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Trip Report My Day Trip to NYC

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7 of us decided to head to NYC on Friday for the day. 2 of us had never been before and wanted to see as much as possible (Live in LA and had never been to the East Coast until this week). This left us going at a very fast pace and not the way that I would normally advise anybody doing, let alone myself doing it.

We parked at Milford Train Station and paid $6 for each car for the day. With 7 people, it probably would have been much cheaper than the $225 round trip for Metro North but this was much more relaxing and guaranteed no traffic issues along Merritt Parkway or 95 South. First train that we got on turned out to be a Local train and a very old train - beat up interior and very squeaky. When we found out that there was an Express Train right behind us, we got off in Stamford and transferred to the Express. This saved us around 45 minutes or so and got us into NYC around 7am - very early start but we had plenty of time for sight-seeing.

We got into Grand Central Station and headed over to Central Park for a little sightseeing, We passed a coffee shop (cannot remember the name at all) and I went in to have a coffee while a few people headed over. They went over to the Southern End of Central Park and walked around for a little while. They didn't see a lot of the park or as much as I would recommend but enough to realize how special of a place it is for being in the heart of a major city. They came back to meet up with the rest of us and we took the bus to the USS Intrepid. Thankfully, we had bought advanced tickets the night before because when we got there, the line was already growing for tickets. We walked right into the Will Call window and got in very quick. I really enjoyed this museum and walking around the Carrier. Lots of great planes on the FLight Deck as well as the Space Shuttle Enterprise. You cannot get too close to the Space Shuttle until its in its building that was damaged during the Hurricane. We also spent a lot of time looking at the SR-71 Blackbird on the Flight Deck.

Once completed with the Museum, we went over to Circle Line to see what Boat Tour was heading out and we bought tickets for the Semi-Circle Tour. This was a 2 hour cruise around the tip of Manhattan. Having done the 3 hour full island tour, the 2 hour cruise is all you really need to take to see all the major sites. This was a great tour. First, we got a great view of the Space Shuttle on the Flight Deck that you cannot get from land. Then it was past the Chelsea Sports Complex and the remnants of the White Star Pier where the Titanic was supposed to dock. On to the Statue of Liberty. Its always great to get views of the Statue. Felt eerie seeing nobody on the Island at all. Then we got great views of the Freedom Tower. The last time I had seen it was 2 years ago so its much higher and closer to completion. Great-looking building. We cruised up to Midtown getting some great pics of all the major sites. On the way back, it felt like the temp plummeted so we moved inside the cabin. It was a great 2 hour trip and I would recommend it for an easy way for an introduction of Manhattan.

We cabbed it to Chelsea Piers. A few of us went straight to Chelsea Brewing Company while a few went to the Driving Range. We each enjoyed a few of the beers and our lunch. I split the New Mexico Pizza with a friend of mine (jalapenos, beef, other spices). It was a good choice for lunch and a few drinks. We really did need this break and took advantage of it.

We then headed over to the building that they used for the Exterior shots on Friends (intersection of Grove and Bedford St). Hey, we are tourists!!! We hit a few different bars in this part of Greenwich Village including a German bar (Lederhosen on Grove St) and Jeckyll and Hydes.

We then took the subway to Rockefeller Center and spent a lot of time walking around here as did many other people...Very crowded. A few people went to the Top of the Rock - they really enjoyed it and spent a lot of time up there. I have done it a few times and opted not to. They walked right up and had minimal lines.

We then walked down to Times Square and walked around. Much too busy for my liking but still had to make the stop. Went to the Heartland Brewery for a nightcap then off to Grand Central Station and took the 11:30 Express Train back to Milford and then home. THis time we ended up on one of the new Metro North trains and it was a much needed improvement. Hopefully they can roll out a few more new ones.

Really fun day but felt like Mr Toad's Wild Ride through Manhattan. I usually like to just pick a couple of sites and go at a slower pace rather than a marathon tour but we laughed a lot and enjoyed it. The 2 from LA decided that they would rather live on the East Coast after this trip and are both graduating from college in a couple of months so they may look this way for jobs.

Video Collage of my pics
http://youtu.be/5AZwaXHRi_k

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