10 Best Things to do in NYC in 3 days

style sneakers

 

We visited New York City in the beginning of April and it was cold and windy!  Although it was grey and wet, we managed to make the most of our trip in 3 days. I highly suggest the following 10 things……

1. Sarabeth’s

IMG_2833

We started our day at Sarabeth’s.  This was  recommended to us by a local New Yorker and it did not disappoint.  There are a few locations around the city and we dined in Tribeca.  I initially loved it because my name is Sarah (with an h) and my sister’s name is Beth.  It sounded like a good fit.

The ambiance was adorable, the coffee was exactly what I needed and the lemon ricotta pancakes were out of this world!!!!!  The portions were large and so delicious. We had leftovers that we passed onto a homeless man sleeping on the sidewalk.  As visitors, we didn’t need leftovers and sharing our meal felt really good!

Yum!  We left feeling good and passed along that feeling….

We picked this location so we could walk past the 9/11 memorial, stock exchange and head to Battery Park where we boarded to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  It was an easy walk with so much to see.

2. 9/11 Memorial

IMG_2834

This was an area I knew would be powerful.  Being in my 30s, I haven’t had many “I know exactly where I was when….” moments.  September 11, 2001 is one of them.  We all have our stories about that day but speaking with someone who was there and standing in front of the exact locations was obviously very different.

We spoke with a man outside of the survivor tree.  He was there to speak about how this resilient little tree has made it through some of New York’s devastating events.  The story evolved into his day working in the second tower on 9/11.  Time didn’t allow us to go to the museum but making a personal connection with this man and his stories about the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, 9/11 attacks, and the hurricanes was a history lesson I really felt.

3. Statue of Liberty

IMG_2685

Lady Liberty was someone I was looking forward to meeting.  My young children and nieces all know and askd about the Statue of Liberty.  She’s social studies 101 to all of us and I was excited to see her in person.

As we boarded the boat, it started pouring cold rain.  The grey sky doesn’t show the sheets of rain that were flowing as we walked around.  We had tickets for the grounds only.  We splashed in puddles as we took wet pictures and laughed as our umbrellas turned inside out.

If we have the opportunity to go back, I’d book tickets to the crown well in advance.  We planned our trip with short notice and would have liked to see inside.

4. Ellis Island

IMG_2713

After a wet time at the Statue of Liberty, we entered Ellis Island.   You could easily spend all day here reading all the information around the building.   It mapped out the fabric of our melting pot of country and really was something to see.

At this point I had a migraine, was tired, wet and ready to head back to our hotel.

5. St Patrick’s Cathedral

When we travel, we almost always find a church to visit.  “Every year, more than five million people of every different nationality and faith enter this Cathedral.”

We walked in off a bustling street to this gorgeous and harmonious cathedral.  Usually when we walk through a church it is really quiet and still.  This church happened to be filled with a high school choir singing and they blessed us all with their songs!  It was magical! As we walked around admiring the endless stained glass and details, the church felt alive, warm and welcoming.

6. Top of the Rock

Wind in my hair, I don’t care.  (For more crazy hair and New York pictures, check out my Instagram)

The day we went to the Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center there were 50 mile an hour winds.  We headed up 70 floors and I literally almost fell over. *Tip: The guard told me to drop to the ground when he saw me carried by the wind.

Thankfully it didn’t rain on us that day.  I would not have loved being up there in rain, but even on a windy cloudy day, this view was impressive!

7. Rockefeller Plaza

I’ve seen Rockefeller Plaza on t.v. so many times, we had to see it.  The ice skating rink is right smack in the middle of all of these buildings.  That’s New York City.  You walk through all these building then all of a sudden a special gem is nestled among them. (I felt the same way about St. Patrick’s Cathedral.)

We went the Monday after Easter and there were beautiful flowers and twirling characters promising Spring while we walked among them in our Winter coats.

8. Times Square

 

We went to Times Square during both the day and night.  It gave a different vibe each time.  Seeing the New Year’s Eve ball was cool.  Once again, this was a place I’ve seen on t.v. for many years.  Imagining the street with wall to wall people as it is on New Year’s Eve made me a bit claustrophobic but on a Tuesday in April it provided entertaining people watching, lots of billboard watching, shopping and lunch.

9. Chelsea Market

IMG_2819

I originally wanted to go to Chelsea Market to see the High Line.  The High Line is an old railroad track turned attraction which boasts amazing wildlife and city views.  Unfortunately, it was too early in the year for wildlife and was a bit cold for an evening stroll.

Chelsea Market, yet again, was something to experience.  I’ll admit that I’m not a huge shopper.  Despite that, we enjoyed wandering the shops of this unique market.  We spent time in a cute book store, enjoyed the local artists creations and designs while wandering past countless food options.

