If you are just getting to the blog, you can read all about our Part 1 adventures in New York here.
Now where was I? Right, day three! I woke up on Saturday morning, and tip-toed into the other bedroom for some coffee with the gals…more like coffee-milk for me, but anyways, as soon as I opened the bedroom door Honey said, look outside Amber! It was snowing so beautifully, so white, and so quietly. New York at Christmas time, check! New York at Christmas time with SNOW, check check! It was heavenly, and all of the rooftops were just starting to don smooth white layers. The flakes falling on our window sill were so perfectly crystallized, I started at them in wonder for some time. I had seen snow many a time before, but snow in New York is different somehow. There’s fairy dust in it, I’m fairly certain, that makes it seem magical. Even the busy men and women that I usually noticed bustling at their desks in the glass building filled with cubicles across the way were still for a moment, coffee in hand, staring out the window. It was a pretty snow. It truly was.
We bundled Hattie nice and tight in an adorable fluffy snowsuit, and headed for Macy’s Santaland. Why we even entertained the thought that Saturday morning would be a great time to meet Santa is beyond me, but we must have had some wild reasoning behind it. If you’ve never been to Macy’s Santaland, I’ll paint you a little picture just so you can imagine. It’s situated on the 8th floor, of the flagship Macy’s store, near Herald Square. The Santaland area has been transformed into a realistic North Pole-picture the movie Elf- with a giant toy train, that actually houses part of the “see Santa” line. Mrs. Claus walked around taking photos with the children, and all of the elves, whose costumes were so perfectly detailed, that I encountered were overjoyed to share their holiday spirit with you and your little. If it weren’t for the 3 hour wait, I would have hung around all day and sang kumbaya (I just want to admit that before I Googled the proper spelling, I had spelled it “cum-ba-ya”) with the staff, while drinking hot cocoa of course, which you can purchase from one of the four or is it five? Starbucks located inside. Rachael sought out some friendly advice from a helpful elf, and snagged us an “express pass”, which you can snatch 48 hours in advance from your smartphone, or through a kiosk at the store. We decided to head out into the snow for the day, and come back on Monday morning with our express pass for some VIP treatment= no wait. (I feel like this is starting to sound like a “how to go to New York with a baby” post…) Moving on!
Rae and Nanny headed their own way outside of Macy’s to venture around a craft show, while Honey, Hattie, and I made our way to the Empire State Building! When we entered the building the Sleigh Ride/Santa Party instrumentals began to swell inside of me, and I couldn’t help but hum. My mother in law laughed at me, but literally the entire trip was a Christmas soundtrack in my mind, but how could it not be? We made it through security, and were informed that the visibility was 15% from the observation deck, but we had traipsed through the middle of a mini flurry to get there, so we weren’t kidding anyone. We trekked to the top anyways, because gale force winds are always a good idea 1,000 feet above the ground. The security fence was dandy, but I still held Hattie super tight, took a couple of pictures and then shoved her back inside with Honey. I could blow away, but not my baby (or my mother in law)! I attempted to walk around the deck but only made it 3/4 of the way around before I was blown into the wall-this is no joke, the wind was that bad. The security guard pulled his face mask down and told me, “The wind will do that sometimes to really small people up here”. Thanks bud, point taken. We called it quits and headed towards Grand Central Station, before mother nature whisked us away. We got some pretty impressive pictures though!
We tried to catch a few cabs unsuccessfully to Grand Central Station, so I grabbed a Papaya Dog while we waited. Jennifer Lopez gave me a hankering for one in “The Backup Plan” and they’re mighty tasty. If you ever go to New York try one, you won’t be disappointed. I finally used the ole’ ” I have a baby” trick, and got us a toasty cab ride to our destination. If you were a Gossip Girl fan during its prime, you’ll appreciate our next stop.
