Because Rob and I have been on-the-go so much recently, we decided to stay in New York for Thanksgiving and really capitalize on the opportunity for some relaxation around this wonderful holiday. Normally whenever we have time off from work, we are traveling somewhere, so it was so nice to have a “staycation” for a few days!
We’ve had so much great quality time together and got to experience some fun new things with one another. We finally went to the movies for the first time since moving to New York. We saw Skyfall, the new Bond flick, which I am convinced is the best Bond of them all. It was such an entertaining 2.5 hours, and I already want to see it again! We also saw Silver Linings Playbook, because Lincoln was sold out when we got the theater. It was pretty good, though not what I was expecting based off the synopsis. Though some of the movie was heavy, I really liked the ending!
We also got to see the Macy’s balloon inflation on Thanksgiving Eve! All the balloons are lined up around the Museum of Natural History on the Upper West Side the afternoon before Thanksgiving, ready to make their debut the following morning in the parade. That was a fun “behind the scenes” event, but beware of huge crowds!
From there we went down the West side to check out the holiday decorations at the Shops at Columbus Circle. There are huge stars suspended from the ceiling of the atrium that light up to the Christmas music – very cool. Check out the video below!
A short video clip I captured of the holiday stars in Columbus Circle.
After watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV for umpteen years, I finally got to see it in person! While my roommates braved the cold and got there at 4 a.m., Rob and I met them there around 6:30 a.m. along 6th Avenue between 56th and 57th Streets, about half-way through the parade route. It was so cool to see everything right in front of me – the floats are the most impressive I’ve ever seen! I loved seeing Jimmy Fallon, the Fierce 5 U.S. Women’s Gymnastics team, Colbie Caillat, and Santa Claus! Thanksgiving afternoon was spent cooking and enjoying a huge and delicious Thanksgiving meal with great friends – potluck style, followed by football and a viewing of The Holiday.
Rob and I also had fun buying toys for His Toy Store, which is a Christmas “store” that a few churches in New York host for underprivileged families to pick out gifts for their kids for Christmas. We’ll be volunteering at the actual “store” in December as gift wrappers!
I also got a massage from Bliss Spa in SoHo – 75 minutes of, well, bliss. It was my first massage ever, but certainly not my last ;-). It was fantastic, and so relaxing. The perfect touch to my “staycation.”
After church on Sunday, Rob and I got a personal tour of the Little Italy and the New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx from one of Rob’s coworkers who is born and bred in the Bronx. First he took us to a great Italian restaurant for lunch, where I had veal parmigiano – so yummy! Then we stopped at a local shop to get homemade pasta to cook with later. Even had time for a canolli from a pastry shop :-). At the Botanical Gardens, we definitely went at a great time. They currently have an exhibition called “The Holiday Train Show” that has little trains winding through the conservatory amidst dozens and dozens of New York City landmarks built entirely from natural materials. They are so intricate and beautiful! The exhibition will be on display in the conservatory until January 13, 2013.
Amidst all the excitement, I got to sleep in, go for runs, Christmas shop, bake, and cook – my kind of vacay ;-). I hope you all had as much fun and relaxation wherever you celebrated!
We are so thankful for each other, our family and friends near and far, and the opportunity to enjoy living in New York during this special time of our lives. Our “staycation” was much needed, but we definitely missed our families this Thanksgiving! We are also very thankful for the opportunities technology provides to connect and “see” loved ones who are hundred of miles away. Can’t wait to see them in person over Christmas!