We started planning for our trip to the East Coast back in January after reconnecting with some friends in Hawaii for a wedding. Our friends offered to host us in New Jersey and the other’s in Richmond, Virginia. I have a friend living in DC, so we mapped out our trip and began working on our itinerary. The first 3 days were spent in New Jersey (although, we went into NYC everyday 🙂 ), then DC for 2 days and Virginia for the last 2 days.
Packing, I don’t like to over pack but I also wanted to bring lots of options, this is NYC. Here’s most of what I packed, minus some toiletrees. I got these packing bags on Amazon that really helped condense our stuff to fit into carry-ons.
(yes, we only took carry-ons, you may consider me a packing ninja)
We took a red-eye flight then hit the ground running straight into the city (huge mistake, we were beyond exhausted after not getting much sleep on the plane). I wore yoga pants, a t-shirt and a flannel on the flight so I needed to change and wash my face as soon as we landed in Newark, NJ (why do flights make you so greasy? Or maybe that’s just me?). I did a quick change in the airport bathroom, washed my face and did my makeup. At first I was embarrassed, then I was like “who cares?” One of the first things I noticed on the East Coast, no toilet seat covers! None in NYC, NJ, DC or VA, weird right??! Don’t worry Mom, I just covered the seat in toilet paper.
(me changing in the bathroom stall, NBD)
After the train to NYC, we stored our luggage at Schwartz Luggage. Then we started the Big Bus Tour. The bus tour was probably my favorite thing we experienced in the city (day one), the tour guides were amazing (besides one boring one) and we could hop on and off at any stop uptown and downtown Manhattan. One of the tour guides kept calling Ryan the paparazzi and it was hilarious, or maybe we were just delirious? Our first stop, 9/11 Memorial and Museum. WOW, is all I can say, they did an amazing job on this memorial!
Next stop, Battery park. We decided not to take the ferry to see the Statue of Liberty or Ellis island due to time (we also get sea sick). Luckily, this park had some amazing views. We were really surprised by all the parks in the city and how nice people were. For some reason, I was expecting people to be rude but it was quite the opposite. I also expected to be nervous about all the people but we felt very safe, that may have been due to the all the extra security around with the Pope visiting. We kind of had a Pope sighting, we saw cars driving by and lots of people cheering but I could not see the “Pope mobile” directly. That counts right? After the park and lunch at a local Mexican restaurant, we were beyond exhausted. We opted to sit on the bus without “hopping” off for the rest of the tour. Once our tour ended, a couple hours later, we were ready to head to our friends house in NJ. I picked up a cannoli for the train ride back. That is an East Coast MUST right? It was AMAZING and gave me the energy/happy pickup I needed. The Penn Station was INSANE, our train number wasn’t announced but 3 minutes before it left the station and we had to push through people with our luggage. HOLY S, It was crazy! Luckily, we made it. We had really great conversations with a college-aged girl and a older man (no they weren’t together). Once in Madison, NJ our friends picked us up. In NJ, several restaurants do not serve alcohol but they have BYOB policies. It was bizarre. We brought our own beer and wine, the server opened our wine and gave us a bucket with ice for our beer, no hassle and no charge! After dinner, we went home and passed out. Thank you Doran and Sandra for hosting us!!
My outfit choice for day one felt real “New York-ish.” I didn’t plan on wearing my hat but it would have costs more to store it at the luggage place. I feel like a hat seems like a good idea until its been on for several hours and your ears are sore and you have major hat hair… It was still pretty cute. My friend/stylist at Nordstrom helped me come up with this outfit 🙂 .
(Big Bus tour, filters are always your friend 🙂 )
Outfit: Jeans (Treasure & Bond), shirt (Treasure & Bond), shoes (UGG, these are great for running around but not for walking several miles, my feet were hurting ), leather vest (TOPSHOP I got mine at the Anniversary Sale but they have a similar one for $90), necklace (Stella & Dot, I literally wore this for almost the entire trip), hat (Phase 3) and purse (Tory Burch).
I hope you enjoyed my post, sorry it’s so long!