We tried to wake up as early as possible to get our day off and rockin'. After an iconic NY Diner breakfast (complete with waitresses in little dress/uniforms and aprons. Cute!) we headed to Bryant Park to go ice skating at "The Pond," a free rink set up by Citibank. Now, admission is free, but you do have to pay for skate rental which isn't cheap. But I guess in the end it's cheaper than any other rink in the city so we went with it. This was really fun! They had a beautiful tree set up right by the rink and were playing old fashioned music (think Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra).
Plus, we got there early enough it wasn't very crowded. We managed to leave the ice without any blood stains, though Jeremy did take a dive as if he were stealing home base and I got a little too fancy and skidded across a wall. *haha*
The neatest thing about this time of year (other than the over the top decorations) are the little Holiday shops and markets that are set up in many of the city parks. They have really unique items such as art, jewelry, ornaments, purses, scarves, etc. all from local artists and vendors. Such great places to browse! (And *ahem* buy. *hehe*)
We found one booth selling these darling hand-painted clocks in the shapes of cats and dogs. They have the dangling wagging tail like those old fashioned black&white kitty clocks. We found one that looked so much like MoJo, it had to come home with us. If they'd had clocks that looked like Wrigs and Cubs (and if they hadn't been as pricey as they were) we probably would have three little doggy clocks lined up on our wall! :)
Bryant Park is directly behind the New York Public Library so that seemed like an obvious next stop. (Plus, by this time the "New York water" was kicking in and I desperately needed a ladies room. *groan*) It's an amazing building. I understand that times have changed and architecture has a different style now than it used to...but really, WHY can't they still build structures like this? They are just breathtaking in all of their detail. The ceilings were so massive that my pictures didn't come out but just take my word for it, ok? ;) Here's a picture of me with on of the Library Lions.
From there it was onto Grand Central Station, another impressively GRAND building. They had a little indoor Holiday market of their own so we browsed through there, then ate lunch in their huge food court.
So the plan then was to head to Rockefeller Center and browse around for a while before finding a spot near the tree to see the lighting ceremony later that night. This was at around 2:00 in the afternoon. When we got there, the place was absolutely JAMMED with people and cops. The NYPD were out in full-force, keeping people at bay. No one was allowed anywhere near the tree, stage, or skating rink. After eavesdropping on a few conversations we discovered that anyone wanting to watch the tree lighting had to go stand in the designated "pens" that were over a block away on either side of the tree. They were already full! And anything nearby (like the crowds you could see when watching it on TV) was set aside for V.I.P.'s.
Talk about a disappointment. This was supposed to be one of the absolute highlights of the trip and now it wasn't going to happen. I admit, I pouted a little. Jeremy was very sweet, but neither one of us wanted to stand a mile away for upwards of 7 hours in the freezing cold and not be able to see or hear squat. So we left.
On our way through the crowd we passed a limo and all of these girls were screaming "Beyonce! Beyonce!" So we stopped and crowded around to see if we could spot her. Meanwhile this group of black guys go walking past, all dressed in black leather with glasses and hats. I figured they were Beyonce's entourage...then I focused in on one of them that looked awfully familiar. It was Jamie Foxx!! (At the time I didn't even know he was going to perform that night, so I'm even more impressed that I recognized him.) He was gone too quickly for me to get a picture of, darn it.
(For the record, I watched the telecast when we got home since I had DVR'd it and I'm still glad we didn't stick around. Most of the performances were from the ROOF of one of the buildings so they wouldn't have even been visible to the poor crowd. The whole thing is pretty misleading.)
So now we had a free evening on our hands with nothing planned. And because my hubby is so exceptionally sweet and wonderful and he knew I was kinda down in the dumps, he set out to make it up to me. We went to the TKTS booth in Times Square where you can get half-off tickets to same-day shows and we got tickets to see The Little Mermaid on Broadway that night! YAY! An extra Broadway show!!
For those of you who saw the snippet they performed before the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, you need to know that the actual show is leaps and bounds better than that. The costumes work much better in the environment they've created on stage...it's more convincing that they're swimming and not walking around with tails hanging off their rears. *haha* The sets were just spectacular! The colors couldn't have been more vibrant. And the gal who played Ariel was superb. Not just vocally, but she also really seemed like the cartoon had come to life. You know when Ariel gives her voice to Ursula, so then she can't speak to Prince Eric? Well this gal's mannerisms were fantastic! She was beautiful and adorable all at once. I really, really enjoyed it.