Monday, October 25, 2010


Ahhh...I ♥ NY.  I had been wanting to go there a long time, as long as I can remember, and I finally got to!  When I was 4th-ish grade my Mom had my sister and I plan vacations for a school project and mine was to NYC.  Finally made it. =)

Quick recap since I really should be in bed...

Wednesday, October 20
Left home shortly before midnight, boarded the train in Bryan, OH around 2 (it was running late so we ended up sitting at the station an hour waiting for it). Was very excited to find outlets at all the seats and that they seat were waaay bigger and more comfortable than on a plane.  Went to sleep and I managed to sleep until 8.  Not bad.  Spent the day reading, sleeping, occasionally eating, and watching out the window.  Really quite enjoyable.  Got to Penn Station right on time, around 6:30 and we were to our suite by 7.  I am very proud that we never got lost on the subway. =)  Picked up Chinese for supper (it came in the takeout boxes like in movies!) to eat at our place and then headed out to Times Square for Jamba Juice.  That was the original mission but then we saw Times Square all lit up.  Nothing I've ever seen can compare to Times Square at night.  It's incredible.  The lights!  It seriously looks like daytime with all the billboards.  We just sat on the stairs for a long time drinking Jamba Juice and walked around a little.

Thursday, October 21
Our real NY adventures began a little early.  We had crown tickets for noon and I wanted to see some things before then.  Walked around part of Ground Zero but there really wasn't much to see, just looked like a construction site.  Walked to the Brooklyn Bridge and walked maybe 1/3 across it.  Got our first view of the Statue of Liberty from there.  The bridge itself was pretty cool too.  From there we took the subway to the Statue of Liberty.  We were supposed to get in the security line at noon (our ticket time) but they let us go at 11:25ish since we were there.  After getting through security and waiting for a boat we made it Liberty Island shortly after noon.  More security and locking up our stuff, we began our climb to the top at 12:30.  It was 300+ steps but really wasn't that bad.  The climb in the actual statue went fast.  The stairs were very tight and twisty.  Being the crown was incredible.  Could see the book from above, parts of the crown, the left arm & torch, and NYC.  Just crazy to finally be there.  Only about 5-6 people up there at a time which was really nice. Spent sometime on all the pedestal levels and then walking the grounds.  Ate lunch, went to the gift shop.  
Just missed the last ferry to Ellis Island so we didn't get to see that but it's ok.  Back to Battery Park around 4 and then took the subway to the Friends apartment building.  Matt wasn't impressed, I was. They never filmed there but it is the building they showed in almost (if not every) episode as the establishing shot. That was cool.  Then it was back to our suite to relax a bit and eat leftover chinese.  Headed out for Jamba Juice and walking around again.  Walked down part of 5th Avenue, around 30 Rock, and then Times Square.  Never felt unsafe walking around at night.  There were always lots of people around (especially in Times Square).

Friday, October 22
Got to sleep in a bit later, that was nice.  Had Top of the Rock tickets for 10:30 so we headed towards 30 Rock around 10.  Got stuck in with a group of school kids but were able to get away from them once we got to the top.  Views were incredible!  There are 3 different levels and from the top with no glass was just amazing.  Finally saw Central Park and got a perfect view of the Empire State Building.  Could see the Statue of Liberty off in the distance and the Times Square ball.  It was very cool but very cold!  Lots of wind up there plus it happened to be the coldest day of our trip.   Spent about 45 minutes at the top and then headed down to eat lunch at 30 Rock and wander around.  Saw everything we had seen the night before, got to go in the Lego store which was pretty cool.  I liked Rockefeller Plaza a lot (except for their lack of bathrooms). 

From there we walked down 5th Avenue (actually did some shopping!) to the library for quick pictures of the lions and then onto Grand Central.  The main room is huge and incredible!  Took the subway from there back to Times Square and then walked the 10ish blocks back to our place. Stopped in a few stores on Times Square.  Relaxed at our place for a bit and then onto Central Park.  Spent 2+ hours there and only made it about 1/3 into the park!  It's huge!!  Saw a lot of the major sites but obviously not all of them.  Just incredible how big it is and how nice!  A lot of stone carvings in the stairs and such.  Pretty cool.  We were too exhausted to really appreciate it I think.  Stopped for supper before getting back to our place around 8.  Watched Day After Tomorrow (mainly takes place in NYC) while kinda napping and then headed back our for one last night in Times Square.  I really enjoyed just sitting on the stairs and taking it all in.  I definitely didn't expect to like Times Square that much.  Walked around a bit and headed back to our place. 

Saturday, October 23

We didn't have any big plans for our last partial day.  Walked over to 5th Avenue and went to FAO Schwartz and saw the Plaza Hotel.  Walked down 5th Avenue next to Central Park.  That's where a lot of the rich New Yorkers live (the Upper East Side, not Central Park), learned that from Gossip Girl.  Haha.  Walked through part of the park again, stopped for lunch on Broadway, and walked around Times Square again.  Sat on my favorite stairs one last time.  Went in the Times Square visitors center (it was never open when we went late at night) and I wrote my 2011 wish on confetti to be dropped on 12/31/10.  Spent a little too much time there and had to rush back to our place to grab luggage and take the subway to Penn Station.  The worst part of our whole trip was trying to find the Amtrak line at Penn Station and then getting seats together on the train.  We left at 3:45, right on time.  The train ride home went a lot faster because it was 1 hour shorter and more overnight.  Got a decent 8 hours of sleep (plus a nap).  Ate supper in the dining car with enjoyable table mates. 

Got back to Bryan around 7:05 (right on time) and found out the train goes around 80 mph (thanks to our GPS which we had on to get home) and made it home home around 8:15, just enough time to shower and make 9am Mass. 

It was a great trip.  I'm really surprised how smooth everything went.  I was expecting we'd get lost on the subway (since we never figured out The Bus system in Hawaii) but that was actually pretty easy.  Helped I had lines & stops looked up ahead of time.  Actually had some fellow tourist ask us for directions on our last day and I was able to help them.  They thought we lived there. =)  That might have been my proudest NYC moment. =)  We're definitely going to have to go back someday, I can see why people ♥ NY, I think I do too. =)

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