Thursday, July 14, 2011

New York City Part 2: Where’s Hanna?

Hello again readers! I hope you are all having a fabulous week. I hope it has been cooler where you are than it has been here! We are having 108 degree temperatures with the heat index into the 110s! That is too hot for me!

 I also wanted to remind my winners from the NYC Giveaway to email me your mailing address so that I may send out your prize!

This may be one of my favorite memories from our New York City trip. I think I mentioned in my last post how much I loved the subway system!
Amber was constantly yelling at me to stand away from the track even though I was clearly behind the caution area. We completely changed rolls during this trip, I am usually the worrier and Amber is more care-free. Look how far back I was! No need to worry!

 Although some stations smelled of urine and possibly decaying bodies, the overall experience was fun! It is much cheaper than taking a cab everywhere we needed to go and we felt relatively safe. Please note that we only visited the nice areas of NYC. We did not ride the subway to the Bronx or any other area that is mentioned in a rap song. We stuck to Manhattan, more specifically the Upper East & West Side, Times Square, SoHo and the financial District; we did not visit Brooklyn, Queens or New Jersey!  
This should help give a general idea of where everything is in NYC!

We did visit Chinatown, which wasn’t scary per say, but it was a little crazy! Our only problem was our inability to read a map. Luckily one of Amber’s friends had given her a map of Manhattan and the subway system. This became our LIFESAVER, but it only worked when we knew which direction we were heading, which rarely happened!
This is when I ask Amber if she has seen the movie Bone Collector. I told her this looks just like the movie! She then had a small panic attack!

We had a great tip from one of our friends telling us about this TKTS stand. It is a small stand that sells discounted tickets for Broadway shows playing that day. Since we had such a great experience at How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying starring Daniel Radcliff aka Harry Potter, we wanted to try to see another show. How to Succeed was amazing!

 You should definitely go see it! Especially while Daniel Radcliff is the lead! I really wanted to see Wicked, but they were completely sold out weeks before we were there! The TKTS booth we were going to try to find was located in the Financial District. Our hotel was basically in Times Square. We decided to take the “blue train” Which in New Yorker is the A, C or E train. (Side Note: We asked our hotel what would be the fastest way to the blue train and he just started laughing and told us that the route on the map is blue, the train is not called the blue train it is called the A Train!)
This is the map from our hotel to the TKTS booth. It is almost a straight shot, or so we thought. . .

We finally get to the station and take the C train. We are heading toward a stop that we still haven’t decided if we wanted to exit and walk toward the booth or go past the booth and walk back. Once the train stops we stall for a minute deciding if we want to exit. We finally decided to get off the train! Unfortunately once we start exiting the train the doors start closing. Now for future reference if the doors start closing on you, you just have to forcibly push them open. It should also be noted that you can not step back and wait for them to close and then try to open them, which will not work. We found this out the hard way, with Amber & I on the platform and Hanna on the train. We immediately tell Hanna to get off at the next stop. Amber & I take the next train, which was an A train and exit at the next stop. We look around and we do not see Hanna. This is the part when I start to panic. I just lost my underage sister-in-law on her first trip anywhere.

Amazingly I had cell phone service on the platform, which is crazy since we were 2 stories underground and I haven’t been able to get service on the subway this whole time! My phone started ringing and it was Hanna. She asked where we were and we told her that we were on the exit we told her to take. I asked her the street name where the train stopped and she said she didn’t know.
All subway exits have signs on the wall telling you where you are. Like this one for the Natural History Museum.

 We then decided that the C train must have skipped this stop since she was clearly not on the platform. Amber & I take the next C train to the next stop. This is when Hanna calls again and asked where we were. We told her we had just gotten off at the next exit. Hanna then tells us that she is on the corner of 6th and Greenwich Ave. (Pronounced GREN-ich, not Green-wich (Amber!)). (Side Note: This happened to be Pride Weekend! Greenwich Village happens to be the birthplace of Gay Pride. Hanna comes from a VERY conservative family; this was not an area we wanted to expose her too so soon on her first big trip!) 

See, this was the advertisements for Pride Week in Greenwich!

