Back in May, Adam and I headed up to New York City (well, Brooklyn actually) for a family reunion with my dad’s side of the family. We try to have a Littman family reuion every year, and this was the first one at my cousin Blake’s new home. Although Adam had been to every airport in the greater NYC area (and once even rode a shuttle between JFK and LGA), he had never actually been able to visit the city. So, we decided to go up a day early to do some of the tourist-y things and make it a mini-vacation for us.
We arrived early on a Wednesday morning, and took a cab to our hotel (the Marriott Marquis in Times Square). We had them store our luggage, and then went directly to the Galaxy Diner on the concierge’s reccomendation for a yummy breakfast. (Notice, food was our first priority!) Then, we walked all around the theatre district, and down Broadway before eventually taking the subway down to Battery Park for our reserved tickets on the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island ferry.
Thumbs Up for Audio Tours!!
We love doing audio tours for things like this, so our first stop was to pick up these awesome headphones! We toured the statue museum, and then got to go up to the first level to see the statue up-close. I had done this before, in 8th and 10th grade, but it was fun to hear about all the engineering efforts that go in to keeping our Lady Liberty standing tall. (I am such a nerd!)
- Statue of Liberty up close
Then, we hopped back on the ferry to go see Ellis Island.
View of the statue from back on the ferry.
Adam enjoyed seeing the statue, but I think he was more excited to go visit Ellis Island. He’s really into geneology and figuring out detail from when all of our ancetors first came to this country.
Fun Fact: At some point in our dating history, my mom told me that my great-grandmother’s maiden name was the same as Adam’s last name! So, of course, I’m thinking “oh, great! i’m dating my cousin! i might as well just move to west virginia!”. But, Adam did some research and figured out that my family and his family came from two different countries in eastern europe, and came to America in different years. So, I think we’re good. But, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see if our kids end up with 6 eyes or 12 fingers or something!
- Adam at Ellis Island
Since we visited in the middle of the day on a work-day, the ferrys, statue of liberty, and ellis island were swarming with mostly foreign tourists. It was crowded, and by mid-day, pretty hot and not-so-great-smelling. As we’re listening to our trusty audio-tour at Ellis Island, the narrator is trying to ‘set the scene’ by asking you to “imagine you’re on a crowded, hot, smelly boat, traveling to Ellis island with a bunch of stranger from all different countries, speaking languages that you don’t understand.” We were both like “um, yeah! I can totally imagine that!” haha! It was pretty funny!
After that, we were pretty tired, so we headed back to the hotel to check in and rest a little bit. We had a GREAT room with a spectacular view of Times Square.
View from our room during the day.
We took naps and then got ready for our amazing dinner date at Mesa Grill. We love the food network (and food, in general) so we knew we wanted to eat at one of the Food Network Chef’s restaurants while we were in NYC. We chose Mesa Grill (one of Bobby Flay’s restaurants) since we had already eaten at one of Mario Batalli’s in Las Vegas a couple years ago, and Adam had eaten at Paula Deen’s restaurant once in Savannah. And, I was absolutely thrilled with that decision!
WAY excited about the delicious food at Mesa!!
Everything was absolutely AMAZING! The service, the food, the drinks, EVERYTHING! I started with one of their specialty margaritas – high quality tequilla mixed with kiwi puree and a splash of lime. For my food, the appetizers just sounded too good, so I ended up ordering 2 of them as my meal; tuna tartar ‘nachos’, and a shrimp and sweet corn tamale. We also shared some mashed potatos with a queso/chili sauce.
My handsome dinner date!
Adam got a rare spanish beer, and a chipotle glazed pork tenderloin for his dinner. We both loved every bit of this dining experience! And, I’m not gonna lie, I woke up the next morning still thinking about how delicious our dinner was the night before….
After dinner, we tried to go to a speakeasy called Please Don’t Tell, but they were too crowded. It was still really neat to go there, though. You had to go down into this little sketchy hot dog shop, and step into the vintage phone-booth, pick up the phone, and then someone would open the secret back door of the phone booth to let you into this bar! We ended up just getting a drink across the street at a little bar, and then heading back to the hotel.
Check out the view from our hotel room at night!