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Real Time Trip report-6 Women in NYC to Celebrate our Friend

Oklahoma City...
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Real Time Trip report-6 Women in NYC to Celebrate our Friend

Day 1-Most of us have known each other since high school and have traveled extensively together, so as we are turning 60, it's time for a girl trip. This year, one of us has had a particulately rough year, so we decided her favorite place should be our destination.

Flying on American Airlines yesterday, we had no issues and arrived early. We had not prebooked a ride (long story) and needed a large vehicle so we ended up with a stretch limo. Really a comfortable and fun way to drive from the airport.

After checking in the the Time Square Intercontinental, we decided our first of many meals should happen quickly...as we were all famished. Although we didn't have a plan, we quickly decided on one of the first restaurants we came to near our hotel, Giovanni Restaurante. Stellas and garlic bread were our appetizer. Delicious! Two ordered salad and the consensus was the blue cheese won handily. We ordered three small pizzas. The white pizza, a simple mozzarella, tomato and basil, and an Italian sausage and veggie combo were ordered. The white and basil were yummy. Good food and drink plus lively conversation made our first dinner fantastic.

We decided to walk around a bit, since we'd been sitting all day, so we headed toward Top Of The Rock to watch the sunset. Shopping intervened so we didn't make it, but enjoyed walking around the Today Show area as well as GMA and several points in between. After a couple of hours, we decided to call it a night. We had Live With Kelly tickets and had to leave around 7 the next morning, so we said our goodnights and were in bed by 10. We vowed NOT to get to bed that early again this week! Day 2 tomorrow.

Edited: 28 June 2012, 03:49
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1. Re: Real Time Trip report-6 Women in NYC to Celebrate our Friend

So cute!!! I hope my girlfriends and I will still go on "girls weekends" together when we are still young and sixty. Nice report btw :)

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2. Re: Real Time Trip report-6 Women in NYC to Celebrate our Friend

Looking forward to the rest!

Oklahoma City...
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3. Re: Real Time Trip report-6 Women in NYC to Celebrate our Friend

Thank you for your replies. Yes, it is important for us to support and celebrate each other, no matter the age. Through the years, we have been to each other's weddings, at the birth of our children, given showers and helped with the weddings of those children. Now we are celebrating the birth of our grandchildren, one of God's greatest gifts, but are also supporting each other as our parents are ill and passing and some spouses are having medical problems. Thankfully, we are all still healthy and haven't slowed down at all.

Yesterday was amazing! When I first began planning this trip for our friend's birthday, I asked her to give me a list of all the things she wanted to do. First on her list was to go to a Live with Kelly show. I immediately got online to find out how to do it, sent in the request for 6 (their limit is 4), and got a confirmation letter within a few weeks. When I called to confirm our 6 tickets and our confirmation number, as required, the person who answered said, "We don't allow 6 tickets. I told her our letter said 6, explained the circumstances of it being a special birthday trip and that Kelly was her number one choice of things to do. After a brief conference she said they would allow it. So excited!

We were so happy with our airport limo service, from the day before, we thought it would be fun to surprise our friend with a limo ride to Kelly. They pulled up in front of our hotel is a white super stretch limo and she was beyond happy. The ride was short, but super fun. The service provided some drinks and snacks for the early morning (7am) ride, which was much appreciated. We jumped out, got in line, and started visiting with our line mates. Before we knew it, we were through security and in the studio.

Gelman, the director, is the audience warm up person. He doesn't try to be funny, but does interact with the audience. I was lucky to be in my favorite part of the audience once again...on the stage, to the right of Kelly. He stood right in front of me and asked if anyone was celebrating a birthday. I said, "My very special friend, and 5 of her best friends, from Oklahoma, are here celebrating her 60th." I pointed her out, she waved, and he asked me what all we had done. I replied, "This is our first thing, and her first request." He said, "Wow, everything else you do will be downhill from here." I said, "I hope so!"

Guest after guest (I'll list them all later) came and went, Michael was adorable as co-host, and Kelly was her fabulous self as usual. At the end of our hour, Gelman announced he had a special surprise...we could stay for another taping, then some odds and end taping if we wanted to. We were pumped! The next co-host was Carrie Ann Inaba. She, Kelly, and Selma Hayek were great together and even treated us to a trio salsa dance.

The next co-host was Kevin Jonas of the Jonas brothers. Gelman asked for volunteers to play games. I asked the birthday girl if she wanted to play. After she said yes, I began lobbying Gelman on her behalf. He passed over her once, then came back over and asked me if she was coordinated. "Absolutely!" He picked her to participate. Then we learned, she would be partnered with Kevin Jonas stacking red solo cups and would be competing with two audience member for a prize. Now we were all giddy! They took her back stage to sign some papers, then it was time for the game. She and Kevin were strategizing...so funny, she was telling him what to do and how to do it. They ended up winning! $500 worth of Omaha Steaks and a very nice crystal trophy. This segment airs on the 4th of July.

The last taping involved a lot of suspense and had the crew scurrying around. I was sitting next to the door where the guests enter and noticed a familiar face waiting back stage. John Travolta was coming on! The audience went crazy! He danced a little as he walked on. Very cool! He is one of my friend's favorite movie stars, so this fabulous day ended up being over the top for her!