Hanna had gone above ground that is why we did not see her at the first exit. Now we have to backtrack to find her. I finally decide that it would be faster if we just hailed a cab! So we take a cab 8 blocks to Greenwich and 6th! What we did not realize is that there is a Greenwich Ave and a Greenwich Street. We were apparently on Greenwich Street. This happened to only be a few blocks from where we hailed the taxi! So now we have to go back 8 blocks plus the 3 to the actual Greenwich Ave. In the meantime, Hanna keeps changing her location. She keeps moving to different corners and we are apparently having a problem with directions so I eventually tell (and by tell I mean yell at) her to stop moving!  After multiple wrong turns we finally find Hanna, in the middle of Pride weekend in the middle of Pride Central. I should also share that Greenwich happens to be a very nice neighborhood. If you are going to lose a 17 year old girl, Greenwich Village would be the place to do so.
Washington Square Park, the heart of Greenwich

After our reunion, I asked Hanna if she had told her Mom or Jacob, her brother-my husband, that she was lost. She exclaimed there was no way she was telling her Mom or Jacob because she didn’t want to get in trouble for not keeping up. I completely agreed with this assessment as I did not want to be in trouble for being “irresponsible” for leaving Hanna on the subway. Afterward we had a good laugh that Hanna got lost on the subway! We then decided that one of our funniest times would not be able to be told for fear of retribution from her parents or Jacob, not that I am scared of either!

After reaching the TKTS booth we decided that we had wasted too much time getting lost that we would not have time to see another show and to see all of the landmarks we had wanted to see. So we headed uptown to get a few touristy things accomplished. Shortly after that incident we implemented a new subway safety rule. If you get left on a train, take the next exit and just go directly above ground to call. Luckily we did not get lost or lose one another for the remainder of the trip!

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend! I want to wish my precious sister a Very Happy Birthday this weekend! Love you seester!
Happy Birthday Jordan!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

New York City, We’re Famous NOW!

Hello my favorite little nuggets! I hope you all had a fabulous Fourth of July! We did not shoot any fireworks this year mainly because it has been so dry and we were just issued a burn ban, but a little because the fountains and smoke bombs lost their appeal when I was 8 years old and the really great fireworks are so expensive! I would much rather buy something I can use, like a Harry Potter wand! Ok I did not buy that, but I will be purchasing one soon. As soon as I go to Harry Potter World!
 Just arrived in NYC! So excited! Hanna, Amber & Me!

I wanted to share some fun stories from our NYC trip. This will have to be a 3 part series, because I have a few stories that need their own posts. I am starting with my favorite story. The one where I became FAMOUS!! AHHH! Well I keep telling people I am famous, but no one really believes me. On to the story. . .

When planning our trip to NYC we knew we wanted to attend some type of live taping. Unfortunately we were unable to get tickets to anything, but then I remembered that every Friday, during the summer, Good Morning America has their Summer Concert Series. 

This is a totally free event, which is fabulous because that meant more shopping money. Plus the artists are high profile! Just this year they have featured Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Selena Gomez, Nicki Minaj, Brad Paisley and Miranda Lambert! We were so lucky to be there the week Florence & the Machine was performing! If you don’t know of Florence & the Machine, check them out here, they are pretty amazing!

 Florence & the Machine! 
 Florence & the Machine!
Florence & the Machine!

The down side to the Summer Concert Series is that you have to be in Central Park at 6:15 AM! That is 5:15 AM central time, which is the time zone that we run on! That meant getting up at 5:00 AM ET! Now I can count on 1 hand how many times I have chosen to get up that early, to be honest I can probably count on a few fingers because I never get up that early! But we really wanted to experience a live show so this was our only option. We called the hotel front desk for a wake up call at 5:00 AM. Our phone rang at 5:00 AM on the dot, they were pretty accurate! I have to quickly explain our sleeping arrangement so that this story will make sense. Upon our arrival to our hotel we were told that the roll away bed we had requested did not exist. Only the suites had roll away couches. They were out of suites for that night so they “upgraded” us to a room with 2 twin beds instead of 1 full bed. Please also remember that there were 2.5 adults in this room, myself, my best fran Amber and my sister-in-law Hanna who is 17! Upon entering our room we used a little southern engineering and pushed the beds together. This gave us a king sized bed.
Our Lovely and surprisingly comfortable bed!

