NEW YORK CITY BBAABBYY

Recently I had the opportunity to finally see for myself what all the hype about New York City was really about.

And now...

I FINALLY UNDERSTAND

I'll be honest, even though I've seen pppppplenty of movies centered in NYC, I'm not sure anything could have quite prepared me for just how big the city really is. The tip for exploring NYC for the first time is to have your boyfriend / travel-mate plan an incredible, detailed itinerary for your trip beforehand so you don't have to feel overwhelmed trying to figure out where to start! Drew and I only had about 3 full days to explore the city, yet I feel like I still got to see so many popular spots without feeling rushed or overwhelmed. {Props to you Drew, props to you.}

Empire State Building

Empire State Building

NYC BY DAY

Disclaimer: A Broadway show is not included, but a MUST for first timers to the city. Phantom of the Opera WAS INCREDIBLE. Probably my all time favorite memory of the trip! But here are a couple more of my favorite places I loved as well...

9/11 Museum. Yall, I can't even begin to express just how powerful our time at the museum was. It's incredible to see the amount of stories, footage, and artifacts that they recovered from the wreckage of the Twin Towers. You won't stop crying the entire time you're there, but I promise it's worth the two hours you'll spend remembering not only the events, but also the lives that were lost and the heroes that emerged on that tragic day.

Brooklyn Bridge. Let me just be a geeked out tourist real quick... I LOVED the Brooklyn Bridge -- Especially if you walk across it on a pretty day. There's something about the wooden pathway combined with the exposed wires that transports you back in time. Walking across offers multiple perks: 1) The bridge is beautiful 2) You can see the skyline of the city AND the Statue of Liberty and 3) It leads you to Brooklyn, which is the perfect getaway from the big city vibe. But really, if you're looking for a break from the crowds, Brooklyn is the perfect escape. 

Also, you can't forget to add a little funk into your trip with Chelsea Market / The High Line {Chelsea Market is an enclosed market in the middle of the city full of food and shopping. The High Line is a park built on an old railroad line above the city.}

Foodies--this part is for you!

Let me tell you, the one thing we FOR SURE did right was taking the time to find local eats we were both excited to try. Both of us being foodies, we have an appreciation for good food and experiencing it with one another -- if you're anything like us, New York is the perfect place for your taste buds to run wild. {If you're looking for food recommendations, shoot me a note!} One thing I do not lack is a sweet tooth, so although the food was amazing, the dessert was the real winner in my book.

From Top Left to Right: Banana Nutella Waffle ( Wafels & Dinges ), Frozen Hot Chocolate ( Serendipity ), Cronuts ( Dominique Ansel Bakery ), Cookies Milkshake ( Black Tap ), Compost Cookie & Cereal Milk Ice Cream with Cornflakes ( Momofuku Milk Bar )

From Top Left to Right: Banana Nutella Waffle (Wafels & Dinges), Frozen Hot Chocolate (Serendipity), Cronuts (Dominique Ansel Bakery), Cookies Milkshake (Black Tap), Compost Cookie & Cereal Milk Ice Cream with Cornflakes (Momofuku Milk Bar)

NYC BY NIGHT 

Being from Arkansas, I'm not sure my "small-town" self was quite ready for the nightlife of a big city. There is a very good reason why NYC is called the city that never sleeps... BECAUSE THE CITY NEVER SLEEPS. It's incredible. I'm tired just thinking about it. At one point, I was shopping at 1AM, {1AM PEOPLE} which was still considered to be a very common activity around Times Square at night. 

Times Square

"Hearts of Hearts" display at Times Square

Although Times Square gives you a true touristy appreciation of the colors and hustle & bustle of the city, I would highly recommend taking time to see the view of the city from the Top Of The Rock. The site alone is jaw-dropping, but it's also a great place to see multiple landmarks in one place. From one side alone you can see the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, Time Square and the Brooklyn Bridge. 

Top Of The Rock

Top Of The Rock

Needless to say, I'm not sure I could have asked for a better first trip to NYC! Shout out to my BF for one heck of an incredible trip. Thanks for all the memories {and sweets.} You're #1.

NYC you're easy to fall in love witH...

Seriously though, I'm a fan. I couldn't get enough of the history, views, entertainment and food. Although I do feel like I got a good picture of what NYC represents as a whole, I can't wait for my next visit when I can dig a little deeper into both the local attractions and hidden gems the city really has to offer!

Till Next Time.

{And you better believe there will be a next time!}