On day 3, I awakened to the sounds of a coughing and sniffling hubby. Poor Chris retired to bed with a scratchy throat, and awoke with a nasty cold. As awful as he sounded, he was not about to let a cold slow him down.
This was also our last day of sightseeing with Emily before turning her over to her chaperone with The Honors Performance Series. We were trying to make the most of every day we had with her on this trip, and this being her last day to tour with us, we let her choose our destination.
First on her list was to stop at a bakery. We left Chris back at the hotel to slowly get ready while we took a short walk over to a neighborhood bakery. Emily and Sid picked out quite a variety of baked goods, some so big and rich it took us days to finish them! We also stopped at the Rite-Aid store across the street from our hotel and loaded up on some cough medicine for Chris.
Emily chose sightseeing at Central Park (CP) for our adventures this day, and fortunately it was just a short walking distance from our hotel. With our walking shoes on, and some cold medicine on board for Chris, we set out for the day.
Simply put, CP is beautiful. Around every turn and bend in the path, something new and different awaited us. It was a leisurely activity, with no schedule to follow and no intended path to take. Lori and Emily were busy snapping pictures with their cameras, and we even managed to pose for a few family shots.
The views around the water were beautiful, we spent a lot of time in this area.
We were fascinated by a jazz band we stumbled upon, close to the Bethesda Terrace. The group of four entertained us for at least a half-hour; they were quite talented! Emily was especially intrigued by the gentleman who played the clarinet; she claimed she had never heard her clarinet hit some of those notes. The same guy also played the saxophone. With a little encouragement, she made her way up to talk to the band members, and compliment them on their performance. She chatted with the clarinet player for a while, and when he asked her what she played, he was excited to hear the clarinet was her instrument as well. My proud moment, however, was when the group asked what brought us to NYC, and Emily told them she was performing at Carnegie Hall on Saturday. With all eyebrows raised, they were clearly excited for her.
CP is about 5 miles in length, and with all the zigzagging we did, I’d guess we walked about 6 miles total. Once we reached the north end, we found a place to exit and get on the subway. The area had a different feel about it, kind of like we did not belong there. Even the subway attendant guy was quite rude; we couldn’t seem to get out of there fast enough. With all the uneasiness (and a tad bit of FEAR), we nearly got on the wrong train; this would have taken us to an even more unfavorable area, for a tourist that is. We managed to get on the correct train, and exited at a station close to our hotel.
We were all famished, after all, since we somehow missed lunch. We headed over to The House of Brews again to satisfy our hunger; it was a nice reprieve after the long walk and the harried ordeal coming back.
Next, we carefully packed up Emily’s luggage, and headed to The Roosevelt Hotel. Her chaperone, Andrea, was waiting for her and the rest of their group of 15 girls, and quickly put my worried mind at ease. Andrea is a band teacher at a NY middle school; though she lives about 5 hours from NYC. Her daughter would be performing at Carnegie Hall as well, and just talking with her, I could see Emily would be in capable hands.
We checked Emily into her room, which surprisingly was even a bit smaller than our’s at the Hampton Inn. Of course The Roosevelt has the old, architectural beauty, and the lobby was quite elegant. There were four girls to a room, and the bathrooms were very small. In NYC, one does not get spoiled with large hotel rooms; there is just not room for it.
We met one of her roommates, Cheri, who was from Texas. When we asked her which instrument she plays, she said, “The Bassoon.” Chris raised his eyebrows, looked impressed and said, “The Spoons?” I didn’t know whether to laugh, or crawl in a hole with embarrassment. “The BASSOON,” I corrected him, I’m sure with a look of what-the-heck??!
We hugged, said our goodbyes, and wished her well. I did not let her see my tears, but it honestly tore at my heart to leave my daughter with a group of strangers in NYC. I knew she was nervous, but she would be brave; I would just have to put on my big girl panties and do the same.
As we left The Roosevelt and were walking down the busy street, I noticed Sid had a bag of Funyuns in his hand. I asked where he got those, and he stated, “They were just sitting on the ledge outside the hotel; they’re unopened Mom.” I’m wondering why the heck you would pick up ANY kind of food off the street anywhere, but I guess if they are unopened, whatever!
Now on the move again, we made our way to Bryant Park. I think I could have sat on a bench, and been entertained for hours just watching people walk by. The scenery was beautiful, and it seemed no one was in a hurry; it was a place to leisurely have lunch with a friend, spread out a blanket on the lawn and catch a few rays of sun, or maybe play a game of chess (although that would not be relaxing to me).
Next, we passed Rockefeller Center and Madison Square Garden, distracted by the excitement of lights and sirens. Fire trucks, in an apparent state of urgency, were traveling the wrong way down a one-way street. The situation was chaotic, but then that seems to be NYC’s traffic in general.
We made our way back to our neighborhood, and walked a few blocks over to a nice little restaurant called 5 Napkin Burger, located in Hell’s Kitchen. Inside, the decor utilized the remnants of an old meat market – the lights were hung by the old meat hooks in the ceiling. It was a friendly atmosphere, and the food was delicious!
Of course, Emily was on my mind, and we were all relieved to receive a text message from her. She said she was doing okay, and making friends, although she already managed to lose the key card to her room. I could tell she was a little homesick, but she was up for the task ahead of her and would do just fine.
Check back soon for more on… Vacationing in NYC!
Feel free to jump on over to my sister’s blog, Day by Day the Farm Girl Way, for a recap of the trip through her eyes.