Posts tagged Vacation
If you happen to follow me on Instagram you’ll know this past weekend was our trip to Disneyland. DH and I decided to take Friday off of work, cash in on our Best Western Rewards points and head to Disneyland for the weekend.
Our 5.5 hour road trip from Phoenix was uneventful…that is, until we ran out of gas. What?! Yes, you read that right. We.Ran.Out.Of.Gas. ”How does that happen?” you may ask. Well, while my Chevrolet Spark is excellent on gas mileage it only has a 9 gallon tank. Heading into California we had just under a half of a tank and thought we were good. Little did we know there would be no gas stations for that long of a stretch. Put those things together and you’ve got a wee bit of a problem. Thanks to a friendly state trooper who happened to stop to check on us, we were on our way sooner than later. Lesson learned, don’t let the tank get that low in my Spark and when traveling from PHX to California, get gas before entering California!
We still made it to Disneyland with plenty of time before heading to Mickey’s Halloween Party. Our Disney World experiences were always at Christmas or spring time, so going during the fall to see the parks all decked out for Halloween was a big draw. Mickey’s Halloween Party is a special event that’s hosted throughout the season that requires separate admission.
Basically the park closes early to general admission visitors and remains open for a limited amount of visitors who have tickets to the party. It was perfect for us because we basically had a half day at the park, got to have “special” experiences that only occur during the party (in addition to all the regular attractions), and didn’t have to pay the full day price. It was awesome to see the Nightmare Before Christmas themed Haunted Mansion along with other changes they made to the park/attractions to make everything match the season. We tried our best to make it to the midnight closing time but must admit we had to call it a night and head back to our hotel by 11:30p.
The next day we chose single day park hopper passes and started out at the Disney California Adventure. Coming from the hometown of Cedar Point it’s hard to live up to awesome amusement park rides so we stuck with themed attractions such as Tower of Terror and Cars Land versus California Screamin’. We hopped between the parks throughout the day and ended up finishing our stay in the Magic Kingdom.
I’ve already been asked, “How does Disneyland compare to Disney World??” I have to admit, this was my biggest concern. After our experience the best I can say is that there’s pros and cons to each. I’ll do my best to explain….
Both parks had many of the same rides but we found them to be slightly different and actually preferred some of them over the WDW versions. We’re not sure if it was our timing but Disneyland seemed much more congested than the WDW parks. We’re figuring WDW has WAY more visitors but are they spread out throughout the parks making the individual parks seem not so busy? Maybe.
If you stay on site at WDW you’re submersed in Disney everything. It’s almost as though you’re in a different world. Everything seems, well, magical. We didn’t have that feeling at Disneyland. However, it was cool to experience the location where it all began and we still fully enjoyed ourselves.
If you want to see more photos you can visit my Flickr account.
I remember becoming fascinated with Walt Disney at a young age and wanted to learn everything I could. Like many, I’ve always seen him as an inspiration….even to this day. Heck, I even quoted him in my senior high school yearbook. Ha!
Although I see Disney World and Disneyland as fun places to go, I also see them as so much more. Something that came from a person that dreamed big, believed in those dreams, went after them, and succeeded. That’s not to say Walt didn’t have his share of setbacks. In fact, due to a disastrous opening day pretty much every press organization that attended predicated the park would fail within a year. And that is just a start.
But every time I walked through those gates it’s as though nothing else matters and when I leave I’m even more inspired to live my dreams.
So as we steer away from the “all inclusive” type of vacations DH and I were once accustomed to, we will always have time for Disney and it will always hold a very special place in our hearts.
Speaking of going after your dreams. You may remember our Indiegogo campaign to raise money to purchase a new drum kit for Unlocking The Truth. DH and I never gave up hope, even when we’d have days with no donations. However, thanks to friends, family, and strangers who also believed, the fund kept slowly increasing. Coincidentally enough, with a little faith, trust, & pixie dust, it’s happened. During our time at Disney we not only met our goal but exceeded it with time to spare.
There’s only one way to dream, and that’s to dream big.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
What a whirlwind of a week I had last week. From showing my parents around Phoenix, to a day trip with them to Sedona, topped off by a quick trip to Las Vegas to fulfill our dreams of seeing Celine Dion, we covered some serious territory.
