Monday, June 18, 2012

Adventures in New York!

(Okay, so I wrote the blog back in April, but never posted it because I was too lazy busy to download the pictures from my camera. So, in an attempt to put off the last few boxes of unpacking in the house – Voil√†! I give you our Adventure in New York!)

K + A + Central Park = ♥
Aaron and I took a short little trip to New York this weekend. He and I have both been, but never together.

We took a red-eye out of San Jose. That in itself was a bit of an ordeal. Since the new house is only 15 miles away from SJC, we decided to take a taxi from the house to the airport. Let's just say that the taxi company made a few errors, causing them to be a little late, and causing me to have a panic attack about making our flight. Luckily, we arrived just in time! The flight was pretty much the same ol' same ol'. We flew JetBlue, so we got earplugs and eye-covers for sleeping. Only neither of us got much sleep.

 We arrived to NYC without a hitch and headed out into the city, with my friend Heather as our guide. We stopped and parked in Astoria, and took the Subway straight to Times Square. There we had breakfast at a cute little cafe called Evergreen. Afterward we checked out the new(ish) Times Square Disney Store. From there we walked to Central Park and explored several acres of the park. We stopped in Columbus Circle to watch a homeless person wash her hair in the bathroom, and decided to walk back to Times Square via Fifth Avenue. Aaron was a trooper about Heather and me wanting to stop in several stores. I was intrigued by the live models in the Hollister store, but alas we kept on trekking.

After we got back to the Times Square, we stopped at the TKTS booth. Honestly, I wasn't super jazzed about any of the shows featured on the board, nor did I want to wait in the humongous line that wrapped around the square. We decided to check out the 9/11 memorial, get some pizza, and head back to Heather's in Upstate for some sleep.

In order to get into the 9/11 memorial, you have to preorder tickets online. Thankfully, Heather had gotten us tickets for 5:30 that day. We picked up our tickets and headed to the new memorial. The line to get in was just as long as any brand new Disneyland ride. But the wait was worth every second. Even though the project was not complete, it was beautiful and awe-inspiring. The memorial consists of two giant pools, set where the two towers once stood. The names of all the lives lost during 9/11 and the 1993 WTC bombing were cut through the metal border surrounding the pools. The memorial museum was still under construction, and was unavailable during our visit. I felt the most fascinating part of the memorial was the survivor tree. A 9/11 guide told us the story of the lone tree, found in the rubble of the WTC buildings, month after the attack. It was taken to a nursery to heal, and after nearly a year of rehabilitation, it was brought to the WTC site. The tree was planted near the memorial, and shortly thereafter, the horrible hurricane and storm swept over the East Coast. That storm tore the tree from the ground, unearthing half of her roots. Luckily, she was able to recover, and stands proudly in the 9/11 Memorial.

Following our patriotic tour we decided to get some authentic New York style pizza. We ordered a pie, ate it properly (no knife and fork here, thank you Jon Stewart) and headed back to the subway to get some sleep at Heather's.

The next day we did some much needed sleeping in. We got our obligatory Dunkin' Donuts coffee and donut breakfast for the road, and headed to the big city. Upon arrival we headed straight to Max Brenner's for "lunch" if you can define a meal of chocolately desserty food lunch.

In need of burning off some of those delectable carbs, we walked around for a while and headed toward the Brooklyn Bridge. It was fabulous! The NYC skyline was absolutely breathtaking.

Following our walking tour into Brooklyn (and our visit to one of the most dodgy subway stations I have ever encountered,) we headed over to the Staten Island Ferry. This was our attempt at seeing the Statue of Liberty on a budget — the Staten Island Ferry is free, and floats right by Lady Liberty.

As if our New York trip wasn't cool enough already, we made our way to Rockefeller Center for the coolest part yet. My friend Heather's good friend, Claire, got us tickets to see a live taping of Saturday Night Live! Aaron and I watch the show regularly (though never when it airs, we DVR the show and watch it later!) Needless to say, we were uber-excited to get to see the show live. 

The whole process was super cool. Of course, cameras are not allowed, so the only photos we have are of us waiting  in the initial line. Even that was fun. But, wait, it gets even cooler! Heather's friend works at SNL, and following the show, she gave us a quick back-stage tour. We got to see everything! It was uh-maze-ing. Aaron got to say hello and good work to one of the male leads, who smiled back and said, "Thanks, man." At one point, I was worried about getting left behind as we zig-zagged our way through the area and nearly ran into one of the female leads, who was very polite about me nearly knocking her down. I am still smiling from that experience. Many thanks to Heather and her fabulously generous friend Claire, for allowing us the opportunity. 

We knew that there was absolutely no way we could top Saturday night, so Sunday we spent the day leisurely getting ready for our next flight. Heather, Aaron and I had a nice lunch at Cheesecake Factory, and we were off to the airport for the next part of our adventure on the East Coast – Washington D.C.!

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