Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I Heart New York

To make a long story short my grandmother, Jannie, invited my mom and I along for a long weekend to New York City. It was fantastic!! I took a ton of pictures and want to share so much of what we did! But where to start??? Oh, I know...FOOD!



Our first stop when we got to the city was to eat lunch. Jannie wanted to go to the famous Carnegie Deli. There was not a native New Yorker in sight!! Ha!! A total tourist attraction! When we turned the corner and saw the restaurant we were dumbfounded by the line waiting to get in!! Luckily we didn't have to wait long since not all those people were waiting for a table. We decided to share 2 entrees. One for Jannie and Larry and one for Mom and I. When our food came we thought maybe we should all have just shared one!



Jannie and Larry's Pastrami and Corned Beef Sandwich...
I bet there was a pound of meat on that sandwich!!










Mom and I got a salad quartet: egg, turkey, chicken, and shrimp. We could have eaten on it for days!! We didn't even make a dent!

I just have to tell you about the bill....keep in mind we shared an entree, no appetizer, no dessert and we had water...$60!! Before the tip....and they only take cash!! That's how it was all over the city!!!

After dinner we walked to Central Park and took a pedicab tour thru part of the park. It was probably my favorite part of the trip! We had an excellent tour guide! We took 2 cabs and they pulled us side-by-side the whole way. He was constantly pointing out parts of the park used in movies which my mom and I loved (Jannie and Larry had no idea what he was talking about...not big movie watchers!). He would say things like "See that statue there? Its Daniel Webster...you know Webster's dictionary?" and we would say "Oh ya!" and he would respond, "that's a different Webster!" Ha! At one point Jannie asked him how he knew so much about Central Park (he was from Istanbul and had only lived here 4 years) and he responded "Central Park dot com!"







Our view from the cab...






We saw Balto's statue...I had to take a picture to show Elijah, we read that book all the time!




This is Bethesda fountain. Probably the most recognized area of the park. There have been A LOT of movies shot around this fountain...





Love birds...









Don't we look good!?!




One thing I loved about this city was all the amazing architecture...




This is the "Friends Fountain". Friends was actually shot in LA and they rebuilt this fountain there, but this is the one it represents...



If you ever go to NYC you should definitely take a pedicab tour through Central Park...







Friday evening we went on a Harbor cruise. It started out about an hour before sunset. We went almost all the way around the island showing all the different points of interest and telling so much history about the city and island. The trip back was done in the dark so we could see the skyline all lit up. It wasn't as impressive as is should be because it was so foggy. We were cold, but loved all the sights and history lessons!








Ellis Island...




I didn't think I was going to be that impressed with the Statue of Liberty, but it was great and I have to admit I was a little chocked up!







Self portrait (see the SoL?)...







The Brooklyn Bridge...



I honestly can't even remember what the name of this cathedral is. There were so many and they were all so magnificent! The first thing I said to my mom was "I should have been married here!!"...


Okay, and for one of my favorite parts of the trip. I remember exactly where I was when I heard about the terrorist attack on 9/11. I spent most of that day and night in my dorm room glued to the tv trying to make sense of what was going on. I don't know why, but I have always been so interested in anything that has to do with this tragedy. Maybe its a way of trying to understand it. So seeing the site was very emotional. Our tour guide took us onto the 2nd floor of a nearby building so we could see over the fences. I learned a few things I hadn't known. There are actually 7 buildings making up the World Trade Center. Buildings 1 and 2 were the ones hit and later fell. Building 7 was not hit, but also fell and . They are rebuilding all three buildings and adding one more to make 8. The two buildings you see on the left are the ones being built now. The trees in the background on the left and right are where Buildings 1 and 2 were. The building on the right is finished. The building on the left will be the new World Trade Center 1 building and will be twice as tall as the one on the right. There's no way to show in a picture how tall and breathtaking the buildings are.



