Monday, July 7, 2014
New York City Recap Day 3
We didn't do as much in NYC on Day 3... but, we still did a lot! Our hotel offered us a complimentary breakfast every morning and most mornings I had a cup of coffee, some OJ, a muffin and their delicious strawberry and blueberry yogurt with homemade granola on top. Yum! We also could go to the bar or doorman to get cold water bottles before we headed out, which was really, really sweet.
We started the day out by taking the subway to a bus top and then taking that to the pier for our boat cruise around Manhattan given by Circle Line Cruises. We had two people recommend Circle Line to us and we decided that it would be an easy (and quick) way to see the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, NYC skyline, etc. while going around the entire Manhattan island.
I loved seeing the NYC skyline from the boat!
We also saw the smallest roller coaster in the world!
And... look in the background... when I saw our lady in the distance, I got really excited!
And, there she is! I loved seeing the Statue of Liberty finally in real life! Look at all of the people crowded around here in the second photo.
It was also really, really neat seeing the Brooklyn Bridge and sailing under it... we sailed under a lot of nice bridges during this cruise... a lot of them would raise up for boats or tilt even.
We got a glimpse of the Yankee Stadium.
The Chrysler Building
If you know me, you know that I love lighthouses and I collect miniatures of some of the ones I've seen in my curio cabinet. So, when I saw this little red lighthouse, I had to snatch a photo of it.
After our cruise with Circle Line, we next door to see the USS Intrepid, a retired aircraft carrier. We didn't have this on our agenda for the day, but Brian REALLY wanted to see it... so, we did. :)
Here is the top of the Intrepid, we got to look at a lot of different planes... Brian told me he had several of them as G.I. Jo airplanes when he was little (::shaking head::).
The control tower, we went inside this... very tight quarters.
Here is the Concord jet, this jet could fly to Europe in around 2 hours! It was really expensive to obtain a ticket on it, though.
Brian wanted his picture taken with this F14 Tomcat.
We also got to see a space shuttle! Oh my! I wasn't expecting it to be so HUGE!
After the USS Intrepid, we had JUST enough time to go see the 9/11 Memorial... it did mean skipping lunch, but we did have humongous pretzels with cheese on the Circle Cruise Line... and had a BIG pre-show dinner planned... so, what the heck. We hopped on the subway, saw that the sign still said World Trade Center on it... but, I guess that is still the address!
When we walked into the 9/11 Memorial, there was a hush among the crowd of people... there are still thousands of people visiting this site... and I can see why. This is one of the quietest areas you will find in NYC, there is a respect for those that lost their lives in the towers, the firefights, etc. When we were on the Circle Line Cruise earlier in the day, they said they even helped evacuate the area with their boats on 9/11.
The fountains that surround the area of where the towers stood is beautiful, touching yet it is hard not to get choked up and sad when you think about the innocent lives lost in just this very spot. While we were at the memorial, we saw several people getting upset... it was hard to say if they had an actual loved one they lost, or if they were just moved by everything they saw at the memorial. It is easy to be overwhelmed by what really happened when you are standing in the same spot where it occurred.
I know a lot of people lost theirs lives on 9/11... Around 3,000 people to be exact. When you see their names on the memorial... all the names... thousands of them... it is heartbreaking. I saw one name that stood out to me, a Gabriella... I was thinking, gosh, that name sounds so young... I wonder how old she was... it is hard not to wonder about these people that lost their lives that day.
The fountains were beautiful... I am honored that we have this memorial site to honor these victims.
I was told that they place these white roses on those that would have been celebrating a birthday on that day.
We also saw other flowers besides the white roses
The Freedom Tower is heavily guarded, which I can see why... I snapped this photo of it while we were walking to the memorial site and I couldn't believe that the top of it bled into the sky. Such a beautiful and tall building...
A couple more photos of the fountains
Brian and I made a donation and received these rubber band bracelets.
After the 9/11 Memorial, we went back to the hotel to freshen up a bit and change for dinner and the theater. This was the only restaurant we had planned on eating at prior to leaving for NYC and we had a reservation even! Brian and I had our first date (after we reconnected after 20 years!) at a French restaurant in St. Louis and when I saw this French restaurant in NYC, I thought how perfect would it be to eat there! We also got engaged in Paris and we got married at Moulin, which is the banquet hall to the restaurant we reunited at... so, it was just a perfect place for our special pre-theater dinner! The name of it was Cafe Un Deux Trois (One, Two, Three) and it was close to our theater.
This may not be a Michelin restaurant... BUUUT, yum! It was fantastic... NOT as good as Paris, but... it was a VERY good French restaurant to dine at in NYC! So, now photos of the food... we did not get an appetizer, we decided to get salads instead. I got the SALADE MARAICHERE, which was really good... it had mixed greens, carrots, radish, onions, tomatoes and mushrooms with a house vinaigrette. I don't have a photo of Brian's salad, but it had WARM goat cheese on it... I tried a bite of it and the cheese melted in my mouth. Delicious. Then, for my main dish... and, I KNEW I was going to order this as soon as I saw it on the menu at home... was the BOEUF BOURGUIGNON, stewed beef tips w/ mushrooms in a red wine sauce served with boiled potatoes. It was DELICIOUS. I had boeuf bourguignon in Paris and they served it in a pot... they only had SO many each night at the restaurant and we made our reservations early to guarantee a pot. Oh, it was killer. This was really good, too... so, I thank Cafe Un Deux Trois for the kind reminder of the delicious boeuf bourguignon I had in Paris.
For dessert I had a nutella crepe with bananas... it was delicious. Except, I'd probably ask for it without the coconut next time.
Next up... was our Broadway show! My first ever! We decided to see Phantom of the Opera, because that is one of Brian's favorite shows... also, I have never seen Phantom live, yet I love the music (and the movie!).
The Phantom of the Opera has been in the The Majestic Theater for 25 years! I love how NYC theaters will show just one musical in their theater for multiple years... in St. Louis, we have The Fox and Peabody Theaters and the show lengths are usually a week.
Here I am in front of the theater! There was a loooong line to get in...
When we got inside the theater, we saw a covered chandelier on the stage... little did we know that the chandelier would lift up to the ceiling during the beginning of the show and then come CRASHING down right over our heads (just to swing out of the way in the neck of time)... I can thank Brian for the heart wrenching scare... since he booked us 2 rows away from the front of the stage! Ahhhh!!
Since we were two rows from the stage, we also had a great view of the orchestra... sweet!
The back of the theater... the show was really, really amazing. Brian and I had talked about how we wondered if Broadway shows are REALLY better than other shows anywhere else... such in St. Louis... we saw a fantastic show of Les Miserables at The Fox and Brian thought perhaps this was close. I had to disagree, though... I thought Phantom of the Opera at Broadway was the BEST show I have ever seen (and I have seen a lot)... it may not be my 'favorite' musical (South Pacific is hands down my favorite, nothing will ever change that), but I thought it was acted out wonderfully, the set was beautiful and the music really moved me that night.
After Phantom of the Opera, we were tired... so, Brian hailed us a cab and we went back to the hotel and passed out.