We arrived in New York City around 4ish on Saturday (Christmas Eve) and within seconds of stepping off the bus, we were headed to our hotel – the Cassa Hotel – which we booked at a great rate via Hotwire.
Since this arrival time was a little later than we had anticipated (I promise, the reason will be blogged about later…) and all we had that day so far was breakfast, we were getting pretty darn hungry! Sure, we were in NYC – with a plethora of restaurants at our fingertips, but we had to time to dilly dally! As soon as we checked in to the hotel, we set our stuff down and headed out to procure sustenance.
We traversed straight to the touristy area – we were just about 2 blocks from all the action – and wound up at the Heartland Brewery where we ordered burgers (hubs: bison, me: tuna) and a beer sampler.
The board was numbered and a laminated sheet was handed to us that corresponded with each:
- Indian River Light
- Cornhusker Lager
- Harvest Wheat Beer
- Red Rooster Ale
- Indiana Pale Ale
- Farmer Jon’s Oatmeal Stout
I was surprised to find that the Indiana Pale Ale and Red Rooser were my favorite, since I have only recently even starting drinking any sort of beer, but when I do,
it’s Dos Equis usually a novelty-one, like pumpkin ale or some spiced Sam Adams. But anywho, before we knew it, our food arrived….not sure if it was just because we were starved, but we both raved about our meal selections! The burgers were small-ish, on Martin’s potato buns (I think!) which made them perfectly portioned, unlike other chains that serve gargantuan sandwiches! Fries were good too (you did have an option for salad, but we both opted out) and I really enjoyed hubs’ BBQ sauce that came with his burger for fry dipping.
That meal was just what we needed! Service was fast and friendly, our bellies were satisfied and not FULL and we were then ready to head back out into the rapidly darkening evening.
We walked around the bustling Times Square area and were immediately swept away by the crowds, bright lights and CHILLY winds! Thankfully, the temps were very mild, which was a lifesaver!
After some wide-eyed sightseeing, we moved along to see a bit more of the NYC nightscape, heading down Broadway….
…it really was pretty surreal to see all these places that I had only seen photos of or seen on TV! The streets were a lot quieter as we walked on…we passed down a few streets, lights were more subdued…we walked up to Central Park, amazed by the vast darkness it presented, amidst the tall skyscrapers surrounding it…and then, we saw it!
The Apple Store! Of course, we were such nerds that we had to take a few pics before stopping in, y’know…just to “see” it! And wow, see it, we did! We could understand instantly why this structure stands as the company’s flagship store – from the stunning glass veneer to the translucent stairs and futuristic elevator…we were entranced! Definitely a cool place – but just for a visit! It was way too crowded to even look at anything in the shop, much less consider purchasing anything, so next stop…FAO Schwartz, right next door!
I was definitely excited about visiting this toy store – I mean, c’mon, seeing the BIG PIANO and stuff, but it was kinda gimmicky once we saw it (no surprise) and there was a big line, so we took a quick glance and then looked around for the rest of the time. Before leaving, I had to see if hubs would “buy me a puppy” for Christmas…and well, you can see above how that went…haha!
After that, it was still pretty early, so we walked back down to see Rockefeller Plaza…and HOLY PEOPLE! Wow. Tons.
We already weren’t planning to ice skate or anything like that, but the plaza was so jam-packed, it was difficult to even walk around! So, we snapped a pic or two and went on our merry way – checked out a few window displays and popped in and out of a few stores along the way, before we decided to call it a night!
…but, not before a little of this…
Despite the fact that I knew I’d likely be somewhat disappointed in the HYPE, I knew that in NYC, it’d be hard to resist purchasing a cupcake from the place I had heard rapped about many a time and y’know, I saw it and knew it was fate! And so, I ordered two cupcakes; a Red Velvet Rockettes one and a Vanilla Hanukkah one for hubs (since he wanted one, but said, “surprise me!” when I asked which he wanted)
To be honest, I didn’t dislike the cupcake, but it wasn’t the best either. The shop itself was beyond adorable though! I wanted to live in there…pastel frosting everywhere, Ball jars filled to the brim with cake adornments and glitter…like a dream!
And so, it was a great place for us to end our first night in the city…snuggled up in our double bed, watching Forrest Gump on TV…I fell asleep immediately because I knew Sunday morning meant one thing: my CENTRAL PARK RUN!