Who doesn’t love a good weekend? Cheers to fun Friday nights, amazing Saturdays, and Sunday Funday. I sat down here to tell you what my ideal weekend looks like, and I find myself unable to do it. There are too many things I love most about weekends to break it all down into one perfect weekend. Whether we’re traveling with or without the kids, hanging out at Disney for the day, spending time with the people we love most, or just relaxing, there is nothing about weekends I don’t love. There should be more of them.
Everyone loves weekend. Since we all love this time of the week more than any, I thought it would be fun to do a weekend recap with you on a Wednesday. It’s halfway since the weekend and halfway until the weekend, so it seems like the perfect time to relive a few amazing memories while making plans for a few new ones in the coming days.
New York City
That’s how this Florida girl spent her weekend. In the city with my handsome husband for 24 hours of fun and enjoyment, no kids allowed. We do it a few times a year. It’s a quick flight, it’s our favorite city, and we have fallen in love with a handful of places we love to visit each time we’re in the city. I also have several events in the city during Fashion Week twice a year, so we get to enjoy the city during February and September each year a little longer than just a whirlwind weekend.
Would you believe I hated the city the first time we visited? It was 2007, our second wedding anniversary, and we did it all wrong. We did it the way tourists do it, and it was so crowded, congested, and not my style. It took three years for me to desire a trip back, and that’s when we learned how to do the city our way.
Want to see the Statue of Liberty? Go to the bar at the Ritz-Carlton and check it out from a quaint table with a bottle of champagne. Want to see Central Park? Head down to 72nd and 5th and take a five-minute walk into the park to have brunch at the Boathouse. Mimosas, the most amazing view, and the best service. If you want to see Rockefeller Center, do it from the window seat at Morrell’s Wine Bar. The best glass of wine – and coffee – in the city comes from the Champagne Bar in the Plaza Hotel.
I love New York City now that I know how to see the city the way that works for me. I hated it the first time I visited, and I just arrived home from my 16th trip to the city. My husband and I always go together (except once when I went for the day to attend meetings at the NFL offices and NYFW Spring/Summer ’17 when I took my bestie and my MIL), and this weekend was no exception. We decided on a quick trip. We flew in Saturday morning and left Sunday afternoon.
As always, we checked into our favorite hotel. The Omni Berkshire is located on 52nd between Fifth and Madison Avenues. We’ve stayed at the Waldorf Astoria on Park a few times, just a few seconds from the Omni. It’s gorgeous, but we love the Omni because it’s such a little gem. It’s hidden just off Fifth, and it’s never crowded. The rooms are large and lovely, the staff always so welcoming and amazing, and because we are Omni Select Guests, we always get a sweet little surprise in our room as well as coffee delivered to our room each morning. We love it. There’s just something about being in a city bustling with people and feeling as if we’re the only people there.
Following check-in, we don our winter clothes (because it’s 70 when we depart Florida and 20 when we land in NYC), and we head the 20 blocks to the Boathouse. This time we Uber’d (ubered? Took an Uber?). We love Uber in NYC, because we are obsessed with Uber Black. We usually walk, but it was cold and windy and we were famished. As ever, the Boathouse was immediately accommodating, we took our seat overlooking the lovely little lake and the outline of the city in the distance, and we enjoyed mimosas and our favorite brunch items…eggs Benedict for me.
We enjoyed a lot of shopping along Fifth Avenue, a glass of wine at our favorite little wine bar just off Rockefeller, Morrell’s, a much-needed cup of coffee to warm up at the Plaza Hotel, and then we capped off our evening with a stop at the Peninsula Hotel. If you make time to do anything in the city, make it sunset at Salon de Ning. You’ll go all the way up to the rooftop and catch the sun setting down Fifth Avenue from the rooftop bar with a glass of malbec. There are amazing heaters everywhere, so it’s bearable to be outside. It’s just the most breathtaking view. It’s gorgeous at night, too, when the city is lit up…but nothing beats sunset. It opens at 5, and you need to be there.
We have two favorite restaurants perfect for dinner. We love to dress up, order a great bottle of wine, and linger over dinner. The Four Seasons was our long-time favorite, but with the end of their lease, they recently moved and we just miss the Pool Room and the gorgeous location so much we haven’t gone to the new location just yet. The other is Il Tinello. Fun fact; I heard about it from Regis Philbin on his morning show with Kelly Ripa many years ago. He talked about it all the time, so in September 2015 when we were in the city for some Fashion Week events, we decided to go.
Lo and behold, during the most amazing dinner (I mean, the service is stellar) in walks Regis and his wife, Joy. They are seated right next to us, and I could have died. I held it together, said nothing, and finished the most amazing meal of my entire life. It was everything. Anyway, it’s still one of our favorites. It’s seriously amazing, and you will not find more beautiful service anywhere.
This weekend, however, we decided to try something different. We’ve heard so many amazing things about Valbella on 53rd, so we gave it a try. It was everything promised to us. Hidden just off the street between Madison and Fifth, it’s all white, floor-to-ceiling wine bottles along the wall, and our food was decadent. If you order the flourless chocolate cake for dessert, you will actually bite into a piece of Heaven. And the bottle of wine we ordered was top notch.
We went back to our room far later than we anticipated after enjoying a gorgeous bottle of wine, and we slept in Sunday morning. Room service delivered our coffee, and we laid in bed and did all the lazy stuff grown-ups do when their kids aren’t around. We sipped coffee on white sheets without spilling, watched the news, no one begged for cartoons, and we didn’t move for an hour.
It was glorious.
After that, it was an Uber to the airport, more coffee and breakfast, a toddler-size tantrum from a woman who was well into 60s because a man accidentally hit her with his bag walking down the aisle of the plane (she actually cried to the flight attendant that he hit her and didn’t apologize). He didn’t even know his bag hit her. It was the most entertaining, sad, kind of pathetic scene I’ve ever witnessed – and it made me feel so mature just not being that woman.
Honestly, who books a flight to Orlando and doesn’t expect to have a plane filled with families with multiple kids and bags that might accidentally hit you walking down the aisle? Let’s be real here, people.
It was a short weekend filled with fun, and always one of our favorites. We needed that time away just the two of us, and we appreciated every second of it. It’s always nice to be reminded dinner can be eaten warm once in a while; we don’t take that for granted. And we’ve learned to appreciate doing NYC our way in the many times we’ve visited the city whether it’s for work or pleasure. It’s so much more enjoyable, and I’m always happy to recommend our favorite locations to anyone who is going to the city for the first time or the 50th time.
Nothing beats getting home Sunday evening to kiss our babies, though. We left them after they went to bed Friday night to spend a night in Orlando so we didn’t have to wake up so early Saturday morning, and we missed them desperately. Their little faces make coming home so much fun, even when they’re mad we didn’t bring them anything, In our defense, we forgot about picking something up and it was a coffee mug or a shot glass from the airport. So, we bought them chocolate to make up for it. Then we ate it.
What did you do this weekend?