Saturday, December 21, 2013

New York at the Christmas Season

Are you someone who likes to travel at Christmas or do you prefer the comfort of hearth and home?  Do you have to travel to see family, or do they travel to be with you?

My entire life I've always spent Christmas at home.  Since I've been married, we drive to our parents' house on Christmas Day to eat and exchange gifts, but we always return home that night.  We're very fortunate that most of our family lives nearby.

Several years ago, in 2005, we did take a trip the week before Christmas.  My husband, son, and I went to New York City with my in-laws for three days, and we had the best time.  That trip was actually our Christmas gift from my mother and father-in-law that year, and it was great!  You can read Part Two of this post Here.


Our son was a freshman in high school that year; he looked so different then with longer hair and glasses.  :)  This is the lobby of the Warwick Hotel in Manhattan, where we stayed.  I thought it was such a pretty hotel, and I understand it's undergone some renovation since we were there.


My mother and father-in-law.


Some photos of people even more famous than us who have stayed at the Warwick over the years.  :)  Cary Grant actually had his own suite of rooms at the Warwick, where he lived for 12 years.  Wasn't Audrey Hepburn adorable?





"The Liz"


This was the view from outside our hotel window.  At night, I loved sitting by the window and looking out at all the lights and decorations.

Our son had never been to New York and neither had I.  My in-laws had been there a couple of times in December to see the shows and the shop windows decorated for Christmas.  My husband visited when he was in college.  I was quite excited about getting to go for the first time.

Packing for a trip is always a big deal for me, and I always pack way too much.  The week before our trip, I tuned into "The Today Show" several times, and they were all talking about how cold it was there.  When it showed the cast standing outside, they were all wrapped up and shivering.  So, I thought, "Wow, it must really be cold up there.  They live there and they're freezing, so it's really going to be tough for us."  So, I kept going back out to the stores and buying more outdoor clothing.  :)  I bought warmer gloves from The Great Outdoor Provision Company, neck mufflers, ear muffs, and we bought a big, thick Columbia jacket for our son.  We were, by golly, going to be prepared.

So the first hiccup in our trip came when our local weather forecaster started predicting a winter storm here, including ice -- ugh.  Sure enough, we got up early that morning to drive to the airport in Greensboro, and it was sleeting to beat the band.  My father-in-law drove us all to the airport in his SUV, and we got there with no problems.  

Unfortunately, things were not running so smoothly at the airport.  Our Piedmont Triad Airport is not large, but it's certainly not tiny either.  However, it seemed like that day, they only had one de-icing machine for all the airplanes.  We just don't need them as often here as people do up north and in the mid-west.  There were a lot of frustrated passengers that day, and none more so than us.  We were flying U.S. Air, and I'm not kidding, ours was the very last plane to be de-iced.  Our flight was supposed to leave at 10:30 that morning, but it was more like 3:30 in the afternoon before we finally got away.

That was our son's first time to fly; he was seated next to a man who lived in New Jersey, and the man kindly offered to let our son have his window seat.  So, we got to the airport in New York, and everything was so busy and crowded, we were having a hard time finding a taxi.  The problem was that there were five of us, and most of the taxis were limited to four passengers.  We didn't want to split up, so we found an independent driver in an SUV to take all five of us.  He was zipping through the streets of New York City, while we were crammed into the back seat, all tired and hungry by this point.  

The next thing we knew, our driver decided to be "assertive" at an intersection, and another vehicle hit us.  No one was hurt, but at that point, a little shouting match ensued, accompanied by horn blowing.  "Whaddya mean, my fault?  It's your fault!"  "No you."  "No you."  And so on and so forth.  I was starting to feel like we were in an episode of Seinfeld.  :-D

source

At home, we would have pulled over to wait for a police officer, but everybody just took off again.  Thank goodness -- no one wanted any more delays at that point.  We felt a little sorry for our driver; he was nice to us, but he did seem to be at fault in the accident, and he kind of lost a side-view mirror in the incident.

Finally -- the hotel.  We checked in and then headed out to find somewhere to get dinner.  Everyone was starving.  We found a restaurant that had a variety of hot entrees on the menu, and it was delicious.  All our food was delicious on the trip.  After dinner, we went to bed and slept like logs.  The next day, we went first to the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art); they were featuring a Pixar Studios exhibit that my husband and son wanted to see.  I'm not really a fan of modern art; I much prefer the classics, but it was still fun.  We had lunch at an Irish restaurant/pub, and it was really good.  Believe it or not, we have an Irish pub in our town in North Carolina; that was unheard of when we were growing up here.

After lunch, my hubby walked to F.A.O. Schwarz and took some pictures while I went back to the hotel to rest for a bit.



 Later that afternoon, the three of us walked down to Central Park; that was one of my favorite parts of the trip.


