nyc: day 1

I recently went to New York with my mom and sister to celebrate mom’s 50th birthday.  Here’s a look at our trip!

Sunday, 30 September 2012

1:00am Go to bed.
3:45am Wake up.  For real.  That sucked.  I took a shuttle from my house to the airport since I had an early flight (7am).  We have church at 9:30 and if the kids had gotten up super early, church would have been a nightmare!  My husband was conducting the meeting so the kids sat with some friends of ours.  I was kind of nervous since it was so early but the driver was neither a rapist or a killer, so that was nice.

I flew with Southwest (they don’t open their ticket counter until 6am.  Good thing I got there at 5.)  As of now, you can check 2 bags with them at no cost.  TSA was cracking down in SLC on the rule that you can only have ONE 1 quart bag for any liquids and gels in your carry-on.  I had to say good-bye to 5-6 things, lame.  I ended up buying a one-way ticket from SLC to Newark and then another one-way, on a different airline, from JFK to SLC.  It was cheaper and I could spend more time in the city that way.  Next time, I’ll try to fly into JFK because you can take the AirTrain and then the subway to Midtown.  It only costs $5 for the AirTrain and then you just use your MetroCard to ride the subway.  This isn’t a great idea if you have a ton of luggage or if your hotel is really far from a subway stop.

TAXI:

We flew into Newark, New Jersey.  It’s super close to Manhattan.  We shared a cab.  I chose a cab over a shuttle because I read lots of mixed reviews about the shuttles.  Like, they don’t show up, they leave with your bags still on board, drivers are MEAN, etc.  Everything I read said to just cough up the few extra bucks for a cab.  It cost us $95 total ($61 for the ride, $5 credit card fee, $17 tolls, $12 tip).  Cabs can only take 3 people max and fit about 3 suitcases.  It’s not so pricey if you share but I wouldn’t do it alone.

If you are easily car sick, the ride will get you.  I was already a little off from the airplane and the cab almost made me lose it a few times.  The driver was weaving, cutting people off, speeding, etc.  I never felt like I was in danger, just like I might puke.

The nice thing about a cab is that the driver deals with your luggage and drops you off right at your hotel.  Some shuttles drop off at bus terminals so you have to drag your luggage through the crowds of people for a few blocks or through the subway.

In the taxi, heading to Manhattan!
Entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel.
Inside the Lincoln Tunnel.

SUBWAY:

We purchased 7-day MetroCards for $30 which got us everywhere we wanted to go :)  The first two days were a little rough with figuring out where we were and where we were going and how to do it but once I figured it out, I had it down!  Eventually, I didn’t have to pull the map out every 20 seconds.

So, we were supposed to go to Lombardi’s Pizza for dinner.  Due to a delayed flight, carsickness, and me not exactly having the subway/map of New York totally figured out, we ran out of time :(  So we went to Sbarro in Times Square.  (I’m going to go get me a New York slice!  Any Office fans out there?)

Mama Sbarro’s

HOTEL:

The Hotel Edison
228 West 47th Street (Between 8th and Broadway)
New York, NY

Okay, keep in mind I’m a bit of a hotel snob.  The Edison is listed as a 3 star hotel and I would agree but on the very low end of 3.  It is currently undergoing renovations (we were never bothered) and we stayed in an unrenovated room.  It was tired.  It really needed new carpet, tile, linens, drapes, wall paper, etc.  The decor is Art Deco (think Empire State Building).

The staff was very kind and helpful.  If you arrive before check-in (3:00pm) or if you leave after check-out (12:00pm) the bellmen will store your luggage for $0.50 per bag.  I used this service when I checked out so I could explore without the burden of dragging a suitcase around.

I called ahead to ask about laundry services and was told they had coin-operated machines.  I planned to do a load half-way into the trip to save room in my suitcase.  They don’t have coin op machines so I got to wear dirty clothes and extra deodorant and perfume a few days.  They will send your laundry out to be washed, if you want, but I didn’t feel like I had enough to make it worth it.

There were three reasons I chose this hotel.
1. BUDGET- Our budget was pretty small and this was the cheapest place I found that was still close to the touristy action.  They don’t charge for extra people, unless you need a roll-away bed.  We paid $332.21 per night.  I booked it through Expedia.com.
2.  LOCATION- We were literally steps from Times Square, theatres, and restaurants.  We were about 7 minutes from the subway and Rockefeller Center.  The location was perfect.
3.  SIZE- I went with my mom and sister which meant there would be bed sharing.  We are grown-ups and Queen-sized beds were a must.  Most hotels had 1 King or Queen or 2 Full-sized beds.  This was one of the only hotels that offered 2 Queens.

This is the view of the hotel from Broadway/Times Square.
View of the room.  This is at the end of the trip, sorry for the mess!
View of the hall from the room.  The bathroom is on the left, small closet on the right.

Welcome to the bathroom.  The shower was an adventure.  It would switch between a normal temperature and scalding hot with no sort of warning or pattern.  Also, there was no fan.  When I showered, the steam would collect all over the ceiling and then it would ‘rain’ on anyone who needed to be in there.

The bathroom was itty bitty!
Sink view of the bathroom.
This is the larger closet, in the room.
This is the smaller closet, in the hall, near the door.

We took the subway to Trader Joe’s to pick up some groceries.  This was one thing that didn’t really work out.  In trying to be budget friendly, I figured we could just buy a few things for quick breakfasts and lunches.  We didn’t have a fridge and New York is humid.  The produce had seen better days.  We decided to just eat out some of the days and some of our groceries went to waste.  Next time, I’ll get a room with a fridge!

By the end of the day we were EXHAUSTED!  I had no problem falling right to sleep.  I never woke up because of noise, either outside or from the hall.

Stay tuned for our second day…I saw FAMOUS PEOPLE!!!

nyc: day 2
nyc: restaurant reviews

 

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Comments

  1. Where do we find the nyc passes that you keep talking about? thank you for the excellent info!

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