I just had THE BEST girl’s trip to New York City!
Like, I mean we nailed it.
I have been on many vacations, and have traveled much of the world, when I worked on Cruise Ships, but this trip….this one will stay with me always as THE BEST trip ever.
I’ve been back home now for over a week , and the New York feel has not left me.
I’ve been daydreaming, replaying and laughing out loud, as the carousel of memories move through my mind.
I got the perspective I had been looking for and very much needed.
I’d been in a slump since my separation, and all I can say is that having something to look forward to was key to me keeping motivated, distracted and looking forward to adventure.
That’s what I need.
That’s what fills my soul.
But let’s also be real… as much as I was looking forward to NY….I was also VERY nervous….I’ve aged 18 years and 70lbs since my feet last hit NY pavement…and I remember very distinctly how it kicked my butt back then…so what would it do to me now??
It still kicked my butt, but this time I was 18 years older and better prepared, more mature and just plain smarter.
I was also with my sister and my best friend.
Our dynamic trio has been thrown together on the best of occasions and the worst of occasions, and I think this trip brought us closer than we have ever been before.
We created memories for a lifetime.
So let me share with you some of the tips and tricks we used to make New York THE BEST trip EVER!
First up is departure. And since we are all moms, the key was to leave early, like before the sun rises. If you have little kiddos, say your goodbyes the night before. Get a good night’s sleep and get your butts out the door before the littles wake up. If you miss this window of opportunity, you’re screwed.
Know that as soon as your foot hits the gas pedal anything can happen, so even if you have a well planned adventure, it’s okay to make changes along the way….it’s just gonna happen. Don’t be rigid, you gotta be flexible and just go with it. Because out of every missed planned event, there will be the unexpected that will truly be what you will never forget.
Know you are human and women. So there will be peeing. It’s just a fact. Hopefully you can all get on the same pee schedule but if not, know that breaks are inevitable. This was the best part about it just being girls. #IYKYK
Book your hotel where the action is, especially if it’s your first time hitting the streets of New York. We chose the Hard Rock hotel. It was 5 stars. It’s new. And it was great!!! Most hotels have either one king size bed or 2 doubles. My sister and I are close and were sharing…but a double bed for 4 days didn’t seem like a vacay. So, if you’re sharing a bed, make sure you at least get a queen size. This is hard to find in New York…but the Hard Rock offered it. Score! It was also right in Time Square. So the minute your feet hit the pavement you’re energized and ready to have THE BEST time!
Trust/Don’t Trust Valet Parking. But use it. Definitely worth every penny. You will know what I mean the second you get out of the Lincoln Tunnel….you will just want out of your car. Or you might end up trapped in the bus terminal. Just sayin’… use VALET. But be aware…don’t just pull up to the hotel and give your keys to anybody standing on the street….like I did. Good to have little sis ask the guy, with my keys in his hands, if he even works at the hotel… yup…just ask. Make sure they do and use them.
Don’t let the weather stop you from doing anything in New York. We had rain for 3 days, but it never damped our spirits. The true New Yorkers on the streets didn’t even flinch with the rain. But I recommend an umbrella…we didn’t pack one, but our hotel offered them. So before you spend money on one, ask your hotel if they offer them. And then be careful, it can be tricky, walking, looking up, filming, laughing, and not hitting every person with what now seems like a weapon keeping you dry. You could tell the expert street walkers who lifted, turned and avoided the collisions I kept getting into.
Dress for comfort not fashion. We found this out real quick as day one gave us each 23,000 steps in 6 hours. So the fancy clothes we packed stayed in the suitcase and the leggings, comfy top and shoes were worn for the win.
When you feel tired and want to rest, keep going. You will have this moment for sure…especially day 2 of NY when your whole body will hurt from all the walking on day 1, …but you gotta keep going. There isn’t a moment to waste. New York is not the trip to sit in your hotel room. That’s a different vacation. This vacation requires movement…because New York never stops. Day one for us was all the walking and day 2 we did things where we could sit. Highly recommend trying to get onto a live taping of a TV show. We got onto Drew Barrymore! Time of our lives! It was THE coolest experience, and it was FREE! And although we were tired afterwards, and had 3 hours before Moulin Rouge (another opportunity to enjoy NY…but sitting) we were in the hotel room contemplating…should we rest for the 3 hours or should we go. Tick Tock… Tick Tock…you go! And you will have no regrets. We sure didn’t. We made our way to Central Park to get on the dreamed about horse drawn carriage ride. This brought tears to our eyes as a bucket list goal was being realized and lived up to all our imaginings. We were unanimously happy that we didn’t waste those 3 hours in the hotel room. Central Park delivers!