We photographed this building in the park, but I don't know what it is.  I tried looking for a picture online, but couldn't find one.  Maybe one of the New York bloggers can tell me -- I'd love to know.  :)


I was so hoping we'd get to see some ice skaters in the park, and we did!
 

I wish I could ice skate, but I never learned how.  I loved to roller skate when I was growing up, and I skated a lot in high school.  Not a lot of people ice skated around here when we were growing up.  The one time I tried it, it was a disaster.



I believe this was another view from the park.


That night, we met up with my in-laws to see the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall.  These are not flattering pictures of us; we all look so white and washed out, thanks to the camera flash.



I have gum in my mouth in this picture, and it looks like I'm missing a tooth or something.  :)  The Rockettes show was terrific, we thoroughly enjoyed it!  And being me, I had to bring back a keepsake from our trip -- in this case, a Christmas ornament.



After the show, we walked to Grand Central Station...


...where we had dinner at the oyster bar in the station.


It's a lovely old building.


These pictures are pretty blurry.  We had a hard time getting good pictures because we were constantly walking and being jostled by people around us.  Everyone was friendly and in good spirits, though.



After we left Grand Central Station, we walked to Rockefeller Center.


We got there in time to see a light show with recorded music by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.  It was really festive and great fun.  There were no ice skaters at Rockefeller Center that evening because the Zamboni machine was working on the ice while we were there.

I'll share the rest of the pictures with you in Part Two of this post.  There's a lot to cover in just one shot.  Have you ever been to New York at Christmas?  If so, how did you like it?  Thanks so much for your visit; I hope you enjoyed the pictures.

 
I'll be linking to "Oh the PLACES I've Been" and "Seasonal Sundays," both hosted by The Tablescaper.  Hope to see you there!

Denise

12 comments:

  1. Looks like you all had a very special trip Denise! Merry Christmas:@)

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  2. I have always been home for the holidays, except for the years when my parents owned a cabin in a tiny Colorado mountain village, an old coal mining town Oak Creek. It was our second home, though and so much fun. We had snow mobiles and several other families from Denver had mountain homes so it was 10 dyas of snow and hot chocolate. What a blast. New York would be grand during the holidays, but we are home bodies. Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a happy new year.

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  3. No, I have never been to NYC for Christmas, but it is something I've always wanted to do. Now I don't have to because you took me there! You sure are a beautiful family! I've enjoyed seeing those photos as much as the scenes. Fun descriptions of your trip, too! Ai yi yi...taxi drivers!

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  4. Looks and sounds like a most memorable trip.
    Merry Christmas, Denise!

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  5. Thanks for the tour! We used to go in when we lived outside the city and the years I was in school in the city. I loved the windows especially. I would love to go back now, years later!

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  6. Enjoyed your post about NYC. Hate it for you that the flight was delayed. What a way to start out a trip.The taxi ride does sound familiar. They don't even like four in a taxi. We went after Christmas probably five or so years ago. I really can't remember the year. It was the coldest I have ever been. Everyone in the city was in the museums because it was too cold to walk around especially one particular day. We saw the Rockettes and Wicked. Funny, I thought it wouldn't be so crowded after Christmas but I was very wrong. Isn't it amazing to be walking and hear multiple languages being spoken on all sides of you. It is a very interesting city! Glad you shared your trip.

    Merry Christmas.

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  7. I love NYC at Christmas time. My dad is from Long Island, so we have never stayed in the city but have been numerous times. Looks like a fun trip despite the way it started.

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  8. What a great trip after waiting for your plane to take off, Denise. That was such a thoughtful gift from your in-laws. Yes, I have been to NYC. Once when I was very young, my Aunt Kitty and Uncle John took me and two cousins. We stayed in the Waldorf Astoria!! Another time, my parents lived on Long Island for about a year, and we took the train in when we had only two children at the time.
    It's so nice to see pictures of all of you and to share the memories with your fabulous trip. Merry Christmas! xo

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  9. What a fabulous time of the year to visit the city! So many things to see that we hear about or see in shows. Love your photos....you all dressed up so nicely and saw such amazing sights! Merry Christmas my friend!

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  10. I thoroughly enjoyed this, as I'm hoping to take a Thanksgiving or Christmas trip to NY someday! This was wonderful. I'd love it if you'd share this at my History & Home party sometime, if not this week any week, even after Christmas, there's plenty of history here with the station and other old buildings. Have a Merry Christmas! -Dawn @ We Call It Junkin.com, (party is Tue-Fri each week)

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  11. I've been to N.Y.C. twice but never at Christmastime. It is on my bucket list. So many wonderful things to see and do.
    I adored the card you sent. It was perfect. My mother had a cocker spaniel and I at one time had a black cat. :)

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  12. Thanks for sharing your fun NY visit. Sounds like you had a wonderful time in spite of the little hiccups in the beginning. Merry Christmas to you and your family. Hope it's the best ever.

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THANK YOU FOR YOUR KIND COMMENTS. I ENJOY READING EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THEM.

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