|Biking in Central Park -- don't we look sad?|
At the risk of being the 1950s neighbor who makes you sit in his living room and look at all his vacation slides... well, I can do that if I want. It's my blog.
But how about a twist?
I'll do it all using quotes from Phillip, who's quite hilarious.
"I don't know where we're going, but I feel like we should walk there really fast."
We took a bus to NYC. Even though it was in driving distance, we didn't want to pay for parking.
Stepping off the bus with my little roller bag and staring up at all the tall buildings, I really did feel like the country mouse visiting the big city for the first time.
I'm sure it was extremely annoying to the locals who just wanted to walk down the sidewalk when I kept stopping to drool at every intersection.
"You take a million people and a million cars, put them in a pile, and that's New York!"
We stopped at a Whole Foods near our hotel to pick up some breakfast the first night, since we fully intended to wake up, eat, and go back to sleep on our first morning without children present. (That's how we vacation. Don't judge us.)
Anyway, this was the line at the checkout.
|8.4 million people live in NYC, and all of them were in line ahead of us.|
And the parking. What happens when you have a few million cars and nowhere to put them all?
|Special! Only $21.12 (plus tax) per half hour to park here!|
A few weeks ago I was just mentioning how bad the parking in Boston was, with cars jammed like sardines into tiny lots. But at least they weren't stacking them two deep!
|DIY parking garage in NYC. Creative!|
"These people may have more money than me, but I can run faster than anybody in here."
Okay, so we may have been a little intimidated walking into the fancy-pants stores on 5th Avenue. As a runner, this mantra helped Phillip feel better about himself when we walked into Saks with its $400 sunglasses near the door.
|Please note that the sunglasses on my head were purchased at Walgreen's for $2.|
Upstairs in the women's department, the sweater on the left cost $1,395:
|Phillip's comment about the dress: "Hmm. Should I go on a diet or just buy a dress with a picture of a skinny person on it?"|
The most upscale places had suit-wearing bouncers standing outside to discourage riff-raff like us from coming inside.
|Unfortunately, it didn't work.|
Phillip refused to be intimidated.
Out of morbid curiosity we browsed the engagement rings at Tiffany's. Rich couples were consulting with salespeople off the sides at mahogany desks over champagne in fluted glasses.
That's when we knew we didn't belong and got the heck out of there.
"Well, that's going to kick up some nasty smells."
When it started to rain, we were a little apprehensive what it might bring.
We loved New York and are already plotting our next visit, but let's be honest: where there are a ton of people, there's also a ton of trash.
|Smelled exactly like it looks.|
Garbage bags were piled up on (almost) every corner waiting to be picked up. Whenever there was a breeze, the aroma of garbage wafted gently through the city. Charming, I'm sure.
"That's how they do it in New York. They take out all the sugar and punch you in the face."
Maybe it was simple coincidence, but it seemed like all the flavored lemonades and fancy beverages we tried were more tart than sweet.
Eating out was, in many ways, my favorite part of visiting NYC.
|Tony Dragon, a food truck by Central Park, sold the most insanely cheap and tasty Greek food in New York.|
|I'm not ashamed to say we stopped at Schnipper's in Times Square twice in the same day for milkshakes.|
And when we got tired, we picked up some gourmet cupcakes and headed to our hotel to watch Downton Abbey.
|Nothing wrong with a cupcake bigger than my head plus the Dowager's one-liners. No, sir.|
And then there was this:
|It was my birthday, okay??|
But that's what New York does to you.
In retrospect, we saw pretty much everything we wanted to see, but didn't get a chance to eat everything we wanted to eat.
That's why we need to go back, you see.
"You pay for everything, and you get... Nah-thing!"
Until you've been to NYC, you don't know the meaning of a competitive real estate market. There is no horizontal space to be found there. None. Many of the restaurants we ate in were the size and shape of subway cars, but somehow a dozen and a half people were crammed into them all the same.
Everything is tall and skinny. If you want space, you've got to go up. Tall ceilings usually disguised how tiny the rooms actually were. Our hotel room, for example, was twice as expensive as the priciest place we've ever stayed, but looked like this:
|Barely bigger than the bed, same room as the bathroom.|
Speaking of prices, we had a good laugh at the snack pack that was waiting for us in the room when we arrived. I couldn't decide what to try first, the $5 Snickers bar, the $7 bottled water, or the $10 tin of gummy bears.
|Tempting, very temping. Not.|
Overall, we had an awesome trip to New York City. We've never in our married life had 6 days all to ourselves with no kids, no responsibilities, and nothing to do except walk around seeing cool stuff and holding hands.
On the bus ride home I was thinking about all the hand-holding to myself and thinking, "Why don't we ever hold hands at home?"
I remembered the answer when we walked in the door and were immediately tackled by 5 laughing, yelling, fighting, singing, wiggling little people. It's good to be home.