Sky’s the Limit: New York City

The first time I ever went to New York City was in high school. My family took my brother and I to see the sights and do all the touristy things (the Empire State building, a broadway show, Times Square, Chinatown, etc.). I’ve been back a couple other times for business (but of course some fun was thrown in the mix on those trips too). As I mentioned here, I went back a few weeks ago to visit my baby brother (and check a few more touristy things off the bucket list).

One ridiculously overpriced uber ride and a red-eye later, and I had made it. It may have been 5:30am (2:30am to my body that was still on west coast time), but our day was starting NOW. First things first, we stopped for caffeine. Coffee for Luke and a chai tea latte for me. And of course a bagel. So New York of us. Caffeine & carbs in hand, we hopped on the subway and headed to our first stop: One World Trade Center. When my family visited New York while I was in high school, we walked through the museum and peeked through the fences where there was only a hole in the ground from where the Trade Towers once stood. This time, I got to see the memorials and the unbelievably tall tower that is the new World Trade Center. I had gotten us tickets to take the elevator up to the One World Observatory on the 102nd floor of the 104-story skyscraper. The tickets are a little on the pricey side, but in my opinion well worth the incredible 360-view of the city you get at the top. Not only that, but the elevator ride up plays an awesome time-lapse of the city being developed from the 1500s until now (and fun fact: the studio that Zack is working with had a big part in developing!). Still need convincing? Well, it is the tallest building in the United States (and western hemisphere for that matter), so that’s pretty cool. And it is an emotional experience, especially if you spend time at the museum and memorial, but a great way to pay tribute to those who were lost in the tragedy of 9-11.

The rest of the afternoon consisted of two enormous slices of NY style pizza, more wandering around, and finally a stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge. By late afternoon, I was exhausted. I know they call it “the city that never sleeps,” but I needed to sleep (especially since I was running on maybe an hour of sleep from the plane…which doesn’t really even count). We went back to my brother’s place in Brooklyn, watched some Netflix, and called it an early night. I slept like a rock.

Sunday morning, brunch is calling. You don’t do a weekend in the city without brunch, am i right? Oh but I forgot, this isn’t Los Angeles where you can get alcohol at any time of the day, so no mimosas at 10am. The french toast & bacon & eggs made up for it.

Up next, the Statue of Liberty. A pretty signature landmark of New York City, and something I definitely wanted the check out. Tip: buy your tickets ahead of time because the lines get long and can even sell out. If you’re trying to climb up to the crown, you’ll need to buy those tickets months in advance. Seriously. I bought our tickets to climb up to the pedestal about a month out and those were almost sold out. The crown tickets were sold out through December. As cool as it would have been to climb all the way up into the crown, climbing to the pedestal was worth it. You can easily get a great view of the statue without climbing it, but you do get some unique and up-close angles if you decide to upgrade your basic ticket. After wandering around Liberty Island (still regret not buying a foam statue of liberty hat for a picture), we hopped on the boat and headed back to Battery Park, NY.


From there we headed towards Times Square where we had tickets to see Aladdin on Broadway. So fun and so excellent. I mean, Aladdin is my favorite Disney animated movie  (which, by they way, was just released from the Disney vault yesterday and YES, I went an bought it on the first day it came out), so I might be a little biased, but I give it two thumbs up.

After the show, Luke and I grabbed dinner and drinks and just caught up. It had been over a year since we had seen each other, so there was plenty to catch up on. Monday was my final day in the city, so we took a stroll through the Chelsea Market and walked along the High Line. Then we grabbed sushi in Williamsburg and my brother showed me around that area before I had to hop on the subway and head back to the airport.


I’ve gotta say, I had a blast getting to hang out with my brother, and New York City is such a fun place to visit, but I don’t think I could ever live there. First of all, it gets way to cold  in the winter (says the girl now living in Los Angeles). Second of all, it wears. me. out. Evertime I visit, I leave feeling completely exhausted. Exhausted from having too much fun? Or maybe I’m just out of shape and you have to do a lot of walking there. Or maybe I just need to live in “a city that gets some sleep.”

XO – Courtney

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