Category Archives: T R A V E L

V E R O B E A C H

Have you ever visited a place that you can’t stop thinking about when you get home? Vero is one of those places for me. Last year, Matthew had to work a tournament in Vero Beach and when we heard the word, “beach,” MC and I were “all in,”…you know to “help.” I thought that I would throw some of those “” in for MC, she just learned how to use her hands as quotation marks and she doesn’t know how to use them correctly and it is HILARIOUS!

Ok, back to Vero. Matthew found this luxury boutique resort and spa online for a great price and I wasn’t thrilled because I really wanted to stay at an old favorite about 45 minutes south. I know, first world probs! (insert rolling eyes emoji here) Anyway, he won and we checked in to Costa d’ Este Beach Resort and Spa and from that moment, I became a self-proclaimed CDE Rep. Yeah, a title that I gave myself.

If I were only given two words to describe Costa d’ Este, it would be “freaking adorable!” My favorite parts in no particular order: front desk staff, pastel lavender bikes, frozen grape skewers, pool/beach staff, free parking, that gorgeous beach, Gloria Estefan, and don’t even get me started on their Cuban French Toast! Ok, I should probably give you the low down on this list so you aren’t reading this like, “what in the world is she talking about, lavender bikes, frozen grapes and Gloria Estefan.”

Trying really hard not to start with the Cuban French Toast because I don’t want you to see my inner food obsession more than you already have so I will try my hardest to share about the food last. **Sigh**  First things first, Emilio and Gloria Estefan opened Costa d’ Este in June of 2008 and it certainly has that Cuban feel in each little detail. Speaking of Cuban, did I mention the french toast? Ahhh, I’m trying so hard!!! On our first visit, and by first visit, I mean every single second, I sang, “the rhythm is gonna getcha,” and it really got on some people’s nerves who shall remain nameless but I will give you a hint, they were the two people with me and they share my last name, ok, that’s all I will say.

Let me tell you about the front desk staff, AMAZING! They are all really amazing, so incredibly friendly, but one standout is Ana, she has a way of making you feel like family. They are honestly one of the main reasons we returned for a second visit. The front desk staff at any business will make or break you and such an important part of setting your business “tone,” in my opinion. They are your first impression and you want your first impression to be perfection. Just go see for yourself, you’ll love them.

Have you ever in your whole life seen a more adorable bike than these pastel lavender cuties? I don’t want you to get the wrong impression from this picture, I did absolutely zero exercise on this vacation, but had I wanted to, this bike would’ve been put to good use. No, my dress just matched it perfectly so it made for a great photo prop. You all know that I’m a “pink” girl and like Shelby from Steel Magnolias, it is my signature color but I’ve really been in to lavender this season. It truly has been catching my eye, hence the lavender dress. I’m so hoping that I will wake up one day and miraculously be one of those people who enjoys exercise and love exercising even on vacation. It hasn’t happened yet but here’s to holding out hope and until then, taking pics with cute props.

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Y’all, I’ve just got to go ahead and tell you about the Cuban French Toast, I just have to get it out. Although I’ve lost over 30 pounds, I’m still working out the kinks inside that are trying to sabotage (i.e. this food addiction). Until then, let me share with you this french toast. You know that I love to take pics of my food, but guys, I didn’t even have time to snap one, they are that good! That’s how you know something is amazing! I’ve started a new scale of “1 to didn’t even have time for a  food selfie.”  WOW! This homemade bread is the softest bread I’ve ever eaten, EVER, and they made it in to french toast. One thing I will warn you about, the person waiting on your table will try to tell you that it’s enough food to share, and I, too bought in to this lie. Don’t do it, don’t share. I know what they say, “sharing is caring,” but when it comes to this French Toast, “sharing is just mean.” I say this to help you because you will actually end up resenting the person you have to share with (Matthew, if you’re reading this, I love you). Just order your own, yes it’s 6 pieces, and yes, it’s too much food, and yes you’ll feel physically sick, and yes, you’ll need to “cleanse” when you get home but you’ll thank me and the person you’re with will thank me too, I just saved them from resentment and anger. I say all of that to say this, I would get in my car, drive the 10 hours just to eat this toast! Sad, but true.

