What a day! We woke up well after the sun to the sound of snowplows clearing the parking lot. It very much beats waking up with/before the sun to the sound of snowplows clearing the parking lot!
We found breakfast at one of the not “closed for the season” (yes, that again. it’s a theme. deal with it.) places and, on the recommendation of our waitress, headed to the north end of the Cape to a town called Ptown (Provincetown to the tourists). We were warned that the town was… different… but there was a place there that had the best lobster in all New England. We really hadn’t had much luck finding lobster so far, so we headed out with great gumption. And a full tank of gas.
I’m sure by now you’re aware that we’re on our honeymoon (yes, we’re still on our honeymoon) and we don’t really stick to any given route or plan, so we took the scenic route along the coast. We saw some very coastal images, such as:
and of course stopped to see a couple of lighthouses along the way.
And of course, every place was… you guessed it… closed for the season. 🙁
We got to Ptown and found the most excellent Lobster place that was recommended to us earlier in the day. And it was… you guessed it again… closed for the season. Dee did have someone tell him that he has awesome hair, so the trip wasn’t a total loss. The only thing “different” we noticed was that there was nobody there.
Also, we saw some pretty cool sights such as…
We continued our coastal tour and mostly did nothing but drive and see really cute houses. We stopped for dinner at a place called Mezza Luna. the reviews on TripAdvisor had said this place had some really good lobster, so we stopped in for a bite. And found… they were out of lobster. Evidently lobster are a migratory shellfish and head for warmer waters in the winter. or maybe just when Dee and Cindy are in town. :-/
We had a good dinner anyway, and stopped to do laundry before settling in for the night, where we found this awesome advice.
We woke up today to another picture-perfect post-card. The difference today was that the sun was shining… not as impressive as the snowfall but still quite gorgeous! And a whole lot easier to travel in. We stood at the windows for a while and watched the snowplows roll through and, as snowplows will do, reblock everybody’s driveways.
We made our way down to the breakfast area to find a new person in charge of the foodses. Although the noms were just as good as yesterday, it just wasn’t the same not having that nice lady pushing us to eat some waffles. The new hotel breakfast person was nice enough, but it wasn’t like eating breakfast at home anymore (yes, we’ve gotten that spoiled). Since we didn’t have ‘mom’ there anymore (and because we know we’re getting close to the end of this adventure and might actually have to start heading back towards the airport) we decided to pack it up and leave Kennebunk (sniff, whimper, cry).
We set off on our merry little way down the interstate, and found it mostly drive-able. Our original plan called for meeting the daughter Koree last night at her place in Providence, but the snow had different plans for us, so the new plan was to meet Koree today. And we accomplished that plan. Yay!
We met Koree and got the official tour of her place and the resident animals. If it didn’t sound so… risque… I’d say she lives in a cat house. Seriously, though. I’m pretty sure the cats outnumber the people.
The second-best thing about the tour (the first was getting to see the Koree) was meeting Princess Beyonce (PB), Koree’s ferrret. She’s so cute! We might have disturbed her sleep a little, so for the first part of the visit she was just kinda lethargic (kinda like the way my day started), but then she perked up and got all wiggly and hyper and stuff. I expected a bit of a stench, just from having heard about ferrets, but she’s really clean and fun and cuddly and stuff. Here’s a couple of pics.
The pic on the right isn’t PB in full attack mode, it’s Koree demonstrating that if you grab a ferret by the skin on the back of its neck (much like a mother cat would do with a kitten) it makes the ferret open its mouth. Such an educational visit!
And speaking of edumacational visits, Koree took us to where she works; 5 Wits in Foxboro MA. It’s a super-cool action/adventure thing where you’re part of either an Espionage or 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea adventure where you have to figure out puzzles and mysteries and brain-teasers and stuff to complete your mission. We got the behind-the-scenes tour, so if you need any help while you’re there, give us a call. On second thought, if you need any help, just ask Koree. She’ll be right there anyway 🙂
It was great to be able to see her again and to see that she’s all happy and healthy and working in a job she likes. Love you Koree!!!
Since it was fairly late when we left Providence and we wanted to make sure we had a room when we got to Cape Cod we went on line and reserved a room at a cute little place called Inn at Swan River. It started snowing lightly as we entered Massachusetts and there was little traffic on the freeway and the cruiser was tuned to a cute little softrock station… it was quite romantic, which was really adding to the whole ‘honeymoon’ thing we had going on. 🙂
That lasted right up until we pulled into the parking lot and found the Inn at Swan River was actually Out at Swan River. We’re really starting to find this whole “closed for the season” thing to be “a bit ridiculous”. There were lights on in the rooms and cars in the parking lot, so we deduced that it was really a functional motel. And just for a brief moment, we considered knocking on one of those occupied rooms and seeing if we could borrow their couch.
