A LITTLE BIT Of Southern Charm Goes A LONG Way!

Monday morning was our "New York Must Do List" for first time visitors day.  Robby had created a little itinerary, so in order to get everything done, we needed to get up fairly early.  However, not quite as early as Robby tends to awake.

By 5 am, Robby had woke up...without an alarm clock!  This is not unusual for him; he tells me all the time that he has an "internal alarm clock".  Hmmm...that little part was left out when I was made.  So, he got up, got his shower and quietly came over to ask if I would like to sleep a little longer.  I threw the covers up over my head and grunted in the affirmative.  He told me he was going across the street to the drug store and would return shortly.  As soon as he left, I snuggled deeply under my covers and began to doze off...when SUDDENLY I heard, "A ringy ding ding ding dong...A ringy ding ding ding dong"! (The Geico commercial ring tone)  It was the alarm going off on Robby's cell phone...CRAP!  I jumped up out of the bed and ran to quickly turn it off, but couldn't find it.  After continuing to listen to that annoying ring, I FINALLY determined where it was coming from and turned it off.  After that whole ordeal, I decided I may as well just go ahead and get up.  After dressing, we all headed out to start our "Touristy New York Day".

After stopping at a nearby deli for a quick cup of coffee and a bagel (I just LOVE New York deli's!), we went to the subway station to purchase our Metro Cards for the day.  When visiting New York, we always ride the subways.  Thank goodness Robby has a GREAT sense of direction...AND is able to read a map, because I simply follow him around like a sheep.  Our first stop of the day would be Battery Park.  Here, we would get on the ferry that goes out to Ellis Island.  On our way there, we passed the Statue of Liberty, which is an impressive sight, no matter how many times one has seen her standing there in the harbor holding her torch.  Upon arriving at Ellis Island, we decided to take the audio tour.  It had been years since I had been there and agreed that, that would be a great way for all of us to learn more about all of the immigrants that had entered our country years ago.  My germ-a-phobia sort of kicked in for a minute there too, when Robby handed me my headphones.  I looked at them and asked Sandra, "Do you think they change out this foam on the ear pieces after each person uses them?"  Before she knew what she had said, she answered, "I doubt it."  THEN, she apparently saw the look in my eyes and quickly said, "Maybe they do."  I was still looking at those headphones (not putting them on my ears yet) when Robby walked by and I asked him..."Hey, do you think they change these out after each person uses them?"  He never stopped walking and without batting an eye said, "Yea, they wash them."  Hmmm...OK.  Well, in the end, I decided to go ahead and wear them.  The audio tour was just as wonderful as I had remembered and our friends loved it.  Our first stop on Robby's itinerary had been a good choice.  On to our next stop.

After taking the ferry back to Battery Park, we were hungry, so we set out for Little Italy.  We chose a little hole in the wall restaurant ( those are the BEST ones!) to eat lunch.  We had some great Italian food, a little wine...and used our southern charm to meet a couple of really nice and interesting men.  Everywhere we went, people smilingly HAD to ask..."Where are you from?"  WOW!  Can you believe we didn't just blend in?  It's that darn southern accent of ours...BUT apparently others find it quite charming.  THAT is how we met two men, John and Jack, at the Italian restaurant.  After also asking where we were from, they asked what we were doing that day.  Informing them that we were heading to the Brooklyn Bridge to walk over it, they offered to take us on a short cut.  While walking with those two men, we found that they were not only very friendly, but informative as well.  Telling us that Wall Street was originally given that name because, yes, there was a wall built there, but also WHY it was named that.  The wall was built to keep the pigs out of the city!  But, the story that Jack related to us, was the one that affected us most.  Jack, now an insurance salesman, was once a military special operations specialist in Viet Nam.   After leaving the military, he began selling insurance...in the South Tower.  On 911, he was in the South Tower, when the North Tower was hit.  Standing there, watching the plane hit that North Tower, he turned to his boss and told him that he had a bad feeling.  He insisted on getting all of his employees out of the building.  As they were making their way down, the South Tower was hit...with them still in it.  The building had begun to burn, as he continued to rush his employees out.  Making it to the door, they were afraid to go out into the street because of all the rubble they saw falling; they feared being hit by it.  He convinced them that it would be more dangerous inside the building and personally led them out...just before the building collapsed.  What a story.  I looked at Sandra and said, "God had something else planned for him...to spare his life like that."  We shook their hands and told them that it had been a pleasure to meet them as they left us at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge.  After walking to the top of the bridge and taking lots of pictures, we decided to take the subway back to our hotel to rest for a while and dress for dinner.

Upon arriving back at the hotel, I looked at the time and decided I had time for a nice, hot bath.  As I laid there in the tub with my i-pod playing, I heard Robby calling my name.  It seems that he had gotten us a car for the evening to take us all to dinner and wherever else we chose to go .  THANK GOODNESS!  There was NO WAY I could have walked in my heels very far...and often times, it is difficult to catch a cab in New York at night.  Our driver arrived and whisked us off to a restaurant we had never eaten at before, but was recommended to us by another friend; The River Cafe'.  The River Cafe' sits under the Brooklyn Bridge and has a wall of glass windows that over looks the water.  Not only was is beautifully decorated, the atmosphere was warm and the food was great.  They even make a chocolate dessert that is in the shape of the Brooklyn Bridge!...and yes, I insisted that someone get that dessert, so I could take a picture of it!  After finishing our meal and taking quite a few pictures, we headed to the Empire State Building.

I will admit that I have a fear of heights.  However, I had no idea that Doug also had that same fear...and apparently his fear was more intense than mine!  Wanting to back out, we would not let him.  We even got tickets to go to the 86th AND 102nd floor observatories.  At the 102 floor observatory, we could actually see that we were up in the clouds!  Doug survived, although barely.  We were looking around the gift shop and getting ready to leave when we couldn't find him.  Finally we noticed that he was standing almost comatose in front of a television set that was playing the video of "King Kong".  Gathering him up, we went back to the car and then on to our hotel room...it was MIDNIGHT!  Well, one thing was for sure...we would all sleep well that night.

Our "New York Must Do" Day had been a success.  We had gotten an early start and had a late finish, but we had completed everything on Robby's itinerary for the day.  Tomorrow we would take another section of the city to tour.  There was so much to see and so little time to see it in...but we were going to give it a good try!

No comments