Just back from NY - trip report

Old Nov 19th, 2002, 07:38 PM
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Just back from NY - trip report

My mother and I just got back from NY today. We had a wonderful time. What a fabulous city. It rained 2 out of the 3 days we were there, but we didn't let it stop us. We found most everyone friendly and helpful and the city clean. We stayed at the Marriott New York Eastside, which was very nice for the price we paid. I'd arranged the flight and hotel through Priceline and would highly recommend it. Here is what we were able to fit into 3 days:
SAT - Took the ferry to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Caught a matinee for "The Producers" (got the tickets on ebay since the show was sold out). Ate dinner at Johnnie's Restaurant in the theater district. This restaurant was owned by the ebay seller's uncle, and that is where we'd arranged to pick up the tickets. Good Italian food for cheap ($15 pre fixe). Caught the evening performance for "Thoroughly Modern Millie". Would recommend both shows! We especially liked Millie for the dancing (Mom is a dancer). Afterwards, we shopped at Toys R Us for the kids. What a fun store!
Sunday - Met a Big Apple Greeter to see downtown and the financial district, including many churches along the way and the World Trade Center site. She was very familiar with the area and was a very interesting person. She shared so many personal experiences, including how 9-11 impacted her life. However, she was new to the job and not as familiar with bus schedules as we'd hoped. We walked a little more than we wanted since my mom is recovering from a broken heel. The greeter apologized profusely. We had high tea later at the Pierre (thanks for the suggestion tweedy). This was a fun experience. The food was good, the tea delicious, and the experience intriguing. We then visited Rockefeller Center for a drink at the Rock Center Cafe. It was pouring rain and we laughed at the brave people in the ice rink that looked more like a swimming pool. To end the day, we went to see the "Christmas Spectacular with the Rockettes". This was a fun show. I have to bring my kids back to see it sometime.
Mon. - We were going to do the downtown loop on Grayline, but felt like we'd seen most of what we wanted on Sunday with the greeter. After breakfast we went to Grand Central Station. What a beautiful piece of architecture! Then we went back to Ellis Island after sleeping in. We'd been in a rush the first day and needed more time. This can take about 4-5 hours if you are really interested. We found my great-grandparents' names on the immigrant wall. This was a little more time than I wanted to spend, but my it was the highlight of the trip for my mom. We ended our trip with a dinner cruise with World Yacht. The food and service was good. Originally they were going to seat us in an undesirable location, but moved us when asked. The city lights were beautiful! One note of caution - there were not taxis outside waiting when we disembarked as we'd heard there would be. There were tour buses and limos waiting for certain people, but no taxis. It took us half an hour to get one and we were getting a little nervous waiting. All ended well, though, and we fit in 3 hours of sleep before we had to head to the airport for the early flight home. I will definitely return to NYC. I went mostly for the shows, and was not disappointed in any of them. What's more, I was mesmerized by the excitement and beauty of this great city. Thanks for all of the feedback. It helped us plan for a great trip! We couldn't do everything recommended due to time constraints, but I've printed them and will keep them in a file for a return trip to The City.
Old Nov 19th, 2002, 07:51 PM
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Hi Holly - Thanks so much for posting your trip report, sounds like you and your Mom really had a great time. I'm glad you were able to do so much, especially with your Mom's restrictions. Wasn't the museum at Ellis Island fabulous? I thought it was very well done, and you're right - plan at least 4-5 hours. Although you spent more time there that you had planned on (glad your Mom liked it so much!) you were smart to break up your visit, after 4 hours of reading, etc. you do tend to "glaze over".

What kind of flight times did you get with Priceline? How many connections? I have used PL for hotels, but I haven't been brave enough to bid on flights.

Interesting that there weren't cabs waiting after the cruise, good that you mentioned it for others who are planning to take the dinner cruise too. I don't blame you for being a bit nervous while waiting. I'm sure you used your head and that you were perfectly safe, but as you eluded to, it's not a place where you would choose to hang out late at night!

Where else did you eat? It's always good to hear recommendations for reasonably priced restaurants near the theater district.

Thanks again for posting - glad you and your Mom had such a special time.
Old Nov 19th, 2002, 09:17 PM
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So happy to hear what a great time you and your Mom had! You sound like my twin...my Mom and I are also going next week for a short get away while my husband is out of town. I'm so excited and have similar things planned as you. I too bought some last minute tickets (to Hairspray) on ebay.com at a very reasonable price for the matinee....are you my long lost twin?...haha! I hope we have the same great experience and you did. Thanks for your posting! I'm getting prepared for the cold weather, I live in So. Calif. and it's been in the mid 80's for the past week, but I'm ready!!!
Old Nov 21st, 2002, 08:12 AM
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I posted a reply yesterday, but I guess it didn't go through. I'll try again.
SEH - Priceline had us fly out at 1:30PM and arrive at 11:30PM, whcih wasn't too bad since we were still on CA time. However, we left NY at 6:00AM, and that was really hard since we'd been up late the night before trying to fit every last thing in that we'd wanted to see and do. We arrived home at 11:30AM. We had a 1 hour layover coming and going, first in St. Louis and then in Dallas. I still think it was worth it to leave early to get the rates we did. We flew from CA to NY for $268RT each.
I can't help you very much with good places to eat. I got a lot of good suggestions and made reservations for Beccos, the Oyster Bar, and Rock Center Cafe, but canceled them because we were having too much fun in other areas and couldn't make it back in time. We ended up mostly eating where it was convenient.
Cathy - I hope you and your mom have a wonderful time. My mom said she would never, ever forget it. I would suggest bringing ear muffs and a warm scarf, as well as gloves and a wool coat. It was cold!
Old Nov 21st, 2002, 08:32 AM
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Holly: Glad to hear you had such a great trip, I totally know what your talking about in eating where you happen to be. We gave up making reservations while on vacation, it tends to control what you do and where you go. You find yourself always looking at your watch and wondering if you will make the reservation time. We usually eat when we are hungry and wherever we find ourselves.

Johnnie's in the theater district is an institution and has been around 40 years. Anthony, the bartender and host, is right out of the Sopranos.
Old Nov 21st, 2002, 09:56 AM
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I hope World Yacht is not falling down in its standards. Usually they have courtesy shuttles waiting there to take people back to midtown locations and hotels. If anyone is going in the future, ask the staff when disembarking. It is difficult to get a cab from that area of town and quite a long walk.
Old Nov 21st, 2002, 10:37 AM
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Sounds like you had a great time - how special for you and your Mom! Can you comment on Johnnies a little more? (i.e. price, menu, food, wait time etc.) I realize that some may scoff because it is not top -notch fine dining, but I am always open to suggestions for reasonable restaurants in the theater district. I know there are a lot of great places over on 9th, but it's great to get a specific recommendation. Thanks!
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