Sometimes the best trips require very little planning or preparation. Although we almost always plan our family vacations, sometimes we throw a little thrill into the mix by discovering an opportunity for a spur-of-the-moment getaway. This is how we ended up with 3 Days In New York City.
I know we’ve been home for three months now and I fully expected to have this post about traveling to New York City up well before now. Between our son moving out of state, another son switching colleges and life in general, quite frankly this is my first opportunity. The information here is timeless and if you’re planning a long weekend or a few days in New York, hopefully you’ll find this article helpful.
Before Christmas last year, my husband and I were watching late night television and saw Megan Mullally of the hit Broadway play, It’s Only A Play being interviewed. She was so funny and the play sounded like a great one to see. With a cast of a such wonderful actors as Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, EJ turned to me and said, “wouldn’t it be fun to see this play?”
I nodded my head yes not thinking anymore of it. But the next day, EJ was still talking about how great it would be to take our two youngest kids to New York for a few days to tour the city and of course, see the play. Quietly he looked up flights and prices for hotels, gathered his information and talked more to me about it later that evening.
We soon realized we could make this trip work. We had a few days before the kids went back to school. The prices for hotels were less expensive because it was after the New Year’s festivities were over and the flights were in line with what we wanted to spend. So, we decided to go to New York!
The day after New Year’s Day, January 2nd, my husband, our two kids and I boarded a plane to New York City. Our kids were so excited and it had been years since I’d been to New York. We were all ready for an adventure!
We arrived at Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport a few hours before our flight and had breakfast at Cat Cora’s restaurant. If you have any time at this airport, be sure to stop here for breakfast, lunch or a even glass of wine. The service was quick, the atmosphere nice and the food was good. The restaurant is located in Terminal E.
We flew into Newark Airport because the flights were cheaper for us. From the airport, New York City was a short train ride away.
We stayed at the Hyatt in Times Square. It was in a great location, just away steps from Times Square, Broadway theaters and Radio City Music Hall.
After we checked into our room, we dropped off our bags and went to John’s Pizza in Times Square for dinner. John’s Pizza is voted one of New York’s best pizza restaurants and we could understand why. Situated inside of an old church, John’s pizzas are made to order in coal fired brick ovens. The 800 degree coal fired ovens have no thermostats to control the heat and are operated by pizza men who have gone through training to learn how to make the pizzas.
After dinner, we walked down to Times Square. It was amazing to see the the area lit up with billboard lights!
We stopped by the TKTS ticket booth and looked for a play to see that night. Of the ones that we could find seats for, we chose NEWSical, The Musical. It was a very funny comedy that makes fun of the latest headlines through comedy and music.
After the show, we stopped at Connolly’s Pub and Restuarant for a glass of wine and dessert for the kids.
We enjoyed breakfast at a small bagel shop called Best Bagel on W 35th Street. I ordered the Everything Bagel with egg and EJ got the Onion with cream cheese. They were both delicious! It’s a popular restaurant because the line was out the door.
It was a lot colder in New York than it was it Houston and my daughter and son needed a hat so we went to Macy’s Department Store. It was fun seeing Macy’s up close after seeing it every year during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. As we were leaving Macy’s, it started snowing!
From Macy’s, we took a cab to the 9/11 Memorial. My daughter was an infant and my son was in kindergarten when the tragic events of September 11th happened. It was important to me that we take our kids here to talk more about the events of that day.
There are giant waterfalls where the towers once stood and the fountains are surrounded by the names of those who lost their lives at Ground Zero on September 11th.
From the Memorial, we walked to the Brooklyn Bridge. It was a long walk but we didn’t mind walking in the snow, it was actually nice.
After a while, the snow turned to rain and we were all getting hungry. EJ turned to Yelp to help us find a restaurant.
Since we were near Chinatown, we chose to eat at Bo Ky Restaurant. We knew it was a great choice when we walked in and everyone was local. The food was fantastic and they were huge portions, as you can see!
After lunch, we walked a few blocks to Little Italy…
…and stopped in Ferrara’s Espresso Bar for a cappuccino, biscotti and cannollis. Ferrara’s has been at it’s Grand Avenue location since 1892.
After our snacks, we took a taxi back to our hotel to rest up before seeing It’s Only A Play. Our hotel was only a few blocks from the theater so it was an easy walk.
We had wonderful seats and the play was fantastic!
On Sunday morning, we woke up and went to St. Patrick’s Cathedral for Mass.
The church was still decorated for Christmas and was beautiful.
After Mass, we walked across the street to Rockefeller Center.
…and walked past the NBC Studios…
Then, we walked across the street to Le Pain Quotidien, one of our favorite restaurants for brunch. I loved the Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad. It was prepared with beets, currents, avocado and mint and was absolutely delicious.
From there, we strolled down to Central Park…
…but first we had to stop at FAO Schwartz…
We enjoyed a bottle of wine at The Loeb Boathouse in Central Park…
After enjoying the lovely views and the wine, we decided to take a cab to Mario Batali’s Eataly and on the way, stopped to see the beautiful tree in Rockefeller Plaza lit up…
OUR LAST MORNING
We had early morning tickets for the Top Of The Rock observation deck so we walked from our hotel to Rockefeller Center.
After spending time on the observation deck and taking in the amazing views, we took a cab to Chelsea Market for breakfast…
and finally, off to the airport to head home.
We would have loved to have stayed in New York City longer but three days was perfect. It gave us a taste of the city and now we can’t wait to return!
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