Friday, February 5, 2016

Blizzard Bachelorette

Two weekends ago a great group of my closest girlfriends all flew to New York City and we got to spend a fabulous girls weekend together to celebrate my bachelorette party.  I didn't want anything cliche, I really just wanted a good, fun weekend with my girlfriends.  And my two bridesmaids K and C, who planned out the trip with help from various friends and family, totally delivered.  We spent an AMAZING weekend in NYC doing SO much stuff.  We didn't even let the third largest blizzard in New York history slow us down!  I warn you, this is a long post because there are a ton of awesome pictures of our adventures!
My future sister-in-law B and I flew in on Thursday night so we could spend a little time with my cousin J and his awesome girlfriend S.  We spent a lot of time chatting and catching up, went out for a tasty dinner (my first cheese plate meal of the trip), and ended our evening with the wonderful news that my cousin D's wife had their baby!  (p.s. my cousin J was executive produce on this awesome movie coming out soon - you should definitely check it out if it's in your area!)  We woke up Friday morning and caught the subway into Manhattan to meet up with the rest of the crew at the hotel and drop our bags off, then we walked over to Korea town to explore (Korean beauty stores and Asian markets have such great stuff) and then had some Korean bbq for lunch.

After lunch we made our way down to the Times Square area and met up with my cousin C for my first surprise - going to see the Jimmy Fallon practice monologue!  He tested out all of his jokes for the upcoming show on us and we even got to hear that Friday's love notes section.  I was bummed that his space shuttle joke fell flat, but seeing him in person was very fun!

After Jimmy we swung by a coffee shop for a bit then went over to MoMA for some iconic modern art.  Since Friday evenings in the museum are free, we didn't feel pressured to try to fit the entire museum in, which was nice.  We mainly explored the 5th floor, which was filled with so many famous pieces like Warhol's Cambells soup, VanGogh's Starry Night, and Monet's Water Lilies.  There was way more, but I'd say those were top of the list of  "wow, I can't believe I saw that up close".

We definitely crammed a LOT into our Friday adventures.  After the art museum, we walked over to Central Park for some ice skating!  It was feeling quite chilly out at that point and I think some of us were initially questioning our decision to prolong our outdoor exposure, but it was totally worth it.  I haven't ice skated in a while, so I was a little (lot) shaky on my feet at first, but once we got in a rhythm, it was immensely enjoyable, and the view was the best.

At this point we'd worked up an appetite, so we took the subway to the East Village and met up with the rest of our crew at Luzzo's for some delicious Italian food, red wine, and pizza.  When we left the restaurant the snow had just started to fall and was lightly dusting the streets and sidewalks already.  We ended our evening at a fabulous art deco jazz bar where we crammed into a cozy round booth and everyone got to know each other a little better over craft cocktails.  I'm so thrilled all of my friends from the various stages of my life all got along so well together!

On Saturday the snow storm was in full effect and we woke up to this:
There were very few people out and about and even fewer cars, but we had things we wanted to do so we powered on!  First stop after trudging through the snow was brunch at the iconic Katz's Deli!

Look at those giant matzo balls and that tower of pastrami.  I can't vouch for the matzo balls (made with eggs), but that pastrami just melted in your mouth.  So good.  Just as we were finishing up our meal, every phone in the restaurant started beeping with this notice:
The city was basically shutting down.  Subway would still be running (although that was debatable for a while too), but no cars were allowed on the roads and as a result, most of the stores, restaurants, etc in the city were closing for the day as well.  So we headed back toward the hotel (the snow had nearly doubled while we were in the restaurant) and stopped by a drugstore to stock up on critical supplies for an afternoon hunkered down in our hotel room.  Critical supplies, mind you, were junk food, wine, hot cocoa, and nail polish...

