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Trip Report 1/5/2011 to 1/11/2011

texas
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Trip Report 1/5/2011 to 1/11/2011

I will post as a reply. We had a wonderful vacation of a lifetime.

texas
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1. Re: Trip Report 1/5/2011 to 1/11/2011

Cast of travellers. I am 46, my 20 yo daughter ,30 yo step daughter ,step daughter’s mom , and stepdaughter’s roommate , and her best friend, ALL women….. A little background. We are all from Texas. About 2 months ago, step daughter calls me and says Southwest has $99 tickets to NYC, and since we have always wanted to go, let’s do it. I hung up after thinking she was crazy. Next week, book tickets!!!This was possible because my husband just bought a hunting dog that he is having trained, and because it is costing more to train than my trip cost, I am going to NY. So we fly out of San Antonio on Thursday, Jan 5th. 7 am flight that connected in Baltimore and got to LaGuardia at 330. Flights were great and we are in NYC.

We taxi to hotel, the Affinia Shelburne, that thanks to nywhiz, we had a 2 bed room that also had a fridge and microwave. It was gorgeous, and spotless and 149 a night. A great deal. My daughter walks into bathroom and looks out window. She says look at the beautiful view we have of the Empire State building. I said yes, beautiful view, but that is the Chrysler building!!! I will leave a separate review of hotel; just know that it was great, and quiet.

We call the others, who chose to stay at La Quinta Manahattan.4 in a room. They were smooshed and they ended up paying more than they would have if they stayed at the Shelburne. One note here. They thought they were going to pay for 2 people and put 4 in the room. They were discovered the next day and locked out, as cameras showed 4 people. They had to pay cash to hotel for them to stay. We decide to meet at Rockefeller Center, as the tree was being taken down the next day. We walk to Grand Central to get the subway. Building was unreal and looks like in the movies. Now my fear in NY was that the other mom or I would fall, as it was still snowy and icy.Nope. It was my daughter who wiped out on the way there. She somehow got boot caught in a crack and went flying down. She has already broken arm 3 times, so my first thought was oh no not here. She popped up quickly, embarrassed that someone saw her. Thank God she was ok. Her knees and new boots were a mess though. So we looked at the Rockefeller Center. Also hit the NBC store, as she is a big Office fan, so got some stuff from there. Next we went to Staten Island Ferry to see Statue of Liberty. This was my decision, because I decided that to see the Statue our first night would be the best way to start our trip. It was really cold and windy, but seeing it at night was a dream. Beautiful. I should mention trying to get on Subway to there they did not listen to me. I said we needed the “downtown” subway, but one of them decided that it was the number she needed and went through the turnstile. Nope. Now she is locked out of her Metro card for 18 minutes. So we go and get pizza at a Familia pizza place. It was fine and cheap. On the Staten Island side, they are slow, so my daughter and I get on return ferry and they miss it. So we go and let them know we will see them in morning. We are sort of hungry, as it was late, and we had to change subway at Union Square, so we visit the Whole Foods. This was our favorite stopping place .We also got some fruit and water for our room. I just want to add a note here. I was so afraid of the subway, but once you walk down those stairs and see the signs, it really is very easy. You must know uptown and downtown, and then if it is not the one you need, chances are the other one is across the street. So thank you, Greenwhiteblue for that info on here about subway. Knowing sort of what to expect made it easy once we got down there.

Friday 1/6

Woke up and had tickets to Statue of Liberty. Since it was snowing, decided to skip since we had seen it the night before. I decided to just walk around on my own. I decided to go to Battery Park and look at Statue from there. Got off subway and it was snowing so heavily that I decided to go back to hotel. Even with umbrella my glasses were a mess and I could not see. Went to Grand Central and really walked around and looked. It is beautiful. So after the other group got back from Statue, weather was not that bad, so we decided to do what we had planned. We walked around the World Trade Center area and World Financial Center. I honestly could have skipped this part of day, as it just broke my heart actually being there, but others wanted to, so I did. They went into the preview site but I stayed outside. Walked through St Paul cemetery and looked around. We then went to Trinity Church; and it was our favorite church, until later. We then went to Wall Street and the inaugural place. And then daughter got picture in front of bull. We were tired, so we left the group and went and got soup at our Whole foods on the stop to hotel. Bed by 10 pm.

