sun out? Yes. Was the wind whipping faster than a speeding bullet? Hell yes. And this, this made a recipe for a freezing, but good, time.

I was at the very first Winter Classic in Buffalo ten years ago, so being at the 10th anniversary game and seeing the Sabres play again was pretty amazing. Seeing how much this event has improved in ten years was incredible to see in person. It was truly a whole new experience from the first time! And, added Buffalo bonus, we got a mini-concert at the first intermission thanks to our hometown band, the Goo Goo Dolls.

While this was the Sabres’ “home game,” the venue was filled with about 80% New York Rangers fans. No surprise since, you know, we were on Long Island. If you follow the NHL, you know that the Buffalo Sabres are not doing so hot this year [and if you don’t follow, well now you know]. Sounds familiar, right? So it wouldn’t seem so shocking to you that they did not win this game against the Rangers. In fact, they lost the game in extra time, just like the Winter Classic ten years ago against Pittsburgh. Overall, though, it was an exciting game and a memory that I will cherish with me forever.

Due to having a flight home to catch, mixed a little bit with the cold weather, we left with about 8 minutes remaining in the game to beat the crowd and avoid any traffic to JFK Airport from Citi Field. After turning in our rental car, getting through security, and grabbing a bite to eat, my long weekend came to an end around 9:00 in the evening when our flight home landed in Buffalo.

There is not one thing that I would change about my most recent trip to New York. And, I already can’t wait to go back! xoxo.

 

Day 1 | NYC

DISCLAIMER: If you don’t like New York City or, quite frankly, don’t care to hear about my most recent trip, the next few days of reading definitely won’t be for you!

I, for one, love New York City. I have always dreamt of living there and am still not totally opposed to the idea at some point in my lifetime [enter heaps of money. .  now]. So, it was no surprise that I was extremely excited to board a plane at 4:25am on the 29th of December. We landed in the city that never sleeps just past 6:00 in the morning. Once we landed, we did the typical “I just landed at the airport” things. Because it was not even 6:30 in the morning by the time we were done, and we obviously couldn’t check into our hotel, we headed right into the city.

The first thing we did was visit the tree at Rockefeller Center. My brother had never seen the tree in person before, so it didn’t come as much of a surprise that this would be one of the first things we would do. If you have never had the opportunity to see the tree in person, I highly suggest that you do. TV and pictures really do not do this thing justice. You don’t realize quite how big it actually is until you are standing underneath it looking as if you are the size of an ant.

The tree is ever so conveniently located across the street from where the Today Show was filmed and, because it was a Friday morning, filming was in progress. If you know me, you know how much I am in love with the Today Show. I am self-proclaimed obsessed and I am totally okay with that. I watch every single morning, and actually look forward to the days that I don’t have to work so that I can watch the show in its entirety, up until its’ final hour. Being right at the front of the barricade, a short distance away from Dylan Dreyer and Carson Daly was a dream come true. And if you’re wondering, I absolutely fangirled.

Because it was pretty cold outside, we then went into the basement of Rockefeller Center, also known as The Concourse at Rockefeller Center. If you haven’t been, it is filled with little shops and restaurants, basically all of which we do not have at home [minus Starbucks]. After grabbing a bite to eat for breakfast and watching people pile onto the iconic ice rink, we decided plan out the remainder of the day. Because it was just shy of 9:30am, planning out the remainder of our day was the best thing we could have done, as there were so many hours left ahead of us.

Our next venture of the day was going atop the Top of the Rock observatory. Personally, I enjoy Top of the Rock so much more than the Empire State Building observatory, as the lines are much shorter, the view is better, there is more room on the observation deck once you reach the top, and tickets are substantially cheaper. My mom had never been up before, so she was pretty excited over the fact that you can actually see the Empire State Building as opposed to actually being on it. It was extremely windy and decently cold, but the view made it all totally worth it.

After this venture, we took the subway to Katz’s Delicatessen for some lunch. Upon emerging from the subway, we found the line outside of the building, almost halfway down the block. Although it was cold, we stuck it out and waited for our turn [although we were inside much faster than we anticipated]. Going out to eat with my family, you must know that there will always be too much food that is being ordered. While I would have been completely content with my matzo ball soup and half of a salami sandwich, when all was said and done, I had also consumed some of a chocolate egg cream and part of a piece of cheesecake [it must be known, though, that this was the best piece of cheesecake I have ever eaten]. So, we left full, and totally satisfied. We then headed back to Manhattan for some shopping, and then headed back toward our hotel to finally check in.

We stayed in a hotel on Long Island, outside of the city, due to convenience to the airport and Citi Field. Another perk was the fact that it was exceptionally cheaper than staying directly in the city due to it being New Years Eve weekend. After a much needed nap, thanks to having to be at the airport at 3:00 in the morning, we headed to Target to pick up a few things [yes, I went to Target, even while on vacation], and over to the Majestic Diner for dinner. After being still somewhat full from lunch, apple pancakes and a cup of coffee is exactly what I needed.

We capped the night playing a game of Uno and turning in early, getting refreshed for the next day ahead.

Stay tuned for day two adventures tomorrow. xoxo.

Fly away with me?!

Truth be told, I didn’t know what the heck to title this post, so you’ll have to settle with the corny one liner that I landed upon.

However, by the time you are reading this I will have already been onto and off of a plane and landed in New York City for a few hours now! I have never spent New Years Eve in New York City, so I am excited to be here with my family for this new adventure! I am closing off my 24th year of life at the Winter Classic on January 1st, followed by a flight home a few hours later, only to wake up the following day to begin my 25th year of life and the second half of the school year for my kiddos.

I can’t wait to share this trip with you all when I come back! xoxo.

Weekend Getaway | NOTL

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*SPOILER ALERT* I love Niagara-on-the-Lake!

This past weekend, I spent two days in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. For those of you who don’t know, it’s about 20 minutes away from Niagara Falls, New York. Yep, you read that right. You can be a whole different country and a whole different little town in legitimately 20 minutes. At least that’s how our luck had it.

We woke up bright and early Saturday morning expecting a mad rush crossing the US/Canadian border, but much to our surprise, there was not a soul in sight. We planned on being in NOTL about two hours after we left, accounting for [non-existent] bridge traffic, but we got there in legitimately 20 minutes. It was a dream.

We stayed at the Pillar and Post – a drop dead gorgeous hotel in the heart of wine country. The hotel itself had an elegant rustic feel with two pools, a spa, a gym, a hot springs, banquet halls, a restaurant, trolley tours, and free shuttle service around the town. Our room was accompanied by a queen size bed, a pull-out couch, a fireplace, a fridge, wine openers, and white fluffy robes, to name a few. We had everything we needed and more.

The aforementioned trolley tour was, I think, the highlight of our weekend. For $50, you got a guided tour of the town, rich with historic elements and architectural value. The tour guide, Margaret, was a trip – sweet but hilarious and extremely knowledgeable of the surrounding area. As if that was not enough, you stopped, and got tours at, two local wineries. More will be had about this later this week!

This week’s blog posts will be filled about great places to explore and great things to do, so buckle up, we’re headed for a wild ride! xoxo.