Do you ever feel like you have to get the heck out of your hometown/state/country soon or you’re going to lose your mind?

Well, I do. Typically this can be cured with a little weekend trip to Wichita to visit my friend Maci. Nothing like the Nifty Nuthouse to add some spice to your life.


I realize how incredibly lame that makes me sound. But hey, love the life you live.

We’ve had a trip to NYC planned for a while, and it came at just the right time! My sister Macey and I flew in last Saturday to spend the next four days seeing the city and staying at my aunt and uncle’s apartment on the Upper East Side.

We went up the Empire State Building, of course. I did this last time I came and thought my sister should experience a view of Manhattan from the top.


It was St. Patrick’s day, so my 3-year-old cousin Jack had some green glasses for us to wear. We looked upon the view with the glasses.


Last time I went to New York, I wasted a lot of time wandering around. This time, we planned our days more efficiently, and with our iPhones to help, we never got really lost and only got sort of lost about three times.

We saw Central Park…


…and Battery Park…


…and the store that’s on the show Say Yes to the Dress…


…and Chinatown…


…and the Museum of Natural History…


…and a lot more!

The highlight was definitely seeing the Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. We ate dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square beforehand.


We’ve wanted to see the Phantom for literally like 10 years. We were so happy we finally got to!


All too soon, we had to leave our family and cross the Brooklyn bridge and say good-bye.


Macey’s sparkly jeans set off the alarm at the airport for a second time, then we flew back to the good ole Midwest.

It was a great trip, but I wish it had lasted much longer! If only life was like a vacation all the time…

Here are a few tips I have for traveling to a big city, gleaned from my two visits to NYC and one visit each to London and Paris:

1. Get a map. Streetwise is a good brand because it has subway stops listed.

2. Get a subway card instead of paying each time. It’s a lot more handy.

3. Just suck it up and pay for a taxi to and from the airport. It’s so much better than taking your suitcase on public transportation.

4. Try to avoid eating at chain restaurants as much as possible.

5. Don’t be a hipster and run from all tourist-y places, but try to find out where locals hang out, too.