Sunday, December 12, 2010

Steps in the City

Hello NY!
Part of the fun of having our friends come to visit us is showing them the sights of New York.  Well, you can't come this far and not take a trip to New York City!  With our Arkansas BFF Brandi Hodges in tow, we loaded up and headed down state. Rainy weather didn't give us great views of the country side on the way in, but we're hoping Brandi got the jest of it.

Checking into our hotel turned out to be a little bit of a minor issue.  Brett accidently booked our priceline hotel for the next Sunday, rather than the day that we were there.  Whoops!  Thankfully, the Howard Johnson in Long Island City was happy to take our reservations in person and we were looking out at Manhattan in no time!  It may not be the best neighborhood, but only a block from the subway with free parking, free breakfast and a double room (this time!) it sure is a good deal at less than $100 a night.

Brandi and Heather had to leave Brett behind (he was dealing with the hotel and was also going to pick up our other friend Andy Whitaker from the LaGuardia Airport later) and hit the road Amazing Race style in a mad dash for Times Square.  Our objective?  To meet our tour guide before they left without us!  Thankfully, we made it with just minutes to spare!

We had signed up for a walking tour of midtown Manhattan online at NYC By Foot.  The tour was free and lasted about two hours.  It was such a great experience!  The company offers several different tours on different days of the week.  You can check out Central Park, the Historic District, Lower Manhattan, Greenwich Village and they even have one that is all over the city...it's about six hours long though!

We tromped about a mile around midtown Manhattan checking out the sights and getting the history behind the scenes.  It was great having someone tell you the in's and out's of the world's most valuable and busiest areas.  With only six people on our tour, we really got a great guide of the city.

Here's a look at some of the things we saw:

Ice skating in Bryant Park
One of the cleanest bathrooms in NYC is in Bryant Park.  Look for attendant & fresh flowers!
The fancy hotel where all the models stayed for Fashion Week
Empire State Building
The Waldorf Astoria...not our hotel
A Mexican parade that passed us by.
St. Bartholomew's Cathedral 
You'll stay up 'till this dump shines like the top of the Chrysler Building.
In front of the Library, looking for the Ghostbusters.
Pi Love with the Lion in front of the NY Public Library!
In the NY Public Library reading room
Our tour guide.
Our walking tour hauled us all over Manhattan but it was a great way to see the city!  We highly recommend it and look forward to doing another one the next time we're in town.

Travelin' man
Because of bad weather out of Washington, D.C., Andy's flight was delayed a bit, so Brett didn't have to make the trip to LGA by himself to pick him up...meaning we all got the joyous experience of riding  several subways and a bus to find our friend.  All we got to say is that it's a good thing we really like Andy!  There is nothing more than public transportation that will make you crave a hot shower or a bath in Lysol.

We're pretty sure that Andy was at his breaking point with planes, trains and automobiles for the day, but he was a trooper.  That and his iPad seemed to be entertaining him pretty well.  But, it was Andy's first trip to the city so we had to make sure he got a chance to see the sights too!  Besides, who needs sleep?

We heart Papayas!
We ended up eating dinner at Papaya King  on 86th and Third Ave. (thanks for the recommendation Alice!) and had a side of their crispy Cajun fries to go along with our papaya drinks and hot dogs.  The P.K. is famous...you'll have seen reference to the restaurant in Seinfeld and How I Met Your Mother.  Again, our only complaint is that these places have no where to sit!  Plan on standing up while you're chowing down here!

Well, y'all should know by now you can't see the bright lights of the big city without burning your retinas in Times Square.  But with snow starting to fall we found our Southern counterparts were falling a bit numb.  We think they enjoyed the flashy lights and over the top advertisements, but who knows?  We're pretty sure their eyeballs might have been frozen by this point.

Ellen: Clark, Audrey's frozen from the waist down.
Clark: That's all part of the experience, honey.


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