Monday, December 9, 2013

I Burst with Pure Joy - New York City part 1

It started with an invitation to a holiday party, my husband’s office holiday party to be exact.  It was going to be at the Hyatt in Morristown New Jersey, which is a bit of a drive from where we live.  The prospect of having to drive for several hours, attend the party, and then spend several hours driving back home did not excite us.
-But what if we stayed overnight? 
-Yes that could be fun, and if we were going to be so close to New York City, why not spend some time in the city the next day?  Then an image popped into my head.  It was the image of Sir Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellen crouched in front of a large pile of garbage, pointing and smiling. 
-Wait, weren’t they currently performing in a play, together, on Broadway?  And so was the beginning of one of my most awesome experiences of all time.
We left before noon on Saturday to give ourselves plenty of time.  We took a brief detour to hit the Crate and Barrel outlet in Cranbury NJ.  We love Crate and Barrel stuff, especially when it is on sale and discounted. 
After picking up a couple of small things, we got back on the road again. We arrived at our hotel, The Hamilton Park Wyndham, around 4:30pm.
This is the 3rd or 4th time we have used Priceline to book a hotel room and so far we have never been disappointed. 
 The hotel and room were both very nice and it was only a 5-10 minute drive from our hotel to the Hyatt where the party was taking place. After checking into our room
we changed into our swimsuits and spent 45 minutes soaking in the hotel’s hot tub. We were slightly late for the party, but the relaxing time was worth it.
The Hyatt was festive and the party was swanky and fun.

There were casino tables where you could earn chips to cash in for raffle tickets for a drawing for restaurant gift cards with limo service.  We did not win any of the gift cards (I found out later that my winning mojo was currently invested in winning a book that I had entered to win) but my husband had a good time playing roulette, and it was nice because you weren’t actually spending any real money.  The party also had the reappearance of one of my new favorite event buffet items…a mashed potato bar.  There was a live band with a rocking saxophone player and plenty of dancing.  
After the party we went back to the hotel and went straight to bed because we needed to be up bright and early.
We got to Convent station by 9am.  Due to work on the tracks, the trains were running a bit behind, which was not great because it was down right chilly and the inside of the station is closed on Sundays. 
I was excited when I saw that we would be riding on a double decker train.  The double decker trains are nicer, roomier and just more fun.
The train ride from Convent Station to Penn Station lasted an hour and then we took the subway to Times Square. Once in Times Square we still had some extra time to kill before our brunch reservation.  Since it was cold, we decided to kill time by wandering around in some of the nice warm stores in Times Square.

There were crowds, but it wasn't nearly as insane as the one year when we went to New York City at Christmas time.  It may have been less chaotic because of the snow that was coming, but we were pretty oblivious to all that. Once our clock struck 12pm, we were off to brunch.

Note: People dressed in mascot type costumes rank just below clowns and ventriloquist puppets in things that I am afraid of.  There are a lot of mascot type people wandering around in Times Square.  I told my husband that I would be fine as long as none of them touched me, which was right about the time when one of the Elmos decided to put his hand on my shoulder.  It is probably for the best that I have never been trained in the ninja arts, because I probably would have laid Elmo out.


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