Thursday, March 1, 2018


Christmas in New York

Saks Fifth Avenue 

I would like for you to meet the two newest members of the Traveling Totes.  From Sketchy Reader,  Ricki Jill and from Cici's Corner, Lea. A huge welcome to both.

I want to say how much I enjoy meeting  these sweet bloggers for lunch.  Jenna, Ricki Jill  and I have met for lunch in Birmingham on several occasions. Two of the latest was the Grand Bohemian in Mountain Brook and another at the Cheesecake Factory in Hoover. We are lucky we live close enough for lunching together. 

I've had lunch with this sweet blogger a few times while visiting Fairhope. I came out to see Leslie Anne Tarabella while she was at Barnes and Noble at the Summit for a book signing. Congratulations Leslie Anne.

The Majorettes are back in town. 

Tales of the Traveling Tote

Welcome to another adventure of The Tales of the Traveling Tote. If you follow my blog you will remember last October, my Traveling Tote adventure to New York to meet with some of the Traveling Tote members. It was a wonderful trip. With my birthday coming up in December my sweet husband ask me what I might want for my birthday. It took only an instant to reply "Christmas in New York City!" It was truly a "Christmas fantasy." Of course a little snow would be icing on the cake for this southern girl. The first morning, walking into our hotel restaurant which has a wall of picture windows overlooking Central Park, I could hardly believe my eyes. The park was covered with a beautiful blanket of snow! Here are some of the sites Jim and I visited on our trip. 

  New York
Our hotel ~ The Park Lane

Columbus Circle

New York City Public Library
Recognized by it's lion statues, Patience and Fortitude
Was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1965
and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, 1966


Adjacent to the library is Bryant Park. Winter here is a Midtown wonderland with it's shops, restaurants and ice rink surrounded by skyscrapers. It reminds me of European Christmas markets. 

Rockefeller Center

The ice rink and the iconic Christmas tree, a must see!

After a long cold day of seeing the sights we had reservations at Bar 65 at the Rainbow Room. We did this back in October and it was a definite repeat performance not to be missed.

Greeted by Victorian carolers

Our next day included a trip to the Mackenzie-Childs shop. It was only two blocks away!

Lots and lots of window shopping. The holiday windows at Christmas are simply, "spectacular!" Sorry, my photos can't capture the fun and creativity.

Tiffany & Co.

More Holiday windows

And, in one of those shops I met Jay Strongwater. 
I was delighted to meet the man behind some of my most treasured pieces and picture frames.

Saks Fifth Avenue holiday window displays were magical! A light show with music and a Disney cast of Snow White for "Once Upon a Holiday." 

And, look who I ran into!

After a lot of window shopping in the freezing weather we were ready to warm up and The Radio City Music Spectacular was just the place. It was cold with a few snow flurries when we went inside.

After the show we were not expecting snow accumulation. With the crowd, there was no taxi or Uber service to be found. The sidewalks were completely iced over.  Jim found the only transportation available. A Pedicab! Not transportation you want on a night like this. Hmmm, and they say southerners can't drive in the ice and snow! It was chaos!!! Slipping and sliding all over the road and into the sidewalks is not something I'll forget anytime soon.

Thank goodness the snow was almost over by the time we were delivered safely (amazingly) to our hotel. We had dinner plans with sweet Linda of More Fun Less Laundry and her husband. They were fantastic and walked over later and we enjoyed a cozy dinner at an Italian restaurant nearby. 

The next day we went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Christmas tree was a twenty foot blue spruce decorated with angels in silk robes looming over an 18th century Neapolitan Nativity scene. It was magnificent!

The Met
Christmas Tree and Neapolitan Baroque Creche

The Portrait Collection

The afternoon was for walking. Just around the corner from our hotel was the Plaza. I just had to pop in. The Christmas tree was so pretty.

If it's a little early for lunch or tea at The Palm Court, walk down the steps to the Plaza Hotel food court.  Sprawling with gourmet food vendors, antique and gift shops. One special shop I found was "Eloise at the Plaza." Tiny tea sets and gifts and this room. It is used for birthday and tea parties and every little girls dreams. And, did you notice the black and white floor. Looks a little like Courtly Check.

