Nov 262018

Save time and book your vacation experiences directly through Tripadvisor. They offer more than 56,000 bookable experiences in 2,500 destinations worldwide.

Whenever I am planning a vacation, whether it’s a local day trip or an actual vacation, the first place I look for information is TripAdvisor. We all go there for the reviews, right? but did you know that you can book activities and experiences directly through TripAdvisor? It’s super convenient to be able to look through all the things they offer to do in the city you’re traveling to, read reviews while you’re there AND book whatever catches your eye – all in one spot. And isn’t it better to know that your itinerary is all set before you even leave for your trip (or staycation)?

Chris and I just got back from a long weekend away in NYC and I as soon as we booked the trip, I ran right over to TripAdvisor to see what they had available for us to book. I found a bunch of stuff and thankfully I was able to narrow it down to a few that we really wanted to do and book them. All of these experiences that I booked were super easy to book online. I was able to search by date and find exactly what I wanted on the TripAdvisor site.

Save time and book your vacation experiences directly through Tripadvisor. They offer more than 56,000 bookable experiences in 2,500 destinations worldwide.

The View from inside the Oculus: The new World Trade Center Transportation Hub

Once you complete your booking through TripAdvisor, they will email you a voucher which you will present once you get to your scheduled activity. Most will accept the voucher on your phone, but a few experiences need an actual printed voucher. Don’t worry because it will say in the confirmation email (with your vouchers) if something needs to be printed. I only mention this because one of the experiences I just booked for our recent NYC trip required a printed voucher. Continue reading »

Apr 232018

Book your vacation Experiences Directly Through TripAdvisor! They offer more than 56,000 bookable experiences in 2,500 destinations worldwide and with that many experiences it's safe to say there is something for everyone.

If you follow me on social media, you know that my family recently spent some time in New York City.  A good bloggy friend, Melissa from The Staten Island Family, invited my family to her son’s Bar Mitzvah. When she first told me that an invitation was heading my way, I was really excited and when it dawned on me that it fell during my kids April school vacation I got wicked excited.  None of us have ever attended a Bar Mitzvah before and I thought it would be a wonderful thing for my family to experience.  And it was even more wonderful than I could have imagined. Her son impressed the hell out of us with all the Hebrew passages he read (there were a lot) and a speech he gave, which was far beyond his years.

Since it was school vacation week, I wanted to extend our trip by a few days and make the most of our visit. My husband and I go down to NYC a few times a year, but don’t usually take the kids with us.  Since they came with us this time, we wanted to make sure they had an amazing time. I decided to go to my trusted resource, TripAdvisor, to see what we should do while we we there.

Did you know that you can book activities and experiences directly through TripAdvisor? It’s super convenient to be able to look through all the things they offer to do in the city you’re traveling to, read reviews while you’re there AND book whatever catches your eye – all in one spot.  I mean, you are going to TripAdvisor to look at the reviews anyways, so why not take it one step further and book your experiences right on their site.  It’s easy peasy and that way your itinerary will be set before you even leave for your trip (or staycation). Continue reading »

Mar 282018

There are Lots of Family Friendly Things To Do in New York City! If you are planning a trip to Manhattan or the surrounding boroughs, check out these fun family activities.

Many people forget that New York is a town full of families and plan their vacations without providing much thought to the entertainment possibilities that abound for children in New York City. It only makes sense that with so many families living in this city that there would be very many family oriented things to do and sights to see.

For instance, there are 5 zoos in New York City; some of them better known than others. The five zoos are Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo, Queens Zoo, Bronx Zoo, and Staten Island Zoo. Each zoo has something slightly different to offer than the others and if you have a true animal lover in your family there really is no harm in stopping by all of them.

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Nov 292017

If you follow me over on Instagram, you probably already know that I spent a long weekend in New York City last weekend. We spent three jam-packed days in the city, but managed to find some time to stop into La Pulperia, a restaurant featuring rustic Latin cuisine on the Upper East Side for lunch. Chris and I spent that morning at the Museum of Natural History and really worked up an appetite by the time lunch-time rolled around.

