New York, New York (part 2)

So it’s the second day of our adventure in the city, pretending to be tourists(if you’d like to see our first day you can click here). We wake up, I run to the Starbucks in the lobby and we decide to go to Madam Tussauds. At the time that we went it wasn’t crowded but I have to believe that it would be crowded during the later afternoon and we went around 11 am. That being said, we had so much fun there we spent about 2 hours just taking our time and taking pictures and having loads of fun. If you want to see my full review of that trip to Madam Tussauds just click here. After our trip to Madam Tussauds we walked to Halal Guys cart on 53rd and Broadway. This was my first time ever having halal food so I was excited and it was super yummy. We actually ate the food back in the hotel room but on the way back we stopped into this little bakery called the Buttercup Bakeshop. Now, for anyone who loves the show How I Met Your Mother, this name would resonate with you as a familiar one. That’s because it is. Buttercup Bakery is the name of a bakery that was run by one of Ted’s girlfriends. Upon seeing the name I knew I had to step in and see what it was like and the inside look very similar to what they showed the inside of the fictional bakery in the show to look like. Now I don’t know if there is a real or definite connection BUT when I was doing research for throwing my little brother a How I Met Your Mother themed 21st birthday party, this bakery was what I remember finding out existed. So naturally I had to taste the cake. The pieces were beyond huge, 2 people couldn’t finish one slice and the cake itself was super creamy and moist and wonderful. I would definitely recommend.

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We were eating in our room when Housekeeping showed up and we had to leave the room for a while so we went to the lounge by the lobby and just relaxed for about 35-45 minutes and we looked up at how extremely high the entire hotel is, and we tried to guess how many rooms could possibly be in this hotel we did this for a while before I got bored and wanted to go back to the room. Housekeeping was gone and we took a little nap before trying to figure out where we wanted to go for dinner and whether Ripley’s would be before or after that.

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Look at how high up this building goes!!

So we decided that we were going to go to Ripley’s and then go get dinner to go at Bubba Gump’s. We also made another stop at the Hershey store because I needed a special type of chocolate for our Valentines Day dinner and they carried it. So we went to Ripley’s and we had fun, I think Cris enjoyed it more than I did. If you would like to see our review on Ripley’s click here. After Ripley’s we went to Bubba Gump’s and order shrimp and calamari to go and went back to the room. We finished the cake slices we bought earlier and started to pack up to go home the next day. All in all our weekend of being tourists in Times Square and enjoying our time together was a complete success. We’re already dreaming of going back to The View for summer’s restaurant week, and we’re trying to figure out where our next adventure is going to take us.

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New York, New York (Part 1)

February 14th officially marks our first year together! While I was content with just a nice dinner or a nice present, Cris said my gift can be a weekend getaway in a hotel I have always wanted to stay at in the city, including dinner and fun attractions throughout our weekend there. I instantly said Marriott Marquis in Times Square. I have always wanted to stay in that hotel and be right in the center of all the touristy fun. So we booked the hotel which was extremely overpriced, and decided to plan out our weekend.

February 10-12th we were going to be tourists in our own city. I couldn’t be more excited. We took the subway in since parking at the hotel costs $90.00 and the train costs $2.75. No brainer there, except when we were going back home that Sunday, we were contemplating if taking the car would have been smarter because the subways were all kinds of messed up. Anyways, we got to the hotel around 2 pm and it felt so great to be checking in to this hotel.

Our room was ready, we had a lovely king bed room on the 14th floor. I was so excited to unpack, it’s one of my favorite parts of a trip. I thought the room was spacious for 2 people, cramped for 4 which it could fit if you used the pull out bed. For us though it felt like a little apartment with a good amount of space for our stuff.

The bed itself wasn’t super comfy but the sheets were so soft and cuddly it was like I was surrounded by clouds when I was sleeping. We unpacked and I wanted to take a walk to this camera store on 9th ave and 34th street. To our dismay, the store was closed but we managed to stop at a deli and get snacks for down time and a liquor store for champagne. It would not be a weekend adventure for us without champagne! Our first night we really spent time exploring the hotel and then had our lovely dinner at The View. We took advantage of Restaurant Week and had one of the greatest meals ever. If you would like to see our review of The View you can find that here. We walked around our hotel after and found all the ballrooms for weddings and then also found this walkway with a wonderful view of Times Square. I loved looking out on the overlook, it was actually peaceful.

