Notes on a fence in New York in honor of 9-11

Sleeping in the city that never sleeps.

My New York City Vacation.

I’m sure you’ve all been, at one point or another, so exhausted and worn out that you thought “I just need a vacation.”

But this past weekend I was at the point where I was so exhausted and worn out that I kept thinking God, I really don’t want to go on this vacation.

Not that I wasn’t excited to go see the Nathan’s finals, because it was a totally kick-ass experience and the downright coolest event I’ve ever been to in my life…it’s just, I wasn’t really prepared for it. And I certainly wasn’t prepared to spend three days in the city that never sleeps after basically not sleeping for the last two months…

I boarded the plane on Thursday morning after barely getting three hours of sleep the night before. I must have fallen asleep soon after taking my seat because at one point I woke up and thought “Hmmm…we’re in the air…how about that?” I put my seat back and fell back asleep.

We arrived in New York City and checked into the Affinia. They had a special beverage at the front desk for us, a “pillow menu,” a stuffed gorilla on the bed, and apparently you could order up a rubber duckie (although we didn’t know that one until in the airport home…). We even had a kitchen. Why we needed a kitchen, I don’t know, but it let us keep our water cold.

Stuffed gorilla on my bed at the Affinia Hotel in New York City.

The first thing we did was take off to find…well…something…

We took a walk down Fifth Avenue and decided we were hungry so we ducked into Heartland Brewery for lunch. I had a delicious roast chicken and a Berry Champagne Ale that was tasty.

Roast chicken at Heartland Brewery in New York City.

Berry Champagne Ale at Heartland Brewery in New York City.

When I went to the bathroom there were three doors. One had an icon of a man on it. One had an icon of a woman on it. The middle one had icons of both a man and a woman on it. Huh? I chose the woman.

We continued walking up the street, saw the Empire State Building, saw St. Patrick’s Cathedral, saw Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall…We didn’t go into any of the buildings mind you, just saw them…

Then we hit Central Park. I’m a sucker for parks so besides the contest this was the only other thing I really cared about seeing while there (well, that and Broadway…) My only real mission there was to track down the Alice in Wonderland Statue. After quite a bit wandering we finally stumbled upon it 🙂

Alice in Wonderland Statue in Central Park in New York City.

Alice in Wonderland Statue in Central Park in New York City.

We walked around a bit more and then, of course, waited outside a bit trying to figure out what to do. Outside of the park was no Jenny’s front lawn, but it would have to do. Nad and Bryan got in a bit of a tiff at this point and stormed off in different directions leaving me alone. I ran after Nad and we made our way back to the hotel.

Later Bryan was off to meet some businessy people so Nad and I headed to check out Times Square. It’s a lot crazier than I remember it from last time. It used to be a lot seedier and now it just has giant glowing M&Ms. We walked around looking for food and settled on a little diner where I got some spaghetti and meatballs.

Friday was the hot dog eating contest. After the contest we took naps. We proceeded to sleep through the fireworks. Oops. This is what not sleeping for two months does to you. Honestly I was perfectly happy to take this is a true restful vacation and didn’t really care if we did anything or not. I was perfectly happy to take advantage of the pillow menu and sleep away my weekend. I needed it.

Coney Island in New York City.

Coney Island in New York City.

Coney Island in New York City.

Saturday after I don’t know how many hours of sleep we woke up and were out the door around 11. Apparently the city that never sleeps sleeps in because it was pretty dead outside.

We got coffee at Juan Valdez just because we were hungry and we had never seen a Juan Valdez shop.

Our truly brilliant idea for the day was to take a double decker bus tour. Now, I am usually pretty against doing tours like that and prefer to wander on my own, but a) Nad’s coworker gave her some unused passes that got us on for free and b) it was a hop on/hop off thing so we could get on and off as we pleased anywhere that we pleased. So, think of it as a free cab.

Our truly brilliant idea for the day quickly turned to being truly stupid when it started to downpour and we were stuck, freezing and soaking wet on the top of a bus. They gave out ponchos but conveniently ran out leaving us the only three on the bus without one.

We got off at the first stop and bought overpriced tourist sweatshirts to keep warm. I at least got mine in pink.

Raining on a double decker bus tour in New York City.

We were driven around and saw all the sites and neighborhoods. We got off at the World Trade Center site and later at the Statue of Liberty.

After the bus dropped us off at the end Bryan took off for more business dealings and Nad and I chilled around Times Square. Now, if you’ve known me for a while you’ll know that way back when in high school I was your quintessential theatre geek. And so to me New York is really about just one thing: Broadway. I was dying to see a show while there. So Nad and I went to go check out prices at the half-price booth. Unfortunately her and Bryan couldn’t justify the money for tickets. 🙁 After discussing it with Nad though she said it was OK, if it was OK with me that I could just get a ticket for myself. So I bought myself a single ticket to see Spring Awakening, which won the Tony in 2007 and has been on my list ever since.

Before heading to the show we grabbed a bite at an Irish Pub where we split some Whiskey Chicken and Guinness beef stew. And then I headed off to the theater.

Spring Awakening in New York City.

I felt a little self-conscious because I didn’t have time to go back to the hotel to change so I was in my jeans and just a t-shirt. I normally always like dressing up at least a little for the theater.

Spring Awakening was AMAZING. It’s a “coming of age” take set in long ago Germany set to a pop rock score. A boy with radical philosophies gets a girl pregnant. Another student is wrongly held back in school and commits suicide. A guy masturbates on stage. Typical Broadway.

Warning signs promised “partial nudity” but that just meant half a naked man ass. That’s not even partial.

So I got to see hot dog eating, an Alice in Wonderland statue, and a Broadway show…and caught up on some much much much needed sleep (of course, I am already back to ruining that). And I guess that’s all I can ask for in a weekend getaway.

Hi, I'm Val. I spent most of my 20s in a standstill, unable to pick which path in life I wanted to take. I wanted the nomadic life of a traveler but also wanted the husband, the condo, and the kitten. Unable to decide which life I wanted more, I did nothing. When I turned 30 I’d had enough of putting my life on hold and decided to start “choosing my figs.” So, I quit my job, bought a one-way ticket to Europe, and traveled for three years. Now I'm back in Chicago, decorating my apartment in all the teal, petting my cats, and planning my next adventure.

Post a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.