Busy Walkers

We had another fun, productive day on Thursday. We attempted another entrance to the Empire State Building but decided against because of time restraints; Chelby wanted more time spent at the Museum of Natural History (and, truthfully, she’s scared of heights). So, we took a cab to the museum and spent a better part of the day there enjoying the special event Cosmic Collisions in the planetarium, and the rest of the museum. After, we left to walk through Central Park to enjoy the view spying on lazy parkers reading their books and enjoying the sun, and a hot air balloon, with a side trip to Columbus Circle on our way to Serendipity 3.

The visit to Serendipity 3 was the highlight of the entire trip. It was Oz for our merry band of travelers. It was a destination that I never stopped hearing the end of even before we left for New York. I was hearing about Serendipity 3 so much before our trip that I was already growing tired of hearing about it by the time we arrived. If you don’t know what Serendipity 3 is, it’s a restaurant that has been the center of attention for many, many years. They’ve focused on it in movies, like Serendipity, and in television, like Rachel Ray’s cooking shows and Samantha Brown’s travel shows. Serendipity 3 is the home of the famous Frozen Hot Chocolate. After having tasted it, it is easy to see why it is famous. If you are ever in New York, I highly recommend visiting, not for the meal but for the deserts alone. During our 45 minute wait to get in, we decided to have a quick dinner at a oven cooked pizza place across the street. Our original intention was to visit Serendipity 3 just for the deserts so having a meal during the wait was perfect, unplanned, timing.
The only unfortunate event during this time was that it started raining and did not stop for the rest of the night. But, we were able to use this to our advantage by visiting Dylan’s Candy Bar candy store and cafe right next to Serendipity 3. It was a pretty neat candy store filled with all types of candies and chocolates. Thereafter, during a brief pause in the rain, we walked to FAO Schwarz and the Apple Store to wait out the rain, and to waste a little more time, before we retired for the evening.

On Friday, we sort of took our time since we had planned to visit Central Park Zoo and it didn’t open until 10am. We arrived there at a decent time and spent most of the midday enjoying the zoo and Central Park until we had to get to the airport for our flight out at 5pm. The rest of the trip, after this, was a disaster.

We got to the airport on time. The only issue was that the plane was delayed 30 minutes later than the original planned 5:05pm schedule. However, due to the surrounding storms, it was delayed again until close to 6pm. While we were waiting in line to get on the plane I had overheard someone else state that there was even a tornado warning in the Manhattan area. Once we got on the plane, the fun didn’t end. We finally taxied out toward the runway pausing halfway for over an hour to wait in a queue with 40 planes in front of us. At the time, there was an estimate that we would not be taking off for another two to three hours. The only problem for us, along with many others on the plane, was that we had a layover in Chicago’s O’Hare airport for a transfer flight to Orlando at 8:00pm. Needless to say, we did not make that flight. We arrived in Chicago close to 9:30 CST, an hour and a half after our plane left out for Orlando. So, we waited in queue at United customer service for another hour waiting to see when our next flight would be taking off. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until 12:55 the next day.

So, United gave us a discounted hotel voucher and put us on the wait list for any planes Saturday morning from 6:50am until time of our scheduled flight out at 1pm. Luckily, we found a really nice Hyatt ten minutes from the airport for less than $75 and stayed the night there. I am typing this from the United gate now having missed out on the first flight out at 6:50am. We are now waiting for the next standby at 10:45am but I doubt we will be on that plane also. More than likely, we will be flying out at 1:00pm.

Update: I am typing this now after having finally arrived home in the early evening. It happened as predicted; we didn’t fly out until 1:00pm.

The trip was pretty decent up until that storm hit NY on Friday. I would be so happy to be home now, if I wasn’t so exhausted.

Hudson River Spray

Today wasn’t really a productive day in New York, but we still had fun. As soon as we got into Manhattan around noon, we immediately went to the Empire State Building to go up to the observatory at the top. Unfortunately, we decided not to participate since it was an hour wait. Instead, we took a taxi over to Pier 16 on the east side of the island at South Street and Fulton to take a one hour boat tour, called Circle Line, that takes you up the Hudson River, past Ellis Island and around up past Manhattan Bridge and back. As part of the tour, they even show you the current man made public art waterfalls along the East River. It was a pretty good time; highly recommended for any tourist visiting New York.

After, we decided to go back to the Empire State Building to see if the line had gotten shorter, it had not. By the time we discovered this it was dinner time, so we ate and headed to Time Square. We didn’t spend a whole of time there as we were pretty exhausted being that we had been up since 4:00 this morning. So, we turned in for the night and made plans for a long day tomorrow.

I’m still up now only because it’s a little more difficult for me to settle in before 10:00 p.m; Chelby and her nephew were already asleep by 9:30. However, my eyes are growing heavy now; it’s time for Slumberland.