As we were left the studio, the audience coordinator from the View asked us if we wanted to sit in on their taping, so off we went. We had tried to get tickets for the View, her second choice, but couldn't, so we were VERY excited! As we arrived, the person in charge of seating the audience inexplicitly put our whole group on the front row, about 5 feet from the co-host desk. Chris Cuomo was the guest co-host, the Jacksons were guests, Robbie Benson was in the "where are they now segment, the we had an audience question segment. This awesome show airs Friday. After the show, the very funny audience warm up comedian asked the birthday girl what was in the big box. She told him the Kelly show had picked her, because it was her birthday, to play a game, and this was the trophy they gave her, plus $500, when she won. He was flabbergasted and had the audience sing her happy birthday! Very sweet.

We're we're famished and tired, our phones were needing to be charged, so we took a taxi to our hotel, freshened up, then waked around the corner to eat at the Shake Shack. We had yummy shake burgers, fries, and concretes. Highly recommend this lively place! We split up and shopped a bit after.

Next, we decided to take a downtown, night tour with Grayline (red busses). This was a great overview of the city for the two in our group who had never been to New York, but we all enjoyed it very much. Afterwards, we decided to walk over to see all the lights and action in Time Square, then have cheesecake at Juniors. Great choice! Although, some of us opted for salads, those who had the cheesecake said they were divine. All of us who ate the salads were very happy. We had the poached salmon salad, the chef, and I had the bleu cheese wedge. All would order them again.

Finally, at 10 pm, we decided to call it a day. All exhausted, but thrilled with everything that done in honor of our wonderful friend, who routinely gives her time and energy in devotion to others and does very little for herself.

Today, the statue of liberty cruise, 911 memorial, and our friend's next favorite thing to do, the Bateaux dinner cruise.

Manchester, United...
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4. Re: Real Time Trip report-6 Women in NYC to Celebrate our Friend

who did you book the limo with?

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5. Re: Real Time Trip report-6 Women in NYC to Celebrate our Friend

Sounds like you're having a fabulous trip.

You are all very lucky to have such a lovely group of friends.

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6. Re: Real Time Trip report-6 Women in NYC to Celebrate our Friend

We enjoyed a double-taping of Kelly too! Sounds like you girls are having a wonderful time! Happy birthday to the Birthday Girl!!! I'll be off work on July 4 so I'll make a note to watch Kelly that day. Hope you had it taping at home for the live show!

Something we didn't do, but I've heard good things about.....the Roosevelt Island Tram....see all the bridges on the East River. Maybe you can find time for it.

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7. Re: Real Time Trip report-6 Women in NYC to Celebrate our Friend

Thanks to all! I will get you the name of the limo service tomorrow.

Day 3-Today is my favorite day. We pre-purchased tickets for the Liberty Cruise that goes to both Liberty Island and Ellis Island, but there's no need to. It only saves a couple of minutes, unless there is a long line at the ticket booth. They were $17 each and included an audio program for both islands. I read and asked and most agree one should set aside around 3 hours for this tour, but I could have stayed all day, particularly at Ellis. Taking the audio tour is highly recommended, then explore on your own at the things that are of interest. I would also recommend watching the movies available at Ellis. It was very crowded all day, which was the only downside. We got food at the cafe on both islands and it appeared to be identical. All agreed it was good.

After this tour, we had prebooked 2:30 tickets at the 911 Memorial. Nobody checked the timed tickets, it was very crowded and hot, and didn't seem all that organized to me. We always go and pay our respects so we were glad we went.

We took a taxi back to the hotel and rested a bit, showered, changed and met for wine at the Todd English restaurant in our hotel. At 5:30, we jumped in a prearranged Escalade, with a charming driver named Grant, and headed for Chelsea Pier to board our Bateaux Dinner Cruise. I had prepurchased tickets from Goldstar (a tip I got here on the NYC forum) for half price.

They sat us at our table (middle aisle) as soon as we boarded and immediately took our drink order. Rolls and butter came out with our drinks. Soon after, we ordered our entire meal, each course had several choices. You may check out the entire menu at www.bateauxnewyork.com. All our food was really quite good. My favorite was the crab cake I had as my appetizer. My main course was seafood manicotti, a little salty, but good. My tiramisu and coffee was a wonderful way to end this meal.

I had prearranged with our server to bring out our birthday gift to our friend with dessert. He also lighted a candle and placed it in her cheesecake to make it extra festive. Our gift was an engraved necklace from Tiffany's, which he presented to her on a silver tray. She was ecstatic!

Boating by the statue of liberty at night, with her crown and torch lighted was breathtaking! The great, live music and the awesome scenery and food, we all agreed, made this is an activity we would highly recommend.

We had prearranged with Grant to pick us up at 10 and he was prompt. We chatted and laughed all the way back to the hotel. Fantastic evening! Day 4 is shopping, lunch at Carnegie Deli, and off to the theater.

Edited: 29 June 2012, 04:28
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8. Re: Real Time Trip report-6 Women in NYC to Celebrate our Friend

I can sense your excitement with your trip. Thanks for the real-time report!

I remember you asking about a Wow moment for your friends birthday and Tiffany's was mentioned. Did you buy the necklace when in NYC and present it to her on the cruise, or buy the necklace before the trip?

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9. Re: Real Time Trip report-6 Women in NYC to Celebrate our Friend

glad you had a good experience with bateaux - I am hoping to do it in September

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10. Re: Real Time Trip report-6 Women in NYC to Celebrate our Friend

Thank you for the replies, again, you all are so sweet.

Yes, we were looking for a WOW moment for the presentation, couldn't think of anything, so settled for the old standard of having the waiter do the presentation with dessert. She loved it! We ordered it from home, had it engraved, then I sneaked over and picked it up at Tiffany's. They were great to work with. When I picked it up, I noticed the chain was a bit short so they are lengthening it today for her.