Friday, October 31, 2008



The kids are with thier father for the night and hubby is working so I am going to come home from work and go to bed. No light on, the kiddies will have to bypass my house because if I have candy in my house, I'll eat it.

Hope everyone has fun. It's not my kind of night; I don't enjoy kids festivities when the kids aren't home to enjoy it with me.

I hate every other year holidays.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sunday Panic...and my last day...

*****Most of these pictures are stock footage I got off the net. Explanation below.*****

When last we met, I had misplaced my camera and was in the middle of panic mode. I searched my pockets in my jacket, dumped my bag, gone down to the Metro Diner to check there, hurried to Julio and begged him to let me into the storage room to search my luggage. No camera. I was devastated! I was going to film today. I was going to have video and audio recording of my friends and of the days activities. It was almost time for my friends to get there. How could I lose my camera? Hopefully I had just put it in a safe spot and find it later. But how to record the memories of today. My phone. My camera phone. It takes decent enough pictures. Yeah, but what about the pictures I had already taken of the vacation? All those pictures were now gone. It is a $200 camera with 2 days of vacation pictures and memories. Oh, crap! Ok, gotta move on. Friends will be here any minute. Gotta go outside and wait for them...... Here they come.

"Hi, I lost my camera." says I.

"Oh no", says one.
"You sure you lost it?" Says another.
"Yeah, it's gone." I answer least for today. Let's go.

"You take pictures today and we'll see about sharing those." OK. that's a plan.

On we go to meet another friend to walk the Brooklyn Bridge. That was an experience in itself. We took the subway to Brooklyn. Gorgeous part of New York. I see the Cosby Show in my head as we walk the streets of the neighborhoods on a clear and brisk Sunday morning. When the sun was out, it was warm, when it went behind a cloud, it was cold. I took my jacket off and on at least 5 times that day. We take a group shot on the look out over the Hudson River just before we walk the bridge. Lena on one side, Kate on the other, Stef there too. Awesome morning and an awful feeling of dread that I have to go home in less than 5 hours. Oh, the horror of it all. My stomach is in knots the closer time gets to go. Feel like I have to throw up. I don't want to go, I want to stay.....why can't I stay????? Family, work, all the stuff that is my life. I look at my friends. I want to create a permanent memory that won't fade. Memorize voices, facial expressions, oh it was so sad.....

I got this from Kate tonight. Awesome picture. We all look awesome! Even if I do say so

The Brooklyn Bridge is huge and beautiful!

You'd think that crossing it would be super long but in reality it is only a mile long. We strolled through it. It was about a 40 minute walk. We talked, took pictures, looked at the view. I am amazed at the sheer immensity of the bridge and all the people who walk, jog, and stroll on it.

Traffic goes on as always. we are suspended on the pedestrian bridge above the traffic. An amazing sight!!!!

After that was done, I found out that we were near Ground Zero, where I had been the day before. Stef was our guide and led us through streets and buildings I had not seen the day before so I was excited to see new things. Wall Street and the Financial District made me feel at home and totally in my element. I love having a career with money!

The Inside of the World Financial Center is a spectacular sight. We sat and talked a while. Palm trees in the middle of a building was cool to see.

Another street we walked down. The memories that come back are so vivid.

My last meal (drink) in New York City! I was too tied up in knots to eat so I watched everyone else eat. It was a nice time to sit and chat and just spend some time together.

We stopped by Century 21 (a huge department store) and window shopped as I anxiously watched my time fade away. Time ticked away to nothing and I had to tell my friends that I had to find the subway back to the hotel so I could catch my plane. It was murder hugging them goodbye. They stood there as I went down into the subway. It was too sad to behold. Gosh, I still miss them like crazy! Thankfully we are still able to get together online and chit chat. We may not be able to be physically together but we have those memories of NYC and I'll treasure them forever...