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We changed into normal clothes and took a walk to the Hershey store and the M&M World store. We felt that M&M world was outrageously overpriced and overheated for a chocolate store where as Hershey was too small but a much better experience. It was an hour before it closed so the crowd level in both stores were slim to none. We were tired so we went to bed around 12:30 am and we knew that the next day was going to be very busy! Our first night was a complete success!

Ripley’s!

As I mentioned once, I love museums. All types. So naturally, when we went to have our weekend in Times Square we also decided a trip to Ripley’s Believe It or Not Odditorium was on our list of things we wanted to do. I have been and Cris hasn’t so he was interested in all the weird things they have there and it very rarely changes so I was a bit bored with it. If it’s your first time though, you are going to really have fun.

Ripley’s Tickets go for $23.96 and we got our tickets for $21.00 through our friend. The museum is 2 floors and we really spent time in there but you could easily do this in an hour. We spent about 2 hours in there just really having fun and looking at everything. The first floor had some odd things, like the heaviest person ever, tallest man in the world, the weird side show people etc.

When you go upstairs there are a series of rooms with all kinds of weird things inside.The best room was the room with the Moose Head. I had a lot of fun in that room and it was probably the most fun to sit around in. The worst rooms was the one with the cockroaches and the torture room. These rooms were all about creepy bugs and the different kinds of torture devices that were used in the olden days. Cris enjoyed the torture room and spent a lot of time in here because it was fascinating to him what the methods of punishment were in different times. It was a form of punishment to me, to have to be in that room for longer than 5 minutes. But there was a funny photo op in that room which makes my displeasure worth it.

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As you make your way through all of the rooms you get to the black hole which is such a mind screwing experience. You walk through and you feel like you’re flipping upside down. It’s the coolest part of the entire museum. Cris went through like 5 times and I was only able to go through once. After the black hole there’s only  a few things left to see and their gift shop is under construction so it get’s bland after.

I have been to another Ripley’s in LA and I have to say the NYC one is a lot better! If you have already been to Ripley’s in NYC then you may not want to go again because things don’t really change but if you have never been I definitely recommend this as something you should see. All the things they talk about are real so you may just learn a thing or two!

Madam Tussaud’s!

I love museums. I love them so much I can go back multiple times and see the same things and not get bored. I love all kinds of museums, even wax ones. During our weekend in the city, Cris and I went to Madam Tussaud’s; to feel like some real Times Square Tourists, and to fool around and be silly.

So Madam Tussaud’s has a few ticket options; Celebrity, Superhero, and Ghostbusters Dimension. We had the celebrity ticket which goes for $29.00 but we paid $27.00 through our friend who is part of the Board of Ed. You can find deals for this museum online, just do some research. Now when you go in, you start on the 5th floor and work your way down. That floor is all movie star celebrities, and the theme is that you’re at a swanky party. We had fun with this section.

Once you get through that section you’re in the movies section and there were a lot of cool movie scenes. The figures were really cool but I had fun pretending I was in Jurassic Park.

Now from there we go into the TV shows, news broadcasts, etc. This was fun, especially the TV screens and seeing ourselves on TV the interactiveness of this section was great! There was a Jimmy Fallon area and the music in that section was so cool. You feel extremely immersed into the sections that you see.

Once we got through that section it was the whole political, diplomatic section. Here you can meet the Obama’s, Popes, the Royals, the first President and our current President: Donald Trump. The line to take a picture with that figure wasn’t long but we are in New York so that wasn’t something I thought was weird. This is my least favorite section because for some reason these figures don’t look as real but the photo op’s are great. It’s a love hate relationship with this section.

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Hanging out with The Royal Family.

Now from here we get into the newest section which is Ghostbusters. This was interesting, it was scary but not too scary and the special effects were cool. You had to walk through a haunted house like hallway to keep going through the museum so I fast walked and it was fine. Behind me though some teenage girls got the crap scared out of them they screamed so loud. I was curious but not enough to go back and find out what it was that scared them.

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The details in this section were really cool

Then we get to what I think is Cris’ favorite part, the Marvel section! We saw the 4D movie simulator which was cute, and it reminded me of It’s Tough to be a Bug in Disney’s Animal Kingdom but like really short. You do get sprayed with some water, so if thats a weird pet peeve of yours, then you may want to skip this. Before the film we took some pictures with the wax figures from the movies.

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Hulk caught me….

Once the movie was over, we went down stairs to the final floor and the first part of the floor was the sports section. We saw Eli Manning, Serena Williams, Derek Jeter, Carmelo Anthony and then a few other athletes. It was a really small area but it was actually one of my favorite sections.

