Empire State of Mind

New Yooooooorkkk!!!! As Alicia Keys would say, the concrete jungle where dreams are made of…big lights will inspire you… and these streets will make you feel brand new! We shall see about that! How excited are we!!! The last big trip we took together was just over a year ago to Banff and it was amazing, even if my family ended up tagging along (it ended up being extremely fun and we had a great time with the 6 of us). We seem to have a thing for winter trips but that is just how Andrew’s schedule has worked out for the past couple of years, besides a summer trip to Toronto a couple years back. This trip is exciting because we are by ourselves and get to experience a brand new place together for the first time. I’ll let you know in a couple of days if we are still together after making our way through the subway system and big crowds LOL!

We finally left Thunder Bay, flew to Toronto, then finally to Newark, New Jersey. We have a busy day planned, but we are just going with the flow and we will hopefully hit all of the main places we have on our list. We only have one thing set in stone, our prebooked tour of the NBC studios (my birthday present for Andrew).

First view of the Manhattan skyline!!

When we landed in New Jersey, we had to get across the river to Manhattan and then to our hotel which is right beside Madison Square Garden. We rode the airtrain from the Newark airport to the train station and then took a train from New Jersey to Penn Station, Manhattan. We literally walked out the doors and our hotel was right in front of us. Awesome!!

A blurry Statue of Liberty

Our hotel

We can see Madison Square Garden from our window

So we are on the 4th floor and we can hear EVERYTHING from the streets. Cars are constantly honking and sirens are blaring. Tonight is going to be hard to sleep! We are so tired already though so maybe it won’t be so bad. We were starving at this point so as soon as we settled into our room, we set out on the hunt for some grub. Andrew’s choice was a “New York slice”. We exited the hotel and turned and Andy gasped ! “SBARRO! A new york slice!” I’m like what? That’s a franchise not yummy local pizza… but he showed me this and it explains it. He is obsessed with The Office and apparently Michael Scott came here in the show.

It was really yummy! We then walked straight down 7th avenue and it only took 10 minutes to get to Times Square. Wow!! People everywhere! It was still day time but it seemed later because of all of the bright lights. We walked around and took some pics and walked up the red stairs!

Macy’s is huge !

The ball that drops every NYE

We plan on coming back at night to really experience all of the lights! We had about an hour left until our NBC Studios Tour so we walked another 10 minutes to the Rockfeller Center. There were some cool places along the way.

Number one overall pick in this year’s NFL draft

It costs about 50$ each to skate here including the skate rental

Time for the tour! We weren’t allowed to take any pictures at all! So disappointing. So in a nutshell, we learned the history of NBC Studios and then we went through some of the studios. We sat in the audience seats of the Saturday Night Live studio and saw the stages and how they set them up. There were so many cameras and lights on the ceiling. The stages are really small and looks nothing like when you see it on TV. Then we saw Seth Meyers’ studio and finally my favourite Jimmy Fallon. Jimmy’s set is actually quite small too but they use wide angle lenses so you would never know! If you know the show, Steve Higgins, his right hand man, looks like he is far away and they are yelling across the room at each other but they are actually only 5 feet apart! The audience seats are made out of red leather, the same that is in Ferraris. We even got to walk backstage of Jimmy’s set and see his dressing room door and also The Roots’ dressing room area. So cool! I quickly stole a shot of the studio but it was blurry so I guess that’s what I get for trying to be sneaky. We also got to see the production rooms where the directors and broadcasting producers work. Then we got to make our own show!

This was an awesome tour! We bought some stuff in the NBC store after, mostly Dunder Mifflin paraphernalia for Andrew. When we walked back outside it was snowing so hard! It was basically rain. We were going to go up to the Top of the Rock at the top of the building but I wanted to wait until a clear day so we could see more. I was set on going to Tiffany & Co on 5th Avenue so we walked through the rain and explored 5th Avenue a bit. We were drenched!

Pretending not to care that I’m spending money lol

Every girl’s dream! I bought some earrings that I’ve been eyeing online for awhile. A nice souvenir for our trip!

We were cold and wet and I forgot my umbrella back at the hotel. We got an Uber back to the hotel and regrouped. We were trying so hard to stay awake and had no motivation to go back out into the cold damp rain. Times Square and the Empire State Building will have to be pushed to another night. Totally fine, though. My feet are killing me! We ran in the rain to Chipotle, had some burritos, and then came back to our warm hotel room. We are exhausted and it’s only day one! To be fair we have been up since 5am and are only running on about 4 hours sleep. Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny so we are planning on doing a lot more outside activities! And of course I want some good yummy food!

All in all it was a pretty good first day. It’s too bad our parade was rained on but it’s all good! Thanks for reading!

Xoxo Hales

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