Saturday, March 8, 2008


*as always, the pics are clickable, so if you move your mouse over and click on em, they'll get all big and you can see everything in SUPER size...

I love New York City!

We started out in NY by waking up really early in NJ. We caught the bus at the Port Authority and rode on in. (No one in their right mind wants to drive into NY..traffic is..gah! Anyway, Steve always sleeps on the ride (its 1.5 hours, but..well, I'm still dorky and get too excited- though I normally sleep on the way back) but it means that I always get to see the first GLIMPSES of NYC. I always sneak pics of it, because it's really cool for this little girl from the mountains of North carolina! After I manage to wake steve up and we stumble around looking for a subway map and a tour book guide (because..well..i'm still a crazy tourist!) I started getting hungry and looking for some food in mah bellay! Steve and I took the subway to the NYU campus area where Steve knew of this little bakery like thing. Well, we got there and walked around George Washington Square and steve showed me where he used to live (his window at least) and what the different buildings were for, and then as he was looking for the bakery, he found Gray's Papaya. Theres another Papaya Dog place somewhere, but it isnt as stay away! Grey's papaya has the Recession Special (pictured) where you get 2 hotdogs and a drink for 3.50, tax included. Steve said it used to just be 2.50, but it's worth the 3.50, the hot dogs are the best i've ever had, juicy with a slight bite and crunch..and while I got my caffeine fix, steve got the papaya juice which was super good.

After our yummy breakfast(??) we took the subway to the Wall Street/Raging Bull area. We saw the giant flag that drapes across the front of the building and the Giant George washington that resides across the street. One cool thing that I have a picture of is a random TV on the side of the road broadcasting CBS. Just, as you walk out of the subway BOOM there is the morning news. I guess it helps the Wall Street peeps to keep a handle on the daily news but still...woooooooooow. Wonder if they argue over the remote (wink!)
Then we walked over to the Raging Bull statue. I've wanted to go back to see it since I came to NY the first time because there were so many people around that I couldn't get up, Steve and I did. I had steve take my picture with the GIANT HORNS of this thing. It really is huge, and its owned by this ONE's for sale, with the stipulation that you never ever move it...Pretty cool though. Steve took his picture with the anatomically correct parts of the bull, and even though I was slightly embarassed to take his picture, this Asian couple came up after Steve did it and took the EXACT same was hilarious. Though, it's my fault he took it this way. There was an old old lady doing it the first time I saw it, so I mentioned it to him and voila!
After wall street we walked our way up to the site of the 9/11 attacks. It's very serene and there is still obvious damage to the other buildings around, but they have a makeshift memorial made up there where tey have a list of the people who lost their lives, as well as the firefighters, a time line, images of the day and the future plans for the site. I think it's supposed to be finished by I dont think I'll ever get to see it, but it looks like it will be quite wonderful when it is done. They have some holes ripped into the tarp that surrounds the actual site where you can look down and see the footprint from where the buildings used to be and it is definitely gut wrenching to see the giant gaping holes. As a midmorning snack, Steve and I ventured past Chinatown..oh how I love thee, btw where we got some nice deals (like a $5 Galvin Klein wallet and a nice belt, I also found a JADE TURTLE and a nice present for me and mom...) and straight into Little Italy to the Cannoli king. They can be a little pricey, but they are DEFINITELY worth it as they taste soo light and wonderful and look soo devlish.
I always trust Steve as far as food goes, but Lunch was at my favoritest pizza place ever. Famous Rays on 11th and 6th, there's a fake one around, BUT..dont be deceived. The pizza slices are huge and they use fresh ingredients and make their own dough. They even once shipped 200 pizzas to London when a group of students got a craving for real NY pizza. Seriously, when you order, they put the toppings you want on the pizza, and put MORE mozzarella on top. Like most NY places, theres hardly room to sit, but when you find a place and you cozy up wit your pizza..its quite worth it!
Steve and I had tickets to go up on top of the Rockefellar Center. All the pics are from the tip top of there (either the 69th or the 70th floor). As we walked in they send you up in this elevator which has a glass ceiling, and you can see the pully and rope system that the elevators use to pull you up! They project this presentation like thing onto the ceiling while your going up (and while you are going down), which makes you a wee bit nauseous, but it definitely makes it seem all magical and special! From the top of the building you could see all the way into New Jersey! The pic is of me and Central Park, pretty huge and pretty cool. I cant wait to go back to NY when I can walk around (ie when it is warm!) You can see all the main areas of NY (manhattan, brooklyn, long island, bronx and queens). You can also see all the bridges and water ways and even the statue of liberty! I found a really cool pamphlet that they were selling inside for $2 which has a night view and a day view and it tells you everything you are looking at..quite awesome. There was a We got there when it was still light outside, and we waited for the sun to set, and then we watched it get dark! We got to see NY from all threes during the day and definitely breathtaking, at sunset it is super romantic and at night, it's just plain magical! I really liked top of the rock better than ( I think ) I would for the empire state building, mostly because it was cheaper and the lines were shorter, they have photographers on top, AND all of your pics have the Empire state building in them! I included pics of the building during the day, and at night so you can see how it lights up at night all gorgeous.

