Tag Archives: new york city

hello again, nyc.

I have been in and out of NYC this past year a handful of times, and I’m totally in love with the city life. It’s like I can’t get enough of it. The last time I was in the city, however, was different. We invited my parents to come hang out with us for the week. We spent the week showing them all of the tourist traps [and eating delicious food].

Before we actually headed into the city, we were stationed in Bergen County. We took Mom and Dad out to dinner at Gao Thai Kitchen, one of my favorite Thai restaurants in the tri-state area. I’m glad they both really loved it.

We even took them to have their first Shake Shack experience. Mom totally loved the ‘shroom burger just like I expected [we like the same kinds of food], and Dad really enjoyed his frozen custard.

On our first day in the city, I showed them how to use the subway.

Then, it was off to Battery Park to catch our ferry to Liberty Island.

It was a foggy day in the city, so I didn’t get a clear shot of the skyline, but we still had fun taking pictures in front of Lady Liberty.

After walking around Liberty Island, we hopped on the ferry to get to Ellis Island. I love the historical aspect of this island; there is so much to see [and learn].

…and then, we tried taking pictures with the skyline in the background, but the fog wouldn’t dissipate.

We spent time examining the name wall, then back on the ferry to Manhattan.

Next stop on our agenda was the Wall Street area. I took them to Federal Hall first because I needed to get my NPS cancellation stamp [yup, I collect those stamps].

Showed my parents the NYSE.

…and the famous Grand Central terminal as well:

The next day, we had to take them to [in my opinion, the best ramen ever!] Ippudo. Just as expected, they absolutely loved their bowls of ramen.

G and I took them to Times Square. They were in awe of all the lights.

..and before heading back to the Westin Grand Central, I wanted to make a stop in Soho to do some shopping with Mom.

I forgot to take pictures of our spacious suite before we got situated, but here’s some pretty views from our the window:

The next morning we all went to mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Afterwards, we headed towards the Rockefeller Plaza.

We were fortunate that it was a clear day because the views from up top the Rockefeller were ideal.

Everytime I see this picture of my Dad, I can’t help but laugh. What a goofball!

For lunch, we grabbed a beat to eat at the Chelsea Market, and later stopped to eat up on the Chelsea Highline.

Before we headed back to the hotel to rest up, we stopped at Washington Square Park [my favorite spot on the Manhattan map], just to enjoy the warm weather.

Later that afternoon, my parents really wanted to see the 9/11 Memorial site. They haven’t been in the city since 2004 [it still looked like Ground Zero then], so it has drastically changed since then. Besides, it was only a couple days after the new museum’s opening, so it was a perfect opportunity to take them.

Being by the Freedom Towers always gets me. If you plan on visiting the Memorial, expect a lot of graphic images and videos of the events that happened that day. If you don’t want to relive the events of the day, I don’t recommend walking through parts of the museum. It was pretty hard for me to get through it because I remember the terror I felt that day so vividly.

The next day, we dropped my parents off at the airport, and on to Washington, D.C. it was for me and G. I’ll save that for another post though. It feels like I’m never going to catch up with all of this blogging, hehe.

Stay tuned!



Filed under family, personal, vacation

take me back to nyc.

Long post ahead.

It’s no secret; I love the New York City life. The food choices are phenomenal, and the fashion is by far my favorite part! If I could have it my way, I’d get up and move in a heartbeat. Alas, the Silicon Valley will do for now.

We flew back to NYC for one of Gloria’s many business trips, and I, of course, tagged along. It was such a wonderful (and chilly) week filled with lots of memories.

Day 1: It was late afternoon by the time we got into the city, but that didn’t stop us from exploring! First stop after checking in at the Westin Grand Central was Shack Shake in the Grand Central Terminal (which, by the way, changed their crinkle cut fries, argh!). It had been six months since our last visit to Manhattan, so I needed to sink my teeth into my beloved ‘shroom burger. It’s my favorite vegetarian burger. Deliciousness!

Here’s our room view of the Empire State Building:

…and that delicious ‘shroom burger is the one on the right. The one on the left is Gloria’s Shake Stack burger.

Then, we headed uptown towards Rockefeller to see the tree. It was so unbelievably sparkly and festive.

Because it’s just a block over, we stopped into the historical St. Patrick’s Cathedral to say a prayer (or two).

We also roamed around in the park in the frigid cold. The photo below captures such a perfect moment in time.

To end the night, we hit up Serendipity. The first time I went to New York, I really wanted to go, but I didn’t make it up there. Each time there after, I always wanted to go, but time did not allow (because the wait was always 2-3 hours long). This trip, however, Gloria planned for us to have dessert there. Besides, the wait wasn’t too long; I killed time shopping in Bloomies, haha! It was perfect.

Day 2: Normally when we travel, we don’t just lounge around and sleep in as some would do on vacation. Instead, we like to get up at the crack of down to get our day started. However, on Day 2, it was all about sleeping in, hah! What?! We were out super late last night roaming the city. Besides, it’s the city that never sleeps, right?!

