Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Big Apple Christmas & DC New Year Recap: Better Late Than Never

Yes, I know Christmas has been over for more than a month already, but I’ve had such a busy start to my new year that I’m just now finally getting around to recapping the holidays, which were awesome in every way. From spending an amazing week in New York City with my mom and sister to showing them the sights back here in DC through the beginning of 2014, it was by far one of my favorite Christmases ever. Here, in a nutshell, are some of our top holiday highlights.

-- Our midtown hotel in New York City, the Westin Grand Central, was comfortable, clean and close enough to many major sights without the expensive Times Square price tag. It also offered a great view of the Chrysler Building, one of my favorite NYC landmarks. Overall, I liked it a lot and would definitely stay there again.


-- I'm a big fan of Monet and Van Gogh, so it was fabulous seeing their pieces on display at both the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum of Modern Art.


-- Heading up to the top of the Empire State Building on Christmas Eve was freezing but still worth it for the amazing panoramic views of the city. The Heartland Brewery restaurant next door also served the best baked macaroni and cheese I’ve ever eaten!



-- It was my first time visiting Dylan’s Candy Bar, and I'm happy to say that I now understand the reason for all of the well-deserved hype! Chocolate- and candy-covered Oreos were my favorite treat, followed closely by a s'more chocolate bar. Oh, how I wish they would open one of these here in DC!


-- By far the biggest highlight of our trip was going to see three Broadway shows – Waiting for Godot staring Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen, The Glass Menagerie staring Zachary Quinto, and Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella. All three were incredible, and if you ever have the chance to go to New York City and see them, I highly recommend doing so! Back in DC, we also rung in 2014 by going to see the musical Elf at the Kennedy Center. (We forgot to take pictures of the shows' marquee signs, so here's a shot of the iconic Grand Central Terminal clock instead.)  


-- The Central Park Zoo’s snow leopard cubs were truly adorable, climbing, tumbling and playing outside in the chilly weather.


-- The potato pancakes we ate at New York's famous Katz's Deli, of When Harry Met Sally fame, were beyond scrumptious.


-- Back in DC, my mom, sister, Stephen and I had a fun time visiting George Washington’s Mount Vernon, where we pet a sweet Christmas camel and got to tour the usually closed off top level of the mansion.




-- Space Shuttle Discovery, which I saw flying above our old apartment complex on its way to the Smithsonian back in 2012, is now housed at the National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Northern Virginia, where we took refuge one cold and rainy afternoon.


All in all, I loved the holidays and can’t wait to head back to NYC again, hopefully sometime this year. If you’ve been there before, what are some of your favorite things to do? Any recommendations for my next visit? Going to the Metropolitan Opera for a show and backstage tour is definitely at the top of my list!  

26 comments:

  1. What a great view from the top of the Empire State Building! Glad you had fun. I always love going there.

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    1. Thanks, Nali! I can't wait for my next NYC trip!

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  2. I love the book Waiting for Godot! Looks like an amazing trip. We will have to take the boys to see the Shuttle too, I didn't realize it was out here!

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    1. You should definitely take a family trip to see the Shuttle! It was awesome. I never read Waiting for Godot before seeing the play, but I loved the story and acting.

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  3. Glad you enjoyed your stay in NYC! Love your pictures. :)

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    1. Thanks, Ghenet! I'm excited to start planning my next visit!

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  4. loved the recap! looks like the most amazing trip!

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    1. Thanks, Elle! It was definitely awesome!

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  5. How fun!!! I love your photos, Heather!

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    1. Thanks, girl! My sister took some of them. :)

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  6. i love that you had a great time in NYC....you saw the spaceship too...was that the same one that flew across DC last year?

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    1. Thanks, Mrs. Pancakes! Yeah, the space shuttle flew right over my old apartment complex and into DC back in 2012. It was such an amazing sight!

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  7. wow you hit all the great sites of NYC while you were there, so awesome! WOW your amazing holiday season reminds me how I haven't left the house at all..LOL, You def. did so many awesome things during the holidays! I really want to see Cinderella, I love Laura Osnes. I used to work at the Met Opera - but unfortunately all my connections there have since left...before I could have totally gotten you on one of their tours though! I'll inquire with one person I still know there.

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    1. Thanks, Laura!

      Laura Osnes was so great in the show, but I heard that she's leaving next week! Carly Rae Jepsen is taking over the role for a while, and then I'm not sure who they're going to get next. I also heard that Fran Drescher is going to be playing the stepmother for a while. I'm glad I got to see it with pretty much the original cast, aside from the fairy godmother. If you can go, you still should, though, since it was really fun. They updated the story so that instead of just wanting to go to the ball to get the prince to marry her, Cinderella wants to tell him about the oppression taking place in their kingdom and how things could be better. Some of the lines and jokes were definitely cheesy for an adult audience, but for a kids' story, I thought it was cute and had a good message. I've been listening to the original cast recording non-stop ever since, too!

      I really want to go the Met Opera during March if I can, because Diana Damrau, who I absolutely love, is going to be performing there. I saw her in recital at the Kennedy Center last year, which was amazing. Thanks for checking with the person you still know there, too! I saw on their website that they offer a backstage tour for the public, which we can hopefully sign up for.

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  8. You lucky thing! it looks like you had a great time and I would LOVE to see those shows! I love Monet as well and hope that exhibit is on in a few months!

    xoxo,
    Chic 'n Cheap Living

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    1. Thanks! It was definitely an awesome trip! :)

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  9. So glad that you had a good time! I am completely craving chocolate covered Oreos now. So good!

    Loving your pictures.

    I never did get to going to the city in December and this post makes me realize that I missed out big time.

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    1. Thanks, Faith! I definitely hope you'll get to visit at some point. The good thing about the city is that it's always there! :)

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  10. The City look beautiful. I would love to spend Christmas in NYC.

    Tracy @ Sunny Days and Starry Nights

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    1. Thanks! It definitely was beautiful.

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  11. You had me at Dylan's Candy Bar. Now I'm REALLY intrigued because I thought it was super overhyped too, but now that you're saying it's AMAZEBALLS...

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    1. Yeah, it really was great, and the hype totally makes sense to me now! I loved everything I tried and will definitely be going back the next time I'm in New York.

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  12. I love your blog
    followed
    http://minimaysi.blogspot.co.uk/

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