Tuesday, September 09, 2008
By All Means...of Transportation
The first leg of our flight was from San Diego to Baltimore. We ended up sitting by a nice gentleman who was reading Lord of the Rings. We couldn't help but comment on it. He didn't seem to mind talking to us a little bit, which helped pass the time on such a long flight. Once we arrived in Baltimore we had a quick lunch and then waited for our flight to Long Island.
Peter and Jeanne, our friends from cysticfibrosis.com, met us at the airport and whisked us away into New York City for a truly impressive night on the town. They graciously treated us to dinner at a phenomenal seafood restaurant. The food was incredible. Peter and Jeanne's son is a restaurant manager in NYC and he had recommended the place and assured us that we'd be treated well there. Treated well is an understatement! We dined like celebrities. When dinner was over, our waiter brought over some champagne and chocolate fondue for dessert, all compliments of Mr. Andrew who regrettably couldn't join us that evening.
With our tummies quite full from the rich food, it was time to call it an evening. On the way to our hotel, Peter and Jeanne gave us a windshield tour of NYC. Points of interest included Times Square and the NBC building. We were given a little bit of a breakdown of the demographics of the area. Apparently our hotel was in Chelsea which meant it was within walking distance of lots of great things. We were also fairly close to Fashion Avenue.
We arrived at our hotel almost completely exhausted. Our first few hours in NYC had been almost an overload, but in a good way. Having had the quick tour of the area, we were better able to plan our activities for the next day.
We adjusted to the time difference quite easily, which was nice. Our hotel was comfortable and we slept well. We started the day with a delicious breakfast from the hotel lobby. I was very thankful that there were many "home food" options for the meal. With my sensitive tummy I was a little concerned about how I'd do with all the eating out the trip would surely entail.
Our plan for the day was to visit the Statue of Liberty. We took the subway down to the Ferry where we purchased our tickets. We had missed the cutoff for being allowed into the pedestal of the monument, but we didn't mind. The weather was absolutely gorgeous near the water. It reminded us of San Diego weather. A lot of people were crammed onto that ferry, which made me a little queasy, but I quickly regained my composure. As we neared Liberty Island just about everyone on the boat turned and strained to get a good picture of Lady Liberty (myself included.)
The island itself was beautiful and well-kept. We sat for awhile in a nice shady spot and just enjoyed the moment. After we had caught our breath a bit, we proceeded to tour the island and get closer to the statue. It's quite massive! The pedestal is massive as well. It's about the same height as a 10 story building, but it hardly looks like it because it tapers upward so The gradually. We continued our stroll around the monument and stopped for lunch. We only had one option for food and I'm sorry to report it wasn't very tasty. It was all over-priced, over-produced and over-cooked to the point of being quite rubbery. Even the sodas left a bit to be desired. Oh well.
We took turns taking pictures of each other with the statue in the background. We also found some people to take pictures of us together. I hate doing that though because I usually end up disliking the way the stranger frames the subject of the photo. Here are some of the pictures from the rest of our day at the statue.
Walking Around Town
After taking the return ferry back to NYC, we decided it would be a good idea to catch a quick nap before embarking on our next activity. We were fortunate to have a hotel within easy walking distance of the subway. All the stairs were a bit of a challenge for me, but I was able to keep up pretty well.
We napped for a bit then changed into our clothes that we wanted to wear our to dinner and a show. We had tickets for Lion King and meal vouchers (thanks to Broadway.com) for dinner at Planet Hollywood. Planet Hollywood was just a short walk from the theatre. Our meal there was definitely better than what we'd had for lunch. We even had NY style cheesecake for dessert. Yum!
It seemed a bit funny to us that we came all the way to the East Coast to eat dinner at something that was representative of the West Coast, i.e., Hollywood. We spent a few minutes after dinner walking around the restaurant looking at all the display items the restaurant currently held. We saw John Travolta's T-birds jacket from Grease, and the gold suit worn by Mike Meyers in Goldmember. There was also the toy piano keyboard from the Tom Hanks movie, Big, and a lot of stuff from Will Smith's Independence Day, which is one of our favorite movies.
Having completed dinner, we walked the block or so across Times Square to the theatre. The song is true...the lights are bright on Broadway! It was lit up as bright as daytime there. We found our seats easily and settled in for what would prove to be yet another extravagant Disney production. My seat was beside a little boy and girl. At first I thought "oh great..." but they behaved themselves very well. It was cute to eavesdrop on them and hear what their little minds were processing as the show unfolded.
The Broadway version of the Lion King is a bit more, let's say "interpretive" than the cartoon is. It wasn't just people in full-on animal costumes like you'd see at Disneyland. You really had to use your imagination to see past the people and see the animals. I loved that part of it. After the first few minutes or so you start to forget that there are people controlling the puppets.
It's hard to explain how they did it without showing pictures. Picture taking was of course, prohibited. We did manage to sneak one in of ourselves in our seats in the theatre. The show let out at 11:00, and then it was back to the subway and back to our hotel.
For our last day in NYC we wanted to go to FAO Schwartz for some toys for our kids' friends. We settled for the Toys R Us in Times Square instead. I wanted to bring some sort of bunny toy so that they'd remember it's from the friends in California who have a pet bunny. Our first find was a floppy doll sort of bunny. Then Brad found it. A battery operated rabbit that hopped, wiggled its nose and made noise. Hehehehe...yes, we're the people who give noisy toys to children.
Our treasures from the toy store having been acquired, we made our way back to the hotel to collect our luggage and begin the next portion of our trip. A train ride to upstate New York!
Stay tuned for tomorrow's blog about upstate New York and the harrowing journey it took to get there!
I read on the CF blogs that you aren't feeling well right now.Hope the tummy and other aches are better soon!Praying for you...