Anyway, that morning I wanted to try this local brunch place, Penelope. The line was, of course, a little bit over an hour, so I thought it would be fun to check out the well-acclaimed Ace Hotel. On our way there, we saw the J.crew and Madewell sample sale, and the line was super long! ARGH! If I wasn’t on a time constraint, I would’ve wanted to wait in that line. Once we got to the hotel, we walked in to try Stumptown coffee, which was fantastic, and to play in their lobby photobooth.

Shortly after, we headed back towards Penelope for brunch! I ordered the Nutella french toast with carmelized bananas and an apple cider mimosa. Goodness, it was so, so very delectable.

After brunch, we headed towards the Flat Iron Building. It’s always fun to see the architecture of this building, so different and unique. Plus, there’s great shopping in this area, haha!

Next, we headed uptown towards the Upper East Side to do more shopping. I love the shops up there. They have the finest stuff. After spending a couple hours of shopping, we roamed the park and went camera happy.

I love this park. Okay, is there anything I don’t love about NYC, minus the dirty subway?!

Later that evening, we met up with our friends, Elaine and Helena, at my most favorite restaurant ever, Ippudo. Seriously, it’s the best ramen I have ever eaten. Every time we’re in the city, this is a must visit for us. You really haven’t eaten good ramen unless you’ve been here. That’s no joke either!

After dinner, I wasn’t ready to head back to the hotel. Why rest when the city awaits adventure?! …so we decided to hit up our most favorite park, Washington Square Park. It’s a special place for us, so when the first snowfall for NYC started falling, it was absolutely perfect.

Playing in the park just wasn’t enough. We weren’t ready to head back home. We walked over towards the West Village and stopped at my favorite cupcake place ever, Magnolia’s, to pick up a late midnight snack. It wouldn’t be a trip to NYC without a vanilla cupcake.

Day 3: It was an icy, cold rain day, but that didn’t stop us. I still made Gloria come out with me to wait in the already backed up cronut line at Dominique Ansel’s Bakery. Last trip, I really, really wanted to try the renowned cronut, but we ran out of time. This time, it was on the priority list. Glad that we made it a priority because I have never had anything like it. If you haven’t already heard, Dominique Ansel created a hybrid pastry that combines the deliciousness from both croissants and donuts. I loved that it was not oily like some donuts and croissants can be. Let’s just say It was so worth the wait in the freezing, cold rain.

Oh, and every month, the cronut flavor changes. For the month of December, it was a dark chocolate spiked with champagne. Um… Dark chocolate?! Champagne?! Talk about a perfect combination! Yum.

Later that day, it was a shopping day, hah! When is it not a shopping day for me?! Anyway, one of my most favorite shopping spots in the city – Soho! Love, love, love this area for the shopping.

…and then it was time for us to head to Princeton. Such a quaint university town!

Day 4: I woke up to the snow coming down! It was magical. Thank goodness we were in a hotel. I didn’t want to be shoveling out a driveway or anything, hah!

After Gloria was finished with her presentations for work, we headed towards Palmer Square and took an afternoon walk around the gorgeous Princeton campus.

Day 5: Gloria had a full day of work, so it was a solo day for me. What better than go back to the city and roam the city streets alone?!

First stop was Bryant Park. It’s such a charming, quaint park.

…and for lunch I wanted Shake Shack, so I braved the crowds at the Times Square Shack Shack.

After food, I walked towards Radio City.

As you can see, there were lots and lots of Christmas decorations on the city sidewalks. It really is magical during Christmastime.

Here are some other pictures from our trip:

Day 6: Time to head home. Boo. However, I’m not going to fret  because I know we’ll be going back soon. It seems that both of us have left our hearts in New York City.


Filed under family, holiday, personal, vacation

down the coast, yosemite, and philly to nyc.

We’ve been busy since the last time I blogged. It’s crazy to think just how much we’ve done in a few months. We’ve been down the coast of California a handful of times, visited Yosemite again, and flew out to the East Coast.

1. Driving down to So-Cal: This never gets old, especially because the coastal views are gorgeous!

2. Yosemite: Having the National Park annual pass is totally worth the price you pay. Besides, there’s so much to do here – camping, hiking, and even biking! This time around, we packed our bikes and rode around the park; it’s such a fun way to see the park’s beauty. On this trip, we also had the pleasure of spotting one of Yosemite’s very own bears! It was scary to be so close to it, but it was so close to our bike trail. Besides, we are technically romping around its home, hehe. After a couple of minutes, it walked back towards the mountainside.

3. Philadelphia and Princeton: We stayed in Princeton, but we drove down to Philly to play in Gloria’s old stomping work grounds. Even though there was a lightening/thunder storm over some parts of the area, we drove right through the madness and got to Philly safely. I’m glad that we did. I got tons of cancellation stamps for my National Park Passport at Independence Hall. It was also nice to be back in a place with so many memories. 🙂

4. New York: There’s so much to love about this city. It’s magical in every way. I miss it already. 🙂


Filed under beach, personal, vacation

new york city.

