Vanessa’s NYC Recap!

Last Monday morning found me pulling on my yoga pants (no, I don’t do yoga, I just like the pants…they’re so wonderfully stretchy, aren’t they?), running around packing lunches, 
driving the kids to school and coming back home to clean the house.
And, all the while, wondering if what had happened in the 2 days before had all been just a dream!

Several weeks ago we were asked to participate in a promotional event for LG and their new TrueSteam Dishwasher. Not only did I get the privilege of reviewing this incredible dishwasher, we also hosted a Giveaway here and one lucky reader by the name of Mia White won an all-expenses paid trip to join me in NYC for the Food Network Wine and Food Festival!
No…I had never been to New York.
Yes….I did pinch myself several times throughout this experience!
So, when Oct. 12th rolled around, I found myself on a plane heading to the Big Apple and feeling a bit like the “country mouse” going to the city.
Had to leave those yoga pants at home for this one!
As I buzzed (a much nicer word for my terrifying car riding experiences) through the city I was in absolute shock that I was finally getting to see Manhattan.

The weather could not have been more perfect if I had ordered it up myself.
I arrived at my swanky hotel, Ink 48, and it finally started to sink in that this was truly going to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

Friday evening we met up with our group and headed to an amazingly cool loft in SoHo for the Godiva “Sweet” event hosted by Sandra Lee.
I didn’t even know that was where we were until someone mentioned it after we left.
To which I replied, “I was just in a loft in SoHo? Really???!!!”

LG had this awesome kitchen set up and we got to see more of their amazing appliances including the TrueSteam dishwasher. Here I am with Mia, the winning reader. Isn’t she darling???

We had so much fun!
The next morning we awoke (3 hour time change required serious amounts of coffee!) and headed to Basketball City on Pier 36 for the Fun & Fit in the City Event hosted by Guy Fieri.
This was the view outside!
While there, Mia and I participated in a Dishwasher Loading Competition where the goal was to win a dishwasher for her.
We’ll never know who truly won (pretty sure it wasn’t going to be us…we might have called ourselves “Laverne and Shirley” all weekend!) but as you can tell by the next photo, it didn’t matter.
That man there is Dave, Director of Brand Marketing for LG, and he generously gave a TrueSteam Dishwasher to all of the competitors! Can you tell how thrilled I was for Mia?!!
I think she was in shock, which was pretty much how we both felt all weekend long.
You might recognize a couple of other faces who were there…
 Once we left the event, we were given a block of time to do whatever we wanted in the city.
And what did I want to do?

Why, finally meet in person my wonderful friend Judy from DIY By Design, of course!

She graciously drove into the city and played tour guide to us all afternoon.
I had a few butterflies right before we met…”what if she doesn’t like me?”…things like that.
But I shouldn’t have worried one bit! Judy was absolutely lovely and I truly felt like I had known her forever. We could have talked all day!
It was so wonderful to get to give her a hug and it only confirmed for me that blogging friendships are REAL friendships and it just seemed so normal to be hanging out with Judy at the Plaza Hotel.
I mean, that’s just an everyday occurrence, right?
We did the Readers Digest condensed version tour of NYC before heading back to our hotel to get ready for the next event.
Saturday night found us back at the SoHo loft for the Tacos & Tequila event hosted by none other than Bobby Flay! We tasted some of the most amazing tacos and I may or may not have dropped a fried chickpea down the front of my blouse sometime during the evening…just sayin’.
We also managed to connect with a few other familiar faces…

Me and Marc Murphy from “Chopped”, Mia chatting up the beautiful Sandra Lee and me (sorry it’s blurry!) talking with Robert Irvine from Dinner/Restaurant Impossible
Everyone was seriously so kind and gracious and we couldn’t believe that we were getting to meet some of our Food Network favorites!
The gals who were the biggest rock stars in our book though were these beautiful ladies, Grace (on the far left) and Annie (in between me and Mia). They work for LG-One, the PR firm for LG and they could not have been more awesome. They handled all of the details and made our time truly incredible.
Thank you girls for all you did!

Sunday morning dawned and I had just enough time before heading to the airport to walk with Mia to a neighborhood bakery that smelled so divine I wish I could have bottled it up!
A chocolate croissant and a strong cup of coffee?
What better way to end such an amazing weekend?!
Now, would you like to participate in a fun game?

“LG has teamed up with Share Our Strength and Food bank of New York City charities in a battle against hunger and has developed a short game where for every vote cast by our readers, LG will donate $1 to both charities, up to a total donation of $15,000. 

