Saturday, August 27, 2011

Day 5: Jalepeno jelly, museum disappointment, and stale cookies

On day 5, I honestly don't remember what I did that morning. I know my mom had rehearsal, but I don't have a clue what I was doing... so, we'll just say I went to the library. Okay, good.

After the library, I met my mom for lunch. They have a Chevy's in New York, which is our favorite restaurant of all time. They don't have one in Utah anymore, so anytime we have the opportunity to go to one, we take it!

The thing we always get there is the chicken flautas. They are heaven on earth, I tell you. And that jalapeno jelly, mm-mm.

After we went to Chevy's it was time for my mom to go rehearse at the Lincoln center. So we went back to the hotel to change, and I drove up with them. Instead of sitting in a boring rehearsal for hours, I went to the Museum of Natural History. And, I'm not going to lie, I wasn't that impressed. A lot of it was under construction or something, but I just wasn't all that into it.
But I guess it was cool seeing the "Dumb dumb want gum gum" guy.

After the Museum of Natural History, I went back to Central Park just to walk around some more.

Then it was time for my mom's concert. The choir was advertised on the board outside the Lincoln Center, which was pretty cool.

The concert was amazing. I'm pretty sure I accidentally sat in the wrong seat. I didn't look at my ticket carefully enough, and just went where I thought the worker told me to. But then some people came right as the concert started, so it was all confusing. They ended up going to a different spot, and I felt really bad, but oh well.

Anyway, back to the concert. They sang a piece called Memorial, which is 25 minutes long, but it was 25 minutes of beauty. I absolutely loved it!

After the concert, we went on a Booze Cruise. Well, they called it a "Dinner Cruise" but that wasn't fooling me.

We had dinner, which was the worst food I had eaten in my whole time at New York, (complete with hard cookies for dessert) and then they had music for dancing and such. At first, we went down to the "quiet deck" but I felt like I was aging 50 years by the second, so I got out of there as fast as I could. Then we went up to the louder deck, and danced the night away. It was actually super fun. A lot more fun than I thought it would be.

Anyway, by the time the cruise was over, it was about 1:00 in the morning, maybe later. So we went back to the hotel to spend our last night in New York!

Jen's New York Fact of the Day: If you decide to talk a walk through central park, wear good shoes. Not flimsy sandals. Your feet will hurt. Really badly.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Day 4: Sketchy bikes, NY pizza, and the Entry-Way to Mount Olympus

Guys! We're halfway through!

Okay, day 4. Day 4 was a Sunday, so we went to church at the Manhattan temple. It's really neat, because it's just right in the middle of the city, but it's a beautiful sight. It was kind of funny, because we were a little lost trying to find where to go. We went on the subway, but didn't know where to exit. Cory, the choir's director, spotted some people wearing church clothes. Then he told everyone, "Let's follow them, they have scriptures!" It was great.

After church, my mom and I went to Central Park. We didn't have too long of a time there, so we decided to rent bikes and ride around the park. As we were walking to the legit bike rental, a sketchy guy came up to us and asked us if we wanted to rent some bikes, and he started talking to us about how we needed to rent from him because it's cheaper and what not. When we asked him where his bikes were, he said his friend would bring them, which made the whole thing even more sketchy. But, we rented from them anyway. I mean, we saved about 15 bucks each. And the bikes were actually pretty good, except for the fact that my gear shift would freak out on me every once in a while.
After the bike ride we went to a place called the Shake Shack, which supposedly has some of the greatest hotdogs in New York. They were pretty darn tasty. I also got a Rocky Road concrete as well, which was de-lish!

Then we had to race back to the hotel because my mom had more rehearsals. I think I took a nap again... or I visited the library again... or I did both.

Anywho, after the rehearsal, my mom and I went took the subway and went to Lombardi's. Before we went to New York, I looked up the best place to get pizza in NY and Lombardi's came up on every site I checked. It turns out Lombardi's is the first pizzeria in the U.S. It was really fun to go there. And the pizza was delicious! But I think I'm a bigger fan of Chicago deep dish pizza. I love me some crust. But, the sauce was extra good. And I don't like pizza sauce, so for me to say the sauce is good means that it was really good.

Right across the street from Lombardi's is a rice pudding place, called Rice to Riches. If any of you have seen Hitch, it's the rice pudding place the girls go to in it, so of course we had to go to it. Plus, I love rice pudding, and Pudding on the Rice left us, so I haven't got it in a while.

