OUR JOURNEY IN THE BIG APPLE: DAY THREE

DSC_2606Our Journey in the big apple, is way past due! But after almost a year of putting it off, I have decided to give it a try once again! For those of you who are not aware of these previous “Journey in the big apple” post, you can check them out here and here. Last October we made a trip to New York City and it was an unforgettable trip, experience and a true trip to cherish, especially since it was the trip where we got engaged. With the engagement put aside, the trip in all honesty was an amazing trip. A trip where we experienced so much of the city on our own that we were so proud of ourselves. I don’t think there’s a week we don’t go without reminiscing on our trip. With the warm weather already paying a visit to us down here in sunny south florida, I can’t help but to think back on that cool, chilly weather we experienced on our trip. It was such a pleasant change for us Floridian’s who really never get to see the change in seasons.

Day one and two consisted of our arrival day and day two included our engagement day in Brooklyn. Well day three, we decided to head on over to the west side and visit Chelsea. Here we made a couple stops during our day! After breakfast we made it over to the Chelsea Market, walked the streets of Chelsea and made our way over to The Highline Park. Other stops also included The Frying Pan NYC at Pier 66a, Hudson River Park Pier 66a, and Madison Square Garden at night for a music event we had originally planned on attending. If you’re wondering if any of these are worth visiting, I hope our pictures can convince you of a big YES!

::First Stop after our breakfast at Friedman’s Lunch, was: Chelsea Market and district::DSC_2601

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How NEW YORK is this? Fashion shoots in the city.
How NEW YORK is this? Fashion shoots in the city.

:: Second Stop: The Highline Park, a railway line converted into a trendy park full of activity and art::DSC_2610

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::Third Stop: Pier 66 Maritime Bar & Cafe along with The Frying Pan NYC, a historic rail float barge with the Frying Pan historic lightship permanently docked, who becomes a local favorite bar and hangout spot in the city.DSC_2639DSC_2642

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::Fourth stop: Hudson River Park Pier 66a::IMG_4236IMG_4213

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::Fifth Stop: Madison Square Garden::

Stay tuned for our last two days in the Big apple! More exciting places to share!

-Jen ❤

*all images are property of La Vida, life as it comes 

OUR JOURNEY IN THE BIG APPLE: DAY ONE & TWO

Our Journey in the big apple has been a journey in the works as far as sharing it with you all! But as promised, within the next two weeks I will share the exciting places we got to experience in our trip to New York, day by day that we were there. We have way too many pictures to share of each specific day, that each day deserves its own post! Hope you all are as excited as me! Again, like mentioned in our previous nyc post, it will be our daily adventures.. so please bare with me throughout the next two weeks. Our first post was dedicated to some tips while we were there and what we found helped us save some money while there. Now you will be able to see all we saw and did while there. Like our previous post mentioned.. we were definitely on a reminiscing mood when we wrote about our tips. Now that another post is ahead of us, i can’t help but to get excited each time I look at our pictures. I hope you all enjoy them as much as Xavier and I do, and we hope you visit some of these lovely places in your future travels, if you haven’t already of course.  Here are our adventures through day one and two of our stay. I decided to bunch these two days together only because day one was pretty short, since it was our arrival day. Well… here it is! Our journey begins! Enjoy.

.::DAY ONE:: IMG_3938

A wait in the airport, a tour of our hotel, and a stroll around 59th St and 5th ave. Followed by a quick stop to time square.IMG_3943This line at the airport for a cab, was crazy!

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First stop East Village, Tompkins Square Park, near by where we had breakfast.

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From there we headed down towards the Financial District and made a stop at the World trade center.IMG_4344

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This lovely day, was also the day we made our way to the Brooklyn Bridge (where we got Engaged!) and of course headed over to Brooklyn. In Brooklyn we made a stop at Brooklyn Heights where we walked over to the Brooklyn bridge Park and Fulton Ferry.. they’re pretty much all in the same area!

And being in 'awe' by the view was sufficient enough to keep me blinded as to what was going to happen next...a Proposal!
And being in ‘awe’ by the view was sufficient enough to keep me blinded as to what was going to happen next…a Proposal!
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Here we celebrated our engagement with some Brooklyn pizza and ice cream! yum!

