Life is the greatest gift one could ever ask for, mine is one I wouldn't trade for anything.. I love who I am and who I have in my life...


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Big Apple

 There has been a long standing tradition for Zach that every year he goes to an NFL game, usually the JETS but sometimes another team. While I was pregnant we attended a Bears and Houston game in Chicago together which was amazing. This year was back to the JETS and in New York none the less. They took on the Patriots (Tom Brady what a hunk!) on a beautifully sunny and warm Sunday afternoon. But the trip actually started a few day before then when we had to leave our baby behind for the first time since he was born.

This was to be Zach and I's first getaway since Knox was born and it started to stress me out. I had yet to spend a single night away from my little one and I was not sure I was ready for it yet. I was so looking forward to this trip but at the same time I just wanted to bring my little boy with. As the hours drew closer to departure my heart was on edge and I did everything I could to keep from crying. I had all of our bags packed and had put together everything I could like my parents would need for Knox, held him tightly and gently kissed his forehead. I promised him I loved him and would see him soon, I handed him off and slowly got into the truck holding my breath and fighting every urge I had to stay. As we pulled down the drive and out on to the street I finally took a full deep breath and knew everything was going to be ok.


We arrived to the airport and started to make our way to the gate. As we got to security Keith went right on through while I waited with Zach and Val to slowly pass through the screening process and boy was that entertaining. Val and Zach are the two slowest people in that scenario that I have ever met! I rushed though because I hate holding lines all while the two of them made jokes and fought over shoes. It was a great release to my emotions knowing that we are going to have a great trip. Once on the plane Zach stole my window seat, (I had rearranged all of our seats so I could make sure we had great seats for the flight there) so I was stuck in the middle of two men for a long cross country flight, or so I thought. Once the plane was boarded they pulled diamond sky club members to first class and we ended up with the row to ourselves! It was a treat! Once in the air the flight wasn't half bad. Pretty good movie and a stewardess that was adorable, she reminded me of Malika from the Kardashians (Yes I am obsessed with the show). She made sure Zach and I kept our drinks full and was a delight to talk to. Then you could see the lights! New York was just outside the window and we were ready to land!


Once on the ground we ventured our way to baggage to find that we were one short. Val's bag never made it out of SLC. Oops! Delta gave her a little bag with items she might need till they could bring her the bag in the morning. She was a great sport about it and was able to make jokes about her belongings being so small now. We took a car into the city to our hotel, the driver was not very talkative and I don't believe he understood much of what we were saying either, but the car was very nice and it was a quick drive.


The Waldorf Astoria on Park Ave. I felt almost royal going into this hotel, is was beautiful and even at one in the morning still so full of life. We checked into our rooms and agreed with Keith that we would just see him in the morning and we were all ready for bed. Well upon entering our room it had a smell less than to be desired... We called down to have them come take care of the smell and decided that we would try the food cart out on the street below. But once outside we chose to walk the city a bit to see if there were any other options.


I don't think Zach planned to go as far as we did but we managed to end up in the middle of Times Square. It was beyond eventful with thousands of people covering the sidewalks and cars that lined the streets. You would hear the chatter of conversation and the sound of music coming from the different advertisements that made such a glow over the streets you almost couldn't tell that it was now 2 in the morning. There were several luxuriously stunning cars that were slowly going down the road and would causally pull out to block the road and someone one would jump out and start taking photos that you can’t get every day. Then the cops would sound their sirens and push the cars along. It was a sight to see to say the least. Zach and I slowly walked the city and made our way back to the hotel and stopped for the Falafel Cart just outside our building. It was a great end to our first night in the big city.


The next morning we woke up and quickly got ready thinking that Keith and Val would be waiting on us and found that they were not even close yet. So we started a new adventure into the city of lights. We started counting just how many Starbucks there are on just about every corner until we came to this little hole in the wall type place for a breakfast sandwich. We went back to the room and ate it and then started off for Grand Central Station. We learned that it was originally owned by the Vanderbilt's and it was their New York house until donated to the city 100 years ago. It was very stuffy inside but beautiful all the same. Keith told us that the 9/11 Monument wasn’t too far away so we had started walking in the direction he point and after a mile or so we came to realize that it was at the other end of the island and would in no way be able to make it that far by foot so we headed back to the hotel.


Once out front we found a driver that was a full blooded New Yorker and was ready to show us the city. He took us to a place a crossed the bridge for pizza to a little place called Grimaldi’s. It had the longest line out front that none of us were willing to wait for, but our driver asked us to stay in the car and he would be right back. He was only gone for a moment when he ushered us out of the car and passed the long line into the restaurant. We sat right down we were served us a pie that could not be beat. The toppings were perfectly placed and the sauce had a zing to it that could not be beat. The crust was perfectly crispy with still a soft pull on the inside. This by far was worth why people stood in the long line outside. That was by far one of the best pizzas I have ever had.
He continued to drive us around the city and show us the different neighborhoods as well as the statue of liberty and drove us by the 9/11 monument. We learned a lot about the city and the way it has changed and grew as it has come along over the years. But with every stop and every new sight it was “known all over the world” or ‘Famous for”. Our driver loved his city and was a very proud member of what seemed to be its own elite society of people known as New Yorkers, either that or he was a part of the mob and we are lucky we all made it home alive. I enjoyed all the beautiful sights that I had seen when I was younger and now able to appreciate even more. But I still missed my little guy and spent lots of time asking for updates on him.

As the day grew on we made it back to our part of the city and began the hunt for cigars. It was still daylight when this adventure started in a high class cigar bar that made Zach remover both his hat and shoes, (Needless to say this was not going to be where we stayed) and by the time we had taken several cab rides and goggled every place possible we finally found one that was open it was dark. It was a great little hole in the wall type place with lots of character & detail in all the items place both in and out of the store as well as with a crazy lady out front that told Val her life story.


Once this mission was accomplished it was now time to find a place where we could sit outside and have some drinks while Keith smoked…. This was a fail to say the least. We ended up at a little Mexican joint below Grand Central with some very tasty margaritas. We then walked some more in attempt for a new bar to watch the game and resorted back to the hotel bar. We each had one drink and the waiter never came back so Zach and I set off on our own. We found a nice little street that had a few bars so we stopped in to watch my Red Sox win a game! Who knew that in the heart of New York you would find so many people cheering them on to win this and make it to the World Series. 


The next day we were off to the game! It was so beautiful and I was ready for some fun! Zach wore his ‘Dirty Sanchez” jersey to the game which made peoples day! I got knocked in the head by some dude trying to snap a quick photo, well worth it though all things considering. We had great seats in mid field and not too far up on the lower concourse. I managed to make friends with the old men around me and cheered loudly with them for every first down and great pass that was made, touch downs I was a little afraid of how close they would get though. Just excited old men that were thrilled a young girl could be so involved in a team that I lived on the other side of the county from. The end of the game came and the JETS took home the glory of a good win.  Well its been fun New york! I will see you again! 

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