Anniversary Night Out – NYC and 4 Years of Love

Hi everyone! Today, I wanted to fill you in on how much fun Darren and I had celebrating our four year anniversary. We went down to the city for an overnight trip and had the absolute best time eating, drinking, and reminiscing about the last four years, which we’ve spent happily together!

First things first, if you’re taking the train down to the city and you’re not taking Amtrak, you need to rethink everything. We only started doing this recently and I am so glad that Darren suggested it! It’s a little bit more expensive, less than $10 more per person per one-way trip, but is so much more comfy, there are so many more outlets, and it’s quieter and there are less people, and there are trays to hold your snacks, and I have so many snacks, seriously such a win on all fronts! Darren played games on his phone while I listened to Podcasts on the way down (wondering if you guys want to read a post about my favorite podcasts – comment below) and it was all a relaxation dream come true, after a few very stressful weeks at work!Processed with VSCO with c1 presetWe decided to stay at Arlo Soho again; we stayed there before leaving for Bermuda in June, and we loved it all over again, maybe more so this time, if you remember last time the rooftop bar was closed, but this time it was open for business and officially frosé season. The room we stayed in had a little more space this time too and they offered us chilled Prosecco as we checked in and we felt young and hip and trendy all the while, what can I say it was love at first clink and chilled drink.Processed with VSCO with c1 presetOur first stop upon arrival was for food; after four years, if I’ve learned anything about the man I love, it’s that he needs to be fed immediately upon arrival to the big apple, not only that, but give a man guac&margs and win his heart forever and ever. I did a lot of research before our mini stay in the city, and a place that kept coming up was Tacombi, which is on Elizabeth Street in Soho/Nolita (although they have a few locations). I should mention that Darren accused me of being too zoomed out on Google maps at least 100 times in 24 hours, as I promised everything was v close to the hotel and was over and over again proven wrong, what can I say? I tried, geography is hard. Anyway, I had really great plans to go to this place that puts mac and cheese on top of hot dogs, but another fault with my Google search, they were permanently closed and I didn’t notice that bit. So, instead, after whimpering about not getting mac and cheese on a hot dog I said we should get margaritas! Tacombi was adorable, it’s kind of like they found a space between two buildings and decided to put a roof over the gap; it felt very outdoorsy and airy and West Coast and had a cute VW van inside, twinkle lights, and was just so aesthetically pleasing, from baskets of fresh fruit, to checkerboard tables, to pitchers of margaritas, it was all Darren and I ever dreamed of and that was before the food even came. Processed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetI don’t want to say Darren and I are margarita experts, but we’ve tried a few margs in our day, and we unequivocally decided that the margaritas there are ranked top three in our favorite margaritas of all time, not to mention the food was absolutely delicious. We actually ended up going there twice, but I’ll get to that. Processed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetOf course, I wanted to get a few good Instagrams, so when Darren and I saw this flower wall it just spoke to me. ALSO, can we acknowledge what a ridiculously good person Darren is for putting up with me after one marg and me convincing myself I’m ready to start my modeling career (just kidding people, I’m 25, I’m way too old to be a model).

After walking around, checking out the Nike store, something Darren does and I happily accompany on any trip we take anywhere, we headed back to the hotel to grab drinks on the rooftop; I mentioned it last time I wrote about our stay at Arlo, but if you book on their website, they give you a food and drink voucher, which we always use to grab a yummy cocktail.

Initially, I was apprehensive, the rooftop bar had all the makings of college kids and frat boys, I literally saw crushed spiked seltzer cans and felt a little old and cringe just being there, but it was all about the mural, “Every night should end with a good story,” and taking inspiration from my surroundings and the words literally painted on the wall I ordered a frosé, which was as basic and amazing as it sounds, and we sipped drinks as the sun began to set, while talking about where our story would take us. Processed with VSCO with c1 presetWe stood at a table with two couples talking about how they wished they were 25, and as we stood there, young-ish, in love, and with all the wanderlust a big city provides I thought about how someday when we’re married and have kids we’ll remember these simple moments. I looked at my phone and excitedly told Darren the sun was about to set and said we had to hurry because I wanted to see it. Processed with VSCO with c1 presetAs we chased the disappearing sunlight, Darren took pictures of me and laughed as the sun just escaped us; then we headed to our anniversary dinner.2E9F6E4F-017B-4EC5-947E-4CEAD7431185.JPGThe place I really wanted to go for dinner was Carbone, an Italian restaurant fully booked for weeks on end that I found whilst searching for food places. I should mention, and this will be important later, when I search for places to go, the cuteness level is super important to me, I’m a person who really enjoys aesthetic, so a lot of times, and I finally admitted this to Darren so it’s fine, I’ll Google things like, “food places for a bridal shower NYC,” “places for bachelorette weekend NYC,” along with things like “Instagrammable NYC.” Reason being, lots of people blog about bridal and bachelorette parties and generally it helps me find the cutest and most unique places. Carbone I found on a list of hard to get into restaurants in NYC, but while reading the Google reviews, I found a tip, I swear I’m basically a food investigative detective, someone suggested simply, “try Cotenna instead.” I looked it up, it was near the hotel (not sure how zoomed in I was) and the menu looked great, not to mention almost a five star review. I called, tried to make a reservation and the woman said, “We’re booked, but I can make you a reservation at our sister restaurant Codina,” I was like “What’s the address?” She said it, I pretended like I knew exactly where she was talking about and it was a date! Leave it to me being starving and the promise of pasta and wine for me to get absolutely no pictures, but it was perfect, it was a romantic, cozy, candlelit, small Italian restaurant and Darren and I sipped Riesling, ate mozzarella and switched pastas half way through, because that’s what love is. We giggled as the couple next to us were on a first date; the girl reached for her guy’s hands only for him to not realize and pull away and Darren and I teased each other about when we must have looked like that.

