Well, we’ve been back for almost a week from our whirlwind tour of the Northeast. We took 4 days and hit up 4 states! We had a great, fast-paced, adventurous time with family and friends-old and new! Thanks to all for making it a memorable trip!
We arrived in NJ on Thursday around lunch and had a quick bite to eat before loading up the bikes and hitting the trails with my uncle Larry and his son, Larry at White Clay in Delaware. We did about 12 miles of fun, rolling trails. It was a blast and a good workout. Minus my flat tire (stupid 2” thorn) it was a great trip. Guess I need to learn to make sure I stay ON the trail next time. We made it home in time for a yummy pasta dinner and it was off to bed to prepare for our trip into the city the next day.
Friday we woke up semi early and headed to Trenton, NJ with my cousin Larry where we caught the train into New York City. The train brought us right into Madison Square Garden. And the most iconic building in NYC was just down the street. I had to snap a few quick pics on my phone.
We spent the day trekking our way around a big loop of the city. We got to experience a NYC cab, the subway and the crowded streets. It was great! We had lunch at Lombardi’s. Its claim to fame is that it’s the first pizzeria in the US. We moseyed through Little Italy (watch this, hilarious, you won’t regret it) and headed to The Battery. From there we could glimpse Staten Island, the Statue of Liberty and watch the water taxis bustle people back and forth.
After a brief rest in The Battery park we made our way to the 9/11 memorial. They are still building the actual monument/exhibit/memorial so it really just looked like a big construction zone. I was a little disappointed but had been warned it wouldn’t look like much. It was a little solemn to think about what happened there 10 years ago. We met up with my other cousin, Jamye and her boyfriend Kevin. We walked a ways down the Hudson River boardwalk before hopping on the subway to take us to Central Park/5th Ave. When we got off the subway and above ground it had started to rain. We walked through the park and thankfully all the trees provided good coverage so we didn’t get too wet. I liked the bridges in the park and wished I had taken a picture because it reminded me You’ve Got Mail where Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks meet up at the end.
We made our way to FAO Schwarz because we just had to see the floor piano they play on in Big. It was actually a lot smaller than I expected it to be, but was still fun to mess around on. I was a little embarrassed to go out and play on it so I made Brian go first. Too bad neither of us have had piano lessons. We were no better than the 327,495 kids that were banging around on the keys with us. The rain kept pouring down so we prolonged our visit to the toy story and checked out the Lego Room, the Angry Birds stuffed animals and the giant 5lb box of gummy bears!
The rain finally decided to quit so we made our way to dinner. The place we wanted to go for Indian food was sadly closed. So we hit up a quaint French restaurant and had a great time. Tried white sangria for the first time. I must say I like it better than red. I guess that’s to be expected because I like white wine better than red. Anyway, after dinner we headed to Time Square passing through Rockefeller Center on the way there. If you haven’t been to NYC I recommend seeing Time Square at night with all the neon lights. It’s exactly the way I thought it would look. It’s quintessential NYC and it was fun. I wish I had had more time to look around and people watch b/c I’m sure I would have seen some pretty interesting/comical/strange sights. It was getting close to 11pm by this point and we had a train to catch so we started making our way back to Madison Square Garden and Penn Station. We happened upon some street performers that had attracted quite a crowd and got to see a pretty neat stunt. I will upload the video in a future post so you can see what the “neat” stunt was!
Overall: LOVED my quick tour of the city and can’t wait to go back for a longer visit!
Saturday we got a fairly late start and hit a local mountain biking trail with Uncle Larry, Larry, Jamye, Kevin and family friend Nick. It was more like the trails we have around these parts and it was a good, challenging workout. I only snapped one picture of our mountain biking excursions, bummer. L-R: Kevin, U. Larry, me, Brian, Jamye, Larry
After mountain biking Brian and I headed home to get ready for Meade & Abby’s wedding in Philly that evening. What a fun time that was getting to see out-of-town friends. We had a good time and danced the night away!
Sunday we toured Philadelphia. Ate some yummy cheesesteak and got to visit the Independence Mall National Park. We took a tour with a Park Ranger and learned some interesting facts about our nation’s beginnings. Did you know that Philadelphia was our nation’s capital for 10 years from 1790-1800? (I think those dates are right).
And as if we hadn’t already had an eventful 4 days the trip to the airport and then catching our flight was the icing on the cake. Brian, Dave and I were all on the same 6pm flight back to Raleigh. Tony Luke’s (local cheesesteak restaurant) had been recommended to us as the best cheesesteak place in Philly so we had to hit it up on the way to the airport. Well, we waited and waited and waited for our order to come up. At 4:30 I was anxious. We still had to return the rental car, check in, go through security and board our plane and we were still at Tony Luke’s. I was about to give up and just leave when they called my name and grabbed our cheesesteak and ran to the car. Brian sped us to the airport while I snapped a couple pictures of the local professional stadiums. We returned the car and got to the check in line, that was a freaking MILE long. We decided to stand in the 100 degree heat outside and do curbside check in. The SW guys were confident we’d make our flight. Once we got checked in we made our way to security. Brian had let me borrow his laptop bag for the trip and when they ran it through the scanner they called out, “BAG CHECK”. Oh, great.
They asked me to step aside with them while they rifled through my belongings. They said the scanner picked up what looked like a knife. I hadn’t put a knife in there so I kept saying, I’m 100% sure there is no knife in there. The guys seriously went through each pocket like 3 times then took the bag, devoid of all its contents, back through the scanner. He brought it back to the table and continued to look through the same pockets. Meanwhile I’m thinking, holy crap it’s like 5:30…they’re boarding our plane! The TSA guy was really nice, and as he kept looking through the same pockets over and over he suddenly pulled out a little pocket knife! My eyes went HUGE and I turned and looked at Brian and he sort of laughed sheepishly like woops, sorry about that! Somehow that little pocket knife had made it through RDU’s security. Way to go TSA (duh). Needless to say we surrendered the knife to the authorities and turned to rush our way to our gate.
Brian ran on ahead of Dave and me to make sure we didn’t miss our flight. Thankfully, the passengers were still deplaning when we arrived at the gate so we all sat down and shared our cheesesteak that had made its way with us into the airport. It was WELL worth the stress and rushing as it was 100% better than the cheesesteak we had enjoyed earlier in the day!!
So! That’s a quick run down of our whirlwind trip. Here’s a 2 minute photo montage of the weekend. Enjoy!