IT’S A NEW SOUNDTRACK–I COULD DANCE TO THIS bbbeaaAAaaaTTttt, bbbeaaAAaaaTTttt FOREVER MORE!
THE LIGHTS ARE SO BRIGHT BUT THEY NEVER BLIND mMmmEEEeeeEEE, mMmmEEEeeeEEE!!!!!!!Goddammit, T-Swift…how I love you and your effin’ lyrics!
Read on, loves! Take a trip down memory lane as I reminisce on my fab trip to the BIG APPLE!!!
– it’s been waitin’ for ya! –
// THE ADVENTURE BEGINS //
So, the Hubs and I were invited by the most sweetest couple, Tom + Lina, to witness them exchange vows in the Big Apple. And boy, was it incredible.
Yes, it was in September. I get it. Consider this a #latepost of sorts.
But in order for me to get there–both mentally and physically–I had to make sure everything on our end was squared away before our feet actually left the ground!
- CHECK YO BUTT IN
- Always check-in. Always. Don’t gamble showing up just because you were able to snag a seat. Just do it–it’ll take ya maybe ten minutes 24 hours before your flight. So, so worth it.
- PACK LIKE A PRO
- Lay out your wardrobe! I’m telling ya, babes, lay it allll out where ever you can. Luckily for us, my family owns a pool table, so after spreading out a blanket so the copious amounts of glitter from god-knows-where that naturally accumulates on my clothes and my human person doesn’t get everywhere. And if you really want to be a psycho like me, use Post-It notes to mark what outfit is what, what combos it can make with other items of clothing, what day you’re going to wear it, etc.
- MAKE YOURSELF COMFY
- Let’s face it: unless you’re popping for first class, chances are you’re stuck in the middle seat between someone who wants to sleep on you and someone who can’t take a hint and keeps nonchalantly staring at your phone while you’re watching old re-runs of The Vampire Diaries on Netflix. Unless you travel with a friend or significant other or family, there’s no guarantee who will be by you, so make sure you’re as comfy as possible. I love these:
- The Mer-Sea Cozy Travel Wrap — click here to snag one for yourself! So warm and comfy and doesn’t freak you out like the blankets they give you for free!
- The Cutest Little Black Backpack — click here and witness the cutest little accessory to stash your Cosmo’s and Duty-Free wine in! Deceivingly larger than it seems, I traveled to Ireland and Italy with this little guy and have not been disappointed!
- Larabars — in a word: delishhhh! Click here to try one of my favorites!
// PREGAME //
I know, I know–you’ve been told that drinking before a flight or while on one can be dehydrating. And I’m here to tell you: that’s totally true. But if you’re anything like me, then, hey! Grab one, dammit! Your anxiety will thank you later.
So before our flight, our good friends, Olivia + Mike, joined us at a pub in our terminal for some pre-flight food and sips. And boy, we’re they gooood. We had salad, fish tacos, and a variety of other goodies while we sipped wine, the boys sipped on whiskey, and then we ended our debauchery with some tequila shots. Yikes. As I stumbled my way to the plane, clutching my carry-on with all my might, I realized belatedly that my extreme fear of flying was casually replaced with a healthy fear of having to wait until after take-off for my next drankkkk.
Rational? Probably not.
Totally Lo? Of course.
I will tell you, after cat-napping for a bit on and off, I awoke parched and in desperate need of water. After downing a few rounds of H20 (and awkwardly climbing over a random dude to get to the bathroom more than once), I was able to balance out my alcohol to water ratio.
Case in pint–I mean, point: if you’re gonna drink, loves, it’s all about balance.
// DAY ONE: Touristy //
“Ladies and gentlemen, we are now beginning our descent into NYC. Hold on to your butts, there may be some turbulence.”
I groggily found myself awake, scrambling to repack my carry-on, untangle my headphones, and get my shit in order. As soon as we landed, I knew we would be meeting up with the rest of the crew, so the faster I could touch myself up (naturally, all of my make-up was in my carry-on…you know, for emergencies, duhhh.), the sooner we could get moving.
From grabbing an early lunch at Katz’s Delicatessen — you know, the place from When Harry Met Sally that bore the saying, “I’ll have what she’s having!”?! It was FREAKEN DELISHHH. I had the corned-beef omelet. I was in love.
We then trekked three miles to Ground Zero, which was as magnificent as it was sobering, hallowed, and tragic. We took our time, grazing our fingers upon the names in marble, gaining access to the museum and listening to the firsthand accounts of that gut-wrenching day, and remembering those we had lost, some we knew, most we didn’t, and pondering on our relevance in this short, wild ride of life that we’re all on. Needless to say, we all hugged a bit longer, laughed a little louder, and appreciated what we had, and if that was simply being in each other’s company, then it was all we needed.
Later that night, after a much–needed nap, we made our way a few blocks over to NY’s Little Italy, which was participating in its annual San Gennaro festival. What a blassssttttt. From watching food vendors roll-up cannolis in street booths to grabbing a slice or two of authentic Sicilian pizza, we took it all in and lost ourselves in the moment.
