My mom and I often talked about having a girls weekend in NYC. We’d see a couple shows, go shopping, and explore the endlessly exciting city. Unfortunately, our plans never came to fruition, but I just experienced the next best thing…
Four days in the Big Apple with my fabulous pals, Margaret Ethridge (a.k.a. Maggie Wells) and Kristan Higgins! It was destined to be an amazing trip based on the company alone, but it far surpassed my expectations.
Things started off magically when I received a free upgrade on my WestJet flight because of my Justin Trudeau t-shirt. When you fly first class, you get free booze, too! Thanks to my new best friend, Mike, for snapping the pic. 😀
Thankfully, Mags was waiting for me at LaGuardia, because in my slightly inebriated state, I’m not sure I could have found my way out of the airport. By the time we made it to our home away from home in the Lower East Side, Kristan was there waiting for us. The outside had its, um…charms.
But the interior was EVERYTHING I WANTED IT TO BE.
Look at it! Isn’t it adorable?
We spent some time getting settled, but soon our stomachs were rumbling and we went off in search of sustenance. One of the things I loved the most about NYC were all the places we stumbled upon by chance. And everywhere we went, the food was awesome. Our first taste of New York was at a pub-like place, and, you guys, it was so lovely and warm outside that we sat on the patio while we ate our delicious fries and sandwiches.
One of our missions whilst in New York was to attempt to find me a man. We stopped at Whole Foods since Kristan’s ‘Love in Aisle Five’ short story (which is brilliant and hilarious and you should totally read it) proved that one could find more than just pea protein and make-your-own trailmix in the eco-minded grocery store chain. I was perusing the peanut butter selection when Mags and Kristan pointed out a cute boy giving free Toast beer samples.
The beer tasted like feet. I might have said that part out loud. Note to self: Boys don’t like it when you tell them their beer tastes like feet. Don’t worry, though. I got another chance to flirt soon after, and this boy was WAY cuter, and his beer samples didn’t taste like feet! He (Devin – yes, I totally spotted his nametag) was serving up UFO beer, the kind even Mulder and Scully would approve of. My matchmakers extraordinaire convinced me to return to Devin’s sample station and tell him that we all thought he was really cute and wanted to buy his last case of beer.
So I did…while the girls watched from afar, giggling at my awkwardness and Devin’s blushing. Later that night, we learned how ridiculously great Kristan is at Facebook stalking. We also spent time helping each other with plotting. These women are seriously two of the best plotters on the planet. My story is gonna rock SO HARD because of them!
Kristan became an official member of Team Awesome that night.
Day One = mad success.
We had an early start on Day Two. Our first stop: the Staten Island Ferry to check out Lady Liberty.
It was another beautiful day weather-wise, and the sights were spectacular.
I stood next to a young Asian guy on the ferry, and as we got closer and closer to the statue, he kept grabbing my arm and letting out excited ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs.’ I couldn’t help but join him. Even for someone who wasn’t born in the good old US of A, I truly appreciate the history and the importance, especially now, of such a statue.
We did lots of walkin’ and talkin’ and even some shoppin’. I think it was around the City Hall area where I came upon a woman wearing the most fantastic shoes I’d ever seen. These gems:
She even posed for me and everything. The nice lady informed me she bought her pretty, pretty red Nike shoes at the Nike store in SoHo. So after we ate some street meat and hit up Wall Street to see Fearless Girl…
…we set off to find The Shoes. You guys, the Nike store had SIX FLOORS. Six floors of shoes and sportsy things and…GUH! Heaven, I’m in shoe heaven, and my heart beats so that I can hardly speak. I marched straight up to the first salesperson I saw and showed them the pic of the shoes, which, of course, were on the sixth floor. I dragged my poor girlfriends to the very top of my new favourite store, pausing to worship other shoes along the way.
Once on the sixth floor, Durrell, Nike salesperson of the year, shared the news that my beloved shoes only came in kids’ sizes. I wasn’t discouraged, though. I told him to find me the largest kids’ size they had and I’d try them on. Fifteen minutes later, he finally came back with a box that held a pair of shoes I doubted would ever fit me. But the shoe gods were smiling down on me that day, my friends. They. Fit. Perfectly. I actually hugged Durrell. And here they are on my feet, where they belong.
