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Visiting National Parks in New York City // Day 1

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The main event for this weekend trip was seeing Swan Lake at the Lincoln Center for Performing Arts, but we planned to visit National Parks in New York to round out the rest of our schedule. Though it was not planned, the Swan Lake tickets that best fit our schedule happened to fall on Valentine’s Day weekend!

It was the best surprise to be able to celebrate Valentine’s Day in New York! And yes, this post is being written in April even though all this happened in February. It’s fine!

I don’t ever want to tire of visiting New York city. It’s such a loud, fun place to visit and there are so many places to visit that you can’t really tire of walking around. This was my third visit to New York, and now that I’m thinking about it, I can’t actually believe I’ve gotten to visit that many times! Wow, my childhood self is sobbing over that fact. Alright, now that the crying is out of the way, let’s get into the weekend trip to New York City!

Visiting National Parks in New York City //  Day 1

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Amtrak Train Ride to New York

Since we now live in the DC area, a far more populated area than Augusta, ME, we had the option of taking an Amtrak train from DC to NY. It was a relief to not worry about taking a car to New York, though we did have to wake up super early (like 5:30 AM, ugh). The train was super full for the DC to NY trip so I think we might arrive a little earlier next time (if we do decide to do this again, which I imagine we will).

The Amtrak train experience was so much nicer than flying because the stress of making it to the right gate was not as big a deal as in a sprawling airport, and the legroom for the chairs in the train was downright luxurious.

As with most trips, I took some motion sickness medicine so I spent most of the train ride looking at the back of my eyelids. When I was awake, I spent my time eating my snacks, listening to music, and reading online articles…and also scrolling through social media, obviously.

After a few hours, we finally made it to Penn Station and I had totally not realized how much of a MAZE it is. Imagine if I had been left to my own devices…it would be days before I got out…but I wasn’t alone so I made it out okay.

First things first, we dropped off our suitcases and then immediately started walking around. The only terrible thing about the weekend was really the weather because it was absolutely freezing the whole time we were there.

Tiffany & Co. Visit

To be quite honest, I’m not sure how exactly we ended up in front of a Tiffany & Co. store. Pretty sure Kyle planned it but I have no evidence! Of course, I immediately walked in to gaze at all the beautiful jewelry (as if I had a choice). After lots of lusting after beautiful pieces, I finally got dragged out but not before getting a picture with the ICONIC colors.

Tiffany & Co NY - Sincerely Yasmin
Yasmin standing in front of Tiffany & Co. in New York City.

Federal Hall National Memorial

For our first National Parks in New York for this trip: Federal Hall National Memorial! There was some construction happening but it was such a cool place to visit. I think my favorite part were the columns and the beautiful railings on the second floor. There were a lot of intricate architectural details and it was funny to see some of them being contrasted with modern touches, like an elevator.

Federal Hall National Park - Visiting National Parks in New York | Sincerely Yasmin
Federal Hall National Park - Visiting National Parks in New York | Sincerely Yasmin

At this point of the day, I’m getting hungry! It’s Valentine’s Day but we definitely did not plan for a fancy dinner tonight. We figured places would be swamped and we were in the mood for something a bit more low-key.

Valentine’s Day Dinner in New York

As fans of the Bon Appetit YouTube channel, we’d taken notes on Alex Delaney’s New York pizza recommendations (video) and we decided on trying Scarr’s Pizza since it would be within the area.

It. Was. Amazing!

We ended up being able to watch our pizza get made and we got our slices *piping hot*. The worst part of the whole experience was the very tight quarters, which was very expected considering it was Valentine’s Day. I definitely want to go back because it was delicious but maybe when it’s less busy?

Otto’s Shrunken Head, Tiki Bar in New York

After lots of walking around, we headed to a tiki bar that Kyle had found last time we visited New York City. We had enjoyed it last time but not so much this time. The drinks tend to be good but the bartender definitely plays a big role in how enjoyable the place is.

Last time, the bartender had been fun to talk to, made great drinks, and generally made the place feel like a good spot. This time? Not so much. Kyle and I both decided that the tiki bar in DC was much better (and had better service and food)!

Jeepney Restaurant in New York

As if we hadn’t had enough fun, we then walked over to Jeepney. We were definitely feeling hungry after all the walking we’d done and the drinks at Otto’s reminded us it had been a while since we ate (oops).

P.S. If you follow Best Dressed aka Ashley on YouTube, she actually looked at an apartment across the street from Jeepney around the time we visited. It was funny to see the restaurant for about three seconds in her apartment video.

Leading up to this trip, I’d pored over restaurant lists to find a good dinner place for Valentine’s Day. Jeepney was one of the places on the list. We’d both been excited to try the food since they served Filipino food but I don’t think we’ll be eating dinner there again.

The oyster appetizers and drinks, though?! We both agreed they were amazing!

Floral Tiki Drink from Jeepney Restaurant - Visiting New York | Sincerely Yasmin
Pretty flower on a yummy tiki drink.
Close-up of mussels at Jeepney Restaurant - Visiting National Parks in New York | Sincerely Yasmin
The mussels at Jeepney Restaurant were absolutely delicious!
Yasmin listening to a seashell from the restaurant decorations at Jeepney Restaurant in New York | Sincerely Yasmin
Yasmin listening to a seashell at Jeepney Restaurant

Thrift Shopping at L Train Vintage

After dinner, we walked across the street to the store I had been eyeing the whole time during dinner, L Train Vintage. I refused to let us go back to the hotel without stopping at the vintage store and I am so happy I made a fuss!

I picked up the most amazing leather jacket! It had a pin-up girl design on the inside of the jacket. I think we spent at least an hour in the thrift store. They had several racks of leather jackets, jeans, flannels, and clothing of all kinds. I was eyeing several glitzy dresses and I wanted more hours in the day so I could try on every pair of jeans.

However, my suitcases were already tightly packed on the way up and I didn’t have much extra space, so I stuck with my one leather jacket purchase and I was ecstatic!

With a new leather jacket and full stomachs, we headed back to the hotel. And that wraps up the first day of visiting National Parks in New York! Read about day two here!

Read more about our 2021 New York City trip

day 2: walking + swan lake

day 3: last minute visits + traveling

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