Dim Sum in West Village + Dominique Ansel's Ice Cream + Sunset at Highline Park.

This post is a continuation of the longest NYC walking tour known to man. You can read the first part here, where we covered visiting our old apartment on the Upper Best Side :), gazing at the boats on the East River, inhaling pizza at Juliana's, walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, and resting/drinking/snacking over at Hudson Eats at Brookfield Plaza. Whew. That was only the first part of the day, and it was already epic-status.

We continued our journey being guided by the best and brightest part of ourselves - the appetite. We cabbed from Brookfield Place up to the West Village, where we ate Nui Noodles - New York's second best dim sum (literally - this award was advertised on the window), and I don't know who won first because this stuff was AMAZING. We ordered seconds. Everett had a stroller nap and then a meltdown while we were here, which was pretty understandable since he had been curiously perfect for the first part of the day. I held him outside for the longest time while he clawed my face and screamed bloody murder after waking up from his nap and not knowing where he was. All the trendy 20-somethings in the Village walked by me like, "Ugh, what a drag, I am never having children" and I couldn't really blame them. It wasn't a fun twenty minutes of parenthood. I have the claw marks to prove it. #motherhood #theneedforwineisreal

But then I offered him fruit snacks and the sun-shiniest smile poured out of his face an we were back in business.

We visited the cutest of all book stores in the Village called Three Lives & Company, and then wandered up toward Dominique Ansel's newest spot, his Kitchen where he concocts insane ice cream (amongst many other addictive pastries). It's soft serve ice cream decorated with basil, balsamic and marinated strawberry and it is killer. KILLER. Even the cone is thick and wafery and buttery and I kind of want to cry now that I'm really leaning into the memory. This guy is a legend, for real.

Quick Note: Other spots in the area that I love are Rosemary's (farm-to-table dining with a veggie garden on the roof!), Olio e Piu (authentic Italian, great wine list, and it's fun to sit outside), The Spotted Pig (a West Village must, where you're sure to spot a celebrity), Grom (gelato! But I actually really love the lemon ice here), Diptique (why do I love these stupidly expensive candles? I can't help it), and of course, the original Magnolia Bakery (I prefer the simple vanilla cupcake. And the banana pudding. And the red velvet cake. Ah!) This part of the city is perfect for wandering the little side streets and discovering bars and cafes tucked into the quiet alleys. Make sure to get a little bit lost around here, because there's always something magical to be found.

We let the sugar rush guide us up to the Highline Park in Chelsea, where the sun was beginning to set over the Hudson River. It was so fun, letting Everett loose to get out some wiggles. The sun was bouncing it's reflection off the water and the skyscrapers and the most delicious shade of pink was cast on everything and everyone. Our feet were tired, our eyes were heavy, but our souls were thrilled to be part of the hum of the city.

Once the sun plunged into the river, we made way for the subway and high tailed it back to our car on the Upper Best Side :) It was a weary ride back to White Plains, but we had seriously full hearts (and bellies!) to remind us of a day gone right.

I am so grateful for friends and family who have made the effort over the years to come visit us when we live in crazy places. This particular stint was a new one for me and Stevie - we don't usually just take off for a month, but I am so thankful for the opportunities we've had to dive deep and explore such mesmerizing places. It's even more special when you get to share it with family and friends - and these girls made it the best trip ever. There is nothing like ladies who know your heart so intimately and believe in you fully - it's such an empowering feeling, being surrounded by healthy, confident women. They truly bolstered my spirit, and boy, I didn't know how badly I would need to cling to their words and encouragement in the weeks that followed their visit. When life sends challenges, you really have to hold fast to the truths you know and encouragement of those around you.

So yeah, this NYC day trip pretty much rocked. Tomorrow I'm sharing more, about exploring The Met (including the rooftop exhibit + bar!) and enjoying the NYC standby of Shake Shack lunch in Central Park. Thanks for reading along, friends!

P.S. - Other NYC travel spots to hit here and ideas for touring NYC with a baby here.

Walking the Brooklyn Bridge + Eating the Juliana's Pizza + Views from Battery City Park.