Celine in one word? Phenomenal. It was one of those experiences where no words will do justice. I had a feeling my emotions may get the best of me and sure enough when that curtain opened and I saw Celine standing there the tears started flowing. I’ve waited close to 20 years to experience her live and she did not disappoint. So amazing and well worth the wait.
I wish my parents didn’t have to head back home. I knew I had missed them but didn’t realize I had missed them so much until they arrived. Dinner together, hanging out, and heading out for adventures with them is unfortunately something we lost in our move across the country. While I’m happy we chose to strike out on our own adventures there’s no denying we miss our parents a ton. But we’re grateful for their constant support and the many fantastic new memories we made this past week.
Although they have gone home things won’t be slowing down for me just yet. A couple weeks ago I was contacted by Nokia and invited as an online influencer to their #ZoomReinvented press event in NYC July 11th. What?! YES!! Technology + NYC = Win/Win. I’m not going to try to sell you on the idea that I’m a total technology whiz, specifically when it comes to specs and all the ins/outs, but I must admit technology has always been a pretty big part of my life from a young age. Yep, all the way back to the ol’ Commodore 64 with joystick or my first kodak camera with 110 film, technology piques my interest for some reason.
While I’ve focused on unplugging more often lately I still must admit that my life revolves around electronics and technology. (Remember how many cameras I take on my hikes? Maybe this is also where I should admit that within the past week we’ve acquired a new iPad, iTouch, and laptop…..) So, as you can imagine, when I received the invite, not only was I stoked to hear I’d be heading to NYC, but also to see Nokia’s release of a new technology.
Nokia is keeping pretty mum about it all but there are lots and lots of rumors milling about as to what is going to happen. The gist of those is that they are poised to unveil the Lumia EOS which has similar specs to the PureView 808, but runs Windows Phone 8. Supposedly the phone will contain a 41 mega pixel camera. I have no idea if this is fact but my inner photographer is pretty darn excited at that idea.
Considering Nokia is being quiet about the technology you can imagine how little I know about what I’ll actually be doing in NYC. I do know that there is a welcome party the evening I arrive, followed by a full day of press for the release of their new technology. This includes a Q & A with the head of their camera technology followed by an evening #ZoomParty. Nokia has been seriously promoting how well their camera phones capture in the dark so I have a feeling we’ll get the chance to see the technology in action.
I know it doesn’t seem like I’m providing much information on what I’ll be doing in NYC but that’s because I don’t even know. But hey, ya’ll know I’m always up for an adventure. If you want to keep tabs on what I’m up to follow my #ZoomReinvented and #ZoomParty posts on Twitter or Instagram. NYC, here I come!
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
I’m not sure if I have mentioned it yet but my parents have been out here in Arizona visiting for the past week. It’s been just under a year since our move, and the last time we saw them, so to say that we were excited to see them is an understatement. I think we’ve done a decent job showing them around our neck of the woods, including our favorite places to eat, my regular running routes, and we even took a quick day trip to one of my favorite places on earth, Sedona.
I think it’s safe to say they understand why I love Sedona so much. Tomorrow we’re taking another quick side trip to fulfill one of our dreams…we’re going to Las Vegas. I can hear ya’ll saying, “Weren’t you just in Vegas? How is that fulfilling your dream?” Ah, but it’s not Vegas but what’s there that is what this is all about. So what is it about? Celine Dion.
Many people may not peg me for a Celine fan but I am….and crazy enough, so is David. I remember when her first cd released in the US and following her story as she rose to fame. It was always a dream to see her in concert. When she announced years ago that she’d have a show in Vegas I put it on my DREAM list AKA bucket list to make it happen one day. Sadly after a few years she took a hiatus and I thought I missed my chance.
While in Vegas last month I noticed that she was once again reopening her show. What?! Although I no longer have a bucket list per se it roused my interest. I randomly texted my mom, “One day I’m going to hop a flight to Vegas for the night to see Celine.” Her response? ”Let’s do it.” (It’s always been her dream too) And so the ball began to roll….
