The best part of the Miss America Organization by far is the sisterhood and friendships you make. Going to New York City for New Year’s Eve has been a bucket list item for me for years and I missed my sisters terribly, so planning our first reunion in the city was the most logical thing to do.
At first when I asked the girls who wanted to go, everyone smiled and thought the idea sounded nice, but didn’t really take me seriously. They forgot that when I say I’m going to do something, I’m actually going to do it (#DoStuff hello) so I bought a plane ticket and thought maybe 1 or 2 girls would come with me or I’d just go by myself. 14 girls ended up coming.
I spent 4 months planning our trip, filling it with the yummiest food and most fun adventures. The activities and shows were great, but the trip was special because we were able to be together, get to know each other as people and grow closer as friends.
We started our day with an amazing breakfast at Sarabeth’s Central Park South. Their omelets and muffins are the perfect combo for a light, but filling breakfast.
We rounded the corner to check out the Plaza Inn to see where Eloise had all of her adventures.
We found the cutest little puppet shop in Bryant Park Christmas Village so we stopped to do some ventriloquism in honor of our girl Miss Louisiana who flew in the next day.
Bluestone Lane Café sponsored the most AMAZING Australian inspired lunch complete with coffee, banana smoothies, salads, muesli, avocado toast and energy balls.
We sat in their brand new location, but there are many around the city and even some in SF and DC.
They were recently featured on Insider for their espresso filled waffle cones. I would HIGHLY recommend this place!
After lunch we ventured back up north to check out the MET museum but the line was WAY TOO LONG.
We decided to just take a picture and leave but Gabi, Miss New York, put her banner on and walked up the stairs, past the security guard and as he said, “Hey Miss New York! Where do you think you’re going?” She said, “I’m going into the MET!” and THEY LET US IN!! hahahahaha don’t know how that happened but it made my day.
After wandering through mummies, knights in shining armor and Grecian pottery, we worked up quite the appetite and had dinner at Egg Shop. Super fun & quirky food.
On the morning of day 2 we woke up to SNOW and 2 more friends!! Miss Georgia and Iowa joined us as we ventured to EAT by Chloe for a yummy lunch.
I had a quinoa taco bowl and mac and cheese with cheese made out of cashews!
I spotted Camilla Cabello at the table across from us having lunch before the NYE rehearsal!
They were so kind to us and sent us away with fresh pastries!! I tried the matcha blueberry cupcake.
Then we walked to the Louis Vuitton exhibit to check out some of his original pieces!
Laughed so much during our very Italian dinner but had the best pizza and cannoli’s and added Montana, Lousiana, Florida and Vermont!
Times Square was more magical than normal because they were setting up for the big night!!!
It was also so cold my fingers were frozen and could hardly take pictures.
Yes I stood in the middle of the street to get the taxi in this pic. For the blog, right?!
DAY 3 – NEW YEARS EVE
What an exciting day!!! There’s no other feeling than being in the middle of crossing something off your bucket list. I knew this day was going to be jam packed and amazing.
We started our day with a photoshoot in Central Park because we had to capture the memory of us all being together during the start of a New Year.
Thank you Mack Hopper for taking our pictures!! You are AMAZING.
Don’t be fooled. We were only outside for an hour because it was Antarctica outside and we couldn’t feel our tosies.
Before we all turned into popsicles we ran inside to Café Lalo for lunch. This café was featured in You’ve Got Mail and When Harry Met Sally!
It was so cozy in here and the golden balloons on the ceiling made for the perfect NYE lunch.
They have the cutest most decadent desserts here, it took me about 20 minutes to decide which one I wanted.
After lunch we high tailed it over to Carlo’s Bakery in Hoboken NJ (Cake Boss bakery) for a cake decorating class and tour of the headquarters!
Y’all, I was living my best life here. They took us through some of the sets where they film cooking shows and cooking competitions and all I could do was run around and imagine myself having a cooking show one day. SO. COOL.
Learning fondant skills from the pros.
Hey Buddy! Need an intern?!
Best part was that we got to take our cakes with us!! This is such a fun activity to do if you’re looking for something outside the craziness of the city.
Dinner at The Sosta… delicious, healthy Italian food!!
For New Year’s Eve we stayed as far away from Times Square as possible and went on a cruise!! We danced on the water and rang in the New Year from the Hudson River.
DAY 4 – New Year’s Day!
Sarah (Miss OH) and I sat on the bed and ate our cakes for breakfast with our faces because we didn’t have any forks. Best idea ever.
