Friday, July 08, 2011

New York - Post 1

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.

Looking back, this was maybe my favourite sight-seeing bit of the trip. I love being on the water; it was a gorgeous soft evening and the wind was brisk and the tour guide funny. It was so neat to see Manhattan from the water; to see the bridges and the empty space where the towers used to be (and are on their way to being again), to motoring past Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.

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.

Then we went up to the top to see New York "by the lights". It was gorgeous and vast and cool to see the Empire State Building lit up in rainbow colours because of the day's celebrations. While we were up there, there were fireworks. It is really neat to watch fireworks from that far up.

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.

The walk along the river is gorgeous. We stopped for a bit and put our feet up (see my toesies in my fit flops!), then carried on, catching the bus at Battery Park, going past the UN and on to Central Park. The UN is having a facelift and I expected it to look different too - it's flat and tall and just kind of sticks out there.

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.

We weren't back long when Fi got a text from Jennie Lucas saying a bunch of people were in the bar. A quick freshen up and we were off for hugs and drinks and Michelle Willingham organized a spur of the moment meal - for 14 of us. RITA finalist Abby Green is a VBI (very bad influence) and the Italian where we went for supper was great. We ordered wine for the tables and Abby kept teasing the waiter that we should get a free bottle of wine. In the end we didn't get one but my love of Cannoli reared its head and somehow a gratis plate of dessert arrived. Fiona, Abby and I split it. Bliss!

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....


  1. Sounds like a great time was had by all...can't wait to read the next installment. Caroline x

  2. Bad Influence??!! I resemble that remark! ;)))) Glad you're home safe sweetie, had such a lovely time with you and you looked GORGEOUS! xx

  3. It sounds like you had an amazing time! I can't wait to hear more. Thanks for the pics :-)

  4. Thanks Caroline and Lacey!

    Abby - you know I mean that in the BEST possible way! Actually someone mentioned that nevermind Abby...I was the real trouble maker. I must've forgot my halo here in Nova Scotia. :-)

  5. Sounds fun! looking forward to the next installment...

  6. Donna – I am enjoying your recap and experiencing New York and the conference vicariously. Maybe I’ll see you next year in Anaheim. Looking forward to Monday’s installment!

  7. Thanks for sharing!