Saturday, 1/7

Today we went to Coney Island. Since my dad is from Boston, he said we should at least see this landmark. We saw it in the snow, so got some beautiful pics. Went to eat at Nathans. Rudest workers we encountered our entire trip. Oh well. Tourist trap. Then we decided to ride subway all the way to Yankee stadium. Really felt like a traitor after what they did to our Texas Rangers but oh well. Wanted to see it. I have to admit. I thought it was too pretty to be a sports place. It looked like a Roman forum or something. Not a baseball place. However flying out on Tuesday, we flew over the stadium that said Home of the Mets, so that was nice. We left the group after this. We went to Century 21 in Manhattan, and daughter got a purse. We then went to Times Square to seethe 4 story Forever 21, and got a mug at Bubba Gumps. Saturday night at Times Square was packed, so we can say we were there but wanted out as soon as we could. We then went to Grand Central Junior’s and got a Ruben and cheesecake to take back to hotel. Came back, ate, and went to bed. We were really surprised how totally exhausted we were at the end of the days.

Sunday 1/8

I woke up early and went to Washington Square while leaving daughter to get ready. This was really a beautiful area. The arch is very pretty, and I got to see a different area of NYC.I guess it is by NYU. So we meet at the other’s hotel and they want to go to Chinatown. Worst part of the trip. They got screwed by a switch thing with perfume. I said this was not recommended by TA, but they wanted to go. So we did. We then get to Little Italy. I got a cannoli and rainbow cookie, just to say I did. Cannolis are really good!!Next, 2 of them wanted to do SOHO, and we did not, as Chinatown had really been bad, so we left them and 4 of us went and walked the Brooklyn Bridge. We only made it to the first arch, but what a wonder it is. Being up there and looking down. The other 2 do not realize what a treasure they missed seeing, all in the name of their shopping. The 4 of us then headed to St John the Divine. WOW. Just WOW. This was my second favorite, after the Statue of Liberty. NYC has beautiful churches. Never knew that until I started researching on TA for advice. Next we stopped by Tom’s Diner, as we are big Seinfeld fans. Next the Roosevelt tram. Got beautiful pictures from it. I would strongly recommend this to anyone. You get to see a different area and where many people live. It was kind of crazy how people had windows open and as we are going by, could just see into homes. Next went to eat at Famous Rays, in Queensboro. Really Good pizza and very affordable for the 4 of us. Called the other 2 and they were just getting back from SOHO. Could not help but think what a wasted day for them, but to each his own on vacation. Back to hotel to soak in tub and to bed. And I should mention that a second metro pass had to be purchased, as daughter suddenly was missing hers.

Monday 1/10

Central Park in snow. This was a beautiful morning to see it, and we walked from the Southern part up to the Strawberry Fields. Saw the Bow Bridge and skating rink. We did not have cash or they would have skated. The other group was going to the Museum of Natural History, and we wanted MoMA, so we parted for the trip. Daughter and I went to MOMA and saw The Starry Night, as this is her favorite painting. I got to see some Picassos, so that was interesting. We then needed lunch, so ate at the museum at Terrace 5. I had a roasted cauliflower and blue cheese tart, and daughter had an egg salad on cheese roll. Also we had flat bread with ricotta. The food was very good, and I would recommend it to anyone who is visiting the museum. We then decided to go to the Century 21 in Brooklyn, as we were told they had Coach purses. Got to see another area up close. Brooklyn was what I always see in movies, with the houses close together and with all the steps going up to porches. We both got a purse. Then back to hotel and got room service. Rare, in the hotel, has good burgers and fries. Daughter had the sweet potato ones and I had the garlic parmesans. Packed up and tried to get all purchases in our suitcases, as I wanted to leave hotel by 8 for a 1050 flight the next morning.

Tuesday 1/11

Woke up and Weather Channel said Chicago had a 2 hour delay because of snow storm moving in. Our Southwest flight went from LGA to Chicago to SA, so website showed it on time. We leave hotel at 730, and get to airport. It takes us 45 minutes in security line. It was crazy, but I think it was because everyone was trying to get out because of bad reports for next day. We get on plane and pilot comes on and says Chicago has just issued a ground stop. So we were stuck, but only for 45 minutes. We take off. Flight gets in to SA hour late, but that is ok, as the next day, our flight had we been a day later was cancelled.