The night was young, and after our Brooklyn adventure was done, we headed over to the city to see the view from up above! Empire State Building was waiting for us, a chance to take in the view, our day and our future ahead.. oh and did I mention the freezing cold air?? Yeah it was a quick view from up above. lol

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Well… there you have it! Day one & two in a nutshell… sort of lol. Lots of pictures huh? I wanted to make sure you all got a great idea of our day, our adventure and wonderful journey through the city those two days. Now that I have shared these two days with you all, I can’t wait to share the rest of our days! I want to go back to NY already!? Whose with me?

I hope you all stay tuned for the upcoming post! They’re going to be exciting and full of more pictures and our adventures. Would you like to visit any of these places or already have?? We would love to hear all about them and which are your favorites!

-Jen ❤

*all images are property of La Vida, life as it comes 

REMINISCING ON OUR NYC TRIP & SOME TIPS

NYCToday, we’re reminiscing on our NYC trip last month. Ive been slacking  a little with my blog post lately due to much time spent searching for “wedding stuff” and have postponed much of my blogging! Sorry in advance y’all! But today, I decided that it would be the perfect day to blog about our trip to New York, which was exactly one month ago. Mainly for three main reasons.. One, both Xavier and I woke up ‘missing NYC.’ Two, exactly one month ago, we woke up in the big city ready to take on all it threw our way. Least but not least…Today marks exactly one month that we have been engaged!!! eek! Isn’t this the perfect day to blog about or trip?? i think so!  We really felt that this was one of the most successful trips Xavier and I have taken together. We had a budget before we left home and we did amazing sticking to our budget. Well, I won’t ramble too much about our trip! I will try to get to the point. Mainly because we’re so excited to share a lot of our pictures with you all. We already shared our eating adventures with you here on Eating in the Big Apple, and now we’re excited to share the places we visited! This trip was not only fun, exciting and a big adventure, but one of the most memorable that Xavier and I will share in our lives! We truly are so blessed to have been able to have such great experiences in NY and just the opportunity to take a trip like we did! I hope you all enjoy our memories as much as we did. Since there are sooo many pictures that we would love to share with you, we are going to have to break down our adventure. The way I will be doing this, is by breaking our days spent in New york, day by day. In a way we will have a series of our NYC reminiscing throughout the next two weeks (give or take guys.) Each post will be dedicated to that day we spent in NY and what fun adventures we ran into that day. So please stay tuned! We are very excited to share them with you! NYCUS

Before we move on to the good stuff.. We wanted to share some of our little insider tips that helped us throughout our adventure there. Here are our NYC tips before we share our lovely pictures with you all. Most of these helped us stay on budget! I hope they are helpful and I hope you put them to use if you plan on making a trip there soon!

::TIPS::

-One thing that I highly recommend if you’re going to be in the city for a couple of days and want to go the more touristy areas is purchasing The New York Pass. They have over 80 city attractions that can be visited by just showing the New York city pass. By the time you add them all up at regular price you’ll probably end up spending more than you would if you were to just purchase the pass! This of course is as long as you make sure to visit it enough places so that the pass pays for itself or more, you’ll pretty much have a win win situation!

– One of our biggest tips when visiting the city is also to bunch together the different places you want to visit by districts or at least their near by neighbors. It’ll save you a lot of walking and the hassle of going from a far place to another far place! Trust me, if you’re on limited time, you’ll appreciate this!

-Another tip for anyone traveling to the city and on a budget, skip the taxi fares from place to place.. (they’ll add up) Instead purchase the 7 day unlimited subway pass! This metro card will come in most handy! It’s $30.00 pp, but so worth the buy. The subway can get tricky, and not every time you swipe will the subway entries open..what it will take is your money! So instead, the unlimited pass will let you swipe till the gate opens and it will last up to 7 days, as many rides as you’d like! Score!

-Lastly, Download the HopStop app for your iPhone (if you have one) if you’re a risk taker like us and want to get around the city ‘subway style’! Once we got the hang of it, and read the instructions, lol, it was super easy! It will tell you the near by stations and where to get on and off! Easy breezy! It will take you  to your destination by the nearest subway station close to it and give you directions from there on. Sweet!

