Friday, May 30, 2008

NYC Recap- Day 3

Lots of storms today. I don't mind storms if I don't have to be out in them. Today however, I was out in them. I went to lunch with my cousins, aunt, and grandma. Then I went back to my cousin Andi's house to look at my trip pics (and play with her puppy Lucy). Busy day tomorrow... baby shower in the morning, lunch with the girls, and then I hope to squeeze in a nap before I have to work at 7p. We'll see if that actually happens. I doubt it. On to the recap................

Day 3

This day started VERY early for us. I was not feeling rested, ecspecially since we did not get to bed until almost midnight because we got home from Wicked so late. We couldn't very well skip out on the Today show though since we had told pretty much everybody that we were going. Plus, we had a sign.

So anyway... we left our hotel at 6am so that we could go stand in line with a bunch of other people until the show started at 7. Now something that we didn't take into account was that we would be live for a whole hour before the show even started airing at home. So we're holding our sign up high for the camera and it was all for nothing, because the people we wanted to see our sign weren't able to even watch yet. Oh the frustration! As we stood in a sea of people we were lucky enough to hear the musical guest (Alanis Morisette) do two warm up songs. Good thing too, because we were NOT staying that long to wait and hear her.
Also, while we were standing outside waiting for Matt to check back in with Al for the weather (:p) a spontaneous thumb war broke out among some highschoolers in the crowd. We think they were there on a school trip. They all had a bit of a twang to their voice, so they must have been from the south. That broke up the time a little by watching them. Who knew thumb wars could be so interesting... I was going to get a picture, but by the time I thought of it and had my camera out they had stopped. :(
I think we lasted all of 5 minutes once Today started airing at home. We called home from the cab and told them they could stop watching because we left. No use in them sitting there looking for us when we weren't even there anymore.

Where were we headed next? Staten Island Ferry... to see Lady Liberty. So we arrived there at about 8:20 and were just in time for the 8:30 ferry. It figures though that we would get the retarded ferry that doesn't have an observation deck. So we were limited to taking pictures through the dirty windows on the inside of the icky ferry. My pictures actually didn't turn out too bad, but I suggest that if you want to ride the Staten Island ferry you pick your ferry wisely. I much rather would have been on the outside of it instead of on the inside. Ick! But, atleast we can say we saw the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. I will always have my pictures to remember them.

Once our hour long ferry ride was over we hit the bathrooms and made a quick pitstop at a little bakery in the building. It was the cheapest place thus far that we had purchased anything. We got 4 cookies and a bottle of water each. It was Poland Water.... I didn't think it tasted Polish, but what do I know....

So we got a cab and headed toward Ground Zero. It was much different than what I thought it would be. There were construction workers working on the site, and there were fences all around that were covered with big tarps. We had to go up on a walkway above the road to look down on the area. It was all kind of surreal.

After we took some pictures there we walked to St Paul's Cathedral to check that out. There were memorials set up inside for the people who died on 9/11 and for the courageous people who volunteered to help during that time. It was a little weird that they had turned a church into a museum of sorts, and it was even more weird to me that there was a "gift shop" area. I don't know, it just felt kind of wrong to me. It was interesting to see some of the items that were inside though, like all the patches from firefighters and volunteers around the world.

We could only stay there for a few minutes, because we are on a serious time crunch with all the things we were trying to fit in that day. So we left St Paul's and headed toward our next destination.... the Brooklyn Bridge.


Who knew....

...monkeys are on the payroll at Youtube.

500 Internal Server Error
Sorry, something went wrong.

A team of highly trained monkeys has been dispatched to deal with this situation. Please report this incident to customer service.

They're not just any monkeys either.... highly trained ones. Wow, I'm impressed.

I got this message while I was searching for something tonight. Youtube is well ahead of the times.... :) Working on another NYC Recap post..... Stay tuned...


