We left our apartment at 4:00 and followed a GPS navigation system in circles trying to get out of DC. It started out taking us one way on 495, then 395, and then back to the original 495 route (even though we'd already gone ten miles on 395). Needless to say, I was not a fan of the GPS we used and regretted leaving Jezi (my Garmin) back home. We finally got out of the city and made a dinner stop at Five Guys in Baltimore around 7:00. Another four hours later, we finally made it to NY just in time to see the city come to life on a Friday night. The hotel was okay, if you count cracked baseboards and broken air conditioning. Luckily, we only stayed there for one night (our poor friends stayed three).
Saturday morning we slept in, had yummy breakfast in the hotel, and walked around the Broadway area including Times Square and Rockefeller Center, and ate some good NY style pizza. Yum! After lunch we walked around for another couple hours just taking everything in and developing blisters on our feet. Rachel and I went back to the hotel to take a nap while the guys went to find a yummy place for dinner. And I'm proud of them because the restaurant was great. We all got the four-course pre theater meal and walked out of there full and happy.
I can't say it enough, thank you John!!! I'm not going to lie and say that Wicked itself was not better than the first time I saw it, but the seats almost made up the difference. (I saw the show on Broadway with the original cast, and there's just not anyone like Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenowith. They were made for the roles of Glinda and Elphaba). And overall, the show really was amazing. It's funny, sad, inspiring, and any other adjective you can come up with all at once. If you get the chance to see it, do it. If you don't get the chance, make the opportunity and do it. There's a reason it's so popular.
After the show, we went out and got some late night snacks at the world's largest TGIFriday's (or so the sign said) and then Richie and I went back to his uncle John's apartment where we fell asleep very content after a fun-filled day.
Sunday morning we woke up to freezing cold wind but fairly clear skies. We met John for brunch at a place near his apartment called Louis'. I guess Sunday brunch is just what people on the upper west side of Manhattan do because EVERYONE was out with their families just strolling along. Brunch itself was okay, the desserts (because most people eat dessert with brunch right) weren't. Who has ever heard of thick chocolate mousse and hard apple crisp? I think that's one of the only times in my life where my dessert was left unfinished. Oh well. It was a nice leisurely lunch anyway and a great time to catch up with John. After lunch, we walked the few short blocks to Central Park and continued our leisurely afternoon with a walk in the park.
Walking around Central Park is great, but walking around Central Park with a NY native is even better. A lake becomes "Turtle Lake," a building becomes, "Jerry Seinfeld's apartment," and a field becomes, "Strawberry Fields with John Lennon's memorial." I could have walked through the park happily without all of this knowledge, but why not walk through with it. I love history and learning and was fascinated by all of the different things and places John showed us. We eventually met up with Ryan and Rachel at the Bethesda Tower and showed them the tiles under the bridge that were just redone for over $60 million.
After our walk through Central Park, John left to go pick up a new computer, and we walked to his apartment to warm up. R&R went back to their hotel, and we hopped in a cab to drive to the bus station. We took the Vamoose bus home, which I highly recommend as well and were home by 10:00 last night (thanks Lisa). The bus ride home was uneventful other than passing by the temple, finishing My Sister's Keeper and listening to the wild stories of two college girls living in NYC, which by the way are very different than my college stories. I don't ever want to live in NYC, but it really is a great place to visit. John invited us to come back since the trip is so short, and we will be back.