I was on the top of the building!70 stories STRAIGHT UP! SOO AWESOME. How cool is that! Steve also showed me the electric fountain and the skating rink (the fountain is in the background of one of the shows steve and i like to watch) and who hasnt seen the skating rink on the TV?

We headed towards the "biggest buildabear" ever...I wasnt that impressed, although we didnt go in. Next time perhaps...Anyway, we headed to the Times Square TOYS R US. That place is ABSOLUTELY huge. It has a real working, full size ferris wheel in it! There was also a Jurrasic Park area with a 20 ft animated Dinosaur in it. BUT, as a prior member of the Barbie nation, and I loved me some barbies (no, i never felt like they oppressed me, and I dont understand the women who cry foul) I was so excited because THEY HAD A BARBIE HOUSE INSIDE! This house was larger than MY house. Seriously, and it had, get ready..2 stories, including pink and purple stairs and a large variety of antique Barbies including the knitting barbie on the right. She comes with a knitted outfit, three different balls, and her own set of needles and scissors. Oh the 1960s, how you seem to rock. Outside the Barbie Dream House (seriously, amazing) They had a Lego Depot where you could choose your lego based on it's size/color/number of holes/opacity. It was AMAZING. Three walls of all the legos you could imagine.
Next we headed out to the M&Ms store. It was a three story incredibly crazy thing full of toys and CANDY. They had a section called the "Collection" which was couture(ie. expensive and fancy) purses and handbags that were made out of MMs packages. CRAZY. They had porcelain ornaments, and this 2200...thing?I dont know what it was, but it was crazy...I have a picture if anyone wants to see later..haha. There was so much STUFF there, between mugs, stuffies, and just random touristy things like these MM dispensers that featured the Green MM as the Lady Liberty. They also had tshits, kitchen stuff, and pretty much anything else you can think of. There were 23 (I think) different tubes of colorful MMS that you could make your own bag of. They also had premade mixes in different color combos (Red White and Blue (USA flag) or Green orange and white (Irish flag) just to name a couple) The store was a blast, and I'll definitely go back. They had a mug that i wanted (but I don't use mugs) that had the green MM as lady liberty (like pictured above) and it said "life, liberty and the pursuit of chocolate)

