Saturday, December 31, 2011

New York, NEW YORK!!! (Yes, you are singing it too, aren't you? ;)

Well if Andrew and I aren't the Green Acres song :) Yes, he went with me to New York City, but I'm more the Darling' I love ya but give me Park Avenue, and he's more Green Acres is the place for me, farm livin' is the life for me. Keep Manhattan, just give me that country side.  Needless to say, I LOVED NEW YORK!  Yes, even the hustle and bustle....and let me tell you, that is some SEROUS hustle and bustle at Christmas time!  I told him if I had a lot of money, I could live there.  But in all honesty, I love my country side just like him.  So New York vacations are just fine with me :)  I hope my pictures can give you an overview of everything, but this trip was a bucket list dream come true.
So we drove there on Monday, and here is our story.....

Andrew DRIVING on 34th St.! He did great! The Empire State Building is the tall one and  the  world's largest store, Macy's, is to the left.  I was shaking as we were driving through I was so excited!

I took this picture hanging from the sunroof.  I did BELIEVE and we made it to NYC!

The view of Manhattan from our hotel room in Queens.
                                                                             DAY 1
The 9/11 Memorial. A must see, very neat but I wouldn't go until this September when the museum is open too.  

The future 9/11 museum that will be filled with artifacts and stories.

We didn't exactly Occupy Wall St, but we did walk through it! And think we saw Donald Trump's son  outside his building!

The Brooklyn Bridge on our water tour of NYC

The Wall St. area of Downtown Manhattan...the tall black building will be the One World Trade Center building.  When it's finished it will be the tallest building in America. 

The Empire State building.

Yup, it's cold and Andrew needed my scarf...but that's us near the Statue of Liberty!

This is Lombardi's Pizza in Little Italy, it was named one of America's Top 10 pizzeria's 

Oh my...YUM!
We saw a few window displays, but Macy's was my favorite! It was the story of Virginia, you know, the 'Yes Virginia there is a Santa Claus.'  What I loved was that only a few days before our trip, I watched this exact movie on Netflix!  They did a great job and it looks like the exact replica of the characters!
 Unfortunately, it started to DOWNPOUR rain with winds of 45 mph starting at 3:00 and it didn't stop until midnight.  So we went to Macy's and then had to cancel our night in SoHo.  We ended up heading back to our hotel and ordering in sushi!  All in all...GREAT FIRST DAY...and it only gets better!

                                                                           DAY 2

I had to go in FAO Schwartz...what grown up child wouldn't?!

I even got to play on the BIG piano!

Oh me and my Captain :) What an awesome toy store!

Diamonds are a girl's best friend....

Andrew wanted to go in Trump Tower so we did and it was beautiful!

This wall had water running down it and the hole place looked like it was lined in was heavenly :)

St. Patrick's was HUGE inside and just beautiful.  


The BIG TREE at Rockefeller Center! I can mark this off my Bucket  List now :)

30 Rock = BIG!

Where they tape the TODAY show.  Somehow I just couldn't convince Andrew to see Hoda and Kathy Lee ;)  

Yes, I had to Andrew ;)

We did an NBC Studio Tour and although we couldn't take pictures, we were able to see the Dr. Oz set, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon set, and the Saturday Night Live set! Awesome!!!! So here's the story...for almost 2 months I called everyday for Jimmy Fallon tickets.  They only booked a month in advanced and I wanted to make sure I got tickets.  So as Nov. 28 get closer and closer, I kept calling and getting the same recording...'We are booked up until Dec. 23, please call back for future tickets.'  So I finally called the operator after hearing that for 3 days straight.  And of course, what do I hear when I ask if they are taping on Wed, December 28, I hear 'Oh I'm sorry, everyone is on vacation the week after Christmas.' NOOOOO! So after my devastating, almost crying moment, Andrew encouraged me by saying he likes Conan O'Brian we just have to go to California next to watch him instead! we come!

Grand Central...another WOW moment!

The tree at night! This was the BUSIEST place in the entire world I think! Can you tell I'm just a BIT happy :)

We then went to the Top of the Rock and was able to see Manhattan from WAY up high.  Our  plans kinda got screwed up when I thought our vouchers were our tickets to this, so we didn't get to see it at sunset like I'd hoped and had to save ice skating for the next day.  But it turned out great!

That dark spot in the middle is Central Park.  We went to BLT Steak for dinner,  the head chef is the winner of the TV show Hell's Kitchen.  Andrew and I have always wanted to eat at the real Hell's Kitchen (and hey, we may just get to in California), but this was good enough! The steak was GOOOOOOOD!  
                                                                          DAY 3
Ice skating at Rockefeller Center!

Heading into Central Park!

Bethesda Fountain! 

I called Andrew the bird lady from Home Alone for feeding the birds :)

Central Park is just breathtaking.  I loved it! And I would definitely ice skate here next time! 

Heading over the bridge, The Plaza Hotel is in the background.


And something really cool happened! As we were walking down Times Square, we started to notice that the ball was dropping! They did the practice round and we got to see the ball drop and change all different colors! I'll take that over standing for 12 hours :)

We then ate a place called 'The View Restaurant and Lounge'.  The restaurant rotated 360 degrees every hour so we were able to see different views of New York City.  And I had Scallop Lemon Risotto! Checking off another thing from my Bucket List :) 

Going to...YES, a Broadway show! Andrew let me go! 

And my last picture of NYC...what a trip!

So as you can see, I kept us very busy and 3 months of planning was very much worth it (as well as 500 pictures, so these are just a few ;)  The thing is, I loved planning out this trip! Andrew was willing to do everything I had my heart set on doing (besides a few things...but that just gives me a reason to come back again with my mom!)  I told Andrew that if we pulled this trip off, I was going to be pretty darn proud of myself.  I have never planned a trip like this before, to one of the biggest cities in the world (taxis, subways, and tall buildings were a foreign subject to me).  So I was scared.  But you know what, some of the scariest things I do in my life, the things that have my stomach in knots, end up being the things that I love doing!
New York City was a goal that I have had for a long time, and you know what, it wasn't coming to me, so I had to go to it.  And no one was going to do it for me, so I had to.  But what was more satisfying to my surprise was not making it to see that great big Christmas tree, but that I fulfilled such a big goal.  So this year, I challenge you...pick a goal and fulfill it.  For me, I want to do the things that I have only thought about doing.  God willing, in 2012, I'm going to let my creative side come out again. :) God gave me some gifts in my life, and I'm ready to sharpen them up a bit.  I have a couple pieces of piano music I got a few years back, and played them only so so.  I memorize music better than I read it, and always stumbled my way through it, so I never got really got good at it.  But my hope is to change that. I'm going to take some lessons again from a very good friend and fulfill that goal!  I'm also going to paint can see it on my dining room wall this spring!  You see, on my bucket list, I wanted to frame my own artwork and display it in my house.  I'm going to get that done this year.  I also want to do one more thing before 2012 ends.  I'm going to do Encore Theater again.  I haven't been on a stage since high school, but I'm going to do it again!  Letting my creative side out again this year is my plan!  I'm still taking Graduate classes at University of Dayton, and still building my relationship with the only one who can truly make me happy and fulfilled in this life, my Jesus :) Oh and yes, going to doctor's appointments are something that I can't quite avoid yet, so I do have a neurologist appointment in two weeks, and my 4 month cancer appointments in 4 weeks.  Wow, time is flying!  I better get busy on this list :)