We walked back to the hotel after and popped into a bodega to buy panda cookies filled with chocolate and strawberry, where a cashier giggled at me for having, obviously, had a bit too much wine and being a little too chatty and staring at Darren with the most loving of expressions.

The next day, we headed to a missed photo opportunity from the day before – Sézane L’Appartment, another Elizabeth Street find in Soho. I mean look at those flowers! Be warned, you will not be the only girl trying to get the cutest Instagram there, I don’t want to say there was kind of a line, but I mean THOSE FLOWERS. I especially loved the quote, “There are always flowers for those who want to see them,” something I would definitely say is part of my philosophy; then we headed to breakfast!Processed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetI want to put a disclaimer here, this spot was so freaking cute; like I would instantly go back with anyone, except Darren (sorry babe!) SO, this is where searching Google for bridal shower and bachelorette luncheon locals got me into trouble. This place literally looks like a pawn shop from the outside, the sign advertises it’s a pawn shop, there’s old furniture when you peek in the window, all of the above, so you kind of have to know it is a restaurant…so cool! When you walk in, someone nonchalantly asks you if you are there to buy anything and when you say no, they open a giant teal door into literally the prettiest, most glamorous restaurant I’ve ever seen. I was too pleased with myself. It looked like something straight out of a movie and the five year old girl in me was like properly freaking out; this would be the most amazing place to take your daughter, or your mom, or your bestie, or your newly engaged friend, but this is not the place you take your hungry boyfriend. Darren, eventually, admitted it was cool, kind of, but the menu was, for him, questionable at best; he looked so ridiculously cute and apprehensive sitting there, I love him so much. Processed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetI ordered fancy doughnuts with dipping sauces, and Darren settled for red velvet waffles, but it was basically a very brunch-like menu (combining breakfast and lunch dishes), so while there was no bacon, egg, and cheese it had things like pancakes, but also things like avocado toast, pizzetta, dumplings, and fish tacos – okay, I understand the apprehension, but seriously I would have eaten anything just to sit in that beautiful room; it had a gorgeous skylight, glistening jewels, velvet furniture, and the doughnuts were actually amazing, so there’s that! Again, this place was so cool, but if you’re looking for a traditional breakfast and to properly pig out, maybe not for you!Processed with VSCO with c1 presetThis is where things got dicey. The next thing on my to-do list was to walk across the Brooklyn bridge, hop on a subway, and head to Smorgasburg, a food festival held every Sunday in Prospect Park, one little problem – it was literally 95 degrees and again, me and Google maps, not the best fit. The Brooklyn bridge met all of and none of my expectations simultaneously, my makeup was literally melting off, my tiny backup suddenly seemed to weigh a million pounds, and as much as I loved my strapless dress when I put it on in the morning, between that and the backpack I got the weirdest tan lines of all time, even Darren said I looked ridiculous. The bridge was a complete tourist trap and when we finally were sitting down in the subway station I teased Darren that we should go home, but I was actually so serious; regardless, we followed the plan and went to Prospect Park, long story short, we ended up on the opposite side of the park, and after spending all day walking, I couldn’t do it, I admitted defeat, and tearfully told Darren that I had failed, our plan and anniversary were ruined, and that I can’t get anything right, not even Smorgasburg. Processed with VSCO with f2 presetAs I admitted defeat, Darren half smiled at me, and as I told him that I just wanted everything to be perfect, in classic romantic comedy style, Darren looked at me and promised that everything would always be perfect as long as he was with me. He told me to forget the plan and we hopped back on the subway and ended up back at Tacombi to share another serving of margs&guac, we laughed and admitted that our plans rarely work out, but maybe the secret to four beautiful years is our ability to laugh at ourselves, be honest with one another when feeling defeated, and to always be each other’s biggest and best support system.

Here’s to four years of love and to my absolute best friend, the man who keeps me grounded, makes me ditch my plans, and who is always down to grab a marg with me.Processed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetAlso, *spoiler* the backpack strap sunburn/tan line is almost starting to be visible here, anyway thanks for reading!

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