Finally the last section is the music stars section and they had the Jonas Brothers… without Nick… this was a serious problem for me. They also had Selena Gomez, Kanye, Beyonce, Rihanna and many others including Taylor Swift! This section is my least favorite because the figures look absolutely nothing like the people in my opinion. It was interesting. From that section, there was a gift shop where you can view some of the random photos taken during your time in the museum and then you exit.

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This is supposed to be Taylor Swift… I don’t see it.

I love this museum, I go once every few years and I haven’t been here since I was in high school. I did however go to the Madam Tussaud’s in LA which I thought was so fun! Each museum has differences and overlapping elements. I do think if you have never been and you live in New York or are visiting, you should check it out. If you’ve been once then maybe spend the money somewhere else but every few years you should see whats new. They are currently under construction so in a few years I’ll have to come back for some more wax fun!

Let’s Review The View!

This past weekend Cris and I decided to take part in NY Restaurant Week and made a reservation for The View. It’s on the 48th floor of the Marriott Marquis in Times Square and the draw to this restaurant is in the name- the view. You are sitting on a revolving floor that moves very slowly, and by the time you finish your meal you have done a complete 360 degree tour of the midtown area (if you want to see a time lapse video of our meal, you can find that on our instagram, adventuresofb_and_c). This has been a place I have wanted to eat at for a while, and to be able to eat here was a dream come true for me. I was so thankful that Cris took me to eat here when we had our weekend in the city because I got to cross off something on my bucket list.

When you go into the Marriott Marquis you need to take the elevator to the 3rd floor and then go on a different elevator that brings you all the way up to the restaurant. This elevator goes extremely fast and atone point you feel like you’re in that scene of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory when the elevator goes right through the ceiling. Getting off the elevator you are greeted by the city views and a wonderful host. We waited for maybe 5 minutes before being walked to our table, right by the window. We had an 8pm reservation and we noticed it wasn’t very crowded at this time. Maybe because there are a lot of shows that start around that time so instead of eating, most people are seeing a broadway show. In any case, we had a wonderful seat. It started off our night on a high note.

When we sat down we were given the menu and we already knew we were going to partake in the NY Restaurant Week pre-fixe menu. I added the whole menu so you can see what else they offer. There are 2 restaurant weeks a year, one in the winter and one in the summer. If you want more information on the restaurants that participate then go to nycgo.com .

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The right hand side, upper rectangular section was the menu we used

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We were brought bread and we looked over our options. Our waiter needed us to have our decisions made for all three courses at the same time so we put our entire order in at once, but you don’t feel rushed, the food doesn’t come out at once. You are very well paced here. For our starters, I ordered the Cream of Celery Root and Cris ordered the Crab Cake (this was an extra 12 dollars). They came out in 15 minutes with wonderful presentation.

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Bread Service

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My cream of Celery Root, and Cris’ Crab Cake

The cream of celery root is a celery based soup with duck confit. I have never had duck before so this was a very interesting choice to me. I also love soup, and any chance I get to try new soups, I take. This soup was superb. It was creamy, it wasn’t overbearing with the taste of celery, but if it was I wouldn’t of mind because I love celery. The duck was great, it added a whole new flavor to the soup and I gobbled this soup up very fast. Cris is not a fan of soup so he didn’t taste mine but he devoured his crab cake. For 12 dollars extra he was expecting an amazing crab cake and that is exactly what he got. He was surprised by the size but the flavors were amazing. He gave me a tiny taste and I thought it was excellent. Definitely worth 12 dollars in my opinion. On the side of the crab cake was this sauce that Cris said was very spicy so he opted to not touch that part of the place but he enjoyed his crab cake and we both agreed that the first course was continuing the night on a good note.

Our main dishes came about 15-20 minutes after we finished our appetizers. I ordered the Grilled Atlantic Salmon and Cris ordered the Grilled Flat Iron Steak. The portions looked small but by the time we finished these dishes we were barely ready for dessert.

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Grilled Atlantic Salmon

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Grilled Flatiron Steak

My dish was so insanely amazing, I wish I had more on my plate. It was a wonderfully cooked salmon over Yukon Gold mashed potatoes with a sweet sauce and topped with chunks of buttery lobster. I was in seafood heaven. I absolutely love lobster, it’s a food I just die for and this was amazing. The flavors were all so perfect together and even Cris who is not a huge fan of salmon said it was one of the best things he ever tasted. His food came with vegetables and the meat was so soft he said it was like butter. He really enjoyed his meal and I had a taste and it really was good steak. We cleaned our plates except I didn’t eat the heirloom tomato on my plate, I am just not a big tomato fan. We were told that dessert would be on the way and we had about 10 minutes from the time they took our plates to when they put our desserts in front of us.

