Bite Out of the Big Apple

When Heather and I decided to take a bite out of the Big Apple, we probably bit off more than we could chew (just see below). With that being said, the apple sauce that we made was delicious.
During a vacation people typically look for a little R and R. Rest and Relaxation. But not us. We wanted to squeeze every last drop out of the Big Apple, so we got a New York Pass. This let us get into the core of New York and really sink our teeth in.
I planned out our week to the minute. But there were some things in our Big Apple recipe we underestimated. First of all, August in New York is H and H, Hot and Humid. Which leads us to the second thing I underestimated. Walking. Did you know that walking everywhere when it's hot and humid gets you tired? And I'm not 6 1/2 months pregnant. For me, the food in New York was my favorite part, hence I am doing a post with a food-based theme. But the cost of it is the last thing I underestimated. Luckily, we stayed with Brent, my brother, who has an apartment in Manhattan. He showed us all the great places to eat and we didn't have to waste our money on rotten food. Our week in New York started very touristey (if that's a word), by going to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
We came back and ate at the best pizza place I've ever eaten at, Grimaldi's. Brent said that it was not very busy there, evidenced by only an hour wait.
After that, we walked the Brooklyn Bridge. The architect and designer of the bridge said that, when he built it, he didn't see it as just a bridge, but as a work of art. I agree. It was beautiful. At the end of the bridge, we bought some shirts (and, no, they weren't "I heart New York").
After that, we went to the Bodies exhibit. It's kind of interesting to see the body 'peeled.' Although, I have to say, seeing dead, embryonic babies was a little creepy, but it was Heather's favorite part of the exhibit.

When we got home that night, we planned for tomorrow, which was Tuesday, but we didn't know if we wanted to go to Today on that day or another day, because sometimes you have to plan a day ahead for Today meaning yesterday, that is if your going today. Translation: We went to the Today Show the next day. My brother Brent even got on TV.
If you ever go to NYC, I recommend that, instead of going to the Empire State Building, you go to the Top of the Rock (which is the top of the Rockefeller Plaza, right by where the Today Show is shot). You get a better view of Central Park and you get to see the Empire State Building.
After we Topped the Rock, we went on a 5th Avenue Fashion Tour. Considering Brent and I were the only guys on the tour, you could probably guess this one was not my idea. But, I have to say, it was pretty fun to see ten women and two guys get kicked out of Chanel, because our motley crew couldn't afford $8,000 women's outfits. After the Fashion Tour and lunch, we picked up our tickets for the David Letterman Show.
I had to answer the following question to get the tickets. What is the hair color of David Letterman's announcer? If you know the answer you're smarter than I am, but they gave me the tickets anyway. By the way, the answer is candy-apple red. Ok, maybe just red, but I had to tie in apples somehow. The show didn't start for a couple hours, but we got priority seating because my wife is getting big, and they guessed that she was pregnant. So we got to sit in the theater as Paul Shaffer and his band warmed up before the show, while everyone else attending was squeezed together like a bunch of sardines in the hall. This gave me a great idea for the rest of the trip. Every time I was thirsty, I would ask anyone, from the guy at the cafe to the woman at the pie shop, for an ice water fill up, in my water bottle, for my pregnant wife. And it worked. The next morning we went to the iconic Empire State Building and the New York Skyride.
I have to say, skip them both, as long as you go to the Top of the Rock. The New York Skyride was the one thing that Heather couldn't participate in because of the apple turnover in her oven. But, she didn't miss out on anything. Think of a 1995 ITT Tech video graphics school project mixed with a car accident on a ferry in a typhoon. It kind of makes you want to throw up for more than one reason. But, the rest of the day was quite an improvement. Probably the two favorite things I did in New York were the Food on Foot Tours and Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum. The food tour took us to Hell's Kitchen, where the food was heaven (I couldn't help it). Our favorite place that we ate was a place called Azuri's. We had felafels. We even came back the next day because they were so delicious.
After the food tour, we went to Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum. Honestly, I didn't expect much from a wax museum, but it was a lot of fun. In each room we picked a different celebrity to pose with, and you'd be surprised at how life-like they were. We then went to the Wizard of Oz in 4D at the theater in the wax museum. They made a Reader's Digest version of the Wizard of Oz, but during it, huge gusts of wind blast your face when the tornado lands, bubbles float from the ceiling when the good witch comes, you get a poke in the back through something in your seat when Dorothy and her crew are captured, and water is thrown on you when the wicked witch is dowsed.
While walking around Madame Tussaud's, my sandal broke. So I had to pick up some shoes at a Sketchers in the middle of Times Square, before heading over to the King Tut exhibit. As unexpectedly good Madame Tussaud's was, the King Tut exhibit was unexpectedly disappointing. There were some cool pieces from his tomb, but not one death mask or sarcophagi (pretty big word, huh).
The next day we went to Central Park and our pass had a three hour bike rental. I recommend this one because we got to see most of Central Park, but it wasn't just walking around. There were some decent hills and it was extremely humid, but it really was a great way to see one of the most famous parks in the world.
We then dropped off the bikes and headed to the Shearwater Sailing, where we took a sailboat out to the Statue of Liberty. This was a good break since most of our week was pretty hectic. If we ever get a New York Pass again, we might do the Beast, which is a speed boat that goes along the Hudson, because sitting out in the sun was a little hot (I complain a little too much, don't I).
Anyway, after our sailboat cruise, our run of museums began and honestly, the days just ran together. We saw the MOMA (Museum of Modern Art), which had a great exhibit on Matisse and Van Gogh. That night, we went to the Broadway play, West Side Story. When we picked up our tickets, I told them my name and they gave me two tickets, but we really ordered three. When we told the ticket agent their mistake, they gave us our real tickets. And it's a good thing because if we hadn't caught their mistake we would have been sitting in the third balcony squinting to see the stage, while Ron Willem would have had our third row seats.
The next day we saw the MET (Metropolitan Museum of Art), which had every famous painter I've ever heard of as well as thousands I've never heard of. The American Natural History Museum had a blue whale on display, which is pretty incredible since it's the size of probably five or six buses.
By this time, our walking, like my writing of this post, had gone a little bit too long. We toured the Lincoln Center and saw the Temple, which was closed for cleaning the week we were there. Something different we did at the Lincoln Center was see an Opera. Once a year for a week, the Met (Opera, not museum), shows a performance on their gigantic HD screen outside the opera house for free. The night we went they performed Hansel and Gretel. But this was not the classic fairy tale. It was a little dark and twisted. For example, at the very end, after the children push the witch into the oven, Hansel and Gretel eat her.
We finished the week at the Bronx Zoo. I really enjoyed the seal show and most of the zoo, but Heather was bummed when she found out that you had to pay extra to see the elephants. C'est La Vie. All in all, it was a lot of work, but a lot of fun. It is said that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. But the Big Apple in a week will bring the doctor for a peek, which did happen a couple days after we got home for Heather. But all is well, and well, this is all.


  1. Wow! It made me tired just reading about your vacation! Sounds like so much fun. Good job going before you had kids. We took our kids to the Thanksgiving parade a few years in a row. Crazy! :)

  2. HaHa! Oh Heather- i TOTALLY feel your pain. I went last Aug when was 4 months? i cant remember, but my feet KILLED (and i wasnt even that big or far along)from walking everywhere. I think you are farther along & you guys saw WAY MORE than i did- i cant even imagine---darn fetus:) You got some great pics & looked like a fun trip!!

  3. You guys really did a great job packing all that in. I'm very impressed. I'm so glad you had a fun, interesting, safe trip.

  4. Thankyou for this link. Seems like you got a lot of your trip :)