Monday, July 20, 2020

New York Was a Blast!

Cora and I went to NYC for a little Graduation present. We began planning in November of last year and the trip was set up for June 8-15. We flew to NYC then took an Amtrak home. We had such a great time! We bought a 3 day New York Pass so that we could see all the sights we wanted to for one price. I HIGHLY recommend getting this if you ever travel to NYC. It more than paid for itself and we got to see everything we wanted to. Apparently, we brought the heat with us, since the temperatures were in the mid 90s every day. The day after we left, the temps went back down to th 70s. Figures.

Day 1 - Thursday, June 8
The day began with a very early flight (6:30 AM). That meant we had to get up at 4:30. We got to the airport and through security in plenty of time, since San Antonio's security checkpoints are pretty efficient. First flight was to Dallas, where we had a small layover. The next flight was about 3 hours long and we landed at La Guardia around 1:30 PM.

The first taste of New York we received was the cab ride from the airport to the hotel. Traffic is notoriously crazy, and it did not disappoint. The cabbie was aggressive, and Cora was afraid for her life a couple times. It was fun to watch her react to this new experience. It took about an hour to get to our hotel, Pod 51.

The hotel was located on 51st Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues. The room was small and there were shared bathrooms, but the place was pretty awesome. At first I was a bit leary of having to share bathrooms with other guests on our floor, but there were four bathrooms that had a toilet and a shower in each. They were never all occupied at once, so we never had a problem. 

After we got settled in our room, it was time to go find a bit of food, as we hadn't eaten breakfast or lunch yet. We had a quick bite at Chipotle around the corner from our hotel. Cora was amazed at how easy it was to find our way around, since most of the city is on the grid system. Once was ate, we came back to the room to rest a bit before dinner. Later that afternoon we took a walk over to Hell's Kitchen to find some dinner. We ended up at American Retro and had burgers and their Chili Tots.
After dinner, we headed back to the hotel. We were pretty exhausted from traveling, so we hung out on the rooftop patio at the hotel.

Here's Cora snuggling a bit before she got back up on her top bunk.

Day 2 - Friday, June 9

We woke up at 8 AM with a plan to go hang out at Times Square. While Cora was getting ready, I took a walk in search of a coffee shop. In my mind I was thinking Starbucks, but instead I found Ground Central. I had never had a coffee with a cute design before. Apparently this is the norm, as I got a design every time at different coffee shops during our stay. 

Coffee in hand, Cora and I set out for Times Square. As we walked, we passed by St. Patrick's Cathedral. Such a beautiful place. 

Next stop was Rockefeller Plaza. The Top of The Rock was on the agenda for the next day, so we just walked around a bit.

Cora was pretty excited to get a pretzel from a street vendor.

Then we found the M&M Store. This place was amazeballs! We didn't buy anything, but it was heaven. Across the street was the Hershey's Store. Oh Myyy!
I really wanted this sweatshirt in my life.

After the chocolate overload, we headed to 46th St to find some lunch. We went to The Pig and Whistle. Cora got mushroom soup and I got a goat cheese salad. Pretty delish. We sat by the big open windows and just listened to the sounds of the city. I had a local craft beer that was pretty good. 
After lunch, we hung out at Times Square. Lots of people, lots of things to see. 

We hung out for a while, then walked back to the hotel to rest. Cora wanted to see Times Square at night, so a night excursion happened. But not before we walked over to Black Tap to have a milkshake. There was a line to get in, so we waited about 30 minutes. The milkshake was pretty delicious and we also had some wonderful sweet potato fries.

Times Square at night.


After we hung out in Times Square for a bit, we walked back to our hotel (A LOT OF WALKING).

Chillin' on the rooftop patio with a beer.

Early to bed; a big day tomorrow!

Day 3 - Saturday, June 10

Saturday we started our three day pass at The Top Of The Rock. The views were beautiful! Such a beautiful day.

Once we finished at the Top of The Rock, we took an Uber to Central Park Bicycle Rentals. With our pass, we had a free 4 hour rental, so we got bikes and rode around Central Park. It was nice to take our shoes off and walk barefoot in grass that wasn't full of prickly burrs!


Lots of biking and seeing the beautiful park. After we returned our bikes, we Ubered to Gray's Papaya for lunch! We saw a reference to the place in the movie Fools Rush In (one of our favorite movies) and wanted to give it a shot. Really good hotdogs that were very inexpensive. Very nice lunch. The actual restaurant is very small, standing room only and there was a line, but it moved pretty quickly.

Another Uber (BEST THING EVERRRR) back to the hotel for a bit of a rest before the Empire State Building. We Ubered again to the Empire State Building around 7 PM. We wanted to be up there at dark, so we went over to Macy's to pass the time. Cora found a Big Piano! I thought it was hilarious that there was beer being sold in the food court of Macy's!

The process to get to the top of the ESB is pretty involved and it was very busy. Apparently, sunset is a popular time. The elevators were backed up, so we were given the option to climb the stairs from the 80th floor to the 86th floor where the observatory is. We took did it, but man, there were a lot of stairs! The end result was completely worth it!

This is the highest I've ever been (except on a plane, of course). It was breathtaking!

After we left the ESB, we rode home on a bicycle taxi, or a pedi-cab. That was an experience!

Cora and I had a midnight dinner at The Morning Star Cafe, an all night diner which was around the corner from our hotel. Apparently others had the same idea, since the place filled up right after we got there. 

We went home on the Amtrak train and it took two days. I highly recommend taking a train somewhere. It was so much fun and pretty relaxing, especially if you book a sleeper. All three meals are included in the ticket and the food was pretty good!