I had ordered the NY cheesecake. I love cheesecake and this came with strawberries and raspberry coulis and english cucumber. Cris ordered the Caramel Passion Meringue. While both of these dishes looked wonderful, we felt dessert fell a bit short of the superb meal we had the entire night.

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Cheesecake

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Caramel Passion Meringue

My cheesecake was a bit too tart and not creamy enough for my liking. I ate a good amount but I couldn’t finish it because I was full and it wasn’t the best cheesecake. I have had better. Cris’ dish looked like a sugar high waiting to happen. He even said it was really sweet and he couldn’t finish it because of how sweet it was. He did eat the sorbet though. This didn’t hinder our experience, we just hope that if we return for restaurant week again, they have different desserts.

Once they took our plates from us they gave us the check and told us that an 18% gratuity was already added to the bill. Now, if you go here when it’s not restaurant week, be prepared to drop some serious dough. Each 3 course meal of ours cost $42.00 plus Cris’ extra 12.00 for the crab cake and add in the 18% tip and tax and we were at a grand total of $121.80. That’s not too bad, but it was by far one of the more expensive meals we’ve had together.

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This dinner was part of a big anniversary/valentines day gift from Cris to me so he knew it would be expensive. We left after making a full 360 degrees and leaving right where we started our meal. We told each other that we would definitely come back, and I know we will be. This was definitely a night to remember, it was a dream come true for me and the food lived up to my hopes and dreams. I would definitely recommend for a lovely night out with your significant other or with your friends for a fancy night out. No matter why you go, you are sure to have great food, and a great view.

New York faces off!

I grew up in a family that is predominately male, I mean I have three brothers. Growing up, sports were always part of my life. If I wasn’t playing them I was watching them. That being said there are a few sports I just can’t watch and have no interest in like golf, basketball, soccer… rugby etc. So when I found out that my boyfriend wanted to go to a basketball game I was reluctant because to me that sounds about as fun as stabbing myself in the eyes. I caved though and I scored Knicks vs. Nets tickets and gave them to him for Christmas.

First off, Knicks tickets are expensive no matter what and I’ll never understand it. The tickets I got for the game were at the Barclays Center and they cost me a little over $100. I thought they’d be pretty decent seats when I was looking at the map but once I showed up I was a little disappointed in the seats. They could have been closer for the amount I paid but if I were to go to Madison Square Garden and get tickets for that game, the price for even worse seats is 3 times as expensive. So if you’re on a budget and you know someone who wants to see a New York basketball team play, get the tickets for a Barclays game. Now, if my boyfriend was a Nets fan and he wanted to see the Nets play anyone I could have probably gotten better seats for less money but the Knicks price hike everything so that was a bummer.

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Our View from our seats

I think Barclays Center is a nice facility, the workers are nice, and while the lines are misleading, getting in takes like 10 minutes tops even with the metal detector and having to empty your pockets going into the detector. Once you’re inside you can’t leave and come back, so if you’re hungry you have to eat the food there and the food is really expensive. Knowing this we ended up getting dinner before the game across the street at Buffalo Wild Wings and it was such a good meal. Wings, and nachos and all kinds of good but unhealthy foods you want to eat before a sports game. We were satisfied with the food and left with 30 minutes to game time.

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We went up an escalator to get to our section and our seats were a view of the side line. I do like to point out that Barclays has no bad seats. You’ll always be able to have a good view but it’s just a matter of how close you are to the court. It felt like everyone there was a Knicks fan because there was more cheering for the Knicks the entire game than the Nets.

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Go Knicks!

Surprisingly, the game went by extremely fast and I felt like we had only been sitting for 10 minutes when half time rolled around. I was tempted to get up and find myself some cotton candy or popcorn but I knew the lines would take forever. The game was over before I knew it and we left with 9 seconds left in the game so we could beat the crowds leaving right when the game ended. It was a close game, the final score being 95-90 Knicks winning. They came back from being down almost 20 points so that was exciting. Seeing the joy in Cris’ face and joining him on this little outing was so much fun and totally worth the lousy seats for the high price. I even enjoyed myself more than I thought I would so it was a fun experience overall. The next time I go and get him sports tickets though, it will be to a football game because that would be an exciting adventure.

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We left soon after this time out ended.