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Celebrate the holiday season in New York City with the Radio City Rockettes

 

NYC Christmas

 

I love the holiday season. I love everything about it – the sights, sounds, music, spending time with family and friends and watching holiday programming on television.

It’s great to watch holiday movies and holiday specials on television, however it’s even better to watch holiday entertainment in person.

My family and I have been talking about going into New York City to see the Christmas Tree this year. A childhood friend of mine was talking about bringing her kids to see the tree. They have never seen the tree before. We were hoping to maybe meet up with them, or just go down on our own.

Last weekend my family and I were blessed with an incredible opportunity – tickets to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular!

It’s interesting that this opportunity came up. We don’t have much this Christmas (compliments of our cars constantly needing repairs – ugh!), and our kids are getting older. Our daughter will be off to college this time next year. For these reasons I wanted to do something as a family that was holiday related. Going to see the Christmas Spectacular was my number one idea. I thought maybe we could go see the show, have dinner at a nearby restaurant go and see the tree in Rockefeller Center, walk up and down 5th Avenue to see the holiday displays, zip down to Macy’s and swing over to Times Square before heading home. I figured this would give our family plenty of wonderful memories. Sadly, as I mentioned before, multiple trips to the mechanic and a few other things pretty much squashed that idea.

Then a Christmas “miracle” happened. I was given the opportunity to see the Christmas Spectacular with my family and have a “meet and greet” with some of the Rockettes. To say I was overjoyed is an understatement.

We happily headed down to New York City. Thankfully the weather was nice that day.

RCCS 1

Prior to the show we were escorted upstairs to party room up on the 5th floor at Radio City. Who knew there was a 5th floor.

The man behind Radio City, Samuel “Roxy” Rothafel wanted his own apartment at Radio City for him and his family. A exclusive suit was built on the 5th floor just for him. The Roxy Suite is outfitted with 20 foot high domed ceilings covered in REAL gold, walls made out of cherrywood, art deco elements and an intimate round dining area.

Mr. Rothafel never moved into the suite. These days Roxy suite is used to host Radio City performers and VIP people like Sir Elton John and Paul McCartney.

I tried to get some photos but my camera was being very “moody” that day. The flash decided to work when it wanted to.

Our hosts had plenty of fresh fruits, pastries, bagels and beverages available for us. They also decorated the room with adorable holiday decorations.

Decoration

Food 1

Food 2

The families invited to this special event were also fortunate to have a “meet and greet” with some of the Rockettes as well as hear from a tour guide who gave us some background information about the Roxy Suite.

The dining area is round, as is the table. Even the furniture is round including the side boards along the wall. I’m assuming they were custom made that way.

The reason why the dining area is round is that is provides good sound and that everyone can see everyone else in the room. I think that is an ingenious idea.

There is also a book (under glass) in the room with signatures of people who have stopped by the Roxy Suite including Mariah Carey, Bono and many others. I tried to get a photo but it didn’t come out good enough.

My family and I also had a chance to have our pictures taken with some of the Rockettes. Too bad our son didn’t smile and both of my kids were still cold (it was cold outside) and didn’t take off their jackets. I wish they did. The picture would have turned out better.

Rockettes

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It’s wonderful to have these special memories.

Five years ago we went on a behind the scenes tour of Radio City Music Hall (there are tours available to the public). We went during the summer (August 2009). It’s fun to see how much my kids have grown over the years since then.

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Soon it was time to leave the beautiful Roxy Suite and head downstairs to see the show.

There is a lot to see in the theaters’s lobby. If you go I hope you’ll take some time to check out the beautiful architecture and the jaw dropping chandelier that hangs high in the center of the lobby.

Radio City

 

There are plenty of souvenirs and snacks available both on the main lobby and downstairs.

It was almost show time so the lobby was packed. We quickly found our seats and prepared to be amazed and entertained.

The theater was packed. There were people of all ages seated around us.

What I love about the Christmas Spectacular is that young and old will find something about the show that resonates with them. Little ones go crazy when Santa appears on stage (not not-so-little kids too). Others might find the Nativity scene especially moving and powerful. I know I do.

As soon as the orchestra started to play holiday music the crowd cheered. The show was about to begin.

Social

 

Our “host” for the evening was Santa. He was around for most of the vignettes and introduced some of the scenes we were about to enjoy.

