One of the few pleasantries about our temporary living situation in Ohio is that NYC is a cheap and easy hour long flight away. This wasn’t my first trip to the Big Apple. I’ve been a couple of times with my parents. In fact, we celebrated my 20th birthday there. That seems like ages ago! This trip was, however, my very first trip to NYC with my husband. I have wonderful memories in the city so it was sentimental and exciting to be able to relive these moments with my love and create some new ones too.
Here’s 10 tips to celebrate a birthday NCY style.
We left our house at 4:30am and flew out of Canton, Ohio at 6am on my 30th birthday. It was extremely early but we got to witness the sun rise from our tiny airplane window. Totally worth it! Yes, I’m wearing a birthday princess crown. What? You don’t wear your crown when you fly?
A fancy hotel is a must for a big birthday. We stayed at the Omni Berkshire Place, a contemporary hotel in Midtown Manhattan. The Omni was a great central location within walking distance of all of our birthday weekend activities. I can see us staying there again when we come for another visit. We usually get great deals as rewards members with the hotel chain. We did not have time to try the hotel restaurant but I did read many positive reviews about it.
The first thing that we did in New York after checking into our hotel and downing some espresso at the first Starbucks we could find was to hit 5th Avenue. It was fun to go into all of the high end stores and look around. I even got to pick out a thing or two for my birthday from the husband. I could have shopped all day but we did have a 2pm tea time.
Girls never outgrow tea parties . . . or crowns.
As a little girl, I loved having tea parties. As a big girl, I still adore tea parties I just call it by a different name now, high tea. Everything about high tea is delightful to the senses. From the tiny sandwiches and savories to the sweet miniature scones and pastries to the aroma of various tea selections from around the world, it’s quite an experience to behold. The Plaza Hotel in New York City is the champion of high tea! It’s served in the famous restaurant, The Palm Court which has an exquisite ambiance and five star service. Perfection for an occasion that calls for celebration.
I know what you’re thinking. What did my husband think about all of this. Well, he gladly partook in high tea (pinky out and all) and he couldn’t get enough of the tasty treats. I bet I won’t have to beg much to have him join me for high tea in Dallas sometime.
My fellow foodies can check out the high tea menu here.
It’s an expensive carriage ride when I can get them for free living in Amish country. It was romantic though and I’m glad we did it. That’s why I added it to this list. You should do it too. Every visit of mine to this city has been during winter so next time I’m coming in the summer. I can only imagine how gorgeous Central Park is when everything is green.
Broadway is magical for the theatre lover like myself. My Broadway favorites are Wicked, Hairspray, and now I can add Book of Mormon to the list. If you enjoy this kind of thing it makes a big birthday celebration extra special indeed.
White table cloths? Check. Pretentious waitstaff? Check. Reservation requirements 2 months out? Check. Genre of food out of your norm? Check (French). Do you need a magnifying glass to see the food in a few of your courses? Check. Do you have absolutely no idea what you just ordered? Check. Is each bite so magnificant that you pray for it to never end? Check. Welcome to a culinary adventure birthday girl!
My adventure of choice was Le Bernardin on 51st. Pompous, modern, tiny, & marvelous.
When I’m talking “cheesy”, I don’t mean pizza. Although, everyone should try some authentic New York pizza. By cheesy I mean…take a double deck bus tour around the city kind of cheesy. I think you should visit the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building, people watch at a coffee shop, ride the subway and a bicycle taxi, take your photo everywhere you can get someone to agree to snap it for you, and scarf down greasy grub from street vendors. It’s all a part of the experience and my big 30th birthday would not have been the same without a generous amount of cheese.
We like pubs. Unlike in most clubs, we can actually hear each other talk in a pub. People are always friendly and usually happy. Stopping in at a pub along the way here and there while touring the city is a great way to meet locals who are willing to give you advice on where to go, what to see, and what to do next. It can be thrilling to totally wing it sometimes. I try to have at least one day on every vacation where I plan nothing. Just go wherever the wind takes you. Some of my favorite discoveries in travel have occurred this way and take it from me, it always starts with a good pub.
When you run out of money (and you will) and you’re tired of endless walking, it’s time to get acquinated with the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We’re not big art people but it’s been on my mental bucket list for quite some time. And it’s free. Well, it’s not actually free. It’s donations only. That’s basically free. Basically free or not, I am glad that I went. Do I remember anything that I saw there? No. Also, I must admit that it’s hard to go to a museum with my husband because he is an absorber of knowledge. The man reads constantly, he always has talk radio on, and he simply cannot soak in enough knowledge. I am the opposite, I am a skimmer of knowledge. That’s why I like blogs. Put my husband in a museum and he is that guy who reads every plaque and pamphlet, the one who insists on buying that audio guide with the cluncky headphones. You know the one. It has over 100 hours of audio commentary as you walk throughout the museum. He would have stayed for the 100 hours if I had let him but I can usually lure him away from his learning hoarding with the promises of food forthcoming.
Sarabeth’s has five locations. It’s a busy place but you can always order a mimosa or two while you wait. Their legendary homemade preserves are to die for so you could order the basket of muffins alone and leave the place completely full and happy. It’s good to be full and happy on your birthday.
See. Don’t we look full and happy!
I can say with complete honesty that we left NYC full and happy. Full hearts, full tummies, and an empty bank account. Seriously though, I had an amazing 30th that I will always cherish. I am so blessed to have been able to celebrate my big birthday in the Big Apple!