About Share our Strength

“No child should grow up hungry in America, but one in five children struggles with hunger. Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign is ending childhood hunger in America by ensuring all children get the healthy food they need, every day.
The No Kid Hungry campaign connects kids in need with nutritious food and teaches their families how to cook healthy, affordable meals. The campaign also engages the public to make ending childhood hunger a national priority.”

We would love for you to join in ending childhood hunger by voting here:
Thank you again to the generous folks at LG for this truly once-in-a-lifetime experience and to LG-One for putting together the weekend of my dreams! 
I may be back in my yoga pants (still not doing yoga) but I won’t ever forget the time this “country mouse” had her adventures in the big city.

Thanks so much for joining me, and my yoga pants, today at the Fence,

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  1. says

    What a great whirlwind trip for you, Vanessa! That had to be a lot of fun and amazing to attend. How cool that Mia wound up with a dishwasher. I read Judy’s post about you two meeting and I think that was great. I can’t wait to meet some blogger buds myself. I’m hoping to do Haven next year.

  2. says

    So glad you had such an amazing time in NYC – only wish I could have been in town to hang out! What a great experience – now get back here soon! I’m off to vote for Share Our Strength & the NYC Food Bank!

  3. Anonymous says

    Vanessa, thanks for all the pictures of your trip. We enjoyed so much getting to see all that you did in NYC! Pretty cool!

    Mom and Dad

  4. says

    Wow, that is so awesome, Vanessa! It sounds like you had a wonderful trip and experience. I’m so thrilled for you to have had this opportunity. Yes, I voted!


  5. says

    What an amazing experience! Loved seeing NYC through your eyes! Lovely post and so happy that you had this truly wonderful experience.


  6. says

    Vanessa, you are too cute! Loved all your pictures, it’s as if we got to go along for the fun! So glad you and Judy got to spend some time together. Love NY this time of year! XOXO ~Liz

  7. says

    Vanessa- I had the best time meeting up with you and I’m so excited to see all of your photos from the rest of your NYC whirlwind weekend. Looks like the rest of it was a blast as well. Hope to see you again soon my friend.

  8. says

    It’s so great to see where the traveling pants took the other half of the sisterhood! You two have really and truly been blessed lately. That’s the only way to look at it, and frankly, it couldn’t have happened to two more likable people. Mean it. Really.

    And btw to Heather: My mother was so excited to get her BHG mag and find your feature. She showed me her copy the minute I got to the door of her house with a big old grin.

  9. says

    There is nothing like NYC….I am so happy that you and Mia had such a wonderful time….the folks at LG are certainly so wonderful and generous to have made certain that you have the experience of a lifetime….you two must have been pinching yourselves all the time..making sure it was not a dream!…and how wonderful that Judy from DIY Design so generously met you and took you on a tour…love her blog…she is such a gracious person….So glad you and Mia were able to experience NYC and meet so many wonderful people!…I am sure you are happy to be back home with your family and your yoga pants!!!…Thanks for sharing your beautiful experience!!

  10. says

    How fun for you to visit Manhattan. We used to live an hour away in CT. A couple of times a year we would go see something new there. I was so glad to go home, though – so much! So many people. A fun place to visit – for sure!!! I love the country or suburbs a lot better for living. Great post!

  11. says

    WOWZIE! Looks like you had such a wonderful time. Mia looked very happy too! That is amazing that she received a brand new DW…WOW! Then to drop chick peas down your shirt, drink T. and meet Robert Ervine!!!! GET OUT!…that sounds like Heaven to me Vanessa! I love that man. I think Rick has a man crush too!!! So happy it went well for you. My hubby travels to NYC a lot, he’s there right now-we want to take Daphne & Val…hopefully one day. Thanks for sharing! ~ Julie

  12. says

    Wow, Vanessa! First of all, I love that you don’t do yoga but make yogapants an outfit staple…me too. Second, WHAT A TRIP! Looks like you had the trip of a lifetime! Congrats on such a sweet opportunity! :)

  13. says

    This is so awesome! I’m glad you had so much fun and I LOVE that picture of you being surprised that she’d also one a dishwasher!!! What a fun trip! :)


  14. says

    Thank you so much for sharing the pictures from your fabulous trip, Vanessa–it looks like you had a blast! The Plaza Hotel–it used to house The Persian Room, where some of the most famous nightclub acts in history and entertainers performed back in the 1950s–I would love to see that hotel some day!

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