Monday, May 23, 2016

New York Day 1

We try to do something special for our anniversary every year, though that definitely has looked very different over the years. We've been to Broadway musicals, stayed in hotels, gone to nice dinners, and even to Niagara Falls and Disney World. One thing we've always wanted to do was explore an entirely new city together. Arguably, we've done this a lot, since we've moved around and done a decent job of exploring our surroundings in each place. With our move to Germany coming up, we weren't sure if this was going to happen, but thanks to a little quick budgeting and an unexpected bonus check, we did something that was a little scary for us and booked a flight to New York City. 

I've been to the city twice before; once in December of 2001 for a mission trip to high schools in the city after 9/11 and in 2011 for a day trip with my sister in law. The first trip was a very long time ago and my memory is very foggy and the film (yes I said it was a long time ago) in my camera messed up so I don't have pictures to jog that memory. The second trip was quite short, and I also came down with a stomach bug while we were there. Fun stuff. 

Exploring this city has been on our list for awhile, but Carson got way more into the idea after he returned from Boston this past November. He loved how walkable the city was, the famous sights all easily accessible, the ease of public transportation. He was really into a city that had all those things, so Boston was near the top of our list, but since he'd recently done that city, we decided to do New York. There are lots of sights to see, things to do, and plenty of good food to enjoy, and so we got on Pinterest and found plans for what to do each day, places to eat, things to see and went from there. 

We left on a Tuesday afternoon in the rain. Our flight was delayed almost an hour due to bad weather and I had visions of the whole trip getting ruined, but that didn't happen at all - my hair just got frizzy as we waited for the airport shuttle to take us from our car to the terminal in Jacksonville.

It was a fairly quick flight, about two and a half hours. Not bad for what could have been a very long road trip. We did a crossword some other passenger had started and Carson took a nap. 

We flew into LaGuardia. We had a layover here in January and remembered how neat it was to see the city lights glittering in the night. It was even better in the daytime!

We found a place to buy a seven day MetroCard and then got in line for a bus. 

We transferred from the bus to a mostly-empty subway car and hung out there until we got to the Prospect Park stop in Brooklyn.

We stayed in a bed and breakfast - our first B&B experience - this trip. 

There was a "no shoes in the house" rule which we thought was funny but was very enforced. It was sort of like we were visiting friends, except that we didn't really see anyone else and it was super quiet. 

We freshened up a little and then headed out to look for something to eat. My planning hadn't really extended to "what's near where we're staying", which wasn't a smart move, but on our walk from the subway to where we were staying, we spotted some promising options. 

We walked around and saw some good options, then walked through a tiny bit of Prospect Park. It seems like a great park, and we would have liked to explore it more in the daytime, but we sadly never made it back. 

We ended up getting gyros at this really tasty Halel place. They were so good (and CHEAP!) that we came back our last night in New York. 

We took it back with us and ate at the very fancy dining room table, which was far too nice for our dinner in a to-go bag. 

It was late for us to do anything, but not really that late and we felt sort of lame staying in at 9pm, so we walked to a bar that was about two blocks from where we stayed and sat and talked. This is the sort of thing that I think people do at coffee shops, but for some reason we don't really go to places where you just sip something and talk. We plan to do that more. This was a great idea. We finished off our evening by walking back and watching an episode of something on Netflix on my phone.

We walked a little over 10,000 steps (4.2 miles) this day, and we were in a car and then a plane until almost 6pm!

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