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New York City

Updated: Sep 15, 2023

Our itinerary 

If you know me at all, you know I love a good surprise, especially in the form of travel! Alec turned 23 back in August and wanted to do something spontaneous for his “jump man” birthday. We ended up going skydiving with his family in Dallas, Texas at the Dallas Skydive Center. It was such an exhilarating experience and probably one I’d never do again but so glad to say we go to do that together. So of course for my birthday I too wanted to do something unforgettable and boy did Alec come through.

Day 1: 

Before leaving for our trip Alec had given me a hint (because as much as I love surprises a girl’s gotta plan) to pack warmly & be ready to bundle up. Once we arrived at the airport & made it through security, we made a quick pitstop at Starbucks before heading to our gate. As we walked up to the gate the flight attendant made an announcement about NYC and my jaw dropped! I had only been to New York once before for a gymnastics meet as a kid, however we didn’t get to do nearly as much sightseeing as I would have liked. Alec had been once before as well as a kid, during Christmas time and had always dreamed of going back & sharing that experience with me!

Once we touched down in the Big Apple we hoped in an Uber and headed to our hotel. We checked in, dropped of our bags in our cute little hotel room, & were ready to start celebrating! Our hotel was super centrally located, which was incredible, so we walked over to Grand Central Station to explore before enjoying a complementary happy hour at our hotel rooftop bar. They offered one red and one white plus some snacky foods which was the perfect starter before heading to dinner. After a quick refresh + outfit change we got in another Uber and headed to our dinner reservations at Suga Factory. We of course couldn’t resist ordering a famous giant fish bowl drink, so we got the Watermelon Patch and split the Buffalo Chicken Sandwich. As if having that giant sugary drink wasn’t enough, they also gave me a complimentary birthday sundae with a sparkler in it! Knowing that we had a short yet eventful weekend ahead of us, once we wrapped up dinner we headed back to our hotel to catch some zzz’s & prepare for the rest of our trip.

Day 2:

Saturday morning we woke up pretty early to hit the ground running for our full day of sightseeing! We started our day off with some coffee from Starbs then headed to walk around the city. We got to see St patrick's Cathedral which was an absolutely breathtaking church and must see. Next we walked to the Rockefeller Center to see the famous Christmas tree during the day plus watch all the people ice skate on the rink below. After that we headed over to Saks Fifth Avenue to window shop and ooh and aah at all the fancy stores. Next we headed over to Central Park to walk around & ride the famous carousel in the center of the park. At this point it was already past noon and we were exhausted plus in need of a recharge. We walked over to Serendipity to grab lunch however the wait was far too long and we were getting very hangry. So we quickly changed the game plan and headed to Dylan’s Candy Bar around the corner for a nice rooftop lunch on top of their candy shop. Unfortunately their restaurant is no longer open but we loved everything we had to eat. After wrapping up at lunch we headed over to M&M World do grab some souvenirs and treat our sweet tooth. Once we had our sugar fix, we walked over to Time Square to do a little more shopping and people watching before heading back to our hotel for a quick change + recharge.

We were both still so full from lunch we ended up skipping dinner and headed straight for Radio City Music Hall to watch the Radio City Rockettes show. Alec had been to this show as a kid but this was my first time attending and I was obsessed! It was such a great performance & fun experience, we highly recommend getting tickets if you go to NYC during Christmas time. Once the show was over we headed back to the Rockefeller Center to see the tree all lit up at night plus watch the light show on Saks Fifth Avenue. After a jam packed day of walking all around the city and sightseeing we were ready to hit the hay before another busy day!

Day 3:

Our last full day in NYC was just as packed as the rest. We started our morning grabbing a delicious breakfast at a local place called Comfort Diner. It was such a cute, quiet, and unique little restaurant tucked into the busy streets of New York. Once we finished eating we Ubered to the Battery Park area to see the Statue of Liberty. A lesson we learned very quickly, if you want to take the official Statue of Liberty ferry to Liberty and Ellis Island you MUST plan in advance. We sadly approached the massive line wrapped all around the park but just as we were about to give up a man approached us with tickets to get on his company’s boat to get closer to the island (you can’t get on the island unless you take the official ferry). Although we were extremely sketched out we are also super interested because I really wanted a better view of the Statue of Liberty. Timidly we followed this man, paid for our tickets, waited in a decently long line (which made us feel better), finally got on a ferry, crossed over the border to New Jersey (state check), and took a icture infront of the statue. So long story short, plan ahead if you want to go on the island, I would not recommend doing it our way lol. Once we made it back to land, we walked over to the World Trade Center. After taking a moment of silence and praying for all of those lives lost + loved ones left behind, we headed in the 911 memorial & museum and did the audio tour. This could totally take up a whole day if you had the time but we ended up spending about 3 hours in the museum. Such a beautiful museum to commemorate such a tragic event while reminding us that we can find strength by standing together.

Once we left the museum we hopped in an Uber and headed to Little Italy for dinner. After walking up & down the street we finally decided on Luna Ristorante. Alec was super pumped with this choice because as we were being seated we walked right past the U.S. Men’s Soccer team enjoying dinner just a couple of tables over from ours. After dinner we went to see the Arch at Washington Square while enjoying some lovely music from the “Piano Guy'' in the park. Of course to top our night off, we went back to Times Square to see the city that never sleeps one more time before heading back home to Texas the next morning. After taking in all the hustle & bustle, we got some infamous cheesecake from Juniors and went back to our hotel.

Day 4:

We had an early flight back home on Christmas Eve to celebrate our last Christmas before becoming husband & wife, in March, with our families!


Where to stay

Alec booked our hotel through and we seriously lucked out! We stayed at the Club Quarters Hotel- Grand Central and loved everything about it. The hotel room was pretty small but perfect for 2 people. Every night from 5-7pm they had a happy hour with complimentary wine (be sure to get there sooner rather than later because they do run out) as well as snacks in their Club Living Room. The hotel was also very close to the Grand Central Station which made traveling around the city super easy.


Where to eat


Brunch/Lunch & Dinner

Dylan’s Candy Bar (unfortunately no longer open for dining)

Junior’s (best known for their cheesecake)



What to do

Other faves


the stegalls

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