NYC in 24 hours

Okay, the title is a bit of a stretch. We were in NYC for a little more than 24 hours, but really only had one full day in the city.

Greg’s boss was nice enough to foot the bill for a brief trip for the two of us up to NYC to attend the company’s holiday party and do a little sightseeing. We got back early this afternoon, and the two of us are pooped! I vow to spend the rest of the day sitting on the couch watching DVR, and I’m completely fine with that.

But, a post about me and Greg sitting on the couch isn’t that interesting, so I’ll re-cap our whirlwind trip up to the Big Apple.

I’ve been to New York city about a half a dozen times, but have never taken the train. Greg goes often for work, and that’s generally his preferred method of travel. We drove to Baltimore (about 45 minutes or so from where we live) to catch the Amtrak on Thursday afternoon.

I have to say- riding on the train was great! You don’t have to arrive two hours early, or go through security or throw away any liquids… it’s really nice! The seats were cozy, and we arrived in Penn Station in a little less than three hours.

We checked into our hotel, Park Central, which was a great location. It was pretty much directly in between Central Park, Times Square and Rockefeller Center. After quickly changing clothes, we headed out to meet Greg’s boss and some of the other people he works with for dinner at Del Frisco’s. Dinner was good… nothing to write home about, but it was a free meal, so I’m not one to complain!

Greg had to work the next day, so I was off on my own to explore the city. Like any good Bodypump instructor, I began my morning with a nice, sweaty workout in the hotel gym, which included practicing my choreography for my upcoming filming.

I don’t know why I felt the need to capture my hotness in a photograph, but here it is.

I know that most people love to go out to breakfast, but it just isn’t my thing. 9 times out of 10, I would choose oatmeal for breakfast over anything else, because it keeps me full for a long time, and I just love the way it tastes. I’d much rather save a few bucks and spend money on getting lunch or dinner out, and bring my own breakfast. I’m not judging though- if getting breakfast out is your thing- more power to you!

I packed the dry ingredients to make overnight oats, so that I had something that I could quickly eat before heading out for the day.

I usually use almond milk and/or cottage cheese in mine, but couldn’t really bring cold ingredients with me. Instead, I used water and some of this protein powder that I picked up somewhere on clearance a while back.

Much to my surprise, the oats tasted pretty darn good. Since we didn’t have a fridge, I had to make due with placing the mixture in an ice bucket (with ice) overnight- kind of ghetto, but it worked!

After getting showered and ready, I hit up the Starbucks next to the hotel for some fuel. I’m not generally a fan of Starbucks coffee, but this particular cup tasted delicious. Go, Pike’s Place blend.

I had absolutely no plan of where I was going, but knew that I was going to meet up with my friend Shayla (who lives in the city) at some point during the day. Shayla is the photo editor at Money magazine and had a deadline to work on, but told me that she’d be able to sneak out for a bit to meet for coffee in the afternoon.

With no plan in mind, I headed walked towards Times Square. It was buzzing as always!

There were vendors selling photos of the Biebs everywhere. I showed a lot of restraint and withheld from buying any.

Posters that said “Gay Street” looked to be quite popular as well.

Hey now! It’s Beavis and Butthead! So glad they’re making a comeback. The Lion looks to be happy as well.

I went in a few stores, including Toys R Us (I always have to…)

Also in the Disney store, where I saw this nail polish (amongst many other Muppets toys), which reminded me of Gretchen:

I had to go into Sephora, of course.

Did you know that Jennifer Aniston has her own perfume? Of course she does. Right between Cartier and Calvin Klein.

This section right here was my weakness (along with the Philosophy skincare products):

*the photos in Sephora were taken with my phone, hence the poor quality. I often have to use judgment of crossing the line into looking like a weirdo taking photos in public. This was one of those times.

After spending way too much money on Smashbox cosmetics, I headed away from Times Square and towards Central Park. Of all of the times that I’ve been to New York, I had never been to Central Park before! I didn’t get to see much of it this time, but what little I did see, I loved!

I saw a lot of these:

… and the air smelled of a lot of horse poop. I always think of my absolute favorite episode of Seinfeld (which is also the one with the marble rye) when Kramer is the stagecoach when I see a horse and carriage (and have no desire to ride in one because of that!).

I had planned on going to Cafe Blossom for lunch, after seeing it on Angela’s blog from her NYC trip, but it was still a good 2.5 mile walk from Central Park, and I was getting hungry. Instead, I headed over towards Rockefeller Center and figured I’d just grab something there.

It should be noted that if you’re looking through her blog posts about it, you can easily see that Angela’s trip to NYC was a bazillion times more fabulous than mine. She is also much cooler than me and adorable in general, and I’m okay with that. It is what it is.

I walked down 5th Avenue on the way, and dreamed of having enough money to afford any of the stores there (well, technically I can- there’s an H&M).

I saw one of the Donald’s many buildings

and then watched the ice skaters for a little bit when I got to Rockefeller Center (and wished I knew how to ice skate!)

For lunch, I bought a salad with grilled tofu, apples, pumpkin seeds, and butternut squash, amongst other things. Mindy was my lunch date.

I read the whole book during my trip (mostly on the train), but I’ll talk about that later on. I’ll just say that, yes, I loved it. Go buy it, people.

Around the time that I was eating lunch, I got a text from Greg saying that he was finished with work early and wanted to meet up. It ended up working out really way, because this way, he got to see Shayla too. I met up with Greg first, and then we headed over to meet up with Shayla.

I posed for a photo with the giant Christmas balls while we waited:

And moments later, Shayla arrived!

"Here I am, and I'm fabulous!"

And we took more photos in front of the giant balls…

We headed over to a place right near Shayla’s office (which is right at Rockefeller Center) and got coffee and chatted.