Lightning? Ridiculously loud thunder echoing off concrete and steel buildings? Pouring rain with a tiny umbrella? Extreme humidity?

Sounds more like a recipe for a hurricane than a typical New York summer day — wouldn’t you say?! Anyway, regardless of the crazy weather, we managed to have a delightful couple of days in the Big Apple.

Our first day there, we took a few hours to settle in the hotel. After the short, but refreshing nap, we ventured off into Soho for some shopping. By the time we were half way down Broadway, it started to drizzle, so I opened the umbrella. Apparently, I didn’t notice that Sonya Walger walked by me until Gloria pointed out to me, “Hey, did you see who just walked by you?”

((I’m a big LOST fan, so this was a big deal! I’m so bummed that I didn’t notice someone from LOST!))

For dinner, we decided to eat at Lupa. No joke — this place has amazing food and a homey atmosphere!

I could seriously spend hours in here just conversing over a bottle of wine.

I could seriously spend hours in here just conversing over a bottle of wine and eating their desserts, lol.

The infamous Lupa Tartufo - its the best dessert EVER!

The infamous Lupa Tartufo - it's the best dessert!

By the time dinner ended, it had all ready started to downpour. I know this is going to sound silly, but we decided to walk BLOCKS upon BLOCKS in the rain! When we finally reached Washington Square Park, the lightening started to flash. Within seconds, the thunder BOOMED like I have never heard it before. The skyscrappers magnified the echo of the thunder, and boy, was it scary! Although the weather was not ideal, we had a lot of fun playing in the rain.

It was hard to take photos because of the rain, but we tried our best without getting our point and shoot wet!! Here are just a few of us having fun in the rain:

Gloria is serously a Mary Poppins wannabe. HAHA!

Gloria is seriously a Mary Poppins wannabe. HAHA!

Look how empty the park is?!

Look how empty the park is?! It must be the rain. 😉

Even though I got soaked, I still had an amazing time.

Even though I got soaked, I still had an amazing time jumping in the puddles.

Okay, okay… I know that it’s crazy that we walked around NYC in the rain, but it was tons of fun. Seriously though, when is it not fun jumping and splashing around in puddles like a kid?! After playing at the park, we walked BLOCKS and BLOCKS back to the hotel in the pouring rain. We needed to dry off before meeting up with one of our friends.

After drying off, we waited in the lobby to meet up with a friend.

After drying off, we waited in the lobby to meet up with a friend.

The view from the hotel room.(Yes, we could still hear honking cabs up on the top floors).

The view of Soho from the hotel room.

The next day, we headed uptown via subway to gallivant for the day. We just people watched and tried to take it easy.

A shot of Rockefellar on a sunny day!

A shot of Rockefellar on a sunny day!

It looks so different without the Christmas tree and the ice rink. :)

It looks so different without the Christmas tree and the ice rink. 🙂

Tired and hot, I thought it would be a good idea to just people watch.

Tired and hot, I thought it would be a good idea to just people watch.

Oh, and you can’t visit New York without visiting one of the happiest places on Earth — Magnolia Bakery! These are my FAVORITE cupcakes EVER!

My favorite place to buy cupcakes!

My favorite place to buy cupcakes!

All in all, it was an exhausting week in the East Coast. Even though it was extremely tiring, I enjoyed visiting old and new places alike. It is totally what I live for.

Since I have been back, I have been trying to get my sleep patterns back to normal. Bleh! …and it doesn’t help that we took a day trip down to Santa Cruz on Tuesday. Boy, I am exhausted! Hopefully, I will be able to share some photos of the furbabies hanging out in Santa Cruz soon.

Until then, here are some recent scrapping goodness to share:

Be back soon to share my Santa Cruz adventure!




Filed under Uncategorized

Scrapping Goodness!

I was totally in my zone today and got a bunch of scrapping done! It felt so good to just sit down and get my scrapping done! I managed to scan a couple of them, so here’s the latest two.

Title: Autumn Adventure

Description: Here’s another one of me and Maui. I totally loved the paper for this layout and thought it would work great for a fall-themed layout.

Materials: Paper SEI-Decorator Series and Park Buddies, We R Memory Keepers-Urban Window, Me and My Big Ideas Kit Other SEI-Stickers (Poppy), Heidi Swapp-Chipboard Alphabet

Title: The Big Apple

Description: I had some photos of my trip to NYC lying around, so I wanted to scrap my adventure on the ferry ride.

Materials: Paper Making Memories-Passport, American Crafts-Travel Visa, My Mind’s Eye-Bohemia, Love Elsie-Toby City Blocks Other Pink Paislee-Stickers (Fashion Script), American Crafts-Thickers (Giftbox), K and Co.-Chipboard (Berry Sweet), SEI-Stickers (Twitterpated), Making Memories – Spiral Journal Notebook

I will share more layouts soon!



Filed under scrapbook