the rise and fall of the jegging; and other tales of the big apple

my sisters and i planned a "sisters trip" months upon months ago - like back before i was pregnant.  we thought about one-night trips to new orleans or atlanta or birmingham but quickly agreed that we needed wanted a big time get away.
and new york it was.
we left this past friday and returned this monday afternoon.  the three of us hadnt spent that much one-on-one time with each since, well, EVER???
it proved to be one of the easiest, most laid back trips ive ever been on.
and of course there were those typical small sisterly squabbles here or there to add spice. :)
i mean, we ARE three girls.
three girls who are RELATED.
nuff said
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the following is a collection of short stories from our amazing trip {the only way i seem to be able to organize my jumbled mind}

smartphone blog reading
is not recommended. 
this is perhaps the longest post EVER.
without benney woe pics, which is highly disappointing but will be remedied shortly i promise.

the rise and fall of the jegging
i am pregnant.  have i mentioned that? anyway, in my search to find suitable clothes for a pregnant trip to nyc, i made a fruitful stop at forever 21.  stylish {sometimes}, cheap {always}, and lots of variety.  check, check, check.  i was pleasantly surprised with the amount of pregnant-friendly clothing: linen pants with big stretchy pregnant-pants-looking bands at the top, skinny jeans with elastic at the top {henceforth known as "jeggings"}, long baby-doll type tops, etc etc.
my plane-ride attire was a long top with lots of room for belly and my brand new pair of skinny jeans with the comfortable elastic waist.  now, i am NOT a fan...i repeat NOT a fan of this ridiculous leggings-as-pants trend you see these days.  uuummmm NO.  NOONE wants to see that much of you.  no, they really dont.  
BUT, i do have a couple friends who can completely pull off the "jegging", or leggings-made-to-look-like-jeans, look.  honestly, these pants of mine could have been categorized as such.  except they have real pockets and are closer to jean thickness, not "jean look printed on cotton leggings."
POINT OF MY STORY:  i was feeling like one hot, new york bound pregnant lady who was desperately trying to hold on to any last shred of non-pregnant style and, besides the subconscious hand-on-the-belly posture all pregnant ladies seem to display, i thought i was doing a decent job.
and then i sat on a plane for three hours. 
and never got up.
with an elastic jegging waist band digging into my abdomen.
and since when are pilots seventeen year old with zero experience of landing a plane?
meet my new friend
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i was THAT girl.
the girl who got insanely motion sick and had her sisters frantically search for the uncharacteristically illusive barf bag.
i mean they barely got it in time.  
SO, moral of this story:
pregnant lady friends out there...do NOT wear jeggings on a plane.  
in fact, dont wear jeggings if you ever plan to sit for longer than ten minutes.
heck, maybe you shouldnt wear jeggings at all.
needless to say i spent the rest of the day in a forgiving DRESS.
round ligament pain is a bitch.

there is more than one type of subway
thats all.  this was a quickly learned lesson, day one.

