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When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

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September 26, 2011

Sunday in New York City

We discovered when we looked out our window Sunday morning, that, number one - it wasn't raining...hooray!  And number two - we could see the Empire State Building.  Fairly indistinct, but recognizable.  So that's the first picture and we're not even out of the room yet. :)  It was taken through glass which doesn't help.  But it's a view!!

We got ourselves checked out, didn't have breakfast since we were going to brunch at Artisanal and headed on into the city by bus which stops right outside the hotel.  It was really a pleasant morning - breezy, relatively cool, and here and there patches of blue breaking through the cloud cover.  Got to the city with just one traffic jam at the entrance to the Holland(?) tunnel - anyway a tunnel under the river.  About 4 or 5 lanes of traffic have to merge into two so I imagine it is often a lot worse than it was for us.  Chris was a little worried we'd be late if we walked from the bus station plus we'd probably have heated up a little, so we took a cab and I was a good tourist and took a number of pictures out the window.  So, keep that in mind as you look at them.  Most of my pictures today are just of the "oh my gosh, I'm in the Big Apple" genre.

The picture on the left was in the Times Square area where all the buildings are huge "billboards" or neon, animated signs.  I love it - so colorful and exciting.  I usually never even notice what they're advertising cause I'm too busy gawking.  The picture on the right was a first view of the Chrysler building which seemed to keep popping into view the whole time we were in town.

And the Chrysler building again just because the sky got a little prettier while we sat at a stoplight. :)  Plus which, I love the building.

The building on the right is Grand Central Station, another beautiful (and grand) building.

The picture on the left is so New York City I think.  Big cities are big, busy, dirty, whatever, but they're also beautiful, IMHO. I have to say, I love this picture.

And, oh, look - it's the Chrysler Building on the other side of the street now.

I know!!but can I help it if it was always in front of us??? And plus which, it's closer now.  Last one, though because with the picture on the right, we have now arrived at Artisanal a little too early - they weren't open yet.  So while we waited I took some pictures of this hotel across the street because it was such a nice, old, pretty building.  And, for me, it's a lot more appealing than the one beside it.  

Pretty soon, here came Megan down the street, the Artisanal opened and in we went, to again be greeted like visiting royalty or family or whatever.  It's such fun.  And...we got to sit in "the Cave"!  Very fun.  We were all looking forward to a Mimosa (or in my case, a Bellini) cocktail and then discovered in NY they don't serve alchoholic beverages until noon, so we had no choice but to use up the intervening time with lots of catching up (Megan is a delightful person!), eating the gougeres they always bring to the table, drinking lots of coffee and tea, and finally to use up the last 20 minutes or so until noon, giving our poor charming waiter a break by ordering a Guyere fondue.  Delicious!!  By the end of that, here came our cocktails so we then ordered our meals, had lots more conversation, (OH GOSH!  I almost forgot that before the fondue, we had ordered a basket of fresh beignets which were heavenly) and enjoyed our meals when they came.  Although my favorite was the fondue.  It was perfect.  They brought us a little sampler of petit four type treats and a flute of bubbly for each of us and we finally waddled our way out.  I took this picture of Megan and Chris in the cave.

So as far as I know, a good time was had by all.  It certainly was by me!

When we got back outside, we discovered it had warmed up quite a bit and was pretty darned muggy.  But our plan had been to walk to a park-type place called Hi-Line Park.  They've planted and beautified an unused elevated track area, the way I understand it and there are nice views and such from there.  We started walking to it with me getting hotter and sweatier and moaning around more than I should have probably.  But finally Chris suggested going on back to the train station to see if we could catch an earlier train.  We did and we could, so we left the city at 3:00 rather than 5:00.  Nice and cool in the train and an easy trip back.  We had decided that when we got to Union Station we would eat at a PotBelly sandwich shop that's there, only to get off the train, into the station just in time to hear the loudspeaker telling everyone that due to an emergency, please leave the building.  I think, although we never could find out for sure, that there was a fire on one of the metro lines.  Lots of fire trucks, ambulances, police cars and people when we got outside.  So not quite the evening we had pictured, but we went across the street to the Dubliner Pub or Restaurant which was pretty insanely busy and I got a delicious sirloin burger.  I get hit with a craving for beef every now and then and this sure satisfied the craving.

We had been going to take the metro back to Alexandria where Chris had parked his car at his place of work, but that wasn't happening, so we called a cab, got back home and both were very happy to be there.  But it was a wonderful weekend and I wouldn't have missed it for anything!


Christopher said...

A great NYC getaway, really, no matter the rain at the start, the electrical fire at the end, or anything else that might detract... with TWO visits to Artisanal to bookend it, who can complain? Sure do love that restaurant, and the service we get there!

Chinch said...

I'm impressed that you could eat anything at all after that lunch!!! And too bad about not seeing the Hi-Line because everyone says it's wonderful but I wouldn't have gone either in that mugginess which we were also having here and there's nothing to do about it but whine and recline as far as I'm concerned. xoxo

jamie said...

OMG! I'm so jealous! The trip, the views, the mini treasures - but especially the Artisanal! I sure enjoyed it when we went last year. And they sure do treat you like royalty. Glad you all had a great time.

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