10. Artichoke Pizza

IMG_2817

Although Chelsea Market had endless choices for food, we always end up at pizza.

I had heard about Artichoke Pizza and it was close to Chelsea Market so we stopped in and got a cute corner table.  They played great music, had a cool laid back vibe and most importantly had phenomenal pizza.  The slices were huge, filling and so good!  We had to try New York pizza and I’m so glad we tried Artichoke!

 

Overall, 3 days can’t even touch the amount of things to do in NYC.  We ate, we walked, we toured and we enjoyed!  We got rained on, blown over and saw a bit of sunshine.  I found New Yorkers to be pleasant and didn’t feel unsafe as I had been warned by so many.

It was a place with endless options, lots of energy and history.  I can see why people exclaim “I Love New York” because I loved New York.

*Tip: Be ready for weather.

 

 

Advertisements

Puerto Rico’s Resilience Teaches Lessons

FullSizeRender (33)

This year, we began our trip in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  We have been to San Juan and always love it!  We had not returned since Puerto Rico was hit by the hurricane and it was different.  As we approached landing, we saw the blue tarps covering homes as roofs and the destruction that was left behind.  With that said,

It is a magical place that screams resilience, history and strength!

Throughout our days there, we spoke with an electrician working hot long days on reestablishing electricity while working with generators.  He was touched by the locals cooking him lunch and was happy to be helping. We spoke with our cab driver who seemed grateful for the United States assistance.  As we entered a local restaurant, we were welcomed by a local couple simply saying, “Welcome to our island!”  After such devastation, we found the Puerto Ricans to be as lovely as ever!

Here’s the lesson learned in Puerto Rico:

As we explored the city (and prior to coming) we told our children how it had been hit by a storm.  People lost everything!  At home, we often discuss being grateful and how lucky we are to have the many luxuries that we take for granted.  Puerto Rico was able to put our words into real life realizations.

As my mom walked hand in hand with my son (5years) she was talking about how much people lost.  He, very maturely, looked up at her and said, “That’s why we donate.”

When we returned home, without having a discussion, my son looked around our bathroom and said, “We are so lucky to have running water.  Not everyone has that.  We are so lucky to have pjs to sleep in and a bed.  Not everyone has that…..”  He then went off on a preschool tangent listing everything in our house and reminding me that not everyone has that.

The amazing thing was, I knew that he was referring to Puerto Rico.  I have always talked about gratitude with them (and why we donate) but seeing it stuck with him in a different way.  As a teacher and a mom, I can tell you that my words can only go so far.  His visual of the homes and experience of interacting with locals having smiles on their faces was powerful.

Previously, I have written about taking my children out of school for vacation.  My children are still young and I don’t plan on putting them at a disadvantage academically, but I see benefits beyond school when traveling…..

FullSizeRender (34)

 

Axon Optics Migraine Glasses, natural relief

*This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you buy and click from this post I will be compensated by the  affiliate.  This in no way alters my opinion and I only recommend things I use.  I use these often!  I was given a pair to review and have used them often since.

Natural Relief

Before I had children I was a special education teacher.  The years after college; I was teaching, coaching, tutoring, and getting my Master’s degree.  That was all? ha.  At this point my migraines became chronic and pretty much elevated to a new level.  Stress, lack of sleep, noise levels and inconsistent diet triggered me daily.

Along with these were the lights!  I taught in very harsh florescent lighting during the day, coached in a bright gym and sat in front of a computer doing homework or lesson plans.  My eyes were so stressed that I sat in the dark during my free period and had the monitor brightness turned as low as possible.  I didn’t have a smart board at that time but if I had worked with one, I know I would have been pained every time I used it.

This was all before I was given a pair of Axon Optics to review.

I wish so desperately that at that time I had Axon Optics migraine glasses.  They have FL-41 lenses that block  blue-green light which was developed to reduce sensitivity to fluorescent lighting.  They sell a range of products that can fit many eyewear needs.  I found working with the Axon Optics staff easy and simple.  I appreciate this greatly!

I now use them to blog (I’m wearing them now!) and when my photophobia is heightened (which is everywhere!).  I use them everyday.  I wear them making lunches and dinner, doing homework, reading books, doing computer work, going into stores, starting my day (anywhere) and more.  If you see me, I’m wearing them!

Use code:Axontweet

Check them out….. Shop our best-selling migraine relief glasses and sungasses.

 

 

How to travel with a chronic illness

IMG_8952.JPG

After my Lessons your children learn or miss on vacation post, I was asked how I can travel with a chronic illness.  Not easily, is my answer.

As always, I prepare….

I saw 3 doctors the week before I left.  I was on a 20 day antibiotic, taking sinus meds, was treated by an acupuncturist, got a massage, made trips to the pharmacy and had a follow up the week I returned home.  I was able to make it until day 4 before my migraine spiked.  Typically, I get a migraine on day 2 so this was good for me.

