Wednesday, August 14, 2013

New York Day One & Two

So, I pretty much have the most amazing husband ever.  Seriously.  For my 30th birthday this year Lantz surprised me with a trip to New York!!!  It was such a fun surprise!!

On Sunday night June 30th, we had gotten one pizza, but there were two pizza boxes and I didn't know why.  He told me to open them.  One had airplane tickets & broadway show tickets in it!  HUGE surprise for me.  He told me to pack my bags because we were leaving first thing Tuesday morning {July 2nd- my 30th birthday}.  He had already arranged his mom to come watch the girls & other family member and friends to drop in and help.  SO awesome!

We got up super early on Tuesday morning & caught our flight to NY.  Happy Birthday me!  Here we are on the plane:

We took a bus to the Port Authority stop for only $16.  I would totally recommend this- it appears to be the most cost effective- plus it took us right to where we needed to be.  We were let out pretty much at Times Square which was super crazy!  There were SO many people.  At first I was like, "Oh great... what have we gotten ourselves into?"

We found our hotel (one block off of Times Square) & then checked in.  We stayed at Millennium Hotel.  It was nice.... our room was super nice.  The lobby was not very welcoming though... kinda reminded me of the mob.... dark.  It was cool to be only one block off though-- and Lantz got a GREAT deal from Groupon on it.  Here is the view from our room:

We then proceeded to find food.  I was starving.  It was like 3 something and I hadn't eaten since breakfast.  We heard super amazing things about John's Pizza and it wasn't too far from our hotel so we walked down a few blocks to eat there.  It totally did not disappoint... it was SOOOO good.  It's not a pay by the slice place-- it's a sit down, nicer pizza place.   I would totally recommend it!

After pizza we just walked around for a little while.  We ended up at Rockefeller Center & in front of NBC.  Pretty cool!

We then headed back to our hotel to get ready for our broadway show.  Lantz bought us Lion King tickets!  It was one of the best shows I've ever seen!  It completely did not disappoint.  I'm so glad that we went to see it!  The costumes were incredible!

After the show we walked down to the Shake Shack to get some dessert.  This place was packed!  It was neat though- they had a line for just people who wanted dessert, so we got to bypass the long line.  Lantz got a fair trade mocha milkshake, and I got a "Jelly's Last Donut" custard {vanilla custard with donut chunks, strawberry jelly, and cinnamon & sugar)-- yummy!

We went back to the hotel & then polished off the leftover pizza!

It was such a fun birthday and a great first day in New York!

We got up pretty early and went to buy some hop-on, hop-off bus passes from City Sights so that we could see the city & really get a feel for it.  My friend who lives in NY recommended this to me & it really was great!  We bought the all city pass so that we could see all of NY & go though all different parts of it, & that really was great.

We started off by hopping on the Downtown tour.  It was fun to just ride around on a double decker bus with ear phones & look at everything while the tour guide told you neat kinds of history.  It really helped us learn our way around the city.  It's a neat tour because anytime you wanted to see something you could just get off and see what you wanted to see and then catch the next bus running (normally like 10- 15 minutes apart).  Here are some pictures from our bus.... I was such a tourist!!  No shame!

We eventually got off at Ground Zero to see the 9/11 memorial.  Having taught a 9/11 unit when I was in the classroom it was very surreal to be there.  It was a very touching memorial and a reminder of that awful day and how blessed we are to have the freedom we have.  The memorial consists of two large water fountains in the "footprints" of where the buildings stood.  All around the sides of the fountains are the names of those that lost their lives that day.

It was also neat to hear about the new World Trade Center complex that they are currently working on and also the museum that will be under the ground in between the two fountains.  It was also cool to see the Freedom Tower or the One World Trade Center.  It's currently the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.

And of course the fire station beside the World Trade Center:

After experiencing the 9/11 memorial we ate at a little cafe beside the fire station, Esseux Cafe.  We split a chicken parmesan  panini and berry smoothie.  We then headed to check out Trinity Church & the financial district on Wall Street. We saw Federal Hall where George Washington was inaugurated as the first President.

We then walked down to Battery Park & caught a little tour boat that went with our City Sights bus tour.  It was great!  We were able to see the Manhattan skyline, Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan bridge.

We then decided to hop on the bus tour of Brooklyn which was really cool!  I don't think either of us had it on our radar to tour Brooklyn, but it was really cool to see the city.  After the Brooklyn tour we actually hopped back on the Downtown tour and finished it up.  {I may or may not have fallen asleep on the end of that tour..... I was worn out!}  By this point we were pretty hungry and so we went to Carnegie Deli and split the Woody Allen sandwich (pastrami & corned beef).  It was really yummy & the portion size was out of control!  Lantz & I both were stuffed!

We then headed over to Rockefeller Center to buy tickets for the Top of the Rock.  We were planning on going up that night, but it started raining so we got tickets for the 4th of July at sunset.  We were pumped that the tickets were not more money since it was the 4th.  Almost everywhere cost a fortune to go up during the fireworks.  It was neat that Top of the Rock didn't raise their prices just for the fireworks!

We walked around a bit more and then decided that we wanted to go back to Carnegie Deli to tackle that delicious cheesecake that was calling our name while we were there.  So we split the strawberry cheesecake & it did not disappoint!  So yummy!

We ended the night by walking around Times Square a little more & people watching.

All in all it was a jam-packed, super-fun second day in New York!


  1. I LOVE NYC!!! So fun! Once, I was in China Town where they have all these "garage stores" with the fake purses and stuff. While I was in a store, the owner started talking on her walkie talkie (in Chinese)....and then she walked over and shut the garage door with us in the store and wouldn't let us leave until the coast was clear! All the shopkeepers obviously have a communication system when the counterfeit police are nearby. LOL!! I sort of felt like I had left the USA in some kind of time warp.

  2. I may or may not be super jealous of your fun getaway!! Makes me want to book a NY trip!!

  3. Bryan surprised me with a weekend get away to NY for our 3rd anniversary & our weekend sounded very similar to yours. It was my first time so we were total tourist & did most of the things you did & even ate at some of the same places :) What a fun place - I can't wait to hear about the rest of your trip!