If you have never seen the Rockettes perform you are in for a treat. They are so in tune with each other and their precision is spot on. It blows my mind how they can do that. Not one of them is ever out of step.

I tried to think of which was my favorite scene from the show. It’s next to impossible to narrow it down to just one. I loved the entire show, but several of the scenes stood out a lot to me.

There was one part where giant snowflakes zoomed through the air. I think they must have been remote controlled (like drones) because they returned to their starting spots when the scene was over. It was pretty cool!

Snowflakes

The Nativity is breathtaking with the angel flying in the sky the parade of travelers heading off to Jerusalem to see the newborn king. There are even REAL camels and sheep on stage.

Another scene I truly love is when the Rockettes travel around popular spots in New York City on a bus, even stopping by Central Park where the audience gets to watch a couple skate on real ice right there on the stage.

One of my favorite holiday related story is the Nutcracker. I loved it when the performers danced to a few songs from Tchaikovsky’s music.

One of the audience favorite scenes was when the Rockettes performed as the wooden soldiers. There were a lot of “oohs” and “ahhs” from the audience.

There is also a 3D element to the show. In the very beginning Santa takes the audience on a sleigh ride with him into New York City. Each person is given 3D glasses to enjoy this segment. It’s fun to see things coming at you like presents and geese.

I cannot rave about the Christmas Spectacular enough. Young and old alike can delight in this experience. And it’s truly that – an experience. You just don’t sit there and watch performers. You are immersed into the entire show. You feel like you are a part of it. I loved it. My family loved it too. My teenage daughter even said she got a little teary when Santa first appeared on stage. Awww… that was sweet.

After the show we headed over to Rockefeller Center to see the Christmas tree. Sadly we couldn’t see it because it was surrounded by scaffolding. I guess we’ll just have to go back to the city a few weeks from now to see it again.

Tree

My husband was able to get a piece of the tree for me (from the trimmings – he was given a piece from a man who was working at the site).

Gift

Fancy dinners are fun. Jewelry is beautiful. Flowers are pretty. For me a true romantic gesture is asking the worker at Rockefeller Center for a piece of the Christmas tree. Awww… I love my husband. He’s the best. He knows what makes my heart smile. I don’t need things to make me happy – just happy memories. And seeing the Radio City Christmas Spectacular today and spending time with my family is truly a very happy memory, one that I will never, ever forget.

If you live in the New York City area, or are planning a trip there, there are still tickets available for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. For more information or to purchase tickets visit www.RadioCityChristmas.com. You can also check out the Christmas Spectacular on Facebook, TwitterInstagram and YouTube.

Have you seen the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City?

What is your favorite thing to see and do in New York City – or a city near you?

Selfie with my sweetie

Kimberly

*I received free tickets to the show. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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What is it like to live and work in NY? Find out with #NYTough (giveaway ends 10/28/14)

 

Manhattan as seen from the Hudson River.

Manhattan as seen from the Hudson River.

I am a “country bumpkin” at heart. I would rather live in a place where deer and cows (or horses) roam freely in my yard rather than city buses and taxi cabs. But that is just me. I know plenty of people who couldn’t see themselves living anywhere other than a big city including one of the biggest cities of them all – New York City.

I think maybe if I was young an single I would enjoy living in the city for a few years, just to get the full New York City experience. New York City is a very exciting place. In fact my mom, before she passed away, talked about getting an apartment in the city so she could spend some time there since the kids were all grown. My mom loved to travel and experience new things. She once took a trip to China for a couple of weeks – by herself! She just decided one day she wanted to go to China and up and left for a couple of weeks.

Our son is looking forward to moving to New York City when he graduates fro high school. Sadly I don’t think he fully comprehends how expensive living in New York City is (he wants to move to Manhattan).

P&G Brands – Febreze, Head & Shoulders, Bounty, Dawn, Tide and Secret – have come together to showcase the struggles that many New Yorkers face on a daily basis and how tough they are to handle it all. The campaign is called #NYTough and it provides New Yorkers with a break from the challenges they deal with on a daily basis with brands that are tough enough to help them live and thrive in the “Big Apple”.

Manhattan as seen over the Hudson River on a helicopter.

Manhattan as seen over the Hudson River on a helicopter.

