Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Girl's Trip: NYC Style

WARNING: Extremely long post!!!!

I grew up in Wisconsin where the LDS population was slim. I was the only active LDS person in my first high school of 2,000 kids. The only LDS kids I hung out with were the friends I made at church. Therefore I had my "school" friends and my "church" friends. There were three girls in particular that I really hit it off with at church. It didn't take long before we were nicknamed the "Fearsome Foursome." We had thousands of sleepovers, went on group dates together, went to each other's high school dances, cried on each other's shoulders, went to each other for advice, shared tents at girl's camp, got yelled at and punished at girl's camp together ("bad choices girls!"), laughed, danced, and did incredibly silly if not stupid things together. Through the years we've transformed. Two of us are stay-at-home moms, one is a New York City career woman who just added "wife" to her description, and one of us is an incredibly bright and promising BYU graduate seeking the perfect job. We've all changed through the years, but when we get together it's as though nothing has really changed at all. We're able to transform right back into the four silly girls we once were.

The Fearsome Foursome (Abby, Lauren, Mim, and yours truly) had the opportunity to get together again in New York City to celebrate Mim's wedding. It was a so much fun! I'm so grateful Jim was willing to take time off work to become Mr. Mom for a few days while I went gallivanting around New York with some of my best friends. I really appreciate it because I had a great time! We took so many pictures and did so much (we were TOTAL tourists) that I'm afraid this will be a rather long post.

Abby and I flew out of SLC together, Lauren flew out alone. When we arrived at JFK Abby and I were ready to tackle the subway system. We were pretty naive about it. Abby read that from JFK to the Manhattan area it should only take around 65 minutes using the subway. So, on we hopped and soon realized the subway system is a bit more complex than we first thought. We also realized that we had no map. I called the hotel and asked what we should do and they replied, "Get on the A train and transfer to the R train." "GREAT! Sounds easy enough." Thought I as I hung up. Two seconds later I thought, "Okay, what?" Abby and I navigated the subway system sans map or help for about 3.5 hours before we made it to our designated exit. It was quite the adventure, and between transferring at least a half dozen times we're pretty sure we saw ALL of New York from underground. However, we were pretty proud of ourselves when we made it. Also, we learned some valuable lessons, and didn't really have any troubles with the subway the rest of our trip. We felt like experts towards the end.

Poor Lauren was waiting for us at our hotel's lobby for who knows how long. However, the Crowne Plaza Times Square just renovated and they had a pretty nice lobby, so she didn't mind too much. Here are the first few pictures of our trip. They include Abby and our first subway train of the trip, us modeling our hotel room, and a view from our hotel window (41st floor!).
This was the cross street our hotel was on.
Lauren, Abby, and I all wanted to taste some real New York pizza, the kind that your have to fold to eat. So, night one we found this GREAT pizzeria! John's Pizzeria was the way to go.

Then we walked around Times Square and took some touristy pictures.
When we got back to our hotel we called Mim who was ready for some serious pre-wedding girl talk. The four of us caught up on our lives, giggled, and talked until it was way too late. It was so nice. It was also our only chance to hog Mim all to ourselves before her big day.
The next morning we woke up later than planned, took some pictures from our hotel room, and Lauren became a Crowne Plaza model as she emerged from the bathroom wearing the hotel's robe. We had a little photo shoot with Lauren before we left to explore the city.I took this pictures just for my NBA-loving husband. Does it scream "tourist" or what?The first place we stopped on Thursday was the New York Stock Exchange. There were news crews EVERYWHERE! It was pretty great to see such a historical place. We took some pictures by the George Washington statue as well. Lauren and I did our best to pretend to be those crazy stock people who wave their fingers around.
After the New York Stock Exchange we wandered towards the pier and gazed at Lady Liberty. Pretty sweet. The picture in the middle below is Abby looking at a subway map. She was our navigator for most of the trip. I really appreciated that!

Okay, I need to explain this next picture. As I mentioned before we were TOTAL tourists! I'm sure if Mim came along with us she would have been embarrassed. Anyway, we wanted a picture of this guy acting like the Statue of Liberty, but we didn't want to pay any money, so our plan was to have Abby walk towards him and shake his hand while we snapped a pic. This guy one-upped us and grabbed Abby, pulled her up on a stand while placing a crown on her head, a torch in her hand, and draping an American flag around her shoulders. Then he whispered in her ear, "three dollars, okay?" So, she paid three bucks for this silly picture. It makes me laugh every time I look at it and realize how naive we are!!
We walked around the perimeter of Ground Zero. We also went into a church that had a memorial museum set up. It was very touching.
We ate at a GREAT deli for lunch, and then took the subway to Brooklyn so we could walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. It was pretty cool, but I was tired afterwards.We were all tired after our long day, so we headed back to the Crowne Plaza and relaxed while watching Cash Cab for about an hour before heading back out again. Thursday night we walked to the Rockefeller Center, did a little shopping, and took some pictures. It was neat to see Radio City Music Hall, see where SNL is filmed, where the Today show is shot, and the NBC headquarters.

