DAY 1 – DEPARTING LOS ANGELES, ARRIVING IN NEW YORK!
I took a redeye flight so I flew out of Los Angeles on Thursday night and arrived in New York on Friday morning! Before this trip, I knew the location and dates. That’s it! I was told a personal Uber was going to pick me up, only to realize it was one of my bridesmaids, her name is also Winnie!
When she picked me up, we were like, “there’s a lot of time left” (~5 hours until take off), so we went to get dinner, shopping at Macys to get last minute items before we drove into LA to drop off her car near the airport. So we took our time, because “we had time”…. but then we got stuck in REALLY BAD traffic. Like traffic that took us 25 minutes to drive 0.7 miles. During this time, it was pitch dark and raining. We decided to pack up, leave the car and book it in the rain to the airport. I had a large check in and a carry on while running. My bridesmaid Winnie had a GIGANTIC orange umbrella and a carry on while trying to navigate us. We were running in the middle of the streets, trying to navigate (and got very confused/lost many times). She was freaking out at this time and kept saying “I’m the worst bridesmaid ever”, “I had one job”, “Everyone is going to hate me”. LOL I was kinda laughing but I tried not to because she was stressed. We were booking it and probably looked like crazy people running in the rain with our suitcases. The sidewalks were very narrow so the umbrella actually got stuck while running and I ran straight into it and got drenched HAHA but we kept going. When we tried to call for a cab, it was in the middle of the street so it didn’t work out. We ended up making it RIGHT ON TIME. Checking in my check-in and the TSA line wasn’t long thankfully!
When we boarded, we actually ended up in the very last row. I had a soaked sleeping pillow which I just ended up cracking up about. This is how my trip started and honestly, I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way HAHA
When we got to New York, it was 3 am LA time, but 6 am New York time. I was tired but super excited which kept me awake! We took the Train and Subway to our Airbnb, where the rest of my bridesmaids were!
IT WAS FREEZING. I was wearing a heat-tech shirt, heat-tech socks and heat-tech leggings. I was still freezing. It was about 30 F, which I don’t ever experience in LA. I definitely packed extra warm because it was forecasted to snow!
When we got to the air bnb, we washed up before going out as a group to get breakfast. The first stop was Russ and Daughters for bagels. I got a bagel with Gaspe Nova Smoked Salmon (which is a New York special), scallion tofu cream cheese (vegan) on whole wheat! IT WAS AMAZING. I now understand the bagel hype in New York. It was $14 but worth EVERY bite. I’d definitely get it again. The salmon was cut fresh, there were many bagels and cream cheese flavors to pick from! After, we went next door to get coffee and drinks before heading to Brooklyn to explore the city!
We made it to DUMBO in Brooklyn! DUMBO stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass! This is a very popular location that many tourists go to for the famous pic! It does get very busy and is a street that cars drive through. We had to move many times whenever we saw a car. This was around 2pm on Friday so I could assume it’s a lot more busy on the weekends!
After, we went to Doughnut Plant, which was a place I’ve been wanting to go to!! They’re handcrafted in house everyday, never using eggs, preservatives or artificial ingredients. They have cakey donuts, filled donuts and also sourdough donuts! I got to try the matcha, black sesame and pistachio sourdough. The black sesame was my favorite one!! They had a lot of unique flavors from Japan – black sesame, matcha and yuzu. They have this cute donut pillow wall inside too – this was the location in Hotel Chelsea!
After donuts, we headed over to The Vessel. You need tickets for this landmark! It’s a newer tourist attraction and has a beautiful view of the city at the top, about 2,500 stair steps up! You need to get tickets beforehand!
It was beautiful and it’s a great place to visit if you enjoy more modern architecture and perspective photos. It’s right next to a mall so you can walk around a shop and grab Blue Bottle Coffee while you’re at it!
After, we grabbed dinner in Chinatown at Joe’s Shanghai! They’re known for their soup dumplings which have shrimp and pork. We also ordered some noodle soups, fried rice and stir fry veggie dishes. It was such a comforting meal and definitely warmed us up on this cold windy night!
After dinner, we went to get Tiger Sugar, which is known for their brown sugar boba!!
At the end of the day to wind down for the night, we went back to our Airbnb to shower, get in our PJs and had a time of sharing. Me and the bridesmaids took turns answering questions about one another. Then the bridesmaids all took turns sharing advice or encouragement. It was a sweet time 🙂
Today was a packed adventurous day, but it’s just Day 1. Tomorrow is another full day of adventure!
DAY 2 – CENTRAL PARK, MEET UP WITH GROOMSMAN & CHELSEA MARKET
The day started off with meeting with Jovin and his groomsmen in Central Park. So the groomsmen and bridesmaids actually were in NYC the exact same days but we didn’t have the same itinerary. It was hard to find a time to meetup but we were able to find a time to squeeze in a meetup here! Central Park is gigantic but it’s such a beautiful spot everyone needs to see! We took photos on the Bow Bridge! There are so many photo opportunities! I’m sure in the fall, it’s beautiful because of all the brown leaves on the trees. The winter is gorgeous too – there were so many people walking their dogs and going on runs. I don’t know how people run outside in this weather… props to them! I’m not use to it!
