Tag Archives: New York

Surprising A Friend Headed To Broadway (or I Have More Motivation To Plan My NYC Trip)

I’m sure there are some people who get jealous when their friends have amazing accomplishments, but I’m not one of them. I love to get to celebrate people’s successes and it makes me more motivated to create successes myself! My friend Matt got a job as an understudy on Broadway and he’s about to move to New York! I’m so excited for him and I know he’s going to do amazing in NYC. And to celebrate the move and his job, Matt’s wife Carolina organized a surprise party for him!

I love surprise parties, but I haven’t had the chance to be at that many. So I was super excited to get to be at this one and I knew it would be a great party. We were all supposed to arrive at the party about 30 minutes before Matt and Carolina were going to arrive. I got there a bit earlier and was able to help with some of the set up. There were some really fun decorations to celebrate Matt and his job on Broadway and I helped with filling in some letters on the giant chalkboard.

Right before Matt and Carolina arrived, we were warned so we could get into place. We were all near the gate they would be walking in and we were crouched down so he wouldn’t see our heads peeking over the fence.  It was pretty funny waiting for the gate to open because we were all waiting toward one gate and then I guess the plan changed for them to walk in another gate. One of the hosts was singing and talking loudly so we would get that they would be coming in a different gate and we all turned around and repositioned ourselves.

The story Carolina told Matt about why there were coming over to the house where the party was being held was that they were dropping off a table there. So when we all surprised Matt, he was carrying a table inside. 

Surprising Matt from Jen Levin on Vimeo.

He had no clue this party was happening and it was so great to see how surprised he was! Carolina worked so hard to make this party happen and I am so happy that it went off exactly how she wanted it to be. I was just so excited to see how happy Matt was that we were all gathered to celebrate him!

There were a bunch of people I knew at the party so I spent a lot of time chatting with them. We were all catching each other up on life and other random things and we all did get a chance to talk to Matt a bit. But there were a lot of people there who wanted to talk to him and none of us wanted to dominate his time.

I know we are all going to miss Matt when he’s in New York. He’s one of the leaders of Union Working and his leadership at the meetings will be missed. But maybe he’ll have the opportunity to start a chapter of the group in NYC while he is there!

My sister-in-law and I have been talking about doing another NYC trip soon and we both know we need to do it! And now that I’ll have another friend living there it’s extra motivation to plan the trip! There’s no guarantee that when we do plan our trip that Matt will be performing (as the understudy he won’t necessarily know what nights he performs in advance), but it would be amazing if the timing worked out so we could see him in the show! But even if that doesn’t work out, I know it will be great to get to see him and Carolina again.

I wanted to stay at the party longer, but I was only able to stay a few hours because I had to get home for some work and errands (being a responsible adult stinks sometimes). But before I left, I needed a photo with Matt! And of course, other friends joined in because as actors we can’t resist a camera.

Congrats again Matt on your amazing gig in NYC! I know that everyone is so excited for you and can’t wait to see what other accomplishments you’ll have on your NYC adventure!

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Watching Musicals At Home (or Getting Antsy To Get Back To NYC)

This past Sunday was the Tony Awards. While I’ve dreamed of winning pretty much every type of acting award, I’ve never dreamed of winning a Tony. I know that they have acting awards for plays, but in my head the Tonys are for musicals. And since I’m tone-deaf, I’m never going to win an award that involves singing.

But I love watching the Tony Awards. Prior to my NYC trip last year and getting this season’s tickets for Pantages, the Tonys were almost my only exposure to musicals. I love watching the presentations that each of the best musical nominees do on the show. And I’d always chose which shows I’d want to see when they came to LA (even though I never went to see them).

This year, I watched the Tonys at home alone. There were some funny moments (like this matchy-matchy dress moment).

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And with any awards show, I loved watching the speeches. Especially from people who won for the very first time (some of whom won on their Broadway debut).

