Last Sunday I returned from a fun weekend in New York City – my first time visiting the Big Apple! Mike’s mom treated Jen and me to this trip for our 40th birthdays.
Jen’s birthday was in September and mine is in December, so early fall was the ideal time to plan this celebratory getaway. And let me tell you, the weather in New York City was so nice. A little warm, actually, as it went up to 80 degrees each afternoon, but the mornings and evenings were delightful. People were wearing anything from t-shirts and jeans to tank tops and shorts to leather jackets and boots.
Our trip began at a train station before sunrise on Friday morning. We rode the Metro to Union Station in D.C., then boarded an Amtrak train for NY. Going up the escalator at Penn Station, I felt like I was living in a scene from Crocodile Dundee. Immediately I felt like I entered into an unfamiliar world and I was clearly out of my comfort zone. It was busy, especially at lunchtime on a sunny Friday afternoon. Although, something tells me the day, time, or weather hardly makes any difference.
Rolling our carry-on luggage, we made our way down the busy sidewalks and found our hotel. Mike’s parents went all out and got us a room at the Marriott Marquis on Broadway. It was beautiful. And very, very tall.
We were on the 35th floor.
After Jen arrived in her cab from the airport, we took care of a matter that was of utmost importance.
I had the biggest cobb salad of my life, and it was delicious. I wanted to take a picture and instagram the memory of why buttermilk ranch may become the next 10 pounds I have to work off. But our conversation was too good and our waiter sang to us, so I don’t think I’ll need the picture to remind me of our lunch. It was very fun and unique.
After lunch, Mike’s mom and I did some scouting and figured out the best route to the theater for our first show. Since Jen uses a wheelchair, certain traffic corners or sidewalks were better than others to navigate. Construction, puddles in the cut-out of the sidewalk, and other such things present challenges. So, planning ahead was a good idea. We then knew our timetable for eating before the show and making it to the theater before they opened the doors.
Again, food was a priority.
We had dinner at Broadway Restaurant (very good food) and we saw Jersey Boys that night. If you’re looking for a family-friendly musical, then Jersey Boys wouldn’t be the one you would watch with your kids, but I loved the music, story, and production of the show. The talent of these actors – it was remarkable! And I’ve had Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons songs playing in my mind constantly. Well, those songs plus Hacuna Matata and the opening of Circle of Life.
I bet you can’t guess what our second Broadway show was.
I know. TWO Broadway shows on my first trip ever to New York. I can’t even. I’m so grateful. It was such a generous gift and I enjoyed every minute of our girl’s weekend.
The Lion King, as it goes without saying, was amazing. It was truly unforgettable. I would see it again in a heartbeat (in fact, Jen had seen it before and still loved it just as much the second time).
I’m going out of order, though, so let me go back to the morning of Day 2.
We got up around 9 a.m. and walked to a local bagel place (can’t remember the name, sorry). We made our way down the same route as the day before (we were becoming very familiar!) to Madison Square Garden, which provided a nice, quiet spot to eat and drink our coffee (Jen) coffee/hot chocolate (me) and Diet Dr. Pepper (Mom).
We didn’t want to hurry ourselves around the city trying to cram in a lot of sightseeing on this trip. Oh my word, that was the best call for us. It was such an enjoyable and, dare I say, RELAXED trip to NYC. I took in a lot and enjoyed the walk up and down 7th Avenue. And I happened to capture an iconic picture of Times Square with the taxis and digital ads. So my day was made.
But, of course, it got better. Since we had some time on Saturday between breakfast and The Lion King matinee, we decided to take a tour of Madison Square Garden. They just finished a billion dollar renovation, and included a lot of backstage curiosity elements in their tour.
This ended up being one of those surprise highlights of our trip. All three of us loved it. I was geekin’ out, actually, and sending texts to Mike throughout the tour. There’s Jimmy Buffet’s t-shirt. Dave Matthews’ guitar! Wayne Gretzky’s jersey!
And seeing the locker rooms, corporate suites, beer room, and other backstagy things on the tour were pretty neat.
Plus, the views going up the escalators were pretty amazing.
And we had a good time just goofing off a little bit. Even though we are true Caps fans, we couldn’t resist buying this picture for a souvenir.
After the tour, we had just the right amount of time to go back to the hotel and freshen up, and walk directly across the street to see the show.
And, of course, after the show we went out to eat. We decided on going to John’s Pizzeria.
It is located in a renovated church that, sadly, was run-down and abandoned, but they kept the stained glass. Most beautiful pizzeria I’ve ever been to. ;)
Mmmm. I only have the nicest things to say about that piece of cheesecake.
So, what did we do after all that fun on Saturday?
Here’s a hint.
We went back to our hotel and enjoyed the view in the peace and quiet of our own room. We’re kinda crazy, aren’t we?
But, if you want to know the truth, it was a perfect choice. Because, just being together and hanging out was the very best part of the trip.
I won’t ever forget it.