If you’ve been keeping up with me on twitter, you’ll know that I have been in New York for the majority of this week. And can I just say, that place is MAGICAL! I knew I would like it, but little did I know how much I would actually love it. I got to visit so at any places I’ve always wanted to go and it would be very easy for this post to turn into a novel about my adventures, but I’ll be kind and keep it brief. In list form, let me walk you through my adventures!
Day 1: Saturday, March 28th
Bright and early, we boarded the bus. And by we, I mean 50 high school students and 6 chaperones. Then we embarked on a 16 hour journey to the big apple. We slept, we talked, we read, and we played an intense game of never have I ever which formed our “bus group” into a group that hung out together for the majority of the trip! Finally after multiple food/rest stops, we reached our destination… New Jersey. Yeah, we didn’t stay in NYC but Jersey was great! And can I just say, my roommates and I were the best! I think we just got to the point where we were so tired we found everything funny! From late night chats, to constantly quoting the Producers, I think we had a good time!
Day 2: Sunday, March 29th
At 6am (we were convinced they were trying to kill us) we left the hotel and headed to the city. We went to the morning service at the Brooklyn Tabernacle church and it was SO COOL! God has truly done amazing things at that church! Then we left to go eat some lunch at a little mall in Brooklyn. After, we met up with our hysterical tour guide Gideon who led us through Times Square and Central Park! Both are places I have always wanted to go (who hasn’t) and something that was really neat was seeing all the broadway signs and also where so many movies/tv shows have taken place. After Central Park, we were off to Connecticut where we sang at a small church and I led my choir in singing Lean on Me (which I had 4 days to learn!) then we went to a DELICIOUS pizza place and then it was back to the hotel.
Day 3: Monday March 30th
Monday we did some more touring. We started with a ferry ride to the Statue of Liberty. It was amazing to finally see the monument in person! Then, we went to lunch. I wish I could remember what the place was called because it was SO GOOD. it was sort of buffet style with anything you could possibly want to eat including soup, sandwiches, chicken, and manhattans best burgers. I myself tried the fajita panini, fries, and the best homemade lemonade I’ve ever tasted! The food on this trip was definitely one of the highlights! After, we went to. Chinatown ( SCARY!) and then to the One World Trade Observatory, reflecting pools, and the 9/11 memorial museum. I do not remember when the twin towers fell, I was only 4 but after hearing about it my whole life it was cool to get some perspective and really get a sense of how big they were. I don’t ever remember the towers standing so I do not understand the significance the buildings had. But actually being there…wow. I was speechless. How can there be such evil in the world? But a big thing I got from this trip was the strength of New York and America. How many places can come back from such a tragedy ? New York can. After, we went to dinner at Puglios Italian where the in-house musicians had us all on our chairs doing the “napkin song” and ok, more CANNOLIS! Then it was time for half of our group to go see Phantom, and the rest of us headed back to the hotel where we played cards in the hallway and my friend and I practiced our choreography for Big Fish in the hotel hallway!
Day 4: Tuesday March 31st
Tuesday morning began with half our group going to make authentic New York pizzas, and the rest of us going to an Aladdin Broadway workshop taught by the wonderful Andrew Cao (ensemble member from Aladdin). We learned some of the choreo to Arabian Nights and had a very informative Q& A. Then we went to the Lincoln Center to tour the Met Opera, Philharmonic, and Ballet. We also got to go to the building where Kelli O’Hara is in rehearsal for the revival of The King and I. Then we went to a Donatello exhibit at the American Bible Society before eating dinner at Johns Pizzeria and then taking in Aladdin which was HILARIOUS.
Day 5: Wednesday, April 1st
Wednesday we headed back to Chinatown for some more shopping (I actually bought something this time because I was freezing and needed a sweatshirt!) and I actually haggled! Then we went to RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL and toured and also met a Rockette. You can’t fully comprehend how massive it is until you actually go there. Then we went to the Rockefeller center and had lunch at the mall there where I saw ANDY MIENTUS (Les Mis, Smash). I had a minor (ok, major) freak out. Then we went to the. Top of the Rock and saw the whole city from up above! Then it was back to Times Square for (more) shopping and dinner at Ellen’s Stardust Diner where we sang along to. Grease, Mamma Mia, and Hairspray! Then we loaded back on the bus for our overnight trip home. We left the city about 8pm and made it home about 10 am.
Overall, this trip was amazing. It is very rare when something you look forward to so much not only meets, but surpasses your expectations. I cannot wait to go back to the city that never sleeps, and I hope you enjoyed getting to take this journey with me! I would love to hear about your trips to New York if you have ever been! If you have stories please tell me them in the comments!
*all pictures are my own from my trip.