Friday, October 13, 2006

We're Baaaaaaack

So the reason we went to NYC was to see my very good friend Tania who is from back home in Sherwood Park but now lives in India. We go back about 10 years, she went to India about 7 years ago on a university work program and ended up meeting some street kids who changed her life. She went back a year or so later and has been there ever since. She started and runs a non-profit organization called One! International. Check out the website to read more about what she does. She was in New York City receiving an award from Childrens Hope India. We did not go to the awards banquet she was at as it was a 200 dollar a head event. We did however spend all day Monday in the city with her and her mom and we had a wonderful time.

Chris and I left here around 5:30 am Monday morning and arrived at our hotel in New Jersey around 9:30am. NYC is only about a 3 1/2 hour drive from us which is really awesome, I love being so close. We stayed in New Jersey because its WAY cheaper and then drove to the Staten Island Ferry (about 20 mins from our hotel) and took that into the city. It is definitely the way to do it because who wants to look for or pay for parking in New York City.....NOT ME! The Staten Island Ferry is free and has an amazing view of the Statue of Liberty. It takes about a half hour and it is really cool. I love watching the city get bigger and closer. The ferry docks right at the tip of lower Manhattan.

When we got off the ferry we had about an hour to kill until we met up with Tania and her mom so we putzed around lower Manhattan for a while. The weather was AMAZING. For October on the east coast it was unbelievable. It was at least in the mid 80's and the skies were clear, it was the perfect day.

We met up with Tania and her mom around 1:30 pm and immediately set out to look for somewhere to have lunch. We were happy to find a TGI Fridays not too far away and figured we could enjoy a relatively cheap lunch. We had a great time visiting and catching up. After lunch we decided to wander down to Water Street where there was a Columbus Day Festival going on. There was hundreds of vendors....Food, clothes, jewelry. Anything you can think of you could have found it there. All the food smelled so good, too bad we had already eaten. We ended up walking around and having some ice cream on the South Street Seaport. It was beautiful, on one side of us was the city, on the other was downtown Brooklyn across the water and on the other was the Brooklyn Bridge. It was awesome. We also met up with one of Tania's friends who lives in Brooklyn and is a real life British nanny. LOL. Just like Supernanny, accent and all! We headed to Starbucks for a little "break" before we headed for the subway to go up town to Rockefeller Center.

I have been on the New York Subway before but this time I really noticed how clean and somewhat nice it actually is. The subway here is way older and way crappier looking in parts. I guess one just always assumes that the NYC subway is dirty and scary and it totally isn't.

We had really wanted to go up to the top of the Empire State Building but were advised by locals that the line would be LOOOOOOOOONG and even more so considering it was a holiday. They told us that Rockefeller Center now had an observation deck appropriately called "Top of the Rock." It was a dollar more than the Empire State Building but we had no line and actually had a view of the Empire State Building as opposed to being in it. I am scared of heights and I HATE elevators so it was a little nervewracking for me getting in the elevator to go up 66 floors. The roof of the elevator was clear and the elevator shaft was all lit up with lights and stuff. I only looked up a few times but it was kinda cool to see the elevator moving up. The elevator goes up to the 66th floor but there are 4 more levels above that. So it is actually 70 floors and there is an escalator and stairs to go up the last 4. I was scared at first but once I settled in it was the most amazing thing I have ever seen. The view was like no other, it was unbelievable. You can see everything, The Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park, Times Square, Empire State building etc. In some ways I wish we had gone up when it was still full daylight but at the same time to see all those lights for miles and miles was amazing. It was worth way more than the 17 bucks to go up there. I am not sure how long we were actually up there for, it was quite some time though and we took a ton of pictures. New York is such a bustling city and to be that high up and see it from that view point is so peaceful.

After we headed back down to the bottom it was time for some supper so we headed to Subway. After we ate we headed to meet another friend of Tania's at a rooftop bar called 230 Fifth. When we got there the guy standing outside informed us there was a dress code and that no hats were allowed. Chris and I were both wearing hats that day so I was mortified when I had to take it off. I also had a sweater tied around my waist and the doorman looked at me and pointed to my sweater and smugly said "your going to need to do something about that." It was actually really funny (although I was mortified at the time.) He wasn't being a jerk, just doing his job. Oh well, once we got up there it didn't matter. It was amazing, it was dark except for candles on all the tables. We were on the 20th floor and outside on the roof in New York City. So as we sat drinking our NINE dollar Heinekens we chatted and enjoyed the clear beautiful sky and the amazing of view of the Empire State building directly in front of us.

After we enjoyed our drinks we headed to Penn Station to get on the subway where we went our separate ways. I was sad to say goodbye to Tania and her mom, it was so good to be able to spend the whole day with them just enjoying each others company. I sure miss Tania but I am so excited for all the amazing things that are happening over in India.

The next morning we slept in and didn't check out of our hotel until after 12pm. We headed over to IHOP for a late breakfast. After breakfast we headed back towards the city, this time to Queens to do a little more sight seeing. I am not sure if any of you watch The King of Queens and in the opening credits they are at a park with a globe behind them. Anyways we wanted to go see that and get some pictures of it. It was really cool and really big.

After that it was time to head home. On the way we decided to stop in New Haven, Connecticut to check out the Yale campus. It was so pretty, the buildings were so old and all stone. It was fun to walk around and take some pictures.

And that was that. We had a nice little 2 day adventure. I love going to NYC, it fascinates me. I highly recommend that if you haven't been that someday you go, you will not be disappointed.


Kirst said...

You guys are quite the travelers lately. You take great pictures. I espcially like the ones at night.

Alison said...

Glad you guys are back safe and sound. I love NY's been years since I have gone but I can still remember so much and your pics brought it all back.

Andrea said...

That sounds awesome!

Desiree said...

Wow that is a lot of adventure in such a short time. Looks beautiful, amazing. I would love to be able to go someday.

Anonymous said...

I am so envious hearing about all of your trips. What a lucky pari you two are! I passed up an opportunity to visit NYC a few weeks ago and now I'm really regretting it! Glad you had a good tiem, though.