New York Encore

I’m flying up to New York again tomorrow for a few days. This trip is mostly for Chelby’s sake. She wasn’t able to go with me back in July as her approved vacation wasn’t until this month. So, since I am still unemployed (for a few more days, at least; more info to come later), I agreed to go up with her to do the tourist thing.

However, this time, we are taking her nephew. She felt it would be neat to take him on a trip before he starts school next week. What better trip could there be to tell your schoolmates about than a trip to New York to see the Statue of Liberty, amongst other things. He should have plenty of stories to tell them on his first day back to school.

Dates over, baby

As I type this, I sit at La Guardia airport waiting for my return home to Orlando. What an exciting and wonderful trip to The Big Apple this time around. I met many wonderful new people during this adventure; some I hope to become lifelong friends.

Yesterday was the last day of the show, a 2:00 p.m showing. It was, yet again, a smooth show and full of fun. I made one minor flub but was able to easily recover without skipping a beat. After the show we had the cast party at the theatre, and what a grand party it was. There was no doubt, by the evidence of the smiles on everyone’s faces, that it was time to celebrate a successful, and exhausting, five day run. Simon and I, plus a few other nice people willing to help, closed out the day by spending a few hours cleaning up the theatre before retiring to Slumberland. The theatre was trashed so it really did take a few hours before it was cleaned. I think we overdid it. We left it cleaner than it was when we first entered the theatre last Monday.

After we woke up from sleeping in a little, we met our new friends from Rhode Island for lunch at Fanelli’s Cafe near SOHO (apparently, one of the oldest restaurants in NY). It was a really cool cafe with some really good food. We ate, said our goodbyes and returned to Simon’s place so that I could grab my items and leave for the airport.

Reflecting back on all my previous trips to New York, I would say that this was probably the best time I have ever had and it will be extremely difficult to top in the possible future visits to “the city that never sleeps”. I’ll probably have pictures and videos posted within the next couple of days, after I have had time to decompress.

Wonderful Independence Day

The play yesterday was another wonderful success. We had a early showing of 4:00 p.m. so that the cast, and audience, could enjoy the fireworks and such after the play ended its two hour run.

One of the cast members hosted a Independence Day party in Brooklyn in her gorgeous three story apartment(?) where the top two floors had a terrace with a grand view of Manhattan and the area where the NYC fireworks would take place. It was a great time of meeting new people (a few that were actually from Florida) and enjoying the wonderful fireworks.
NYC Fireworks

A half an hour or so after the fireworks, Simon and I left for another party taking place at The Lafayette House hotel in Manhattan. The host and hostess were friends of Simon in town from Rhode Island just to see the play so they invited us over to hang out for a while. When we got there we were greeted by the wonderful hosts and more unmet friends from Orlando. Surprisingly, after I met everyone there, I found out that the host and hostess and two other super nice people at the party were originally from Orlando also so we ended up all being instant friends. It was really a good time thanks to the generous hospitality of all these new friends.

Tonight the play starts a little later than usual (8:00 p.m.) so it gives us all time to rest after a long night of celebrating Independence Day.

Action Shot

A friend of Simon’s took some photos from opening night. Here is a shot of myself in one of the scenes.

Witch Prison

It was another good night. This time I didn’t drop any lines. In fact, I don’t think anyone dropped any lines tonight and everything went smooth.

It was another fun night.

No Sleep in Brooklyn

Due to still having a buzz from the excitement of opening night, I couldn’t fall asleep until after 2 in the morning. I took a sleeping pill and was able to get a restful sleep until noon today. Simon took me to a local polish restaurant, called King’s Feast, around the corner for lunch and it was fantastic, very filling for the price. It truly was a king’s feast, I couldn’t eat everything in front of me. We just finished getting cleaned up for the show tonight and are about to take the subway to the city.

Hopefully, we will have another successful night tonight. I just hope I can get to sleep sooner and have a successful nights sleep.

Post Opening Night

I just got back from eating out at a diner in Manhattan called Westway Diner on 9th Avenue between 43rd and 44th Avenue. It was around the corner from the theatre so we decided to go there for a bite to eat after the show. It was a good night. It was a good opening night for the play, for myself and everyone else. Sure, I missed a couple of lines in my big scene but I wasn’t the only one, so I didn’t feel so bad. One thing that really surprised me was that I wasn’t nervous or stressed at all before the show. I think I realized, with Chelby’s helpful pep talk today, that I was there to have fun and wasn’t trying to impress anyone. And it was fun. I am actually looking forward to the rest of the run of the play, just so I can have the chance to improve.

What an exciting adventure I am a part of in my life right now. It’s really difficult to explain in words how happy I feel right now.