Hope those come in handy, and just like our  previous NYC post, We would love to take you all on our journey in the city day by day! So stay tuned for the upcoming posts.. Only this time, ‘day by day’ will be ‘one blog at a time’  so that each day gets the attention it deserves,lol. ;O

 

So don’t go anywhere and stay tuned! I look forward to sharing with you all such a sweet experience for us.

..oh..and…

..happy one month of engagement to us..

..love you babe..

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Jen<3

EATING IN THE BIG APPLE

FullSizeRenderEating through the Big Apple was simply an adventure! I’ve been meaning to brag…I mean, BLOG (lol) about the many places we ate on our trip to New York City.  We talked about how excited we were to be going to NYC in our countdown post. I just haven’t had time or at least made time to share it with you all! The excitement of our engagement has taken over me, lol.  That moment also excitedly happened while we were there! Well I’m finally ready to take a breather and share with you all our lovely experiences. There are just endless amounts of restaurants in the city itself, its lovely! From ‘Big known’ restaurants to ‘little hole in the wall’ places and just your average ‘everyday chain’  restaurants. None the less, food is… well food and food is yummy!! Lets just say that our bellies were extremely happy while we were there. I’m really excited to share all the places we had a chance to visit on our stay, they were all so delightful in their own ways. (well minus one, that i will mention and why it might have been a bad timing)

Before we got to New York, we made sure to do our homework, we searched many restaurants and asked some friends that knew of places in New York, we even had some fellow bloggers recommend some great restaurants. We tried to not only go to some well-known restaurants but also restaurants that fellow New Yorker’s enjoy on an average day. Well.. sit back and grab  cup of coffee and a note pad and be ready to jot down some of these lovely places. You never know when you’ll be making an unexpected trip to the Big Apple and I’m sure it’ll come in handy, lol. I will literally take you on our food journey, day by day. We had quite the adventure and the best part was that my honey and I were together and we did it on a budget! It was a great success! I’ll give you some pointers on how we managed to stay in our ‘food budget’ and later on another post how to tour the city on a budget as well!

Enjoy!

{ARRIVAL DAY}

When we arrived in New York, it was about 5pm.. By the time we got a cab from La Guardia Airport to West of midtown where we stayed, and got settled in to our hotel, we needed a boost!  We decided to go to a very well-known place and do what fellow New yorkers’ are best at.. Night life! So we headed out for our first stop. TAO restaurant. This place was pretty amazing. It definitely had a ‘loungy’ feel to it. We embraced our long day of waiting for our delayed flight and celebrated that we had made it to the city, FINALLY! this called for Celebratory drinks and appetizers.

I enjoyed a TAO-tini, which was delicious, I didn’t want it to finish! Xavier had some cold sake and according to him, it was good! Since we knew we had late dinner reservations that night, we opted out on dinner servings and had some appetizers which were also pretty amazing! (TIP: This btw, is a great way to get a taste for the food without spending $45 dollars per plate!)

Our second stop for the night was Bar Americain, a Bobby Flay restaurant. The ambiance was subtle and relaxed. And the food was delicious. After a long day of luggage, lines and waiting we wanted to make sure we went to bed with full bellies, we deserved it! So we did… very much worth the indulgence!

{DAY TWO}

Upon waking up we grabbed a cup of coffee for the road..well the subway, lol and headed out towards the lower east side of Manhattan. There we went to Clinton St. Baking Co. Can you say uh.. pancakes?!! They’re their best sellers and I got to taste why! Delicious. Word of advice here, it’s a well-known little place, so get there early! It’s a tiny little place and its known not only by the locals but more and more visitors are taking a trip to try their delicious brunches! We waited an hour! Thank goodness for the little park we found a couple blocks away from there. (TIP: Brunches are a great way to stay on budget, breakfast and lunch for the price of one!)  We were so full, it held us till later on for dinner!Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

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The next two places i must mention we went to right after Xavier proposed on the Brooklyn bridge! Hence, you’ll find these two cute little places in Brooklyn. These we found out through another lovely blogger from NYC, and her New York City guides, loveTaza.com. Thank you because they were delicious! No fancy dinners for us after proposal, just some lemonade and pizza! Perfection!