You should know, when I get an idea in my head I don’t tend to stop until it comes to fruition. When you put my mom and me together we make shit happen….hey, I learned from the best. Our gears started churning and I said, “Why not take a quick trip to Vegas while you’re here visiting?” At only 4-5 hour drive it’s not a big undertaking. A few more decisions were made and soon enough I received a text from my mom with this photo.
I’m going to see Celine in concert with a couple of my most favorite people in the world! All of this from simply having a pipe dream. I’m beginning to learn, no dream is too big. Over the past year I’ve also learned that the time is now. Yes, I’m enjoying what is here and now but I no longer want to wait for “someday” to live my dreams. What would’ve happened if we’d have said, “Someday we’ll move….” We wouldn’t be where we are today. Right? That’s not to say things happen fast or always as planned (Heck, it’s been how many years since I’ve wanted to see Celine?!) But I keep those dreams in the back of my mind and slowly but surely I’m working on making them come to life.
I guess this is where I should say that DH and I have something in the works for making someone else’s dream come true. If you think my mom and I are good at making things happen you can only imagine what happens when DH and I come up with an idea. More on that soon! But please excuse me for a moment while I go live out one of my dreams.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
Anyone remember that game? It was my absolute fave game to play while in elementary school. Anyway….the whole reason for the title is that I’m giving you a heads up that I’m taking a slight vacation from blogging. No, I’m not giving it up and wouldn’t call it a hiatus per se, but some things are going on in my life and quite honestly those things come fist. Sorry ya’ll, I love you but that’s the way it goes.
First, my brother, sister-in-law, and nephew are coming to visit!! Eeeeeee! We have been lucky enough to have met up with friends as they’ve passed through Phoenix since our move, but these are the first family members to visit. It will be awesome to see them since it’s been 8 months since we’ve seen any family members. Not to mention, our nephew is close to 2 years old and is starting to talk and do all the fun things toddlers do. Man, do they grow up fast. As crazy as it sounds, pne of the things we weighed before moving was missing out on of nieces and nephews growing up. Although we are more than happy with our move it’s still a tough fact to swallow. Thank goodness for internet and the their ability and willingness to visit.
Second, next week I’m heading to Florida for a few days. I’ve kept quiet about something personal because it’s something I’m holding close to my heart. You may remember that my grandfather passed last year. Although he was getting older and had health problems his passing pretty much blind-sided us. Since then my grandma has had her share of health difficulties. Most recently an abdominal mass was found and a biospy was taken. Within a few days we had answers…pancreatic cancer. She has chosen not to pursue treatment, which is understandable, which also means it’s a waiting game. Having been diagnosed a few months ago she’s doing pretty darn good. With that being said, we know that time is not on our side and we need to take advantage of all the time we have. I won’t be able to visit long but I’m grateful for the opportunity to be able to make the trip.
So as you can see, now more than ever I need to practice Be Here Now, even if that means not writing for a week or so.
On a MUCH lighter note….what was your fave game to play in elementary school? Although I loved Heads-Up, Seven-Up, I could also play a mean Four-Square.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
I know it’s Friday which should mean it’s time for another Vegan post. Sorry friends there will be no vegan talk today. But I’ll be back with vegan talk next week!
It seems like just yesterday I was telling you I was taking a hiatus from blogging as I traveled to Italy. Well, the time has once again come for me to tell you another hiatus is ahead. Chances are by the time you read this I’ll either be heading to the airport or on a plane flying to Sedona. Yes, I’m heading to Sedona today with the rest of Columbia Sportswear’s Team Omniten for 6 days of adventure.
My itinerary consists of Vortex Yoga, Exploring Sedona, hiking to Havasu Falls, camping out, along with trying and testing Columbia Gear. I’ll even get a sneak peak at their Spring 2013 gear. Pretty darn cool. And you can bet I’ll be documenting it all through photo (Remember my 1,200 photos from Italy?!) and video on my new GoPro Camera.
So please pardon my blogging hiatus for the next week. I’ll be back to share my adventures with you! Although I’ll be taking a hiatus from blogging I’ll still be connected to bring ya’ll some live action. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (#Omniten & #ProjectZ too!), Facebook, and Instagram for live updates!
