Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Big Apple Adventure

Ready for the re-cap? Well, go grab a cup of coffee (or a beer) cuz it's a long one.

On Thursday, my BFF, Lisa, and I arrive at the airport at 7:30am for our 9am flight. We hop the plane and ride to Atlanta. Why do we need to fly 2 hours south to go to NYC? Your guess is as good as mine. While we wait for our connecting flight, we grab a burger and hang out at the gate. All the departure boards say our 11:35am flight to Newark is running on time. At about 11:25am, we realize that not only are we not boarding the plane but there is no airline employees at the gate with the 20 or so passengers sitting here. And that is when things start to get dicey.

Lisa walks down the concourse to go figure this out while I wait at the gate. She comes back looking a little pissed and tells me our flight has been cancelled. WTF?! Were they going to tell anyone? So she announces it to the other passengers and we all go looking for another flight. We get on at 1:30pm. Just as we board and they close the doors an announcement comes that we are delayed cuz of bad weather in Newark. Fan-tas-tic.

An hour later the captain comes out to talk to us. Imagine Jamie Foxx as our pilot. Very cool, very laid back, very handsome. He grabs the mike and starts off with "Okay folks...here's the skinny." He lets us know that everything coming into Newark is grounded cuz of a really bad storm. Our wait will be a MINIMUM of 2 hours. He stresses "minimum" several times. Which makes me a bit nervous. He assures us that he WILL get us to our destination at some point if we're willing to stick it out. But he gives us the option to get off the plane. Now getting off the plane doesn't mean we go chill at the airport bar and they call us when we're ready to go. Getting off means we're done. We won't be able to get back on this flight. Security regulations apparently prevent us from de-boarding and re-boarding. Why? I didn't say they use common sense here. But that was the way it was.

They serve us some delicious pretzels which we decide we better ration. It's like survival of the fittest in here now. They're not serving alcohol. Which makes sense, right? Would you want to be trapped on a plane with a bunch of disgruntled drunks? But a bit later, Lisa spots a guy about 10 rows up with a beer. What?! She can sniff out a beer from a mile away. So she heads up the aisle to speak to the flight attendant about this. (It was a dude ....so I guess we couldn't call him a stewardess.) She returns victorious!

