I can't believe we have lived in NJ for 16 months now! Where has the time gone? We have had lots of visitors which has really made the time away from friends and family easier. But as we all know life gets away from all of us especially for those living super busy lives like Josh's parents. We were lucky enough to have them make it down from Maine for a long weekend and as usual I had a packed schedule set up for them. Both of them have been to NYC before so there were a few essentials that we could skip but still lots and lots of fun ways to spend their time here.
They got in on Saturday evening just in time for some NY style pizza and the amazing night time view. This is one of my favorite thing to show our guests, the Manhattan skyline from the boardwalk in front of our apartment. It was an early night after their 12 hour drive and we had to be up at the crack of dawn for our busy day!
At 8am we were already out the door on our way to Yankee Stadium. We had tickets for the Yankee game at 1pm and I had gotten us tickets for the 9:40 Stadium Tour. The tour and the game were both amazing, and you can read about it here. Here are a few pictures from the day though, if you don't feel like reading the blog... But you should!
Day 2 was a little bit of a more relaxed morning. we hung out for a bit and then made our way into NYC. We planned to walk up through Times Square and get some bus tickets for a little later in the day and then hit up Central Park, another one of those places that I always have to show off.
One of the first things we saw was the Naked Cowboy. This Naked Cowboy looked a little rough but he was rocking his almost nudeness. Funny side note: not even an hour later, Ellen posted a video of him in almost this same spot from around the same time as well. Now seeing Ellen would have been a bit more exciting to see!
Strangely enough, I guess i forgot to take much for pictures in Central Park. We had a delicious lunch at "Tavern on the Green" where we met up with Josh who was able to leave work a little early. *NYC tourist tip* Tavern seriously has the BEST Caesar Salad I have ever had in my life and also AMAZING sandwiches. After lunch we walked over to Strawberry Fields, the John Lennon memorial, which also happened to be where our uptown bus tour started from.
So the bus tour we went on was a "Big Bus" Tour. The red double decker uses that you seen TV everywhere and all over NYC while you are here. Josh and I hadn't been on a bus tour since we lived in Long Island City, and I don't really know why... It was great, super informative and relaxing (as much as I love walking, sometimes its nice to not, especially in 95F heat!). We started heading up the upper West side, past all the crazy buildings where tons of celebs reside. Of course we started by The Dakota, one of the most famous buildings in NYC, where John Lennon was shot and where Yoko currently resides. Unfortunately, it is under repair at the moment and is covered head to toe in Scaffolding and netting.
This is the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, opened in 1894.
These buildings are occupied by some of the biggest celebs there are... Sting, Bono, Demi Moore, Bruce Willis, Steven Spielberg, Steve Martin etc. I can't remember exactly which buildings but they are all here!
St. John the Divine Church.
Here we are heading into Harlem, I have wanted to visit Harlem for some time and never have, and now that i have seen the main area of it I would feel much more comfortable heading up there to check out the amazing food and the Apollo Theater!
this is Riverside Church, probably one of the largest churches i have ever seen and I had no idea it was even there!
Jazz Legend, Duke Ellington's statue in Harlem where he was from.
The world famous Apollo Theater in Harlem.
Back down to the Lower East Side one of my favorite places in the world, the Met Museum.
The famous Plaza Hotel at the bottom of Central Park off 5th ave.
This guy was just randomly using a garbage can as a laptop stand. This is where we changed busses to start on our lower Manhattan leg of the tour.
My love, the Flatiron Building.
Some sort of brawl or disagreement in Chinatown.
The beautiful NY County Courthouse.
Everybody is ready for the Pope to get here apparently!
The Empire State building.
Massive T-Mobile billboard.
That was the Cliff notes on our bus tour but we really had a great time and got our money's worth! Highly recommend a hop off hop on tour if you come visit!
After a very long day and several hours on the bus, we were hungry again and I thought we should got to "Juniors". If you read my blog you know I am pretty much obsessed with the cheesecake from this place. Hands down the world's best. They aren't just cheesecake, they also have a huge and delicious food menu as well. I got the Combo sandwich... Pastrami and corned beef Rueben on rye. So delish!
As we were walking out we saw a mounted police officer. He was bust flirting with the tourists, but we got to see this beautiful horse.
On our walk through the Garment district on our way back to the PATH I noticed some new, very real statues.
And of course the Empire State building lit up in red, white and blue. Maybe for the U.S Open?? It is red, white and blue quite often! That was then end to a super packed, super awesome day!
Day 3 was a record setting heat day so we started off a little later and planned a shorter day. We were all tired from so much the last couple days!
We started off at the 9/11 Memorial. This place gives me goose bumps every single time I visit.
After the Memorial we thought that we should head up to the top of the Freedom Tower. As you may remember, Josh and I went to a pre opening here and although it was amazing (and free) it happened to be the foggiest day ever and we had no view at all so I was pumped to go up on a sunny day. Check out my more in-depth blog about the trip that Josh and I took to the top here.
It starts off with the a giant screen showing the number of visitors since it opened as well as where the visitors that day are from and the how many visitors there have been that day. It's pretty cool.
After the amazing (and the world's quickest) elevator ride to the top, we were greeted with this view. One of those buildings with the green thing on roof is our building!
The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
Pretty much all of Manhattan from the bottom to the top. You can see the Empire State building, 30 Rock and a few other iconic buildings if you squint.
A panoramic of Manhattan and Jersey City and Hboken and a few other NJ towns.
The Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges.
In this photo you can kinda see the building that we used to live in, in LIC. On the right hand side, right on the water pretty much straight across from the Empire State Building.
We also wandered over to Trinity Church near Wall Street. Always takes my breath away.
We continued walking through the Financial District on our way to the Brooklyn Bridge. Found this really cool mural on a building.
And a different view of the Freedom Tower. Can you believe we had been way up in the top of it not even an hour before?
Once we got to the Brookyn Bridge we stopped for a little break because we were dying from the heat! This little birdie came to visit.
Steve and I took a little stroll to the first Anchorage of the bridge.
After another break when we got back to Stephanie at the bottom of the bridge, we started walking back, it was just too hot! We walked through City Hall Park and saw this new art installation. Every time i look at it I think this girl is being auto tagged on Facebook.
We got back to the apartment and on a whim, Stephanie and I decided that we should go to a Broadway show. It was 2 for 1 Broadway week so we ended up getting awesome seats to "Finding Neverland" (starring Mathew Morrison) for technically half price. About an hour before we were set to leave, Josh called and had hurt his back quite badly at work so I met him downstairs and we went to the doctor. Doctors orders were pretty much just rest and some muscle relaxants so Stephanie and I decided we should still go back into the city for the show and leave Steve to look after Josh.
The show was another amazing Broadway show (I think they all must be!) seriously from laughter, to heartbreak about the story of how Peter Pan the story came to be. The cast right from the dog to the children to the adults were all so unbelievable talented and flawless.
After the musical, we walked back down through Times Square. So pretty at night.
The Empire State Building was lit up a beautiful gold color, which I assumed was for the US Open, but I was advised later that it was for Education Week.... Gold like a pencil! Thanks Miranda!
Stephanie and Steve left the next day, exhausted and amazed about how much of NYC they got to see. It was such a great trip and it was the perfect time to have some family come visit. Thanks guys!