Between the ambiance, the great service and the menu at La Pulperia - it's the perfect combination for meeting up with friends, a date or a family dinner.

We were both immediately impressed by the atmosphere of La Pulperia when we walked in. It has a really cool vibe, but at the same time we felt like we had just walked into a really upscale restaurant. The decor in La Pulperia was spot on with handcrafted floor tiles from Mexico, reclaimed wood from Brazil on the ceiling and walls and gorgeous bar with shelves and shelves filled with bottles of liquor. Not to mention the great Latin music that was playing in the background. Continue reading »

Nov 142016


Traveling in NYC with your family can be an experience of a lifetime…until it’s time to feed everyone. You can end up spending a small fortune on food that you kids won’t even pretend to enjoy, yet alone eat. Instead of arriving and feeling totally overwhelmed, check out some of these family friendly restaurants in NYC. They’re sure to help you enjoy not just the sights and sounds of the city but also the tastes!

25 W. 56th Street
Beacon is awesome because the open fire grill can be viewed from the restaurant, their food is awesome for adults but they also serve kiddie fare (and in a hurry). Little ones can color to their hearts desire while ordering from their own special menu and heads up, kids under 9 eat for FREE. This is all well and good but the best part is that you don’t have to suffer and eat French fries and pizza too. You can have a completely adult meal that you will LOVE while your kids also get to eat something fun, in an awesome location that is interesting and appealing.

Arties Deli
2290 Broadway, Near 83rd Street
Arties Deli is new on the food scene in NYC but it’s great for the family nonetheless. Pickles and bread come out fast and early to keep everyone sated until the meals arrive and they have tons of kid friendly food like fries, burgers, chicken fingers, and hot dogs! Everyone will have fun and be able to relax in this family friendly atmosphere while also getting a meal they will enjoy! Continue reading »

Sep 072016

10 Family Activities that Won’t Break the Bank in NYC

Let’s face it, traveling to New York City is expensive just to get there, pay for a hotel, and provide basic meals. Just showing up, sleeping, and eating a few meals is not really an exciting trip. Instead of stressing about having a fun trip that completely blows your budget here are 10 ideas for family activities that won’t break the bank for the next time you are in NYC! Like any place, NYC has families that are always looking for activities and travelers can often take advantage of these kinds of activities as well! Sitting in the hotel or roaming around aimlessly are no longer your only options for a frugal family trip to New York City!

1. Let’s Go to the Zoo
This is a big one which is why it is number one! There two different zoo locations in NYC that are actually free or donation only on Wednesdays! You can visit the Bronx Zoo and you simply make a donation! The Staten Island Zoo is also free on Wednesdays from 2-4:45pm! Check out one or both to save some cash and see some exciting animals while you are visiting NYC!

2. Botanical Gardens
The Brooklyn Botanic garden is free during the week from November first through February twenty eighth! The New York botanical Garden is free on Wednesdays from 10-6pm and Saturdays from 9-10am! These are two great locations for the whole family to explore and take a walking tour without having to worry about spending any of your vacation budget!

3. Children’s Museums
Both the Brooklyn Children’s Museum and the Children’s Museum of Manhattan are free on certain days! For Brooklyn it is Thursdays from 2-6pm and in Manhattan it is the first Friday of every month from 5-8pm. This is a great way to enrich any trip to NYC without having to spend any money. You will all get to enjoy the sights and sounds but they require none of your vacation budget! Continue reading »

Jul 112016

ahoy logo

If you follow along with any of my social media channels, you already know that my husband, Christian, and I just got back from a trip to New York City. He originally booked the trip back in April and he had been planning on surprising me with it for my birthday (which fell during the trip), but I cracked him and ended up finding out about the trip shortly after he booked it, I think he was relieved, though, because out of the two of us I am the planner and he just comes along for the ride – so it works out well.

The two of us are not strangers to Manhattan by any means.  We go down several times a year, so we already got the big touristy things out of the way years ago. When we head down for a weekend now a days, I tend to look for more off the beaten path things for us to do. This time around, in addition to a couple of Broadway and Off Broadway shows, we ended up going on the Chinatown and Little Italy Food Tour from Ahoy New York Tours & Tasting.


