New York City - Saturday

Our flight went quickly, only two hours for the direct flight into Newark, NJ. My friend, Kim, encouraged us to fly into Newark, and I'm glad we did. The airport was very easy to navigate! After grabbing our luggage -

Wait, can I just vent how annoying I find luggage fees to be?? I just bought a ticket to fly on your plane. I really don't want to pay an additional $25 for my suitcase! Moving on...

We got our luggage and found the ground transportation area. For $34 plus tip, we took a Super Shuttle full-sized van to our hotel. Thankfully, we were the last of the 13 passengers to get into the van. It was a tight squeeze but an even more dangerous ride! I have NEVER in my life been inside a vehicle with a driver who thought the lines on the road were just merely guidelines! I think my excitement for our trip helped keep my car-sickness at bay. As we drove through Lincoln Tunnel, thoughts of Princess Diana's horrible accident filled my mind. That's how badly our driver was swerving! I think he was talking on his cell phone, driving the van, and talking on a radio. It was an intense 45 minutes! Thank goodness we were the second ones dropped off at our hotel.

The Warwick Hotel's location was perfectly situated on 54th and 6th Avenue. As we looked around, yellow taxis, hundreds of people, and TALL skyscrapers filled our view. We went inside the hotel and checked in. I had requested a city view, and we had to wait about 45 minutes for the room to be ready. It was a little frustrating at the time but we got free internet out of the deal! Our room was on the 15th floor. The hallways were quiet, clean, and nicely decorated. We opened the door to Room 1509 (I think!), and I couldn't believe how BIG our room was! I had review after review about NYC hotels, and many of them talked about how small NYC hotel rooms are. Ours had a mini kitchen area, minus the fridge, which was weird. The bedroom area was really big and cozy, and the bathroom was fine. All in all, we loved our hotel and would probably stay there again!

After freshening up, we left the hotel and went straight to Rockefeller. We were hoping to go straight on the NBC Studio Tour, but they were already sold out for the day. Instead we went to Top of the Rock, where we got to see the most perfect view of NYC. It was absolutely incredible to see Manhattan and beyond! Just that morning we had been in Indiana, and all of the sudden we were standing 70 floors above the earth, looking at one of the most powerful cities in the world. Amazing doesn't even describe it!

We left Rockefeller with smiles on our faces and walked straight to Times Square. I don't think I've ever seen so many people gathered in one place before in my life! People were passing out flyers for comedy clubs, people were rushing here and there, taxis were flying past us, lights were changing from red to green, and lights were shining in all colors of the rainbow. We had officially arrived in New York City!

Have I ever mentioned how much I love seeing musicals? Of course I have! Here is my list of shows so far, in order, starting with my favorites:

1. Lion King
2. The show we saw in NYC: Rock of Ages
3. Wicked
4. Hairspray
5. Mamma Mia
6. Jersey Boys
7. Thoroughly Modern Millie
8. Rent
9. Monty Python’s Spam-a-lot

When we were in Times Square, I was crossing my fingers that Ryan would want to see a show. Sure enough, he was completely down for the idea. First, we went to this regular ticket booth where tickets to see Rock of Ages (watch this link for a long time to see lots of great coverage), and the price was $230. YIKES! Then, we walked across the street to the TKTS, where they sell discount tickets for Broadway shows. The line was a mile long but moved very quickly! At about 6:30 p.m. (30 minutes later), we had tickets to Rock of Ages in our hands for a smoking deal, more than half off the previous place's price!!! When we realized the show was starting in an hour, we RUSHED back to our hotel, grabbing some vendor hot dogs and pretzels on the way for dinner. We had just enough time to walk to the hotel, freshen up, and walk back to the theatre.

Can I just say that this musical was seriously phenomenal??? Not only do I LOVE LOVE LOVE 80's rock, but the cast, set, band, and performance were AH-mazing! They serve refreshments like you're at a real rock concert, and they give you these lighters to hold up during the ballads. It's coming to only 6 cities when it tours, including Indianapolis in April, and we might just have to see it again. This was hands down one of my very favorite things we did in NYC. It was the perfect way to start out trip! We ended the night sitting at a fountain, eating soft serve ice cream cones that we purchased from a Mr. Softee ice cream truck on the side of the road.

Our evening was pure bliss...

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