Christmas is a special time to visit New York. I hope you enjoyed the tour. Miss Courtney and I would love to know about your visit and we hope you will leave a comment, it's the only way we know you were here!

Now for the Giveaway!

 Jenna at The Painted Apron is hosting the giveaway for a chance to win a MacKenzie-Childs soap dish and Beekman 1802 goatmilk soap. For a chance to win just leave a comment on her blog post. Winner will be announced March 10. 

Other Traveling Tote bloggers would love for you to visit.

Come along and travel with:
Debbie with Miss Aurora @ Mountain Breaths 
Emily with Miss Courtney ChildsThe French Hutch
Patti with Miss Kenzie @ Pandora's Box
Jenna with Miss Coquille @The Painted Apron
Linda G with Miss Poppy @ More Fun Less Laundry
Linda P with Miss Lola @ Life and Linda
Rita with Miss Luna C Panoply 
Sarah with Miss Merri Mac @ Hyacinths for the Soul
Jackie and Miss Madi K Purple Chocolat Home
Ricki Jill and Countess De Monet @ The Sketchy Reader
Lea and Miss Scarlett @ Cici's Corner

Please join us for our next adventure and giveaway June 1, 2018.


  1. Wow, I am so envious that you got to return to NYC so quickly after our meeting! You certainly captured the spirit of NYC in your photos!! So happy you got to see snow while there! BUT your trip in the pedi cab must have been terrifying!! Lucky you to be able to have lunch with RJ and Jenna - I hope I get to meet them some day. Great post!!

  2. Aw, thanks for the sweet shout-out....I'm so happy to be a part of the group! Your trip to New York was wonderful! I enjoyed seeing all the photos. I would have loved the Christmas Market in Bryant Park and of course visiting MacKenzie-Childs and the NY Public Library. The Eloise Shop would be any little girl's dream!!! (Including this big girl).

    Happy March, Emily!

    Ricki Jill

  3. Oh Emily, your trip does sound like a dream come true! Oh those Christmas lights and decorations! Tiffany's! Window shopping! You really did it all, or at least so much! So many gorgeous photos! Even though you have told me about your trip in person, it was so much fun to hear more details and try to imagine your experience through your photos! It is so wonderful you got to have dinner with Linda and her husband...It must seem like a dream now that you're back in quiet AL! Love the photo collages you created!!

  4. Emily, au contraire - these pictures do more than justice to your experience in NYC. Wow, what an agenda! I'd ask you to be my tour guide in a NYC minute! Great collages too (how did you make those?). Love the fact that you, Jenna and Rj can meet up (jealous!), and that you got the chance to see Linda and her husband again for dinner in NYC. What a bonus to being part of the TT tribe. Living life to its fullest.

  5. How nice that you, Jenna, and Ricki Jill are close enough to meet up with each other, Emily. How wonderful of your sweet hubby to honor your birthday wish with a trip to NYC! Oh my, the magical sights that you saw. The pedicab must've been quite the experience! I haven't been to NYC in going on forty years, but would love to go back, especially during Christmas time. Thanks for sharing your adventures with us! xx

  6. what lovely eye candy this morning! It was fun meeting you at Leslie Anne's book signing. When I saw that tote I knew you were one of the Traveling Ladies!

  7. Emily, I'm thrilled for you that the NYC trip at Christmas happened this year. I know you've been anticipating this! Yes, NYC is magical at Christmas with all the lights and festive atmosphere. It's fun to see all that you and Jim did. Some of your building shots are amazing!
    Happy you and other TT girls were together again. It's fun to meet up and share a day.

  8. Oh, my, what gorgeous photos of New York. I'm going in May for my 3rd visit and I can hardly wait! It's so neat that you and a couple others of the TT's can meet up and have such fun. Blessings!

  9. Emily, a truly special birthday gift, visiting NYC at Christmas. You captured some amazing photos and the whole experience. Meeting up Linda and her husband was so special. How fortunate to live close enough to meet up with Ricki and Jenna for lunch. I am so envious. No one lives close to me in the group...LOL Thanks for sharing your very special outing.

  10. Oh what fun your sharing your holiday trip to NYC! Sure is a fun place to visit. I've been there - blessedly - several times. The first time was Mid-March when I was only 18 - I drove my best friend from college home - I got the "insiders" inexpensive tour that time. I shall never forget it!

