Is anyone else in the same boat as I am, confused at how we’re already through the first week of December and wondering where the time has gone? I’d mentioned to friends recently that I’d blinked in August and it was winter, and that statement certainly holds true when it comes to feeling festive for the Christmas season.
I was still reveling in the pumpkin pie and burnt orange hues of fall when Lynn and Justin of Mad Hatters NYC reached out to schedule a blogger group holiday get-together on Saturday, December 1st. Lynn and Justin and I met over a year and a half ago when they stumbled across a post I had written about the best donut places in NYC (a passion that Justin and I both share). We’ve been going on blogger dates ever since, but this was a fantastic opportunity to meet other bloggers who I’d been following for a while, AND finally help myself get into the Christmas Spirit!
What was this magical blogger soiree, you might ask?
An epic cruise around the Hudson River with Classic Harbor Line’s Cocoa and Carols Holiday Cruise (preceded by a delicious dinner at Death Ave in Chelsea)!
One of my goals going into the New Year is to work on strengthening relationships, meeting new people, and pursuing the activities and interests that make me happy. I’ve found myself getting into a sort of comfort-zone rut, where I tend to spend most of my days doing the same sorts of things – often opting for the comfort of my (albeit microscopic) apartment instead of going to the events or museums that pique my interest. Part of this has to do with the fact that I genuinely like spending time with my fur baby and hate to leave him for long stretches of the day. The other part is that I think people tend to get wrapped up in their own routines, an “I’ll do it later” mentality and, frankly, the “I’m in a relationship and have a built-in Netflix/movie/let’s stay in Astoria and sleep buddy” rut.
In any event, this lovely get together was the perfect excuse to get out and meet some new people who share similar interests – not to mention get in the Christmas Spirit!
After a delicious (if quick) dinner at Death Ave, we were dashing through the roads (I know you sang that to yourself) to get to Pier 62, where we were about to embark upon a journey into a festive, waterfront winter wonderland!
Once we boarded the boat, the super-friendly staff (seriously…everyone was so nice, I began to wonder if we were still in NY) led us out of the cold mist that was descending upon Manhattan and to warm, cozy Table 3, right next to a wide window providing ample views of the twinkling city at night.
The lights and decorations instantly put you in the mood for Christmas – as did the selection of a complimentary cocktail or homemade (spiked) hot chocolate! It was a cold night out so I opted for a hot peppermint tea, but others enjoyed prosecco, beer, and hot cocoa. Our evening of caroling was led by The Sound Waves, who played beautiful, festive jazz music in the background while we settled in, warmed up, chatted over our drinks – and escaped every once in a while to the outdoor decks to take in the marvelous views of the sparking Manhattan skyline.
The views from this cruise were incomparable – seriously! I’ve never been this close to the Statue of Liberty – I felt like I could reach out and touch her. The views are better than the ones from the Staten Island Ferry (which doesn’t get quite as close) and even Ellis Island (sure, you can get close, but can you actually see it from down below?). We took turns admiring the myriad New York landmarks from the unique vantage point of a boat on the Hudson, and of course, snapping pictures. We are bloggers after all…
About halfway through the hour and a half tour, The Sound Waves led us all in singing Christmas Carols. It was wonderfully giddy and fun and made me feel like I was a kid in elementary school (in the best, most carefree way of course), singing along with my friends in music class. The highlight of this was when we sang “12 Days of Christmas,” with each table representing a day. It turned into a sort of friendly, hilarious competition and by the end of it, we were all in hysterics. And rewarded for our participation with Christmas cookies. Yes please!
Besides the holiday cheer, I think my favorite part was the opportunity to meet so many amazing new bloggers – including Mary from Mary in Manhattan, Julianne from It’s Five O’Clock Here, Becca from Tea with B, Trudy from Rendezvous En New York, and Ena from Musings and Adventures!
Check out my fellow bloggers, read Mad Hatters NYC recap of our #BlogSquad get together for a different perspective, and if you find yourself in NYC for the holidays (and are hoping to escape the heaps of tourist near 5th Ave/Rock Center/Bryant Park), definitely add the Cocoa and Carols Cruise from the Classic Harbor Line to your NYC Christmas To-Do List!