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Trip Report - Day 3 & 3 1/2

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Trip Report - Day 3 & 3 1/2

Sunday, May 7th - We slept in a bit, leaving the hotel around 10:00. First we stopped at the Visitor Center in Times Square for information on Central Park. I picked up a bag full of brochures to bring back for our library's travel collection. We stopped at Cafe Europe on Broadway across from the Ed Sullivan Theatre for breakfast. Very nice little place, we both had omelets, toast and hot tea, which really hit the spot. Very reasonable too, I think I spent $6 on my meal.

On to Central Park. We were both feeling the effects of all the walking the day before, so decided to take one of the rickshaw rides. It was $50, and we didn't feel like we saw very much, so next trip we'll definitely walk around the park rather than ride. Our driver was a nice fellow from Turkey, who gave us lots of tidbits about the different areas we saw. Mostly info about movies shot in the park, but it was interesting. We saw the Dakota, and Strawberry Fields, bridges, and walkways, statues, different areas that are popular there. Lots of people out and about, it was a gorgeous day, although a little cool compared to the previous 2 days.

Our guide asked where we were going next, and we told him we were going to get the subway to go up by Bloomingdales. He told us that since the subways go up and downtown, we really couldn't get one that would get us over there, and it would be better to walk. I had printed directions from the hotel to the area around Bloomingdales from hopstop.com, so I knew we could get there by subway, so after sitting around the entrance of the park for awhile, we set off to find the subway station. We had a little trouble finding it, so I asked someone on the street, who told us the same thing!

She advised us to just walk 12-14 blocks east, then a couple of blocks up and we'd find it.

Well, I knew there was a way to get there by subway! Besides, my poor tired feet and legs were not ready for that long a walk! A few minutes later, we found the station we needed and rode the train up to 60th and Lexington. We found Bloomie's with no problem, in fact, there was an entrance right there as we were leaving the station. (I was very proud of myself for finding it!)

We looked around a little, but ended up not buying anything. Our next stop was Dylan's Candy Bar. Nice shop, lots of interesting novelty items and we just enjoyed looking around. I made a few purchases for my kids, then we left and found Serendipity's.

Originally, we'd planned to eat there, but knew the lines could get long, which they were. Plus, we had just had those huge omelets just 2 hours before, so weren't really hungry. It was 12:30-1:00 when we got there. So, we just went in and bought some of the frozen hot chocolate mix, then left. It was getting close to the time for our matinee of Mamma Mia, so we got back on the subway and stopped in our room to drop off the things we'd bought, changed, and went to the theatre.

Mamma Mia was an excellent show. Our seats were in the left mezzanine, about the 4th row, and we had a great view of the stage. I had never been a huge fan of ABBA, in fact, didn't remember many of their songs other than Dancing Queen, but really enjoyed the music and the energy of the show. At the end, there were several girls who got up from the audience and were dancing in the aisles! (If my legs hadn't been so sore, I would have been one of them!)

We left the theatre, and stopped next door for an early dinner at Ellen's Stardust Cafe. I had read about this place on this forum, and although I tried not to plan my schedule around meals, I thought since it was so close to the theatre, it was worth stopping in.

We were seated right away, the place wasn't busy at all at 5:00p.m. We both liked the look of the place, with the 50's decor, although the waitress who was singing as we walked in was a little loud, we got used to it in no time at all. We were seated in an area right against the windows looking out onto Broadway,and there were no other people sitting in that area. Within about 10 minutes, 3 of the other tables had customers, and all 3 had gotten drinks and placed their orders before anyone came over to our table. At least we had menus, so we could decide what we wanted.

Finally, the waiter comes over, tells us he'll be right with us, and next thing we know, he's singing! (He did have a good voice, though, I have to give him credit for that. Similar to Michael Buble, if you know who he is). After he finishes singing, he comes over to our table and asks if we are ready to order (GRRRR). I looked at him and said, "Iced tea, no lemon, meat loaf". LOL. My sister had asked me not to say anything about the long wait, I tend to get a little crabby and mouth off sometimes in that kind of situation, and she hates it! She ordered chicken strips with fries. Not a great choice. The chicken was. . .how should I put it? Limp. The fries were cold. My meat loaf (weird choice, I know, but it's something I never eat, so it sounded good), was pretty tasteless. It came with mashed potatoes and broccoli. None of it was very good. We also ordered dessert. My sister had an ice cream sundae, and I had HOT apple cobbler with vanilla ice cream. It actually said on the menu, HOT apple cobbler. Well, it was cold. Not just cold, but it was frozen in the middle. The ice cream was pretty good though.

Sorry to go on and on about dinner at this place, but it was not good, in fact, it was pretty bad, and since I've read so many posts from people wanting to go there, I thought I would give you all a complete review of the place so you'd know just what to expect. My recommendation: Don't go there!

