Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Via Las Vegas

Well, now I realize I am only about 4 weeks behind...  if things were to calm down a bit that would help!!

This has been my schedule the last month..

May 26 - May 30 = NYC
June 2 - June 5 = Dad & Grandma came to visit (mom stayed after we got back NY to help me get ready for a Yard Sale I had June 3-4)
June 6 - June 9 = Henderson, NV
June 10 - June 11 = Asheville, NC
June 11 - 12 = Adam's parents stopped by for a visit
June 20 - 24 = Mobile, AL
...and soon to be off to Michigan for a week!

So, it's been a tad crazy! 

I had to make an unexpected trip out to our Henderson/Las Vegas plant for a few days for work.  While I was out there, I finally spent an evening on Freemont Street.  I'm glad I got to see it but I'm ok if I don't visit that spot again.  It's always bittersweet to be in Vegas alone - there's SO many great shows I want to see but I don't want to go alone.  Plus, I don't think it's the safest thing to do!  I usually end up working longer days while I'm there and then I like the outlets near the strip.  I had dinner 2 nights with folks from the plant so that's always a good time.  Here's some pictures from my quick trip out west:

I always enjoy the scenery from wherever I'm flying, it's always so different than what we have here on the East coast

Freemont Street Experience

Once the lights came on, it's actually pretty cool to see.


The Golden Nugget.. one of the oldest casinos in Vegas

This was one of the coolest pools I've ever seen.  It has a shark tank in the middle!! 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Day 4 - NYC

Monday, (Memorial Day) was our last day in NYC.  Mom and I had several last things to check off our list so first up was a subway ride uptown to hit 5th Avenue.  Our first stop was FAO Schwarz.  The store was a lot smaller than what I imagined it to be but still really fun and cute. 
FAO Schwarz

The Big Piano
Leaving the toy store

I got a new pendant at Tiffany.  I mean you have to right?? When in Rome... :-)

Absolute cutest.note.ever. in the window at Tiffany's

Quick pic with the blue M & M before heading to the airport
So long NY!  How cool does Central Park look from the sky??
An added bonus on the way back.. Mom and I both got upgraded to First Class! 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Day 3 - NYC

Sunday morning we decided to do another tour on the double-decker since it expired that morning.  We did the uptown/Harlem route.  Here's some sites along the way:

Time Warner Building

Dakota Building

Ghostbusters anyone???

Can't remember name of this church...

Riverside Church

Brownstones in Harlem.. this just screams "New York" to me

 Once we finished the bus tour I had to twist all 4 of mom's limbs to get her to go to Central Park.  I really just wanted to stroll through the park and enjoy the greenery.  Central Park is such a cornerstone of the city and in soo many books, movies and TV shows.  We decided the best way to see the park was to hire one of those drivers who pedals around on a bike while you ride in a cart attached to the back.  We had a knowledgeable guide who told us some history and pointed out all the famous movie scene spots.  I LOVED the park - it was so lush, green, calm and laid back.

My favorite picture of the weekend

The Plaza

The famous mall at Central Park

The Boat House!!

I think my mom wanted to shove her in her purse and run

The Friend's fountain

Once we finished at the park, Mom and I made our way back over to Rockefeller Square for lunch and then had tickets with the rest of the gals for a behind the scenes tour at NBC studios.  We saw Dr. Oz's studio (really small!!! Cameras must work wonders), where they film Saturday Night Live and Jimmy Kimbal and some other stuff.  Pretty interesting. 

Radio City Hall
 Mom and my next stop was Ground Zero.  Unfortunately, we got there about 10 minutes after the last tour of the day stopped (it was Memorial Weekend and in the early afternoon?!? Why don't they have tours all day?!).  So, we missed the tour and had to show ourselves around.  It's still so saddening to stand there and imagine what it must have been like for those people.  You really can't even begin to imagine.  There is a lot of construction going on in that area now - here's a picture of the "Freedom Tower" - it's supposed to be finished and open this September.  

St. Patrick's Cathedral
 From Ground Zero we headed back across town to the Empire State Building via Subway.. where we took the wrong line and ended up across the river.  It seemed like we waited forever for another Subway and I'm pretty sure we spent a good hour underground.  We finally made it to our pre-Empire State Building destination.. Macy's!  Anne and Lisa told us about a wonderful shoe sale they were having so we had to check it out - I did anyway.. I think Mom could have passed.  After searching for about an hour I only found 1 pair that I had to have.  Great deals though, just nothing really in my size and it was mass chaos in there.  I do love that Macy's though - it's amazing!! 

On to the Empire State Building.. our NY Pass covered an attraction called "Sky Ride" which is also in the Empire State Building.  Word of advice.. it's a waste of time and money!!  We definitely wanted that hour of our life back.  Then it was on to wait in the very very long line to get up to the observation deck.  After over an hour, no dinner, and being really tired and somewhat grouchy, we made it to the top.  I've decided I'm ok if that's the last time I go up to the deck.  Between there and Top of the Rock - Top of the Rock is a MUCH better view. 
Empire State Building
We came down around 10pm, grabbed some pizza by the slice, and drug ourselves about a mile back to the hotel where we crashed! 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Day 2 - NYC

We met up with everyone in Times Square to start out on our adventures.
Saturday morning we got up and headed over to Rockefeller Center.  On the way there we noticed that Fox was outside filming live coverage for their morning show.  I made my Fox news debut :)
30 Rock

On our to do list was "Top of the Rock."  I must say I believe the view from the top of Rockefeller is 100 times better than that from the Empire State Building.  We had an awesome view of the city, water and Central Park.  I can't imagine how beautiful it is on a clear day. 

