Mark's Birthday Weekend in Manhattan
This past weekend, Mark and I spent a few days in Manhattan to celebrate his twenty-sixth birthday. We had such a nice time! Seriously, we needed to get away for a little and just have a fun married weekend. One of our favorite places to go is Brooklyn, for so many reasons.
The first time we went, we were in college and ventured into the city sort of by mistake with Mark's family and ended up eating at a restaurant and having a lovely time. The next year, Mark and I broke off from his family during their yearly trip to explore more of Brooklyn on our own. From then on, each year Mark and I would make it a point to spend a day or two in Brooklyn exploring and trying new coffee shops and restaurants. We fell in love with the architecture of the buildings, the more laid back feel compared to the tourist-y areas of Manhattan, and all the cool spots to take photos or grab a bite to eat. In December 2014, Mark proposed in Dumbo and it made the city even more special to us.
This year for his birthday, Mark proposed that instead of Brooklyn we should start exploring more of New York City. I loved the idea because while familiar, it still felt like a new adventure! We had such an incredible time because we gave our self a loose schedule with enough time left to explore.
For this particular blog post, I've decided that I just want to share our little travel diary and then later this week I can share more tips and tricks to traveling in the big apple :)
We started the weekend out by riding the train in to the city. I don't think we'll ever want to travel another way. It was soooo stress-free because we didn't need to worry about driving, parking, parking fees, the security of our vehicle, etc. We just bought train tickets and hopped aboard!
We ended up getting there a little earlier than we planned so we checked in to our hotel to drop off our bags and then headed over to Russ + Daughter's Deli. One thing you should know about Mark and I is we've recently really fallen in love with Jewish Deli foods. Haha! Its so random but bagels and cream cheese and capers and lox and matzo ball soup... YES PLEASE. It was about a 15 minute walk from the hotel, which isn't too bad for the city. I think we must have walked at least 20 miles over the span of three days! We didn't want to spend all our money on cabs or the subway (which we did use a little bit on Sunday).
After Russ & Daughter's we began our "pizza tour" of Manhattan. There will never be enough time to try ever single pizzeria in NYC, so we didn't have a set goal other than "lets eat a lot of pizza and try to find some of the best!" There's an app called One Bite that was helpful too. I plan to share those results both on Instagram and in a blog post later this week.
On our walk back to the hotel, we stopped by Cha Cha Matcha and I had the best drink I think I've ever had...ever. It was so delicious! If you've ever been there before, you may have had this drink before- The Purple Drink with a shot of matcha. The Purple Drink is a combination of lavender syrup, cbd oil, and macadamia nut milk. I love how things like matcha, cbd oil, turmeric, and ashwagandha are gaining in popularity.
After that we headed back to the hotel and played some games in the lounge and watched a movie until we fell asleep around 10pm. It. Was. The. Best. Our hotel, Arlo Nomad had such incredible views. We were in a corner room that was across from the Empire State Building and it felt like we literally were on cloud 9. Such a cool experience!
On Saturday, Mark's actual birthday, I woke up early and got coffee from Blank Slate Coffee + Kitchen and some banana bread to surprise Mark with. After breakfast, we went to East Village for a little birthday surprise I had for him- a facial steam and massage at Blind Barber and some coffee at 9th St. Espresso. He loved it!
Afterwards we continued our pizza tour and met up with one of our friends for lunch. Then, after that we walked around for a bit to shop and see some more of the city and then went to see some friends play in their band at Rockwood Music Hall.
The weekend was seriously so lovely. I wish it could've lasted a little longer! Sunday we went back to Blank Slate for brunch and then we walked around for a bit through Central Park, headed uptown to meet Mark's cousin and his wife for lunch, and then they gave us a little tour of their neighborhood near Columbia University. For lunch I surprised Mark and we went to the diner that was used for the exterior of the diner in Seinfeld. We love the show so I knew Mark would get a kick out of that! Our food was delicious and the rest of the coffee and bagels we had in that neighborhood were just as good.
To end the day, we relaxed a bit in the lounge of Arlo Nomad and then got on the train to head home. I love adventuring with my best friend. Have you ever spent the weekend in NYC? Whats one of your favorite things? Comment below!