One of the perks of being based in central Connecticut is that New York City is only a few hours away by car or train. What follows is a “typical” day of playing hooky in the city.
8:17 a.m.: Awake (sort of) after snoozing my alarm several times. I don’t really like having to wake up at a decent time on my day off.
9:12 a.m.: My boyfriend, Andrew, and I are driving to the New Haven train station to catch a 10:10 train, but we get stuck in traffic near Hartford. Hope we still make it on time, otherwise lunch plans are kaput.
9:52 a.m.: We get to the station in plenty of time, but the parking garage next to the train station is full, so Andrew drops me off to go get tickets and snacks while he finds a new place to park. He makes me promise not to leave without him. I guess, if I must.
10:02 a.m.: Andrew arrives, and we board the train with tix and water in hand.
10:10 a.m.: On our way to The City!
11:50 a.m.: We arrive at Grand Central Station, then head outside for a somewhat chilly and rainy walk to Times Square, where we’re planning to eat lunch. REALLY hoping the Mets game isn’t rained out tonight, but we make alternate plans just in case.
12:06 p.m.: We stop at the Mets store on the way to Times Square, where I pick up a sweatshirt after much deliberation.
12:42 p.m.: Arrive at Hard Rock Café. Ever since I was little I have made it a habit to visit HRCs whenever I travel, and yet somehow I have not yet been to the one that’s only three hours away. A few months ago, I was in San Francisco and got an “all-access pass” for about $25, which allows you to earn points for food and souvenir purchases, as well as get priority seating. I’ve never tried to get in ahead of other people, and I’m not sure if the policy still applies for potentially the busiest location in the world, but it’s worth a shot.
12:45 p.m.: We’re in! At the same time that the hostesses were yelling “An hour wait!” to a couple guys who came in before us, I hand my card over and they seat us immediately. How cool is that? Seriously, if you’re ever going to visit a Hard Rock, consider getting the membership.
1:46 p.m.: Along with my $25 membership fee came a $20 credit to start me off, so we get lunch in Times Square for about $15. On my way out, I decide it would be a great idea to put the little HRC flag in my hair as a souvenir—and then put on my pullover sweatshirt. Bad idea. I get stuck, and in the middle of the crowded restaurant I’m flailing around with my head caught in a sweatshirt until the toothpick breaks. Not my proudest moment, but Andrew is very entertained.
1:50 p.m.: After walking to the Neil Simon Theatre, which is several short blocks over, we get into the theater with time to spare for a bathroom break and a brief perusal of merchandise. We’re seeing Catch Me If You Can, and I’ve never even seen the movie, though I know the basic story. Andrew and I both collect specific Broadway souvenirs (pins and magnets, respectively, though my collection didn’t start until last May when I saw my first Broadway show), and there is some pretty cool stuff. We will definitely need to hit the souvenir booth on the way out.
2:03 p.m.: I put my phone on airplane mode, partly because it’s the polite thing to do and I don’t want to be That Girl, but also because my phone is swiftly dying and that will stretch out the battery life. Tricks of the trade, baby.
3:20 p.m.: The curtain goes down on act one and we get up to stretch our legs before diving into the second half. I am LOVING the show; it’s definitely one of my favorite shows so far.
3:22 p.m.: While Andrew chats up the school group seated behind us, I dig into the free chips I got from someone handing them out in Times Square. Only in New York.
4:41 p.m.: The show ends, and although I am usually somewhat reluctant to give standing ovations, I have no problem getting to my feet on this one. LOVED IT! I’ll have to watch the movie in a few weeks, too. It’s such a crazy story.
5:07 p.m.: After stopping at a friend’s house for a brief phone charging session, we walk to the Times Square subway stop and get on the 7 train to Citi Field for the Mets vs. Rockies game tonight. It’s a little misty and very foggy, but so far it doesn’t look like the game will be rained out.
6:02 p.m.: We arrive at the stadium, go through the usual security procedure and then head straight to the museum and the official Mets shop. I get in trouble every time I start shopping, because everything is so cute/cool/different/the same/etc. Luckily, I get out without buying anything, and I take a picture by the giant “42” that signifies Jackie Robinson’s historic baseball career with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
6:56 p.m.: We’re settled into our seats, complete with hot dogs and pretzels. Mmmm, ballpark food.
6:59 p.m.: The national anthem is sung by an adorable children’s choir. So cute!
7:01 p.m.: Lineups are announced for both teams, and the game gets underway a few minutes later.
7:45 p.m.: I am annoyed at the opposing pitcher. He seems to take way too long getting ready for each pitch, and also throws to first base too many times for my taste. A few Mets fans that are louder than I am seem to agree.
8:00 p.m.: It is getting chilly, and the fog has never really let up, but at least we can still see the field. I have put on two sweatshirts and a blanket. I’m such a wuss about the cold.
10:03 p.m.: The game ends, as the Mets lose to the Rockies 5-4. Oh well, such is life as a Mets fan. I’m coming to another game in a few weeks, so hopefully we’ll have better luck (and weather) next time.
10:31 p.m.: We’re on the train back to Grand Central, and there’s a (very intoxicated) man trying to explain his position on Mets vs. Yankees fans to the Rockies fans on the train. I don’t really understand what his point is, but I have counted him saying “That being said…” five times so far.
10:37 p.m.: It’s quiet again.
10:48 p.m.: We arrive at Grand Central Station; the next train is at 11:22, so we grab a snack.
11:14 p.m.: We’re on the train, ready to fall asleep.
11:22 p.m.: We leave NYC. I can’t wait for the conductor to come take our tickets so I can sleep for the rest of the ride. I am very talented at sleeping in just about any moving vehicle.
1:10 a.m.: Arrive in New Haven. One hour to go, and it’s my job to make sure Andrew stays awake on the way home. Definitely don’t want the driver falling asleep.
2:22 a.m.: Arrive at home.
2:23 a.m.: Crash into my oh-so-comfy bed. My alarm for work will come way too soon, but it was so worth it.