Last weekend we went to New York City! We figured it was the perfect time to have a little weekend getaway. We drove (about 9-10 hours each way.) The drive there was filled with torrential rain and wind, but the views were quite lovely when the rain would slow enough for us to see past the road. Pennsylvania has a lovely landscape. It’s different from what I expected with all of its forest-covered hills/mountains.
We arrived at our hotel around midnight on Thursday. Friday morning we had breakfast at Lindy’s “Famous” Diner. I would not eat here again. We paid about $40 for a less than average quality meal and terrible service. We were already starting to feel like tourists! Next we walked to the Empire State Building and paid to go to the top. It was a very foggy morning and still early, so we lucked up with relatively unobstructed views due to the small crowd. Seeing most of the city from one point was neat. There was an audio tour, but I only listened to a few segments of it. After our “tour” at the Empire State Building we walked around Time Warner Center near Columbus Circle. It’s a very nice looking shopping center with lots of windows and high ceilings.
From the shopping center we walked to B&H Photo and Video (the company I’ve purchased lots of my camera gear from.) I enjoyed seeing the store in person after only seeing their website and catalogs. It’s huge! I guess that’s the theme in NYC. They have a very efficient system to get your merchandise from the back store-room to the check out area with a conveyor belt. I wound up getting a camera bag that is MUCH smaller than the one I packed for the trip. As much as I love my Kelly Moore bag, it was too much weight and size to carry around all day long.
Following this little shopping detour was our walk back toward the hotel and a quick stop for a slice of pizza along the way. After a much-needed midday nap, we decided to head back out into the city. We walked to Central Park and started to hear thunder. It was decided that we should head toward buildings so that we could take cover inside one of them should rain follow the thunder we were hearing. Before we could make it to any buildings the sky opened up on us. We were completely soaked from head to toe. There was not one single inch of our bodies that wasn’t drenched. Awesome. Not. As if to rub it in our faces, the rain stopped as quickly as it had begun. There we were standing in the sun and dripping wet.
I’m sure you can guess what we did next. Yep…we went back to the hotel to change clothes and dry off. We mustered up our courage and decided to try the park again. When we reached that same southwest corner of Central Park, the same thing happened. Luckily it wasn’t quite as hard of a rain and we made it into a nearby shop only moderately wet. This shop happened to be a gelato shop, so all was well. Hubs got a small gelato, and I ordered a large limone granita. Sometime between the first drenching and the second onset of rain we walked to Dallas BBQ on 72nd or 73rd street to have dinner.
After the rain slowed to a drizzle we headed to the hotel. We decided that was enough rain for one day. We spent the rest of the evening watching Criminal Minds and the Comedy Channel on the flat screen in our room. This sounds like a lame thing to do on vacation, but we don’t have a tv anymore which made it almost fun. I’m still happy with the choice to give our tv away, however. I truly don’t miss it.
While that may not sound like a lot, it was a lot to do in one day (especially for this pregnant lady!) I noticed some hip discomfort this day, but attributed it to the increased walking and possible widening of my hips. Is that a pregnancy symptom? It seems like I’ve heard it somewhere. By Friday night I was practically walking with a limp from the discomfort. It turns out that after returning home and sleeping in my own bed for one night, the pain was nearly gone. It must have been from having to sleep on my sides on that firm hotel mattress. (I’m not supposed to sleep on my back because this could greatly decrease the blood supply to the baby due to the pressure of my uterus on my vena cava and another major artery that is escaping my mind now.)
Saturday morning we tried a new restaurant for breakfast. This time we ate a Benash delicatessen, and it was at least ten times better than Lindy’s for the same price! I had a delicious croissant with bacon and cheese on top along with fresh fruit, orange juice and I think maybe some other small side. (I’m blaming the forgetfulness on “pregnancy brain.”) Hubs had corned beef and hash with rye toast and some coffee.
Next we ventured to…drum roll please…Central Park for a third try. This time we had perfect weather. We walked from the Southwest corner of the park to the Southeast corner and then headed north. We didn’t just walk the perimeter. We took some paths that enveloped us in a refreshing canopy of green leaves. After a while we decided to cut across the park to reach the western side (since we planned on meeting friends for lunch in that direction.) I led the way and took us on a bit of a detour on accident. We ended up walking around one of the lakes in the park and had further than I originally thought to make it to our lunch meet-up spot. Luckily we still had plenty of time and dear hubs got us going in the right direction. We confirm the stereotype about men and women with directions! So, after a very long walk in the park we made it to the Southeast edge again and then headed to the Lincoln Center. Here we waited for Brittany, my lovely friend of many years and talented singer/dancer/actress, to arrive. The three of us then proceeded to enjoy the lovely weather by meandering through an outdoor art market before walking to our lunch spot, Cafe Fiorello. We met up with another friend, Sarah, who just so happened to be spending the weekend in NYC as well! It was awesome to have our mini-reunion/lunch date 🙂
After lunch Sarah left us to rejoin her mom, aunt and cousins for shopping while Brittany, hubs and I headed for the subway. We stopped to see Ground Zero and the new construction in that area. Battery Park was only a few blocks away, so we walked there to see the Statue of Liberty in the distance and many sailboats on the water. Once we’d had our fill of that faraway lady on the water we enjoyed a walk on the Sky Line, which is an old railway line converted into a park and public outdoor, landscaped walkway. I’d seen an article a week before we took this trip to NYC, so I was very happy to see what I read in person so soon after.
Our last stop of the day was at a really cool outdoor restaurant bar. The location of the restaurant was originally used as a turnaround for trains. I can’t remember the name, but I’ll work on finding it. **Update: The restaurant was The Boat Basin Cafe.** Another Sarah, one of Brittany’s friends from NY, met us there with her mother. We ate and drank (I had a virgin pina colada and lots of water) and had a wonderful evening together. From here hubs and I took the subway back to our hotel and proceeded to have a very sound night of sleep! It was another long day…fun, but long.
Our last morning in the city was spent at Sarabeth’s, a restaurant along the Southern edge of Central Park which is known for having great breakfasts and pastries. Brittany met us there 🙂 I had a delicious omelette with a tomato and pepper sauce on it. Mmmm! The banana muffin was tasty, too. After breakfast we said our goodbyes and headed to the hotel one last time. Our things were already packed. We grabbed our bags and retrieved the car from the parking facility. (Thanks for the parking coupon, Brittany!)
The ride back home was uneventful and less stressful that the drive we’d done to reach the city on Thursday. I attribute this to the calm weather of Sunday. It was also Father’s Day. We called our dads and wished them well on their special day. We are both blessed to have very loving and supporting fathers that did a pretty good job raising us. Yes that sounds like bragging 😉
I picked up Cooper on Monday from the boarding facility. I told him he was going on “doggy vacation,” but I don’t think that change of wording fooled him. Ha!
This week has been life back to normal. The only thing different than usual is that I’ve got a scratchy throat and some congestion. It’s even worse being sick when you’re pregnant, because so many medications are off limits. Even the approved medications are substances I try to avoid unless I really feel they are needed. I don’t want to put anything in my body that isn’t completely necessary while I’m carrying our baby. It just doesn’t seem worth the risk of having any negative side effects.
Tonight we are continuing the fun weekend trend by going to a baseball game. It will be my first time in a VIP suite…for any game, not just baseball. I’m drinking hot tea and eating soup and hoping to feel well enough to enjoy tonight’s event. If you read this whole post, good for you! It was a long one!