Below are a few shots of the food we noshed on. The deli's were fantastic. They served REAL meat, not the overly pasteurized stuff you get at the grocery store. The turkey tasted like turkey shaved right off of the Thanksgiving bird! I also tried a ruben, because they just don't make 'em in Idaho the way I remember having them in WI. I wasn't disappointed by my ruben sandwich in NYC!

We had an interesting dining experience on Thursday night. I'm not going to get too into it. But lets just say the three of us were suckered in! We paid way too much for food that wasn't that good, and service that was less than enjoyable. But, it makes for an interesting story! Just ask me sometime and I'll tell you all about it!

Friday we woke up, got ready, and walked towards Central Park and the Manhattan Temple. I love this picture Abby took of Lauren and I walking through Central Park. Don't know why, but I think it's cool.
Here are some of Mim's wedding shots. Mim and Martin were sealed in the Manhattan temple. It was a lovely ceremony. Afterwards everyone met in a cultural center and Martin's Dad read a beautiful poem he had learned for his own wedding, and then played the same beautiful song on the piano for Mim and Martin that he had played at his own wedding. It was very moving. After that everyone walked to central park for pictures. Here are a few shots of the happy couple.
Abby took most of these pictures, and they turned out great!

Mim's reception was at a cool little restaurant called I Tre Marie (not sure if I spelled that right). We had a great time toasting to the happy couple, visiting with old friends, and eating all the yummy food.
On our way back to the hotel we got this shot of us riding the subway. We were so NY savvy at this point (not really).
Saturday, our last day, we visited St. Patrick's Cathedral. I was amazed! It was beautiful.
We also did a little shopping. Lauren loved these glasses! Actually, I made her put them on for a picture.
This was the worst picture we took in front of F.A.O. Schwarz, but I thought it was the funniest. So, that's the one you get to look at!
Our last stop of the trip was The Met. We had so much fun looking at the Art we've only ever studied in books! It was thrilling for me. I don't think I had very good Museum decorum as I pointed and yelled things like, "LOOK! That's MADAM X!!" or grabbed Lauren's arm and shouted (in a museum sort of way) "MONET! MONET!!" We had fun, and I wish we could have had all day at the museum, but I still had fun with the few hours we did have before leaving for the airport.
We had fun in the armor section. I'm not really sure what to say about this bit of armor.
I love Lichtenstein's pop art, and thought this piece kind of resembled me. Blond hair, larger chest, and big pregnant belly (oh yeah, I'm pregnant, I'll post about it later).

This is Lauren's three dollar Gatorade. Yeah, we're all in disbelief at the price. We also can't believe Lauren got suckered into paying that much. In her defense we had JUST walked across all of the Brooklyn Bridge and she was in need of some electrolytes. However, she only took a few sips that day, and couldn't bring herself to throw the rest away since it was so expensive!!
And lastly, here's another cool picture Abby took while we were wandering around the city. Cool building, huh?

I'm sure there are things I've left out or forgot about. Oh well.

This trip was so much fun!!! We're so happy for Mim and Martin, and that they got married in New York so we could make a Girl's Trip out of it. Now, we just need Lauren to get married in a place like Hawaii in a few years for our next Girl's trip! :) Actually, no matter where Lauren gets married we'll be there. That's just how the Fearsome Foursome rolls.


Joni said...

What an awesome trip! I wanna go next time!!

Audie said...

How fun!!!! Love the pictures! Take me with you next time. Shove me in your suitcase and let's go!!

Amberly said...

ok, you know I read it all when I totally caught the pregnancy annoucement!! congrats!! you made me miss the city like crazy, I'm glad you had such a fantastic trip!

Joey Clements said...

Yay!!! Congrats Leslie!!!! I'm thrilled for you! What an awsome trip too! Looks like a ton of fun!!!

The Bradley Family said...

How fun!!! You and Abby look great!!!

Necha said...

YAY! That sounds like so much fun. How about you and I ditch our husbands for a week and go back there...you can show me all around NYC!! That would be SO FUN!!
And congrats of the pregnancy announcement. I am very happy for you-and I am SO GLAD I don't have to keep it a secret any more. I almost commented about it in a few comments to you in other posts!! Ekk! Well I love ya! -Necha

Jim said...

Thank for the picks


Hannah S said...

Um, I didn't know you were going to NYC too! We leave this friday! AAAh. Still have to plan. It looks like you had a blast! How long were you there for?

Andrea said...

I'm so jealous you and Abs got to hang out together. What a great trip! It looks like you had a blast!

PS - Congrats on the new baby!

Aunt Debi said...

What a great trip! I'm so glad you got to go and spend time with your friends. Jim is a sweetheart to watch the homefront so you could go. And congrats on the pregnancy! When are you due?

MattJulieGavin said...

you guys are funny! that trip looks like a blast! jealous. i'm dying to get back there! and i can't wait to hear more about you being prego! CONGRATS!!!

*Abby* said...

wahoo for NYC! CAn I "borrow" your post for my own blog? It was quite well done! ANd I am overwhelmed at trying to recap it! Love ya tons and thanks for the awesome vaca!