Let's see, where did I leave off? Oh, yes, we went to bed Friday night. It was late.
Kristy and I decided to get up early and be on the first bus to catch a ferry and see the Statue of Liberty. It was actually nice to see the city so quiet (as quiet as New York gets anyway). It was supposed to rain all day Saturday, so we just showered, threw our hair back and went on our way.
Monica and Marci had their day planned with shopping and such and it really worked out well that Kristy and I had in mind to do sort of the same things and we split off again and met up with them later in the day. Oh, and we must have willed the rain away because besides a bit breezy, it was beautiful all day Saturday and not a drop of rain fell. We enjoyed the early morning bus ride and got on the ferry quite quickly as we already had tickets to the Statue of Liberty. While waiting in line for the ferry, there was an interesting fellow playing a little guitar and meeting people and singing funny songs about them for money. I'm guessing that is his only source of income. He made the waiting in line more bearable. Although we were early and the first group waiting for the ferry, so the wait wasn't that long.
Pause......we interrupt the regularly scheduled run down to let you know that this is where I finally talked to Kevin that next day. We were waiting in line for the ferry and he called. I took a deep breath and after telling him how amazing and hilarious Spamalot was that I got to meet Clay and get my picture taken with him! That was all I said and he said, "How much?" I acted like I didn't know what he meant and said smiling, "How much what?" He said, "How much did you spend?" I timidly said, "two fifty." (Maybe he'd think I meant $2.50!) He instantly knew I meant $250 and said, "I would have let you and Kristy both get one." What?! I was surprised at that. He just said that he knew it was something I would always love having and that I'm worth it and that he would have been upset if he found out I HAD the opportunity to do something like that and didn't do it. WOW! What an amazing man! I have told many people and they have mostly said that their husbands wouldn't have been so mad. Thanks, Kevin. Love you to pieces! (It helps that I'm not really a big spender when it comes to shopping and buying things for myself and he's always trying to convince me to buy more things just for me, so the bank account doesn't "run low" because of my shopping, so this kind of splurge is okay in his eyes (and mine.) Get it. So YEAH for me! I'm still really excited every time I think about meeting Clay and having this picture with him. What a great memory!
Lady Liberty was quite the sight as I hadn't realized we were so close at one point and turned around and there she was. We decided to stay on the ferry, since you can no longer go up in the statue and then made our way to Ellis Island for a run through of the museum.
After getting back to Battery Park, we decided to walk around. We were actually headed to another place I had on my list of "must dos" in New York, Jacques Torres Chocolate Store. I needed to taste his also infamous chocolate chip cookie--and so we walked and walked and walked blocks and blocks and blocks to find it. We passed by Ground Zero--which was quite humbling and amazing to imagine all that happened there.
I think we walked a good couple miles and got to Jacques Torres. We were excited! Here's a few more pictures.
The Jacques cookies was warm and crisp and perfect. The chocolate was heavenly.
We then walked and walked some more. It was about 2:30 and we hadn't had lunch yet, so we ended up at a fun little French bistro called Bistro Les Amis, I think it was in SoHo. I had (and splurged) a croque monsieur sandwich (lots of thin sliced ham with Swiss cheese, toasted bread, then smothered in a cream sauce. It was good! The food was beautiful. Kristy only took video of it, so I don't have pictures. That's okay, you don't really want to see video of me eating anyway. She had some salmon that she loved. After eating, we decided we were really tired, but still needed to make our way to the other side of Manhattan to find the Levain Bakery with my other desired cookie. So we found (after much wandering and finding only subway stations that were closed on Saturday) a station that was open and enjoyed sitting a bit while we made our way to the other side of Manhattan. It really didn't take long on the subway. Again, we did a lot more walking. I think the subway only went to 66th or somewhere around there (under construction further up) and the bakery was on 74th, I believe. (See, that's what I get for waiting so long to write this all down.) Again, we were delighted to find Levain's Bakery. I have already blogged about the cookies in a previous post, so will spare you more about them. Okay, maybe just one more picture to refresh your memory----
Would you just look at the size of those cookies?! Amazing! If you are ever in New York--you cannot pass up Levain Bakery! That's all I'm going to say about that. This is how most of New York looked. It really was beautiful and not at all what people say about it being trashy, etc. Maybe we just successfully avoided those places.
We actually weren't too far from the Manhattan Temple (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints), so we hoofed it there and met up with Monica and Marci for a bit. It was neat to see that there amongst all the buildings in New York, you run in to a beautiful temple.
