After the wedding, Koen and I had a couple of days to explore NYC. Last year we didn’t have time for Coney Island because it was too far from where we were staying, so we wanted to make sure to go this trip. I am so happy we planned it in. Coney Island is unbelievably beautiful and iconic. It was like walking onto a movie set. The sunny weather also helped! Because we were staying in Park Slope in Brooklyn, traveling to the bottom of the borough didn’t take too long. We started our day at the NYC Aquarium. Then we walked along the boardwalk until we found the original Nathan’s Famous that opened in 1916. If you don’t know, the hotdog was invented in Coney Island in 1870, so of course we wanted to have hotdogs for lunch! After lunch we went back to the boardwalk for a cocktail to-go, which we enjoyed on the pier. In the photos you will see the amusement park, but it is only open on the weekends after the summer holiday. Because it wasn’t so busy, we had a nice, relaxing day!
Day 13 was our last full day in NYC because we needed to head to the airport after lunch the next day. So we spent our last real day eating my favorite lunch again from the trip – Banh Mì from Saigon in Chinatown, and then heading back to Midtown to buy presents. I also wanted to visit the Ralph Lauren stores on Madison Avenue as well as his daughter’s candy store, Dylan’s Candy Bar. As a thank you to Christina for letting us stay with her so long, we spent our last evening seeing Mamma Mia on Broadway! The next morning we needed to pack and get our things together. For our last lunch we decided to go back to San Gennaro’s for steak and mozzarella sandwiches. Luckily we planned a lot of time between leaving Christina’s apartment and our flight. It turns out the exact time we wanted to head to the metro station was during the huge parade for San Gennaro! The crowds were gigantic and we were both with two suitcases trying to fight our way through. Then we had to talk to the police officers to try and convince them to let us cross through the parade because if we had would wait another hour it would be too late. So rather than taking 5 minutes to get to the metro station it took us 30 minutes – but we made it! At the airport we decided to have one last burger from the Shake Shack! Now we are both looking forward to going back to NYC in September!
Heading into our last days in NYC, we knew we had to try a bagel from Russ and Daughters. Christina and I left to pick up bagels to bring back to the apartment but we hadn’t realized our trip coincided with Yom Kippur. There is always a long wait but we arrived the day before the holiest day of the year for Jewish people. So it was packed! But luckily a kind stranger gave us his tickets and we didn’t have to wait more than half an hour – but some people were waiting more than an hour to place orders! But I have to say it was worth the wait (plus I had good company)! After lunch we headed to Little Italy for the grand opening of San Gennaro – the oldest and biggest religious street festival in NYC. We heard there was a cannoli eating contest and we had to check it out. We’ll never be able to unsee the contest, but at least I can check off attending an eating event from my bucket list. I lost my craving for cannolis so we headed to The Butcher’s Daughter for kale chips and fresh juice. We were invited over to Queens for dinner at my friend Greg’s place, but of course I forgot to take photos!