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
I’ve found that for some reason my Italy recaps keep getting pushed aside and I just need to fit them in! If you missed my first recap on food, you can find it here. If you want an update on my leg from my accident make sure to watch the video.
Let’s talk lodging. One thing about D and I, we are budget travelers, especially when it comes to lodging. I think we’d stay in hostels if we were able to have a guaranteed personal bathroom (definitely a requirement). The point of our lodging is to sleep because we don’t travel to hang out in hotel rooms. We don’t need anything fancy but I like clean and safe. Even though we stick don’t tend to spend much on our where we stay I still do a ton o’ research by scouring reviews on multiple sites. Comparing and contrasting location, cleanliness, etc. Let’s just say I’m thorough. With a few exceptions, thankfully my research has paid off and we’ve had pretty decent luck on our vacations when it comes to lodging.
Colosseum B&B – Rome
The residence is comfortable and quiet but VERY accessible to the central activity of Rome.
Prior to our arrival we were contacted by Daniela and Valter via email to state our expected arrival time. They were quick to offer assistance with transportation from the airport to their residence. Upon our arrival in Rome a gentleman met us as expected and our transfer couldn’t have gone any smoother. Once we arrived at the B&B we found Valter awaiting our arrival. Due to our arrival time our rooms were not yet available but we were still checked in our bags were able to be placed in the kitchen area.
Unfortunately we had some communication challenges as we do not speak Italian and Valter does not speak English. However, with the help of an app on his tablet/iPad we were able to communicate easily. He offered to let us use their computer to quickly send a “we arrived!” email to relatives, gave us a key, and we were out exploring Rome in no time.
When we arrived back to the B&B that evening our bags were placed in our room already. The room was very clean and nice. The bathroom was up-to-date and also provided a mounted hairdryer. There was a TV available but we didn’t watch as we had no time. Free Wi-fi was also available through a secure network. Every so often we would lose the signal but I had read this may occur in the older buildings. All we had to do was move to a new location in the room and we would reconnect. Our room was cleaned daily.
For breakfast, we received vouchers for juice and pastries for a location around the corner. Once again we had a slight issue with communication, as the workers spoke very little English, but we were able to collect our breakfast and walk 2 blocks to eat our breakfast just outside the Colosseum .
Although we were so close to the activity of the Colosseum and so many surrounding restaurants the location of the bed and breakfast was peaceful.
Osteria del Borgo – Montepulciano
Arriving in Montepulciano wasn’t easy. The roads are steep, one way, and narrow. It’s not easy to navigate and I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone, but it is do-able. Upon our arrival we got off track with our navigation. We parked the car and hauled ourselves up the hills to the bed and breakfast and were immediately greeted by Francesco. He warmly greeted us, thankfully spoke EXCELLENT English, helped guide us through the city by providing directions, and graciously helped carry our heavy luggage up 3 flights of stairs. We randomly checked in throughout our stay and Francesco was always right there to ask how everything was going.
Unfortunately we had the wrong electrical outlet adapters and someone had taken Osteria del Borgo’s backup adapters for visitors. With that being said we didn’t use our laptop or other electronics much as to conserve our batteries. But when we did use the free wifi we had no issues.
Breakfast wasn’t included in the price but was available for 5 euros/person in the mornings. We ended up sleeping in both days so we did not get to try out the breakfast.
The owners also run a restaurant/bar below the rooms. On the last night we knew we had to eat at the restaurant. Upon our arrival to the restaurant we quickly realized we should have made reservations but we were quickly seated by Francesco and taken care of just the same. The food was absolutely delicious.
When we booked with Osteria del Borgo I couldn’t help but wonder if the photos on the site were real. Within moments of our arrival I found that they were. Oh my. Absolutely gorgeous. This is what we came to Italy for. We cannot say enough about Francesco and his family’s hospitality.
Bonsignori B&B – Florence
Whatever I write, I cannot say enough about Bonsignori. Hands down, this was our favorite bed and breakfast that we stayed at during our vacation in Italy. Out of all of our bed and breakfasts we stayed at Bonsignori was the first one to make contact with us and followed through on everything they promised for our stay.