Oh yea, we also spent a good chunk of our time that afternoon rescheduling our flights as well.  Every single flight out of NYC on Sunday got cancelled.  Once evening rolled around we were feeling a bit cooped up and decided to brave the snow for some dinner.  My sister-in-law J amazingly found a wine bar (with food too...) just around the corner from our hotel that was still open.  To be honest, the storm actually wound up working greatly in our favor on this trip.  There is no way in hell we could have walked into this small, trendy wine bar on a normal weekend with a party of 8 and gotten a table, but due to the blizzard the place was relatively empty and we were seated with no wait at all.  It was amazing.  And the flights getting cancelled just extended our awesome weekend an extra day.

Those snow angels were made in the street.  When has anyone else ever made snow angels in a NYC street???  Part of the reason this weekend was so great is that my awesome friends are totally able to make their own fun.  After dinner we snuck some of our giant stash of chocolate down into the hotel bar and sat around and chatted over a few drinks before we heading back up to the rooms to try out some Korean face masks and sing loudly along to some Pat Benetar and Jefferson Starship (hoping there wasn't anyone in the room next to us...).  I will not be posting any pictures of that, though, because I'd like my friends to remain my friends and, as one person put it, we looked like "pod people". 

The following day the city was off to a slow start (plows hadn't made it to all of the streets, and many sidewalks could only be navigated down skinny paths of footprints in the snow).  We slept in, snagged some Starbucks for breakfast, and then hit up Bite Beauty Bar (part of our plans that had been cancelled the previous day) to get custom made lipsticks!

We each had one or two lipsticks custom mixed to our precise specifications ("nude without looking like death", "a wearable red", "shimmery pink" or my favorite, L's "bold purple") and we had so much fun!  If you're up in NYC, I'd highly recommend going - it was quite a unique experience.  After our lipstick fun, we went out for sushi for lunch and then did some shopping in the SoHo area.  It was at this point that some of our crowd started to disperse as ground transportation in New York and Jersey was coming back to life.  The rest of us kept walking/shopping/exploring and eventually made our way to dinner at Murray's Cheese Shop.

This was my third cheese meal of the weekend (I'd gotten a cheese tray the previous night at the wine bar too) and I have to say, 3 cheese-based dinners in a 4 day period is absolutely, phenomally amazing.  It's a good thing we were walking around and climbing through snow piles as it's not the healthiest way to eat, but damn was it delicious!  We just hunkered down right there in the cheese shop, bought a few bottles of hard cider, 3 types of cheese, some pickles and olives, and some meats.  H and H ran next door to the bakery and snagged an excellent loaf of artisan bread, and it may have been the best meal of the weekend.  Somehow we still had room in our stomachs afterwards for ice cream (let's be honest, there's always room for ice cream), so we hiked around the corner and got dessert at Big Gay Ice Cream - Salty Pimp FTW!

We then headed uptown a bit and waited in line to get free tickets to see the Upright Citizens Brigade comedy show later that night and then spent some time in World of Beer, drinking, talking, laughing, and biding our time until the show started.  This is another thing we never would have made it to on time and gotten tickets for if it hadn't been for the weather.  Improv comedy can be a bit of a crap shoot, but overall we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves! 

The next morning we all sort of started to scatter.  A few of the girls had to work remotely, a few slept in, and B and I snagged the subway uptown to go see my cousin D, his wife S, and their adorable, 4-day-old daughter C.  Snuggling a newborn while catching up with family is the best way to start a day.
So tiny!  Poor B's flight got cancelled again on Monday, so after we left my cousin's place we headed back to the hotel so she could get her luggage and meet up with my aunt, uncle, and cousins for the rest of the day while the Houston contingent and I loaded our stuff into a car and were airport bound.  The traffic going to the airport was an absolute mess.  Our driver lived in the area so she was able to take us some back roads and get us to our flights on time, but K tried taking a cab later that night and wound up having to get out and walk half a mile to the airport along the side of the highway in the snow with a number of other people because the traffic had been gridlocked for hours.  We all eventually made it home, though, safe and sound! 

It was such a wonderful weekend and I can't thank my girlfriends enough for making it what it was.  I'm so lucky to have such amazing friends and family! 

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