Let me warn you in advance that this post contains tons of pictures! I just took a bite of the Big Apple...Did you expect anything less?
Tim and I went to NYC to celebrate our niece Kaitlyn's 4th birthday. It's amazing how fast kids grow up! She's practically a young lady! An adorable, smart, affectionate (she kept grabbing my hand and rubbing it all over her face), chirpy one she is :).
She's going to be a foodie when she grows up. I can tell..
She's also going to be a fabulous violinist, gymnast, makeup artist, not to mention a praise team singer just like her mommy!
She astounded us with her impressive vocabulary and well-constructed, complete sentences. On top of that, what a trooper she was! She went with us everywhere (most of the time without a stroller) and not once did she get cranky or throw a tantrum. I just couldn't hug and kiss her enough! She reminds me of Lilo..What do you guys think?
I also got to meet up with one of my closest friends from college. We all had nicknames, and hers was "Miss Sunshine" bc of her bright and bubbly spirit! She just recently got engaged, so we def had a lot of catching up to do. Although we hadn't seen each other in awhile, as life had gotten in the way, we simply picked up right where we left off. We didn't miss a beat. I treasure these rare friendships.
We couldn't go to NYC and not do some of the touristy stuff. Tim's never been to the city, so it was def a treat for him :).
I insisted that we go to Chelsea Market in hopes that I'd meet Bobby Flay (the hottest celebrity chef), Giada, or any of the Food Network stars for that matter. That didn't happen. But I did run into one of my classmates from college! Small world, I tell ya! Afterwards, we walked around the Highline. Fun spot!
Next stops, Union Square (where we stumbled upon a block party), Rockefeller Center, and of course Times Square.
And how could we go to NYC, the food mecca, and not indulge? Honestly, there were moments when that evil, crippling voice told me to stay away from the 1 pound cookie, cheesy pizza, fried anything...or to stop eating all together. However, I decided to live a lil' and gladly bid the party-pooper goodbye.
Along with the ones featured on yesterday's post, here are some, but still not all of the eats..
If you haven't tried soup dumplings yet, Joe's Shanghai is the place to go! While I didn't particularly care for the Shake Shack burger (too saucy in my opinion), Tim really enjoyed his. Go figure! That man loves anything with a meat patty sandwiched between bread.
Now, the highlights were the brick-oven Napoli style pizzas from Forcella, arguably the best pizza I've ever tasted in my life! And trust me, I've been to many famous pizzerias around the country, including Pizzeria Bianco, which was voted one of the best in the country. This place surpassed them all! The dough was thin yet had the perfect chewiness, and the ingredients were so fresh and delightful! They're especially known for their flash-fried and oven-finished pizzas. Contrary to what you might imagine, it wasn't very greasy nor heavy. The flash-frying method made the dough perfectly crisp and prevented it from getting soggy while maintaining the chewiness that I mentioned earlier. My favorite was the San Gregorio pizza topped with mozzarella, pesto, truffle oil, and tomato sauce. The place was voted the best new pizzeria in NY, so if you live in the city or are planning to visit, I highly recommend that you make a stop at this hidden gem located in Brooklyn. You won't be disappointed :).
Alas, I wish to end this post on a sweet note! How does that sound?
The macaroons are for you, Cinnamon :). The dark chocolate chocolate chip cookie from Levain Bakery was divine! The picture does not do it justice. It was so big, thick, and rich that I couldn't finish it in one sitting. Tim, on the other hand, managed to gobble the whole thing at once and quickly regretted doing so, as it literally sat in his stomach for hours. I knew of this place from watching Throwdown with Bobby Flay and am glad that I got to try this famous cookie!
Well folks! That just about sums up my trip! What you don't see in these pictures are all the stomach-ripping laughter and heart-warming conversations that were shared. I thank God for all the genuine and beautiful people He placed in my life! They mean the world to me!
On our way back home, we were greeted with this..
A perfect ending...It's good to be home.