lauren, charlotte, and rachel meet mr. rando man
speaking of subways, people are strange.
mainly people keep to themselves on subways.  this is nice.  and normal.  and correct subway behavior.
apparently everyone does not adhere to these unspoken rules.
after a long soho day, three girls were subway-bound for their hotel to prepare for a night of broadway.
per usual, they were keeping to themselves.
a man, wearing little more than a blue hoodie UNZIPPED WITH NO SHIRT ON, sunglasses, and an ipod grabbed the crowded rail in front of us.
he asked my sister rachel if this train stopped at lexington.  she politely showed him the scheduled stops illuminated above their heads and went back to keeping to herself.  
mr. man commented {loudly and in that invading-personal-space way} how it was nice to finally meet some nice helpful people.  rachel kept looking the other way and shooting glances at her sisters.
he continued to ramble about not having a birth certificate and not knowing his real name, and about not being from new york but being born in manhattan {exactly.}.  the three girls smiled polite smiles but didnt talk back and kept to themselves - wishing they could move somewhere else but the overcrowded subway prevented this from happening.  he asked rachel her name and told her she was beautiful {yes, by now we can all tell he is one of "those" types}.  she said "rachel" under her breath and mr. man continued to ramble about how the three girls were the nicest people he has ever met in his life and two of the girls, who were sitting facing him, looked like twins.  he asked them their names, to which i {being one of the two girls} quickly responded with "charlotte" {the name one of my best friends always uses in situations like this}.  the other girl {my sister erin} then quickly followed suit with "lauren."  rachel, who had already disclosed her true name, gave us the stink eye.
mr. rando annoying man then asked us if we had any of this one particular dried herb that he would love to smoke.  we ignored him until he asked us five more times and then charlotte replied NO.  he told us he smoked it because people dont like being around him.  {umm...there was so much i wanted to say to him at this point but kept to myself}.  he also told lauren, who he was standing closest to, that he was gay and liked men.  but appreciated "beautiful friendly white women."
and he continued to be ignored by the three girls.
finally enough people got off the train that he was able to sit across from the three girls instead of standing RIGHT in front of them.  he started heckling his next victim and tried to purchase her ipod.  she pretended to get off at the next stop and came in another door further down {smart, well-trained new yorker that girl}. 
mr. man continued to chant "lauren! lauren! lauren!" over and over again across the train {as it was the only name he could remember} but lauren ignored him.  he continued to chant rude things her way, and then started insisting that lauren liked him bc she was smiling.  charlotte quickly let her resolve break and in a mother-hen move she would later regret, told the man it was only because lauren was being polite.  
and then mr. man told lauren she was stuck up. but that it was ok.  he was half cherokee indian and liked "big beautiful black women anyway."  he didnt need three "stuck up white girls."  he then stood up and approached the nice black man sitting next to us who was holding his toddler daughter with his wife.  mr. man repeated how much he loved "big black booty" and disliked "stuck up white girls," then called the black man a "n______" an tried to bump fists.  the gasp could be heard from chinatown all the way to the upper east side.
nice black family next to us, along with the entire train, broke their silence after the gasp and started uncomfortably laughing.  apparently everyone had noticed mr. rando man but had been doing their part at keeping to themselves.  daddy-holding-his-daughter looked at us and rolled his eyes and refused to bump fists with crazed shirtless man, much to our delight.  we prepared to get off at the next stop, with mr. annoying rando man's comments getting even louder and ruder, towards lauren in particular.
charlotte gathered her younger siblings and rushed off the train as mr. rando man screeched his craziest comment yet, not to be repeated on this here blog due to respect for all of you.

welcome to new york.
moral of this story: whether you keep to yourself, ignore crazy people, or politely try to help them as briefly as possible, you still cant truly prevent crazy people from happening. especially on subways in new york. 
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crafty mecca
we just happened upon this lovely haven, and to say i was thrilled would be saying the least.
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 {its says Purl soho on the window, if you cant see past the glare}
 my dear sisters waited with me until it opened {like five minutes - but still it was very generous of them} and i was like a kid in a candy store.
seeing all these wonderful things i usually only see over my computer {www.purlsoho.com}...it was marvelous.
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we all know my affinity for fabric and yarns and crafty STUFF as such.
i asked before i took pictures and, when i did, the receptionist happily said "of course!" and asked if it was for my blog.
my kind of people.

the people at giggle, however, are perhaps not my kind of people.
i was quickly chastised after the "illegal" snapping of this shot.
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 as were two other customers who also tried to "steal" a photo later during our visit...

natalie loves food
apparently her daughter does not {as much}.  among many other things this pregnancy has proved to be, it has proved to be finicky about food.  as in, momma wants to eat it, but baby doesnt react well to it.  momma is hungry all the time, but can never eat very much in one sitting.  {ok thats partially a lie....bc my "normal" amount of food consumed in one sitting far exceeds the "normal" dainty-southern-girls intake, so now that im pregnant i am pretty much even with said dainty-southern-girl.  i dont know which way i prefer it...}
anyway we ate some wonderful meals while we were in new york, which was one of the main things we were going to do {duh}.
i found restaurants from friends/family's recommendations as well as tripadvisor and similar review sites.
the first day we ate at carnegie deli by default, as patzeria's pizza [which is ranked #1 on trip advisor} doesnt have anywhere to actually SIT and eat.  {and i was still wearing my jeggings, so i very well should have stood, but my travel companions would have nothing of it.  jegging-less natalie would have wholeheartedly agreed.}
carnegie deli did prove to be an experience to say the least...sharing tables with others and eating more meat in one sandwich than is available to purchase at my local brunos.
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{if my eyes look watery or my smiled strained, it is indeed bc the jeggings were still ever present.  after lunch i made the official call that a wardrobe change was in order.}
{and now a shout out to sister erin for trying pastrami for the first time - she also had an egg mcmuffin for the first time before our flight out, which i have to say is downright heresy in my book.  egg mcmuffins rock my fast food breakfast and all should partake.}

