We were able to sleep in a teeny bit this morning before heading off on a long and fun day in the city.
Day 1: 9/11 Memorial and Museum, Mickey: The True Original Exhibition, Eataly
Day 2: Greenwich Village Food Tour, Old St. Patrick’s Catacombs, Black Tap
Day 3: Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island, Oyster Bar & Hamilton
Day 4: Harry Potter, Central Park, Tea at The Plaza, Balloon Inflation, Da Marino, The Ride
Day 5: A NYC Thanksgiving
Day 6: Macy’s Santaland, do, Dylan’s Candy Bar & Sarabeth’s
The Intercontinental Barclay in New York City
Greenwich Village Food Tour
Our first stop was the village. In my previous (girls trips) to NYC, Greenwich Village has never made the list. We did The Original Greenwich Village Food and Culture Walking Tour and, at the end of the day, it was one of the top experiences I’ve had in NYC!! The four of us loved every minute and thought it was a unique and fun way to see… and eat… our way though this incredibly fascinating part of the city.
Our tour started off with the boys first taste of New York pizza at Joe’s Pizza! We LOVED it and they begged to come back for more at the end of the tour (we were all too stuffed.)
Next we stopped at O & Co. for an olive oil tasting on divine bread from right across the street at another local hot spot. We also enjoyed tastes of truffled popcorn and a side-by-side balsamic vinegar tasting (store brand versus small batch.)
We loved the Sicilian rice balls and sopressata from Faicco’s and drooled over the sandwiches and plates in the back of the shop. They looked amazing. Again, we wish we had room for more at the conclusion of the tour.
We stopped in the Cornelia Street Cafe to see what the lounge in the basement was like. It was fascinating to hear how artists get their starts in little places just like this.
On the same street, we took some photos in front of where Taylor Swift lived for a while. We took some time at our next stop to google photos of the inside. The boys were ready to move in. Even more interesting for me was learning how this building operated as a laundry courier in it’s early years, and how they had lifts to bring the horses with their carts up to the second floor!
In addition to on the go bites, there are two longer seated tastings in the middle. While many were called “on the go”, we still had a little place to sit while we ate and learned about the food and area. Honey’s favorite stop on the trip was for these amazing meatballs at Pesce Pasta.
Right after, we were off to Rafele for eggplant rollatini. This was the only thing on the whole tour that the boys didn’t gobble up. I think only because they knew it was eggplant. That was fine because Honey and I enjoyed their portions. :-) Our phenomenal guide, Bert, surprised John with a slice of birthday cheesecake at this stop as well!
Next we had sweets. Mmmmmm! These lemon confections from The Doughnut Project are only on the tour on Mondays. Every other day of the week you get Milk & Cookies – which sounds equally as delicious.
I think the fresh filled cannoli from Rocco’s was my favorite!
The last bites on our tour were cheeses from Murray’s. Everything in here smelled and looked divine. One more thing we wish we had room to come back for was the grilled cheese sandwich here.
In addition to just eating, we learned so much about the West Village, it’s history, residents and charm. Things that stood out were the narrowest house in NYC…
… the movies filmed on this curved little street…
… the facade from Friends, and the quotes written on the side of the building. The boys were entirely underwhelmed. haha…
It was a fantastic tour and I highly recommend taking it!
If you go…
- Book your reservation early and in advance.
- Our kids were the youngest on the tour, but there were four other teens that also had a wonderful time.
- The tour is 3 pretty solid hours of walking, but it is all flat and at a slow pace.
- Water bottles are provided and there are chances to refill them.
- Bathroom stops are scheduled, but also available to use should you need them at another time.
- Don’t plan to eat before or after this tour! We took the 11 am – 2 pm tour and didn’t sit down for dinner until 9 pm.
- Gratuity is not included but you will likely love your guide and your time so have a little cash on hand.
Old St. Patrick’s & Catacomb Tour
We had a full day today and were off to the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral for a Small Group Tour of Catacombs by Candelight next. This was a 90 minute walking tour and it kicked off in the walled cemetery adjacent to the church. One thing that made this tour so unique was that it provided access to parts of the church that you cannot see otherwise… including the cemetery. The history of the people laid to rest here, the church and early Catholics in NYC was all interesting and engaging.
I mentioned yesterday how much I love guided tours. Well, this is a great example. We actually walked inside the church before the tour for a few minutes to light a candle for Matthew and stepped almost right over this and didn’t even notice it. Our tour guide shared a fascinating story of the Bishop of NY, John Dubois, who was laid to rest here on the steps of Old St. Patrick’s! He was French in an Irish parish and once said “I’ve been walked all over in life so I might as well be walked all over in death.” Whether he was serious or not, he was buried here right under the front steps of the church! Be careful what you ask for, right?!
Inside the church, our guide pointed out artifacts of note before leading us up into the otherwise non-accessible choir loft. If this looks familiar, it is the scene of the baptism in The Godfather.
We learned about the old organ and got to see inside, which was really neat, and learn a little about how many people and how much man power was required to actually pay it back in the day. I always thought someone just played it like a piano!
The final part of our tour took us down into the Catacombs of the Basilica, where many have been laid to rest over the last 200 years. I did a catacomb tour in Paris and this was nothing like that. It was not creepy at all, but just another interesting way to learn about he church and New York’s history.
At the end, we got to go inside of the largest crypt, which was also really neat. The curved, tiled ceilings match those in Grand Central and Ellis Island.
- Once again, ours were the only kids on the tour. It is not even one single bit scary so don’t let that deter you. It is also not at all like a catacomb tour you might have done in Europe. It is more just an interesting and unique way to learn about part of NY history.
- That being said…. our kids got a little bored by the end. This isn’t a fast paced tour. Honey and I really enjoyed it. The kids didn’t act up or say they hated it, this just won’t make their top memories of NYC list. haha.
- The one bathroom is across the street so use it at the start of the tour.
- You can read more about New York City Catacombs Small-Group Tour by Candlelight by using my travel agent booking link.
We came back to the room and took a little nap after a long day of walking. Around 7:45 we decided to head out to get in line for dinner at Black Tap! My original plan was to take the boys to Polo Bar for burgers, but I just had one of my best clients come back from NYC last week and she said her daughter’s favorite meal was Black Tap. I texted my friend M to ask her opinion and when she wrote “Black Tap will change their life” I knew we had to just do it. :-) And, I’m really glad we did!! We waited in line outside in the cold for about 50 minutes but all agree that it was worth it.
We had fried pickles, two burgers and three shakes between the four of us and it was plenty! However, my burger was so good that I did kind of regret that I had to share it.
The boys eyeballs were pretty much popping out of their heads all night as they oogled every CrazyShake walking by. We settled on the cookies and cream, sweet and salty and sour shakes. Honey and I primarily shared the sweet and salty and it.was.so.good. This is a NYC moment the boys will remember!
We took a whole series of hysterical pics in front of the LOVE sign while we waited for our Uber home and I’ll share the two most normal. I do love these three….
You can follow along with our trip on my travel Instagram account… dixietravels. We pretty much hit the hay the moment we got back to the room!
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