Welcome back to the Adventures With Victor series! I feel like I’m so severely behind on posting because I’m still talking about when Victor and I were in New York City; he already left this week! Sad face. ANYWAY, here we go with more city adventures! By the title of this post, you can probably guess that our adventure consists of an “ocean odyssey” and “The Woo” (a restaurant), haha.
The first thing we did when we arrived at the city was to go to my SEV laser hair removal appointment. For those of you interested in laser hair removal and reading about my experience, I just published a blog post about that in the prior week so click that link!
After that, I had an eye appointment for my annual checkup and that was pretty boring so I won’t say much else about it. We just grabbed some lunch from McDonald’s nearby and then went off to do more exciting things.
National Geographic Ocean Odyssey
The Nat Geo Encounter – Ocean Odyssey was a really wonderful and immersive experience. If you are interested in the ocean and marine life, you will love it here! You learn about the different oceans and its inhabitants with the help of a “tour guide” and floor to ceiling screens that make you feel like you’re underwater. Like, literally even the floor you stand on has sand and tides projected on it. It’s super cool and we were also welcome to take as many pictures as we wanted.
I learned about the sea lions, the deep-sea squid and their fight for survival, the kelp forest, the coral reef and more!
The last bit of the immersive experience at the Ocean Odyssey was a 4D fish frenzy experience. It was spectacular and one point of the video actually scared / surprised me. After the interactive guide, you’re taken to another large room with a bunch of info panels where you can take your time and read more information about the ocean and its inhabitants. The very last room is their gift shop, where you could buy eco-friendly materials and jewelry, and even t-shirts that was made from recycled bottles!
Hotel Check-In At New York Marriott Downtown
After being at the Ocean Odyssey for quite some time, we went to check in at the hotel since all our bags were weighing us down. The Marriott we stayed in was located downtown so we took the subway from Midtown to Downtown NY. We were only there for four days and three nights, and it makes me sad we only stayed for that duration because it was BEAUTIFUL! I think it was my first time being at a 4-star hotel before. What a difference from the 2-star hotel we started in!
I found the beds to be extremely comfy and the bathroom mirror was definitely meant for taking well-lit selfies. Am I the only one who loves the little hotel toiletries? Marriott had excellent toiletries, as they were infused with eucalyptus essential oils. It felt so nice and clean.
Bill’s Burger and Starbucks was right at the bottom floor of the hotel so that was convenient for any late night cravings. We had a two queen beds in the room and and absolutely amazing view from the 26th floor.
We were even able to see the Statue of Liberty from the hotel room! Unfortunately I didn’t even think of taking a shot of the Statue of Liberty but it would’ve been to the right of these buildings. 11/10 would recommend this hotel.
Dinner at The Woo
After checking in, we got ready for our dinner reservation at The Woo. The Woo is a Korean restaurant that specializes in barbecue and they’re located fairly close to Hudson Square and SoHo. This was another place we went out to eat for NY Restaurant Week, and I have so many good things to say about this restaurant. In fact, I’d say it’s one of my favorites out of the whole trip!
For dinner, you get a three course meal – appetizer, main entrée, and dessert for $42, excluding tip. We chose this place because it was one of the places that offered a lot of different choices for each course, unlike other places that may only offer you three kinds of salads for appetizer, some more salad and maybe a choice of chicken for the entrée, etc. I apologize in advance for the possibly bad quality of these food pics, they really dimmed the whole place for that mood lighting, ya know?
For my appetizer, I chose this thing called Ke Sal Mari, which is basically crab and leek wrapped in spinach crepes, drizzled with some light Korean mustard sauce. It was so delicious and the crepe basically melted in my mouth.
Victor chose Dak Nal Ke, which is spicy honey chili and sesame glazed chicken wings with pickled daikon cubes on the side. I think that is supposed to help with managing the spice? I tried a little bit of it and it was too spicy for my liking but they seasoned it really well!
My mom, who accompanied us on the trip, chose Cham Chi Hwe, which is tuna sashimi dressed with soy, sesame and lime vinaigrette with some sliced asian pears. It sounds a little weird and maybe looks like it too, but it’s really delicious!! It was also served on a bowl of frozen ice, which is really interesting.
The entrées were just as delicious as the appetizers! The food arrived really quickly which surprised us since we were expecting it to take just as long as it did in Lexington Brass, a restaurant we went to a few days prior also for NY Restaurant Week. You can read about that and our other adventures that day in my Central Park Zoo post!
I chose Un Dae Gu Jo Rim, which is basically a black cod dish. The black cod is combined with daikon and is simmered in a sweet and spicy garlic soy reduction. It said spicy so I was a bit wary but I went for it anyway. It turns out it wasn’t even spicy so that worked out in my favor.
Victor ordered Dae Ji Kal Bi, which is pork spare ribs with tangy sweet soy and chili barbecue sauce. I tried some of it and it was super soft, melt-in-your-mouth kind of meat.
My mom chose Kal Bi Jim which are boneless beef short rib steaks braised in a sake ginger soy glaze. We weren’t expecting that she’d have to barbecue it herself in the grill in the center of the table! It came out really tasty…. yes, I had some of it but because I was offered some.
Our experience was overall a really great one at the Woo, and we’ll be back for more if we are ever in that area again. The servers were really attentive to our needs, whether it was to refill our glass or take empty plates away. The food came really quickly which is obviously a big plus. Even Victor agreed to tipping them (he’s from Canada and doesn’t really think the tipping system here is great).
Last but never least was our dessert! There were only two choices here but they were both pretty delicious. Victor and I both chose the first option, the Omija Napoleon, which is a puff pastry layered with omija berry mousse, and strawberry and vanilla ice cream. My mom chose the Banana Sabayon which looks like a silky banana custard with a sesame dipping cookie.
Few Sights Before Heading Back
On our way home from the Woo, we walked past the World Trade Center Mall and the 9/11 Memorial Museum , which was actually really nice because there was no one around and crowding the whole area. If you’re into architecture, the mall has a really unique and impressive architectural style. We didn’t get to go in yet that night, as it was getting late and we were tired. The Memorial fountain looked very pretty at night, but I couldn’t see the names very well because of that.
Well, that was it for our day. Back to the 4-star hotel for a good night’s sleep!
Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for another Adventures With Victor post in the following week! Until next time. ♡