We stayed in the orange room, which was absolutely gorgeous. Private bathroom, hot shower, clean bed linens, many electrical outlets to choose from, and a reliable free wifi internet connection. Riccardo welcomed us in, showed us the residence, gave us the low-down on breakfast, provided an abundance of pamphlets/maps, and we were good to go.
In addition to the information they provided, there was also an “information cubby” of even more pamphlets, from taxi phone numbers to doctor contacts if needed. A cell phone is always available to make local calls.
Breakfast was available bright and early in the common area kitchen. Fresh fruit, bread, individual Nutella/honey packages, homemade marmalade, 2 choices of cereal, meats/cheeses, yogurts, juice, milk, water, tea, andcoffee. A toaster, microwave, and nice coffee machine is available to use. Every morning there was also a fresh baked good/pastry. One morning we even had the option of homemade tiramisu! You can eat in the kitchen or take to your bedroom.
Initially we were concerned with staying at a bed and breakfast where the owners actual live on the premises and sharing a common area with another room, but this wasn’t an issue. Although we would pass them along with the other visitors every so often, we were on different schedules.
There you have it! We were thrilled with our lodging during our stay. I hope this helps anyone looking to travel to Italy in the future! I have post a TON of photos here, including photos of our room’s bathrooms and all. Yes, I’m thorough
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
Well hello again! If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook you’ll know that D and I returned from Italy this past Friday. Although I wasn’t 100% unplugged from the Internet, as I checked in here or there, this is the first time I’ve signed in to my blog since we left. I think I did a pretty good job unplugging and it felt good.
Italy was fantastic. As with any vacation there were some ups and downs and unexpected dilemmas, but many laughs. We definitely had a good time. From the get-go I’ve been trying to decide how I was going to wrap in our Italy experience into my blog posts. As you are familiar with, I already have a set schedule of what I talk about on specific days of the week. But, I think I have it figured out. Of course there’s no way I’m going to be able to cover it all but I think I can cover a lot of it. I won’t be talking about it this week on the blog, but look for my posts in the near future.
My question for you: what do you want to hear about?? Any specific parts of my trip you want to know about? Let me know.
In other news, I’m excited to get back to training and am looking forward to running Dirty Girl Indy this next weekend with my sister and several other FitFluential Ambassadors. Woohoo!I also have a couple more races on my schedule I’ve added and am excited to tell you about. Stay tuned for that!
I apologize for this quickie post. We still have a ton o’ stuff to do prior to the work week. Soon enough I’ll be in full Buzzbomb mode, don’t you worry!
In the meantime, I took hundreds of photos on our vacation. I was able to whittle the amount down to around 600 and they are located here for your viewing pleasure. Or, you can just watch the slideshow I embedded below. Enjoy!
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
Yes, it’s Wednesday. Yes, I normally post about running on Wednesdays. No, you’re not crazy…I’m not posting about running today.
Why? Because by the time you read this I will be heading to the airport to fly to Italy! If you already follow me on Twitter, chances are you already knew this…
(Insert my excitement here!)
Over the past several weeks I’ve debated on what I should do with my blog while I’m gone. Should I schedule already written posts? Should I hand over the reins to guest bloggers? I wasn’t sure what to do.
Really, what it comes down to is me once again over thinking the idea. Maybe it’s against better judgement, but I’ve decided that not only am I going on vacation but BananaBuzzbomb.com is too. I need to seriously unplug and if I were to do scheduled posts or have guest bloggers I would still have it in the back of my mind throughout our trip.
That’s not to say I won’t be checking in. Chances are I will…especially on Twitter and Facebook. I will have access to internet and definitely plan to keep up with some of the basics such as keeping in contact with my Fam, but I don’t want that constant tether that I have on a normal day-to-day basis.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
1. I bite my nails horribly. A few years ago I had acrylics put on and it was the only time I’ve ever had “nails”. I went almost a year keeping up with them and didn’t chew on them. I really enjoyed having them but the cost and lack of necessity made me go back to stubby chewed up nails.
