Thursday, June 2, 2011

We Heart NY!

On Monday, May 30th, we celebrated our first anniversary! Since we got married we always talked about taking a vacation for our anniversary (time and money permitting). New York was somewhere we both wanted to go, so it made sense that we go there for our first anniversary trip! Mike had never been. I had been a few times with my mom, but the last time was in 2003. A lot has changed with both the city and myself since then! Mike's experience in Europe and my experience in Melbourne and Tokyo made us experts at navigating big cities. We were ready to take on the Big Apple!

When we arrived at our hotel we tried to plan out our weekend. We decided the first stop should be the wine reception at our hotel! Free wine is probably the best way to start any weekend! We were among the first ones there and we found a spot at a large table with two gentlemen and we struck up a conversation. Another couple from Canada joined us. Everyone was very nice and both couples recommended we see "Priscilla: Queen of the Desert" a musical that included outrageous costumes and popular songs from the 70s/80s. More on that later. 

Mike and I headed out on our first adventure. A friend had recommended we take the Staten Island Ferry around sunset and take in the view of the city. We used our awesome public transit skills to get us to the ferry and embarked on our free ride!

NYC skyline (right) and Statue of Liberty (left)

When we got off on Staten Island, we decided to look for some food. It was fleet week so there were sailors everywhere and lots of military specials! Good for us! (We didn't actually cash in on this, however.) We found a place that looked like it had good NY pizza and we ordered it Grandma Sicilian style! (fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, and SQUARE-shaped!) It was delicious! Although we couldn't eat it all and brought the rest home to eat for breakfast the next morning!
Mike enjoys a slice of cheesy pizza!
When we got back to the hotel, we decided to check out the hotel's rooftop lounge we'd heard so much about. We saw many people who were "dressed to impress" waiting in the lobby. Mike and I stopped by the room to put on something more presentable and then headed up to the roof! Oh my what a view! The lounge was packed, but we managed to stay up there long enough to enjoy one (expensive) drink each. We even met some folks from Greece!
Enjoying the view!
The next morning we enjoyed our leftover pizza before heading to Central Park for a run. Now, I'm not a big fan of walking 1.5 miles just to start my run, but this was well worth it. There were SO many people running and riding bikes. Plenty of happy dogs on walks, too! 
Mike takes in the scenery.

Veronica re-enacts the "Phoebe run" in Central Park!
On the way back we decided to stop by the TKTS booth to grab some tickets to see "Priscilla." It was a 40 minute wait, but it was in Times Square so you can always pass the time people-watching!
Times Square!
After getting cleaned up, we met up with my friend Brad Mehlman for lunch. Mehlman and I worked at Weathernews together and he is now working for Quantas in Sydney, Australia! He was back in the states to visit friends and family in Oklahoma and Long Island (where he's from). It was SO good to see Mehlman!!
That afternoon we took in some of the NY sights:

Freedom Tower (where World Trade towers once stood)
Business End of the Wall St. Bull!
Empire State Building ('re head is in the way...)
We then got cleaned up and headed to Times Square to see our show! As we approached the theater, we noticed there were pictures of men dressed as women. We looked at each other and thought "Is this show about drag queens?" "Surely someone would have mentioned that during all the rave reviews!" As we entered the theater it became more and more apparent that the stars of the show were actually drag queens! I don't think this bothered us, really, but we certainly weren't expecting it! I mean, look at the sign at the front of the theater:
Those are women!!
Either way it was a really great show and the costumes were great and we knew almost all of the songs. That does make it fun! We decided we should probably take in a matinee the next day, too! 

Before the show started, I checked Facebook on my phone and found out Mike's friend/groomsman, Josh, and his wife, Jill, and their son, Zach, were in NY too and staying just around the corner from Times Sq.! We met up with them after our show. It was great to visit with them as we hadn't seen them since our wedding!
Mike and Josh spent most of the evening discussing bicycles.
The next day we decided to take in some more sights in the morning before our matinee. Along the way we stumbled upon a Marine band:

Marine Band
Next was Rockefeller Center:
No ice skating in May!
Then some shopping!
Apple Store! Found out when we got back this is the most photographed location in NY!
We went back to the hotel before lunch and our matinee show, "Catch Me If You Can." Mike was a little tired...
Pooped and it's only noon!
Before the show, we decided to get some NY Cheesecake:
Original or Triple Brownie?!
"Catch Me If You Can" was really great. It was a cute, fun show. After that we met up with our friend Will, whom we met at my cousin's wedding in February. He took us to a cute little French restaurant (with outdoor seating!!!) and then he took us to the oldest pub in the city!! McSorley's!!
Mike and Will drinking beer at the oldest pub in NYC!
We had a fantastic trip! What a great way to celebrate an anniversary!! What's in store for next year? Perhaps some West Coast fun?