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(Not such a) City Girl

As I mentioned in Monday’s post, I’ve been Manhattan for the past few days. My mom and I are here for my surgery which was on Monday, but we had plenty of fun over the weekend! We’ve spent so many weekends here that I feel like I’ve seen all of the major sites to see, and at this point there are only a couple places in the city that I really look forward to visiting. Central Park will always be my favorite spot in the city (Riverside Park and Bryant Park are a close second. Coincidence that all of my preferred spots are the ones that are the least city-like? I think not ;)

Running in Central Park (Stronglikemycoffee.com)

 

On Sunday morning, we walked to the Jackie Onasis Resevoir in the park to get in a 90 minute workout. It was sunny and hundreds (probably thousands) of other New Yorkers were running around the paths. Where else will you see SO MANY recreational runners in one spot?! By the time I got through about 10 miles, a layer of salt was left on my arms and neck from sweating so we booked it back to our apartment to shower and get ready for a late brunch next to the park.

Stronglikemycoffee.com Central ParkI’ve been wanting to try out Sarahbeth’s several times but we always run out of time or find somewhere equally appealing to go instead. Finally we planned a girl’s day and I had a brunch date with my beautiful mama!

Brunch with Mama at Sarahbeth's (Stronglikemycoffee.com)

Inside the restaurant was bright and energized. We split a peach bellini while deciding on which two brunch entrees we would share. We ended up getting one sweet and one savory, since it’s all about the balance ;) Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Blackberries and a Garden Egg White Omelette.

Brunch at Sarahbeth's (stronglikemycoffee.com)The garden omelette came with a scone and homemade jam, and I honestly just could have eaten the jam with a spoon. Strawberry Raspberry, so so good. After brunch, we walked through the crazy crowds (apparently it was Puerto Rico day and a parade was expected see 2 million people waving their Puerto Rican flags with pride.) Finally we got to an equally-crowded  Times Square to do some shopping. My mom and I each got a couple new workout outfits which always make exercising more fun :)

Monday morning I checked in the hospital bright and early, and the bleomycin sclerotherapy treatment went smoothly. I am always nauseuas after anesthesia and the breathing tube always gives me a sore throat for a few days but that’s why these next two days are all about taking it easy and lounging. My mom and I have been watching episodes of the old ABC show ‘Brothers & Sisters’ which is completely addicting. Whenever I watch movies or shows with big loud crazy families, I always get a little jealous.

As glamorous as NYC looks on TV, I miss home. Where sidewalks don’t reek of urine and car horns are not the soundtrack of our nightly walks.

Well,  I just wanted to put up a little recap of our trip here to keep up with my medical journey blog posts. Later this week I’ll be back with another healthy recipe.

XOX Kenz

A Carrie Bradshaw Day

Today’s goal when we awoke? Spot a celebrity. We were bound for Central Park. Magazines and tabloids snap shots of exercising starlets there all the time…
I had my eyes peeled for Katie Holmes, Donald Trump, or at least an Olsen twin. No luck on this chilly Monday. We did see a Zack Galifinakis look-alike though…. so that’s something.

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I harnessed my inner Carrie Bradshaw today, forgoing my flat iron for some French braid waves. I adore Sex & the City ever since E! Network started airing reruns during my long treadmill sessons :) (My favorite is Charlotte.) Today’s Carrie hair inspired another Carrie favorite: my first Cosmo.
But first, back to our Central Park stroll.

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My parents and I entered the park next to The Dakota, at Strawberry Fields. We followed the pathways through the enormous park next to lakes, ponds, playgrounds and sports fields. When we came upon the Jackie Onassis Reservoir, I was ready to RUN!

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I came prepared with some Nikes!
The jogging track around the perimeter of the lake is about 1.58 miles, and I cruised for 3 laps while my parents found a coffee cart. ( Now you know where my obsession comes from!) The loop was full of other joggers and walkers. I plan to return tomorrow to squeeze in a couple more laps before my consultation with my surgeons. Central Park is so GREEN, I just want to enjoy it as much as I can!

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(Yes, I wear my purple pants a lot. Can you tell I like them?)
We used the Map My walk app again as we covered ground around Central Park, Upper Manhattan, and along the Hudson River. Add another 17 miles to the vacation total. We are on a roll! Walking everywhere is a great way to get some exercise on vacation, and in New York it’s often faster than driving anyways. You can also avoid the cab-induced car sickness. Triple win!

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After a snack we walked westward to the Hudson River. Riverside park has a boardwalk out over the water which was disappointingly brown today.
We were ready to take a break from walking, sit in a cafe and order some coffees. (Yes, we have an addiction. No, we don’t want to fix it.) “The Great American Health Bar” boasted espresso, coffee and cappuccinos in its windows – perfect. We were seated at a table and given a menu. I picked an Almondcchino, & my dad picked a Mint Mochacchino. When the server took our orders, he said we could not stay for coffee because they had a $10 per person minimum. He literally grabbed our menus back and picked up our silverware. I guess that was our queue to leave….
No worries, Cafe Europa let us make our simple order and we were caffeinated in no time ;)
By 6:00 we were ready for a cocktail and dinner. Since I’d turned 21 at school this year, my parents and I hadn’t properly celebrated with a drink together! At Delta, a Cajun bar & restaurant, we toasted to another successful semester.

