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Notes on a NYC Trip

Author: parisandelle
Date of Trip: January 2001



We had a fantastic time in NYC. Here are my notes:

Thursday, February 10th
We had no problem with immigration at JFK as I am American and my English husband was able to walk through with me and our son is a dual citizen so he used his American passport to enter the country. We then got a taxi to the Sofitel, which cost $55 including tax and tip.

Sofitel
We loved our room at the Sofitel. We had an Executive suite on the 25th floor and our room faced the GE building -- A really nice view at night. There was plenty of space for our 22 month old to run around. What surprised me was how quiet it was. The bathrooms are gorgeous and the staff was very helpful, but not in your face. Twice we had a problem with the toilet, but each time we reported the problem it was addressed quickly.

There are lots of nice amenities such as the robe, slippers and even a lint brush which was handy as I forgot mine.

The location is fantastic and we walked to most places of interest. We also received complimentary drinks of our choice at the bar and late check-out as we signed up for the Sofitel Privilege card.

We never dined in-house, but we loved the Red Flame diner a few doors away. It was one of the few places that had high chairs and a good food selection for our son. The breakfast was delicious and the staff was friendly.

Friday, February 11th -- Babysitter night
We were up quite early as we had a bit of jet lag, so after breakfast at the Red Flame we walked over to Rockefeller Plaza and watched people ice skate at like 9:00 in the morning. Show offs!

American Museum of Natural History
We spent all day Friday at The American Museum of Natural History. We bought the NYC City Pass for $53 each which is an exceptional value.

The museum is huge and I think it would take many visits to really see it all in depth. Our toddler enjoyed the Hall of Ocean Life as did we. There is a huge space under the blue whale just to sit and enjoy the ocean sounds. We did not go to the Hayden Planetarium because we had our little one. The dinosaur collections is worth taking your time going through and definitely watch the movie introduction narrated by Meryl Streep before working your way through the dinosaur exhibit.

Dinner at Joe Allen
We had a pre-theatre dinner at Joe Allen and the food was exceptional, but unfortunately the service was not. My husband had the steak and French fries and I had the meatloaf with mash potatoes and spinach. After our entrees were brought our server disappeared and my husband needed sauce for his steak. We gave up after 10 minutes and ate our main course. Our dessert order was taken by the maitre d and we had the toll-house cookie and ice cream. It was only average compared to our meal. We had already told our server that we wanted a coffee, but that never came and then another 20 minutes later we received our check which included a line to tip the maitre d which I found strange.

Wicked at Gershwin Theatre
We really enjoyed Wicked. The sets were amazing and the performances were outstanding.

Saturday, February 12th
2-Hour Semi-Circle Sightseeing Cruise
Fantastic sightseeing cruise without the summer crowds. My husband braved the weather and stayed on the outdoor deck for the whole two hours. My son and I stayed inside where it was warm and enjoyed the surprisingly good hot cocoa with unlimited refills in our $6 souvenir mug. The admission for this was included in our city pass. The views and the live narration were great and we walked away knowing a lot more about the island than when we got on the boat.

Intrepid Sea Air Space Museum
Another great attraction included in our NYC City Pass. We went straight from our 2-Hour Semi-Circle Sightseeing Cruise to the Intrepid which is just steps away. It was a very interesting visit. We enjoyed "boarding" the Concorde. It was also really cool to walk across an aircraft carrier. My husband also enjoyed the G force ride for an extra $10.

We also did the Ferris wheel at Toys R Us. Our son loved it. My son also loved the Billboards in Times Square. My husband was looking for and actual square like Leicester Square in the West End of London (a park).



Sunday, February 13th

Balthazar
Brunch is good. This place is very busy, if not zoo like for Sunday Brunch. We were seated 5 minutes early of our 10:00 am reservation. I had the French toast (average) and smoked bacon and my husband had the eggs Benedict (excellent). Our toddler ate much of the fresh bread basket except the cinnamon roll which I quickly snapped up. We could not fault the service and found it to be one of our best meals. Can't wait to go back and try dinner. One thing I did not know - I ordered a mimosa and a bloody Mary and our waiter told us that you can't order alcoholic drinks before noon in NYC. Is this true?

After brunch we waited a few moments for the MoMA shop to open and bought a few cool items there before walking back to Sofitel. A long walk, but very doable.



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