It’s hard to believe just two weeks ago we were in New York City, enjoying the food, shopping, and sightseeing. I have so many photos from the trip that I decided to split it into four chronological parts. This was also the first time I have ever traveled without my DSLR. It was actually broken (the lens and the camera body), so Allan bought my a new point-and-shoot for the trip. It took pretty nice photos, but I do wish I could have had my Nikon there.
In one word, the trip was… AMAZING. It was intended to be a birthday trip, as well as a trip to go wedding dress shopping in NYC. Probably the best vacation I have ever taken, minus some travel issues at the end. But we’ll get to that in a few posts.
The trip started out just fine… we flew Continental from Seattle to Newark, and then took an airport shuttle to our hotel. We traveled with two of our good friends, Kim and Greg. Kim is one of my best friends from elementary school, and is also my maid of honour for our wedding next September.
Before we did anything else, even before we checked into our hotel… it was critical that we had a slice of New York pizza (from just around the corner of the hotel) to kick off the trip right. It was the first of many.
Our hotel, Affinia Manhattan was very conveniently located across from Penn Station. The location was fantastic.
The rooms were comfortable but not super modern. We booked a one bedroom for 4 nights (4 people total) and although it was pricey, we were able to keep costs down by sharing between the king bed and the sofa bed in the living room. The location was the biggest draw, as it was across from multiple subway lines and near Times Square/Broadway.
The next morning we bought our metro passes for the week and hopped on the subway to our first destination in the East Village. We took the subway almost everywhere, and I loved it!
We had lunch at Motorino Pizza, which I had done a lot of research about. I’m actually a member of a pizza making forum (I know — nerdy), and I have been following the story of Pizza Napoletana, a famous pizzeria which was bought and turned into Motorino Pizza… but inherited the amazing hand-built wood burning oven from Naples, Italy.
The pizza was amazing. Exactly how Neapolitan pizza should be… bubbly, light airy crust… fresh mozzarella… real oregano… and hand-crushed plum tomatoes from Italy. It was perfect.
The oven was pretty amazing too. It was awesome to see it in action after reading so much about it.
Our food journey didn’t end there, as we also sampled some buffalo chicken macaroni and cheese from Sarita’s right next door. I think my travel companions were crazier about the mac and cheese over the pizza, but I was still crazy for the pizza so I didn’t eat too much of it.
While we were in the East Village, we wandered around a bit and checked out the beautiful apartment buildings.
A quick cab ride and we were back downtown where there was a Veteran’s Day parade going on. It went on for hours!
Then Kim and I went to my first bridal appointment, at Bridal Reflections on 5th Avenue. I tried on some Ines di Santo dresses which I had been lusting after for a while, but ultimately didn’t find my wedding dress.
My friend Kim got engaged about 4 days before our trip to NYC, so it was especially fun going shopping with her since she was engaged too. I had some time left at the end of my appointment, so I suggested she try on a beautiful dress that I figured would be perfect for her. It was, and it turns out that dress was saved in her wedding file too… and she had been wanting to try it on. She fell in love with it. And it was the first dress she had ever tried on!
We escaped from the store after some high-pressure sales tactics, and met up with the boys who were getting drunk in some local pubs while we were at our appointment.
We wandered around 5th Avenue and eventually stopped at Joe Bastianich’s Eataly (also owned by Mario Batali). We had some delicious coffees and I had an amazing pear gelato.
And who did we see but Joe Bastianich himself! I got a photo with him, and mentioned that I was a big fan of Master Chef and his restaurants. We were going to Del Posto on Friday (also owned by Joe and Mario), so he was happy we were going to be dining there.
Then it was our last bridal appointment of the day… at none other than… KLEINFELD’S! Yes, after watching many “Say Yes to the Dress” episodes on TLC, Kim and I were both frothing at the mouth to go to Kleinfeld Bridal.
I had made an appointment about a month before our trip, so we were really lucky to get to go!
It was really exciting. We got to see a lot of the “famous” staff such as Joan, Keasha, Sarah, Jessica, Debbie… and we also got to say hi to Mara, the owner.
We were getting a little nervous sitting in the waiting room. Finally, our consultant came out to help us (Jacqueline). It was a great experience and they really did have a huge selection of dresses. We checked out the stock room, but after trying on several dresses, I was pretty sure it was between a Monique Lhuillier dress and a Pnina Tornai dress (exclusive to Kleinfeld’s). After much deliberation, Joan (the Director of Sales from the show) helped us, but I still couldn’t make a decision.
We had some time left over at the end of my appointment again, so I suggested she try on the same dress she tried on in the other store. She tried on a few more, but kept coming back to the first one. In the end… amazingly… she bought it from Kleinfeld’s! It was super exciting and I am so, so happy for her. It fits her beautifully and it really does suit her personality. I know Greg will love her in it.
As for myself, I still have not found a dress. It’s come down to these two dresses… and I just cannot decide. They are both so unique in their own way, and so different from each other. So help me!
WEDDING DRESS VOTE
Pnina Tornai (Kleinfeld Bridal) Ballgown — I love this dress. It fits me perfectly and is really, really flattering. Allan loves this one. It’s a little more flashy but I love the volume of the dress, and the corset is just amazing.
Monique Lhuillier’s Schiaparelli — I love this dress too! It’s a little more modern/trendy, but it’s also less full a dress, and isn’t as flattering. I would get it converted to a sweetheart strapless neckline. My mom and dad love this one.
Please help me by voting in the comments for one! It’s such a tough decision and I could really use some help I love them both! Thanks!