On the Road Again

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I’ll be on the road again– well, really, I’ll be up in the air– traveling to another destination on my Places and Spaces Board this weekend.  I’ll be going here:

Image obtained from Breakfast At Sephora, with original source credit to Vogue for Fashion

Don’t you just love the green expanse of Central Park in the middle of the bustling city?  It’s striking.

New York City has been on my Grandma’s bucket list, so she and I are going together on a “Girl’s Trip.  I got us orchestra seats– 5 rows from the stage– for Chicago (scored cheap at Broadway Box), booked a walking tour with NYSEE Tours using a great groupon deal that I picked up a few weeks ago, and a hooked us up to go on a snazzy brunch and yacht tour.  We’re also going to go up to the top of the Empire State Building and Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center.   The Statue of Liberty is under renovations, and since we’re not able to go inside of it, we decided to stick to seeing it from our yacht trip, which I’ve read gets us close enough to get decent pictures.

Oh, and I scored us a private tour through Big Apple Greeter.  Yep, just me and Grandma, matched with an NYC resident who is going to show us around all sorts of hidden gems in the city that we might not otherwise know to look for.  I already spoke to our assigned greeter, Bob.  He’s actually the one who gave me the scoop on where to buy our Broadway tix.   He also gave me a bunch of recommendations on where to eat, told me all about the area we’re staying in (we’ll be at the Belvedere Hotel in Midtown/The Theater District), and gave me helpful pointers about navigating the city, like “It will take you longer to take a cab to such and such location than it will to walk” (I needed to hear that, because I’m a big fan of cars, and I would have spent a lot of time and money in cabs if he hadn’t given me that info).  He also taught me that 5th Avenue divides the Eastside from the Westside, and gave me the helpful information that the Avenues run North and South, whereas the Streets run East and West, which I anticipate will make our adventures go a little more smoothly.  He even said he’ll take us on the subway– my Grandma’s request–, so that I won’t have to figure that whole situation out on my own.  Whew!  Glad that I dodged that bullet!  Bob chatted with me on the phone for over and hour at 9 o’clock at night, and he’s even picking us up right at our hotel to take us around town.  I’m excited to meet him, I feel like we’re friends already!

How much do you think a sweet set up like Bob from Big Apple Greeter costs?

How about a big fat ZERO?!

For real.  Big Apple Greeter is a VOLUNTEER service.  You just hop on their sight, give them your travel itinerary, and they find a volunteer who is available to show you around the part of town that you’re staying in.  It’s like having a friend waiting for you in the city.  Pretty cool.  Read about it, it sure seems like the sweetest deal going.

Besides that, there’ll be shopping, and eating, and hopefully at least a little bit of sleeping!

But do you want to know the big surprise that I scored, just for my Grandma?

I got us tickets for a taping of Live with Kelly!  When Grandma asked me about getting them, I initially thought it was too late, since they didn’t show any seats available during our visit, but I took a chance and sent them a letter via snail mail and, low-and-behold, they mailed me tickets!!  (I *might* have mentioned my elderly grandma checking things off of her bucket list in that letter… hey, it’s the truth!  Don’t judge me 😉 )  So, we’ll be there in the audience on Monday.  Pretty exciting stuff, right?

So, see you in a few days, friends!  Drop me a line and tell me what exciting plans you have in store for this weekend, it will give me something to read while I’m waiting around in the airport!

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4 responses »

  1. I’m sooooo jealous. I did NYC in November and really needed a BOB. Your post makes me want to do it again real soon, but maybe I should go with you.

    • You should go again– and this time with a Bob– or another Big Apple Greeter! Isn’t that a fantastic program?! I couldn’t believe it!

    • It’s very easy! You go to http://www.bigapplegreeter.org and make a request for a greeter, including where you will be staying, and what days/times you’ll be available to meet with your greeter. They find a greeter who can work with your schedule, and about a week before your arrival date, they contact you with your greeter’s contact information, and instructions for when/how to be in touch with them after you arrive. Bob also emailed me separately, and we chatted before my arrival, when he gave me a bunch of travel tips and we discussed what things he’d take us to see. He was with us for about 6 hours, but I think this varies depending on what you want to see/where you want to go. You don’t have to buy them anything (although, we asked him to let us treat him to dinner, and he accepted our offer), but they can not accept tips. It is a really great organization, and several large cities besides NYC offer similar programs. I highly recommend it!

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