Last month Pete and I were fortunate enough to end our 2011 with two amazing friends in New York City. Our friends Dan and Kailen went on vacation in NYC and unbeknownst to Kailen, Dan had flown me out because he was planning on proposing to her and he wanted me to be waiting in the bushes ready to photograph the entire event. You can see all about the surprise proposal and engagement session here.

After the epic proposal and Kailen's shocked realization that Pete and I were here to crash the party, we had approximately 72 hours in the Big Apple to tourist it up, and man did we make the rounds.  The architecture in NYC is amazing, and their insistance of using EVERY SINGLE SQUARE INCH is also amazing. There is no waste in Manhattan... there is just no room for it.

We mostly stayed on Manhattan, and had my Aunt Joan and Uncle Rob who live there as additional tour guides. It was a whirlwind 72 hours and Pete and I left with a little bit of our hearts staying behind dreaming about an alternate life that could have brought us to NYC as residents. We came home to our baby boy (which was the longest we had ever been away from him) and plan to come visit again, next time hopefully for a week for each of the boroughs and a week for each of the museums alone!

Time Square is a different beast depending on the time of day you walk it. Our first time was about 7am on Saturday morning, the sun just cresting over the horizon, the maintance men picking up the trash and debree from Friday night, and just a couple of stray tourists and clubbing people just stumbling home from a full night of partying.  It seemed like we were in the quiet before the storm... the storm that is the millions of people who wake up and make their way through Times Square daily. Then we found ourselves walking through the same streets Saturday night. The lights from all the billboards and advertisments lighting up the sky for miles and navigating through what seemed to be one entire entity of people that was in reality just a normal Saturday night in December for W 46th St and 7th Ave.

My Aunt and Uncle were amazing hosts while we were there. They met us at the airport at 6am. They sat with us in the cold December morning waiting for the proposal and celebrated with us at brunch afterwards. They showed us the city like only New Yorkers can.  This was the first time I've been able to see them in their own element. We weren't at my parents house for Thanksgiving when everything is rushed and overwhelming, but we were able to walk their streets and experience a slice of their lives and get to know them as they are day to day. It was an experience I'll always treasure!  That is Pete, Rob and Joan below and then Pete and I below that... in all our sleep deprived, overly caffeinated deliriousness that is taking a red eye to NYC...

I saw this gem of an advertisment while walking through Times Square and still can't figure out how they missed that a foot should be somewhere attached to that leg. Some hint of a foot somewhere, but there is none. It gives me a giggle :)

 

We stayed at Park 79th on the Upper West Side. Beautiful boutique hotel, and our first glimpse of many of what it means for New Yorkers to use EVERY available square inch. Pete had to literally turn sideways to get into the door. At the end of the day though, you don't go to New York to hang out in a hotel room, so it was perfect.

Everyone says that Central Park is more beautiful in the spring, but I find that there is a stark beauty to trees when they are stripped clean and showing their bare bones. They are beautiful with and without "clothes" in my mind.

Need a Christmas tree in the city? Go find one and drag that sucker home. No cars for you!

 

Have I mentioned how much I love Kailen and Dan? They are such special friends and getting to expirience NY with them made it just that much more awesome! They gave us good inside tips as well, as breakfast at Dean & Deluca, it's worth the treck to Queens for some amazing Mac and cheese from a bar in Astoria (which of course I can't remember the name of ) and that when you get NY Cheesecake, you can probably share one piece among four people, and apparently there are different platforms for different trains when riding the subway. That makes sense, but what doesn't make sense in the signage in the subway. Redonkculous!

And just for Barbie, we did a facedown on the Brooklyn Bridge. Got yelled at by New Yorkers and everything. It was awesome! Don't know what a facedown is? Check it out at www.ilovefacedowns.com

Hands down best advertisement ever!

now to plotting our next adventure....

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