the visit: march edition

After clocking out of work last Friday I got in my car and headed towards NYC. It was time for a sister weekend!!

Thankfully traffic cooperated and there were no flat tires so I made it into the city right on schedule. I grabbed my sister and her adorable dog in front of her apartments and we went to grab some pizza. 

If you're in NYC, a fan of spinach & artichoke dip, and looking for some awesome pizza, go to Artichoke Pizza. It's amazing, Seriously. One slice is more than enough--they're thick and large and made of joy. We were both exhausted and the 14th Street location doesn't really have tables so we took our pizza to go. Plus, traffic in the area was nightmare due to the explosion earlier in the week so we never would have found parking. In fact, I was able to jump out of the car, run into the restaurant, wait in line, buy the pizza, wait for it, and jump back in the car before Kara had made it to the next light. 

Saturday morning was lazy, as Saturday mornings were meant to be. While Kara's dog woke us both up earlier than we wanted, we ended up just hanging out on the futon where I slept all weekend for a few hours with the dog stretched out between us. It was wonderful.  

Finally we got our butts in gear and got out the door. Because it was snowing off and on, we opted for the Natural History Museum along with most everyone else in the city. The lobby was packed! After winding through the line to the ticket counter, we finally made it into the museum. We saw as many exhibits as we could, weaving through the crowds to peak at birds of America, gemstones, dinosaurs, and more. 

After the museum we grabbed some tea and headed back to Kara's place to finish booking the trip we're taking this summer (more on that soon). We grabbed some tacos from a little restaurant down the street from Kara's place and headed back to eat them alongside some guacamole Kara whipped up for us. 

Finally, it was time for dinner. We headed out to Brooklyn for a bowl of the udon Kara has been trying to take me eat practically since she moved to New York. We were seated at a big communal table and dined on some amazing udon. Add Samurai Mama to your list of places to eat at when in New York. I had the nikujil kake udon (pork belly) and Kara had the kitsune (bean curd). My pork was melt-in-your-mouth delicious. 

After dinner, we ventured out for some live music at Rockwood Music Hall. Rockwood has three stages, two of which feature free shows. Bands play for 45 minutes before the next group comes out and rapidly resets for their 45 minutes on stage. We ended up at Stage Two since Stage One was full to capacity. The stage was a small venue, which is perfect for the largely unknown bands that play them. The drinks are reasonably priced, especially for the city (I paid $8 for a whiskey ginger). 

The best part wasn't even the venue or the drinks. It was the bands.

The first band we saw was The Amigos. I'm a big Americana fan so I was thrilled as soon as they started to play. It's such a fun band, not only to listen to, but to watch play live. 

Next, we saw Madaila. Madaila was quite different from The Amigos. They are much more of a hipster pop group. While The Amigos sported fringed Western shirts, these guys sported face paint, spandex, and headbands. Despite the differences, I loved them just as much. Their songs made me want to dance and I would have if there had been a little more room (and a little less bronchitis in my lungs, not that I found that out until Monday). 

By the time Madaila finished, we were both tired and ready for bed so we headed back home for the night.

Sunday we went to St. Patrick's for Palm Sunday mass. Kara timed our bus trip perfectly so that we arrived early enough to snag seats near the front of the church. 

After mass, we headed out to Brooklyn for brunch. We initially aimed for a different restaurant but discovered a massive crowd outside the door waiting for tables. We had passed a little restaurant on the way that had a wonderful Sinatra-esque singer and a really yummy looking menu. Wild was amazing enough that we plan to return to sample their dinner menu. We ended up out in the courtyard since it was sunny and beautiful outside. The brunch menu is all organic & gluten free, and for $16, you got a brunch entree AND a drink. I went for a smoked salmon eggs benedict & Kara went for white sangria and a sausage & spinach eggs benedict. The bennies were served with a little kale salad and roasted potatoes.  There was no part of that meal that I did not thoroughly enjoy. 

With our bellies full and happy, we headed back to Kara's place to take her dog for a long walk through Central Park. There's a part of the park that looks so much like Georgia it's hard to remember you're in Manhattan at all. There are trees that block the buildings, creeks running through the trails. It was beautiful. The whole city seemed to be out too--since the weather had warmed up, everyone was soaking up a few rays. 

I love my weekends with my sister. Whether we're in New York or Maryland, it's always just what I need. There's just something so wonderful about family. They've been there your whole life and they're still there. They know you in a way that no one else does. I can't imagine life without a sister. I really can't imagine life without my sister. 

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