Lizzmonade concession stand under the Brooklyn bridge pier 1. We had the mint pineapple lemonade and it was AMAZING! they’re the cutest little concession stand, yet making lemonades with a bold statement! A must try for sure!

Our romantic proposal called for a romantic dinner…. PIZZA!! Juliana’s Pizza! Lets just say… one of The Best Pizza’s Xavier and I have had. We sat at their little bar in the back and had front row seats for the pizza making! Fresh ingredients everywhere! The staff and owner walk around and made us feel very welcomed!1414703348.746919.68

We couldn’t leave Brooklyn without dessert, so like any normal person would do on a very windy cold night, we had ice cream! A little taste of some very delicious butter pecan ice-cream was eaten that night right under the Brooklyn Bridge at the Brooklyn Bridge Ice-cream factoryProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

{DAY THREE}

Day three called for another great brunch at Friedman’s Lunch, this time in Chelsea. (This is another place you want to be early to) Don’t let the name fool you though, they have a great breakfast and brunch menu. And for all my Gluten free people, one of the biggest gluten-free menus I have seen. If you want a taste of some good comfort food, this is a good stop! Xavier tore away at the fried chicken and waffles!Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Since our day was dedicated to Chelsea, we made our way towards the Hudson river to Pier 66. There we stopped for some late afternoon drinks at The Frying Pan. A historic lightship that is permanently docked at pier 66. Next to the Frying Pan is Maritime Bar and grill a railroad barge also permanently docked there. The view is breathtaking and the experience is unique, especially for us folks not from nyc. It’s apparently a hip spot in Chelsea and I could see why.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Our next stop in Chelsea, was probably one of my favorite places we stopped to eat at. Right in the middle of the meatpacking district you can find Fig & Olive. This lovely place was actually recommended by a fellow blogger and friend, Teresa, over at aleandtere.com. Thank you Tere because we were a very happy couple that afternoon. The restaurant is beautiful, the service is amazing, and the food is to die for. Simply Delicious.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

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{DAY FOUR}

We lined up for another brunch in Midtown West at 44 &X Hell’s Kitchen. The food here is simple, but good itself. And if you’re in NYC, why not go to Hell’s kitchen?? umm, I think, yes!Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

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Ok so after getting some Chipotle in the afternoon and after much walking, we had searched for a bakery in the city that according to many was very delicious and known. Well that night we made it to Magnolia Bakery. While the bakery itself was super cute and decorated so wonderfully, our experience was quite the opposite. In their defense we made it to the bakery very late at night. The cupcakes we got there were super dry and the frosting was as stiff as a rock. At this point, we kinda wish we hadn’t found the bakery, lol. We told this to some people after returning home, and they were quite shocked.. so maybe we just went at the wrong time?

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{DAY FIVE & OUR DEPARTURE}

This morning we just got some good Starbucks and headed to the city, there we ran into this little hole in the wall. A place called Dough, originally based in Brooklyn but now found in the city near 5th ave and 19th st. umm.. heaven. The most fluffy donuts we have had our hands on. A must try!! They have a great selection too! We were so happy to have run into this place.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

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After some walking and ending up in the Flatiron district, we made our way to Eataly! Well, because we couldn’t pass up the opportunity. So on we went to the rooftop of Eataly, a little Italian Market too cute and amazing to pass up, and landed at Birreria restaurant and brewery. The wine and cheese selections are war to good to pass up! trust me on this one.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Oh and you can’t go to New York and not get shake shack and head on over to central park and eat on the great lawn right?? well don’t worry we made we did! And after some good shake shack we needed an unforgettable send off back home to Florida…Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

So what better way than with the biggest, most soft and delicious cookies…um ever??! Enter, Levain Bakery! This place is found on the upper west side of Manhattan, a few blocks away from the American Museum of Natural history. TO DIE FOR! They were so good, we had to stop and sit on some New York style steps like in the movies lol to eat them! It was so big that I saved the other half for my flight! This place is definitely known by the locals.. super small, in the ground, at the corner of the block next to a little school. Lets just say I ordered what the little kids (and moms, lol) were ordering! Please please pay them a visit if you’re ever in the city!