I got up to the hotel and got my luggage. I was supposed to go through Grand Central Station but by the time I got to the hotel, it was already too late. Sorry, next time, I promise......If I took the #1 to the A and then went to Jamaica Station, it'd be just in time. I did not feel very well and I was very depressed at leaving so I kept staring at the pictures I had in my phone. Memories....sweet memories....did it have to hurt so bad??

I got on the #1, wanting to get off at 59th street to go to the A. Hmmm....NYC subway trains have different schedules and stops on the weekend. Crap! That was my first mistake...I quickly listened to the speaker in an effort to try and find out how I could get to JFK now. I heard someone refer to the E, a line that does go to the airport. I quickly changed trains and got on the E. Unfortunately I was on the E for over an hour. My time to get on the plane was quickly evaporating and I had no back up plan in case I missed my flight. Then there was another message over the intercom....Jamaica Station to the airport was closed so we had to get off at some other stop and shuttle to the airport. OK, I followed the lines of luggage and got myself on the shuttle. For the first time I am in NYC traffic on a bus. Ok, new experience. The shuttle stops, and I get off. The shuttle takes off. Ummmm......where is everyone else getting off? I watch as the shuttle takes off to who knows where. This is not the airport.....this is downtown Jamaica, New York and no airport is in sight. WOW! OK, I start walking....I am one of two people, the other guy is just as bewildered as I am....and we just start to walk. We see the Airtrain go by us on the rail above us. I roll my eyes as I keep walking, laughing at my own stupidity and foolishness. What else can go wrong? My misadventures were not over by a long shot..sadly.....

I walked while the other guy took off down another street. OK, now I am alone walking with luggage down a strange town and not knowing where the heck I am going and it's 3:30pm and my plane is ready to leave at 4:25 pm. Soon, I spy a familiar sign...a gas station....The first gas station I have seen in NYC. And wow, my luck, about 5 New York City Taxis were changing shifts. I sprinted to them and told them, didn't ask, told them that I had to get to JFK immediately. I got into the back of a cab and we were off. They do know how to drive down the street. It was a four mile ride to JFK in the cab and it cost me $12, but it was just another addition to my adventure! I got to the terminal with 25 minutes to spare and I had not even checked in and gotten my boarding passes yet or gotten through security yet. Time ticking.....I got through the passes and security with 8 minutes to spare. They were boarding the last of the passengers when I ran up. OMG! I can't believe that my trip would have ended up like that. When I got on the plane, I sat in the very back and slowly calmed down a bit.

A very nice man sat next to me on the plane. I talked with him after I woke up. Apparantly I crashed after take off and woke up when the snacks came around. I felt like crap and didn't look too great either. He was a lawyer in Atlanta. He grew up in St. Louis so we talked about that. We landed in Atlanta and I got off the plane, called hubby to tell him I had landed and sat down to rest. I promptly fell asleep. In my tiredness and deliriousness over leaving NYC, I absent mindedly left my cell phone out for anyone to see......and steal.......I woke up later, was mildly refreshed from my nap, went to eat some yogurt to get some energy.... when I realized that my phone was missing. I looked around, checked pockets....nothing.....checked bags, nothing......not again..first my camera and now my phone?????? What the heck is wrong with me...I lose everything!!!!! Oh....I found my camera, in the bag, in a secret hiding spot for safe keeping...but my cell phone...gone. I called it with an attendants's phone...nothing.... The phone was off so it would not ring to let me or anyone else know where it was. So...I left Atlanta, never to see my phone again. The pictures that I had taken of my friends in Brooklyn, and the sights of the bridge were now gone. They are on that phone...but they are not with me. I knew I should have emailed those pictures to myself when I thought of they are lost. Could have kicked myself for it.......

On the last flight home from Atlanta, not only was I tired from the weekend filled adrenaline rush I was coming off of, but now the depression of leaving New York, and then losing my cell phone with those precious pictures just put me over the edge. I got on the plane and fell into a deep, deep sleep. I didn't even hear the plane take off. I was that tired. I have never done that before....and hopefully won't do it again. I miss my phone and I miss the picture of my friends. We were eating at Subway and I snapped a picture of the two of them together. It was an awesome picture and now it is lost forever! Only in my memory....