NYC Recap- Day 2: Part 3

Day 2: Part 3

So on our way back to the hotel from Ellen's Stardust Diner we went by Times Square. There was a guy singing in the middle section of the Square, but we couldn't see who it was. He was singing the song Dare You to Move by Switchfoot, and Holli immediately stopped and her ears perked. I don't know how long we stood there so that she could listen, but I kept myself busy by taking pictures.

So I take some pictures and Holli has by that time convinced herself that it was David Cook she was hearing (I know... she must have been more tired than we thought). So we cross the street 3 times to see if it's him (which I already knew the answer). This is what we found....

Surprise, wasn't David after all. (Silly Holli!)

So again, we head to our hotel. Once in our room, Lisa thought it would be a good idea to soak our feet in the bathtub, and I agree. My heels were killing me! My poor little feet. :(

After our leisurely little soak and calling/texting people to tell them we would be on Regis and Kelly on Monday we got ready for Wicked. :) Coincidentally the headboard of Lisa's bed was the perfect height to prop up my camera and get a good group shot of the three of us before we left for the show. Gotta love a self-timing camera!

We also got a woman to take a picture of us in front of the Wicked clock at the theatre.

So we walked up to our floor (the Mezzanine entrance) and decided that we should get a souvenir at all the plays we were going to. Well, I didn't want to spend a ton at Wicked since I already had an I <3>

So after we had made our purchase we just stood around and talked until the opened the theatre doors. Well, by this time we had decided we did not drink enough water that day because we were severly parched. So we pondered if we could last through the show or not, and we decided that we couldn't so we went up to the bar and got a water. Do you know how much they charge you for one measely bottle of water?? $4!!! That's highway robbery!! We drank that whole bottle in under a minute between the three of us, but we refused to pay for another on. The funny part of this story is that when we were waiting in line to go into the theatre we saw a water fountain!! We laughed at it (and of course pointed out that it would be an excellent addition to my blog) and then when we discovered we were on the "wrong side" of the theatre to enter we went around to the other side (the side we were originally on before buying the water) and we saw ANOTHER water fountain!! Are you kidding me?!? Good grief! So we enter on the "correct" side only to find that our seats were exactly in the middle of the two sides. I tell ya.....
Hol snapped this photo quickly before the play started.

I think we were all anxious for the play to start, because we enjoyed Wicked when we saw it in Chicago, and I atleast was expecting it to be as good or better. I mean, hello, this is Broadway we're talking about! Elphaba did not disappoint, however G(a)linda could have been better. Oh well, I enjoyed it overall. (Here's a clip from the original Elphaba, Idina Menzel.)

It was almost 11 by the time the play was over, and we walked quickly back to our hotel and got ready for bed. Another full day was ahead of us and we needed every second of sleep we could get.....

Next up for "NYC Recap- Day 3"... The (anyday now) Today show, Staten Island Ferry Schmerry, Ground Zero and St Paul's, The Brooklyn Bridge (<- say with a Brooklyn accent), the Sport's Museum, and "ohmigosh"... Legally Blonde!


NYC Recap- Day 2: Part 2

Day 2: Part 2

So after we spent pretty much the whole morning at Regis and Kelly we headed off to the The American Museum of Natural History. It was quite the jaunt (not 40 blocks, but still long enough). And wouldn't you know it, that 2 blocks into our walk it started to rain. Not just poured! Holli used her broken umbrella, Lisa used hers and I just sucked it up and didn't open mine and use it. I know, you're thinking "Megan! You could have gotten your umbrella out? Why didn't you?" Well, the truth is, the wind was still blowing and I can't count how many times Holli's folded out the wrong way and she had to close it and open it again. I wasn't willing to hassle with it. I just walked really fast. True, I was drenched when we got to the museum, but once we got in there and I got to the bathroom to dry off the dripping water I really didn't mind it. Granted my hair was kind of crazy after that, but I really don't care. I've never been the kind of person that is overly worried about what other people think of how I look. I was there to enjoy myself, and enjoy ourselves we did!
Holli isn't really a museum kind of person (and I'm not sure if Lisa is or not), but I love them! We made the day fun by striking poses with the exhibits. So fun!

