Sunday, February 19, 2017

NY Day 3

2/19/17
NY Travel Journal - Day 3

Today we did quite a few things, but we also rested.   It was just the right combination of both - tomorrow I leave Jack up in the Big Apple to work while I go back to GA.   He will be busy all week and I'm not an explore NY on my own type of girl + I've seen about all I really "wanted" to see.  So what did we do today?

Well, we got up and went to La Bonbonniere.  It is a complete hole in the wall, but Trip Advisor said it had one of the best French Toast in NY and they were not wrong.  The food was great and the service was quick, which was a blessing because we were running a tad bit behind.

After breakfast, we headed to the 9/11 Museum.   I'm glad I went - they did a good job making it a combination of educational and a memorial.   That being said - I have no desire to ever go again.  It's one of those one time only moments - I cried, I thought about where I was on that day and I remembered.    They have a room where they read and show the victims name on a wall and then a family member verbally shares a recorded memory.  I don't know how many hours it takes to go trough all the names - I only made it through 5 names before my heart required me to leave.  The last one was a 4-year-old little girl.   I don't understand hate and evil - I don't get it.   I don't understand a belief so fanatic that I would kill thousands.   I don't understand and I hope I never do.

After the museum we went and saw the memorial itself - I think it is pretty and moving in its own right.   Once we saw it we headed back into the World Trade Center Oculus.  This is a very weird alien looking building where all the trains come into - it is also a mall type facility.  that being said the food choices are limited and there isn't seating.  It is modern, uninviting and weird.   We were ready to sit and I wanted a bite to eat so we hopped n the train and went to the next station which was City Hall.

Upon arriving we walked through the park toward the Brooklyn Bridge.  Once through there were food vendors so I grabbed a Chicken Gyro and we sat on a bench and rested for a few minutes.

Once I had eaten and we had a few minutes off of our feet we decided to take the walking path that goes onto the Brooklyn Bridge.  It was super busy, but I had fun and we took a lot of pictures.     I thought the Bridge itself was pretty and well just the experience was worth it.  I hope the pictures turned out, my lens is not wanting to autofocus - hope it is the lens and not the camera.   I'll play around with it when I get home and if necessary ship it off for repair :(

After walking partially across the bridge we turned around, grabbed the metro and headed back to the hotel.   We took a slight different walking path back to the metro and took pictures of City Hall, a courthouse, and some other really cool buildings.   Some of the architecture you find in NYNY is surprising.  You expect skyscrapers but then you find an old world, European style buildings that are breathtaking in a completely different way.

Once back at the hotel we took a nap.  I needed it and while I hate that we wasted part of the day, it made it so that we could enjoy the evening.

After the nap, we went back out to Time Square but walked our way there - stopping as we saw fit to shop and meander.  Once there we waited in line for over an hour for the Star Dust Diner.   They have aspiring Broadway singers working there and they sing while you eat.  It was fun and the food was also good.  We had Guac as an appetizer, then we both had burgers and fries.  After dinner, we got a milkshake and just sat for a few minutes.    It was worth the wait!

After dinner it was 9:30 so we headed back to the hotel.   My legs hurt from the walking I'm not used to, but the weekend has been fabulous.  Jack has been here with me and we've been with each other vs. on our phones.   It's been great.   I fly home tomorrow afternoon so I get to start my day slowly tomorrow which is also going to be great!

It's been a great time and I wish I could stay longer, but at the same time, I'm ready to be away from the crowds.  


Saturday, February 18, 2017

NY Day 2

2/18/17

NY Travel Journal - Day 2

Well, today was jammed packed.  We got up at 8:45 AM and just got back to the hotel at midnight!  I'm tired, but it was a great day filled with lots of things... If it's ok with you I'll journal them here :)

First, we got up and went down to Tick Tock diner.  This was recommended by a friend and it did not disappoint.  I had the strawberry pancakes.    The wait staff were funny and the food was good.   We then meandered down to the NY Public Library.  On the way, we walked through Bryant Park.  It was quaint and peaceful.  They have an ice skating ring and I enjoyed watching the people skate.   I want to try it but I don't want to get all icky on this trip so maybe another time.   After the park, we made it to the Libary.  This building is an architectural marvel.  It is so ornate and pretty with carved ceilings, paintings, sculpture.  It is just incredible.  I really enjoyed meandering around in it.    

We also go to see the stuffed animals that inspired Winny The Pooh while at the library, which was kinda cool.   At this point, they look like really old, sad, stuffed animals.

On a side note I'm taking a photography class and now am shooting fully manual.   I was determined this trip to stick with it and I have.  It has certainly forced me to learn alot, quickly.  NY is ever changing - you go inside its one lighting situation, take a picture on the street another, take another of the tall buildings, different lighting.   For every lighting, there are several adjustments with my camera I have to make - NY is the perfect place to force yourself to do it!  You aren't going to get it one way and just ride the smooth pony, nope - every 10 minutes of shooting, different situation!    It is frustrating because I'm just learning, but I'm trying to be patient with myself.   I am looking forward to seeing the pictures on my computer when I get home.

