What an exciting day. I hardly slept a wink in anticipation of this trip to New York City. I was not only going to meet Andrea who had become a wonderful cyber friend, but I was going to get to see my daughter who was coming from LA.
I am taking Amtrak's Acela train at 7 am from Washington, DC's Union Station. Oh my, that means I have to be on the Metro early, early, early!
If you have the chance, I highly recommend you visit Union Station in Washington, DC. It has been refurbished and is as grand as it was when it was first built. Do you see those double doors over there? Remember them, we will see those again.
Okay, so let me see...yes, my train is till on time (nothing to worry about with Acela). So from this vantage point, if I turn around...
...I find those double doors, I told you to remember. These are the front doors to the station and if you look hard...okay let's step through them.
Okay, so just beyond the flag pole and the monument...see it there just above the trees? Yes, that is the United States Capital. We are that close.
I am going to New York City, though...gotta run to catch my train!
I have taken many trips on Amtrak, but I have to say this is the first time I have ever taken the Acela, and I am glad I did. It is fast, it is comfortable and it is clean! What is this? An electronic message saying, 'Mind the Gap'! What? Am I in England? Oh, I wish... I spend time reading, writing.
I get to Penn Station in a very short time. Ohh, New York City! I have not been here for so long. The day is beautiful, so I decide to walk to my hotel since my luggage is minimal. Before I get to the corner at Madison Square Garden, my phone rings. "Hi Mom, I am just about ready to board at LAX. I will call you when I get there. I love you!"
"I love you, too, Honey! Have a safe flight."
I make my way up The Avenue of The Americas (6th avenue) to my hotel at 54th Street! I am early, but they have my room ready. I decide to give Andrea a call once I throw my things down. I take a deep breath and make the call feeling kind of nervous. What if we do not get along as well in person? Her beautiful voice soothed my worries right away. (If you are wondering, her English with slight German and French accents is more American than British. I know I wondered.) Andrea tells me she and her husband are walking toward a place where they can take a helicopter ride and she will phone me when they get back to their room. That works out great for me, too. I can relax a bit and get my bearings here. I decide I should be okay, since I am only a block off of 5th Ave.
While I am at it, I peer out the window...here is the view:
Did I say I wanted to relax? That did not last long. I realized I was only one block away from one of my favorite stores! I have to go all the way to Georgetown in DC to get to a Zara! So I am off...
I talk to my son and my husband. I touch almost everything in Zara :-), then I get a text. Andrea and her husband are back in their room. I can't call her from my cell as I do not have international service. So I head back to my room and call her at her hotel. We agree I will walk to meet her at the Edison. As I walk, I am so nervous, again! Whew, the butterflies are amazing. I walk into the hotel and pick up a phone.
"Hello, I am here. Yes! I am by the phone bank in the lobby. Mmm, I am round and not too tall. I am wearing a black skirt, a teal shirt, red sandals and have sunglasses on the top of my head. Yes, dark brown hair! See you in a few."
I recognize their loveliness as they step out of the elevator! Oh, how great it is to finally meet Sweet Andrea! Now for those of you who are wondering - she is even more delightful in person than on the blog. She has a beautiful smile, a friendly face so full of wonder and delight. She is truly a beautiful person in every way. With Andrea is her kind, handsome and very French husband! Within moments, I feel as though I have known them for years. Bye-bye butterflies!
We decide to find somewhere to go. Andrea decides the German girl is ready for a beer. I think a glass of wine sounds good. Our lovely French escort says he has to keep us both straight and has a Diet Coke...most likely he knows it isn't the beer or the wine which means he might need to keep us straight, but probably the fact we are not paying any attention to anything else at the moment. At Jake's we find a nice quiet table to talk and talk and talk and talk. I tell Andrea's husband she is a blog celebrity. He thinks she should be as she works all the time with some part of her art or the other. We talk away a few hours before my phone vibrates - a text!
My daughter has landed at JFK and will be making her way on the subway to our hotel. "I'll meet you at the hotel, Mom."
Andrea, her husband and I talk more on the walk towards our hotels. We go our separate ways on the street with kisses on each cheek saying we will connect tomorrow.
I arrive back in my room and five minutes later, my daughter knocks at the door. The sight of her brings tears to my eyes - five months is just too long and Los Angeles is so far! She used to live in the city, so her knowledge base is going to get me to places I have never been before.
First of all, we need to find dinner since neither of us have had a meal and only a small snack all day. Ohh, there are people waiting here...darn, it looks good, too. What? You can seat two? Great! We are so hungry, but take our time and enjoy a long meal together while we catch up on all things girly!
After dinner, we decide to walk. We are near Columbus Circle, so we head up there. We find an underground Whole Foods and think we might get a few snacks for the room. We change our mind, but before we left, we found this and I had to share it with you:
No, I don't like eggs at all, so we will not get these. Those are chicken eggs there beside them! Cool, uh? I guess they would make an omelet to feed a few!
The night is lovely, so we decide to walk down 5th Avenue to near where my daughter worked at Norton Publishing (beside the New York City Library). It is nice to walk.
On our way back towards the hotel, we decide to stop at Rockefeller Center. These tulips were beautiful:
Here is my lovely daughter who is so knowledgeable about the city.
Oh, I couldn't resist sharing this beauty, too.
Of course, I couldn't go to New York without grabbing a shot of a shop window, right? Who could resist Teuscher Chocolate...just for you. It seemed to be the perfect spring window.
This is the end of my first day in New York City. We were very tired so headed back to our hotel for a good night's rest. Tomorrow is going to be a busy and exciting day!