ORTIZ’S TAKE MANHATTAN, NY

Spring Break in the Big City! We have wanted to explore New York for years and, we finally did it!

We were looking forward to walking the city streets, enjoying some amazing food, seeing a few historical marks and enjoying spending that quality of life together in adventure.

We live maybe 90 minutes from Chicago and we love going into the Big City but honestly New York was on another level of ‘CITY’!

It’s like Chicago and Philadelphia were having a baby and then found out it was twins!This is how I would describe the population of NYC! There was so much anticipation going into the big city and it truly exceeded every expectation.

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We arranged a luxe car service prior to arriving at the JFK Airport and it just made it all so easy breezy. However taking a yellow taxi I’m sure serves just the same.

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We stayed at the Kimpton Muse, NY and loved it! It was clean, modern, trendy, excellent service, the Personable, Professional, Pleasant Staff provided great service and communication even prior to our arrival. A few of my favorite highlights were the location. I mean it was a half a block away from Time Square, a block & a half away from 5th Avenue &, 10 blocks from Central Park. I personally appreciate leopard everything and they have Leopard Robes & Animal Print Pint Size Robes for the Kids – adorable! They delivered The New York Times Newspaper each morning & provided a complimentary Keurig Machine for a our Morning Blends before heading out each day! 

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There was a beautiful church across the street from our accommodations – just beautiful.

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We enjoyed dinner at Bubba Gump in Times Square and it was nice – nothing to write home about perhaps because we have one in Chicago so it’s nothing ‘new so to speak but sitting up there and overlooking times square was pretty sweet. After dinner on our way home we ran into this crew and had to take a picture! 😉

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There was still quite a bit of snow on the ice that they were trying to clear so we passed on skating but enjoyed the location. Being there beholds so much serenity and beauty. IMG_2916IMG_E2929

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IMG_3133Walking up to and into Central Park was every bit of amazing. How many movies have we watched over the years here and now here we are! I don’t have a pic of the kids on the rock but that may have been their favorite part. Playing a top of the big rocks! 4-15-2018 4-11-23 PMIMG_3135

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Here is Ms. Mackenzie with little Ms. Mackenna, the American Girl of 2012. Mackenna is a determined girl who uses her strengths to turn challenges into triumphs. We shopped around for Mackenzie and Mackenna while here. Love the spacing & layout of this store more than ours in Chicago but seem to love the cozy of the Chicago American Girl store.

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5th Ave was my Jam, Amazing & Beautiful. I could spend all day here. When we go back I need an entire day devoted to just taking all of it in & shopping 5th Avenue! Literally!

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The architecture on 5th Avenue was stunning. Inside of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral was just really moving and peaceful. Beautiful – perhaps a little glimpse of Heaven. This photo I captured of it from outside may just be one of my faves from the entire trip.

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We loved Shake Shack. We had Mackenzie scout our tables and each time we scored a booth – thank you Jesus! The food was delicious and oh so American. I’d highly recommend! The kids insisted we head back for lunch the next day also. So we did. 🙂IMG_E2754.JPG

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Will’s cake was a bit of everything and it was every bit of delicious!

I could have enjoyed one bite of every single item and would have been A-OK with it! Everything was delicious. I decided on a Peanut Butter Cupcake and a Coconut Cupcake. I saved the Peanut Butter Cupcake to enjoy the next day and it was so good!

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Will Jr. opted for the Blondie Brownie and a Lemon Bar to go for later! I mean totally my son. Mackenzie opted for the Turtle Cheesecake and it was scrumptious. She is totally her Dad’s daughter when it comes to sweets. Loved their picks & we all thought it was delish.

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Our All-Time Favorite Christmas Movie is Home Alone so a stop within the Renowned Plaza Hotel was a Must! We arrived and this gem was parked out front so naturally Will wanted the kids to take a picture in front of it. 

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Okay the kids realized that this lady was missing her clothes and declared her name to be ‘sister butt-cheeks’ it was hilarious! Oh my word do we have a bizarre sense of humor.

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After dinner the kids went down to peak at the Subway and well that was interesting.

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So you know that song by Kelly Clarkson that says something like, ‘Because of you, I never stray to far from the sidwalk’ well my husband does the complete opposite for me, He pushes me out of my comfort zone and pushing me to do things that are outside of my comfort zone and live more than I would without him in my life, that’s for sure!

