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Trip Report New York trip report October 2012

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My Mom and I used to go New York for mother/daughter weekends to attend Guiding Light activities when the show was still on the air. When they cancelled the show in 2009 I thought that there weren’t going to be any more fun events to lure us up to NYC, but I was mistaken. We went to a small get together in October right before the Annual Daytime Stars and Strikes charity bowling event which raises money for cancer.

We stayed at the Millennium Broadway on 44th St between Broadway and 6th. It was such a convenient location because it was within walking distance of almost everything on our schedule. I tried to use Priceline, but couldn’t get a reasonable bid accepted so I ended up going with Hotwire and got the hotel that I actually wanted in the first place. It was $300 per night which is significantly higher than I’ve paid in the past. Our room was on the 51st floor out of 52 floors. It was great because with only one floor above us, the elevator was never full when we wanted to go downstairs. My husband and I won the same hotel with Priceline several years ago and we were very satisfied with it.

My Mom’s health has gotten worse in the past six months and she has more difficulty walking so we couldn’t take Amtrak like we did in the past. I personally don’t ever want to drive in the city, so we booked a car service to drive us up and back. Our driver was a very nice gentleman who chit chatted with us during our drive and made the time go by pretty fast. Once we got to the hotel we were able to get into a room right away even though it was before the actual check in time.

We clustered our dining within a few blocks of the hotel this time because of my Mom’s mobility issues. I printed out an online map of the few blocks around the hotel and then put numbers on the map for locations of the various plays, restaurants and events that we had scheduled for our trip. It was an easy resource to reference while walking around the surrounding streets.

Our first night we ate at Osteria del Doge. It was pretty crowded and we had a table at the railing on the second floor. I wasn’t sure she was going to make it up and down their stairs. We weren’t too hungry since we ate a large lunch so we ended up ordering a salad and mussels. I don’t think I would return there.

That evening we had tickets for Nice Work If You Can Get It starring Matthew Broderick. I remember watching him in movies like War Games and Ferris Buehler’s Day Off when I was in high school, so the thought of seeing him on Broadway was exciting. I had heard so much about him when he was in the Producers but by the time I saw it, he had left the show. We really enjoyed Nice Work. The storyline with the mother reminded me of Thoroughly Modern Millie. After the show ended we stood in line at the stage door, got a picture with Matthew Broderick and he signed our Playbill.

The next day was Saturday and we had breakfast at Bond 45 which was again close to the hotel. We walked to the Cranberry Café which I had read about in Tripadvisor reviews of the hotel, but it looked more like a cafeteria style place. Their seating was up a steep wide staircase that my Mom couldn’t have navigated. So, off to Bond 45 we went for a small breakfast. I had a mimosa which made it even better.

We went back to the hotel and got ready for the day. Then we took a cab to the Plaza hotel. We didn’t have reservations because my Mom couldn’t decide if she was up to going or not in the weeks before we left. Of course a few days before we left, she asked if we were going to the Plaza for afternoon tea. We decided to just drop in and see if they would squeeze us in. Only about 60% of the restaurant was filled but they still wouldn’t give us a table. They told us to walk around and come back in a half hour so we walked around outside killing time and came back but they still wouldn’t give us a table. They told us again to come back in another half hour buit she was getting tired so we just left. They ended up saving me a lot of money.

We took a cab back to Times Square and saw a large crowd around a stage. It ended up being Ben Bailey from cash cab doing a promotion for a line of cars. They had a taxi on stage and he was quizzing audience members that were chosen. We stayed there a while and when they took a break we left for lunch.

We walked around the corner and had a late lunch/early dinner at Sophia’s on 46th Street. We both had gnocchi. The atmosphere was very nice and out of the Italian restaurants that we tried this trip, this one was one we liked the best although La Rivista is still my favorite NYC restaurant. The staff at Sophia’s was gathered at a table in the back socializing when we arrived but it was in between lunch and dinner so I guess they have to eat sometime too. The restaurant had music from the 1980’s playing in the background which amused me. I’m an eighties girl and I liked it but it might get on other people’s nerves after a while. We asked what their gelato selections were and they had pistachio, chocolate and vanilla. I’ve eaten gelato in Italy and in New York in the past, so I know what proper gelato tastes like. This was ice cream, not real gelato but it was still good.

After eating we walked back to Times Square to see if Ben Bailey came back and he was doing his Cash Cab thing on the stage. We didn’t get called up, but I took a few pictures. I’ve always said that I wanted to have a Ben Bailey or a Matt Bomer sighting when I was in NYC so this was exciting. Maybe next time maybe I’ll get to meander by a filming of White Collar. A girl can dream.

When we go to NYC we both like to see fun lighthearted musicals. I wanted to see The Book of Mormon but of course it was sold out. We couldn’t agree on another musical so we ended up seeing Mary Poppins. I have fond memories from my childhood of listening to a Mary Poppins album on an old record player with my Mom. We were both familiar with the music and the play was entertaining. The actor who played Burt did a bit where he walks up the side of the stage, walks on the ceiling of the stage and down the other side. It was a cool trick. I was worried that we would feel out of place since we didn’t have kids with us but there were a lot of adults there on their own. That was Saturday night and we walked back to the hotel in a very densely populated crowd. My Mom held onto me and it was difficult for her shuffle along with so many people.

The next morning we skipped breakfast and got ready for the scheduled events which were being held at the Bowlmor Lanes in Times Square which was only two blocks down from our hotel – very convenient! The last Guiding Light event we attended was the cruise in the summer of 2009. It was so nice to see the actors and other fans again that we’ve met over the years. Many of the actors that we thought were going to be there didn't show up but some of the ones that were on the show several years ago did attend.

After the bowling event we ambled or should I say limped (due to new boots which are a size too small) down the block to have our last dinner in NYC. We were both very tired and stopped at the first Italian restaurant that we saw which was Trattoria Dopo Teatro. We weren’t very impressed with this restaurant. due to oversalted food. I had a pumpkin pasta dish and my Mom and spaghetti.

After dinner we waited in the hotel lobby fand had a drink while waiting for our car service to come and pick us up. We stayed pretty close to the hotel the whole time bit it was a short fun filled trip.

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