And of course, I watched (and re-watched) the performances several times.

I texted my sister-in-law to joke that I was watching the Tonys to pick out what musicals we should see when we get back to New York. But even though I said that as a joke, now I’m really hoping that we can make that a reality soon.

My brother and sister-in-law are moving soon. And my sister-in-law hasn’t really been able to job hunt from a different city. So she has no idea what her job situation will be like in the near future. We really can’t trip plan without knowing that.

And with my jobs now, I’m not too sure about my availability to go out of town. For my newest job, I’m sure it would be fine. I could probably even get work done on vacation without too many issues. But for my box office job, I have no idea how I can take a trip. I’d probably just have to take time off without pay (and hope that my boss is ok with that). I never asked about that when I interviewed for the job since my focus was on getting a job more than anything. But they have been flexible with me taking occasional time off for auditions as well as having time off for spending time with my family after my grandpa’s death. So I’m sure I could figure out how to take a trip.

I haven’t really thought about how I’d take a trip with my jobs, but now that I’ve watched the Tonys and have seen performances from several musicals that I really want to see; I really want to get back to New York at some point this year.

Hopefully I can figure out how to save up the money and get the time off (without losing too much of my paycheck) in the near future so my sister-in-law and I can start planning this! We said that we wanted to make our NYC trip an annual tradition and we’ve got until December to make that a reality.

Having A Little NYC In LA (or Getting To See A Friend Again This Year)

I’ve mentioned my friend Alex on here before. Like I said before, she and I met while working at Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios. Working that job bonds you to your co-workers pretty quickly. You work crazy hours, deal with even crazier people, and at the end you feel like you survived something amazing during the month of October.

I got to see Alex for the first time in 3 years when my sister-in-law and I were in New York earlier this year. That was so amazing and I loved getting to catch up with a friend. I also got to see her very quickly after my sister-in-law and I saw “Heathers” since Alex happened to be walking down the street while we were outside (running into people like that is awesome!).

Even though I got to see Alex twice in New York, it didn’t feel like enough. Even though she hasn’t lived in LA for 3 years, when she did live here we saw each other a lot. And I still miss getting to hang out with her.

Earlier this summer Alex told me that she was going to come to LA for a visit. So I marked the date down on my calendar so I would get to see her again.

The day that she had a get-together ended up being a tough day for me. I had a lot of things to get done and my day started at 6am. Plus, I didn’t know it then, but I was about to get sick. I didn’t want to go out in the evening, but I made it out there eventually.

It was so great to get to see Alex again. There wasn’t a big group of friends when I got there, so we did have a chance to talk and hear each other talk. And one of her friends actually has met me through one of my day jobs, so that was pretty cool.

Of course, we had to get a group picture to commemorate Alex’s trip to LA.

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I managed to hang out for a little over an hour before I was starting to get exhausted. I hated not being able to stay longer, but I’m super grateful for the time I got to spend with my friend.

I’ll be seeing my sister-in-law this weekend so I’m hoping to talk with her about when we can go to New York again. I’m hoping she and I can go sometime next year. Then I know that I’ll get to catch up with Alex again sometime soon!

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In the meantime, I’m just so happy that I got to see Alex twice (or I guess technically three times) this year after not getting to see her for 3 years!

Back To LA (or Reflections On The NYC Trip)

On Sunday last week, Krystle and I headed to the airport to get flights back to LA (for me) and San Francisco (for her). We had pretty early flights, so we were up at 5am that day. I was exhausted, but still didn’t sleep much on the flight.

I still can’t believe that this trip is over! Even though we only planned it for a few months, it seemed like we had been looking forward to it for forever!

On our last day in NYC, Krystle and I chatted about what we were able to check off our NYC checklists and what we need to do the next time we go (and we’ve already decided that this trip will be a somewhat regular adventure).