We left the restaurant at 7:00 (remember we had walked in at 5:00, so it took 2 hours, and close to an hour of that was waiting to order). We went into a small souvenier shop on the other side of the theatre, and I found a Kramer shirt for my 17 year old. I had seen this shirt in another shop the day before for $25, and it was only $18 in this shop, so I bought it and a couple other shirts, magnets, and other souvenirs. Nice little shop, not too crowded, good prices, and for once, no one told us "don't mess up shirts" LOL.

We walked on down into Times Square, stopped in stores here and there, went into the Virgin Megastore where we found CD's for my son that he'd had trouble finding at home. (He was thrilled when I got home and gave them to him). Also got my 14 year old a blue hoodie with NEW YORK emblazoned across the chest. She loved it as well.

Back to the hotel around 8:30, rested awhile, then realized we'd never had a bagel yet during the whole trip! So we had to go out scouting for bagels! We stopped at the hotel desk to ask where we could get bagels close by, and they directed us to the corner of 51st and 8th Ave. We found a small bakery/deli there, and both got a dozen of different flavors to take home with us the next day. Then ended up just walking around the area, looking in more stores, but not buying anything (I think we'd gotten enough souvenirs at that point).

Back to the room around 10:30, got all our things together, as we had to leave by 9am the next morning for the airport, and we were planning to get up early and go back to the Today show.

The alarm went off Monday morning at 6 a.m. I remember lying there and thinking, "Maybe if I don't move, she'll think I am dead." LOL. Well, it worked. My sister apparently didn't want to get up either, so we both slept in until I woke up at 7:30. We hurried and got showers and finished packing, then checked out and hailed a cab on the street to take us to LAG.

The cab driver was so nice! I think he was new at his job LOL. He asked us where we were from and how much gas cost in Indiana, and just kind of talked to us during the drive. Not something we'd seen so far with cab drivers, that's for sure. (No offense to cab drivers, no one was rude, it's just that no one was overly friendly either). When we got to the airport, he told us it would be $21. Since it had cost $32 when we went from LAG to the hotel, I thought that might be a mistake, but he said it was right. I gave him $35, cause he's been so nice, and it was what I was expecting to pay anyway. We got out of the cab, and he was just sitting in there, then he gets out and hands me back change!!!! I said, oh no, that's for you. He acted like he was very surprised, thanking me several times. I told him, you know, you're the nicest cab driver we've had this whole trip. LOL. He thanked us even, and told us he hoped we had a great trip back to Indiana, and to come back to New York sometime. What a nice guy!

We had just enough time to grab something to eat at the airport and board our flight, then on to Atlanta, where we caught our connecting flight to Indy, arriving at 3:30 p.m. Pretty uneventful flight, other than having to sit in the middle seat between two pretty good sized guys who hogged the armrests LOL. Oh, and they couldn't get the jetway lined up right, so when we got off the plane, we had to jump over a gap of about a foot.

We had a great time in NYC! I am already planning on bringing my 17 year old next spring as a graduation present, and my sister wants to return this fall with our other sister and maybe our mother as well, if we can work out the details. Thanks again for all your help, suggestions, directions, etc. We couldn't have done it without you all!

New York, NY
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1. Re: Trip Report - Day 3 & 3 1/2

Nice to hear you enjoyed yourselves and are planning a return visit.

I have been to Ellen's Stardust, my experience was much better, but thanks for posting about your experience. I don't put in on my "must do" list either.

With taxi drivers, it is not so much they are unfriendly, most are new immigrants and can't communicate that well,all depends on who you get, sounds like yours was a gem.

I am one who is NOT a big fan of Serendipity, nothing is worth that kind fo wait, sorry.

Cafe Europa has outlets all over town, and the food is very good, it is quick and inexpensive.

Thanks for posting your thoughts and experiences.

Sunderland, United...
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for Sunderland
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2. Re: Trip Report - Day 3 & 3 1/2

I've enjoyed reading your experiences and they will be a lot of help to others. Ellen's is asked about quite often, and although I've never been myself, your opinions will be of use. Glad to see that you're planning a return trip.

Miami, Florida
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3. Re: Trip Report - Day 3 & 3 1/2

Thanks for the trip report, it was a fun read.

I've been to Ellen's several times and never had quite that bad an experience, but it's never been better than mediocre. I went when I lived in New York (with other people who wanted to go) but I sure as heck wouldn't go out of my way to go there on a trip, when my time in the city is limited and there are so many other better choices.

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4. Re: Trip Report - Day 3 & 3 1/2

hi marleney, from one librarian to another - thank you for a really informative trip report. I've enjoyed reading each installment. Your post about picking up maps and phamplets in the TS Visitor Centre made me smile - it's something I always do too, to take back to for the library. I guess you never really leave the job behind! :)

Thanks again


5. Re: Trip Report - Day 3 & 3 1/2

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