I have always enjoyed traveling, even if it meant sleeping in a tent when I was younger. I prefer hotels and cruise cabins now, but the motivation is the same...an adventure waiting to happen. Sometimes you will find me traveling with my husband and/or family. Sometimes I will travel alone, and sometimes I will travel with friends. I hope you find it entertaining to keep up to date with me as I explore the world around me. Warning...I like to take pictures of food so don't read if you're hungry. More adventures await...see ya soon...Amy.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Hitting the Highlights

The coffee shop where we went for early morning coffee. It was located to the left of the hotel.

Grand Central Station

Inside Grand Central Station


The Doughnut Plant

loved this little artsy doughnut seat inside

Chalk art outside the door....Happy Mother's Day to us!

The menu that causes anxiety because there are no descriptions of the day's offerings and the pressure is on when you reach the counter. What they have available is on racks without descriptions either, just names....oh the decisions.

The yeast doughnut with the melting Valrhona chocolate and the heavenly oatmeal, cashew, sesame seed, cranberry and apricot doughnut on top

Kate's carrot cake doughnut with cream cheese inside

tile mosaic inside one of the subway stops

this statue used to stand at the world trade center. it was damaged during the attack and now stands with an eternal flame in battery park in memory of those who lost their lives.

Lady Liberty in the harbor

Ellis Island

the new World Trade Center building under construction with a picture in front of it's future self

Stand4...my new favorite shake place

the menu...duh

our baby shakes with big fat straws....chocolate peanut butter cup and toasted marshmallow

our itsy bitsy slider hamburger..so cute and yummy

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. I think Kate would have liked to know what are all those people doing just sitting around on the steps.

Magnolia Bakery...the beginning of the cupcake craze

swirls of pastel goodness...this is a traditional and very sweet cupcake

The Chrysler Building

Orsay Brasserie

Kate's veal in a cream sauce with vegetables to be served over jasmine rice. We had to figure that out ourselves as they didn't do it for her so she just dumped it on.

one of my favorite things, medium rare filet mignon with bearnaise sauce and fries
Today is Mother's Day. We started our day at a coffee shop next door before heading downtown on the subway leaving from Grand Central to the Doughnut Plant. I had read that the Doughnut Plant was well known for their "gourmet" doughnuts, but I really had no idea what to expect. The Doughnut Plant is located at the edge of Chinatown and there was a line to the door when we got there. We have figured out the lines in these little joints definitely indicate that something yummy is worth waiting for inside. This was no exception. I tried one of the yeast doughnuts covered in Valrhona chocolate and an oatmeal cake doughnut packed with teeny chips of cashews, sunflower seeds, cranberries and apricots. To die for!! Kate had the Carrot Cake doughnut that was filled with cream cheese. Oh My Goodness!!! We loved the cake doughnuts. If there had not been a line and we had not left the area to eat in a little park, I would have gone back for more! I really wasn't that impressed with the yeast doughnut. I will skip that next time. With our bellies full, we started a day of touristy things, visiting some of the highlights of New York City. First stop was to see Lady Liberty. We went down to Battery Park through the Financial District stopping to watch all of the Asian tourists take a picture with the Wall Street Bull. It was really funny. We decided not to take the boat out to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island due to time constraints. After taking our pictures, we took the subway to see the construction site of the new tower at the World Trade Center site. We spent some time in St. Paul's Chapel, the site of rest for the relief workers during the Trade Center disaster. St. Paul's is serving as a temporary memorial until the official memorial building is completed. We were getting a little hungry and decided it was time for lunch. I had read about a hamburger spot that had great shakes called Stand4. They had these little mini shakes that were soooo cute and absolutely thick and delicious! I don't even like shakes, but I plan on drinking another one of those peanut butter chocolate shakes again. Kate's toasted marshmallow shake had a cute little toasted marshmallow on top...adorable. They also had precious little sliders which were tiny hamburgers. We each had one slider which came with a few fried pickles and should have shared our orders of fries. To demonstrate my schedule flexibility, I had planned to go by Max Brenners Chocolate by the Bald Man for dessert but we were soooo full that the thought actually was far from appealing. Instead, I just showed Kate the inside of the restaurant, bought a little chocolate for a gift and we moved on to our next stop, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. There was a special exhibit called Savage Beauty which had dresses by the late Alexander McQueen. I think we would have had to have been there since the doors opened to even get a glimpse. We had to give up on that idea and just wander around checking out the art. Our feet needed a break and we stopped at the cafe for a drink and a break. We rode the subway back to Grand Central Station, where we found some more cupcake and chocolate shops that I wanted to visit. Magnolia Bakery has the reputation of starting the cupcake craze and they had a location in there that was not near as busy as their SoHo location. We also visited LiLac chocolates which i brought home to try. Kate came with me to Saks 5th Ave. to see if they had the perfume version of my new favorite scent Idylle by Guerlain. It's only available at Saks as it's not widely marketed in the U.S. just yet. I picked up the Eau de Toilette in Paris last fall and it's not available at all in the U.S. I was so excited to find the perfume there. We came back to the hotel in time to change for dinner and drop off our purchases. We decided to save our cupcakes for dessert. Dinner was at Orsay, yet another french inspired restaurant. The food was really good, but it was soooo loud and crowded in there, that I hoped we still had a voice when we left. I left with a headache, but had a delicious Mother's Day meal. We are so sad to leave tomorrow, but intend to squeeze in every drop of sightseeing that we can before we go.

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