While we were staying in New York for the month, I lucked out because my friends came to visit :) It felt like a little piece of home, having those girls come and stay for a few days. I love New York so much and I rarely get to share it with friends and family back home, so I was a little giddy to share all my favorite spots with them. And they brought ideas for places they wanted to visit, too, so we went all out and explored and ate everything. It was so much fun (and to be honest, in retrospect I probably walked too much), but at the time the adrenaline was running mile-high and I was just going with it. There's something radical about the second trimester of pregnancy. It really makes you feel like you can fly. We did so much over the course of our few days together that I'm going to have to break it up into a few posts, because otherwise, it's like picture/restaurant recommendation overload. But if you're gathering ideas for an upcoming NYC trip, then make sure to check back here every day this week, because it's going to be New York-centric!

We started this day by driving into the city and parking right next to our old building on the Upper West Side. We showed Everett where we used to live (when I was pregnant with him!) and then hopped on the subway and took the quickest route to Brooklyn, our starting point for the day's events.

Showing Everett our old apartment building.

Showing Everett our old apartment building.

I know this is a dweeby picture but I don't care. We lived here! We loved it!

I know this is a dweeby picture but I don't care. We lived here! We loved it!

I instagrammed  this photo  last week because these boys were so into the boat watching. It was adorable.

I instagrammed this photo last week because these boys were so into the boat watching. It was adorable.

We lost this cute little hat on this particular day :(

We lost this cute little hat on this particular day :(

I promise he's not as close to the edge as it seems in the photo.

I promise he's not as close to the edge as it seems in the photo.

So I've shared before about walking the Brooklyn Bridge here and about eating the AMAZING Juliana's Pizza here, so I won't tell those kinds of stories twice. But all I can say is - do both of these! Get to Juliana's when they open, because then you won't have to wait too long (the line is way out the door for hours), and make sure to get any of the pizzas with scarmorza cheese. You won't be able to forgive yourself for missing it. Everett scarfed so hard and ate more than anyone. He's so my Italian baby.

After our carb-loading we trekked across the Bridge. I'll admit that it's a little annoying on Saturday to walk the bridge because it's so crowded, but the views are really special and not to be missed. Where else do you get to see that particular skyline of Manhattan? It's a stunner.

Vanessa brought one of those trendy Instax-polaroid cameras (I don't know what they're called actually) and Everett went nuts for it. He really likes getting his picture taken these days, but to have the immediate gratification of seeing the photo develop really did something for him. She was sweet to spend so much of her film on him during the trip. He showed everyone that we met his pictures, and would clutch them while we walked him in the stroller. Also, he called her "My Nessa". I almost died.

After walking across the bridge we wandered even further south to the waterfront, through Battery Park, and then wound our way up to Hudson Eats at Brookfield Place. We needed to rest our feet, so we grabbed some drinks and stretched out on the lawn for a bit. This is the perfect spot to take in views of the Statue of Liberty, although if you really want to get up close and personal, you can jump on a free ferry ride down to Staten Island to get a bit closer to Lady Liberty (we did that here).

Note: If you're going to Hudson Eats to really eat, I recommend the brisket at Mighty Quinn's Barbeque, the 5-spice pork belly sandwich at Num Pang, literally anything on the menu at Black Seed Bagel, and the citrus squeeze juice at the Tartinery. Whew, I'm glad I got all that off my chest.

What I love most about this city is that it is a thousand cities in one. It can mean anything to anyone - frenzied, fantastic, mesmerizing, shocking, comforting, challenging, intoxicating, inviting. I've been to a lot of big cities but there is nowhere quite like New York. I think it takes a long time to get the feel for the city - for first-timers it can feel overwhelming, too fast-paced and too crowded. But it grows on you in this sneaky, alluring kind of way. The food is best here. The skyline is exotic. The energy is addictive. The possibilities are infinite. It's truly a dreamer's city and I can't help but get re-bitten by the bug every time I set foot on this maddening island. Isn't it strange to feel most at home in a place that you don't actually call home? That's the magic of New York. It's the greatest city on Earth.

This was not the end of our day but I will split this post in two since we did so much. More tomorrow on wandering through West Village and up into Chelsea :)

P.S. - If you can't hardly wait, check out other NYC shenanigans and recommendations here :)