I had a suitcase and carryon filled with natural products that I use.  I didn’t take a picture but check out my reviews and it will give you a good idea of some things in my purse.

I had a few days of migraine but only my evenings were consumed with pain.  I was able to stop a level 7/8 from going to a 10 and was able to enjoy the next day at a reasonable level.  These are all victories for me!!

As for returning home….

I have now had a migraine for 12 days straight with no relief.  My pain fluctuates between a 4 and 7 most days but mostly is a constant never ending full body fatigue and heightened stimulus sensitivity with brain pains. My cravings have been out of control and I’ve been packing on weight that makes me even more uncomfortable. 

It’s hard to describe to a non-sufferer, but I’ll just say it’s tough mentally as much as physically when I am in a cycle that isn’t being broken at all. It’s just this wet blanket over me that I really only feel in my down time.  I’m a busy teacher and mom and have been able to do these well but the second I need to do anything other than childcare, I just don’t have it in me. 

my spoons

Priorities of my spoons is the best way I can describe it.  I had to cancel plans this week, was like a rag doll this weekend and generally just felt crappy since I’ve been home.

Traveling comes at a huge cost for me but one I’m willing to pay.  When I live with a migraine daily, traveling and spiking it seems bad but I’d rather get a few days of glory than a week missed in my hole.

Here’s some good examples on how I feel this week: 

 

Oh the joys of traveling

One step forward two steps back

When everything stops working

img_8953

How do you get through traveling, before or after? 

Christmas and holiday migraine gifts

Every year I get migraine related gifts.  Why?  Because I need them!  The cool thing is, I learn and find new products that work each year.  The wonderful thing about doing product reviews is that I have the opportunity to find some products that really work for me.  I’ve answered a few of my own questions since last year and have updated my list in ALL CAPS in the gift list from last year.

*Some links may contain affiliate links

IMG_5114 (1)

Last year I received:

“Heated neck wrap

Headphones

Essential oil-  I still have not found a brand and type of oil that I’m in love with so I use a variety in my search. (I LOVE ORGANIC AROMAS! LOVE LOVE!

Yoga pants- I know it’s a running joke about wearing workout clothes out but I’m busy and if I’m dressed to move, I do.   Working out helps my migraines and sometimes escalates them so it’s a balance. (I SPORT MY PRETTY IN NINA B ROZE DISCOUNT CODE INCLUDED FOR A DISCOUNT!)

Love, hope, migraine tshirt

Infusion water bottle” (SEE ORIGINIAL POST)

 

This year I received more migraine related gifts

fullsizerender-8

 

Massage and heat neck massager.  I will be returning this…not a good fit for me

Heated boot socks.  I live in a snowy location and can never seem to get my hands or feet warm.  These will be well used!

“I got rid of my headache” tshirt.  Sometimes taking off my head seems like the only option

Car diffuser.  I get sick when traveling so my best friend sent me a diffuser to use with my favorite Organic Aromas oils.

I also gave and received 3photo-jpegOm products that I love!

What did you give or get that you love to treat your migraine or headache pain?

 

Disney World. The bad

I think it’s easy to take your health for granted. Remember that your health and the health of your children is precious! Don’t sweat the small stuff and enjoy life the best you can. You never know when things will change!

My Migraine Life

IMG_4147

Every good side has a bad side. I was happily surprised that I saw little bad while I visited Disney World.  The bad thing that I did see was ungrateful people.  My experience with meditation didn’t go well but something I find easy and beneficial to do every day is to show gratitude.  It comes easily being I have a disease that keeps me in a cold dark room and even the littlest bit of relief allows me to be grateful.  I also was a special education teacher for children with severe needs.   I can tell you that when you’ve worked with a child that is severely Autistic or is multiply handicapped you see the world in a different way.  So here’s the bad about Disney World….ungrateful adults.  I have always been able to work with difficult children because of the reminder that they don’t know any better.  I don’t give…

View original post 588 more words

Disney World. The Good, the Bad, and the Migraine

For those of you on spring break this week, here is a three part migraine story from Disney World. Remember to enjoy your time as much as possible!

My Migraine Life

Disney World                     Disney World!!!!!!

 

I went to Disney World for 3 days and I could probably write a book on it.  Instead I’m going to focus on three things. The good, the bad, and my migraine.  So let’s begin with the good……

Where to begin. Disney is called the happiest place on earth for a reason.  If you’ve been following me from the beginning, you know this is not the first time I have written about a Disney princess (A Whole New World?) I have loved all things Disney since I was a child and have been so happy to see my children fall in love all the same.  We spent an entire day at Magic Kingdom.  I had planned and saved like most families do and was eager to see how my dreams would come true for my family.  My personal favorite thing was to ride the rides.  I…

View original post 529 more words