I’m so happy that we got to see as many shows as we did. We thought at first that 4 shows in 4 days was a bit ambitious, but it ended up being perfect! And we saw a good variety of shows (2 family friendly and 2 adult only).

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There were other shows that I would love to have seen, but I also just got a season at The Pantages (the Los Angeles theater that does Broadway tours) and most of the other shows I would have wanted to see are those that are in my season. But I’ve already said that if “Heathers” moves to Broadway, I will be back to see it again.

We didn’t really get to go into Central Park, and I don’t know if I’ve ever done that before (I don’t remember doing it, but maybe when I was little we went). Also, there are so many more museums that I want to see, but those are expensive and time-consuming. And money and time were a bit tight on this trip.

And there are also a lot of restaurants that were on my wish list that we didn’t make it to. But again, we can only go to so many dinners.

But we did manage to take the subway system for most of the trip, and we didn’t really get too lost. Sometimes we were confused what direction we needed to walk once we got out of the station, but that’s not too bad. Fortunately, we had both phone apps and a good paper map to use that helped us so much in our navigation. I also successfully hailed several cabs (I think that’s kind of awesome).

And finally, something that my mom said before we went on the trip was that she hoped that this trip would bring Krystle and I closer together. We’ve only seen each other a handful of times, and pretty much never just the two of us. So this was a real bonding experience. We got along super well (even in our really tiny hotel room that we shared) and we have planned to do more trips in the future. So I think it’s pretty safe to say that Krystle is not just my sister-in-law, but also a good friend of mine as well now.

It was tough to get back to life after this trip. It really felt like something magical with all the shows and seeing several friends. But I did have to get back to reality quickly because this past week, I started a new day job! But more on that next week.

Frozen Hot Chocolate and Heathers (or The Last Full Day In NYC)

Our last full day in New York was this past Saturday. We started by taking the subway to our brunch location. We had reservations, but we got there before the restaurant opened! So to kill some time, we went to a little coffee house so Krystle could get a coffee.

While walking across the street to get coffee, a familiar logo was in front of me.

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I found a NYC SoulCycle! SoulCycle started in New York and they have a bunch of studios there, but we didn’t see one until the last day. We went inside to see what clothing they sold there (if they had a NY SoulCycle shirt I probably would have bought it) and because all SoulCycles use the same brand of candles, it really smelled like being home (who would have thought a workout place would be considered home to me). I gave my brother and Krystle gift cards to SoulCycle for Hanukkah this past year, and they haven’t had a chance to go yet. But hopefully since Krystle saw what one looks like inside, they’ll be more motivated to go soon!

After the SoulCycle and coffee detour, it was finally time for brunch. Krystle and I both got mimosas to celebrate our last breakfast on the trip.

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It was sad to think our trip was coming to an end, but we still had a full day to do. After brunch, we got onto the subway and checked out Central Park.

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We didn’t really get to walk around (next trip we will) because we had a mission to go to Bergdorf Goodman. Krystle is a buyer for the department store Gumps, and Bergdorf is the east coast equivalent to Gumps. So we went inside to see what they had for sale.

After looking at lots of expensive things, we continued our “out of our price range” shopping on Fifth Ave. and a stop at one of the biggest jewelry stores I’ve ever been to.

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This particular Tiffany is 6 floors! We only explored 2 floors before we headed back out to the next part of our day.

We were meeting one of Krystle’s college friends at Serendipity, which is famous for their frozen hot chocolate. They don’t take reservations unless you are getting lunch or dinner, so we had a little over an hour wait outside waiting for our name to be called.

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But at least Saturday was a much warmer day so it wasn’t too bad waiting outside. And the wait was totally worth it!

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I got the peanut butter frozen hot chocolate, Krystle got the salted caramel frozen hot chocolate, and her friend got the original frozen hot chocolate. They were so delicious and I figured all the walking around and stairs going in and out of the subway would work off the calories of the treat (side note, even with all the crazy eating on this trip, I managed to lose a pound).