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Brooklyn Bridge under construction

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Queens, NY as seen from Roosevelt Island

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Manhattan (left), Roosevelt Island (right) and I believe that is Queens or the Bronx in the background.

The #NYTough campaign has a series of video interviews hosted by local comedian Michael Che. The videos highlight what is means to be “New York Tough” and invited New Yorkers to share their unique stories.

“I grew up on the lower east side of Manhattan and over the past thirty years, I’ve seen just how tough the city can be,” stated comedian Che. “I jumped at the chance to help share some comic relief with the community through the #NYTough campaign because comedy about New York has always been a part of my routine. It’s been a wild experience getting to interview such a diverse group of people, from taxi drivers and dog walkers to starving artists and retirees, about their own New York tough stories.”

New York City is such a diverse city. There are five boroughs and many different neighborhoods. My family grew up in Brooklyn (except me and my sister) and my husband’s family is from the Bronx. It’s amazing how in NYC you can turn the corner and find yourself in an entirely different neighborhood. We’ve heard so many stories about life in the big city.

My family visits the city often. I don’t know how people deal with all that traffic. Just a minor “fender bender” on the West Side Highway (or Harlem River Drive) can cause backups that go for miles and last for hours. Just the other day going into the city there was traffic on the West Side Highway – bumper to bumper – and we were at a complete standstill. For what should have taken 45 minutes to get to (location) took over an hour and a half – twice as much time.

Manhattan Street

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Random side walk vendor with a bubble machine.

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People EVERYWHERE in Times Square

Even the inner streets of Manhattan can be a driver’s worst nightmare. I don’t know how people navigate those streets. When you toss in people who refuse to obey the street signs (“jaywalkers”), double parked vehicles, truck deliveries and on-going construction – it’s insane!

The noise in some areas of the city can be so loud too. How do you sleep with all that noise going on around you? I go bonkers if there is a cricket in our home let alone listening to people talking, cars honking, sirens and other miscellaneous sounds.

If you don’t like crowds New York City is not the place for you. There are plenty of quiet neighborhoods but when you enter the more “touristy” parts of the city, or the business locations, you can barely move on the sidewalks because there are so many people.

You also have to be rich to live in the city, in my opinion. We once ate at a restaurant and ordered two cheeseburgers, one hamburger and a chef salad plus four sodas and it came to OVER $120! We eat at the same restaurant closer to where we live and would spend half that amount on the same meal.

A few weeks ago we were in the city and spent $12 on two hot dogs, $6 on two bottles of water and $8 on two pretzels. Yikes!

Don’t get e wrong. We love the city. It’s an amazing place. It’s a “one of a kind” place. To me there is no other city like New York City. It’s packed with so much culture, entertainment, education, history and so much more. Yeah, $4 for a pretzel might seem like a lot but when  you are strolling through beautiful Central Park while enjoying that pretzel the price doesn’t matter. Yes, the construction is a nusance, but when you see the end result you know why it was necessary. What the city did to rebuilt after 911 is amazing. We saw “ground zero” a couple of years after 911 and it was nothing but a giant hole in the ground. Now there are amazing buildings and a beautiful memorial and museum.

Central Park.

Central Park.

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Only in New York will you see unique people like this in Central Park.

A guy offering free hugs in Times Square.

A guy offering free hugs in Times Square.

Take a trip to the “Top of the Rock” (the top of Rockefeller Center) and you’ll be in awe of just how beautiful this great big city is.

I want to give kudos to those who live and work in the city and for being so #NYTough. I also totally “get” why they call New York City home.

You can check out the first video in the series fro #NYTough here – “Man of the Streets” videos. Here is one of the videos for your entertainment.

 

I would also like to encourage readers to check out Buzzfeed for more interesting content – Buzzfeed.com/NYTough.

To see what others are saying about this unique campaign please check out the hashtag #NYTough on social media.

Do you live or work in New York City? Have you ever spent any time in any of New York City’s boroughs or neighborhoods? Feel free to share your experiences.

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911 Memorial Fountain

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Statue of Liberty as seen from the Hudson River.

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New York City as seen from the “Top of the Rock”.

