Part 1- Family in NY

Clique aqui para versao em Portugues

                               Hi family and friends !

      
This month was a special one. My family came to NY for a week and a half and it was a great fuel for my journey ! I love when my relatives come visit because I get to explore new places and show them my favorite ones .
       
For the first time I hired a driver’s service, very friendly figure by the way and super punctual. It
was worth it , because even though I like shuttles a lot (
shared vans) , our group was made of 7 people
and the cost -benefit of hiring a big car it was better than taking the shuttle ,
stopping
Hotel by Hotel.  

Arriving at the hotel , we checked in and went out for lunch at a steakhouse in Columbus Circle Mall that I simply love! Porter House 🙂 We opted for the 3 course prix-fixe menu ( $ 24.95 , which includes; starter, main dish and dessert ). The price is super cheap compared to the price of individual restaurant dishes .


    

 
1 – Soup or Salad:

  
2- Main Course ( Beef or Salmon ):

3- Dessert ( Cheesecake or Chocolate Mousse Cake ):


      We walked around the city on Saturday and on Sunday we went to a bakery to get our “Cronuts” to eat on the train to Philadelphia . I do not know if you’ve heard of Chef Dominique Ansel’s Bakery , which carries the same name as the owner. Since
the French chef opened the bakery here in Manhattan, the line outside is HUGE. Everybody wants to try the famous CRONUT ( name created by him for a mixture
of Croissant with Doughnut ) .
When I heard the difficulty that it was to buy that sweet, I immediately thought it was a big stupidity . I Never liked to wait in ANY type of line, unless it was something I really needed; such as; DMV , post office or supermarket . haha!   Someday, I was feeling stupid again and I ordered online. Some time ago I found out
every Monday morning at 11 o’clock sharp, the bakery’s website opens for online orders. In 5 minutes everything is sold out. With the help of my fast internet and my obsession ( by that point, buying a Cronut has became a personal challenge. LOL ), I managed to order for the second time. (I had previously done that on December for the month of January) . Each month they choose a different flavor . The flavor of the month was Raspberry Lichee . We ate on the train to Philadelphia . It was tasty but it made me feel sick because of the amount of cream and sugar .

     3 of  the 5 cronuts I ordered :


   Other flavors that the bakery created:

   Continuing on our expedition to Philadelphia … We took the morning train at
Penn Station, which is one of the central stations in New York.
I researched all possible ways of traveling there, and, I found out that taking two local
trains (taking one up to a certain point and then change for another train) it was way more affordable than taking a fancy direct train
.The trip was super relaxing . We
took the first train from New York until Trenton’s Station, which is a town that lies on the border of the
state of Pennsylvania (about 1hr and 40minutes from NY ) .
From Trenton, we caught another train to 30th Street Station (station in
Philadelphia ) It was pretty quickly , I think we spent 25 minutes on the train
.
The total trip was a little over 2 hours but it was very comfortable and we got to admire the landscapes on our way there. 

I made this map of the first and second train we took :

 

 From Philadelphia’s train station we took 2 taxis and went to the hotel. We stayed at the Hilton DoubleTree, which was located on the center of everything! I looked for hotels with good prices and location and Hilton was a great choice. Not only the price was great, but also the rooms were wonderful and the breakfast (although a la carte) very good! I handpicked the hotel and I was very happy when I saw that everything worked out.

Main Hotel Entrance:



 Rooms overlooking the Avenue of the Arts. (LOVE the view!)



Spotless and super cute bathroom:

    Amazing breakfast overlooking the city:


  
    Details:


   One of the views of the street:



   As we had only one day to sightseeing. (We only spend a night there) we went out exploring the “Streets of Philadelphia” 😉 and stopped in some random mall for lunch.

    The mall was beautiful, it had awesome stores and the best part about it, it was the fact it was empty!

Take a look at this photo of the inside with the ceiling’s detail:


  

We returned to the hotel, rested and went out again. We ended up dining in a charming pizzeria. The name of the pizzeria was “Zavino”. 


Me and my dear godfather:

   
Front of the restaurant:


 The place was very small but cozy:

  
Our pizza! hahaha was soooo good, but I think we couldn’t finish
  
 Me and my cousin Dan on the way back to the hotel after the pizzeria:

Some cute street on the way back to the hotel:

 The next day we checked out and left our luggage at the hotel . Here
in the United States, most hotels have a place to store your luggage, even
if you’re checking out and the time of your flight is so much later.
In our case, we wanted to explore the sights and the check- out time was at noon. We left our luggage there and went adventuring. At the hotel, we bought tickets for a bus tour to see the city sights .     I think our guide had her mouth broken. She could not close it for a minute. She was speaking very fast, making jokes that were no fun at all, she also screamed, jumped… a complete artist! hahah besides having an UNBEARABLE voice kkkk . I tried to focus on the atractions, but my inner desire it was to jump off the chair, pull up her microphone and trow them both from the window. When we finally finished the city tour of hell, we decided to walk back at some places that the bus passed. We came back to the hotel, took the luggage and picked two places,first,
City Hall and then a famous farmers market
( It had everything ! ) .At City Hall, we only took a picture and continued. At the market, called ” Reading Terminal Market ”, we walked in and bought homemade
cheeses and wines. If I could, I would have bought everything! So many delicious things at a great price!
I took this photo inside the bus. I’m holding the little map of the sights !

     My cousin, Carlinha, on the background, visibly pleased with the city tour. hahah

 

  Me and my aunt Be in our photo session, which was far more interesting than listening to the tour guide speaking like a desperate person:

 
  City Hall:

       Reading Terminal Market:

Girls preparing Pretzels. (Many of the stores are owned by families living on farms).

    Homemade cheese: A-M-A-Z-I-N-G:
 

  
    

    Leaving the market, we even tried to explore a little more, but the cold didn’t let us do that! 😦  We took two taxis to the train station and headed back to New York

Tomorrow I write part 2 on my family’s trip to NY and Atlantic City, New Jersey.

I hope you enjoyed reading Part 1! 🙂

XoXo,

Liana.

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