Thursday, July 24, 2014

New York City for the Weekend

Since Lauren and Tyler have been away at Camp Winshape for the past two weeks Matt and I knew we wanted to take advantage of our one weekend without them.

I started researching cities nearby and wanted to keep it down to a couple hours drive.
I was looking hard at Asheville, NC.  It looks like a beautiful city.
Matt wasn't really into my suggestion so he said he was going to surprise me by booking a flight to a city that neither one of us had ever been.

He came home from work last Wednesday with this!
New York City!!
Isn't he the best?  Don't answer that because I already know he is.
With only two days to plan I texted my friend Susan who recently moved to upstate New York and she gave us some great ideas.  (You can find Susan on the blog here.) We took her list and also some Food Network suggestions and ran with it.  I think we came close to doing everything there is to do in NYC.  Just kidding but we did a lot.  Buckle up and enjoy the ride.

We flew into JFK and navigated the Subway to midtown Manhattan to our hotel.
We didn't pay extra for the city view but I could still see the city out our window.

We pretty much dropped off our bags and headed out to explore.
Times Square! 

It was a complete zoo.  There were people everywhere and it looked like New Year's Eve.  I hate to see what New Year's Eve looks like.
The flashing lights were cool and it was fun to finally see it in person after hearing about it on TV and watching Good Morning America for years.
Our food rules for the trip were to not eat at anyplace we could eat in Atlanta.
First up John's Pizzeria.
The pizza was awesome.  I did not, however, fold my pizza like I heard one must do while in New York.  Dessert was macaroons and a decaf latte at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.
(After a google search just now I found out a Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf is located in the ATL airport.  oops.)

During our weekend we took the Subway everywhere.  No taxis or anything.  It was super easy to navigate thanks to Google Maps.
You type in where you want to go and click on the Subway/Bus picture.  It will then give you a list of options.  Click on the one you want and it brings up the screen on the left.  It tells you where to get on the Subway, which train to take, how many stops/transfers and then it tells you where to walk to your destination.  It was so EASY and I wasn't intimidated at all!

 Pictures from the Subway

We woke up Saturday ready to go.  First stop was coffee and bagels at Best Bagels and Coffee.
Then it was off to the 911 Memorial.  We didn't go inside the museum since we didn't have enough time to fully appreciate it.  (Next trip we'll take half a day just for it.)  We were awestruck with the pools outside and the view of Freedom Tower.  The running water drowned out the noise of all the people and we were able to quietly take it in.  It was very intense and heavy on the heart.
(clockwise: Freedom Tower behind the Survivor tree, one of the fountains which all the victims names are inscribed, the Survivor Tree)   

Next we walked to Battery Park.

The Statue of Liberty is between us off in the distance. 

Since our trip was so last minute we figured we wouldn't be able to get tickets to go in the Statue of Liberty so at Susan's suggestion we rode the free Staten Island Ferry for some great views.
Pictures from the Ferry.
(top two pics are of Manhattan, bottom left: Lady Liberty, bottom right: New Jersey on the left and Manhattan on the right)

Back on the mainland we used Google Maps to show us how to walk to the Brooklyn Bridge.
The buildings are beautiful.  I'm glad I'm a tourist because the locals don't ever look up from their feet and they miss out on spectacular views.

At the bridge we joined the masses and made our way (sometimes at a snail's pace) across the bridge.  Awesome views!
Brooklyn on the left and Manhattan on the right.
 In Brooklyn we decided we didn't need to cross it again so instead we rode the Subway back and into Greenwich Village.
The village is pretty cool.  It reminded me of a mix between Savannah, GA and San Francisco.
I'll take this brownstone, please. 

We stopped for lunch at The Meatball Shop.
I had the meatball salad and Matt had the sliders with a side of collards.  We both shared a carafe of White Peach Sangria.
Dessert was cookies from The Magnolia Bakery.
(darn it...they have one of these in Atlanta too)
 Our feet were pretty tired after that busy morning so we headed back to the hotel to rest up for the evening.  One of us napped while the cell phones (cameras) charged.

