There’s No City Like New York City!

As a 20-something watching Sex and the City I thought New York seemed sooo cool.  I envied everything Carrie was that I wasn’t….a writer, a free-spirit, a keen fashion sense, the hot and wealthy boyfriend (Big, hello!), the sexual trysts….I missed the boat.

I was the good-girl who graduated from college, got in a committed relationship, bought a condo, and became an office manager.

Snooze.

And now here I sit and wonder…my 20s breezed by, and now I am a full-time office manager, a mom, a wife….I wonder what I might have been. The dream of New York and writing was gone.

I guess I never thought I would visit New York. I never thought I would be a writer. And then one day I started this blog. I started to write, and I never felt so alive. I’ve never known more of who I am. I am a writer.

Yes, I’m still a mom. Yes, I’m still a wife. And yes, lol, I’m still an office manager. But I am also…A writer….I love how that sounds.

So people have started to take notice of Jlee’s Blog, and I’m not bragging about this, but rather I am sooo grateful for all who spend a little time in my head on any given day, and I was invited to New York City to attend an exclusive Mommy Blogger Event.

I desperately wanted to go, and if you read my post Fear you already know the story. If you didn’t read Fear, click here to read it. Otherwise, [spoiler] I WENT!

Two days before I was to leave on a Southwest flight to LaGuardia I had major anxiety going on. MAJOR. For one, I was at work completely hung over. I know, we’ve discussed this before. I use drinking as a coping mechanism for managing my stress. So the night before at bowling I got hammered. Oops. Hubs was not happy. For two, I was having major regrets about booking this trip. This is crazy! What am I thinking going to NYC by myself?

I’ve got my mom in my ear like a little bird going…. “People make up events like this all the time and then when you show up they do things to you!”

Yeah, she said that for realz. And “who” does this, seriously? I think she made it up.

I’m like, “Mom, it’s fine.” But, somewhere deep inside I guess I was like, what am I doing? I barely even leave DuPage County, the county that I was born and raised in, let alone the state, and now I’m going to NYC by myself?

I tried to bail. I tried soo hard to find any reason to bail. What will I tell my blog readers? That I just decided not to go? That something “came up”? But, I can’t lie to you. And how will I tell them the truth, that I simply was scared to go?

***
Two days later Hubs drops me off at Midway Airport. Big girl pants, big girl pants, big girl pants….

I board the plane and sit next to two normal peeps, one of whom gave me some Advil, which I desperately needed to ease my pounding headache. I ordered a Bloody Mary stat, sat back and slurped that sucker down. It was the best Bloody Mary ever! Side note, omg, I finally like Bloody Mary’s! It took a while, but right now I’m currently obsessed with Ditka’s Kick Ass Bloody Mary Mix…yum!

I land at LaGuardia at 11:30 pm. I grab a cab and head to my hotel, The Chelsea Inn, which is on 5th Avenue and 17th Street. I was a little nervous about the hotel (also discussed in Fear), and when I got there it lived up to everything I imagined it would be.

I walked into the room and wondered if I will be murdered in this hotel. And so begins my stay in New York City.

The next morning I wake up bright and early, but also exhausted 1, from the past days (multiple days and subsequent hangover) anxiety about this trip and 2, because sleeping was difficult due to subpoint (a) the fact that my room was next to a nightclub with music blaring until 3 in the morning and subpoint (b) I was certain I was going to be murdered.

I wanted to throw up just being in the room because it seriously creeped me out, so I go out for iced coffee. I stand on the steps to the outside and think: I can’t walk off this stoop. I just can’t.

Even though I only need to walk next door, yes, seriously, to the door right next door, because we get coffee coupons from The Chelsea Inn. So I go next door to get a banana and an iced coffee, then I walk back next door and sit on the stoop watching the traffic drive by. People honking…

I tell myself, what am I going to do? Sit here all day? No, I made a ton of plans of what I wanted to do, and I have to do something!

I go back to my room to take a shower and while in the shower search for that peep-hole, but there wasn’t one, phew, at least not one that I found. I showered in my flip-flops like I was back in college and then refused to set anything on the floor…just in case.

Now let me talk up The Chelsea Inn here…I think it’s safe to say that I’m a little high maintenance. I made the decision to stay at that hotel based on the location and then the price. I knew that I wasn’t getting The Peninsula at the price I was paying, and I was OK with that.

The Chelsea Inn ended up being a very nice and quaint place, and I would definitely stay there again. My only beef was that it was crazy small….but I was told that all New York hotel rooms are extremely tiny, and that’s New York baby!

Also, the staff at The Chelsea Inn were all extremely friendly and helpful, and I found out that it is in a very safe neighborhood as well as being a very safe place to stay. The second night I was able to sleep a little better despite the loud music. At least I knew I wasn’t going to get murdered. Bed bugs I wasn’t so sure about…so I slept on top of the covers.

What else did I do?