I’m going to bundle the pool/beach staff and the frozen grape skewers in to one little package and leave it right here. Thinking about how much you despise packing up all of those beach towels, beach chairs, beach umbrellas, snacks, drinks and the struggle to get it all out to the beach? Not here you won’t! You don’t need a thing except some sunscreen and believe me, if you’re pasty like me, get some good cream. You literally walk out, the kind people set chairs up for you, set your umbrella up and your towels, it’s amazing. Sometimes you’ll be serenaded with live entertainment and some times you’ll have the perfect blend of beachy/Cubanesque tunes, both perfection. You’ll be sitting out for a few minutes when low and behold, a sweet little gal comes around with a tray of frozen grape skewers. Never in my life…

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A few other things that I just adore about Costa d’ Este is the fact that they don’t charge to park your car. Seriously, it may not sound like a lot but go visit a few hotels where you spend as much to park your car as you do to park your rump, and you’ll grow to really appreciate free parking. Complimentary WIFI, can we all get a “whoop whoop” for this! If you’ve ever received that dreaded text message informing you that you’re 90% data usage for the month or maybe you’ve traveled with a child who desperately needs a little netflix/headphone time (or maybe you’re the one that needs them to have a little netflix/headphone time), you will appreciate some complimentary WIFI!!! Gosh, I know that I must be leaving out so much of the goodness but trust me, you need to visit this place for yourself!

Where to eat/snack/visit within walking distance of the resort? Well, I’ve got you covered there too:

  • Do you remember last year, when I shared on my Insta that sweet little Kilwin’s Salted Caramel Lolli? Well, I haven’t had one since and I had my mind set on that little lolli as soon as I saw the “Welcome to Vero Beach” sign in the distance. You may think that all Kilwin’s are created equal but that just isn’t true! I’ve been to many and Vero Beach Kilwin’s is by far, the best! They create special goodies (i.e. the Salted Caramel Lolli, the Vero Beach Cookie, the chocolate covered Nutter Butter) that will keep you dreaming until your next Vero visit. So, let me tell you a little story of what happened yesterday. The night before, we walked to Kilwin’s (please keep in mind that I’ve waited an entire year to be reunited!) and we see, in all of their glory behind a glass case, 4 Salted Caramel Lolli’s left so Matthew says, “we’ll take all 4!” We both ate one and were saving the other two to enjoy the following day, only Matthew couldn’t wait so he went ahead and enjoyed his second lolli before bed. So, the next morning, as I began packing up, I set my other lolli off to the side so that it didn’t get smushed and let’s be honest, I really needed a pic too. Matthew sets off for his tournament and about 30 minutes later, I asked MC where my Kilwin’s bag was and she replied, “I saw Daddy take it.” Y’all, he did it! Real life, he took my other lolli! I’d like to say that I handled this situation like a sensible adult but I clearly wasn’t wearing my WWJD bracelet. So, needless to say, we marched right over as soon as he retuned, to Kilwin’s for him to replace my lolli and what did we find? You guessed it, an empty glass case! The guy behind the counter said, “you’ll have to come back tomorrow, we won’t be making them again until then.” Um, tomorrow wont work, tomorrow, I will be 10 hours away from Vero, probably still sobbing. Again, I would like to share with you how I acted like a sensible adult but I really don’t want to lie to you. If you thought there was going to be a happy ending to this story, you’re sorely mistaken, no fairytale here people, only a tale of loss and heartache.
  • Last year, MC and I went to this great little breakfast/brunch spot across the street from the resort called, The Lemon Tree. They bring little mini muffins to your table and who doesn’t love mini muffins? I mean, I typically don’t make friends with people who don’t like mini muffins. You know? Anyway, we make the decision that we’ll definitely eat there again with Matthew so he can enjoy the mini muffins too, so we all get up early, get ready, walk over only to find that they’ve decided to close on Mondays for the summer now. They obviously didn’t know that we were coming. (insert another eye rolling emoji) Good news…this the point where we try to find breakfast so we go back to the resort to discover the Cuban French Toast, so this story did have a happy ending!
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  • Matthew spotted an orange juice spot, The Countryside Citrus, on the way to dinner one night and decided to go in for a fresh squeezed orange juice the following day. I thought that it was a little odd to have a storefront for orange juice but whatevs. Before we left, we went in and they didn’t have any individual juice but they did however have what is called an Orange Juice Slush.  MC got one and we tried hers once we left the shop.  WOW! Later that day, we went in for 3 more. That girl probably thought we were crazy but daaaaaaaaang those things are good! If you’re in Vero, you gotta get one or four!
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    Need a mani in the worst way!