It wasn't all bad. We were seated in a section with some pretty easy going folks. So we just chilled. I mean what could ya do? It was all completely out of our control. No sense in getting pissed about it. We drank some beer, chit-chatted with fellow passengers, read magazines and called people on our cell phones. There was a chick in the next row up that was dressed very Gothic. She kept doing these weird charts and reading tarot cards. Her carry on item was a fancy broom. I swear to gawd! We think she was a witch. Hey it's getting close to Halloween, isn't it? We wondered why she needed the airplane though. Why not just hop the broom and fly to Newark that way? I tried to discreetly take a pic of her messing with the tarot cards. I wanted to snap one of the broom but was afraid she'd put a spell on us. So you'll just have to take my word for it. Very interesting stuff.We finally take off!! The crowd claps and cheers. Can you see the time? It's a little blurry but yes it does say 5:40pm. We were stuck in that plane on the tarmack for 4 hours!!!! By the end of our 2 hour flight we were done. Just done. We finally got to our hotel at about 9pm. 7 hours later than originally planned. So we lost half a day of sight seeing. That sucked. We stayed in Newark at the Hilton Penn Station. It was much cheaper than anything I could find in Manhattan. I highly recommend it. The hotel was really nice, the beds comfy, the staff attentive. But most importantly it has a small shopping area and pedestrian tunnel connecting their lobby to the train station. For $1.50 each day we rode the PATH commuter train 20 minutes into the city. A free hotel shuttle gets you from the airport to the hotel and then just a quick walk across the street to get us where we were trying to go each day. It was not as convenient as walking out the front door into Times Square but for over a $100 bucks less a night it was sooooo worth it. And we walked by one of these every morning. So Friday starts off a little breezy and rainy. But nothing will keep us from our plans. I throw on a ball hat, we put on our sweaters and off we go. The PATH train takes us right to the WTC site. That was our first stop of the day. Lisa and I were there in April '02. A lot has changed. By the time we got there the sun was already starting to peek out a bit and the rain had stopped. Perfect!They've made a memorial site inside the church that stood in the shadows of the towers. The church became a retreat for the weary workers who conducted the rescue and recovery efforts. Here the volunteers clothed them, fed them, let them sleep, doctored their injuries, prayed with them and supported them. This place became their home. It was amazing. This is a photo of the robe the priest wore to give services everyday. The workers started pinning their department patches on to it. As you can see in the display, it's completely covered underneath the old constable hat and hundreds more spill onto the floor and are pinned up the wall. Very touching to see just how far away some of the places are that those patches represent. The whole experience was very emotional for us both.After we gathered ourselves and left the site, we walked about 10 minutes over to Chinatown. We wandered around exploring for awhile. There were lots of little shops. Lisa was fascinated by the fish markets. We're not used to seeing stuff like this in our neck of the woods. LOL!
We found a restaurant that served Dim Sum. We'd never had it and wanted to try it out. So it was Dim Sum and Chinese tea for lunch. Yummy!
After lunch we hopped the subway and rode uptown. We got some disapproving looks from the New Yorkers as we acted like dumb ass tourists taking pics of ourselves. We didn't care.We got off at Central Park and walked around for awhile. This is called The Mall. It's been filmed for a ton of movies and TV. Remember when J-Lo sat on Ralph Fiennes face in "Maid in Manhattan"? Or when The Russian took Carrie for a horse drawn sleigh ride in the snow for you "Sex & The City" fans? Yep...all that happened right here.Look how beautiful the weather turned out after it started so crappy! This is Betheseda Terrace which is inside the park. Lots of things filmed here too. Remember in the Mel Gibson movie "Ransom" when his kid gets snatched? Happened right there. In the background you can see the people who've rented little row boats on the lake. It was a gorgeous day after all. Here's those dorky tourists insisting on being in the pic again. LOL! You just can't beat this view. Let me tell you, the mommies in Central Park are so Ooh-La-La chic. Dressed in designer duds, pushing their $500 strollers in high heels. Totally different world.After our stroll through the park, we took a bus tour of the city. Now this was no ordinary bus tour. It was a "Sex & The City" tour. Lisa and I love love love that show!! We were so sad to see it end. So if you don't know what I'm talking about (was your head buried in the sand for 6 years?) or if you didn't watch it (are you f*cking kidding me?!) you might want to skip ahead.

For fans of the show, do you recognize this? It's Carrie's stoop!! And yes, someone really lives there.Another stop was the bar used in the show as Steve and Aidan's "Scout Bar". Of course, we got to enjoy the girlie's very favorite drink. A Cosmoplitan. Or perhaps two. Most of the tour was driving around to certain places where scenes from the show were shot. They showed the scenes on little TV monitors to refresh our memories. It was very cool! One of the 3 photo op stops where we actually got off the bus was to the Magnolia Bakery. It was also right around the corner from the stoop used as Carrie's front door. The bakery was where Carrie first told Miranda about her crush on Aidan as they sat outside enjoying a cupcake. We also got to enjoy a cupcake. It was heavenly! Unfortunately, we forgot a pic in the middle of our sugar feast. We also stopped at the store where the girls introduced Charlotte to the pleasures of The Rabbit. No pics from there will be posted either. Let's just say we had a really good time, shall we? Good thing I didn't pack carry on only. Wink wink.

The other added treat was they're actually filming the movie in the city as we speak. We drove down the streets where they had the cameras and lighting set up. We also went down where their trailers are. Someone swore they saw Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) but we didn't get the bus stopped in time for all of us to see if it really was her.

