Monday, April 2, 2012

New York City!

At Christmas, we got the most incredible gift from Brian's sister, Anita.  A trip to New York City.  Anita, Brian, and I left Chicago for our whirlwind getaway and were so full of excitement and anticipation.
One of my favorite shots of the weekend...and taken out the window of the taxi cab at a stoplight driving to our hotel.
Yup, we had arrived in NYC!
After dumping our stuff, we quickly headed out to explore the neighborbood.  First stop, Rockefeller Center.  So pretty.  And when Brian said, "Lets Do It!"  Lets skate....we did.
I was nervous my feet wouldn't hold out but they did.  And we had a blast!  We only lasted about a half hour and paid $30 a piece for the experience but it was well worth it- we had a blast!

Anita and Bri try to show off like on the Today Show!
Then we went across the street to a beer garden to grab a beer.  The weather was chilly but the sun was out and we needed a drink.
3 beers and a side of fries...$47!!!!  We were definately in NYC!
We got back to the hotel and saw all these film crews in the lobby.  Sure enough, the hit TV show, Gossip Girl was filming in our hotel.  SO fun!
Look at my GQ man catching a cab in NYC!
We had a wonderful dinner before our show and loved the place we ate, the food we had, and the free drink from a stranger.
My sweetie!
AHHHHHHHH!!!!  We ran to the theatre and were SO excited when our usher looked at our ticket and said, "ooh good must know someone"  We looked at Anita.  She just smiled.
We had great seats in the tiny theatre.  Come to find out that the seats in the first few rows were $1000 a seat.  WHAT!?
The show was AMAZING!!!!  Super offensive, vulgar, incredible, and hilarious!  We loved every second of it!!!
Then we met our friend Michael.  We've only spent one other evening with Michael- two years ago at our friends' wedding.  When we found out we were going to NYC, I called Michael to see if he would meet us out for a drink.  He did!
Michael took us to Time Square.  I wish it hadn't been raining as it was so incredible, I think we could have stayed and just watched the lights for an hour.
I love this man!
Instead, he took us to a piano bar- a gay piano bar, where we spent the rest of the night.  What started off as just a regular old bar and a regular ol' night, turned into a show tunes sing along- including the most intensely "Gay", bar-wide rendition of All That Jazz!  It was priceless and gave us some great stories to share!
Brian's bucket list for NYC was to run in Central Park.  So, even though we went to bed at 3am, Brian and I were up at 8 and in the park by 9!  It was cold and raining and pretty cruddy but still we ran.  And it was great.  While I was not really excited about this run, I must admit- it was a great way to see Central Park and I LOVED getting the chance to run with Bri- a rare treat for us.  After our first couple of miles, we arrived at this reservoir and Bri wanted us to run around it.  AROUND IT!  That seemed like forever.  In fact it was only a couple of miles.
And after a nice 5/6 mile run, we were cold and hungry and felt accomplished!
Perfect Subway stop!!!!
Ground Zero!
The museum was impressive.  Quiet. Still.  Powerful.  We all cried.
We had an amazing small group and a loud mouthed tour guide we loved who gave us a tour of the grounds
so incredible.  The memorial was gorgeous.  Each ringlet of water symbolized a person who lost their life.  Two of these MASSIVE fountains stand where the two original towers came down.
each name of each person who lost their life was etched into the side of the fountain. As a tribute, you are asked, if you so feel moved or called to a specific name, to wet your fingers or hand in the fountain and place it over the name of the person you feel drawn to.  A handprint remains.
This is the survivor tree.  This tree stood in the courtyard of the World Trade Centers.  It was pulled from the rubble and brought back to life.  It endured its own challenges during its recovery and almost lost its life again in a storm-yet it still survived.  It was moved back to Ground Zero to symbolize the strength all the survivors have and to encourage hope.  It really was beautiful!
Then to battery park to view the Statue of Liberty ( under construction)
With coffee and cocoa in hand- it was freakishly cold and dreary!
Then home to get ready for our last night out.  We had an amazing dinner and then went for drinks with one of Anita's friends from Chicago.
Then we went to another bar to meet my dear friend, Joe from college and some of his friends in a dance club!
We drank and danced and caught up with Joe and then realized quickly that two night of early morning partying was catching up with us.  We were home by 2 and in bed, dreaming of our amazing weekend of family, food, history, sites, friends, show tunes, and happiness!
What an absolutely INCREDIBLE weekend.  We can never than Anita enough for sharing this amazing city with us!  What a great experience.  What a great time!

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