Quick Trip to New York City

Jake recently had to work out of the New York City office for a few days which meant he had to get a hotel room. Since my work schedule at the moment is flexible, I decided to be his plus 1. While he at work, I could spend the day in the city and meet up with him for dinner later. I took the train with him to NYC on Sunday afternoon and we made our way to the Knickerbocker Hotel near his office. Jake has stayed at this hotel a few times for work and we booked this hotel for our Valentine’s Day NYC trip last year. It’s in Times Square and is a very nice luxury hotel that can be affordable depending on what type of room you get. We were upgraded to a Junior Suite since we were a returning guest which was really nice! After a work Zoom meeting in the room, we walked to the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It’s similar to the gift shops at Harry Potter world at Universal theme parks. When we looked online, the virtual reality experiences were sold out a week in advance so be sure to plan in way advance! There is also a virtual queue to get into the store and you have to sign up in person at the store. No biggie, but we were told once we got there that sign ups for the virtual line start first thing in the morning and sell out fast. so we waited less than 10 minutes in the walk-in line. I’m sure it depends on the day but be sure to get there in the morning and get on the virtual line so you have a guaranteed time just to walk in. It seems annoying, but it was so nice to have room in the store to walk around and see everything without bumping into people. There are two floors to shop and I wanted everything! I took a ton of photos to send to my friends and family and felt like a little kid while walking through the store. It truly is a very magical place! We will definitely be coming back to walk through it again and for me to buy more things LOL! By the checkout, there is a Butterbeer Bar that is SO cute! We each got a Butterbeer and a tasty themed cupcake.

Since Jake had to be in the office early the next day, we got Five Guys to-go on our walk back to the hotel and ate dinner in our room. While Jake worked on his laptop preparing for a meeting, I got to enjoy our king size bed to myself for a bit before I passed out. The next morning we were both up early and when Jake went to work, I went down to get breakfast at the hotel. After a tasty breakfast, I stopped at Starbucks to get a coffee and went to Bryant Park to read for a while. Most trips to New York are busy days filled with lots of things to do. It was nice to have a trip where I had downtime and could sit in a park and people watch. I didn’t have much planned for the day but wanted to just walk around the city. After sitting in Bryant Park for a few hours, I had to walk through the New York Public Library. It’s one of those places you need to go at least once!

From there, I walked down 5th Avenue and popped in and out of stores as I made my way to Central Park. I walked around the park for a while until I found a good spot to sit down and read my book for a few hours. It was so calming to be able to sit on a bench, listen to someone playing music, hearing bits and pieces of peoples conversation as they walked past me. The weather was warm and sunny with a slight breeze.

I made my way back to the hotel to rest a bit before Jake got out of work. Another nice perk of getting a hotel room! We both changed outfits before walking to dinner at The Smith. To be completely honest, I only picked this restaurant for dinner because the day before we had walked past it and I thought it looked pretty! I posted a picture of the bar on my Instagram story and had a flood of messages come in about NYC locals and friends who have been there before. The food was delicious! To start, I got a glass of wine and Jake got a cocktail with a heavy pour. We ordered crab cakes as an appetizer, for the main course, I got the salmon and Jake ordered squid ink pasta Of course we both had to get dessert! I ordered a vanilla fudge sundae and Jake got a mini blueberry pie. I’m not a big dessert person but that was beyond yummy!

When we got back to the room, I took a bubble bath and watched Bridget Jones Diary while Jake got some work done. After a long day, I was excited to get into bed and watch movies in our big bed. Talk about a relaxing way to end the day!

On Tuesday, we got a late check out so I slept in a little and brought my book with me to breakfast. I spent an hour or so reading my book and enjoying my coffee after I finished eating. After this trip, I’ve become a cup and saucer type of gal! It’s so chic to use for morning coffee. Jake stopped by on his lunch break to pick up my overnight bag and he checked out of the hotel. After walking 27,000 steps the day before, I didn’t want to do too much walking so I walked around Times Square which looks so different since we were there a year ago. I remember going at least once a year as a little kid and there were so many stores. Now with the pandemic, most businesses are gone. It was also very warm that day so I walked towards Herald Square and popped into some stores to get a break from the heat. I spent a few hours at Macy’s because it is so iconic and got some inspiration to redo our master bedroom bedding. I was sending pictures to my friend and mom of different comforters and cute home items. My feet needed a break so I walked to Bryant Park and sat at a table for an hour while I read my book waiting for Jake to finish up with work. Luckily, he didn’t have to work late so we had time for dinner at a small dinner near Penn Station and got to our train on time.

Even though this was technically a work trip, I am so happy I went with Jake for a solo trip to walk around New York City. It’s a city my family and I went at least once a year growing up because we lived so close in New Jersey. Those were always day trips so we all would wake up early to drive into the city and then kind of be limited on staying where we parked. This is the second time I’ve been to New York City and had a hotel room to be able to have a slow morning and be able to come back to the room to relax before heading out again. Seriously, it’s a game changer! I knew that I could have gone to the MET or seen a show by myself while Jake was at work, but I honestly had such a fun time just walking around and sitting in parks. Hopefully next trip will be for pleasure for the both of us!

Guide to Universal Theme Park

Our family dream has been to go to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Theme Park in Florida for years. We kept saying, yeah we will get to it but just never did.  You know those things that you promise to do when you have more free time? Well… we went and had a blast! I even got my brother to laugh and dance with the Grinch at Seuss Landing! Here is my guide to Universal Theme Park with what to do, how to not wait for rides and a lot of photos! Enjoy 🙂 Continue reading “Guide to Universal Theme Park”