As the tour guide talked about his experiences that day tears rolled down my cheeks. There is no way to hear about it and not think God was watching over. City tours start around 10 am. The first building was hit around 8:30am. At the time, many tours visited the WTC first. There were over 40,000 people at the WTC every day, touring, working, visiting, having lunch... If the attack would have happened later in the day the number of deaths could have been so many more. As we're standing there listening a reflection of a plane flying through the air passes across the glass of the building on the left. Chills.





The new buildings will be twice as tall as the ones around it...


Part of our tour was another (shorter) harbor tour. See the Chrysler building? It was once the tallest skyscraper in the world...



The 3 skyscrapers in the picture all once held the records individually as the tallest buildings in the world...



There she is again...








We were laughing so hard because we were having to work so hard to stand up straight and look "normal" because the boat was rocking back and forth so bad. Jannie was sitting down looking a bit green so she refused to be in a picture!


It was just amazing to me how they have packed every possible space with buildings...








A view of Central Park from the top of Rockefeller Center....











You're fired!...



After the boat ride Jannie was still a little green so she went back to the hotel. Mom and I headed out to find a dinner adventure. We headed toward a famous restaurant, Serendipity. When we got there it was a 1 1/2 hour wait! We didn't want to leave because we didn't know anywhere else to go and we had walked SO FAR to get there! A local man told us that they come, put their name on the list and walk across the street to Patsy's Pizzeria, enjoy some great pizza and come back to Serendipity for dessert. So that's what we did! The pizzeria was great and after we ate we still had some time so we went into a boutique next door and browsed the $400 sun dresses!





Finally we got a table at Serendipity to enjoy dessert. We decided to split The Cinnamon Fudge Sundae. It was apple pie topped with butter pecan ice cream, caramel, toasted pecans, hot fudge, whipped cream and slivered almonds!


Don't be fooled by the picture...its the size of my head (and costs about as much as it normally costs Beau and I to eat dinner!)


"Let's dig in!!!" On the way back to the hotel we were walking through a neighborhood and mom noticed a truck. She said "I was just thinking I haven't seen any trucks since we got here." I said, "lets see where the plates are from..." Texas!! Ha!


Sunday we decided to go back to the WTC on our own so we could visit the museums. We also decided it would be cheaper (and an experience in itself) to take the subway!


Mom looking "I'm so cool...I ride the subway all the time."




Jannie headed to see the Frick Collection and mom and I went to The American Museum of Natural History. We loved the movie Night at the Museum so we just knew the actual museum would be so fun! Boy were we wrong! Its nothing like the movie! We should really not base our history on movies!


The exhibits were gorgeous, but we couldn't find Sacagawea anywhere!!!






I wished Elijah was there SO bad!



"You dum dum. You give me gum gum."




On the way to get Jannie we took a stroll through the park. One of the lakes...





One of the many "street performers"...




Sunday night was our Broadway show. We saw Billy Elliot. It was okay. I've seen better, but it was fun just to go. We walked thru Times Square on the way back to our hotel (after stopping for custard at the Shake Shack).




Monday morning mom and I walked over to FAO Schwartz. I looked for some "prizes" for the kids. I also wanted the kids with me when we saw the giant floor piano from BIG...


After shopping around some and having a nice lunch outside we headed to the airport. It was a great trip. I would love to go back some day. I'd like to take Beau. I think he'd enjoy all the history. So I scratched something off my bucket list...and had so much fun doing it!!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Day 2

Sent from my LG phone

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Day 1

Sent from my LG phone

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Swim Lessons

These are a bit out of order...I'm learning how to blog from my phone!! I love it!




Elijah is LOVING swim lessons! He has completely lost his fear of the water and can't wait to show me after ever lesson what he learned. His favorite thing now is to jump in and go underwater! If you only knew what a huge step this was for Elijah!!










After every lesson the kids get to go down the slide.






The only pictures I have of Sadie are after the lesson since I have to be in the lesson with her. She's enjoying it too!