Joey made plans with her husband and kids to go to Mexico with some other families so now we're vacationing with fervor.
We saw Newsies which I LOVED so much and met a couple from Utah across the aisle. We also had an unfortunate exchange with a couple from Germany who complained that Suzy leaned forward and blocked their view. Even after repeated, hard jabs in her shoulder. She had no idea why they were jabbing her until intermission. Then they went and got an usher to tell her to sit up straight. Very German of them.
I still highly recommend Newsies.
So Saturday was Joey's last day. We had to put our having-a-good-time on steroids. We ran to
Tijuana Canal Street and had the opportunity to talk to the Chinese immigrants who pretended to not understand our English while bartering. Inconspicuous Chinese grandmas in fanny packs walked close to us with shifty eyes while asking, "Watches? Purses?" They had the name brand knock-offs off Canal Street. They took us through a maze of people and blocks to a younger girl who stood, keeping watch with laminated pictures of the "name brand" articles folded and tucked in her pants. Very sanitary. Then we returned to bartering without the famous logos and bought our children's souvenirs.
Although inexpensive, the cost of a trip to Canal Street is very high. It's frustrating, insulting and exhausting. I can't do it more than once a week. Twice, if pushed.
We found our way back to Madison Square Park where an expensive food court was set up with the exquisite, mouth watering foodstuff. It's some kind of event the park hosts for one month before closing it down. There was food I'd never heard of but tasted divine.
Like good tourists, we used every second to see and do. We returned to our hotel exhausted and happy with our purchases. We waved goodbye to Joey and wished her well. We didn't even bother seeing her off in the lobby.
What? She's a big girl.
That night we saw another show, the pre-opening of Big Fish, the musical. Follows the movie but the special effects on stage are dazzling. Computer generated images, the use of light and shadows, along with costume design and choreography made the experience absolutely memorable. It's a must-see.
One more night time trip to the roof to see how the Empire State Building has disappeared and the city of Gotham has taken over and off to bed.
Our last day was unplanned and frankly, our funnest day.
Sorry you missed it, Joey.
We finally had a basic understanding of the subway station and made fewer unnecessary trips uptown when we were trying to go downtown. We went to see the Manhattan temple. You climb the stairs from the subway and BOOM there it is! Half of it is a church with a chapel and the other half is the temple part. There's a security guard at the entry. That was a first for me.
Jene wanted to show us where her sister in law used to live and took us on a subway ride out to Queens. We rode for a very long time. It became more diverse and, shall we say, mentally ill. I was sad for Jene's sister-in-law for living in such a bad neighborhood. Jene finally figured out where we should have gotten off to change trains so we backtracked and found ourselves in Astoria. It's out of the way and apparently quite Greek but it was very quaint and suburban after Manhattan and wherever we had just come from in Queens. We hit another highlight by finding a street vendor that served waffles with Biscotti, carmelized sugar, cream, strawberries, and other scoops of awesomeness.
Just so you know, there are no obese people in Manhattan. None. I didn't even worry about calories because of the amount of time I spent walking. My feet hurt every single day and for a day after I came home from New York. I don't know how you get used to such activity. There is no quick just-running-to-the-grocery-store. It's all a couple of blocks of walking to the subway, a subway ride, walking a few blocks to the store, buying whatever it is, and backtracking. In fact, I saw something in Queens that made me realize how much public transportation is all there is in Manhattan. In Queens I saw a gas station. Manhattan didn't have any. At least none that I could see.
We returned to Madison Square Garden for lunch and a bite at the Shake Shack and Eataly then went to look at Brooklyn.
If I had a bucket list, I would have added renting a bike and taking it across the Brooklyn Bridge.
Returning to the airport, we had a hired car. I honestly doubt any of us will ever get into a New York taxi cab again.
Home by midnight, up at 6:00 a.m. to get ready for work.
I need a vacation.