When Christmas with my family got cancelled this year due to sickness,
it didn't take me long to make alternate arrangements ... in the way of a flight out east to crash some friends' family Christmas!
So on Thursday, Christmas afternoon, I hopped on a plane -- wearing festive fleece lined leggings, of course -- and took off for Philly, via a quick stop in Chicago.
I got to Chicago just in time for the sunset. And WOW. I mean, look at that!
L: Leaving Chicago R: Landing in Philly
Friday was spent mostly just hanging around the house with various family members dropping in.
Shan and I spent some quality time around the fire put outside and ate. And by ate I really mean
Ate. All. Day. Long.
Seriously. The amount of food we consumed was astonishing. But they just kept bringing it out! Chese and crackers, apples, cookies, pizza...and those were the appetizers in between the big meals!
That night, we had what I think was like round 4 of gift opening for the day.
But this was the only one Shannon and I really got in on. I mean, she's basically family (dating one of the sons) but I'm just a random add on!
Well, the family did quite well for this random +1 who decided to crash Christmas two days before. I not only had gifts under the tree to unwrap, I had lots of really cool gifts! I don't know how they did it, but they really made me feel loved and included - which was pretty awesome.
I ended up with a new Lululemon headband, TOMS sunglasses, my first cookbook, a travel book, a Beth Moore spiritual book, a new scarf, some pine cone Christmas tree ornaments (I have this weird thing for pine cones from Tahoe), a make-your-own-sock-monkey kit, some perfume, a very random bottle of nail polish remover from Shannon - with a good story behind it - and last but not least, a super cool vintage turquoise ring!
To say I was shocked with everything would be an understatement!
(The last time I was out there I got some really cool earrings. This family is really good in the jewelry gift giving department!)
After opening all the gifts - which took some time with all of those people - we sat around the fire some more...and then, yes, ate again. A delicious dinner!
After getting scolded for saying I was to full to eat anymore, I piled up a plate and managed to eat the whole thing.
Shannon really wanted to check out some Christmas lights in the area, so we did that on the way to take "Grammy" back to her retirement community.
We crashed after that. It was a long day of eating. ;) All we wanted was some good sleep, but it was freezing cold in the bedroom we were sharing. Shannon and I were so cold we had layers on, and beanies...and Ryan had to come bring us more blankets! Thank goodness for body warmth!
Saturday morning we got up bright and early and hit the road for NYC!
I always get so excited when I can finally see the skyscrapers. There's just something exhilarating about that city...
We went straight to Radio City Musical Hall for the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular.
They gave us these "First-Timer" buttons and I was SO excited when we got to our seats -- right up front and center!
I grabbed Carson for a selfie...and then realized my 3D glasses were on backwards. :(
Let's try that again. ;)
Man, that show did NOT disappoint. I don't know what I was expecting I guess. But nothing like it was. Those girls are seriously talented, and it was a full on production with singing and live animals and everything. Just love love LOVED it. I sat there with my jaw dropped the whole time. :)
After a quick stop at Rockefeller after the show to see the big tree, we walked all around and did some serious shopping.
Not the kind of shopping I can afford, but real NYC shopping. You know, Chanel and Tiffany and stores like that. I didn't even look at anything because I knew it wasn't happening!
Took a stroll through Central Park at sunset for some pictures.
Ryan clearly loves taking selfies with me: ;)
|(I have a few other pictures very similar to this one from different trips we've been on... Puerto Rico and Yosemite to name a few.)|
Next stop was appetizers at a cool roof top bar above a hotel.
|Elevator selfie with my adopted family for Christmas.|
I think the view would have been really cool overlooking Central Park, but it was so cold they had these big plastic sheets up so you couldn't see anything!
|Ryan and Shannon, my BFFs|
Devoured some delicious appetizers, thank goodness, because I was famished! This family does not stop and does not eat!
From appetizers we took another stroll through the city and eventually made it to our dinner reservations at 9pm. I don't remember what the place was called but somewhere on the upper east side I think. How did I not take any pictures of it!? It was a delicious Italian place.
On the drive back to Brooke's apartment (where we were staying), I got ripped out of the car at a stop-light and was dragged through thousands of people to try and ice skate at Rockeffler...at 11:53pm.
They stopped letting people on at 11:30pm. (So close!!)
At least I got some pretty amazing shots of the tree at night!
Since we were already out, we walked through Times Square (what an ordeal it is to try and find a bathroom in that area) and then on to Bryant Park.
I was too tired to keep going after that, so I demanded a cab to take us the rest of the way. ;)
Shannon and I slept in Brooke's bed and although exhausted, ended up talking and giggling for hours. What a night...
Breakfast at Starbucks followed by a church service that we were shockingly on time for.
Then Shannon and I took off in a cab to meet up with Angie at Nom Wah Tea Parlor in China Town.
So, so fun for two of my very best friends to finally meet.
(Shannon and I invited ourselves to visit Ang in Boston this spring.)
|Love these two girls.|
We didn't stay long. Had to hop in another cab and meet back up with the family to walk along the High Line.
Had brunch at Carson's favorite French restaurant and ate the best french toast ever.
Ryan "put a muzzle" on me when I didn't want to get in the picture.
Shopped at Chelsea Market and then in SOHO.
Someone bought just a few pairs of shoes...
No dinner - again. Like I said, they don't stop and they don't eat! ;)
Got dropped off at the airport in Newark before the family headed back to Philly.
It was such a special, fun weekend and I'm so thankful I got "adopted" in to another cool family for Christmas this year. Might have to make a habit out of that one! ;)
Good bye, NYC.
Who knows when I'll see you again...but at this rate, probably sometime later this year. ;)