After we had tons of fun at that museum we went on to the next. We went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (although, it wasn't as fun as I thought it would be, and it didn't hold a candle to the American Museum of Natural History). It was kind of a bummer, because we could not take pictures in the Met. Plus, it was very confusing, and I think we got turned around (that's the nice way of saying lost) about 10 times. I did enjoy looking at the paintings though. Holli was fascinated with this one work of art.

It looks kind of weird, but in person it was really cool. (Do you know how many scary doll heads I had to look through until I finally found this on google images? *shudder* There are some sick people in this world.) There was also a cool "piece of art" in this one room. This woman had developed it made completely out of mylar tape. Here's just a glimpse of the work.

It was much more fascinating in person, because it carried on throughout the whole room. It took her a week or so to reconstruct it on the walls of the museum. Talk about patience and creativity....
Another thing at the Met that was interesting was the Superhero exhibit. Again you could not take pictures and they were SERIOUS about it. If you even looked like you were going to grab for your camera they would pounce and tell you "No Pictures!" I don't quite understand it all, but whatever. We saw the Spiderman costume (worn by Tobey Maguire) and the Catwoman costume (worn by Michelle Pfeifer) among many others. The exhibit was cool, but it would have been better if I had some pictures to remember it all by. :(

So after the Museums we were hungry, so we took a cab to Ellen's Stardust Diner. This is the place where the waiters and waitresses sing to you while you eat. They are all aspiring to be on Broadway, and the atmosphere is pretty cool. Lisa was dying for a milkshake all day, and by the time we got there, so were Holli and I. (They were kind of disappointing though, and I won't even tell you what we paid for them :/)

We all had different variations of grilled cheese (I know... but it sounded good). We didn't hang around the diner for too long, because we were kind of tired from the morning events and we wanted to be able to relax before Wicked.
So back to the hotel we went.....

Coming up: Is that David Cook?!?, my poor feet, and Wicked!


NYC Recap- Day 2

(I already have all three installments to this day typed up, so they should be up pretty quickly. I'll try and add the remaining two tonight.)

Day 2

Our day started at 6:00a. Yuck! I hate early mornings (hence why I am working 3rd shift this summer). We had to get up early though because we were going to see Regis and Kelly, and we wanted to get a good spot in line. It took us about an hour to get ready, and then we went downstairs and hailed a cab. It's amazing how a 5 minute cab ride would have taken 20 minutes on foot. God bless the cabs! We got to Regis and Kelly about 7:20 and quickly got in line. The tickets that Hol got in the mail said that we needed to be there by 7:30 or something, because they closed the doors at 8:15. Well, 7:45 rolls around and we are still standing outside (even though we had a fairly good place in line) and wouldn't you know it.... we start feeling little sprinkles hit us. That's right.... it started to rain. Did I mention that the wind was blowing too? You would have though we were in the Windy City instead of the Big Apple. Oh, and we also had a broken umbrella. For whatever reason the piece at the top that the slide latches on to would not pop out, so the umbrella was just kind of sagging. Not enjoyable. Another thing that really ruffled my feathers was the fact that there were these "VIP" people coming out of nowhere and walking right in! Hello?! We've been standing in the rain for 30 minutes, I think you should be fair and let us in! Did I mention they only let like 5 people in at a time? Could they see that it was raining?!?! Ugh!
It was 8:20 before we FINALLY got inside the building. The security guards checked our purses and told us to turn off our phones, Lisa chatted it up with one of the security guards about her Tide-to-Go pen, and we proceeded through the metal detectors to retrieve our tickets from the desk and take our places in a tremendously long line. But hey, atleast we were inside now.
It was about 8:45 by the time we actually got to go inside the studio and pick our seats. For being near the end of the pack I thought we had pretty good seats. Hol got some good pics during the show (without the flash of course) and during commercial breaks.

