Monday, January 30, 2012
This year we decided to plan an outing with some of Kaydin's friends from school as well as a birthday party with friends and family. We invited a few of the girls from her class at school and her cousin, Keely, to Monkey Joe's for the afternoon. Only two ended up being able to come that day but they still had a great time!
When we got home from Monkey Joe's she made her first picture on her new Brite Lite that Tim and I got her for her birthday. This generation of Lite Brite is very different from what I remember as a kid. Hers is a LED flat screen! A big change from the big cubes I used growing up!
Sunday, January 29, 2012
The morning of New Year's Eve Tim and I decided to walk down to Times Square before it really started to fill up and the streets were blocked off. We walked down 7th Avenue and there were already thousands of people out. People were already in their "cages" by 10:30 in the morning!! They were camped out with their pizzas, Subway sandwiches, blankets, and lawn chairs! Absolutely crazy!! The way Times Square worked is that it is free to be down there in the action in front of the Nivea stages to see all the musical acts and celebrities- the catch is that it fills up on a first come, first serve basis. Streets close as more people show up. The police are down there to filter people into the correct areas and once you are in line, you are there for good. Unless you want to give up your place. That means no leaving to get food or use the bathroom! I couldn't believe people were there so early!!
We had reservations at a restaurant on 44th St. and 7th Ave, right at the intersection where the ball drops! So we had a ticket that gave us access to that area without waiting in the lines (or so we thought).
After we shopped around and checked out the Times Square area we headed to Carnegie Deli. We joined the lonngggg line that we saw here pretty much all the time. The wait didn't take long though and we were ushered to a table to share with six other people. All restaurants in New York are so small inside so you end up rubbing elbows with the table next to you.
This cheesecake was HUGE and awesome!!!
Our hotel was right next to Carnegie Hall. After we ate lunch we kept walking further north just a few blocks down to Central Park. We stopped to take some pictures of some cool buildings on the way.
Our next stop was Rockefellar Center to see the Christmas tree.
This Apple store on 5th Avenue was so cool! This glass enclosure was where you entered and then the store was underground and huge! It was right near the CBS morning news station.
We walked back into Central Park before going back to the hotel to change before dinner. The skating rink was so packed! We were going to skate since neither of us has before but once we saw learned the admission price we didn't feel like paying $50 to fall on our butts!
After this we started making our way through the barricades and police check points to get to our hotel. I think it was about 6:30pm by this time. We had to walk through a check point at every block from 60th St., where Central Park starts, to 56th where our hotel is. At each checkpoint I had to open my purse so they could check for alcohol and be checked with the metal detector wands. It was quite the scene. When going into our hotel, the people had filled 7th Ave. up to our hotel between 55 and 56th St. When leaving though at about 8:45pm the crowd had filled the street all the way back to 60th St!
This was the scene outside of our hotel.
The checkpoints south of our hotel became a little more strict. The hotel sent us a document that stated our names and the address of the restaurant and also that we had reservations. This document served us well because every policeman that we encountered asked for this slip of paper. We thought we made the perfect plans because we could just walk up the street and see all the action of the musical stages and not have to wait in line. We made it up a couple blocks and one of the officers told us we would need to go out and around, we could not keep walking the straight shot down 7th Ave. Well we tried the other side of the street and got through just fine. A couple more blocks of this though and we were shut down. We would have to walk down 6th Ave rather and 7th to make the final trek to our restaurant. I was disappointed because I thought we would be able to see lots of the action but should have known it would have been too good to be true.
Once we got down to 44th St. we found our restaurant. We tried to get further down to see the ball and more stages but there were even more barricades that our documentation wouldn't let us through. We stood outside there for awhile and heard Adele performing. Sadly, though, no celebrity sightings were made. We were standing right beside many trailers though but we never found out whose they were.
By this time it was about 9:35 and our reservation was at 10pm so we went into the restaurant for dinner. We chose Osteria al Doge, a Venetian style restaurant. It was a great pick! A great location and fun atmosphere. Our plan was to take our time for dinner and come outside right before the ball and confetti dropped.
I ordered the scallops wrapped in prosciutto
Tim ordered the lasagna.
We made it outside after dinner just in time to hear the final countdown to the new year. We didn't get to see the actual ball drop but we were right under all the falling confetti. I even caught a few pieces that landed right on me! Once the New Year was rung in, one barricade was opened that allowed us to push through the crowd and stand right in the intersection of 7th and Broadway. We stood under the falling confetti while Frank Sinatra's New York, New York played. It was surreal! A great experience that I will never forget! We stood here and played around listening to the music, taking pictures and watching the confetti fall. So much is released that it fell for over an hour!
We made it back to our hotel at almost 2am to get our stuff and were on the way to the airport around 3:30am. It was a quick trip but filled with fun and excitement. I hope to go back again someday over New Year's to take it in again!
Thank you, Timmy, for a great Christmas present!