She saw a Tim Hortons on the other side. True story. Yay for traveling across the continent and into another country just to eat Timbits!
New York was awesome. Which I hadn't really expected. As much as I love to travel, I never honestly wanted to go see New York. The sheer size of the city and the volume of it scared my small city, country bumpkin heart and I would have been happy living out my days never having set foot in the Big Apple.
I'd have missed out. I had a blast.
It helps that I went prepared, thanks to all of y'all. I had proper walking shoes, I was armed with interesting places to go visit and I had an extraordinary travel partner.
What I didn't have was a personal air-conditioner on wheels following me around as I tramped about the city. Holy heck, New York City in the summer is hot. As in hawt. Like boob sweat, ear sweat and every other extremely unsexy sweat imaginable. The heat bounced off all the concrete and my poor Canadian winter loving body just about melted like Frosty the Snowman.
A little boob sweat should never stop a good tourist though and so we walked.
And walked some more.
The view from the Empire State Building
Times Square and me. Along with thousands of other snap-happy slightly lost tourists.
Times Square rather disappointed me. Although I did enjoy me some Naked Cowboy shaking his thang in front of me. However, I kept wanting to throw a blanket around him and tell him he's bringing shame to real cowboys everywhere. I mean, please. A straw cowboy hat? Invest in a Stetson and take some pride in your panhandling.
My kids wouldn't let me post the picture of me copping a feel of Liberty's boob. They're fuddy duddies.
My friend and I found the first of the fake Lady Liberty statues dotted around the tourist areas and in a moment of silliness we posed for pictures. Just as my buddy was snapping my picture a clearly concerned homeless man ventured up to us and whispered, "You do know that's not the real Statue of Liberty, right?"
And they say New Yorkers are unfriendly. Please. That bearded dude totally earned a dollar with that tip.
Since I had absolutely no reason to be in New York other than to enjoy myself, my girlfriend and I happily strapped on our tourist hats and toured. We hit all the big tourist attractions, and a lot of the smaller ones. We rode the subway, which smelled very similar to what I imagine a sewer pipe would. In fact, I'm pretty sure if someone urinated in the corner of one of the subway stations that may actually have made it cleaner.
We spent more time wandering off the beaten path, getting hopeless lost and enjoying every minute of it.
It occurred to us half way through our little adventure that the only animals we had seen in our travels was the odd dog on a leash. Right about then is when a pigeon pooped on us, I spilled my drink down my dress and a squirrel started to stalk us. City wildlife makes me twitch and walk around looking like I peed myself.
Crazy eyes. I swear it wanted to jump on my face and rip off my nose.
After stumbling upon a little art gallery, I found the souvenir I wanted to take home with me. Never mind it cost almost as much as my car. However, when I sent a picture of the little statue to my husband he immediately called back and yelled, "Are you on crack? What is wrong with you?"
I bet if I had sent him a picture of the Bloggess's big metal chicken statue he'd have been all over that and have asked if I could get two so he could plant one on each side of the driveway to pretend they were his personal gargoyles.
There may be a reason the two of us have never invested in any real art.
This is why cell phones and cameras shouldn't be allowed near slightly inebriated people. Dorkiness ensues.
There was food, (oh my god, the food. Amazing.) There may have been some wine. And perhaps a mojito. Or three. But in my defense, we had just spent two hours getting hopelessly lost while wandering about looking for an interesting place to eat. What we found in two hours was a steady stream of Irish Bar and Grills. It was as though all the restaurants in the greater Manhattan area had been transported to the moon and replaced with Irish pubs and maybe the occasional questionable looking noodle house.
I was about to give up on ever sitting down in a non-pub type restaurant when a NYPD officer took pity on us and pointed us in the direction we wanted to be. After asking if he could join us after his shift. It was too bad he was like 12, and I'm like, married with four kids and old. Otherwise, I'd have totally accepted his offer.
So I can officially cross visiting New York off my bucket list, even if it was never really on it. And the best souvenir I brought home with me? The 7 blisters I managed to accumulate on my feet, even after wearing sneakers and old lady walking sandals.
Thank goodness for the Walgreens across the street. Sorry about cleaning out your blister Band-Aid supply. You may want to restock for the next tourist who isn't really prepared for the concrete jungle.
*A big thanks to Isabel, Neil, Barry, James and Jason for going out of their way to take two little tourists under their wings and make our trip memorable. Also, you were missed D.*