     

  • Last place on our little food tour, Ocean Grille. We asked for recommendations from the gals at the front desk and they named off a few. We ate at a place last year that wasn’t so great but it was on the ocean so MC enjoyed that. This year, we ate at Ocean Grille (also on the beach), the atmosphere was odd, a little dark but the food was great and the service was too. Not the greatest seafood that I’ve ever had but still pretty good.

So, after reading this, I hope you’ve learned that Costa d’ Este is the greatest place to stay, real friends eat mini muffins and Cuban French Toast is one of the greatest things ever to eat in the history of forever and the rhythm really is gonna getcha.

 

S O U R C E S : 

 

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Leaving on a jet plane…

 

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Right this moment, well, I guess not the moment that you’re reading this but the moment that this post is being typed, I am 34,986.9 ft in the air. Have I ever told you before that I don’t enjoy flying? If I haven’t, allow me to inform you now that I don’t enjoy flying.   I began flying alone at a very early age to spend summers in Jersey with my sister and I loved it. It was so exciting, navigating my way through the airport, crossing my fingers that no one was sitting beside me so that I could put my feet in the seats next to me, and seeing the familiar faces greeting me as I walked off the plane. Now, none of this is fun…navigating my way through the airport is an absolute nightmare, the seats in the airplanes these days are so small that even if the entire row of passengers failed to show up, my legs would hang off at the knee, and there are no more smiling faces greeting me after new regulations were put in place for our safety. But, I really stopped loving to fly on May 19, 2008, it was the day that I held my baby girl in my arms for the first time. Something happened inside of me when I became a mom that I cannot explain and I suddenly became cautious. Before May 19, 2008, you couldn’t keep me from adventure: cliff diving, bungee jumping off bridges, rollercoasters, you name it, I would be the first in line…not these days. These days, you’ll find me, pulling that seatbelt a little tighter, lathering on SPF 1.2 million and profiling every person that comes near.

On an airplane, I’m all, “Excuse me mam, does the engine sound funny to you? The engine sounds a little funny, don’t you think? No? That’s normal? Oh ok.” **flight attendant smiles politely** “Excuse me again, did you see that guy two rows up? The one with the beard? If you don’t mind, will you run go check the Official U.S. Watchlist for his name? Thank you. Oh, he is just a Duck Dynasty fan? Thank you for checking.” **flight attendant rolls her eyes as she walks away and I give a nervous laugh** “Excuse me Robin (because we are now on a first name basis), I noticed that you have a nervous look on your face, is one of the wings on fire? No? Oh, ok. I‘ve just been watching you through the turbulence and you looked a little nervous to me. Sorry to bother you Robin.” **Robin now whispers to the other flight attendants while pointing at me and I wave thinking we’re friends.** “Excuse me Ro…” ** Robin must have earbuds in because she can’t hear me anymore, that’s weird.**

Can we talk about flight delays for a moment? Why does it seem like every flight is as late as my husband is everywhere we go? Why don’t they just go ahead and give themselves the 50 extra minutes they always seem to need and if they do show up on time, they could say, “surprise, we’re early, we’ll just sit here and wait on you for 50 minutes for a change.”

To finish this blog post off, I’m sharing with you what I like to call “tips,” for your next trip.

