another day in NYC

we started our third day in new york by going to breakfast at sage general store in long island city.
and get the french toast! it was soooo yummy.
the restaurant was actually featured on the foodnetwork on diners drive ins and dives!
oh and the orange juice is freshly squeezed and so good!

then we headed over to the 9/11 memorial.
we had the opportunity to go to the new museum that just opened in may.
the museum was incredibly beautiful.
it was so well done.
and yet, so, so incredibly painful.
it is so emotionally powerful.
i'm not sure if it's the fact that it still seems so recent, or that I actually remember it happening, or that you are literally standing in the exact spot of where so much fear, heartache, shock, and faith was experienced 13 years ago (the museum is directly under where the towers stood), but it was almost too much to take in.
we spent five hours in the museum--you could literally spend a good 15-20 hours in there.
taylor left after three hours because he was emotionally spent.
and within the next two hours, our group slowly trickled outside when each individual felt they had reached their emotional limit.
I honestly don't know what to say about it, other than to encourage every one to go sometime in their life.
there are so many stories of heroism, faith, love, fear--it is so beautiful.
there were no dry eyes in the museum.
there were many times when I would meet a stranger's eye, both of us with our cheeks wet and eyes overflowing, and we would share a small knowing smile--because WE are americans, and this museum and this event tied us all together in an inexplicable way.

to be completely honest, the next day, I was a little emotionally damaged.
it was hard not to think about what you took in the day before, and yet so much of you didn't want to think. because to think about the things you felt and saw hurt so much.
It was a little haunting for me--but it seemed even more real than it ever has before.
I have a hard time reliving those five hours that I spent in the museum.
this is the "survivor tree" that now sits in the plaza.
it was the only tree that was still standing after the towers collapsed.
the tree was moved to a park in NYC while it was nursed back to health and strength.
then, it was moved back to the memorial site and still has stakes and anchors to help it grow.
there was so much beauty and symbolism in this tree.
make sure you find it when you go to the memorial!
this is the freedom tower.
newly built.
on the twin tower plaza.
it is currently the tallest building in the U.S.
and it makes me think that america is just awesome.
we built a tower in the same spot.
a taller tower.
to prove that we are not afraid.
to prove that we will grow.
taller and stronger than we ever were before.

a few tips if you are planning on going to the memorial:
+buy your tickets online!
there is a LONG line to get tickets, so you can save yourself time and just buy them online.
+arrive 15 minutes AFTER your ticket time (a worker told us this tip!).
people start lining up for their ticket time way in advance.
if you arrive 15 minutes after, you don't wait in line, but just walk in!
+allow some extra time before/after to sit on the memorial grounds/look at the reflecting pools
+do NOT limit yourself time wise in the museum (don't go on a day where you are scheduled to be somewhere else).  I really think it is best to give yourself as much time as you need/want inside the museum. and make it a personal thing.  if you're with a group, or even with just another person, just explore the museum independently and meet up outside of the museum when you are each done.  be willing to accept that you may be done at 3 hours, while someone else may need 5. (even though the museum is underground, there is cell service, so you can stay in communication with your group!)
+when you get inside the museum, go upstairs first! there is a 15 minute video that is so powerful.  a great introduction to the rest of the museum.  a lot of people skip that.  DON'T!

moving on!

some food recommendations from the day!
we went to the yummiest cupcake shop! sprinkles!
(just across from the memorial)

i'm not even a cupcake fan, and these were SO good!
i got the dark chocolate banana, and man! it was the best on the table.

prosperity dumplings in china town!
I was a little skeptical when my mom wanted to go here.
she had heard all about it.
and china town is SKETCH and dirty and smelly.
and so I was reallyyyy not feeling it when we got there.
in fact, taylor and I didn't even order anything because we are...well, germaphobes. BIG TIME.
but after they came out with their sesame pancakes and dumplings (4 dumplings for $1, $1 for the pancake!) and they gave us a few bites, we went in and ordered our own! haha! 
seriously SO good!
and the only cheap food we found in NYC!

one of my favorite things we did was walk the Brooklyn Bridge.
we walked across the bridge to the famous julianna's pizza, and she did NOT disappoint!
neither did the views on the way!
and my pictures really suck--i kept walking into the "bike lane" to take them and taylor would freak out and pull me back into the walking lane because I wasn't very good at looking both ways...
a bicyclist swerved and nearly crashed because of me...whoops.
so all of these pictures are of me snapping as quick as I could without getting a chance to get everything perfect.

(we got the #4 at juliannas--so good!)

and will you allow me to post once more about NYC?
we've got one more day to share!
coming tomorrow!

and uhhhh school starts for teachers on thursday.
what the heck. 
where did summer go!?
but i'm excited.
i miss my students.
i did all of my errands/chores today so that tomorrow and wednesday I can be SOOO LAZY for one last time. hahah!
waving hi to my couch, the cookie dough in the fridge, my pantsless/braless self and taylor's BYU sweater (quite oversized on me)--my favorite article of clothing EVER.
guys. summer was so good to us!
but i'm kinddaaaa excited for FALL! am I crazy?

and alsooooo.
we may or may not be booking a cruise tomorrow with two of our best friends.
we could NOT be more excited!!

and tay is desperately trying to get my to join him on the living room floor and watch modern family.
how can I resist?
and he just asked, "did you write anything about you being pantsless right now and how much you love being pantsless, yet?"
OH YES, yes I did.
you know me so well, taylorray.
i love him.
and hate pants.
peace out. 


  1. China Town... my life..except everything is a dollar.

  2. I really want to see the 9/11 museum/tribute. I haven't been to NYC since these things were finished. I only saw the massive hole that was Ground Zero. Also, SPRINKLES. YES.

  3. i'm loving every single NY post, so much! love this! also, you're not crazy for loving fall. it's the best--and then we're on the fast track to christmas!! also, modern family is the best ever.

  4. I haven't been to NYC since it's been finished but I'd definitely like to go and see it now that it is. I'm super excited for fall already too :) And I could watch Modern Family for HOURS - I know my twin brother is going to be exactly like Phil when he is a dad!

  5. Oh my goodness. I was all choked up just reading the beginning about the museum. I can't imagine... but you gave great advice! I remember how eerie was to go down there after 9.11. My friends and I went down Summer 2004 and it was so intense... but we met so many amazing survivors with beautiful stories and hearts. I'm glad you felt that too!!

    Can't believe summer is over!!!!

  6. Wonderful! You captured my feelings on the museum perfectly. Thank you Kelli!

  7. I have not visited the memorial since we went to the site in 2004. It looks so beautiful - I know I will be a total mess when I visit it finished. You are really making me itch for New York :)