Live from New York: Monday

(Pictures coming soon)

Monday morning I woke up feeling amazed that I’d managed to sleep til 8:30– and equally amazed that John and our daughter were still sleeping.  Then I remembered it was only 6:30 AM in Idaho.  Perhaps not so amazing after all.

We headed down to breakfast in the basement of the hotel.  Nothing fancy: coffee, juice, yogurt, bagels, and cereal.  But our daughter was delighted with the yogurt that she picked from a little fridge herself, and we really liked having one meal a day that was a no-brainer.

After breakfast I spent a bit of time prepping for my shopping trip with the media, while John took our daughter for a walk outside. They were successful in finding a nearby discount store, and John grabbed a toothbrush for our daughter and mascara for me, both of which I’d forgotten to pack.  Clever man.

The shopping trip wasn’t til 2.  In the meantime we walked to Grand Central Station, where we walked around, took some pictures, and checked out the gorgeous food in a grocery store that is housed in the same building.  It is easy to see why so many New Yorkers do a lot of deli food:  the variety is stunning and so delicious-looking.  But the prices…yikes.

On the way back to the hotel we stopped at a random deli for lunch.   It’s not remotely hard to find eateries in New York– the trick is choosing one out of the 5-10 on every block. This one looked good, and seemed to be frequented by lots of business people.  John chose chicken noodle soup– he was fighting a cold.  Our 5 year old had a chocolate chip muffin, which I tried to pretend was actually a decent lunch.   And I had sushi– ah, the bliss.  During the meal John kept trying to point out a cockroach that was skittering around on the wall behind me.  I stubbornly refused to look, on the grounds that it would not enhance my enjoyment of my lunch.

On the way back to the hotel, our daughter spotted the Build-A-Bear workshop, which she has been coaxing us to stop at ever since.  In New York I’m not exactly thrilled about the idea of visiting stores I could visit in my own mall back in Idaho, but ever since then she’s been so insistent that she’s beginning to wear me down. Maybe tomorrow.

We did stop by a Barnes and Noble, where John found my book, then insisted on bringing it– and me– to a staff person so that I could sign it.  Sometimes the man embarrasses me.

We took a cab to Whole Foods, the grocery store where we were meeting the media.   I’ll share more details with you as I am allowed, but the interview/shopping expedition went well and was a lot of fun. The second grocery store at which we shopped ended up being close to the Empire State Building– perfect since we were planning to see that afterwards.

Once we got there, we ended up buying a ‘City Sights’ pass that allowed us to ride two tourist loops around Manhattan an unlimited number of times within the next 3 days, and also included a ferry ride to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, plus a ride to the top of either Rockefeller Center or the Empire State Building.  I’m not sure if the $80 cost was a good deal or not.   But it seemed like a reasonable choice at the time, especially given the fact that the weather was bitter, and our 5 year old had already gotten tired of walking just in the time it took to walk from one grocery store to the other.

After being counseled that the Top of the Roc actually had a better view than the Empire State building, we opted to hop on a double-decker bus to the Roc, leaving the Empire State Building un-climbed.  The tour through Manhattan took about an hour, and was a lot of fun, despite the fact that those buses are unheated and it was COLD out.  Not to mention dark by the end of the trip.

At Rockefeller Center we watched ice skating for a few minutes, then headed to the blessedly warm inside for our ride to the top.  The city lights at night were just amazing.   John, who’d felt slightly conflicted about not actually going to the top of the Empire State Building, was delighted to discover that the view OF the Empire State Building from the Roc was incredible.  Very picture-worthy, with the added bonus that you could view the city from all sides of the building, and either indoors or outdoors, whichever you preferred.

Once we had our fill of the view, we headed back down and out.  Our hotel was a mere 4 blocks away.  For dinner after a bit of deliberating– and walking– we decided on an Italian restaurant almost right next door to our hotel.  Our 5 year old happily gobbled crostini, which I simply told her was pizza.  John had fettucini alfredo, and I had a lovely lasagna that featured homemade pasta. Yum.  That meal was around $50– not really any more than we’d pay at Olive Garden in Idaho.

We were so tired after our day of gallivanting in the cold that our hotel room felt like heaven.  Hot baths, a bit of blogging, and a game of Phase 10.  Then, sleep.


  1. I love that you are having these adventures….and then I get to see you on Thursday! 🙂

  2. can’t wait to see the photos!

  3. I agree with John, the view of the empire state building is better than the view from it! 🙂

  4. Looking forward to the photos.

  5. This sounds like a fun adventure, Mary! You are soooo lucky!!! We took our family to NYC this past summer. They all (not me, I’m afraid of heights) went to the top of the Roc and said it was AWESOME. Can’t wait to hear more of your trip.

  6. You made the right choice, Top of the Roc is so much better than Empire State! I’m glad you found out about that. Enjoy NYC! For souvenirs for all your kids, carts sell the I heart NYC shirts for like 5 for $10!

  7. We liked Top of the Rock a lot too, even though we were there in August. I was thinking that your little one must have delighted in both mummy and daddy’s attention that this time she didn’t have to share! How cute that you brought her along with you, she must have loved the trip.

  8. I am looking forward to the photos! Top of the Roc is much better than the Empire State. Nice choice.

  9. I’m an upstate New Yorker who hates the city but I’m glad you’re having fun.
    I did want to say that most hotels these days will give you a free toothbrush if you’ve forgotten it.