I have a prize package to give to a lucky reader that contains products from the P&G brands participating in the #NYTough campaign. The prize package consists of;

  • One (1) Crest Complete Whitening with Scope
  • One (1) Secret Clinical Strength Deodorant
  • One (1) Bounty paper towels
  • One (1) Head & Shoulders Classic Clean Shampoo
  • One (1) Head & Shoulders Classic Clean Conditioner
  • One (1) Tide Pods
  • One (1) Febreze Heavy Duty
  • One (1) Dawn Platinum Power Clean

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on October 28, 2014 at 11:59 PM (EST). The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via e-mail and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen in their place.

To enter please comment on this post and tell me why you would like to win this giveaway and/or if you have any stories you’d like to share about living and/or working in NYC (in case you live in the area).

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries wont’ qualify (I do check). Extra entries are optional. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kimberly

*I received some free P&G products in exchange for my participation. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Milo’s Kitchen® dog treats “Treat Truck” coming to NYC in September (giveaway ends 8/17/14)

 

#MKTreatTruck

I know that not all of my readers live on the East coast. That is why I try not to write about area specific events. However there are some events that I learn about that I feel like others would be interested in them.

If you live in the New York City area and have a dog, or if you know a dog owner in the area, you might be interested in checking out the Milo’s Kitchen® Treat Truck. Stop by the Treat Truck to let your dog enjoy some free samples of Milo’s Kitchen® treats. There are several varieties so your pup is sure to find a favorite or two.

In addition you can snap some fun photos with your pet  and receive family portrait photos straight from the Milo’s Kitchen® photo booth or you can take your own selfies. Make sure you show off your photos on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #MKTreatTruck.

For New York City the dates are as follows.

  • September 5th – New York, NY, Williamsbridge Dog Park
  • September 7th – New York, NY, Adoptapalooza,Union Square Park

*Dog parks are subject to change due to weather and foot traffic.

If you would like more information or to see if the Milo’s Kitchen® Treat Truck will be in your neighborhood, visit the Milo’s Kitchen® Treat Truck page.

If you are not familiar with Milo’s Kitchen® Treats they are dog treats that are made right here in the United States using real beef or chicken as the #1 ingredient and with no artificial flavors or colors.

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Our dog Espn has a sensitive stomach. Not everything “agrees” with him. We have to be careful with what we feed him and make sure to introduce new foods and treats slowly so as not to upset his stomach.

Milo’s Kitchen® sent us some samples of their dog treats for Espn to try out. He loved them! Notice how I said “loved” – as in past tense. He loved them so much that he would look for the treats every day after we had dinner. If he behaved himself and didn’t beg at the table I would reward him with a Milo’s Kitchen® treat. It didn’t take him long to figure it out – if he doesn’t bed he gets a treat that he enjoyed. He would actually lie in front of the pantry where I kept the treats, waiting for me or another family member to give him one.

We have a few left. We need to pick up some more Milo’s Kitchen® treats for him as soon as we can.

Espn never had an upset stomach with any of the treats, which is a good thing too. I’m sure it has a lot to do with the quality of ingredients used to make the treats.

Each Milo’s Kitchen® recipe is carefully prepared to bring out all the flavors your dog loves. Milo’s Kitchen makes a unique line of mouthwatering varieties for your dog including:

  • Chicken Meatballs
  • Beef Sausage Slices with Rice
  • Steak Grillers Recipe
  • Chicken Grillers Recipe
  • Grilled Burger Bites
  • Chicken Jerky Recipe

You can clearly see that these dog treats are different than others found on the market. They also look like people food. They are not shaped like fire hydrants or mail trucks and they are not found in different colors like red, green and blue. That is because these treats are made without all that artificial stuff.

I’m sure you care about what you feed yourself and your family. Shouldn’t you care about what you feed your dog too?

Would you rather feed your dog a treat shaped like a bone with an orange color like this…

treat

Or would you rather feed your dog something that looks like this and made without all that artificial stuff.

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For me the choice is clear. Judging by the way our dog Espn enjoyed the Milo’s Kitchen® treats I have a feeling he agrees with me.

If you would like to learn more about Milo’s Kitchen® you can visit them online at MilosKitchen.com. You can also find the brand on Facebook.

Milo’s Kitchen® would like to give a lucky reader a gift pack of three varieties of Milo’s Kitchen® dog treats and a $25.00 Visa gift card so you can stock up on more of your pet’s favorites. Thank you Milo’s Kitchen®.

