To Host Well is to Love Well.
Getting to be whisked off on an adventure and swept off your feet is a blessed feeling. In the first few months of our friendship, I visited Grace in New York City, born and raised. And boy, did she blow me away with everything she had up her sleeve.
I find that my memories are often made up of snapshot moments, quite like the Inside Out glowing memory balls. Here are a few of my favorite surprises and memory ball moments from that NYC weekend with Grace:
Eating our way through Smorgasburg in Brooklyn by the river (hello the best truffle fries of my life). Being absolute goons in the mirrored open art installations. Eating, again, classic cheesy, thin crust NYC pizza at Grimaldi's under the Brooklyn Bridge. Walking across the historical Brooklyn Bridge into the city skyscrapers. Riding bikes at dusk to the little red lighthouse under the George Washington Bridge. Watching the sun go down on the most incredible Upper West Side roof top.
Oogling at all of the vendors in Chelsea Market. The cool breeze riding the Staten Island ferry. Picking out the coolest ice cream flavors to try at the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory (black sesame, taro, lychee...yes, please!) Visiting the 911 memorial in the financial district. A cozy Spanish take-out dinner at home with the rest of the lively Dzina family.
Started the day off at the decadent Plaza hotel's food hall with lobster rolls (we knew Montauk was calling our name years from then). Took some ridiculous "Eloise at the Plaza" poses in The Plaza lobby (complete with the facial expressions). Rode the Roosevelt Island tram with a sweeping view of the city. Cooled off with a frozen hot chocolate bigger than our heads at Serendipity Cafe. Transformed into 5-year-olds at Dylan's Candy Bar. Attempted to walk off the food babies in Central Park. Returned to our child status on the carousel. Picked up Shake Shack (my first time ever) and had a classic NYC summer night: outdoor movie on picnic blankets in Central Park. Finished the night off with an 11 pm mango cheesecake and the prettiest-tasting Rose & Elderflower water that we oogled at for awhile at Cafe Lalo (yes, that scene with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks from the film You've Got Mail!).
But given all of these snapshot moments I still look back on so fondly, what I remember most is the feeling I had all weekend: spoiled, cherished, blessed. Seeing Grace pull out her Notes app throughout the weekend filled with all of the surprises she planned next was, honestly, the true blessing. To host well is to love well. And to plan well is to ensure an incredible weekend for the one-to-be-blessed.
It's been many, many years since that New York City whirlwind adventure, but Grace and I often look back and reminisce about how it built a foundation for our friendship since. This is what we are dedicated to in creating The Reveller: helping us all host well, plan well, love well. To gift the beauty of memories that will lay the foundations for our most treasured relationships.