There was a brief period of time when we were Lost in Manhattan. Hollywood is negotiating movie rights with us.
These hats will also be featured in the movie.
Another memorable part of the day was our visit to Ground Zero. I teared up a few times as we circled around the memorial and I pressed my fingers against some of the names carved into the bronze parapets. I was still a teenager on that fateful day, but I can recall exactly where I was, what I was doing, and how utterly devastated I felt upon hearing the news.
Kristan took us on a little tour of Greenwich Village (or just The Village to locals), and along the way we passed by a palm reader. As it turns out, my current work-in-progress is a story that involves palm reading, so Kristan and Mags insisted I get my palm read for research purposes. I plan to write a separate blog post about the experience, but to give you the gist: I’m going to live a long, wonderful life, I’ll soon find love, and this apparent love of my life is already IN my life. Intrigue. Oh, and I’m having three babies so I better get crackin’!
Next stop: Washington Square Park. I LOVED this place! There was a guy making ginormous bubbles, and I obviously joined in the fun. I promise I didn’t trample over any of the children…at least not intentionally.
Only in NYC will you find a man typing a poem for a newlywed couple.
And a guy pretending to be a statue, just because. I was instantly reminded of Andrew in The Festival of Living Art (shoutout to my Gilmore Girls peeps)!
Kristan took us for dinner in The Village at her fave Italian place, Porto Bello. It was such a cute place, and the food was awesome!
We had planned to go private room karaoke-ing that night, but the karaoke bar near our pad was completely booked. Instead, we made a reservation for Saturday night, went back to our home away from home, curled up in our PJs, and watched some hilariously mockable true crime TV.
Saturday, Day Three, was another jam-packed day. All throughout the weekend, Kristan taught us how to ride the NYC subway like pros. It was on this particular day that we met Alfred, my future husband.
Alfred entertained us with several songs and comedic bits. I’ll never forget him or his giant salmon.
We saw Rockefeller Center!
Sigourney Weaver was our elevator operator at Tiffany’s. Okay, not really, but the woman’s voice sounded EXACTLY like hers. #CelebrityEncounter
We went on a horse-drawn carriage ride through Central Park, which is HUGE! And so lovely! And our horse’s name was Charlie!
We saw The Plaza! I totally had flashbacks of It Could Happen to You, and I pretended I was Bridget Fonda and twirled around the lobby, touching all the pretty things.
We grabbed some lunch after Kristan and Mags got shoulder/back massages. I was totes jelly of their post-massage euphoria.
The girls indulged me and let me see Times Square, live and in-person. I gotta say, I LOVE AMERICA!
It’s funny, I remember it was cold that day, but I suddenly didn’t feel so cold when Naked Cowboy came along….
We went into the Swatch store! So many watches, so many colours, so many ribbons!
I <3 Times Square!
We toured the Chelsea Market and walked along the High Line. Kristan was the highLIGHT of the High Line. And she probably doesn’t remember posing like this. #KodakMoment
Basically, our day was so crammed full of awesome that we had to rush to make it to karaoke on time. Words cannot describe how flipping amazing the experience was. Kristan and I sang Endless Love like we were put on this earth to do just that. I mean, LOOK at the emotion on our faces.
And we can all agree that our rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody is one of the best ever recorded. Yes, it was recorded, but you can never see it. We made a pact. Private room karaoke is totally my new favourite thing because no one takes the microphone away from you! You can sing ALL the songs. It’s glorious!
After karaoke, we went home…NOT. The night was still young! We had one major sight to check off on our must-see list: The Empire State Building!
It took us three different elevators to get to the very top, but get there we did, and wow, what a spectacular view of the city!
When we finally made it back home, we filled up on snacks and leftovers. I ate my first slice of Junior’s cheesecake (dinner of champions), there was hugging and gushing and so much happiness.
The fairytale ended on Sunday and we had to part ways, but I haven’t been able to wipe the smile off my face since. It was truly one of the best weekends of my life, and I’m so grateful I was able to do it all with two of the coolest gals and writer pals! Thanks for the memories! <3