Hello everyone, and welcome to the first of my New York City vacation posts! Be prepared for a veryyyy wordy post ahead.
My four-day vacation started on Friday (April 28th), although we didn't actually arrive in New York City until the 29th. On Friday evening, my parents, my boyfriend, and myself drove from my boyfriend's house to the Genesee Grande Hotel in Syracuse, New York. We decided to stay there overnight because we didn't want to do the 7-hour drive all in one go on Saturday, and then feel too tired to do anything that afternoon. The hotel was quite nice considering how inexpensive it was, and we really enjoyed our stay there for a rest before our long weekend. I didn't get any pictures of the hotel though because I was too tired and it simply slipped my mind.
In the morning, we left the hotel around 9am and headed a few blocks away to try out a breakfast diner called Modern Malt. Getting there from the hotel was fairly straightforward, our only confusion was that there was a Modern Malt bakery a few stores down from the actual restaurant, so we were sidetracked but the people working at the bakery were kind enough to point us in the right direction!
The restaurant itself is quite new, established only a few years ago. The interior was very hip and colourful, with cute little details in the design (i.e. clipboards instead of receipt folders, glass jars holding gumballs and lollipops by the door). You could tell the atmosphere was very relaxed, as the waiters didn't seem to be prepared for the speedy service we were hoping for, but we were hustling to get on the road ASAP. Our waitress was very nice, and came around for a few coffee refills, which was nice. I ordered plain waffles (pictured below) which came with a blob of butter, a blob of whipped cream, and a sprinkle of icing sugar over top. They were so delicious! So fluffy, I was in heaven. My boyfriend had pancakes, my mum had eggs, and my dad had a breakfast poutine - and we were all pretty pleased with our meals. Once we were done, it was time to hit the road!
After a four hour drive, we were finally in New York City! As we neared the city, the traffic became far denser and people became way more impatient haha. We were booked at the Executive Hotel Le Soleil NYC, which is located in the Fashion District. It's pretty close to Times Square and is an easy walk to most major attractions in the city, which is a major plus especially since our trip was so short. When we arrived, I was dying of heat, as I wore a uni tshirt and black leggings for the car ride and it was a beautiful 31 degrees Celsius in New York. Fortunately, after a little wait, we got up to our room and we were able to change before heading out to start exploring the city. Our room was pretty spacious, a good size for the four of us with a room for my parents and a room my boyfriend and I, separated by a bathroom and vanity area. I really liked the vanity, as it was brightly lit and had a huge mirror.
Right after changing into more weather-appropriate attire, we all headed out of our hotel and down the street to Fifth Avenue. Our hotel was located on 36th street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenue, so it was a very short walk to Fifth Avenue. From there, we headed north, popping into stores like Sephora, Adidas, and Banana Republic. Along the way we saw some beautiful buildings, such as the New York Public Library, which I was very excited about (book nerd here). I bought a few things, which I'll make a post about later on when I've got everything gathered together.
Also on Fifth Avenue, we stopped at Tiffany & Co. to recreate one of the most iconic scenes in cinema (and my personal favourite): Audrey Hepburn standing outside of Tiffany's with a coffee in one hand and a Danish in the other, clad in a black gown and massive sunglasses. I thought it would be fun to mimic her pose, and it totally was!
By the time we got through Fifth Avenue and hit the edge of Central Park, it was well past five o'clock and we were starved as we had only had coffee since breakfast at ten o'clock. So, we headed down Seventh Avenue, towards Times Square, and ended up at a diner we ate at back in 2010, called Lindy's. Seven years ago, we came here for dessert, as they boast their 'World Famous Cheesecake', but this time we decided to try the entrees as well. The menu consisted mostly of sandwiches, and as I'm not a huge sandwich fan, I opted for the appetizer-size chicken tenders and a side of onion rings. The onion rings weren't my favourite, but I did enjoy the chicken tenders. And, of course, we had to have the famous cheesecake. My boyfriend doesn't like cheesecake, so my parents and I shared a slice of plain cheesecake with strawberry toppings. It was SO good, and massive too.
Afterwards, we headed down to Times Square for the first time of the trip. I always love visiting Times Square, it's so vibrant and exciting. Always something happening everywhere you turn. We climbed up the red stairs that cover the TKTS booth and I got some really good pictures, including the ones below of the full area, my boyfriend and I, and the New Years' Eve Ball with the 2017 sign.
On our way out of Times Square, we passed by a pop-up stand for the Strand Bookstore - the full-size shop being on my to-do list, I insisted we stopped for a moment to browse the mini collection of books and bookish items they had on display. They had a pretty wide variety of novels, from contemporary novels to The Handmaid's Tale, which got me extremely excited for the actual shop! Also, we checked out the MASSIVE Disney Store in Times Square because, hello, it's Disney. I was not disappointed in the slightest.
After a very long day, we headed back to our hotel to relax for a bit before going to bed and getting ready for the next day of NYC fun ahead of us!
If you're interested in more, follow this link to hear about Day 2 in NYC.