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For 32 years of my life, I shared a birthday with a really special guy, my Grandfather; we called him Pops. In all my life, I’ve never known anyone with a bigger heart, who loved his family more than him. My mom was his only child, and my brother and myself the only grandkids. Pops and my Grandmother, Mama, moved from their home in Boise, ID to Texas when we were little kids to be close to us. I can’t remember a single event in my life where they weren’t present, especially our birthday!
Every year, Pops would be the first one to call me, bright and early, to sing “Happy Birthday” to me, and every year we had our family birthday party where I would have a chocolate cake, and he would have lemon cake, then he would “steal” my chocolate cake! The dirty rat! So naturally, the first birthday without him was going to be brutal! I really did not want to celebrate. My mom came up with the idea that they two of us should just get out of dodge!
I didn’t really have any vacation days at work, so we had to make my day off count! We took the very first flight out of DFW to NYC, loaded up on caffeine in the airport Starbucks and immediately hit the ground running in NYC!
First stop was the amazing Casablanca Hotel that sits a block off of Times Square. “Could there BE a better location?” (get it? Chandler Bing?) It really was perfectly located, and it included so much!
Our room was perfect for us. We really didn’t plan to spend much time in it, and I don’t mind sharing a bed with my mom! The bed was comfortable, and the bathroom just the right size too! The hotel even put in a bottle of wine to wish me a happy birthday with!
My mom knows that I need to be fed within an hour of waking up, and now as a mom that included being caffeinated! The hanger becomes fierce and fast if I don’t eat. When we travel together, she looks for a place that includes continental breakfast, and not only did the Casablanca Hotel include breakfast but they also include wine & cheese in the afternoon!
After we dropped our luggage off, we headed down the block for Times Square! We explored around for a bit then headed down the street for lunch at the famous Junior’s Bakery so we could have some of their world famous cheesecake. I tried to be good, knowing I’d be indulging in cheesecake, so got a cobb salad…with blue cheese dressing. The lettuce counts for something right? The cheesecake did not disappoint! It was really good!
With so much to see in a short amount of time, it was time to get out our super speedy, trusty tourist map! Yeah, I’m kidding! This is just a classic Mom pose on all our vacations. She loves a good map & tourist book! We hoofed it around NYC down Broadway, over to Rockafeller Center, and of course to iconic stops like the NBC building and Macy’s.
We started walking towards Central Park and were approached by one of the 5 million tour services. Normally. we wouldn’t take a paid tour like this an opt to go on foot, but since we were trying to cover a lot of turf in a short amount of time we decided to splurge! We jumped in the Pedicab and were off.
We could not have asked for more beautiful weather, and the Pedicab driver did take us to places we never would have made it to on foot that day! Central Park is beautiful, and I can’t wait to go back when we have more time to explore all around it. Click here for more information on a great pedicab tour company!
There’s that travel bag I use again! It really is perfect when you’re out in a big city so you’re not lugging around a huge bag that you have to worry about!
Our final stop on our pedicab tour was the obligatory picture in The Plaza Hotel for my little Home Alone 2 fans! Landry was not too pleased that I went there without him. I’ll have to take him back one day for their Home Alone 2 package! After the Plaza, it was time to run back to our hotel to clean up, enjoy some of their wine, then head out for dinner and a show!
Dinner was at a fantastic restaurant called Le Rivage. We were able to walk from the hotel, and it was just a couple blocks from the Majestic Theater as well! They offer a Prix Fix menu for theater patrons. I choose the escargot, Coq au Vin, and Creme Brule! They had us in and out in plenty of time to make it to the theater, the service was outstanding, and the food was incredible! This will be a must stop on our next visit to NYC for sure!
I have wanted to see Phantom for as long as I can remember! The one time my mom had tickets when it came through Dallas, she took my dad who so didn’t appreciate the greatness!!! The Majestic Theater is beautiful and everything you expect from a Broadway Theater. I’m pretty sure I cried most of the way through it!
Show Tickets is a great resource for not only picking up your tickets to the theater but also for city tour passes, and tickets to the 911 Museum & Statue of Liberty!
We were up and at it really the next morning to squeeze in our last couple stops before our flight out that afternoon. We took the subway down to the 9/11 Memorial & World Trade Center. The last time I had been to NYC was in 2000! It was chilling to be standing on the grounds where so many people lost their lives, and so moving to see all of their names on the beautiful display. We toured the museum and then started walking towards the ferry boats so we could catch our glimpses of the Statue of Liberty.
We didn’t have time to take one of the tours that get you up close, so we took the ferry boat across the river and back again! It really was a great view of not only the Statue of Liberty but also of the city! If you want to save a little money on your visit, I would absolutely recommend checking it out this way!
The kind people at the Casablanca Hotel had one last treat in store for us for our ride back to the airport! Instead of arranging a cab for us, they had a limo pick us up! How nice!!!
We had such a fun time, but I’m not gonna lie, my feet were toast by the time we stepped onto the airplane! That’s travel with my mom though! We will use every second of a quick trip to the most potential! Have you been to New York? How long did you stay? Did I miss seeing anything? Let me know in the comments!
Looking to plan a trip for yourself? The included links are a great place to start! Don’t forget, I’m a travel agent with Kingdom Destinations and would be more than happy to help you plan your next vacation! Email me today at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can get to planning!Follow Our Story