Monday, September 17, 2012

NYC and Canada Day #1: Exploring New York!

For starters, thank you guys SO much for the overwhelming response to my “Exciting News” post on Friday! Your congratulations and well wishes meant the world! I appreciate it!!


I finally sorted through my pictures from our latest vacation – which included a 2 night stay in New York, followed by a 5 night Disney Cruise to Canada, then an additional 2 night stay in New York!  (Which also means that I had a TON of pictures to sort through…around 3,000 or so! Yikes!)

So without further delay, here is Day #1!


My poor sweet Pixie did not want me to leave! She sat in my suitcase until I had to zip it up!

With all of the Hurricane Isaac craziness, we weren’t sure if our flight would be cancelled. However, we were lucky and the airport we flew out of wasn’t affected by the wind or rain!

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We stayed overnight with a few friends because our flight left out of a town about an hour way. Kenzie was sweet enough to make  a castle birthday cake for me (complete with Hidden Mickeys)! Perfect way to start my vacation! :0)


Early morning! We were tired to ready to begin the trip!


We flew from Louisiana to Houston, then on to Newark.


The plane out of Houston was the biggest one I’ve been on since my Senior trip to Hawaii 12 years ago! Hah!

We watched Dark Shadows (the new Johnny Depp movie) on the plane. It was ok…not great…and the connection was awful. The sound cut in and out many times and it was hard to see the screen.

The time flew by (no pun intended!) and before we knew it, we were in New Jersey!

Jason’s parents waited on us at baggage claim. Our plan was to buy train tickets and take the train to Penn Station, then figure out how to get to our hotel from there.

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Waiting on the train!

The train ride was….interesting…..and we got yelled at for sitting in the wrong place with luggage. I realize that a lot of people commute in New York, but it’s also a high tourist area. They need to have better signage or someone directing people where to go. I didn’t think it was right for the train attendant to yell at us like he did.


Well anyway, we eventually made it to Penn Station. My first impression of NY: NOISY!  We emerged from Penn Station right across from the US Postal Office which was neat to see!


After attempting to hail a cab with NO luck, we decided to walk to our hotel. Yes, walk.

According to my map, we were about 0.7 miles away. We got this, right?

So all four of us began walking, while pulling 50 pound suitcases behind us. (I’m sure we were quite the sight!) I was so focused on our destination that Jason had to stop to tell me to pay attention to my surroundings. I stopped to look around and still had no idea what he was talking about, then he pointed out Madison “Square” Gardens! I would have never known…


Not so square….

The trek to our hotel was an interesting one. I saw a lot of things that shocked and surprised me. For instance, we watched a lady dig in a trash can, pull out someone else’s fast food bag, open a half eaten hamburger, then eat it – all the while, a man was standing by her taking pictures (and not professional pictures for a photo shoot or something – you could tell he was a tourist). I’ll tell you, New York was an eye opener for this small-town southern girl.

By the time we made it to our hotel, we were drenched. Yuck. After we cooled off and rested, we headed out to see Times Square!

We had to ask the front desk of our hotel for help to hail a cab (aren’t we pitiful??) but we got it!


First stop, Ellen’s Stardust Diner.

If you are planning a trip to New York and if you like music, this is the place for you!


During dinner, the waiters and waitresses serenade you with song! The wait staff are aspiring Broadway musicians and they do a phenomenal job!

The Love Medley from Moulin Rouge. Stick with the video at first…I know it’s hard to hear but it gets better. Believe it or not, the restaurant wasn’t really that noisy and it was very easy to hear the singers!


Veggie Lasagna


We shared a shake for dessert!

A great end to our dinner with A Whole New World from Aladdin! Love this song! :0) (Sorry it’s sideways! I recorded it on my iPhone and should have known not to turn the camera!)

After dinner, we walked over to Times Square and oh my gosh…I was in awe!

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This place is incredible!!

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Of course I had to stop in the Disney Store!

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From the inside of the Disney Store, it looked as if it was 12 noon outside because Times Square was so bright!


Hello New York!!!


Where the ball drops!  I cannot imagine this area being filled with a million people at New Year’s Eve! Oh my gosh.


A 360 degree view of Times Square!

After exploring Times Square for a while, my mother in law wanted to find Fox Studios (which we did). We continued walking and before we realized it, we were at Rockefeller Plaza!

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Absolutely gorgeous at night!

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As we were sitting down to rest, Jason’s dad read a sign that said “Magnolia Bakery”. He also realized that it sounded familiar to him, so he text his daughter to see if she mentioned it to him as a “must do”.  She text him back “YES! Banana Pudding!!”….so of course we had to try some! The Bakery was located right outside of Radio City Music Hall (which was right by Rockefeller Plaza), so at almost midnight, we enjoyed a little treat of banana pudding!


We also found Radio City Music Hall!


Just wait until Thanksgiving! We might make it in the Macy’s Day Parade! *wink wink* Kidding….

Up next: New York Part 2 – A trip to Yankee Stadium (with a ride on the wrong Subway train at that!) and my favorite - Wicked!

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