As I said before, I am a teacher, and there is no poor like teacher-poor in the month of January. Am I right, teachers? It is the longest month of the year! Therefore, the adventures are a little limited this month. So, I am going to reflect on my favorite adventure, my first trip to New York. This trip was also my first experience on an airplane. Can you believe it? I made it to 44 without ever flying on an airplane. I had been on a ship, train, helicopter, but never a plane.
My husband gave me this little excursion for my birthday in November, an awesome time to visit New York City as it revs up for the Christmas holidays. We started by flying out of Raleigh and landing at LaGuardia, where a car was waiting to pick us up, operated by a wanna-be Nascar driver, who proceeded to terrify me with his driving skills. Literally, a few minutes later despite the distance, we arrived at the iconic Roosevelt Hotel in midtown Manhattan. The Roosevelt served as the setting for Jennifer Lopez’s Maid in Manhattan movie, and its opulence did not disappoint. The entryway, complete with doorman in tux and tophat, was magnificent, from the coffered ceilings to the marble floors. The tiered lobby, adjacent to a welcoming lounge, featured vintage-inspired furnishings and accessories.
Our hotel was located within walking distance of so many symbolic locations, including Grand Central Station, Broadway, Time Square, and Bryant Park. We tried to cram in as many tourist attractions as we possibly could, but I am not going to regale you with our itinerary. I will only tell you Wicked is worth the money, Hard Rock Cafe is not. Movie stars actually do walk the streets and film television shows in notable places. (We saw Lucy Liu and Dr. Oz, separately of course but Chris and I were equally amazed.) Definitely take a bus tour, and if you can grab the mike from the tour guide you must sing Danke Schoen. The other passengers will think you are a little nuts, but who cares, you are in New York.You must eat pizza in Little Italy at Lombardi’s, the oldest pizza restaurant in the city. The sauce is so fresh and delicious, you could drink it! You have to kiss the love of your life at the top of the Empire State Building. The views are magnificent and the setting irreplaceable. Grand Central Station is also almost as romantic as the Empire State Building with its gorgeous ceiling and electric atmosphere, people travelling from North, South, East, and West. Even in the late New York fall when the temperatures and wind are nearly unbearable to a Southern couple, you must visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. You can almost hear the voices of our ancestors as they make their way to a land of opportunity and possible dreams. Finally, you must take a tour of Ground Zero, created the day our country stood still and we watched the impossible, hugged our neighbor, and only thought of ourselves as Americans, nothing more, nothing less. If your tour guide is indeed one of the first responders, then I promise, you will feel those emotions of so long ago, and you will wish you could have somehow done more. New York was definitely one of my favorite adventures with my C-Time partner so far. We cannot wait to go back. I already have a list of places to go and things to do. Just have to remember to pack an extra pair of shoes!