I live about 2 and a half hours from New York City. It is a beautiful and easy drive down there. I told you last year about the Merritt Parkway which is the main road I take to get to the city. I wish you could come and drive down the Merritt with me sometime because it is very hard to convince people that a road could be beautiful. So you will just have to trust me...the Merritt Parkway is beautiful.....especially in the Fall.
Aunt Sarah lives in Georgia and her husband has some great hotel points so he always hooks us up with a hotel in New York City. This year we had to work dates around a little and our New York city weekend ended up being on my birthday.
Last year we discovered that there is a lot of early planning involved if you want to go to the top of the Statue of Liberty. So in July Aunt Sarah was on the ball and got us tickets to go up into the crown of the Statue of Liberty. They only allow 240 people a day into the crown. They only allow 3,000 people a day into the pedestal and the museum of the statue. The other people on the island are allowed to walk around the island. We had to put our names on the tickets to the crown way back in July because they run every background check humanly possible on you before you show up. One of our friends was not able to go up in the crown with us because we added her to our trip at the last minute. But we were able to use Jedi mind tricks to get her into the museum and the pedestal. The tickets to the crown are extremely reasonable. For $15.00 you get the boat ride over and access to everything on the island. The pedestal tickets are $12.00. They told us we needed to be at the tip of Manhattan Island by 10:30 in the morning on friday so we left Massachusetts at 6:30 in the morning. We got into the city by 9:30, parked, walked a few blocks and hopped on the subway and rode for about 20 minutes to Battery Park. The day was beautiful, clouds with blue sky and sun breaking through, and about 50 degrees with a wind. After passing many checkpoints and receiving a special wristband we finally got to the stairs you climb up to the crown. The stairs wind around inside the statue all the way up to the crown. It is 354 steps to the crown and they get narrower and narrower as you go. They start out straight but eventually start curving around and around. Of course the views from the top are amazing. It was well worth the $15.00.
After we left the island we were very hungry so we headed to the edge of Little Italy to a restaurant that Aunt Sarah had read about called Rinaldi's. Rinaldi's was the first official pizzaria opened in the United States and there are pictures all over the walls of famous people with the owner. The pizza really was amazing. Although, I confess that I ordered a calzone. But the yummy noises my three friends were making while they were eating was enough to convince me. Once we got some food in us we were ready to take on the town.
Our next goal was to get tickets for a show on Broadway. So we headed to Times Square to the TKTS booth. The line was not very long and we had several shows to choose between and finally settled on West Side Story because it is leaving Broadway in January and because it had all the original cheoreography in it. We paid $67.00 a ticket and the show started at 8. That meant we did not have much time to get our luggage back to the Waldorf Astoria.
Uncle Jason got us two hotel rooms at the Waldorf for our weekend. We were very excited about that. And the hotel did not disappoint us. But I am pretty sure that the Waldorf expects that people who stay in their hotel do not care how much things cost because to park in their parking garage involved $60.00 a day. We all gulped at that number and chose to park clear across town at our lot on 60th street that cost us $22.00 a day. Yeah, you do the math :) But this decision resulted in way too many New Yorkers seeing 4 women running.....yes, running.... through the streets of New York City with our rolling suitcases flying behind us. We definitely got our exercise. And it was definitely not for the faint of heart :) We needed to get from the hotel on Park Avenue to our luggage on 60th and then back to the hotel on Park Avenue and then to our show on Broadway in a very short amount of time. I know you will wonder about my sanity when I tell you it actually was very invigorating and I think I may film a dvd and start an exercise empire on the idea of exercising with your luggage :) We arrived at the theater with 20 minutes to spare. Thank goodness we had eaten so much pizza 6 hours before :)
West Side Story was amazing. I confess, I do not really like the story but the dancing and the voices of the performers were amazing. The other two shows I have seen on Broadway have sucked me in and made me feel like I dare not breathe for fear of ruining the moment. I did not feel this way after seeing West Side story but it was still very good.
After the show it was 10:30 pm and in the, "city that never sleeps" the night was young so we headed to our favorite spot.....Magnolia Bakery. Cheesecake, cupcakes, cake, bar cookies, pie anything your little heart desires is there and extremely yummy. I mean if you have to wait in line to get into a place at 11:00 at night it sadly means it is worth it. I got mercilessly teased because I did not purchase anything but that does not mean it is not an amazing place it just means I can not spend money to save my soul :)
We got back to our hotel by 11:30 and sat in the lobby and watched people leaving the party in their costumes. It was very interesting. After a short time we headed upstairs and I literally fell into bed. Karen and Gail were in one room and Aunt Sarah and I were in another. I have a reputation for waking up early and wanting to get going, everyone warned me that if I got up early and woke them up I was in HUGE trouble. So we did not leave the hotel the next morning until about 11. But I will tell you about our Saturday in New York City tomorrow. Now I have to go clean my house and get a box ready to send to Madeline for her birthday this weekend. So, I will see you tomorrow :)