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on August 17, 2014 at 11:59 PM (EST). The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via e-mail and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen in their place.

To enter please comment on this post and tell me why you would like to win the the Milo’s Kitchen® prize package?

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries wont’ qualify (I do check). Extra entries are optional.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kimberly

The Milo’s Kitchen® dog treats, gift cards, and information have been provided by Milo’s Kitchen®.

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Looking for something fun to do Fourth of July weekend?

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Are you and your family going to be in the New York City area on the fourth of July weekend? Or do you happen to live in the tri-state area? If so, and you are looking for something fun to do, why not pay a visit to the Bronx Zoo?

My family and I love visiting the zoo. We go there almost every year. My favorite time to visit is the fall when it’s cooler and the leaves are changing. “Boo at the Zoo” is also fun too.

This Fourth of July weekend the Bronx Zoo will be welcoming special guests – Latin Grammy Award-winning trio Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band for a special East Coast appearance.

If you are not familiar with Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band, here is a little more information about them.

This Fourth of July weekend, join Latin Grammy Award-winning trio Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band for a special East Coast appearance at the Bronx Zoo. This popular children’s band features indie music sounds that are rooted in their whimsical and child-friendly imaginations. The all-star group recently made live appearances on CNN, Sprout, and Univision and is coming straight off a nationwide tour. This husband and wife duo, Lucky Diaz and Alisha Gaddis, has been named ‘THE face of kindie music’ by the Washington Post, ‘SUPERSTARS’ by Red Tricycle, ‘The Rolling Stones of Kids Music’ by the Style Network, and PEOPLE Magazine called their album “The #1 COOLEST kids music!” Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band lights up the stage with their many #1 Sirius XM Kids Place Live hits. Iconic brand Coca-Cola chose their song “Falling” as their national summer campaign anthem, playing it on television and in movie theaters everywhere. Get ready for a hip-shaking, head-bopping, dance party explosion of indie fresh pop rock beats! Join us for the interactive show. Based on their award-winning recordings, it includes a range of themes aimed at exploring all of the wonder and joy in a young person’s life.

The band is award winning too!

Latin Grammy Winner: Best Children’s Album — ¡Fantastico!

Multiple Parents Choice Gold Awards

Winner National Parenting Publication (NAPPA) Gold Awards

#1 Song of the Year — ‘Thingamajig’ from Lishy Lou and Lucky Too

#1 Cool Kid’s Album — People Magazine

Best Live Kids Band — Cooper and Kid

#1 Guest of the Year — Sprout TV (PBS) Chica Show

The band will be performing at Grizzly Corner at the Bronx Zoo on July 4th, 5th and 6th. The shows are scheduled for 12:30, 2:00 and 3:30 each day. All performances are 30 minutes long which are ideal for younger children.

If you would like more information about the band’s Bronx Zoo appearance please visit the Bronx Zoo’s Events Calendar.

Don’t forget to check out all the cool dinosaur exhibits around the zoo too. The Dinosaur Safari ride is fun. You can check out my review here – Take a Ride on the Prehistoric Side at the Bronx Zoo.

For more information about the Bronx Zoo please visit www.BronxZoo.com.

Bronx-Zoo-Dinosaur-Safari-Summer-20131

Kimberly

*I have partnered with the Bronx Zoo to bring you this information. Although I’ll be receiving free passes the opinions expressed are entirely my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Enjoy a stay at the Westchester Hilton in Rye Brook, New York

 

Westchester Hilton Photo Source: Hilton

Westchester Hilton
Photo Source: Hilton

I know that my readers come from all across the country – even Canada and other countries. I post about New York things (events, places…) because sometimes readers find themselves in New York, whether it’s for business or pleasure. I like to post about New York things so that you have some suggestions on what to do and where to stay while you are in the area.

Last weekend my husband and I spent the night at the Westchester Hilton located at 699 Westchester Avenue in Rye Brook, New York 10573.

Westchester County is located just north of New York City. It’s a great location that allows you to easily get in and out of New York City without having to stay in the city (hotels in NYC can be very pricey). The hotel is located approximately 30 miles north of Manhattan. There is train service available into the city and you can drive (it’s approx. 45 minutes depending on traffic).

