Girl's NYC Trip Report

Mar 12th, 2005, 06:53 AM
  #1  
blh
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Girl's NYC Trip Report

Just returned from a four day trip to NYC with my two adult daughters - our first "girl's trip"! It was a great success - we had a wonderful time! Thanks for all the help on hotels, shows, etc. from this forum.

Left DFW on Friday, March 4 at 7:30 AM on American. Flight was okay - on time - we purchased food from au bon pain before boarding as we had researched and knew there was no food service (could purchase a snack for $3). Arrived on a little early in NYC, got cab quickly (cost was a quite a bit more than last year - $38 with toll and tip), and arrived at Hotel Belvedere about 12:45 pm. There was a small glitch at check-in - the reservation only showed for two people - although my confirmation showed three and I had called twice to confirm and had corrected the information each time. But they straightened it out (or so I thought until check-out) and gave us our room early which we appreciated. The room was very nice - fairly large - two double beds, had a dresser with mirror and a desk with mirror which was nice for three females. The room looked to have been recently updated - nice decor. The bathroom was very very small. But I have had smaller in Paris! The room also had a nice little kitchenette - sink, microwave, refrigerator, and coffee pot. We enjoyed having access to the small kitchen for storing drinks, snacks, etc. All in all, the hotel was great - the location was wonderful, the service was good. The only problem we had was the room was too warm for us at night and there were no controls. We called the desk and they sent someone up right away to adjust it (I'm not sure what they did - but it did seem a little cooler!)

As soon as we got our room, we left right away for a full afternoon of sightseeing. My younger daughter (mid-20's) and I had been to NYC twice before. However, the older daughter (early 30's) had never been. So, we were going to try to see as much as possible in 4 days! We walked to Central Park seeing many of the sights along the way. We were so excited to see the Gates were still up in Central Park! I had been so disappointed that they were coming down just days before our arrival - so we were glad to see many were still up. It was quite a nice sight - the bright color against the starkness of the trees and the snow covered ground in the background. We enjoyed seeing them and hearing lots of talk - we were told that they brought in a quarter of a billion dollars in tourist trade in the two weeks! Quite a sum of money for NYC for this time of year! I know there is a lot of controversy - just on Fodor's board alone! - but I was glad to get to see them anyway.

We went on to Serendipity for the frozen hot chocolate - and had a fun time. It's such a cute place - and the girl's were so excited to be there. Only had to wait about 15 min. which was okay - I just didn't want the 3 hour wait I had been hearing about! We had watched the movie a few weeks back (again), and it was fun to see it all.

Afterwards, we went into Dylan's Candy Bar on the corner, and bought candy for the 4-yr old grandaughter (we went a lot of places in her honor - and made a lot of purchases!!!) Such a cute place - any child would be excited to be there. Walked through Bloomingdale's across the street - then back up Fifth Ave., stopping to go into Trump Tower (so disappointed the the inside was in a state of repair). Then went into St. Patrick's - such a beautiful cathedral!

We tried to get into Carmine's for an early dinner before the theater, but they had a long wait (they wouldn't take a reservation for 3 when we called). We were looking for a restaurant and passed J.R.'s - I remembered someone mentioning it the week before on Fodor's (thanks!), so we in and got a table immediately. Then we looked around - at the next table we saw Hank Azaria having dinner! The girls were so excited!!! We found out later he is in Spamalot. Anyway, the dinner was very good - Italian - which we all like. We had tickets to I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change (also a recommendation on this forum). We enjoyed it so much - so funny - and very fast moving which was good as we were really tired (having been up since 4:30 am). We returned to the hotel after the show - a very full and fun day!
blh is offline  
Mar 12th, 2005, 07:23 AM
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Sounds like you had a great time so far, blh. I've been wanting to see "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change," as well. Looking forward to hearing about the rest of your stay.
Statia is offline  
Mar 12th, 2005, 07:25 AM
  #3  
blh
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Saturday - Left the hotel about 9 AM - took taxi to the Plaza Hotel. Enjoyed seeing the Plaza - bought some things in the gift shop, also several items in the Eloise gift shop for the granddaughter - she loves Eloise! Then walked around the area just enjoying the city - had brunch reservations at the Rock Cafe - we enjoyed the brunch very much and watching the skaters on the ice rink. It was a nice sunny day - we were so glad the sun was shinning! Afterwards, we took the subway to Canal Street. We spent the next couple of hours in Chinatown - just gawking and shopping. What an experience! We walked on through SoHo, stopping at several stores - had coffee at Starbucks. Then on to Greenwich Village - we just walked and enjoyed the area. Had pizza at John's which was very good and fun to do - had a great booth at the window where we could watch all the people go by. We walked some more in Greenwich, then took the subway back to Times Square. We went into ToysRUs and took pics of the ferris wheel for the granddaughter. Then we went up to the Broadway Bar at the Mariott Marquis where we got a great window table and just enjoyed the sights in Times Square below. Back early to hotel for the night.

Sunday - Had breakfast at Maison - very good. Then walked over to the American Girl store. This is the store for girl's!!!! We wished we had the granddaughter with us - she would have had a ball. We took pics of everything for her and bought clothes for her doll, etc. I loved the hair salon - so cute to see the doll's having their hair done! And what a crowd - everybody in NYC must go there on Sunday morning. The restaurant was full - as well as the store! My younger daughter had one of the first dolls from American Girl back over fifteen years ago - so we all enjoyed this store.

