If any of you ever plan travel to NYC, the biggest piece of advice I can give is that you should not expect things to go as planned. Make one set of plans, and then a back-up. Don't get your heart too set on the first agenda. We had a great trip, it's just that I'm a planner by nature, and when things don't go my way, I can get easily disappointed. Hopefully this is a character flaw I can work through.
I already told you about our ride there and first trip to Saratoga Springs. Here are a few photos to go with.
Here's a good view of my 23 week belly.
The small geyser at the state park
Friday morning, Meagan and Brian took one of their beloved 15 mile runs while I slept in. We drove out to Poughkeepsie, where were could catch a commuter train to NYC for a decent price. We almost missed the train as Meagan struggled to find a parking spot, but she made it in just enough time. When we exited Grand Central Station in NYC, we were greeted by rain, and lots of it. We also found out there were no lockers for our luggage, so we trudged through the streets with suitcases and umbrellas, running over the feet of all rude people. We walked out to SoHo so I could find Purl.
The store was quite small. It was tricky to navigate my large belly through the 2' walking spaces. I have seen most of the yarns before, like Tili Tomas and Koigu. I ended up with a fluffy skein of "Lumpy Bumpy Yarn" from Farmhouse Yarns in Seafoam. I also picked up a souvenir canvas bag. If that's all the yarn store that New Yorkers are treated to, I'm sad for them.
We tried to get into the Friday free night at the MOMA, but refused to wait in a line about 5 blocks long, while it was still raining. After a stop for Bri and the Apple store, we took the subway to Brooklyn and met up with Joani, our host for the weekend (one of Brian's prior co-workers). She found us some good food and a wonderful dessert shop, Sweet Melissa, to fill up our bellies. Joani helped to put me back in a good mood because she's so cheerful and gracious.
Saturday AM, more disappointment came after getting up early for GMA and finding out there was no studio audience on weekends and no outdoor audience that day either. We settled for the Today show - which at first seemed promising. They had all of us corraled around the outdoor recording area with cameras and stage lights ready. I knit on my sock for a while to pass the time.
Well, 9 am came, the Today show ended, and no sign of Lester. Hurricane Ike took precedent over the tourists on the street. The TKTS booth was our next stop. We hoped to score some matinee tickets at 1/2 off. We probably would've failed at this too since the line was already filled with hundreds, but after about 30 minutes waiting, one of the employees noticed I was pregnant. This scored us a spot at the front of the line. Excellent! That definitely picked up my spirits. We purchased three tickets for Chicago. Without that baby bump, we probably would've been watching Harry Potter nude in Equus.
Saturday went on with a walk around Times Square, Central Park and lunch with an old school friend of mine, Dave Klein and his wife. It was great to catch up with an old friend and there wasn't any of that awkwardness that sometimes occurs when friends haven't seen eachother for years. We met back up with Joani and friends, as well as Bri's cousin to have dinner at Bread Tribeca, a neighborhood hot spot. Dinner was delicious, but the real treat was realizing Tyra Banks was sitting at the table kitty-corner to us. Joani sure knows how to pick 'em.
We finished out the trip Sunday morning with a terrific brunch in a restaurant with a quaint backyard patio and some frozen hot chocolate from Jacques Torres. The day was humid and hot, but we were determined to also get some pictures of the Brooklyn Bridge along the waterfront. The cityscape was beautiful, as was the view of the Statue of Liberty.
We made it back to Schnectady uneventfully and relaxed until it was time to head home on the Amtrak. Meagan dropped us at the station, only for us to find out that our train was completely canceled due to flooding in Buffalo. They couldn't do anything for us and couldn't even promise there would be a train the next night. Meagan came back to get us so we could research our options from her home internet. The plane was much more expensive than we had budgeted for, and Brian adamantly refused to take the Greyhound bus. He said noway, no-how, it stinks and scares him. Our last option was to rent a car. This option brought me to tears because we were already sleep deprived and the thought of staying up all night was more than I could handle. We picked up a $100 rental (actually a nice brand new Chevy HHR) and started on our way at 9:30 pm. We took turns sleeping and made it back to Toledo to get our car from the station by 7 am. We had to drive through the remnants of Hurricane Ike, so it was very windy and rainy at times, but we made it safe and sound. We were back to Holland by 12:30 to make it to some daycare appointments. I was asleep on the couch by 6 pm.
So, we're home safe and sound. We have taken our last pre-baby vacation and have some great memories to go with it. Thanks so much to Meagan and Joani for hosting us! Despite the mishaps along the way, we really enjoyed the trip, seeing new sights and catching up with old friends.