But then there's the other kind of vacation. The kind where limited time leads to reckless enjoyment and forces you to make decisions about what you truly want to see and do!
It may shock you to find out that I actually prefer the second kind of vacation. While I appreciate that long lazy days are maybe more relaxing, I think there is something so fun about travelling in a hit-and-run fashion and foregoing maybe just a little too much sleep in the name of enjoying every single minute.
So when I had the opportunity to spend a whirlwind 42 hours in New York (including travel and airport time!) how could I possibly say no?
It's a good thing the city never sleeps!
My friend Emily and I began our journey on Friday at 5:30 am, arriving at the Toronto airport and breezing through customs due to the fact that only the marginally insane travel at that hour.
Hopped up on too much coffee and some generous free upgrades, our plan was to land in Newark, arrive at our hotel by 10:00 am, meet our friend (Emily's sister) Jen who was in the city for the week and the reason for our visit, and make it to Sarabeth's at Central Park South by 11 am for breakfast.
We successfully stuck to our timeline (even though I'm convinced the directional signage in the Newark Airport needs improvement) and made it to brunch with Jen in tow to rendezvous with the final members of our party: Jameson (my legal representation) and Molly, the only one of us who actually lives in NYC.
Sarabeth's at Central Park does two things very very well: ambiance and mimosas. Though, maybe don't trust me 100% on the ambiance since I had three mimosas.
Fabulous frittatas, farmers omelettes, eggs benny, waffles with cinnamon coated apple slices... five friends a little morning drunk and revving on our short time together in NYC, set the scene for a perfect morning.
After our indulgent breakfast, a walk was in order. Entering the park we took turns picking directions until we found a grassy spot to sit down and play with dogs that wandered across our path.
At around 2:15, Molly had to leave us for an event; the rest of us started across town to reach the destination that had Jameson, Emily and I flying down to meet with Jen.
Jen, my honorary little sister, is getting married next February! She lives in Oxford right now but will be moving home soon (I actually went to go visit her back in October). She was in NYC for school for the week but wound up having some spare time at the end of her trip.
So what are her two bridesmaids and brides-man to do but fly down to help her shop for a wedding gown?
No photos of dresses on the bride (though she didn't end up buying) but here are my thoughts on Kleinfeld.
- The staff is fantastic and very attentive
- The selection is really as vast as advertised
- It's very small
- It's KIND OF TACKY! There's a fake Greek Parthenon inside which looks straight out of my convention-center-wedding-related-nightmares.
We had a great time watching our beautiful girl try on dresses, and almost as much fun rifling through the selection of dresses on the floor... including this... interesting dress for 29K USD!
Shopping completed, we had a walk, a pretzel and a bit of time to change before an Italian dinner and all together too much wine, in a restaurant that featured ENORMOUS body parts on the wall (including some risqué ones!)
After a solid 8 hours of sleep, our second morning featured a more laid back breakfast at a deli before visiting Time Square.
Time Square was just about the only true tourist attraction that we indulged in. As we'd all been to the city before we had no desire to line up for hours to visit the top of the Empire State Building or tour the Rockefeller studios.
Those are great activities for a 4-day weekend... but on our timeline we had to keep the tourist-ing brief.
After a quick glance at the lights and vivacity of Times Square (and a bit of work for Emily who took this snap) we were off to Soho to pop in and out of shops, and then off to the Standard High line Beer Garden in the Meat Packing district to wrap up our visit.
We talked wedding plans and dresses over a pretzel the size of my torso, hot mustard, and fabulous German beer. We people watched, laughed and were thankful that we could fit so much in to our trip thanks to the New York Minute.
Arriving back at my apartment at 11:30 pm on Saturday, I collapsed into bed and fell firmly asleep. Something that is perfectly acceptable in Toronto.