Day 1 – We arrived in NYC around 2pm. Ashlee’s Texas flight connected in Charlotte and b/c of some plane problems, she almost didn’t make the connection… I mean, we’re talking by a minute. So the fact that she actually got on my flight was a miracle… but our good luck was just beginning. We checked into our hotel on 6th Ave. and headed up to Times Square (Broadway). Our entire trip was built around going to see Wicked. Now, one might think, if you are flying out to NY to see the show, you might want to make sure you have tickets… oh no, not us!!! Each night they have something called the “lottery” where you can put your name in with hundreds of others and just hope that yours will be one of ten called to win a pair of front row orchestra level tix for $26.50… I know, what are the odds!!! So, we made it literally 4 minutes before the lottery ended, shoved our names in and hoped for the best. Like I said, luck was on our side because MY NAME WAS CALLED 3RD!!!!!! We were dying!!! The show was fantastic. We got to talk to the conductor who was very friendly and just see everything close up (definitely not too close for me). Day one ended around 2am and I already could’ve left a happy girl!!
(in the winning lottery line)
Day 2- Ash got live audience tickets to Good Morning America – not our first choice by any means – but Live, the View and a few others were not taping that morning, so we settled and were pretty excited. We had to get up sooo early (5:30) to make it down. We were also chosen to be apart of a special “celebration segment” that Disney was putting on. They had a group of people celebrating special things… it was pretty cool, but funny what a big deal they make over filling this one-minute time slot. The most fun we had was meeting different people from all over and the audience coordinator was so cool. She gave all the people in the “celebration group” a tour of the studios (which are really not that big at all) and we got to meet/take pics with GMA Anchor Chris Cuomo... a REALLY nice guy. Diane left pretty quickly after the show ended.
Once we were out of there, we headed off to sight see and hit Greenwich Village. This is the most adorable area… we immediately fell in love with the feel and look of it all. We wanted to try Magnolia’s Bakery (it’s been in the news a lot as Katie Holmes favorite cupcake site) and let me just say, the cupcakes were phenomenal. There is almost more frosting than cake!! We also had some great NY pizza – gotta do it!!! As we were headed to our next stop, we literally ended up walking through a law and order set as they were finishing shooting. Kind of fun… you always wonder where they shoot those things!!
From there we set off to China Town. Woaaaa… what a hilarious experience. Immediately when you jump of the subway, there are Asian ladies surrounding you on the sly whispering, “coach? channel? prada? (referring to knockoff hand bags that are apparently illegal to sell?!?!). So we said okay and followed the first lady 3 blocks to a normal looking store… but wait… there’s a secret door hidden in the wall. After a few short conversations on a walkie talkie phone, we were let in and led down a long hallway of stairs. Below the store are rows, and rows of EVERY knock off you can imagine. It is straight out of a movie. At first Ash and I were like, “are we being kidnapped”… it was freaky… but sooo funny. Soon you realize, EVERY single store has a “secret room” and then it’s a game to find the most real/cheapest handbag… it was SO MUCH FUN!!! We spent hours in China Town, then headed back to Times Square for another show. This night b/c we waited until 5 minutes before the show time, we scored Box tickets to Boeing Boeing for $20. Another lucky find. It was such a fun show! We ended the night with Dessert at the Marriot restaurant on one of the top floors over looking Time Square. It was incredible! Another 2am bedtime.
(Box seats at Boeing, Boeing)
(Times Square... I could live on this corner!!! It was awesome)
(Amber, if I might add, was such a great friend/hostess the entire weekend. She gave us the low down on EVERYTHING, showed us where to go, where to eat, what to watch etc… and even let us stay w/ her our last 2 days - THANK YOU!!!)