Now it is a little over a week later and I still have NYC on my mind. Think about it often...miss the lights, excitement, the friends I got to know there. I will go back.... see more. In the future...someday.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sunday, October 19, 2008-New York City!

Well, my friends and I were not getting together until 9:30am so I actually slept in...until 7:15am. I still got up earlier than my roomates but the rest of the floor was up and bustling so I had to wait for the bathroom. 15 minutes later, I took my shower and got ready. I went walking towards the subway and decided to eat out for breakfast. The Metro Diner was down on the corner so I decided to eat there. Plus I had heard rave reviews for it, so what the heck....

After eating and soaking up the NY atmosphere, I went back to the room and got my luggage settled as I was going to have to check out before my flight was there. The hotel had a storage area for luggage so I put it there. Julio was a sweetheart and helped me with the bag.

I started to get myself ready for another day of sight-seeing and also saying good bye to my friends and making plans to keep some real memories in the form of video on my camera. I checked around my jacket pockets and realized.....where is my camera.....????? *PANIC SETS IN*

Saturday, October 18, 2008---Waking up in New York City, NY!

I did not sleep very well Friday night as my entire body was running on adrenaline and the excitement of being in this glorious town. Friday night after I got in, my room mates were all zonked. I quietly got changed into PJs and got into bed, and laid there in awe of the situation. I could not believe what I had just done. I had walked a good 5 miles with two people who had come from Germany to experience NY and see one of our beautiful cities and it's sites. It was wonderful. I was on Cloud 9 and wasn't coming down anytime soon.

It was 6:30am local time (5:30am STL time) and I was awake. No one else was. I took all of my stuff to the bathroom and got showered and dressed. I was downstairs by 7am ready for my site seeing trip into Manhattan. My first stop of the day was to find Rockefeller Center so I could see NBC Studios. I walked to the Subway on 96th Street figuring I could take the #1 down to 59th and then walk over to 49th Street.
When I got to the subway station, I found this.....

Instead of reading the signs, (duh) I walked into a construction site. The Subway did not run downtown on 96th. The only recourse in such a situation was to take the #1 uptown to 103rd (my usual stop anyway) and then take another train downtown from that location. I felt like a total tourist at that point. ARGH! So when I finally got to my destination of 59th and Broadway, it had taken me an hour instead of 15 minutes. At this point, I got onto 59th Street and started walking. I ended up at Columbus Circle. I don't know how I got there but I am glad I did. I had seen it Friday night with my friends and neglected to take pictures of it so I was grateful that I had found it by accident.

The Famous Tycoon, Donald Trump walks these streets. Here is his building, Trump Tower....that was cool!

Standing there, I found I was at the entrance to Central Park. Famous Central Park of New York City. AMAZING!!!!

I turned around and took this picture that a native New Yorker pointed out to me....

I asked that nice man how to get to my destination of Rockefeller Center and he led me to 6th Avenue. Thank you, kind sir.

I walked an awful lot this trip and took pictures of places that I knew and had heard about. Here are some of those pictures.

Christies Auction House

New York City Streets on an early Saturday morning.

A ticker calculating our National Debt....Being in the financial arena of my career, that was a depressing thought but I also thought the picture would be appropriate. We are in deep doo doo when it comes to our economy....

Subway Entertainment. When you are in the subway system underground, the talented citizens (or some not so much) of New York have a captive audience so that is how many performers make some of their money. By being the entertainment. Cool to experience.

I saw Radio City Music Hall several times but can't remember when or where so it goes in the misc stack of pictures.

Look at this clock. You have to almost tilt your head to understand it. I saw this Friday night, actually before the Elmos, so it started off weird. But very cool for a tourist....LOL!

Finally I get to where I want to be. I hit Rockefeller Center. Now, mind you, this is only one hour into my day. And I have been walking most of it. About 3 miles worth. It's only about 8:30am.

