Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Fam Damily Visits The City

Sweet Mendi Sue and Grandma Marilyn came to New York for a visit. Despite a few flight delays and a shuttle mix up, I found them amidst all of the chaos at Penn Station. It was so wonderful to see familiar faces in the city. I knew I would be in good hands for the week.
I was fortunate to work on the crash "Oil Spill" story at Dateline, so things were a bit crazy at work. However, My mom and grandma did get to meet me for lunch on Wednesday at my favorite salad place, Hale & Hearty. They ventured off on their own the first few days while I was working and saw Ground Zero, Century 21, Central Park, and shopped on 5th Avenue. I was able to take Friday off and spend lots of time with them. It was so wonderful to stay in their nice hotel during the hottest week I was there. A BIG thanks to Aunt Cyndi for getting all of the traveling arrangements/tickets taken care of. We so wish you could have joined in on the fun! Here are a few highlights from the week.

1. Pinkberry. These two went twice in one day. Talk about love. There was on right next to our hotel and the employees knew us by name...pathetic.

2. Yankees Game. They beat the Baltimore Orioles. We sat next to a few New Jersey Policemen who were not to happy that we were late and made them get out of our seats. But, by the end of the night they knew I was a BYU student and kept asking me questions about the HBO Series "Big Love". They were a treat. I was so glad my mom and grandma got to see the new stadium. It is unreal.

3. MEMPHIS. This musical is a must-see. It just won this year's Tony Award for "Best Musical". We hadn't heard much about it, but I think it's one of my favorite Broadways I have ever seen. Good call, Aunt Cyndi.

If you are headed to New York City anytime soon, please do yourself a favor and see this musical. The leads are incredible, the music is unforgettable, and the dancing is amazing. Chad Kimball plays Huey and he's probably the best acting performance I have ever seen in a musical. He stays so in character throughout each scene. Montego Glover plays Felicia and has a remarkable voice. The plot follows a white DJ who is ready to take on the world and a black singer ready for her big break. We were lucky enough to have Scott Maddux join us! Grandma was loving him.
Classic Times Square Shot

4. Tiffany & Co. We spent a good amount of time there one morning. Our sweet helper, Gary, was too good to us! They LOVED FAO Schwarz, highlight of the trip.

5. Carousel Ride in Central Park. Call us 8-years-old, but we HAD to do this. After our lil ride, we watched a co-ed softball game followed by some fine dining at Shake Shack.

6. In The Heights. We all entered the lottery for the matinee showing of In The Heights. FYI - if you are searching for Broadway tickets, there are multiple options to get them for better prices. Each theatre varies, but some have similar policies. For instance, some offer student-discounted tickets for under $30 if you go to the theatre's box office day of. The seats are normally in the first 2 rows which are still pretty good! However, In The Heights has a lottery system that takes place two hours before the show at the theatre. All you have to do is show up, fill out a form, have cash and a photo id available and you are good to go. There were quite a few people that entered the drawing so we were unsure as to what to expect. Turns out they called both my name and my grandma's name. We were able to get four front row tickets for under $100, isn't that great?!

This musical took place in Washington Heights, a Latino community just 25 streets north of where I stayed in Manhattan. Corbin Bleu is the lead and he raps throughout the musical. It's extremely fast-paced, modern, fresh, humorous, and hip. It's unlike any musical I have seen before. It attracts a younger audience, but I think everyone had a good time. I even teared up in a couple of scenes, nothing unusual, but I wasn't expecting it. If are looking for a show in the city, see In The Heights. There's nothing like a good show.

7. John's Pizzeria. I took the crew to John's Pizzeria, my favorite NYC pizza. This particular location is in an old theatre. I think it even passed Grandma's test, no easy task!

8. Macy's. This was my first time going to the HUGE Macy's. It's right next to Penn Station and takes up an entire block. This was a priority for Grandma, she is a shopper. So we spent a couple of hours looking for things for family members.

9. I took them to sacrament meeting at the singles ward. They loved the Manhattan Temple. The location is so interesting. It's such an escape from the honking cabs, constant sirens, and hurried pedestrians.

They were quite the sight to see on the subway! I loved every minute with these two. I just dragged them from place to place. They were such troopers. Grandma held up like a champ, I was so impressed. Thanks for all of the fun Mom and Grandma! NYC wasn't the same after you left. Thanks for the comfy hotel bed, pinkberry runs, musicals, shopping, yummy food, etc. I will never forget our week.


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