Here is the update for the past few days….
New Years Eve
We started out the day going to the Discovery Science Centre. We went to the Body Worlds exhibit first. I have seen it before twice, but this was Joni’s first time going. It is an incredible display of the human body and the science behind it. We then went to the second exhibit that was about the Odyssey’s underwater shipwreck recovery missions. There were artifacts that were hundreds of years old including gold, silver and copper bars, coins, china, bottles, toothbrushes, you name it, they had them. It was beautiful. There was a third exhibit that we didn’t go that was about LEGO.
After that we went to Madame Tussauds wax museum. There were 200 figures there and we got some pics with various ones and also went through a haunted part of it. I confess there was one part that made me jump a foot or two and let out a little shriek. After we left there, we went to the BBQ restaurant across the street. Everyone we spoke to about where to go, pronounced it by the letters, not Bar-b-que as we would. It was very discombobulating at first…then funny. It was there that we had the monster sized drinks. Mine was an apple martini on the bottom, then strawberry margarita on the top, with a shot of coconut tequila nestled in the blended ice and a bottle of champagne tipped over into the drink bowl. It was DELICIOUS!!! One drink cost more than the lunch did, but it had enough alcohol in it for 5 drinks…lol
When we finished our liquid lunch and had our sandwich for dessert, we stumbled towards the hotel. On the way I found another one of the thousands of tourist stores here and bought some more souvenirs and then posed for the pic with the cops. They had told us that for the big night, there were 40,000 cops on duty that are assigned here to NYC and another 30,000 had been imported from the surrounding areas. NUTS!!!
In the lobby of our hotel, while waiting for the elevator, we met two very lovely young women from England. While chatting, my normally shy self was overcome by a burst of exuberance, and I started talking to them. Although it was quite out of character for me to speak to strangers, I overcame it, and suggested that they purchase the spare two tickets I had for NYE. They very graciously said no, as they had just purchased comedy club tickets. However a few minutes after we had settled in the room, there was a knock at the door….they had realized that perhaps we were the people to be with on NYE cause we know how to rock the party! They bought our other two tickets which was nice for us, and great for them to be able to attend such a great party and see the ball drop too!
We got ready for the party as best we could, considering all our party gear was still in the lost suitcase. Fancy outfits, feather masks, shoes etc… I made do by wearing my new I <3 NY t-shirt. I can rock a party no matter what I wear, so although it was disappointing not to get to wear my new garb, it wasn’t going to slow me down any. We were able to use our glitter spray though. When we got to the lobby we went around offering to spray anyone else who wanted to glam themselves up a bit, staff included. Little girls and gay men loved us!!! Most women said yes, and only ONE man! It was fun. Our two new friends came down to the lobby shortly afterwards, we had a few hors d’houveurs and then asked the lobby what time we should leave for Ruby Tuesdays.
Our party was starting at 8, and it was 6:15. They said we needed to have left already and “Good Luck getting there now”. We were 4 blocks away. Well, when we hit the streets 4 minutes later I was able to understand why they had wished us luck. They were PACKED!!! The police had cordoned off all of Times Square and only were letting people in via small openings in the barricades. You were only able to walk in one direction, so once you moved into a new street, you were forced to go where they were channeling you, and anything other than that required a police escort, or you weren’t getting through. When I had mapped out our route via google maps, I didn’t think about it thoroughly. It did it as though you were driving, not walking. So, when we set out, I took us the LOOOONG way through, thus doubling our challenges. However, the silver lining of that was that it brought us directly through the heart of TIMES SQUARE past where all the stages were set up for the performers. I have a video of that, but haven’t posted it yet. Stay tuned.
The magic and power of the event was palpable. You could feel the energy pulsing through the air and the excitement was huge. I totally savoured the moments…. We crossed through with our police escort and then waited in line outside our restaurant for an hour, waiting for it to open. After only an hour, we were like popsicles. I was very grateful to not have to wait outside all day long, frozen, hungry and with no toilet available to us. We were wanded to make sure no Oozies were being snuck in, and we found out afterwards, the security guards for the place were plain clothes policemen!
The four of us headed inside and we got our table straight away. Our waitress Maggie tended to us all night, serving us very strong cocktails, champagne, whatever we wanted, and however much we wanted. We were on the second floor of the restaurant, where the DJ was and the official dance floor were and we set the mood for the party. Going around from table to table, snapping peoples pictures of themselves, meeting people and having a great laugh. The food was delicious and the company was even finer! The one drawback however was the number of ladies restrooms. Obviously there weren’t enough. However, someone whose name rhymes with Poni, solved that problem by starting a wee bit of a riot and dragging/encouraging the women to pop a squat in the man’s bathroom! The response was so overwhelming, security guards needed to be posted at the entrance to “guard” the john from the women who were staging a “pee in”. It was awesome!
Just before midnight, we donned our winter gear and headed outside to a specially roped off area for the guests of our restaurant only to watch the ball drop. Our view was spectacular, we got to see everything from A-Z and when we wanted to, we could return to the restaurant. The confetti sprayed everywhere throughout Times Square and I have to say, it was EVERYTHING I had wanted the experience to be. Some video and pics were taken, and then we headed back to the restaurant to finish the party. We were told that 1,000,000 people would be cleared out in 30 minutes. I didn’t think it was possible, but it happened. Very strange, but true.
