Tuesday, August 2, 2011

New York, New York for the Holidays

I had the privilege of spending a few days in New York City last year just before Christmas. I hadn't been to New York since I was a child and was really looking forward to seeing it decorated for the Holidays! I was not disappointed.

My son had made all the arrangements as a Christmas gift for me and it was over the top. We had a lovely corner suite at the Gaansevoort Hotel right on Park Avenue. Everything about the Gaansevoort was wonderful. The staff were attentive and professional. The hotel was decorated beautifully for the Holidays, and our suite was beautiful. They had even embroidered my initials on the pillow cases on the king sized bed.

I had a few things which were on my Bucket List, but the main one was to take a carriage ride in Central Park. The weather was icy cold, but felt appropriate for the season. We took a cab down to the park and hired a carriage. The ride was wonderful. The views were spectacular, and people were skating on the pond in the Park. It made it seem so much like a Christmas card.

After our carriage ride, we walked back toward downtown to do a little window shopping. The decorations all over the City were spectacular, and all around Radio City we took many, many pictures. We went shopping at Bloomingdales and bought a few souvenirs.

My son had arranged for us to go to China Town and check out the shopping there. As we walked down the street we were approached by shop owners "you want Gucci? you want Rolex?"...and street vendors with all kinds of wonderful street food were in abundance. We however, walked around the corner and went to Lombardi's Pizza for coal fired oven cooked pizza! Was great. It is a wonderful experience when you go to New York. We took the Subway to experience riding it and really got a taste of New York. My husband was fascinated with the architecture, and I was fascinated with all the people!

We had breakfast the next morning at Les Halles, a little French place across the street from the Gaansevoort. The atmosphere was wonderfully French, and the food was wonderful. Once again, my son had plans for us for the rest of the day. We had lunch at a little Chinese restaurant, afternoon snacks of Sushi, and Italian food for dinner. So much for trying to diet in New York! There are just to many exciting places to go, and too much exciting and delicious foods to try!

Dinner was at Peter Luger, where we sampled their famous Bacon. I know, you are wondering what could be so wonderful about bacon. Well, this is no ordinary bacon. It is thick and meaty and cooked over hardwood fire. Then it is served with thick slices of tomato and onion and Peter Luger's special sauce! They are actually famous for their dry aged steaks, but let me tell you, the BACON is out of this world! Skip the steak and go for the bacon.

We then climbed into a Limmosine for a tour around the City at night. We saw Times Square, where you can't believe how many lighted signs there are. It is so bright, it seems like daytime! We went to The Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory underneath the Brooklyn Bridge. It was a bit too cold for the ice cream, but we found that they sell the best chocolates I have ever eaten. We bought several of every flavor, and climbed back into the Limo to continue our tour. I can tell you for a fact, that Champagne and chocolate go so well together!

Rockefeller Center with the huge lighted Christmas Tree topped by a huge star of Swarovski Crystal was amazing! We had an absolutely beautiful time that night, and look forward to doing it again some time.

The next morning, in spite of the thirty degree weather, my hubby and I chose to rise early and go to Rockefeller Center to watch the skaters, and stand outside as Hoda Kotb and Kathy Lee Gifford taped their show. Yep, we were two of those nuts standing there in the freezing cold waving at the television cameras! Gotta be a tourist sometime! The Christmas tree, all the golden flags around the Rockefeller Skating Rink and the skaters were so festive.

We then walked to St. Patricks Cathedral. It was even more incredible than I had ever imagined. The beautiful Cathedral was spectacular enough, but all the Nativity Scenes spread throughout made it even more awesome. You could feel the presence of God in that place..

After leaving the awesome Cathedral, we walked to the American Girl Doll Store where we made several purchases for our granddaughters. That place was incredible. I never saw so much beautiful clothing and accessories for dolls, and the dolls...they were incredible!

We had such a wonderful morning. We walked down Broadway, and we found a huge flea market where my hubby bought a crazy but warm hat...

New York City is probably exciting at any time, but if you get the chance, go just after Thanksgiving, and before Christmas and enjoy all the excitement of the Season. It is incredible!

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