After ringing the bell and banging on the door and calling the posted “if we’re not here, call this 800 number” number several times to no avail, we set off in the ever-increasing snowfall to find a place to crash for the night. Mostly what we found was more “closed for the season” signs, but we did eventually run across (well, more like pulled into) the Ambassador Inn. At this point we weren’t really picky, just exhausted, so Dee went in and rang the bell at the counter a half-dozen times. Eventually a nice young man came out and said “jes?”… to which Dee replied “can I get a room for the night?”.
Then the nice young man held up a finger (no, not THAT finger! The just a minute, let me get someone who speaks English finger) and disappeared through a door marked “Private”, then quickly returned with a nice young woman who did indeed give us a room for the night. And it turned out to be a very nice room. That story was just as boring when we were living it as it was while you were reading it. 🙂
Sorry there aren’t any more pictures… we were mostly driving through frozen tundra. Hopefully there will be more for tomorrow’s episode. Y’all come back now, ya hear?!
We went to sleep last night in Star’s Hollow, but we woke up this morning in a postcard!
Seriously, this was the view out the hotel window this morning. I’m hoping I don’t need to tell you that with several inches of snow on the ground (and the C&G cruiser) and several more inches on the way, we didn’t pack up and head to Providence (sorry, Koree!) We decided it would be better to call it a snow day and stay in the room and drink hot chocolate and lay in front of the fireplace.
Well, our room doesn’t have a fireplace (what the crap?!) Fortunately, the lounge/breakfast room does (yay!) and the nice lady in charge of breakfast and pushing waffles on all the guests (seriously… you are gonna have some waffles!) turned it on for us. It was even more postcardish to sit by the fire eating strawberry waffles while the snow fluttered around outside.
After breakfast we put on all our warm clothes and parkas and scarves (Cindy didn’t put on all of her scarves, we don’t have that kind of time!) and headed out to play in the snow. Playing in the snow for us mostly involves walking around and taking pictures and saying “this is so cool!”, and we did a lot of that. We set out in search of a laundromat (even though we never got around to doing any laundry) and then crossed the river from Kennebunk into Kennebunkport. Ya see, they ran out of names for towns, so now when they start a new town, they just add “port” to another town’s name and call it good. or Port. Whatever.
On this trip we’ve discovered what ‘off-season’ means. We always knew that it was not ‘on-season’ and that it had something to do with tourists and stuff, but it’s taken on a whole new meaning here. What is means is “no ____ for you!”. No lobster, no chic clothing, no lighthouse tours… we decided we’ll just have to come back when everything is Open for the Season… now all we have to do is figure out when that is.
After we walked around oohing and aahing and looking in “closed for the season” shop windows, we stopped in the cute little General Store; HB Provisions. We drank some awesome hot chocolate and sat around in the general sitting section of the general store, and generally watched the locals come in and get some sammiches and coffee and generally just visit. No generals showed up that we’re aware of. We did eventually order our own sammiches (yay panini!) and got some water and snacks and headed back to the room to watch the snow falling through the window. (we were watching out through the window; the snow wasn’t actually falling through the window)
For dinner we headed out to the closest open place and had some Tapas. Evidently Tapas is another word for expensive appetizers that you normally wouldn’t eat. Having had a bad experience with duck and all things carpaccio (which means raw, as it turns out), we had some overdone toast and asked our waiter where we could get some lobster (we ask waiters where we should go to get some real food; we’re classy like that). He suggested we go to the The Pilot House down the street, just past the gas station (at least it wasn’t IN the gas station) and so away we went.
It was such a cute little place (and it was open!) and it looked just like the sort of scene the characters from The Perfect Storm would hang out during a “Nor’easter” (as opposed to a regular Easter, I supposed) and wait to hear word about their mighty seafaring menfolk. We decided to soak in the atmosphere while we soaked in some tasty steamed lobster. Oh hey guess what… No lobster. :-/
Our waitress explained that they didn’t get any lobster in that day, but did let us know that there were 2 lobstermen (guys who catch lobster, not those who are half-lobster-half-man) sitting at the bar, which might explain why there were no lobster. We opted for the chowdah, and it was quite tasty. And we even got it for free! (what!?) Yes free. Evidently they saw us on GMA and wanted to treat visiting celebrities right. Or they just felt bad for not having lobster. Or they were about to close and wanted to get rid of the last of the chowder. Whatever the reason, it was really really tasty!
It was a great way to spend a snow day! And here are some pictures of the cutest little town we’ve ever seen.
This place just couldn’t be any cuter even if it had dimples!
