The weekend of my birthday four friends and I set out to drive to NYC. We were all overdue for a good girls trip and not all of us had been to the big apple before! We drove up the Friday of my birthday and enjoyed an interesting meal at an eclectically decorated restaurant on the way. The girls asked the waiters to come sing for me and when they came they gave me a large glass of whipped cream with a candle on top! We had a good laugh at that. No ice cream, just whipped cream. I think I’ll always think of that night when I have whipped cream :) Emily’s aunt and uncle were kind enough to host us for a couple nights so we could make the most of a day in the city. When we got there we turned on “You’ve Got Mail”, an all time favorite of mine, which is set in NYC. We snuggled on the couch and watched as Kathleen Kelly and Joe Fox fell in love. It was perfect.
This trip to New York was a much different trip than when we visited with Christian and Rachel a year ago. For one, being kid free made a BIG difference. No strollers, bathroom breaks, grumpy kids, no schedule. It was amazing. The weather was the other thing that made a big difference. It was SPRING this time. Not the tale end of winter. The trees were full of beautiful green leaves, people were out and about just because. There were open air markets and kids on playgrounds. It was beautiful.
As we were driving up, we made a list of things it would be nice to see while there. I’m happy to say we covered a lot of ground! In 14 miles of walking, and a few subway rides, we managed to visit Donut Plant (scrumptious!), H&M, Mood Fabric Store “Thank you mood!”, then we walked for what felt like ages, through a very crowded Time Square and beyond to get some Shake Shack in our bellies. Oh that place always hits the spot :) We crossed through Central Park after lunch. It was really fun to see hundreds of people laying out on the lawns and families gathered to the playgrounds. We even saw a couple birthday parties set up. I couldn’t believe how distant we felt from the city, even though we were still smack dab in the middle of it. The air was cleaner, there was less noise and I found myself wanting to spend the rest of the day meandering the many miles of paths in Central Park.
But we had other things to see! The Met blew my mind a little bit. Van Gogh, Monet, sculpture galleries, depictions of Christ and beautiful women who were painted as they were seen by the artist, not how modern day society thought they should look. It was all beautiful and it filled my soul. I could have spent all day there too.
We walked to Bloomingdales after that, which I think I would have enjoyed a lot more if I wasn’t feeling pretty wiped out by that point. While Meghan and Emily tried on fancy gowns, Holly and I sat on a comfy bench in the clothes department and enjoyed being off our feet and talking. By the time we were done there the sun was starting to set so we hopped on the subway hoping to catch a bit of setting sun behind the Statue of Liberty from Battery Park. Unfortunately a subway delay made us change our plans. Instead we got off early at the Brooklyn Bridge and enjoyed that beautiful evening stroll. I hope to be able to see the Brooklyn Bridge in the daylight next time, but there’s no denying it is a magnificent sight at night!
By that point we were all starving again. I remembered, from my last trip there, a delicious pizza place across the bridge. Thank goodness it was as good as I remembered! We waited in line for what felt like forever to my tired feet. Eventually we were offered an outside seat right away if we wanted it, which we decided we did, because we were hungry and tired. We huddled in our coats and devoured the tastiest pizza I’ve ever eaten.
I don’t remember much of the trip back to Emily’s aunt and uncle’s in New Jersey, good thing I wasn’t driving! I do, however, remember the drive home to Baltimore the next day. Being Sunday, we put on a couple talks from Conference and spent some time discussing them. Then we listened to a few Mormon Messages and we talked and we cried and we shared our testimonies with each other and the Spirit was so strong. To me the whole trip would have been worth it just for that car ride. I’m so grateful for these dear friends who lift me and help me to be better. Holly, Meghan and Emily have each touched my life in their own special way. It was certainly a weekend I’ll never forget.