Sunday, June 30, 2013

Until Next Time NYC!

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Well, we got a little more sleep than the night before but still not very much.  I think it was 6 hours.  Once again we got up, went to breakfast and then came back to the room to shower, pack our bags, check them at the front desk and head out for the day.  Our first stop was the Today Show.  We had to wait about 30 minutes but the crew finally came out.  Pretty sure we made the broadcast and hopefully our dog/house sitter was able to hit record on the DVR in time!. 

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Next we walked past/through Rockefeller Center  and then up(?) Madison Ave.  Sadly we were on the wrong side of the road from Tiffany’s.  The city was getting ready for the big Puerto Rican parade so there were A LOT of officers out getting staged in various locations. 

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We made it to Central Park and walked around a bit.  One of these days, I’ll run through there.  There were lots of runners, bikers, dog walkers and several softball games going on. 

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Back through Times Square, we caught the Gray Line and headed to the 9/11 Memorial area.  The line moved quickly to get tickets.  Almost too quickly as they wouldn’t really let you stop and look at all the stuff in the museum.  Got our tickets and then realized that they were “time specific” and our time wasn’t until 2:00PM.  But after about half an hour, we decided to chance it & try to get in anyway.  NO PROBLEM.  They weren’t even looking at the times; just as long as you had a ticket for that day. The area is very surreal.  Sadly, I never got to see the Twin Towers in person.  I’d like to go back and see it all again when they have finished building everything. 

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After that we then walked over to see the Statue of Liberty area & Battery Park.  It was a very short walk and a nice area.  We found a bench and waited for the Gray Line to come around.  Well…we waited and waited and waited.  We saw two of them but they were going the opposite direction.  I told my husband after 30 minutes, that we needed to make sure we were in the right bus pickup area.  So I started walking up the road.  Sure enough, we weren’t!  So I called him on his cell phone and told him to head up the street. Too funny.  Of course if we weren’t on a time restraint it wouldn’t have mattered but we still had to ride the bus all the way back around to Times Square and get our luggage, grab a taxi & get to the airport.

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But everything worked out, we made it to the hotel in plenty of time and not long after we were in a taxi on the way to the airport.  Quick “editorial comment” about Gray Line – although our first tour guide wasn’t the best when we got on there on Saturday, the second trip with them on Saturday and then on Sunday’s trip, the guys were great.  Mostly they all pointed out the same things but each of them had a different flair and “opinion” of the area we were going through.  I’m glad we used that mode of transportation.  We got to see more of the city that maybe we wouldn’t have been able to otherwise and we got to hear different stories.  Well worth the money spent.

One last moment of panic as we are getting out of the taxi at the airport and he pulls away…our camera is still in the backseat!  Luckily since we were yelling at him, that caused the entire area ahead of us to yell at him as well and he stopped and we got the camera back.  That would have sucked to lose those pictures. 

I’m happy to report that all of our flights back home were on time and even slightly ahead of schedule.

I definitely want to go back to NYC one of these days.  And although I prefer half marathons over full marathons, after seeing the city, the boroughs and the bridges it make me want to do the NYC Marathon.  You never know….

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Anniversary Celebration – but this wasn’t just any ol’ dinner & a show

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Technically our 18th wedding anniversary is on Monday, the 10th so were are celebrating a little early.  I knew ahead of time where we were going to dinner and what show we were going to see and I’ve been so excited about this night for MONTHS!

After seeing some of the city today we came back to the hotel to get ready for our big night.  My husband wanted to take a shower but I just need to freshen up.  Surprisingly we were ready earlier than expected so we decided to head toward our dining destination – Tom Colicchio & Sons early and have a cocktail first.  It was too far to walk so we took a taxi there.  It was a female driver; this was a first for me.  When we got there however, they weren’t opening until 5:00pm which was also the time of our reservation.  So we walked down the street and found another bar, The Park Restaurant and ordered two drinks. 

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$24 dollars!  I mean we didn’t expect them to be Indiana prices but that is what you pay in Vegas.  Oh well, we don’t do this all the time.  It was a night of celebrations after all.  Finished our drinks and walked back to Tom Colicchio & Sons.