Photo of 7 of my 8 bridesmaids!
After meeting with the entire wedding party, we parted ways. The bridesmaids went to Levain Bakery for their cookies and coffee. Guys, the walnut chocolate chip cookie, oatmeal raisin and dark chocolate chocolate chip cookie was unreal. It’s worth the hype. It’s a very thick cookie – so the outside is crunchy and inside is filled with melted chocolate chips and sooooo soft. It’s literal perfection and I’ve never tasted a cookie this good in my life.
I really wish I ordered more to bring home!
Inside of the walnut chocolate chip cookie. This photo doesn’t do justice!
After Levain Bakery, we went to Chelsea Market! It’s a 2 story food court – with lots of food, dessert and drinks! I got a Matcha Latte at a place called Chalait! Two of my bridesmaids also got it and said it was one of the best matchas we’ve had on the trip. I agree!
Today, it was also snowing! When I walked out of the subway, I saw snow and got way too excited. Locals were probably like, omg who is this tourist raving about snow.
Apparently, it’s not as cold when it’s snowing. Even though it was snowing, yesterday was WAY colder because of the winds. The snow was so pretty when it landed on my jacket and as it covered the streets. It felt so unreal! This LA girl was so stoked to experience a snow day 🙂
We tried to visit the Highline, which was near Chelsea Market (and very close to a Soul Cycle), but they wre closed due to high winds and weather conditions.
After eating lunch, we went to Oculus World Trade Center. It’s a Weestfield shopping mall! I didn’t walk around but just chilled on their chairs until dinner time! This mall is cool because it’s a very minimal look,, has amazing architecture and has subway lines and PATH trains to New Jersey.
Dinner was at Momofuku – they serve ramen, wings, buns and more! I got the garlic chicken ramen and a side of their smoked chicken wings. This place get’s busy so plan to get here early! We had a party of 8 and waited about an hour. It’s worth trying if you love ramen!
DAY 3 – SOHO ; TWO HANDS, COLOR FACTORY, DINNER WITH GROOMSMEN
Day 3, the last day! It started with brunch at Two Hands in Soho. I ordered the Zoe’s Market bowl which had two eggs any style with avocado, watercress, roast tomato, jerk sweet potato, beet relish & quinoa! The sweet potatoes were my favorite! This is such a cute spot, with many other delicious breakfast options like more bowls, toast, oatmeal, pancakes, etc.
After, we went across the street to Cha Cha Matcha! They have soft serve, matcha lattes and more. Such a cute spot to visit! 🙂
After breakfast, we went to Color Factory, which is an interactive exhibit! It started off with doing an interactive activity with another person – drawing them and giving them colors on a paper according to personality. It also came with macarons, candy, ice cream and mochi ice cream at some stations we stopped by. There’s certain stops that tell you your personality due to how you respond or what direction you pick in certain situations. There was also a small dance floor, where they served some fruit soda!
After, we stopped by Washington State Park! This is where a lot of people take their photos! It was beautiful around sunset time, which was when we stopped by!
We ended the night with dinner with the entire wedding party! We ate at Boqueria , which was spanish tapas and bar. It was a great experience! Jovin and I told the waitress what foods we liked – all meats, seafood, lots of veggies and then it’s chef curated to suit what we wanted 🙂 it ended with the BEST churros ever – stuffed with nutella and dulce de leche!
This was the perfect end to the trip. Everyone in our wedding party is so different but we all get along so well. I love seeing all my worlds collide – friends from middle school, college, post-college, church! It makes me so happy to see everyone together because they all mean so much to me individually 🙂
Actually, this was the perfect end to our trip. Artichoke pizza on the floor at the airport before flying back to LA HAHAHA
No worries, we got another pizza!
Overall, this trip had so many funny and great memories I’ll never forget! I loved experiencing the snow, eating good food and traveling in general – but what made it the best was the time in between all the activites I got to spend with my bridesmaids and Jovin’s groomsmen!
I’m so excited to become a wife to Jovin and to have all these people by our side. It’s so amazing to see how God has orchestrated our lives so perfectly! There’s about 2 months left until we’re Jovin and Winnie Kison. I’m SO excited to see what God has in store for us in our upcoming marriage!! Such a blessing to go on this trip with my girls and I’m sure Jovin can say the same about his groomsmen. If I could, I would do it all over again!
List Of Spots:
DUMBO – Brooklyn
Washington State Park
Russ and Daughters (bagel sandwiches)
Doughnut Plant (cake doughnuts – try their matcha, black sesame and yuzu!)
Joe’s Shanghai (dumplings, soups)
Levain Bakery (cookies)
Chelsea Market (large food court)
Chalait (coffee, matcha)
Seed and Mill (halva, tahini cakes)
Two Hands (brunch)
Cha Cha Matcha
Dough Doughnuts (yeast doughnuts)
Boqueria (spanish tapas, great for large groups)