We also went to the Reese store, it's across the way from the MMS store, but VERY disappointing. It looks huge from the outside, but from the inside, it's so tiny and there arent alot of products or even anything really that impressive. So I'll spare you the pictures! Our dinner in NY, well..we had to stand in line for it, but it was so worth it! It was a gyro, which ive never had before, and I can see why steve misses them. They were super duper yummy and had rice and fresh salad and hallal prepared lamb. Steve told me that the line can stretch around the block, and I completely understand why. we got there relatively early though we didnt hav quite as long of a wait. See?
We caught the late bus back to Jersey and hit the sack reaaaal quick. After resting up we spent the next day lounging around the house and hanging out with Steve's friend/family. We ended our stay in Jersey at the Sandcastle Diner. It really has amazing food, there are always interesting people in there and I definitely feel like full when I leave. It's family owned and they have a breakfast (pictured to the left, which has Pancakes, eggs and a meat (I always get bacon) and it's quite filling. A struggle to eat the whole thing, specially when you add in the toasted blueberry muffin wif butter. YUMMAY. Then, we drove..all the way home. It was a really long ride, but it's always worth it. I love taking these day trips, especially with Steve, and I love going up to the city and baltimore an Yes, even Jersey.

One last pic from the TOP OF THE ROCK. Gorgeous eh?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Spring Break 08

My spring break trip started out in Baltimore, at the HUGE AWESOME SUPER COOL AQUARIUM! it's right on the port, and the building is big a feat of architecture. We got there early, because we had 9:15 tickets entrance tickets. After looking around the pier some, taking alot more pics of the Ship (and the marines on the ship) a cool submarine and other boats, we decided we were very cold. There was a huge crazy Barnes and Noble next door, so we headed over there to warm up and get ready. When we time came we made our way over to the aquariam. I was blown away from the minute I got in the door. They were having the "YEAR OF THE FROG" so they had a little display out with some frogs out that they could let the little kids hold and touch. This guy was very photogenic and I had to grab his picture. Then they walked into the main areas and they had a HUGE HUGE area that had manta rays and nurse sharks and of course a SEA TURTLE. It only had 3 legs though because it had lost one due to an infection. Tres sad, but it was so huge and magestic and GIGANTIC..(I have a pic later on for reference!) Anyway, after I stared at that area for ages (seriously, it was larger than my house) Steve and I made our way into the exhibit area. They had tons of cool fish and eels and different aquatic animals, I have a bunch of pics with different animals, but I'll try to only post a few here. They had a sea horse exhibit, which was super cool. I've never seen them anywhere except on the TV, but theyre really little, and propel themselves forward and hang out in groups. THen I saw this weird dude. Can YOU tell what is fish and what is rock? Yeah, that IS moss on him. Prettyyyyy weird. We walked around the place some more and there were a TON of turtles..everywhere. There were Australian ones, and Indonesian ones, and American ones and big ones, little ones, ones with red necks, ones with snake necks, and ones for me to take my PICTURE WITH. Woot. After we got done with all the underwater exhibits, we went to their new Australian exhibit. They had MORE TURTLES, and snakes, and bats, and a big hairy spider, and birds, and plants (and can you tell I was excited), but they also had SLOTHS. Normally, sloths are very slllooooow animals that rarely move at all.. They normally sleep 18 hours a day, and at their fastest can move a whopping .5 feet a minue. Well, one of the ones they had was not aware of his speed limit, and was going crazy, walking all over the pin finding food here and there and then changing to find more food...This made for awesome pics of the sloth with his CLAW.. PRETTY Cool. After wards we walked around this giant corkscrew thing, where we saw lots of sharks and different kinds of fish. I have a few pics of them, but I dont want too COMPLETELY clog up the website. Lets see, then we walked downstairs, along a giant whale skeleton (Steve swore it was bigger when he was a kid...) and got to the area underneath the viewing room from earlier. You could look underneath and watch them swim up next to the area, I got some cool pics of a giant manta ray, but for posterity, I HAD to show the pic of the turtle and the guy feeding it. (We got lucky that they were feeding the animals while we were there) I TOLD you those sea turtles were HUGE.

After we left the Baltimore Aquarium. Steve and I headed up to Jersey! We headed out with his dad and sister to dinner at Outback which was super yummy. I also found an awesome coaster, but I didnt take a picture and I cant find it now. Anyway, I promised mom a pic of Steve and his sis and dad, so, here it is. I told y'all they looked just alike. Great genes huh?