Thursday, June 5, 2008

Our 5th Anniversary Trip to NYC

We left on Memorial Day and flew to NYC. We arrived around noon and were able to check in early to Hotel Edison.

My theory in planning our trip to arrive on Memorial Day was that tourist would visit the city for the long weekend and go home on Monday. I also figured that many residents would be coming back into the city that day as well. My theory was right on the first part. However it seemed like more of the residents came back on Tuesday. We didn't see packed streets in Time Square until Wednesday night. So if you are planning a trip to NYC go on Memorial Day. The weather was great and the temperature was perfect.

The first afternoon we then hit the streets just to wander around. The only plans we had for the day was to take a night tour on the Grayline. It was fun to wander around the streets with nothing planned. We ate lunch at BAGEL STIX a local deli. We ended up walking from our hotel near Time Square all the way to Central Park. Gordon wanted to see David Letterman's Ed Sullivan studio. I wanted to go to the "Hello Deli" next door. Both were closed. Not being able to eat at the Hello Deli was the only disspointment to me during the whole trip. Around 6pm we went to the Grayline office and turned in our online voucher for our 48-hour All-Loops tour pass. We went on the night tour. The tour guide's tagline was "That's unbelievable!" We ate dinner at JOHN's PIZZERIA just a couple of blocks from our hotel. Gordon said that it was the best restuarant of all the ones we ate at during our trip.

Tuesday morning we got up early to see the taping of "Live with Regis and Kelly"(see post). After the taping we walked back to the hotel to take a little break before we hit the streets again. We got on the tour bus for the Downtown loop. Our first stop was the Empire State Building. We went up to the 86 floor observatory. Unfortunately it was a low visability day so we couldn't see everything.

Our next stop was Chinatown and Little Italy. It was our only opportunity to visit both so we decided to get one entree at each and share. We started off at a restuarant in Chinatown and had sweet and sour chicken and ate with chopstick...sort of. Then we off to Little Italy to find some real Italian food and Tiramasu. One thing I wanted was to eat at an outdoor cafe. We found POMODORO PIZZERIA and were seated outside and ordered homemade lasanga. It was so good! We asked about Tiramasu for dessert, but they didn't have any! So they pointed us in the direction of FERRARA which we then remembered the "That's unbelievable" tour guide mentioned the night before. We went there and it was an classy dessert place. There were so many option including Gelato and cheesecake. I was so glad that we came in knowing what we wanted. After a filling lunch our last stop was the World Trade Center site.

We got a little confused on where to go and ended up on the opposite side from the memorial. However we got a great view of the building site. Our sore feet helped us decide that we didn't need to go all the way around to the memorial so we hopped back on the bus to finish the tour.

Tuesday night we went to see Curtains (post coming soon ).

After the show we went to VIVA PANCHO a mexican resturant in the theater district. There weren't that many people in the restuarant. The fajitas, my favorite, were great however the service was lacking. It probably had s0me to do with the language barrier, however they just weren't attentive. We had to ask twice to get a water refill. If I go there I again I would take the food to go and eat it in my hotel room.

Wednesday was another early morning. We pre-purchased our tickets for the Statue of Liberty. Our orginal plan was to buy reserved tickets with a monument pass. I waited until a couple days before so I could see what the weather forcast looked like. By this time all that was available at all for our trip was 8 AM! There is first come first serve passes to the monument, but we didn't want to take that chance so we bought the 8am tickets. Orginally we were going to take a taxi, but we saw that it was a straight shot on the subway from Time Square to Battery Park. We left early to make sure we got there on time. The only slight issue was figuring out which subway entrance to take. We went in the wrong side at first, but were directed to the right entrance. We were right on time for our ferry. Fortunately we where ahead of a large school group. I enjoyed the ferry ride. It was cold and windy, but bearable. It was cool to see the Statue of Liberty getting bigger and bigger as we approached. I'm glad in the end that we were on the first ferry to the Statue. The security at the monument was tighter than the airport. All bags had to be stowed in lockers. The lockers were high-tech. It used your finger prints to lock and unlock them. After that all personal effects were scanned like in the airport. We got to keep on our shoes, but everything else was the same. Then we went through a bio-scanner that was like a virtual pat down. It puffed air around you and the security people looked at a monitor. I don't complete grasp how it works or what it is looking for. Whatever it was looking for I thankfully did not have on me. The benefit of the security line and being close to the front is getting to the monument before it got crowded. We leisurely read all the placs and historical information about the Statue. There were full sized replicas of the torch, her face and feet inside. It is sad that you can no longer go up to the top. Gordon did get a great picture looking straight up from the observation level.
I didn't realize that I was out of shape until I had to climb 150+ stairs to get to observation level. I was quite happy that I didn't have the opporunity to climb all the way to the top of the Statue. I don't think I would have made it. By this time we were exhausted and happy to catch the next ferry. The one that was leaving just as we arrived was PACKED. I was so glad we didn't get on that one. I like personal space. The next ferry wasn't as packed and we stayed inside and sat down. The ferry also went to Ellis Island, but we stayed on and went back to Battery Park and eventually back to Time Square.