2. David and I never went on a honeymoon, so now every vacation we go on we call our honeymoon. Our first official vacation wasn’t until into our 3rd year of marriage. We have been to Disney World, Eastern Caribbean, Puerto Rico, Minnesota, Niagara Falls, NYC, and are heading to Italy in April to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary.
3. Growing up I honestly never thought I’d get married. But then I proved myself wrong and got married at the age of 18. No regrets. If someone would’ve told me that just a few years before I would be getting married at 18, I would’ve said they were crazy. I also never dreamt I’d move that far away from home, but once married I moved to New Orleans with D. I love and miss that place like you wouldn’t believe. Maybe I’ll post more on that later…
4. I slept walked several times as a kid and am still paranoid to this day that I’ll do it again.
5. I stumbled into the veterinary technician world when our 6 week old puppy, Viking, fell off of the couch and broke his leg. With him growing and requiring cast changes we were at the animal hospital often. And since I was new to the New Orleans area I had no idea how to get around, so I would spend hours at the hospital. I started asking questions, got a job at the hospital, and signed up for classes.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
We started our venture to NYC on Wednesday at approximately 12 noon. For those who don’t know, getting to New York from Ohio is pretty much a straight shot. Given that fact we hoped to make good time, but that also depended on the traffic and weather. Thankfully we had easy going all the way. No problems…traffic, accidents, detours, or weather. Upon entering PA is there was some wet snow, but that was the extent of any “bad” weather. Something to note though, there’s a stretch of the drive in central PA that lacks many exits, which includes gas, food, and restrooms. It seemed to take forever between exits. This didn’t effect us, but we did make note of it, considering you never know what may happen.
We arrived in Newark, New Jersey at approximately 8pm. As expected, our hotel was immediately across the street from the Newark Penn Station. What we didn’t expect was how nice it was. Not that it was a grand hotel by any means, but we expected just a typically travelling hotel. It was a small step up from what we would normally stay in, so we were thrilled. Upon arriving we flipped the tv on. That’s when it was announced that there were “unsubstantiated claims of threats warning of possible attacks on the NYC transit system on Thanksgiving.” These announcements were in lieu of what was going on in India. The crazy world we live in. We accepted the possibility of the risk, but settled in for the night. Threats come on a daily basis whether we know them or not so we weren’t going to let that hinder our plans for the next day.
We woke up at 5:15am on Thanksgiving morning. We each put our minimum 2 layers on our bottom and 5 (yes 5) on top. We each had extra hats, gloves, and hand/feet warmers just in case. Our adventure started by stepping into the Newark Penn Station. It was full of hustle and bustle. We quickly found the ticket machines and made our way through purchasing the correct tickets and then headed toward Track 1. A packed train pulled up, we filed in, and headed to NYC. At that point we had our first “now what?” We never turned in our ticket so we were quite confused as what was going to happen. It was then that a conductor came through and was taking tickets. He hoped we had done the right thing, and thankfully we did. He took our ticket with no problem. Not a surprise but we did fumble our way through many experiences, from riding the subway, to finding bathrooms, etc. Let me tell you though, we were lucky. We happened to “fall into” situations and definitely took advantage of them. With the help of maps we made our way around and didn’t have too many snafus. And if something happened we quickly got back on track.
