Thursday, November 11, 2010

The "dids" and the "learns" of NYC.

What we did:

Landed at LaGuardia at 8 AM Friday morning.  Pilot said that we "got out by the skin of our teeth."  Snow moved in and we accumulated a quickly melting inch here at the home front.

Took a cab to 49th Street and 5th Avenue.  This is what is there.  They didn't open until 10 AM and we still had about an hour.

We cruised on over to the Today Show.  They were finished with their outdoor taping "on the plaza," but we were able to watch Al Roker and Ann Curry through the window as they recorded live.  Kind of cool.

We were going to go ice skating at Rockefeller Center.  If K- would ice skate for more than 10 minutes, I would have found it to be a must-do. 

We walked around in circles while looking for Dean and Deluca for breakfast and couldn't seem to find them.  We stopped by the Magnolia Bakery at Rockefeller Center.  K- had two delightful chocolate chip cookies for breakfast and I had a fantastic lemon bar.  "Mommy, we normally don't have cookies for breakfast.  This is just a special special for New York."

We walked to Nintendo World where I thought that my husband nearly died and went to heaven right at that spot.  K- and I stood outside the door to eat our bakery before we went in.  The guard kind of giggled when we came in and I asked if it was okay for us to walk around with our back packs.  "Ma'am, there aren't any homeless people in here so I think you'll be okay."  Of course, I was meaning that I didn't want him to think that I was going to haul out with half of the store, but he understood.  He chuckled and appreciated my asking. 

Finally, the time had come that AG was open.  We walked up there, dropped our bags off at their coat check (thank you AG for such a kind service) and Hubs announced that he was going back to Nintendo World.  AG isn't his thing.  We split for an hour.  He was able to have some time to really look and it gave K- ample time to choose her purchases.  I can't find them on the website and I wonder if they were a New York thing only, but for her doll she got a coat, a set with a beret, scarf and mittens, a pair of ice skates (they are like wrestling a toddler into a newborn onesie) and a two piece bathing suit.  By the time we got to the entrance door and I was dialing Hubs, he came on through. 

We visited the Lego Store at Rockefeller Center.  It was very neat and extremely crowded. 

We decided to take a walk towards our hotel.  We were all so hungry that we couldn't see straight.  Hubs suggested that we stop here, as he saw a Starbuck's through the window glass.  It was marked "Open to the public" so in we went.  We had a lovely lunch downstairs.  While we ate, they had belly dancers.  It was a great teaching moment for me to share with K-, as she has occasionally asked if she was fat.  I told her no, then seeing the belly dancers, it gave me an opportunity to point out that they looked like K-.  They have a little bit of a Buddha baby belly just like she has but, "Look at them K-.  Aren't they just beautiful?  They are just a little squishy around the middle and look at their beautiful costumes and dancing.  I think that they are wonderful.  See, not everyone is teeny tiny but everyone has a beautiful body."  She agreed and was pretty excited to see that.

We went for a long walk through Central Park.  Just an absolutely delightful time.  We cruised past the zoo on our way through.  We enjoyed the drum guy, climbed rocks, saw Balto's statue, and since we have the stuffed Balto at the Cleveland Natural History Museum, it really meant something to K-.  Hubs got himself a little turned around and we ended up right back where we started.  I admit that I got slightly bent that we made a full loop and I was telling him that.  (I have no sense of direction, so give me a little clap for realizing that we were going the opposite direction.)  We had 45 minutes to make it to our hotel, but we counted the blocks and knew that we could make it.

We got to our hotel, dropped our bags and hauled off to our next destination.  Friday nights are free nights from Target, but you have to stand in line.  Y'all, the line was half way around an entire city block.  The line went fast and they do allow everyone to get in.  You have to get a ticket, though. 

The art was wonderful.  I had to laugh that my nieces who attend rather conservative Catholic school may be scarred.  I believe that this art museum was their first experience in frontal nudity at all.  There was much giggling going on with them.  There was much horror on the face of my sister and brother-in-law.  I shuttled the children on to the next thing.  When discussing it with Hubs, he told his sister, "Well, what did you expect?  You brought them to the Museum of MODERN Art."  I kind of chuckled. 

:insert note:  K- is the daughter of an artist.  She has been to many art museums and has seen many works involving nudity that have been done through the ages.  Please don't think that is something that she encounters at home.  She's just kind of used to that in a museum setting. 

After, we moved on to some lights and glory of NYC.  As crowded as it was, the people do keep a pretty good pace.  My nieces stopped in at the Disney Store to purchase their souvenirs. 

We hailed some cabs and Kristin called to order pizza on the way back to the hotel.  It was funny that she dialed as we were driving, then neither one of us could recall the exact location.  Hubs and Tom found it and the pizza was great! 

Saturday took us to Battery Park where we waited for this.  We had to go through an airport security style screening before entering the ferry.  When we arrived, we had to go through another airport security style screening to enter the statue.  We had pedestal tickets and we were quite thrilled.  We were able to catch a ranger tour which taught us so many fascinating things.

Of course, everything in NYC generally takes a touch longer than what you'd imagine.  We had tickets to a show and we had to get a move on.  Kristin had plans for us to haul back to the room, get changed and cruise on down.  We had to do it a bit faster than we had originally thought.  It was all good.

