I really meant to have these two posts be closer together, but I just haven't had the chance all week. It was fun to see all of your comments...and I'm glad that you all agreed about the MOL! I'm so grateful that TJ and I were able to go on this trip together! We had such an amazing time and our relationship grew so much. I hope we have more chances to just get away so that we can be together, just the two of us, more often. We don't always have to go to New York necessarily, ;)
So before I blab too much more and get too mushy...on with the rest of the trip!
On Sunday, we decided, due to pre-scheduled events, to go to Chinatown and Little Italy (known for the shopping).
We were able to sleep in and around noon we stumbled out of our hotel to catch a subway to Little Italy. We were hoping for much more than Little Italy really was. We were hoping that there were people speaking Italian in every shop (so TJ could practice). We found a couple of very authentic deli's that had real parmigiano cheese, italian meats, sodas...the works. TJ bought a huge chunk of parmigiano cheese to bring home. We sampled some baked goods and some gelato that was delicious! Then we went over to Chinatown. Other than the shopping-which was actually very stressful-I really didn't care for Chinatown that much. There were wierdos EVERYWHERE! The reason the shopping was stressful to me was that I promised my sister that I would buy here a bag and sunglasses and was worried that I wouldn't find something that she truly liked. Also, there were so many stores, that we kept thinking that we would find what we were looking for at the next store, and the next, and the next...I did end up finding an adorable bag and bought some perfume that I've always wanted-but couldn't justify buying otherwise. Having, visited Italy and China before, I felt that these two places were nothing like the originals. I don't think that they were meant to be like their parent countries necessarily, but if guess if you've never been, you'd expect to feel like you were smaller versions of those countries. We left Chinatown having purchased all that we wanted without spending too much. I don't know that if it was because it was Sunday, or the fact that drastically different places can really affect me were to blame for my negative mood, but I just felt uneasy and that things were not right. I won't get into my weirdness. :) After visiting Little Italy and Chinatown, we decided to go back to our hotel to drop off our purchases before we went to the Lion King. We were in a huge hurry because there was a restaurant that came highly recommended by some native New Yorkers that we met in a Deli a few days before. TJ and I decided to take a Taxi, in hopes that it would get us there faster and to give our poor aching feet and TJ"s hips a rest. The restaurant (Italian) looked like it would have been delicious, but it was a little too pricey for us so we headed over to Times Square to eat at Ruby Foo's. R.F.'s was recommended to us by TJ's mom before we left. This restaurant was a fusion of all things asian (according to our waitress) and we ended up thoroughly enjoying the food. TJ got sushi, I still can't eat it. I try it every time someone offers me a free taste (I wouldn't ever buy it for mysefl!) and don't like it every time. Oh well, the other food that we ordered was AMAZING! After dinner we headed over to the Lion King and bought Drew a stuffed Zazoo (the bird) and the coolest replica of Simba's (the grown-up Simba's) mask. The show itself was UN-believable! The singing was amazing, the costumes, the humor....every way they portrayed the story was so amazing!
The next morning we woke up early so that we could visit the World Trade Centers site, Wall street and the financial district before we had to be to the Yankees game. Sadly, there was not much to see at the World Trade Centers site. There was a huge hole about 50 feet deep surrounded by tall fences that were covered by some sort of material that had small rips and tears (the only way we saw this big hole). There was this guy playing Amazing Grace on a flute that really made the whole experience a little more poignant. I was hoping to see more. I really wanted to have a more interesting experience while visiting this place that rocked our world 6 1/2 years ago.
After we visited the WTC site, it started to rain...it had been threatening to do so since we had first arrived, thank goodness we thought to bring umbrellas. We started walking over towards Wall street to see the financial district and we ran into this graveyard next to a church. It was so odd to see this in the midst of all the tall buildings. TJ and I wandered around the graveyard and found a grave site that dated back to the early 1700's. I loved the shapes of the gravestones.
