Thursday, October 9, 2008
I woke up around 10 am again to do homework. I had lunch before heading to he bookstore to work on homework. It's weird being there during the day since I'm used to being there for work at night. Last year I worked during the day so I got to know them pretty well and now I don't work with them at all.

I finished reading the chapter for next week in my Adolescence textbook. I looked up where the answers to the Neurochemistry questions were but I didn't write them out or anything, I'll do that next week. I also worked on my take home Logic quiz and almost finished it.

I went back to my dorm and packed for NYC and then took a shower before going to work. Talk about a SLOW part of the day. I had nothing to do really as barely anyone wanted ice cream so I sat in the back and time was just CREEPING. I was so happy when it was time to head out for the trip.

I took my stuff and went to Gund and waited. It's so hard to believe I'm going to NYC for the weekend. I am past being excited and just wanting to get there and get it going. The bus ride is going to be so long.

We got on the road around 10:30 pm. We were VERY close to hitting a deer on the last hill in to Mount Vernon on 229. VERY close. We watched two movies, Baby Mama and What Happens in Vegas, both of which are chick flicks. They were tolerable, but not good in any sense of the word. Then I ended up sleeping on and off for the rest of the trip.

Friday, October 10, 2008
We stopped around 8 am to get breakfast. I had a pancake sausage breakfast from McDonalds with some milk. When we left, the traffic was already to move at a crawl and we were over 60 miles from NYC.

I ended up falling asleep and woke up when we were getting ready to go in the Lincoln Tunnel. It was at a crawl. I couldn't fall back asleep because we were so close and I just wanted to see everything I could. Traffic here is INSANE!!!

We go to the hotel around 11:30 and put our stuff in a room until later when we can officially check in. I left with my roommates for the Empire State Building. There were some guys outside trying to sell tickets for a bus tour but we weren't interested. I told him maybe later.

The express ticket was definitely worth it. I didn't wait in any lines and was up to the top in no time. The elevator went up so fast that my ears were popping from the pressure change. It was a little freaky out on the observation deck at first, but I got used to it.

It was pretty crowded. There was just a walk way with glass to look out of, some glass went up higher in some places in than in others and it was just a solid mass of people. I got some pictures on all four sides of the building though.

I couldn't figure out how to put my camera into 3 MG mode and I tried calling dad but didn't have a signal. In 7 MG mode I will get less than 1000 pictures and I plan on taking more than that. I did end up calling him once I got down and figuring it out.

When I was going down, my roommates were just getting to the top. Getting down with the Express ticket is just as fast, if not faster, than getting up. The elevator was just as weird on my ears going down as it was going up.

When I got out tot he street, another guy was trying to sell a bus tour. I told him maybe tomorrow and he asked me for my phone number. I of course told him no and he seemed disappointed. I wasn’t even in NYC for two hours before getting hit on.

After I left the Empire State Building, I walked around the city taking pictures. I got some good pictures of the Chrysler Building and went to Bryant Park, on accident. I should have gone right but went left and ended up there. Oh well, it was nice.

I then went to Grand Central Station and looked around. It was impressive. They had an exhibit up about the Navy. I went downstairs and got a Jumbo Pretzel and yes, it really was JUMBO. I couldn’t eat the whole thing but took it with me.

I continued walking through NYC and stopped in a store to buy a bigger purse. The one I bought is hot pink with NYC in sparkles. It will definitely come in handy when I start buying souvenirs. I don’t know why I didn’t think to bring something bigger with me for that purpose.

When I got to the corner that St. Patrick’s Cathedral was on, I literally gasped. It was BEAUTIFUL!!! I’ve seen pictures of it but I didn’t realize it was just, there, on a corner. I don’t know what I was expecting, but not that.

I actually went inside and they were having a service. It’s beautiful inside as well. It’s building like this that makes me wish I lived in NYC, but then I remember the traffic and remember why I don’t want to live in a big city like that.

After I left St. Patrick’s Cathedral, I went to Top of the Rock. The view was SO much better than the Empire State Building. I stayed there for a while as it was more open than the Empire State Building and you could move around better. It’s so neat being up so high seeing everything. It had a wonderful view of Central Park, which I will be going to tomorrow.