Still small, but it would work! Since I was the common link between all of us I volunteered to sleep on the crack. So Hanna was on the outside closest to the wall and Amber was on the outside closest to the rest of the room. Since Amber was the only one with any clear path to the phone she was volunteered to be the answerer. Amber was apparently still asleep she couldn’t figure out how to answer the phone. It eventually stopped ringing and she climbed back into bed. About 3 minutes later it started ringing again and she ran over to the phone and she still didn’t figure out that she had to push the line and then pick up the phone. So the phone eventually stopped ringing and she crawled back in bed. We were all lying there debating if we really wanted to go to the concert or if we wanted to sleep in when all of a sudden there was a knock on our door. Apparently the front desk thought we slept through the wake up call. Amber then exclaimed, loudly I might add, that she was not getting up again, therefore I shouted, “We’re Awake!” and the hotel staff squeaked out an “ok, thank you” and hurried down the hall. Our morning was not starting off so great, not to mention that is was raining & dreary outside. 
Look how gross it was outside!

We decided to get up and head to central park despite the rain and despite the fact that it looked like we just rolled out of bed. Hanna & Amber had no make up on and it looked like my hair was housing a small colony of rats! We finally arrived at central park and stood toward the back where we see they are setting up 2 tables with what looks like food will be served. We were hoping for breakfast! What we thought would be food turned into a segment where 2 families cut into cakes to find out the gender of their baby. I should also mention that I called it; I said they would both be girls and they were in fact both girls! I have ESP! We were right behind the families, but they were on a platform so you couldn’t really see us on TV. People started leaving and crowding the stage to see Florence

See, these Mystery Chairs? We could touch them! Nothing between us and the chairs!

We heard some whispers that the “stars” would be sitting there. We were thinking that the “stars” would be George Stephanopoulos, Robin Roberts, Josh Elliott and Lara Spencer.

My favorite of Lara Spencer! You never know when you will have your picture taken, haha! She was really sweet and sooo skinny! 

Josh Elliot, Yum! 

 It would be totally fine if Josh Elliot was sitting there, he is so handsome. . . Sam Champion was on location in Florida so he would be missing, that would be the 4 chairs, right? Nope, that is not who would be gracing us with their presence. It would be the stars from the upcoming movie Horrible Bosses! This is when we realized that Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day were going to be directly in front of us! This also happened to be when we realized that we had put ZERO effort into getting ready that morning and were about to be on national television. . 

We were of course star struck! They were adorable and really nice, not like some stars that completely ignore their fans. So the entire interview lasted about 7 minutes. You can watch our television debut here

Look how excited we were! Haha

Although we looked a little rough we had a blast. We even interacted with the guys. In fact, my best fran Amber even said this to them, “Do you guys like action?” To which I responded, “Wait, what?!” Apparently she was a little tongue tied and meant to ask, “Do you like getting this reaction from fans (like the crazy old lady screaming her head off)? Luckily the guys laughed, yes they laughed at us! 

Here are Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day laughing at Amber!

The concert was great, but the highlight was getting to see these handsome guys!

Charlie Day

Jason Bateman

Jason Sudeikis

It was also nice for our parents to see that we were still alive! Haha we were so thankful we rolled our lazy butts out of bed in time to make our TV debut!

Here is Hanna in the Subway with our new best friends! 

I hope you all have a fabulous week! I will be blogging the next part in this series next week. It may or may not have to do with our inability to read a map and the subway system. . . 

Friday, July 1, 2011

New York City Giveaway WINNERS!

Hello Readers! I am back from NYC and I can report that it was AMAZING! I am totally ready to move to that city! I know I said I was going to announce the winners yesterday, but I was a little busy playing catch up at work! So because I made you all wait, I am letting everyone be a winner! YAY!! Please send your mailing address to:
And the winners are:
Bitty Bites: Jordan C & Lou

NY Style Cookies: Jordan T

Cupcake Treat for 2: Kenzie E & Casey

A big thanks to TheFetchingHound, StayCalmCupcake and SimplySweetCakes for being so awesome to work with. If you didn’t win their product, stop by and purchase something for yourself!

Thanks again for entering readers! I will share the NYC update soon!
Have a great 4th of July!!