The Martins Do Manhattan 2

NYC is without a doubt my favorite place to visit. I could go back on repeat and never get tired of it.

After seeing New York for the first time last fall, I demanded we make a return trip. I had to go back to several places (i.e.: Doughnut Plant) as well as mark some new ones off my ever-growing list.

After months of planning, researching, reading restaurant blogs, and creating maps and itineraries, it was finally time to turn my plans into a reality. If I was to do it all over again (boy, wouldn't that be nice!) these are the things I wouldn't change in the least:

1. Explore Central Park

It's a must!! Whether you walk, run, ride in a horse-drawn carriage, rent a bike, or whatever....GO! Especially if it is in the fall and the leaves are turning. This year, they were the most beautiful shade of mustard yellow with a few red trees here and there. We rented bikes and rode around for two hours. The park is HUGE - we even got lost a few times! Believe it or not, there were some hills in there that made me huff and puff. Although you are able to cover a lot more ground with a bike, there are a lot of smaller trails that bikes aren't allowed on, so I recommend taking the time to walk, too, as these areas typically have the best views!

2. Go Ice Skating

Ice Skating in NYC at Christmas has been on my bucket list for forever and ever. It was my absolute favorite part of the entire trip - it was straight up magical! We skated at Bryant Park Winter Village because it was the only ice rink with Christmas decor up. We went first thing in the morning and there was hardly anyone there! The only downside was that most of the Christmas shops surrounding it weren't open yet, but that's OK. It was a rainy day, but I just pretended the rain was snow and it made it that much more magical.

3. See a Broadway Show

Last year we saw The Lion King and I didn't think anything could surpass it; this year, we saw Aladdin (clearly I choose the shows....). The costumes and decor weren't quite as over the top as in The Lion King, but the storyline was amazing and, in my opinion, much easier to follow. Also, I have to say, the actor who played Aladdin sang just like the Disney Aladdin's voice! I wanted to sing along but Cole wouldn't let me. Rude.

4. Wander through West Village / Greenwich Village

This is my favorite area of Manhattan to get lost in. I could take a picture of every single building, it is all so picturesque! If you have an afternoon with nothing to do, take a stroll through the streets, stop and sit on a park bench, and just enjoy. You'll find plenty of adorable restaurants, ice cream and coffee shops and bakeries and even a few "famous" places! The F.R.I.E.N.D.S. apartment and Carrie's apartment from Sex and the City are both located here! You might even see a celebrity - we saw Mario Batali!

5. Eat Your Heart Out

I've said it before and I'll say it again...every trip we take is more of a "food tour" of the city. It is glorious and gluttonous all at once. We hit a few restaurants up again (Doughnut Plant, Laduree and much yum) and tried a few new ones that are worth mentioning.

  • Catch - obviously a hip and popular place; it was poppin at 9:30 at night and we saw some NBA players! One of our favorite dishes of the entire trip was their Truffle Scallop Gnocchi. Yes and amen. 
  • Ivan Ramen - I feel like we've become ramen nerds. That ish is good, man. I ordered the Breakfast All Day ramen which was full of a cheesy sauce, an omelet and ham over whole wheat noodles. It was unlike any other ramen I've tried, and I loved it.

  • The Butcher's Daughter - this was by far the most instagramable place I've ever been to. We walked in and Cole said, "wow, this place was made for you!" White subway tile, wood countertops, pops of color, succulents errwhere! The food was meh (a little too "healthy" tasting for a vacation...ya feel me?) but the drinks....oh, the drinks! The best almond milk latte I've ever tasted and their fresh squeezed juice was the bee's knees. 
  • Joe's On Carmine - I requested we find a legit slice of New York style pizza and man, Joe's did not disappoint. The cheese was better than the pepperoni, but both were delicious and satisfying as can be.
  • Le Bernardin - we are really spoiled. Cole's parents were coming to NYC for a work conference so they scheduled their arrival a day early just to take us out to eat at their favorite restaurant. Let's just say they have very good taste. We went out with a bang and made our last night in New York one to remember. It was by far the best meal we've had in a looooonnnnngggg time (and that's saying a lot after a week in New York)! I had octopus, salmon, truffle pasta, ice wine, and a whole lot more. YUM. Thanks Joe and Pam! 
We also shopped in SoHo and on 5th Avenue, saw the World Trade Center Memorial, stopped by the Breakfast at Tiffany's house (and Tiffany's, of course), went to China Town, whispered across the walls at Grand Central and drank a LOT of coffee. It was a blast and I am already planning our 2017 trip to see the Rockette's Christmas Spectacular ;) 

What NYC places are on your list? 



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