He got me on the Subway ya’ll. I was spazzing out. I can’t even tell you in words what happened when we were getting our Metro Card passes printed out. It was utterly bizarre and insane. I was like spazzing out and totally told my husband this was ludacris and almost backed out. But we did it, we made it safely and it was an experience to say the least. I think I realized I may be a little claustrophobic as thinking of myself under the roads in which we typically drive and walk on made me a little well uncomfortable.

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I told the kids nothing could be in their pockets because well their are pocket pickers and not to look anyone in the eye and if someone gets confrontational with anyone we can just move to the next cart at the next stop to avoid the drama while ‘underground’ and Mackenzie walks over to me during the ride and says – mommy it’s really hard not to make eye contact with people! I said I know honey, we always like to say hello or good morning to people but the NY way was just to mind your own business in these situations-modes of transportation. The gentlemen behind Will was selling these toppers that lit up and played a tune and I – yes me – after sharing all my safety tips almost broke one of them and opened up my purse to purchase but decided against it with the soft yet stern whispers of my husband to leave it alone! 😐 😉 🙂 haha! I can really be a nervous wreck sometimes and totally spaztastic! 4-15-2018 2-49-53 PM

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It was cloudy and overcast that day with scattered showers so this is the best shot I got but it was really fun even doing it! The Staten Island Fairy is Free to the People and was a great way to see the Statue of Liberty when you didn’t realize you should book tickets months to a year in advance to actually experience Staten Island. Served just as well I suppose on this beautifully 😉 weathered day! 4-15-2018 3-58-54 PMIMG_2981

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We hailed a Taxi to Sarabeth’s just to do it and it was FUN and jerky ride – this NY traffic is like on another level for me! They all drive a little ‘pushy’ so to speak.

boys at sarabeths4-15-2018 2-11-46 PMThe lighting was so off – very bright in Sarabeths. The food was amazing and delicious. After Breakfast we rounded back up 5th Avenue and why not just one more shot in front of The Plaza Hotel. 4-15-2018 2-21-26 PM

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May have been my favorite. All Family Style so no need to over do it. The portions are huge. They are Italian Family Style meals. So Party’s of Four or more are suggested. For sure for this little gem is a place I will return to. Reservations made via Open Table. dine at carminesAfter Dinner we headed back to the room, while Dad was in the shower we played charades and oh my gosh are these two character’s. I love life with them!!!

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Well Mackenzie Grace wanted to go to the Today Show, make signs and see Hoda & Al, so we got up at about 430a so that we could be there by 6am and we started out walking the wrong way. Ran into the nicest gentleman from New Jersey whom I asked for directions and he said we could walk with him as he works that way. So back we went in the right direction. I meant to grab the umbrella’s but totally thought it’s not that far so we’d be fine and decided to leave them behind (unfortunately) 😦 and we were s-o-a-k-e-d from head to toe! We pushed through and didn’t let it wreck the experience. I mean it was so insane all I could do is laugh – literally!  It was snowing and raining all at the same time. Soggy Mops can we say! haha. The Security Team gave us a little inside tip on how the crew only comes out at 8am & 830am but that day due to weather they were only going to come out at 830am so he gave us a lead on heading over to the Starbucks across the street said they had a couch and coffee! So off we went to dry off & warm up a bit.

Another Lead from the Jersey guy who I just kept talking to because I LOVED his accent! He shared how it’s worth stopping at those red TKTS boxes in Times Square to score Shows at 50% off. Said folks start lining up at 9am but really going at 10am is just as good. But you can score tickets to shows at 50% off for that day. Great little inside savings tip to know & thought I’d share with you all.  

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After the Show – or at least shortly after the crew headed back inside we headed back to the hotel to shower and refresh for the rest of the day! Here are the cute robes the hotel offered! Don’t you love the pint sized robes for the kids – we did!

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We loved the LIFE found in TIMES SQUARE, it was so lit and amazing and full of life. One thing our waitress said actually two things that stuck out to me.

  1. Random, she asked where we were from and we said Wisconsin and she responded to me saying I kept looking at you like you look like New York but you don’t sound like New York‘. I thought that was funny! I don’t know if I’ve ever been told I had an accent before.
  2. We asked her if she lived here and she said that she grew up in New York so it’s all she has ever known. She likes it but really struggles with seasonal depression with all the stimuli from the lights and action all the time and little to no nature. Wishes they had more of that. I invited her to Wisconsin and told her there was plenty there for her! 😉

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Hope you all enjoyed our pictorial blog of our trip to Manhattan, NY! We loved it there!

srae

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