• Stephanie Gerhardt

Busy, Crazy, Beautiful NYC!

NYC Skyline

My family just spent a whirlwind 5 days in the Big Apple! We had a great time (how can you not?) but wow, the time FLEW by! Not quite everything on our list of "must see" activities was crossed off, but we certainly made an effort (thank god we had a travel consultant ;-) ), and our "daily steps" count shows the proof! In today's blog, I'll give you a brief timeline of our trip, some lessons learned, and plenty of pics to help you get excited about your next big trip to NYC, or wherever you choose to go!

Day 1: Our crew arrived at Newark Liberty International Airport and caught a Lyft to the Airbnb we rented in Jersey City. (We chose to stay outside of Manhattan mainly due to noise and to keep within our budget!) While the boy napped, my husband and I went to find food and pick up provisions. We made our way to this cool little place called Hooked JC Seafood Shack and had some yummy fresh crab cakes! Later we ventured into the city via PATH (about a 15 minute train ride from Jersey City). It was early evening by this point, and we were tired, so after a "quick" visit to Times Square we headed back to our cozy little apartment to rest up.

Day 2: The crew split up today -hubby went to a Yankees game- while we made our way to Spyscape (a SUPER COOL spy museum my son discovered!) After determining our spy profiles, we decided to explore 5th Ave (the boy has to go in every Gucci store he sees) and I managed to grab some goods at Bergdorf Goodman!! We met back up at

Grand Central Station for some rest and people watching (and some sweet treats from Jacque Torres Chocolates)... We were all fairly exhausted by this point so, since we were already at GCS we hopped on the subway back to homebase - at RUSH HOUR. *Note-do not attempt to ride the subway going out of NYC this time of day. Your face will be stuck in the armpit of a stranger for a LONG time. And it's HOT!!* After two stops we got out of that panic-attack inducing mess and caught a Lyft back to safety...lesson learned.

Some pics from Day 1!

Day 3: One of my son's "must see" activities was touring the studios of NBC. We all agreed that this was one of our favorite parts of the trip! (Big fans of SNL to see the set!!) We also got to experience what it's like to film a live show...there is a video somewhere to prove it! And the boy scored some awesome "Stefan" socks from the shops at NBC :) Next stop was Top of the Rock Observation Deck-spectacular views! (*Note-NO LINES if you go when they open. Also, probably no need to go to the Empire State Building (or vice-versa) unless you just want to!)

After a quick Mimosa/Shirley Temple stop at the Summer Garden & Bar at Rockefeller Center Cafe, we headed south to the World Trade Center. **THIS AREA IS A MUST SEE FOR ANYONE WHO VISITS NYC** The 9/11 Memorial and Museum is an absolutely beautiful and emotional experience. I highly recommend the guided tour - our guide, Will, was outstanding. (See pics below) From there we headed to Pier 11 to catch a ferry back to Jersey City. I highly recommend a ferry/boat ride along the Hudson. The views of the NYC skyline are amazing! Later we had dinner at Skinner's Loft, on the rooftop patio, overlooking downtown Jersey City. I think we hit the bed around 9pm...exhausted again!

Day 4: Up and at it at 5:30am! Another pick from my son-hanging out on the Today Show Plaza to see the anchors and the behind-the-scenes action. If you're a fan it was worth the early morning alarm :) After, we headed back across the Hudson to spend some time sight-seeing in Jersey City. Buddy Who's is a great spot for breakfast (and Mimosas!), and just a couple of blocks from the JC riverfront! We strolled the riverfront (more spectacular views of Manhattan), then rented citibikes and explored Liberty State Park where we spotted Lady Liberty and Ellis Island.

Following a much needed afternoon nap we headed back to Broadway to see The Book of Mormon! *NOTE-This is an explicit (and offensive to some) show, but well worth it (my opinion). There is an endless number of options if this show isn't for you!!!! Before the show we grabbed dinner at another fun spot, The Mean Fiddler. After, we headed home through Times Square -so much cooler at night!!

Day 5: I will admit that the boy did not leave the apartment ONCE today. He was THAT tired (and so were we!) On the bright side, we had a day date in Jersey City. First up was brunch at the South House, followed by some intense Daytona 500 racing and 2 player Pac Man at Barcade (the original bar arcade) :) We found a really cool book store, Word, as we spent the afternoon on Newark Ave, a happening street with lots of shops/restaurants/bars. We took advantage of Grub Hub and ordered in some famous New York style pizza from Delenio's.

Whew! What a trip! I want to go back in the Fall, when it's cooler, and Central Park is in all its Autumnal glory, and the holiday decorations are on full display! And when it's cooler...(it was hot!)

NYC and the surrounding area is a great destination, no matter what you're looking for! (Unless you want a secluded beach, with no sound but the ocean waves crashing...) which is what we probably need after the hustle and bustle of the big city!! Hey- I know a travel consultant who can help with that...and help you decide the best destination for the kind of experience you want to have on your next vacation. #wherecanwetakeyou ?

All photos were taken by me or a family member :)

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