Thank you for humoring me. My college roommate and I were avid Gossip Girl watchers, so it was super exciting to send her this picture via text message. Grand Central was cra-zay. Thankfully Hattie was asleep the entire time, (see bottom right corner of photo above-don’t worry, Honey was taking the picture and 2 steps away). We made it through the throng of people, onto a Subway that took us to the Upper East Side, where we exited the noise and bustle of the city, and entered the serenity that was the outskirts of Central Park covered in snow. We walked past Park Avenue, and Madison Avenue, and all was whisper quiet. It was extremely peaceful, and beautiful. Hattie slept, Honey strolled, and I snapped pictures, tasted snowflakes, and watched the local children in the distance enjoying the first full snow day. They pushed little brothers on sleds, and daddies chased toddlers down hillsides. It was such a heartwarming experience to watch the local crowd enjoy their own habitat as much as us tourists do. The snow was just as welcomed in their eyes as it was ours. I loved every part of it. Once we entered Central Park the beauty of the land just swelled and swelled. For those of you who aren’t aware, Central Park is 840 acres large. It is a massive oasis in the middle of the city. It is filled with everything imaginable, including an idyllic cafe on the edge of a small lake, donned, The Boathouse Cafe, where we were reserved to have lunch. We arrived, and literally, scooped snow from atop our hats, and scarves, while warming up with some warm cider from the most adorable copper urn. Our lunch was stellar, and the view was breathtaking. We sat in wonder as we watched the snow fall. It was such a perfect afternoon, despite the frigid cold! I’m glad we were layered well!
When we returned to the hotel Rae’s best friend from high school/college (who now lives in the city) came by to drop off her sleepover clothes, and steal Rae and I for a girl’s night. We took the Subway to a more “local” part of town (or at least it felt like it to me!) and warmed our tummy’s at a tavern that was filled with soft music, and other young adults in their mid twenties, who just wanted to relax and visit, best part-no smoke! If there was a place like this in South Louisiana, I would be so excited! A cozy establishment to sit with friends/other couples, while visiting, and not having to inhale second hand smoke the entire time sounds like heaven. One day fellow Cajuns…one day. We finally got up the nerve to venture back into the cold while Liz took us to one of her favorite restaurants, Caracas. I was so excited when we entered, because it was exactly how I imagined a “local” New York restaurant would look. There were only about 10 tables, and it was long, but narrow, the lights were dim, the ambiance was warm and inviting, and it smelt fantastic. It wasn’t until I took my first look at the menu that I realized that this was my second favorite cuisine (Cajun is my first-obviously). Venezuelan! We had a Venezuelan restaurant down the road from my college, that I would dine at once a week, if not more. On a shopping trip after graduation I stopped in for some lunch only to be informed that they had CLOSED. Such a sad, sad thing. There are no restaurants of this style within 200 miles of me either, so I crave arepas and plantains regularly. I. was. stoked. I almost choked up a little as I explained to Rae and Liz that I was about to indulge in a dream meal, and that I wanted them to know that I was going to enjoy every last bite. I had to go to their website to be able to add the link for this post, and the arepa on the cover page was pure torture to look at. To say the least, the meal was a-mazing. I licked my fingers, hailed a cab, and made my way to the hotel (my first solo cab ride-ahhhh) for some shut eye while Rae and Liz did some more lounging and caught up with one another (Hattie had only slept a few hours the night before, so I was a tired mama).
Liz even informed us that this snowfall was a big deal, especially this early in the season. It was falling faster than the city workers could keep up with, and it was COOOOOOLD. I enjoyed the snow all day long, but was saddened a bit when I was reminded by the homeless trio huddled in the Wells Fargo ATM booth outside of our hotel that the snow wasn’t a blissful blessing to everyone. I said an extra prayer for the homeless and heat-less that night, but a part of me hoped that the sidewalks were still blanketed when I woke up the next morning. The city was pretty from the start, but the city covered in snow was magnificent.
I slept like a baby when I closed my eyes, and coincidentally my baby did too.
It must have been that fairy dust.
Stay tuned for part 3!