FINALLY, A Romantic Getaway! Christmas in New York with Hilton HHonors


It is only once on every other blue moon when the stars align and your crazy aunt decides to do a raindance that we get the opportunity to take trips that focus on our relationship. Sure, we are a travel couple, but the last time we took a romance based trip was on our honeymoon… 8 ½ years ago.

Needless to say I was excited about heading to New York to live out my cliche Christmas in New York dream – complete with the handsome hubby on my arm.

So we decided to relish and savor every moment – absurdly so. And it was awesome.

Hilton HHonors invited us to stay at a very delicious hotel – the Hilton Times Square – to be a part of the “Diamond for a Day” experience. We get to see what it was like to be a Diamond member of the HHonors program.

…and we got spoiled. If you’re looking to join a rewards program like this one, Hilton HHonors (it is FREE and at is on the top of our list.


We settled in after our flight from Austin into a room with a gorgeous view. We could see the New Years Eve ball! I squealed. I apparently squeal a lot when I’m happy. Shaun even captured this very epic panorama from our top floor room.


Comfy bed. Check!
Internet. Check! (Diamond members get free internet from AT&T, the nation’s largest 4G network!)
VIP chocolates and spring water? Check!


And we hit the town in a romantic fury.

The Rockettes:


I have a confession. I was in my 7th grade dance team (mainly because I couldn’t get into cheerleading but that is another story). My mother was a well known flamenco dancer. I’ve been around dance my entire life. It has been on my bucket list to see The Rockettes Christmas Special for [mumble mumble] years!


HHonors has this really awesome concierge service that uses points from the HHonors program to set up experiences.


I would say that first row mezzanine was a pretty awesome way to do that.


It was like MAGIC! *jazz hands*




Even Shaun liked it. *gasp*

Ice Skating at the Rockefeller Center:


What better way to spend your romantic NYC day than flailing like a crazy person while trying to avoid little kids that stop randomly in front of you? It was worth every painful moment to experience my first bit of ice skating in one of the most iconic urban areas in the world.

…my attempts at rollerskating at home to be a rollerderby girl actually paid off. I was able to glide (although that word may be pushing it) across the rink in a semi-graceful manner.

I swear this is adventure travel. Ice skating is adventurous… I think.

Memories of my childhood rollerskating rink popped into my head as Shaun grabbed my hand and we skated to Christmas music on a crisp winter day. I looked up and we grinned at each other. I’m not sure our job gets much better than this.

…and then as I was trying to show off – I bit it. Buttcrack a blazin’ I got back up though!

Museum of Modern Art:


I have a small obsession with Van Gogh – as in, he is my favorite painter of all time. I was a bit surprised in Amsterdam when I found out that my favorite painting, Starry Night, was actually in New York City.

Luckily we had an hour and a half to make a speed run through the MOMA.


RANT: I swear this is the most overrated piece I’ve seen in my life. Looks like a schizo kid with crayons hit a piece of paper while waiting for their meal at a family restaurant.


It was awesome. *swoon*

An Evening Carriage Ride Through Central Park:


Our driver pulled up with the most pimped out carriage I had ever seen. Blue undercarriage LEDs made him easy to spot. Although, I was expecting him to participate in Japanese Street Racing by the looks of it.

It had personality. We hopped in.


Of course, in Over Yonderlust fashion, it was raining. I’m not talking about the misty drizzle you think of in big cities. I’m talking about big, fat drops falling from the sky.

It made the experience so much more unique – and romantic. Tucked away in our covered compartment, wrapped in a blanket, our breath in the air, and the swaying carriage may have been straight out of a movie.


It was a bit silly that our guide kept pointing out locations of films and TV shows – Gossip Girl, Maid in Manhattan (I can’t believe I’ve actually seen that one), and the fountain where they filmed the Friends intro. Or pointing to buildings in the distance that Madonna and other big names live in.

I suffer from princess syndrome. Watching too many episodes of Sex and the City made me hold New York so high – but this – THIS – was living up to my expectations.

I’m so glad we got the chance to visit New York again – as a tourist, on VACATION. It is such a different experience – especially for that special Christmas in New York.

I can finally understand the throws of shirts you find hanging in the souvenir shops.


This is what happens when people ask us pose like we love each other.

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Disclosure: Hilton HHonors invited me to New York City and covered my airfare, transportation, and hotel, and I was compensated for my participation. All opinions and comments within my posts about the trip are my own.


34 Responses to “FINALLY, A Romantic Getaway! Christmas in New York with Hilton HHonors”

  1. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures December 19, 2012 at 3:06 pm #

    NYC is the best!!! What a fabulous getaway!

    • Erica December 21, 2012 at 5:42 pm #

      I love New York but I still think I’m a Chicago girl. <3

  2. Randy Bullis December 19, 2012 at 4:08 pm #

    Still one of my favorite places in the world. Give me a choice between NYC and Vegas and its NYC with no doubt. Glad you enjoyed it.

    • Erica December 21, 2012 at 5:42 pm #

      Now… NY or Chicago? 😛

  3. Leslie (Downtown Traveler) December 19, 2012 at 4:32 pm #

    Looks like you had an awesome trip! You definitely hit the main Christmas attractions 🙂 Too bad we didn’t get to meet up– will have to make it to Austin in 2013!

