Another Adventure to the Big Apple

Photo: Melissa Kania
Photo: Melissa Kania

It took me 22 and a half years to make my first trip to NYC; that happened last June, when I went for a day-long excursion with my mom. (It was also her first trip.) Having a tendency to be a bit of a wanderlust, I booked a trip for us to return to the city in April, where we’ll be attending a Broadway show and a New York Rangers game.

Of course, that wasn’t enough to satisfy me…. so in a spur-of-the-moment decision back in late, late December, I bought a pair of Megabus tickets to visit NYC in February. I figured, hell, I’ll find SOMEONE to go with me, and they were at a reasonable price, so… why not! I asked my friend Liz to go with me and… that was that.

So at 3:15 am this past Saturday, my best friend and I hopped a bus to the Big Apple for a day-long adventure and a gorgeous day in an incredible city.

The bus ride to NYC was a giant moment of “Ugh.” The bus was packed, so we weren’t able to get seats next to each other. The man sitting next to me refused to move even after I politely asked him to switch; he later ended up doing a number of things that were irritating: snoring, taking up way too much space, and using his phone on FULL brightness in a very dark bus. Ugh, ugh, ugh.

It was a pretty ride, though. The bus took a different route than I expected, so we ended up going through the area of the Catskills, which just took my breath away. And after an eight-hour bus ride and two rest stops, we ended up in NYC.

Our first stop was Times Square. We went to the Hershey Store (I bought my mom a magnet) and M&M World and a couple little gift shops and Starbucks. Eventually, we ended up spending a good 20 minutes talking to a gentleman from Stand Up NYC, who convinced us to get tickets to a comedy show that night. We agreed because we didn’t have anything planned at night and were looking for something to occupy our time before the bus left, so we figured… why not give it a shot.

We next walked over to the NHL Store on the Avenue of the Americas. I feel like that’s a stop I’ll always make in NYC, even if I don’t end up actually purchasing anything. It’s neat to see what they offer and if it’s anything that catches my eye enough to buy it. This time around, they had some neat Olympic-themed shirts, but I didn’t buy anything.

Our next stop was just down the street at the Rockefeller Center. We went to the Top of the Rock, which really offers an incredible view of NYC and the surrounding area. Tickets were $27 each, which isn’t really bad because it’s definitely a view like no other. You could see it all, from Central Park to the Empire State Building to One World Trade Center and everything in between; Liz even pointed out the Statue of Liberty in the distance. The upper-most deck was surprisingly the least windy, so keep that in mind if you ever decide to go on a windy day.

After walking around that area a little more – including seeing some of the shops & restaurants, as well as the skating rink at the Rockefeller Center with all the world’s flags around it – we went to dinner at Ruby Tuesday’s in Times Square. I can’t even begin to describe how good it felt to sit, get out of the sun, and get some decent food.

Our adventures continued by walking up to 8th Avenue and hopping a cab to Central Park West & 71st Street. That was my first time hailing a cab in NYC and doing it made me feel like I belonged in the city!

Anyways. We got off the cab and saw the Dakota, which is the building where John Lennon lived (and was shot). We eventually ended up walking by the very south entrance of the building WHERE the incident occurred, and it’s just incredible to think about that. How many places do we pass in a day where historic events happened years, years, years ago and we never stop to realize how truly amazing that is?

We then walked through a bit of Central Park – not the easiest place to navigate in the dark, I’ll say that. I was surprised by how many people I did see in the park, despite it being so dark out at 7:30 p.m. on a Saturday in February. After some trouble navigating, we did eventually find Strawberry Fields, which was our specific reason for visiting the park. Liz wanted to see it, so I’m glad that we were able to do that.

After that, we hailed another cab up to 81st Street and stopped at a couple places to try and find power outlets — not the easiest thing in the world — and then at a clothing store and a drug store. Our final destination of the evening was Stand Up NYC, the comedy club we’d bought tickets for earlier in the day.

Let me put a disclaimer on this: I am a very hard person to entertain. I don’t laugh easily, and most of the time when people attempt to be funny, I’m that girl who ends up rolling her eyes. But Stand Up NYC actually made me laugh. We did the 9 p.m. show, which started 20 minutes late – so that kind of totally sucked – but it was pretty good. There were a couple different comedians, some of whom have appeared on shows like Breaking Bad and SNL. I laughed, I drank a little, and I genuinely enjoyed myself, and I think that’s what matters in the end.

After the show ended, we hailed a cab to the Megabus stop. I have to say, I was pretty impressed by how cheap all of the cab fare ended up being. I’ll still probably rely mostly on walking around NYC whenever I go, but now I won’t be so apprehensive about hailing a cab since I know HOW to do it now and have done it three times. It was a small victory for me.

The bus left right around midnight, and the ride home was WORLDS better than the ride in, for several reasons. Since NYC was the starting point, we were able to get two seats next to each other…. much better than having to sit next to irritating strangers. The wi-fi actually worked and so did the plugs (mine didn’t on the way in). I slept most of the way home because hello, what an exhausting day… waking up only when we stopped in New Baltimore and Waterloo. And when we eventually got back into Buffalo, I was glad to be home, back in the calmness as compared to the crazy, non-stop attitude of NYC.

It was definitely a nice trip and it’s one that I’ll use to give myself some energy in the coming days. NYC is an incredible city, it was a gorgeous day and I’m glad that I got to spend the day with someone who means a lot to me and experience some new things along the way.

Now, it’s time to rest up as I’ve got a few more trips planned in the coming weeks!

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