We enjoyed window shopping at the big department stores - none were open this early on Sunday. We walked to Times Square where we had a tour reserved on the NYC Party Shuttle Tour. I think this is a fairly new tour - found it on the internet. It lasted six hours - took us up the UWS and down the east side making several stops along the way. Then down through Chinatown, SoHo, Greenwich, etc. (no stops in this area). Stopped at Southstreet Seaport where we had time to get some lunch. Then on to Wall Street - where we got off again and walked through the area. Also stopped at the church (St. Paul's, I think) behind the WTC site which was very moving and intesting. Also went down to Ground Zero - I had been there last year, but it is still moving. From there we went to the Staten Island Ferry station - took the ferry out by the Statue of Libery and Ellis Island and back. The tour then returned us to Time Square going up the Lower East Side and on past the United Nations, etc. It was a good way to see a lot in a short amount of time - I would recommend it if this is your situation - not much time and want to see a lot. Not my favorite way to see things, but it worked well for us, especially on a cold day!

Barely got back in time for our show at 7pm- All Shook Up. It was just great! The music, the sets, everything! We loved it! After the show, we went to the stage door, and got autographs and pics with all the stars. The girls had so much fun and were so excited! Cheyenne Jackson is so handsome and just as nice as can be! One girl handed him a rose, and he acted so cute! Also, Cutis Holbrook from San Antonio, is really really cute - and very nice! We walked around the area and then returned to our hotel to get ready to go home - couldn't believe it was almost time to leave!
blh is offline  
Mar 12th, 2005, 07:44 AM
  #4  
blh
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Monday - Packed up everything and checked out of hotel. Only one small problem - the hotel had double billed us - two rooms per night! I called the desk and they had it straightened out by the time we got downstairs - guess it had to do with the mix up at check-in. They were very nice - kept our luggage for us until we were ready to go to the airport in the middle of the afternoon. We grabbed a quick bite at a Starbucks, then walked by Rockefeller Center. What a beautiful day! It was almost hot - we were taking all our cold weather attire off and stuffing it in shopping bags! Stopped to look in the windows as the Today Show was ending (10:00 am). Saw Katie Couric coming out of the building, and she stopped to sign autographs and take pics with everyone! We were so surprised - and were very excited to get to meet her and have a picture made with her! It was just a total surprise as we hadn't made the effort to go down to the Today show. But since we watch the show everyday, it was a great treat!

We walked on down to FAO Schwartz and looked around there before heading up to Grand Central Station. Somehow, we had missed this - and I wanted the daughter to see it. It is such a beautiful building and interesting to see. Then we took the subway up the UWS where we spend some time in the neighborhoods. Had lunch at Cafe Lalo (from You've Got Mail). We had fun - and the lunch was very good. Walked some more until we ran out of time - took subway back to hotel. Got taxi to the airport and had no problems - the flight was on time - arrived in Dallas about 8 PM where the SIL and granddaughter picked us up -she was very excited to see us and all her surprises!!! She does love surprises! We were glad to be home, of course, but couldn't help being a little sad that our big girl's trip was over so quickly. We decided this wouldn't be our last girl's outing - we were going on another trip someday soon!
blh is offline  
Mar 12th, 2005, 10:01 AM
  #5  
 
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Great report. You've given me some good ideas for our trip this summer. It sounds like you had a wonderful time.
KathrynT is offline  
Mar 12th, 2005, 12:07 PM
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Sounds like you had just a wonderful trip. I think you're the first one to mention the NYC Party Shuttle Tour. Can you tell us a little more about it? Type of bus, how may other people, where you picked it up, cost, how good was the guide, etc.? Thanks for sharing.
mclaurie is offline  
Mar 12th, 2005, 01:30 PM
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What a great trip report! I would be thrilled to run into Katie Couric.

I'd like more info on the tour also. I had planned to take a movie location tour the next time I was in the city, but this one sounds interesting too!
starrsville is offline  
Mar 12th, 2005, 01:30 PM
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Fun trip report! Sounds like you'll have to bring the granddaughter next time.
lisettemac is offline  
Mar 12th, 2005, 02:02 PM
  #9  
blh
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Thanks for the nice replies - yes, think we will have to take the granddaughter next trip - maybe when she's just a little older!

The New York Party Shuttle: 6 hour tour that we met on Seventh between 48th & 49th. Lasted 6 hours - cost: $50/per person. The tour guide was very good - gave a lot of good info. The vehicle was a passenger shuttle that held 33 people. It was somewhat crowded - no empty seats and everyone was bundled up with coats, etc. We did see quite a lot of NYC in that length of time - and since the weather was cold, it was nice to be inside (as opposed to being on top of one of the open air hop on/hop off buses.) The website is http://www.newyorkpartyshuttle.com/

We were happy that we did the tour - found it on the internet and reserved at the last minute before going. Had not planned on doing any kind of tour, but decided it would make seeing all the downtown area so much easier. I would advise being early - we got there fifteen minutes early and were the last ones there - so didn't get the best seats. But it worked out okay.
blh is offline  
Mar 13th, 2005, 05:03 PM
  #10  
 
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I took am planning a mother/daughter weekend in May and we are staying at the Belvedere. Thanks for all the useful information!
lro1012 is offline  
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