Sunday, March 27, 2011

New York City: Day 1

I'm back from the Big Apple! I had the BEST three days with two amazing friends, Christy and Megan. I took lots of photos and have a lot to share. I'll do my best to cover the highlights! Our journey started Tuesday morning, around 6:30am as we boarded a plane headed to JFK airport. 

We arrived in just about an hour. As soon as I saw the city out the window of the airplane, my excitement started to rise. We were really here! After taking what we later realized was the most complicated route to our hotel, we hit the streets running. And walking. And riding the subway. Let the fun begin! 

The first thing I noticed, standing in the middle of Broadway, was the immensity of it all. The buildings stretched toward the sky, in every direction. People filled the sidewalks.  Beeping taxis and bustling streets became our new soundtrack. 

One song inevitably played in my head... "In New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of, there's nothing you can't do. Now you're in New York, these streets will make you feel brand new. Big lights will inspire you...." 

We stayed at the newly renovated Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers, on 7th Avenue and 53rd Street, which was closely located to everything. We realized on day 2 that there is a subway entrance located on the side of the hotel! That would have been helpful on day 1, as we lugged our suitcases through the streets and up and down stairs. Live and learn! The hotel was very nice and really comfortable (thank you!).
I especially felt right at home with the subway tile shower, which looked exactly like mine! Minus the safety railing.

On our way to lunch we passed the Late Show studio. The concierge recommended the Cosmic Diner, which was the perfect spot for and early lunch with a wide variety of choices. Cheeseburger and fries please!
We looked at the subway map and headed to Wall Street. When I say "we" I really mean Christy and Megan. I was absolutely no help at all when it came to directions and what line to take. I just followed wherever they told me to go! I am extremely grateful that Christy is such an excellent navigator!
When we got on the subway, there was a bride and groom headed to City Hall to get married! On a Tuesday afternoon, with photographers in tow. It was so cute! 

We managed to get a photo with the famous Wall Street bull, then headed to Battery Park.
The bronze Sphere by sculptor Fritz Koenig, which stood in the fountain of the World Trade Center plaza, was pulled from underneath the collapsed towers. The Sphere is now in Battery Park as a temporary memorial. (

It was a clear day, the sun was shining and I was finally able to see Lady Liberty! Even though it was from a distance, it was amazing to finally see her, standing in the harbor. That has been on my "to do list" for a long time. 

I also saw the site of the World Trade Center for the first time. It was a very sobering moment, to see the destruction and rebuilding underway, almost 10 years later. All I could think about where the lives that were lost. The men and women who serve our country and lay down their lives everyday. The freedoms we are privileged to enjoy. We truly have a great nation. Let us never forget.

After a much needed Starbucks break, I think we stopped back at our hotel, then headed back out for a late dinner. We dined at Pam Real Thai Encore, which had excellent reviews, and we learned why. It was the best Thai food I have ever had! The atmosphere was unique and stylish and the food was just amazing. We had to take a photo with our server, who was kind enough to explain the entire menu to us!
After dinner, it was time to see Times Square at night! 
Talk about advertising over-stimulization! There were giant TV screens in every direction, lights, billboards, and signs galore. And swarms of people for no apparent reason, other than to see times square. Like we were. It was pretty cool! 

Last stop, the M+M store. How much merchandise could there possibly be to warrant an entire two-floor store dedicated to M+M's? Tons, we found out. 

They have M+M pillows, purses, clothing, key chains, magnets, dishes, you name it. We showed a few larger-than-life M+M's some love. Miss Statue of Liberty M+M was my favorite. 
After a long exciting day of walking and site seeing, it was time to get some rest for day 2! 
Day 1 in the Big City - awesome! The best is yet to come...

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