Since all of my good friends are long distance I travel periodically to spend time with them. I haven’t visited any good friends since like November so it was about time for me to see someone. I also really wanted a week to just work on my art. My cousin Anne (Yes, my cousin is one of my best friends) invited me to stay with her New York City for a week and I arranged with some of my birth family to finally meet them in person in New Jersey!
My flight went very smoothly and the plane got a tailwind so I got in early! The rest of evening was spent eating Greek food for dinner and chatting with my cousin.
|These fries have feta cheese and oregano on them. Soooo gooood.|
The next day I left in the morning for New Jersey. On the train I was looking forward to seeing some pretty NJ countryside but nope. XD Trash, trash, marsh, trash, marsh marsh, trash along the majority of the 45-minute train ride. I thought it was pretty funny. I arrived fine and met my second cousins. They were really sweet and I had a lovely time having lunch with them and getting to know each other. I hope to visit them again in the summer!
|Downtown Rutherford, NJ|
On the way back I had a bit of an adventure because I took the wrong train so I had to wait in a little mom and pop pizza place for the right one. But I had yummy pizza and a cannoli and enjoyed listening to Italian accents which I never hear in the south. On the way to the subway I heard an accordion player playing the Chicken Dance and it was hilarious. I made it home fine—just a little later than initially scheduled.
Today was a big attraction day! We got to go see the Statue of Liberty! I was so excited to see this iconic American monument. We boarded the ferry in the morning to travel across the bay to Liberty Island and we got to go all the way to the pedestal. It was a really awesome experience.
|These seagull was so funny. He perched on this pole on the ferry surveying the passengers as if they were his loyal subjects.|
|On the pedestal!|
|Doctor instruments used to examine and treat immigrants. Some of them are creepy. Look out, characters. 3:)|
|A display about the Titanic.|
|A picture from the Bob Hope Memorial Exhibit|
|A column covered with doodles and writing the immigrants made.|
After this we ate a late lunch and then went to the Museum of Illusions where we took some amazing pics with the fun exhibits. My favorite has to have been the True Mirror, which is a mirror that doesn’t show things in reverse but exactly as someone else sees you. It was really trippy.
|This is my favorite pic we took.|
On this day it snowed and rained (I like snow but snow plus rain equals yucky slush) so we spent most of the day inside which is definitely not a bad thing when you’re in the amazing New York Public Library.
|We also stopped to eat at Bare Burger where they played "Hakuna Matata" on the radio and I was so happy. XD|
This library was so. Dang. Cool! The outside was amazing enough with statues of lions but the inside was fantastic with amazing painted marble stairs, painted ceilings, books galore, and murals depicting the history of the printed word. This library even has the original Winnie the Pooh toys! I spent hours working on writing and drawing then exploring this fantastic place.
We slept in today because frankly we were both exhausted so I got up late then went with Anne into Manhattan to chill in a cafe while she taught a student. On the way, I freaking passed by Scarlet Johansson! I heard her voice then looked over to see her talking on the phone next to a restaurant. Her hair was tucked in a hat but it was definitely her. I was too shy to take a picture but still so much squee!
|Near where I saw Scarlet Johansson lol.|
On Valentine’s Day we went to Chelsea where Anne would be house sitting for the next few days, so I got to stay in a super nice high rise apartment for two days babysitting two havanese doggies. I also got to cam with my good friend Cassia for a few hours.
That night I got to see Wicked on Broadway! I’ve been wanting to see this play for years, so I’m so happy to finally have been able to go. I really enjoyed it. I wasn’t crazy about all of the songs but the plot was really good and the actors did a great job. My favorite song is the stereotypical “Defying Gravity” but man, it’s so catchy. I like how the story didn’t affect the Wizard of Oz canon and added more depth to the characters.
Day 7:On my last day in New York, Anne and I went to the Morgan Library and Museum aka the former home of millionaire J.P. Morgan. There we got to see a limited J.R.R. Tolkien exhibit focused on his artwork. I had no idea he had done so much. They wouldn’t let us take pictures inside but they had the original first edition jacket art for the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings! They even had some of Tolkien’s hand-drawn maps, timelines, letters, and even his doodles he’d make on newspapers. It was so amazing. He also did drawings of his world’s plants, coat of arms, and other worldbuilding details. It was so inspiring to me.
Next, we got to see J.P. Morgan’s personal library and omg it was breathtaking. The exhibit had original music written by Brahms, Mozart, and Debussy, hand-illuminated books from the Middle Ages, and even a freaking Gutenberg Bible! The artwork on the ceiling was phenomenal and there was even a medieval tapestry! My favorite thing had to be the Mesopotamian cylinder ceils. They were scrolls engraved with stories that you could see when they roll them out on clay. Then they’re worn as necklaces. I must use these in a book.
Afterward, we went to Central Park for a little bit where we saw the Bow Bridge, Bethesda Fountain, Bethesda Arcade, and Little Inukshuk makes an appearance. I love architecture so much.
Then we went to VR World, the biggest virtual reality gaming center in North America. I’ve only played a virtual reality game once so I was very excited to play more. I played laser tag mixed with Tron game with my cousin where you used your gun as a grappling hook and actually ducked behind pillars. It was so sweet! I also played an Elven Assassin game where you shoot orcs and trolls to keep them from getting into a keep. I felt like Legolas.
Lastly, I watched a virtual reality movie called The Great C. It was a really cool story and such a cool experience to be able to look around the movie 360 and even feel what’s going on in the motion chair.
I finished the day eating falafel and showing Anne My Hero Academia. A great way to end the trip.
I went home the next day which went pretty smoothly except somebody mishandled my checked bag and left it in NY. But I got it back the next day so it’s all good.
Overall it was a great refreshing trip. I loved spending time with my cousin, meeting new family, and being able to work on art in such cool locations.
Have you ever been to New York City/New Jersey 2019? What's your favorite play? What are some of the national monuments you've been to? Have you seen Wicked? Where did you go on your most recent vacation? What’s the coolest building you’ve ever been to? Do you like architecture?
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