This was a thrill for me to be standing outside of these windows. I have been watching NYC talk shows for years now and the Today Show and to be standing here in the audience was a thrill beyond words. I had a shout out for St. Louis Missouri when the camera went off(crap!) but it was still so worth it to stand there. I am all for watching what goes on behind the scenes. I took the NBC Tour but have no pictures because the tour guide says that everything is copyrighted and NBC have heavy duty lawyers just waiting to slam a lawsuit on anyone so I was not about to take a chance of getting caught. We went into studios. It's really sneaky how the cameras can fool the audience into how it "looks" versus how it really is....I'll never watch Saturday Night Live or the Conan O'Brien Show the same way again.

After the tour, I shopped a bit, got my picture taken for posterity sake and left without much fuss.

Next stop was taking pictures of the ice rink and the surrounding areas.

The next step is fuzzy and I can't remember much of it. I can't remember if I ate lunch or not. No, I didn't. I went back to the subway (don't remember how) and went downtown to the Staten Island Ferry. It's the last stop downtown. Then the subway stops and then goes back uptown. The Staten Island Ferry is free where as the boat to Ellis Island costs so I took the free way.

The ferrys run every half hour and the ride to Staten Island is about 25 minutes. There is one going to Staten Island and one coming back so it works out well.

Being on the boat was an awesome experience. As she got closer you could feel the excitement of the passengers building. You can't help but become a little patriotic and love America a little more as you see this vision of an American Icon.

We disembarked and walked into town. Staten Island is a huge community. I thought it was a small island but it has it's own government, school district and is it's own entity, seperate of NYC. Who would have thunk it???

Staten Island even has it's own baseball team and a huge stadium.

This is the sight from the stadium looking at the NYC Skyline. After deciding against eating on the island, I got back on the boat and headed back into Manhattan.

On my way to the subway I ran into a woman who had her tourist sight seeing book out. I took a sneak peek and asked about getting to Ground Zero. She had no clue so I asked one of the subway officers how to get to the site. It was the next stop uptown, Rector. I was intrigued and the WTC site was on my "Must Do List", so off I went. I got off at the Rector stop and headed up three blocks.

There was a tour already in progress so I just listened in as the guide was talking. It's a self tour too so I took advantage of both.

It was a sobering experience to be there. Many of the buildings have been restored and repaired after they were damaged by the 9-11 disaster. I was there about a half an hour and then I decided that it was lunch time. Actually it was closer to 3pm so I was really getting hungry. I stopped by a restaurant called "O'Haras". It is an irish pub all decked out with irish flavor and tradition. As I walked in, I was asked by a group to take their picture of them and the (I guess) wonderful bartender. I snapped the picture, smiled, and sat down to order my meal. I ordered a salad and a drink when the bartender came up to me and told me that the group I had taken the picture of was offering to buy me a drink for my kindness. Sweet! To bad I don't drink....They still bought me my Sprite and they left happy. It was cool! While I was eating, I was inspired to ask about the area and if there was any damage to the restaurant due to the blast. He showed me the picture that hung on the wall behind him.

He told me that the building front was blown to bits and the windows were all shattered. The reopened about 6 months after the blast and from what I see, are doing great at business.

After lunch, my feet had pretty much had enough and I was somewhat tired, so I decided to take the subway back to the hotel and take a bit of a rest before joining my friends later that night.

I got back to the hotel, dropped off my souveniers, and just relaxed a while. At around 6pm, I changed clothes and went to 42nd Street to do some more shopping for the family. I had time to kill before the play so I also ran into McD's and grabbed a fruity yogurt treat so I would not starve in the play. I met my friends and I enjoyed being together with them again. After the play, it was cold outside but we waited around in hopes of seeing one of the stars come out. No such luck! After a half hour, we gave up and took the subway back uptown. It was very late so we were all a bit tired. Made plans to meet the next morning to walk the Brooklyn Bridge. My aching feet. Ok, sure, so long as we are together before I had to leave the next day in the afternoon. Hugs and then they were gone again. I dragged myself upstairs to my room, quite content with the days activities.


