Before I start this final (I promise!) post about this trip, I feel compelled to mention that, lest anyone worry that Ella was forgotten and lonely at home (unlikely), she was having the time of her life with Dave and the friends she got to play with while Dave was in class. I was so thankful for my great friends that watched her and for Dave for working his schedule so that I could go on this trip! I owe you guys big time. It was really amazing what a few days away did for my psyche. I felt like mostly human again (I kid).
Dave made it through church solo and even did Ella’s hair on his own (his biggest worry before I left, haha). Round of applause emoji! Notice he traded the diaper bag for a manlier backpack. Smart thinking.
I had never Face-timed Ella before–seeing as I’ve never spent a night away from her–and it was so funny! If I pretended to kiss the screen, she would go in for a kiss as well. And literally kiss the screen.
Dave even hiked the Y with her in the backpack, and if you’ve ever done that hike you know it’s not a piece of cake so….I was suitably impressed!
So our last full day in the city started off with a minor tragedy, as we missed our bus in the morning. I got cocky and suggested we try to catch it at a stop closer to our hotel, but since Nyack didn’t have any clearly marked bus stops (is it just a word-of-mouth system there, or what?) and we watched in silent horror as our bus passed us right on by and cruised down the hill and around a corner. So, we got into the city an hour later than planned. We did, however, have a little time to kill at the hotel until the next bus, so we were able to catch the end of One Direction on GMA. It got us nice and pumped for the concert the next day!
The second, larger, tragedy was that our first stop, the Neue Gallery, was closed on Tuesdays–and seeing as it was Tuesday, and our last day in the city, we were out of luck! Super sad because we wanted to see the painting from The Woman in Gold in real life (have you seen the movie? SO good!). So we headed right over to Dean & Deluca to abate our sorrows in upscale groceries.
Another way that we saved money was buying food at grocery stores instead of restaurants (not that we invented this tactic–lots of seasoned travelers do this!). Anyone who’s ever been inside of a Dean & Deluca knows that it’s a food lover’s dream, so you’re not missing out on the New York foodie experience by getting something to go from a grocery store rather than a formal eatery. We probably spent like 40 minutes looking around and trying samples before deciding what to get for our picnic outside of the Met.
Since we were going to be getting burgers later, I went with something a bit healthy–this kale, shrimp, and noodle salad with some kind of delicious sesame dressing. It was SO good, and at like $6, much cheaper than getting a salad in a restaurant would have been. As you can see, we had to try the sea salt and dark chocolate cookie too. We HAD TO.
Grace took to phrasing her texts as lines from Gossip Girl throughout the trip, so chilling outside of the Met was fitting.
If I had to pick my favorite thing that we did in New York, it was probably the Met. It’s mind-blowingly huge and overwhelming, but awesome. Like, you find yourself passing by works of art and just being like, “oh, that’s a Monet? Well, it’s not one of the more famous Monets, so I’ll keep going.” There’s just SO much famous, cool stuff to see. I spent wayyyyy too long in the first gallery we went through and found myself trying to make up time later on, so I’m positive I missed things I would have wanted to see, but oh well.
For the first little bit my sisters and I decided to pick a gallery to see, but go through things at our own pace and meet up at the end and then pick another one to start on. Well, I decided to stick with Tess, since she’s the art expert in our family, so she could tell me what was famous?But I was taking my own sweet time, and got separated from her, and so I found myself just wandering doing and seeing who knows what by myself. I ended up in the Egyptian section and a kindly tourist noticed me taking pics and offered to take one of me. By myself. In front of some kind of Egyptian sentinel. Why not?
I was so charmed by this elementary school group just sitting around sketching a Klimt. What a field trip! I’m pretty sure my second grade class went to the post office.
And I’ll ignore the hoards of people crowding around, feverishly taking pictures of a Van Gogh behind glass because we know it just makes me ragey.
I think we spent four hours there and barely scratched the surface. So many iconic paintings and not enough time! I really wonder how long it would take you to visit every gallery and every room in this museum.
After the Met we headed over to Shake Shack and I have to say, it really lived up to the hype! I feel like any time I read a blog or instagram post or whatever about anyone visiting New York there’s a nod to Shake Shack, so I wanted to try it but I was skeptical. These things are rarely as good as expected. But it was! I mean, if you like burgers, fries, and shakes, which I do. I knew that Utah has truly sunk it’s claws into me, though, when I realized that I was having true stress over the fact that this place doesn’t have fry sauce.
We also checked out Bloomingdale’s and Magnolia Bakery after this but somehow I didn’t get any pictures. My thoughts on Magnolia Bakery–yummy cupcakes, but I don’t really think that they are any better than plenty of other ones I’ve had. I don’t know if I’d need to make a pilgrimage there the next time I’m in the city.
The next day was pretty much entirely consumed by getting to the One Direction concert–let me clarify, the concert started at 7pm. Well, the opening act was starting at 7pm. Since I have the compulsive need to self-sabotage and be late to everything in my life I was baffled that we needed to be there super early (I was thinking we could roll in around 7:30 or so…..I’ve never been on time to a concert before), but Anne was in charge that day, and visibly stressed, so I just let her lead the way. So after checking out of our hotel in Nyack, taking an Uber (or is it just “taking Uber?” I’m not cool.) to New Jersey, and getting something to eat, we got to the stadium at 4:30.
We had plenty of time to kill with selfies.
So I had never been to a concert with this crazy level of fandom before. I mean, so many shirts (plenty of “Mrs. Styles” or “Team Payne,” etc.) , homemade signs, crazed screaming–it was so nuts! I was handed both of these signs by little teeny boppers who had printed out thousands on their own dime and just wanted to spread their love to the boys, I guess. We were supposed to fill in the top one with the date that we started “loving the boys” and wave them at a certain time.
Icona Pop opened and they were actually pretty good! I only really knew their hits but they were entertaining and played for about 45 minutes. By that point I was like, “Ok, we’ve been here for four hours, they’ve got to be coming on soon.” No dice. That was my one complaint about this concert–wayyyyy too much time between the opening act and 1D actually coming on! But I guess you can see from this pic that they needed time to fill in the seats and for it to get dark.
When the guys came on, I have to say, it was totally worth it. They were awesome! I love 1D–they helped me realize that I am, in fact, beautiful–but I will admit I wasn’t expecting them to be great live. But they were! Harry, especially–what a rock star. He was running all over that stage like a crazy person. No wonder there are so many videos of him tripping and falling during concerts. I was sort of expecting him to be too cool for school, but he was super funny and worked the crowd like a pro. Can you tell I love Harry? No shame in my game. It really was a once in a lifetime experience to be in a crowd that was THAT crazy for a band. They sang “Drag Me Down,” which had dropped like 48 hours ago, and everyone in the stadium knew every lyric (granted, it’s not exactly complicated. They rhyme “me” with “me.”). And you know what? We didn’t even miss Zayn.
And with that, I hopped on a plane and went back to my little family the next day!