We got another great, quiet night’s rest thanks to our 4 poster king-size bed (be jealous… you should) and trudged downstairs to the breakfast room. Very impressive! There literally was one other car besides the cruiser in the parking lot, but the King’s Port Inn has put out a really nice breakfast. Cereal, hard-boiled eggs, juice, toast, bagels, coffee, pastries, yogurt, a fireplace (for sitting by, not for eating) and made to order waffles. They were just made if you ordered them, not like medium/medium rare or anything. Which makes them made when order, I guess…
Anyway… after breakfast we packed up and headed out for a little more of the road-trip/sightseeing part of the honeymoon. Today’s destination was lighthouses. And other houses too. We just love the houses back here! Each one is so unique and different and… and… New Englandy.
Speaking of New England. We decided that people who live in Maine are called Mainerds. You’re welcome, Mainerds. 🙂
So we drove down Maine street (no really) on our travels, and saw some really cool sites… Like these!
And that was just in Kennebunkport!
We did find the lighthouses we were looking for, but it took some searching. We headed for Two Lights State Park to see the first couple of lighthouses, only to find that there are no lighthouses there. Not any lights or houses at all! The park is so misleadingly named because there are two lighthouses nearby. (aren’t you glad that not all landmarks are named that way?) The cool thing about the park (besides the pics you’re about to see) is that it was actually used as a military battery (the defense kind, not the Duracell kind) during World War II. (WAY cool!) Here is said park…
We then drove to the two lighthouses, and they are now private property (although still operational) so we weren’t able to go inside. (Dee only pouted for a little while)
Our next stop was the Head Light. No, not the one on the front of the car, the one at Portland Head Light. It’s an old military post next to a lighthouse. We had planned on mostly driving today and doing very little walking (you know there’s a “but” coming up, right?) but, (told you!) Dee turned too soon and we ended up at the walking trail instead of the actual park entrance (nicely done Dee!!), so we ended up walking a whole lot more that we thought we would. Wouldn’t be a problem, except Cindy took the “very little walking” to heart and wore Crocs. Poor frozen wife toes. 🙁
It was a very cool (ha!) place. The lighthouse was commissioned by old G.W. himself (George Washington, for those not up on their made-up-by-Dee acronyms) and parts of the base were used to guard the coast during WWI and WWII. We didn’t realize the coast had such an important military history!
Oh! Here are the pics.
By then we were tired and frozen and hungry and cranky and went in search of food and warmth. That was pretty hard to come by today, and it’s evidently pretty hard to come by in New England in the winter.(awwwwww 🙁 ) We picked out a couple of nice-sounding places from the ol’ Google map, but they were both “Closed for the Season”. We ended up at Becky’s Diner (thanks Becky!) in Portland. They had food, but they didn’t have warmth! It was so COLD in there (shiver, shiver!). We felt really bad for the wait-staff, standing there in their shivering wait-attire. But the Haddock Chowder was way good! Even Cindy liked it!
After first dinner, it was time for dessert, so we headed for the Chocolate Bar in Portland, which, as it turns out, is more bar than chocolate. No worries, the cheesecake was still good! Almost good enough to make up for the parking ticket we got while there! Hey! Other people were parked there too and there was no clearly marked signage and we have Florida plates and we’re on our honeymoon and any other excuse we can think of! Fine. We’ll just pay the stupid fine. (with the frozen toes and closen sto’es and now this… it hasn’t been Dee’s best day ever)
After the long lighthouse trip, we headed back to Kennebunk (yay!). We had second dinner at Pedro’s which sounds like a Mexican restaurant, but the food only faintly resembles Mexican-fare. The tacos were… tolerable… and the rice & beans were… interesting. Here’s a traveler’s tip for you; when in New England, stick with the chowdah!!
Back in the room now, basking in the warmth and the after-cheesecakeness of the evening. 🙂 It’s supposed to snow tomorrow, and we’re also planning to go into Providence to spend some time with Koree… so we’ve decided if it’s snowing we’ll just stay another night here (and we hadn’t even planned on being here in the first place!!!)
Will we stay? Will we go? You’ll just have to tune in and find out! See you tomorrow!
O.M.G. We slept! Oh how we slept last night/this morning! Without the constant sirens/construction/garbage trucks/taxi drivers/foghorns/airline pilot announcements/bomb blasts/loud noises, with just the faint sound of the ocean lapping against the beach (we’re pretty sure it’s out there in the fog somewhere)… we slept. We think it’s the first full night of restful sleep we’ve had since we started this honeymoon. (I know.. you feel really bad for us right now)
We got up (eventually) and went down to Marnick’s, the diner in the hotel, for our continental breakfast. There were maybe a couple of other people there… which is freaking us out a little after a week in NYC where you aren’t alone… ever… even in your own thoughts. 0_o After the toast & jam, we loaded up the Cagney & Lacy cruiser and hit the road again. There’s not much to say (like Dee ever has not much to say) about today, because it was mostly on the road, but we’ll give it the ol’ college try, mkay?
