Thursday, December 13, 2012

The City So Nice They Named It Twice

Last week I had the pleasure of taking a mini-vacation to NYC.  My dad was on business there, so I met my parents in the city for a few days.  I've been to NYC once before (that's where Josh and I got engaged).  For obvious reasons (ie engagement ring!) NYC was fabulous the first time.  And I have to say this trip's "fabulous factor"was up there.  New York at Christmas time is magical, truly magical.  With all the lights, the store windows decked out in holiday cheer, the holidays shows and the decorations on all the buildings, its such a festive place to be for the holidays.  I think the only thing that might have made it a little better would have been cooler weather (it was in the upper 50s the whole time) and some snow.  I know that might sound crazy to some, but when you live in Southern California where it stays in the 60s during December, the idea of bundling up for cold weather and walking around in snow sounds fun, but just for a few days.

Window shopping... at Tiffany's of course!
The first day in NYC we woke up early and headed to the "Live with Kelly and Michael" studio to line up for "stand-by" tickets.  My mom and I are HUGE fans of the show; we both DVR it and watch it everyday.  We requested tickets a long time ago, but never got any.  So our only hope of getting into the show was the standby line.  Luckily we were the 10th and 11th people in line out of a total of about 50 people, so our chances were pretty good we thought.  As we approached show time, only 6 minutes away, we thought maybe we wouldn't get so lucky.  BUT... they called our numbers and we got in!  My mom and I were escatic!  We couldn't believe we were actually in the studio of the show we have watched for so long.  We got to see Hugh Jackman, Howie Mandel and Arthea Franklin performed.   Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan were the nicest people.  During commerical breaks they chatted with the audience, took pictures and shook hands.  It was such a fun experience!

Central Park

A lot of our time in NYC was spent strolling, no actually fast-walking at the pace New Yorkers go, through the streets of New York and also through Central Park.  Along 5th Avenue and Madison Avenue all the window shops were decorated for Christmas with elaborate decorations.  My favorite were the Great Gatsby themed windows.  Central Park was gorgeous at this time of year.  Some of the leaves were falling off the trees, there were ice skaters at the rink and people were sipping hot chocolate as they listened to a saxophone player playing in Christmas carols in the park.  After being in the city I have this itch to go live in a big city somewhere and be a city girl.  I think I could be a "city girl", but yet I think this after being in the city for only 3 days; living there would probably be a whole other ball game.  But I could totally picture myself catching the subway for work, shopping on 5th Avenue and going for a morning jog in Central Park.

Skating in Central Park

Saxophone player in the park playing Christmas carols
One of the highlights of the trip was going to see "The Nutcracker" ballet at Lincoln Center.  When I was little I was in the Dallas Ballet's "The Nutcracker" as an angel and a toy solider.  I have so many great memories of being in the ballet including: getting into costume for the ballet, getting to wear makeup and then coming home late on a school night after the ballet and picking at my mascara as we drove home.  Funny the things we remember as kids.  Although I got to be in the ballet, I've never actually seen it; so I was in for a real treat!  The ballet was FABULOUS, even better than I thought it was going to be!  And the Lincoln Center is a pretty spectacular place; the ballet, Metropolitan Opera and symphony are all within feet of each other with the Juliard School just across the street.  Talk about a lot of talent in a small area.

Mom and I at the Nutcracker
Mom and Pop outside The Metropolitan Opera

After the show we met up with one of my best friends, Anna, who happened to be in the city at the same time as us.  She and her boyfriend, Scott, were both there for medical residency interviews.  I was SOO happy to see her; it was such a happy coincidence!!

Meeting up with Anna & Scott in NYC for drink... such a happy coincidence!

The next morning we had another early morning because we had to get to Good Morning America! This is another show my mom and I try to watch every morning.  I've actually been to the Good Morning America show before.  When Josh and I were in NYC I dragged him to GMA bright and early and made him hold a sign that said "We're Engaged!!" and "She Said YES!".  The poor guy, he was so embarrassed but it did get us into the studio and we got on tv.  Mom and I stood outside the studio and got on TV a few times during the broadcast.  Between stories, the newscasters, Josh Elliot and Sam Champion, would come behind the monitor and wave to us.  We stayed during the entire 2 hour broadcast and during the second hour we kept waving and were yelling for Josh Elliot to come take a picture with us.  To our surprise he mouthed through the window "I will I promise" and then whispers something to the show's producer.  Next thing we know a security guard comes out to get my mom and I and we are escorted into the studio! Once inside they kept calling us "the ladies Josh requested".  We got to watch the second half of the broadcast from inside the studio and got to be on TV a couple more times.  It was so so much fun, and so cool that we got personally invited into the studio by Josh.  Thank you Josh Elliot for making my mom and I's trip so memorable.

Inside the GMA studio!

NYC trip was too short and I can't wait to be back.  Hopefully I'll be back again this year, but this time with Josh.  NYC will always hold a special place in my heart because its where Josh proposed.  Going back brought back so many happy memories and during this trip I was able to create some more happy memories with my parents. 

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