Shayla and I met at UMBC, where we both studied visual art (photography for her- graphic design for me). She is one of those people that I only get to see every year or two, but every time we get together, it’s like no time has passed. I just love her to death!

Shayla moved to NYC right after graduation and worked her butt off, starting from the ground up, and now has an amazing job that I am envious of. She has been a photographer or photo editore for tons of very well-known magazines (including Vogue and Gourmet) and lives this lifestyle that is just so different from mine, and I love to hear her stories. She recently got to travel to a few cities around the country that made Money’s “Most Livable” list. At the top of that list is the exact city where I want to move to, Louisville, Colorado! There’s a cute shot of Shayla in that issue of the magazine from when she was out there:

Isn’t she the coolest?!

Shayla took Greg and me up to her office, and we made Greg shoot some photos of us in the lobby.

Yup. We haven’t changed much since we were 19 years old.

Unfortunately, Shayla had to get back to work after that. She told us to “accidentally” stop on the 16th floor on the way down, because that’s where Anderson Cooper works (she’s been lucky enough to be on the elevator with him a few times!).

Greg and I left and walked around a bit more, and it started getting dark. We headed down back over to Rockefeller Center to see the tree again, which was big and bright!

As you can imagine, it’s crazy crowded. Walking down towards the tree looked like this:

There was also this crazy light show that ran every fifteen minutes on the side of a building across from the tree.

After that, we realized that we quickly had to get back to the hotel to get ready for Greg’s company party. We got dolled up and headed out to Battery Park for the event. I didn’t bring my camera with me, because it’s a bit too clunky to carry around at a cocktail party. (I guess I also didn’t want to be the weirdo stranger taking photos of the food and stuff…) The view from the event was pretty awesome and featured the Statue of Liberty, which I was pretty unsuccessful of capturing with my phone camera. You can kind of see it, to the left of the center at the bottom…

The party was a lot of fun- good food, drinks and LOTS of dancing. Seriously, I’ve never been to a party where I’ve seen so much dancing. Greg and I tore UP the dance floor! (And my legs are killing me from dancing in heels all night, but it was worth it!)


We headed out this morning to come back home, and as I said earlier, have been bums ever since. Our brief trip didn’t feature much sleep, but that’s what tonight is for! I really have to plan another trip to the city- there’s so much to see and do, and it’s impossible to even scratch the surface in one day. Luckily, it’s only a 3 hour trip away, so it’s not a big deal to go again in the spring. I’m happy to say that I’ve now visited NYC during the holidays, but it was definitely a little too crowded for my taste. I’d like to be a little more laid-back next time and catch a show and be able to walk around with my husband a bit more.


We’re headed out the see the Patriots play (that team from Washington) at FedEx field tomorrow, so it will be another busy day!

Hope you had a great weekend- and I hope I didn’t lose you in this long post!

Have you been to NYC? What’s your favorite attraction?

12 Comments on “NYC in 24 hours”

  1. Whoa FUN!! I love NYC. I went once to visit a friend for 3 days and had a total blast. Your friend is legit–so cool!

    Glad you all had a spectacular time there πŸ™‚ dancing the with the husband is so fun at parties–I totally agree!

  2. Sarah says:

    looks like you had a great trip in NYC! I haven’t been in a couple of years but I always loved walking around the city and I’m dying to go during Xmas.

    You can also get insanely cheap bus tickets (for like 20bucks) that leave from DC.

  3. It was a blast spending some time with you and Greg on Friday. I love the blog post!!! The photos of us holding the Money mags are hiii-larious!


  4. Kath says:

    We’re probably going to take the train if we go to NYC in January – glad you had a good experience!

    I also love those Vega flavors. The vanilla chai is the best!

    • Lauren says:

      Oh- I’ll have to pick that flavor up next time!
      I’m sure I don’t have to tell you this- but NYC is COOOOLD in January (I went over MLK weekend last time). Take a heavy jacket that is good at blocking wind and lots of heavy, thick socks and gloves!
      Does the train leave from Charlottesville or would you drive up to DC?

  5. Gil says:

    You trip sounds like my perfect version of NYC–walking and eating!
    It took me a little while to realize how small (geographically) Manhattan is. I could easily walk from my office by Grand Central to Chinatown, with pit stop at Whole Foods, in under an hour–its only 3 miles! You can even walk from Times Square all the way down and across the Brooklyn Bridge in a leisurely afternoon (I believe that’s only about 4 miles…) Then you get to pass through so many different neighborhoods with such unique “personalities”. I always used to force my visitors on massive walking/eating tours…
    I especially love walking around the 18thc majestic/Euro-style buildings in the Financial District or the 19thc Greek-revival style neighborhood at Astor Place–they are both such beautiful areas…and not SO crowded/touristy.

  6. I NEED that nail polish! Also I’d love to get to spend way too much money in that Times Square Sephora… mmmm, how I love. I’m an Urban Decay girl myself, but we can still be besties. πŸ˜‰

    Sounds like an awesome time! You make me want to visit again so badly! πŸ™‚

  7. LOVE this post! So many things….

    A) I want the Muppets OPI colors–all of them!
    B) I think you are just as, if not more, fabulous than other bloggers who may have recently gone to NYC. Just being honest πŸ™‚
    C) I want Shayla’s job (HUGE Money mag fan)
    D) I love riding the train (um, that sounds dirty) I went from DC to Boston this summer and had an awesome time. I love that I didnt have to get there so early plus I could bring on my own food and drink!
    E) I only got to see a little sliver on Central Park when I went and wish I could have seen mor

    Your truly,


  8. […] powder I’ve ever had! Up until now, I had only used a theΒ  Vanilla Almondilla flavor in my overnight oats when I was in New […]

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