The year before Dave and Jess got married, she took a girl's trip with her Grandma, Mom and Sister to New York City for Thanksgiving.  It was so much fun, and they created special memories that Jess will cherish forever.  It was the first time she visited NYC and knew it wouldn't be the last. 

Thanksgiving was a neat time to travel to the city.  They got to experience the infamous Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and also enjoyed glimpses of New York preparing for the Christmas season.  In Jess's opinion, everyone should do the Macy's parade in person at least once in their lifetime.  After that trip, she left knowing that she had to travel back to New York with Dave and that she really wanted to do it during Christmas... and it would be icing on the cake if the timing worked and we were able to see the lighting of the tree.

In three years of being married, this was our first pick of where we wanted to travel for vacation.  We had based our travel plans on destinations on where friends and family were getting married.  Which wasn't a bad thing (at all) as we got to travel to places that would have been on our list eventually anyway... Seattle, San Diego, Hilton Head, New Orleans.

By the way, thanks to all of our great friends and family for giving us the opportunity to explore and travel often.  We stretched out each trip and made the most of our visits along the way.  Don't get us wrong, we love wedding weekends that keep us in Owensboro or take us to Lexington, but if we love you and you're getting married far away... chances are we'll be there. 
And, chances are we'll even make a trip out of it!

We love a good city, and New York was top on our list!  We couldn't wait to begin planning our trip.  If you've been to New York, you probably know by now that you could plan to vacation in every neighborhood - not to mention the boroughs.  New York is amazing.  Every twist and turn offers new sights, new experiences and new food.  Although a summer trip would be nice... we're convinced that New York at Christmas must be the most magical.

Planning this trip required lots of research and lots of questions.  The thing about NYC is that we wanted to have almost every detail of the trip planned.  We had two reasons for this.

ONE: we didn't want to be overwhelmed once we got there - because if you went without much planning, it could certainly be overwhelming.  TWO: we didn't want to waste a single minute of our time.  We knew once we got to the city that if we didn't have things planned out, then we would waste time once we got there making plans.  

We are both planners, by design.  We love to plan, heck - we even plan to plan.  To an extent we both enjoying leaving the door open for life to surprise us, but not so much when it comes to travel.  Do your research, ask the right questions, build your itinerary and you'll be set!  And just for the record, we always change things up a little while traveling due to time, weather and things that we may have not anticipated - but we still check everything off the list that we want to do, see and eat... it may be just a little off from our plans.  

When tackling a new place, we want to talk with people who we trust (and like) who have been there, done that and want to share their experiences with others.  We have found over our years of traveling that people who are similar to you (like the same experiences, enjoy the same kinds of food) are the best people to take advice from when planning a trip.  For this adventure, we turned to our bosses at work, who happen to be married... it's pretty awesome.

They have traveled to New York several times and gave us all kinds of great recommendations.  They were so familiar with the neighborhoods that they were a huge help in us deciding what to do on what days, so that we wouldn't waste any time.  We really couldn't have planned this trip like we did without them - from airport to hotel to even the best coffee shops to look for.
They are the best, and so were their suggestions.
And, one day when we go back - we know we'll be calling them again.

Since we like to jam pack our trips with experiences, we are going to break down this trip for you day by day.  If we didn't, just the recap of our trip could be pretty overwhelming.  There were things that we both wanted to see and do on this trip and because there is so much to do and see (and eat) in NYC - this was an important first step to planning our tip.

For the record, after this trip to NYC, we already have a growing list for the next time we go.  One thing we learned quickly is that no matter how much you squeeze in, there is still lots to do. 

The second big step of planning this trip was deciding on a place to stay.  It isn't out of the norm for us to jump around a few nights here and a few nights there to switch up the experience, but we knew that with NYC we wouldn't have any extra time to switch hotels or move around.

We needed the advice from our bosses mentors on where would be the best place to stay.  We wanted easy access to the subway, accessibility to walk to lots of things - a good, central location was exactly what they knew we needed.  And, they advised us on a hotel that wouldn't break the bank to do it.  

871 7th Avenue
New York, NY 10019
(212) 247-3900

We stayed at the Wellington Hotel and the location was perfect.  You could walk a couple of blocks north to Central Park or a few blocks south to Times Square.  The location could not have been better.  The hotel is old and the rooms are small (which they prepared us for), but bang for your buck, the location simply couldn't be beat.  It was pretty obvious as the hotel was full and you saw people from all walks of life.  That being said, the next time we visit, we will probably stay someplace else and can hopefully spare to splurge a tad more on the hotel.  

We had a late flight out of Nashville and arrived at LaGuardia a little after 11 p.m.  This was perfect because although we were excited for New York, we were able to get a good nights sleep to kick our week off.  But, we had just arrived in NYC (after all) so we couldn't go straight to bed.  

We decided to take a stroll down to Times Square thinking that Saturday night would be prime time to see it.  Mostly, all we could do was smell all of the trash that lined the streets waiting to be picked up.  We snapped a picture, stopped in a store to grab some bottles of water and called it a night.  

We had a busy week ahead... five days to be exact.  All of which we had strategically jam packed to squeeze in as much as possible.  Like we said, it's too much to fit into one trip.   However, we managed to see and do more than most.  In five days we walked more than fifty (yep five-zero) miles, drank ate more calories than you could count and accumulated pockets full of train stubs... We wouldn't have had it any other way.  

Here is a breakdown of our five days in New York:

New York at Christmas, cheers to you!

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