This little getaway of ours was brought to us by a CFA trip that ended up getting canceled. But - at the time of cancellation, we already had plane tickets and childcare scheduled, so we figured - hey! We are going to New York, and I'm so glad we did.
This was a super quick trip that we tried to pack full of fun. We also kept in mind that we will likely try to take our kiddos to NYC in like 5-7 years, so we didn't do a lot of the touristy stuff that we will definitely do with them (Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, etc.). The last time we were there was in 2005, so we were due for a trip. We didn't plan a ton of stuff ahead of time, which is pretty unusual for us, but since there are a million and one fun/interesting things to do there, we didn't have any trouble whipping up an itinerary.
The first thing on our agenda was seeing Jimmy Fallon's monologue rehearsal. Of course, we wanted tickets to the actual show taping, but we didn't win that lottery during the ticket dump. We did end up getting tickets to the monologue rehearsal, and I was super excited that we would get to see him live and get a behind-the-scenes look at everything.
We had a really tight flight schedule making it to New York and getting to Rockefeller Center on time for the event, but we did make it. When we found where we were supposed to check-in, there was a really nice intern there passing out candy and telling us that we couldn't line up until exactly 2:20. After milling around a bit, we all pounced when the time hit and were ready to be ushered up the stairs behind the glass doors.
There was lots of security and ID showing and then more security. And they are super serious about not taking pictures. As in, a woman did take pictures (because she must have been crazy), and a security guard came up to her, made her go through all of her photos, delete anything taken in the mezzanine and then delete them from the recently deleted. He then waved to the group of us and said if anyone else took any pictures, they would throw out the whole group and start again. It was so scary just to watch, and I was nervous to even have my phone out at all.
After being ushered through more security, we were loaded into an elevator 13 people at a time and herded into an open hallway outside the studio where a writer explained to us proper crowd behavior and gave us more background on The Tonight Show. The whole experience really was so fascinating. I love seeing how things work. Then, we descended the stairs into the studio, and I had a total fangirl moment when I spotted Jimmy Fallon sitting at the desk on the stage.
The whole studio is much smaller than it was in my head. Jimmy ran through his monologue with the writers all there, and we laughed and laughed, as you might expect. My face hurt from smiling when the whole thing was over.
It was a fantastic start to our trip! We wandered around Rockefeller Center a bit more,
built mini-figs of our family for the kids (who requested that we bring them Legos and chocolate back)
and hit up one of the new CFAs in New York.
Just walking around the city is so invigorating - so many people, so much to see, so many things. We also passed Julia Stiles on the street on our way to dinner, and one of the Property Brothers later that night.
Someone recommended Craft restaurant to us, and dinner there was truly amazing. One of the best meals we've ever eaten - seriously.
As we were walking back to our hotel from the subway, we realized just how close we were to Times Square and went for a gander. It is overwhelming, really.
The next morning, we headed to One World Observatory, which is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and stands right next to the 9/11 Memorials and Museum. Though you should be able to see 44 miles on a clear day, we were there on a day with "Zero Visibility." Since it was the only time we had, we headed up anyway. We enjoyed our time at the bar and did catch some glimpses of the ground very occasionally. John felt like the lack of crowds made up for the lack of view. 😂😂😂
Next stop - 9/11 Museum and Memorial.
This whole experience was more emotional than I expected it to be. Obviously, that day is seared into my memory forever, and that season of my life was difficult for a host of reasons, including 9/11. It is a harsh reality to realize that the days are coming when we'll have to explain this kind of horror to our children. The museum is perfectly executed, and it was a really moving tribute to the lives lost on that awful day.
That wraps up our first day and a half, and tomorrow I'll post the rest - we had a great trip, and I'm so grateful for the time with just John. It's always so refreshing to be together.