Monday, November 17, 2008


A few weeks back David and I were talking about random places we'd like to go or experiences we'd like to have. I brought up that I'd love to have the experience of being in a big city on a holiday to see how things are. You know, like in movies, where it seems like it's just another day, or people hunker down in their lofts, or where people take the train out of the city to their hometown in the burbs. I figured I'd never live in a big city on a holiday, but at least I could travel there. I also brought up that it's a dream of mine to experience the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Of course I prefaced all of this with "This is a pipe dream, but...." To this day I wake up on Thanksgiving and the first thing I do is turn on the tv to see the parade.

We didn't think much of it until later that night. David said, "Why don't we go away for Thanksgiving this year. This is a time to do it. We both have multiple days off and won't have to use vacation." In addition, not that I was ever a huge turkey fan, but having the Thanksgiving center around a meat-filled extravaganza, it's not as appealing as in past years. I'm not playing the "poor me" role. I'm still proud of my choice of being a vegetarian and know that I could have a million other options to choose from on Thanksgiving, but it is what it is.

We weren't 100% sure if we could do it, but we looked into our options. Originally we thought, Chicago. Upon bringing this up, mom wanted to join in. Mom absolutely loves Chicago. This would mean she wouldn't have to cook anything for Thanksgiving (which she dreads), and we could experience the shopping after Thanksgiving. Although it seemed like a great idea, Dad wasn't sold on the idea. In addition, Justin and Cass were on the fence with the idea. In the end they all decided to sit this one out. Instead Thanksgiving will be spent up in Michigan. At that point we decided Chicago was out. We could venture on our own but shopping really isn't our thing, especially when we wouldn't have a group to go with, just to enjoy some window shopping.

Our idea was at a standstill until we found that Sita and Alpa weren't planning on having Thanksgiving this year. Sita has her state board test (for massage) the following week and fixing a big dinner isn't high priority on her list. Not to mention David's sister is a nurse and will be on call that day.

It was then that we started searching for other options. For shits and giggles we looked up how far it is to NYC....8 hours. Ah, that's not bad. The wheels started to turn. Within an hour I pieced together where we could stay, how we'd actually get into the city, and then where we could go, and how much it'd be. I was in high Heaven...was I actually going to experience the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade? I took a few moments to take it all in. Can we do this? Can we do it financially? Can we physically take on NYC? We've always wanted to go but were intimidated about getting around. True, money is tight, tight, tight. I can't even put into words how tight it is. The bottom line is we probably shouldn't go. At the same time, as said previously, this is the time to do it. We've always thought that NYC would be awesome but couldn't see staying there for a week....I think I'd get "bored" by 7 days, and financially it'd be impossible. Going for a day or 2 would be perfect. I was able to aquire transportation maps online and mapped it all out. We'd stay in Newark, hop the train to New York, then use the subway system to get around. Our plan is to stay a day and get as much in as we can. Although we have ideas of what we'd like to see, and a plan about how to do it, so we don't totally waste a day, we are going in with an open mind of "whatever we get to see, we'll see, If not, we'll see it next time." Of course our first plan of action is to go to the parade....after that, we shall see. Our plan is to keep in Manhattan and not venture to the surrounding areas this trip.

Surprisingly we found that this trip may actually be more affordable than Chicago. The most expensive thing is gas. The room and parking, are cheaper. And with unlimited ride passes, transportation is even affordable. Everyone tells us that we'll still spend a ton of money. I hear them and recognize where they're coming from. True, we may spend more money, but at the same time, remember we're not big foodies, so it's not like we're going to spend a ton on food. In addition, we don't plan on doing much, if any, shopping. Once again, our biggest expense will be gas, our room, transportation, and if we want to go to Ellis Island.

I still can't believe we're going to go to NYC. I still can't believe we'll be there for Thanksgiving and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I still can't believe that even though we have planned a few things, we're still heading there on a whim. This will truly be an interesting adventure.


Randy Hammons said...

Awesome - Shannon and I are in the middle of planning a similar trip to your first idea -Chicago. We're in the planning stages, but the jist is to stay for several days after christmas, during my work's christmas shut down, do some sight seeing, window shopping, and relaxing in a nice hotel. Your trip sounds like it'll be a blast. Macy's Day Parade first hand should be a pretty memorable experience for the both of you :-D

Anonymous said...

You'll love NYC. We were there a few years ago for Thanksgiving. The crowds (i.e., people watching) are amazingly fun. Don't forget to go to Rockefeller Center to see the big Christmas tree.

-MK said...

We went to NYC for Christmas one year (well, the weekend before Christmas). It was so much fun. I think once you're there a couple days, you'll find that the city isn't nearly as intimidating as it seems.