Where in the world is Jacey Birch?!?
Oh, well, she's that little white dot right there! And she's celebrating her Birthday Week in NYC & loving every minute of it! Ok there's definitely a tie with NYC & Key West for my favorite city in the world. So what better way to spend my special week then by heading North to see & feel some of that seasonal spirit?!
(Let's rename birthdays - birthweeks - sooooo much more fun turning 1 day into 7 dontcha think?!?)
Anywho... Bigger-than-life-size decorations were everywhere you looked in Rockafeller Center! The tree was gorgeous, the decorations oh-so-festive and the mood was electric - everyone packing the streets and feeling the holiday festivities! NYC is quite possible the most special place during Christmastime!
I loved seeing the vendors selling fragrant Christmas trees right on the streets...
The ice skaters at the Winter Village in Bryant Park...
And my favorite part of the entire trip was visiting Jenny, my BFF of ten years & also my fabulous tour guide for the week! Jenny is from Miami, just like me, but she is an honorary NYC native now because this girl can navigate the streets, the subways, correct a cab driver & track down the best cocktail in the city - all before I roll out of bed!
My friends mean the world to me & as always, my girl made my trip pure perfection! She took me to all her holiday parties along with the new hot spots in the city, which included the most amazing Vegan restaurant!
The Buthcher's Daughter... Cute play on words huh? The daughter is bucking the family trend by building a fabulous menu full of animal-free choices!
I ordered the white bean & fennel sausage with spinach & mushrooms. It was one of the tastiest vegan meals I have ever had the pleasure of sinking my greedy teeth into!
Jenny had the black bean burger with cashew cheese & fat steak fries. She loved her meal & didn't even have to leave her comfort zone to go all-veggie for the night. I will definitely be heading back to this restaurant well-known for it's daily menu changes & seasonal produce that is chopped, filleted & carved - just like at a butcher's shop!
And when it was time for an after dinner coffee... I found the best coffee shop in the city! I tried to get the family discount, I showed them my ID & everything but I couldn't prove that my family owns this place - since they don't! But I wish they did because my latte made with hemp milk was pure heaven!
I took that as a sign that I will find love in 2014... Or maybe it just means "I heart NYC" ?? That's probably more likely ;)
I also heart a little lady you may have heard of before... Her name is Bethenny Frankel & she is a bit of a life coach for me these days as she is also going through a divorce & learning how to start over & look to the future while leaving the past behind.
I love her mantra of, "Come from a place of YES!" I try to incorporate that saying everyday along with YOLO. Both motivate me to live for today instead of focusing on my failures.
It was my birthday wish to go see a taping of Bethenny while I was in NY & I was lucky enough to do just that with my girlfriend, Dana, & we had a blast! It was even snowing the day we set off for the studios - which was an added treat for the beach girl from the Sunshine State!
After a little healthy life coaching session from Ms. Frankel, it was time for retail therapy in the Village, fueled by winter-weather liquor libations with my gorgeous cousin, Amanda. Yeah, that's my fancy way of saying we got toasty with cocktails while spending some money & helping the economy. Hey, we all gotta do our part, this world isn't going to save itself, now is it?! ;)
This trip was very special to me, not just because I had a week off to eat, drink & be merry! And not only because I spent massive quality time with friends & family that I love & who truly mean so much to me. But also because I really embraced living in the moment & enjoying every movement of life I witnessed.
From a falling snowflake outside my window...
To the enormous emotion evoked when I took my first look at our new Freedom Tower...
To the beauty & symbolic nature of a simple Christmas tree erected in a parking garage...
To the architecture of our forefathers that enveloped & surrounded me on every street... reminding me of how very small I truly am...
To goofy moments in time with the people that love me no matter what mistakes I make or what direction my life takes...
My Manhattan trip was a reminder to focus on all that I have... instead of looking at what I have lost.
Cheers to that!
Is it time for another cocktail?!
Ha ha ;)
Till next time New York...