First time to the east coast and first time to New York!!!

A few things learned:

  • A straight 10 hour flight is LONG, so make sure you get the aisle seat, especially if it is an overnight flight.  Mid flight, I had to go to the bathroom so bad, but the person next to me was sleeping.  I didn’t want to wake her, so I waited and waited until I was about to POP!
  • Make sure you have some good walking shoes because that is ALL you do in NYC!  My little legs were so pooped from walking, they were about ready to fall off!

Here is the story of our 2012 New York adventures!  Ready Set Go!

10/20 – “Greetings from the Big Apple”

Day 1 adventures included: meeting up with Big D who took the train in all the way from Maryland!  We visited the Empire State Building, which from the 86th floor, all you see are buildings upon buildings upon buildings!

Atop the Empire State Building!

We bought our VIP entrance tickets from the guys downstairs and got a bonus 90 minute boat tour, all for $40 each!  The real excitement was us thinking we were actually VIP!  That only lasted a short while ;)

90 Minute Thrilling Boat Tour!

After the Empire State Building we decided to walk to Central Park.  Was that a bad idea or what! We must have walked a good 45 minutes, but we were able to rejuvenate ourselves with a falafel from the Halal Guys, which we thought was supposed to be the “best” food cart, according to Matt’s friend.  When we turned the corner, by golly there’s another Halal Guy food cart which had a longer line!  Did we go to the right one?!  Day 1 recap: Empire State building, a brief stroll through Central Park, 90 minute boat tour, dinner at Room Service and capped off the night with a walk around the block in Times Square!  Phew, what an exhausting day!

10/21 – “Walking Through History”

Day 2 adventures was a real walk through history.  Everything we see in movies became real right in front of our eyes!  The chance to be present at these historical locations, which represent freedom and all that America stands for, will forever resonant in my heart.  It was an unbelievably moving day which included a visit to Lady Liberty, Ellis Island and Ground Zero (please disregard Rockefeller Center in this picture!  It just fit nicely with my collage).

History | Always Remember

Ellis Island: the book shown in Hitch wasn't here! *gasp*

Unfortunately, this was Walker’s last day with us.  We made it to his train with 5 minutes to spare.  But the reason we were late was well worth it!  We were enjoying a delish meal at DuMont and let me tell you, their mac ‘n cheese makes time stand still!  Simply Amazing…

Mind blowing Mac 'n Cheese

10/22 – “Loitering Around”

Day 3 adventures began a bit later in the morning – perhaps its jet lag or just overall exhaustion from the non-stop go go go of Saturday & Sunday activities.  We started our day at MoMa, which I have been dreaming about going to since forever!   6 floors of all forms of art – I could spend days in here, but we just spent a few hours!  Then we loitered around Central Park again until it was dinner time.  Central Park is absolutely HUGE and I LOVED it.  Autumn is my favorite season and the leaves were just starting to change.  *Breathtaking*

Crisp Weather & Changing Colors of Fall Leaves

We ended the night with dinner at Trattoria Casa Di Isacco, where I was reunited with my chocoland friend, Ryuko aka “Tuna”, who recently moved to NY.  It was nice to catch up and after a few too many drinks, it was time to call it a night!

Catching up with friends in NY!

10/23 – “Outdoorsy Explorations”

Day 4 is Matt and me exploring the great outdoors!  We visited the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, which is free on Tuesdays, and tackled the Brooklyn Bridge Walk!  The bridge is only about a mile long and makes for a nice stroll, but watch out for the bike riders zipping by! Also, we were a bit sluggish due to the whole pizza we dominated at Grimaldi’s.

From Brooklyn to Manhattan, here we go~

When in New York, you must see a Broadway show and that is just what we did.  Peter and the Starcatcher was a funny show and we ended our night with dinner at The Ember Room!  (Matt, who does not like “ethnic” foods, really enjoyed all the Thai restaurants we went to.  I hope this keeps up!)

yum yum for the tum tum

10/24 – “Madagascar Animals”

Day 5 is our last full day in New York and we are pretty tuckered out.  Our previous days were so packed, we weren’t too sure what to do with ourselves.  FINALLY Matt gave in and let me go to Central Park Zoo!  Did you know that Polar Bears have tiny ears and hollow fur to keep them warm.

Meet Mr. Sleepy Polar Bear!

As this was our last day, we desperately needed to buy gifts to take home for family and friends.  It seems to be our bad habit on trips that we wait until the last minute to buy gifts and then we run around like a headless chicken trying to find the perfect omiyage.  If all else fails, there’s always the airport to buy last minute goodies, which is just what I did!  Shhhh…

Having returned home from all the hustle ‘n bustle, I thought I never wanted to go back.  It was such a busy city and actually quite dirty, but in hindsight, I would want to go back to explore other regions of NY and to eat through all the restaurants.  Literally, we did not have one bad meal.  And the variety of restaurants that they have are endless – Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Ethiopian, Indian, Italian, American and so forth.  We say Hawaii is a melting pot, but New York is the epitome of “melting pot.”  Everywhere you turn, people of different races, speaking different languages, it is amazing how they all get along and make life work!  It was an amazing experience and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to visit there at least once in my lifetime.

KO & MM in NY

New York: Checked off the bucket list!