Just one more

Times Square in New York City is probably the only place I know of/have ever been that makes you want to stand in the center of it and spin around with your arms up in the air and a big smile on your face. Just like they do in the movies and on TV.

I settled for a slow spin with a smartphone. Still pretty cool.

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28 hours in NYC

We were in New York a few weeks ago for about 28 hours. And we got. shit. done.

I already told you about our first day, when we went to the 9/11 Memorial and High Line during the day and Times Square and the How I Met Your Mother bar at night.

Luckily we had an 11 a.m. checkout Sunday, so we took our time getting moving in the morning (the alcohol the night before may have played a part, but everyone actually felt really good).

We packed up and said our goodbyes to Megan and G with reminders that they’re gonna get their butts to Kentucky soon, whether they like it or not.

We had plans to meet with more of our cousins from up north for brunch, but also had a bit of time to kill before then, and our hotel was just a block or so from Central Park.

Guys, I love parks. They were some of my favorite things about England, about here in Louisville where there are a ton, and New York doesn’t disappoint.

We grabbed coffee first, obvi, then took a walk through the park.

And a seat for a few minutes.

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Then we played photo shoot, because that’s what we do.

So cold. But so cute.

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On the other side of the park we saw something else pretty cool. A small group was unloading boxes of carnations from a cab. They all had something tied to the stems.

Turns out, it was a girl’s 29th birthday, and in honor of that day, she’d be giving out 2,900 carnations she’d gotten donated from 1-800-Flowers. The notes on the stems encouraged the recipients to pass it on or in its place, an act of kindness in honor of her day.

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It was Rachel’s birthday that day, too, so we got a picture of them together.

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Such a cool idea and I may or may not be in the midst of planning my own way to pass it on.

Brunch was at a delicious restaurant in Greenwich Village, Barraca, where they had bottomless sangria brunch so really that’s all it took to sell us.

It was so great to spend time with our cousins we don’t always get to see very often, and the food was pretty amazing, too.

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After we got our money’s worth of sangria, we said our goodbyes to the fam and headed over to the Metropolitan Museum of Art – Sami’s one request for the trip.

I wish we could have spent two days just walking through that place. But due to our time schedule, we only had about two hours. Still, we saw some pretty awesome stuff.

I thought I would take more pictures then I did that weekend. Photo fail. But I think I was spending more time just taking everything in. It was a quick lil’ jaunt to the city, but we made the absolute most of it. And I can’t wait to go back.

Bright lights big city

Two seconds into NYC this is our view.

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Two seconds into NYC for Megan and G, they see Peter Dinklage. (Who was referred to as “The Angry Elf” for the rest of the trip and in any mentions of him despite his other work, including his current awesomeness on Game of Thrones).

Oh and speaking of Elf, this happened…

Anyways. When we left off with the trip recap, we had just met up with Megan and G, and were headed back to the hotel to prepare for the night out in the city.

Luckily there was a little market across the street so we could get pregaming supplies – entirely too much beer and also Doritos and chips and salsa. Because of course.

Wanna see a bit of our room?

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We stayed at the Salisbury, which I highly recommend because of the convenient location and the really nice rooms and not at all because it kind of looks like The Shining in the hallways.
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We played our new favorite game, Heads Up, which is kind of like Headbandz only not and much better and it was on Ellen so you know it’s the shit. And one of the cards we had to get someone to guess was Bill Cosby and all Rachel and I could think of to do was say “After I stick my spoon in your pudding..” Thank you, Kenan Thompson… (That isn’t that video but one almost as good.)

Dinner was at PJ Clarke’s, which was nothing to write home about, but it was good nonetheless. And Sami got mussels and I ate a few so I may or may not be kind of over my texture issues?

PJ Clarke’s was right across from Lincoln Center, so we ran across the street for some photo ops after we were done eating.

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Then, it was time for the most important photos of our trip. The ones from Times Square at night.

Before, during and after our own pictures, we photobombed other peoples’. Mainly they did. I had an ill-timed need to run to McDonald’s to pee. Because beers. But my sisters, Chuckie and G are definitely in the background of a lot of peoples’ pictures from that night. WIN.

After we’d reached our photo quota and started to freeze, we were ready for the main event. Drinks at McGee’s Pub. If you’re a fan of How I Met Your Mother (and really, who isn’t?) you’ll be excited/happy/jealous to know that this pub is what MacLaren’s from the show is based on, and is visited on occasion by members of the cast.

Unfortunately, and despite our best efforts, we didn’t see any of them there. I did, however, ask the bouncer if Neil Patrick Harris was there or would be there soon. And tweeted to him and Bryan Cranston (in town doing a show on Broadway) to come have drinks with us. Didn’t work.

