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!
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.
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.
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.