After our treat, we said goodbye to Krystle’s friend and headed back into the subway to go back to the hotel to get ready for dinner and the show that evening.

I was beyond excited for the show that night. It was our only off-Broadway show, but it was perfect because my friend AJ was in it! We saw “Heathers”. Technically it was still in previews, but that’s ok. AJ lived in LA until recently. He moved to NYC to be in the show (he was also in the LA version of the show).

As soon as we got to the theater, I was so giddy to see a dear friend doing what he loves to do.

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And seeing a familiar face in my Playbill was one of the coolest things of the entire trip!

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“Heathers” was incredible! I think it was the best show that we saw this entire trip! The set and costumes weren’t as grand as the Broadway shows that we saw, but the music and story was so much better. I think that if this show moves to Broadway (which it totally should), it will be a serious contender for the Tonys!

After the show, we met up with AJ near the stage door, where he was busy signing autographs.

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While we were waiting for AJ to finish up with his fans, my phone rang. I saw that it was my friend Alex, who we saw the night before. When I answered the phone, nobody was there, so Krystle and I figured it must have been a butt dial. But just then, Alex came around the corner! She was walking past the theater and figured that we would probably be there. It was so cool to get to see her again really quickly, and to introduce her to AJ. It was one of those really cool moments that made the trip so perfect.

After AJ was done with autographs, we went around to the other side of the theater to get a picture together in front of the poster for the show.

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And no, AJ doesn’t have a giant hand. I didn’t notice that particular optical illusion in the photo until someone else pointed it out to me.

After the photo, a group of us which included AJ’s girlfriend and a listener of the podcast I work for (and AJ co-hosts) headed a few blocks away for a drink at a bar.

There was nothing super special about the bar. It was just a good hangout with friends. It was so normal (and not touristy) and the perfect way to end the evening.

Before we knew it, it was midnight and Krystle and I had to get up around 5am the next morning to catch our flights. It sucked to say goodbye to AJ, because if “Heathers” is as successful as I think it will be, it could be a long time before I get to see him again. But it gives me motivation to visit New York again (and to see Alex again as well).

As Krystle and I headed back to the hotel in a cab, she and I both said how this evening really was the perfect ending to the trip. It sucked that it ended so quickly, but I don’t think we could have asked for a better NYC adventure.

Non Stop NYC (or More Adventures On My Trip)

I know, it seems like I’ve been writing about my NYC trip for forever! But that’s because each day has to be its own post (or two like the past two posts have been) because Krystle and I did so much while on our trip!

This trip was not a relaxing vacation, but that’s exactly how we wanted it! So after going to a super late night dinner the night before, we tried to sleep in a bit on Saturday (which for me meant getting up at 8am instead of 7am). We then headed to a brunch place that got some awesome reviews on Yelp. They didn’t take reservations, but we figured since it was a weekday that we should be ok.

Turns out, it’s crazy crowded there on weekdays too! We were told it would be about an hour for a table (we ended up waiting about 40 minutes) and the only place to wait was outside. So we tried to kill time in the cold by checking out the menu and figuring out what we wanted to eat so we could order right away.

Once we got a table, we really enjoyed being inside in the warm restaurant.

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We ordered a quick breakfast, and then we were on to our adventures for the day. We started by going back to Canal St. and doing a bit more shopping (I don’t have any photos from that because I was pretty sure that the store owners didn’t want people taking photos of the knockoffs they were selling).

Our next stop was back to Times Square where we went to the Discovery Museum. Before going on this trip, I had heard about a Lego exhibit there. I had totally forgotten about it until I saw a poster advertising it at a subway stop. So we went off to The Art Of The Brick exhibit where there were both replicas and originals pieces of art made entirely out of Lego.

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The replicas were amazing!

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And the original pieces were pretty incredible as well.

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I think one of my favorite pieces was the dinosaur. It was huge and I was so amazed that something like that could be made out of Lego and look so real!

