There's Nothing Like New York In The Fall

Except apparently August. It's as if the Lord knew my craving for fall and delivered my gift to the city in weather form. (And I know He knew what I wanted so I shouldn't be surprised that I got it). Last week Andy had to be in NYC for work for a few days, so rather than be depressed and home alone over my 30th birthday, I tagged along. What a terrible place to spend a birthday right? This was my fifth trip to the city so I've seen most of the classic tourist sites and wanted to keep things pretty low key, since I usually over-plan and under-relax on EVERY trip. And I mean every trip, anywhere. I can't seem to help but plan out each detail to make the most of our time and money. No surprise that I need a vacation to relax everytime I get home. So I planned this time to be different (catch the irony? still planning.....to relax). To start the next decade with a new perspective, taking in the fun at a slower pace.

Without further ado, let's hit the highlights!

1) How awesome is this view? We stayed at the Hilton at 53rd & 6th Avenue in Midtown. Of all the places I've stayed (Flatotel, Novotel, Radisson Martinique), this had the best view. See the Empire State building in the background? And Radio City down below? I couldn't get a good iPhone picture at night. But people - it was beautiful. And yet somehow quiet. They had the best soundproofing from cab horns I've ever had. Especially with a room with a whole wall that was windows.

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And can I mention that I totally didn't know America's Got Talent was filming while we were there? Not that I really like that show, but you never know when it's your chance to wave to a primetime camera. Alas I had to console myself with not being stuck in that massive crowd. Which is a blessing in itself.

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2) On my birthday, I decided to venture out on my own. I'm not going to lie. Adventuring solo in the city was a little scary. But I was determined not to spend my big day cooped up at the Hilton. Though there are worse things than room service and laying in bed all day watching movies. So I put on my big girl britches jumped in the taxi line (with my latte of course - have to play the city girl part!) and headed out to the National Museum of Natural History. I had no clue this even existed - my focus has always been the art museums or fabric stores. But I channeled my memories of 'Night at the Museum' and spent the next few hours exploring. photo

I loved the animal exhibits - and suddenly I realized this was a massive amount of taxidermy. And how that jives with not killing animals for the sake of me looking at them in a museum....well I'm sure PETA must have approved that one. I bet Teddy Roosevelt (the founder) would have had none of that. Really I have no idea how they ended up with thousands of huge animals. But it was awesome to see them. Every picture I took was perfect - it was better than the bestest zoo. No seals sliding into the water just as the flash goes off. No elephants turning around just in time for a butt shot. Nope. Perfect pictures every time. And not one creature in those glass cages was dusty. I think I spent an hour of my tour contemplating that little miracle. They must have a secret.......and I need it!

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Isn't that polar bear eating a penguin just precious? Ah the circle of life. Simba would be so proud.

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And those moose? Or mice? Meeses? Whatever - I just want to pet them. And hang Christmas lights from their antlers.

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And then came the dinosaurs. Let me tell you. Ben Stiller got off easy. If he only got chased by one T-rex, half that museum was sleeping. There were so many crazy dinosaurs in there he wouldn't have had a chance if they had all come to life. It would've been full on Jurassic Park. Even though I have my opinions opposite the curators on the timeline of dinosaurs and evolution, it was pretty cool to see the enormity of some of these things. Oh and there's a wooly mammoth. So check that one out.

3) Yankee Stadium. We were able to catch a game and it was a victory for a few reasons.

  • The Yankees won
  • I got to hear Alex Rodriguez be boo'ed by his own peeps (kids the moral of the story is don't cheat and don't lie)
  • This puts me equal with my dad in the number of ballparks we have seen games at (existing or demolished parks count). I'm pretty sure he's planning a vacation around the midwest just to bump up his numbers ASAP. But then again, he's the one that made me so competitive (love you Pops!).

photo photoIt was cool to see some of the history & traditions in such a longstanding team. I'm a Braves fan through and through and they have history. But not like the Yanks. And for real - their sponsors are so weird. Like Lord & Taylor? Really? Your clientele is at the game? Apparently, but that's a far cry from ads in Hotlanta.

Are you still reading? I feel like I've lulled you to sleep by now with my stories....and since I haven't told you about my favorite part I'll share more highlights at the end of the week!