The guests for Thursday were Harrison Ford and Kristi Yamaguchi and her Dancing with the Stars partner Mark Ballas (neither one of them would stand still very well for pictures).

Being in the studio audience is a lot different than how I thought it would be. I pretty much felt like a trained monkey. They tell us when to clap, they tell us how fast to clap, when to stop clapping, when we should add in hollering.... it's kind of ridiculous. The magic was totally lost. The only good thing about being in the studio is a) you get to see the stars up close, b) you can say you were there, and maybe be seen on tv, and c) you have a chance at winning a prize!
Something different that we got to experience was a taping for Monday's show. Since Monday was Memorial Day they were pre-taping their morning host chat and the musical guest. They had already done the guest interviews. During that taping was when we were on the longest. Augustana was the musical guest, and right before their second song you could see the three of us girls behind Reg and Kel as they talked about who would be on Tuesday's show and then they introduced the song. We were on for atleast a full 15 seconds. It was pretty cool! :)
Once we got out of there it was almost lunch time so we were kind of hungry, so off we went (on foot) to the American Museum of Natural History. Oh, if only we had known....


Thursday, May 29, 2008

First day.....

Well, my first day of work is behind me. It was actually not too bad. All 4 of us that are in the Pediatric ICU and Pediatric Intermediate were together. I like all three of the girls, however I will probably never see them. Well, I know I'll see Caitlin, because when I'm done with my shift she'll be starting hers. :) Sam works nights too, so I may see her on breaks or something. Who knows.....
Today was kind of an easy day. We weren't really assigned to do much, but we did get to observe a nurse take on a post-open heart surgery patient. Then I helped feed a trach baby. She was ADORABLE! Her chubby little cheeks were to die for! Saturday will be my first "real" night at work, so I'm sure it will be more interesting, or atleast more involved.

Not much else is new around here. I'm just adjusting to "summer". I wish it would be 10-15 degrees warmer. I'm going to have to bring my fan up from the basement soon. It helps me sleep, and since I'll be sleeping during the day soon I will need some extra white noise.

Speaking of sleep, I'm getting kind of tired, and I am going to lunch with my cousin tomorrow to show her my trip pics. Hope everyone has had a good week!!!


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Want more?

So I've had comments that my recap of my trip is going to take forever. Do you even want me to go on, or would you rather me just slap some pics up and put short captions underneath? Doesn't matter to me, I'll be journaling for myself anyway (or atleast completing what I already have journaled), so if you want me to keep going let me know, otherwise I won't waste our time. Thanks peeps!

NYC Recap- Day 1: Part 3

I hate getting up early. That's why I chose to do 3rd shift for my externship this summer and not 1st. However I was up at 9 this morning so that I could go shopping for scrubs for work. I also went and got some photo albums for my trip pictures. I picked up my cousin Rachel and we ran to shop a little and then we went to lunch. Now I'm back home again getting ready to give you people the last part of Day 1 of my trip. Before I get to that though I have a prayer request (well, 2)... Please pray for my mom and my friend Robin. They are both having teeth trouble. My mom had a root canal yesterday afternoon and has been in a significant amount of pain since her novacaine wore off. She came home from work today after only being there about 2 hours. Robin had her bottom two wisdom teeth taken out last week, and they are thinking that she may have gotten dry socket (painful!). She was at orientation yesterday, but she was not feeling well at all when she left. She went to after hours care and they packed her up, so now she is feeling better. She has to work tonight, so pray she gets through the night okay. So yes, pray for my mom and Robin. Toothaches are absolutely no fun!

Alright, on to the trip update.........................

