Travels

How To Spend A Couple’s Weekend in New York City

My husband and I just celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary! We left the kids with Grandma and drove into New York City for two nights. I didn’t feel as though the city was as crowded as prepandemic times. It felt lively and energetic, ready to get back to usual.

Went stayed at the Moxy Chelsea hotel in the flower district. I loved walking out the door and seeing flowers and plants all over the sidewalks. The room was definitely on the smaller side but we had everything we needed for our weekend and I slept comfortably.

Our first night we ate at Serra by Birreria, the rooftop bar/restaurant. The food was delicious! I loved all the floral decor.

For our one full day in the city we ate brunch at The Little Owl in West Village. Walking around the streets of West Village feels as though you are in a different city. It was quiet! I felt as though I could be walking around in Charleston.

From there we walked to Washington Square Park, somewhere I’d never wandered to while in NYC in the past. I wanted to see the arch! I created a reel about the park, on Instagram, if you want to check it out.

We went back to the hotel for some siesta time after that. I was sweating and needed a breather. We grabbed a late lunch near the hotel, nothing special, and relaxed before heading to Yankee Stadium for the evening. I wanted to visit The High Line but with the heat we didn’t end up going. Another time 🙂

Sunday morning we slept in for as long as two parents possibly can after years of early rising with kids, got some New York bagels (the best!) and headed home late morning. Driving around the city is a little nutty, we felt comfortable taking the Metro a few times on Saturday since we are vaccinated, but driving home felt like it took forever. Always does I guess.

Since we only live about an hour and a half outside the city it was easy to skip the major NYC attractions we’ve been to or want to take the kids to in the future. If you are coming from further away, seeing the World Trade Center site is always amazing and of course the Statue of Liberty. I feel like Times Square isn’t anything great but you should see it at least once in your life. Rockefeller Plaza is fun to see in winter.

There are many rooftop eating options that give you a great view of the city, instead of paying for tickets to go to the top of the Empire State Building or others, book some food reservations before you go. I knew we would have a city view from our hotel and I’ve been to the top of the Twin Towers in my childhood, so I did not worry about making sure we did extra views on this trip. When Broadway reopens seeing a show is a must see! I’ve got tickets for October for Hamilton and am overexcited for that.

Here are some other of my favorite pictures from the weekend:

What are your must see places in New York City?

Connecticut State Parks

Connecticut State Park Journeys: Connecticut Valley Railroad State Park

Locally this is referred to as the Essex Steam Train and I did not know until more recently the actual name and that it’s considered a state park. Awesome! I have been on the train many times for their super popular Christmas train. One autumn I dragged some family on the train and boat ride for a fall tour; that ride was my favorite of them all. I have yet to do the dinner train but it’s on my list.

The grounds are beautifully decorated for autumn, highly recommend going in the fall!

If you’ve ever only done the Essex Christmas train I highly recommend the autumn train and boat ride and buy tickets early 🙂

Travels

A Morning In Hartford, Connecticut: Visiting The Mark Twain House and Elizabeth Park

Touring inside Mark Twain’s house in Hartford has been on my Connecticut bucket list for years. I decided to take matters into my own hands, instead of waiting for someone to come with me, and I booked a solo ticket for a Friday morning. I arrived at 10 a.m. for the 10:30 tour and was on property for an hour and a half. The house and grounds are stunning!

I explored the visitor’s center while waiting for my tour to begin. It was very cool seeing Clemen’s (his real name) notes, eyeglasses, items from his time in Hartford, even inventions he invested in. You are not allowed to take pictures inside the house and unbeknownst to me also inside the visitor’s center. I took some, sorry!

After my tour I drove about ten minutes to Elizabeth Park in West Hartford. A place I had only seen in pictures and knew I needed to wander around. I parked near the Pond Cafe and walked around for a bit. The path along the back of the cafe was beautiful and the mural around the side is a must see. I loved all the different places to sit and be.

English Factory dress from Nordstrom, thrifted New Balance sneakers

Spending time alone with myself has become a mental health need for me. With my kids almost done with the school year I am soaking in the me time as much as I can since I know it won’t return until the end of August. I know there is a lot more wandering in Hartford I’d like to explore but these two locations were a lovely way to spend a morning!