New York, New York
My trip to New York was a once-in-a-lifetime deal. In June 1999
I got to go with my Uncle Richard and Aunt Michelle when my uncle 
had to attend a Solomon Smith Barney convention. We stayed in the
World Trade Center Marriott, which I'm told is not longer standing.
I got a first-class tour of New York, which makes sense if you know
my aunt because she is not one to settle for second best. When we
arrived in New York from Tampa there was a limo waiting to take us
from the airport to the hotel in style. My aunt and I got unpacked
and showered while my uncle went downstairs to check on "something 
with the room". When he came back he had two tickets for my aunt and
I to see the Lion King on Broadway that night! But before the show we
HAD to go out to dinner.

Of course we had to eat somewhere
fancy and not too far away so we
went to the building behind us and
up 110 floors. Windows on the World
was the resturant that resided on
the top floor of the North Tower
of the World Trade Center. The
picture on the right is my aunt and
I by the window table enjoying our
meals. I rember looking down onto
the roof of an apartment builing
that I knew was about 30 stories
tall and thinking how tiny it
looked from way up here. On
Setember 11th all I could think 
about was what the view from up
there looked liked for the people
trapped on the 110th floor.

This is the view from where I
pressed my camera up against
the window and took a shot of
the New York skyline. It
remains an eerie photo to 
know that this view of the 
New York skyline no longer

The first few mornings we were in New York my
Uncle Richard had conference activities to
attend. So it was just my Aunt Micelle and I
to explore the city. So we did what any other
self-respecting women would do...we went
shopping! We hit all the big spots including
Macy's and we even got manicures at
Bloomingdale's. I do have to say, much to 
Mike's dismay, that my favorite store of the 
whole trip was Tiffany's. It was THE original
one where the movie "Breakfast at Tiffany's"
was filmed. I had never owned any jewelry from
Tiffany's but it didn't take me long to find a 
pair of Tiffany heart earrings that I absolutely
loved! After that, it was all downhill and I was 
hooked on Tiffany's. The picture on the right is
me outside of Tiffany's completely reveling in
my first Tiffany's purchase and my first little 
green bag :)

Not only did my aunt and I go
shopping we also did what any real
sports fan would do... we went to
The Garden. It was a really neat
tour that included going into the
Knicks' and Rangers' locker rooms
and seeing the press room (which
to me as an aspiring journalist
was especially neat). It would
have included getting to go down
on the basketball court but
game 7 between the Indiana Pacers
and New York Knicks was that
night so we couldn't go down
there. Still, for me being the
self-proclaimed sports fanatic
that I am it was an awesome
opportunity to visit a true
icon in sporting venues. 

When my uncle was finally done with
the business aspect of the trip he
was finally free to come have some
fun with my aunt and me. The day
started out at the Plaza Hotel for
breakfast. It was a beautiful hotel
and there were all kinds of people 
there. I could see why it was one of
the most popular hotels in all of 
New York. The huge dining room was
gorgeous with lots of open space and 
elegant table setings. I had the
biggest waffle I've ever seen piled
high with fresh fruit. Yummy! After
breakfast my aunt and I went poking
around a little bit and found one
of the ballrooms set up for a wedding
reception. It was gorgeous, I 
imagined what a beautiful wedding 
would take place later that day.

After breakfast we walked accross the
street to where my uncle had yet
another surprise waiting for me. This
time it was a carriage ride through
Central Park. My uncle said that it
would just be wrong to come to New
York City and not take a ride through
Central Park. So off we went on our 
carriage ride. Unfortunately that was
the only time during my visit that I 
got to go to the park but I did get
to meet a Calvin Klein model on the
way. It was really odd later when
we see his picture in Times Square.

The day of hitting all the must-see
sights in NYC continued with going
to see Rockefeller center. Since it
was June when I was there, the famous
ice skating rink that's there at 
Christmas time was only a rollar
skating rink. It was still neat to 
see the famous spot and I'm now
determined to go back sometime in
the future during Christmas and see
the big Christmas tree and go ice
skating there.

For an afternoon break we did the
proper thing and had tea at the 
Waldorf Astoria. Like I said, this
was a high-class trip; we didn't 
have time for any snack from the
corner store, it was tea at the 
Waldorf. We were served in the tea
room, I didn't even know such things
existed but they had a special room 
set aside just for people to have
tea in. We sat and chatted while a 
piano player gave us some background
music. After a snack of tea, 
crumpets and finger sandwiches it 
was back to the sightseeing. We
finished off the day going to the 
Muesuem of Modern Art and finally it
was back to the hotel for dinner
at the Four Seasons before a third
Broadway play.

Our last day of sightseeing and my
last day in New York started out
with a trip to maybe the most 
famous of all famous New York
landmarks...the Empire State
Building. The picture at right
is me sitting on the ledge on
the observatory deck of the 
building and having a bird's-
eye view of New York City. I 
think of all the old picture
I've seen with the men working
on the building and eating 
there lunch sitting on a steel
beam high above the city and
I feel that freedom they must
have felt; and I realize that 
while I'm terrified of heights
that I love the view from up 
high, especially this view of
one of the best cities I've 
ever visited.

After the Empire State Building 
it was time to go see another
New York icon, and for that
matter, an American icon. We
took a cruise around New York 
harbor and on the way got to 
see the Statue of Liberty up
close. Unfortunately we
didn't have enough time to get
off and go explore Lady
Liberty up close (something
I regret even more since
September 11th); but my aunt 
reminded me that it was just
one more reason I would have
to come back to New York. 
Other than the Statue of 
Liberty the cruise around
the harbor was beautiful and
gave more complete view of 
the enormity of the 
buildings and the abosolute
marvel of what a huge city 
New York really is. 

That day we had lunch at another
famous New York spot...Carnegie 
Deli. I've never seen such a 
big sandwich in all my life! I 
was entertained the whole meal 
by looking around at the
pictures that served as wallpaper
for the restaurant. All the 
celebreties that had eaten there
had signed a photo to be put up
on the wall. My favorite collection
was the cast of Seinfeld and it 
reminded me that I still had not 
sought out the "Soup Nazi"; yet
another thing to add to my list for
next time I'm in New York.

My trip to the big apple was one i will never forget and am so thankful that I got the 
opportunity to go. I also look forward to getting to go back again and see all the things
I missed the first time. However, it seems as if I could live in NYC for years before I
finally figured out half of what the city has to offer.  

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