This spring, the company Jake works for in New York contacted him and wanted him to come to their office in July for a few days. He has been to New York before, in high school, but I have never been, and it has always been on my bucket list. So he agreed, and we went ahead and bought me a plane ticket, too. 🙂
So last week was the week. The kids spent the night with Nana on Tuesday night, and Mama Judy took us to the airport early on Wednesday morning. (The kiddos stayed with Grammy and Pappy all the other nights). We flew out, and got to New York around lunch time. Then we had the scariest car ride I have ever been on in my life. New York traffic + crazy cab driver = scary.
We got checked into our hotel- the Best Western on Bowery Street in China Town. One of the people Jake works with in NY had told us to eat lunch at The Egg Drop Cafe- the food was great, but it was SO tiny inside. (Which is common for NY restaurants, as I would come to find out!)
Then we went to Jake’s office, and we met all the people he works with-they are all really nice. This was his first time to meet them in person. I hung out and read while he worked. When we left, they gave us lots of suggestions for dinner, so we tried one out- Tacombi. It was truly authentic Mexican food, and the restaurant was basically just an alley way with a roof-they even had a food truck inside. Really cool, and really good food.
Thursday morning, Jake left for work, and I hung out at the hotel for a bit, and then I decided to venture out and explore. I had decided I would go to the MET, which meant I also had to figure out the subway system. After a little confusion, I figured out which train I would need to ride, and then found the station (that was the hardest part of the subway for me-finding the correct station on the streets- they are not always well marked). So I had my first subway ride up to the Upper East Side, and then walked by Central Park to the MET.
The MET was really neat. It was HUGE. There was no way I could have seen everything in just a day. So I wandered through it all and stopped and read about things that interested me. I paid special attention to the ancient Egypt section, because that is something that I teach at school. They also had a special exhibit on China, and they had all kinds of beautiful Chinese dresses-it was really interesting to look at and read about.
After I had wondered through there for several hours, I left and walked through a little bit of Central Park (just the edge, really) and did some window shopping on 5th Avenue before catching the subway back down to where Jake was working in Soho. (And again, some confusion on the subway, but I finally figured it all out. :P)
I got some lunch at a yummy pizza place, and then went to see Jake for a little bit. I left his work, and caught the subway to Battery Park. I had intended to ride a ferry over to Ellis Island, but I got there just a little too late to catch the last ferry for that day. So I looked around the park a bit, then I decided to go see the Empire State Building, because Jake was going to be at his work really late (they were having a dinner after work hours) I caught the subway, got a snack and drink, then found the building.
I opted for the audio tour of the building, and I am so glad I did. It was really interesting and intriguing. They build the whole building in only 11 months! I eventually made it to the top-the view was amazing, even if it was foggy. There were a ton of people on the top, but I was still able to see everything well, and get a few pictures.
After I left the Empire State building, I caught the subway back to SoHo, and went to Jake’s work. I had started raining when I got off the train, so I got a little wet, but not too bad. We hung out together at his work and played a card game with some of his work people while we waited for the rain to stop. It was fun. 🙂 Then we walked back to our hotel together. We stopped at Little Italy on the way and got some cannoli and hot chocolate to take back to the hotel. I was TIRED. Being a tourist is no joke- it is like a job! 🙂
Friday morning Jake’s work group was doing a community service project, painting a fence at a local park. I went with them and painted for a bit, and then I left to go to the Aladdin box office to buy us tickets for that night’s show. (This was really the top item on my NY bucket list-see a show on Broadway!) This was the day I REALLY figured out the subway system, and it actually all made sense. (Of course, the day before we left). I made it up to Times Square. There were SO many people up there!
I got our tickets, got some lunch, then took the train to Battery Park to go see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. This took the rest of the day, pretty much. The lines were really long to get through security and to get on the ferry, but it was very worth it. The ferry rides were wonderful- I could ride a ferry every day. We went first to Liberty Island, where the Statue of Liberty is.
I stayed for just a little while on this island, long enough to walk around the perimeter and get some pictures, and then I caught a ferry over to Ellis Island.
I stayed longer on Ellis Island, because it was really interesting to read about all the history and stories. I stayed until I was just tired-seriously, being a tourist is hard work. By the end of Friday, my legs were more sore than when I ran my half marathon-not joking, at all.
I caught the ferry back over to Battery Park, then took the subway back to Soho and walked back over to the hotel to get ready for the show. Jake got back from work, then we both took the subway back to Times Square to see Aladdin! This was the first/only time we really got to hang out in New York together. And I was glad he was with me to ride the subway at night-I never felt uncomfortable on the subway by myself, because there were always a TON of people, but the show was going to be over late, so I know I would have been nervous then if he wasn’t with me.
The show was great! There were a couple of understudies playing, but the cast was still really good, and there were some neat special effects.
I really enjoyed my first show on Broadway-and the theater was beautiful.
After the show we caught the train back down to SoHo and went to a Cuban restaurant Jake’s work friends had recommended-it was really good. Then we went back to our hotel, packed up (because we had to leave our hotel at 6 the next morning), and went to sleep-it had been a loong day for both of us.
The next morning we got up, had a much less scary cab ride to the airport, and caught our plane back to Nashville.
Mama Judy picked us up, and we went to get the kiddos before heading back home to pick corn. 🙂 It was so good to see the kids. They were happy to see us, too, but I think they would have been just as content to stay with Grammy and Pappy. 🙂
Only bad part of the trip-Sunday morning, I realized that I left my glasses on the airplane. 🙁 Typical Brandy move!!
So my overall thoughts on New York:
-SO busy and fast paced, just like I’d heard
-Once I finally figured out the subway, I really liked it.
-Everything is so small in NY! I mean, the city itself is huge, but all the stores and restaurants and hotel rooms are tiny, small, and a bit claustrophobic. I missed the space of all the places in TN!
-NY is also, overall, a very dirty city.
-Comfortable shoes are a must- but I enjoyed being able to walk everywhere, or just catch a train.
-It was an awesome place to visit and see, but I would not want to live there-and it is definitely not a place I would want to raise kids. (Now, we were just in Manhattan, so I don’t know about the other burros-they may be better for living and kiddos and such).
I’m so glad I got the opportunity to go, though! I had fun. I would have had more fun if Jake could have done the tourist thing with me, but now we can check NY off our bucket list since we have both seen it. 🙂