New York City Trip Report

Old Oct 9th, 2005, 05:09 PM
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New York City Trip Report

From the help and advice of my fellow Fodorites, I was able to put together a slammin' New York City itinerary, and just wanted to take the time to let you know how it all turned out!

First of all, I got a great deal on our hotel by going through Priceline. October seems to be an extremely popular time to visit NYC, so accordingly, the prices for a nice hotel room were averaging $300+ a night! I had a back-up hotel reserved, but 4 days before our trip I noticed that people began winning bids for NYC for the same time as our stay (I found the websites of and to be excellent resources). I had tried Priceline several times a few months back with no luck, but 4 days before our departure it was easy to get a winning bid. I selected a 4 star hotel, in MTW, for 2 rooms, and bid $155 a night, and on my first try it was accepted! So for $155 a night we got to stay at the 4 star Hilton New York! It was a great hotel, very clean and well appointed rooms, friendly staff, and best of all was the awesome location!!! It was literally 5 minutes from everything, Central Park, Times Square, Theatre District, the subway, everything! I would definately stay there again (and hopefully get just as good of a deal) on my next trip to NYC!

Saturday October 1st
My husband, my mother-in-law, and I left for NYC via a nonstop red-eye out of Ontario, CA to JFK. An awesome airline (love that Direct TV) and the nonstop flight can't be beat. We used the Carmel Car Service (printed coupons online ahead of time for a few dollars off) and loved their service. It was easy to meet up with our driver and the car ride was not only much nicer than a cab, but cheaper too! We used Carmel for our return ride to the airport as well.

Sunday, October 2nd
Were able to check into our rooms around 10am even though official check in was not until much later (3pm I think) and immediately get started with our day. For Sunday, we were able to see Central Park, Rockefeller Center, Times Square, Empire State Building, and do a little shopping at Macy's.

As per some previous suggestions we went to the Empire State Building about an hour before sunset (purchased tickets online ahead of time to skip the lines) and had virtually no wait at all to go to the top. It was awesome to see the city both during the day, watch the sunset, which was fabulous, and at night when all the lights really bring the city to life. Had a yummy and filling dinner at Roxy's Deli (pricey but good) and some NY Cheesecake later that night.

Monday, October 3rd
Took the subway down to Battery Park for the first ferry sailing of the Statue of Liberty. (Was excellent advice to do the first trip of the day and would recommend the same to others). Had purchaed tickets online ahead of time along with the free Observatory Tour. Had a wonderful experience at the Statue, both seeing the beautiful lady as well as learning all the history that she represents. Went on to Ellis Island to retrace the steps of my great-grandparents as well as my husband's grandparents who came to America through Ellis Island. Going through the museum was very moving, the experiences and stories of hardship and promise it held were all very touching. It was a very patriotic filled day.

After returning to the mainland we walked up through Battery Park to see the Globe that survived the WTC collapse, made our way past the Wall St. bull and up through Chinatown and paused in Little Italy for some lunch, Italian of course! Great pizza and lasagna! Walked up Mulberry St. to see where Paul Gotti's Social Club once was and then headed back uptown for our date with David Letterman. No real great stars that night, Jack Hanna and a comic I've never heard of, but it was still fun and my husband loved getting to see Dave.

Tuesday, October 4th
Went to the Wicked box office shortly after they opened and scored great seats (first row of the mezzanine, center stage) for the next evening's performance. The man at the box office said the tickets had just been released that morning! Yeah for us! Then jumped back on the subway to go to the tickets booth in Seaport Village. There, got great 1/2 price seats for that evening's performace of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Yeah, again!

From there we walked over to the WTC Site to see where the buildings once stood and visited St. Paul's Chapel to pay our respects. An extremely emotional visit, one that I think everyone should take time out to see when visiting NYC. Made our way via subway over to Brooklyn to have the best NYC pizza at Grimaldi's just under the Brooklyn Bridge.

Had a great and hilarious time that night at Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. John Lithgow was great and the man who plays opposite him, Norbert Leo Butz, really just steals the show. A really funny and entertaining play!

Wednesday, October 5th
Took a train ride upstate to Ossining, NY where my mother-in-law was born so she could have a big cryfest reliving her childhood memories. It was a nice trip, one that I know meant a great deal to my mother-in-law. Got back mid-afternoon to grab a famous Sabretti's hot dog and grab another slice of famous NY cheesecake. Also, took time to walk through St. Patrick's Cathedral which is so amazing!

Had a great time that night in our great seats at Wicked! The Wicked Witch (Shoshana Bean) and Glinda (Megan Hilty) were fabulous! Especially the voice of the Wicked Witch, she is indeed wicked! After the show we ate at Bubba Gump's in TImes Square and grabbed a few souvenirs (4 for $10 for the I heart NY t-shirts) and headed back to the hotel for about an hour and half of sleep before having to be downstairs for our return trip to the airport. Ugh!

But, what an awesome vacation we had! And let me just say how much I love New York City! David Letterman totally has it right when he says New York City is the greatest city in the world! I couldn't agree more! And all the people who say how rude New Yorkers are, must be crazy. Everyone we encountered in NYC was so nice and helpful! New Yorkers are the best too! I can't wait to go back to see all that I didn't get a chance to see this time!
coryandcarissa is offline  
Old Oct 9th, 2005, 06:29 PM
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As a New Yorker, I'm delighted you had a good time, and that 'we' gave you a good welcome.
elaine is offline  
Old Oct 10th, 2005, 05:28 AM
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Sounds like you had a great time. Your mother in law must have a lot of energy to keep up that pace you had going. Good for you guys. And yes, it IS the greatest city im the world.
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Old Oct 10th, 2005, 05:42 AM
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Your wonderful post brought back great memories of our first trip! Bravo! So glad everything went so well. We too were heartened by the kindness shown by New Yorkers.
Ellis Island was one of my favorite things. Hard to imagine the courage of the early immigrants. Great post!
donco is offline  
Old Oct 10th, 2005, 06:40 AM
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Thanks for the report. I haven't been to NYC in years. I'll keep that Camel service in mind for my next visit as it sounds great. I'm so glad you were able to get good theater tickets and had a great time.
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Old Oct 10th, 2005, 06:52 AM
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I enjoyed reading about your trip...sounds great! We are going with 4 children around Christmas. May hit those same restaurants. Would Whicked be suitable for kids ages 6-15? We have done TKTS but haven't considered just walking up to the box office. Wonder if 6 would be too many for walkkup...?
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Old Oct 10th, 2005, 07:02 AM
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atlswan - I think that was Carmel Car Service...not Camel. No one or two humped transportation in NYC that I know of .
kamahinaohoku is offline  
Old Oct 10th, 2005, 10:23 AM
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I would say Wicked would be a fun for the whole family experience. We saw several children at our showing and I think I remember reading on the webiste the it is suitable for ages 8+, but I would say a 6 year old would equally enjoy it. For 6 tickets, I would definately suggest buying tickets ahead of time. I believe every showing of Wicked sells out, and especially around x-mas time when the demand may be greater, it might be a good idea to secure your seats in advance. Good luck though and have a great time!
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