This past Saturday David and I spent the night in New York City while my parents took care of Jackson. Having grandparents close by is the best! It was a rather spontaneous trip that we decided to take as kind of a “last hoorah” before the baby arrives in about six weeks. Being in between both of our birthdays, it was also an excuse to celebrate and just enjoy each other’s company one on one, which is something we don’t do nearly enough of these days, admittedly. This was actually the first time that we have both been away from Jackson overnight at the same time since he was born!
Although we were away for only about 24 hours, it was the perfect amount of time and I felt like we were able to relax and really enjoy ourselves. The best part was the fact that Saturday hit the mid 70s (FINALLY!) and it felt amazing. My favorite thing about New York City is how walkable it is and whenever we’re there we love to walk around the different neighborhoods, so I was so happy that we had perfect weather for our trip. Over the course of Saturday we clocked about seven miles, which I think is pretty good considering I’m 8 months preggo over here!
We hopped on a train to the city from our town and arrived at Grand Central, where we then walked over to our hotel. I decided to book us at The W because we wanted to use our Starwood points and were hoping to be within walking distance to the train station. It was the perfect location and worked out great for us. Being in NYC, the room was small but otherwise the accommodations were perfectly fine (minus the view, which you can see below!). I considered going all out and booking us at one of the really fancy hotels, like the Saint Regis, but knowing that we were hardly going to be in the room at all, I didn’t want to use 25 or 30 thousand hard-earned Starwood points. It seemed like a waste. The W was just 12 thousand points and I’m very glad I didn’t use more.
I couldn’t resist snapping a pic of the view from our room. Gotta love the concrete jungle that is New York City, ha!
After arriving a little before 1pm, we were hungry for lunch and I was eager to try out a vegan asian fusion place I discovered nearby, called Franchia. There are so many things on the menu that sound amazing and I had a hard time choosing what to order. Ultimately, I ordered a couple of veggie sushi rolls and David got a noodle dish and I thought the food was delish! We also split steamed kale dumplings. The meal really hit the spot and I would definitely return to Franchia if I’m in the area again. I’ve included a few pics of the food below, but I don’t really think they do it justice.
We decided to head back to the hotel after lunch to rest a bit before dinner, since we had early dinner reservations downtown. Back in 2013, when we got married, one of our friends gave us a gift certificate to a “vegetable-focused” restaurant called Dirt Candy, and for whatever reason, we didn’t get around to using it until now. Better late than never I guess! It’s all vegetarian but it’s not vegan, although you can request that your meal be vegan and they can accommodate that (along with any other dietary restrictions). The other thing to note is that you have to choose between two price fix options for dinner–5 courses or 10. There’s no a la carte menu. This was not an issue for us and it allowed is to sample lots of different flavors and combinations. According to the restaurant’s website, New York Magazine named Dirt Candy “The Absolute Best Restaurant on the Lower East Side” this year and after eating there, I can see why. You guys, this place is amazing. The food absolutely blew me away! I challenge anyone who doesn’t think veggie-based eating can be satisfying to try dining here. I’m still thinking about our meal!
Here are some highlights from our five-course feast:
Sliders made from a carrot base. I can’t remember what else was in them but they were sooo good.
“Hot dog” rolls. Again, I can’t remember exactly what these were made of (besides broccoli, obvi) but they were magic and somehow the combination of flavors was very reminiscent of eating a hot dog.
Brussels sprout “tacos.” I don’t know how the Brussels sprouts were prepared but they were HEAVEN. I could have eaten a whole pound of just those and I would have been happy.
A version of tres leches cake and some kind of insanely good chocolate cake. You better believe we ate every last bite….
Post dinner, we walked the two miles over to the financial district to visit our long-time friends who live there. We used to hang out with them quite a bit when we lived in the city and it was so nice to catch up with them since we don’t get to see them nearly as much as we’d like now. It felt like old times! After visiting with them for a while we headed back to the hotel around 11 to relax and hit the hay early. I know, we’re lame and old! It was the perfect evening in my book though, filled will the things I love most, good food and good friends. The next day we just had breakfast and then headed home to relieve my parents, who I’m sure were exhausted after caring for our little whirlwind! Sunday was back to cold, wintery weather, so the warm and sunshine were short lived, but all in all, we had a wonderful date night in the city and it reminded me how important it is to take time for ourselves every now and then to connect as a couple.