When I first left Top of the Rock, I thought I had down everything I had planned on today, but then I remember I hadn’t been to Times Square yet so I headed in that direction. It’s only five blocks from the hotel so I was going to go that way anyway.

There were so many people. I walked around and took pictures. I didn’t really go in any stores as I didn’t want to spend much money today since I don’t know what I’ll want to buy tomorrow. Just being in Time Square though is an awesome experience.

While in Time Square, another guy came up to me trying to sell me a bus tour. This time, I listened more closely. My feet and ankles were killing me and I had no clue how I was going walk to Central Park and the American Museum of Natural History tomorrow but thought the bus could take me.

I did end up buying a bus tour for roughly $50 but it comes with a lot. Upper and Lower Manhattan tour, a night tour of lower Manhattan, discounts on prices for some museums, a free ferry ride, etc. Too bad I can’t use most of it since I already had a schedule of things I wanted to do. I did call the chaperons around 5 pm to check in.

Lower Manhattan was something I had planned to do today if I had time, which I did. The tour guide pointed out all sorts of buildings and told us the history of places as we went by. It was really nice having things explained instead of just marveling at the architecture.

I got off around the Brooklyn Bridge and Ground Zero. Ground Zero is all fenced off and what I found weird is that there is a subway under it. I don’t know why, but that just kind of creeped me out. I did go though. Supposedly the Freedom Tower is going to be done by 2012.

I didn’t walk all the way across the Brooklyn Bridge because I wanted to make sure I got back to where the bus picked people up before its last run of the night. I did walk across enough to take pictures of the skyline. It was pretty.

I did manage to find my way back to the bus stop in time. I road the bus back to Times Square and got on another bus for the night time tour of Lower Manhattan. I called the chaperons phone to let them know I wouldn’t be getting back to the hotel until around 10-11 pm and they said it shouldn’t be a problem.

NYC at night is amazing. There are so many lights in Time Square it’s not dark at all. There are also TONS of people. I guess it’s partly because it’s a Friday night, but I imagine Time Square gets like this almost every night.

The night tour is basically the same as the day tour except you go over to Brooklyn to Fulton Ferry Landing to take pictures of the skyline. Crossing the Manhattan Bridge was terrifying. I had a hard time keeping myself from having a panic attack. It was high, over water and road, dark, and we were going slow, probably so others could take pictures. I couldn’t even will myself to turn around and take pictures, even though I’m normally not afraid of things when I’m taking pictures, You KNOW I’m afraid when I’m too afraid to take pictures.

Fulton Ferry Landing gives you a great view of Lower Manhattan though. I wish I would have been over there in the day time also. I took some pictures and a movie as well. I don’t know how the pictures will turn out since it’s so dark.

After leaving Brooklyn, we made out way back to Times Square. One of the guys on the bus was standing up in the front taking pictures and almost got his head hit by a low traffic light. The tour guide made him sit down after that incident.

I was sad when the bus tour ended but was getting tired. I started the walk back to the hotel. I saw some guys doing some strength moves/acrobatic type stuff and stopped to watch. I made a movie of that too as pictures wouldn’t have done it justice. It was neat and I wish I could have stayed longer.

On one of the corners, I bought two hot dogs. They were really good. They were even better considering the only other thing I had today was McDonald’s early this morning and then the Jumbo Pretzel at Grand Central.

Surprisingly, when I got to my hotel room, my roommates were all back AND sleeping already. They woke up shortly when I came in and said they were worried since I hadn’t picked up my stuff yet. They didn’t really want to talk as they said they were too tired.

I called aunt and let her know I was in the hotel nice and safe. I called dad as well. I put my cell phone and camera batteries on charge before going to bed. I set my alarm for 7 am. I did not come to NYC to sleep, I came to see things.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

I woke up a little before 7 am and reset the cell phone alarm to 7:30 am because I was still exhausted. I did get up at 7:30 am though and get ready to head out. I stopped at McDonald’s and had a hash brown and two things of milk. I was not going to start the day empty.

I headed north towards Central Park. I walked by Carnegie Hall first. It’s just so weird that all of these famous buildings are sitting on the corner amidst other buildings. I guess when I think of landmarks, I think of them being separated from other things.

Outside of Central Park is Columbus Circle and I went in and took some pictures of the fountains and the statue. I also took pictures of the surrounding buildings. It's hard to imagine that Central Park is in the middle of NYC.

