Friday, June 19, 2009

New York, New York, it’s a wonderful town

I have officially found a new love.  And its name is New York City. 

I had never been to New York before, because my dad is fundamentally opposed to the city and all that it entails, so he never took us.  Andy had been in 1999 and stayed in the World Trade Center, so he had been telling me about his experiences, but his stories did nothing to convey to me the sheer joy it is to visit the city.  I’ll be going back.  Soon, I hope.  I’ve been talking Andy’s ear off with my plans for future travel (of course, he’ll only have five vacation days left for the next year after next week, so we’ll have to account for that).

Okay, now back to this trip.

We left our hotel and found our way to the PATH station.  The night before, Felix, our new friend at the hotel (he gave us our cookies and our directions, and I pledged my undying affection to him….okay, not really) had told us how to get into the city.  He, in fact, told us, “Just do not get on the train to Hoboken.”  Simple, right? 


We got our tickets, headed down to the stop, and pushed people out of the way to get onto the first train that came in to stop.

Where do you think it was going?

Really, do I have to tell you?

We went to Hoboken.

It’s okay, though.  It just turned around in Hoboken and came back and we caught the train we really needed.  We made it into the city, and headed off.  We crossed one street, realized we were backwards and needed to go the other way, turned around mid-sidewalk and headed the correct way.  But not before attracting the attention of the construction workers standing six inches away.  One was busy checking Shannon out, but the others asked if we needed help.  Someone’s mom respond ed, “Nope, we’re just getting started.” 

Which, I must say, tickled me….because it was pretty much how the whole trip went.  We’d start out, realize we were going the wrong way, and correct.

We started walking, trying to find the visitor’s center for the Grayline bus tour.  We passed Bryant Park (which is a lot smaller than I thought it would be….I don’t know how they get all of the tents up during fashion week) and I was hoping to see Tim Gunn, but he wasn’t out.

We got close, and were stopped by a representative for the Grayline.  Turns out, you can buy your tickets for the bus right on the street.  As we were talking to him (and letting a man on the street swipe our credit cards—that just felt wrong), Shannon made me look up to see where we were

We were in Times Square, and we had no idea!  Also, it started out as a really drizzly, foggy morning.

The nice man with the Grayline tour took us to our stop so we could get on the Downtown Tour.  The Grayline is a double decker bus tour (because at this point, we stuck out as tourists, so we may as well have sat at the top of a bus and proclaimed it for all the world to see).  It really ended up being the best thing for this trip, because we wanted to see as much as possible in a one day period.  We bought a combination package that gave us a tour of Uptown Manhattan, Downtown Manhattan, Brooklyn, a Night Tour, entrance to the Observatory of the Empire State Building, and our ferry ticket out to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  And it was all for 88 dollars.  And it was actually a 48 hour pass, so if we had been staying in the city the next day, we could have spread it out some.

We started on the Downtown Tour, which began in Times Square.  We saw a sign for my birthday show (known as such because it was my 21st birthday gift from Andy")

And my favorite store

Here’s my mama with one of the seventeen ponchos (maybe it was just six) she stole, and yes, I did decide to give up any semblance of class and dignity that day and embrace my role as a tacky tourist.  I felt like I was selling my soul, and probably won’t be able to recreate such an event in the future.

A foggy Empire State Building

I just like this picture

Our first hop-off, St. Paul’s Chapel, the church across from Ground Zero where a lot of the relief effort was centered.  This was an incredible experience.

The badges from the different firefighters involved in the relief effort

A uniform, on the pews where the firefighters came to pray and to rest

A picture inside chapel, showing what it looked like as the relief effort was ongoing

The construction process at the new One World Trade Center

After leaving Ground Zero, we hopped on the bus to go to the next stop—Battery Park.

And we ate our lunch (why yes, that is a smashed peanut butter sandwich sitting on a stolen poncho)

And Mom had a lunch date

Finally, we were ready to move on

Please pay no attention to my hair in any picture.  In New York, it got rained on, then it got warm and humid, so I was having some serious hair ISH-AHS.

And my mom decided to take up pole dancing.  She may disown me for this.

Once back on dry land, we hopped on our bus and made our way through more of the city.  We saw the South Street Market, the Brooklyn Bridge, the UN, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral.  I have pictures, but I’m going to take a little picture break.  This is what I got to see of Central Park

We used the restrooms at Trump Plaza, and I got some cranberry-orange sorbet (I was getting a headache from lack of food).  Then we went on our Uptown Tour.  We saw the Plaza Hotel, FAO Schwarz, and the museum mile (I so want to go back to the museums).  We saw the museum where Night at the Museum took place.  And we dipped into Harlem and saw the Apollo Theater.

Eventually, we finished our tour and went to eat some dinner

After dinner, we caught a night tour.

You can see the whole Empire State Building now


Brooklyn Bridge

And we ended our very late night in New York City in the Empire State Building (where we saw a sweet couple who had just gotten engaged meeting both sets of parents up at the top to celebrate)


Then we headed back to our hotel (getting on the correct train this time) and crashed into our beds, exhausted.

I can’t wait for my next trip to New York.  Next time, I want to go into some of the museums, go into Central Park, see Rockefeller Plaza, go to a show, and just relax a bit.  I would also like to see the South Street Market, because it looked cool from the bus.  And have a frozen hot chocolate from Serendipity.  Tomorrow, we will visit Atlantic City and Newark, DE via Shannon’s pictures, because I left my camera in the car.  It will be MUCH shorter.

1 comment:

Jenna said...

TOO FUN!!!! Loved all the pictures of the cool sites visited by such pretty ladies!