Last month was such a whirlwind month (literally had road trips three out of four weekends), that I feel like I didn’t truly savor the season like I usually do. But with it came a lot of fun experiences that included visiting with family and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. In fact, it’s probably taken me this long to write a blog post because I was still recovering from the busyness. I’m typically a laid back hermit kind of gal, what can I say? As an added example, we finally took the tree down last weekend!
This year was an extra special treat as we were introduced to 34th St. in Baltimore, Maryland and even spent the day visiting New York City!
34th St. is a short block that has drawn a lot of attention over the years for it’s over the top decorating. The whole street decorates their homes from top to bottom in the most gaudy and tacky of ways. If a home goes up for sale on this street, I’m told that the next homeowner has to sign a contract saying they will decorate. At some of the homes, following the trail of decorations, you were allowed to walk up right to their front door and see them either on the couch watching t.v. or they were enjoying some family time. It was almost as if they had forgotten we could peak in.
The following day, it was the big day – New York City! This was my first time going to the city and it has been on my bucket list to visit it during the Christmas season and see “that big tree” all lit up! I feel pretty thankful to check that off my list. We rode a bus from Maryland to New York City, and I can’t tell you how happy I was just to see the sky line emerging in the distance! I was like a five year old on Christmas morning.
And then it started getting larger with every twist and turn. The anticipation was agonizing! I just wanted to get out of that bus and pound the pavements! Find Tiffany’s! Go to Macy’s (a chosen destination by other party members in our group)! Haggle for a knock off purse that was probably made by child laborers! You know, the usual stuff.
As soon as we pulled up to the curb (on 49th), I promptly sent out a status update that read “New York! I am in you!” My group (which included my mom and my sister) could barley keep up with me as I became adapted unusually quickly to my surroundings. Somehow, even though I’ve never been there before in my life, I became the primary navigator for the group.
We made our way through Times Square on our way to Macy’s to get some commemorative ornaments (because that’s what you do when you love Christmas and you’re excited about NYC). It was pretty cool seeing all these buildings I had seen on t.v. for so long in person (like the old location for MTV’s TRL, for example. My teen years are wrapped up in that show!).
I remember crossing the street and turning around after the rush of all people crossing at the same time and thought “oh my gosh! It’s a real New York yellow taxi! I have to get a picture of that!” like no one hasn’t seen one before…Ugh, such a tourist. But I’m not sorry. I was so amazed by how many people could fit on one curb and not entirely run each other over when it was time to cross the street…or those that crossed the street when the light still said “don’t walk.” I remember seeing a girl in a tutu, clearly (well, I hope) on her way to an audition or rehearsal. Then there was some Santa celebration and everyone was dressed like Santa, which was cool. Then there was the guy with silver hair dressed in some crisp all black outfit, who for some reason made me think of Andy Warhol – or some other artsy fartsy guy – who shook his head, annoyed at the tourists in his way. I sort of loved him. And then finally we found ourselves at Macy’s. The other 34th st.
P.S. why do I only think of Andy Warhol whenever I see eccentric artsy types?
When we entered Macy’s, it was exactly how I’d pictured it, or rather seen it in movies. Busy with Holiday hustle and bustle and I loved every second of it. I’m sure if I lived there that feeling would quickly dissipate and I’d never want to go anywhere in those crowds. What we needed was on the 9th floor and so we headed back to the wall of elevators. We all crowded around, waiting to barge in. Once we reached the 9th floor, we had entered the area of all things Christmas and we all went to pick out the best ornament to bring home and put on our tree.
Of course I had to document my first ever hot dog stand experience, where I got – wait for it – a pretzel. And a water. After all that walking, I needed a little something to take back with me on the bus.
And this was our view as we made our way back to the bus. It was so magical seeing this street all lit up and alive. And as awesome as this trip was, it felt so good getting our tired bodies back on the bus after after a long day of walking. I put my feet up and watched in awe as the city slipped away, looking beautiful as ever, as August Rush played in the background.
P.S. I did get to haggle for purse…but I didn’t end up buying it.
P.P.S. Do you know how hard it is to use the bathroom on a moving bus?