But I digress - I'm here to talk about NY, not my lack of camera skills.   After the library, we went down to Rockafeller Center.  It is basically a mall with ice skating - that being said - we enjoyed it.  We got a sandwich, sat down and watches the skaters.   We meandered the halls and just had a good time.  Upon leaving we went out the main entrance and I am so glad we did or we would have missed some of the most beautiful, story-telling murals I've seen in quite some time - they were breathtaking.

Upon exiting Rockafeller we headed down to St. Patricks Cathedral, which is just WOW!  Jack sat inside and just enjoyed the place while I wondered around and took lots of pictures.   It is an absolutely beautiful building - architecture that compares to many of the cathedrals in Europe.  Magnificent - I also loved that I saw many people praying.   So often when Cathedrals are open for visitation they become just tourism destinations so it was nice to see this one being used for prayer.

We then meandered down and saw another church from the outside that was very pretty.   And then we ended our day with a horse-drawn carriage ride around Central Park.   It was expensive for a 45-minute ride, but it was nice to get off of our feet and we saw more of the park than we could have walked today so I'll count it a win.  Our tour guide was Irish and I loved hearing the lilt in his voice.

One our ride was over we decided to go back to the hotel to get ready for our night at the theater.   We got rested for a few, got dressed and were gone again.  We had dinner at Sardis.  The food was great - I had Penne Pasta with Chicken and Jack had the steak.  Both were fabulous!  We had cookies for dessert - I don't recommend those.  Our waiter was fabulous though and he made sure we had plenty of time for our show.   I really liked how attentive he was and it was just an awesome experience.  The restaurant itself has caricatures all around of famous people -- they are all signed so I assume they have all paid the restaurant a visit.  I recognized a few faces, but most I did not.  I'm so out of the loop.

We then headed down to the Gershwin Theater to see Wicked.   The show was fantastic.  I loved the twist of the story and the singing was incredible.   Highly recommend to anyone who hasn't seen it!  I loved it.  Not sure I loved it enough to buy tickets again, because well, they weren't cheap.  But it was an experience I'll treasure.  

We then meandered around Time Square for a few, grabbed some cheap travel souveniers and headed home.   I will say the Metro here sucks!  The signs are confusing and half the time there isn't a sign.   It is frustrating for me but makes my husband furious.   After a couple of mishaps, we are here.... if I had one piece of advice for NYNY it would be to get consistent signs that make sense at all of the Metro Stops and to have the lighted maps inside all of the trains.     But that is just my opinion, I'm sure they have bigger fish to fry!

Overall, we are enjoying the trip.   I'm glad to be off my feet for a bit and plan to go to sleep very soon as tomorrow will be another big day!  Sleep well dear friends.

Friday, February 17, 2017

New York

2/17/16
New York Adventure, Day 1

I'll be brief tonight as I need sleep.  I awoke this morning in GA, packed while Jack worked and we left the house around 11:30 headed to the airport.  We received a message our flight would be delayed so we detoured for some lunch first.

We stopped at Buffalo Wild Wings and had a good lunch, although it was boring as Jack was listening to a work call while we ate.  We then headed to the airport only to find our flight was further delayed.   Not a big deal in the grand scheme of things though I was anxious about having to reschedule out of Atlanta.

We took off an hour and half late from Augusta, but when we arrived in Atlanta we found out that flight had been delayed too.  This was a huge blessing to us as it meant we actually could make the flight.  We made our way to the gate and as I went up to ask the ticket agent to sit me next to Jack (without paying out the nose) we found out Jack got upgraded to 1st class - Yay for him.   That of course meant I could not sit next to him.     He offered me the seat, but I fit much better in the coach seats so I went on back and by back - I mean the way back.  I might as well have been in the tail.

My seat partner was nice, but there was a gentleman behind us who had a breathing issue.  For anyone who knows me knows that I have issues with noises.   Any kind of noise - people chewing, breathing, cleaning their fingernails - it just drives me insane or makes me angry depending on the moment.   Not the guys fault by any stretch of the imagination, but 2.5 hours of that was not something I foresaw being a pleasant flight.  I texted Jack and begged for his noise cancelling head phones.  He was kind Aden brought them back to me - problem solved!

We then landed in Newark, got our bags, grabbed and Uber and headed into the city.  Our Uber driver was super nice and even brought me my phone after he dropped us off as I had stupidly left it in his car.     We checked in at the Holiday Inn - downtown Manhattan - corporate discount - $130ish a night!  Can you say WOOT WOOT! :)  

After dropping our luggage in the smallest room this side of the Atlantic we promptly headed out for Pizza.  We ate at NY Pizza Suprema and it was fantastic.  You go through a line - get your slice and then sit down and eat.  It was loud and they expected you to know how it all works.  Which is how I picture NY as being in general.  This is not typically my cup of tea, but when in Rome...

After dinner we walked down to Time Square - enjoying the ambiance, but I'll be honest.  I was cold, tired and just ready to come back to the hotel.  So we headed back - hoping to grab the Subway and get out of the wind.   Can I just say that I remember the NY Subway being easier to navigate?  Maybe it was because we are tired, but it was all very confusing.     Anyway - we are here now.  Safe and warm in our bed.   Tomorrow is a new day and I'm looking forward to enjoying the day.

Sleep well blogland.

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