We left for the Detroit airport at 3 AM. I was so excited for NYC that I wasn't even the least bit tired. I was wearing the 1960s kelly green dress with rhinestones (below) just for the occasion. We arrived at LaGuardia Airport on time. I was thrilled because I wasn't sure how my outfit would go over, but the flight attendant who took my ticket in Detroit said to me, "I admire your dress. Your outfit is well put together." Then, on the plane, the attendant taking my drink order leaned over and said, "I love your kelly green dress." I chose it just because it was "kelly green!"
Anyway, when we departed at the LaGuardia Airport, we took a bus to our hotel through Queens. It was quite an experience! I think it was a culture shock for us Hoosiers because we were two of the very few people on the bus speaking English. There were so many languages on that tiny bus!
We arrived at Grand Central Station about an hour later. I think I'll always remember gasping as we walked into the main lobby area. It was absolutely gorgeous! Beautiful chandeliers, marble floors, and people, people, people just everywhere! We only had to walk about a block to our hotel, and by that time our room had just opened up. The Hotel Bedford. Old with the firmest bed I've ever slept on, but it was a lovely hotel at a great price.
I quickly changed into jeans, and on the elevator ride down to the lobby, a woman said, "Oh, you changed your clothes! You looked just like an Audrey Hepburn wannabe!" Aaron told me that was a good thing.
We headed on to Times Square. It was so incredible to turn a corner and suddenly be faced with gigantic monitors everywhere. It was madness, but awesome just the same. I was afraid Aaron would take it badly because of all the people and lights...he just hates crowds...but I think he was too amazed to care. I crave crowds, so it was right up my alley. There is no way to describe Times Square. I won't even try. The only word I have for it is "overwhelming." We sat for a while and soaked it all in, and then had lunch at Rosie O'Grady's.
Ideally I should have ordered a Guiness since it was an Irish restaurant, but I couldn't contain myself and ordered a cosmo instead...my very first cosmopolitan in New York!
From Times Square we ventured to Fifth Avenue. I could hardly believe I was actually there! Surrounded by Dior, Chanel, Saks...and Tiffany's, of course! In fact, the only site where Audrey Hepburn actually filmed on location for "Breakfast at Tiffany's," and I stood right there! Aaron even encouraged me to buy something, so I bought a sterling silver heart-shaped pendant and chain. Wrapped in a little blue box with a Tiffany bow even. As we were leaving the 6 floors of deliciously fabulous jewelry, the elevator operator saw my little blue bag and said with a smile in a sing-song voice, "Some-body's hap-py." I was happy. It was absolutely wonderful, and now I can check that off my list of things to do before I die, because going to Tiffany's New York was definitely in the top five.
Just for the record, though, Aaron made a point of saying that he did not buy the necklace, but that I did. He stated a long time ago (when I was working at a jewelry store) that the only piece of jewelry he would ever, EVER buy me was my engagement ring.
Just across from Tiffany's is Central Park, so we walked there for a carriage ride. Our carriage driver was Patty Galligan, an older Irish gentleman. Central Park is beautiful and serene and an amazingly pituresque place for such a hectic city. We only saw a small bit of it, and we wanted to go back, but we never had time enough. The carriage ride was so lovely as we rode through the small lanes under large leafy trees along the man-made lake.
We stopped off at FAO Schwarz, and I have to say, I was a little disappointed. It was mostly just stuffed animals. I thought maybe they'd have a giant keyboard you could dance on like in the movie "Big," but they didn't. We walked on to Rockefeller Center and the Rockefeller Ice rink and saw St. Patrick's Cathedral across the way.
Next, after miles and miles of walking throughout the day and thoroughly exhausted, we went to the Empire State Building. I thought that there would be more room to walk around, but surprisingly, late as it was, it was packed full of people on the observation deck. For some reason, my fear of heights really got the best of me. I'm usually okay with it, but on the observation deck on the 86th floor, I was terrified. I could barely approach the railing. But it was fantastic to see New York from up there, even if I was afraid. We could see just about everything! After spending some time on the 86th floor, we traveled up to the 102nd floor, which has glass all around it, and I did much better from there. I don't know what else to say about it. I've been in tall buildings before, like the Sears and Hancock Towers and the CN Tower, but they don't even compare. It was even more beautiful because it was night and the lights of the city engulfed us.
And that is the end of Day 1...more to come tomorrow!