Know that when you want to live out a Sex and the City bar scene by ordering Cosmos before you go to the theatre, it’s gonna cost you lots of mulla! Not sure how Carrie afforded all those drinks!!! Was it worth it though? Hell yes! Best bar, best company and best drink!
Make sure you see a Broadway Show! And go with the flow…even if that means leaving the women’s bathroom line up to join the men’s during intermission. If there is a shout out that the men’s bathroom is now gender neutral, you go! Tip…keep your eyes down…do not look, even if you’re tempted…lol. Do your business, wash your hands and go. And here’s my take away from that experience of sharing a washroom full of men… I really felt the moment, as it was a first, the men were very accommodating and kind, we all laughed, I finally got to see the inside of a Men’s washroom and discovered that they had 15-20 urinals and 5 stalls, compared to our 5-10 stalls, hence why their line up goes faster. It was generous of them to share. And as weird as it felt, it also felt good…communal. I liked it for that moment. I also realized that women need more stalls!!!
You need to save the Empire State building for a clear day. We did this on our last day when the sun finally came out, and it was worth every penny. And even though we still had lots to do, the view is a MUST see. We were hustling though, because we wanted to visit the Ground Zero museum too. Tip…just so you know, you can get from the Empire State building to Ground Zero in 24 minutes. But you’re gonna have to speed walk. And know that New Yorkers are so friendly and willing to help you get to where you need to go. Being asked for directions isn’t new to them. So ask! You’ll get to where you need to get to faster! Trust me… it works.! What I don’t recommend is visiting the museum in only 1.5 hours….it definitely requires 3 hours….and be prepared to cry. This isn’t something you want to miss. This is one site that is a MUST SEE.
Be okay with admitting you were wrong with a NY choice. Like getting pretzels from a street cart. Don’t trust all that is sold to you. Especially if the pretzel comes from a box on the dirty ground and the dirt on it is actual mold. Don’t expect your money back no matter how good you think your street fighting is….his is better. Just walk away and chalk it up to a New York moment. You’ll have a better experience at the next vendor.
Also, New York rats are real. You may scream or jump. Know that you have now shown your hand and everyone is aware you are a tourist.
You have come to a city of choices. So much is there to discover. So discover. Especially when it comes to food and restaurant experiences. Leave the chain restaurants behind. Find originality and atmosphere. Do a quick google review check though…we avoided a restaurant that someone was just shot in. That’s a good one to miss. But the one across the road. FANTASTIC. Every meal was an ‘experience’ and that is what I truly cherish and enjoy.
Take a cab, but the subway is your best bet when your feet get tired and you need to cover ground a little faster.. It’s cheap, quick and gets you where you need to go. And know that the NY subway system is intense, so be smart, know where you want to go and be prepared to ask as you go, or get a map. We found everyone so kind and helpful. This is for sure a mode of transportation I will be using way more the next time I go as we fortunately had a great experience.
No wrong turn is wasted. So if you miss your exit leaving NY, know that sometimes a wrong turn could turn into your greatest moments. Exiting NY on what I believe was the Washington Bridge, gave us a city view we hadn’t planned on seeing and were blown away by the beauty of the lights and landscape of the city from across the Hudson River. The reflection of the lights on the water was something to see. So make that wrong turn…who knows what you’ll end up seeing!
And make sure you go with ‘your’ people. Those that make you pee your pants with laughter but are also there to wipe away your tears when you cry. This is key to a great road trip. You will laugh and there may be a time when you cry. Being in a car for 8 to 10 hours gives you time to talk about everything. The good, the bad and the ugly. And that’s what it is all about. Let the tears flow. You finally have the time to share your truths, you can finally let your walls down, because you know you are where you need to be. You are safe cuz your girls got you. And you have them. This is what your soul needs. And when you arrive at your destination you will feel like a clean slate, because the therapy you get from your friends is what you need!
So if you’ve been thinking or postponing a girls trip, don’t! Go do it! You won’t regret it!