We got up early Monday morning and took the train from Washington D.C. to New York’s Penn Station. It was only about 3.5 hours and it is nice because it takes you straight into the city. We went straight to the hotel to check in. After we checked out our room we also went up to check out the roof top bar and take a few pictures.
After checking into the hotel and checking out the roof top bar the first thing we did was go to Central Park. It was the first nice sunny day of our trip. Before leaving the hotel I debated whether or not I should wear my jacket. Luckily, I decided against it because it was over 80 degrees out! We had the best time wandering around Central Park and climbing the rocks. There were tons of people out enjoying the great weather.
Next, we walked on over to Times Square. I honestly don’t know what the attraction is to Times Square, but there were people everywhere! We took a few pictures and decided we needed lunch.
We try not to eat in really touristy places though. So we walked a little ways toward Hell’s Kitchen and had lunch at a really good Thai place. Cliff had his usual, pad thai and I had rama chicken, but I asked for shrimp instead of chicken. I don’t know what I was thinking, it was kind of a weird combination. But it was really good!
After lunch we went back to the hotel and relaxed for a little bit before we set out on our next adventure. The only thing that I really wanted to do was walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. So after resting we took the subway to Brooklyn. Luckily, I had great directions otherwise we would have been so lost! We went to a park where we could get really great pictures of the New York City skyline.
Then we went to Grimaldi’s for some pizza. I couldn’t go to New York without trying the pizza. We waited in line at Grimaldi’s for about 45 minutes. While in line you must wait behind the rope. The owner(?) would come out and yell at anyone who crossed the rope! When a table was ready he would come and say 2 or 3 and the next group would get let into the restaurant. It was very regimented. I guess that is what happens when you have a line every single day. Cliff wanted to order a regular pizza, but I said no, let’s get the large! When that pizza came out it was huge. I said, I guess we should have ordered the regular! But you know we ate the whole thing! We ordered margherita pizza and it was soooo good!! I’m not going to say it was better than Lou Malnati’s (our all-time favorite pizza) because they are so different. You just can’t compare deep dish to thin crust. But I will say this pizza was super good. Maybe the best thin crust I have ever had???? Maybe.
After dinner we finally started the walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. Of course, it was under construction. But it was a nice walk and I’m glad we did it. Until we got to the end of the bridge and it started pouring rain! We ran for cover and it just happened to be a building with a subway. Very convenient! We took the subway back towards the hotel and when we got back outside the rain had stopped so we decided to walk to Times Square and take some pictures of the lights at night.
I made Cliff get up bright and early Tuesday morning so that we could head to the Lower East Side to get doughnuts at The Doughnut Plant. It seemed kind of like a rundown neighborhood but the doughnuts were the best I have ever had. I had seen the owner of the Doughnut Plant on an episode of Throwdown with Bobby Flay and I knew that when we went to New York I needed to try the doughnuts. The doughnuts were a little on the expensive side, $2.50-$3.00 per doughnut, but they were worth it to me. We got a coconut crème doughnut, which was our favorite, and a crème brulee doughnut which was also really good, for breakfast. Cliff got an iced coffee which he said was excellent. Then I got a triple chocolate, a salted peanut and another crème brulee doughnut to go. Of those three, the salted peanut one was my favorite.
Next, we headed downtown to take the ferry to Staten Island. There is a free ferry that goes from Manhattan to Staten Island that takes you right past the Statue of Liberty. While on the ferry I dropped one of Cliff’s lenses and the glass shattered! Not good! He didn’t speak to me the rest of the way to Staten Island. Once you get to Staten Island you have to get off the ferry and reboard to come back. Once we got back on the ferry Cliff looked at the lens and realized it was only the UV filter that broke, not the actual lens, so all was well, phew! On the way back to Manhattan it started raining pretty hard so we took the Subway to Eataly. Eataly is an Italian grocery store owned by Mario Batali and Lidia Bastianich. It is huge! It has a bunch of restaurants, a gelato shop, a coffee shop, a chocolate shop and everything else you can imagine. After that we had a quick lunch and headed to ground zero. I thought that there was a park or memorial site for all the people that died on September 11th but evidently the memorial is still being planned. There is a small memorial for the firefighters that died that day though. After that it was time to get our luggage and head back to the airport. Up next, relaxing beach vacation please!