– Juicy Couture on 5th Ave!!!! Yes, the Mothership called to me, and I just HAD to go to Juicy Couture. I was not disappointed by the two-story entrance, the chandelier, and the helpful team! Unfortunately I didn’t make a purchase, but I was planning to, and nothing caught my eye. Don’t worry though, I bought a new Juicy Couture purse and wallet today (a belated b-day present)! I ended up wandering around Juicy Couture for about an hour just amazed at all there was to see.

– Lunch! You know I went with a slice of New York pizza and I was not disappointed. It was cheese and meatball and was absolutely delicious. I wish I took a picture!

Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum! I am obsessed with wax museums, and I once went to Madame Tussaud’s in Vegas. I just had to check out Madame Tussaud’s in Times Square!  Ohmigosh, it was amazing! But, no, my future BFF Guiliana Rancic is not at Madame Tussaud’s Times Square. Wtf, I was really hopeful that she was so I could take a pic with her for my BFF picture frame. I got a pic with Kim K. instead…

Very cool…but I would have died if it was my future BFF G!
OMG, Wills and Kate…gorg!

– Then to walk around Times Square, which was A-Maze-Ing! There was such a vibe there, and it was completely intoxicating. The crowds, the lights, the noises….the PEOPLE. And I’m someone who doesn’t like people, but I could have walked through Times Square for hours just watching people. Wow, it was incredible. I honestly can’t even put into words how truly exciting it was.

– I walked to Times Scare, which I was really anxious to check out, but they were closed until 5 pm so hopefully next time I can hit that place up. I love haunted houses – and bars – so what’s better than a haunted house with 3 bars and a magic show?

– Central Park! Central Park was a must so I ended up having a bike cabby ride me the 14 blocks to 60th St. because I had been walking all day. I refused to spend money on cabs and figured walking was better for my figure anyways. Central Park was beautiful! It was so big and peaceful. I wish I could have taken a tour through it. I didn’t walk too far in because I knew I had to walk all the way back to 17th St., and I was afraid my legs would give out of exhaustion. I just hung out in the park for a little bit and then decided to make the walk back down 5th Ave.

Me in Central Park!!

– I went to a couple souvenir shops looking for misc. items for the Chiquita and my bonus daughters, and I watched a street performer. It was the best feeling in the world having nowhere to be and operating on my own schedule. I could do anything I wanted at any time for as long as I wanted!

– The Museum of Sex! The Museum of Sex was so crazy and so interesting and so worth it! Here are some pics!

– After the Museum of Sex I was completely wiped out. I ended up at Mesa Grill  for dinner by myself. It’s the first time I’ve ever dined by myself at a restaurant and it was extremely enjoyable. I had the best beer I’ve ever had; I wish I could remember the name, it is a New York specialty! I enjoyed my yummy Sixteen Spice Chicken Skewers and side of mashed potatoes for dinner, but like RPM Italian the serving size was quite small. Maybe they could have done without that enormous piece of lettuce and taken $1 off of the menu price???

For realz…do they think I’m going to eat the lettuce?

The next day Susannah Collins picked me up at The Chelsea Inn and we headed to NYC’s The Party Loft for the Mommy Blogger Event – the petiteBox launch party. Special post on that next!

After the event Sooz took me to lunch which I talk about in #1 Deep Thoughts. We had a great lunch, some great deep thoughts and many laughs. And many glasses of wine.

I completely forgot about Dash New York in SoHo, and Sooz and I decided we had to go check it out! I had shown her my picture with Kim K. at Madame Tussaud’s, which is what got us talking about Dash. OMG, yes, we have to go check out Dash.

We walked (yes, more walking, which was good after that lunch and wine) to SoHo to check it out, and it is with a heavy heart that I tell you I give Dash an F. Yes, a big F for fail! We were both extremely disappointed with the Dash store. It is nothing special. It is basically a room with a bunch of racks and it kind of reminded me of goodwill. After watching Kourtney and Kim Take New York I was very disappointed to find that this is their finished product.

Sooz and I both agreed it was blah. The clothes sucked, too, and were very expensive for how ugly they were! The Kardashian Kollection at Sears is way better than the way overpriced clothing they have for sale at Dash. Maybe other Dash locations are better, but not NYC!

After Dash Sooz and I walked around SoHo a bit longer, got stuck in a major downpour and then Sooz helped me catch a cab (actually got the cab FOR me, after we were rudely insulted by a gay guy—I guess he didn’t read My Office Crush is Gay) back to LaGuardia where I was lucky enough to sit for FOUR hours waiting for my flight. AND the food at LaGuardia SUCKS!

All in all though it was a perfect trip! And I DID IT! I had the best time, and can’t wait to go back to New York again for more adventures…like the Statue of Liberty, the 9-11 Memorial, the Empire State Building, a Sex and the City tour (um…totally didn’t know they have that!), one night at a killer nightclub dancing on the bar, Times Scare and maybe the ferry over to Staten Island to check out the good ‘ol Mob Wives….

Who’s in?!?

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