Did I just go on a vacation to New York City? It still seems like a dream. But I have the photos (and bills) to prove it. Yep, I went. With my daughter. And it was pretty amazing. My daughter even survived. She didn’t complain anyway. I’ve learned that I’m a pretty good trip organizer. Everything went smoothly and our days were kept busy. I never even asked the hotel for help. We didn’t get lost. We found all our pick up spots for tours and we weren’t late. The hotel was wonderful, New York Helmsley. I’d recommend it to anyone, fabulous location.
I saved a lot of money booking through Priceline. It was risky, because you don’t get your money back on the hotel and package items if you decide not to go, or if you’re sick. (I did catch a cold on the first day there, but it didn’t stop me from doing anything) Â I definitely want to go back, now that I know that I can handle it. Or somewhere else. I’m getting a travel bug!
I want to thank Catherine for starting this wonderful group, 8 Women Dream. Her inspiration and motivation keeps everyone on track and helps us think outside of our comfort zones. (Hopefully helping her too as well.) I’ve always wanted to go to New York, but it probably wouldn’t of ever happened, especially taking my daughter by myself. Catherine helped make that happen, so THANK YOU! I’m looking forward to the next trip in a couple of years with my other daughter. She wants to go to Japan. Now that’s a challenge. I better stick with this group if I want it to happen, and if Catherine can keep the motivation of the group going. (She can do it!!)
Here is a quick (or not) Â itinerary of our trip to New York City.
Day 1 Â – After arriving from our uneventful flight, (yeah for that!) we found our hotel, relieved that it was so nice; no smokey, smelly, dark dungeon of a room, and then relaxed a bit. I got the map out and we decided to just go exploring around our hotel, ending up in Times Square. It was getting dark too, so the lights were amazing and exciting. I found my favorite place right away, the 4 story M&M store. And of course Hershey’s right across the street. We ended up eating at Planet Hollywood for dinner which was cool for my daughter since they had Twilight stuff in there. We walked a lot, ending up at Rockefeller Center and then heading back to the hotel.
Day 2 – I booked a Manhattan Day Tour for our second day in New York, just to get Â a good feel around the city and see where, or if, we want to spend more time. We walked to the pick up spot and then the bus, (which was full, and fun to listen to so many different languages from the passengers) started the tour in lower Manhattan. We did learn a lesson, don’t listen to the weather channel. It called for a beautiful day, 80 degrees, so my daughter is in short shorts and a tank top. Of course she was freezing on the bus, and as soon as we got to our first stop, a cruise to the Statue of Liberty, I knew I was in trouble. It was cold and starting to drizzle. So we were lucky enough to go buy some sweatshirts while we waited for the boat. The next stop was Ground Zero (sad), then upper Manhattan, the Cathedral of Saint John the Devine, and then ending up at the Top of the Rock in Rockefeller. Overall a great tour with the tour guide pointing out areas from lower, mid, upper all the way to Harlem. After the tour we had dinner at Ellen’s Stardust, where the waiters took turns singing around the guests.
Day 3 – This was our shopping day mostly. We went from Macy’s to Abercrombie to 5th Avenue. We did have an NBC Tour to go on, which I enjoyed. They showed us the Saturday Night Live set and Today show set along with what happens to make a live show happen. Rachel got to be weather girl (ok, so I pushed her to do it) but I do have that on tape! (Blackmail for later;) We explored Grand Central Station, which was two blocks from our hotel. It was really beautiful. Never did try the subways though. We took a ride from a bicyclist on the way back from shopping. We got around to taxis the next day. We had dinner at the Marriott, only because we got a discount ticket, and it was on the 48th floor with a revolving restaurant. Nice view. We ended up at the Empire State Building at night which wasn’t crowded at all and the view was breathtaking.
Day 4 – Today was the Regis and Kelly show. We got there at 7:45 am and had to wait in line for 45 minutes. But once we got inside, it was fun. Kelly was hilarious and made a point to talk to the audience during the commercial breaks. The guests were nice: Denise Richards and more. We got to stay for Friday’s taping so my family got to look for us in the audience two days in a row. They said they saw us a couple of times. We had an early dinner at John’s Pizza, the famous thin New York pizza. It was good. But the real highlight of the day was seeing Shrek the Musical on Broadway. It was amazing and funny and my daughter really enjoyed it as well.
Day 5 – Washington Day Tour. This was something I booked through Priceline and knew it was going to be a long day, but it was REALLY long. It was raining all day so we didn’t mind being on a bus. We started at 7:00 in the morning, took 5 hours to get to Washington, 4 hours of touring, and then 5 hours back to the city. My daughter was a trooper but I don’t know if I’d do that again. We did get to see a lot in 4 hours. The capital, memorials, the White House, the Space Museum and they even squeezed in a wax museum. So at least when she sees these things on T.V. she can say she’s been there.
Day 6 – Today was a beautiful blue sky day. We decided to try the famous Kat’s Deli, which was 40 blocks away. So we took a cab and about 20 blocks in, besides taking so long with street fairs, the cars in front of us crashed into each other and we were pretty much stuck so I said, “Let us out!” Â We walked the last 20 blocks. It was definitely worth it though. Best pastrami sandwich we’ve ever had in our lives! We walked though Soho, checked out some stores, and then saw Blue Man Group. That was interesting but entertaining. We took a cab back to the hotel to get ready for dinner at Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill, our treat for the week. It was worth it too!! Very delicious southwestern food. We haven’t had that much luck with food until today. Even the hot dogs at the street vendors weren’t great for us. So we were happy today.
Day 7 – Another beautiful clear day in Manhattan, thank goodness! We walked to Time’s Square and then took a taxi to the American Museum of Natural History and explored it for awhile. It is right next to Central Park, so we explored that as well. Beautiful! Since it was such a nice day, we walked back to Times Square and went to some street fairs. We walked by Radio City Hall and watched them get ready for the Tony Awards with the red carpet and all. We would of stayed but it would of been another two hours before any stars got there and we were tired from walking. They didn’t really have any stars that my daughter would of known anyway. We went to the hotel and relaxed for dinner. We wanted to find a Sushi place and I found one from the top ten sushi places in New York across the block from our hotel, but when we got there it was closed on Sundays! Bummer. So we went to Grand Central Station and had dinner at Michael Jordan’s Steak House. It was good but overpriced for the quality.
The next day: home! Another uneventful flight.
The pictures you will see are in order of the trip. Sorry this is so long, but Catherine said it would be ok;)
On to the next dream, and ideas?? Kim.
(Kim has already accomplished her first big dream by traveling to New York with her teenage daughter June of 2009. She lost 20 pounds and overcame her intense dislike (do we say fear?) of flying to accomplish that dream. She rotated off the blog in February 2010, but still hangs out with 8 Women Dream.Â You can find her in the comments section)