New York, New York...

For my 30th birthday (gasp!), my parents knew I could use a little getaway and surprised me with a trip... to visit them!  So off I drove to drop off my kiddos with my inlaws and met my parents at the Minneapolis airport for the quick direct flight to Laguardia airport...then it was just a matter of finding one of the millions of black sedans and we "raced" off to the city.  I couldn't stop looking all around...there was SO much to look at and yes I had been there before.  The contrast of Iowa to NYC is, well, monumental!

"Welcome to NYC"
We even flew right over downtown Manhattan....what a nice way to come into the city!
And a quick selfie on our way!
We got to my parent's apartment and I admired the view...they live near the midtown bridge and face north. You can get a glimpse of the plaza on the tippy-top left and the river is to your right.  My parents are on the 31st floor - my ears popped every time we went up the elevator.

The first night we walked down the block to a local pizza place that had pizza that tasted like I was back in Italy - amazing.  We stopped and had frozen yogurt at a tiny little hole in the wall and headed back home to plot out the next day.  I fell "asleep" to the sounds of every NYC taxi drive horn...Vegas is supposedly the city that never sleeps, I think they gave the title to the wrong city.

The next morning, we hit up a smoothie bar (NYC is a healthy place ;) and headed to SOHO by way of flagging down a taxi.  There were a number of stores we had read about that we didn't want to miss - Mango, Uniqlo, C Wonder, TopShop, MadeWell, LuLu Lemon to name a few.
The pic above is at Uniqlo - think Japanese Gap.  I got a ton of pants there - they hem them for FREE within an hour...what?  They also have a whole floor of accessories and under garments/tanks/Pj's in little ziploc type was a TYPE A personalities dream.  Once you open the packaging you can't take it back so they have one of everything in the bags to try on in the dressing rooms...and the prices were ah-mazing.  Like Iowa amazing!!!  Like $49 for a pair of tailored skinny jeans...what?! and spanks for $7.99 and they suck you in for that price too!
Next up was probably my most favoritist store ever, I might have touched every accessory and tried to find a way to take i ALL home.  If a store could scream "ERIN", this would be the store.  Think every southern girl's dream - C Wonder!  And I know I have told you I am a southern belle at heart that has never lived in the south.  I get swoony thinking about check, pearls and cardigans.  I may have purchased a "few" things there and I "may" have told my mom I must go back in December when we visit!  Sadly, there are NO midwestern stores :(!

We then have huffed through China Town to get a few prized possessions on our way back to my dad's place to freshen up before dinner.  Oh the memories, right mom?!

That night we ate at Gramercy Tavern.  It was swanky for a mom that doesn't get out much...I mean there was more than 1 course with things to cleanse your pallet. Did I mention it was not just my birthday.  My dad also turned the big 5-4 (yes he is young :) and my parents celebrated their anniversary too (yep I was a total 3rd wheel).  We also figured out this was our 1st trip in 24 years, it was just the 3 of us.  We made some fun memories but we missed the rest of the gang :)!

Oh yes and this was the apres dessert, you know places normally hand out an andy's mint, nope this was their thanks for paying your bill treat :) and the new trend in NYC is to give you breakfast for the next morning...
So we took home mini coffee cakes and I did enjoy mine the next day!
Our was a feat getting that into one small extra suitcase...

The next day we headed north (Soho is south, my dad is in the middle and "Park and Madison Ave" is north).  We had a great time enjoying walking through more urban dwellings.  And these little corner grocery stores with all of the fresh flowers always caught my eye!!!

Upper East Side

We walked ALL over and it was a hot day.  We stopped near central park to enjoy some water and relax under some shade trees.  We admired all the tourists and the view of Central Park before heading to FAO Schwartz and rounding back home...

This is home (31 floors up!).  We dropped off our bags, freshened up and headed to meet my dad's coworkers, see his office and take him out for a birthday dinner!
My dad's office view...not shabby...he can see the freedom tower to the south, Empire State building straight ahead and Chrysler building and Grand Central Station to the north.  He walks the 10 blocks to work...
And off to Smith and Wollensky's for dinner - it was delicious.  I tried to replicate their heirloom tomato salad.  I didn't quite get it, man theirs was top notch!

We headed home and we squished everything we could into our suitcases and somehow we made it work.  We had an early morning flight to catch and back to reality I went.  What a great, super fast trip to NYC.  We head back in December with the kiddos.  We can't wait to take in the Christmas sights!  What a fun place to visit and for my parents to call home for now!

Thanks mom and dad for an unforgettable 30th birthday celebration - I am one lucky, down right spoiled gal!