With the kids jingle belling
And everyone telling you be of good cheer
It's the most wonderful time of the year"
Nowhere is this catchy jingle more true than New York at Christmastime.
We have been fortunate enough to make it to New York once a year for the past 4 or 5 years. Never, in all those visits, or my own before my children were born, had I been to New York at Christmas. I always wanted to, but that time of year is always so busy. I made it a priority that 2016 would be the year we visited New York at Christmastime.
Sunday (Aladdin, Banana Splits, Rockefeller Center and Snow):
We woke up late, ate a great breakfast at Nice Matin, the restaurant connected to our hotel, and then hit the subway heading to Times Square. Times Square is not a usual New York stop for us, but it was our destination this day because we had tickets to an afternoon Broadway show of Aladdin.
After the show we headed toward Rockefeller Center to get a picture by the infamous tree. Sunday might not have been the best time for that seeing as it is THE tourist destination in the city at that time of year.
It began to snow on us at Rockefeller Center. At this point I was starving because snacks at a theater, no matter how delicious, do not count as a meal for me. So we walked and walked and came upon a restaurant called Bobby Vann's. It was a fantastic meal, and when we ordered one banana split for all of us to share we had no idea it looked like this or was going to cost $22.
Monday (Ice Skating, Macy's, Santa, Hot Chocolate and Basketball):
The plan was to head to Bryant Park on Sunday night, but after walking six blocks in the snow and realizing I was already freezing, we headed back to the hotel and got up early on Monday to make it a full day of activities. It took a while to open the rink because it was so damp from the night before. We killed time by picking out cute hats, riding a carousel and browsing the village shops.
Oh, the joy of visiting a department store at Christmas. It brought back so many old memories, and I realized upon entering Macy's that my children, in this age of Internet shopping in which we all live, had never been in a "true" department store to experience the Christmas season.
A few weeks before our trip my husband realized our alma mater and hometown college team would be playing basketball in Madison Square Garden while we were in town. We actually ran into another family from our church on an escalator in Macy's. Before heading to the game, which was only a couple of blocks from Macy's, we had some time to kill. We found this iconic New York deli that reminded me of Seinfeld, so of course, we had to go in there.
Then it was off to the game. We saw so many people we knew. It was unbelievable how many Auburn fans and, specifically, people from Auburn, made the trip for the game. Matt got in on the action early when he realized we were right beside the players' tunnel.
Tuesday (The Rockettes, Saint Patrick's Cathedral, Window Displays and the dreaded stomach bug):
We began our day in front of the most over the top and luxurious window displays I've ever seen. Macy's had some great ones the day before, but nothing could beat what we saw at Saks Fifth Avenue.
Directly across the street was Saint Patrick's Cathedral. We were in time to experience the 12 pm mass.
After a quick bite we made our way to Radio City Music Hall to see the Radio City Rockettes Christmas Spectacular.
We made it back to our hotel early, walked across the street and had a mouth watering meal at Coppola's and then went to our favorite place for sweets, Sugar and Plumm. While there Jack started complaining of a stomach ache which unfortunately became clear a few hours later was the stomach bug. We were supposed to fly out on an early flight Wednesday morning, but at midnight I realized there was no way he could make it so early and had to pay a fee to have our flight time changed to later in the day. Fortunately, sickness didn't happen until the end of the trip, and we made it home before Mattie and I also came down with it.
In all our years of travel it has been rare for someone not to get sick. My goal is always to try to leave healthy, but deal with whatever comes along the way.