If there’s one thing you need to know about me, it’s that I have a love affair with food.  I seriously love to eat and love expanding my palate whenever possible which is why I was so excited to take this particular food tour.  I’ve been on food tours in my home city of Boston and really enjoyed them, but the Chinatown and Little Italy Food Tour from Ahoy was different from any of the other food tours I have ever been on. Their tour visits six different tasting locations in two unique ethnic NY neighborhoods and fuses the elements of history, culture, and food all in one. Continue reading »

Jun 122016

NYC Subway Yay or Nay

There are pros and cons to every form of transportation in a busy city. This is especially amplified in a huge and bustling city like New York City. In New York City the most popular choice is often the NYC Subway system. It is an interesting facet of the way the city functions and above all else it is part of what keeps the city running! As a tourist attraction it can be a complex subject. Use this guide to the NYC Subway to decide for yourself if it is a Yay or a Nay.

I think it’s always best to end on a high note so let’s cover the downsides first…

  • Remember you are in a city…a hugely populated city that never seems to stop moving. The subway is always busy and from a tourist standpoint this can be extremely overwhelming especially with kids.
  • Again, hugely busy and full of all kinds of travelers…the subway is going to be dirty and often it is clouded by the elements. Because it is underground it is semi protected but it is hot in the summer and cold in the winter.
  • The underground location and the natural (and unnatural) dirt attract a variety of furry critters. Don’t be surprised if you see mice, rats, and other rodents.
  • Because the NYC Subway system is such a large part of how people who live in the city get around you should expect it to be busy and crowded. That being said, not everyone shares you sense of hygiene or manners. Touch things and then sanitize or keep your hands to yourself!
  • The trains run underground for the most part so you shouldn’t plan to be able to work on emails, text messages, etc. Cell service can be intermittent at best.
  • Like all forms of transportation that run on a schedule you can miss trains, or be late because the train is running behind…plan ahead.

Don’t let that list overwhelm you! There are some really cool points about the NYC Subway system and some great pros to taking a ride! Continue reading »

Mar 092016

Must See Tourist Spots in NYC

Being a tourist in NYC is not unusual or uncommon. There are hundreds of thousands of people doing the same thing each year. It’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States! The most daunting thing about being a tourist in NYC is knowing where to go and what to see! Like any large metropolitan area it’s a busy network that not only hosts tons of tourists on a daily basis but NYC is also home to a large, nonstop, population of locals and commuters. Check out this list of must see tourist spots in NYC to make your next trip a guaranteed success!

The Statue of Liberty

This is one of the MAIN tourist spots in NYC. People travel from all over the world to see the Statue of Liberty. She is not only a national treasure but also a fascinating look into our nation’s history. The island has majestic views of the city skyline as well as fantastic information and tours related to the stature herself! The great part about seeing the Statue of Liberty is that it is fun for the whole family. You can check out the gift shop for some classic NYC souvenirs and because there is so much to learn and investigate you can spend an entire day or just the afternoon depending on your schedule! Continue reading »

Nov 012015

5 Insider Tips For Viewing the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 1

Did you know that over 3 million people head to New York City to see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in person each year.  Like every one else, I love watching it on television every year, but actually going to NYC to see it live had been on my bucket list for many years.  Since we’re only a few hours from NYC, last year my hubby, Chris and I headed down to Manhattan to see the parade.  Before we went down, I did my research and wanted to pass on my best tips for surviving the experience to you guys.


1. Know the parade route!

This is going to help you in a few ways.  First of all, I highly suggest you plan where you want to view the parade from ahead of time, so obviously you will need to know which way the parade goes. Plus, that way you can tell your cab driver exactly where to drop you off at when you get there.  Secondly, if you are watching the parade from near the beginning of the route, you will not walk into the crowds still watching it when you leave. Continue reading »

Jun 162014

Over Memorial Day weekend, we woke the boys up early and told them we were going on a mystery trip.  I had been jonesing to to get back to New York City and since the weather was supposed to be perfect, it seemed like a good time to take a bit of a day trip.

