Tuesday, June 24, 2008

New York is like Phoenix on acid...no, on speed...no, on steriods! : DAY THREE

We did a better job of waking up early on day three. It still wasn’t that early but earlier than any of the other days. We wanted to do the Downtown tour on this day and make a stop at Ground Zero.

Ground Zero is just a big construction site right now. We didn’t do the tour there but we walked around it ourselves. It’s hard to think about all of the horrible things that happened there but they are working diligently to get the new buildings up.

After that, we went to a department store called Century 21. This was a store that was recommended to me and I am SO glad we went. It is this three story discount store that had everything you could dream of at reasonable prices. Everywhere I looked, I saw Michael Kors, Manolo Blahniks, BCBG, Dolce and Gabanna, Sevens, Theory, Juicy, and many many more designers. This place was like Last Chance on steroids! Andrea and I were in heaven. I was able to score three pairs of shoes, a few Kors tops and some other stuff. We didn’t even get to go through the whole store because Matt was complaining about being hungry. I’m going to write a blog just about the store later, so keep an eye out for that.

Our next mission was to go to Chinatown in order to find somewhere to eat pho. I can’t say I liked Chinatown very much. It was packed! The streets were crowded with people trying to get a sweet deal on a fake Coach bag. I felt like I was in Vegas where those people sit on the street passing out nudie bar flyers except these people were trying to convince you to *buy* said fake bags. I should have worn a sign that said, “NO. I do not want a knockoff, douchebag” After walking around and trying to get around the crowd, we finally…finally found a pho place. It was ok. Nothing special.

Tired After a Day of Shopping

We went and tried to catch the tour bus after lunch. The bus took us around to Greenwich Village, Times Square, Empire State Building, SoHo, Little Italy, East Village, Rockefeller Center and more. It was nice to sit while we got to see all of these sights.

At night we ended up going to the Upright Citizen’s Brigade (UCB) Theatre. It is this really famous improv theatre. They have one in LA, as well. That’s where we saw Ed Helms a couple of months ago. Amy Poehler is one of the main players in the NY UCB Theatre. The line for the show was long and we waited FOREVER to get in but once in, we had good seats. It was a pretty funny and raunchy show. I just want to say that they made my day for mentioning Gymkata in one of their sketches. Seriously, I make fun of Matt for watching that movie so having them make fun of it, made my day, kind of like if they were in on our inside joke.

Getting ready to laugh our asses off

After the show, we were starving and were excited to see that Dallas BBQ was open. I had heard good things about this place from a couple of people. I ordered this sour apple drink and it was ginormous. I got a little buzzed off of one drink. Yup. It was pretty funny. The BBQ was pretty good. I ordered the BBQ ribs and I’m pretty sure they served me something straight out of The Flinstones. I looked like I didn’t even touch my food. After a dinner and drinks like that, there’s nothing you can do but hit the sack.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Gotta Get Me a New York Slice! DAY TWO

We tried to waking up early in the second day but that didn’t work out really well. We were still really tired from the red-eye we had taken the night before. I think we still got up at a reasonable time. On this day, we did the Uptown Tour. So many places to see, so little time. We bought the 48 Hour Red Bus Tour ticket which was a great idea. We got to ride on the top of a double-decker bus and we could get off and stay at whatever destination we wanted for how ever long we wanted and we could just catch the next bus. I think the wait time in between buses was something like 15 minutes or so.

Our Tour Bus

We did the tour for awhile and then we decided to get off at the Museum of Natural History. We spent half of the day in there and we didn’t even see everything. It was huge and very interesting. This is another place we have to go back to when we go back. This and The Met.

The Museum of Natural History

Dog dolls found in the Tombs of Colima in Mexico

Dinosaur Food

After spending half the day walking around in the museum, it was nice to get on the top of the bus and finish off the rest of the Uptown tour while we sat. It took us to Harlem, the Met, the Guggenhein, Central Park, Fifth Ave and many other places that I’m sure I’ll remember later.

We also did a night tour on the double-decker that took us to see all of the lights of NY. It picked us up in Times Square, which is named for the good times you have when you're in it. You know I couldn’t pass up a chance to quote Michael Scott. Speaking of Michael Scott, there’s no way I could pass up this photo op in Times Square. He'd be proud of us.

