Merry Christmas, friends!!!
I hope everyone is enjoying their lovely holiday celebrations, food, and company!
The festivities kicked off on Thursday night via a breakfast-for-dinner potluck with our smallgroup. Joel and Dooze did a great job manning the stove and making sure the pancakes, bacon, eggs, and sausage were cooked to perfection!
We just barely managed to fit everyone around the table :) Everyone’s contributions were delicious — blueberry compote, cinnamon rolls, and banana bread were among the various homemade dishes. Yum! And as always, there was plenty of laughter to go around. We love our friends!
After stuffing ourselves with way too many pancakes, we played Fishbowl (awesome group game) then did some White Elephant gift-giving. The max to spend was $10 and there were some really amazing gifts! Jamie made a homemade sweet potato pie and packaged it beautifully in a gorgeous box. Jessica brought some artisan honey jars of different flavors. Sadly, Joel and I did not end up with either of these haha! There were a couple gag gifts thrown into the mix too (we ended up with those lol!) –> they might have to be re-purposed for the next White Elephant!
Friday was our 10 year anniversary (wooo!) and we drove down to NYC to celebrate! We had hotel points, so we got to stay at a hotel in Times Square. Fun Fact: my first job out of college was right in Times Square, on 42nd and Broadway!
The first thing we did after dropping our stuff off at the hotel was find a foreign currency exchange. Ever since we spent Christmas in the Bahamas last year, I’ve had leftover Bahamian dollars in my wallet because our bank doesn’t exchange them. It felt good to finally change them back to US dollars, even if it was a BIT of an exchange-rate rip-off!
After that it was getting close to our reservation time for dinner, so we then made our way via subway to the Ethiopian restaurant, Injera! Neither of us had eaten all day (totally accidental!). So we were both SUPER hungry and more than ready to indulge! :) It’s been a long long time since we’ve had Ethiopian food!!!
In my opinion it’s better to get combination platters rather than single dishes, so we decided on the “meat combo for 2”. It came with 2 beef dishes, 2 lamb dishes, and 4 vegetable dishes. I’ve loved Ethiopian food since I was a child (there is amazing Ethiopian cuisine in Nairobi) and I’m so glad that Joel loves it too!
The food comes on a large flat platter, arranged on top of a big round injera (spongy sourdough flat bread made from teff flour). Additional injera was served on the side, which is used to scoop up the meat/veggies — fingers are the only utensils you need! Joel also ordered some Ethiopian honey wine which he really enjoyed.
We thought for sure we’d have leftovers, but NOPE! We finished every last delicious morsel. We will definitely be back in the not-too-distant future! Highly highly HIGHLY recommend this restaurant if you’re looking for stellar food, lovely atmosphere, great service, and did I mention stellar food???
Here’s a close-up glamour shot of some injera, backlit by candle light :)
We couldn’t have asked for a more delicious or enjoyable anniversary dinner. It was a perfect way to wrap up the first 10 years of marriage and kicked off the NEXT 10 years! :)
We were RIDICULOUSLY stuffed after the meal, and definitely needed to do some exploring to walk it off. We braved the crowds and strolled (or should I say waddled due to the fullness of our bellies?) through 30 Rock to admire the tree. It was even more impressive than I expected. NYC certainly knows how to go big!
And of course the skating rink at Rockefeller. It was pretty packed on the ice! Going for a skate would probably set you back an insane amount of money…
The light show at Saks 5th Ave was unreal — so many twinkling lights coordinated with Christmas music! I can’t imagine putting up (or taking down) all these LIGHTS!
Afterwards we walked back towards Times Square and made a pit stop at Bryant Park. There were lots of little kiosks set up with different things for sale, and it was fun wandering around looking at all the goodies.
Remember how our new-to-us Christmas tradition is to get a new ornament each year? We picked out our 2017 ornament at Bryant Park! :) It’s a gorgeous glass ornament made in St. Petersburg, Russia. Such a beautiful momento to remember our 10 year anniversary by!
My brother and sister-in-law are in Austria for Christmas so we didn’t get to see them this around. However we did meet up with a family friend at Jing Fong in China Town for dim sum lunch later in the weekend. It was overcast and rainy that day, so there was no line outside the restaurant (there’s usually a crazy long wait to get inside).
It was so fun catching up over delicious dim sum! The restaurant is absolutely enormous and was so busy that it buzzed like a beehive! We have been here once before and loved it. This time was no different – it’s the best dim sum I’ve ever had! Hopefully we’ll be back again for Chinese New Year (with my brother and sister-in-law too!) :)
We walked around China town afterwards to explore and pick up random things to bring home. Joel was particularly intrigued by the dried sea cucumbers (dark pickle shaped things in the jars). We didn’t buy them but I am curious as to what they are used for.
We bought red bean buns and moon cakes to bring home. I love these little mooncakes. They are filled with red bean paste and oh so yummy!
We walked through the Oculus, which reminded me of being inside a whale because it looks like ribs. :)
We thought about going up the freedom tower but didn’t have enough time. But we did get to see the reflecting pool, which was beautiful.
Then it was time to head back home to Connecticut! SUCH a fun little anniversary trip!!!
I hope you are having a wonderful Christmas and enjoying time with your loved ones! We are heading to a friend’s place this afternoon for the Christmas meal, and are looking forward to enjoying time together.
Merry merry merry Christmas Everyone!!!
What’s your favorite thing to do in NYC? Have you tried Ethiopian food or dim sum? Where are you this Christmas?