Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Victory Lap to Philadelphia and New York City

After my first victorious fight with cancer I went to Hawaii.

After round two I went to Philadelphia and New York City.

So I will give a quick play by play of the trip in this post. The following posts will focus on the food aspect of the trip.

So Tuesday night at 11:12 p.m. our flight departed for New York City.

We arrived in NYC around 5:30 Wednesday morning.

My roommate Travis and I then took a Taxi to the Port Authority Bus Station. We checked in our baggage and waited for until our bus for Philadelphia left at 8:30.

After arriving to Philadelphia we did a tour of the historical sites there.

The Liberty Bell


Benjamin Franklin's Grave



Independence Hall where the Declaration of Independence was signed



After a few hour of tours and pictures we set out to find some Authentic Philadelphia Cheese Steak Sandwiches. We ate at three different places during our search for the best cheese steak.

After our cheese steaks we walked to the Wells Fargo Arena to watch the Philadelphia 76ers play the Toronto Raptors. At this point we had only had about four hours of sleep two on the plane and two on the bus ride from NYC to Philadelphia.

The game ended around 9:00 p.m. after which we waited and took the subway to City Hall where we looked for somewhere to spend the next few hours waiting for out bus to leave back for NYC. Our bus did not leave until 2:55 a.m. so we had sometime to kill.


Low and behold around 10:45 we found Hard Rock Cafe



The kitchen closed at 11:00, but we got there in time to order some food and they did not kick us out until around 11:45.

we then needed to find somewhere that was open and warm to spend the next 2 to 3 hours. We did not want to go to the bus stop because it was not very big and there were a lot of odd people there. So we sneaked into a Hilton Hotel Lobby that was across the street from the bus station. We sat at a table that was around the corner from the front desk so that they could not see us just sitting there.

Reading and waiting for the bus to leave. Picture taken around 1:30a.m. on Thursday.



At this point in the past 48 hours we had not slept for no more than five hours. He got around 2.5 hours on our red eye flight to NYC and another two hours during the bus ride to Philly. Needless to say we were on the tired side.

We departed form Philadelphia around 3 a.m. and I did luck out to sit next to a pretty women my age. She tried to strike up conversation by asking which book I was reading. The conversation did not last more than 5 minutes because once the bus left for NYC the lights were turned off and I could not resist but fall asleep.

We arrived back in NYC around 4:45 or 5 a.m., however the place where we were storing out bags did not open until 7 a.m. so exhausted as we were we sat in the bus station fading in and out of sleep waiting for the place to open. Once 7 o'clock rolled around we obtained out baggage only to wait more.

My buddy Travis could not check into his hostel until 3 p.m. and the person I was going to stay with was not expecting me until 10:00 a.m. at the earliest. We were exhausted. Since we had zero desire to walk around New York City with our luggage and a target on our back screaming "Tourist!" so we waited at the bus stop and I took a two hour nap.

Here:



Around 9:30 a.m. I woke from my comfortable nap and realized that I had forgotten to pack a towel to shower with. This is usually not a problem when people travel because they are usually provided for you either from the hotel/hostel you are staying at or friends or family you are staying with.

This was a problem for me because I was going to stay with a girl named Parnika and other than a few email correspondence I had never met or talked to this person. She was a friend of a friend. So I figured bring my own towel would be convenient for her sake.

So after walking a few blocks I found a towel and met back up with Travis and off we went to Parnika's apartment to met her and drop of our things so that we could walk around the city.

Around 10:30 we arrived to Parnika's apartment and are very grateful to be out of the dreaded bus station and able to sit on a padded chair and couch and no longer for on the tile floor. After talking and getting to know Parnika we took showers. It felt great this was the first shower I had taken since the shower I took before heading to the airport to fly to NYC.

Parnika: She is from India by way of Dubai



After my shower a sat here


and before to long I realized that I had been sleeping for five hours.



So anyways, I am super long winded on this blog post but this is where the trip mellowed out and got more normal. We then spent the Thursday through Sunday in New York seeing sites and eating terrific food.

These first few days I thought were the most unique and exciting.

Thursday after leaving Parnika's

walked around the city at least 70 blocks worth.
Ate at Good Burger and Angelo's pizza. (more detailed blog post later)
Went to the top of the Empire State Building
Visited Rockefeller Square and called it a night.

After which Travis and I split up. He went back to his hostel and I went back to Parnika's. It turned out to be Parnika's roommates birthday and so they was a small surprise Bday party for her. It was put on by her friends and there were about 12 of her friends there. So there I was, not having known any of these people before, at a birthday party with 12 Indian females celebrating a birthday. It was a awesome time and she even had me help her blow out her candles.

Friday:

Grimaldi's Pizza (under the brooklyn bridge)
Times Square
Back to Parnika's house to pick up my stuff to take to where I would be staying the last two nights of the trip.
Then to the Birdland Jazz Club. It was awesome. My first time going to a jazz club and I will defiantly try to go again.

Then met up with our other roommate Mike in the financial district. Walked around Wall Street and then ended up at the Hard Rock Cafe in NYC.

Saturday:

Statue of Liberty
Eileen's Cheesecake
Pierpont Morgan's Library (If you have never heard of this look it up it is amazing)
The Musical Billy Elliot
Shake Shack
Watched the movie RED

Sunday:

We spent the day at the MET Museum
then took the taxi to the airport to return back to reality

So overall it was an amazing trip. I ate a ton of amazing food and enjoyed the time away from reality.

To close, I couchsurfed for the first time on this trip. There is a website called couchsurfing.org and it is a Internet community of people who offer up there couches free of charge to travelers.
So the final two nights of the trip I couch surfed at a Xhuli's house. She is Albanian and in English she goes by Juliana. So was super cool and very down to earth wonderful person.

I took a picture with her and also where I slept during my stay at her apartment.





1 comment:

Kels H. said...

I got to try a bit of Eileen's Cheesecake once upon a time--it was fantastic. I bet it would be even better if you actually were in NYC.

& I like the bald heads system.