 *Delecta’s Somewhat Decent Tips on Flying:

  1. Don’t fly if you don’t have to. My go-to method of travel is by car…      Matthew behind the wheel, Spotify playlist on shuffle, and my phone on with the sweetest three letters I know, LTE, at the top. No turbulence and no profiling. Don’t gasp, unfortunately, we have to think about these things these days people.
  2. Smile, smiling’s my favorite. When I arrive at the gate, I always do a “once over,” you know to check all of my fellow passengers out. If any of them have “the look,” I give them a really sweet smile, in the event, a little kindness might change their mind if they are planning anything stupid. Did you just roll your eyes like Robin? Ok, a smile is most likely not going to change much, but I still give it a go.
  3. Pack light. If you travel with Matthew Rollins, you don’t get to check bags. It’s true, we carry on, always! Once, we flew to London for 10 days and took only a carry on bag each. Can you believe that? Yeah, I can’t either, but we did it. The pros actually do outweigh the cons when it comes to traveling with just a carry-on bag. Do you want the pros or cons first? Ok, let’s go with cons so we can finish on a good note.
    • My personal “Carry-on Cons” :
      • My shampoo and conditioner is the biggest challenge, this white hair will fall out if I use some hotel shampoo that is good for “all hair types.” You’ve got to be kidding me, “all hair types,” even the hair that is hanging on for dear life due to excessive bleaching? Now, I know that you’re all shocked to find out that I’m not a natural blonde, cough cough but it’s true. And, I know that someone reading this is going to leave a comment below to mention that they have travel containers meant for shampoo and conditioner but let me stop you right there, I haven’t found one yet that doesn’t leak. Maybe, some kind reader will invent the first travel container that doesn’t leak for me?
      • Another “carry-on con” is all the looks that you get when you smack every person in the face with your bags as you walk down an aisle designed for a toddler all the way to the last seats on the plane, which is where we always seem to end up, which I whole heartedly blame on Robin.
      • Also a huge challenge for me is trying to stuff enough outfits in a carry-on bag that will give me enough outfit options based on my mood that day. For example, what if I pack jeans but I wake up and I just cant fathom the idea of all of the sweating it will take to get those jeans on or what if there is a cute graffiti wall that needs to be instagrammed but I only have tops that clash? It’s a real struggle people!
      • Your luggage never gets lost! Now, I know you’re thinking, “why is this not on the pros list?” Well, it is, it’s on both. Did you know if a carrier loses your luggage and it isn’t returned to you within 24 hours, they have to give you money for the lost contents? NEW CLOTHES PEOPLE!!! Sure you may have to wear the same clothes for a day or two until you’re reimbursed and yes, you may have to sit by the door praying that they don’t find your luggage on hour 23 but just think about the shopping spree you could potentially be on tomorrow!
    • My personal “Carry-on Pros” :
      • Your luggage doesn’t get lost! There it is again, she is lovely on the “pros” list too isn’t she? So, not much to say here except you have your clothes and toothbrush for the night…I’m starting to feel like this fits better on the cons list.
      • You can actually eat on your trip because you save on luggage fees. I cannot believe how airlines have started charging $50/bag. This is outrageous! You could easily pay more for luggage than your actual ticket which is just plain rude if you ask me. I mean, the luggage has to pay that much money to board the plane but they don’t get priority boarding, they don’t get to choose their seat number, in fact, they don’t even get a seat, they get carelessly thrown on to the bottom of the plane by Steve who is just ready to get home for the day. Steve doesn’t give a flying flip that those bags paid more to be on that flight that the guy in seat 21E.
      • You never have to go down to baggage claim for an extra hour to wonder if your luggage is going to be on the roundabout or not. You can just walk out bumping those same people down the aisle on the way out. JK, if you’re like us, you will be the last ones off the plane because you’re in the last seat in the back.
      • You get to purchase a super cute carry-on bag because your husband wants you to carry on so that justifies the purchase. Check out these cuties from Target!

So, there you have it, doesn’t this make you want to go purchase a ticket for a bazillion bucks just to be terrified until those wheels hit the runway? You’re welcome.

