Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Yes, I am alive

All of us made it back to the United States easily. I am going to do one post for my New York trip and probably break up the Austria/Switzerland trip into different posts.

There was knitting and yarn shop visiting all of the places I went. Ironically the best store in Austria was the one I visited first. Isn't that always the way? :)

New York City. . . Ice Skating in the Rockefeller Plaza (mini picture)

My cousin Carolyn is currently living in the city so I went to visit her and be a tourist. The only other time that I had been to New York was when I flew out of JFK in 2003 to study abroad in England. Didn't see too much then.

My trip to NY started on the day after Thanksgiving because that is when the ticket prices were the cheapest. The only problem was that I was working the day after Thanksgiving. Small detail. So I had to pack the night before and was all ready to leave directly from work. Mom drove me to the airport.

I wrote about my first little bit of NY in an earlier post. So read that and I will skip ahead.

On Sunday, Carolyn, Greg and I went to see Spamalot on Broadway. Carolyn and I got up earlier (kind of) to try to get discount tickets for it but we weren't sucessful. We ended up having to buy them online like everyone else. Oh, well. The play was just like the Holy Grail movie come to life. I think my favorite song was the "Song that Goes Like This." Monty Python humour all the way.

I was expecting to meet up with Mike, Karen and Emily sometime either on Sunday or Monday since we were leaving on Tuesday. Well, I forgot to take my phone with me on Saturday. Of course, that was the day that Mike kept trying to get a hold of me. He realized that they would have nowhere to store Emily and Karen's bags while going around the city. Oops. So we ended up having to give Mike keys to Carolyn's apartment in Brooklyn so they could put their stuff there. We met up with Mike right before the play. Em and Karen's bus was coming into the Port Authority which was only 2 blocks away.

Once they got all the way out into Brooklyn, they ended up being too tired and hungry to make the trip back into Manhattan. Carolyn told them how to get to the Alligator Lounge so we all met up there. Yummm, pizza. Six of us ate 9 pizzas. NINE. It was really fun to catch up and have my friends meet my cousin. After dinner and many games of pool, we went back to Carolyn's apartment. Dre and her boyfriend were there (now the number of people fitting into the apartment was 8). Most of us played poker late into the night. Skittles as poker chips worked well until they started getting sticky. Sticky skittles with slivers of serviettes. I, of course, knit socks :) Em, Karen and Mike took off around midnight or so for Long Island.

The next day I did the touristy thing on my own since Carolyn had to go to work. I went all over Manhattan and seemed to walk most of the way. Course I walked everywhere because I got confused on the subway, took the wrong stop, and decided to walk from 14th St up 5th Ave to 59th St. Yeah, that was nuts. Later, I walked around Central Park. Way too much walking! It was really nice though to walk along 5th Ave and see all of the shop windows.

I also went to the NYPL but, as it is now the Humanities Library or some such thing, it was closed on Mondays. I did take plenty of pictures of the lions. Then I wandered over to the Mid-Manhattan branch (sort of across the street) to sit down and look through my guidebook. I happened to sit at the table where all of the city guidebooks were located so I was able to do some more research. Then I wandered over to the Grand Central Station and ate lunch from the fresh air market in it. Later, I wandered over to Central Park and had a very nice walk. I'm really glad the weather was so good.

I did, however, have a goal for the day; visiting a yarn shop. It was on Ave A so I took the subway to a stop nearby and walked. In my walk, I went by a restaurant, 7A, that Carolyn, Greg and I had eaten at on Saturday. It was kind of nice to be able to recognize landmarks. The yarn store, Downtown Yarns, was really nice. They even had a store dog! I sat there for a while and began a sock with some beautiful yarn I got there. Here that sock is at the Statue of Liberty.

Later, I met up with Carolyn and Greg to eat in Little Italy. That makes it sounds like I knew where I was going. No, I did not. I got horribly lost and ended up in the completely opposite direction of where I was supposed to be. Ugh. I hate getting lost. Luckily, I had my map (and it screamed tourist) and I was able to navigate my way back. We had a pretty good dinner and made our way back to Carolyn's apartment. My stomach was upset so I stayed in when Care and Greg went to karaoke. Later, I watched Heroes with Dre and her boyfriend.

The next day, I wanted to be at the airport 2.5 - 3 hours before my plane left around 5. I figured it would take me a longer time to get there than it would Care (because she actually understands the system). So that meant that I wanted to be leaving Care's apartment around 1 -1.30. Decided to go to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island in the morning, meet Care for lunch, then head to her apartment to gather my stuff. Let me tell you, sitting on a boat with an upset stomach is NOT a good thing. I felt very green.

I decided to not go into the Statue because I didn't have much time. Walking around the Ellis Island building was really neat. The 3-D representations of immigration graphs were interesting. The part I liked the most was the pictures of the island before it was rehabbed. It was just pictures of the empty buildings. The best one was a picture of a chair in a deserted room, captured in a light shaft.

I easily met Care for lunch. Then I made my way back to the apartment and headed to the airport. There, I was able to check in easily (yea!) and met with Em and Karen at the gate.

Wow, that was a lot of info! I will put pictures in later.

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