Day 1: Part 3

So after our morning full of flying and our 2 hour tour with Howie we arrived our hotel. We stayed at the Westin on Times Square. This hotel was FANTASTIC! The room, the staff, everything was great! I recommend it to anyone going to NYC.

So after we got settled into our room we decided to head off to dinner because we were STARVING by then!! It was only a little after 3, but none of us had really had much of anything to eat that day and we were walking to S'MAC/PINCH so we knew it would be closer to 4 by the time we ate. So we head out of our hotel... destination: FOOD! We thought it would take us 30-45 minutes to get there. Oohhhhh were we wrong! We walked 40+ blocks!!!! Mind you, these are not blocks that you and I are used to. They are MUCH longer. So over an hour later we arrive at S'MAC/PINCH. I will spare you the many complaints and bickering that occurred on this walk, because frankly I didn't like being there for it the first time, I don't want to re-live it. I don't think the loooonnnng walk would have been so bad if we weren't so hungry! Plus we were just coming off of the whole Howie debacle, so that didn't exactly lift our mood...
Anyway... we got there and we all ordered something different. I got the All-American, Lisa got the Cheeseburger, and Holli got the Garden Lite with breadcrumbs on top (hence, the burnt look) (all S'MAC items).

Nothing like some gourmet mac & cheese to make you feel better. :) Although, we did not try PINCH we were not going to walk or drive the 40+ blocks back there to eat another time (Did I mention that it was another 40+ BACK to the hotel? Yea, I think this was the point that my blisters starting taking form on my heels). We were already planning on having pizza Friday anyway, so no need to go back for "Pizza by the Inch".

So after S'MAC we headed off (walking again) to Crumbs. Crumbs is a place that serves cupcakes, brownies, and other yummy things like that. Holli had heard about it somewhere so we had to go test it out and see if it was really as good as people have said. Oh it was! We got 6 cupcakes... Red Velvet, Carrot, Fudge Chocolate chip, Chocolate cake with vanilla frosting and sprinkles, Raspberry swirl, and some other chocolate one.

The first night we tried the Red velvet and one of the chocolate ones. The red velvet was super yummy! However, we discovered that whichever one you ate first was the one you favored because the taste of the next one was altered by whatever you ate first. Oh well.... they were both yummy, and I had no complaints. If you ever go to NYC be sure to hit up Crumbs while you're there (FYI- check and see what days they are open. The one closest to our hotel was closed on the weekend). Another place you will want to be sure to check out is Pinkberry. This place serves frozen yogurt. I know... you're probably thinking "I can get frozen yogurt anywhere", and that's true, but this place is unique. They serve original, coffee, and green tea flavored fro-yo. The toppings are the real I mentioned previously, you could choose from multiple kinds of fruit, almonds, coconut, granola, cereal, cookies n' cream (aka a crushed up oreo) and my personal favorite... yogurt chips! The first time we visited (yes, we visited more than once) Holli got coffee flavored fro-yo with chocolate chips and almonds (good in theory..not so good in taste), Lisa got original with pineapple and granola (she liked it but I just thought it was okay), and I had original with strawberries and yogurt chips (YUM!).

I must say, I think mine was the best concoction. I've totally fallen in love with yogurt chips. Just ask Holli and Lisa, anytime Pinkberry was mentioned I went on and on about my yogurt chips. :) After we ate our fro-yo we started our journey back to the hotel.
Did I mention that our hotel room was fantastic? Apparently the hotel has "Heavenly beds". I thought it was okay, but I'm used to my hard as a rock bed with my cinder blocks as pillows. Everything was a little too soft and fluffy for me. I'm also not used to having a bedmate (right Hol?). Oh well, I was so tired that night I didn't really care. So we all got ready for bed, snuggled in, called mom, and then we settled in to watch the American Idol Finale! Hol and Lisa were ecstatic to see David Cook win! They both shot straight up in bed and cheered!! :) After that we were all wide-awake, but it didn't take long for exhaustion and sleep deprivation to set back in. To dreamland we drifted, in hopes that the next day would be better.