Sweetgreen is my new favorite salad place and the staff is SO friendly! Custom salads and grain bowls, YUM.
After lunch we had the most fun time at Pilates on Fifth. Katherine and Kimberly, the owners are twins and both former Rockettes!
They took us through their studio in 4 different circuits including mat, the reformer, silks and a giant floor piano.
My favorite was the piano and hanging upside down.
Dinner was at the famous Serendipity 3 and you better bet I tried the frozen hot chocolate.
Stephen Bruce, the owner came to say hi and treated us all to dessert. Y’ALL. If you go here, try the Humble Pie Sundae. Hands down best sundae I’ve ever had. Better than Ghirardelli. There’s a piece of peanut butter pie in it!!!
We ended the evening with tickets to the Rockette’s Christmas Spectacular. Margana (Miss TX) had to close my mouth because my jaw was dropped the ENTIRE time.
I had never seen the Rockette’s before and was blown away by their precision, performance quality and overall joy. One of the most magical shows I’ve ever seen.
Before we hit the town we did a little Starbucks Meet Up and I’m a little biased, but this was my favorite one so far. 😉
Starting off our day with a little yoga was just what we needed thanks to Sonic Yoga.
After yoga, we ice cream.
If you love a classy tea party, Alice’s Tea Cup is your place to go.
An Alice in Wonderland inspired restaurant with dainty tea sets, finger sandwiches, scones and tastiest desserts, I felt like I was in a storybook.
Did I mention they have over 100 flavors of tea?!
When our pinkies got tired we took off to a taping of The Daily Show with Trevor Noah!
Thanks to a Chapman alumn we got VIP tickets.
DAY 6 – BEST DAY OF MY LIFE
At 4:30am we were up and rolling because we were going to Good Morning America!
The only other time I have been to GMA before, I was standing behind the cameras just observing from behind the scenes so I expected it to be the same situation.
Little did I know we were going to be in the audience, ON THE SHOW.
After a little while one of the producers came up to where I was sitting and asked if anyone would like to share their new years resolution if it was health related, so I offered and she proceeds to tell me that she’s going to have me help with the Splenda segment and try some avocado toast. WHAT.
I was freaking out. I truly didn’t expect or plan on being on the show but it was the most fun I’ve had in my entire life. Click here to see.
After the segment, during the commercial break, Robin Roberts came up to me and told me I did a good job and I couldn’t breathe. For those of you that don’t know, working at GMA is one of my biggest goals so her kind words and encouragement meant the world to me.
I’ve always wanted to do something food related on the show so if that was God fulfilling that purpose and I never get to be on again, then I am happy!!
Everyone in the studio was so kind and uplifting and I left feeling so encouraged.
Lunch was at my favorite place ever, The Meat Ball shop and I must have been so hungry I forgot to take a pic. But if you’re looking for a yummy lunch spot, this is the place to go!
Pilates at Core Pilates was incredible!! Our instructor was hilarious and made the workout so much fun.
So thankful I got to catch up with my sister Christina Maxwell, DYW of America 2012. She’s RADIANT.
Dig Inn is the real deal. Friendly staff, healthy eats and comfort food. I mean, look at that mac and cheese!! So thankful for their sponsorship.
We got back to the hotel to find a surprise delivery from World’s Best Cookie Dough so we all through on our spirit jerseys and had a little pow wow party in my room.
I love these girls and their hearts so much. Hearing about what they are passionate about and looking forward to this year made me so proud to be surrounded by such an incredible group of goal driven ladies.
DAY 7 – The Last Day
Woke up to a BLIZZARD. So crazy. But when we heard the word brunch, no amount of snow was going to keep us inside. So Sarah (Miss OH) and I wrapped our scarves around our heads, braved the blizzard and booked it down to NORMA’s for the world’s greatest breakfast.
Check out this French toast. I’m super glad I ordered this just to say I did because it’s their signature entrée and the last time I was here I didn’t get it. HOWEVER. I can’t say I would get it again because it was a LOT. But definitely worth it.
Cream cheese filled french toast, rolled in coconut, with ice cream on the top and a caramel drizzle.
Thankfully I was able to make it out of the blizzard and hop on a train to Pennsylvania to spend some time with Katie (Miss PA) for the week.
Those adventures will be in another blog coming very soon!! This one is long enough and bless your precious soul if you even made it this far. I appreciate you!!
I hope your new year is off to an amazing start! Thank you for reading today and don’t forget to enter your email in on the homepage because I have a lot more traveling this month that I want to share with you!
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Nicole xx #DoStuff