On July 28, David and I took our long-awaited trip to New York city. David turned 30 in June and this was my birthday gift to him. We had an amazing trip!
We arrived at the CLT airport with no problem, checked our bag, checked in, went through security and arrived at our gate, Starbucks in hand. The flight was great and we arrived at La Guardia airport on time. Our cab ride to the hotel was quite the experience, as it always is in New York, but we made it there alive, thankfully. We shared a cab with 2 other passengers who were from Alabama. They were taking a mother/daughter trip and it was their first time to the city. How exciting!
We arrived at the Hotel Beacon and were pleasantly surprised at how nice it was. I had done research on hotels, but you really don't know how it's going to be until you get there. There was a kitchenette, which I didn't expect, a table and chairs which we ate breakfast at both mornings, and nice accommodations. I would definitely recommend this hotel if anyone's going to NYC soon. The hotel is located on the upper west side, which is near a lot of residences. It was really a great location - only a block away from the subway, and about 30 blocks from Times Square.
Our first stop that we made after venturing out of the hotel was to Gray's Papaya for a "recession special" of 2 hot dogs and a drink for $4.25. We split that, so it really was a good deal! Gray's Papaya is mentioned several times on one of our favorite shows - "How I Met Your Mother."
We saw an Apple store, and even though we have one in Charlotte, we had to a make a stop. :) I have to admit that this store was nothing like ours! There were two levels and more computers, phones and iPods than I could ever imagine! We played with the iPhone 4 for a minute, bought an adapter for my iPad and camera, and moved on.
We continued down Broadway, made it to Times Square, and decided to check out TKTS to see what tickets were available for a Broadway show. They had same-day, half-price tickets to "Promises, Promises," so we decided to get the tickets and go that night. We then headed down to the New York Public Library. Neither of us had ever been inside, so we were curious to see what it looked like. They're still doing renovations on the outside, but it was beautiful. I took pics of the children's room. They had a display of the original Winnie-the-Pooh stuffed animals, but I wasn't allowed to use the flash on my camera, so I didn't get any pics. I imagine working at the New York Public Library is a little different from ImaginOn in Charlotte, although ImaginOn is very cool, too. :)
We headed back to the hotel by subway. I have to brag on my husband. Traveling with him is so easy and fun! He's great with directions, which I am not, so I truly appreciate this quality in him. He's very laid back and loves to go with the flow. He also loves the subway, so getting around wasn't stressful at all!
We changed clothes and freshened up, but were ready earlier than expected so we decided to take advantage of the outdoors and walk back to the theater. The performances by Kristin Chenoweth and Sean Hayes were spectacular. I was slightly disappointed in the musical itself, but it was totally worth it to see those two in action. I just love Kristin Chenoweth!
On the way back to the hotel we stopped by a market and picked up some sandwiches for dinner. It was almost 11pm when the musical finished, so we were pretty hungry. I haven't eaten that late at night in a long time! It was almost like we were living a different life - one without a baby! :)
We slept late the next morning (haven't done that in awhile either!) then decided to take the subway back to Times Square and do some shopping. We went to some souvenir shops, the M&M's store, Hershey's store, CBS store, had some lunch at the Metro Cafe, and then decided to go back to the room for a nice nap. We knew we were going to try to make it to the top of the Empire State Building around midnight, so I needed some rest if I was going to stay up that late!
We stopped by a true NY-style pizza place and got some awesome, bigger-than-your-head slices of pizza. Then we went to see American Idiot. Wow! The lights, the choreography, the music, it was all fantastic! Definitely one of the high points of our trip - and there were lots!
After the musical we grabbed a coffee and stood in line for the Empire State Building. David had never been to the top, so we were both excited to go there at night. It was very romantic. David enjoyed seeing all the buildings from that vantage point. The only downfall to that adventure was that I had worn a knee-length, flowy skirt to the musical and therefore was still wearing it at the top of the Empire State Building. On the 86th floor. At night. Did I mention we were on the 86th floor? Not a great combination. So ladies, my advice to you - even if you want to look cute, wear pants or shorts. It's definitely less embarrassing that way. Great memories, though! lol. By then it was past midnight, so we stopped to eat (again!) at another little cafe.
The next morning we were able to sleep late again since checkout wasn't until noon. David went back to Gray's Papaya to grab some breakfast sandwiches for us, then we made our way to the subway. We decided we would try the adventure of the subway and bus to the airport. Amazingly enough, it was completely flawless! We grabbed the subway, walked to the bus stop as the bus was pulling up, got let off right at our airline and, voila - we were there! The whole thing only took about an hour, which was the same amount of time it took us in the cab on the way to the hotel. And I felt much safer than driving with a lunatic cab driver!
This is definitely a trip I'll look back on and remember with fondness. I missed my sweet baby boy, but I immensely enjoyed spending some much needed quality time with my husband. My new goal is to get away with David, even if it's just for a weekend or a short few days, at least once a year. I'm thankful that Xander has grandparents that love watching him and are able and willing to do so. Thanks Mimi, Papa, Grandma and Grandpa!!
I hope for David that this trip made turning 30 not so bad. If all birthdays were like this, I think I would have multiples each year! I love you, David!
Pictures coming soon!