Monday, April 7, 2008

Live from the Big Apple!

Greetings to all from New York City! After so much anticipation, it is good to finally be here in the Big Apple.

As you can see by our luggage, we really know how to pack light. Only five suitcases and three carry-ons for three people- yes indeed we're quite the experienced travelers! Cynthia Wilson gave us a ride to the airport at 5:30 a.m. this morning (yes, this woman is a saint.) and we barely made our flight! We were surprised that the Burbank airport was so busy and it took almost an hour to check our bags and go through security. We were the last few people to board the plane! We had a little layover in San Francisco, just enough time for a latte and some wonderful San Francisco sourdough bread, and then embarked on the long flight to New York. Once in New York, our baggage came miraculously fast (all five pieces!) and our hired car was waiting at the curb for us when we came out.

We are staying at a really fun place -The Waldorf=Astoria. My aunt (a travel agent) got us a really great deal, so we get to stay in this amazing and historical place. (In fact, it will cost us more to stay at the Marriott with the Dempseys later in the week, that's how good of a deal she got us!) The Waldorf was built in 1893 and is specatular in Art Deco decor. It was fun to drive up and see the uniformed bell hops/doormen, complete with their snappy uniforms and fur hats. When you walk in you just experience the grandeur, and are instantly transported back to a more elegant era. The place is absolutely gorgeous and so well maintained. The staff is polished, abundant, and ever-present; there is even someone who tells you to step up to the counter to check in. We have a charming room with tall ceilings, crown moulding, floral carpet, big windows, and a marble bathroom. Below are some photos of the humongous first level of the hotel. I think old hotels like this are completely charming and I am so excited we get to stay here!

After checking in, we did the same exact thing we did when Rich and I made our first trip here 3 years ago - hopped in a taxi and went straight to Lombardi's Pizza. This place touts itself as the first pizzeria in America, and has a coal-burning oven that is over 100 years old. I truly cannot adequately express how much I love this pizza! Rich was kidding the waitress that we flew into New York just for Lombardi's. (It is almost true!) The combination of the amazing thin crust (not too thin), the incredible tomato-y sauce made from Italian San Marzano tomatoes, and the quality fresh mozzarella cooked in the coal oven produces a truly amazing result. Rich, Emma and I easily pounded an entire large pizza. So worth the calories and cholesterol (both of which I am supposed to watch.) I know this is probably killing my sister (who went to Lombardi's last year), so I will stop now.

So that is about it for today. It is really only 8:30 pm California time but it feels to me more like the 11:30 New York time that it is. We did wake up around 3:30 this morning, so that is probably why I'm feeling rather spent. And, I don't sleep well in hotels, so hope I can get a good night's sleep for a big day tomorrow. Rich, our master planner, has a full day of shopping planned for Emma and I. Since it is also my *birthday*, he is also taking us out to breakfast at Good enough to eat . I can't decide whether I'll have the pumpkin french toast or the Peter Paul pancakes....(see the menu if you're interested). Yummy!

Drew is still having a great time in DC, and joins us here on Wednesday. Then the real fun begins! Rich has so much planned for us, and we also meet up with the Dempseys on Friday.
Hopefully I'll have the energy to blog tomorrow evening! Don't forget to check Emma's blog
for more photos!

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