After the tour ended, Lisa and I stalked the trailers for a bit but gave up cuz we were starved. And bored. But I did see where Stanford's was. (Stanny is Carrie's very flamboyantly gay BFF, remember?) Not sure why they put the character names on the doors for the smaller parts but not the lead actors. Apparently, they use code names like Fred Flintstone or something for them. That's so they don't get a bunch of crazed fan freaks (like us) hanging around. LOL! If you're a big fan of the show, we highly recommend the tour. It was soooooo much fun! And it was a great way to see more of the city. We drove through the Village, SoHo, the Meat Packing District. (Dayum... can't remember if it has a proper name. But you get the idea.) Lots of cool places we wouldn't have made it to had we not been on the tour bus. So go take the tour next time you're in the city.

After that, we walked up to Times Square. Crazy, wild, loud, bright, crowded Times Square. But it's the heart of the city. And we love it!
Nothing better than real NYC pizza for dinner! We also found a Garrett's Popcorn with no line! It hasn't caught on here yet like the one in Chicago. At that one, there are long lines stretched around the corner. We bought some to munch on back at the hotel. Good stuff. We took the subway back to the PATH station at the WTC site and grabbed the train back to the hotel tired and with blistered feet. But what a great day!

Saturday we were up bright and early for our 2 1/2 hour drive. Conveniently, the car rental place was 2 steps from the front door of the hotel. We'd planned to finally meet up with Colleen & Hannah. I've been talking to her for about the last year but kept missing her at the bloggy functions. So we made a day of it.

However, I forgot that to get to CT from NJ ya gotta drive thru NY. I figured since it was highway driving, I'd be fine. I'd never attempt to drive in the city itself... but highway driving..... no problem. Or so I thought. Let me just say Oh-My-Freakin-Gawd! I'm an aggressive driver who drives too fast but I got nothing on those crazy ass New Yorkers! No offense to any of you's out there... but I was terrified. And the drive back at night took about 3 years off my life. At least. But somehow Lisa and I lived to tell about it.
Sweet Hannah is even more scrumptious in real life. She loves to give kisses which is what she was doing in the above pic. Melted me into a puddle on the floor. But she's one of those babies who's full of life and laughter...until you whip out a camera. Then she's so fascinated with what that thing is that you completely lose the moment. We tried so hard to capture one of those precious smiles. But it's still one of those rarely photographed treasures.
Colleen is drop dead gorgeous with the most generous heart. She had a beer waiting for me (I so needed it after the drive!) and offered to blend up some margaritas. I decided to wait for those until we got to the Mexican restaurant we were heading to for dinner later. We spent the afternoon chatting, eating delish appetizers, and enjoying that beautiful baby. I totally swiped this pic from Colleen. To see some more from her blog click here.

Host unlimited photos at slide.com for FREE!

Well, we go out for dinner later joined by her BFF, Tori. Daddy got to stay home on babysitting duty so the girls could enjoy their dinner and cocktails. I'm informed by the waitress who has about 2 brain cells in her pretty little head that the frozen drink machine is broken. Excuse me? It's been down for 2 days. I'm sorry ...what did you say? This is a Mexican restaurant that specializes in margaritas. Did it not occur to someone to maybe just go to Tar-jay and buy a blender to get you through until the machine is repaired? Unfortunately, I had to order mine on the rocks which is not my fave.