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 I hope that this journey wasn’t too long for you all, I wanted to make sure I took you through our eating adventure in the Big apple! What better city than New York to not be on a diet!? There can’t be such thing when visiting NYC. No way Jose! May I add, that our experiences were all so great and we would do it all over again if we didn’t have to gain some extra pounds?? lol. I hope this little guide helps anyone whose paying New York a visit. I also hope that it makes you feel like a local and not your typical tourist in all the touristy dining places. New York for us was amazing this time around that we stuck to mostly experiencing local places and not your typical restaurants!  Enjoy and Bon appetit!

With all the love in my belly from NY,

Jen ❤
*all images are property of La Vida, life as it comes 

 

THE PROPOSAL!

IMG_7883The proposal! Yes, our proposal! It was simply perfect. Xavier and I are officially engaged and we could not be more excited! Not only are we excited but we are so remarkably blessed! Our relationship has been a blessing in disguise from the very beginning. Xavier and I met in Nursing school and to many’s surprise, he and I were not even friends in the beginning. I was a little apprehensive to start a friendship with Xavier, mostly because of his “I’m a stud and I know it” kinda walk he had, lol. According to him, he always just “wanted my attention.” I didn’t give him my attention until some semesters after in school where we actually had to be in clinical’s together. We got to know each other some more and we actually became great friends. Towards the end of nursing school our good friend Anita, aka cupid, started stirring things up for us and long behold the truth came out! We actually liked each other and we both were okay with it. Our last semester in nursing school, Xavier and I were pretty much inseparable and he asked me to be his girlfriend! That moment alone was unforgettable… picnic by the bay, asking me to be his girlfriend and dolphins swimming right by the water. No seriously, that’s exactly how it went! Just lovely. We also have been so blessed to share graduation together, passing our boards together and being hired as Nurses weeks apart!  Some months into working we even got our own place! So many memories.. and to think that we have so many more in our future together fills my heart with so much love. God has truly been watching over us and for that we are grateful.

For those of you that have followed my blog, you’ll know that Xavier and I had a trip planned to NYC this past week. That trip was ‘supposedly’ meant to be a mini-vacation to NYC and to attend an event in Madison square garden.  Little did I know, one of the most important questions in my life would be asked. On that day, Xavier and I woke up to the usual New York city noise and the hustle of the crowd. Little did I know Xavier had been planning this day for some months. Our day started by getting some very delicious breakfast and a walk in the park. After our bellies were full we headed to the world trade center memorial. From there we had plans to meet up with Xavier’s friend and his girlfriend to head to Brooklyn. After some debating on where we were really going to meet them and lots of painful walking, Xavier told me that we would meet them at the Brooklyn bridge, so we could walk across it. Lets jut say I was not a happy camper and my feet were in so much pain that I quickly told him, “I am not walking the bridge!” Well to my surprise, Xavier turned around and gave me a very sturdy and loud “WE ARE WALKING THE BRIDGE!” I was so stunned that I just stayed quiet and agreed,lol. I gave in, sucked up the pain and headed to the bridge in pain but excited to see the great Brooklyn bridge! Little did I know, this was all planned.

THE PROPOSAL: We got to the start of the bridge, Xavier stopped to put his jacket on and get his camera ready so we could take some awesome shots! I quickly followed his steps so that we wouldn’t have to stop in the middle of the bridge and hold up people who were doing the same. ( This was the moment that he very sneakily put the ring in his pocket that he had been carrying in his camera bag!) I was so blinded by the view that I didn’t even notice this! lol. Well, we walked close to the middle of the bridge were we met up with his friend and his girlfriend and we all kept walking together. To my surprise as well, they were in on the plan! Just about midway on the bridge we all stopped to take some shots. Xavier asked to use my camera so he could take a panorama shot while I took a picture of his friend and his girlfriend. ( This was the moment he took a picture of a small piece of paper with some very important words) Once again, I of course did not even notice, lol. Well right after, Xavier asked me to give his camera to his friend so he could take a picture of us on the bridge. The next part, is the best part of this story!!

