Friday, September 12, 2008

New York

August 16th continued...
The train turned right and Manhattan came into plain sight. What I had seen so many times in movies and television was right before my very eyes. We dipped down into a tunnel that was taking us under the water and to the island and came up in Grand Central Station. Beautiful. The Philadelphia station doesn't even compare.

Outside, we jumped into another taxi where I made another amazing discovery. Taxis here have bumpers!! Bumper car bumpers!! And every vehicle is dented!! Bringing your car to Manhattan? Parking is $30 every half hour, and nobody takes street signs seriously.

After being thrown around like change in a washing machine for twenty minutes, we were outside our hotel at Lexington and 49th. We checked into the W, and ran up to our room to drop our suitcases off, where we were made uncomfortable aware of the erotic light up photo above our beds in the room where my dad, sister, and I were sleeping.

After a few uncomfortable minutes, we left the room and headed to 30 Rockefeller Place to NBC studios and The Top of the Rock; a few blocks away from our hotel. It was ginormous. HUGE. It was so beautiful inside and had an equally large gift shop where we immediately purchased a Dwight bobble head for my other sister and Office shirts for everyone else. Afterwards, we bought ridiculously overpriced tickets and took the elevator to the top of 30 Rockefeller place, where we had panoramic views of the Empire state building, Central Park, The Statue of Liberty, and Harlem. Just kidding about Harlem. It really was
breathtaking though. I really didn't know how huge Manhattan is until I saw it from a bird's eye view.

We did so much that day I'm sure I'm forgetting something. My dad got a Philadelphia Cheese Steak even though we weren't in Philadelphia anymore. We stopped at Radio City and then the Ritz Carlton for drinks. Dad was getting fussy so Michele and I dropped him off at the hotel and hit fifth avenue for some shopping. I think one of the highlights of the day was when some tourists mistook us for locals and asked us for directions. Michele and I made it back to the hotel just in time to wake dad up, throw on some dresses, and grab a taxi to Broadway for a real Broadway show! After the show, we stepped outside and decided to walk back to the hotel since it was only a few blocks away and the subways underneath us kept the city warm at night. We crossed the street and BAM!! TIMES SQUARE! While walking, I got really excited about something I was talking about and put my hand up in the hair for some reason. Within seconds I heard screeching tires and a cabbie leaned out of his window and asked if we needed a ride. Awesome service huh! We stopped and got dessert at a nice restaurant and people watched for a while before getting some much needed rest.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Planes Trains and Automobiles...

August 16th

We woke up at around eight in the morning, which is the equivalent of five in the morning pacific time, and dragged ourselves and our suitcases down to get our first taste of east coast taxi driving. It wasn't New York, but I figured we were close enough. As our cabbie made drug deals while taking us to the Amtrak, I noticed was how green everything is despite it being mid august, "No, I said I'd be there in five minutes! No I'll tell you what it is later ok?? Five minutes!"

The Amtrak station is beautiful. It looks like a real classic train station with it's giant clocks and huge arched ceilings. I had never been in a real American train station before.

We're leaving Pennsylvania, home of SCRANTON, Pennsylvania where my facorite tv show "The Office" takes place. As we cross over into New Jersey, scrap metal yards become a frequent sighting, and maybe it's just because they're located directly next to a rail road, but the housing looks pretty shitty too. The trees are different here. Big and round. Not like California forests with their gigantic towering pines. These trees are friendlier. Natural Pennsylvania/ New Jersey looks like what everyone tries to make their front lawns look like. Maybe they think they can get away with shitty buildings because their land is so beautiful. In southern California we can't be so lazy. I miss how clean it is back home.

Zero Hour

The following are notes taken on my iphone.

August 15th

I slept for about a half hour last night. Hopped up on starbucks frappuccino. You know, those little glass bottles with the screw on lid you can buy at any convenient store. I woke up at seven a little too perky. Michele and dad were irritable, but I didn't let that bug me.

They perked up after we landed in Nashville, one of our many delays on our way to New York. Michele decided to document our misery through camera phone photography.

Rule One: Never buy tickets last minute. Unless you enjoy making a five hour trip turn into a ten hour trip. I kind of liked adding Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey to my "states I've been to" list. No it's not cheating if you have to spend over two hours there.

We landed in Philidelphia around ten at night. All I could think about were cheese steaks. We were picked up and taken to a pretty nice hotel. My excitement of being able to finally relax and possibly rent IRON MAN through the in-room movie selection was quickly over-shadowed by my realization that THIS BED is where I was going to get to sleep...