Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Douglas & Sweet Mendi Sue Take NYC



In mid-November, I got a call from my dad saying he landed tickets to Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. He'd been calling the ticket line for weeks and finally got through! Jimmy is a family favorite so it was decided, they had to come visit! A trip was in the works! He surprised my mom for her birthday and they were here a few weeks later. I was beyond excited have them here in the city! Being so far away from family makes me truly cherish every moment I have with my parents. How I love them. They are my best friends. 






We wasted no time the night they got in. We explored Midtown, passing the Helmsley Building, popping in and out of decked out department stores until we made it to the tree! 





We shopped along Fifth Ave. and saw all the festive decor. Mendi Sue's all-time favorite is FAO Schwarz. I remember coming here with her on our first ever New York trip more than 10 years ago. It's every kindergarten teacher's dream! She was loving this stuffed moose! She's the best. 



A prom pose in front of the sparkly Plaza Hotel tree.



I had heard such good things about Jacob's Pickles on the Upper West Side so we headed there for dinner. Best decision we made all night. For their inaugural meal we devoured the biscuits & fixings (I dream about them), mac & cheese, and a honeymilk fried chicken caesar salad. We loved the food, the vibe, and the atmosphere. This has quickly become one of my favorite spots. We sat there for a probably two hours just chatting. There's not much I love more than catching up with family over a good meal. 





The next day, we shopped at the Union Square Holiday Market, Fishs Eddy, and grabbed lunch at a family favorite - Potbellys. We first discovered this place years ago on a family trip to Washington, D.C. and couldn't get enough. We went back multiple times for their yummy ice cream sandwiches. 




We also visited in the 9/11 Memorial that afternoon. It's one of the few reverent places in the city. Definitely full of emotion. I'm so glad they got to see it. 




We spent some time downtown seeing the New York Stock Exchange tree and the South Street Seaport tree. 




One of the highlights of the trip was seeing Wicked on Broadway. My parents had never seen it before and it had been years since I saw it in London so we were thrilled to see it together. It was incredible! Our Glenda was fabulous. I always leave the theater with a sense of astonishment and questions like, "What am I doing with my life?!" Those performers are so talented and polished. We walked home in the cold that night and once we were all warm and snugly sitting on the couch I thanked my lucky stars for moments like these with the people whom I love most. 




We hit up one of Mendi Sue's favorites, Sarabeth's, for brunch the next day. That chicken pot pie got me through many a cold winter months. It is to die for. 


We spent most of the day in Midtown where we ran into these guys. Lots of musicians are always trying to convince people on the streets to buy their CD's. My dad was so intrigued by this group. He made the mistake of looking them in the eye and they must have sensed a tourist vibe cause they totally caught him in a weak moment. He started talking with them, shaking their hands, and before we knew it he was taking out his wallet and handing them a $10 bill. The guy on the left said, "Why don't you just take that ten back and hand over a twenty?!" Haha, I was dying. Douglas just started laughing,  said, "Well, you don't get what you don't ask for," and handed over a twenty. We had a good laugh about this incident the rest of the day. 




While we were in Times Square, we hopped into the info center and wrote our hopes and dreams for 2014 on pieces of confetti that drop on New Year's Eve. I love this idea and hope to make it a tradition. 


And now for the whole purpose of the trip - Late Night with Jimmy Fallon! I have a celeb crush on Jimmy and seeing him in person was so fun. He is so talented and such a riot. I love how he laughs at his own jokes. We saw the last show before they went on holiday break and little did we know, Jimmy would go all out for his last episode of the year. He had done this "Twelve Days of Christmas" giveaway and saved the best for last on our specific show. Everyone left with a new laptop computer and XBOX! It was a show to remember! Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg did the "Thank You Notes" segment because it was his last day in office. The ugly sweater that Jimmy gives away to an audience member actually held an iPad with a screen shot of a burning fire. And last but certainly not least, we were picked to go sit behind The Roots as they performed "Silent Night" with Austin Mahone. There we were - swaying back and forth as a Justin Bieber wannabe sang and danced across the stage. I was laughing so hard. Merry Christmas, Jimmy!!! We love you so much! 

That night, we met up with Scotty for dinner at Lombardi's and attempted to make it to Big Gay Ice Cream before they closed. It didn't happen. So D+M have to come back. 










I love these pictures taken at one of my all-time favorite bakeries on the first snowy day of the season. My mom is a Levain vet but this was my dad's first time and I'm so glad he got to try. It's always a winner. 





We explored the Upper West Side a bit and did some shopping. Winter hit us hard that day. My parents were such good sports, I on the other hand, was not having it. Little did I know, it was only a foreshadowing of the long, harsh winter we would have. 







Couldn't get enough of that Union Square Holiday Market - Douglas had to go back and buy some hot chocolate mix for the road. 


This snowy day happened to be Santa Con where people dress up as scantily-clad Santas and get slammed as they go from bar to bar. It always makes for good entertainment. Mendi Sue even got a close up of some pole dancing on the subway. 



We had dinner and dessert at Max Brenner and I think Douglas was in a chocolate coma by the time we left. May have been his favorite meal of the whole trip. 



We grabbed some groceries for the next day at Whole Foods and Mendi Sue was too cute with her escalator-riding cart. City shopping at its finest. 




New York has this law that people must shovel their sidewalks within a certain number of hours after it stops snowing. Scott was asked to shovel the snow in front of our church, so we went up there and Mom and I watched as Dad and Scott went to work. This was a new one for us Westerners. 

My parents left the next day and thankfully, I knew I would see them just days later when we came home for Christmas. That made for one of the easiest goodbyes we've had to date. Thank you so much for coming, Mom and Dad. We so loved showing you around our town and making the best of memories. This was surely a trip for the books. 
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