All Aboard ..The Big Apple and Bean Town or..”what I did on my summer vacation”

Times Square, New York, NYI am presently sitting on the train from Montreal to Moncton and as I look out at the snow covered fields and feel the rails under my seat my mind wanders back  to yet another train trip a few years ago with my daughter. Here’s how it went ..,. 

August, 2012 

The Big Apple! (New York City)

Well if our exhaustion is any sign of a good holiday then our vacation truly was a success!

We arrive at Penn station on time on Thursday afternoon. Our authentic NY experience starts from the moment we climb in to the famous Yellow Taxi Cab where I utter the words we have seen in many movies over the years ; “Take Me To The Plaza” 🙂 I am a little disappointed when the driver says do you have the address?? Huh??? Turns out I think he just wants to make sure people really ARE going to THE Plaza.

Our room at The Plaza is not ready when we arrive so we drop our bags and go immediately to TJ Max where we start back to school shopping. A quick change once we check in to our sumptuous room and we walk to Times Square for the evening.

For those of you have been you know there is a sort of “energy” in the air. Too many lights, sounds, smells, to take in all at once. It is a sea of cameras, picture-taking, people of all ages and nations and every one has that look of awe on their face. We load up on souvenirs, walk back to our hotel stopping to taste most of the street vendor foods along the way. We drop in to bed at around 1am.

The following day we are up and out the door by 10 o’clock to walk back to Times Square to catch our bus tour. It is our sixth  day in a row of 30 degrees and sun and the nights are equally hot so we have really lucked out with the weather.

Our tour brings us past Katie Holmes and the late Katherine Hepburn’s House, the clubs where Barry Manilow, Bette Midler, The Boss and Lady Gaga got started. We roll by the building that depicts where the cast of “Friends” was filmed as well as the building where Oscar and Felix (The Odd Couple) lived in which is not far from the City Hall where Batman’s Commissioner Gordon lived and so on and so on…

We go through Greenwich Village and Soho. We hop off at Canal Street in Tribeca and have a little lunch. We only get a glimpse of the Empire State Building as the road leading to it is closed due to a shooting there the day before. ( Not a movie shooting but a shooting with a Gun 😦 )

We pay our respects at Ground Zero and shoot some pics of Lady Liberty but forgo the Ferry to Ellis Island or Staten Island because we MUST spend a final evening in Times Square. I smile as we take a pic of the Brooklyn Bridge cause I can imagine John Travolta and friends on that bridge in “Saturday Night Fever”.

We have dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square. Afterwards we wander in to Macy’s Department Store. My daughter’s list is very specific about the places we must hit.

At around midnight we sit in the middle of Times Square amid all the other people who have come for the exact same reasons as we have… Thousands of people, all joyful, all in peace and all living some kind of moment. It is actually quite something to see all these people at once mingling so peacefully. I imagine it is the kind of thing John Lennon “Imagined” 🙂

After our obligatory NY cheesecake we start the walk back to the hotel along Broadway, by Radio Music Hall, pass the Ed Sullivan Theatre where David Letterman is taped “live” as we pass and finally drop in to bed.

Our final day sees us walking through Central Park, purchasing Hot Dogs off the street and cabbing our way to JFK Airport……

We are tired and already planning our next “New York Minutes”

Bean Town (Boston)

We arrive at our hotel in Beantown by water taxi across the Charles River.

We enjoy a City Tour and are now well versed in Boston Tea Party as well as Paul Revere. We spend some time at Quincy Market and dinner at Hard Rock Cafe. In the evening we stroll  the streets of Little Italy where Italian Flags wave, old men sit outside their homes gossiping with great hand gestures and Dean Martin croons in the background.

Of course I snuggle up to good old “Norm” at Cheers Bar in Quincy Market.

During our time in Boston we walk the Freedom Trail, have lunch in Little Italy with a necessary Boston Cream Pie in the afternoon.

At dusk we  participate in the Ghost and Gravestone Tour which is very entertaining and a little unnerving walking back through the gaslight North end after hearing about Boston Strangler, Jane the Angel of Death and other ghoulish stories 🙂

We take a coach to Wrentham Outlet Mall about 60 minutes outside of Boston where we continue Back to School shopping.

Tomorrow its back to work for me and back to school for my daughter but we will both have a good “What I Did on My Summer Vacation” essay…

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