New York, New York

Jilly and I recently returned from our trip to the Big Apple.  The idea was proposed when two ladies I served with at church found a good deal on airline tickets.  The three of us were ready to go, and I realized it wouldn't be the same without my girl, Jilly.  So the four of us set out into the wide, wide world for a high adventure.  And adventure is exactly what we found.  I've been to the city a few times before but for Jilly, Ann, and LeAnn, it was a first.

There were too many good times to count on our fingers and toes, so we took a good part of the 4 hour plane ride home trying to narrow the trip down to our top 10 high-lights and low-lights.  Please enjoy.

As soon as as the plane touched down in NYC, we were giddy with excitement.  We jumped into the first cab we saw and started our 45 minute journey to the upper west side of Manhattan.  Enter our new BFF Kevin.

I wasn't about to miss the opportunity to get to know a true New Yorker, and by the time we were 20 minutes into the ride, we knew he had one 18 year old daughter, a wife named Jacqueline, where he lived in Queens, what kind of food he liked, if he was a good cook, where he grew up, and that he belonged to the Pentecostal church.  I was SO excited about the church because I've never been to one, so I asked if the four of us might join him for Sunday services.  He was delighted to have us, so we exchanged information. 

Highlight: Going to church with Kevin and his family, the electric guitar, the dancing up and down the aisles, experiencing the gift of tongues, first hand.

Lowlight:  The loudest rock n' roll concert for Jesus that left our ears ringing until midnight. 

After church, we headed down to the financial district to have dinner with my amazing cousins, Robbins, Brian, and Hanover.  We got a tour of their luxury apartment, then they took us to the popular Stone St. where we enjoyed steak frites and caught up on all topics form hurricane Irene, to the latest Hollywood scandals.  Brian is an entertainment lawyer you see, and has insight that common girls are not privy to.  In case you didn't know, Will and Jada have an open marriage, Julia Roberts is mean, Tom and Rita are the real deal, and Oprah is gay. 

Highlight:  Meeting the delectable Hanover for the first time and staying in Brian's parents apartment in the city at no cost to us.

Lowlight:  Running into a riot on Wall St. headed up by 200 NYU students on our walk home.  I really wanted to grab a sign and start marching with them for a good photo, but mama Ann wouldn't hear of it.  She insisted we avoid trouble and head straight back to our apartment.  It's a good thing someone is responsible.

We all agreed the food in NYC is some of the finest we've ever had.  From the fresh lobster, to the authentic Japanese and Chinese food, brick oven pizza, the banana pudding at Magnolia's, and the creamy Gelato, it was all delish!

I only eat one hot dog a year (mostly because they're not good) but I figured if there was ever a time to have a dog, it was at the wildly popular Shake Shack.  I got it loaded with sauerkraut, pickles, onion, hot peppers, and special sauce.  It was tasty, but I have to say the best hotdog I've ever had was at {J Dawgs}.  Just sayin.

Highlight:  Sharing meals every day and trying over 25 authentic dishes at all different kinds of restaurants. 

Lowlight:  Overhearing the couple in line at the Shake Shack go into graphic detail about their romantic plans for the evening.  They were both men.

One morning we set out bright and early for the Brooklyn Flea market.  Let's just say that getting there was a bit of a undertaking that four girls who aren't familiar with the subway system probably should not have attempted.  Thank goodness for the kind hearted people along the way who were so sweet about helping us find our destination after we got on 4 wrong trains. 

Highlight: Experiencing Brooklyn first hand, tasting the $16 lobster roll LeAnn and Jilly split, the most perfect overcast weather, finding a butterfly print for Jilly's library for 10 bucks.

Lowlight:  The cramp in Jilly's hand after she toted the butterfly print all over NYC for the next 10 hours. 
I think she might be done with it.

It goes without saying, the shopping in the NYC is magnificent.  From the 20 story Macy's and the H & M's on every other corner, to the deals found on Canal St. 

Jilly and I managed to sneak ourselves into the private viewing of Century 21's newest location, just 4 blocks away from our apartment.  I found Seven Jeans for $36.00, a skinny tie for my boy, and a few adorable scarves for fall.   

Lowlight: Running feverishly through town on the last day of the trip, trying to locate FAO Schwarz so we could bring back requested lego sets and transformers for the children.

Highlight:  Running into Mariah Carey, diva extraordinaire.  I asked if she and I could have a mini photo session but her 250lb, muscle bound, body guard told me it wasn't a good time.  Looks like the twins she gave birth to aren't the only ones she should be concerned about. 

Jilly will be bringing you the last five highlights and lowlights of our trip next Tuesday.  Until then, you can try the banana pudding recipe from Magnolia Bakery.  Enjoy!

  • (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 1/2 cups ice cold water
  • 1 (3.4-ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix (preferably Jell-O brand)
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1 (12-ounce) box Nabisco Nilla Wafers (no substitutions!)
  • 4 cups sliced ripe bananas
  1. In a small bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat together the sweetened condensed milk and water until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the pudding mix and beat well, about 2 minutes more. Cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours or overnight, before continuing. It is very important to allow the proper amount of time for the pudding mixture to set.
  2. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the pudding mixture into the whipped cream until well blended and no streaks of pudding remain.
  3. To assemble the dessert, select a large, wide bowl (preferably glass) with a 4-5-quart capacity. Arrange one-third of the wafers to cover the bottom of the bowl, overlapping if necessary, then one-third of the bananas and one-third of the pudding. Repeat the layering twice more, garnishing with additional wafers or wafer crumbs on the top layer of the pudding. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to chill in the refrigerator for 4 hours - or up to 8 hours, but no longer! - before serving.


  1. New York is absolutely my favorite city and it has been waaaaay too long since I have visited. Thanks for your guide, I almost felt like I was there with you! Anna

  2. That was very informational and sounds like you all had a very good time. Am anxious to hear where your next venture will be occurring. Thanks for sharing. Have a great day.

  3. Totally loved reading about your NYC trip!! I had been before, but have just gone back...and I hear congrats are in order on the Nate Show! CONGRATS!! You girls are fab.


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Mia & Jilly

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