    • Erica December 21, 2012 at 5:43 pm #

      We are thinking of making a road trip up there in May… maybe if we had a couch to crash on. *cough*

  4. Maria December 19, 2012 at 6:25 pm #

    You guys did NYC right!
    However, I have to say you two would have fun and/or romance at a bus stop in the middle of rural Wyoming – given the chance ’cause it’s just the way you’re both wired… that’s a good thing. 🙂

    • Erica December 21, 2012 at 5:43 pm #

      You are right madam. Wyoming does sound fun…

  5. karin@yumandmore December 20, 2012 at 10:34 am #

    Ahhh looks like a great romantic time – well deserved after sooooo many years!
    We love to travel but our like romantic getaways (we even stay in a hotel in our city occasionally) are the best!
    Happy Holidays btw!

    • Erica December 21, 2012 at 5:45 pm #

      I think we need to do it a little more often. I loved it dearly and can’t imagine waiting another 8 years for something like this.

  6. Aaron @ Aaron's Worldwide Adventures December 20, 2012 at 4:00 pm #

    God, you’re making me miss NYC already!! And I’ve only been gone for a couple of months! So glad you too got such a quitessential New York experience!

    • Erica December 21, 2012 at 5:46 pm #

      MmHmm… GET IT… and plus, you have Carnegie in Vegas!

  7. Ayngelina December 24, 2012 at 7:58 am #

    That is the absolutely best way to see NYC, so iconic. I cannot believe you were able to see the Rockettes. And what a view from the hotel room!

    • Erica January 2, 2013 at 10:00 am #

      I’m so stoked that we got to experience the NYC I had been thinking of in my dreams. It was blissful.

  8. Alex December 24, 2012 at 8:37 am #

    I love when people love New York! 🙂 I am OBSESSED with the Rocketes, saw them myself two years ago! You definitely did the most iconic ice skating, though I also recommend Bryant Park for less crowds or Central Park for cool scenery.

    • Erica January 2, 2013 at 10:01 am #

      Yeah, I think I would have done much better in a less crowded rink but the fact we were skating next to the Rockefeller tree made me have a permanent grin on my face.

  9. Federico December 24, 2012 at 9:16 am #

    Wow, what a great trip at a great time of the year! I see you enjoyed it, and rightfully so. Merry Christmas!

  10. Camels & Chocolate December 24, 2012 at 11:24 am #

    I just saw the Rockettes at the Opry last week! I’ve seen them in NYC before, too, and I love, love, love their Christmas show!

    • Erica January 2, 2013 at 10:02 am #

      It was a bit silly because now they have 3D glasses and a video game dance portion… But it was fitting in its own way.

  11. Emily in Chile December 26, 2012 at 10:16 am #

    New York at Christmas sounds magical! What a fun getaway, especially if you two haven’t had a real vacation in so long.

    • Erica January 2, 2013 at 10:06 am #

      Sometimes we need to remind ourselves to do things like this.

  12. Noah December 26, 2012 at 12:29 pm #

    Your trip looks great. It’s funny how everyone who visits New York hits up those sites and the locals avoid them like Swine Flu of 2009. I still manage to make a trip to the tree every third year, but I have to say, I love downtown in the winter. The village is very much alive, Union Square has the markets (if you must), and Chinatown offers the great Jewish Christmas. Who can forget about the quaint/funky coffee shops to duck into when the weather gets too unbearable.

    • Erica January 2, 2013 at 10:07 am #

      I have the same reaction to SXSW when it is in town. People roll their eyes when I tell them I avoid it.

  13. 2 Digital Nomads December 26, 2012 at 7:05 pm #

    very nice review, but i want to know about your cheerleading story :p

    • Erica January 2, 2013 at 10:07 am #

      My lips are sealed!

  14. Suzzane from Travel Universally December 27, 2012 at 8:02 am #

    Erica… you had awesome gateway dear and most important you enjoyed the real warmth of love with your loved one in NYC (the city which never sleeps and bonds the modern hearts). Awesome pics!

    • Erica January 2, 2013 at 10:11 am #

      Such a sweet comment! Thank you! We really fell in love. I can’t wait to go back around may or June!

  15. Sebastian @ December 30, 2012 at 6:46 am #

    Sounds and looks like you guys had a great time in NYC! I can’t wait to go in April!

  16. Chanel @ La Viajera Morena December 30, 2012 at 9:06 pm #

    Gorgeous photos! 😀

  17. Hogga January 2, 2013 at 12:05 pm #

    You guys really got the full experience in. Now i want to go to NYC!

  18. Erika January 6, 2013 at 11:39 pm #

    Aww, that sounds like an awesome romantic stay! And haha, you had me laughing with those pics and your description of ice skating! I’m glad I found this blog and I’ll be coming back for more!

    • Erica January 9, 2013 at 5:25 pm #

      Welcome Erika! (I’ll just call you K..) I’m not the most graceful person ever and I need to make sure everyone knows it isn’t the easiest thing in the world! Thanks for joining us and we look forward to seeing you around.

  19. Carolina October 2, 2013 at 7:18 pm #

    How did you get those pictures of you guys skating??

    • Erica October 13, 2013 at 3:00 pm #

      Another blogger decided to come ice skating with us and did us a huge favor. 🙂

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