Kristy and I hopped on one of our tour buses and let it drive us back near our hotel. On our way walking the few blocks to the hotel, we decided to stop for a few more pictures of our New York experience. I bought some nuts from a nut vendor and he was delighted to be in a picture with me.
Kristy chose a giant soft pretzel and after asking the man with the pretzels if she could get a picture with him, he actually said no and stepped a good distance away after telling her she could take a picture with the cart. He did NOT want to be in a picture. Hmmm, could he be in the U.S. illegally? That's okay, the pretzel was good and so were the nuts!
After getting back to the hotel, we took a few more pictures of those Levain cookies. Okay, I can't resist, look at these. There is also a chocolate peanut butter chip cookie (that one was delicious) and a triple chocolate cookie (good, but too rich), the yummy chocolate chip cookie and in the next picture, the oatmeal raisin cookie that I didn't really like that much. Did I mention that the cookies are $3.75 each? Hey, if you're going to go to New York, it's worth it--$20 to try all four kinds. They are so big they last you the perfect amount of time.
We rested a bit, then Monica and Marci got back and we all got ready for the next show, Wicked. The theater was right across the street from our hotel (nice!). We were SO tired. Wicked was good, but in my opinion (and it may be one-sided), it was no Spamalot! No really, great show, but the combination of still be "high" from the night before with Spamalot and oh yeah, don't forget--I met Clay Aiken, but that and the fact that I was SO tired, I was having a hard time enjoying Wicked as much. I actually drifted off to sleep a few times. I had to keep telling myself, "You paid a lot of money for this, you cannot sleep." Anyway, Wicked was great music, great singing, and great performing--I think I'd just rather laugh my head off seeing something like Spamalot. Spamalot was great enough that I'd see it again even without Clay in it!
After the show we went back to the hotel and fell in to bed at probably about 11:00 p.m. We had to get up at 3:30 a.m. as our airport shuttle was picking us up at 4 a.m.! That was to get us to the airport on time for our 9 a.m. flights! Sheesh. We got to the airport about three hours early. So after posing for one more of these:
we did what we could to pass the time! ; )
So there you have it--finally. My New York trip in its entirety (the sweetened condensed version).
We had a crazy busy Memorial weekend with Kevin's sister Cindy and her family coming to visit. We actually went and saw Wicked in Kansas City last week and I actually liked the traveling one better than the Broadway production, I think. Maybe I just wasn't so tired this time. We also did some of the church sites with Cindy and family--Independence, MO, Liberty Jail, and made our way to Nauvoo, IL for the weekend. Here are a few pictures. The Nauvoo Temple. The Mississippi River in Nauvoo, me on a swing with Taylor, Parker on the swing, the boys near the Christus in the visitor's center and the Clyde Family (minus Leigh who is on a mission in Jamaica). Taylor begged me to get on the swing with him. It was a bit crooked, one side longer than the other and not very comfortable, but the kids sure had fun on it.
Nauvoo is a six hour drive. The drive there seemed to take forever. Sam wasn't very happy being strapped in his car seat all day. We spent Saturday in Nauvoo and went to Carthage (I am amazed by the feelings I get while in Carthage Jail as I stand in the very room that Joseph Smith was shot and killed in so many years ago!) Sunday we drove home and that drive didn't seem nearly as bad. We had an enjoyable time with Cindy, Warren, Sarah, Marie and Brian. On Monday, Cindy and Warren helped with a few things around the house--that's just what they do--help with anything and everything. Cindy took the extra slats off our blinds in the living room that have been there for a few years and never looked very good, but we just never got around to doing it. And Warren helped Kevin install a ceiling fan in our dining room. Thanks a TON! We barbequed that night after going to KU Campus and listening to Liz Berghout play the carillon bells for us. She took us up to the top to see the bells and learn how they are played. What a talent she has! We had the Berghouts over for dinner as well as Bob and Tes. I think our total for dinner was 17! It was an enjoyable night. Of course I made treats and of course, I have pictures!
Kevin really likes the "yeast" Levain's that I have recently made and also had me make more of those for all the guests to try. I didn't take pictures, but they looked just like the previous pictures I posted of them. So that's it, this is the end of this eagerly anticipated blog finishing all the amazing details of my New York trip and a little bit about our Memorial Weekend. (This also took me some extra time because Kevin's old laptop that I have been using for months now decided to die. It was acting funny the last few weeks, so luckily we backed everything up on it and it is now gone. Got everything saved--except all my food blogger's and friend's web sites! It will take me some time to find them all again. Sigh! And how are you doing?