Sunday, September 30, 2012

NYC, day three

It wasn't easy after a long, tiring day and late night to wake up early for church, but I'm glad we did. The chapel we went to is in the same building as the Manhattan Temple, which is cool. It was a pretty big congregation, although we couldn't tell how many were visitors, like us. If those who stood to bear their testimonies are any indication, the visitors outnumbered the ward members. 

After the counselor in the bishopric talked about the movie E.T. in his testimony, and the first visitor discussed the Broadway play Wicked in his, I turned to Rob and said, "It's a show need to work Spiderman Turn Off the Dark into your testimony." :)

Seriously though, I like seeing and hearing diverse people share their testimonies of the gospel and Christ; I don't think we need to be identical in order to be united in our faith. 

We broke our fast after church with blueberry muffins and cookies from Levain's, which was recommended by the blog post I'd read and at least two other people I knew who'd been there. It was delicious.

We walked back to the hotel, passing by the famous Dakota building, where John Lennon lived and was killed.

We had intended to take a three hour boat cruise around the island, but it was raining and we opted to take a three hour nap instead. We woke up ready for round two of our walking tour. We passed by the NY Public Library:

And Grand Central Station:

We actually went in there, check out the cool astronomical ceiling:

I love the beaux arts architectural style.

We passed the Helmsley building:

And made it to our destination, St. Patrick's Cathedral. We went to church a second time there, catching the end of Mass.

We also went inside FAO Schwartz, which was closed when we were there on Friday night.

There were a bunch of kids on the "Big" piano, so we didn't get photos on that, but texted this one to Ainsley, who loves all things HP. Rob says it looks like I'm posing for a photo with my new family. :)

We had tickets to the "Top of the Rock" here at the Rockerfeller Center.

We wandered around the plaza a bit while we waited for our time slot.

We didn't ever make it back to try to get on the Today show for Ainsley, but I quit watching when they fired Ann Curry anyway.

There's Radio City Hall:

And here we are at the top, in a rare (and not very good) photo of both of us. I did my best not to humiliate Rob too much with my touristy ways by asking complete strangers to take pictures of us. :)

It's crazy how high up it is. I could never do what these guys did:

Great views though, I'm glad we went up at night.


Saturday, September 29, 2012

NYC, day two

On Saturday we tried to cram in as much as possible, starting with a trip to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. FYI, the ferry leaves from Battery Park, NOT the Staten Island Ferry building. Don't worry, we figured this out after only a few minutes there.

The downtown skyline as we headed over—you can see the progress on the two new World Trade Center towers:

When we texted Statue of Liberty photos to the kids, Ainsley kept asking us to get closer. I have to admit, I always imagined it as larger (not that we're super close in this picture).

At the entrance to the Ellis Island Immigration Museum:

We did the audio tour, which was fascinating, and kind of emotional, realizing what our ancestors went through.

I love the tile work on this ceiling. Apparently the craftsmanship was so good that they only had to replace about ten tiles when they renovated it.

It's a beautiful building, inside and out.

We spent some time walking around downtown. There were a lot of people lined up to take photos with the Wall Street bull, most of them on the other end of the bull...

The New York Stock Exchange building:

This is where Washington was sworn in as President:

A quick subway ride later...

...and we were at Washington Square Park, aka the "When Harry Met Sally" drop off spot.

I read a blog post that a friend sent me on restaurants in NY, and we knew we wanted to sample the roasted marshmallow shakes based on her recommendation:
"Oh man, roasted marshmallow shakes.  One of our favorite things EVER.  Not. to. be. missed.  Special trips just for the shakes are worth it.  We take all our out of town guests here.  And then before their trip is over, they always sneak back there on their own and get another one.  Every person has said it's like one of the best things they've ever eaten.  They really are THAT good!!  You have to trust me on this one.  (And that's from a girl who doesn't really have an affinity for marshmallows.)"
I can verify that this is no exaggeration. And yes, I did go back for a second one later in the week while Rob was in conference meetings. Someday he'll forgive me.

From there we walked over to the Strand, home to 18 miles of books. I have to admit, I came back here a second time as well, marshmallow shake in hand.

We walked through Chinatown...

...and back to the lower east side. Here's the Brooklyn Bridge.

We had a 4:15 tour at the Tenement Museum, where we saw the actual apartments and heard the stories of some immigrant families. It was really interesting, although I wish we'd been able to schedule it earlier in the day—we were both exhausted and sleepy right about then.

After a little falafel at Maoz, we went to see Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark. The critics haven't loved it, but we're fans of the story and of U2, and liked it enough that Rob bought the soundtrack right after we saw it. Of the three shows we saw, this one was definitely the biggest budget. The scenery, stunts and cast were all (appropriately) amazing. 

The crowd in Times Square late on Saturday night was crazy.

We're on this jumbotron right above the DU in dunk.

Our hotel is right behind Rob. Good thing, we were wiped out. :)

Friday, September 28, 2012


I have piles of laundry and dishes, I need to go grocery shopping, I still haven't gone through the week's worth of mail that accumulated while we were gone, and of course I haven't blogged about the entire summer still, but I'm a little worried that I will forget the details of our trip if I don't write them now, so here goes.

Rob signed up for a Search Engine Optimization conference in New York a while ago, and of course I jumped at the chance to go with him. Easier said than done. I always wonder, as I'm making arrangements for the kids and doing everything that needs to be done to prepare, if it's really worth it. When we finally left for the airport on Friday morning I was exhausted and felt terrible because Ainsley was so, so sad. Unfortunately, the kids didn't have school that day, so she was completely focused on the fact that we'd be gone. We didn't make it to the airport before she called in tears. Luckily she had Grandma and Grandpa Marsh for the weekend, and not only survived, but had a great time. It was so nice to know the kids were in such great hands so we could enjoy ourselves! We are so grateful for them, and for my mom, who stayed Monday–Thursday.

We arrived late afternoon and caught a taxi to our hotel, the Marriott Marquis in Times Square. Times Square is a little too Vegas, and way too crowded, but it was close to the convention center for Rob, and close to all the broadway shows, which was convenient. Our room was pretty basic, but we didn't spend much time there anyway. The bed was super comfy and there was plenty of hot water and water pressure. 

We dropped off our bags and hit the town.

I'd read that the Museum of Modern Art is free on Friday nights, so we headed over there. As you might expect, it was super crowded, but they have some of my favorite artists and paintings, including The Starry Night:

Water Lilies:

We texted this one to the kids:

I liked the scale of the museum, it's not so huge that it's overwhelming.

We used yelp to find a nearby pizzeria, and had a delicious meal at PizzArte.

Then we just wandered, and I kept annoying Rob by wanting to take photos of things I'd only seen in movies.

Crowds are not really my thing, but I couldn't help getting caught up in the energy of the city that never sleeps. Not that I had that problem by the end of the day. :)