In early October, my friend Sarah came to visit lil ole me on Long Island. We've bonded over our love for Sara Bareilles for quite some time, and she finally announced a tour! We knew we had to go together and Sarah had never been to New York so it was the perfect opportunity. We bought the the tickets sometime early this year and it came and went so quickly.
Sarah flew into LaGuardia airport at around 4:20 on Friday, the 11th. The drive there was an adventure in and of itself. The airport has been under construction for years and arriving at rush hour did not help our situation. We (my dad and I) got to the airport at 10 after 4 so we had some time to kill anyway. We drove around to departures because a policeman was blocking the entrance for arrivals. At the New York airports they don't let cars sit idly, due to the high amount of traffic, so we had to drive back around. The second time we were able to go to arrivals but once again we were forced to move. Unfortunately the cop was blocking the entrance to arrivals and at that point Sarah was off the plane and waiting. Thankfully we were able to park outside for a few minutes and she had enough time to come find us. We didn't end up getting back to my house till after seven and the car ride was full of stop and go traffic. Sarah's a vegan so we had planned dinner accordingly, vegetable chow mein, but due to the longevity of the trip home we ended up ordering Chinese. It was an exhausting night, but I was excited for the weekend plans ahead.
Saturday morning we headed to breakfast at Toast Coffeehouse in Bayshore. We got our much needed caffeine fix and a hearty breakfast for the day. Toast is a great spot for brunch with their assortment of breakfast and lunch specials. They even had some vegan options for Sarah! I had scrambled eggs with avocado, peppers and onions with a side of potatoes and whole wheat toast. And of course a latte.
After breakfast we dropped my sister off home and began our adventure to find a pumpkin patch. The first stop seemed too good to be true: 1. it wasn't too far from my house and 2. we found a parking spot almost immediately. Considering we weren't actually buying any pumpkins, when we saw the admission price of $10 we decided to keep looking. Google wasn't helpful because most don't say whether there is a fee to get in, and I didn't want to go to any local patches because I knew they'd be packed. It was a Saturday after all. I knew I wanted to go Roast Coffee in Patchogue. I don't really have many coffeeshop's to choose from near my town, but I also didn't want to drive a half hour just for coffee. We ended up finding a farm that didn't list whether there was a fee and did't answer when we called so we decided to get a coffee and chance checking out the farm.
At Roast I ordered an iced caramel latte. Yes, I am one of those people who drinks iced coffee all year round. It's an addiction I am not apologizing for. I didn't notice till after I ordered that they were selling a Butterbeer latte. My Harry Potter heart was thriving and it just means I'll have to go back before they're gone for the season.
When we got to Glover Farms we were pleasantly surprised to find that there were barely any people there and it only cost us $2 to do our basic activities. It was thankfully a beautiful, clear sunny day with only a slight chill in the air. We walked through a sad looking sunflower field (the season is coming to an end so I'll have to make sure I remember to visit in August next year), and took some cute fall-esque pictures with the pumpkins.
We made a Target run because why not, and we always seem to end up in Target when we're together so it's almost become a tradition. Then we headed home to relax before dinner. It had been a long day and Sunday was going to be more jam packed so the rest of the night was pretty chill. We had also both missed that weeks episode of This Is Us so it was nice being able to watch together. Dinner consisted of the vegetable chow mein, and later Sarah used an app where she found an ice cream shop that had vegan ice cream available. It was a cute lil shop in Babylon only about 10 minutes from my house. It had gotten colder once the sun set and the night sky opened up, but we sat outside anyway to enjoy our frozen treats. I got their cake batter flavor, my go to choice besides cookie dough.
Sunday was the big day. We were heading into New York early so Sarah could get at least a preview of what the city is like. I had recruited my friend Makenzi to help me and my lack of tour guide ability. I may live an hour from the city and visit quite often, but I'm not the best with directions and as more of a local visitor I didn't know what a tourist would want to see besides Times Square. Sarah and I got into New York after 11am so we walked over to Times Square. As I said, I'm not the best with directions. New York always stresses me out, but I successfully got us to Times Square and then to the Starbucks on 55th and 7th to meet Makenzi (she avoids Times Square at all cost, understandably so) and I was proud of myself. Once Makenzi arrived we headed to Central Park. We were lucky because it was a gorgeous day for a stroll. Makenzi showed us where Chuck and Blair got married and the spots in Central Park where most scenes in films and TV shows are shot. We saw the large Alice in Wonderland statue and then headed out to grab lunch. I hadn't eaten since the cliff bar on the train that Sarah was clever enough to bring along, so I was starting to feel queasy.
Lunch was at this cute vegan spot called ByChloe. Besides the endearing decor, and atmosphere as a whole the food is actually quite tasty. Makenzi had taken me there on one of our NYC excursions before so I knew what to expect. It's basically a vegan fast food joint, with limited seating but an Instagram worthy aesthetic. Sarah and I both ordered the Quinoa Taco Salad upon Makenzi's recommendation. It was both pretty and appetizing. I scarfed it down rather quickly. Not before I got a picture though, because how could I not?
The rest of the afternoon was spent walking to a few iconic and noteworthy spots in the city including: Washington Square Park, Soho, and The Freedom Tower. Along the way we took some cute pictures for Instagram to capture memories of the day. We also grabbed cupcakes at Georgetown Cupcakes and some fresh juice at Pressed Juicery. It was a fun day of exploring and just enjoying the lovely fall weather in New York.
When it was time to start heading back towards Madison Square Garden we made reservations for dinner. We ended up at another vegan spot, the Peacefood Cafe. I don't recall what exactly it was that I ordered but I know it was some sort of vegan chili, with whole grain rice and guacamole and chips on the side. I'm pretty sure the rice and chips and guac were my favorite part of the meal. Afterwards we took the subway and parted ways with Makenzi for the show! On the way over to MSG, Sarah and I stumbled upon a corner of a store that was made for Instagram. Being the milennials that we are, we headed inside to of course pose under the sign that said "Wish You Were Here":
Finally the time had come. We were seeing Sara Bareilles, together in NEW YORK. We got inside and were super stoked we'd actually have seats to sit in. Walking around the city all day was exhausting and our feet had had enough. We were both pretty tired, so I decided to grab myself a coffee (big mistake) after we bought some merch. I got a tour shirt and Sarah got herself a cute little notebook with some lyrics on the cover. We headed to our seats and got comfortable as the opening act performed.
So, technically I have seen Sara Bareilles live. I am a big fan of the musical she brought to life "Waitress." She starred in it twice and I was lucky enough to see it with her as Jenna. But, this was the first time seeing her in concert for both Sarah and myself. And we were not disappointed. Sara is one of the most talented, gracious, genuine performers I've ever experienced live. For me, she's a big name. She's been around for years and has had numerous hits. Turns out our show was her first time headlining Madison Square Garden! It was amazing and she was both incredible and humbled by the reception of her performance. It was beautiful to witness. She sang her iconic singles like "King of Anything," "Brave" and "Love Song." She also honored "Waitress" by performing a few songs from it which I appreciated immensely. Her vocals are stunning and to be able to hear her live is an experience I will never forget. I think my favorite parts of the show were when she sang "She Used to Be Mine," "Armor," and "Gravity."
Being able to see Sara live with someone who appreciates her as much as I do was incredibly fulfilling. I am so grateful Sarah made the trip to visit me and spend a few days and see Sara together. I know this won't be her last stay in New York.