The town (Stratford) is home-town-USA… we found so many gorgeous houses and several town squares, and we were pretty sure it was Star’s Hollow (don’t be lazy; follow the link!)
Our goal tonight was Portland, Maine. Just cuz we thought we’d spend this part of the adventure doing some coastal driving; ya know.. lighthouses and rocky beaches and open spaces and stuff. We forgot to mention that last night while driving through the fog on our way to the hotel in CT, we passed the turnoff to Sleepy Hollow. That was kinda cool, but it was just too spooky with the fog to go check out. Maybe next trip. (but probly not).
So… anywhere… on the path to Maine we crossed many cool bridges and saw some beautiful countryside. We know that this part of the country is gorgeous in the summer/fall/spring, and we’d love to come back to see it in its blooming glory, but there’s a certain beauty to seeing the countryside in winter. We’d hoped for snow (and still hope), but we realized while driving that we get to see so much more than the summer tourist/honeymooners do, because we can see what’s beyond the trees on the side of the road. With that being said, we’re already making plans to come back when its a bit greener.
While navigating our way to Portland, Cindy found a nice restaurant off the beaten path (who beats paths anymore, anyway? That’s just cruel.) so we headed into the wilds of Maine. Guess what we found? Nope! We found said restaurant…. and we found it to be closed. 🙁 Evidently the weekend here is not Saturday and Sunday, but actually Monday and Tuesday, cuz that’s when everything here is closed. Well, most things here are closed all winter, but the things that are open aren’t open when we’re here (still feeling pretty bad for us, aren’t you???)
Just where is here, you ask? Well stop interrupting and we’ll tell you!
Since it was getting dark, we decided to skip the trip to Portland for today and just settle in here (we can do that; we’re on our honeymoon!). We found a hotel just down the street from the closed restaurant and O.M.G. (yes, that again) it is SO perfect! The King’s Port Inn in Kennebunkport, Maine is just the most adorable place ever! There were 2 other cars in the parking lot, and the dude behind the counter commented on how busy they were for a Monday night. (say what?) The whole town is straight out of a postcard. We thought we’d found Star’s Hollow last night, but Kennebunk/Kennebunkport has that beat hands down! We only caught a glimpse of it tonight, as it was getting dark when we settled in, but our short walk to “Federal Jack’s” for dinner (one of the few places open in the off season) gave us high hopes for tomorrow.
After a most fun-filled and fillingly-fun dinner, we’re back in our luxurious room with our 4 poster bed (it does not suck to be Dee and Cindy Hathaway!), and we’re ready to call it a night. See you tomorrow!
Sunday morning dawned foggy and fantastic…except for the fact that today we had to leave our beloved Manhattan. 🙁 We awoke with the hopes of hightailing it to the top of Rockefeller Center…a.k.a. Top o’ the Rock. The fog, however, quickly dashed those hopes. So we made the best of a dreary situation…turned on the lamps (Cindy loves Lamp!) tore open the window and threw up the sash (screen, whatever; took us a week to realize we were able to see our view without a screen in the way) and took some daytime “Foggy Manhattan” photos. Dee got rather brave and poked his head out the window (17th floor, not fond of heights, you figure it out) to find that we could see the Hudson River from our room. WHAT???? The day we’re leaving and we finally hang out the window to realize the awesome view we have?
With checkout time still a couple hours away we headed out for breakfast at Patzeria Family and Friends. We’re regulars there now and wanted to have our last breakfast with our first NY friends. After lots of tear-filled goodbyes (that was Cindy, btw) we headed down the street to pick up a few souvenirs. Since Manhattan is nothing more than an outdoor mall, the shopping possibilities were endless.
Once Cindy finally decided which “I Heart New York” shirt she wanted, we made the short journey back to our room to check out and get started on the next part of our adventure.