After our delicious dinner and dessert, my mom's choir sang at yet another church. This one was by far the prettiest.
Then we walked to the Empire State Building. We passed some sights on the way.

When we got to the Empire State Building, we went to get in line, and let me tell you the line NEVER ENDS! You go in one never-ending line, and then you think you're done, and then you have to go wait in another never-ending line, and then you think "oh, we're finally there", but no, you have to wait in another line.

Anyway, we finally got to the top. It was a pretty cool site to see. I did pay 25 cents to use the binocular things. Totally worth it.

After the Empire State Building (in which you also have to wait in a line on the way back down), we went back to Times Square just to wander around.

And then we went to bed.

Jen's New York Fact of the Day: The way to get to Mount Olympus is from the Empire State Building. As hard as I tried, I couldn't find it. Although, I did wear my Percy Jackson shirt to celebrate. A worker at the Empire State Building first thought I was wearing a... dare I say it, Jacob Black shirt... ugh. But quickly realized his mistake and impressed me with his Percy Jackson knowledge. :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Day 3: Singing Waitresses, My favorite Brit, and Free Wifi

Alright, Day 3. Here we go.

My mom had rehearsals so I had the morning free to myself. I woke up, ate breakfast with my mom, and then went back up to the hotel room, took a shower, then took a nap.

When I woke up again, I got ready, and decided to go exploring. I met up with my mom before I left, and she told me she had gotten a black and white cookie during her break, and told me where I should go get one. I bought one, and it was DELICIOUS! It wasn't what I was expecting, but boy, was it good.

So I went to Times Square to pick up tickets for a very special event... (you'll find out about that in day 6). When I walked back I went to the New York Public Library, which was so pretty. ...And I got free wifi there, so that was a plus. And I went to H&M (why isn't there one of those in Utah?) and Zara.

When my mom got done with rehearsal, we did my absolute favorite part of the trip. We went to see How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying starring the one and only.... Harry Potter! Oh, I mean, Daniel Radcliffe!

For those of you who don't know, I'm a worry wart. I always get nervous over the dumbest things. So I was super scared that for some reason Daniel wouldn't be there, and it would be his understudy, and I probably would have cried during the entire 3 hour production.

So as soon as I got my program, I checked the pieces of paper to see what cast was changed, and thank heavens, Daniel wasn't one of them.

When the play started, there was the overture, and then some scaffolding lowered into the orchestra pit. About a minute later, Daniel Radcliffe was getting pulled up. It was probably one of the best moments of my life. He sang and danced spectacularly. I mean, he could really dance. And he spoke with an American accent really well. There was only one time that I heard some British slip out. And he was so funny! You know that part in HP6 (the movie) when Harry takes the Felix Felicis? And how he was so funny? That was basically how he was the whole play. I couldn't stop smiling the whole time.

After the show we raced over to Ellen's Stardust Diner. If you ever go to New York, you have to go to this place. It is so much fun. So basically the waiters and waitresses at this diner all want to be on Broadway. So as they are taking orders and delivering food, they serenade you. It was super busy and crowded, but super fun.

Then that night my mom had rehearsals again. I honestly can't remember what I did. Probably took a nap. New York makes you tired.

Jen's New York Fact of the Day: They have hairstylists for the mannequins at H&M. This might seem obvious to some people, but I was surprised by it. At the New York H&M, the hairstylist is a gay man. But a very, very talented gay man.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Day 2: Walking, the marketplace, walking, sightseeing, walking, Broadway, walking

Ready for day 2? It's a long one, so hold on tight.

Our hotel was connected to Grand Central Station, so for breakfast almost every day we went down to the marketplace they have there. This might sound weird, but it was one of my favorite parts of the trip. I just loved the different vendors. So the first day I got a pear danish. Pretty much, just because it looked cool. And we got delicious, fresh mangoes! Oo, they were so good. I want some right now.

This was the day we walked and walked and walked. We went sightseeing, and we ended up walking 10 miles. Woo-ee!

The first place we went to was the Statue of Liberty. On the way there was a park (I don't remember what it was called) that had a statue that they salvaged from one of the World Trade Centers. Peerrrtty cool.

So we finally saw the Statue of Liberty. It was an overcast day, which made for really cool scenery.

