What: The High Line
Where: New York City
After-Stroll: There are a bajillion things to do in New York. I only scratched the surface when I visited some friends. But a highlight of my vacation was the long walk on The High Line. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was just told it’s an elevated walkway/park on the West Side of Manhattan. I wasn’t expecting it to be a mile and a half walk in a park on an old freight rail line with some of the most amazing views of New York! You’re walking through little neighborhoods with the cutest buildings, unique artwork along the way, and the best people watching. There is a section where you’re actually walking directly under a building – it was so fun to look up into the open windows and see people enjoying their Sunday. One man was so comfortable he was standing butt-naked in front of his window!! Something’s telling me he enjoys giving strollers a little show… My favorite part was when we were amongst what seemed like hundreds of brick buildings and then BAM! The most amazing painting on a brick wall – it was “The Kiss Seen Around the World” with a modern, colorful twist. I had to stand there for a few minutes and just soak the beauty up. If you visit New York, make a trip to the High Line. You can do however long of a walk you want! It’s all up to you and your little feet.
Link: The High Line
Restaurant: Craft New York
Location: New York City
After-Taste: There needs to be a word that stands for eating, eternal happiness, love and utter bliss. That’s what Craft New York is. My experience at this restaurant may quite possibly be the highlight of my life. Yes, I said it. LIFE. I am a HUGE Tom Colicchio fan thanks to the greatest television show in existence: Top Chef. He is so knowledgeable and passionate about food, not to mention he is one of the most respected chefs in the culinary world. Plus he’s a straight-up badass. One of my life goals has been to just SEE his restaurant: Craft. I didn’t need to go in it or eat there, I just wanted to stand in front of it and absorb the culinary energy. My friends surprised me with reservations and when I was told, I just stood there and cried. I love surprises and I love dreams coming true. And this was a double-whammy! The service was superb. I’ve never been treated so well at a dining establishment. I think they could tell how excited we were, so they brought out a couple complimentary dishes courtesy of the chef. AHHH! I had my first try of foie gras (I’m soooo classy now) and roasted baby artichokes. The gnocchi was amazing. The scallops were amazing. The beet salad was amazing. The steak was amazing. EVERYTHING WAS AMAZING. I literally could not have been happier. As I was eating the most divine food and enjoying the family-style, comfort food feel, I was getting swept away in the music. I’m pretty sure they had my iPod playing over the speakers, because every song was a favorite of mine. Do you know how amazing it was to eat the best steak you’ve ever had while listening to Ray Lamontagne’s “Trouble” and Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World?” I’ll tell you. Really really REALLY amazing. I had moments where my friends were just looking at me smiling and staring into space. I may or may not have gotten a little choked up with happiness. At the end of the dinner experience, they brought us homemade muffins for the next morning (slash midnight snack). Oh Tom Colicchio, you are my hero. It was not only the best meal, but the best experience I’ve ever had. I will never forget it and I hope to return.
Link: Craft New York
Venue: Smithsonian – National Museum of American History
Location: Washington, D.C.
After-Browse: If you ever visit D.C., I highly suggest visiting all of the wonderful monuments they have. The museums are all SO fascinating (and free!) and I loved learning about the history of America. It was a great city to visit (I’m not sure if I’d go in February again – brrrrr!) and it is constantly buzzing and feels so energetic. While I was visiting my friend, we made sure to make a trip to my Mecca. The FOOD Exhibit in the National Museum of American History. Can you tell I love food? This exhibit was interactive, informative of how far along consumer goods have come, and entertaining. My favorite part was seeing Julia Child’s kitchen! I felt like I was there with her – looking at all of her cookbooks and pots & pans, ahh it was so special. The museum also had wonderful exhibits on fashion (seeing all the former First Ladies’ dresses was breathtaking!) and jewelry. I could’ve spent all day in those exhibits! ….oh wait, I DID!
Link: FOOD: The Exhibition
Event: Valentine’s Day Dash 5K
After-Race: This was my very first 5K EVER! Yay me! I am definitely not a runner so I am very proud of myself for completing this (actually, I’m proud of signing up in the first place)! The race is one full loop around Greenlake and it was so much fun running amongst so many people in pink, red, and Hershey Kiss costumes (how DO they do it?!). It was early February so it was very brisk outside – but I enjoy that because I tend to get over-heated when I run (something having to do with ‘out of shape’?). The last stretch is called the Tunnel of Love – there wasn’t really a tunnel, but there were a ton of people cheering everyone on and I could certainly feel the love. Once you’re done (wahoo!) there are vendors with water, fruit, a beer garden (called the “Lover’s Lounge”) and CHOCOLATE. Wonder if I’ll have the guts to sign up next year!
Link: Valentine’s Day Dash