Central Park is beautiful. I walked along the perimeter and watched people jog, bike, and skate. There were plenty of animals along the way as well. It was very peaceful and scenic. I'm not sure what I was expecting but this was nice.

I went off on the one of the side trails and took pictures of the buildings outside of the Central Park. One of them is the American Museum of Natural History that I will be going to later in the day. It was a pretty overlook with a lake as well.

I went back out to the perimeter and decided to go back in to find the Bethesda Terrace and Fountain and did find it. It was very relaxing. When I came down the stairs, I thought there was a CD playing but found out that it was a family singing. They were amazing. I bought one of their CD's. I took pictures and had someone take a picture of me by the fountain as well.

After I saw the terrace and fountain, I made my way out of Central Park so I could go to the AMNH. It was AMAZING!!!! I've never been in a natural history museum so I really didn't know what to expect, except I knew they had dinosaur bones.

I started on the first floor and worked my way up to the fourth floor. On one of the floors they had a HUGE life size plastic (I think) blue whale hanging from the ceiling. It's quite a sight when it go in to that room, that's for sure.

They had a lot of wildlife dioramas which were really neat. By the time I got to the fourth floor, which is where the dinosaur bones were, I was exhausted. I did get some milk and a cookie before I left but I was just exhausted.

While I was on the second floor, I saw my roommates. It was kind of strange seeing them since I hardly saw them at all yesterday and was out before they woke up today. I hope they enjoy the museum as much as I did.

I wasn't expecting to get done as fast as I did. I didn't go through the entire museum but I went through everything that interested me for the most part. I decided to go back Central Park and see what else I could find.

I ended up going to the Great Lawn, which is one of the things I think of when I think of Central Park. It was really neat to see it. Then I went up in the Belvedere Castle and took pictures of the Great Lawn and had someone take a picture of me with it in the background.

I was so exhausted and sore I ended up just sitting down for a while I talked to dad and aunt on the cell phone. My feet really needed a break and I was walking weird by the time I was finished in Central Park. At least I'll have a long bus ride tomorrow to get my feet back to normal.

I went and sat outside the AMNH for a while waiting for it to get closer to 5 pm since that is when I was going to watch Cosmic Collisions in the planetarium. It ended up being pretty cool but it made me nauseous, which was not so cool. It was really neat though and it's the same room they filmed part of the movie K-PAX.

After Cosmic Collisions was over, I headed to the subway station. I was beyond nervous about taking the subway but there was now way I could walk to the Blue Man Group concert. It was probably about 3 miles from where I was and I was exhausted.

I managed to get on the subway okay but missed my stop so I got off at the next one. I eventually decided to just take the subway back to where I should have been instead of walking. I was tired of walking and it was getting dark.

I took the subway to Astor Place and called dad so he could help navigate me there. For some reason I'm really horrible at map reading. I have a hard time telling right from left so that gets me turned around and I didn't want to have to walk more than I needed to.

I waited outside until it was closer t the time the concert started. When I went in the theater, I was surprised by how small it was. I called dad while sitting down and told him about it. I have no idea how it's going to work in such a small theater. Time would tell.

There was a scrolling marquee and it said that we weren't allowed to take pictures. That made me really sad. I was going to try to sneak some but it also said that the device would be confiscated. That would have NOT been a good thing at all.

The marquee kept scrolling and once it got to be about show time it started telling the audience to read what it said. So we all read it. There was an oath about not taking pictures and then we “talked” to members of the audience, like the girl with the headache. It was mildly amusing.

The concert itself was pretty awesome. The band was up in a room that overlooked the stage but when the light was on you could see inside and see them. There were definitely many highlights and things I would I could have gotten pictures or movies of.

They DID play Drumbone. The intro to it was hilarious. The movie screen was talking about this network that connected the whole world. Everyone was thinking that it was referring to the Internet but then it revealed it was talking about the sewer system and PVC pipes. Everyone laughed when the movie said it was the sewer system.

They also did their How to be a Rock Star 2.0 act, which was great. They had Rock Concert Movements such as the head bob, the one arm first pump, and the two arm thrust with yell. They also had the behind the head leg stretch which is basically impossible to do. There was also a “getting a closer look at the audience” in which they had a camera off stage and aimed in in someone's mouth and then on the TV screen it was a video of the camera going through the body and then coming back out. It was neat.

