02 November 2012

New York City: Days 1 & 2

So we've been home from New York City for over a month and I haven't written anything about it on the blog! I can't seem to find the time or the motivation to do it. Well today is the day! For those of you that don't know T-Bone and I went to New York City in the middle of September to celebrate our 10 year anniversary. It has been something we talked about for years and finally we had the time and resources to actually do it! It was a dream come true and a wonderful trip! I'm going to break my posts into days 1 and 2, 3 and 4, and 5 and 6 so look for the next two posts!

Day 1: Our flight left at 6:30 so we knew this would be an early day. I went to bed at a normal time but could not sleep. I woke up at 1:30 and just tossed an turned for over an hour. My alarm was set for 3:30 but at 3 I'd had enough and got up and showered. I was tired of just laying there. Our flight was fine, and unlike what I was expecting I didn't even cry when we left. I thought I would be regretting leaving the little kids and especially Little Sister who was still nursing! I was totally at peace about leaving them though; I knew they were in good hands. When we got to JFK we were starving though so to start off our trip we ate in the airport. Super delicious, right? We hopped on the Air Train to take us to the Long Island Railroad and we navigated our way around just fine. Public transportation is not something we do a lot of! We got off on our stop in Brooklyn and started walking. The walk from the train station to our apartment wasn't that far, but it wasn't in the best of neighborhoods either. We really stuck out dragging our suitcases let me tell you. We finally made it to the apartment and it was darling! A gorgeous brownstone basement apartment. We loved it there. It was a perfect, quiet place to come back to each day. Once we got the key and dropped our bags off we headed out to see what we could see! We decided to stay close to home and explore a little of Brooklyn. We saw Grand Army Plaza and walked around the outsides of the Brooklyn Botanical Garden (since it was closed) and saw a little of Prospect Park. Then we hopped on the subway and got a few supplies at Target. By this time it was getting dark and we had been up since 1:30 so we headed home to plan the next day.

Top Left: The front of the brownstone where we stayed. Top Right: There really is as much traffic as you think in Manhattan. Bottom Left: The statue in Grand Army Plaza. I like water fountains. Botton Right: The subway! We had so much fun riding it all around the city, although the seats are not confortable in the least!
Day 2: We started the day by taking the subway to Midtown for the Uptown double decker bus tour. In the past I have rolled my eyes at the people who take these super touristy bus tours, but let me tell you I have totally changed my mind! It was such a wonderful way to see the city and learn more about the history and each little neighborhood. Our Tuesday tour basically took us around the perimeter of Central Park. We took the bus and got off at the Natural History Museum. We walked around there for an hour or so. We loved this museum! We especially loved the wall of animal specimens where they had a bunch of underwater animals and giant spiders. It was pretty creepy. We loved seeing the giant blue whale too in the big exhibition room. We barely saw much more than that because we had more things to do, but I would definitely go back there. It's funny though because later when we were talking to T-Bone's cousin she mentioned how cool it was to see all the other animals that are stuffed (the kind that come to life in Night at the Museum) but we totally walked past all those. Since we have spent lots of time at the Zoo and Sea World we have seen most of those animals alive and in their habitat, so seeing them stuffed was kind of anti-climactic. After walking through the Natural History Museum we walked over to the Shake Shack.  Holy. Cow. Quite possibly the best hamburger I have ever eaten! We got the Smoke Shack and I still can taste it!

After eating we got back on the bus to continue the tour. When we got on there were no more seats on the top so we had to sit below. There were these two teenage girls with their mom that were so grouchy because they couldn't ride on the top of the bus. T-Bone and I were just giggling to ourselves and totally mocking them. I know it sounds terrible but they were asking for it. "Oh woe is me! I have to come all the way to NYC on vacation and can't even sit on the top of the bus!" They really did say, "Two thumbs down for the GreyLine!" It was very entertaining. I told T-Bone, "Make sure I just laugh at our kids when they do dumb things like this when they are teenagers instead of getting too upset." We rode the bus around Central Park and saw The Guggenhiem and a LOT of churches. It was a really fun tour.

We got off the bus at the south side of Central Park and then walked over to rent bikes. We rode around Central Park and what a gorgeous day it was for bike riding! I was little bummed because a lot of the trails said you couldn't take bikes on them so we mostly stayed on the main path. I think we missed a lot of the cool stuff in the park though. We parked our bikes at The Met and walked around there for a couple hours. We only saw the ancient Green and Roman artifacts and sculpture. Then we went up to another floor where the famous paintings are. I was really excited about seeing original Van Gogh's, Picasso's, and Monet's and of course a whole slew of other beautiful works of art. You could really get lost in The Met. There is so much to see!

After we left we got back our bikes and continued north. We rode west out of the park to see the Hudson River and Riverside Drive and then back to Central Park and finished the loop. We found out later it was a 10 mile loop! We hurriedly dropped our bikes off at the rental place and took the subway to visit T-Bone's second cousin once removed. She lives on the Upper East Side so that was cool to see a real New York apartment. She has a beautiful view of the city and lives around the corner from Al Roker. Pretty neat.  She took us to a darling little Italian restaurant around the corner where I had spinach and cheese ravioli which was delicious! We talked for a couple hours because Susan has wonderful stories and is great to listen to. She has lived in NYC for 40 years so she could tell us so much about how the city had changed over time and how it's such a great place to live now.

After we left her place we headed to the Empire State Building. It was about 9:30 when we got to the top and super windy! The night was clear so we could see the lights of all of Manhattan and beyond. It was gorgeous and amazing to be so high up.

Top Row from the left: T-Bone with is bike in Central Park, Us in Central park, us on our touristy tour bus.
Bottom Row: The creepy wall of specimens in The Natural History Museum, me in Central Park, the creepy wall again and the Shake Shack!

Top Row: T-Bone at the top of the Empire State Building, us with Susan, pretty views of Manhattan from Central Park
Middle Row: Van Gogh himself, eating ice cream on a park bench in Central Park, honking is an epidemic there, but there are some places where you can't, and the view from the top of the Empire State Building.
Bottom Row: Me at the top, another view from the top, another Van Gogh (wish I could remember which one) and both of us at the top. 
And with that we decided to call it a day and head home!

1 comment:

Staceygirl said...

Sounds like a good & busy first two days. Can't wait to hear the rest. We took a bus tour with G&K in Victoria, and the bus driver's crazy driving was half the fun! I know what you mean about not being as sad as you thought you would... that's why I try to convince my friends to go on a couples trip without the kids. The thought of leaving them is much worse than the actual time away, and the kids are just fine!