Back at the room we gathered our luggage and choked back tears (Cindy again) as we took our last ride down the creaky elevator to meet our driver. That’s right…our driver. Dee arranged to have a car pick us up and drive us to the airport, which is where we had a rental car reserved. The driver was very polite, he never once asked us to sit back in our seats and stop crying. We tried to let him know that we weren’t actually flying away just yet, but going to a rental car station but that just got him really confused and he kept asking which airline, so we just asked him to drop us at the terminal, knowing we would take a shuttle to the rental car facility from there ..no problem. HAH!!! Lots of problems, JFK Airport is the size of a not-so-small city. We finally found an information desk (only one, thank goodness) and were told to go across the street to the Air Train and take it to Federal Circle. Oh…sure…we can handle that. Again. Hah!!! First of all…what the heck is an Air Train???? …Anyhoo….we spotted the sign for the Air Train…yay!!! Off we go….we were met by a nice man with a luggage cart, an official-looking jacket and a good eye for tourists who tip well (aka, Us!). He quickly loaded our luggage onto the cart and led us toward the air train after asking if we were from London. Wait… what? London? Really??? Earlier we were accused of being from California when Dee said “No Worries” to someone in the elevator. Apparently that’s a west coast phrase. Hmmmm….we have learned so much in the past week. 🙂 Ok…lets get back on track…an air track apparently. 😉 As we made our way toward the Air Train station our friendly luggage cart driver suddenly shouted…”That’s our Train!!!” And off he went (with our luggage and at breakneck speed). Did I mention that he was about 7 feet tall and had legs longer than all 4 of ours combined? We made it onto the train just as the voice over the speaker warned of the doors closing, Whew! The Air Train is a lot like the Tram at Disneyland…minus Mickey Mouse and Friends, oh…and it’s free. (yay free!)
Let me sidetrack for just a minute to tell you about a movie we happened to watch on TV in our room last night…Unknown…with Liam Neesan. In case you haven’t seen it, I’ll give you a short synopsis. Husband and Wife are out of town….Husband loses briefcase with Passports inside….leaves Wife to go find it….gets in accident…wakes up 4 days later….with no ID….finds Wife….she doesn’t know who he is….blah…blah…blah. Long story short….Cindy insisted that Dee carry the laptop case (with all the ID inside) strapped to his body at all times…and Cindy didn’t let him out of her sight. Excellent plan, but makes for a boring story. We’re OK with that. 🙂
Back to the Air Train….apparently Federal Circle is in another zip code from JFK airport but we finally made it there, which is where we caught the shuttle which would take us to the rental car facility. Good grief, traveling is exhausting…so is writing about it…I’ve just relived it and may need a nap.
Thrifty Rental Car…Yay!!! We got the premium car….apparently in New York that translates to a white Crown Victoria….we dubbed it the Cagney & Lacey Cruiser, cuz we feel like we’re driving a cop car, without the fun lights. :-/ We know it’s not really a cop car cuz there are no sirens to have siren competitions with. Crap!!!
With our luggage packed in the trunk we headed off on the next chapter of our journey…’Dee Drives a Car in New York’.
It was a pretty short chapter. 🙂 It was cool to take our very own (rental) car across the bridges that we had seen on some of our many tours, and it was a good idea to do the New York stay before setting off in the car; we have a much better idea of where everything is now (and it was good to find out that New England drives on the right side of the road).
Our first stop was in Morris Plains, New Jersey. Why Morris Plains, you ask???
We’re so glad you asked!
It’s just one of those places that seems to be popping up in our lives a lot lately, so we thought we’d go check it out. It wasn’t really very check-outable, cuz the fog was so heavy we couldn’t see much. It’s a good thing we drive really close to the road; if we were any farther away from it we wouldn’t have been able to see where we were going. 🙂 But we did check it out a little bit, and it made us feel a little more like we were still in America, with its Wendy’s and Kohl’s and buildings that weren’t all 56 stories high and connected to each other. And not even once did anyone try to get us on a bus tour!
Our stop for the night was in Stratford, CT at the Rodeway Inn. It’s a cute little place on the beach and has a really great history. It had decent reviews on all the appropriate web sites (the geekness doesn’t stop just because we’re on our honeymoon) and Dee thought a night on the beach would be romantic, so we gave it a shot. It’s been way too foggy (see last paragraph), so we picked the cheaper room without a view of the fog covered water. We got close to the room and each got that “ick! someone is smoking” look on our faces… and opened the room to find a definite smoker stench. (blech!!)
One thing we definitely won’t miss about New England is the cigarette smell. Smokers are everywhere, and when they do go outside to smoke, they’re right by the door. We slowed our pass/crossed the street several times in NYC to avoid the stench.
We went back to the lobby and told the nice lady behind the glass that the room just wasn’t going to work. She said that was the only King non-smoking room without an ocean view they had, and we assured her it was not a non-smoking room. So she gave us a free upgrade to the King non-smoking room with an ocean view. Pretty sure the view is the same no matter what window you look out cuz you can see about 10 feet until it all just gets foggy right now. But the room is much bigger and has a deck and if the sun actually makes an appearance, it should be a good view in the morning.
We had a quick dinner in the diner (cuz they close early… this definitely isn’t New York!) and are ready to hit the sack. But maybe we’ll just go to bed instead. We have a lot of ground to cover on day 11! See you tomorrow!!
