Thursday, December 20, 2018

Thankful and Blessed in New York City:
Beyond Group Travel’s Thanksgiving in New York City Trip

Thanksgiving is a time where friends and family come together to share unforgettable experiences, and Beyond Group Travel has the privilege to bring that to reality every year with our annual Thanksgiving in New York trip.

Over this 4-night program, our travelers enjoyed an exclusive and unobstructed view of the famed Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, feasted on a lavish Thanksgiving brunch, lunch and dinner, watched the talented Rockettes kick and tap their heels in a remarkable dance routine, watched a popular Broadway show, and still had time to take in the sights and attractions of their choice in The Big Apple.

Our program began on Wednesday with a warm welcome and hotel check-in. Depending on arrival time, we offered the opportunity to take a guided tour to see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons come to life as they inflate in Central Park. In the evening, our travelers had the option to see an optional Broadway show or explore New York City on their own. Many literally dropped their bags at the hotel and began their NYC adventure. Walking is the best way to enjoy NYC; talk about meeting your steps goal for the day!

The major event: Thanksgiving Day!
Check out our view!
This year we experienced a new record: the coldest Thanksgiving in 100 years! We are grateful that our parade viewing venue has always been indoors (in the warmth!) so our travelers can watch the balloons and marching bands in comfort. Several brave souls went outside to see the parade on the street level but quickly made their way back inside to enjoy the views with a hot cocoa. The true delight was watching the faces (especially the little ones) light up as the marching bands, floats, and balloons made their way past us at eye-level. Being this close to the action, you have the benefit of interacting with some of the parade performers. I can say DIANA ROSS WAVED RIGHT AT ME ON THANKSGIVNG DAY 2018! Once Santa made his way to close the parade, a delightful selection of gourmet sandwiches and goodies was available for lunch on-the-go before our next event.

We had a short 5-minute walk from the hotel to Radio City Music Hall to see the famed Radio City Christmas Spectacular show. There is nothing better to get you in the holiday spirit than seeing this spectacular show and the flawless precision of the Rockettes as they awe you with legendary performances, glittery costumes and ever-changing sets.

To end this festive day, we gathered together at a classic New York steakhouse to give thanks and partake in a wonderful cocktail reception and dinner in a beautiful private room. At the end of the night, new friendships were made, family memories created, and we all left with gratitude of what a wonderful Thanksgiving Day we spent together as one big “family.”

The rest of the Thanksgiving weekend is designed to give our travelers the opportunity to see New York City in their own way or participate in two optional excursions we offered. On Friday, our knowledgeable guide provided a tour of Downtown Manhattan as we made our way via private motor coach to Ground Zero. After the tour, I walked the Brooklyn Bridge as it was just a few blocks from the 911 Museum. Walking the iconic bridge took about 35 minutes and although a little brisk for this Houston native, the blue skies and picturesque skyline made for a perfect backdrop. To finish this splendid afternoon, I devoured some yummy pizza from Grimaldi’s, a local favorite, located under the Brooklyn Bridge! Later that evening, our travelers enjoyed a choice of 3 fantastic, current Broadway shows. This year we offered Mean Girls, Aladdin, and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.

Saturday morning, some of our travelers joined us for a perfectly-timed cruise to see the Statue of Liberty and sail down the Hudson River. While some prefer to see Lady Liberty in person and climb her many steps, this cruise is a great alternative to sail by with wonderful photo opportunities while enjoying the commentary about the buildings and historic landmarks. I took advantage of eating at a notable Upper East Side deli, visited The Met, enjoyed the architecture at the New York Public Library, shopped the Bryant Park Holiday Shops and walked through Times Square. My legs were happy to sit and relax after an eventful day!

Sunday arrived, and it was time to say goodbye to our traveler family. Thanksgiving in New York holds a special place in my heart filled because I was blessed to experience a delightful holiday and a grand parade with wonderful people. I encourage you to consider this trip in 2019, celebrating with your family and creating special memories that will last a lifetime. We look forward to your call or email.

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