Well, that concludes Day 1. Stay tuned for Day 2...... Coming up next on "NYC Recap-Day 2"... Regis and Kelly:the woes of standing in the rain and VIP's, A walk in the pouring rain, and fun at the museums. Plus...bonus: we saw our first Broadway play of the trip!


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

NYC Recap- Day 1: Part 2

So let's review Day 1 so far..... I'm running on 3 hours of sleep, plane ride #2 of the day was quite turbulent, Lisa was "Holy Cow" excited about flying, we arrived at LaGuardia and had to be towed into our gate due to some issues with the plane.
Ok, now that we're back up to speed, let's continue.....

Day 1: Part 2

So we finally get towed into our gate and we get off of the plane. Thankfully we are still alive and out flight was only about 10 minutes late due to the "mechanical difficulties". So we're headed toward baggage claim to meet our driver Howie (if that was even his real name) and Hol get's a call on her cell. It's none other than "Howie" calling to see if we were there yet (because Lord knows flights are ALWAYS on time and if we're 10 minutes late we must have stood him up and he's out his money for the day which was a considerable amount since he was picking us up from the airport, taking us on a tour, and then dropping us off at our hotel when we were able to check into our hotel).
I digress..... So Hol said we had just arrived and we were headed toward baggage claim as they spoke. Well, let me preface this next part with the fact that the three of us were discussing on the flight what Howie would look like. All we knew about him was that he worked for this driving company and someone Hol knows through her work had given her the number because she had just used his driving services on her recent trip to NYC. So we're talking about how he would maybe be bald (I think we had Deal or No Deal Howie on the brain), and Lisa said she thought he would have salt and pepper hair. Well, he had salt and pepper hair alright. He also needed to run a comb through that salt-n-peppa hair of his. It probably wouldn't have hurt if he'd been dressed nicely either. No, when we saw him, holding his little bitty sign that had out last name on it, we knew something was off. Well, Hol and I knew, Lisa was kind of oblivious to the situation at this point (It's probably better that way anyway). He was not dressed up at all, and like I said before he was a bit, um... disheveled.
So anyway, we go to the carousel and get our bags. Then we went outside and started toward his "company car". Oh my word. It was beat up piece of junk and AWFUL inside. I mean if he had really been an employee of the company he said he was his car would have been in much better shape. His drivers seat (which I was sitting behind) was seriously messed up. It was lopsided and the padding was coming out at the bottom. While the three of us girls were briefly alone in the car while he did something in the trunk we discussed how something was off and he obviously did not work for the company he said he did.
Don't get me wrong, I in no way felt in danger, and he was nice, it was just the fact that he was....untruthful? that irked us. So, since this is not my favorite part, I'll be brief..... He took us on a tour of the city for about 2 hours, because we couldn't check in to our hotel until then. He took us to China town, Little Italy, SoHo, past Battery Park, and a few other places that I can't think of right now. Basically we had him take us by some places that we knew we weren't going to be able to go back to (China town, Little Italy, SoHo...)

When he dropped us off at the hotel (which was VERY nice by the way, but we'll get to that soon) the Bell hop's were right there to greet us. Hol paid Howie and then he quickly got in his car and drove away (or atleast tried's New York... no one is moving anywhere too fast on a busy street). One of the Bell hop's immediately came up to me and started asking me questions about Howie.... Basically, our suspicions were confirmed. Howie was a dirtball who didn't work for the company he said he did. (We pretty much knew that the second we saw him.) The nice bell hop's told us that from then on if we needed to go somewhere we should tell them and they would get a car/cab for us. Sounds good to me! The sooner we can put "Howie" behind us the better!
Well, since that part of the trip was not so great I will end this right here and the next part will happier. "NYC Recap- Day 1: Part 3".... Our hotel and the journey to dinner.....
Stay tuned......