Am I the only one who feels like since July 4th is on Tuesday, we have a five day weekend? Because I do!
Well, last Saturday morning, Kensington and I headed to New York City to spend a few days with my mother-in-law before our appearance on Today with Kathie Lee and Hoda. And spoiler alert: we had the BEST time! I tried to list every restaurant in this post (because we ate at some GREAT places!) and give my glowing remarks about the show we saw on Broadway. So…if you’re heading to NYC anytime soon, take note! We had A BLAST!
Our trip started off a little rocky. The weather was horrible in Dallas that morning, so our flight ended up being delayed by hours. Urg. We made the best of it with lots of Starbucks, reading and a power nap. I love traveling with this sweet girl of mine! When Today reached out, they specifically asked that I bring Kensington and she was over the moon. (And I’m wearing that same scarf that I wore in Alaska because I love it so much 🙂 . )
Waiting, waiting, waiting. I had a VERY good book to read, a coffee to drink and I was wearing those Ugg wedges that I love so much…so my feet were comfy 🙂 . For a wedge, they are SO COMFORTABLE!
We woke up at 4:00 AM…so she rested a bit at the airport.
Kensington and Lucky. If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you know that Lucky goes everywhere with us…
…Kensington and Lucky circa 2009. She has literally rubbed the spots off of that dog. We put an actual dog tag on him a few years ago with our phone numbers just in case he ever gets lost. That would be catastrophic!
My mother-in-law, Cheryll, flew in from Joplin that morning to meet up with us. Her flight was delayed by two hours in Joplin because of Dallas’ weather, so we finally met up with her when she landed. So, my in-laws travel a ton! In the last year alone, they’ve hit up cities like New Orleans, Vancouver, and Jerusalem…and they’re heading to St. Louis, Pittsburgh and Louisville this year. But for whatever reason, my father-in-law does not think he’ll love NYC. No matter how much we all tell him that he’ll love it, he has it in his mind that he won’t. So, I told Cheryll that the next time I have to go to NYC for work, I’ll take her with me because she’s never been and has always wanted to go…and I knew in my heart that she would LOVE it.
And we finally made it! And it was love at first sight!
Because of the huge delay in Dallas, we made it just in time to drop off our luggage and head straight to our dinner that night. Whew!
I had made reservations for dinner at Toloache and it was so good! I knew we needed to eat somewhere near Times Square since we had a show there that night, so after doing a little online research, this was the spot I picked and it was a WIN! This little Mexican restaurant could not have been cozier. It had exposed brick, lots of candle light and really yummy food. Everything we ate was delish! (And as you can see, I just swapped out my scarf for a necklace that night.)
So ironically, while I was in NYC filming a cooking segment for Today, my brother was there because he’s a contestant on Worst Cooks in America Celebrity Edition. Ha! Isn’t that funny? Catherine and I knew we were going to hook up on this trip, but while we were eating, she texted me to make sure we had made it to NYC (finally!) and I told her we had and were on our way to a show. She was like, “me too!”. And then we realized we were both headed to see the same show! What are the odds?! We were all so excited! So, we left the restaurant and planned on meeting up outside of the show…
Yay! Family!! Catherine was at the show with Mark (who is an extremely close family friend that resides in LA but just happened to have been in NYC too that week). We were pumped!
Okay friends…we went to see Broadway’s new musical Anastasia (based on the animated movie) and it was UNBELIEVABLE! I do not say this lightly…I was really blown away by how good it was!! I had purchased us tickets on the third row because I really wanted my MIL to have a good seat since it was her first show and by the end, she was crying. It was FANTASTIC! If you’re going to NYC soon, I could not recommend this show more! I think it’s perfect for people with or without kids. We loved it!! (I also love my tassel earrings!)
Kensington has always loved the animated movie, so she really loved the musical!!
After the show, we crashed for the night. Then…
…we woke up bright and early the next morning ready to hit the town. NYC was pretty deserted on this morning, so we basically had Rockefeller Center all to ourselves.
Love this sweet girl of mine!
The weather was PERFECT the entire time we were in NYC! It was in the mid-70s with a little cloud cover. I have never been there before during prettier weather. Cheryll loved seeing Rockefeller Center with her oldest granddaughter!
NYC in the morning.
After that, we walked to breakfast at Sarabeth’s because…when in NYC, you should eat breakfast at Sarabeth’s!
It was divine.
We decided to spend this day uptown. We walked miles and miles and miles through Central Park and also through both the Upper West Side and the Upper East Side.
Did I mention that the weather was glorious? Because it was! (And my top is here.)
Central Park in the summer!
Popsicle before lunch? Why not?!
So, we were walking up the Upper West Side and when I went across the crosswalk, I noticed this girl walking toward me and I thought to myself “that looks like Beth Stern” (Howard Stern’s wife), so I looked right to see who she was talking to and his voice gave him away before I even saw his face…
…it was Howard Stern! I stopped in the crosswalk and grabbed my camera as they walked past me. Looky there…a little celeb siting on the Upper West Side 😉 .
After all of that walking, we were ready to sit down and grab a bite…so, we randomly stopped here…
…at A.G. Kitchen and it was delish! We sat on their covered patio and had the best little lunch!
After that, we continued our stroll up the Upper West Side and smelled something really good coming from this truck…
..so, we stopped and got a bag of caramel corn 🙂 .