Wednesday afternoon we wandered around the city again. We wanted to walk further east than we had the previous two days. Our ultimate goal was to make it to F.A.O. Schwarz. On the way we saw Rockafeller Plaza, Radio Music City Hall, and the expensive clothing district. F.A.O. Schwarz was fun to browse however the prices where astronomical. We thought before coming that we would get a gift for Bekah there. Nope not worth the price for a gift to a 2 year old. So we left empty handed. Walked to Central Park. Got lost in Central Park looking for the Carousel. Found and rode the Carousel. Our feet ached and we desperately wanted to get back to the hotel. The only regret I have is not taking a horse-drawn carriage ride around the park. We were too tired. We ate lunch at BUBBA GUMP in the heart of Time Square. We went to the 3 story Toys R Us in Times Square. It has a ferris wheel INSIDE. Since F.A.O Shwartz didn't work for buying Bekah a gift and we didn't find anything we liked in the souvenir shops we looked around Toys R Us. We decided to get her a Dora umbrella. We did get her a New York shirt at a gift shop as well.

Wednesday night we went to see Wicked (post coming soon).

After Wicked we went to the last restuarant on my 'must' eat here list - STAGE DELI. I heard that if you eat there for lunch that you won't have to eat dinner. We weren't able to get there for lunch so we were there at 11pm eating a late dinner. We split one double decker club sandwich. There isn't a smaller option and I had to unload some of the toppings on my half because it wouldn't fit in my mouth. We then shared an Oreo cheesecake. It was good and huge. We couldn't finish it. I took it back to the hotel just incase I had room for it after walking back. Nope. So unfortunately the last bit went to waste.

Thursday was our last day in the city. Our flight was at 4pm out of LaG so the day was mainly getting ready to leave. In the morning I needed a little 'me' time so I went to the business center and checked my email, blogs and facebook. I stopped at the cafe got coffee (my first non-Starbucks coffee purchase of the trip) and returned to the hotel room to watch none other than Live with Regis and Kelly. The day before's show had David Arueletta (American Idol) and Kristen Davis (...and the City). They are my favorites on their respective shows. Now don't gasp that I am familiar with ...and the City. It is not something that I watch frequently but who doesn't want to live in NYC with 3 girlfriend to get together with all the time. Honestly I change channels during the 'bad' parts. I won't see the movie until it comes out on video and I have the remote control in my hands. Kristen's character Charlotte is the naive one and I can relate to her. Anyways now that we're all over the shock we must move on. That day on LIVE was Sarah Jessica Parker and Syesha Mercado. I mainly tuned in to listen to the host chat and hear Syesha sing. I have said for sometime that Syesha's going to be on Broadway. I look forward to hearing which show casts her first.

After LIVE we finished packing up. Check out wasn't until noon so we keep the bags in the hotel room while we did a little more souvenir shopping. I didn't have one yet because of the whole MUG fiasco. We stopped at the transportation desk to check out transportation options for getting to the airport and got a great rate for sharing a shuttle. It left the hotel at 1pm which would get us there in plenty of time. I had no luck finding a souvenir that morning. We went back to our room to get our stuff and checked out. We had a little time and I had one NYC food to cross off my list. A New York hot dog. If you know me I'm not a huge fan of hot dogs. I don't hate them I just don't prefer them if given a choice. But I felt like I needed to have the NY hot dog experience straight from a street vending cart. We found one quickly and when he asked what I wanted on it I told him I wanted an official New York hot dog. He put on katchup, mustard, sourkraut and onions. Gordon skipped the sourkraut. The hot dog was great and overwhelming at the same time. I don't think I have eaten anything that was that diverse in one item. I had gotten a Snapple, but kept drinking Gordon's Coke to give my tastebuds a break between bites.

It wasn't long until we were in the shuttle on the way to the airport. We had plenty of time to get through security. Which isn't hard when you have only two backpack sized bags total. We did have the umbrella and a large book we were hand carrying, but that wasn't a problem. We ate at the Chinese food at the airport and had a HUGE (virgin) Pina Colada drink. It was the one drink that we hadn't gotten around to finding. I blame Skyborne Skateland for my addiction to Pina Colada smoothies. Then we window shopped while waiting. I really didn't expect to find anything, but then there it was a MUG to replace my aspirations for a Kelly mug. It is a great mug and we have been inseperatible ever since.

The flight was problem free and we even got back home a little early. My parent brought Bekah to our home. We were able to give Bekah her gifts and a little while later she was in bed. I loved our trip but desperately needed some time to myself. So the next day Gordon took care of Bekah and I was able to go get some coffee and buy gifts for upcoming events.

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