 

…it’s Christmastime in the city.

I’ve always dreamt of visiting NYC at Christmas. In my mind, it was so magical. So many movies further ignited my love for Christmas in the city,  Serendipity, Miracle on 34th Street, Home Alone 2, Elf, and don’t forget Elouise. I just had to see it for myself!

Growing up, holidays were made so special by the traditions that my mom created with us. My memories of every birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, always included her doing what she did best, hosting.  My mom suddenly passed away this year and I remember immediately thinking about the holidays. I decided to skip them, all of them, starting with Thanksgiving. I informed Matthew that we would be going away for Thanksgiving this year and pretending that it didn’t even happen…no turkey, no dressing, no parade, no smiling, it was going to be loads of fun. As November grew closer and closer, I think he realized that I was serious and suggested that we not skip Thanksgiving and maybe see New York at Christmas.  I suddenly decided that maybe a little turkey, some dressing, and a few smiles might not be impossible to get through if it meant seeing the city all dressed up for Christmas. So, we started planning.

We decided that we would go the first week of December, right after the lighting of the tree and we would ice skate at Rockefeller, and see the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City, and drink frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity, and dance in all of the snow…yeah, most of that didn’t happen.  For one, we didn’t end up going the first week of December because the hotel prices were just plain mean.  We waited and the prices started to drop as December went on and we ended up on the week of Christmas which was even more magical! Also, can we talk about the snow, wow El Nino, way to ruin some of the magic with your 60 degree NYC weather in December. So, the snow was marked off the list after much much much prayer that God would somehow change the temps. But, if you’ll keep reading, you can see what we did get to mark off of the list.

– P L A N N I N G   Y O U R   T R I P   T O   N Y C:

* GETTING THERE: First things first, how will you get there?  Car, plane, train?  We enjoy driving, most of the time it is less expensive for a family of three and you get to enjoy seeing more along the way and it’s only a 12 hour drive for us.  …but driving isn’t for everyone! Sometimes, you can get  a really great deal on airfare, and sometimes you have a child that doesn’t ride well, and sometimes you live a little too far to justify driving.  Other things you have to consider when driving are gas and tolls.  The car you drive makes a huge difference when considering the amount of money you will spend on the trip. Does it get good gas mileage?  The route you take to the city is extremely important, we have travelled there before without knowing and spent $100 in tolls, ONE WAY!  This time, we went about 45 minutes out of the way and paid around $10.

*STAYING THERE:  There are two bazillion hotels in NYC, so you definitely have choices. We’ve stayed in several different areas on the city before in several different hotels but this trip was definitely our favorite. We initially thought we wanted to stay at The Plaza because well, Kevin from Home Alone stayed there and Elouise obviously lives there so it had to be spectacular.  You want to know what else is spectacular about the The Plaza? The price! It was well over $900/night for a standard room in December. No thank you.  We use Priceline, Expedia, and Trip Advisor ALOT when traveling. If you use it the right way, you can get unbelievable deals on your stay.  This trip, Priceline won and we ended up staying at Loews Regency NYC on Park Avenue across from Central Park, a five star hotel for VERY little! The people were unbelievable, so accommodating, so friendly, and our room was stunning. Sometimes you have to give up some of the niceties as a Priceline guest of the hotel, for instance, you will most likely be next to the elevator or have a handicap accessible bathroom or have a beautiful view of the parking lot. …and have you ever seen the hotel rooms in NYC? Micro, teeny, tiny, itty bitty, however you say it, they small! …but Loews Regency showed out by giving us a Park Avenue view, huge (for NY) room that was absolutely beautiful. They even provided umbrellas for us and it was a good thing they did because my weave in the rain…yikes! Needless to say, we will be booking Loews Regency for future NYC visits.IMG_9330 4.JPG

*WHAT TO EAT:
Food is always a challenge for us when traveling to NYC because of the astronomical prices. They value their food! This time, I did some research and found some hidden gems thanks to some adorable IG users that live in the city. Our favorites?

