Hi all-- sorry its been a while since the last post. My aunt Janelle and cousins Jennifer and Jamie have been in town and as with other guests in the past who have visited, we pretty much went non stop all day each day leaving me very little time to post our adventures.
They left early this am for Oregon and since I have this week off work, I have some time now to post!
They flew in Friday afternoon and Tom BBQ'd some very delicious steaks for all of us as we visited and planned our itinerary for our time in NY. My aunt got us a hotel room on the East Side so that made the visit even better as we had a "base" to go to and drop off our millions of shopping bags etc. It was great having "slumber parties" and staying up late laughing and talking. My aunt and I are very close in age and have a very close friendship. My cousins are no longer little kids---I was so impressed with them as young women and while it made me feel old, I felt so proud of them and how smart and beautiful they are. I wish I could see them more often (thank goodness for Facebook)!
So--to the summary and quick commentary when relevant (and of course, pictures)!!
We hit ALL of the major sights. Here is a summary and quick commentary when beneficial to the experience:
Top of the Rock
St Patrick's Cathedral
Chinatown (the J's had quite the experiences with secret squirrel purse shopping including: dodging cops with the vendor, climbing down incredibly steep steps into secret cellars full of amazing handbags and walking thru false walls into small rooms filled from floor to ceiling with differnt bags). Very fun!!
Ground Zero: a very humbling experience. Walking through the church across the street that has become a tribute to the workers and volunteers who came out of the woodwork on 9/11 and the many days after who used the church as a home base. Very moving.
Times Square: Jennifer posed with the infamous Naked Cowboy! You have to do it if you have the chance!! The girls loved Times Square-- Jen and I got matching MTV shirts at the store, hit up the M&M store multiple times for multiple samples, experienced the first day of the "Pedestrian Only" Broadway that outlawed cars and instead the city provided old school lawn chairs by the hundereds for people to just sit and relax in the middle of the street.
Broadway: Jan treated us to row 11 center stage at the BEST and longest running show on Broadway: Phantom of the Opera.
This was the first Broadway show for Jen and Jamie and they loved Phantom from the movie remake so they knew all the songs. It was so wonderful!!
Eating: Sushi, over priced Times Square food, street hotdogs and pretzels, small cafe's and of course Starbucks (that was my influence though).
The subway rides. The girls got to be quite the pros at using the metro cards and knowing if we should be going uptown or downtown.
Shopping on 5th (love you Apple store), Times Square, Soho, Greenwich Village etc
Natural History Museum where we got our fill of Dinosaurs and had beautiful access to Central Park.
Just wandering: Upper East Side, Greenwich, Midtown, Little Italy
I know I am forgetting lots of things we saw/did... but you get the idea! Busy few days and so fun!!
Side note on an individual experience I had during this trip in the city that to me is just too good to not talk about:
Tues. am I woke up at 6am coughing (this cold/allergies is really hanging on) and not wanting to bother the J's I threw on my jeans and fleece and headed out to get some tea and cough meds. The city was awake of course, even that early and the sun had just come up. After getting tea I wandered to Rockafeller Center and saw the early birds outside the Today Show and then I headed to St Patrick's for an early morning mass. I loved being in the city and seeing it from a different angle at that time, as well as doing things I will NEVER do again as I cannot imagine why I would ever be up that early again there!! :)
Enjoy the pics and your short week! I have tomorrow off as well so I am looking forward to doing some writing and getting things back on schedule in my real, non-tour guide life. :)