If you guessed Good Morning America, you are So wrong! There was no GMA today (did you even read yesterday’s post?), so we caught up on some much needed sleeping in. So much so that we missed out on breakfast and had to go to Dean & Deluca for some quiche and a muffin. How is it that the city that never sleeps doesn’t serve breakfast after 11???
Our first stop for the day (after breakfast) was the NBC studios tour. We’d love to show you some pictures, but you can’t take pictures, video, weapons or ABC fans into the tour (Cindy sneaked in anyway). We got to see the Dr Oz studio, the NBC control room and the Saturday Night Live studio. During the tour you get to see a set of waterpipes (woohoo?). In the 60s Jim Henson and Frank Oz were in the studio and, while they were waiting to be on TV, painted a bunch of the water pipes in a closet to look like muppet characters. Too cute! Here are a few shots from Rockefeller Center, just by the NBC studios.
The plan was to go to Top of the Rock to check out the city from the top floor, but it was really foggy and overcast, so we thought we’d go do some ice skating and come back in the afternoon after the sky had cleared. It never cleared.
And we never ice skated. The rink was rented out for a private event. We were thinking about calling Mr Rockefeller to complain, but the rink was rented out for a proposal, so we let it slide (ha! ice rink… slide) this time.
We headed off to visit Central Park again; it’s hard to believe it’s been a whole week since we first visited there. It’s gone by WAY too fast! Along the way we stopped at St Patrick’s Cathedral and got our share of “way too much” for the day.
Then we headed up 5th avenue and got even more “way too much”.
We took the horse-drawn carriage around Central Park and our horse Rudy did a very fantastic job! The driver was ok. 🙂
We stopped on the way back to catch a few pictures of the skyline in the fog.
We’re planning on heading back to Top of the Rock in the morning and are hoping for clear(er) skies, so we did laundry and packed and pouted at having to leave so soon! This week has been so fun and romantic and exciting and perfect and a great start for our life together! And it’s been great to be able to share it with you, and to get your feedback and input on our adventures here. After tonight we’re off to explore more of New England, and we hope you’ll keep checking in to be with us. See you tomorrow!!!
Here we are at the end of another day – and you know what that means. That’s right! It’s time for all the Firemen and Policemen to play with their sirens! You know how in the movies everybody in New York is honking their horns and taxi drivers are yelling at other drivers? Well it’s just like that in real life. The part you don’t see in the movies is the public safety vehicles having siren contests half the night. Evidently they can’t blast their sirens during the day cuz people have to concentrate on their jobs selling bus tours and stuff. Then at night Manhattan is one big siren party until about 2 in the morning. It would be different if they were on their way to an emergency, but they just sit down there on the street… sirening at each other. Next time we’re bringing our own siren so we can join in the fun. (But only at night; we don’t want to seem touristy)
As has become routine, we were at Good Morning America again this morning (I know, right?!) The cast and crew couldn’t believe it either… evidently they have employees who are at the show less than we are. 🙂 George and Eddie welcomed us back, and we got to go in the studio again (well of course we did). Here’s a GMA tip for you; don’t call Lara “Laura”… one of the people who were there just to get on TV (our relationship with GMA is much deeper than that) called her “Laura” and Lara hates that!
It’s been a fun run at GMA, and being recognized as a regular is a bit thrilling. These are some really busy people who must meet thousands of fans a day. We were told by one of the security peeps (well, Cindy was told) “You know we’re closed tomorrow…”. 🙂 We’re still amazed at everything going on behind the scenes and today was particularly ridiculous. So many people standing around doing nothing that it was hard to see the show. It’s a tough life. 🙂
After a much needed nap (GMA starts way early), we headed for the subway once again. Our destination; Grand Central Station! We’re not sure we’re doing the subway thing entirely right, cuz we had to walk WAY too far underground to finally get onto a train. Cindy thought we were just going to walk the whole way there.
Sidetrack! One thing we didn’t know, and you might not too, is that NYC is just a great big outdoor mall. There’s nothing here but stores with a hotel or theater thrown in once in a while. And a lot of the bigger subway stations are just like that except underground.
OK, we’re back. We were happy to be underground for a while, cuz it was raining out in the open. (finally some weather!) Something else you see on TV is the performers on the trains and in the subways; well those exist IRL too. We’ve seen singers and accordion players and an awesome guitarist. We even sat by a crazy, foul-mouthed nose-picker (don’t think he was in it for the money, but there were tips involved; fingertips. Ewwww!!!). We got off at the first available stop and took a different train after a couple minutes of that performance.
We got the self-guided audio tour at Grand Central… it’s supposed to take about an hour to get through, but there was a food-court and pictures to be taken, so we took a couple hours to get through. We’ll say it again; this is another place that pictures can’t relay the grandiosity and feeling of the place. We learned fun facts like the difference between a terminal and a station (look it up! we can’t do all the work for you!), that Jackie Onassis saved the terminal from being torn down, that exposed light bulbs were once considered a sign of wealth (I love lamp!) and that cheesecake from Juniors is just as good as the tour guides say it is.
