So finally I am ready to post about my trip - I've been home since Monday afternoon and have caught up on a lot of my to-do list. I've been swimming in the pool, gotten back to working out (and oddly enough the 2 lbs that I lost in NY is back on) and I'm looking forward to a weekend of going nowhere and just hangin' with the family.
I flew out to NY on June 26- the Sunday before conference. I got into La Guardia before 2 p.m., but it took nearly an hour by cab to get to the hotel because several streets were closed off for a Gay Pride Parade. My roomate, Fiona Harper, was waiting in the hotel room and we had a quick catch up and a snack at Starbucks before heading to the pier and catching a tour bout.
After we finished our tour, we took a cab up to Rockefeller Centre, bought our Top of the Rock tickets and then went for an easy dinner at TGIFridays as we were a)hungry and b)waiting for it to get dark.
We walked back to the hotel - it was a short walk - and then the next morning were up early to go to the Empire State Building and do our Hop On Hop Off tour.
We'd bought VIP passes meaning we could avoid all the lines. Truthfully the lines weren't long (though I suspect they might have been later in the day) but it was fun anyway to see the rope moved for us so we could be rushed through. The morning was beautiful and we could see lots! Right down to Ellis Island and the Statue. It tends to get hazy during the day especially when you're high up. I'm really glad we went early - you can already see the haze building and this was around 9 a.m.
After the Empire State we went for breakfast and then got back on the bus. First stop was the Flatiron Building - cool, right? Then we got off in Greenwich and did lots of walking - all through Greenwich and Soho and Tribeca, down to Ground Zero and the financial district and then walked all along the river to Battery Park. I was disappointed in Ground Zero - it's really just a construction site right now, and I know a great memorial is coming, but I expected...I don't know. More. I do know I was walking through towards the river and had a moment where I tried to imagine what it was like on the morning of 9/11. I saw the news and my imagination rarely fails me. But I really couldn't imagine what it was like actually STANDING there and knowing those buildings were coming down and that there were people inside. It made goosebumps stand out on my skin. It still does.
Central Park is lovely and I wish I'd had time to see more of it. Fi and I grabbed a hotdog from a cart for lunch and found a quiet bench to sit on as we ate. Being a nature kind of girl, the river and the parks were my favourite parts of New York. I loved walking along the pathway back to catch the bus, taking us to Times Square and our hotel.
On Tuesday the "official stuff" began for me at 10:30; Fiona didn't have to be anywhere until late afternoon so she went on an excursion to The Met and the Alexander McQueen exhibit. I had a focus group at 10:30 and then went straight to the Librarian's Day Luncheon where I got to see the amazing Super Wendy and hear Julia Quinn speak. Afterwards there was a networking event with librarians and booksellers, and then at 5:30 the Literacy for Life Booksigning began. And that's where I'll start on Monday....