My mom's choir sang at the base. My favorite part of the choir singing at the different sight-seeing spots was watching the reaction of the people watching. Like at the Statue of Liberty, there was the old Asian man that had this huge smile on his face and was loving every second of it.

Then we stopped of at Ellis Island, watched a cheesy, but informative play about Emma Lazarus, and took some pictures.

And is it bad that pretty much all my mom and I could think of while we were at Ellis Island was Hitch? So we took a picture at the place where they looked at the book with the names in it.

Then the choir sang again.

Then we walked and walked and walked and walked. We went to Ground Zero and a couple of different churches that the choir sang at. My feet were hurting by now.

And to end the day, I went to my first ever Broadway play, The Lion King! It was so so so so good. I had to get my ticket later than the rest of the choir, so I sat by myself. But it was a pretty darn good seat. I was right in the center and only 5 rows back. I could see all of the actors faces and everything. I loved it. (Although I could have done without the crazy, drunk, fighting couple next to me. The boy was swearing his head off at the girl one minute, and then sobbing and telling her he loved her the next. All the while she was punching, slapping, kicking, and hitting him, and she ended their relationship on Facebook. So if that doesn't make it official, I don't know what does.)

And then we went to bed.

Jen's New York Fact of the Day: The subway system is really quite easy once you get a hang of it. Believe me, when I first went through it, I felt a bit like Mr. Weasley, but by the end of the trip, my mom and I could navigate it like pros.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Day 1: Planes, Lost Phones, and a Search for Dinner

Okay, fine, I'll blog about New York. It happened over a month ago, but I don't have anything else that has happened that is blog-worthy. So here it goes.

The first day we had to leave by 5:00 (or 5:30... I don't remember. We'll stick with 5:00 because it sounds better). We drove to the airport, took forever checking in all of our free baggage, and then finally made it to the plane... well, half of the group did. We had the later plane, so we had to wait for a couple more hours.

In the meantime, I saw my dad at the airport! He was going to D.C. the same day we were going to New York! And his waiting area.. terminal.. whatever.. was right next to ours. Cool!

Then we rode 4 1/2 hours on the plane.

Then we got off of the plane and went to get our luggage. That is when I realized I didn't have my phone. I was wearing shorts that don't have very good pockets, so I realized it must have fallen off on the plane. My mom ran back, but by the time she got there, the plane had already taken off again. So I was phone-less in New York City. Bummer.

Then we rode in a bus for 2 hours in traffic to get to our hotel.

Then we tried to get to our room, but the lady who had our room key was at a play, so we had to stow our things in another room. So we went in search of some food. And did you know that all the restaurants close at 9:00 in New York? Okay, I'm sure there are night clubs and such that are open all night, but we had a really hard time finding someplace to go. We finally found a street vendor and we got something from him. I was a little scared ordering from him, I'm not going to lie, but the Italian sausage was actually really good.

And then we went to bed.

Jen's New York Fact of the Day: New York is smelly. Utah mountain air is much better.

Monday, August 1, 2011

What's Up?

School is about to start again. I can't believe it, but it's here. I feel like Summer (or is it summer?... I feel like I should know this) just barely began, and now it's over. This summer has been pretty darn fun, but I also feel like I've been pretty darn lazy. But after 9 1/2 months of slaving away, I think I deserve it.

Anyway, I just wanted to update everyone (and by everyone, I mean the 5 people that actually read this blog) on what's going on in the near future.

First, I'm going to move to Salt Lake! I am so excited to get out of Provo and move on to bigger, and hopefully better, things. It will be good to have a change of scenery. And I'm moving in with Heather! Which will be so much fun. We just need to find a place to live now....

I'm going to teach another year at Channing Hall in 2nd grade, but Whitney won't be there this year, which makes me really sad. I don't know what I'm going to do without our talks in the car. But thank heavens Kristin will still be there. And we're adding a Jen to the team, so based on her name, she has to be cool, right?

This week I'm taking a last-summer-trip to Vegas and St. George with my family. I don't exactly know what we'll be doing, but with my family it's bound to be fun.

I've been reading some awesome books lately:
One Day by David Nicholls
The Books of Bayern by Shannon Hale
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
And I'm reading The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan right now, which is so good! Y'all need to read all these books. You won't regret it.

Welp, that's all for now. I still haven't blogged about New York... we'll see if I ever get around to it. :)