New York City Tours & Sightseeing | M2M Tours – Welcome to New York
Becoming Moments2Memories – Our Journey to the NYC
As tour operators in one of the most densely packed cities on earth, one of the questions we get asked most often is how exactly we, a couple from Seattle got to owning a private tour company here in the New York City and what exactly makes our story so very special?
So, as the first installment of our blog covering everything and anything having to do with NYC, from history to pop culture, we want to tell you that story – the story of Moments2Memories tours, the story of us.
Oddly enough, it begins with my husband Iain (the Brit there on the left kissing me) and I on what was one of the strangest, yet most wonderful blind dates I had ever been on, a beach bonfire celebrating Guy Fawkes Day (the notorious British traitor to the crown) which typically involves the burning of a large effigy, fireworks, and plenty of drinking. It was also the beginning of a whole new life for both of us. Here’s how Iain tells the story of our first date:
“….but to celebrate this “holiday” in the US, in Seattle, on the beach, at night, more than likely in the pouring in rain – well, of course I just had to take the chance! Once we got in contact, she told me that she would be wearing a Hounds Tooth scarf. Now, how the heck is a guy to know what a Hounds Tooth scarf would look like, I have no idea, but after doing some research on Google, I thought ” Ah easy…black &white squares”, at least it would be visible in the dark. So on a Friday night, at 7pm, I set off for the beach, in the dark, in the cold, raining of course, looking for a woman in Hound’s Tooth, next to a bonfire, celebrating a British holiday.
To my horror, I arrived at the beach to at least three bonfires and not a single Hound’s Tooth in sight. After wandering around awkwardly peering into women’s faces, praying not to get thrown into a bonfire myself along the way, I found a most attractive woman with scarf, who with much trepidation, pulled it back and declared, “You must be Iain….!”
It ended up being one of the most enjoyable evenings of both our lives, “huddled together under the brolly” (British for “Umbrella”), watching the bonfires and the fireworks. Later that evening we met up with the couple who had set us up and even went to a pub and drank warm English beer to celebrate the occasion!
Our Lives Together
As an entrepreneurs and designers, our professional lives have played off each other very well and one of the things we love most about the other is a deep and abiding interest in history, culture, and urban design. And food – we both love great food. Though we met in Seattle, we both coincidentally had a rich history with the Big Apple, where Iain’s daughter, Amber, actually danced with the Rockettes for seven years and even owns a walking tour company (with husband, Luke) called Real New York Tours. I for my part had lived there twice before in the 70’s and 80’s and my experiences there shaped much of my love for art and history. The city with all of its rich heritage, stories, and dense urban landscape has always feel like home base for both us – always luring us back for more.
In 2012, the chance arrived to follow our hearts back to the Big Apple, as the planets seemed to “line up”, all pointing in the same direction – Eastward bound to NYC. With Amber and Luke’s walking tour company doing very well, we saw an opportunity to step in and fill the gap for visitors to the Big Apple that wanted a less physical and possibly more intimate experience of the city by providing privately driven tours, the company that came to be known as Moments2Memories Tours.
We move to New York.
So started our new life as New York City tour operators. In addition to allowing us to the opportunity to spend more time with our beautiful family, we’ve fallen in love with this beautiful city all over again. From the tiny unknown restaurants that create the gastronomic backbone of its culture to the million little stories built into every little facet of it’s architecture, local businesses, and art, it is a new adventure every day.
We’re honored to have been allowed to pair with Real New York Tours in offering driven tours for people with disabilities, families with small children, the elderly, and even just for people who simply want the comfort, exclusivity, and personal touch of a privately driven tour – a type of NYC visitor they’d had to turn away many times over the years. Our tour mission is still the same – to share with you the history, the cracks and crevices, the side streets and culture of real New York neighborhoods. Together, you and your guide can stop and get out and do more manageable short walks. The day belongs to you and we can stay the course of our set itinerary or change it according to your interests.
We’re proud to have been a part of so many dear friends and visitor’s first experiences in New York City and so excited for what’s to come. We love sharing all of the beautiful stories that have made this place so special to us over the last three decades and hope that the next time you’re planning a trip here, you’ll allow us to show you the town. Please stay tuned to the blog as we’ll be posting all of our fun experiences and stories here as well as on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Google+ If you’d like more information about how to book a private tour with Moments2Memories, simply click here.