  1. Dominique Ansel Bakery:  let me just say two words, cookie + shot!  This gem was a dream! DREAM! If you walk, it’s a haul, but so worth it. Can I just explain what the cookie shot is? It’s like you’re getting high-fives from Heaven, thats what it’s like! Close your eyes and imagine a chocolate chip cookie that is better than your imagination will allow in the form of a shot glass…WARM! Then imagine it is lined with chocolate and then imagine them pouring cold milk in the center. Heavenly high-fives!!! I just wish that I could explain it. I haven’t stopped thinking about it since.  Hurry up, drink the milk, because that warm cookie is about to soak it all up.  *Things you should note about the bakery: they start serving the cookie shots after 3 PM but their other creations are divine as well, i.e. the frozen s’more, (black truffle ice cream covered in chocolate feuilletine and honey marshmallow, torched to order and served on a smoked willow branch, fresh to order warm madeleines, and the Cronut (cross between croissant and donut). Don’t be in a hurry, you WILL wait in line…for a long while! The DAB people are so friendly, seriously, they all were kind to us even though they were so incredibly busy. You just have to go! You have to! Seriously, go!12391054_845892688216_4500238167307239758_n
  2. Tompkins Square Bagels: allow me to inform you that they have sprinkles in their cream cheese. I could stop at that sentence and it would be enough to make any human dart off to NYC just for a bagel, but there’s more! They make their bagels fresh every hour!!! Obviously, I knew that I would get the birthday cake cream cheese on plain bagel but Matthew wasn’t feeling rainbow sprinkles for some reason. My suggestions, ask the TSB people and they will create you something special. They made Matthew a Bacon Egg and Cheese with chive cream cheese on a fresh everything bagel.  Delicious! Did I tell you about how kind everyone was in this place? I mean, we basically became BFF with the owner and almost convinced him to move to Greenville. I’m telling you, this is a place that you cannot pass up on your NYC visit. Things you should know: you WILL wait in line but that just means it’s that good! Also, you WILL walk a ton to get here if you don’t take a cab, also worth the walk. You get to see so much more of the city, parts of the city that you’d never see if you don’t take the cab and you save a ton of money.

  3. Tacombi on Bleecker Street: get ready for the CUTEST little authentic mexican joint you ever did see.  This little piece of cuteness will be so kind to your wallet too, the Crispy Fish taco is just $4.49 and might I suggest adding the Panucho De Lechon taco, a great suggestion from our waiter. Also, you’ll want to wash those tacos down with fresh Horchata made right there on the spot.  The atmosphere was perfection and the food was right there with it. Everything about this place has us wanting more.

  4. The Lobster Place at Chelsea Market: Whether you want fresh lobster, shrimp, delicious chowder or sushi, this is your place. It won’t empty your wallet and the CM atmosphere is one of our favorites. We ended up with three different chowders (lobster was the family favorite), fried shrimp and chips, and a lobster roll…all delicious, not life changing, but delicious. On your way out, walk across the hall to Amy’s Bread for dessert.

  5. Amy’s Bread: Raise your hand if you love carbs! *hand raised over here! This is where all of the cool carbs hang out and you want to hang out with the cool carbs. You have to get a piece of her Yellow Cake with Pink Frosting, thats actually what it’s called and that’s actually what it is. You just gotta get it!

  6. Serendipity3: If you want reservations for next December, go ahead and call this week. The shop is small and you will be waiting forever to enjoy a frozen hot chocolate. We ended up having to leave the line because the wait was so long and I did shed one tear on my left cheek like in the soap operas but I still survived and vowed to go back on our next visit.

You may think to yourself, “did they just eat sweets the whole trip?” I’m not ashamed to say, yes, we ate sweets the whole time. Food is FUN…until it hits those buns.

*WHERE TO VISIT: When people ask me what we did while we were there, I have to think, “what in the world did we do?” We did a whole lotta lookin’ and a whole lotta walking’!

