It sounds like a mythical adventure. A child free weekend away with friends in the Big Apple. Did I mention child free? Don’t get me wrong, I love my children more than life itself, but sometimes, it’s nice to just enjoy husband and wife time. Carefree grown up time where you can act immature, laugh non-stop, eat like its going out of style and make amazing memories without being interrupted by the kids arguing or the constant “mommy” holler.
So here is my run down on how we made our 3 day trip to New York incredibly memorable:
We decided very spontaneously to travel with two couples who we knew we would spend the entire weekend laughing with. We all booked the same flight, same hotel and even shared a car service to the airport. We were going to be glued at the hip. We boarded our flight and surprisingly, even though the LOL and LMAO moments had started at the pre-boarding stage, we were still allowed on board. I say surprisingly because clearly we were giddy from the freedom because we were definitely not acting our age.
When we landed and arrived at the lovely Westhouse hotel, we were pleasantly surprised to learn that everyday the hotel had free breakfast all morning, a high tea time between 2-5 and then free wine, beer and appetizers from 5 to 7 pm. The eating was going to begin and it was going to be endless!
When travelling to New York I always try to look for a new boutique hotel to try out, I’ve stayed at about 20 different hotels in the city at this point and I would say that the Westhouse ranked in the top 10 for the pricepoint of just under $300 per night.
Lots of great amenities including a nice gym that is open 24hrs per day (which we ignored!), and a fantastic location with hardly a 5-minute walk to Time’s Square, but just outside the high traffic and high noise area.
Our first day in NYC, included a ton of walking around the city and simply being tourists. We visited the top of the Rockefeller Center (Top of the Rock) where we had an amazing view of the city and the Empire State building, and we wandered endlessly and a little bit aimlessly.
We then got on a bus tour called The Ride which I HIGHLY recommend! I personally loved it. Imagine a bus where the side of the bus is floor to ceiling glass and everyone sits in rows facing the side of the bus. You have two people who are giving you a guided tour around the city but more than that, they are singing to you, telling jokes, making fun of each other and engaging with people on the street. I can’t say that the sightseeing was particularly amazing, but the entertainment was fantastic. Definitely check out The Ride and search for online coupons as we ended up paying $50 per person instead of the advertised $75. Here is a little preview of the onboard entertainment:
Following The Ride, we visited Carlo’s Bakery – or you might recognize him as The Cake Boss – where we thoroughly enjoyed some Lobster Tails (picture an oversized croissant filled with an amazing custard!)
Next stop was Ellen’s Stardust Diner. If you haven’t heard of it, and I had not, it is the place to go for dinner and to be entertained by singing waitstaff performing all throughout your meal. While the food was rather average, the experience is highly recommended because the singing and entertainment was stupendous. Definitely worth a visit!
From there we moved on to Caroline’s comedy club where we can almost always be assured a great night of laughs. We have been there several times and I highly recommend it if there is a headliner who you like. It’s reasonably priced with great atmosphere. The headliner for the evening was Artie Lang and for those of you who are familiar with him from the movies and his involvement in the Howard Stern show, it was a truly disappointing and sad experience. He has had many issues over the years including suicide attempts, jail time, addiction etc and that all clearly showed on stage. It was actually painful to watch him. No eye contact, he looked like he literally just got out of bed and had not showered in weeks and was dressed in old Adidas pants and sneakers that are likely older than me. More importantly though, he really wasn’t funny. A sad experience, unfortunately.
Our next few days were move of the same: eating and sightseeing. We walked through Little Italy and Soho where we attempted to buy the famous Cronut at the Dominique Ansel Bakery only to discover that you need to be there in line early in the morning because they sell out by 9am! What?!
We ended our day at Eataly which is located on 5th and I can’t recommend enough. Unbelievable! It is a huge market with amazing gourmet foods and quite honestly the BEST PIZZA I think I have ever eaten! I dare you not to love it! The atmosphere in this market is amazing, you can spend hours just walking through the different departments and seeing all of the delicious gourmet foods. Let’s not forget the gelato which I thought I was too full to consider, but guess what? Apparently there’s always room for gelato!
Our third day was again spent walking the streets, eating, laughing, walking some more and then stuffing ourselves at the amazing Shun Lee Palace prior to our flight. Best Chinese food in New York City. They are an institution! A bit pricey, but they have been in business for over 40 years which I believe is a testament to the quality of their food. We somehow managed to sneak one more trip to Carlo’s Bakery to grab a Fondant cake to bring back the kids because we didn’t want to go more than 10 minutes without visiting an eatery (heaven forbid!). Verdict on the cake? Don’t bother. For $50, even my kids weren’t interested in finishing an entire slice so a pretty big waste. He may make beautiful cakes, but not very tasty ones unfortunately. His Cannolis and Lobster Tails on the other hand…
Okay, enough about the food. This is how 6 adults enjoyed a 3-day getaway in the Big Apple, child free, stress free, and fat free. Okay, maybe not that last one! I can’t tell you how re-energized we all felt coming back. It’s like someone let us out of our shell for the weekend. It was an opportunity to forget about responsibilities for a few days and act like the carefree kids we once were.
Grab your partner, find a sitter, commit to finding a date to get away, and make it happen! Just the two of you or with friends – you won’t regret it!