There is a lot to see and do in Westchester County, as well as places to visit that are not too far away.

  • Bronx Zoo
  • Westchester Broadway Theater
  • Hike the Aqueduct Trail
  • Rye Playland Amusement Park
  • Empire City Casino
  • LEGOLAND Discovery Center

The area also has many historical sites and cultural centers. In addition there are plenty of trails and outdoor activities you can immerse yourself in.

Westchester is also home to many fabulous colleges and universities. If you are planning a college visit in the area and need a hotel to stay at consider the Westchester Hilton.

My husband and I arrived at the Westchester Hilton around check-in time (3:00 PM). The hotel was easy enough to find. It’s also set back from the main roads by a long drive way.

We were surprised by the massive parking lot. It was huge and to our surprise there were plenty of cars parked in the lot as well as several buses that appeared to be picking people up to take them somewhere. I’m assuming the group was staying at the hotel.

Depending on where you park it can be a bit of a walk to the front door of the hotel. We intentionally parked away from most of the cars because we were using a loaner car and wanted to make sure no one dinged it.

The hotel lobby is huge. There is a very large lounge area, complete with a beautiful fireplace. There is also another seating area with a massive bookcase that spans the entire wall.

The people in the reception area seemed “perky” and were pleasant towards us.

Our room was located on the 4th floor, not too far from the elevators.

The room was very large. It featured a king size bed, nightstands, dresser, desk and a lounge chair with ottoman. It also featured a huge closet. I have never seen a closet so big in a hotel room before.

Bathroom

Bathroom – features a shaving mirror and comes with a hairdryer, shampoo, conditioner and a massage soap bar.

Bed

Soft and comfy bed.

Chair

Nice lounge chair and ottoman

Desk

Desk and dresser.

Dresser

Dresser features a mini fridge and a coffee maker.

Inside Closet

Really big closet with iron and ironing board. Plenty of storage.

Night Stand

Phone, alarm clock, lamp (with outlets) and remote control.

Room

Large room.

Shampoo

Shampoo & Conditioner

Soap

Nice massage soap bar.

 

Plenty of mirrors.

Plenty of mirrors.

Mini Fridge

Mini Fridge

The bathroom was fairly large. I like that it had two different lights. There is nothing worse than a super bright light in the middle of the night when you have to use the facility. The light for the bathtub area was much gentler on the eyes.

The bed was SO COMFORTABLE. It was like sleeping on a cloud. My husband and I lied down and didn’t want to get up. My husband even did “snow angels” on the bed. LOL!

Enjoying the bed

Even the pillows were soft and comfortable. It was one of the most comfortable hotel beds I have ever slept in.

Outside our window we noticed a walking path. We decided to explore the hotel and grounds a bit before heading down to dinner.

Walking path/trail outside our window.

Walking path/trail outside our window.

The hotel is a lot bigger than it appears from the outside. We only explored the 4th floor (we didn’t go to other floors) and found that there are very long hallways. I joked with my husband that we needed a map to see where we were going.

Long hallways

Long hallways

On our floor we found the ice machine and a soda vending machine which was handy. We also found an upstairs access to two of the ballrooms. We didn’t go into either of them because there were parties going on in both.

After exploring our floor we headed down to the lobby area. As I mentioned earlier the lounge area was huge. There is more than enough seating. My favorite spots were near the fireplace and near the bookcase.

Bookcase

Nice lounge area with a floor to ceiling bookcase. The indoor pool is located on the other side of this bookcase.

Fireplace

BEAUTIFUL fireplace and plenty of places to sit and enjoy it.

The lobby also had a huge television and computer work stations (including printers).

Computer

Computer

Lobby and Computer

Lobby with plenty of tables, chairs and the computer/printer work stations.

Lobby TV

Large TV in the background (4 panels) plus a large table with chairs – ideal for a meeting.

The lobby was nicely decorated.

Hilton Sign

Plants

Aside from the fireplace and huge bookcase there is also a huge interactive display with a touchscreen that gives you access to a lot of information including airline information, local weather and hotel events. My husband and I have fun touching the screen to see all the information we could pull up.

Interactive display - it was like a huge iPad on the wall.

Interactive display – it was like a huge iPad on the wall.