We were there for the afternoon after-work rush… SO MANY PEOPLE!
We decided to take the bus back to 42nd street from whence we came (we’re all about the fancy talk since we saw Phantom) to continue doing the visitor type stuff we came here for. (well what did you think we were going to do while we were here???) It was still raining but we only had to wait a little while for a bus. The transportation system here really is quite amazing and it’s blowing Dee’s mind just to think about the technology involved in keeping all the Metrocard interfaces connected throughout the whole city.
The last attraction of the day was dinner. Another travel tip; unless you’re a big eater (and I mean big), just order a meal to share. The prices here seem (and are) really high, but almost everything we’ve had for dinner in this town has been big enough to share and still have leftovers.
The second to the last attraction was Madam Tussauds Wax Museum. If you’ve ever thought yourself to be a big deal (like us) but aren’t (not like us), then this is the place for you to get your picture taken with some big names. And some wax figures too!
It was still raining when we got back to the room, and the fog started moving in so we figured out how to open the windows and screens to get a better view out the window. And what a view it is! It even snowed a little bit for a while…. so pretty! We’ll leave you with the night sky as we see it from our room. See you tomorrow!!!
Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale
A tale of a honeymoon
2 passengers set sale that day
And you’ll read about it soon… (you’ll read about it soon)
But first, let us tell you about our morning! We stayed up late last night catching up on the blogging (cuz the pressure is on now that some of you are actually reading this!) and trying to figure out what to do for a sign for our Oscar Party with Good Morning America. Yes, we went to GMA again this morning. (don’t judge us!!!)
As instructed (we do occasionally follow the rules) we showed up on time and dressed up, figuring we were a shoe-in for an Oscar nomination. Joining us at the studio, however, were part of a group of 500 Theta-Beta-Carotene sorority members celebrating their 100th anniversary. How they got that many 100 year old women together in one place, we just can’t figure out. Mad planning skilz, yo.
Since we had our Cordial Invitation (see yesterday’s post.. I’m too lazy to post a link to it), we were invited in to the studio audience. And since we were playing the part of a studio audience (we’re so versatile!), we weren’t allowed to hold up the sign. 🙁 The talent (ie George and Lara and co) and staff (ie Eddie) remembered us anyway. 🙂 We’re “the Newlyweds”… they might need some creative help with their nickname skilz.
Rob Lowe was in the studio today! We got to see him walk from his car to the building, so….. there’s that. Let’s just move on, mkay?
After the show we hopped on the R subway to the southern-most part of the island (we’re such seasoned subway surfers now!) to catch the Staten Island Ferry. This is, oddly enough, a ferry that goes to Staten Island. The ferry is free, and gives you a half-hour ride across the river, going right by the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. This is another one of those ‘must-do’ things if you’re visiting here, mostly cuz it’s FREE and it gets you to Lady Liberty. Traveler tip o’ the day… you can’t just sit on the ferry over to the island and back; everybody gets off the boat and comes back on a different one.
After the ferry ride, we hopped back on the R train to 50th street and transferred to the 50 bus to the 42nd street peer. (Dang we’re getting good at this!!) If I could type that with a New York accent you’d swear we were natives! New York natives, that is. Not like Native American natives; you’ll need to talk with Spenser for that accent.
Our water cruise for the afternoon was a 3 hour tour (a 3 hour tour) around the island (Manhattan island, for those of you just joining in) on the Circle Line. Like many of the tours we’ve been on, it’s hard to decide which is better; the historical information or the view. It’s a lot easier to post the view, so as we close out for the night, we’ll leave you with some pictures from the cruise. See you tomorrow!
This has been our most favoritest day here so far! We’re not saying we’d like to live here full time, but if we could just vacation here full time, that would be great. 🙂
We started out early again (Dee thinks he won’t get to sleep in again until we get back home) so we could go to Good Morning America. We made a sign to ensure our success at getting some much deserved screen time. It turned out to be a really good idea (As I said on Day 1, always tell all the people when you’re honeymooning!) because it got the attention of the staff AND the talent, and a whole bunch of the peeps next to us. We got congrats from George and Lara and Josh and (as they say in Gilligan’s Island) the rest. 🙂
While we were standing around looking important and waiting for stuff to happen (there’s a lot of that in the TV biz) we got our cordial invitation to the GMA Oscars show tomorrow. We were told to “dress to impress”… not sure what that says about the outfits we chose today. :-/
Today there was a cooking game in the main studio; Josh Elliot was the host and Rachael Ray and Guy Fieri were the contestants. When you’re in the crowd (or in the in-crowd, as we are), you have to clap and cheer and stand all packed together in just the right spot and not bother the hosts or guests. But you do get to take lots of pictures and, if you have a really good sign (and really good hair) they might come over and talk to you, which is allowed (seems rather one-sided). It’s amazing to see how many people are behind the scenes making this show happen. The game show part was a tie (rigged!!), but after it was over Guy and Rachael came over to tell us congrats on our wedding and they signed our poster!!! Then Guy threw some tortillas at us. Tortillas of love. (well, they were flours)
Josh got in on the action and gave us a little love too. (dang he’s tall and hugs with authority!) We didn’t get a lot of facetime on the show today, but we’re all over the GMA Live… check it out.
