Oh the Places You Will Go: New York

I’ve always wanted to go to New York City and see everything and be amazed, but the truth is I didn’t really expect to like it very much. Not in an “I don’t like it” kind of way, but more in a “Well, that was nice, I can go ahead and check that off now” kind of way.

I thought I would be overwhelmed but I wasn’t, I was in awe of being in such a big city. This is the first picture I took there once we checked into the hotel and took off to go explore.

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We were sitting in a park in the middle of a street…whatever it may be called, NY has a bunch of little pocket parks and chairs! Hundreds of chairs everywhere! The sun was shining just the same on the shady green trees as it was on the dirty street signs and I could see nothing but buildings and I was like, “OMG, I’m in New York. I should take a picture.”

I thought it would be scary and loud and dirty. No. No. As I already said, yes.

New York was the only really warm part of our trip. It was sprinkling when we left Sturbridge, but it was sunny and warm and not too terribly humid during our two days in New York.

Sean drove in and I tried to balance between wanting to look out and take in everything and pretending I was reading so I wouldn’t have to see the crazy drivers. Driving in made it easy, especially with our week’s worth of luggage (for the record, that meant 10 pairs of shoes for me, but lesson learned, I only wore eight), but if it were up to me to do the driving, I would have been on the train.

Our first stop was the Empire State building to take in the full views.

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At the top, a couple next to us was in love and got engaged. It was adorable.

We spent the rest of the afternoon in Central Park, watching New York kiddos enjoying the warm day off from school (it was Memorial Day).

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Besides everything else we did that was actually cool, I was pretty excited for street food and our first stop at the ice cream truck did not disappoint.

That evening I needed a cool salad and began my East Coast seafood tour (it was so delicious and fresh and cheap!) with a seafood cobb salad. Then we went to see Times Square. It was very crowded of course. Probably the most-crowded place we went. They even had bleacher seating set up (again, just in the middle of the street!) to sit and take it all in.

We stayed at the Algonquin Hotel, which has a great history (and was featured this season on Mad Men) and a beautiful facade. Inside, the rooms are tiny – as expected – but the property was bought and renovated by Marriott just a few years ago, so it was very nice! We had a street-facing room, so although we didn’t spend much time in the room, when we were there, I could still be in awe of the city!

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The next day I took an early morning walk to Bryant Park, which was very close to the hotel, to just check it out. The streets were a lot more crowded than the day before and I loved seeing all the New Yorkers newyorking about, going to work and what not. I could get used to drinking my coffee in random sunny parks.

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Then we set out to be true tourists and took the ferry to Liberty Island, saw the World Trade Center (from the ferry) and ate hot dogs from a cart (yay)!

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We spent the afternoon at the Museum of Natural History, which was exactly like Night at the Museum without the animals coming to life part.

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We rushed back to the hotel because that night we had tickets to see Aladdin! Seeing a show was definitely on my must-do list for New York and it did not disappoint. The tickets were pretty reasonable and it was this awesome old theater that didn’t look like it had a bad seat anywhere. The costumes, the music, the performers…the whole thing was just amazing. We get great shows coming through Arizona regularly, but this was a whole new level and would be worth a trip in itself!

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It was our last night in New York and the weather was amazing, so I quickly exchanged my heels for flats and we set out to explore some more. We went to a very deserted Rockefeller Plaza and I got to peek into the Today Show set. Unfortunately my boyfriend, Matt Lauer, was not there quite yet. Then we went out for drinks at McGee’s, the bar that inspired How I Met Your Mother’s MacLaren’s! I could kind of see it, but everything on TV is much bigger! There’s not room for spacious bars (or hotel rooms) in New York!

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With nothing to compare it to, I would have to assume it was a normal night in New York, but Sean commented that it was pretty calm and admittedly, bars in Scottsdale get more crowded on a Tuesday night! Really the whole time we were there he said the streets weren’t as crowded and the lines at the attractions weren’t as crazy as he was used to or expecting, which maybe is why I wasn’t very overwhelmed and why my expectations of it being a place that’s “nice to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there” turned to “I could see myself living there!”

That is until I got home and read Ali’s blog answering questions about New York in which she admitted that she sometimes showers just to be alone. I like to be alone far too much. She first said she runs in Central Park though and I’d say that not running there was my one New York regret. I thought the trek to the park was too far and too full of stop lights to be worth it. It’s definitely on the list for next time!

The weather turned on our last morning there. I snuck out for coffee across the street and it was chilly chilly, but after that we just hopped in the car, I averted my eyes and we drove away from the city…and to the beach!

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