This was the big year when I was turning 30, and since I’m a December baby and love all the decorations during Christmastime, I decided I wanted to celebrate in New York City!  It worked out that my birthday was on a Saturday, so we took Friday off and flew up for the weekend for Hunter’s first NYC experience and my first one during the holidays!

After checking in, we basically dropped our bags off, put coats on and went walking!  Our hotel was really close to Grand Central, so we walked to Bryant Park first, then hopped over to Rockefeller Center – basically looking at all the big trees!  We decided to get tickets to Top of the Rock from recommendations from friends and then walked around the area while waiting for our time.

Naturally that meant we were going to see the big tree. Guys, I had a huge smile the second I saw the tree. It’s seriously HUGE.  We took some photos, watched the ice skaters below, then headed in to go to the top of Rockefeller! I didn’t realize this, but Top of the Rock includes 3 level of views,  we slowly made our way up to each one and looked out over the city from all sides.  Knowing how large central park was really gave you perspective to how large Manhattan is.  I also couldn’t get over the number of buildings, especially tall ones.  In Charleston you can’t be taller than church steeples, so you forget how tall some can be!

Once we were back on the ground, we walked over to Times Square and meandered back through the streets on the way back to the hotel to relax for a little bit before dinner.

The best surprise was my family sending us some champagne to enjoy!  We literally kicked up our feet, had a glass and relaxed after all the walking.  Thanks, Mom, L &D!

I got a reservation at an Italian place for dinner on Friday, Ninos 46.  I loveeeee Italian food and definitely wanted some while we were up there.  The place was fairly close to the hotel so we walked over and into a cute little restaurant.  We had some wine and both got spaghetti and meatballs. There’s just something about delicious, fresh, amazing Italian that I cannot say no to and this place hit the spot.At this point, we were only a few blocks away from Rockefeller Center again and yall knew I had to see the tree in all of it’s glory at night – crowds or not.  It was definitely crowded, but it was BEAUTIFUL.  There were lights and excitement in the air from everyone just in the holiday spirit – I was so happy (hence all the !! in this post too).

As we were leaving, we happened to walk by Saks which had just started a light show on the outside of their building.  It’s amazing what you can do with some lights choreographed to music on the side of a building!

As we were walking back in the general area of our hotel, we spotted a cute place called Annie Moore’s near Bryant Park and the library so hung out there for a few drinks.  Then we slowly made our way back to the hotel, enjoying all the city’s lights and decorations.

Saturday morning I bought tickets to go to see the One World Observatory. I hadn’t been down to see the 9/11 memorial yet so it seemed like a great idea to see both at once.  Well.. we woke up (on my birthday nonetheless) and it was SNOWING.  Living in Charleston, you get some flurries every few years, so this was super exciting for me.  Christmas lights in the big city and snow?!

We bundled up, hopped on the subway and headed to lower manhattan.  When we went in One World Trade, they said there was 0 visibility and we could get a raincheck, but we were here and honestly I doubted that it was truly 0 visibility.  We’d at least see snow on buildings, right?

Wrong. It was honestly hilarious what little view there was. We basically had a 360 degree view of white walls, with some snow flurries hitting the windows occasionally.  We couldn’t stop laughing and were pretty happy we decided to do Top of the Rock the day before.  You’d never know there’s a massive city down there..

After hanging out there for a little bit and learning about NYC, we headed out and over to the memorial.  This was probably the one time I was cold and the snow and wind were pounding us, so we didn’t stay there as long as I would have liked to, but it was still very emotional and meaningful.

At this point one of my best friends from home had gotten into Manhattan to meet us so we hopped on the subway back to Grand Central and met Katie in the terminal.  We spent the next few hours back at Annie Moore’s having lunch and just catching up in a nice and warm restaurant, watching the snow fall outside.  Thanks for coming to see us, KTJ!

Soon enough it was time to head to Miss Lily’s for a Jamaican dinner with one of my college best friends, Alex, plus Hunter’s sister and her boyfriend.  We enjoyed a delicious dinner – the wings were delicious – and drinks (thanks T9 for the rosé!) then headed to another spot nearby for drinks and for me to play in the snow on the way.

Sunday we slept in and then headed to the airport to make the trek back home.  Thank you to everyone who made my weekend so special!  I had a blast exploring the city, seeing all the lights and decorations and seeing some of my favorite people!

30 is off to a great start 🙂

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