Tuesday night, I picked up some take-out and headed over to Evan's apartment. His roommate was our ride to the airport and our flight was at 7:30am, so I didn't wanna run the risk of being late. So I just stayed the night at his house. Sharing a bed was a bit awkward because of past experiences but...I figured we should probably get used to it.
The flight to New York wasn't so bad. Evan and I made it to our gate just as they were calling our row, so we got right on. Neither one of us could sleep for the excitement!
When we arrived and got our bags we went out in search of a cab. My first sights of the airport weren't that impressive, although the weather was nice and cool. About 60 degrees.
"Ok, we have to get a cab outside, from a marked car. Not from these guys asking us if we need rides, because they could be swindlers." Evan said.
"Wow, I didn't even think of that. Good call."
So we walked down the street a ways, following the taxi signs. And just as we were about to cross the street, a short man in a suit with a thick accent approached.
"Do you need a cab?" he asked.
I blatantly ignored him, but he persisted.
"I take you for $45 plus tolls. Cab??"
Evan kinda hesitated, and then said, "Yea...we need to get to Manhattan."
My eyes popped out of my head. I gave him a look that said, "What are you doing!?"
But the "cab driver" was already taking my suitcase and walking briskly away.
"Follow me!" he said.
Once the driver was out of earshot I began angrily hissing in Evan's ear.
"How about practicing what you preach Evan!? Are you crazy!? This guy could be stealing our bags! I don't like this! I don't trust him!"
"Well, if he takes us to an unmarked car, then we'll turn around." he said.
"We better!" I huffed.
But sure enough, he brings us to a white, unmarked van. I started giving Evan the look again. The driver was already loading our bags in the back.
"Uh...do you have some kind of ID or something?" Evan asked.
"Oh! Of course I have ID! Here you go, see??" he handed Evan a business card.
I still was not convinced. But we got in anyways.
I sat down in my seat and sent Evan a text that said, "I DON'T LIKE THIS!"
He just rolled his eyes at me.
Well, needless to say, we made it to our hotel. The drive was amazing! My first sights of New York City! I drank it up greedily. The tall buildings, the amazing skyline, the buildings with fire escape stairs down the sides! (I'd only ever seen those in movies.)
The hotel was small, squeezed in between 2 apartment buildings on a numbered street in the heart of downtown Manhattan. There was even a dog walking park across the street! It was all so quaint. We checked in, and took the one small elevator up to the 7th floor to our room. The first thing I wanted to do was shower. I hadn't taken one that morning because we had to get up at 5, and it was starting to sink in how gross I felt. There were no bathrooms in the rooms; there were 2 bathrooms for the hallway, which consisted of about 8 rooms. It was like being back in the dorms in college, walking down the hall to the bathroom with a bag of toiletries and a towel. Haha. But they were very clean, so no worries. And I felt a million times better afterwards.
So, our first order of business was to do some exploring! Shane wasn't due to arrive until later that night, so we had a few hours to kill. I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I'm sort of an amateur photographer. So I grabbed my huge camera bag, and Evan and I headed out. I snapped tons of pictures everywhere we went. New York is the most exciting and interesting place to photograph!
We headed to the subway first. That was super exciting! We bought a 6 ride pass, and hopped on the 6. We went to Little Italy first, because we were starving! The hotel provided some great maps in the brochure rack. We probably went through about 8 of them throughout our trip! We walked past about 15 Italian restaurants, looking for something special, but finally we couldn't stand our hunger anymore and just ended up going into a random restaurant. But it was, by far, the best pasta I've ever had! And we each had a glass of wine with our meal.
We finally left the restaurant at dusk, and feeling full to the brim. Our next stop was Canal Street. Canal Street is known for its street vendors selling knock-off bags, watches, perfumes, and jewelry. But I really wanted a faux-Chanel bag!
I ended up getting 2 bottles of my favorite perfume, a bag, a pair of sunglasses, and a hat! Lol. Evan looked at watches, but didn't buy anything. I took lots of pictures of the street too. It was so cool walking around like real New Yorkers! Except my camera and Evan's map probably gave us away. Haha.
At about 7 we headed back to the hotel to wait for Shane. And by this time, I was exhausted. So I decided to take a powernap. Evan, on the other hand, had ants in his pants and wanted to go do something! I kept telling him we didn't have time to leave and come back before Shane arrived, but he just wouldn't calm down! And he wouldn't let me sleep either. He was driving me nuts! Eventually, he said he was gonna go take a shower, and I finally got to sleep.
About an hour later, there was a knock at the door. It was Shane!
"I tried calling you a bunch of times, but it kept saying all the circuits were busy!" she said, "But the guy at the desk told me what room ya'll were in."
"Well I'm glad you made it! Isn't this awesome?!" We squeeled and jumped around for a minute while Evan rolled his eyes. Lol. Then I showed Shane all the cool stuff I bought on Canal St.
"I hope you're not tired of it yet cuz you know we have to go back there tomorrow!" Shane said.
"Of course!! You can never shop too much in New York City!" I laughed.
Evan rolled his eyes.
"Poor Evan didn't know what he was getting himself into coming to New York City with 2 girls!" I teased.
After we were all settled in we started discussing what to do that evening. Evan was ready to get the hell out of the hotel, but Shane and I still needed to get our sexy on. By the time we were ready, it was already almost midnight, but hey! Bars in NY are open till 4 am!
So we hopped in a cab and headed for Times Square. We took pictures on the corner and "oohed" and "aahed" at the sights. The big screens, the lights, the billboards, the marquees...EVERYWHERE! So beautiful! Then we walked around in search of a bar to hang out in. Most of the places were restaurant/bars, and we didn't wanna go into one of those, so we wandered out of Times Square and found a little Irish Pub. We went inside, sat down at the bar and ordered a round of drinks.
"Hey, are there any good bars around here besides this one?" I asked the bartender. He kinda gave me a superior look, a look that said he knew we were tourists and replied, "Well...not really for the way you guys are dressed. Where are you from?"
"Texas!" Shane said, "And this is how we always dress!"
"Well, this is New York City! I mean, you don't have to dress up here, we just go out in sweatshirts and jeans. You guys are dressed more for a lounge or something."
Then he made us a list of a couple different bars, and their cross streets. So we thanked him and headed on to our next destination...
...Which ended up being another Irish Pub!
"What is this an Irish Pub Crawl?" I said. Evan and Shane laughed.
"Well what about this place?" Shane pointed at one of the bars on the list, "The bartender said we were dressed for this one."
"Yea but that's a jazz lounge." Evan pointed out.
"Well...I'm up for whatever, I just need a drink!" I said.
So we had another round, and then decided to just walk around the area we were already in and try to find another bar. We walked into 2 others. One was closing early, so we never actually made it in the door, and the other was a dimly lit basement bar, with pool tables and such. The bartender was really nice, and we joked with her about the couple making out in the corner. They seriously looked like they were about to tear each other's clothes off and start going at it right there on their table!
And then, we ready to call it a night. With four more days of sightseeing, barhopping and shopping ahead of us, we all figured it was a good idea to get some rest. So we hopped a cab back to the hotel. Shane and I were awfully cozy in our twin bed, but we both slept great! And when the sun came up, we were ready for Day 2 of NYC!
Mitch Of The Day:
"I hate sandwiches at New York delis. Too much meat on the sandwich. It's like a cow with a cracker on either side. "Would you like anything else with the pastrami sandwich?" "Yeah, a loaf of bread and some other people!'"