At the end of the exhibit, you got a Lego piece to sign your name on.

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You then added it to a wall of signed Legos. When the artist creates his next work, all the signed pieces will be used (but you won’t be able to see the signatures then). There were a ton of signed Legos on the wall when we added ours.

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After the museum, we headed back to the hotel to get dressed for dinner and our show that night. We saw “Matilda”. I wish I could show you a picture of the set, but they were super strict about no pictures being taken in the theater. But I can tell you that the stage looked like Scrabble pieces exploded everywhere (in a good way) and that the set was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen in my life! I highly recommend the show!

Our last activity that day was something that I had been looking forward to for so long. I had met my friend Alex in 2008 when she and I both worked at Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios. We were instant friends and had tons of great adventures together. But about 3 years ago, she moved to NYC to pursue more theater work. I hadn’t seen her since she left, but this past Friday I got to see her again!

She met us at Jekyll and Hyde, which is a bar where she works sometimes. It was right across the street from the theater, so that was perfect for us! It’s a really fun bar, lots of horror related things and all the artwork in there was interactive. But I just enjoyed getting to sit down and chat with a dear friend who I hadn’t seen in forever!

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Before we knew it, it was time to head back to the hotel and get some sleep before our last full day in NYC. It was tough to say goodbye to Alex, but I know that I’ll see her again soon.

Tomorrow’s post is all about frozen hot chocolates and seeing my friend in his off-Broadway debut!

Blowouts, The Book Of Mormon, and Buddakan (or The End Of Day 2)

FTC Disclosure: I was giving a complimentary blowout in exchange for my review. All opinions are of my own and were not influenced by the free service.

After checking out the Empire State Building, Krystle and I got back on our hop on hop off bus. Our plan was to take the rest of the loop back to our hotel, then take the subway one stop so we could get to Drybar for our 5pm blowout appointments. I had mentioned to Drybar before the trip that I was going to be in NYC with my sister-in-law and they offered to treat me to a blowout while I was there. Of course I also booked an appointment for Krystle so we could have a fun beauty adventure.

It seemed like the perfect plan. Until it the bus seemed to be taking forever to make the loop. We finally ended getting off the bus with only 15 minutes to make it across town. We weren’t near a subway so we tried to hail a cab. Only we didn’t realize that it is very difficult to catch a cab between 3-5pm because that is when the shift change happens. We got turned down by several cabs and I started to panic that we were going to miss our appointments. I called Drybar to let them know that we were running late, and finally we caught a cab.

We made it to the Parker Meridien hotel about 10 minutes late. Before the appointment, I was a little worried about how my sister-in-law would like going to Drybar. My first experience with them (on my birthday) wasn’t the best. But I was trying to go into this with an open mind.

As soon as we walked in, we were both very happy. The place was gorgeous and as soon as we walked in, we were offered our choice of coffee, tea, water, or champagne (we both chose champagne).

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I was very happy to be offered a drink as soon as we walked in. That wasn’t not what happened at my last experience at the Drybar in Marina Del Rey (I was actually never offered a drink that time).

Krystle and I took a quick before picture. Our hair was totally windblown after being on top of the Empire State Building.

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We were taking back to have our hair washed. The warm water was so nice after being so cold on the bus. And the scalp massage was heaven. We got to sit in chairs next to each other, but we didn’t chat too much during the blowout because it was a bit loud with all the blowdryers.

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I chose the Straight Up hairstyle, which is a straight style with body at the ends. I can’t remember what Krystle chose, but it was a style with curls. We looked pretty amazing afterwards.

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It was so perfect that we got blowouts that day because we had an exciting evening planned that night. We started by going to “The Book Of Mormon”. We had seats in the very last row in the theater, but we were very centered.

