Thursday, February 18, 2010

New York City, Day 1 - Times Square, Top of the Rock, Cafe Lalo

Back in October, my friends Amy, Amanda, and I decided to take advantage of Southwest Airline's low fares and book a getaway to New York City for the long President's Day/ Valentine's Day weekend. We planned and planned, and looked forward to the trip, and worried that the snow in Dallas and New York would keep us from making it.

Thankfully, our travels went without a hitch. Our flight was so early, we saw the sunrise as we were climbing to our cruising altitude - so pretty! We made a quick stop in St. Louis, and had a layover in Chicago, before finally getting to New York at 2:45. We braved a NYC taxi to the hotel (the Sheraton in Times Square!), and finally, we were there!

Chicago! (Never been there before!)

First stop after checking into the hotel was Times Square. So bright, so colorful, loud, so busy, so COLD!!! Wow! There's just nothing like it. From there we headed over to Rockefeller Center, by way of Radio City Music Hall. Lots of people were enjoying the ice at the Rockefeller Skating Rink, but we decided not to join them this time.

A Valentine's Day ice-sculpture in Times Square

The three of us have all been to New York before, and we've all been up in the Empire State Building. So we decided that this time, we'd do the Top of the Rock Observation Deck instead. That way, we could have views OF the Empire State Building, instead of FROM it. It was so incredibly beautiful from the top (70 stories high), with a myriad of lights from the city, the snow covering the roofs below, and the tail-end of what must have been a gorgeous sunset. But MAN was it cold up there! Two levels of the observation deck had safety glass blocking some of the wind, but the top story is completely open. I thought the wind was going to blow my hat off!

The Swarovski crystal chandelier in the mezzanine Playing in the crazy light room (trying to warm up!)
Perhaps my favorite picture of us from the trip

We headed back over to Times Square for a quick dinner, and then explored some of the shops and sights around it. We spent a good bit of time in the M&M Store, and had to visit Hershey's as well. I much preferred M&M. It was so colorful and fun!


So happy to finally be there!
We finally capped the evening off with a subway ride up to Cafe Lalo for dessert and coffee (well, no coffee for me!). Cafe Lalo is famous for being in the movie "You've Got Mail." It's where Meg Ryan waits for Tom Hanks to show up, and he and his friend peek in the window and discover who she is. It's really small and loud inside, but the atmosphere is fun. And they have great desserts. It was extremely busy, but I think that's because it was Valentine's Day weekend and a Saturday night at that. The best part was, as we were sitting there enjoying our dessert, Hoda Kotb from the Today Show's 10:00 hour walked by. Amanda looked up and, starstruck, said "Hi..." in the funniest voice (well, she didn't have much voice because she was getting over being sick). Hoda just looked at her and gave her a huge smile. Such fun, hobnobbing with celebrities in New York City! :)

Amanda reenacting the scene from "You've Got Mail"

Hi, Hoda!

Finally got my carrot cake!


Stay tuned for our Day 2 adventures - The Brooklyn Tabernacle, walking the Brooklyn Bridge, Ground Zero, Broadway, and Ellen's Stardust Diner...

3 comments:

The Glenn Gang said...

So much fun! I love NYC. I want to go back SOON!

Amie Vaughan said...

oh boy. my turn to be totally jealous! never been to nyc... yet. if my silly sister doesn't leave chicago soon, you should go up for a visit. they could play tour guide. even better if i can come, too...

i love the charlie's angels pose. that's awesome.

Barb said...

Amie, I'd love to tour CHicago with you and your family. Come home! :) And I can't believe you've never been to New York - you must go, soon!