they [carnegie deli] also had pregnant-lady fare
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and i had the pleasure of sitting next to/with some lovely friends from the nineties:
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jackie chan, mike huckabee, george lopez, britney spears, and an unknown child model of the eighties also quietly watched over our meal.

some stand out meals were the yuca bar {more of a local tapas mexican joint in some random part of town - found on trip advisor} that had guacamole on everything.  which equals perfection.
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lunch on soho day was a random stop that was also delicious, but we were in such good, happy shopping moods that day i bet we could have chewed on a seatbelt and been happy.
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and of course there was beacon, bergdorf goodmans, and blue fin.
yum, yum, and yum.
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{ignore the blurry ghost man in the back.  i am no photo-shop pro and have never claimed to be.}
{and note-to-father-in-law: i only had all of one-half of a sip of that wine before i let my sister finish it off.  baby girl is safe and wine-free}
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we ate breakfast at different local diners every morning and it was fantastic.  as you well know by now, i am a cheerleader for breakfast, no matter the time of day.

but the best waiter/tress we had the entire trip was a dear soul named paula at some grill type restaurant in the la guardia airport.  keep truckin on paula, you were awesome.

new yorkers dont watch the news, and arent scared of bombs
so yeah, anyone hear of the BOMB this weekend in new york?
after our eventful subway ride earlier, we ate an early dinner at a great restaurant {i insisted on having french fries as one of our sides and i have to say, they were one of the best things we ate that night.  seriously they were AMAZING} then caught a cab to gershwin theater to see WICKED {only the best play ever.  if you dont already have it, get the soundtrack.  you dont even have to know what wicked is about to LOVE the music}.
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gershwin theater is only a couple blocks north of time square and the bomb location.  around SEVEN, we walked into the theater.  there were no barricades, no police men, no fire trucks, no panic, no knowledge of anything even happening.  we enjoyed a marvelous theater experience, then walked back to our hotel.  still nothing.  no sign anything had even happened earlier that night.
we saw it on the news the next morning.
and then on sunday ran into local new yorkers who were asking US what happened.
and they didnt even seem phased by it.
but they were all very worried about the oil spill in the gulf.  as they well should be.
{im sure youre already doing it, but man the gulf coast could really use a bounty of prayers right now}

ice and grits
i missed them.

dont stop believin'
one of my favorite experiences of our trip was church on sunday morning.  a good friend of mine randomly mentioned this church at bible study one night and, since we were soon going to new york, i jumped on the mention.  we visited marble collegiate church sunday morning before visiting the central park/MET.
the church was gorgeous and the people were more than friendly.  we worshiped with fellow believers from all around the world, and it was an incredibly inspiring experience.  the hymns and prayers and doxology all provided small but powerful glimpses of home and the message was perfection.  it was amazing: the feeling of warmth that enveloped you as you entered, you could really tell the great work the holy spirit was moving in that place.  the sermon was also quite appropriate for us travelers:  it asked the questions what makes you happy? what makes you weep? what makes you angry?  and really helped open a worldly awareness of all there is out there to be happy, sad, or angry about...and what really matters in life.  it was quite appropriate to be in a "far away" city and hear a message concerning the worlds injustices and tragedies and continually being conscious to share in others joys and triumphs. reminding us to look outward a little more - to jump out of our comfy small town "bubble" and realize we are part of a much greater picture...and we CAN make a difference.
perhaps one of the most moving things we saw was the ribbons lining the railings outside the church, commemorating many lives lost in the current war in the middle east.
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each had a name and an age - and most i saw were younger than me.