From there, we found ourselves Uber-hopping our way over to one of the oldest pubs in town, where we found Tom with his family enjoying a few Guiness’ on the eve of his wedding.
What other girl gets the bar to sing the “Gaston” song from Beauty and the Beast?! THIS GIRL. This girl does. And it quickly became the theme song of the trip. 😉
// DAY TWO: Wedding //
We awoke the next day to the soft light of an NYC morning permeating the luxurious, gauzy curtains that adorned the floor-to-ceiling windows from the PUBLIC hotel. I could have stayed another week–I loved the hotel so much!
A sudden rush of excitement jolted me out of bed–it was the wedding day! Needless to say, the Hubs and I were PUMPED. We love weddings, and we love it even more when our friends get hitched. We popped a few mini-champagnes, listened to some Avenged Sevenfold, and got ready for the ceremony.
The ceremony was held at the beautiful and nostalgic St. Monica’s Church, where Tom’s grandparent’s had gotten married. Can you say, tears? Because they were flowing.
After the ceremony and the promise of forever between those two love-birds, we made our way back to the hotel, did a quick change into our more formal dresses, and made our way over to the Cipriani, which was BREATHTAKINGGGGGGGGG. I felt like we were on the set of a movie.
From wild oysters, an abundance of seafood, sushi, to the traditional Italian spread of meats and cheese during cocktail hour (and, of course, more champagne for your homegirl over here), we found ourselves falling a little bit more in love with the big NYC every minute. Dinner was served, speeches were made, and then, the dancing commenced. The night flew by in a gorgeous blur, between belting it out along with the band to trying to get onstage to sing, we had a blast and truly danced our asses off while celebrating one of our fave couples and their love. What a night!
// DAY THREE: Date Night //
The Hubs and I decided that it would be better to fly home on Monday morning, so we found ourselves with a whole day that we could fill with touring, family, and friends. Legit, a true SUNDAY FUNDAY. We went back to the streets of Brooklyn where Matteo’s mother grew up, we spent time with family and friends at the City Vineyard at Pier 26, and we ended the night with a date, just the two of us, while being treated to the works by Chef Tom at the PUBLIC KITCHEN.
Our little date night was the perfect ending to a wonderful adventure in NYC!
// HOMEWARD BOUND //
Sunday flew by and sooner rather than later, we made our way to over to Newark Airport, where we would be taking the flight to head home.
TRAVEL HACK: again, make sure to check-in 24hrs before your flight! Don’t lose that seat ya paid for, love!
ANOTHER HACK, FOR YA!: rollllll your clothes!!! Trust me, I know it sounds weird, but aside from shoving all of your crap back into your suitcase unorganized, barely able to get a zipper around it, and paying for it later when you can’t carry it on, roll roll roll those clothes! Personally, that’s the only way I pack. They stay wrinkle free and save so much space, especially for longer travels!
The Hubs and I were lucky enough to catch a plane home with another great couple that we love, Nicole + Jeff, who are also newlyweds and were about 12 days from their own wedding at the time! We had a blast roaming the shops, looking for neck pillows (I had forgotten mine, of course), and enjoyed being seated in the row behind them.
When arriving home, before I do anything (like catch up on some much need sleep) I always force myself to start the laundry. Do I unload my copious amounts of hair and make-up products, hell no. But damn, I get that laundry in, nap until the cycles over, flip it, and head back to sleep.
It’s compulsive, but it saves me time later on, because who honestly enjoys doing the laundry?!
Looking back at it now, I truly enjoyed myself that trip and I can’t wait until I get the chance to explore NYC some more. As long as I have my Hubs by my side, I know it’ll be an adventure we’ll remember for the years to come.
And there you have it, loves! Our NYC adventure in a nutshell. I hope you enjoyed some of the tips I provided and if you have any of your own, send ’em my way! Tweet me! Send me a message on Insta!
ALSO, as always, thanks for being so supportive of this blog and of my book. I am hard at work on the sequel to XXII, XXIII, and I can’t wait for y’all to read it. It’s dark. It’s dirty. It’s gutwrenching. It’s so Mads. You’re gonna love it. And if you haven’t yet, GO DOWNLOAD YOUR FREEEE SNEAK PEEK AT THE FIRST CHAPTER OF XXIII!!!!!! Click here and scroll down!!!
AND, make sure you’re following me on all social, because I’m thinking of bringing back my YOUTUBE vids! That’s where it’s at! I want to vlog Thanksgiving, I want to vlog my Christmas Break, I WANT TO DO IT ALL, and keep you posted on my writing!!!
LET ME KNOW YOUR FEELS ABOUT IT. I’M NERVOUS. YAY.
Read on, friends!
To purchase a paperback copy or Kindle-version of XXII, click here!
For all things XXII and XXIII, click here to sign up and stay in the loop!
Follow this page, give me a follow on Instagram [@lovalenzaaa] or on Twitter [@life_withlauren], or even Facebook [www.facebook.com/lovalenza]! Give me a shout-out and tweet me! Sign up for all the goodness that can and will be coming your way!!!