New York City is a great vacation, although very tiresome. I got to see everything on my list except for Flatiron Building and the UN. My favorites were Statue of Liberty, St John the Divine and Roosevelt tram. Daughter says Roosevelt tram was her favorite, then St John. Subway was very easy if you knew some basics. And anywhere you stay in NYC is “central”, because of subway. Also Times Square was a place that we could not get out of any faster. Just not into the crowds and everyone shoving. So in closing I offer my sincere Thank you to everyone on this forum who over the months has given me wonderful advice and informative trip reports to read….NDW

Melbourne, Australia
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2. Re: Trip Report 1/5/2011 to 1/11/2011

great trip report, I am glad mostly everything was good and you got to see and do a lot in your time :) thanks for sharing

Cleveland, Ohio
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3. Re: Trip Report 1/5/2011 to 1/11/2011

What is the perfume switch thing in Chinatown that you mention?

texas
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4. Re: Trip Report 1/5/2011 to 1/11/2011

They showed them an original box, then they paid and he must have taken a box from back, stuck it in bag, and tied it. They got outside and opened it and instead of Change it was Chance and something else. When they went back in, he pointed to a little sign he had on top that read no refunds or exchanges. SO the two of them stood in front of his store and told people not to go in for about half an hour. Like I said, this was an area that I had been told not to do, but they wanted to. So 3 of them got taken for 60 dollars in fake perfume. Like I said, he had real box to show,but then hurried and put fake in bag and tied. It was just a waste of a few hours of my vacation, as far I was I was concerned.

Manhattan
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5. Re: Trip Report 1/5/2011 to 1/11/2011

Great trip report! And, for someone who was afraid to try the subway - you made it your own. You traveled distances during a day that most of us who live here wouldn't do. Glad you loved St John - it's one of my favorite churches.

Netherlands
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6. Re: Trip Report 1/5/2011 to 1/11/2011

thanks for the report! Did your friends enjoy SOHO?

Oh, and I like the idea of having a look at lady liberty at night....I think we'll try and do that as well....!

Edited: 15 January 2011, 22:03
texas
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7. Re: Trip Report 1/5/2011 to 1/11/2011

ztaks, yes that subway once you see it really is easy. We crammed as much as we could in 4 days. And that Cathedral. Beautiful. We went on Sunday evening so that we could see the evensong(is that what it is called). So we did not get to go up close, but listening to it and the singing was a great experience. You have a beautiful city. I can see why you are all so excited to share you knowledge with us!

London, United...
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8. Re: Trip Report 1/5/2011 to 1/11/2011

***Called the other 2 and they were just getting back from SOHO. Could not help but think what a wasted day for them****

I know I'll get whinged at for this but SoHo is an amazing part of the city, and sure beats staying in a hotel room just because it is snowing. Each to their own indeed, but don't judge, especially as you didn't even vist that area

new york city
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9. Re: Trip Report 1/5/2011 to 1/11/2011

And Nathan's is far from a tourist trap--- it really is one of the best things in the city. Also not at every subway stop do you have to go across the street to go from uptown to downtown-- often it is just across the track or up and down a set of stairs within the same station. Takes a little education but something to look for next time. Now you know why locals don't do Canal street only unsuspecting tourists. And good for the hotel catching your traveling mates who tried to pull the old sneak two in scam.. Were they very upset over that one

texas
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10. Re: Trip Report 1/5/2011 to 1/11/2011

Mark, we did not stay in hotel. We walked the bridge, did Roosevelt tram, and St John's. One gal wanted to shop so the other mom stayed with her, even though she was 30 and could have done it on her own.The other mom thought she should have company so she lost out on seeing the 3 biggies we did that day. Too bad she bought a bunch of snow globes that she was not aware that she could not take on plane. Ended up throwing them all away at security. I just meant I can shop anywhere. Why miss the other stuff in NYC. Trust me. We only sat in hotel at night when we returned with aching backs!!!!

And Bilmin, that is why I switched hotels. We wanted no part of it, and since we have same last name, I went to different hotel.Hotel wanted cash right then and thereto let themback in room, as they had paid cash at beginning.I am honest and pay what I need to pay.