A few weekends ago I had a three-day weekend at school; the extra day being a result of Veteran's Day. How to celebrate, how to celebrate.... How about a two day mini-vacation to New York City! I figured a two day celebration would be the best way to celebrate the three day weekend.
Caity (real name has not been changed. We're over that) and I took the 7:00am bus from DC to NYC. Since you're all wondering, it was the Peter Pan bus. I was hoping for some flying action, but that idea never took off. It was comfy, convenient, and cool, but definitely not colorful. We agreed that was okay.
Upon arriving at 10:45am and being unable to check into the hotel and with our only obligation of the day being at 3:30pm, we immediately wished we had taken the 11:00am bus. Then we would have gotten to sleep in and not missed a dang thing. I thought NYC was the city that never sleeps, but it turns out 11:00am on a Saturday is a perfect time to sleep. Oh well.
Upon arriving the first order of business was to delve into the culinary uniqueness of NYC via the aqueduct of... Chevy's Mexican Chain Train. Actually it's just called Chevy's. I tried to get the most NY dish I could so I went for the San Antonia quesadilla. It was delicious. After that we went for a walk, as all New Yorkers do. We walked and we walked. We walked from midtown to downtown, narrowly avoiding westtown. By the time we arrived at our destination- a little cafe where Caity's brother and his wife were dining- we had logged 4.23 miles. This figure was confirmed by Caity's sextant, which she had conveniently brought along. I thought she might leave it at the hotel, but she insisted on knowing our exact latitude at all times so I lugged it along. It proved crucial to our survival, as you shall see later.
Meeting Caity's brother was splendid. I enjoyed seeing how much alike he is with Caity, and meeting his wife who was lovely. When dudes meet each other it can (and always is) awkward, but when you throw a female in the mix it's not so bad. We hopped on the subway back uptown for hot chocolate at an Italian cafe called 'Eataly.' Ohhhhh man it was hard hiding my excitement for that pun, but I wanted to leave a good impression on Caity's brother so I refrained. We spent the rest of the afternoon together, heading to the 9/11 Memorial. It was really reverent and enjoyable.
After that we took the subway back uptown to Times Square, where we made a reservation at Carmine's. Carmine's is a NY staple for Italian food. I was told it was a staple in Times Square, but I was surprised to learn that they actually use staples in their cooking. That's how they keep the pasta together- staples. They are even brash enough to just use regular, inedible staples. As I munched on pasta manicotti alfredo penne gelato rigatoni it felt like my insides were being assaulted by a staple gun. Their dessert menu includes a staple remover. Not bad though, not bad. After that we ventured to 30 Rockefeller Plaza. From there we went in the general direction of... skytown? We went to the top, basically. From the Top of the Rock we could see the whole city- The Statue of Liberty, The Empire State Building, The Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park, the park in the center, and further to the east, Madrid.
After the Top of the Rock we walked back to the hotel via Central Park. It was not as friendly as it appears in the movie Enchanted. It was poorly lit and the dog walkers with 'Peterson Family Reunion 2013' matching sweatshirts were super sketchy so I made sure to stand between them and Caity, with my grip firmly on the sextant in case... I needed to relay our coordinates to the mounted equestrian officers that roam the park like they wish they at least got a Segway. Our stroll that evening was short.
Sunday morning was delightful. We met Caity's brother and his wife in Central Park (it was light by this point) and we walked leisurely further uptown to Lenny's- a famous sub shop. I got the corned beef and pastrami- a Jewish New York staple without the stomach surgery. Delectable on all accounts.
That afternoon the other couple had to go home, so we said 'Good-bye, it was nice to meet you. See you at Christmas' and Caity and I headed easttown. Our goal was Madrid. There we were, two young lovers walking hand in hand through Central Park. It was pretty spectacular, actually. We saw a couple get engaged directly in front of us (honest to goodness their friend/photographer had to ask us to move because we were in between him and the couple). We golf clapped when she said yes. We saw street performers performing in the street, dog walkers walking dogs, pizza deliverymen delivering pizza, and everything else you come to expect when you're expecting everything, including rain. As the rain fell on the Park that is neither uptown or downtown or midtown- merely Central- we headed to FAO Schwartz. We binged on candy and took pictures with large Lego structures. We then walked back to our bus, stopping at Angelo's pizza on Broadway. It was Angelic, in a masculine sort of way. The bus ride home was fine. Still no flying though.