Hey, guys! I just got back from my spring break trip to NYC with my mom, and it was amazing!!!! This was my second trip to the big city, my first time took place when I was seven-years old during Christmas. Back then, I was not a big fan of large cities and crowds, so New York at that time was really overwhelming. But now that I am more mature and adventurous, going back to the Big Apple was a must! I finally got to explore the city more and see everything I have always dreamed about seeing in person! NYC is just a great city with a large atmosphere, and it could never get boring. There's so much to love about the culture: fashion, food, lifestyle, business, etc. It's like entering a whole new world!
My mom and I left Ohio at about five in morning to catch our flight to Newark. I am no morning person, but I had the motivation to wake up and get ready to visit the biggest city in the world! We arrived at about 7 to 7:30 am and dropped off our stuff in the Marriott. It was a very nice hotel, our room had a great view and had one king-sized bed which was big enough to fit both me and my mom. We dropped off our stuff and went straight to Rockefeller Plaza, but of course we had to make a quick stop to Starbucks first. Rockefeller is the filming location for many NBC shows such as The Today Show, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Saturday Night Live, Late Night With Seth Meyers, and so much more. I bought a Friends beanie hat and a Jimmy Fallon T-shirt which I am very happy about! We then went to the Top of the Rock and checked out the amazing view of the city. It was so cool, I could have never imagined so many buildings! We also saw an incredible view of Central Park in the middle of the city. Everything just looked so cool from such a big height! My dad would not be too happy with being that high up ...
After Top of the Rock and an organic lunch, we shopped at Anthropologie where I bought a super cute Saraid dress for spring which I bought for an awesome deal (I promise to share it on my fashion blog soon!). Afterwards, we went to Times Square to look around and check out some stores. There were so many big stores and advertisements for practically anything. It was so big, almost bigger than I imagined it would be! It was so cool to see the place where everyone watches the sparkly ball drop every single New Year in person, too. It felt like I was actually stepping into the New Years party, except less crowded and crazy!
After Times Square, my mom took me to the large Macy's store, where they hold the Thanksgiving Day Parade every year, and Urban Outfitters right before we went back to our hotel to freshen up. We took on our Saturday night by going out to a fancy & cute Italian restaurant and then, one of our biggest highlights of the trip, Aladdin on Broadway!!!!!
Aladdin was incredibly spectacular, it was one of the best musicals I have ever seen! The music was amazing, the choreogrophy was perfectly done right, and the colors & scenery looked so beautiful. My favorite part about the show was the cast. James Monroe Iglehart, who played the Genie, was absolutely talented and hilarious, I couldn't stop laughing! Adam Jacobs and Courtney Reed were both perfect as Aladdin and Jasmine. What was so exciting was that the guy who played Jafar, Jonathan Freeman, had played the original Jafar in the 1992 animated movie. How crazy is that?! Something that only Disney fans can truly appreciate ....
Day Two, my mom and I had a healthy breakfast at the hotel, grabbed some coffee from Starbucks, and headed over to Battery Park to get on the boat to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Both islands were very intriguing and historical. Ellis Island was interesting because that was the place my great grandmother had to stay right after coming to America from Italy. It was the same place where she met my deceased great grandfather, who was also an Italian immigrant. It was a little weird stepping into the same place where my great grandmother once stood when she was my age, but at the same time was so meaningful! She and my great grandfather had went through so much to bring my family to where we are now, and we are very thankful and blessed for them!
Once our boat took us back to Battery Park, we walked past Wall Street and headed for the 9/11 Memorial. This was one of the attractions I just had to see. Even though I was quite young at the time the devastating event happened, I think we would all agree that it has an impact on all of our lives. It will always be an event, whether we remember it or not, that we will never forget at heart.
We saw the Freedom Tower, which was built after the tragic events and is now the only World Trade Center building. We got to look at the two fountains that marked where the original Twin Towers once stood and toured the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. As I looked around at all the exhibits, all I could think about how unimaginable it was to believe that such a tragic event could ever exist, just like the Holocaust or all of the historical wars and revolutions to ever exist. I just could not imagine what it would be like to be in a situation as a witness or a victim. I continue to pray for the lost lives and for the people who lost their loved ones.
We went back to our hotel at about three or four to freshen up for another night out. This time, we went to Greenwich Village for dinner and to walk around. The district was so cute, I loved all the old-fashioned apartments and little urban shops. Greenwich is also a village where some celebrities reside, but unfortunately we didn't see any ...
We ate at a little restaurant called Little Owl which was so good! My mom loved her meal, which in my guess was a lamb mixed with lasagna, or something similar. I had an egg risotto, which was basically creamy rice mixed with egg yolk. I love both eggs and rice, so it was perfect!
Our biggest highlight of that night was, of course, climbing the Empire State Building and checking our the amazing skyline view of the Big Apple at night. It looked so beautiful, just as I dreamed it would be! I love city skylines, especially when every building is lit up like stars. Everything from that point of view looked fantastic, NYC is truly the city that never sleeps!
On our third and last day (sigh), we went out for a quick breakfast right after taking a little peak at The Morning Show (I think we got to see Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie from behind!). We also saw a funeral going on at St. Patrick's Cathedral for a police officer who was killed while on duty. There were over a hundred police officers who were there to honor him. It was so sad, I continue to keep his family, friends, and co-workers in my prayers.
Afterwards, we grabbed some Starbucks and headed to Midtown West, where Central Park, the Love Sculpture, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art were located.
Central Park was one of my favorite highlights from the entire trip. I have always wanted to see Central Park in person. It was so beautiful and full of nature, and what made it better was the warm and sunny weather! I loved climbing the enormous rocks, walking on bridges over the shiny lake waters, and watching people walk around with their friends or dogs. Every detail about the park and landscape was enchanting, one of the best hikes/walks I have ever went on!
One of my mom and I's favorite parts of Central Park was getting to see the fountain where the characters danced around in the intro song of Friends. The water wasn't running, so we actually got to stand and sit in it! If only Rachel, Phoebe, Joey, Chandler, Ross, and Monica were there to join in on the fun with us ...
After walking around Central Park, my mom really wanted to check out the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which is one of New York's most popular museums. Even though I am not a fan of world history, I do like to tour museums and look at old architecture from centuries ago. This museum had really cool exhibits from the Italian Renaissance, the Middle Ages, and ancient Egypt. Hopefully learning about these historical events will help me pass my history final!
To sum up our trip, we stopped at Times Square one last time and then checked out St. Patrick's Cathedral, once the funeral was over. It was such a beautiful and holy church, it felt like I was at a church in Italy! After lighting some candles and saying a few prayers, we picked up all of our stuff from our hotel and left for the airport to catch a flight back to Ohio!
I really wish we could have stayed in the city for the rest of spring break, but I am glad I got to see everything I wanted to see. Just the fact that I finally got to explore the city I have always wanted to see with my awesome mother is a dream come true, and I will cherish this memory forever more. And of course this will not be my last trip to NYC. Who knows, maybe someday I'll become a professional blogger and published author and will have a nice Soho apartment with a great view of the city! :)
So much thanks to my beautiful and wonderful mother (aka Melissa) for planning this awesome trip for just the two of us and showing me around the big city. New York City really is like a whole different world, and I can't wait to go back someday soon! :)