Fun fact about me: my birthday is on the shortest day of the year 🙂 I don’t know why, but I love saying that. I guess I think it’s kind of a funny thing to be able to say. Winter solstice almost always falls on December 21st, marking the official start of winter and the shortest day of the year. Not only does my birthday have the fewest amount of daylight hours than any other day of the year, but it also happens to be four days before everyone’s favorite holiday. A lot of people ask me what it’s like having a birthday so close to Christmas. Usually the question is, “So, do you only one present for your birthday and Christmas?!” I’ve always thought that was a funny question. I honestly love the holiday season, so being able to celebrate my birthday during all the festivities has always been so much fun for me. And, no, normally I’m given presents for both my birthday and Christmas, but seriously, who cares?!
My last birthday was especially memorable. I turned 21, which is not only an exciting milestone, but it was also my “golden birthday,” since I was turning 21 on the 21st. December 21st also fell on a Saturday for this year, which made it feel even more perfect. I was so looking forward to celebrating my birthday because 1. finals would be over by then and 2. I knew I’d be home to celebrate with my family.
About a week before December 21st, I received an email from my dad asking if I had any plans for my birthday weekend. Feeling kind of silly (and also extremely stressed about the finals I was taking), I responded with “lol not really,” to which he replied, “Well, we’d like to take to you out to dinner… in NYC.”
I thought he was joking for a minute… like who breaks that news over email?! Only fathers I guess 🙂 Well, he wasn’t joking, and the Friday morning before my birthday, my whole family boarded a plane headed straight to New York, New York for an epic and forever memorable birthday celebration.
My family travels HARD. We woke up at some awful hour in the morning and arrived in New York City mid morning. From there, we hit the ground running (almost literally) to pack in as much as we could. This was not our first time in New York (actually our third trip as a family), but there was still so much on our to-do list. If you’ve never been to New York, there are so many sights to see, places to visit, and things to do that it’s almost overwhelming. Even after three trips, we haven’t quite done it all.
After settling in to the hotel and grabbing some lunch, we headed to SoHo (South Houston) to shop. With a family of four ladies, shopping in the city simply can’t be passed up (lol). Plus, this was something we hadn’t done before because the last time we were here (12 years ago), no one was interested in shopping… Now, we’re all grown up, and “shop ’till we drop” is basically our motto. 😉
My dad always buys me a piece of jewelry from Kendra Scott for my birthday. If you’re familiar with Kendra Scott, you probably know that your can purchase any piece of jewelry for 50% off on your birthday. So, every year for the past few years, my dad has taken me to Kendra Scott to let me pick something out. Kendra opened her first store in Austin on South Congress, more commonly referred to as “SoCo.“ This year, I was able to pick a a piece of jewelry at her location on SoHo. I chose a small, dainty gold necklace that can be worn with pretty much any outfit, so I’ve been wearing it non-stop since our trip.
After a full afternoon of shopping, we weren’t quite ready to “drop.” Next, we headed to Macy’s to see the extravagant Christmas decorations and grab some New York style pizza before a light tour of Dyker Heights.
Christmas in New York is no joke. I’ve seen it in the movies and imagined what it’s like, and let me tell you, it’s truly everything you could imagine it to be — and even more! Christmas decor is everywhere, and it’s all so extravagant. Why isn’t Christmas celebrated like this everywhere?!
After our bus tour of the lights in Dyker Heights, we headed to the Rockefeller Center, which is an obvious must during the Christmas season. It was around 11pm at this point, and we were quite exhausted from an early morning, travel, and a long afternoon touring the city.
We finally headed back to catch some “Z”s and woke up the next day to a room service birthday breakfast 🙂 Our first stop of the day was a visit to the One World Trade Center. The last time we were in New York, the building was under construction, so it was really neat to be able to see it completed.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art didn’t make the cut on our last two trips to New York, so it was at the top of our list on this go around. Plus, by now, my sisters and I have watched the entire season of Gossip Girl, so a walk up the steps of the Met was even more appreciated 🙂 And, of course, the street vendors were too tempting to pass up (mostly just for Dad).
After our long afternoon, we went back to the hotel to clean up for a fancy dinner at the View, which offers a 360 view of downtown New York. The view of the city lights was amazing, the food was beyond delicious, and the champagne wasn’t bad either 🙂
And, to top it all off, we ended the day with a broadway showing of Phantom of the Opera. I haven’t seen a lot of broadway shows, but this on was by far the best (or maybe it was just the wine speaking?). The set was AMAZING. I enjoyed every second of the show, even though I didn’t know the first thing about the storyline (and still don’t to be completely honest…). It was such an amazing performance and a perfect way to end the night.
Our flight left mid morning on Sunday, so we were in the city for barely 48 hours. But we did and saw SO. MUCH. Like I said, we travel hard. haha. It was a such an incredibly special trip; I wish I could relive it. What a way to celebrate #21.