My recent trip out to the east coast was definitely one of the best trips i have ever been on. Of course I was there for WekEast.My fiance was not able to make it for the first time since we began dating and I have become a part of the Wekfest Tour, so I was kind of bummed. Thankfully, I was able to travel alongside the Wekfest Team. WekEast was held in Edison, New Jersey so naturally we stayed close to the venue. Fortunately for us...New York City was only a forty minute train ride away! I had never been to the Big Apple before this trip. As I sat on the trains and subways into and around the city I could not help but feel like at any moment I was going to get mugged or violated in someway. I have the media and movies to thank for my skewed view of New York City. I guess it did not help that years ago one of my professors (a New York native) randomly advised our class on the event of being mugged in New York. He suggested for us to carry a twenty on us, so that the robber would not continue to search us or pursue much else of our belongings. Twenty would hopefully suffice. I did that. Unfortunately, nothing happened so I do not have any cool movie-like stories to share with you about riding the subways or walking the streets. Our trip was short but we all tried to squeeze as much as we could out of the time we could afford out in the city!
We spent all day exploring and adventuring on the only day we could. Taking advantage of every minute we were out there. We took the train into New York a little before noon. We were set to meet up with Ray that day. However, us non-New Yorkers got extremely confused by the subway system. I mean...it did not really help that we did not really know where we were or where we were actually going. We got lost for a good hour or two. Getting lost is never fun but it was a cool experience to spend a little more time on the subway and observe people. I found it really awesome that people do not care what others think of them. They are simply themselves. I also loved seeing a couple step aboard and begin performing. The man was playing and accordion throughout the train while his girlfriend or wife was walking around holding her what seemed to be a newborn baby as she collected money in a cup. Geez, talk about tugging on heart strings. I do not know why but I really enjoyed seeing that.
So eventually we met up with Ray and our tourist adventure began! We started out walking to and through Central Park.
I can be anywhere and have a great time, but naturally I feel a little emptiness being away from my family especially my son. My son asked why he could not come with me on the plane to New York and I had to explain to him it was a trip for work. Luckily he was supportive and understanding. I found comfort in bringing one of his stuffed animals, “Punky Monkey.” Of course it was not actually my son traveling with me but when I came home to show him the pictures I took of “Punky Monkey” exploring New York along with me, he was pretty excited. So here is “Punky Monkey” and I are hanging out in Central Park!
Kathy, myself, and Stephanie taking a break from all the walking. Along with a couple selfies too...
From Central Park we walked over to Soho to eat at a Cuban restaurant. On our way there we passed by some cool shops. I wanted to stop by Supreme to grab something for my fiance but there was a line just to get in! It looked like people waiting in line at a Jordan release or something. I told him sorry but I was not going to wait in a two hour line and make the group wait with me. As we made our way to the restaurant we passed by jewelry stands on the streets. So as women we tend to gravitate to shiny and sparkly things. The guys went ahead to the restaurant to grab us a table. They came back to tell us we had a table. Apparently they could not be seated with out us, unfortunately we were in too deep hopping from stand to stand and got carried away. By the time we got there we ended up losing our table. Most of the group went next door to the restaurant’s “express” food spot. For some reason I just did not feel like eating. I just finished my cookie I bought earlier. Waiting for the rest of the group to eat, Kathy asked me to join her for a drink a the Brazilian bar across the street. I was super down.
We both have kids and were away on a mini vacation so we felt the need to milk out the experience! So, it started off as just us two sipping on some passionfruit and pineapple Caipirinha’s. The group sent out someone to grab us so we could continue on with our adventure. However, Ray never made it back out to tell the group anything. Shortly after Aaron came to grab us to continue on with our adventure, he ended up staying too. Slowly but surely the entire group sat in and joined us for drinks. The bar was super cute and had a great vibe. Our bartender was super gorgeous and super sweet. She hooked us up and even let us recharge our phones! Eventually... the girls got a crazy idea to get a tattoo. I think Stephanie found a tattoo shop that had really good reviews. We did not realize how far the place was until we actually started walking and ended up finding ourselves past Little Italy and into Chinatown! Along the hurried journey to the tattoo shop I ended up taking drive by photos because we were in such a rush, so I do not have too many awesome photos to show for the crazy walk. Long story short... we got to the location on time and made the appointment for the three spontaneous ladies. The shop told us to grab a bite to eat next door and they would take them. We did that. When they went back the shop was closed up. Although it was a little frustrated that we walked that far for what seemed to be no reason...it may have been for the best as we were making spontaneous decisions while under the influence of a few Caipirinhas and empty stomachs! Good times.
Strangely, New York has left a lasting impression on me. I feel like I left a piece of my heart in New York - obviously meaning I must return in the near future;)
This trip and this city was so inspiring for me! I feel refreshed and motivated. I loved the feeling of getting lost in the crowd, blending in, and not being recognized. It was like motivation to start back from the ground up. As I was observing... no one really cares who you are or what you’re doing if it is not directly affecting them and in a way I like that. It sounds weird but I felt like I did not have to be or act a certain way, I could just be myself. The skyscrapers, the bright lights, crazy taxi drivers, the people, the vibe...everything about it was incredible. I never actually thought it was possible to fall in love with a city!