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I knew that I wanted to try a Cosmo at some point on our New York City ” vacation” because of Carrie, Charlotte, Samantha, and Miranda’s infamous girls nights out. The lime & white cranberry made this one a little tart, I loved every sip!

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And here I sit in my apartment blogging. What a very Carrie way to end the day. :)

Post-Op Update Part 2: New York Shenanigins

We are in the City that Never Sleeps. Though ironically, that is precisely what I am prescribed to do for recovery after my surgery on Monday. But it’s Christmas time in the Big Apple and we are feeling especially stir crazy. At first I was a little excited about lounging around in comfy jammies, watching TV, and eating soup – the antithesis of last week at school when I was struggling to finish finals and semester projects.

Columbus Circle Clocks (stronglikemycoffee.com)

But after a day of rerun episodes on E! and ABC Family channels, I realized how nonsensical it was to sit on the couch watching people traipse around Manhattan when it was directly out the window. I watched Carrie in Sex & the City with her friends in a Midtown café (dressed to perfection, of course.) And then there’s Andy Sachs in The Devil Wears Prada flagging down a cab. Officer Benton in Law & Order heading to the New York City precinct. Blair from Gossip Girl eating macaroons on the Upper East Side. Even the novel I’m reading Queen of Babble describes Liz’s dream of moving into the city to pursue a career in the fashion district.

The view from our window. Sadly, no snow in sight.

The view from our window. Sadly, no snow in sight.

Message delivered; we headed out. I had to buy an extra-large pair of sunglasses to shield the multi-colored bruise around my eye and as much of the swelling as I could. Cheap sunglasses and a winter hat = incognito ;)Columbus Circle Shops (stronglikemycoffee.com)

Any outing with my mom and I starts with a large cup of coffee. In the past three days, we have gone to Starbucks, Morton Williams, and Balducci’s for a little morning coffee variety. Columbus Circle is not too far away, and on the corner of Central Park is a seasonal outdoor “market” of vendors decorated for Christmas.

Columbus Circle Christmas Shops (stronglikemycoffee.com)

Dozens of shops filled rows of these little Christmas huts with scarves, jewelry, ornaments, candles, coffee and cookies.

Central Park - not so colorful in the winter time

Central Park – not so colorful in the winter time

Central Park Ice Rink

Central Park Ice Rink

We walked through the park, by the ice rink, up to 5th Avenue for a latte from the cafe in FAO Schwartz Toy Store (where we saw the most expensive stuffed animals I’ve ever seen. Seriously, I giant Panda for $1,400. What’s wrong with a good ole’ beanie baby?). Anyone seen the 80’s Tom Hanks movie Big? The piano scene? Filmed at FAO and the piano is still there for shoppers to dance on.

The Big Piano (stronglikemycoffee.com)

Across the street is the Plaza hotel, massive and beautifully decorated. We walked through the entrance to pretend for a moment we were among the hotel guests, like Donald Trump or Eloise.

the Plaza Hotel (stronglikemycoffee.com)

Back to reality and over to Lincoln Center. One of my surgeons met with my mom and I Thursday afternoon; when she heard we’d be in the city for almost another week, she said she had tickets to the Broadway play “War Horse” that she couldn’t use. She gave the tickets to my mom and I for the Friday night showing at the Vivian Beaumont Theater in the Lincoln Center.

War Horse at Lincoln Center (stronglikemycoffee.com)

The accents were my favorite part! The 3-hour show took place in during World War 1, with characters sporting English (Cockney), Irish, French and German accents that I tried to imitate on the way home ;) At first I was a little skeptical of how realistic the giant puppets used for horses could look. But the production did a great job of creating life-like movements with the  large horses, and we were impressed.

Rockefeller Center at nighttime was also spectacular, so crowded with everyone trying to get pictures with the famous Rockefeller Tree. The lights, the music, the tree and the crowds made it such a festive time here! The ice rink just below the tree is quaint and small compared to the one in Central Park, and my mom and I might head back to skate in the next couple of days.

Rockefeller ice Rink (stronglikemycoffee.com)

Today it is rainy and dreary, though we took an umbrella-covered stroll to Riverside Park, along the Hudson River. It was totally desolate outside, unlike the hustling and bustling we are used to closer to Times Square. The city folk must have been in church or in bed. We are going to pick out a Christmas movie this afternoon. I do love old black and white Christmas movies. It’s a Wonderful Life is a classic, but I think my favorite is Christmas in Connecticut.

What’s Your Favorite Christmas Movie?

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