Certain places seem to be perfect during certain times of the year. Paris in the spring time. New York at Christmas. I spent a fabulous weekend in New York with a friend to do all things Christmas! I love Christmas and nowhere seems to dress up their town like New York. It was bitterly cold and windy, but that seemed appropriate. I’m proud to say this former California girl has finally learned how to bundle up!
It was a 57 minute flight to New York’s La Guardia airport. My bag was quick to arrive and I was out the door to meet the car and driver. I have to say that being picked up in a Lincoln Town Car and driven into Manhattan made me feel a little like Blair from Gossip Girl. We did not hit any traffic and less than 30 minutes later I was at our Times Square hotel to meet up with my friend who took the train and arrived earlier that day. It was late and we wanted to get an early start the next morning so we just had a couple of drinks in the hotel bar. The InterContinental at Times Square was an amazing hotel. I was really impressed by the quality and size of the room for it being in the middle of a big city. The staff was really friendly and the bar was busy and had a buzz about it.
The following morning we were up early to start our Christmas adventure. First stop was Macy’s to look at the windows. Now I have to admit, and this may sound completely naive, but the windows were not what we expected at all. Both my friend and I thought the windows would be dressed up in Christmas decorations and clothes. Not the case at all. They were mechanical animated type scenes telling stories. We had no idea….and honestly, weren’t sure why people were interested in this. Lord & Taylor was the same, but Saks Fifth Avenue had windows we loved! Futuristic fashion done in sparkly holiday themes…now that’s what we like!
While at Macy’s we wandered in to do some shopping and I found this hat. I immediately fell in love with it and I wore it for about half the day, until it got too windy. Now I feel ready should I ever have a horse racing even to attend!
One of the things I love about New York is how nothing really seems unusual. Anything goes here. Most people did not even notice me walking around wearing a big hat with feathers on it. Or this guy walking down the street carrying a dummy.
After a stop for lunch to refuel and warm up a bit we were off to Rockefeller Center. The crowds had not been bad before lunch, but after lunch it was awful. I do not know if it was because people started later than us or we were now in Rockefeller Center or what, but the crowds were suffocating. At Rockefeller Center we could not really choose which way to go, we just had to move with the current of people. We saw the tree, which again, was not what we expected. The tree was huge and beautiful, but there were no ornaments. It was lit and had a star on top, but no ornaments. For some reason I expected huge ribbon and bulb ornaments. Either way, it was pretty though. I had originally wanted to go ice skating but my bad back prevented it, which is probably a good thing given the crowd.
Next it was time for more shopping. We stopped at my favorite chocolate shop, Teuscher, to get some champagne truffles for my husband and then we were off to Toys R Us for my friend to get souvenirs for her kids. We stopped and got a coffee to warm up at one point and just sat inside looking out the window watching NY go by. I love people watching and just watching cities in action so this was one of the high points of the trip for me.
On our way to dinner, a couple who didn’t speak English asked us in Spanish if we knew of a good seafood restaurant. I wish we did, but we didn’t. It made us feel good though that they thought we were locals and not tourists. At dinner I had a view of a giant red scrolling news ticker on the building across the street and I was mesmerized by it.
After dinner we headed back to the tree to see it all lit up. Night time is when NY really shows itself off. Everything was lit up and I cannot imagine anyone feeling like a scrooge when seeing the beauty of Rockefeller Center all lit up. We did not get too close though this time because we could still see the crowds of people so we took our pictures from across the street.
The next day it was finally time to see the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall!!! We got there early to see the lobby and look at souvenirs. The show was excellent! I did not know much about the Rockettes except for the their famous kick line. I had no idea they sang and tap danced too. Many of the routines were done in formations which looks really cool with 36 dancers on stage at a time. My friend and I kept commenting to each other how we need to start practicing now so we can try out next year.
After the show it was a quick late lunch and back to the hotel to get our bags to be on our way home. Our hotel was on a side street that didn’t get a lot of cabs so the bell man had us follow him running through the streets to find a cab. I admit the cab driver freaked me out a bit, but soon enough we were on the train back home. It was an action packed weekend and we did so much that it felt like we were there longer than just a day and a half.
Thank you New York for a great time…and for just being you.