Sunday, April 10, 2005

My Day in the Big Apple

We had a great time in New York City yesterday. I’m ready to go back!

My Mom, my sister-in-law, Michelle, and I arrived at the Alley Shops in Pikesville around 6:40am to meet our bus from the Hunt Valley Motor Coach. They arrived on time, we got on the bus and headed to the Big Apple.

We arrived between 46th and Broadway right at the Marriott Hotel. We were just a few blocks from Times Square so we walked south to Time Square and looked around a bit. Then we walked north to 5th Avenue to do some shopping. We went to Tiffany’s which was nice. Way too expensive for my budget but it was fun to look. The salespeople were very nice. I’m sure they are used to us tourists who are there to visit and not to buy. It was the first time I’d been in an elevator with someone who’s job it was to push the buttons. He even told us what was on each floor as the elevator stopped. While it was cool to me, it seems like a very boring job to have. He probably makes more money than I do, though.

We went to the Disney Store, Baby Gap, Toys’R Us, and a few other stores one our way to seeing the Plaza Hotel. We went to Bergdorf’s. That was a complete and total waste of time. Not only was everything horribly expensive (which I was expecting) but it was all horribly ugly. I guess it was high fashion and some people must love it, but I wouldn’t have bought anything in that store even if I could afford it. Then we went to FAO Schwarz and looked at the toys. We saw some very cool cars for kids that have bike pedals inside to move the car. There was a plane, a fire engine, a police car, sports cars, pick-ups, jeeps, etc. Evan is going to have one of them. Michelle made a custom designed Hot Wheels car for Evan while we were there.

We saw the outside of the Plaza hotel, but didn’t go inside. I wanted to have tea there, but we weren’t dressed well enough to do so and decided we’ll do that one time when we can stay overnight. We did decide we were hungry so we went to lunch at Shelly’s on 57th street between 6th and 7th avenue. Michelle and I had steaks and mom had scallops. We shared bowls of grilled vegetables and onion rings. They brought around fresh baked oatmeal rasin cookies, still on the cookie sheet for us after dinner. I ordered a coke and they brought me a class of coke, plus a mini pitcher full. I wanted to take the pitcher home as a suveniour but I refrained from stealing.

Then we took the subway to 34th street and went to Macy’s to do some shopping. Macy’s was insane. People were everywhere and it was hard to move around. I was purse shopping so that’s where I headed first. I found several I like, but the one I “had to have” was, of course, one of the few not on sale. They had a huge selection of jewelry and I wandered around there looking for earrings. I also went through the cosmetics and walked the perfume gauntlet. It was the scariest thing I think I’ve ever done. All these men and women spraying perfume randomly around and calling out to “true love by Calvin Klein,” “try the new fragrance from Elizabeth Arden,” or “you can smell like Britanny Spears.” I got out of these as quickly as I could, let me tell you. Never, no more. I will buy no cosmetics at Macy’s in New York.

After spending a good while in Macy’s (and not seeing it all, of course) we set out for Times Square again so we could be in the area to meet our bus. We walked around Broadway for awhile and then went to the Marriott hotel near where our bus would pick us up. We went to “the View” lounge on the 48th floor and sat down to pass the last minutes before our bus arrived. We had ginger peach iced teas and the dessert buffet. This lounge spun around (slowly, thank goodness) so that you could see all over the city. We relaxed with our iced teas, and sampled cheesecakes, brownies, carrot cakes, grapes, strawberries, crackers and cheese and other goodies. They also had a chocolate fountain that we dipped strawberries and marshmallows into. It was the perfect end to our day.

We got on the bus tired, but happy and headed for home. As I wrap up our New York trip, here’s just a few more random thoughts.

The Weather - it was sunny and warm, being around 60 degrees. It was a bit windy, but not really noticeable.

The Bus Service - I can really recommend the Hunt Valley Motor Coach. The driver was nice and got us to New York a half hour early as well as home a half hour early. The bus was clean and comfortable and the whole trip went very smoothly. They had a movie for the trip home which made the time fly by, even though the movie wasn’t really that great.

The Shopping - We never made it to Bloomingdales and the only place we shopped at that we could really afford was the toy stores and Macy’s. That was way I went home with only a purse, Michelle went home with only a matchbox car and my mom went home empty handed.

The People - New York people are friendly for the most part. We had great waiters and waitresses as aside from one Macy’s salesclerk (who looked like she was asleep as she rang up my purse) were very patient and comfortable with big crowds as well as friendly. We did have one lady on our bus that was a riot. She must go to New York on this bus quite a bit because she was upset that she had to come home in seat 43 when she usually had seat 18. That was her usual seat, but she had to make a change at the last minute and couldn’t have her seat. She seemed very upset by this and would walk by the seat every few minutes, looking longingly at it and checking to see if it’s occupant was there yet. She was going to move up there if no one came to sit in “her seat” but someone did and she spent the rest of the trip looking quite put out.

I am so glad we went to New York for the day and am looking forward to returning again in the near future. Next time Michelle wants to go to Chinatown and Little Italy. I’m hungry already…

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