But we did manage to get pleasantly plastered, rack up the biggest bill for drinks I have ever seen and/or been part of in my life, play Heads Up in the bar, make new friends at the tables around us and also try chocolate covered pretzel shots which were life-changing.

Best joint celebrating of birthdays ever. And a much-needed, very fun night with people I love. And, I like to think, almost with NPH.

Better the second time around

Want to know what I remember most about the first time I went to New York? The fact that the boys in my class kept chasing pigeons and my dad was getting pissed because he was having to keep after them about it all day every day.

So naturally, when we went back a couple weeks ago, we re-enacted, kind of.

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Oh I also remember being scared to death at the top of the Empire State Building (because heights) and buying Oakleys (sunglasses) from these pretty sketch vendors in the park who we later watched run from the cops and then get arrested.

Yay for tourism!

So yeah.. we went to New York a couple weekends ago because once upon a time we promised Sami we’d take her this year.

What?!? Yeah. Back in the day, when we realized this momentous birthday would need a big celebration since we’d all finally be of legal drinking age (not to mention the fact that I had an allegedly momentous birthday the same year as this would happen) we told Sam we’d go all out for her 21st birthday.

Mind you, this was before we had full-time jobs and had no idea how much money we’d make/have to make this trip happen. And late last year, we were reminded of our promise.

Lucky for us, Santa (and our parents) are pretty awesome and our combined Christmas/birthday presents were plane tickets up to Boston and a hotel room in NYC for a night. Who knew, back when we planned this, that Rachel and Chuckie would live in a reasonable driving distance from the city and make it so we could get the experience but not have to worry about paying for a place to stay for four days.

Besides chasing pigeons, we actually fit a lot into those two days in NYC.

First up, a stop at the Freedom Tower/World Trade Center/9-11 Memorial.

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That memorial is beautiful. It’s a testament to the beautiful lives of those people who were lost that day. I couldn’t take enough pictures of the waterfalls and names of the fallen cut into the stone around it.

We learned that when it’s one of the victims’ birthdays, a white rose is placed with their name along the memorial.

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We paid our respects and took in the sights and feelings and reverence of that place and I’m so glad we got to include a visit there on our trip.

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Later in the afternoon we made our way to The High Line, a very cool park in Manhattan’s West Side that was built on an old railroad line above the street.

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The weather was pretty great that day – considering it’s been cold for just about as long as I can remember at this point – so it was nice to slowly make our way through the park seeing some of the sights. We saw several cool buildings…

…busy(ish) streets….

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…amazing street art…

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..and just a little tiny bit of the Hudson River.

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There were tons of places along the park’s “trail” to sit and relax and I bet it is beautiful in the spring and it’s somewhere I’d be hanging out all the time if I lived anywhere near it.

The High Line is where my cousin Megan, and her boyfriend, G, met up with us. They’d come in from Jersey to go out with us that afternoon and night and spend the night.

So, once they got there, we headed back to the hotel to pregame, watch the UofL game and get ready for a night on the town in which we may or may not have tried to get Bryan Cranston and Neil Patrick Harris to come hang out with us..

But that’s a story for another day..

Pictures now, words later

New York, New York…. last time I was there I was a silly seventh-grader more concerned about what my friends were doing than I was about seeing the sights. Lucky for me, I had the chance to go back when I was old enough to appreciate it.

Lots to tell about our trip, but for now, here’s a few pictures to get you interested..

#TBT Fun with wild animals

In “Did I really not write about this already?” news – one time I went to this place in Indiana and hung out with baby tigers.

WHAT?! I know, right?

It was quite random, but one of my bestest friends, Liz, loves cats of all kinds. And had heard about this place where you could pay $20 and play with baby tigers for half an hour.

Sounded shady, and trust me, when the drive up there took forever and there were like creepy roads and handmade signs, I thought I might be ending up in something out of Saw.

But lo and behold, I got there. And this happened.

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Holy hell it was awesome. So in honor of #tbt this week, rather than the tunes, we’ll do something a little different. Here’s some pics of the time I went and made friends with three baby tigers and almost switched careers to zookeeper/tiger babysitter.

Photo(s) of the Week, special edition

You guys – I got some new photography toys.

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Thanks to the magic of Amazon and it’s amazing deals, I got all of these goodies for an awesome price. Why, you ask? To do more of this kind of thing:

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The goal is to eventually have enough to buy another camera so besides my regular photo shoot stuff, I can now add photo booth to my resume. Kinda.

We tested it out on New Year’s Eve – well, Jenn and Matt’s tripod, which inspired this purchase.

But yeah, the ability to take beauties like these had me convinced.

Money well spent