Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Ain't It Thrillin', Though your Nose Gets a Chillin'

Happy Winter!  I just wanted to write a short post to remind you of all the fun things to do in the city this time of year.  I have clearly been too busy to actually *do* any of them yet, but luckily, all the holiday stuff will still be here next week when things calm down a little bit, and the rest of the winter will last another few months so I hope to fit it all in.  In the meantime, catch up on some of my favorite winter posts from last year.


  • Visit the Rockefeller Christmas tree!  The lighting (which I attempted to go to last year) has obviously already happened, but this puppy will be up until January 7th.  The tree is also now on Twitter by the way @30RockTree and tweeted "hey baby" at me a few moments ago.  (WHADDUP you sexy tree???)
  • Go to a park when it snows!  Put on your Hunters, pull on your knit gloves, grab your chapstick and your camera and go exploring in one of the city's parks while it is snowing so that you can see all the fresh powder before it gets all dirty or damaged with other peoples' footprints.  Bonus points if you build a snowman in Central Park, as was on my Winter To-Do list of 2010 and sadly remains uncrossed-out.
  • Walk around Times Square before, during, or after New Year's Eve!  It's pretty cool to see the setup and the cleanup of Times Square surrounding the ridiculous party there on December 31st.  I have yet to experience watching the ball drop live, but I will be here for a few years, so I have some time to check this one off.
  • Go ice skating!  Ice skating at the Bryant Park pond was one of my favorite things this year.  If you don't mind waiting in really long lines and being on the ice with tons of other people, you need to do this.  I was lucky enough to do it as part of a charity event at work and did not have to wait or share the ice with thousands.  Hope this opportunity comes again soon.
Enjoy the winter and the upcoming holidays!  I will write you soon, I promise.

xo

Sunday, December 11, 2011

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Lessons Aubrey and I learned at the New York Botanical Gardens last weekend:

  • Don't depend on your corporate discount to get you and 3 guests in for free.  According to my company's website, I am supposed to get in for free "year-round" but according to the NYBG, I can only get in for free a few specific dates this season, which all happened to be during the week, when I couldn't go because of work, so that doesn't really make sense.
  • Keep your ticket with you at all times.  Even though you can't get into any part of the gardens without going through the ticket lines, you are required to show your ticket at certain exhibits which do not require any extra payment.  This was difficult for us as we were carrying way too many snacks (read: hard boiled eggs and cookies shaped like wreaths) in our bags to find our tickets in an efficient way.
  • The winter is not the best time of year to go to the NYBG (this is pretty obvious).  We didn't find a lot of flowers that were actually in bloom and a lot of the areas of the garden were locked or under restoration or construction.  We did make a promise to come back in the spring or summer to get a more botanical experience.
  • Don't assume you won't spend a lot of time walking around the gardens.  Aubrey and I did not spring $7 for the entrance to the Train Show because the earliest time for us to get in was 2:15.  We incorrectly thought we wouldn't be there that long and missed out on probably the coolest part of NYBG.  The Train Show has model trains and replicas of NYC landmarks done with flowers and plants.  We ended up staying at the gardens until 2, so we definitely should have signed up for the exhibit, but maybe we can go back next year better prepared.
Despite the above, Aubrey and I had a great time, as we always do together.  Instead of being like a garden, the NYBG felt more like a park but who doesn't LOVE parks (& rec, I might add)?  My favorite part was walking through the Thain Forest, fifty acres of forest which made us feel like we were no where near NYC and actually reminded both of us of our hometown in the Pineys.  The coolest features of the forest walk were finding marks left by glaciers a gazillion years ago on the rocks, a babbling brook with a cool bridge (which was featured in Sesame Street in the 1970s), and being able to text back my friend saying "I'm in a forest right now, but I'll get back to you later."  

Here are some obligatory cute pictures of our journey.

Getting lost in a children's maze

My favorite type of sky

"Glaciers wuz here"

"Babble Babble Babble"

Legit.

The one flower we saw

My new bestie and me.  He felt awesome.

xo
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