Holy exhausting day Batman! We’re here, we made it, and actually did some looking around.
Our flight was at 8:30 this morning, which meant we had to wake up at 4:00AM in order to get ourselves to the airport. I thought this was going to be really brutal, but I was surprisingly chipper. I must have woken up at the perfect moment in my sleep cycle, because I felt really good.
Most of our stuff had been packed and was already in the car. Paul and I rushed around getting all the last minute details pulled together and headed off. We met Paul’s brother in St. Catharines and he graciously drove us across the boarder at this absurd hour in the morning.
The border guard was quite amusing; he started off with the usual questions like citizenship, reason for visit, etc. However when he heard we were on our way to NYC for a knitting conference, he started asking me about knitting. He made sure it was indeed me who was doing the knitting, and asked if I liked it and how I signed up for this show. I was beginning to be concerned he wasn’t going to let us cross because he didn’t believe us. Before anything too drastic happened, he abruptly allowed us to go on our merry way. Everyone attributed it to the fact that nothing much probably happens on the early morning shift and he has to take his kicks where he can get them.
After arriving at the airport and getting checked in, we had a bit of a wait. There were no delays so we got to sit there and have an extremely healthy airport-food breakfast… and coffee…. Lets not forget the coffee…
The plane was a very small model, the same size as the one we took on our way to Chicago; this one was much newer. The ride to Chicago was rough, you could feel every little bump and jostle, it was also a lot more claustrophobic. This plane somehow seemed more open concept; while it was still small, I wasn’t gnawing off my seatbelt in order to be freed.
Instead of taking public transit to the hotel, we took a shuttle to Bryant Park. This meant we were on a bus in New York traffic. I swear I am not exaggerating when I say we cleared some obstacles by inches. While we were driving I looked at the cars around us and think I counted a grand total of three or four without dents, dings scratches or scrapes… in some cases all of the above. I think this bus ride shaved a few years off my life, next time… we take the subway.
Paul and I found the hotel at 12PM, check in wasn’t until 4PM, but we thought we would take the chance. Amazingly, our room was ready. We got to drop off all our luggage before heading out to lunch.
Lunch, the thing I had been waiting for! Since we left Chicago, I’ve been pining away for Vapianos. It was the BEST pasta I had ever been to and I miss it… a lot. I was so excited when I heard there was one in New York, every time I thought of it my mouth instantly filled with saliva. Needless to say, that is where we went for lunch. It was still really good, but it was better in Chicago. It will hold me over for the time being, it’s only nine more months until I am back in Chicago!
The Vapianos was out near Union Square Park, so we walked off lunch and looked around. Of course there was a lululemon there, how could there not be? I checked it out, but it seemed to be stocking the same things as the one back home. I felt much better after that. I was worried they were going to carry new and exciting things I had not seen before.
After we were done meandering around Union Square, Paul and I took the subway back to Time Square. While walking around in the labyrinth that is the NYC subway systems, I noticed these signs that had some kind of caution about rats. I didn’t really pay too much attention, but while we were waiting to head back to Time Square, I saw a rat on the tracks with a huge piece of bread in its mouth. Man that little bugger was quick! I tried to get a photo, I already had my camera out and ready, but he eluded me.
Now having said that… why I was trying to take a picture of a rat in a subway is beyond me. I am going to play the brain damage card, combo-ed with 4AM wake up time. I’ll try not to do too many more silly things while we’re here… And that sentence is why I am going to get Murphy-ed really badly tomorrow, mark my words.
Having taken the subway back to Time Square, Paul and I walked up 5th Avenue and checked out the stores. Mostly debating whether or not security would take one look at us and throw us right back out. We actually did stop into a couple stores, including the Tiffanies flagship store. There were so many shiny things in that building I don’t know how people can carry on actual conversations!
We also stopped by the Apple flagship store and looked around. The outside and stairs were made completely of glass. It was interesting trying to walk up them and took an inordinate amount of concentration.
Next was Central Park; having done quite a bit of walking we opted for the horse drawn carriage tour. It was only about 20 minutes, but very informative. The guide pointed out places where movies had been filmed, gave history on the park, and pointed out the condos of notable people living beside the park. The guide was an older man who used his crop to point more than urge the horse into movement. Of which I was glad, it was no small stick and I found myself ducking a couple times when he pointed out noteworthy attractions. Let just say, the two of them had character.
We headed back to the hotel and I ran downstairs to register for the conference. Once we had all those ducks in a row, Paul and I looked around the hotel, figured out the schedule for the next couple days, and went to dinner.
Lisa! I went to Carmine’s! It is actually one street over from our hotel with an alley that directly connects the two of them. I could literally throw a stone and hit it.
When Paul and I first walked in, the place was PACKED. It was going to be a 30ish minute wait, so I put my name in and we sat down at the bar. At this point I started to creep what other people were eating; just to get a feel for the place. First thing I noticed, the portions were HUGE! Absolutely humongous! Second thing I noticed, the prices were really high. For example, the appetizer Caesar salad was $27, I was thinking to myself, what the hell is on this salad?! A quarter chicken? Golden croutons?! As it turns out, the dishes are family sized, so one dish is supposed to feed 2-3 people. I ordered the Caesar salad and ravioli for Paul and myself; between the two of us, we couldn’t finish it. The food was amazing though, thanks for the recomendation!
I have quite a few classes during the next two days and I am currently dying from sleep deprivation. I wish you all goodnight and I will post tomorrow’s shenanigans on the morrow!