Gotta Get Me A New York Slice!

This part of the tour freaked my freak. Let me preface this by saying that I have never really been afraid of heights. I mean, I’ve done worse things like been on the top of the Stratosphere ride in Las Vegas. We went over the top of the Manhattan Bridge, though, and I got the strangest freight of heights. I was paralyzed. We were on the top of the bridge on the top of the double-decker and when you looked off the side, you couldn’t see any of the railings or anything. It just freaked me the hell out. I couldn’t look over. I don’t know what happened. I got over it when we got off the bridge. The one thing that sucked about this part of the tour is that our camera battery died and we forgot the backup battery in our hotel room, so we didn’t get any pictures of the rest of the night.

For dinner that night, we took the subway out to SoHo and ate at this little organic restaurant. The food was good but I liked the Italian place better. The saving grace on this meal was that this restaurant was a few blocks away from a Pinkberry. Have I raved to you guys about Pinkberry before? It’s this deelish yogurt place that they have in LA and Lee took us there once when we were visiting in January. We had been craving Pinkberry for the last couple of months. I think Matt was more giddy than I was when we saw that they were in NY, as well. After Pinkberry, we called it a night and headed home.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

New York, New York: The city so nice, they named it twice! DAY ONE.

In case you all haven’t heard, Dave, Andrea, Matt and I took a little trip up to NYC. It was a mini birthday vacation. We had so much fun and want to go back already. I’m going to jot down some of my favorite things about each of the days there so you guys can feel like you were there with us. Instead of posting a super long NY blog, I’m going to split it up into days. So, stand back because here goes the first installment.

Day One:
So, day one is really like day one plus a night. We ended up taking the red eye out on Thursday night. We figured we could sleep on the plane and then have all day Friday to scour the city and that way we would save on hotel costs for Thursday night. Bad idea…bad idea jeans. I think I slept two hours on the flight up. It was a good flight though, if you don’t consider the biatch that was sitting behind me. I’m trying to keep this blog PG so I won’t talk about her or else it’ll get all stupid up in here. We flew Jet Blue for the first time and I gotta say I loved it. Every seat had it’s own tv with Direct TV and XM radio, free of charge. Did somebody say free? Me likes free.

We got to NYC at 7am-ish (that would be 4am-ish Phoenix time for those keeping track). We were able to do an early check-in at our hotel, which was right around the corner from the Letterman studio. We did breakfast at this cafĂ©. Everyone said I should try a bagel in NYC because they are supposed to be the “best bagels”. They tasted the same to me. No problem, since I like bagels anyway… but I’m just saying.

We spent the day walking to Rockefeller Center and going to the NBC Experience store. You know Andrea and I had to pick up some Office merchandise. I got the Fun Run t-shirt and the “Support the Rabid” wristband, which I ended up forgetting in the hotel because it was so small. Idiot. I also bought a Panther Football t-shirt from the NBC store. It’s so soft.

Aww, Steve! You know we had to take a pic of this.

We also went to St. Patrick’s Cathedral. It was so beautiful. I fell in love with it’s architecture and all of the carvings in the walls and the ceilings and just everything. Can you imagine being married there? Next, time we go to NY, I am going to make it a priority to go to mass there.

Another cool thing we got to do that day was attend a taping of The Conan O’Brien show. It was so exciting. The first thing we all said to each other when we went in to sit down was, “Wow, this is so small. It looks so much bigger on tv” (TWSS!) but really, the studio was so tiny. We were so close. It was pretty fun because they had a warm-up guy come out and tell some jokes before the show started. Conan even came out and talked to the audience before the show started. I don’t know if you guys watched the show, but Conan did this bit about Fleet Week and the sailors he was talking to were sitting two people away from us. There are some scenes where you can see Matt, Andrea and I. The tickets were free *and* we got a free Conan tee. Suhweet! (Remember when I said I liked free? I wasn’t kidding.)

This is a screenshot of us on the Conan show!

Later that night we had our first encounter with the subways. We made it to our destination without getting lost, which was an added bonus. (I wish we had a subway system here, but it’s never gonna happen. Who still thinks the light rail is gonna work?) We ended up going to Greenwich Village in the NYU area for dinner. We ate at this lovely little restaurant called Pasta Presto. I had a delicious Tuscan Steak. So good.