WEEKEND IN THE BIG APPLE (part 3)
And the final installment---
I know I can tend to get a little long winded, but there is SO MUCH to see and do when visiting NYC. I am very fortunate I have a reason to visit there often, with my daughter living so close by. But it is IMPOSSIBLE to see everything in just 3 days. Impossible. So each time I have gone, it has been for a specific purpose. This time, of course, one reason was the Wheel of Fortune taping. But the main reason was celebrating Renee's birthday!
Even though her birthday wasn't until Oct. 2, the weekend was opportune to visit and do some celebrating. We had decided on seeing a Broadway play if we could get some tickets, and fortunately, we did.
Saturday then, was to be devoted to the musical. We woke up at our leisure for once, but were surprised to find it was still before 7 am! It gets light MUCH too early out there! And then there are the dogs...
So Corey and I decided to go on a walk with the dogs. A phone repairman was scheduled to come, so Renee had to stay to wait for that. We decided to walk along the bay, and from the coolness and wind, you could see the waves were rolling! I wanted to jump in that steel-gray water in the worst way! If it had been warmer...
Sam, one of the dogs, was actually a very good walker, so I decided after about a mile to try to jog with her, and she stayed with me at a nice trot until we got back to the condo, probably a little over 3 miles. She doesn't get out that far that often but did great. Maisy, Renee's dog, is a little slower, so it was a perfect match for my Corey, who walks, but does not run.
After the walk, lunch, and some errands, it was time to get ready to go out on the town! We weren't sure of the weather, so probably overdressed for when we had to leave, but later in the evening, it was much cooler, so bringing a jacket was a smart thing to do.
We had planned to drive up north to get the train this time, where the Italian restaurants are to die for! We found a place in Harrison, near a train station, which was unbelievable! Linen tablecloths and napkins, waiters who seated you and placed your napkin on your lap, a wine list, and leather-bound menus. True luxury! And yet...so affordable. Unbelievable food at unbelievable prices. North Jersey has THE best Italian restaurants, by far. From the brick oven pizzarias to sit down restaurants, I have never found anything to compare in my travels. And no chains either! Get this...3 first-class dinners, with wine, under $65. We spent at least $50 more in the City the night before for a much lower class restaurant (a chain). We lingered a little too long, however, and then, still planning on taking the train into the City, were rushed. We arrived at Penn Station at 7:20 and still had to get to Broadway for the play.
This time it called for a taxi! Renee had been DYING to take a taxi ride. I was worried we might actually...die. But it definitely made it possible for us to get to the theater on time. Only to wait in the ladies' room line that stretched down the hall quite a long way. I was worried we would still be in line when the show started, but people started moving along quickly, thanks in part, I'm sure, to the bathroom attendant, who was SO helpful in telling you which stall was available AND handing you paper towels to dry your hands. As if, having done how many triathlons and other races I didn't already have a knack for figuring this out for myself?? But whatever, you go with the flow when in NYC.
We did make it to our seats in plenty of time, and found them to be quite wonderful actually! For what we paid, and when we bought them, I felt them to be most excellent! As long as I can see, with my poor eyesight, I am way ahead!
The show itself, Legally Blonde, the Musical, was very cute. I have been to quite a few musicals and off Broadway plays here at home, but this surpassed anything I have seen, as far as talent goes. And don't be fooled into thinking you must be formally dressed to attend a Broadway play. Maybe if you were some celebrity, but we saw people dressed in anything and everything, as we expected. And the old theaters are just too cool to describe.
After, which by then was nearing 11 pm, we headed back down Broadway and into the mob scene that is Saturday night in New York City. Its hard to describe everything you see and hear. No matter where you go, you see people. And what is interesting to note is how many women travel alone, by foot, subway, or rail, even at that late hour. I wasn't fooled into thinking we couldn't possibly run into any trouble, but thankfully we did not, and I suspect that is more the norm than otherwise.
And then there was the train ride back to the car. We actually took the PATH train, which is different from the subways and the NJ Transit. The PATH trains travel only from a few stops in north Jersey (Newark, and other small cities nearby) to a few select stops in NYC, where the NJ Transit trains run quite a bit farther south, with numerous stops to and from the City. All are easy to maneuver, but it was still nice having someone familiar with the area. The PATH trains are crazy though! They seem to go much faster than the subway or regular train, and sitting near the back of one of the cars, you could see the car ahead swaying and jumping. But everyone seems to take all this for granted. What was amazing again, was the number of people, even after the midnight hour, who travel to and from the City, and all ages. I always imagine what brings people to a place like this and then what keeps them there. I'm sure a lot of it is the excitement, but also it is what's familiar. Its such a different culture from my daily life.
By the time we got to bed that night, it was after 2 am and we had to be up by 5:30 for our flight out of Newark. I know a lot of people tend to wait until the last minute to get to the airport, but I prefer to be there early.
Sunday morning, we headed back home. The flight time wasn't long, but we did have a slight layover in Detroit. The Detroit airport is a very nice airport, comparing it to many others I have been through, but it always seems like no matter which airline I fly with, the arrival and departure gates are about a mile apart! So we got our exercise that day just walking the airports--quickly I might add.
Getting back home, Don picked us up at the airport, and I noticed the weather was a very pleasant 79 degrees! Bike ride? Yes! So a nice 25 mile bike ride was just what was needed to get back down to earth after the long, exciting weekend. And it was actually a treat driving to the trail in our normal amount of traffic instead of the frenzied chaos of the Garden State Parkway.