Well, we got back inside, and continued to rouse the crowd, and ended up closing the bar at 4am! As we left, we were approached by the management team to say that we had been voted the most valuable guests of the evening as we had gotten more people up to dance and have a good time than ever before and without us it wouldn’t have been the same. Not to toot my own horn… too much… but it was true. And it was worth it. It was the best New Years Eve in my life – bar none. Mission accomplished. Check of the bucket list.
Jan 1st….The plan was to get up early and do lots of things….. Didn’t happen. Lol. Instead, we slept in, lounged around and then decided to do our shopping day that day, as the luggage still hadn’t come in. We hit Lane Bryant, Old Navy, and then onto Macy’s. OMG! What a store. 11 floors of shopping extravaganza. It had a complete floor dedicated only to shoes! You would think that it would have some size 12s…. Three pairs, two styles. Seriously. Three pairs, two styles. There was a complete city block of shoes, and that was it. However, the clothes were another story. It took me nearly an hour and a half to simply do a surface comb through of the clothes…and then I hit the fitting room. My visa trembled with fear, but managed to shoulder the load. Phew. Disaster averted! I have several bags to show for it, and can’t wait to unpack it all! We lost track of time, and ended up back at the hotel at 730pm. We had bought a tour bus package and with it, came headphones to listen to the tour operator. Not once, but twice, when I was wearing the headphones, I got shocked though my ears! I felt like I was hooked up to the death row electric chair! I jumped high enough, and screamed loud enough Joni nearly peed! I have not worn them since!
On our way back we smelled hot steak along the way, and knew we had to satisfy our inner cave women, and decided to phone down to the desk to find a good steak house. We also looked on line, and decided on a place called Bond 45. Our tourist pass also said that we would get a free drink if we presented it to the waitress. As we walked in, we were greeted with in house made fresh caramel chocolate brittle that melted in your mouth! It was awesome! We got to the table and mentioned our pass, so the waitress brought our glasses of champagne over and a bottle of San Pellegrino bottled water. Then as she walked away, we opened our menus. And then we closed them. We were a little out of our league, and decided that paying $200 for our supper was a bit much, so we confessed to the waitress that we would pay for our drinks, and scram. What was hilarious though, was while we waited, the table beside us asked the maitre d’ if they could order. He said that the waitress would be right by, and as he walked away past us, under his breath he said, “Fuckers” as he rolled his eyes. Joni and I nearly peed ourselves.
So, we bailed on the fancy place, I took my $8 bottle of WATER!!! With me, and we headed across the street to Planet Hollywood for supper. Our waiter was hilarious. When I said we were from Canada, and then when we said we were from the Calgary area, he said, “Hey, I know someone from Calgary!” I asked who, and he said it was Kevin Westgarth. I played along, and said, “Get out! I know Kevin!” The waiter totally bought it, and went on to ask him how I knew him, and I asked if he knew Bob and Peggy too….he said no, it was family friends who knew him growing up. Well, we blabbed about Kevin a bit more, and then TJ (the waiter) said how proud he was of his friend for his recent trade…to the being the newest Calgary Flame!!!! He was sooo excited to talk to me about it, and then he went on to involve the table next to us in the conversation….I couldn’t tell him I had been joking, or he would have been so embarrassed. It was pretty funny all things considered.
We left there and when we went outside, there were soooo many lights, we both were momentarily stunned as to what time of day it was. It was almost like being in Vegas in that respect. The 11pm street vendors had come out, and we saw some really cool things. The next thing you know, it was 12:30 and we were finally able to tear ourselves away and go back to the hotel to bed.
Jan 2 – today we headed down to see the Statue of Liberty and the Ground Zero memorial. As I need more time to reflect on that before I just gloss over it, I will save that update for a later date. The rest of today will also have to wait, cause all these late nights and action packed days are catching up to this old broad. I am going to tuck myself into bed after a nice hot shower and a watch of the news. New York and the east coast are bracing for a momentous storm, the worst in the past four years apparently. Between 6-10” of snow are expected tonight, and already since it started, we have enough snow falling and blowing to be unable to see past one skyscraper beyond us. There were chains on the busses and garbage trucks near the end of the afternoon in preparation for the storm. The Mayor and police commissioner came on the air with an emergency broadcast asking everyone to close up and go home early as a precaution.
One of the staff members at the hotel here is going to be staying the night at the hotel so she can be sure to be here for the morning shift cause the trains freeze over apparently and things grind to a halt. It will be interesting to see how things fare tomorrow. Boston is expecting 12-16” of snow! Planes are all being grounded here in the NE, so again, it will be interesting. If we end up snowbound tomorrow, I will have more time to post, but if not, it will have to wait. Hopefully things clear by Saturday, cause we have tickets to a Broadway show, Wicked, and reservations at a fancy restaurant my Chiropractor recommended to us.
So, goodnight for now!