Central Park from Top of the Rock

My travel buddy

Awesome view of the city and Empire State Building

Mom and I split away from the group to see some things that no one elsereally wanted to and our first stop was Grand Central Station.  Several comical things happened here.. (1) I knew that there was supposed to be a "famous" clock and staircase at the station but wasn't sure which ones it was.  Well, we went to the tourist information booth and the guy had no clue!  He points to a random clock and goes "Well, there's a clock?"  (2) I wanted to see the front of the terminal (we entered from a side entrance) so we asked a security guard which direction was the front of the building, aka the main entrance...her response "I dunno.  Check with information."  REALLY?!?! You work there and don't know where the main entrance is?!? 
I found the main entrance.. no thanks to the kind people that work there!

After Grand Central it was on to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  We really would have liked to have gone up in the crown but we didn't know you had to book tickets like at least a year before you go because they are in such demand and they only allow a couple hundred per day to go up in the statue.  Even though we had bough a NY Pass to cover attractions, we still had to wait in line for a ferry to get out to the islands.  We waited about an hour in the sweltering hot sun.  As if waiting that long wasn't bad enough, we had some rude foreign people behind us that were COMPLETELY in our bubbles.  But alas, we made it.   

Isn't she majestic?  Plus, a lot bigger up close than what you'd think.

Our next stop was Ellis Island.  By this point we were running short on time and didn't really get to spend as much time there as we would have liked.  Waiting for the ferry to get to and fro really cut into our time.   

Immigration Building on Ellis Island

Basically the whole reason for the trip to Ellis Island was to see my great-grandfather's name on the "wall."  I think Mom was disappointed because what the family paid for isn't what is actually there as the display/memorial.  I still think it's pretty cool. 

Once we got back to the city we had to hurry back across town to get ready for our dinner reservations with the group at Sardi's.  From there it was on to Wicked!  I had no clue what to expect with Wicked and I have to say I was really pleased with the play.  I thought it was a lot of fun, easy to follow and very funny.  

Monday, June 13, 2011

Day 1 - NYC

So I feel like I have been going a million miles per hour.  Not only that, but I’ve covered WV, NY, NV and NC in the meantime too.  

I mentioned briefly in my last post that I went to WV the weekend before mom’s birthday to see the family and Miss Abbie.  It always feels like time flies when I’m home – there’s always so much to see and do and then it’s time to drive back to TN before I know it. We took Abbie to the re-opening of the train in Bluefield and she had a good time.  That girl loves her train rides!


Over Memorial Day, Mom and I went on a girl’s trip to NYC with some of the gals I work with in HR.  We had a great time and did so much in a short amount of time!!  Our flight was out of Atlanta on Thursday evening and we were supposed to get into NYC around 9:30pm or so.  Naturally, there were massive hail storms on the way to Atlanta and then the flight was delayed.  We ended up getting to the airport in NY around 1am.  Well, for the city that never sleeps.. we had to wait about 45 minutes to an hour for a taxi!  I guess the taxi drivers were napping at that time… We made it to the hotel around 2:30 and all crashed.  

Friday we were up and out early for our first full day of sight-seeing.  We started the day off with a double-decker bus tour of the city.  I love these tours – you get to ride around and just listen to what everything is without having to find out on your own.  The weather was really nice so it made it more peaceful.  Here we are ready for our tour!

Here’s some of the things we saw Friday morning:  
Flat Iron Building

One of the many Trump Towers

After the tour it was past time for some lunch.  We ate at a really good place right off Times Square called Junior’s.  I would definitely eat there again (and you know how picky I am).  The best part was the cheesecake!  Yummmm!!  
Melodye, Lisa, Norma, Me, Mom, Anne at Lunch

After our lunch, we walked it off by heading down to the wharf to pick up tickets for the Circle Line cruise.  Our tickets were supposed to be for a 3-hour cruise that went all the way around Manhattan but the tide was too high and we couldn’t make it under all the bridges apparently.  While we were waiting for our cruise time we made a quick tour through the wax museum.  This was my first time exploring a wax museum and it was something worth seeing once I’d say.  It was good to get inside out of the heat for a while too!!

We jogged back down to the wharf and it was anchors away for the next few hours.
(We almost look as stylish as the girls from Sex and the City…. Right????)

I could look at the NY skyline for days and still be amazed I think.  It’s like no other site out there.  Plus, it’s strange that Jersey it literally right beside you.  On a side note – we found out that the Statue of Liberty actually belongs to New Jersey!!!  Who knew?!?  That seems so wrong.

So if you look behind the little domed building that’s where the Twin Towers used to be.  

I think this picture is cool because this is the dock that the Titanic was headed to when it tragically sank in 1912

Here’s the New Jersey coast… apparently it’s become really developed in the last 5-10 years.  I definitely don’t remember it looking like this when we were there in 2003.

Here’s Ellis Island and of course, Lady Liberty

The Brooklyn Bridge

So in between these 2 piers (88 and 90) is where the flight landed a couple years ago

After our sightseeing cruise we were ready for some dinner!  Lisa wanted to go to Little Italy so we hailed some cabs and off we went.  Mom, Norma and I ended up with a driver who didn’t appear to have a clue where Little Italy was and our cab fare was literally 3 times more than Anne, Lisa and Melodye’s!  We ate a cute little Italian place right in the heart of Little Italy.  I think by that point we were all exhausted!



Empire State Building
Chrysler Building