Sometimes (let’s be honest, most of the time), our travel is planned months to years in advance… and other times, not so much! 🙂 In this case, Mr. CT had to go to NYC for work, and it just happened to work out that I was able to join him. We owe eternal thanks to the grandparents for their care of the children this trip, who sadly couldn’t come along because of school and other commitments. I do hope to bring them to the amazing New York City soon, though! Our trip started off with a great flight experience on Virgin America – we are long time Alaska Airlines cardholders and members, so we were excited about the merger and ability to fly VA as well. The mood lighting, ability to order food/drinks to your seat is really convenient and takes some of the stress out of flying. Even better, our status with Alaska Airlines allows the use of their lounge in the craziness of LAX, which is a wonderful way to decompress in the midst of traveling! 🙂
Enjoying the Alaska Air VIP Lounge!
Virgin America is a nice way to fly!
New York City itself is truly a magical place… Im typically not a “city person”, but this city is just a blast. I have numerous friends that used to live in NYC, all who gave me great tips and advice for our stay. We started out with a splurge at the JW Marriott Essex House on Central Park South, which is an awesome location for visiting the park, Time Square, 5th Avenue, and the Upper West Side. We were upgraded to a Junior Suite, which would have easily accommodated our whole family! Tip – if you are a Marriott Elite member with Gold Status or above, you get Executive Lounge access, which means free hot breakfast, happy hour h’our derves, and all day access for coffee and snacks – big money saver in places like NYC!
Gorgeous Lobby at JW Essex House
Ice bucket, glasses, and of course a wine opener!
Granite tub and full bath!
Robe, slippers, and umbrella (which I used!) 🙂
Back to Central Park – coming from the LA Area, it’s awesome to me to find such a beautiful, well kept up park in the midst of a major city. Seeing the fall colors was spectacular, as we don’t get many of those at home! The horse-drawn carriages, daily joggers, and overall feel of the Park are just so special.
Hooray for Fall! Central Park
Carriage Ride in Central Park
We also made our way down to the 9/11 Memorial and site of the World Trade Center, which was an incredibly moving experience. My cousin lost her husband on one of the planes that day, and it was awesome to see an exhibit of some of his childhood mementos that shaped his career as an engineer on display, memorialized for the world. The memorial is a beautiful tribute to all of the victims, both from the buildings that fell and the 4 plane flights. A rose is added to each victim’s name on their birth date in commemoration. The museum is extremely well done, featuring the history of the towers, excavation of both tower sites, a memoriam for all the victims lost, and a thorough graphic description of the days events, what preceded them, and what came after. I was really impressed with all that they’ve done, and highly recommend it for future visits to NYC, whether you’re a veteran of the city or a newbie! *Note – I would only take older kids to this museum. It’s emotional and intense.*
New Tower and Mall at World Trade Center
We ended the day with a quick walk through So Ho and Times Square, both of which are always fun and feature that true city spirit. Finally, we had a fantastic dinner at BLT Steak near the hotel. The bacon (pure bacon as an appetizer, yes please!), cocktails, grilled octopus and steaks were perfection! It was a great New York dining experience.
SoHo and cobblestone streets
Time Square in the last 6 weeks of 2017
Bacon for dinner? Yes please! Great place!
The week continued with more NYC fun and excursions… so stay tuned! 🙂