We tried to make our way to Herald Square for the parade. We knew that it was a long shot, but wanted to try. Unfortunately it wasn’t possible to get in there. At that point we had to decided whether to stick it out in that area or head up near Central Park. We decided to head north. The city was a buzz. At the same time it was controlled chaos. NYPD was everywhere. And all they had to do was have a presence. Most of the time they turned a blind eye. I can’t tell how many times we crossed a barrier to get to the other side of the street. Heck, the majority of the time we were actually walking in the street. Yes, walking in the street in Times Square…how cool? They didn’t care, as long as you just weren’t standing there. After a bit of walking David and I were hot. All of those layers were kicking our butts. And we also needed to find a bathroom. Obviously, everywhere you went there was a line. We happened on a mall-type building and decided to try to go inside. Surprisingly it was open, which not too many people knew about. We quickly found the bathroom and were in and out. Who would’ve guessed that? After that we decided we wanted to get to the other side of the street. Unfortunately it wasn’t so easy to cross the street as the crowds grew. After a small back track we were able to get to the other side of the street and made it into Central Park. It took us awhile but David was able to find an awesome spot, in Central Park, on the side of a hill, where we could see the parade. We knew all of those ventures out for Mardi Gras would come in handy again at some point. For pictures, we had branches in the way, but it was an awesome spot. This was our view
I’m glad we left so early so that we had the ability to find a decent spot and it wasn’t long before the parade began. You could feel the energy rise as the parade drew closer. It was coming. I got chills. This has always been a dream of mine, to see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in person. And it was about to come true. As the bands played and the balloons filled the air, I couldn’t help but feel the tears coming down my cheeks. I know, I’m a geek, but this is something I never knew would happen, and it was right before my eyes. I absolutely love Mardi Gras and won’t take anything from it. But although this was also a parade, it had a different sense. It was totally it’s own. Trust me, both Mardi Gras and Macy’s are totally worth trips. Just amazing. Absolutely loved it.
During the parade we had a couple local families around us along with a gentleman that watches the parade from the same spot every year. We kept conversation throughout the parade. Near the end he said that it was the longest parade he can remember to date. Let me tell you, our cold behinds and toes were feeling that. We had started to lose feeling in our extremities so although the parade was awesome we were glad to see it end.
We ventured through Central Park a bit but didn’t come close to seeing it all. One thing I’d like to do next time is explore that area more. We headed toward Rockefeller Center but decided to grab a quick bite to eat. We happened on Ernest Klein & Co. International Supermarket. Our food was great, and we even got a Black and White Cookie.
We continued on to Radio City Music Hall, Rockefeller Center, Grand Central Terminal, and The Pond At Bryant Park. Then back to Times Square. All of this was unbelievable. It’s hard to take it all in. I found myself sitting there, in awe, for a few moments. It’s one of those things that you need to physically experience to be able to truly appreciate it. Even so, here’s a short video.
Next up was the Statue Of Liberty. We didn’t rush there that morning, due to the parade, so we made it there around 3-4pm. It was then that we found out we had made it on the last boat of the day. Whew! Once again, I found myself looking at the statue saying, “That’s it! I’m really in NYC!” After our trip to Liberty it was time to go to the WTC site. We passed Wall Street/The New York Stock Exchange on the way. The WTC was interesting. I didn’t know what to expect. You can see in, but for the most part there isn’t much to see, with all of the construction and barricades around. In general southern Manhattan was quiet. Of course it was a holiday, so not too many people were around, but it was almost too quiet. Kind of weird.
We weren’t sure what our plans were after that so we kept walking to see what we could find. It was then that we thought we’d check out Little Italy and get a bite to eat. Everyone’s trying to get your business, so it’s up to you to find the place you want to eat. After asking multiple restaurants if they charged for sharing a plate, we found one that didn’t. In addition, our drinks for the meal were free, including sangria! Our dinner meal was cheaper than our lunch, was VERY good, and experience that we never had before. Another experience to add to our list.
Having already walked about 15 miles that day (I mapped it upon coming home…wish I would’ve had my Garmin) we decided to take the subway instead of walking all the way back to Times Square. We hung out there for a bit then decided it was time to head back to Newark. We hopped the train and called it a day.
Wow, did that all just happen? This was one of those experiences that I will never forget. Call me crazy, but one day in NYC was better than a week in Hawaii. We hardly did much planning, but it all came together. We didn’t think that this would be possible on a multitude of levels. Everyone said we’d spend a ton of money. I guess it all depends on what you do or willing to give up. Our mindset was to experience NYC, and that we did. In the end we spent approximately $400 and that included gas, hotel, food, and transportation. We also saved by walking more than most people would. My final calculation came out to about 20 miles of walking. But that allowed us to see more, keep warm, save money, and burn calories. Not going to say I’m not sore. Yesterday I woke up with sore calves, shins, abs, shoulders, and back. And 2 days later I’m still feeling the effects.
But, it was worth the drive. It was worth the walking. And now that we’ve done it, it opens the door for many more experiences whether they’re in NYC or somewhere else.
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