We posed here. In You’ve Got Mail, this is where Tom Hanks’ character sees that Kathleen Kelly is Shop Girl for the first time.
Top of the rock as we crossed through the park from the Upper West to the Upper East Side.
We continued our walk down the Upper East Side until we hit Saks Fifth Avenue and decided to go in. My MIL loves makeup and stuff (like me!), and she said she needed new mascara…so I told her she had to try my very favorite mascara of all time and she agreed…but she told me that I needed to try her very favorite primer…so I agreed. We both walked out with new things and we both really like them! She told me that she uses my Clinique SPF every day (which you ladies know how much I love that stuff!) but then puts this primer on top (I have been using the Clinique alone). I must say…the primer gives me both a matte and dewy finish at the same time. How is that possible? Don’t know but I’m loving it!
We tried a new restaurant that night called Joanne Trattoria and it was so good too! It was on the Upper West Side and in this cozy little building. We ate on the patio, but the inside looked great too. There were lots of fireplaces, twinkly lights and candles…plus the food was really good!! And I’m in love with my new choker. I haven’t worn a choker in like 15 years…but I’m kind of obsessed with this one. I wear it again later too.
See how cute it is?! This was my view on the patio.
Rise and shine! The next morning we were up ready to hit the town for our last full day!
We started off with breakfast at The Smith! Last time we were in NYC, we ate dinner at The Smith and so many of you told me we should go back for breakfast…AND IT WAS SO GOOD! Wow! The BEST breakfast potatoes I’ve ever had in my entire life. So. Incredibly. Delicious! And you know how they say New York is a small town? My friend Mark was there eating breakfast with a friend. How weird is that?! One last thing…we were at The Smith and they handed Kensington a bottle of Sir Kensington’s Ketchup. Whoa! So many coincidences!
From The Smith, we took a cab down to the 9/11 Memorial.
My mother-in-law only had one request before this trip…she wanted to see this.
After we were done viewing, we decided to walk back uptown (a long walk!) and check out things/stop along the way.
Walking through Tribeca…
…we walked through Chinatown and Little Italy (pictured here) too.
On Instagram that morning, I asked you guys for lunch recommendations in Soho and so many of you said to eat at Balthazar…so we did! Another win!! I had no idea what kind of restaurant it would be and it turned out to be a cute little French Bistro! Kensington had the steak and frites and Cheryll and I split the ham and Gruyere sandwich with a salad. Perfect!
From there, we walked around the corner to Georgetown Cupcakes to meet Catherine and Samuel…
…one unicorn cupcake, one caramel cheesecake cupcake and one oreo coffee cupcake (that one was mine!).
A girl and her unicorn.
Samuel LOVES him some Kensington…and vice versa!
We love that sweet boy!
Cupcakes with Catherine (and Samuel too!).
So, from there, we continued walking up Sixth Avenue until we hit Macy’s on 34th Street because my mother-in-law is a HUGE fan of Macy’s. Both Cheryll and I bought new shoes 🙂 . It was the perfect treasure to bring back from NYC. You can see mine HERE.
After all of that walking, we freshened up quickly at the hotel and headed right back out to dinner…
The next morning, we woke up ready to go be on Today!
A hotel selfie before we headed out. I’ve told you guys this before, but every time I’m in NYC or LA, I use the app called Glam Squad to come do my hair and makeup and I’ve never one time been disappointed! They show up, get me looking my best and then I’m out the door! Here are our outfit deets for those of you who care: MY DRESS (in navy)//MY SHOES//MY EARRINGS//MY CUFF//KENSINGTON’S DRESS//KENSINGTON’S SHOES
Here we are at Today! Ready to go!!
Three out of seven Shull girls!
How blessed am I to have a cheering squad? Catherine, Samuel and Mark wanted to be there for us that morning too!
And then, all of a sudden, Kensington’s life was MADE! I’ve mentioned on here before how much I love Sutton Foster. She is on the TV show Younger (which I watch), but why I’ve always loved her most is because she’s a Tony award winning actress on Broadway. Kensington listens to her musicals in the car (especially Thoroughly Modern Millie and Anything Goes) and watches her on YouTube sing and dance ALL THE TIME. So, when we found out that Sutton was going to be on at the same time as we were…K about flipped her lid. When Sutton walked in, we went over and introduced ourselves and she COULD NOT HAVE BEEN NICER!!!
She asked Kensington questions, gave her a big hug and then later said hi and waved at her again after her segment was over. She was lovely. Absolutely lovely. You never know how people will behave in person…but she was perfection.
Kensington has said the phrase “I met Sutton Foster” at least a thousand times since we’ve been home. Such a sweet time!
…I cannot put into words how lovely Hoda and Kathie Lee are. I really can’t. Hoda and I had a big hug over adoption and her newest baby girl Haley Joy. Then, Kathie Lee and I had a big hug over Hoda’s adoption too 😉 . It was magical. They doted on Kensington. They asked her a million questions, they hugged and hugged on her…they made her feel so special. God bless both of these ladies. I am truly in awe of them.
Here are some random pictures from our time with them…
Ah! So much fun!!! After the show, we headed to the airport and flew home. If you missed our segment, you can see it HERE.
It was a wonderful trip to the Big Apple that I know we’ll always remember.
Happy Friday! Come back Monday for my big June Book Review!!