    The remaining times were much later, and all in the fall - that is when my husband and I travel, as Sept is our wedding anniversary. We have slowly done quite a few of the "must dos" there. I am so grateful we had the experience of once staying at the historial Waldorf-Astoria, as I have heard it's been renovated and sold off as condos. How sad. We even dined there - the famous place where the Waldorf Salad and "Oscar's Style" steaks - with a crab meat combo on top) were invented.

    Anyway, plan on going back - there's so much more to see and discover - but perhaps not when it's snowing. It's too cold, haha. My daughter loves NYC at Christmastime, but for me no way, haha. : - ) VERY glad you got the experience once though. Sure enjoy your traveling tote stories. I am always made to feel as if I went along with you. Thank you.

  11. Emily you sure had a wonderful birthday and Miss Courtney looked spectacular everywhere she went. How fun to be able to get together with so many bloggers! That is a treat in and of itself.
    We just love New York at Christmas. Sorry to hear about the crazy snow, but glad you at least found a pedicab - better than you guys slipping and sliding all over the place.
    We get to come to New York in April and of course have to go to the MC mother store! Can't wait.

  12. OMG... Emily... what a fabulous post! How fun that you got to meet Jenna, Ricki Jill, and Leslie Anne. And you got to have dinner with Linda too!! I loved all the pics of NYC. The Mister hosted a dinner party at the Rainbow Room the night that we got engaged. I am not telling Miss Daisy about your post because the only thing that she has seen these last 3 months is the back of my closet!! Enjoy your weekend!!

  13. Oh what a fun trip you had in New York. I have been twice but not at Christmas time so I am happy you were there and shared your visit with the sparkle of New York at Christmas. The tree and chandelier were just stunning. We made a point to go to Tiffany & Co. since our daughter is named Tiffany. Thanks for sharing your Christmas fantasy. Can't wait for the next adventure of the traveling tote.

  14. I was thrilled you got to come to my book signing in Birmingham. We'll have to find a way to spend more time together soon! New York at Christmas! Oh, my! We were there once at that time when our boys were little and to see it through their eyes was magical. You got to do so much and see all the highlights. How fabulous!

  15. Your trip looks magical with all the beautiful Christmas decorations. You saw a great deal while you were there and I feel how cold it was. We went a number of years ago right after Christmas and it was freezing. I was colder there than in Alaska. I needed my Alaska clothes that year!
    Glad you were able to meet Linda and her husband. And...I know the other TT would love to meet all the other bloggers. GREAT POST!

  16. Oh Emily -- what a glorious time! I've been to NYC before but never at Christmas and I think I would be completely captivated by all the beautiful things you shared here. And that Eloise at the Plaza shop. It would make Rick crazy and I don't think I could ever leave! Best of all, the gathering with blog friends. I just LOVE that!

  17. Oh Emily, so happy that you and Jim were able to get back to NYC shortly after we met you there! So much to see and do, and you captured it so well! I can't wait to show Joe your pictures of "his city" LOL. We have a reservation for Bar SixtyFive for Joe's upcoming retirement :-) Have a wonderful weekend.

  18. Hi Emily, I can hardly believe how many experiences you were able to have during your NYC December trip! I hope you have happy memories and that the crazy weather that week didn't discourage you from coming again soon. We had a fabulous time at dinner with you and Jim and can't wait to see you again. I do think Christmas is the most special time in NYC and I'm so glad you were able to be here for it. Hi to your hubby from mine and if he ever retires we will be ready for some travel and you will hopefully have many excellent ideas for us! Linda

  19. Ouh ma chère Emily, quel régal ce billet. Vous avez passé un merveilleux Noël à New York et un magnifique séjour, tout y est féérique de vos visites à votre Hôtel en passant par vos rencontres, un pur bonheur.
    Un grand merci du partage, j'ai adoré.
    Je te souhaite un très bon week-end, bisous de Bretagne.

  20. What better time to be in NY than Christmas?!

    I don't know what you eat for breakfast Emily but I want in! You got some serious energy!


  21. What fun! New York and Christmas and blogger friends.