We have spent the past two days exploring various parts of the city. Josh and Julia wanted to see as much as they possibly could during our visit.
On Wednesday, we began our day in Little Italy, in search of the perfect pizza.
Near the top of nearly every list is a place called Lombardi’s.
It was delicious. My husband wanted to go back there for every single meal until we left the city.
My friend Ida Mae had told me that we had to visit a bakery in Little Italy called Ferrara’s.
Oh my word, it was scrumptious! Worth every single calorie! See for yourself!
Just as Doug will be thinking about the pizza at Lombardi’s, I will be fondly remembering this gelato. It was perfection.
Our next stop was Chinatown.
Any ideas what in the world these are?
We sat for awhile at Washington Square. It is a fabulous place for people-watching.
As we took a taxi back to the hotel after dinner that night, we were debating about extending our stay by another day.
There are TVs in taxi’s now and an ad came on for Mary Poppins on Broadway. The kids said they would love to see that show. It was one of their favorite movies when they were little. Josh loved it so much that he began to affect a British accent at the age of three.
‘Allo, Mummy,” was the way he would greet me in the morning. He also took to calling Doug “Guv’ner.”
To this day, he loves to do accents and it all started with Mary Poppins.
Since it is less than two weeks before Christmas, we didn’t know if we could get another room in the hotel, so Doug inquired. We were told that we would have to vacate the room we were currently in but there was another room available and we were assured that we would find it “quite satisfactory.”
So, this morning, we checked out, left our bags with the hotel, and planned to check back in later in the day after more sightseeing.
The first person we saw was Mary Poppins herself!
Well, not really. At least, I don’t think so. But Julia was convinced that if Mary Poppins were real, this is what she would look like. 🙂
Our first stop of the morning was Grand Central Station to check out the Holiday Fair, where artisans from the world over display their handiwork. There was jewelry, clothing, ornaments, and artwork. Everything was so lovely.
A trip to Grand Central wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the Hot and Crusty Bakery.
When Doug worked in Manhattan, he would often pick up a loaf of their Challah bread and bring it home. It was so good that sometimes that would be all we would have for dinner. We were delighted to see that it was still in business and their Challah is as good as ever.
We bought a loaf and headed to the main concourse to have a bite and people watch. However, the waiting area that used to be there is now a full-fledged Apple Store!
On our way out, we strolled through the Grand Central Market:
Doug’s favorite building has always been the Chrysler Building so we went into the lobby to have a look.
You can barely tell that they are tourists! 🙂
The photo doesn’t do it justice but there is a beautiful mural painted onto the ceiling of the lobby:
We made a quick stop at the New York Public Library.
Julia was fascinated when Doug and I told her that back in the day when we were kids, there was something called a “card catalog” system. She could not imagine such a thing and hoped that this massive library would still have card catalogs. In this computer age, we were doubtful but we did find this…
Kids have it so much easier these days. (In addition to using the card catalog, I still remember having to type all my high school and college papers on a Selectric typewriter while using lots of White Out).
Bryant Park is right next door to the library.
This was an outdoor restaurant, complete with heating lamps. (Not that we needed it, as it was almost 60 degrees!)
We saw the Times Square ball on the way to Macy’s and the Empire State building…
Later that afternoon we headed back to the Waldorf to freshen up before attending “Mary Poppins” on Broadway. We checked back into the hotel and were given the keys to our new room.
Rather than go to the bank of elevators we had been using, we were instructed to go to another area of elevators labeled “The Waldorf Towers.” The elevator would not even move until we inserted our key inside. When we got off the elevator this is what we saw:
Our room was at the end of the hall. Here is Julia, full of anticipation:
Well…let’s just say that the lady at the front desk was right. We did indeed find this suite of rooms (as opposed to our previous one room) “quite satisfactory.” Ahem.
The views were just spectacular!
We just could not get over it. We have never stayed in a place so lavish and grand. This book on the built in bookshelf in one of the bedrooms said it all:
There was still yet another surprise in store for us when we left to attend the Broadway show.
Every other night we have left the hotel, the bellman hails us a cab. However, tonight, as soon as we emerged onto the sidewalk, we were asked if we would like to take a limo to our destination?
Yes, we certainly would!
We were led to a sleek black stretch limo and rode to Broadway in style:
I must say that “Mary Poppins” exceeded our expectations. It was brilliantly and exceptionally done and we loved every minute of it!
We walked back to the Waldorf marveling at what an incredible trip this has been…
We will head home tomorrow morning.
I am typing this sitting on a window seat enjoying the incredible view from our suite and listening to the sounds of the city below. I am also incredibly grateful for God’s wondrous goodness to us and the lovely surprises He arranged for us to have along the way.
Doug and I wanted to give the kids a vacation that they would remember for the rest of their days.
I think we have succeeded.