rickshaws + central park = true love
we planned on riding bikes.  YEA not so much.  i knew central park was big, but didnt really grasp just HOW big.  after a treat of a lunch at bergdorf goodmans {and a QUICK run through the childrens department...i mean i love my kid{s} with all my heart i just cant justify buying them $89 shirts.  sorry...}  we decided on a rickshaw ride and it proved the smart {yet tourist-y} decision. 
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the guide even made a detour and dropped us off at the MET where we spent all of the time we had left {only ONE hour!!} "perusing" through the museum before they closed as best we could at a cheetahs pace.
picasso was the featured collection and besides his, monet, manet, van gogh, renoir, degas, and cezanne were my ultimate faves.  took me back to all those countless after-school art classes i took - some which even had homework where we studied the artists.  yes.  i was an art-class junkie at a very tender age.

gotta love a good klismos chair
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i liked these ladies attitudes:
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picture credits
most of the group pictures are from rachel's {date shown} or erin's cameras.
all of the non-people pics are from mine.
i made a small in-the-moment purchase prior to our trip
 that hogged most of my photos.
and can you believe it - it uses actual film and i have to wait to get them developed.
the very idea.
{of course there will be a post of these, if/when i have the chance to develop them and scan them in the computer}

coming home
i wore a dress.



  1. this. post. was. GREAT!!!!
    LOOOOOVE this recap. it captured our trip marvelously and so honestly.
    we must make this a once a year thing. i might end up broke, but it'll be worth it!!

  2. My parents actually let me live there for awhile in college. With all those crazies. Not sure what they were thinking. But I guess it wouldn't be NYC without them!

  3. Having lived and worked in NYC before the hubby and I moved to CT, can I admit that I find it adorable that you gals took a picture in the subway station? ...and that so much of your post is dedicated to the odd man? I guess when you ride the 4, 5, 6 each day, you eventually tune out the odd people (or learn to switch cars like the girl you mentioned).

    Odd man aside, so glad you had a fun trip to the Big Apple. It's a great city, and you picked a perfect weekend to be up here - sunny and warm and everyone is just happy when spring has sprung in the North!

    And I'm happy to hear you experienced Central Park and Soho and even Bergdorf's....in my opinion they are a much more real representation of life in NYC than touristy areas like Times Square :) Oh, and loving the prego outfits. The jegging might be uncomfortable but it looks darn cute.

  4. Wow...what a trip...particularly the way it started! :-( So glad you are all home safely! Great pics! Love ya'll, La

  5. What a trip. Subway guy...scary. Bomb...scary. Wicked...I am dying to see but Shay swears he won't take me to New York. ): What a fun sisters trip!

  6. So glad you had such a great trip. I do so love The Big Apple. And, SO glad you got to experience Marble Collegiate. Don't you think it is just how God invisioned church? Believers of all nationalities under one roof worshiping one God!! I just love it. Can't wait to see the pictures. You are one cute pregnant lady by the way!!

  7. Ahhh - loved this post! You're a great story teller, Nat! What a great trip; y'all had some fun, interesting, tasty, concerning, inspiring, and bonding experiences to make for a most memorable trip :)

  8. I read this post slowly and very carefully to soak in every last detail about the trip! How much fun!!! I love your new camera too. I just read up on it and it looks like a good gadget for traveling. I couldn't imagine lugging my huge one around.

    Excuse me. I must go look up flights to NYC now!

  9. Gosh - that sounds so awesome!!! I am dying to do something like that with my sisters!! Yall are so pretty!! :)
    ummm - okay - the man on teh subway story - I was LAUGHING SO LOUD - AND CRYING - thats scary - but its hysterical too!! So glad that yall had such a great time!!

  10. Glad you found purl! They have a website that I shop through every so often...

  11. Love the post. Looks like you guys had a great time.

  12. Hi, Natalie: Thank you for visiting our flagship giggle store in Soho. Your blog is beautiful – and it looks like your trip to NYC was fabulous. We’re sorry that you felt anything but our outstanding giggle customer service, which we work really hard on – every day. We hope you’ll understand that as is the case with most companies operating retail stores, we cannot allow the general public to take photos in our stores a number of legal reasons (we won’t bore you with the details). We wish you the absolute best with your pregnancy and hope that you’ll visit us again! Sincerely, Grace Lee

  13. i LOVE the way you told the fun "short stories" from our trip!!!! what an amazing trip it was :) thanks for working so hard to help plan it all..... can't wait to see your little blue camera's pictures!!!

    (hehe at the giggle person finding your picture)


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