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Over the summer, I won a trip for two to New York City compliments of Dannon. We could go any time we wanted, so I picked the week of Thanksgiving so that we could check out the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I decided to pay to have my youngest daughter join us while my husband and toddler stayed home.
It was such an incredible experience – from Dannon having a LIMO pick us up at the airport and take us to the airport, to touring their White Plains headquarters, to the parade, and everything in-between. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the three of us!
Where we stayed:
Grand Hyatt, which is a four-star hotel located on 42nd street and connected to Grand Central Station
Great location, we had a view of Grand Central Station just outside our window, friendly staff, bed was incredibly comfortable
Outdated, many fixtures were either broken or missing, and the shower looked a bit dirty, $100/night deposit for incidentals, spotty wifi
Our first day in NYC we met up with my dear friend, Lennis of Cook Dance Love Live. She took us on a personal tour all around NYC and helped us navigate the Subway. By the end of our day together we were pros! It was incredibly windy the day we arrived and we were seriously underdressed, but had a blast nonetheless!
One of our faves was the Whispering Arches at Grand Central Station. If you are in one corner and a friend is in another – you can speak to the wall and your friend in the other corner can hear you perfectly fine as though you were standing right next to them!
We took the ferry to Staten Island, which is free! It is pretty crowded but we were able to find a seat by the window and had a pretty unobstructed view of the Statue of Liberty.
I got a chance to give the girls a history lesson while visiting the 9/11 Memorial. The memorial has a field of trees and then two different recessed pools representing each tower. There are names of the 9/11 victims inscribed on the memorial, and on their birthdays, memorial staff places a single white rose on the name. You can read more about it here.The memorial itself is free to visit, but I believe you can also pay for a tour. The first time I was in NYC was earlier in the summer and I had about nine hours to kill before my flight so I read a book while at the memorial park and overheard one of the tour guides – it gave a ton of information and is definitely recommended.
We got in line around 5am to be in the audience for the Today Show, and it was well-worth the wait. It was pretty darn cold, and there was already a huge line by the time we got there. Make sure you tell your friends to record it back home!
One of our most favorite parts about NYC was going to Max Brenner, where a lot of the menu items are made with chocolate!! These chocolate syringes were enormous – initially it tasted like a delicious chocolate pudding (which I don’t even like), but then has an aftertaste of the most velvety hot chocolate.
We got up at 3:30am to go get a spot for the parade. An hour before the parade starts, they start to make everyone stand…even though it’d be another good 40 minutes after it starts before the parade would reach us.
The girls really enjoyed some window shopping on our way back from Little Italy!
A special thanks to Dannon for giving us a tour of their White Plains, NY office location. We got to try all kinds of yogurt!
So, why Dannon? What’s going on w/ them? Let’s hear it straight from Dannon:
– Dannon commits to offer products coming from a more sustainable agriculture by working with its dairy farmer partners and their suppliers to progressively implement the use of sustainable agriculture practices and technology that leads to better soil health, better water management, an increase in biodiversity, and a decrease in carbon emission.
– Dannon commits to bring all products from three flagship brands (Dannon®, Oikos® and Danimals®) towards the use of fewer and more natural ingredients that are not synthetic and non-GMO. Importantly, Dannon also commits that for these brands the feed of its farmer’s cows will be non-GMO, within a transition period of 3 years. The ambition is to evolve the remaining brands over time.
– To ensure full transparency for consumers, Dannon also commits to declare by December 2017 nationwide on label the presence of GMO ingredients in its products. In the meantime, if one state implements a GMO labeling requirement, since Dannon favors a nationwide labeling system, it will label the presence of GMOs nationwide according to the state requirements.