Saturday, August 25, 2012

My Summer Vacation / New York City Day 1

This is the beginning of an awesome and amazing story of how I spent my summer vacation. Sounds like I'm back in school, doesn't it? The story began last July at the Valadez family in Chesterton, Indiana. Neither Dick nor I are blood Valadez, but we are honored to be included in their family. Below is a picture of my best friend Vickie (a Valadez) and I at the end of a very hot first day of the last years reunion at Vickie's house. We usually look much better than this. Just thought I should throw that out there.

A plan was hatched that weekend for a girl cousins reunion in New York City for the three days prior to the next reunion near Baltimore, Maryland. Cousin Michelle said I should come too. I thought she was just being nice seeing how I saw sitting there when they were talking about it. Little did I know she was dead serious. I never thought about it again till mid winter when Vickie mentioned it at school over lunch one day. She said I should think about going with her to New York. I said I would talk to Dick about it and let her know.

I went home that night and talked to Dick. He said if I wanted to go, that is exactly what I should do. That put the ball in my court. Now it was all up to me. How would my family survive without me? How would I survive without them? How could I not see my grandkids? How, how, how??? I thought about it all night and the same thing kept coming to my mind...why the hell not? Why shouldn't I go? Everyone would get along fine without me. I would miss them all terribly, but I could do it. At that point, we were talking about being gone less than a week. I went back to school the next day and told Vickie I was in.

We began to plan "Vickie and Nancy's Excellent Adventure" and boy did we plan. By the time we actually booked our flight, we were leaving on the morning of July 5 and leaving for Baltimore on July 13. Dick and Paul (Vickie's husband) were going to drive in together and meet us on the night of the 13th in Baltimore.

July finally arrived and Dick took Vickie and I into O'Hare Airport in Chicago and literally dropped us off at the curb. We were officially on our own and we did an awesome job. You would have thought we were seasoned travellers. Our only little glitch was that we didn't think about going through security and had on sandals. We had to walk barefoot in the airport. Gross!! Oh and the fact that Vickie's suitcase was overweight and she had to pay dearly for it. Before we knew it, we were on the plane and on our way to New York.

I took over a hundred pictures during the flight, but was thrilled to get pictures of the Statue of Liberty as we were landing. Little did I know how up close and personal we would get to The Lady later in the trip. We got our bags and hailed our first of many cabs and we were off to Queens to Vickie's brothers house. We were lucky enough to be able to stay with him. How else could we afford to stay in New York for that long?

Before we knew it, we were pulling up in front of Victor's and he was waiting outside for us. he helped us get all our stuff inside and we sat and talked for awhile. Not too long though because we had tickets for The Lion King that night and needed to get ready and head for the city.

We walked down 46th Street for the first of many times toward the train station. I lives in a really neat little neighborhood. Even walking home late at night, I was never afraid. People were so nice and so friendly, I never felt afraid. It was amazing to me. I didn't know what to expect before I got there, but I was very pleasantly surprised by the people.

We went to dinner at one of Victor's favorite neighborhood restaurants. I can't remember the whole name, but it was Pio Pio something. They are known for their chicken and boy was it delicious. We actually ate there twice during the trip. They also made a kick butt white sangria. I don't even like wine and I loved it. It was that good.

Before we knew it, it was time to head to the train station. We bought our one week pass and walked up the stairs to the platform. Before our time there was up, we would come to hate those steps at the two stations. Some evil person designed those stations. Hundreds of steps!

We made our way to Manhattan and looked for this sign. That was the sign we looked for every day. We found out much later that we walked a lot more than we really needed to, but that's okay. This was my first vacation ever that I actually lost weight. I'm pretty sure it was all the walking and the heat. It was hot!!!

Times Square was amazing. So much so that we were there at some point of every day we were in New York. The people watching is incredible. You really never know what you are going to see. We loved it though.

One of Vickie's goals for the trip was to have her picture taken with Naked Cowboy. He's a fixture in Times Square. We actually saw him our first trip into the city. We didn't realize until much later when I downloaded the pictures that she was flashing all of Times Square. Then of course, it was Times Square and I don't if anyone noticed. Any way, wish fulfilled!

Who knew there was a Naked Indian too? Not us. We saw him and Vickie thought it would be fun to have her picture taken with him too. We figured we could do that another night seeing how he was walking away from us. We should have chased him. We never saw him again.

Time was flying by and before we knew it, it was time to find Broadway. We had a show to get to. We were starting to get excited.

I was thrilled when we turned the corner and saw this sign. We went in and took some pictures and got each of us a drink. Did you know that they only sell drinks in commemorative cups? It was just under $30. for three drinks. Yes folks, we were in the big city.

This was the carving of Scar's (the villain in the play) head as you walked up the stairs into the theatre. It was huge and beautiful. Our seats were in the fourth row. Incredible! From the first beats of the music, I was enthralled. How did one man play a ten foot giraffe? The show was absolutely magical. I would go back and see it in a heartbeat. I loved every minute of it.

This is Vickie and Victor with one of the many statues of characters in the play throughout the theatre. Chances are, they shouldn't have been behind the ropes, but nobody was around. What they don't know won't hurt them, right?

After the show, we went to the Blue Moon bar for some appetizers and a cocktail. It was a nice place and they had on the Cubs/Mets game. My Chicago Cubs were playing the New York Mets in New York and they beat them by a big margin. It was a blast to watch it there.

So...that was day one. If Blogger keeps cooperating with me and uploading my pictures, I plan to do a daily post by vacation days until the end of the trip. I hope you feel like coming back for the next 15 days because that is how long I ended up being gone. I have some fun stories to tell and I met a few famous people, so I hope you can come back. See you tomorrow!


  1. New York city is one of my favorite places. I loved reading this and can't wait to read every day!

  2. We are headed to New York the end of Steptember for our anniversary. And although it will be our second time there I'll be checking out your posts for stuff to do. Everyone sees New York differently. Can't wait to see it through your eyes and camera!

  3. I am just in AWE of Day One and can't wait to read each day. What an amazing trip Nancy. I am so glad you didn't hestitat and went. Mine and Steph's dream is to one day go to NYC....


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