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The show was great and Krystle enjoyed it as well. After the show, we got a cab and went down to Chelsea for dinner at Buddakan. My quick review of the restaurant was that the food was amazing, but the service was awful. Even though we had a reservation, we still waited over 25 minutes for our table. But if you go, I highly recommend the appetizer sampler and the mushroom noodles.

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I also recommend the Charm cocktail. It was delicious.

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By the time we were done with dinner, it was after midnight. We were exhausted.

But this was such a wonderful day of the trip.

Thank you so much to Drybar for providing me with a blowout that day. And now that Krystle has experienced the blowout experience, she’s hooked on it (as am I after seeing how great the experience can be). I know that blowouts are now going to be a regular outing on the trips that Krystle and I take in the future. And I know now that the Drybar experience is not what I experienced on my birthday, I will be going more often in LA, especially when I have special events.

Day 2 Part 1 Of NYC (or Trying To Get Used To The Cold)

Krystle and I had decided that the first part of our second day in New York was going to be our touristy day. We had purchased tickets for one of those hop on hop off buses and figured that we could combine that plus using the subway to get around the city and maximize the day.

We started by heading by subway to Union Square to have breakfast at Chocolate By The Bald Man (yes, they have breakfast there and not just desserts).

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I had an egg scramble and it came with a sugar biscuit and a dish of melted chocolate on the side. I used the biscuit to dip in the chocolate and it was amazing!

After breakfast we crossed the street where the hop on hop off bus had a stop. We only waited a minute or two before we saw the bus headed our way. While it was a pretty sunny day, it was in the low 40’s and very windy, so we were pretty cold.

But despite the cold, we got seats on the top of the bus so we could have the best views.

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We were in awe over all the amazing architecture around the city. While Los Angeles and San Francisco (where Krystle and my brother live) have good-looking buildings, the ones in New York are very different. We spent a lot of the time on the bus just enjoying the view.

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We got off the bus near where the 9/11 Memorial and the new Freedom Tower are located. We didn’t know that you needed tickets to see the 9/11 Memorial, but we were lucky enough that they still had same day tickets (and that the ticket time was only about an hour later). We waited around for our time at the memorial at a nearby store and once we could go in, we got through all the security checkpoints pretty quickly (it’s similar to what you go through at the airport).

The last time I was in New York, it was August of 2000. I went to visit the World Trade Centers (somewhere I have a picture of me standing between the two buildings). This was the first time I was in the city with the towers being gone. It was different. But I think that the memorial is beautiful and that it was done so well and tastefully.

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And the new Freedom Tower looks amazing as well.

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We walked around the memorial for a little bit and then headed over the subway. We got the subway over to the Empire State Building, where we got tickets to go up to the 86th floor observation deck (there’s a higher observation deck but it was almost $20 more per person to go up there).

Up at the observation deck, we took lots of pictures. I got a picture of the view of each side of the building.

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And of course we took selfies at each side as well.

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Since it was such a nice day, we also had an amazing view of the Statue of Liberty.

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After the Empire State Building, we hopped back on the bus to go on some more of the tour. We planned to take it back to the hotel, where we would get the subway to our next adventure of the day: getting blowouts at DryBar.

But that story is going to have to wait until tomorrow’s post.

Adventures On The Red-Eye (or Surviving On Almost No Sleep)

Well, I made it to NYC! It’s my first time being back since August 2000 (yes, a lot of things have changed here since then) and I couldn’t be more excited!

Since I was leaving from Los Angeles and my sister-in-law was leaving from San Francisco, we did our best to try to get flights around the same time. We got it to where she got in about 90 minutes before me, so that’s not too bad.

I haven’t taken a red-eye flight since January 2005 and that flight was a long one so there was plenty of time to sleep (that was Chicago to Paris). Since this flight was going to be just over 5 hours and I have my issues with flying, I really was hoping for the best this time.

I took my panic meds on my usual schedule for flying days and right before I left for LAX I took an Advil PM. I thought that would help me in 2 ways. First of all, it would help me fall asleep a bit easier. Also, it would help me from getting too sore since I was going to be sleeping in an economy class seat (upgrading to first class was an extra $300 and I just can’t afford that).

