Spoiler Alert: This post is all kinds of wonky…and also the second post in one day. I have literally been working on this post for over a week…a week I tell you, and after having pictures insert themselves in the middle of paragraphs, not insert themselves at all, ending up with text that is larger than other paragraphs of text…well, this is what you are getting. It strikes me as a hodge podge that has been thrown together, but at this point – it is what it is…
And so – I give you Day One of the Post Christmas New York Adventure
Do you know how early 2:50 AM arrives? It arrives early…early in a way that no cup of coffee can really remedy. I realize if you’re reading this and you have small children, you’re most likely laughing at me and I know I’m clueless – but for me; at this stage in life, 2:50 comes once a day. And it’s not in the AM. However, when we set out for the Big Apple over a week ago (I am so behind…) the journey began with my family leaving our house at 3:15 in the morning. To look remotely presentable at that hour meant I had to get up at 2:50…ugh…I feel a little sick just typing that.
I have never been on a train for longer than maybe an hour and I’ve never been on a train as a form of travel, so to speak. I’ve done tourist-y style trains here and there, ridden many a train at Disney and Dollywood…but never been on a vacation via the railway. There’s a first time for everything and so on the 26th of December, at the age of 32 I rode the rails for the first time – from Union Station in Washington DC to Penn Station in New York City.
I slept for a portion of the ride (hello…up before 3 AM…) and then watched the cities of Philadelphia, Wilmington and Trenton (among others) roll by before arriving in the city that never sleeps around 9:00. We checked into our hotel around 9:30 and we’re told that the room might be ready by 3:00 at the earliest, so we set out to amuse ourselves/find a way to stay awake all day in the big city.
Our hotel for the 48 hours (maybe 56…give or take…) was the Cambria Times Square and I could not recommend it more! It was only two blocks from Times Square and also just two blocks from Rockefeller Center – excellent location within the city! The rooms were on the small side, but I feel like that’s to be expected in NYC. The rooms were well appointed and took advantage of the small space well; it was always clean and neat when we returned and the staff at the hotel were pleasant and happy to help.
We grabbed coats and headed down to Rockefeller Center to see the Christmas tree – of course! We stopped on the way to look at the gigantic red Christmas balls in the midst of a fountain, right across the street from Radio City Music Hall and of course, we snapped pictures aplenty! We even took a seat at the Today Show desk in the NBC Store and pretended to be Matt and Katie (sorry guys…I don’t really like Savannah…) The tree was spectacular as always and of course, there were people everywhere! After snapping several pictures, Lindsey and I perused the Lego Store before we all headed down the street to St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Sak Fifth Avenue.
We wandered all over the city after we left Rockefeller Center; we made a short stop to grab a quick bite at a little Italian place, and then we went to Tiffany’s, Trump Tower, the Plaza…here and there, in and out of traffic. Tiffany’s was lovely as always and filled with things that likely cost more than everything I’ve ever bought, combined…ha-ha! Trump Tower was (already) crawling with Secret Service and I listened in as an elderly woman got into an argument with a guard about the upcoming Trump presidency… sometimes people watching is an activity in and of itself and New York City is certainly a prime place to do just that.
The Plaza was absolutely, positively packed with people – it was insanity. It took people watching to a whole new level…a level that I was not invested in with so few hours of sleep. We’d planned to grab a snack at the Plaza but there were people everywhere and lines that stretched for days, so we instead used the restroom (more lines)…more accurately, my family used the restroom while I sat on a bench in the hallway and fell asleep sitting up…more than once. We walked back over to our hotel in the mist and drizzle and found that even though it was only 3:00, our room was ready. And then I fell asleep and I don’t remember the next two hours…ha-ha!
After sleeping part of the afternoon away (3 AM – remember?) we made our way to Times Square and fought our way through Times Square and I think perhaps this was when I remembered or realized that while there are aspects of New York City that I like, the crowds of people pushing and shoving against one another? That’s an aspect I do not care for. We grabbed a delicious supper at an Irish Pub just off Times Square (The Mean Fiddler) before snapping some pictures in the bustle and lights of Times Square, taking in the M&M’s Store and then walking along the brightly lit streets toward Rockefeller Center.
The Rockefeller Center tree is infinitely more magical at night; the lights twinkle and shine, the skating rink glows and well; sometimes the bustle of the crowd adds to the ambience…and sometimes it does not. The haze leftover from the earlier afternoon mist made everything seem almost…ethereal… Rockefeller Center just disappeared into the mist in the night sky…and of course, across the street from the tree…Saks Fifth Avenue.
The store was decorated above and beyond imagination and every few minutes there was a lights show done to music – it was pretty captivating for the two-three minutes that it lasted. We watched the lights and music twice before wrestling our way toward the “perfect” photo spot to capture the tree in all it’s glory. You guys…I don’t know if you know this, but some people have absolutely no home training and will just shove you right out of the way. It’s ridiculous. Anywho – pictures were obtained and we made our way back to the hotel to eat cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery and watch the Cowboys play football.