Sunday, April 3, 2011

New York City: Day 3

Our last day in New York, we slept in a little, then checked out of our hotel. We were ready to take a much anticipated trip to Hoboken, New Jersey to visit a certain bakery....

Photo from Tackeff Photography
Carlo's Bake Shop! Home of Cake Boss, Buddy Valastro and his family. I think out of the entire trip, I was most excited about visiting Carlo's Bake Shop. Is that crazy? After watching the TLC show and falling in love with the idea of baking cakes and cookies all day and sharing it with a big Italian family, I couldn't wait to see it in person and have a taste! 

We took the subway to Hoboken, stopped at Dunkin' Donuts for breakfast, then walked until we saw Carlo's Bakery Way. 

We made it! We were actually standing in front of the classic store front that I'd seen hundreds of times on TV. Which happens to be sandwiched between a florist and Verizon on a cute street of shops.

We quickly got in line! Which apparently wasn't that long for 11am on a Thursday. After waiting outside for about an hour, the door guy summoned us that it was our turn to come inside, take a number, and wait some more. 

The walls were lined with photos, memorabilia, merchandise and cakes. It was a VERY tight squeeze in there! People filled every inch of the shop. When we entered, they were currently serving number 74. We were number 9. As in 35th. We decided to wait it out and that we weren't leaving without some pastries! 

We squeezed our way up to the cases to get a glimpse of the amazing desserts. There were cakes and cookies and their famous lobster tails. To my surprise and delight there were Pasticciotti! My favorite (rarely found) Italian pastry that I have only found at the Florentine Pastry Ship, in Utica, NY, near where my Mom grew up. I knew I would be trying one of those along with a mini cannoli!
It was every bit as wonderful as I imagined. Definitely worth the wait. The cannoli cream was so light and fluffy. I wish I could have taken a dozen home with me. My husband was very disappointed about that. 

I did bring home a pound of Italian cookies, which I have been rationing and enjoying every day! 

Buddy, unfortunately was in Las Vegas. But we saw his sister Grace, cashing people out. 

And his sister Lisa helping customers.
Lisa was kind enough to take photos with us! She was so friendly. Now we know what she's the "favorite sister." 
We could see into the back where Frankie was leaning against the wall near the famous staircase, where some cakes have fallen to their untimely death. 

Here I am, in front of the tiny consultation area where people were meeting to order a cake. 
We left happy with our bags of pastries (2.5 hours later!) and walked down the famous back alley of the bakery. 
What an experience! 

We left Hoboken and headed back to New York. Since we got a later start on the day, and spent 2.5 hours at the bakery (yikes!), that didn't leave much time for shopping on Fifth Avenue like we had hoped to end our day. We grabbed some lunch (a rather disappointing New York hot dog) and feasted on our prized pastries. We had to decide what last thing we would be able to see.

Megan and Christy were gracious enough to grant my wish of seeing Tiffany & Co. for the first time. I had never set foot in one, and going to Tiffany's in New York City was on my wish list. Audrey Hepburn and Breakfast at Tiffany's were playing in my head. 
It was every bit as grand and beautiful and sparkling as I imagined. I could have spent a few hours roaming each floor and pouring over every case. 

I did make a purchase - a birthday gift and souvenir to myself. They wrapped it up so beautifully. Megan was right, it was like unwrapping a gift when I got home! 
I bought a pair of sterling silver Tiffany Bead earrings. I love wearing them! They will always remind me of the wonderful trip we had and the memories I made with two dearly loved friends.

Trump Tower was right next door to Tiffany & Co.

We passed Madison Square Garden on our walk back to the subway. 

Before we knew it, it was time to get to the airport to catch our plane home. We made it in the nick of time! We had a small moment of panic when we saw the line for security at the airport. But we made it onto our jetBlue flight. JetBlue is my favorite airline because they give you free snacks and there's TV's on every seat!

We said goodbye to the Big Apple as the sun started to set.
This was a fantastic trip that I will always remember! Riding the subway. Walking in the rain. Seeing landmarks and pieces of history. The food. The conversation. Time Square at night. Our possible 15 seconds of fame! I couldn't have asked for a better time or better friends to share it with. Love you girls!

Now I can really say I love NY. I hope to go back some day!

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