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A Weekend Getaway in NYC

Hi everyone! How are we in March already? The past few weeks have been a blur with all of the travel we somehow packed in!  I was going to try to recap all of our fun in one giant post, but I don’t want to put anyone to sleep so I’ll start with NYC and save our Disney adventures for later.

A Weekend Getaway in NYC

My trip to New York was an early birthday present from my amazing hubby.  I’d been wanting to see Waitress since before I knew it was a real musical (true story) but was patiently waiting for it to come to Seattle.  Lee, being over-the-top kind guy that he is, decided to surprise me with a weekend in New York to see the show on Broadway with my sisters!  It was truly the trip of a lifetime.  Not only did it fulfill my dream of getting to see a play on Broadway, but to see this musical staring Sara Bareilles with my sisters was almost too good to be true!

Being all of our first times in New York, we crammed A TON of sight seeing into our two day get away! The first night we checked into our hotel, grabbed some dinner at little Italian restaurant and walked around Time Square just taking everything in.  I could not get over the bright lights!  No wonder it’s the “city that never sleeps” – it looks like broad daylight ( ok, maybe Seattle daylight ) at 2 am!

The next morning we got an early start, grabbed a bagel (of course), and decided to start our day at Grand Central Terminal.

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From there we walked to the New York Public Library (only getting a little lost along the way).  I really wasn’t expecting much but it ended up being one of my favorite attractions. The architectural detail and beautiful paintings were breathtaking, let alone the impressive collection of books!

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Next on our agenda was the Empire State Building.  The whole experience felt rather gimmicky – kind of Disney-eque, but once we got to the top I was glad we made the trek. The views were absolutely phenomenal and it just wouldn’t be a trip to New York without it.

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After that, we grabbed an Uber and drove down to Battery Park so we could catch a ferry to see the Statue of Liberty.  Our driver recommended saving some money and taking the Staten Island Ferry instead since we weren’t really interested in going to the top of the statue anyway.  The ferry ride was a nice break from all the walking and didn’t disappoint with it’s views of Lady Liberty!

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We ended up having to wait at the terminal for the next ferry back to Manhattan, which was, again, a nice break from the walking and freezing winds, but by the time we made it back we were all starving! We decided to walk to Freedom Tower ( which turned out to be a little bit further than it looked) and stopped to pay a visit at the 9/11 Memorial just outside.  I didn’t feel it was appropriate to take pictures, but the monument was a beautiful and incredible tribute to all of the men and women who lost their lives.  Standing in that place and reading the names, I couldn’t help but imagine what it would have felt like to be there that day instead of watching the chaos play out on television from the safety of my own home as I had so many years ago.  It brought a whole new level of awareness and appreciation – definitely a must see!

By the time we made it to Liberty Tower we were down right HANGRY! The lack of organization at the ticket office coupled with a little credit card snafu left me grumpy and feeling like this was going to be a waist of money.  We finally got everything straightened out and made our way to the top just in time to see the amazing 360 degree views of the city in the final glow of daylight.  We snagged a table at One Dine (the restaurant located in the observatory) and enjoyed our dinner as we watched the skyline transition from the most spectacular sunset I have ever seen to the twinkling of city lights.  With full bellies, all was right with the world again and it turned out to be money well spent after all!

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From there we, we took an Uber back to our hotel to quickly freshen up.  I was in such a hurry and so nervous about being late for the show that I accidentally left my wallet in the drivers car ( lesson learned: be super nice to your Uber drivers and tip generously so they are willing to go out of their way to return your belongings you if you happen to be spacey like me)!  Thankfully we got a hold of him and made arrangements to connect and get my wallet back after the show.  Between that mess and traffic, we ended up arriving at the theater a couple of minutes late.  I was sick to my stomach thinking we would have to wait until intermission to go in, but much to my surprise, theaters on Broadway are not nearly as stuffy as some of the local ones I’ve been to.  They allowed us to sneak in during the first song and all was well!

Our seats were amazing and I was absolutely star struck to see Sara Bareilles on stage  before me!  Not to get too sappy, but my connection with this musical is tied closely to this whole self-discovery/self-love journey that I’ve been working on.  I sat teary eyed during most of the performance but as soon as she broke into “She Used to be Mine” I lost it.  That song has taken me from a place where I, too, could no longer “recognize me” to finally realizing that now is my chance to be “reckless just enough”.  Sitting there with her belting out the lyrics that resonated deeply with me for so long felt like I had finally come full circle.

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To top off the night, we ended up standing around the cast exit while we waited for my wallet to be returned after the show and caught glimpse of Jason Mraz and Sara Bareilles as they left the theater for the night.  My sweet (and extremely loud) sister managed to get Sara’s attention yelling “you don’t have to write us a love song, just sign this!” as she reached across the crowd to hand her my playbill.  As if the night couldn’t get any better I ended up walking away with my wallet and a signature from my favorite artist!!!

The trip was truly spectacular and the three of us agreed on making a “Sister Weekend” an annual tradition.  Living away from family can be tough but it has made me appreciate opportunities like these all the more.  We may not be in and out of each others lives on a daily basis (although with FaceTime, we kind of still are) but when we get together we definitely make it count!

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