After visiting Wall street and the financial district we decided to catch the subway to Yankee stadium. At this point I was not very excited (I had been up to this point) about the game. I didn't want to sit in a wet stadium for four hours! Well, we would end up not having to do so....We got to the stadium (it was still raining) so we each bought a Yankee's hat and headed into the stadium. There was security checking everyone's bags, so we opened ours to be checked and were told that they were too big to be taken into the stadium. They told us to go across the street to check them at a bowling alley, but when we tried to leave, the security guards told us that once we left, we couldn't get back in. Fortunately, the guy taking the tickets had mercy on our poor, poor little souls and told us he would let us back in. At this point we were both frustrated, but I was also mad. I had my brand new camera, ipod, my phone...you get the picture, all of my nice stuff in that bag and I had to trust some drunken baseball fans to watch my stuff...right. Well, I didn't have a choice, so I just rolled with it. Then we got back to the stadium and proceeded to wait for over 2 hours just to find out that the game was going to be cancelled. This was after we spent 20 dollars on stadium food! Let me tell you...angry Yankee fans are not fun to be around, everybody was cursing and yelling and complaining...it was crazy. It really was so sad though, because this event was what my husband was looking forward to the most. He was devastated, my heart ached for him. This game was special because it was the season opener for the Yankee's last season in Yankee stadium and the Yankee's are my sweetie's favorite baseball team. He overpaid for the tickets that we got, and was able to get a pittance from a scalper on the side of the road as we left. And, I saved the best for last, it stopped raining just MINUTES after we got out of the stadium and didn't rain for the rest of the day! By far, this was the hardest day of the trip.
After the sad Yankees experience, we decided to go straight home and take a breather. I was feeling very dizzy so I decided to take a nap. When I woke up TJ had the idea to try another famous pizza place and then walk around SOHO. So we went to this pizza place called Lombardi's and it is the first pizza place established in the United States! Pretty cool huh! Their pizza was the closest to the real thing that we have ever tasted here in the US. The atmosphere was really laid back and fun. The restaurant was gorgeous. Here is a picture of TJ enjoying his pizza:
After our amazing pizza experience, we went to SOHO....on the way we saw a small little place called rice to riches. At first we thought it was sushi or something. It was a dessert bar that served only rice pudding. What?!?!?! We were definitely interested, so we went in and TJ just had to get some. His favorite desserts are ice-cream and rice pudding. There were about 20 flavors to choose from. There was chocolate chip, caramel, hazelnut and original with raisins...the list goes on. TJ sampled a few and decided to go with the chocolate chip. Note: At this point I wasn't too interested (I'd just thrown down on pizza, bruschetta and coke). After a few bites, he freaked out and told me I had to try it. It was INCREDIBLE! We walked around SOHO for a little while then decided to go back rice to riches. This time we got a bigger size of caramel with pound cake croutons to go on top, to share. TJ was pretty impatient, but I made him wait until we got back to our hotel to eat it. It was, again...so, so good. It was so good in fact, that the next morning, one hour before we had to leave to go to the airport, we took the subway and a very short walk to go there AGAIN. Yes, again. We got chocolate chip again to share but neither of us were even hungry so we decided to save it until we got to the airport.
The taxi drive to the airport was quite a bit shorter than we thought it would be and arrived over three hours early. Surprisingly, the security people let us take the pudding into the airport...it had to go under the X-Ray machine though. There we waited and then enjoyed the pudding when we were finally hungry again.
After a slightly delayed flight, 6 hours on a plane sitting next to a questionable character, we arrived safely home. It was good to be home and to see our beautiful mountains again.
TOP 10 FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT NEW YORK:
1. Rice to Riches
2. Being Together
3. The amazing bagel sandwiches for breakfast
4. Seeing Wicked AND Lion King
5. The view from the top of the Empire State Building (even though it was FREEZING cold!)
6. Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge
7. Seeing the Statue of Liberty
8. Little Italy-the gelato.
9. The shopping in China Town
10. Experiencing this incredible city!
The top 10 not so favorite things about New York
1. Missing the Yankees game..... :(
2. How sore my feet and TJ's hips got from walking around so much
3. How freezing it was in the line to ride the ferry to the Statue of Liberty (2 hrs!!)
4. The crazy swearing guy right in front of Grand Central Station
--I can't think of any more...it was just too great of a trip.
I just (really quick, I know this has been one long post) tell my sweetie how grateful I am for him and how AMAZING I think that it is that he put this whole trip together from start to finish. Thanks for a wonderful five years my sweet, sweet, sweetie!