They make the guacamole at your table right there in front of you. That almost made up for my crappy on the rocks margarita. The food was okay but the company was exceptional. I hated leaving. Tori is just a doll. I see why those two are BFF's. After coming back to the house for some more gabbing, we finally forced ourselves to head back to the hotel. I really didn't want to leave. I could've talked to Colleen all night. Well, we almost did.Check out the cool gifts she gave me. Some cute penguin stuff, an adorable little pink outfit and the sweetest little tee shirt. Thanks sweetie. You are da bomb! We had so much fun and I can't wait til next time!
Wait, you have to see this stuff up close. The queen of chapstick somehow found some penguin lip balm. And look at the jar. Penguin poop! That's hilarious! Okay, it's actualy just chocolate candy. But it's pretty funny.
Sunday morning we slept in a bit. We had a hell-a-cious drive home wired up on Col's strong coffee. Then a little low fuel light incident sent us into a panic. We were praying for a gas station and ended up driving somewhere less than desirable in search of one. But we were desperate. We survived our adventure only to miss the exit for the hotel. So we got off at the next one but got a little lost in downtown Newark. Oh how I wish I could fly on a plane with my firearm. Well, technically I can but it's a huge pain in the ass so I choose not to. But we're smart, tough, independent women so of course we finally made it back to the hotel safe and sound.

We headed into the city just before noon. We stopped at Macy's for Lisa's favorite past time. Shopping! Then we rode the subway uptown to see "The Color Purple". We loved this movie so couldn't wait to go see it on Broadway! Sadly, Fantasia was out and the role of Celie was played by her understudy. But the show was awesome nonetheless. It was absolutely magical. The voices were amazing. Make the hair on the back of your neck stand up kind of amazing. Another highly recommended part of the trip. We really enjoyed it.We headed to the Empire State Building after grabbing a quick bite from the hot dog vendor. We decided to enjoy the ride and chose a pedi-cab instead of the subway. It was spectacular. A little hairy playing dodge-em with the cabs.... but hey as you've probably already figured out... we like to live on the edge of our seat. I just felt bad for the guy who had to pedal my fat ass 20 blocks. We tipped him good though. LOL!We went to the top during our last trip to the city but this time I really wanted to get up there in time to watch the sun set. It was on my list of things to do before I die. Normally the tickets are $18. But for an extra $30 bucks you can get an Express Pass which cuts you to the front of every line. It was absolutely worth it to us! We were worried about timing it right so that we wouldn't miss the sun going down and the lines are really unpredictable. Sometimes you can wait for hours. We felt like a celebrity being whisked to the front of all the lines. It was so sweet! I think some people were pissed looking at us like WTF?! Guess they should have spent the extra dough. We made it from the front door to the top in less than 5 minutes! Ha ha....Now tell me if that was not worth $30 extra bucks to be able to cross off your "before I die" list. Absolutely breathtaking view. That's a gorgeous crescent moon above the skyline as the sun sets in the most fiery colors. One of those moments to burn into your memory forever. I think it was priceless.I celebrated my 16 month LID-versary on top of the Empire State Building soaking in that amazing sunset. Unfortunately, I forgot to make the sign I wanted to hold. So instead just look at this pic of me and know that I'm thinking "Happy 16 Months Closer To My Mia!"It was a beautiful autumn night so we decided to walk from 34th St to 60th. When you see what we ate for dinner you'll know why. But we love to walk the city. It's the best way to see everything. Sometimes you turn a corner and accidentally find something. We ran into Grand Central Station this way. We also saw the Waldorf Astoria, Bloomingdale's and a bunch of other stuff just by walking around and being surprised. Fun fun fun!I saw this movie years ago. I heart John Cusack! In the movie they go to this restaurant and order a giant dessert called Frozen Hot Chocolate. I became obsessed with them after that. But they're trademarked to this restaurant and it's the only place in the world you can get one. Well, you can order a kit to make one but it's just not the same!So it was also on my "list". The wait was almost an hour but we're stubborn and determined.
This was our reward! Lisa chose this giant chocolate cake, hot fudge, ice cream concoction.
I got my much anticipated Frozen Hot Chocolate! Completely orgasmic!
Not only did we enjoy our desserts but one of the waiters made for some delicious eye candy as well. He noticed us noticing him every time he walked by. We left with his number. Yep...the mojo is not completely lost after all. LOL! And no, we didn't call him. Lisa is happily married and I.... well I was leaving in less than 12 hours so what was the point. But it was great fun to flirt.

