I did something pretty scary last week. Well, scary for my extremely sheltered life. I left the boys home with daddy and headed to New York City by myself. I mean I met up two of my best friends there but there was probably about 5 hours where I was traveling all alone. The thought of this naive girl going to NY by myself, going through the airport, getting a cab at 10:00 at night, and making it to my friend, Beth's place almost made me go into a fetal position and cry. That sounded WAY too grown up for me to handle. Back when Beth lived in Dallas, it felt like 'country comin' to town,' much less NYC!
But seriously, I even surprised myself. I was envisioning being mugged right outside the airport or the cabbie taking me to a dark alley and dropping me off...too much tv, I know. The cab ride wasn't dark alley kind of scary but it was holy-smokes-put-on your-seat-belt-and-say-a-prayer-scary for sure.
Beth and I have known each other since 5th grade church camp. We bonded instantly. Later we were in the same youth group in high school, we went to TCU together our freshman year. Then, we still couldn't get enough of each other and we worked at Pier 1 together for 6 years. In high school, she introduced me to Courtney and because she and Beth got along so perfectly, how could I not love Courtney as well?
Beth's husband swapped places with us and flew to Texas for a wedding while we visited her and her precious daughter Lilly Anna. Yes, it was our own version of Sex and the City. Lilly Anna was definitely Carrie since she was in charge of us. This is our closest rendition of the girls.
Our adventure started out at Rockefeller Plaza. You know the famous ice rink?
Radio City Music Hall, St. Patrick's Cathedral...
Within 30 minutes of touring NY, I was afraid I might just not have enough memory on my camera to capture it all. Beth and Lilly Anna ventured home to take a nap. Oh, did I mention that Beth is due with her second in a month and is such a trooper taking us all over her city.
Courtney and I ventured off by ourselves with stops at FAO Schwarz...
One of Courtney's other friends moved to NYC as well and was running in the New York marathon while we were there. She was able to invite her to a luncheon which meant me by myself again in New York. But I was on Broadway and it was 3:00 in the afternoon and I loved every minute of it. It was so much fun to stop and shop and just take it all in.
And you can't go to NY without going to a show. We went to the Broadway show Memphis. I watched it with such awe and admiration and it took everything in me to not want to jump on that stage and dance and sing with them. But that is coming from a girl who was so obsessed with the movie and musical Annie as a little girl that when my record broke, there were some serious tears and drama in our house that night. Meanwhile my mother rejoiced and did the happy dance that she didn't have to hear that record one more time.
Day two in the city...picture the most perfect fall day where you're bundled up in a sweater and cozy jacket with leaves turning the perfect shades of auburn, gold, and the wind blowing your hair so gently that you feel like maybe you're on movie set and you just might be the star. Yep, that was exactly how it was like.
I can't believe that we could top the day before but we did...we really did. Something about New York makes you want to buy a hat. Yes, partly because of the cool weather but mostly because you just think they're all so darn cute! Lilly Anna was definitely the cutest though as we made her model all the hats.
And we joined in on the fun too. I think we look like some New York misfits...either that or some characters from the Wiggles.
For living in a concrete jungle, New York has definitely figured out how to do a park the right way. Beth lives right smack dab in the middle of Central Park and Riverside Park.
First park visit of the day...Riverside Park right along the Hudson River.
It was just chilly enough for a hot chocolate stop with gobs of whipped cream.
Next park stop? Central Park, of course!
My mom, a 1st grade teacher, had only one request from my trip and that was to get her leaves from Central Park to show her students. Not a problem, there was an abundance.
So this is what fall is like. See here in Texas, fall is about a week long. We go from wearing shorts one week to the leaves changing and suddenly they've been blown to someplace like Louisiana and then the following week ice comes. But New York does fall right. No wonder so many movies are filmed there.
And fate was definitely on our side that day. So we walk to the New York marathon with NO problem which we find out later is extremely hard to do and 20 minutes later just happen to see Courtney's friend running in the marathon. Seriously, how many million people are in New York City during the marathon?
Final stop before leaving back to Texas the next morning. I needed a full dose of Times Square.
This was probably our scariest part of the entire trip. We hadn't even stepped into Times Square from the subway when we saw a man passed out from either a seizure, intoxication, or a drug overdose. Not really sure but since he was handcuffed and the cops were rather nonchalant about it, I don't think it was a seizure. Wow, not exactly something you see everyday.
Talk about sensory overload. I feel like I like to stand on every street corner and just stand there for 10 minutes just to take everything in.
There truly is something magical about New York. I'm so amazed that Beth lives there was her family and handles the city so well. And I'm so thankful that I have two amazing friends that we just pick up right where we left off like we saw each other yesterday even though we live in three different cities. This is a trip that I will never forget. I'm already hooked and I'm still in my New York state of mind.