We eventually headed outside to check out the trail we saw. We didn’t get too far before it started to rain and we had to head back inside. It’s unfortunate because I really wanted to see where the trail led to.

We went back inside and took a peek into a couple of the ballrooms (one was occupied so we couldn’t really get a good look at it). We also found the indoor pool. I wanted to go in and take a picture but I didn’t want people who were swimming to wonder why I was taking pictures. There were also a lot of little kids in the pool and I didn’t want their faces to appear on my blog for their safety.

Indoor Pool

Indoor Pool

Outside of the hotel (back of the hotel) there is plenty of seating (tables and chairs), what appeared to be a barbecue pit (or fire pit?), lounge chairs and a really nice looking pool. It was raining so we were unable to get too close to the pool.

Outside of party room

Outside Pool Lounge

Outside Pool

Outdoor Pool

Seating Area

Umbrellas

Volleyball court near the outdoor pool.

Volleyball court near the outdoor pool.

The hotel does have tennis courts and a fitness room but we were unable to visit them.

The grounds are nicely landscaped.

Flower Buds

Flowers

Front of Hotel

After we were done exploring we headed back to our room for a bit to watch TV before heading downstairs again for dinner. We shouldn’t have lied in bed to watch TV. We were so comfortable we almost fell asleep.

We did enjoy an amazing dinner at Harth Restaurant at Hilton Westchester, which is the restaurant located in the hotel lobby. You can read my review here – Harth Restaurant Review.

Birthday Cake

After a very satisfying meal we headed back upstairs where I was greeted by a mysterious Birthday cake. No one has come forth and taken credit for it but I do have my suspicions. Thankfully the room had mini fridge so I was able to keep the cake cool until we got it home.

We slept blissfully that night. The bed was so comfortable. Even in the morning when we knew we had to get up we tried to stay in bed as long as possible.

In room coffee maker.

In room coffee maker.

The room came with a coffee maker and supplies but I opted to wait until we went for breakfast to have coffee. Harth has a breakfast buffet and other breakfast options.

We stayed for as long as we could but we had to head back home to pick up our kids to go upstate for a Memorial Day / Birthday barbecue.

Check out was quick and easy.

Overall we very much enjoyed our stay. I don’t know which I enjoyed more – the amazing meal at Harth or the super comfy bed.

The room was large and nicely appointed. The furniture was a little outdated, but I was not there for the furniture. As long as it’s comfy I don’t care how old it is.

We didn’t like the TV set up. There was a bit of a lag when you changed channels. I guess we’re just spoiled because we have satellite TV at home. There were many channels which was nice, including HBO. There are paid movie channels as well.

TV

The bathroom had shampoo and conditioner and only one soap. It was a massage bar, which was really nice, but I wish we had a second bar of soap instead of having to use the same bar of soap to wash our hands and take a shower.

The bathroom had a shaving mirror which was handy and a hair dryer.

When we stayed at the hotel there were a few parties going on and A LOT of young children. The children ran around the hotel – up and down the stairwells, up and down the elevators, running around the lobby, playing hide and seek in the restaurant area… The kids trashed the place too. There was garbage on the floor in the lobby area and in the hallway. I DON’T BLAME THE HOTEL. I blame the parents. The children were unsupervised. The hotel staff did what they could to control them even though it was not their responsibility. For example, when we were having dinner some kids came running in to play hide and go seek behind a table near us. The waiter nicely gathered up the children and told them to play elsewhere. There were no parents to be seen.

I feel bad for the hotel because someone checking in might think the hotel was trashy when it’s NOT. It was from the children that were running a muck around the hotel. Those parents should be ashamed of themselves.

We enjoyed our stay. If given the opportunity we would stay there again. Hopefully next time the weather would be better and we can enjoy the grounds.

If you find yourself in New York or Westchester County and you are looking for a hotel, consider the Westchester Hilton.

Hilton Logo

Kimberly

*I received a free hotel stay and meals in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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North America’s first Cat Café in NYC April 24-27, 2014

 

Cat Cafe Purina ONE NYC

I know that my readers are from across the country – even outside the United States. Normally I don’t post things that are “area specific”, however I think this is too cool not to share with readers. Even though this specific event is being held in New York City I hope that people from around the country might take this fabulous idea and run with it and create one in their town.