We packed up and headed home the next morning. We wanted to get to the airport early cuz we weren't sure how long the lines would be getting thru security. On the way in they were horrible. But that must've been because of all the delays and bad weather cuz this time we breezed right though. But that meant we had over 2 hours to kill before our flight left. So what else was there to entertain ourselves with but to go have a beer. Who cares if it was only 9:45am? I'm sure it was 5 o'clock somewhere, right T? (insert evil grin) The connection in Atlanta was overbooked so they asked for volunteers to bump. Lisa and I agreed since they were offering 2 round trip tickets anywhere they fly. It meant we'd be stuck in the airport for another 6 hours but we're troopers. Plus I put a call in to my homegirl, Jeter's Mama, who was already throwing her shoes on to come keep us company. Unfortunately, at the last minute they decided they didn't need our seats after all so we headed home. It would've been great to hang with my homegirl for a few hours. And I already had my next trip planned with my free ticket. I was gonna go to Florida to drink some Mich Ultra's with the sea star. Damn. Next time.

So there you have it. The amazing fantastic super spectacular big apple adventures of K and L. I had the most fun ever!! And it came at the exact right time after the stressful few days I'd had.
I heart my BFF! Thanks for putting up with me, girlfriend. :)


Sandra said...

WOW - that looks like an AWESOME trip! I am so jealous you got to meet Colleen and I have been dying to visit NYC. One of these days...
That Sex and the City tour looks amazing. I love that show and I am so excited about the new movie!!
Welcome back :-)

eggrolls and chopsticks said...

OMG I am so jealous. I lurve NYC. So glad you had a blast. Hannah is adorable.

Dawn and Dale said...

Wow!! What a GREAT trip!! I wanna do NYC now!!!! (You just can't get pizza that looks THAT good here in Canada!!! lol)

Glad you had a great time and made the best of even the crummy sitations!! Makes for even greater memories down the road!!!

Abby's Mom said...

Wow you had fun and managed to cram alot in for such a quick trip :) I love NYC!

Mamacita said...

OK, I'm not gonna lie, I didn't read the whole thing. I'm on abridged version time, this time of night, but the pictures look great! You look awesome and it seems like you had a lot of fun. That baby in the last shots? Gorgeous!

Colleen said...

OMG this was such a fun post!! I LOVE that you waited an hour for that freakin frozen hot chocolate. Was Lisa freakin out or OK with it? I guess the end result with her decadent dessert was worth the wait yes?

Oh I had so much fun with you girls. Your post did mine to shame. I was so tired when I wrote my post cuz Hannah was up ALL night.... You gals are totally the bomb and I love ya both. Can't wait for our next get together.

Your NYC adventure looked fabulous! 16 month LID on top of the emipre state building? Good stuff there! Your pics are fab. You really know just how to document all the fun things. (beers, margs, desserts, guacamole...etc). Why no pic of the sexy waiter?? And the Rabbit? Never mind...........

Miss you!!

Kristen said...

Great Post... Great Pictures!!! Glad you had such an awesome time.

When Hedda & I plan the NYC re-do, you'll have to come back!!

Isabella's Mommy & Daddy said...

Love the pictures and your post was amazing.. it was like I was with ya..
Sounds like you had sooo much fun..
I so envy you .. getting to see sweet little Hannah..
Happy 16 LID..
Have a Great Week..

Liene said...

OK Krista, the next time you go to NYC I want to come! I loved your post! Especially about the Sex and the City tour. I am so excited they are coming out with the movie and have no idea why the hell they canceled it. The show was DA BOMB!

I love margaritas but I prefer the ones you don't. Don't get me wrong, i will drink a frozen one but I like them on the rocks with LOTS of salt!

I need to convince Dh to go to NYC on a long weekend trip. It's been 12 yrs since I've been there for a visit. I did drive though when I lived in D.C. in 2000 on my way to Boston. I didn't think the drivers were that bad. I guess I fit in then :)

I'd love to see the WTC site as I was home watching the Today show when it all happened. And I was living outside of D.C. when 9/11 happened. Dh started working at the Pentagon not long after that.

