This year for Christmas we decided to do something a little out of the ordinary. Instead of driving or flying far away to go see family, we decided to go to New York City – and it was incredible!
We stayed with my husband’s best friend and family, who were lovely hosts, and made us feel so comfortable. I even took a guilt free nap for about 1.5 hours every afternoon – it was amazing!
We drove down to NYC from Toronto…and like every long car drive with my husband we ended up fighting pretty much the entire way. It turns out road trips are not on the “route to happiness” for us!
But the next day we were up, and ready for some adventrues!
We stayed around our friends apartment, did some last minute Christmas shopping, and then prepared for the Christmas Eve party. For Argentinian’s (my husband), the Xmas Eve party is much more important than Christmas Day. So, we went grocery shopping, helped set up their apartment and waited for the guests to arrive.
For the Christmas Eve party guests started arriving around 830 – 9pm. And as part of their tradition, the host lays out the plates, glasses etc, but doesn’t really start to cook until the guests arrive…because part of making your guests feel welcome is letting them help you prepare your appetizers and meal together! This is a BIG departure from my German/WASPy culture, where you need to have everything laid out before the doorbell rings, and guests are not expected to lift a finger!
The party continued well in to the evening, with drinks, snacks, meals, some guitar playing, some minor tantrums from the kids that were staying up well into the morning (3am; also a big departure from my culture!), and everyone having a great time overall.
On Christmas Day we had anything but a traditional Christmas Day! We woke up around 10am, opened some presents, and then headed downtown.
First we tried to go to Katz’s Deli, figuring most other places would be closed for the holidays…and of course the Jewish deli would be open! But the line-up was way too long, and with 2 little kids in tow it didn’t seem like a smart idea to try and make them wait for 30 minutes for a table.
So, we headed just around the corner to a little restaurant called Pink Pony, which had tables available for us, a cool vibe, and fantastic brunch food! It was a huge success!
After brunch we went to Central Park for a walk. Our friends decided to head home early, but we stayed to walk around, get some excercise and enjoy the mild Christmas Day!
After an hour long walk we headed over the Four Seasons for a drink. It’s a beautiful hotel, and they have a fantastic bar that’s great for an early evening cocktail. I very much enjoyed this quote on the cocktail menu!
Then we walked down 5th Avenue to see the Rockerfeller Centre Christmas tree and skating rink. It was jam packed with people…and everyone was taking pictures of the tree and walking the streets. It was a great feeling to be in so much activity!
After our long day out we headed back to our friends house to have a nice relaxing meal at home, and prepare for our long drive home the next day.
This Christmas was one of the best! A nice getaway, spending time with good friends, relatively stress free, and some great memories to hold on to!