Continuing our Northeast journey... (see part 1)
Once we arrived in New Jersey, the first activity was a country drive to view the gorgeous fall foliage. Yes, New Jersey is much, much more than Newark Airport. Although the trees weren't completely turning yet and it was raining off and on, my home state was lookin' gorgeous. See?
We cozied up in the back seat of my dad's Lincoln Towncar as it gripped the winding roads at what felt like 60 mph! "Geez Dad, slow down!" we yelled from the back seat as our luggage went flying. "Calm down, will ya? I'm only going 29!" It was true; I saw the speedometer.
The next morning we set out for my beloved New York City for a few days with our "virtual tour guide" Tara Leigh only a phone call away. I tell you, Tara Leigh is batting 1000 with her New York restaurant recommendations. But more on that in a sec.
As soon as we left the train, we sprinted for Central Park, which was glorious in the fall weather. We walked around the reservoir and all through the park, enjoying the mums and tall sycamores...
Then, it was off to lunch at Tara Leigh's Brilliant Recommendation #1: Penelope. You MUST go to the website to see how adorable it was. It was just how I would want my restaurant to be, if I ever had one...
Next, we walked around and made our way over to a scrumptious cupcake place (apparently cupcakes are extremely popular in The City, who knew?) called Billy's Bakery. Now, I know what you're thinking right about now: Did you do anything on this trip besides eat? And the answer is, Yes. We walked a lot too. Walked and ate. :)
Billy's Bakery was teeny inside, but it was cozy. And going by the photo on the wall, Katie Holmes apparently thinks the cupcakes are quite scrumptious too! I loved the butter yellow/pale aqua color scheme and the huge tower of eggs that you could see in cartons in the open kitchen. I like restaurants where you can see them cooking or baking. They can't spit or sneeze in your food if you're right there watching!
Next, we trekked several avenues over to Chelsea Market, the mecca of the Food Network. But don't worry, we were too full to eat anything else! Instead, we ooh'd and ahh'd at the intricately carved pumpkins and fantastic specialty food shops in this indoor market. I have to admit, I also sashayed past the Food Network a few times to see if I could get a glimpse of Giada or Rachael Ray. One strange thing I noticed while we people-watched inside Chelsea Market...everyone, and I mean everyone was wearing tapered leg jeans. What?! I don't care who you think you are, New York City, but that is one trend I won't be adopting anytime soon.
By the time we had dinner that night at another TLC recommendation, a thai restaurant called Spice, I was so stuffed that all I wanted to do was sleep :) Our dear friends, David & Shawna, were in Texas at the same time we were in NYC, so they let us stay in their cozy apartment on the Upper East Side for a great night's rest before we hit the city for Part 3....next!