NYC Mystery trip

It took us about 3 1/2 hours to get there, which wasn’t too bad.  There was no traffic, so the entire ride was smooth sailing.  Once we were in the city, we found a place to park and walked to our first stop -The Empire State Building!

I had two NYC CityPASS ticket books, which included one-time admission tickets, detailed attraction information, coupons and a map for 6 of the best attractions in New York City (including the Empire State Building).   When we arrived at the Empire State Building, it was about 11 am and there was already a 2-3 hour wait to buy tickets to get into to the observation level (the 86th floor) of the building.  With our CityPASS tickets, we were able to skip to the head of the line which was really nice and definitely something I would recommend doing because honestly, who wants to stand in line for hours for tickets to something like this when you can easily purchase something like a CityPASS booklet and blow past the line? Continue reading »

Jun 032011

Ok, so you’re all caught up on our first two days in New York City by now, but in case you missed it go back and read the posts from the last two days (here and here)!

Our final full day in the city began with a walk to look for something delicious to get for breakfast.  Believe it or not, it’s not as easy as it sounds.  We searched & searched for a bakery where we could get a gooey pastry to no avail.  We even asked the concierge for help, but none was to be had.  She suggested stopping in one of the deli’s that are on every corner, but their stuff wasn’t fresh – or gooey.  Oh well.  Such is life.

Anyway, while we were out on our search, we walked past this sign, which prompted a very awkward conversation between myself and my six year old.  And I hadn’t even had my coffee yet…..

Continue reading »

Jun 022011

Remember yesterday when I told you that we went to bed at 7 pm the first night we were in NYC?  Well, no such luck that we would be able to get a full nights sleep.  The people in the next room, which included a man, woman and at least one screaming child (I would guess based on the voice that he/she was about 5), came back to their room and were making noise from 11:45 pm until about 1:45 am – keeping me wide awake in the process.  What the heck were they doing out until 11:45 with a little kid anyways?  Seriously. 

Luckily it only kept me up and the kids were able to sleep through all the noise.  Normally I would have been upset when they woke up at 5:16 am the next morning, but since the folks next door let their kid (s) make all kinds of noise in the middle of the night, I told my two to make as much noise (at 5:16 am) as they wanted.  We even turned up the tv nice and loud.  Payback is a bitch, right?  Right.  

Continue reading »

Jun 012011

My family and I headed out to the big apple this past Saturday for the weekend.  We had a wedding on Monday (Chris’s brother), so we decided to make a long weekend out of it.  We left early (6 am) on Saturday morning and made it to our hotel by 10 am.  It would have been sooner, but we had to stop for a few potty breaks along the way.

Once we were at the hotel, it occured to me when I saw the concierge desk that the last time I was down there, I had gotten discounted tickets to the Empire State Building & since that was our plan for the day, I stood in line to talk to her for a grueling 10 minutes or so.  Curious as to why it was so grueling – well, I am going to tell you anyway.  The guy who was talking to her was also a masshole.  I know this because he had on a t-shirt from Monty’s in West Bridgewater (it’s a motorcycle shop).  Anywho, this idiot apparently decided that he just had to have a Celtics visor and had the girl calling all over the city to see if she could find one.  I guess it didn’t occur to him that he wanted one before he left Massachusetts?  Of course, she couldn’t locate one.  Shocker.

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May 262011

Well, me and the fam are off to the big apple this weekend for my brother in law’s wedding.  He’s getting married on Monday and we decided to make a weekend out of it.  It will be nice to get away for a few days and I’m looking very forward to it.  I was actually going to post a picture of myself & Chris from the last time we went to NYC (2 years ago), but it was pre-keratin and I didn’t want to post a picture of myself with curly hair.  Sorry, but it’s just not going to happen.  But rest assured, I will be back here on Wednesday with plenty of pictures from the weekend – straight hair and all.  You’ve been warned.

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