Forget The Gun...Get The Cannoli!

The rain was gone in New York by Wednesday morning and in its place was a very cool north wind.  I donned my hat, gloves, boots and coat...I was on a mission.  Hoboken was our destination; home of Carlo's Bakery...you know, "The Cake Boss"!  I HAD to visit Buddy's bakery for more than one reason.  We love watching him bake all of his sweet artistic creations, but we also enjoy the wild and crazy antics that take place in the bakery as well.  THEIR loud family reminds me of OUR loud family.

We were off to jump on the subway again to head toward Hoboken, New Jersey.  It was only about a 5 minute ride and well worth it.  Hoboken is a quaint little town and Carlo's Bakery was not far from the subway station.  I got excited as the red and white awning of the bakery came into view.  Unfortunately, Buddy was not there that day; he was in Los Angeles filming the Jay Leno Show.  We bought a lobster tail and cannoli, along with a few other desserts and coffee...all I can say is, YUMMY!  After consuming these confections...and snapping a good many pictures, we were off again to hop another subway train to Coney Island.  However, on our way back, I stopped off at a little establishment that I had passed on my way to the bakery.  It was as bar/restaurant that had Louisiana in its name.  OK...being from Louisiana, I HAD to find out a little bit more about it.  So, as Robby and Doug were walking ahead of Sandra and me...I stopped and had her take my picture in front of the window.  Then, I slipped in the front door to see what was up with the name.  At that point, the men noticed that I was missing.  Turning around, Robby inquired as to where I was.  Sandra told him that I wanted to find out if the owner of the restaurant was perhaps from Louisiana.  His reply?..."I doubt it!"  Sandra asked, "Then WHY would he name his restaurant that?"  Very matter of factly, he answered a question by asking another one..."Do you think a bar named The Blue Moon is owned by someone from the moon?"  Hmph!  Well...I WAS RIGHT (and for once I had witnesses!).  The owner WAS from Louisiana!  After we asked a few questions and took some pictures, we continued on to the subway.

We did not take the express train to Coney Island, so it took us quite a while to get there.  At this time of year, none of the rides or activities were up and running, but these carnivores I was traveling with didn't care.  They had only one destination in mind..."Nathan's".  Nathan's is the place where the hot dog eating contest, featured on television, takes place yearly.  Doug had actually told us all the previous evening that his intentions were to eat 4 or 5 hot dogs there the next day!  I wanted to see that (or maybe not...).  Upon walking up to the restaurant, we spotted an ambulance parked in front, loading someone up...not a good sign!  I attempted once more to dissuade them from eating there, but was not successful.  You may be asking yourself...now, what did the vegetarian eat at this particular place?  Luckily for me, they did have A VEGETABLE...corn on the cob!  And yes, that is what I had to eat for lunch.  They apparently LOVED their hot dogs...oh, and Doug only ate 2, by the way!  We were off again...back to 5th Avenue!

Our subway this time dropped us off right in front of another place I had been dying to visit before we left; The American Girl Store.  I had previously visited The American Girl Stores in Chicago, Dallas and New York.  Last year was Robby's first visit to the store and he was so impressed that he remembered exactly where it was located and led me there...to dream about all the plans we had for Parker.  Let's just say...I did NOT leave there empty handed!  From there, it was time to get ready for the night's entertainment.

If one plans a trip to New York during the holiday season, it is a MUST to see the Rockettes.  If anything can put a person in the Christmas spirit, it is this show!  The entire lobby and auditorium of Radio City Music Hall is decorated with festive lights and there are 2 organists playing Christmas song selections while people continue to locate their seats and anxiously await the show.  And the show itself...MY, OH MY...What a treat!  High kick dancers dressed as Santa's reindeer and toy soldiers and even a visit from Santa Claus.  Ending the entire performance, live camels and donkeys cross the stage as part of the nativity scene that unfolds as a chorus sings out strains of Joy to the World.

As we left the show, it was quite chilly as we made our way to a little coffee shop, where the four of us drank coffee and hot chocolate and reminisced about the old days when our children were growing up together down the street from one another.  It was around midnight when we finally headed back to our hotel.  New York had been great, as usual.  Sadly, we had to pack for our trip home the next day.  But, visions of bright lights in the "Big Apple" would continue to dance in our memories...until next year when we all hoped to return.

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