Empire State of Mind: Day 4

Our last day in NYC.  We were tired from barely getting any sleep, but that wasn’t going to stop us!
We got up bright and early and had breakfast in the room.
When we had our check-in snafu, they gave us complimentary room service.  So you betta believe we used it.
It was good too.
And yes, I ate it in bed.
We left the hotel and went to the Empire State Building.  
We went early to avoid lines and it was awesome just walking right through where there are usually hundreds of people waiting.
It was a bit overcast, but the views were great!
We just had time to do our last souvenier buying, and hopped a cab back to the hotel.
The same friendly private car man who picked us up at the airport came and got us.  We liked him so much, we called him back.  He was so kind and hospitable, giving us a tour as we drove one last time through the city.
We had a rough flight into Chicago.  Poor Tyler almost got sick.  He was so green.  Good thing we had a long layover.  He found a fan blowing and rested under it for a while until everything settled.
Then it was time for our Chicago feast.  Mom is originally from Chicago, so she wanted a taste of home.  We hit the food court and got Chicago deep dish pizza, a Chicago hot dog, and an Italian beef sandwich.  We all shared it and it was good.
 We landed in Little Rock at 6 p.m. Yes, there is an airport here in Fort Smith.  And I know there is one an hour away in Fayetteville.  But by using flights out of LR, we were able to travel with mom…and their flight times gave us the maximum time in NYC.  So we had a 3 hour drive back home…but it was totally worth it.
We are still unpacking and doing laundry, but the trip was so great!  I LOVE New York and can’t wait to go back again.  Tyler wasn’t completely sold on it.  He told mom and I that while he had fun, we could keep NYC as a girls trip locale. 🙂  I don’t think mom will mind that one bit. 🙂

Empire State of Mind: Day 3

We started Day 3 a little later than Day 2.  We were out of the hotel by 9 and got breakfast at Europa again.
We went and walked through Central Park a bit.  It was beautiful out.  We were going to go through the zoo…but with it being a holiday weekend, the lines were long and we didn’t want to wait. So we sat and people watched for a bit.

So we went to the Apple Store instead!  We don’t have one of those here, so it was fun to look around and play with everything!  It was mom’s first encounter with an iPad!
Next door was FAO Schwarz, and we went in to play with the toys.

We met a very friendly toy soldier.

 Such neat stuff!  They also have a sweet shop inside and Tyler got a brownie there.

We walked down 5th avenue for a little shopping.  Mom and I each picked one store to visit (so poor Tyler didn’t spend his whole time waiting on us) so I picked H&M, and Mom picked The Loft (both stores we don’t have at home).  We got some goodies there.
Then we trekked back uptown to Serendipity 3 for lunch.
OMG.  The food was amazing…but then there was frozen hot chocolate.  I die.
We shared a peanut butter frozen hot chocolate
And mom got a regular one.  I may have taken several sips of hers too in an effort to decide which one was better!

 We were stuffed for lunch, so we took another nap.  All that walking wears you out!
We headed to Times Square for some shopping and then had dinner at Juniors.  HOLY cheesecake!  I didn’t get any pictures because I was too busy enjoying it…but take my word for it…if you are ever in NYC, go to Juniors for cheesecake.  And their food was fab too.
The best part?  We got to see my friend Jonathon!  He moved to NYC in the Spring to go to NYU’s Musical Theather grad school.  It is so exclusive and the only program like it in the nation…so he is the best of the best!  He wants to act in and write musicals.  Watch out for him someday!  
After dinner, we saw Rock of Ages.  Y’all.  I haven’t seen the movie, but I think the musical was great. 
 It was over the top.  Raunchy (there were strippers and dirty jokes) but we just kept dying laughing.  The music was AWESOME and it was SO FUN.  We totally enjoyed the show.
We did some souvenir shopping after the show and headed back to the hotel for our last night.
On the way, I saw something I had to have:
Enter my awesome fake Tory Burch bag.
Now, they sell fake handbags all over NYC.  But most look fake.  These guys had TONS of fakes that looked real.  Like, really real.  I immediately spotted this yellow beauty and wanted it.  But the cops were showing up.  And the guys wrapped all their goodies up in sheets and darted.  I was so sad.
But a few minutes later as we walked away, this shady man reappeared to sell me this bag.  If he had been able to open it all up, I would have bought one of his fake LV and a fake Michael Kors.  I have no shame (and I can’t afford the real thing!).  But, I settled for just my little TB.  I love it.
Then we got some soft serve ice cream from an ice-cream food truck and went to bed.