They played songs from other rock stars on the PVC pipes with that looked like giant spoons. That part was really neat and I haven't been able to find it online anywhere. The audience was shouting out lyrics and it was just awesome.

At one point, they had filled a balloon with paint and were going to slingshot it onto a canvas when people came in late. An alarm sounded and this recording singing “You're late” in an opera like voice came on. The camera focused on the people coming in while the Blue Man fell oer the stage with a “What the hell?” look on their faces.

They also had paint balls one of them threw at the other two. He was standing center stage while the other two were of to either side. They two would catch them in their mouths, which is no easy feat I'm sure. The one on his left was spitting the paint ball on a canvas and making a design out of the different colors. The last paint ball he got he spun the canvas around when he spit it out and it made a really neat design.

The other one was not as fortunate. It seems like he just couldn't spit out his paint ball before the middle one was ready to throw him another one. His mouth was FULL of these things and he was having to jump and squat in order to catch the paint balls. It was pretty amazing. He ended up shaping the paint balls into a design when he spit them out. It was quite gross and I gagged a little.

Since it was such a small theater, they would climb through the seats and use people's heads to keep their balance. One of them climbed in to the balcony and everyone up there shouted. It was amazing how everything was set up so that they were able to do what they did.

They had two parts of the show where they brought people on stage. One was a guy from the balcony. He was put in a white suit and had a helmet on. Then they painted him blue, hung him upside down from his feet, and let him hit a white canvas, painting it with the blue paint.

The other one was a girl who went up and helped them open Twinkies. She opened her Twinkie and the Blue Man next to her handed her his for her to open. Then he started wiggling it side to side, teasing the other two Blue Ma who didn't have their Twinkies open. That continued until everyone had their's open and then they ate them. Then the holes in their suits spit out white “Twinkie” at the audience. The girl's apron she had put on oozed white stuff down it. She got her picture taken and got to keep the picture.

They did do the act where they are playing the drums and paint comes out of their suits so they are splashing paint every where. It was really neat to see in person. They are in such perfect unison, which makes it all the more amazing.

At the end of the show, they had what appeared to be toilet paper and they were rolling it from the edge of the balcony and then swinging it in strobe lights, which looked really neat. Then, the toilet paper started coming from the back towards the front and when the strobe lights came out we would all stop and swing it around and move it up and down.

I didn't know how it was going to work when I got there, but I really enjoyed it. It was so much more intimate than I was expecting, and that turned out to be one of the best things about it. After it was over, I bought a shirt, DVD, and CD. I also got my picture taken with one of the Blue Men.

I headed back to the subway to go back to the hotel. I beat my roommates back tonight and was telling dad about the concert when they came in. They had went to see a play, Equus, so they were all dressed it. They didn't want to talk about their day as they said the play was too intense and they were emotionally drained.

I stayed up and worked on my Logic quiz and got everything ready to leave tomorrow. I set the alarm for 7 am again. This time, I'll need to be up since we are leaving at 8 am tomorrow morning. I did so much more than I had planned to do. This was an AWESOME trip!!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I was up and ready to leave on time. I put my bag on the bus and then went to McDonald’s to get something to eat before leaving. I got on the bus and waited to leave. We didn't end up leaving until around 8:30 because someone was missing. I guess he didn't even wake up until 8:15 and we were supposed to leave at 8. They had said if you weren't there they would leave you, but we waited.

I was exhausted and slept on and off for most of the trip. We did stop for lunch at a KFC and Taco Bell combined. I got some nachos and cheese from Taco Bell and a two piece chicken meal from KFC. Laura came over while I was finishing and told me my food looked disgusting. One of the chaperons told her that was rude and to leave. That's Laura for you though.

I read some in a muscle magazine in between naps. It was a dull ride back and the traffic was MUCH better. The difference it makes when you're leaving Sunday versus coming in during Friday rush hour.

We got back in time to go to dinner, which is what I did after dropping my things off. I felt bad for not going to work at the bookstore but I was just exhausted and I had told them I wasn't going to be able to work today.

I went tot he dorm, got on cam and showed dad everything I bought. I figure I spent around $600 total for this trip. It was completely worth it though. Since I paid for everything myself, it makes it that much more neat. My first really BIG expense and I had a blast!!