Saturday, January 06, 2007

Christmas Time in the City

Christmas of 2006 for the Hines' was spent in the city that never sleeps - New York. This was the first time either one of us had been to this incredible city. There was so much to see and do; which lends itself to the monumental task of blogging a huge amount of information. Because of this seemingly unsurmountable task, we have neglected to blog for a while. Our deepest apologies to those who faithfully check The Herald and find it just as they have left it a month ago. I am going to attempt to give you a brief summary of the events that took place over the course of four days in a way that you won't have to read every interesting tid-bit, but give you an overview of what happened.

Friday, December 22
* Began our trip to the city. Drove to NJ and parked car at the Lee's residence (Garrett and Amanda Lee's parents), jumped on the NJ Transit and entered NYC via train
*Arrived at our Hotel - The Hudson - and finally sat down to get our barrings
*Decided to venture out to see Times Square and find some dinner down there. We ate at ESPN Zone.

Saturday, December 23
* Attempted to get up to go to the TODAY Show, but overslept.
* Took a long subway ride down to Ground Zero and found this to be very interesting and almost surreal. It seems like such a long time ago already that this took place.
* Continued south on the subway and saw The Statue of Liberty, Wall Street, NYSE, and the famous "Bull" on Wall Street.
* Headed back uptown and went up the Empire State Building and listened to a audio tour at the observation deck that cost $6. Well worth the money!
* We also went to see TImes' Square in the daytime
* Took a LONG stroll through Central Park - figured that we had seen the entire thing, but in reality had only walked half of it!
* We headed back to our hotel for a little nap, so we were ready for the nightlife again!
* Went to a hole in the wall restaurant for dinner to get REAL NY Pizza. The pizza was great, the atmosphere - not so great. We did see an actual cat snoozing on the pizza boxes!
* Went to Times Square again to actually do some shopping this time. Bought $1.77 worth of M&M's from M&M World (basically to get the bag!). We also bought some dark chocolate from Hershey's Time Square store.
* Walked towards Rockafeller Center area to catch the Christmas feeling and got our Caricatures done for $10 by a street merchant.
*Hit the hay!

Sunday, December 24
* Woke up and went to a little breakfast place down the street from our hotel for coffee and bagels.
* Met Garrett and Amanda to go to a Presbyterian Church in the City.
* Went to Manhattan Mall for souvenirs.
* Ate some italian from a real Italian little Resturant.
* Continued to hang with the Lee's for the day and saw the big stores (Macy's, Saks Fifth Ave.) with their windows all decked out for the holidays. Saw THE TREE in Rockafeller Center in the light.
* Went and saw the FAO Schwarz Toy Store (Movie site of "Big" and "Home Alone 2")
* Lee's headed back for some family fun back in NJ.
* We headed back to Macy's to actually go inside! (Which we found closed at 6:00 on Christmas Eve!)
* Went to see the tree at night, could not push our way to the rink to even see them skating. It was crazy busy!
* Visited Trump Tower to see the waterfall and gold plated walls! Wow!
* Nite Nite Time!

Monday, December 25th - Merry Christmas!!
* Don and I wake up early again trying to make it to the Today Show. Arrive and find out that it is pre-recorded! Boo Hoo! Sorry to all who were ready to watch!
* Decided to get a snack at the coffee shop that WAS OPEN next to NBC studios.
* Decided to take a brief Seinfeld Tour.
* Went and saw the Munk's Restaurant (Actually Tom's Restaurant) where many of their deeply technical conversations take place.
* Also went to the famous "Soup Nazi" Soup Place where Elaine was told "No Soup For You".
* Find a nice little Breakfast place open to eat.
* Went back to the hotel to pack and prepare for our departure!
* Lee's pick us up from Train Station and we are insisted on staying for their Christmas dinner, which we readily accepted. Thank you Lee's for your hospitality!
* Head home!

Again, thanks for your patience! We owe a big THANK YOU to our families for allowing us to be absent from the normal hub-bub of the holidays to give us a chance to do this vacation. Thank you to the Lee Family - Mr. & Mrs. Lee, Garrett & Amanda, and the rest who included us in their special day (and busyness of the season!)! And also to Priceline that gave us the guts to go-for-it!

Happy New Year!


Shannon said...

Yeah, I'm the first one to comment on your much awaited New York post!! I love the pics! I'm glad you guys had a great time. I'm sure it's one Christmas you'll never forget and always look back on with fond memories.

Shannon said...

Sorry for my poor word usage --"much awaited" I'm not sure what that means. I guess I meant to say "highly anticipated New York post"-- yes, that sounds better. :)

Amandaleann said...

Your post is great. I love all the pics. The play by play of each day really gives us a feel for your trip. I am so glad that it worked out to meet up with you guys. We had a blast.

Jocelyn Pagano said...

I am so jealous you were in NYC for Christmas. When we lived in Jersey we used to take the train into the city every Christmas season to see the sites. I miss that so much. Minneapolis is nowhere near as exciting as NYC.

emily said...

I'm glad you had such a wonderful time! I think its great you were able to vacation at Christmas.

Tim St. Clair II said...

So I am very envious of your time in NYC! I absolutely adore that city and would love to do that sort of thing with my family one day. However, I am quite shocked that you guys left out one of the MOST IMPORTANT parts of any trip to the Big Apple . . . A BROADWAY SHOW! I would have gone to at least TWO while I was there. I am shocked that you didn't see any! WOW! I could not have survived a trip like that. But I am weird. And a theater freak.

Anyway, glad you have a fun time! Miss you lots!

jeileenbaylor said...

Hey girl.. I told you it would be a blast :o) Did you get to see any museums? I'm glad you had fun in NYC :o)
p.s. Let's get together with amanda for your b-day :o) (we'll have 3 b-day celebration! ) Maybe someone will buy us drinks !

Dan & Karis Seely said...

What a blast! I surprised Karis and took her to NYC for her birthday several years ago - we absolutely loved it. I'm sure being there at Christmas was awesome! Thanks for all the pictures; it brought back all the good memories.