We spent Thursday, the 23rd, in flight to New York. We had a stop in Atlanta, Georgia, where we got Ben and Jerry's ice cream and took on the plane. It was so humid there! Just from the plane to the airport was almost unbearable. We got to the city, after a few hours of figuring out the transit system we made it to our motel and crashed for the night.
Friday we did a lot of the main touristy things that people do when in the Big Apple. We hit up Ground Zero, Battery Park, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Federal Building, Wall Street, and had our first bite of New York pizza just around the corner from ground zero. My favorite part of Friday was Ellis Island. It is pretty moving and a must for all who can make it there.
Me at Ellis Island
At Battery Park waiting for the Ferry to the Statue.
Saturday we went by the United Nations, but all the stupid country flags were down, it was mildly frustrating, but still neat to know where a lot of the world's political relations go down. Then we proceeded to go to The Met, aka the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It was huge and amazing! Kara and I weren't so smart though, as we were in there for over two hours and didn't make it to the Roman and Greek exhibits, which were the ones we really wanted to see. We walked across central park and made it over to the Manhattan Temple. We were supposed to join up with a singles ward group, but none of them showed. Kara and I had our own personal baptism session. An old man even got in the font! The temple was my favorite part of that day. We were wondering how we could prepare ourselves for the Temple in the hustle and bustle of the city, but you walk in and BAM! you are prepared because the Spirit is just so strong. That temple is gorgeous on the inside by the way. Granite, marble, mahagony, gold fixtures.... Beautiful. The temple was right across from Juliard and Time Warner, etc.
Right: The Manhattan New York Temple, a tall building but not in comparison to the rest of the city.
Sunday we headed to one of the young single adult wards in downtown. It was actually in the same building as the temple. When you walk in the door, a guy at the desk either directs you left to the temple, or right to the elevators to get to church. They even had a gym in that building! The church is the same even in the big apple! Afterwards we went to a street fair/market on Madison avenue. They shut down about a dozen street blocks and vendors set up shops. It was a fun, low key activity. I got my way cute purse (Dolci and Gabana) there.
After that we went to St. Patrick's Cathedral. The artistry and architecture that went into that building is amazing. I've never been in anything quite like it. Then we wandered and found ourselves at Rockefeller Center, Radio City Music Hall, and NBC Studios. We also, for fun, took a bicycle taxi ride around Times Square. We were actually at Times Square almost every night, mainly because it is right above the Port Authority where we would get on the bus to head back to our motel in New Jersey. Our "taxi peddler" was from Brazil and he told us to eat at Ray's Pizza in Times Square, where apparently the likes of John Travolta have eaten.
Me standing in awe outside NBC News studios.
Monday was our final full day in NY. We went shopping! It was pretty thrilling to be shopping in the Fashion District of New York City. We definitely underestimated how much time we would need there. We did go to Macy's as well as other stores, like one of our personal faves, Forever 21. We also partook of some excellent roasted nuts from a street vendor. If you do nothing else when in New York, get some roasted nuts. They are splendid. I also ate at a little Korean cafe, got some California rolls. Then we went back to Jersey to get dolled up for Broadway. We ended our little hurah with The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. It was AMAZING and an awesome way to cap off a surreal week.
Tuesday, Kara was supposed to go for a run through Central Park, while I read and watched the luggage. Unfortunately an undercover subway cop "pulled us over." We had our big, scratch that, HUGE suitcases, plus duffle bags and purses. They are quite a pain to go through the rotating arm entries. We had our "metro cards" out to swipe as we went through, but a lady came through the regular sized emergency entrance and exit, so we gratefully slipped through there. We didn't think twice about it because we had seen plenty of people do it and we had our huge suitcases and had prepaid for the weeks pass on the subways. After a 30 minute "investigation" in which I felt like the lady cop thought we were harboring terrorists in our luggage she wrote us $60 dollar tickets each. It was obsurd. I thought, "Haven't we spent enough money in your city lady???" So instead of a parting goodbye to Central Park we caught a subway and a bus to the airport and left the big city. We had a layover in Chicago, and a stop in SLC. By the time we reached Boise, we were exhausted. The trip was amazing, once in a lifetime and one of the best experiences of my life.