Philadelphia & New York 2019

Hello from across the ocean, or from your side of the ocean… depending where you read from!!
I have been MIA because I’ve been in Philadelphia and New York and everywhere in between… trains planes buses taxis Ubers and more. I’m actually typing this on my phone on the way home from New York, after spending 2 wonderful days there with Luis.
My mom will picked me up from the train station and then we headed home where I did laundry, went walking with my parents (one of my favorite things to do when I’m home) and then re packed my things. Today I’m off to MINNESOTA for a work training all weekend, then back to New York on Sunday and flying overnight to Madrid.  Are you exhausted reading that? I am.
Anyway, here’s a peek into our trip to the US.  Luis has been to my house once before, but almost 3 years ago so it was certainly time that we made a visit back. 
It’s not important to everyone, but it’s important to me that Luis be a part of not only my Spain life, but also my USA life- as complicated as it can be when you have two worlds, but two worlds that are so important to me.  Anyway, the purpose of this trip was mostly to spend time with family, but also to do “research” for Bruja’s Bakery and get ideas for a future place.  Trust me when I say that we are FULL of ideas!
We planned a week long trip together, with 4 full days around my house and then 2.5 days in New York and Luis flew out of JFK last night, which worked out perfectly.  We kept commenting how it would be so easy (though expensive) to fly to JFK, spend 4 days there, and fly back to Madrid Sunday night into Monday morning. One day!
We landed in Newark on Thursday night, had a quick dinner with my parents and then crashed hard.  Friday we went downtown for cheese steaks, a visit to Reading Terminal Market, walks through Jefferson’s campus, and happy hour drinks. 
Luis was impressed at how inexpensive things are when you take advantage of happy hour!! Friday night we had a lovely Passover Seder.
On Saturday, we went for a run, had lunch with my cousin Helena and then ran the typical errands- Target and Trader Joe’s! Haha very American.  We also went over to  the apartment my parents own- I spent the first 6 ish years of my life there!  At night, we met Ancy and Chris for ice cream at sprinkles and it was so fun to catch up – Ancy and I used to trade snacks in elementary school!
On Sunday, we went downtown again. This time, we started around the river walk area and walked all the way from arch street to spruce street along the river. It was an absolutely gorgeous day and there were lots of people out picnicking! From spruce, we walked ALLLLLL the way to second street, stopping along the way at a pop up garden which was really cool. 
Around old city, we enjoyed some happy hour trips and an app and then walked ALLLLL the way back to 23rd!  
Needless to say, we were wiped.  Back at home, we had a yummy dinner with my family.
Monday was our last day in Philly, which we spent with my best friends from college.  Luis and I went for a 40 minute run in the morning, and then headed to Manayunk to have a diner lunch with Shanon and Christine.  Luis has a weird thing where he loves diners, so we went and went all out!
Breakfast and crappy food with all the fixings. 
After eating those bombas of food, a walk was very needed so we meandered along Main Street in Manayunk and then along the river.  I miss Shannon and Christine a lot, but I feel lucky that our friendship has survived the distance.  Come to Spain guys!
Monday night was the last supper, a delicious dinner (made by my dad!!) with my parents. Before sitting down, we shared glasses of vermuth and spanish artichokes.  
On Tuesday, we took a bus to New York. Just 10$ each gets you to New York in under 2 hours.  We hopped off the bus and headed straight to our airbnb (which was in Harlem). Luis left our things at the Airbnb and we jumped back on the metro to headed downtown to start our research!  Our first order of business was brunch, which we had from Two Hands
We had some amazing food in New York, but I think this was my favorite meal! It’s an Australian-inspired place that features fresh, wholesome plates and it was definitely the healthiest thing we ate all week! 
Highly recommended!
From there, we went exploring a bit, got an iced coffee, and then headed to the 9/11 memorial museum. It’s free at 5 pm on Tuesdays (FYI) so we went over around 3.30 to get in line for tickets which they start giving out at 4.  Despite the line being insane, we did get through it in less than 40 minutes and then were able to go see the Statue of Liberty (we were going to ride the free ferry, but we didn’t have enough time).
And we did another one of Luis’ favorite things: eat a chipotle burrito!
This is controversial BUT I gotta say: I love came some Chipotle by the fact that people consider that health food is incomprehensible…700-1200 calories per burrito????
Anyway, we spent the whole afternoon at the museum and read almost everything that’s in there.  I don’t think we will ever get to a point where watching the videos from that day won’t produce chills and feelings of sadness and anger.  It was almost 20 years ago but I still remember that day.
After the museum, we headed to Chinatown for dinner at Vegetarian Dim Sum house, which was recommended by my parents for yummy vegetarian Chinese food.  We didn’t realize the plates would be HUGE and ended up ordering way way way too much food for 2 people, which was unfortunate but at least the food was delicious.
Wednesday was our only full full day in New York, and our day for “bagel research”.  We had various bagel hot spots we wanted to hit so we started at Sadelle’s with a salt and pepper bagel with chive cream cheese.
The bagels are on the smaller side, but this was our favorite bagel of the whole trip! We were going to eat there, but dining in at Sadelle’s will run you almost 50$ for two people, so we grabbed a bagel to go.
From there, we walked to Russ and Daughters for our second bagel of the day. We had an everything bagel with horseradish dill cream cheese.  
We did like the bagel, but … not to toot my own horn, Bruja’s Bakery bagels are better!! We also grabbed a nitro cold brew from Odd Fellows and it was the best coffee of our trip.  Lastly, we grabbed a bagel from Kossars which was also good, but not lifechanging.
We had an everything bagel with egg, cheese and turkey.
After that, I was feeling quite bageled out and ready to just walk and explore.  We jumped on the metro and headed to Times Square and Bryant park. Before going to Bryant park, we stopped in Whole Foods for a sparkling water and a couple oranges to enjoy in Bryant park and I think that was my favorite part of our time in New York!
We sat, people watched, enjoyed the sunshine, and then played a round of checkers.  Luis won and I was a sore loser! Haha
After that, we went to meet my good friend Kimber!!!
We were good friends when she was in Madrid and we have remained friends since, seeing each other every 6 months or so.  We walked towards the High Line to go meet her and stopped along the way for pizza from Upside Pizza- recommended by my dad- and it was AMAZING!!
I haven’t had decent pizza in a long time. Kimber, Luis and I walked along the high line and visited the new Hudson Yards Honey Comb which was really cool.
We snapped some photos, and then walked off of the high line to go check out this market called Mercado Little Spain.  It was SO COOL! I think it just opened and whoever did it definitely did their homework. They had all of the normal Spanish favorites.  Made me excited to go back to the real Spain 😉
Around 9.30, we met Giacomo, Kimber’s boyfriend for drinks and some apps to shared because none of us were all that hungry. Oh, forgot to mention that we stopped for more pizza along the way… we commuted a traditional pizza sin and had pizza with ravioli … lol
Luis is like wtf is this ???
Apps and drinks were a good time- I was cracking up! Once we got home, it was well after midnight and I was so exhausted. I haven’t checked, but I can assume we walked more than 30,000 steps both days in New York.
Thursday was our last day in new town and since Luis had to head to the airport around 2, we only had enough time for another bagel (the worst of the trip) and then a quick visit to Rockefeller center where we sat and people watched. Around 1, we said or goodbyes and headed in opposite directions and here we are… on the train home.
Phew, that was LONG! If you made it this far, thank you. If not, I don’t blame you!
See you from Minneapolis!