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Here is my trip in brilliant technicolor. If I remember wrong or mistakenly label something wrong, Please tell me so I can fix it. Thanks!

Friday morning, on October 17, 2008, I flew Delta Airlines from St. Louis, MO to Cincinnati, OH to New York City, New York. The excitement was unbearable and eating me alive. I could not sleep the night before and letting you know from the experience, my body had an adrenalin rush that lasted until Sunday after I left JFK. Then it was all down hill and I still have not recovered emotionally from the trip. It was that wonderful and great and awesome...Need I say more???

I was amazed at how beautiful the city was from above.

I could see Central Park from the air but the Statue of Liberty was too tiny for me to make out. Until later....

From the airport I went on the Air train to Jamaica Station and boarded my first NYC subway, the E Line into Manhattan. I got off at 42ND Street. The lights, people, and excitement is almost too wonderful to imagine.

I walked down the blocks of 42ND Street with my luggage still in my hands, amazed and thrilled that I was actually in the city that I had only seen on TV. Elmo was in the street taking pictures with people. There were actually two of them. Two Elmo's in the same street. Told this one to stand still and that I'd have to take the picture for my daughter. He waved and I was on my way to my hotel.

I heard rumors about NYC having a Starbucks Coffee House on every corner. They were not kidding!

I encountered a lively jazzed up version of McDonald's. Lights flashing, people was a sight to see.

A few more shots of Times Square at night

Walking down 8Th and Broadway.

Finally, here is the subway stop I need to get off to head to my hotel. It was either 103rd and Broadway or 96Th and Broadway and construction was hampering 96th so the majority of the time, we took 103rd. We waited for a few minutes and then had to rush to get on so we would not have to wait again. It was the Red Line Number 1 running the west side of Broadway all the way down to The Staten Island Ferry. It was very convenient for what I had planned on my sight-seeing itinerary.

I should have taken a picture of my hotel but I forgot in all the excitement. I checked in and saw the room. I stayed in a hostel (shared a room with 7 other strangers) but that was fine because I wasn't planning on spending to much time in there anyway. Sleep, take shower and then leave again. So it was fine. Plus the price could not be beat. $38 a night 10 minutes from Midtown Manhattan. Dream come true and it was so worth it. I was going to stay over near JFK in a Comfort Inn and have to pay for transportation and $150 a night. I changed my mind twice before deciding to go for the hostel. I 'll never regret that change in plans. The doorman, Julio is this big brawny guy who has the heart of a marshmallow. He and I hit it off quite well.
After I got into the room and settled, I called my NYC friend, Stef who informed me that my other two companions, Kate and Lena were on their way to my hotel to pick me up. I had only seen them in pictures and online so I knew what they looked like, but meeting them was going to be a weird experience. It took them close to an hour to get to me but when I saw Julio open the door for them, I recognized them immediately and ran into their arms in friendship. It was such an amazing experience finally meeting poeple that you had only talked to online. They flew in from Germany so English is their second language but their grasp of the english language was so extensive, it would have been hard to tell that they were not Americans. We took off together to see the sights of New York, and that we did.

We first went to a nearby Starbucks and sat down and got to know each other a bit. They had been there since Tuesday and I wanted to hear about what they had experienced so far. It was a wonderful conversation. We left after about a half an hour and then went for a "stroll around town". We took the subway down to 42nd Street and they showed me the real 42nd Street. Apparantly I had not seen it all. We walked past Broadway theatres and then walked some more down to Columbus Circle and then up again. I figure we had walked about three hours at a fairly brisk pace so when we got in at midnight, I was done for the night. We planned to meet up the next night after they did some shopping and I took in the sights that I had always wanted to see. We said our good byes and I went up to my 5th floor hotel room.

.......TO BE CONTINUED....