This may be a little bit of a long post, but I can't leave anything out! After leaving Philadelphia around noon on Tuesday, we headed into NYC. It's only about a 1.5 hour drive. I've seen pictures of the New York skyline my whole life, and I've gotta say, it way more amazing seeing it in real life! The closer we got, the more excited we got.
As excited as we were to just get into the city, we had to check into our hotel first. Hotels in New York are super expensive and parking costs like $75 a night! So we found a great deal at a place in Jersey with free parking and we just decided to ride public transportation into the city because I was not about to drive my car in Manhattan! No way!
So we got to the hotel around 3 and we had tickets for Wicked which started at 7. We were trying to decide the best way to go about everything. We had bought cute new dresses and shoes to go to Broadway but we didn't want to carry them around or have any extra bags, so we just changed into our dresses at the hotel and decided just to wear them since we only had a few hours til the show started..... bad idea.... Our feet were hurting sooo bad by the end of the night. But I'll get back to that.
We had a friend in our ward that had just gone to New York a couple weeks before us and she was telling us the best places to park. She said to go to Liberty State Park and take the ferry to the Statue of Liberty and then over into the city. So that's what we did. However, it caused some problems later on :( We pulled into the parking lot and it was only $5 to park which was great for New York, and I asked the lady what time the lot closed. She said "It closes at 10, there isn't 24 hour parking". I remember thinking, We'll be cutting it close.... our show starts at 7, but we'll probably be okay. But I'll get back to that too....
We got on the ferry for the Statue of Liberty. It made a stop at Ellis Island first, but we didn't get off. I would like to see that one day though. We got to the statue and I was surprised at how small it was. It really isn't that big, but it was still so cool!
View of New York from the ferry
Got back on the ferry that took us over to Manhattan. It let us off at Battery Park, the southern most part of the island. We finally set foot in New York City. We got on the subway and took it to the Times Square station. Coming up from underground into the light of Times Square is probably one of my favorite moments I've ever had. Brittany and I just looked at each other and let out a little squeal.
We ate at Olive Garden in Times Square. (It's my favorite restaurant, no matter where I am. haha) It's not very new and exciting, but we knew we could afford it. After dinner we sat on the red steps for a few minutes and just soaked it all in, then we walked over to the Gershwin Theater, where Wicked shows.
So now we get back to the hurt feet and parking in New Jersey. You walk - a lot!- in New York. And in our shoes, 2 blocks felt like 2 miles. If you ever go to New York, I would NOT recommend wearing high heels no matter how long you're going to be there.
We got to the theater and asked the usher how long the play was and he told us 2 hours and 45 minutes including intermission! If you remember, we were told the parking lot -in New Jersey-where our car was at closed at 10. So that meant if we staying for the whole show we would have 15 minutes to walk 2 blocks to the subway station, then transfer to the train and go under the bay and into New Jersey, then transfer again to the light rail and get back to our car.... yeah, not gonna happen!
We decided that unfortunately we would have to leave the show about a half hour early and hope that we had time to make it back. Wicked was incredible! Oh my gosh, it was one of the hardest things I've ever done, getting up and leaving the theater with 30 minutes still left of the show.
The set of Wicked. We had really good seats. But we almost got in trouble for taking this picture. lol.
Our journey back to the car did not turn out in our favor. We were so worried about making it back before 10 that we were just running around like chickens with our heads cut off. We went to the wrong subway station and then we couldn't find the light rail station in New Jersey. Luckily people were very nice and were willing to give us directions. We came across a hotel in Jersey that had a suspicious car parked out front. The guy in the car could tell we were in a hurry, and he asked us if we wanted a ride. This is how the conversation went:
Guy: "You need a ride?"
Me: "No, we don't need a ride"
Guy: "Are you sure? I am a taxi service. I can take you"
Me: sounding very suspicious -"You're a taxi service? This isn't a taxi cab."
Guy: "Okay, I'm a limo service. See, I have a GPS. I usually charge $200, but for you, just $30"
Brittany proceeds to try and get in the car.... oh, silly girl she is.
Me: stopping Brittany "No we'll just walk, but thanks"
And then we walked away. Now, he may have been telling the truth, but I wasn't about to take my chances in New Jersey.... I've heard stories. We did borrow some pepper spray from our co-worker Leah, so that made me feel a little safer. So at this point it's about 10:20 and we are FREAKING OUT. I was so worried that my car was going to be booted or towed and I was going to have to shell out a ton of money. And after switching trains 3 times and walking through a couple parks, we finally got to the parking lot. There was a police car parked on the road by the lot and I went over and talked to them. This conversation went like this:
Me: "Our car is parked in this parking lot"
Me: "They told us the parking lot closes at 10"
Cops: "Oh, you can still get out of the parking lot after 10, you just can't get in"
You can imagine how our poor little hearts sank after hearing those words :( We rushed and worried and left our BROADWAY SHOW early to get back and we didn't even have to. One of the most disappointing moments of my life. Feel free to be sad for us, because I am still sad (probably always will be). We went back to the hotel and read a summary of how the show ended on Wikipedia. SO not fun!
Brittany took her shoes off and this is what her tights looked like at the end of the night. They went straight in the garbage
We were very happy/relieved to see the car.
The next day is a lot less stressful, but it will probably have to be it's own post because this one turned out really long!