Sunday, February 19, 2012

New York City 2012

Last weekend I was able to drive over to New York City (I have never been there before) to meet Katy and Clay.  Clay had to head out there for work and I decided to drive up to hang out with Katy while Clay was in meetings.  I drove up sunday afternoon.  I was afraid of all of the tolls I was going to have to pay.  I actually only had to pay 2 but one of them was to go through the Lincoln Tunnel and it was $12.  I was blown away.  I have never heard of a $12 toll before.  The other one I had to pay was only $2.25.  Luckily I did not have to pay it on the way back.  Before I left, everyone here at school warned me about how bad the driving and traffic was going to be and told me that I HAD to leave extra early.  Having never been there I figured I better take their word for it.  I planned an extra 2 hours into my drive to account for that.  And what do you know, I got there a few minutes BEFORE my GPS was telling me.  On top of that, Katy and Clay's plane was a little delayed so I had just under 3 hours to walk around the city by myself.  It was FREEZING COLD and the wind was blowing like crazy.  I apparently did not have enough layer because I was extremely cold.  After walking around for about 2 1/2 hours I decided to stop in a Star Bucks to get some apple cider and wait until Katy and Clay arrived.  Before that, As I was walking in the cold, I walked a giant loop around Times Square about 3 times  and even decided to walk over to Central Park.  Right as I got to Central Park the sun was setting and it was getting really dark so I didn't spend much time there =)  I did however have one of my knives strapped to the front of my backpack (I was afraid I was going to get mugged =) so I felt a little better.

Anyways, after Katy and Clay arrived we checked into the hotel room.  They let me crash with them sunday night and Clay even graciously gave up the other twin bed so I didn't have to sleep on the floor. 

The hotel was right in Times Square!  These next 2 pictures were from the hotel window.  We had to keep the blinds closed tight at night because the lights from the street made it seem like mid day.

After we checked in we headed out to dinner.  Clay has a tradition of eating steak the first night when he travels for work and there was no complaining from me!

This is a comparative picture of the steaks Katy and I ordered.  After much pushing I convinced Katy to try a piece of my steak so she would know what a steak is suppose to taste like!!  I caved and tried a piece of hers as well, but needed a drink of water to help get it down =}

We then walked around Times Square again for a little while.  I was ready to give them a guided tour of the city by that point with all of the walking I previously had done.

Clay then reminded us that the Today Show was filmed just a few blocks away from where we were staying and convinced us to go.  The next morning when we woke bright and early Clay happened to stay behind and sleep :]

This first picture is of me with Natalie on the TV screen.  She's my favorite of the reporters!
And never mind the scarf.  Katy had an extra one and offered it to me.  Since it was so dang cold I took her up on it.  After realizing how ridiculous I looked I took it off.

Matt and Al coming out for one of their segments.  Al came out earlier and walked around and shook everyones had (including Katy's and mine!).  Matt came out, did his quick spot, and practically ran back in. 

I called mom and dad and told them what we were doing and had them record the episode.  Perhaps later I might put a video of our moment of fame on here!  In the meantime they managed to pause the TV and take a couple pictures.  The white hat is Katy!

I'm the nose and eyes on the top.  I NEVER thought I would be "one of those" trying to get on TV.  I actually wouldn't have had to but the camera man kept skipping right by us.  Katy and I got there with plenty of time and had a nice spot picked out.  It was right in front of the door everyone came out of the building from.  We were right along the 'gate' that they had set up.  The first time Al can out he started from the opposite end from where we were.  The camera man did a pan-around and stopped a little before us.  As Al headed back in he looked in our direction and yelled not to go anywhere because they would be coming back out.  They came back out but went back to where they were and 'panned' the same crowd with the camera.  We decided to hang around a little longer and Al came back out but this time set up on the opposite side from where he had the previous.  Again we were not in the shot so we ended up trying to get seen by moving behind the crowd (as seen in the picture above).  As we were there, sticking our nose in the air for the camera to see, Al started walking as he was giving his report (with the camera following him) to the spot where we had been standing ALL MORNING but left just before.  REALLY....

After we got passed over again we decided to leave.  As we were walking away we decided to go back and see if we could see Natalie through the other windows!!  Well what do you know.  Reese Witherspoon was there in here place!!!!!!!  The picture above is of Katy and me as we were watching Reese during her interview.

Before the interview she was just sitting there waiting for it to start and she turned to us and waved.  I'm positive she was looking right at me =]

Me with Reese.  Katy and Clay decided to name their child after her if it was a girl but since they are having a boy, I get to name my eventual/hopeful daughter Reese!

Such nice posture

After the Today Show, we headed back to the hotel to shower and get ready.  We then hopped on the subway to head down to the 9/11 memorial.  Apparently the memorial requires tickets to get in so we decided to head over to the statue of liberty instead.  This was a little intense.  It only cost $13 which was nice but we had to wait in a line for about an hour and we had to go through security like you would in an airport.  The picture above is from the back of the ferry that we took.

This was Ellis Island.  We decided not to get off and visit this time.  We were sooo exhausted by this point.

We also had to experience some genuine New York pizza.  It was alright.  Chicago pizza is MUCH better! 

The Empire State Building.

We went into the lobby but decided not to go up.  It was too expensive.

We also had to check out Grand Central Stadium.

I HAD to get this picture for Tyler and Dylan.  Optimus says hi!!

We also did a little shopping, took a cab ride and I also got a piece of New York cheese cake before I left.  When I drove in I actually had to drive through the Times Square area and that was an interesting experience.  It actually was not that bad.  You just can't be afraid to cut off the cabbies because THEY. ARE. INSANE!  I got honked at a few times and probably should have honked at a few cabbies myself.  They would just make their own lanes.  Literally they would drive down the dividing lines.  New York people (especially cabbies) are extremely rude.  Oh, I also forgot to mention that as we were walking around Times Square, I believe Sunday night, a couple of ladies came by and kind of separated Katy and Clay from me and had them pose for a fashion magazine that they were trying to get started.  I guess you had to be there but I thought it was pretty funny and got a good laugh at how the ladies had no desire for my stylish raggedy old torn up jacket =)

Well, I'm thinking that about sums up the trip. It was great fun and I am glad I was able to spend some time with Katy and Clay.  Now if any of my other sibling wanted to come out to this part of the country perhaps I will drive over and see you as well!!