Friday, December 19, 2008

Start Spreadin' The News!

Hello friends and family,

Kevin and I went back to New York last week with Noel and Karen, Kay and Conrad. We had the best time! We left Wednesday morning, December 10 at "Dawn's Crack". The group came to pick us up at 4:00 a.m. to make a 7ish a.m. flight. Kevin had one upgrade for first class that he immediately gave up to Mom so she could get pampered. They made her eggs-to-order and bacon, unlimited pepsi's in glass glasses...(that's redundit, I know).

The first night we took a 90 minute taxi from the hotel straight to Rockefeller Center. It was raining, so all of the beautiful Christmas lights and lights from Times Square were reflected on the wet streets. We were bundled up, but not enough! Each of us couples piled into three "street bikes that are powered by what looked like 90 lb. Asian men...they all earned their money that night! We found te best food right down the street from "Radio City Music Hall" at a wonderful restaurant called The Brooklyn Diner. I have never defined a fun trip by the food...but the food we had this trip was one of the highlights! We have pictures of us with our desserts, and we had to venture back into the city on our last night to return to this place one more time.

Thursday morning we slept in and took it easy. Because Kevin lived in Connecticut for a year and knew the best city shopping there, we drove the rental car to Westport, Connecticut to see the sights and have lunch. Some of the most beautiful neighborhoods are there. They look like movie sets. We stopped to shop at the little quaint stores along the Main streets. We got back to the hotel just in time to get ready for the show and be picked up by Jeeta, who would fast become our new best friend. Kevin sat up front with Jeeta while we drove back to the city to see "White Christmas" on Broadway. Listening to Kevin try to understand and have a conversation with Jeeta, made the trip seem shorter than the first night. They were fast friends by the time we reached the theater. The show was one of the hightlights of the trip! I've been to shows in Las Vegas and New York and before, but this was the best. Being there with Kay and Conrad and Kevin's brother Noel and his wife Karen, made it extra special.

It was still raining when we left the theater, so Kevin and Noel scouted out a restaurant close to the theater so Kay and Conrad wouldn't have to walk very far. This place was also a favorite! It was called "Junior's Diner" and had the best pickled beets and homemade pickles ever! We couldn't stop eating. Kevin had arranged with Jeeta to pick us up and take us back to the hotel after we ate.

Friday was travel day. We rented a car to drive to Lancaster, Pennsylvania to find a favorite restaurant of Kay and Conrad's from their mission. "Miller's" was truly worth the 4 hour drive...we ate until we were too full again! Kevin was the trip planner, and he took us back to New York by way of Hershey so we could go to the chocolate factory. All I can say is, if we didn't have the "Tom Tom" direction lady...we wouln't have had the same trip. You'll have to ask everybody seperately what that means...

I had to bring a seperate bag to bring the 7 decks of cards for 'Hand and Foot' games..and we hadn't played cards yet by the time we got back from our 12 hour drive, so we went into the lounge at the Marriot when we got back and played. I remember that after about 2 hours of playing, the girls won.

Saturday morning Noel and Karen and I got up to ride the train to Macy's! We were pretty obviously tourists...a nice man that was standing trying not to make eye contact, was te one that I asked what to do next. He was so helpful! He told us where to get on and where to get off. I think he took the train with us so we wouldn't get lost. I now think that he wasn't even going that way and went with us just to help us! He even got off the train with us to point to Macy's to make sure we found it. He pointed to it about 4 times the last time with his hand out, so I said "Merry Christmas and Thank you so much! We never would have found it!" and shook his hand. That's the end of that story...

Kevin and Kay and Conrad didn't go with us because Kevin had an 'ilearning global' coporate call and Kay and Conrad were taking it easy. Macy's was one of my favorite things we did. The decorations were amazing and everybody was smiling and bustling. It really is a Christmas experience if you like crowds and shopping. I DO! At one point, we looked out the windows on the second floor and there was a SEA of Santas walking down the street! They filled the sidewalks and stopped traffic! One group was getting a ticket from the mounted police and we never found out why..but good fun!

Saturday afternoon we met the folks and Kevin to catch a boat to take us up the river to look at Manhatten and all of the bridges and the Statue of Liberty from the water. I took some pictures that I will try to post. It was quite awesome! I couldn't believe we were seeing things I'd only seen in movies, in person.

After we landed, we made our way back to the first restaurant, 'Brooklyn Diner' for our last dinner in New York. We weren't disappointed. Jeeta, now our friend that we pay lots of money to drive us around but it's worth it not to have to drive in the city, picked us up and took us back to the Marriot to pack to leave in the morning.

The flight back was pretty long, but Kevin got 2 first class seats so both Kay and Conrad could use them this time.

We had a great time and can't wait to go back next year! Start saving your money and come with us! Jeeta is waiting for his friend, Kevin.