After a quick stop at the room to store our newly signed memorabilia we were off to catch our water taxi. That’s a boat that makes several different stops on its route so you can get off and walk around and catch the next one coming through. It’s actually more like a water bus, doncha think? They really should consult us before they start naming these things. 🙂 We were kind of wishing we’d gotten a regular taxi to take us to the water taxi, not because the walk was very far, but because the neighborhood was rather… well it was sketchy, compared to what lies the other way. The hotel is in a nice part of Hell’s Kitchen (seems like an oxymoron, doesn’t it?), but it goes downhill from here to the Hudson (and aren’t we glad it does, cuz we’d be in the river if it didn’t!).
Anyhoo, we weren’t even scared. Hell’s Kitchen is actually a decent part of town; they even knit their trees cute little sweaters to keep them warm. And it’s so different to see how everyone lives so close together. I imagine they’d freak out if they came to our Town.
“Dang tourist!” I could fit 27 units between your house and the neighbor’s!”
The water taxi took us down the Hudson River and just a tiny bit into the East River (cuz that’s a different tour) and we got to see the place where the ferry wrecked (not the one we were on, btw). There were still cop boats and news helicoptors all over the place. We didn’t get off at any of the stops (we’re on a very tight schedule here!) but we did get some really awesome views of the Brooklyn Bridge, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. The last two are closed indefinitely because of the damage caused by Sandy (the storm, not our dog), but it’s still breathtaking to see. Like most of the things here, the pics are fantastic but it’s nothing like seeing it in person. And here are a few of the aforementioned pics…
After the water taxi we really needed to pee (well, we did!) and it was WAY too cold for the port-a-potties so we stopped in to see the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. The Intrepid is a retired aircraft carrier, and along with all the stuff you’d find on an active aircraft carrier, like anti-aircraft guns and a galley and a gift-shop, they also had some aircraft (makes sense), a space shuttle, a concord jet and a submarine.
Then it was time for the long, cold walk back. Not our best idea ever, but fortunately there was a nice warm tub waiting at the hotel. 🙂
Once we were warmed up, it was time to head out into the city once again (did we mention the tight schedule we’re on?) Tonight we had our first experience with the subway system. Dee has been studying it for months, planning and preparing, and we were all set to go. We bought our MetroCards and headed into the station for our trip South to the Empire State Building. Unfortunately it was the North-bound station. (ooopsy) Fortunately the Sultan of the Subway (Dee’s new nickname for his humble self) figured it out before we boarded the train for Harlem and what we were sure would be our ultimate doom.
Remember our gentle complaining about the security setup from the 9/11 memorial (this post)? Well security at the Empire State Building (ESB) is a whole lot like that, you just have to walk a lot more. Here’s a travel tip for you… don’t take a tripod to the ESB; you’ll have to leave it at security and it ain’t fun getting it back! We couldn’t figure out the security risk of a tripod, so we figure it’d let you take really good pictures and then you wouldn’t want to buy the calendar from the gift shop so they take it from you. 🙂
There’s about 4 miles of movie theater rope to get through before you actually find an elevator, and we were SO glad that we were able to walk right through rather than having to wait in line. Another travel tip… visit between 6-9 weeknights to avoid the longest lines.
We went to the 86th floor, but you have the option to “upgrade” to the 102nd floor. Dee said he did better with the height than at the elevators the day before. The freakiest part was the wind. We were so blown away!! On one side of the tower there was almost no wind, but on the other side we had to lean into it… crazy! We can’t even imagine being a construction worker up there in that wind walking on a metal beam with no safety line (OK, we can imagine… and it makes us a little queasy, so we’re gonna move on now.) This is definitely a must-see for anyone visiting here. The views are stunning! We’ll be visiting another skyscraper in a couple of days and should have some daylight shots for you, but these nighttime pics (be patient, they’re coming up at the end) show you a little bit about how spectacular the view is at any time.
As we say goodnight, here are some views of Manhattan at night. See you tomorrow!