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Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Big Apple

We are back from four days in NYC.

When we arrived on Saturday, it was FREEZING. I mean, can't-feel-your-fingers-and-toes-wind-take-your-breath-away freezing. After walking around playing the tourist for several hours, we were exhausted. Unfortunately, our hotel would not let us check in even a few minutes early. Check in time is officially 3:00. We tried at 1:00 - "your room is not ready". We tried again at 2:30 - "your room is still not ready". Okay, the maid has got 30 minutes and she better get her groove on. At 3:05 we returned with arms full of groceries to sustain us for a few days and thankfully, we were finally let in.

Because this was a budget trip, we checked out a website www.clubfreetimenyc.com to find lots of free or thrifty things to do in the city.

Saturday night's plan was a comedy club in Greenwich Village. A $10 cab fare from the hotel and viola, we were transported to a small bar with a basement and a stage. It was actually a lot of fun, and one of the comics even picked on my hubby a bit.

Sunday brought a visit to a church in the Upper West Side, and we took the subway to get there. The contrast in scenery from when you leave midtown and then ascend the stairs in the Upper West Side is startling. You leave the noise and chaos of the city behind you, and arrive in a place where there are neat brownstones stacked together, with trees and birds singing, kind of like the outside shot of the home on the Cosby show. It's amazing, and makes one understand why someone might want to move there. Anyway, after an uninspiring service we hopped a cab back to the East Side and hit up 2 Little Red Hens, a bakery. Now, the reason for this was all the hoopla about the Magnolia Bakery. The rumor is they supposively have the BEST cupcakes in NYC and that people would wait in line outside to buy them. We checked online, and the local word was Magnolia was tasteless and used buttercream frosting (YUK to me) and wasn't worth the wait. More positive comments were made about 2LRH with their cream cheese frosting. So, we sloshed in the POURING rain to try these wonderful cupcakes, and I must say I wasn't disappointed. Such beautiful cakes and other pastries in the display cases made me want to import them right back home. We also saw 'The Blind Side' movie that afternoon, and stopped for wings and beer on the way back. Other than being soaking wet we had a great time.

On Monday the weather finally cleared and was mild, so we walked the streets all day taking in the sights, eating at the famous Katz deli, going to the top of the Empire State Building, and shopping. Monday night we splurged on a nice dinner (and dessert!) at the Red Eye Grill and then walked over to Rockefeller Center to see the big Christmas tree lit up at night. It was eight years ago on December 6 that hubby proposed in a horse-drawn carriage in front of the tree at Rockefeller Center, so this was somewhat of an anniversary trip for us. Special memories!

Most of the day Tuesday was spent in airports and in the air. We were finally home by 7:30 p.m. Oh, the joy of connecting flights.

All in all, I would say we had a great time. It took us away from the stress of home and work, and allowed us to focus on each other for a few days. The only change I would make or suggest to anyone wanting to visit there is to not go in the wintertime. The weather is too unpredictable, and springtime in NY is worth the wait!