(Almost) Christmas in NYC

This post is ridiculously long, but I loved every single second of our trip and want to remember as much as possible!

We left home on Thursday morning, not quite as early as we planned but isn't that always the way it goes? We finally hit the road around 9am and had a 7.5 hour drive ahead of us. The drive took longer than expected also - we had hoped to make it in time to enter the lottery for tickets to The Book of Mormon that night. When we figured out we wouldn't make it, I got on StubHub on my phone and was able to purchase tickets. They were pricy, but we had seats in the front row and paid under face value even with fees included, so even though they were expensive they were a good deal.

We stayed in Brooklyn at a place we found through AirBnB, and had just enough time to drop the car off at the building, get our show tickets printed, and catch a train to Manhattan. Once we got to Broadway we had a quick dinner at a cafe before it was time for the show!

Our seats were the first two in the front row of the orchestra section. I had never been to a Broadway show before, and I loved the experience of sitting that close! I'm sure there were better views straight-on in other sections, but I loved that the actors were literally right.there. We could also see into the orchestra pit. I thought it was neat being able to see some behind-the-scenes things we wouldn't have seen in a different section.

The show itself was phenomenal! I was thoroughly entertained and thought it definitely lived up to the hype. It was a bit crude at some points, but that was to be expected. I'm definitely glad we made the choice to see this show, because it was something we both had wanted to do for a long time.

After the show, since we were already in Midtown, we walked to Times Square and Rockefeller Center. Everything was so pretty lit up, especially the tree!

Around 10:30 we made it back to our place and saw it for the first time and met the host. The apartment was gorgeous, amazing views of Manhattan. The host was Australian and super nice and hospitable. We were hungry so he recommended a late-night spot a few blocks away. I think we finally got to bed around 1am - long day but so much fun already!

Friday we slept in a little bit. We had no concrete plans until around 5:30, and we weren't sure what we wanted to do. We headed into Midtown again planning to your NBC studios, but the next available tour wasn't for another hour. Instead we decided to do Top of the Rock, which was truthfully the better decision. What a view!

After Top of the Rock we started walking to Niketown, but on the way I spotted a Zara and went in. I got a jacket I've had bookmarked on my computer for 3 months, and it was on sale, score! I spent more money than I should have at Nike, but...it's Nike, and I love it. Oh well.

I started getting some pain in my knee this week, so next we went in search of a running store so I could get a brace for it (I was worried about all the walking I was doing in shoes that were not made for walking). I tried a tri shop first, no luck, but they directed me to a running shop nearby. At first the boy who showed me where the knee braces were was completely unhelpful, but then another girl came to help and she was awesome! She actually discouraged me from using a brace and gave me some free strips of KT tape instead and recommended her favorite reflexologist in the city to me. I didn't have enough time for it before my run (she recommended 72 hours, or at least 48, and I only had about 36), but it is something I plan to look into at home. 

After the running store we made a stop in Chelsea before heading back to the apartment. We ate lunch at Chelsea Market (and saw Google on the way there - nerd husband says heyyy) and walked the Highline. I really loved what we saw of Chelsea!

Afterward we went back to Brooklyn to get ready for the real reason we came to New York in the first place. One of our favorite bands since high school, Brand New, announced last month that they were going to play two shows, two full albums at each show. We got tickets to the first night, in Long Island.

Getting there included me having to pee is some bushes outside a 7-11 because they had no restroom, and that should have been an omen that my expectations would continue to fail to be met the rest of the night. The show was good, in some ways great even, but we didn't end up seeing what we (and the entire venue) thought we'd be seeing, and unfortunately that kind of ruined the whole experience. I wish I could have enjoyed it more, I was just shocked and confused that it went down the way it did.

We made it back to Brooklyn at nearly 1am and went straight to bed.

Saturday morning we were lazy again and had nothing on our agenda for the day. After we got ready we decided to go to Williamsburg and tour Brooklyn Brewery. We got to the brewery about 45 minutes before the next tour, so we took some time to walk around and explore Williamsburg. We walked to a really nice waterfront part and sat there for a few minutes before heading back to the brewery for our tour. The tour was short but quite informative and interesting! Afterward we hung out in the bar area and finished our beers, bought a couple of beer glasses, and left.

After the tour we walked a few blocks to a movie dinner theater called the Nitehawk. It is based on my father-in-law's dinner theater, The Commodore, and the owners worked closely with him to open their theater. We had never been, so we went and got a short tour of the theater, which was quite lovely!

Our plan next was to go back to Manhattan and go to the MoMA. On the walk to the subway we stopped so I could buy a scarf and ring from a street vendor. For some reason, I was really excited about doing so.

We got to the MoMA with about 2 hours until closing time, and since we were starving, our first stop was the cafe in the museum. We figured we had enough time to hit 2 floors of the museum, which were the 2 we really wanted to see anyway. We saw so many amazing works of art! It was completely overwhelming and I was on sensory overload, but it was an awesome experience. 

After the MoMA we got on the train and headed uptown. Our first stop was to see the diner from Seinfeld - we took a quick selfie and then left, because we are not weird and awkward at all. We ate dinner a few blocks away at a tiny but amazing Italian restaurant (I had to have my pre-long run meal of garlic basil linguine). At dinner, I was able to cross something off my bucket list - we left a $100 tip for our waiter! I don't know why, but this is something I have wanted to do for a while, but never really found myself with the right opportunity. Our waiter wasn't even ridiculously incredible or anything, but I think we were just so happy to be in New York together, to be fortunate enough to just...be in that moment, that we wanted to share the love and make someone's holiday. 

By the time we finished we were completely exhausted. We headed back to Brooklyn where I ate my pre-run dessert of Cheerios before passing out.

Sunday was our last day in New York, and I was up early to get ready for my 14 mile run! My first guide met me in the lobby of the apartment, and we ran through Brooklyn and over the Williamsburg Bridge to meet my second guide. From there we went across the Manhattan Bridge back to Brooklyn, over the Brooklyn Bridge, through lower Manhattan and ended in SoHo. I was physically beat by the end but it was worth it. I got to get in my run AND see so much of the city, doesn't get better than that! We had some train changes that prevented us from getting back as soon as we would have liked, but we finally made it back to Brooklyn to pack up. Before we left, I was starving and wanted breakfast (at 1pm), so we hit up a diner about 3/4 of a mile from our apartment. I ordered a ton of food, and it was completely perfect and amazing. And with that, we headed back home!

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