Saturday, October 14, 2006

New York, New York

Sunday morning we woke Mari up at an ungodly hour for her *G* so she could take us into New York City. Did I mention Mari is a night owl? At the conference, we had to get her up to be at breakfast by 7:15!

Because there was so much we wanted to see, we decided that we should take a double decker bus tour. I highly recommend them especially if you don't have much time in New York City. You get to see a lot and the guides know things you won't get from walking around. LOL those of you who are tall, be advised you do have to duck trees if you sit on top. Mel and I both got smacked by a low lying limb. The guide had to duck traffic lights at times.

We cruised to a ferry on the Hudson River. There are cliffs that are almost a sheer drop to the road that runs along the Hudson. The cliffs have houses and hotels and such with a gorgeous view of the New York City skyline. And it is gorgous. I'm amazed at how tall the buildings are.

The ferry took us across, we got in line for a waterwork bus to take us where we could buy the double decker tickets. LOL there's a phone ringing in a little booth. It's doing it when we got there and still ringing when we left.

We hopped on the bus and went through Manhattan. Saw a couple of Trump buildings. We got off the bus near the Museum of Natural History.

Mel & I decided to buy a hot dog from a streetside vendor. We ate a hot dog by Central Park!! How very cool is that. Central Park is 843 acres in case you ever wondered. See! the double decker bus tours are great for information LOL.

We went in the Museum of Natural History. I could have spent days in there looking at everything. We saw the dinosaur bones. When I was a kid, I LOVED anything dinosaurs so I had so much fun. I came home and impressed my kidlets *Grins*. We saw the gigantic blue whale that hangs from the ceilling. My pictures of it didn't come out very well.

I asked Mari, "Is this where Ross from Friends was supposed to work?" We decided "yes." LOL that inspired us to seek out the caveman exhibit because of Ross and Rachel's first time. But alas, it was closed.

We realized, we are never going to see everything we want to see, so we left the Museum. We hopped back on a bus as opposed to walking through Central Park. The bus took us through Harlem and Manhattan. It was so cool. We got to see the Apollo Theater. Saw a lot of the other museums and the Public Library. We reached the end of the line, and hopped on another bus to go a different route.

We saw and walked through Times Square!

Saw Broadway. Saw a lot of theaters where the shows are. I saw the theater that houses RENT. *sigh* which is apparently closing dagnabbit. Saw 5th Aveune and Park Ave and Madison. Saw Madison Square Gardens.

Did you know there is a Starbucks on every corner in New York? *blinks*. Coffee, coffee everywhere, and I didn't have a drop to drink.

We went up to the 86nd floor of the Empire State Building!

The wait wasn't too bad, about an hour to an hour and a half. Got a lot of time in talking while we were in line. Mari and Mel double teamed me about something I'll tell you later, though I'm blaming my webmistress for the ultimate decision I made *Grins*.

The view was incredible. We could see everything. Saw the Statue of Liberty from there.

My brother went to New York City the summer he graduated from high school. He brought back coffee mugs for my parents so he could say he'd been to the top. I now have them. It was neat for me being where he'd been.

Oh and silly me dropped my bus ticket pulling my camera out. Discovered it was gone as we headed inside from the oberservation deck. I went back to walk around and I found it!

It was time to catch the night tour double decker bus. So we traipsed on it. Now, *ahem* none of us brought jackets and the sun was going down. On top of that bus, it was cold. Especially going over one of the bridges into Brooklyn. We saw the Brooklyn Bridge and parts of Brooklyn. Drove through Greenwich and Soho. Drove by Tribeca.

After the tour, we shivered our way to John's Pizzaria for some New York City style pizza. Yummmmmm.

We did some souvenir shopping, including from Hard Rock Cafe. I bought everyone I know "I (heart) New York" shirts. Mel bought some shirts for her kidlets with Mari's help.

Now the last ferry would be pulling out at 12:10. We had to be on it. LOL we figured a taxi ride across the Hudson was beyond our means. So we're walking down Broadway in search of a waterworks bus to take us back to catch the ferry.

The artists and performers were out all along Broadway. They were doing portraits and cariactures. One man was playing drums. Spiderman was a little freaky but I think he was there for photo ops.

It's very crowded, it's after 11 at night and throngs of people were about, which I found neat.

Mari stopped and got a map from a helpful double decker ticket seller. It said the bus will stop at any city bus stop along 49th. So we hiked to 49th and walked. And walked. And walked some more. There were no city bus stops that we saw. We saw one on a side street so we walked over to it. And waited. And waited. And saw a waterworks bus cruise down 49th. Growled and walked back over to the 49th and started hiking again.

We're starting to get a little worried. Time was ticking and the crowds thinned.

Then lo behold, our savior. A waterworks bus. LOL it wasn't even his route. We thanked him up one side and down the other. We actually made the 11:50 ferry back to Mari's car.

And so ends the New York City story.

I've got to back to see Mari and things we didn't see. I really wasn't sure I wanted to see Ground Zero when we were discussing it. But we didn't, and I'm slightly disappointed by it.

We made Mari get up early yet again Monday to go to Newark airport, which is huge by the way. I underestimated the time it would take to travel from Terminal A to Terminal C (you travel by a train around the outside) and the number of people who would be in line checking in. But after a mad dash across the airport, I made my flight.

My plane was early getting back to Richmond. And to my surprise, my family was waiting outside security for me. I was thrilled to see them.

May the muses have fun trips


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