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Many many years ago I always said that if I ever went to New York City, I wanted to have dinner at Tavern on the Green but that closed a couple of years ago.  This restaurant was chosen because I am a HUGE fan of Top Chef and Tom is the head judge.  I really like his style; he’s tough but he’s funny too.  And obviously very considerate.  Look I tweeted him to say we were coming and he tweeted back!


And our menu was personalized! 

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Edward was the one that took care of us tonight and he was amazing.  He knew his stuff but didn’t make us feel like country bumpkins for asking so many questions.  He was humorous and professional.  And he knew we were going to see a show and that we had a time limit for dinner.  However, timing would not be a factor.

I had previewed the menu online prior and had to cross reference looking up a lot of stuff on Google.  I love most of those cooking shows but I only understand about half of what they are doing and the terms they use! 


We were treated to two servings of amuse-bouche.  I knew what those were from Top Chef.  However, I had no idea how to spell it!  For the most part, we both like all six items.  The second photo middle item was some sort of pea soup thing that was our least favorite.

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It was then time for the first course.  My husband had the Hamachi with Caviar, Beets & Smoked Crème Frache (first picture) and I had the Hamakua Farm Hearts of Palm, Meyer Lemon and Macadamia Nuts (second photo).

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Second course: my husband (first picture) had the Acquerello Risotto with Coddled Egg, Porcini & Asiago.  I had the Stinging Nettle Spaghetti with Gizzard Confit & Roasted Tomatoes (second photo).  Who am I? It was actually pretty good!

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Third course: My husband had the Butter Poached Halibut with Fava Beans, Spring Onion's & Morels (first picture) and I had the Soft Shell Crabs with ‘Nduja, Carrots & Asparagus (second picture).  Now while I was being very uncharacteristic with my food choices tonight…I did NOT eat the asparagus.  BLEH! Sad smile

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After all of that we were way too full for dessert but they brought us an amuse-bouche of two dessert and this Happy Anniversary slice of Tiramisu.  Amazing!

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What a fabulous dining experience.  We received a hand written note from Edward and our personalized menu plus two breakfast muffins for in the morning.  I truly cannot say enough good things about this entire evening…and this was just the dinner portion! 

This is us with Edward.

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Sooooo full after all of that.  Since we had plenty of time, we took a taxi back to the hotel to drop off the breakfast muffins. 


Seriously, I thought this guy was going to kill us.  He left no room between us and any other vehicle.  Passing cars like a madman.  If the car in front wasn’t going BEFORE the light turned green he was all over the horn.  It was crazy.

We dropped the stuff off in our room and the walked to the Gershwin Theatre to see Wicked.  Going in, I only knew the basics of this show.  But I was so freaking excited I could barely stand myself.  Something that you should know is that I did theatre in high school and college.  I LOVED IT!  And I miss not being able to do it.  My goal in a couple of years it to get involved with some community theater.  Once the show started we couldn’t take any picture so here is all you get:

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Now, I’ve seen some Broadway shows via a traveling company when they have come to Indianapolis but this was my first show ON Broadway. What did I think of it?  Well, here is what I wrote on Facebook when we got back to the hotel.  I think it pretty much sums it up.  I can't even begin to explain the experience of seeing my first show EVER on Broadway. Perhaps admitting that I cried - even though it wasn't a sad show - explains it better than words ever could.”  Yes, I cried.  I cried after the first musical number, I cried at intermission and I cried when it was over.  I wasn’t balling but there were tears and I was trying to keep them to myself so that my husband wouldn’t notice.  But once we were outside of the theatre, I just broke down.  It was such a magical experience to someone who as a little girl had dreams of being on that stage.  I think I floated as we walked back to the hotel.

Surprisingly we weren’t really all that tired.  We’re still running on only 4 hours of sleep but we changed in to some more comfortable clothes and headed out in to Times Square.  Yep, it is crazy and it was busy but not as crowded as I was anticipating.  Tons of people dressed up as characters (Hello Kitty, Minnie Mouse, Mario Brothers, etc) all wanting you to give them money to have your picture taken with them.  We had seen the infamous Naked Cowboy earlier in the day and tonight we got to see a couple of female “knock-off” versions.  It/they were not good.

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We weren’t out for very long and decided to head back. 

You see A LOT of this (trash picture) late at night and the smell can be atrocious.  Not your Chamber of Commerce advertisement.

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Overall my first full day in New York City was a SUCCESS!