On October 17, at 3:20 in the afternoon, Xavier and I made one of the best memories in our lives thus far. He asked me to grab my camera and look at the cool shot he had taken with my camera. To my surprise, and it was a very unexpected surprise! It was the most beautiful picture i had ever seen! It was him holding a little piece of paper with the best words on it… “WILL YOU MARRY ME?”  The moment was perfect, the timing was perfect and the setting was breathtaking! A this moment all I could do was cry. I literally threw myself on him while he was on one knee and ended up on my knees too! lol.  I cried out of excitement and the feeling of love that was rushing through me. It was a feeling like no other and a feeling that I cannot even describe with words.  Knowing that you will spend the rest of your life along with the love of your life, your soul mate and your lover is the best feeling ever.

It was a moment that I will cherish for the rest of my life and that when thinking back on it, will always bring a smile to my face. It will be a memory that will be in our hearts forever and a moment that will remind us of our love. Our proposal was perfect for us in every way possible. We were experiencing a new place together, doing something that we enjoy doing as a couple (taking pictures.)Our story thus far has always had ‘unexpected moments’ and this is another that will be added to our list. These ‘unexpected’ moments for Xavier and I have been the best moments and moments that show us our endless blessings.

We are so thrilled for our future ahead. I know that I cannot imagine spending a future without him. He makes me better, he supports me, takes care of me, loves me unconditionally and makes me complete. I know that we will always be there for each other through the good times and the bad. I can only pray that God continues to bless us in our future ahead. We are very excited to share this moment with all our loved ones and with you all. So here are our perfect pictures captured by Mike, Xavier’s friend. THE PROPOSAL.

ps. It was a little windy that day.. lol

love,

Jen and Xavier.

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Thanks to everyone who has already congratulated us and to our families for giving us your blessing. It means the world to us and we love you all.

A special thanks to Mike and Jisbely for helping Xavier capture this special moment in our lives.

Jen & X.

*all images are property of La Vida, life as it comes 

NYC COUNTDOWN

NYCaWe are officially counting down till New York!  Xavier and I could not be more excited at this point. In exactly one month, we will be packing our suitcases with our fall attire and getting ready to get on a plane!  Xavier and I have taken road trips together in the past, but this will be our first mini vacation involving a plane ride! Both of us have been to New York in the past, but of course, never together. This time around to New York, we are looking forward to many things… One being that we will be together!

Another being, that one of the main reasons we decided to take this trip is because we will be attending a big event in Madison Square Garden that is oh so dear to Xavier’s heart. Lol. But of course, as  the good girlfriend I try to be, I could not let my honey go alone and not share the moment with him. He is so excited that he will be able to see his favorite DJ’s, Above & Beyond, live, in the worlds most famous arena..and so am I! I’m sure it will be an experience!

Another reason we are excited is because we came up with the conclusion that we think of New York as a “Hate and Love” type of place! The adrenaline that gets pumping while walking through the streets of NY is exhilarating! Yet at the same time, can be so frustrating! sigh.. But at the end of it all, it is NEW YORK and that alone can get anyone excited, it is the concrete jungle after all.

And finally we are so excited to try new things while we are there. We both have done the “touristy” things and this time around we would love to experience NY from a different perspective by possibly going to places real New Yorkers go to, where the “locals” go!  I guess when the time comes, we will see exactly how much of the ‘local’ things we actually get to experience, due to only being  there for 4 days.

For sure we will be making some room in our schedule to head on over to Brooklyn, we’ve been hearing of some great places to go adventure to there. But we would love some suggestions from you all. If you have ever traveled to NY and have places that you would highly recommend and wouldn’t mind sharing, we would love to hear all about them! And if you are a local New Yorker and have some ‘insider’ tips and or places that are a ‘must’ to see or to go to!  We are all ears and eyes! Oh, and by the way, we are fatties! We love us some good food! So all suggestions are welcomed!! We can’t wait to hear back from you all! We are so excited and can’t wait to share that adventure with you all once the day comes!!  Let the countdown begin!

Oh, and did I mention.. So excited to see New York’s leaves change color! Hello Fall!

Have a lovely evening everyone!

Just a Few of my old NYC shots and our new T-shirts ready to be worn for the event! (ABGT#100)

-Jen ❤

Central Park 2012
Central Park 2012

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