After a late start Monday morning we headed east from Stroudsburg, PA towards New York. We soon found ourselves going through the Delaware Gap and entering New Jersey. A sign mentioning a scenic overlook was spotted and our vehicle exited off to see what “scenic NJ” looked like.
Husband was taking pictures of me taking pictures and set our little Panasonic point and shoot down to snap a pic with his cell phone. I didn’t notice, and neither did anyone else, that he never picked it back up. About 5 minutes after we got back on the highway husband suddenly started scrambling about frantically looking for something. I heard some swear words emit from his mouth as he turned to admit to me that he had left our brand new p&s camera we’d bought for its waterproof capabilities on a ledge of a NJ overlook.
We found a place to reverse our direction and headed back to the overlook to see if, by a miracle, no one had taken our camera. We finally got back to the overlook almost 30 minutes after we left it and a group of teens was standing there perusing through the photos on our camera. They instantly turned the camera over to husband who rewarded them with a ten spot. We got back on the road and resumed our trip eastward.
I was driving this leg of the journey and as we approached the New York/New Jersey border I had no idea what awaited me as I paid the toll to enter the Lincoln Tunnel. Anyone who has driven this knows the sight that hit me as I entered, has felt the nervousness that comes over you as you realize just how narrow the tunnel is. Keep in mind I was in a rental vehicle much larger than my normal tiny Honda Civic and suddenly I was finding myself twisting and turning on narrow lanes as cars came speeding past me in the opposite lane, mere inches from my side mirror. An unforgiving wall on my right inspired a white-knuckled couple of minutes until I once again burst into the light of day and slightly wider lanes.
I thought the worst was behind me, I had no idea the traffic I was about to enter as Manhattan began to surround me in her crowded embrace. Our hotel was off of 36th right in Herald Square, not a great place to be driving if you hate people swerving in front of you, people stepping out into the middle of oncoming traffic and all sorts of horns and sirens everywhere. I made it to the hotel ok, vehicle intact, ready to check in and start exploring NYC.
Husband and I took a walk to Grand Central where I found the soup stand I had eaten at 7 years ago and I happily got myself some creamy tomato soup once again. It was as delicious as I remembered. As we came back out onto the street it started raining. We waited a bit for the rain to subside and then headed back to the hotel to pick up my brother and find some pizza. Grabbed some cheap slices down the street from the hotel and husband declared it one of the best birthday dinners he’d ever had.
After dinner husband wanted to head to the Empire State Building to go up to the top. We bought the tickets right outside which came with a free sightseeing cruise for the next day. Sadly the Empire State Building employees didn’t pay attention to our tickets and even though we’d paid to go all the way to the very top we found ourselves relegated to the 86th floor with everyone else. I managed to get some pretty good shots of the city at night, but husband was so upset about the ticket snafu and the employee’s complete lack of caring that it put a bit of a damper in the evening.
Eventually got to bed around 1am and I had set my alarm for 5am so I could get up early and head to Central Park for sunrise pictures. The boys wouldn’t get up though so we scrapped sunrise pics and opted to sleep till 6:45am instead. Got up and grabbed some free breakfast and then walked the 20 some blocks down 5th till we hit the Park. Wandered a bit, saw the lake, walked through Strawberry Field and then headed back towards the hotel. I asked to stop at the NYPL so I could peek inside.
That library has gorgeous architecture, such a feeling of history and air conditioning. I dragged husband into a small room where there were some historical relics related to the sinking of the Lusitania and began studying the display cases. A nice gentleman in a suit struck up a conversation with me almost immediately. I remember thinking maybe he worked at the library so I started chatting with him. He asked my name and I gave it. We shook hands as I asked him his name. He gave me his name and we resumed the general conversation about patriotism and war. I had no idea what was going on so I tried to politely disengage. He nervously asked me if I had come with anyone and I turned and pointed at husband. He immediately wandered away. Husband laughed.
We left the library and continued our trek back to the hotel. After a brief rest, brother and I got ready to head out on the sightseeing ferry tour. Husband dropped us off at the pier and soon brother and I found ourselves out on the Hudson floating past the Freedom Tower, Statue of Liberty and several other sights. After the boat ride husband picked us up and we headed across the bridge into Brooklyn to get some food.
Ate at BareBurger, which was delicious!, and then we wandered the streets of Brooklyn for a bit before heading to the park between the bridges so I could get my shots of both the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges as the sun set. Eventually we had to leave Brooklyn and head back to the hotel. We wandered a couple blocks away looking for a place to grab dinner. I saw a sign on the corner advertising a Psychic and I made a comment that I’d like to get a reading. We had no idea where the psychic was however so we just kept wandering the block reading the menus of the various restaurants dotting the street.
As I discovered a place I wanted to eat at brother noticed the door to the psychic. He insisted I go get a reading and hit the buzzer for #3. Soon the door buzzed and we walked up some narrow steep stairs till we reached the door to the psychic. I tried the knob and the door was locked. I knocked and no one came to the door. Brother hit the doorbell. We heard the chime but still no one came to the door. We stood there a couple of minutes and then headed back downstairs. Apparently I had discovered someone in New York that didn’t want my money lol. We headed into O’Reilly’s and had a delicious meal. I finally tried an anchovy as the caesar salad was covered in them and I drank my first gluten-free beer.
After our late dinner we headed back to the hotel to pack up, shower and get to sleep so we could get up early and head to Philly (which we were supposed to have already been in but we extended our NYC stay so we could spend the day doing whatever we wanted in the city) to meet up with E who I’m looking forward to seeing shortly! I can’t wait to see what Philadelphia has in store for us.