Have you ever heard of a Cat Café? They are popular in Asia and Europe. A Cat Café is café set up in a cat theme AND with actual cats. Patrons generally pay of nominal cover fee and can interact and play with the cats. Think of it as “rent-a-cat” in a café setting.

Initially I thought this was an odd idea. When I want to play with cats I can go to my local animal shelter. They usually welcome people coming in to socialize with the animals. But then I got to thinking about it more and it sounds like a lot of fun. I wouldn’t mind sitting down to enjoy a “cat’achino” and playing with adorable cats. It actually sounds fun. I think this is a great idea for people who love cats but who are not allowed to own any due to rental agreements or an allergic family member.

Purina ONE is bringing the first Cat Café to North America. It’s located in New York City and will be open from April 24th to April 27th (2014). I asked if this was going to be a permanent attraction but I was told it’s only for a limited time.

Cat Cafe

Why a Cat Café? Purina ONE hopes this will help to encourage conversation about cat health among cat owners and cat lovers alike. What a better way to have such a discussion then over a cup of coffee surrounded by cats.

Patrons of the Cat Café by Purina ONE will be spending time with adoptable cats from North Shore Animal League America and learning about cats, cat health and the Purina ONE 28 Day Challenge.

I LOVE that they are using adoptable cats in the café. I hope that all the beautiful cats find their “forever homes” thanks to the Cat Café. This is why I hope the idea takes off here in the United States, in hopes that it can be a way to help find homes for cats (and perhaps even dogs) that are found in overpopulated shelters across the country.

What is the Purina ONE 28 Day Challenge? The Purina ONE 28 Day Challenge is an easy, meaningful way to make a difference in your cat’s health; by switching to Purina ONE dry formulas for 28 days, cat owners should see visible differences in their cat’s health, like bright eyes, shiny coats, healthy energy levels, etc. It’s simple to do, just switch your cat’s food to a Purina ONE dry formula and go to www.purinaONE.com/OneSmartChange to track your cat’s progress. You can even find a coupon on the site to help get you started.

Cat Cafe New York City

“cat’achino”

The Cat Café by Purina ONE is located at 168 Bowery, New York, NY 10002. They are open from 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM daily.

Complimentary coffee beverages and snacks will be offered for patrons who stop by.

There will be several speakers throughout the duration of the Cat Café by Purina ONE to focus on different aspects of cat health, behavior and their own personal experiences with cats. The schedule includes:

  • Thursday, April 24
    • 11:30 a.m.: Carrie Ann Inaba will share her experience with the 28 Day Challenge.
    • 5:30 p.m.: Dr. Deb Greco, Purina Veterinarian, will discuss how cat owners can confirm their cat’s health every day.
  • Friday, April 25
    • 11:30 a.m.: Suzanne Hetts, Ph.D., Certified Animal Behaviorist, will discuss cat behavior and communication as a window into cat health.
    • 5:30 p.m.: Linda Griggs, Artist, will discuss how cat health inspired her to design the cat structures within the Cat Café.
  • Saturday, April 26
    • 11:30 a.m.: Christina Travalja, Shelter Director, will discuss the benefits of cat adoption and maintaining a happy, healthy cat once at home & Dorit Shevach-Shani, Feline Behaviorist with North Shore Animal League America, will discuss how to acclimate a newly adopted feline to unfamiliar surroundings.
    • Noon – 4 p.m.: NSALA Cat adoption event.
    • 5:30 p.m.: Valerie Shaff, Photographer, will discuss how she highlights the beautiful signs of health in the cats she photographs.
  • Sunday, April 27
    • Adopted cats are picked up to go to their forever homes.

If you would like to learn more please visit www.PurinaONE.com/CatCafe.

You can also check it out “virtually” with streaming video found at http://new.livestream.com/PurinaONE/CatCafe.

If you happen to be in the NYC area this week and have the opportunity to stop by the Cat Café by Purina ONE I would LOVE to hear about your experience. Please feel free to comment and tell me about it.

What do you think of the Cat Café idea? Does it sound like a place you would visit? What about a Dog Café or Small Pet Café? Do you think it’s a unique way to encourage adoptions?

NYC Cat Cafe Purina ONE

Kimberly

*I was not compensated for this post. I posted this for the enjoyment of my site readers and to encourage pet adoption.

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