I contacted a friend who is familiar with the city and she agreed to help make this special day happen. I then requested tickets to the Rachael Ray show for free tickets. We ended up choosing Thursday the 12th at a 10:00 AM arrival time.
I had planned to take a certain amount of cash with me to the city, and hadn't told anyone the amount. Someone found out that we were going and handed me a check, she said, "I just feel like I have to give this to you for your trip to New York, use it for lunch or whatever." It was the exact amount that I had planned to take with me.
We left on Wednesday afternoon and drove to Lancaster where we shopped the outlets until my friend got off of work.
|The excitement begins!|
|PA Turnpike, love the double tunnels!|
We then joined her and her husband for dinner at Sukhothai restaurant. It was some of the best Thai food I've ever had. The fresh spring rolls were wonderful. I had the drunken noodles and then we all shared some sticky rice with mango for dessert. I'd never had that before and was it ever good!
We got up bright and early on Thursday morning. At 4:30 to be exact. I don't think I've ever put make-up on at 4-something in the morning before. Yawn. We piled in the car and off we went. My Jersey-grown friend wove her way through the traffic and the streets all the way to Staten Island like a pro! We parked there and rode the ferry to Manhattan.
|New Jersey Turnpike, not too busy at 6:30 AM|
|The Statue of Liberty in the background|
|Early morning selfie with the Statue|
|Lady Liberty. Teared me up when I thought about all of the people she greeted (including my grandfather) in the early 1900s|
For future reference, there is no better deal than to park for $7 for the day and take the free ferry into town. It goes right past the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. And it's free!
We arrived to take the ferry just as it was getting ready to board, the timing was perfect.
We got off of the ferry and right onto the subway which for $2.50 each, delivered us just blocks from the studio.
We got in line (the line was pretty long) and hoped that we would get a ticket, we weren't guaranteed a ticket, just a pre-ticket thing. Soon a lady with a clipboard full of names approached and asked for my name and ID. I gave it to her and she gave me three tickets and told me to go to the front of the line and I would get right into the studio.
Once inside we presented our tickets to a man at a desk and he slashed a blue-marker line through them. This colored line put us into a group in which we would be seated together.
We then went through security screening and then we went into a waiting room with muffins and water and a bunch of other people. Soon they called for blue to come and line up for the studio. We lined up with some other people and they walked us into the studio. Our group of three was escorted to the front row. The front row! It was lovely (except for the four from Brooklyn seated to my right. Want to talk about obnoxious? They didn't stop talking the entire time and were complaining about everything. They were exhausting.)
We got a bunch of giveaways:
And also a $100 gift card to Lulus.com
After the show was over we walked from the studio to Chelsea Market, where I've always wanted to visit. We wandered around the market for awhile and then ate at The Green Table. I love farm-to-table restaurants.
|My sweet college friend who helped make this all possible|
|I normally don't eat bread, but this was incredible and the olive oil to dip in...not your normal olive oil. Yum!|
|Chicken pot pie and salad|
|Half chicken with polenta and greens|
|Hearty winter grains|
When lunch was over we left the market and headed towards Times Square. We stopped in at Blossom vegan bakery where my daughter had a cupcake and I bought a decadent brownie.
We walked into the Empire State Building, shopped a few stores, experienced the world's largest Macy's and fought crowds that I could barely tolerate. I can't imagine the city on a busy day.
Times Square was exciting and we walked down Broadway, eventually taking the subway back to the ferry which was, again ready to board when we got there.
|The original Miss America on our return trip at sunset|
The day was completely flawless. Everything was timed perfectly. Our only complaint was that we had to carry the goodies that we were given from the show all over the city. Our arms ached from the load. But hey, it's a workout, right? We figure we walked probably 3-4 miles all day. It was a lot of fun.
Some of the things that I didn't take pictures of:
The man asking for money with the sign that read, "Need money for weed." Hey, at least he was honest!
The David Letterman studio
The nannies and the dog walkers. These are some of the hardest working people in the city. They were everywhere.
The Ferris wheel inside of Toys 'R Us
The entire first floor of Macy's that is more make-up than I've seen all together in my life.
The show will air on Monday the 16th (President's Day) Be sure to tune in and look for us in the audience!
It was a wonderful experience and I'd do it again in a heartbeat!