  1. The ginormous window displays and sidewalks around the city are reason enough to walk, they are too unbelievable to even explain, some of them are even interactive. You have to see them for yourself. Macy’s honored the anniversary of Charlie Brown and created window displays that could hold your attention for hours.Just walk around with no place else to be, that’s the best part. No itinerary in the city that never sleeps! FREE!8761_845893331926_8390590336446131240_n
  2. The light show at Saks Fifth Avenue was something to behold. You can hear and see from miles away that something spectacular is going on. There are thousands of people crowded to watch, its like the entire city stops while it’s going on so if you are like me and not great in crowds, prepare yourself and stand a little further away to experience the splendor! FREE!saks-fifth-avenue
  3. The Radio City Christmas Spectacular was one of my favorite things we did. It was spectacular indeed. We didn’t purchase tickets prior to our visit like most planners would naturally do and I am really glad that we didn’t.  We spoke the Concierge at Loews Regency and he suggested that we go to the Radio City Ticket Office for the best prices.  We went up expecting to sit in the last row of the third mezzanine for $80/person but the kind soul behind the glass gave us Row 12, orchestra, in front of the stage and he will forever be in my heart for it. The show was breathtaking and they even had a live nativity which made me a little “teary.” Don’t even get me started about when it started snowing in the place! Finally got the snow I prayed for. It was a beautiful show that I will definitely go to again.10155736_845892523546_3077689505502997253_n
  4. Ice Skating: ok, here’s where I become heartbroken all over again. Ice skating is so expensive in NYC, no matter where you go. Several people suggested that we skate in Central Par or Bryant Park but if I was going to skate, it was going to be in front of that gold statue at Rockefeller. It was $200 so we opted out of the ice skating for this year. You will see a pic of us in front of that gold statue next year though!1238_845893117356_5381975591535480748_n.jpg
  5. Chelsea Market is one of our favorite places to visit. With it’s old brick exposed walls, pretty string lights in the archway, and adorable little pop up shops and restaurants, it’s a must! While you’re there, eat a little something from the list above. You will not be disappointed.1653467_845893616356_2359600006316481210_n
  6. The Today Show: if you can drag yourself out of bed after all of the eating and walking, you have to visit The Today Show. I can’t say for sure about the other anchors, but Willie Geist was one of the nicest people we’ve met. He carried on conversations with everyone without acting like he was busy or in a hurry and took pics with us, talked to MC and told us about his daughter that is the same age. If you want a good spot, you’ll need to get there around 6:30 AM. We didn’t, but still enjoyed being there. If you want to make it on camera, take a cute baby with you, they love cute babies!1936882_845892842906_3870814143636169236_n.jpg
  7. Santa – there are many Santas in NYC and they say that the Macy’s still houses the “real Santa.” I’m sorry, but the real Santa you will find at The Plaza Hotel.  The Macy’s Santa setup looks like Gatlinburg, TN and while I love visiting Gatlinburg, it isn’t something you’d expect from NYC. It just wasn’t at all what I imagined and really doesn’t fit with the vibe Macy’s puts off at Christmas which is amazing. So, we found the real Santa at The Plaza and he was so kind and we walked right up, no line and he immediately took baby girl by the hand and they chatted about all things Christmas. He told her all about Jimmy coming to him each night to tell him how good she had been and they talked about the new toys he had made. It was truly magical.10458438_845893187216_243457503073602909_n
  8. Stroll through Central Park…during the day! Or, get proposed to near the bridge. FREE!12391409_845893062466_8885424193046016274_n
  9. Dylan’s Candy Store – Every child’s dream and every parent’s nightmare, a three story candy store!  The floor is even made from candy, it’s insane. I’m talking, modern day Willy Wonka Factory folks that you have to see for yourself!M

We had so much fun on our trip and we crashed when we got home…already planning another trip for next December. Maybe we’ll find a few new spots, but we’ll definitely return to our favorite spots for sure.  Y’all pack your bags and let’s just all go together next year! Deal?  If you happen to go before our group trip next year, be sure to post your pics in the comments, I’d love to pretend that I was with you. …and you have any questions, feel free to ask.

 

 

 

 

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