Empire State of Mind: Day 2

Our first full day in NYC came bright and early!  We weren’t going to be there for long, so we had to pack it all in!  
We woke up to this gorgeous view!  Hello park-view room!  Thanks for the upgrade Park Lane!
We left the hotel at 8 for breakfast.  We stopped at our favorite NYC place, Europa.  They have them all over the city, and we just love it.  We enjoyed our breakfast and hopped on the subway.
We didn’t enjoy that too much.  
We got to Battery Park and headed to our boat.  We didn’t know it was going to involve a long security check, and we missed the boat we bought tickets for.  No fear!  No one even noticed!  The ticket takers weren’t interested in details, and we didn’t say anything…so we just hopped on the next boat.  Problem.  Our boat was a Harbor Cruise.  1.5 hour tour of the harbor without getting off.  Just sightseeing.  The boat we got on was the ferry between islands.  Oh well.  This one was better!  

We stopped at the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

We got off at the statue.
 We walked around the island with the Statue.  You can’t go up in it right now, so we just walked around.  We didn’t get off at Ellis Island because we were ready for lunch.
We took a cab into the Soho area (I think) to eat at Peanut Butter and Co.  We LOVE their PB, so we wanted to try the place out.
Mom got an Elvis: PB, banana, bacon, so did Tyler (but Tyler’s had chocolate peanut butter!).  I got a cinnamon raisin PB sandwich with apples and cream cheese.  They were sooo good!
Happy with her PB sammy
Outside PB & Co.
 Next we took a cab back downtown to see the Bull! 
We walked from the bull to the 9/11 memorial.  Despite long lines to get in, it was a very emotional, moving experience.  It was very serene and quiet there with lots of reflection going on. 
After the memorial, we took a cab to Top of the Rock, which is the top of Rockefeller Plaza.
BEAUTIFUL views!  I LOVED this.
That’s the Empire State Building behind us.  It was a beautiful day!
I got to make one little pit-stop at Anthropologie for my first shopping experience there!  I got a cute dress and a cute top!  LOVED the store, and would have spent more time there, but poor Tyler was so tired and miserable.
We came back to the room and took a little nap.  Then we got ready and headed out for dinner at the Stage Deli.
HUGE sandwiches with meat they make in-house.
Mom and I love the Stage Deli.  She loves that she can get homemade chicken soup like her Jewish grandma used to make.
After dinner, we saw NEWSIES!  It blew us away!  The cast was so talented and the show was just magical!
After the show, on the way back to the hotel, we stopped for cheesecake at Lindy’s.  Lindy’s is famous for cheesecake, but we thought it was just ok.  The service stunk.  But it was a fun way to end the night.

 Then for a little sleep before Day 3!

Empire State of Mind: Day 1

We barely made it to NYC.  When I say barely made it, picture us running through the Chicago airport, telling people to get out of our way on the moving sidewalk.  Y’all.  We almost missed our connection.  But we made it.  We landed in NY at about 11 p.m. local time.  We ended up meeting a very nice man who ran a private car business, so we didn’t have to wait in line for a cab (and thank the Lord I didn’t get us killed getting in a car with a stranger at the airport!).
We checked into our hotel, the Helmsley Park Lane.  We had a little trouble.  Our room wasn’t ready.  They only had a king bed room (with a rollaway cot) for us.  After giving sad looks to the man behind the counter, he gave us a free upgrade to a park-view room…with double beds.  SCORE!
We put up our luggage, freshened up and headed to find some food.  We walked to the Times Square area for some NY style pizza!
Enter Famous Famiglia’s Pizza.
The garlic knots were so good.  I wish all pizza places served garlic knots.
We loved the thin (but not crispy) crust and yummy toppings!
I opted for healthy toppings….broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, onions, peppers, and mushrooms!  YUM!
Then we ventured into Times Square.  
We even got on the big screen for a few moments!
It was 2 a.m. at this point, so we walked back to the hotel and crashed.