A vacation story, continued: New York, New York!

The Washington, DC portion of our trip was recapped here (part 1) and here (part 2).

Days 7 & 8, Sunday-Monday June 20-21:
For Tall Paul’s first-ever train ride, we boarded Amtrak’s Acela Express at Washington’s Union Station on Sunday morning bound for NYC’s Penn Station, just like East Coast natives travel! We passed through Baltimore, Wilmington DE, Philadelphia, and a couple of New Jersey stops before arriving in the City around 1 PM.

We really hadn’t planned much for the day, so once we got settled in at the centrally-located Hilton New York (6th Avenue at 53rd St.) – where I’ll be returning next month for BlogHer’10 (still wearing my sling? too soon to say!) – we got an early dinner and, as we enjoyed doing in DC, walked around the neighborhood for awhile. “Around the neighborhood” took us from Rockefeller Center, up Fifth Avenue to the southern end of Central Park, across to Columbus Circle, and back down Broadway to 53rd Street.

We were back at Rockefeller Center – the legendary “30 Rock” – first thing Monday morning for the NBC Studio Experience tour. We saw Studio 8H, home of Saturday Night Live, the set of the NBC Nightly News and the adjoining MSNBC studios, and an “interactive news studio” where Tall Paul delivered the weather report in front of the camera. We have that performance on DVD – but they didn’t allow pictures on the tour, so I can’t show you anything other than the official souvenir photo:

After the tour, we had lunch plans with my aunt and uncle – my mom’s sister and brother, who live north of the City – and they surprised me by bringing one of my cousins along! It’s been a long time since I’ve seen them all, and only my uncle made it to Tall Paul’s and my wedding, so I was thrilled to introduce some of my favorite people to one another. We had lots of fun joking, chatting, and catching up over lunch, but it was nowhere near enough time!

We went back to 30 Rock after lunch to take pictures of the city views from the Top of the Rock observation deck on the top three floors of Rockefeller Center.

That was enough action for Grandma and Spencer, who returned to the hotel for the evening, but Katie, Tall Paul and I walked down to Times Square and the Broadway theatre district. The crowds were thick, but since most of the theatres are “dark” (no performances) on Mondays, they could have been a lot worse! We located the Lunt-Fontanne, where we would be seeing the musical The Addams Family on Wednesday night, and stopped in at the Hershey’s Store on our walk back to the hotel.

I’ll finish posting about the rest of our New York visit next week, so it’ll be wrapped up before I go back to NYC for BlogHer’10 – I’ll be there two weeks from today! But today I’m actually in San Diego at Comic-Con, and my report from there will be coming soon…

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