I know, I know, you can’t wait to hear every single detail about the Winns taking Manhattan, but I’m going to
drag spread the trip out over three posts for each of our three days in the Big Apple, offering you the high and lowlights of our first trip to NYC!
We stayed at a Toronto airport hotel the night before the trip, and flew to LaGuardia without a hitch…unless you consider waking up at 3:45 to catch the shuttle a hitch! We had prearranged another shuttle to take us to our hotel, and arrived at the brand-new (10 days old) Cassa NY Hotel and Residences around 10:00 in the morning…five hours before their check-in time. Lucky for us, they had a room available, and we were able to freshen up and unpack before hitting the town!
Cassa is a very modern boutique hotel, where we stayed for an incredible price thanks to Travelzoo. Now, since they are so new, the building isn’t completely finished (our free breakfast was provided at a restaurant around the corner, as they have no facilities of their own yet) but the room was perfect for what we needed, and was right midtown (West 45th between 5th and 6th Avenues), convenient for walking everywhere. The service was also incredible, and the staff went out of their way to greet us, answer questions, and assist us with restaurant ideas, directions…on the last night they even let us print out our boarding passes using their main laptop, since mine had crashed that day! The only thing I might have liked in the room was a bathtub as well as a shower, but I had no time for luxurious bubble baths on this trip anyway.
First on our agenda was heading down to Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises. I had pre-purchased one of their tours (which you’ll hear about on Day 3), and also got a discount on several other attractions by purchasing through them. The catch was that even though our boat cruise wasn’t until the third night, I had to physically take my printed receipt to their building in order to get vouchers for all of the other attractions which we needed right away. I wasn’t too concerned, because we had enough time, plus we saved enough money to make it worthwhile.
Next, we walked up to Central Park (you may have heard of it), and splurged for a pedicab ride, which gave us a one-hour overview of the park’s highlights, such as:
After the Park…wait a second. I need to explain that I have been asked to use the pronoun “I” for the next portion of the trip. The pronoun “we” would imply that my husband took part in the following tourist activity, which apparently is not something to which a man wishes to admit.
Therefore, next “I” hopped on a Sex and the City tourbus, and spent three hours navigating the island for a glimpse of settings used in the shows and movies. While it was great to quickly visit some of the neighbourhoods we didn’t explore on the rest of our trip (Chelsea, SoHo, etc.) this is something I would only recommend for a die-hard fan, and to tell you the truth I found it a bit long. I’m also not usually a frequenter of bars or…well, some of the other locations we visited (I’ll leave it at that – Catholic schoolteacher, remember?), although I was totally on board with the Magnolia Bakery cupcake stop:
After being up since 3:45 (and barely sleeping before that) we should have headed back to the hotel at this point, but I insisted on another exciting stop. I had read in my Entertainment Weekly that Eat Pray Love was premiering in NYC that very night, and after a bit of internet sleuthing I was able to find out the location: The Ziegfeld Theatre on 54th Street.
I must admit that I have been torn about how to present certain portions of our trip on this blog. Part of me wishes to come across as a worldly, unaffected, New York type who doesn’t even flinch at the glimpse of a well-known personality. But who am I kidding? I may possess some city tendencies, but my country-girl heart was racing with the excitement of being near a red-carpet premiere!!! (And I doubt many worldly, unaffected, New York types are reading this blog…so I assume none of you will judge me!)