I had a friend take me to LAX (thank you Lupe!) and right before she came to pick me up, I did some more prep work for being ready to sleep on a plane. I got changed into comfortable travel clothes (leggings, t-shirt, and a sweatshirt/sweater hybrid), brushed my teeth, and took out my contact lenses and put on my glasses.

Once I got on the plane, I tried to get settled very quickly. I got as comfortable as I could in my seat (thank goodness I had a window seat so I could lean on the side) and got my neck pillow out and ready to be used. I also took a quick picture because the mood lighting on Virgin America was pretty awesome.

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I tried to close my eyes as soon as the plane took off, but I still wasn’t too comfortable in my seat. Finally, once we were allowed to put our seats back, I did and was able to feel a bit more relaxed.

But I have to say, my mission to sleep on the plane was a failure. I took a couple of naps on the flight, but each of those was under an hour and I was probably awake for a half hour in between each nap. I guessed that over the entire flight, I maybe slept 2.5 hours. That’s not too good for what was supposed to be my entire night’s sleep!

About 30 minutes before we landed, I woke up from one of my naps and I realized that I had to give up on trying to sleep. So I turned on my tv on the seat in front of me and watched our progress into JFK.

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The sun was starting to rise as we were close to landing, so I got a cool view of the sky.

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After the flight, I was able to meet up with my sister-in-law (who landed in a different terminal than I did) and we got a cab to take us to Midtown Manhattan to the Waldorf Astoria (where we are staying for this trip).

We had a pretty full first day in New York, but that will have to wait until the next blog post. I’m actually writing this on Wednesday evening (so technically less than 24 hours after I left LAX). It’s currently 8:17pm here in NY, and I’m going to bed! I seriously need to catch up on some sleep!

Trip Prep (or How The Earthquake Made Me Super Productive)

On Monday and Tuesday this week, I knew I had to do all of my prep work for my NYC trip. I was leaving on the red-eye on Tuesday so I knew I had most of that day to get things done, but I didn’t want to leave everything to the last-minute.

My plan was to wake up on Monday and do most of my trip packing. On a daily basis, my alarm is set for 7am (yes, even while I’m unemployed). On Monday, I woke up at 6:24am (I know the exact time because I looked at my phone) and was mad because I wanted to go back to sleep and get in that last half hour. But a minute after I woke up, a 4.4 earthquake hit Los Angeles.

While a 4.4 isn’t too big of an earthquake, when it starts, you have no idea how big it will get. The first jolt was pretty big and the rumbling was very loud. Turns out, the epicenter was pretty close to me.

As soon as the shaking stopped, I got out of bed and went over to my living room to watch the news. I also got on my computer and sent a quick email to my parents to let them know that I was ok (I didn’t want them to see it on their news and not have heard from me). Since it was a smaller quake, there really wasn’t a lot of damage. In my house, one wineglass broke. That’s it.

After watching the news for a bit to see that it wasn’t a big quake somewhere and that everything was ok, I decided to start my day (I forgot to turn off my alarm and it went off a few minutes after I turned off the news).

I got all my packing done. It was tough because I’m only bringing a carry on and the weather is supposed to be highs in the mid 50’s and lows in the 20’s. That’s a lot of variety. But fortunately, I got some travel storage bags so I could make my sweaters and bulky jacket take up less room in my suitcase. I managed to get everything in there that I needed to bring.

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On Tuesday, I kept my schedule pretty open so I could try to prevent some stress about flying. All I really did was go over to my friend Erin’s house because she was going to blow out and style my hair for me.

Other than that, I tried to stay calm and get ready for my red-eye flight that night.

I’ll admit that I’m writing this post before my flight, so I’ll have to share my experience with that on another post.

Next time, I’ll be writing from NYC!