Unexpected NYC Trip

I was helping my friend Stephanie plan a trip for her and her daughter Avery. The more we planned I could feel my NYC envy kicking in. After an hour on the phone one day helping make plans Halle said, “Mom, you know what would be easier than all these phone calls? Us just going with them.” Now with the bug in my ear I knew I wanted to make it happen. I used some airline miles, and we could share a hotel with Avery and Steph so we decided to go for it. And I’m so glad we did. It was epic. Steph and Avery are so much fun, and even though there is a big age gap, Halle and Avery got along really well. We PACKED things in and had a blast. I can’t believe after all the times we’ve been there that there are still new things to do and discover. It’s the best. We got the NY Pass, and hit the town. Without further ado, here we go.

Museum of Broadway:

Halle-I was so nervous our flight was going to get delayed since we were seeing Sweeny Todd Thursday night, but it worked out just fine and I was so excited!! Sweeny Todd is dark, funny, and a wild story. I love it. I’m not sure mom understands why. The cast was absolutely star studded and did such a good job, it was an amazing performance. Afterwards, the stage door is finally back after Covid, so of course we had to go out and see if any of the stars would come say hi. We hit the jackpot! Josh Groban came and signed (apparently super rare for him) Annaleigh Ashford, Daniel Yearwood, and after a long wait Gaten Matarazzo also came out and was so nice talking with everyone and taking selfies. We saw him get whisked away in his car and speed away. It’s so cool that they do that, and a signed playbill is such a fun souvenir to have. 

Hop on Hop off Bus tour with lots of tasty stops along the way. Cronuts for breakfast, my favorite chocolates–Stick With Me, Tasty Hand Pulled Noodles, Tayaki Ice Cream (This was AMAZING), and Artichoke Pizza (this gets a lot of hype, and I’m not totally sure why)

The Edge at night. Beautiful to see, hard to take pics.

Statue of Liberty Sunset Cruise. I LOVED this. I love Manhattan skyline views from the water. And it has been awhile since I say Lady Liberty up close. We even learned that her real name is “Liberty Enlightening the World.” We had a snafu and ended up at the wrong pier. But luckily, we were able to change our tickets and still get on the boat.

Walk across Brooklyn Bride

Then we did a grafitti tour in Bushwick. The Grafitti was AMAZING. The tour….not so much. It was so long. And our guide had great information, but he needed a lot of work to polish his presentation.

Artechouse, AMNS, The Ride (I actually thought this was kinda fun. I wouldn’t have paid for it outside the pass, but with the pass I thought it was worth doing), and Madam Tussades (It was on our pass and we had an hour to kill)

On Saturday the craziest chain of events happened. We were standing in the subway station and I was looking on instagram when I saw the Moulin Rouge posted that Aaron Tveit would be making a one night only return to the show! I love Aaron Tveit, he’s just amazing and my favorite big broadway name so I decided to just look at tickets, just to see. They were a little pricey and the show was less than 2 hrs away so as I was debating in between subway stops the tickets just got snapped up so fast. Probably less than 5 minutes. It was insane. And while I was a little sad not to be going, I realized that since this was such a big deal to so many people, maybe he would come to the stage door. I pitched the idea to mom to just go by the stage door after the show was over and just wave, as I didn’t have a playbill and they usually don’t let you near the barricade if you didn’t see the show. She said ok, and Steph and Avery said they would come too. I think poor Avery was really tired, but Steph was excited to experience it. They both had no idea who he was, and I no problem telling them all about it :). After The Ride, we headed over to the theatre where we still early and there were already a few people at the barricade so we just joined them and nobody said anything. My mom said she was going to steal me a playbill so she went and stood at the doors and asked a group if they had a playbill they didn’t want. Playbill in hand she brought it back to me, so now it was legit. And very quickly after the show was over Aaron did come out! Everyone was so excited and Steph was so funny she loved him. It was such an amazing stars aligning moment. 

Central Park fun. We found a TURTLE wandering quite a ways from Bethesda Fountain. So, we took him back to the lake and let him free.

All too soon it was time to say goodbye. Steph and Avery had one more day, but Halle and I needed to head home. They were off to Wicked and we were off to &Juliet, and then a race to the airport! When we walked out of the theater it started DUMPING rain. We planned to take an Uber to the airport, but with the rain, fares increased to astronomical levels, so we had a stressful 15 min while we tried to figure out the right train to take from Penn Station to Newark. But we made it safe and sound.

Halle-Sunday afternoon before our flight, we hit one more show. We debated forever which one to see, there are so many good ones playing right now! We finally decided on &Juliet and I think it was the perfect note to leave NYC on. It was a jukebox musical, so funny, and done super well. The costumes especially were super cool, they were renaissance but with a modern twist. It’s the story of Juliet if she didn’t kill herself at the end, and taken over by Shakespeare’s wife Anne Hathaway. We scored awesome seats in the orchestra. It was so fun to jam along and the reintroduction of Romeo was the best highlight. Mom was laughing so hard as Romeo descends from the ceiling to win his Juliet back. We both really enjoyed it and had fun jamming to all the songs. The little girl in front of us was especially funny, she was on a date with her dad and even though I’m sure she didn’t understand most of the jokes, she would always laugh really loud and was dancing in her seat. We had to leave right after bows to make our plane, but it was such a fun way to end the trip! 

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