(Previously, on NYC 2017, we ate and ate and ate, attempting to balance it out by walking the entire High Line, and met up with some great friends for our last full day in the city.)
The next morning, we got up and got ready to check out. After stowing our luggage with the bell desk, it was off for a crucial component for our New York visits: BAGELS. It was past noon by the time we left the hotel, so we decided to brave Ess-a-Bagel, where we spent 2 hours waiting in line last year. Upon arriving, we were incredibly, pleasantly surprised to see a very, very short line! It didn’t even go out the door! I was pretty deliriously happy, as Essa was the closest bagel shop to us, even at a different hotel, so it was good to have a reliably good bagel option and not have to wait 2 hours for it. The bagel was so good that I instantly regretted not getting one for each of us, so I went back in the line to get a second one for us to split, it was luxurious and glorious to be able to wait in line for bagels two separate times in one go! I was so happy about it that I got a plain everything bagel for the second one instead of the whole wheat everything bagel I got for the first one. (You know, making tiny healthy choices and then deciding that I deserve to live a little and eat white flour?)
Belly full of bagel, my mandatory New York pizza-and-bagel carb tour complete, we set out to take a leisurely stroll through Central Park. It was a very nice but very warm day, so we strolled in the shade of the trees, stopping at little spots like Sheep Meadow and the Chess and Checkers House. It was very tempting to just sit and soak in the park, but we wanted to explore just a bit more so off we went.
At this point, I wanted something sweet, and walking around in the sun made us want a refreshing drink as well, so we took a detour to Bibble & Sip (review) for just that. I got a beautiful Earl Grey cream puff (I love cream puffs and eclairs!) and this beautiful butterfly pea flower lavender lemonade. Yum! Just as good as social media said it would be, I’ll definitely come back. (I’m a real sucker for choux pastry and cream…)
We were hoping to be able to stop by Ippudo Westside at this point, because Ippudo was our first and favorite ramen experience to date, but they don’t open for dinner until 5PM and at that point we’d already be on our way to the airport. So, after picking up a few small things we’d be needing for the next leg of our trip, we ambled over to the New York Public Library. I first visited the NYPL right after a long restoration/renovation project, when they converted much of the space to a museum and had many of their rare books and collections on display and completely fell in love with the main building and the institution, so I was very excited to show it to Ben. He was most excited to visit the Rose Main Reading Room because he had first seen it in Ghostbusters. I actually didn’t get a chance to visit when I first came to the library so it was a real treat. (It was our first taste of lavishly decorated ceilings for this vacation.)
And just like that, it was time to go to the airport, after a hurried detour through Grand Central Terminal.
We went back to our hotel, grabbed our bags and a cab, and learned how lucky I was to have always traveled out of Newark for international flights because dang, JFK is not as nice as advertised. I didn’t realize how lucky I was for having airports like Newark and Dulles that have restaurants in the terminals, because our dinner options were basically $10 slices of pizza and $12 bagel sandwiches from places that were also selling instant noodles and muffins.
But we couldn’t stay mad because we were on our way to Paris.
That’s the end of the New York recaps! We had a wonderful time in my home city. I’m sorry we didn’t make time to see more friends but we wanted to try to have a vacation with fewer appointments and reservations and pre-arranged times to meet so that we could be more flexible and spontaneous. So far, it worked out quite nicely!
Coming up will be recaps from our week in Paris!