On the way back to the room, we passed by this.  There were no signs and nothing significant to mark the importance of the site.  I admit, we missed it when we drove past the first time.  I did catch some fly-by in a cab photos.  While driving past, Kristin told us the story of how their friend Todd Weaver died in the south tower.  He last spoke to his friend Andy and told him that the alarms had gone off, but they told them to stay.

I must tell you about the show.  Oh. my. goodness.  I admit that I'm not a musical kind of girl.  Mary Poppins is one that I do love, though.  It was so wonderful that I was in tears in the beginning.  To be in a place to and have the opportunity to see such a production was just an experience that I'm glad that K- and I could share.  My favorite part?  Where Burt was suspended from upside down on a platform above the center of the stage singing, tap dancing with arms flipping around and everything while probably about 40 - 50 feet up.  Wow.  That is some talent. 

After the show, we cruised back to the room.  I changed back into my tennis shoes and we walked our route to see Kristin run the marathon.  We made our plans and headed off to have dinner together.  We went here.  Everything is family style, so we shared meatballs, penne with a creamy tomato sauce, chicken parmesan, steamed broccoli and a mixed salad with a basket of mixed bread.  We all left rather stuffed. 

Sunday was race day.  It was great that the clock went back to standard time.  It gave Kristin an extra hour of sleep.  Following someone running a marathon is no easy task.  Somehow, 3 adults managed to miss her run past at mile 18.  After a while, we realized that we had to have missed her.  We cruised on and set off for mile 23.  Hubs ran to catch up with her.  Tom and the girls busted it to get there.  K- was busy vomiting next to a fence in Harlem and we just missed her.  She looked good, was running well and finished the race with a time of 4:08.  K- and I took the long route back through Central Park and met up with Hubs and the family at the hotel.  We ate some lunch, spent about an hour together and it was back to the airport for us. 

After being seated in the second to last row in the bitty back of the plane with a continual buzz and my claustrophobic nerves completely shot, we arrived home at 9:30 PM to our little regional airport.  Our wonderful neighbor Mike scooped us back up and deposited us back home at 10:00 PM. 

Things we learned:

-  You want to take the yellow cab only.  The others are privately owned, not regulated and they can jack up the prices. 
-  Cab drivers will sometimes refuse to take you if you have children.
-  Cab drivers will sometimes refuse to drive you to the airport.
-  I watched the Jimmy Kimmel Trick or Treat with Cousin Sal so many times on taxi TV that I could probably recite it from memory.
-  If you don't sit back in a cab and the cab driver must slam on his brakes (which they do often), you may smack your head into the plexi divider.  My niece is okay.
-  People are kind in the city.
-  It is not a smoke-free city.  Someone stood right behind K- while we were watching seals at the Central Park Zoo and light their cigarette.  They were speaking a different language.  My guess is that smoking right on top of small children in their country isn't frowned upon.
-  People don't always wear sensible shoes in NYC.
-  The subway was too confusing.
-  NYC is a completely walkable town.
-  Skating at Rockefeller Center would have been $50.00 for just me and K-.  No thank you.
-  We walked probably no less than 20 miles during our entire weekend.  No kidding.
-  I heard more languages than I've ever heard in my entire life.
-  When the bike courier crashed on the road, the cab showed no mercy.  He laid on his horn for the courier to get up. 
-  Pedicabs are $150.00 an hour.
-  Carriage rides start at $50.00, I believe.  We just kept thinking of the handsome cab on Seinfeld.  RUSTY!  We always yelled it and it never got old.
-  I found that I could quickly hail a cab all by myself. 

We learned much more than this, but I must go deal with the laundry that was generated from said trip. 

Have a great day!


ChupieandJ'smama said...

Wow, I'm exhausted just reading this.
1. The show sounds wonderful
2. Was going to take the boys to the art museum this winter but you just gave me something to think about.
3. I'm not telling them you went to the Lego store cause they will be insanely jealous.
4. Hurray for Kristin. I'm not sure I could even walk a marathon...
5. Thanks for all the cab tips. Never been to NYC but want to go. I'll remember about the sitting back part for sure. Glad she is OK.
6. Glad you are all back in one piece:)

Rach said...

To much to comment on. SO much wonderfulness all around. :o) Sometimes I think it would be fun to live in NYC for a year or so. Can you imagine how green you could live just walking and walking and walking. I'm sure your destinations wouldn't be too far from home because it's a city and they have EVERYTHING close at hand. Including green markets. :happy sigh: Oh, and Central Park. Beautiful. :o)

But then, I realize I really AM a country/mountain girl at heart and the city would wind up giving me anxiety attacks and heart palpitations.

I'm glad you guys made it home in one piece.

oh, yeah, I remember taking a group of inner-city second graders to an art museum where there was frontal nudity on some statues. I warned them ahead of time about art and such and they were actually quite well behaved. I can only imagine your nieces, lol!

Oh, and K and the belly dancers. WOo hoo! What a wonderful teachable moment. :o)

Okay, gonna stop rambling. I'm SO happy you had such an AMAZING trip! :o)

Heidi said...

I loved reading all about your NYC trip. We were there over the summer and had a fabulous time. I posted some pics from then.