This weekend was just filled to the brim with winter fun. Things didn't play out quite as we expected - our plans to spend the weekend roaming the city and taking in all the Christmasy goodness that we have yet to experience this year were thwarted by the giant snowstorm that hit much of the Atlantic Coast. But, it was still a lovely winter weekend!
My fun started on Friday while Eric was still at work. Amanda and I met up to do some Christmas shopping at the holiday market at Bryant Park, which is one of my favorite areas of the city generally, and especially at Christmas. We spent quite a while wandering through the shops and enjoying the pretty park, Christmas tree, and ice skaters.
The fountain at Bryant Park - love the icicles! You can also see the Christmas tree in the distance to the right.
The most fun part of our afternoon was the time we spent on the Southwest Air porch. They set up this porch in Bryant Park this summer, complete with food service, a bar serving summery cocktails (how good does a vodka watermelonade sound?), and porch swings. I wondered what they would do with the porch in the winter, and on Friday Amanda and I not only found out the answer to that question, but we also enjoyed the winterized porch quite a bit! They put out heaters around the various seats, the summer cocktails were replaced with hot drink specials, they put a fire pit in the center of the porch, and - here's the best part - THEY HAD SNUGGIES. Okay, actually, they weren't Snuggie brand, so they were technically just slankets (that's blankets with sleeves, obviously), but still. SLANKETS.
All of that was just too good to pass up. Amanda and I found a great swing towards the back (the seats around the fire pit were taken), bundled up in our slankets, and ordered a bunch of awesomeness to eat and drink. We started with some hot apple cider spiked with amaretto, and to eat we ordered s'mores. Yes, S'MORES. They brought out a little cup with some sort of blue glowy stuff in it, and all the s'mores fixin's, and you could roast your marshmallows right there at your table. And EAT S'MORES. This was seriously the most fun thing ever. Only in New York, my friends, only in New York.
After our slankets, s'mores, and cider, we finished up our shopping in Bryant Park then met up with some friends of Amanda's who were in town from Texas. I took them all over to Grand Central station so Amanda and I could do some more shopping at that holiday market, and I could show them all the laser light show in the main terminal of Grand Central. Personally, I felt last year's light show was a little better, but I did like that this year the show ended with a light-up "mistletoe" swirling around the ceiling. Get it? That way, everybody was under the mistletoe! Awww. While we were there, we also spent some time watching some carolers. You just gotta love the holidays, right?
After Grand Central we made our way home, stopping for soup along the way. What a great day!
Saturday we had all sorts of great potential plans: tour of Yankee Stadium, Grimaldi's pizza and a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, checking out the Christmas decorations on Wall Street. We ended up skipping all of that in anticipation of the huge snowstorm that was due to hit around 2:00 p.m. Sure enough, by 1:40, the snow had started and basically continued on all night. It got heavier as the night went on, too. We had a great time staying in, nice and warm, and watching the snow fall outside our window. It was so heavy you could hardly see any of the buildings from our window!
For reference, this is the view looking east out of our window on a normal evening! This was taken Sunday. See how many buildings we lost in the snow?
We also spent some time watching the cars driving by on the street below. At one point, our street turned in to an obstacle course of sorts - there was a stalled USPS semi truck AND a stalled bus, both in the middle of the street, within a block of each other. This created quite the traffic jam when five (yes, five!) snow plows tried to make their way down the street.
We considered going out in the crazy snow to walk around and see if we could get any cool Times Square or Rockefeller Center snow pictures, but decided against it because it was getting late. Through the magic of Twitter, I was able to see other people's pictures to know what we missed, including a giant snowball fight in Times Square! Bummer, wish we had braved the elements to see these things.
Snowball fight in Times Square! Photo taken from Twitter user ColumbiaJames
Rockefeller Center and the Tree in the snowstorm, taken from Twitter user redwingx
Sunday morning we got up and ordered in breakfast from a local diner (yet another fabulous perk of living in NYC), then bundled up and went to Central Park to check out the snowy scenery. I hear we ended up getting about 11 inches of snow, which is probably the most we've seen in one snowfall since moving here. I heard VA/DC got much more - possibly up to 22 inches! Knowing how that city literally shuts down at the mere THOUGHT of snow, I can only imagine what an impact that must have had on our old hometown.
We had a wonderful time walking around and enjoying the snow. Central Park was just bustling with people, quite possibly one of the busiest times I've ever seen it. Everywhere you looked, there were snowball fights, snowmen, and kids on sleds. Everything was just lovely. We did not make a snowman of our own, but we did throw some snowballs and Eric made a snow angel. One of these days, we need to invest in a sled so I can take him sledding. Can you believe he's never been? I can't even imagine it.
Below are some of my favorite pictures from our snowy Sunday. If you want to see more, be sure to check out our photo site.
Trying to cross this snowbank, I sunk in up to my thigh! I'm not kneeling here - the snow is really that high on my left leg.
VIDEO: A quick look around Central Park (near the Bridge)
And that was our winter weekend! We spent the rest of our time inside staying as warm as possible. For those of you out there who got some of this snow too, I hope you have been doing the same!