A few weekends ago I was very sneaky.


I surprised my husband, Topher, with a weekend trip to New York City!

I'm not sure I can accurately describe the magic of New York City, but even with the millions of people all around, Topher and I managed to feel like it was our city just for one weekend.

Getting into the city was super easy, thankfully we didn't hit any traffic. Parking was available close to hotel, so we got the car put away and walked everywhere for the rest of the weekend. After checking into our hotel, LOLA on 29th Street (which I would recommend), and freshening up, we hit the town for our first evening of fun. A shopping spree at Topher's favorite tie shop, Andrew's Ties. 

Then dinner at the Greek restaurant Molyvos. We shared a bunch of traditional Greek appetizers and loved everything. We washed it all down with a few Greek beers and even saved room for the baklava, which I have had many times - and this was the best. ever!


Our first evening in the city was spent on Broadway. We had tickets to the now Tony award winning show, Once. I am not surprised one bit that this show cleaned up with eight Tony's. It was one of the top three shows I have seen on Broadway. We already knew the music since we were big fans of the movie and of Glen and Marketa. But I did purchase the Broadway show version of the soundtrack and had it shipped to me secretly so that we could listen to on the car ride. Not only did we listen to it in the car, but we also had it on in our hotel room while we were hanging out.


Here we are in Times Square post-show. It was bright, dirty, and crowded. It's worth seeing and getting a photo, but was probably our least favorite part of the trip. 


I had post-show snacks and drinks packed for the room. The window sill in the room was big enough for us to sit on and look out the window. This was our view, the Empire State Building. It was just so fun to hang out and talk about everything.


The next day we slept in until 8:30am...that is amazing since our girls usually have us up at 6am everyday. We didn't have any concrete plans other than we both wanted to investigate the Chelsea area. 

We found coffees and then we stumbled across La Maison du Macaron. Wow. 

   

They looked great and tasted even better. What a delicious little treat! I tried to talk Topher into cashing in his retirement and blowing it all on macarons. He strongly considered it, but decided the transaction would not go through until after we left the city. So we decided to hold tight for a while. 


There were so many super cool stores all over. I firmly believe if it doesn't exist in New York City, then it just doesn't exist. This vintage shop was my favorite of all the stores we visited. They had clothing, home goods, bathing suits, hats, and aprons. 

Which reminds that I found tons of cookie inspiration throughout the city. Here are a just a few examples of things that I thought would make fun cookie designs.

   

   

The top left is the blind from our hotel room. The red rose was on a dress at the vintage shop. The iron gate with the heart pattern is from the New York Life Insurance building's entryway. The tree with bird was a pocket on an apron at the vintage shop. 


But the real cookie inspiration came from Eleni's, the world-famous, New York based cookie boutique. 

   

They had lots of amazing cookie favors, a demonstration table, and a huge cookie display for grab and go cookies.


Toph and I shared a star cookie and got Grace an octopus. They were delicious!


We enjoyed a stroll though a garden and a few more shops and before we knew it lunch time was passed and we were starving. I had a craving for Belgian fries, so Toph quickly looked it up on his phone and much to our delight, we discovered that New York City had a Pommes Frites. This is actually a chain and we have been to the San Francisco location a few times and loved it. They offer the BEST fries, crunchy on the outside and soft and warm on the inside, with 20 or so dips to choose from. 


We got our fries and set up a little picnic for two in a nearby park. We watched the passers-by and enjoyed watching a man feed soft pretzels to a flock of pigeons. 


The fries made us thirsty, really thirsty. And thankfully we were right next to McSorley's, the oldest Irish Pub in the US. 


I had light and Toph had dark. For 3 o'clock, the place was jamming. 


With all the walking, shopping, eating and drinking, we were starting to feel a little pooped. I had popped our playing cards and rummy score book into my purse, so we found a table for two in the Union Square Park and played a few games. If Topher looks a little glum in this photo, it might be because my lead is lenthening. He caught up a bit while I was pregnant. I just wasn't on my game. But now, I'm back and ready to kick some rummy butt. We have been playing this same game since February 2005 and our score book is part record of our games, and part record of our lives together. We date each game we play with a little note about what's going on. It's fun to look back over the years to see when we got engaged, or found out we were pregnant... just so many memories. 

While we decided on a plan for our last evening in the city, we rested a bit in the hotel room. I enjoyed the view and Toph researched a good pizza place.

   

Actually, that night we had pizza twice. Once for dinner at a wood-fired pizza restaurant (good, but nothing worth writing home about), and again from a street-side pizza stand. The 2nd 'snack' pizza was amazing...thin, chessy, and yummy. They say it's the water that makes New York City pizza the best.


We look exhausted in this photo...and we were. But we enjoyed a few drinks and a great view of the city. I blame my two cosmos for the Swatch purchase I made afterward. 

We slept so well that night. 

The next morning we packed up, got coffee, and got on the road. By this point we were excited to get home to see our girls. We had t-shirts and a few goodies for them and couldn't wait to give them hugs.

Back to the routine, hanging with my girls. And...


...of course, back to the cookies. These chocolate cookies were made using some fun mini-cutters I found at Chelsea Market. They aren't much bigger than a few inches, but aren't they cute? 

I'm not sure when Toph and I will be able to sneak away for such an amazing adventure - might be years. But until we do, we'll have the amazing memories - and watches - from the great 'I heart TY weekend'!

Have a sweet day,

Anne