Glad your visit with Colleen was awesome. She's one blogger chicka I'd love to meet too!

kris said...

You know how in The Grinch where his heart grows 3 times it's natural size, filled with love?

That just happened to me. Only. It was (sigh) jealousy. Should I go to confession?

In all seriousness, you have no idea how much I LOVE NYC like I lived there in a past life kind of love, and I'm SO glad you guys had so much fun and that you got to meet Hannah....

I think my heart just grew again.
Goin' down on my knees, lord forgive me for my envy!

Catherine said...

Oh WOW what a trip!!! I've heard of lots of people going to NYC but your recap with all the great pics brought the city to life! Can't believe how much you did in 4 days!!!

Glad you had such a great trip!

Mmmm...the popcorn and iced hot chocolate + L's dessert look amazing!

So many neat places to visit. Thanks for writing this gargantuan post with all the great pics! Glad you had such a great time!!

Joannah said...

Wow! That sounds like the best girls' weekend ever! I can't believe how much you did in such a short time. I haven't been to NYC since I was a teen. I must get back there soon!

OziMum said...

I feel quite exhausted just reading about your trip!!! It looks amazing though!

It was fantastic that you got to catch up with the Chapstick queen and her rockstar daughter!!!

Headmeister said...

GREAT re-cap!!! Sorry I missed ya chica - next time you come here I'll do the driving so you won't poop your pants. Well then again, I drive like the rest of them do so maybe you should sport some Depends just in case ;)

Funny, I had just left Newark airport when you got in!

Sounds like a fantastic time you guys had!

Doris & Dan said...

Sounds and looks super fantabulous!! What an amazing and well deserved mini vacation.

Loved the details in the recap. Made me feel like I was there too.

Keep smilin!

Buckeyes & Eggrolls said...

WOW, that was one fun-filled packed weekend adventure! So, so fun. Hopefully it was the lift your weary soul needed!! :-)

sea star said...

Your trip recaps are always the best. I feel like I was with ya on this one! Well, I did have a drink with ya while you were on the plane waiting!

So damn, you didn't get the free tickets? Shucks.

Debbie said...

Your trip sounded WONDERFUL!!! I am glad you had a great time!!! Maybe free tickets the next time!

Elise said...

Awesome trip....friends are fabulous travel buddies!!!!

redmaryjanes said...

Wow!!! You did it, soaked up tons of NYC in a short amount of time. I love all of the pictures and places that you went to.

Janet said...

That sounds like so much fun! And frozen hot chocolate......yum......:-)

Donna & Andrew said...

Wow, all that in a few days, I live 40 minutes from the city and have never done all that in my life. Can I hire you to give me a tour next time your in town? And you drove in Manhattan traffic, You are a Wonder. Great pics.How is Griffey?

amy said...

Love the pics and the post..Serendipity was our honeymoon movie so i really loved these pictures

Shannon said...

I loved reading your post! Great pics, too! I soooo wanted to be there with you, especially for the food...I mean especially for the company! =) Serendipity's rocks. I have the recipe if you want to try that one out...isn't the wait staff... I mean, atmosphere there fun? =) Happy 16! What a way to celebrate!

Lisa and Tate said...

I heart NYC!!! Sounds like so much fun! Love all the things you did! I have been to NYC many times but never made it to the top of the ESB. Tried to get in Serendipity... but traveling with too impatient of people. Love the Sex in the City tour. I will put this on my must do in NYC list also! How fun to get to smooch with that doll of a gal, Hannah!

So very jealous!!!

PromiseKeepersDaughter said...

Looks like you had a great time. I miss it, I wanna go back.
Happy 16th what a way to celebrate!

Kim said...

Great trip report, it sounds like you all had a great time!