Our trip to NY couldn't have been any more perfect.
Before our red eye on Thursday night, I convinced Joel to check into the Virgin America lounge. It's $40 a person (or free if you have status) and it's all you eat and drink with free wifi and comfy seats. It was a fun way to start out the trip; we had a few drinks, watched the football game, sat next to Courtney Love and boarded the flight at 10pm.
As soon as we got into our seats I was out like a light the entire 6 hour trip. This was my first time flying with a neck pillow, and as uncute as they are, best seven dollars I've ever spent.
We stayed at The W on Lexington and when we arrived at 6am, even though our specific room wasn't ready, they gave us a room to nap, shower, and freshen up in which was amazing. Joel had to go right to his NY office, but I snoozed a few more hours and then hit the town.
I met Joel's parents and Aunt Allison and Uncle Mark to visit the World Trade Center Memorial. The last time I was at the site was July 2002 and ground zero was still smoking. It was remarkable and moving to see the difference.
We had lunch with some of Joel's cousins, walked around Rockefeller Center and then it was time to change for happy hour with my girl Mallory.
Mallory and I met up at The Kimberly at 5pm for drinks on the rooftop which I had been to a few years back. It has amazing views of the city and an amazzzing french martini.
I met Mallory in person on my last trip to New York in June and after an almost 5 hour dinner, I knew I loved her and had to find some time to see her on this trip. We spent the first hour catching up/non-stop talking/laughing hysterically. I reallllly wish she would just up and move to LA because she is just my kind of girl.
Joel met us for another round and the three of us had a blast. I was so sad that we didn't have more time together. We tried to find other times in the weekend to reconnect but we will have to make up for that with another trip!
Joel and I had a fantastic dinner at The Breslin inside the Ace Hotel. The ambiance was super cool and our dinner and wine were the best of the entire weekend.
We met up with family after dinner for a night cap and then basically collapsed in bed as soon as our heads hit the pillow.
Saturday morning started early with a bridal brunch hosted by Joel's mom for his sister (the bride-in the gold dress).
Then, our group of 25 navigated Grand Central Station and took a train up to Westchester.
Our nephew Luke was all about his Aunt Tess and Uncle Joel this weekend, so we were in heaven having a little shadow to hang out with any chance we got.
I kid you not, when we got up to Westchester I almost started crying by the perfect fall-ness. The temperatures were perfect, the colors on the trees were mind blowing....I could have stayed there the entire month of October.
Jim (the groom) and Annie (the bride) will live up here in Westchester during the week and keep an apartment in the city, which is a balance I could totally get behind.
The grooms family hosted a cozy lunch for everyone which was a really fun way to spend the day. It was nice to be out of the city and see a little more of New York State. They have a lake in the backyard, so everyone took their drinks down, took in the beauty, the kids got to fish..... It was sickeningly perfect.
We took the train back into the city around 5:30. The kids were hungry so we picked up Shake Shack and took it back to the hotel to have a little "picnic" for dinner. Uncle Joel also scored some major points with a red gatorade purchase.
Once the kids went to bed, Joel and I went out with his parents for a few drinks which was nice to be able to spend a little alone time with them.
On Sunday morning Joel and I got up and ran through Central Park. It was another perfect fall day....I didn't even realize we had run 5 miles because I was so distracted by all of the beauty.
As we were running we heard someone yell out our names, and randomly we ran into one (of like the 4 people) of our friends that live in NY who was on his own run. I couldn't believe the coincidence- it was just too wild.
We ordered room service for lunch and watched football until it was time for the grand finale of our trip - the wedding.
Anne and Jim had such a beautiful wedding. Jim is a professional trumpet player so the music at the wedding was basically James Taylor concert level material. The wedding was so sweet and special, and I went through almost an entire box of kleenx. They make an absolutely perfect couple and I couldn't be happier for them.
The reception was held at Aureole and couldn't have been more fun. The music, food, and drinks - all were perfectly done.
We were so hungover and exhausted when we had to catch our flight home at 6am...it was incredibly painful actually, but so well worth it considering the perfect weekend we had. I feel incredibly lucky to have the Shields/Holland family as my second family...My in-laws, cousins, aunts and uncles, have all taken me in and it's such a blessing to have them. Major bonus to marrying Joel ;)