We were going to try to see a Broadway show but decided we wanted to do that next trip when we could plan ahead more and pick out what we really wanted to see and get good seats.  Instead we found a Comedy Club and put ourselves on the Standby List.
We got in and we actually got the best seats at our table.
Colin Quinn (SNL et. al.) was hilarious as were the other comedians.
After laughing our butts off we were hungry for dinner.
Matt heard about A Salt & Battery from the Food Network so we had to check it out.
(Best fish and chips in NYC.)
Honestly it wasn't my favorite, honestly-er I did not enjoy it at all.  I'm not a fish and chips kind of girl and the atmosphere (a tiny bar table at the window with no wiggle room) wasn't my type either.  However, Matt said the Fish and Chips were phenomenal.
Dessert was a waffle from the food cart Wafels and Dinges with maple syrup and bacon.  Once again Matt said it was delish.  Sweet desserts aren't my thing either.
(Wow, I sound like a boring snob, don't I?)
 After that we called it a night.  We needed to get some sleep so we could see the rest of NYC before our flight left at 7pm the next evening.

We explored the Southside of NYC on Saturday so Sunday we took the Subway North.
We started in the Upper West Side at Levain Bakery.
Blueberry Muffin, Sticky Bun, and Coffees

We took our breakfast and enjoyed it two blocks away in Central Park.

What a perfect morning.  
Good food, beautiful view, perfect weather, and one gorgeous couple! (wink)

Central Park is like no other!
It's a fresh green paradise amid an endless sea of hustle and bustle, bricks and concrete.
(That sounds slightly poetic but I don't believe it captures what I'm trying to say.)
Hopefully the pictures speak my 1000 words.

While in Central Park we made sure to walk the Reservoir.
It's a 1.58 mile track and I did it in my sandles.  I would do it barefoot if I had to.
Amazing.  Don't take my word for it but go see it for yourself.

We entered the park from the Upper West Side so to mix things up we exited the park on the Upper East Side.  This made it much easier to get to our lunch destination.
Lunch was perfect.
I had a turkey club sandwich and Matt had the cheeseburger.  We both shared the cottage fried potatoes.  A Bloody Mary for me and a "cute little" Manhattan for him and we were good to go.

We headed back to the Subway and made our way to Grand Central Station.
I was hoping to hear the loud clicking of the changing train times (like in the movies) but apparently we're in the 21st century and that no longer happens.  It was still "Grand" in my book.
clockwise top left: the exterior of the station, inside view with train schedule (no audible clicking what-so-ever), the Zodiac ceiling (hard to see in the pic,) and a great shot from inside.

After exploring Grand Central Station we made our way to Rockefeller Center.
We found a bench and enjoyed some people watching before we decided it was time to start making our way to the airport.
On our way to the Subway we passed by the NBC Studios and also Radio City Music Hall.
Once on the subway I guess we both put our phone/camera's away. (hence no pictures)
We made our way back to the hotel to pick up our luggage which we had them store for us.  From there we used the trusty Google Maps to find out how to ride the subway to LaGuardia Airport.  We were instructed to take a train to Queens and then transfer to a bus which would drop us off at LaGuardia.
For $2.50 each we made it from our hotel in Manhattan to the airport. I heart the NYC Subway.

We ate dinner at the airport while waiting on our flight.
I was excited yet grossed out that there were public use iPADs at each dinner table.  ( many dirty fingers have touched it?)

I decided I was mostly excited because I was able to pull up the pictures posted from Camp Winshape and check them out while eating my Italian Sandwich.
Check out this pic of Tyler.
I can't wait to see my babies!

Here is my last picture of NYC from my window seat on the flight home.
Till we meet again, new friend.

We both loved our visit to New York City.  I feel like we crossed off something from our bucket list.  (Well, half-way crossed off because we both want to go back!)  My favorite was Central Park.  Matt said he just loved how much there was to do and see in such a small and compact area.
Peace Out NYC but we'll see you again!
Next time we will bring the kids.


Gloria said...

No fish and chips or sweet desserts?? Need to check your birth cert again to be sure you're mine! LOL Your pics and narrative were great, can almost feel we were there.

Dyann said...

I'm sure you had a great time! Glad you were able to go. No longer on my bucket list & we had fun there too