Day 3 – And another early morning. Sat. morning we tried to get SNL tickets. We ended up w/ standby tickets too far back in the line for any hope of getting in that night, but it was a fun experience none-the-less. Just being around the NBC studios is an experience. I was actually REALLY excited for Sat. b/c I had my photography workshop, which was also one of the main reasons for the whole trip. I ended up getting a private 2 hour lesson, in the studio, with this international Brazilian photographer. Wow… I learned so much and am so happy it all worked out. Can’t wait to better my photography with all my new found skillzzzz!! So that afternoon Ashlee, Amber & I headed down to the Brooklyn bridge area. Right as we got to the pier we ran into a huge crew filming the reality show “Make me a supermodel”. After watching for a few minutes, we tried walking around it to the pier, but they needed extra “onlookers” so we signed release forms and walked on set!! It was funny, you’ll see from the pics they were suspended the wannabe models in air and they director kept telling us to point and ohh and awwww. As we were leaving I ran up to the host, Tyson Beckford and was like, “Hey Tyrese… can we get a picture with you?!?!” He was like, “Uh… actually, I’m Tyson, but of course you can.” Oopppss… my bad. He was still totally cool and it was fun to get a pic. We tried to get “All My Son’s” Show tickets that night, but we made it too late for student rush. We ended up scoring Gypsy tickets at the last minute again. They gave us “obstructed view seats” about 3 rows from the front off to the side. They were still fantastic seats at a fantastic price: $25. We also got to see the statue of Liberty at night, this night. That was really beautiful. After the show, we walked all over Time Square again and it was AMAZING that at 1am there are still thousands of people all over. Stores and restaurants are still open – the cities is was going strong. We found a little bar to eat at, and laughed at the fact that we were eating dinner at 1:30am… when in New York… On a side note, our feet were KILLING us by day 2. We were stupid and thought that “fashion before comfort” would work in our favor. HUGE mistake. That’s the only thing I would change about the trip. Just b/c they are flats does not mean they will hold up to walking all day and all night. Note to self: bring tennis shoes and store pumps in purse. We did, however, take the Subway a ton, so shout out to the Subway... I loved it!!!
Last Day - Sunday morning, I got to visit my friend Becca that I danced and toured with at BYU-I (when it was Ricks). That was fun to catch up. Then later, Ash and I did end up getting student rush tickets to All My Sons for $26.50 (we really wanted to see that show) so we were on cloud nine – esp. since they had been pretty stingy w/ the student tix every other night. That made for 4 shows in 4 days under $100… pretty crazy!!! The show was really fun to watch. John Lithgow and Diane Weist also starred and did a great job. It was fun to see Katie Holmes live on stage… she did great as well. The best part was, as we left the Theatre, we just so happened to be the first ones to exit on the side near the “cast exit”. They had paprazzi barriers in place on the opposite side of the sidewalk, and a special enclosed area for show-goers who might get lucky to see the celebs and/or get their autograph. I was closest to the stage exit door and 10 minutes later, Katie Holmes walks out and walks straight over to me and signs my playbill. She signed Ash’s next and we were both like, “you did amazing”. She was nice and friendly and said thank you for coming!!!! She signed only a few more then got in the car and left!!! It was so cool. We also got to meet John Lithgow and get autographs from the other stars. That was pretty much the icing on the cake for us!!! All weekend as we were trying to get tickets to the show, we kept saying, we should try and meet Katie Holmes after the show!! Call us crazy, stalkers but it was so fun and it actually all fell into place to do it!!
(Another side note: on Monday (the day after we saw the show) these same pictures of Katie in her funky head wrap - but taken by the paparazzi on the other side of the side walk - came out on a bunch of celebrity blogger sites. Kind of fun to see since we were right there:
(love this guy from the Phantom movie)
Leaving Monday morning was bittersweet. I was so excited to see the boys and Blake but sad to leave ☹ Ash had a 5 hr. layover in Charlotte so she got to come home w/ me and play for a little while longer. It was the perfect way to end the trip. Wow… I’m still reeling over how much fun we had, and again, so grateful to Blake for being hubby-of-the-year and keeping the boys. He did a great job and the house was evening sparkling clean (including bathrooms!!!) when I got home. What a experience… thanks for letting me share!!!